Gone are the days when a ski was as high as you could reach up... Technology and materials have come a long way in the past twenty years with torsional twisting being greatly reduced and combined with new sidecut shapes to make skis that are much shorter and yet still able to turn harder and faster. So what is the magic length? That greatly depends on what sort of skier you are. If you like to charge fast and hard and would be considered and advanced skier you would want something a little longer, say between eye to forehead height. If you like to just cruise around and don't really go off piste adventuring then a shorter ski that is between chin to nose height will perform well and let you recover from any unexpected bumps or catching an edge. As a beginner something close to shoulder height will do well for you, they will be easier to get around on and less likely to separate in undesirable directions. As a general rule for better skiers the ski tip should touch between your nose & forehead. Novices below the chin. Err on the short side for stiff high speed carvers and on the long side for softer, wider rockered skis.