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Ski length question

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,


I'm a beginner/intermediate skier.  I've been skiing 5-6 times up in Michigan which probably makes me a beginner.  I could do all blues and most black diamonds (as long as I went slow enough) on the mountain.  I just moved to Connecticut, and plan on becoming a more serious skier.  Right now I'm looking into purchasing skis.  I'm a 5'9, 155lb male.  Most websites I've been to have told me I need 160cm - 165cm long skis for my height.  I've been looking at the dynastar legend sultan 80's, and found 2010 skis for $300 that are 158cm long.  Is that too short?  Should I buy the 165cm long skis and plan on growing into them?  Are there any other skis you would recommend?


Thanks for any and all advice! 

post #2 of 12

Welcome to EpicSki.  Boy do you know how to open a can of worms.  However, welcome.  You are going to get a whole big bunch of opinions and ideas with your question.




What it boils down to is simple.  Ski length and type is a matter of personal preference.  It will depend on what feels good for you, where you ski, how you ski, and what you want to do with your skis.  I have an old saying, You marry boots, you date skis.  So, what do you want to date?  I recommend that you demo a bunch of different skis until you find something you like.  As a new skier, you are going to improve rapidly.  What you like now, you probably won't like later on.


People look at my skis and wonder a bit.  I'm a pretty good skier.  I'm 6'1" and I use Metron B-5s that are 152cm.  They have about a 11 meter side cut radius.  I love them because they are twisty, turny, go around corners quickly type skis.  They also have a bit of float and bust through powder and crud nicely.  I've been on 18 to 20 meter radius skis and I'm not that fond of them.


With modern shaped skis you can go shorter and still have fun.  I've got a pair of Atomic 120s that I teach on.  You'd be surprised how fast they are.  biggrin.gif


So, you have my opinion on the matter.  Grab some popcorn.  I bet you are going to have some fun reading the other responses. 


popcorn.gif  popcorn.gifpopcorn.gifpopcorn.gifpopcorn.gifpopcorn.gifpopcorn.gifpopcorn.gifpopcorn.gifpopcorn.gif

post #3 of 12

Normally I would say go with the 165, but in this case I say just get the 158; you will outgrow the sultan 80 long before you grow into the 165.

post #4 of 12

158 is a *tad* short for your height, but not so much that it's going to make or break your skiing.


The rule of thumb I use for frontside resort skis is that they should be between your chin and the top of your head.  You're ~175cm tall, so you'd probably want to be in the 160-175 range.  Shorter is easier to turn but maybe less stable at speed; longer is the opposite.

post #5 of 12

Just a stupid question, what happened to the long skis like the 195s? I have a pair of never used circa 2002 XScreams that I'm taking to my next trip.

post #6 of 12

Out of curiosity....when I went skiing for the first time this past weekend, the ski rental gave me a pair of 130cms...on me (5'6") they were about mid-chest height (chin height on me would be about 140cm).  The skis my partner (who hasn't skiied in over a decade) was given came to about the same height on him.  The lady at the rental told me that's what they typically give to beginners as opposed to something longer (I can't remember the height she said they give people who are more experienced).  But I've never read anything else, here or otherwise, to suggest that beginners should go that short.  Don't get me wrong, I had a hard enough time getting used to the length of THOSE skis (not going down the hill, but navigating on the flat!) and went down the hill on them just fine, and would be apprehensive on anything longer, but was it a bad bit of advice for them to outfit us in skis so short?  Or a bad idea to ride skis that short (I'm on the more lightweight side, so I'm not worried about that)?  Next time I go skiing, should I ask for something longer, or is the 130 okay?

post #7 of 12

The 130 is great for beginners.  I like them even shorter.  I think 120s are excellent for teaching beginners on.  In fact, I teach beginners wearing my own 120cm Atomic PrimeX skis.  My skis are shorter than my poles. 


Here's the reason.  When a beginner is learning it is much more difficult to maneuver a "normal" length ski.  (Think160cm + length.)  It is very easy to pivot a short ski because the tip and tail do not get hung up as easy.  Also, it is easier to walk around without long tips and tails "hanging out."  I put all my never evers and beginners on as short a ski as we have in the rental shop.  It allows them to learn quicker and have better success as beginning skiers.  Once they get the hang of maneuvering skis, then we move the length up to a "standard" length.  (Or at least one they are comfortable with.)


I've seen never evers using 120cm ski learn to ski and be on easy blue trails making open stance parallel turns in a day.  With good lessons to guide them on the way.


Hope that gives you a bit of insight into why we put beginners on short skis.


Years ago I spent an entire ski season on 120s.  It improved my personal skiing.  And, YES you can ski fast using a short ski.

post #8 of 12

Thanks.  So maybe I'll stick with the 130s for a while if I get a choice.  Probably wouldn't go any longer than 140 for sure.  It will depend on whether the ski rental places give me a choice, I guess.  At that length, though, am I going to be on junior skis, or would they be likely to be stocking adult skis at that length?  I weigh around 112 so could probably manage a junior ski, just probably not ideal from what I've read.  I don't ski aggressively though of course, so probably no matter.  The rentals I had were a pair of lime-green Elans, no idea what model or if they were adult or junior; I just remember they had lime-colored plastic at the tips.  They seemed to work out pretty well for me (I kinda wished I could buy them at the end of the season; I feel like those skis and I were friends at the end of the two days, lol).

post #9 of 12

They make skis in a variety of lengths.  Here's some ideas:








Just Google "130 cm skis adult" and see what pops up.


They are now going by the name of "Skiboards."


At one place I worked we had 130 cm adult skis that we used for beginner lessons.  My current mountain has adult 139cm skis.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, thanks for your advice!  I ended up going with the 165cm sultan 80's, and I'm pretty stoked to try em out!  However, they didn't come w/ bindings, so the next step is to find some bindings.  I can't seem to find much info on bindings.  Does anyone have any recommendations for bindings to go w/ this ski, for an intermediate skier?



post #11 of 12

A good Marker binding will do the trick.  I happen to like Markers.  There will be a variety of opinions coming shortly.  Hang on.

post #12 of 12

Dynastar generally sells Look bindings with their skis -- probably something like a PX12 would be the 'standard' one for those skis.


But pretty much any newer binding should work as long as it has enough DIN range for you.  The technical differences between various models are unlikely to come into play much unless you're really pushing things, or you care about weight (which doesn't matter that much unless you're carrying the skis uphill).

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