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How short a ski is too short for a beginner?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

I'm trying to get a late-season deal on skis for my wife.  She's a 5'8" 155, beginner skier, with a cautious style.  I was looking at the K2 Sweet Luv as they are priced right for us and they should give her a little room to improve.

 

Trouble is with this time of year... sizes are disappearing.  I thought the ideal length was 156cm.  I can find these at ~$300 for the 2009 model w/ Marker M2/10 bindings, or $349 for the 2011 model w/ Marker ERP 10 bindings.  BUT, I can get 2011 in 149cm for $229.

 

Obviously the $229 is very tempting, but is 149cm simply TOO short?  Thanks for you help...

 

post #2 of 29

Yes. If a ski is too short, while it may be easy for a beginner to maneuver, it will be unstable fore-aft. This is a particular issue for beginners and intermediates who tend to move backwards if they get anxious or forwards if they hit a patch of soft snow or a bump. At your wife's size she should be in something in the mid to high 150's. How long has she been skiing? An alternative would be to have her rent skis until she's a bit more accomplished. Does she own boots? That can be more important for skiing enjoyment, and skill building, than skis. 

post #3 of 29

I would think 149 is OK. With any ski that is good for a beginner, one of two things happens: the skier either remains a beginner/low intermediate, or the skier overcomes some of the beginner impediments (fear, "human statue" posture, etc.) works on improvement and gains some skills. If a new skier stays in the low intermediate zone, a short ski is no impediment. If the skier improves a lot, the ski that worked for her as a beginner (of whatever length) will start holding her back from continued progress. So get the bargain now. I always found it easy to get first skis and much harder to pick the right ski through the development process. If you need to replace it in a couple of years, you should be able to get a good chunk of your $200 back at a ski swap.

post #4 of 29

I would advise not going shorter than height of chin for a beginner ski length.

 

post #5 of 29
Too short & too soft. 149 waste of $ for her needs.. Also look for a K2 Tru Luv which is appropriate as well, in 156. Got Boots? that fit well?
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 

Silly me to hope for consensus, but thanks very much for the responses. smile.gif

 

I believe the 149s are right at her chin. 

 

No boots, yet.  That will be next.  The trouble with boots only (and renting skis) is the cost savings is nil, with the same irritation of going through the rental process - our local mountain is notorious for long rental lines.

 

RE: True Luv  - looks like a nice ski, but it does say advanced-intermediate.  My wife is definitely neither.  Does no one advocate buying true intermediate skis?  I'm already aiming one step above the First Luv (total beginner ski) as they are purportedly way too soft. 

post #7 of 29
The acceptable range for beginner skis IMHO is chin to top of head, depending on experience, natural ability, attitude. Has your wife skied before? How many times? How well did she do? Is she terrified on greens or could she (if she weren't so cautious) fly down a black making french fries with Pizza turns? Does she "cautiously" ski fast when the path is clear? Neither sweet luv nor tru luv are skis to advance on; they are beginner skis.
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 

Ghost,

She initially learned in high school 17 years ago and blew out her knee on a binding that didn't release.  Resumed this year, skied four days.  She manages easier groomed blues with some 'pizza'd' transitioning between turns but is improving nicely.  I doubt she'll ever be hard-charging, it's not her style, but her focus is good.  I wouldn't say I've seen her ski all that fast yet, but her control is good enough to manage our 2-1/2 year old out in front of her with a harness.

 

BTW, did you mean sweet luv and first luv, or sweet luv and tru luv?

post #9 of 29

In my opinion, she should skip the lowest couple of rungs and jump right on the Burnin Luv.  2010 in a 156 if you can find it.  (2011 has some tip rocker which complicates the choice a little).   One Luv should'nt be too bad either.  Of course, other opinions exist; fee luv and tru luv have been described as a good ski for folks just starting to learn modern technique, but IMHO they and skis with their characteristics (soft, and not enough torsional rigidity) don't reward proper technique well enough, and the Burnin Luv isn't really that hard to adapt to, if you have the basic idea down.

 

post #10 of 29

If cost is a constraint, I would recommend buying the cheaper ski (despite its drawbacks) and add the 150-200 you will save on the skis into getting her better boots , which are going to have a more dramatic and critical impact on her skiing than the differences among these skis. Make sure you get her properly fit (i.e., don't rely on the local ski shop - use the resources here to find a good bootfitter) because it is likely her feedback/impressions will result in her getting too big a boot. If cost is not a constraint, the Burnin Luv is a fine ski that should work for her throughout the improvement process. If you have to save money somewhere save it on the skis not the boots.

post #11 of 29
Ghost the burning luv would suit your described style of skiing and is fun to tear around carving and ripping up the groomers on. It does well for an agressive skier driving her ski. For a cautious novice/beginner the will be heavy, take off on them, and not build confidence at that stage of learning. Add in a prior ski incident causing knee injury, no. Add in she'll be skiing behind a child in a harness, absolutely the wrong ski for any pleasure on the slopes.
Re the advanced intermediate designation for a true luv, that is it's upper limit. There are a lot of other brands of womens intermediate novice type skis to find a deal on as well. But really get the boots as most important selection.
post #12 of 29

While 911over and I may disagree on where to draw the line at not quite enough and too much ski to take a skier from beginner to upper intermediate, we do agree that a well-fitted boot is paramount.  A good well-fitted boot, including a good snug grip on the heels does wonders for control, and control does wonders for confidence.

 

post #13 of 29

To echo what Ghost and others have said.  Boots are more important.  You would be further ahead to spend big (time/effort and possible $$) on boots prior to getting the skis.  This way, she'll have boots that will let her control her skis and if they aren't perfect for her, it will be less of an impact. 

 

The other way around; perfect skis and boots that aren't perfect for her, will leave her frustrated.

 

You can grow into skis.  You can't (as an adult) grow into boots.

 

She should be fine in an intermediate ski.  I tend to steer people to get a ski that's able to do more than they can currently (within reason).  I would also error to a tad too long over a tad too short.  Should also help with the kid skijoring she does biggrin.gif.

 

But again - boots are a way more important purchase.  Also, if you have boots prior to buying the skis, you won't have to make a trip back to have the bindings set for her boots.

 

Would you rather have fitted boots and rental skis or "fitted" skis and rental boots?

 

Have fun trying to sort this out as the internet argueswords.gif over what you should do .

 

Happy shopping,

Ken

post #14 of 29

I have the First Luvs. They are GREAT!

For about 15 hours worth of ski time.

 

They turn like a dream and are "forgiving", which means "noodle-like".

 

I found them amazing to learn on, then found that I improved on them so quickly, I grew right out of them.

And I found them a little skeery at speed. Don't get me wrong, I loved them, but not for long.

 

I then moved straight to the Tru Luvs (year important as the 11s are rockered, not much at this level, but still...)

 

I went directly from shorty First Luvs to the Tru Luv 149 (I'm only 5'3" after Pilates class), so these are

actually a bit longer than chin-high on me.

 

As for "intermediate", eh. I had no trouble on them, at all, and I was still a beginner.

But I think part of my success on them is that my boots are good and the rocker makes them ski shorter

than they are. I found that the longer length reaaalllllllyyyy kept me stable on variable snow.

I found that I had trouble maintaining fore/aft on the short skis when I had to deal with transitioning from

hardpack to soft snow and back. My "recovery" moves are not as graceful as I'd like. That didn't happen on the

stiffer and longer ski.

 

I would think that at 5'8", the 149s will be too short.

 

My personal opinion is that I'd go with the longer ski, even as a rank beginner.

They help you improve, fast. And boots, boots, boots, boots, boots, lessons, lessons, lessons.

 

I'm already thinking I'll be on something "advanced/expert? by the end of next season....

They just feel really stable.

 

Cheers!

 

post #15 of 29

149s are at her chin?

Can't be right.

 

149s are just about 59 inches.

Standing in bare feet mine are above my chin and below my nose and

I'm 5 inches shorter than your wife.

 

Sure they weren't the 156s? Those are exactly my height.

 

Cheers,

 

Alli

post #16 of 29

Another thing to keep in mind is that K2 measure a bit differently.  So 149 in a K2 can be more equivalent to 152-154 in another brand.  At least that's what I learned from TheSkiDiva a few years ago when I was looking for a first new shaped ski after a long hiatus off the snow.  Took a deal on a K2 Tru Luv at 142, which seems a bit short for me and I'm 5'0", 112 pounds.  Was an advanced intermediate at the time, but had learned long ago in middle school so not exactly the cautious type.  Plus was only skiing on little mountains in the southeast for a few years.

 

Where is she likely to ski?  Burning Luv would be too much, IMHO.

 

Good boots much more important.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lambic View Post

I'm trying to get a late-season deal on skis for my wife.  She's a 5'8" 155, beginner skier, with a cautious style.  I was looking at the K2 Sweet Luv as they are priced right for us and they should give her a little room to improve.

 

Trouble is with this time of year... sizes are disappearing.  I thought the ideal length was 156cm.  I can find these at ~$300 for the 2009 model w/ Marker M2/10 bindings, or $349 for the 2011 model w/ Marker ERP 10 bindings.  BUT, I can get 2011 in 149cm for $229.

 

Obviously the $229 is very tempting, but is 149cm simply TOO short?  Thanks for you help...

 



 

post #17 of 29

I agree that K2 runs long.  My "170cm" K2 Raiders are 5 cm longer than my 170cm Fischer RC Pros.

 

 

When you are a beginner GO SHORT!  You'll have a much easier, more fun, and pleasant time learning the movements and techniques with the shorter skis.  If you develop good skill and confidence and enjoy the sport enough to take things to the next level, then you can move up to a longer ski (and at that point you'll want a better ski so you'd have to make another purchase anyway).

post #18 of 29
Lambic -Ghost is correct in our agreement on boots. I believe our diff in ski opinion here stems from my having experienced many more days and miles on both those skis in the past than he has on them. My opinion comes from using those skis. On your orig pick, a short 149 is just too soft and short for her size.Longer is better in the sweet luv I think. But I've never been on it.
post #19 of 29

Boots are a committed long-term relationship.  Skis are a short term affair.  Get the best boots you can find, get the One Luv or True Luv, and trade up a year later. 

 

BTW, I'm sure 911over has spent more time on these skis than I and my daughter combined, but I think our differences in opinion stem more from our learning skiing philosophy than our knowledge of the skis. 

 

post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Boots are a committed long-term relationship.  Skis are a short term affair.  Get the best boots you can find, get the One Luv or True Luv, and trade up a year later. 

 



Says who???

 

post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post





Says who???

 

I was talking about beginner-intermediate skis.  Some skis are keepers, but I can't think of any beginner-intermediate skis I would keep.
 

 

post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

I was talking about beginner-intermediate skis.  Some skis are keepers, but I can't think of any beginner-intermediate skis I would keep.
 



I can.....perhaps your first new pair of skis? Maybe a pair of skis you bought for your first big ski trip somewhere.

 

post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post





I can.....perhaps your first new pair of skis? Maybe a pair of skis you bought for your first big ski trip somewhere.

 


My first new pair of skis were Dynastar GS racing skis. biggrin.gif

 

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

My first new pair of skis were Dynastar GS racing skis. biggrin.gif

 



But, do you still have them???  th_dunno-1[1].gif

 

post #25 of 29

Yes.

 

post #26 of 29

I agree that keeping a pair of skis for sentimental value can be a good thing. 

 

 

Unfortunately my first new pair of skis that I got when I was 9 are long gone... however my first pair of "adult skis" I purchased I still have (even though those particular skis have no more realistic use).

 

 

I would only sell a ski that had no sentimental value and that was in bad shape or I outright HATED.

post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 

OK, I think we can agree that 149cm in a softer ski is too short.  I've now seen a price drop in the Sweet Luv down to $199 - still available in 163cm.  This is a fraction over 5'4" - should be about eye-level.  Can we stretch to that length?

 

Note:  I did find a pair of True Luvs for $480, but that's a long ways north of $200.  I'd rather put that towards boots.

 

post #28 of 29

I would think 163 should be fine. I am 5'5'' and 115 lbs. and my normal skis are stiff 170s and I have one pair of 177s (also a SL at 155). When I started skiing about 12 years ago or so, I had something in the 165 length range which was just a touch over eye brow height on me as I recall. I was not sentimental about those skis - I sold them at a swap, so I can't check the specifics.

post #29 of 29

There's a reason the sweet luv is priced so low.  Get the One Luv.


 

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