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Off piste ski for a short 5'5.5" guy... how long can I go? - Page 2

post #31 of 42

Sounds like you're concerned because of your experience with the Nordica tempest.  I haven't skied it but from the description it sounds like a much more groomer-oriented ski than what you're looking for, and a ski that you would ski in a shorter length than a more off-piste oriented ski. So the fact that you didn't like that ski in 170 doesn't mean that an off piste 170 would be too long.

 

A stiffer ski is harder to turn at slow speed than a softer ski, but a softer ski is harder to handle at higher speed, on firm snow, etc,  so which is more demanding depends. Don't get too fixated on length-it's just part of the picture.  Remember that the same world cup racer might ski anything from a 165 in slalom to a 215 in downhill. Also, your weight is more important than your height--it's the weight (and your strength) that bends the ski and makes it turn.  

 

The Kabookie sounds interesting--a softer version of the Bonafide--but it's a new ski for next year so forget about an early season discount. Another ski to add to your list would be the K2 Hardside.

 

Buying skis without demoing is really hard--you can't trust salespeople--they may or may not know the skis, they definitely don't know you, and they want to move what they want to move.  Same applies to people on the web, except for the last part. And definitely don't buy a ski just because it's a great deal.You can't demo every manufacturer. Every manufacturer makes a ski in every niche. Pick a local shop you like, pick a few brands they carry and try one or two. If you don't like the ski you can tell the sales person what you didn't like about it and they can then guide you in the right direction--different model, different length. If you're determined to buy without demoing you might have a look right now--you might have a better shot now than in the fall. I've been glancing in the shops here in Tahoe lately and despite the poor snow for most of the season the popular models are sold out.

 

The best advice I ever got about buying skis is that when you demo them, you should say "wow". If they aren't obviously an improvement over what you're on now, don't buy them. I've skied on more bad skis than I can remember, trying to save money, or because somebody suggested them.  Since I started demoing every ski I've bought has been great, and better than the last one.

 

Another option, if you're not going to demo, is craigslist. A recent model used pair of skis in good condition should sell for half of the going retail price.  At your level you would want bindings included (and they would need to be appropriate for your boot size, height and weight, etc.) And you would want a recent model that you can research.  If you were to go that route you'd probably best go looking with someone experienced who will be able to spot problems.

 

Sooner or later you're going to want to have more than one pair.  At that point it is crucial that you explain to your wife that if you have three pairs, each pair will last 3 times as long, so in the end you'll wind up owning the same number of skis as if you bought them one at a time and skied them until they were trashed. (Unfortunately  I've found that that argument doesn't work for guitars.)

 

post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post


 

I agree that I'd start with the 168, but I'm curious as to the rest of your post.  All of my off piste-oriented skis are longer than my on piste skis.  I appreciate the extra stability for possibly uneven snow/crud/small bumps much more than I do when I'm just staying on groomers, even if my speed isn't actually as fast.  My cambered carving skis are 175 and feel fine.  My previous pair was 170.  All three of my mixed/off piste skis are around 186 and I wouldn't want them shorter.


As a one-ski-quiver skier, I admit to not being an expert on that point.  In particular I had in my mind a trip to Big Sky last winter.  The longest skis I saw that trip were about 200 cm in length.  The skier was a 14 year old racer girl practicing for a giant slalom or perhaps downhill event.  Longer skis abound among the young high level racing set that week.  That was the origin of my comment about longer skis being more stable at speed and the highest speeds being really only possible on piste.

 

post #33 of 42

I was a bit puzzeled by your first post. At 5'6 and 150 lbs you are neiter very short or particularly ligth, so i don't think you should have any trouble finding an appropriate offpiste ski by choosing the S version of skis typically made in S, M and L (typically 170-something), just shy away from skis that are made very stiff (like the wide carver nordicas?).

I am one inch higher and at the same weigth and usually ski offpiste snow on either 174 cm Rossignol B-squad (100mm waist) , 180 cm Kneissl tankers (93 mm) or 188 cm BD Megawatt (125 mm). On piste i often ski 155 cm skis ;-)

The 174 cm B-squad often feels to short for me (despite of its no-rise square tail), so I have retiered it as a backcountry ski with dynafit bindings. For touring I rarely ski tracked out stuff and nimbleness in steep terrain is of more value than stability at speed.  The 180 cm kneissl tankers often feels to long and stiff, and they doesn't really bend very well in ligth deep snow at slow-medium speed, but they are amazing in irregular semisoft-snow that does not recqire float and gives back enough support to bend them. The megawatt at 188 cm feels perfectly approriate in appropriate conditions, and suprisingly manuverable in inappropriate conditions. This is probably due the rockered tip, turned up tail, and pintail-setback design and they actually have less effective edge on hard snow than the 174 cm B-Squad. A 188 cm, 125 mm waist version of the kneissl tankers design (think wide stiff GS-like ski) on the other hand, would probably give most people at our size nothing but trouble...

As you see it's very dependent on ski. Don't shy away from the 170 to 180 skis, demo if you can, consider stiffness and that some rockered and/or twin tipped skis migth loose a lot of effective edge length due to their design.
 

post #34 of 42
Thread Starter 

From all the feedback I`m getting, looks like what I need to keep an eye on it are low 170s, not stiff rocker skis... now considering low 170s, my options will increase since most of the off piste skis have something in the 170-175cm range!

 

 

post #35 of 42
Idk how good of a deal you are looking for but nordica steadfast is going for right under $500 online...(I bought mine for $650 this season) another option is the nordica hell and back $50 more if you wanted Somthing wider.) Highly reccomend the nordica side country line for the kind of skiing you are doing and a great ski for your size because of how nimble and light it is. I love my steadfasts.
post #36 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiguy202 View Post

Idk how good of a deal you are looking for but nordica steadfast is going for right under $500 online...(I bought mine for $650 this season) another option is the nordica hell and back $50 more if you wanted Somthing wider.) Highly reccomend the nordica side country line for the kind of skiing you are doing and a great ski for your size because of how nimble and light it is. I love my steadfasts.


 

I'm keeping my eyes open to everything... Was looking for something around 40% over regular price if it's a last season ski. Today I checked a Line Prophet 98 / 172cm at REI for $389, looks a pretty good deal, regular price is $649. Considering I've had a great experience demoing the Prophet 90 / 165cm I might end up getting this one... Size looks good to, should be a great option for bowls and my off piste adventures! :-)

post #37 of 42

 

Hard to read these threads and not throw your 2 cents in. For sizing you need to keep in mind when you ski a rockered ski the rockered section is only touching the snow when you need it. When you are skiing casually you do not notice the extra length. I am young enough that the skiing years i really remember were in the parabolic shorter is always better time period. With that being said I am 5'10" average build and I am on 185 rockered Atomic Blogs and could not be happier with that size (I will admit I was not sold till I demoed a pair at that length). When they lay flat you will notice you are not adding much contact with the snow. If you have not demoed a rockered ski and are just afraid of the numbers, don't be, let your local shop help you choose a size. If your nervous on it being too much ski for you, go a little softer like a Atomic Access or Rossi S3. The Prophets you mentioned are also a great choice but try and get something around 175cm. If you get a ski that has a really small rocker then you can go a little lower but just make sure when the skis lay flat you are not losing too much edge contact from what you are used to, regardless of the number, all ski sizing is not equal. For example, K2s I find are always shorter then the number they advertise compared to other brands. 

 

If you can get a rockered ski with camber underfoot you will find it is a viable ski in tons of conditions but there are a lot of great skis out there, I saw Blizzards getting tossed around here, that can be safely added to the list of skis I would green light with no hesitation. 

 

Btw, I am newer to this forum but I have seen a ton of on the mark posts from Philpug in case you are trying to figure out whose opinions matter more...

post #38 of 42
Philpug is very knowlagable and helpful and I too demoed a pair of atomic blogs and thought they were an excellent ski, alittle too wide for what I ski but defiantly a powder demon.
post #39 of 42


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smear View Post

I was a bit puzzeled by your first post. At 5'6 and 150 lbs you are neiter very short or particularly ligth

 

You clearly haven't been to Walmart lately.

post #40 of 42
Thread Starter 

Just though I would come back here and say that I pulled the trigger on Blizzard Bushwacker 166cm. I few weeks ago I decided to step back a little bit and get something more playful than a 98mm. I had considered tons of skis and spent hours doing research, at some point I almost got a Fischer Watea 98mm, but thought there wasn`t a good size for me 166cm or 176cm... either too short or too long. But anyway, I hope to have made the right decision, I get the 166cm instead of the 173cm because even though I try to be aggressive and ski fast it`s hard to believe I will overcome the ski since I have just gone through my first season skiing, also my local ski area is full of tight spots and dense trees area, so I wanted a more manageable ski. In the end I was thinking hard between 3 different skis Fischer Watea 88, Blizzard Bushwacker and Line Prophet 90, those were the skis available in the right size and all at similar price ranges so I ended up going with the bushwacker because of the reviews I read saying it`s a playful, forgiving ski. So I`m sure I will have a lot of fun... I will probably look for something wider down the road, but for now I hope to have made the right decision!

 

I got them online for $382.9 shipped which was the lowest price I could find on a memorial day sale at skis.com they were pre-order though which is kinda weird since it`s 2012 model not 2013, and should be shipped in a few weeks.

 

Thanks for everyone for the help sharing comments and making suggestions! 

post #41 of 42

I'm 5'8" and 150 and I bought the Bushwacker in 173. I've only used them twice so far and I like how light(12 lbs with Marker Griffon) and easy to ski they are. My legs don't seem to get tired with these things on. Hope you enjoy them :o)
 

post #42 of 42

Congats on making a decision,  I believe this is your first ski purchase (other than renting), is it not?     I think that's the hardest thing about skiing, navigating the myriad of choices of brands, models and sizes.   You had a lot of good choices there and I'm sure you'll enjoy the Bushwackers.   

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