I think I'm pretty much decided on the Fischer Big Stix 98 for my next western one ski quiver. Now I need to decide on a length. Its been mentioned a few times on this site, but the Big Stix 98 has a pretty wide gap in lengths, it goes from 176, and 186. The length guide here at epicski puts me at 185, but that just seems really long compared to what I'm used to. Here's my stats, I'm 25, been skiing seriously for 7-8 years 10-15 days a year. Mostly in the rocky's and sierras. I'm 5' 10" 190lbs. I would say I am level 7. I ski somewhat aggressive (fast) but still want a ski that will be maneuverable in trees a bumps. I ski a little of everything (some groomers, trees, steeps) but more off piste than on and more soft snow than hard. Since I'm an intermediate/advanced skier forgiveness and maneuverability are important. Should I follow the length guide and go with the 186 or stick with the 176?
Help me pick a length - Big Stix 98 176 or 186?
I wasn't going to jump in right away because I'd already given you my thoughts on the ski via PM and in your other thread, and I figured you'd maybe want to hear some opinions from other people and not just me, but I'll throw this out there anyway.
At your height, weight and ability level, I'd absolutely do the 186. Everything you say "somewhat aggressive (fast)", "more off piste than on", "more soft snow than hard" says go longer. Then, don't forget that with a twin tip and a little rocker, it will ski shorter than a traditional flat tail ski. The 186 will still be plenty maneuverable in the trees. I think 176 would be a mistake.
FWIW, I'm only about 10 lbs heavier, 2" taller. Not a huge amount in the scheme of things. I skied the 186 happily and would never consider dropping down to the 176.
Just my $.02.
I would be surprised if any of the responses tell you to go 176, honestly.
Edit: Oh, and evo's generic ski size chart is crap. It's doesn't take into consideration the type of ski or its intended use (on piste, off, powder, etc), whether it's a twin tip or not, whether it has any rocker. In short? Ignore it.
Hey there again. No worries, your comments have been super informative and helpful. That said, other opinions are great too!
Reading back my own description in your post actually helped kind of put things in perspective. I think I may have been a little overly optimistic in those statements. I'm definitely a level 7 skier, and if I had to pick a skiing style I would say aggressive, but I spend a fair bit a time on terrian that challenges me, and when I'm out of my comfort zone I'm not necessarily charging, more like trying to make it down the run in one piece... And as far as snow conditions go I think more soft than hard is accurate, but since skiing for me usually involves flying out west, I don't get to pick my conditions. When its snowing I ski soft snow, and when things get crusty I ski crust. Soft snow if definitely a priority though (hence the ski choice). Taking this into consideration, yis the 186 is still my best bet?
I see in your other thread that you're on a 181 watea 78 right now, is that correct? I'm guessing when you demo'd the watea 94 you probably skied the 178, right? If you're happy with those in terms of length, I think the 186 big stix is definitely the right call. Don't forget, it will ski a touch shorter than the stated length (compared to a traditional ski) because of the twin and the little bit of rocker. The 176 will be easier to maneuver, but I think you'd find that you'd give up some stability in off-trail conditions that you'd miss. That's just my opinion, but I think you'd be best served by the 186.
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I'm basically the same size as you are and wouldn't even consider the 176. My everyday ski is a 186 with a 97mm waist and it works fine in Colorado's tight trees. Bumps bore me so I can't provide you with any guidance there. FWIW my 186s are my shortest skis. One of the guys I ski with is 5'5'ish and less than 140 lbs and he skis a 176.
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You should have no problem with the 186. The Big Stix 98, like the Watea 98 from last two seasons, is very light and quick and easy to turn. Since you mentioned you like to ski fast and agressively, you will want the 186 length for more stability with speed.
I'm looking at the 176 for myself, but then I'm 5'10" and 140 pounds.
Thanks guys! 186 it is. Seems like that should be just about perfect since I liked the 178 watea 94 w/o rocker and twin tips, the 176 Big Stix probably would seem very short I'm comparison. It will probably be a while before I get to try these out, but I will make an effort to post be impressions when I do.
Now one more dillema. I'm trying to help my brother pick a length for a Watea 88. He is 20, 6" 175lbs level 7 skier. He splits his time between western resort skiing and and eastern (primarily western though). Roughly 40-60 on piste vs off, looking for an all-round one ski quiver. His style is maybe not as aggressive as mine. Choices are 176 or 184. The Epicski length guide puts him right around 180cm. Any thoughts?
For reference he is currently skiing a Watea 78 167 and he definitely feels like its to short, looking for more stability. With the 88 being a slightly bigger stiffer and more stable ski than the 78, I'm thinking the 176 would probably be a nice step up, but I told him he probably couldn't go wrong with either length. If anyone thinks he should skip the 176 and go right to the 184 please let me know!
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I'm on the 186 cm Watea 98, which is the model the Big Stix 98 was based on, and it definitely skis short. Keep in mind that the Big Stix has a true twin tip, which knocks off 10 cm from the running length, plus it has a little tip and tail rocker (actually more like early rise), which makes it feel shorter and more forgiving. With your size I would recommend going with the 186.
If you want to save some money you can get the Watea 98s on Sierra Trading Post with bindings, and you get an extra 25% off for being an Epic member. The only problem is that you'll have to take sh!t from your fiends for the boat-hill tips on the Wateas, which they eliminated on the new Big Stix, but otherwise they are basically the same ski.