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Heavy woman ski recommendations

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I'm a 185 lb, 5'6" woman who wants to buy new skis.  Do I buy men's due to my 45 extra pounds (overweight) or women's because I am female and bottom heavy.  I am 58 yrs old and no longer ski aggressively like when I was young.  I stick to groomed intermediate slopes.  I only ski about 8 days a winter so I don't want to spend a lot of money, maybe last years models or lightly used. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!drool.gif

post #2 of 27

Welcome to EpicSki! 

 

I'm new on this forum too.  While I probably won't be able to advise you on skis, there are some things that might help the experts make some specific recommendations:

  • where do you ski?
  • what kind of ski have you been using? 
  • what do you like or dislike in a ski -- playful, damp, short or long turns, etc?

 

Sounds like you've been skiing for quite a while.  I started at 48!

 

I'll be interested to see what recommendations are made for you.  I know some heavy women do ski women's skis; they may get longer skis than their height would otherwise dictate.  Which brings to mind -- if you have something like weak knees, that might influence recommendations as well.

post #3 of 27

Never mind, didn't see the earlier post.

post #4 of 27
Hi, I am a heavier woman too, you don't need to buy men's skis if you don't want to at all. I'm taller than you by 5 inches, for that reason I do.
You don't say where you ski? I have previously skied
On head the cool one, k2 tru luvs and superburnin without problem due to weight. I'm looking at bushwackers (mens) next, the ladies version is the black pearl and they get great reviews.
If your bottom heavy you might like your bindings mounted slightly forward of center to balance this out but that is a conversation for someone more techy than me. Some women hate forward mounting,i'm not sure I really notice the differance.
If you can, try demoing a few different skis.
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

Never mind, didn't see the earlier post.

 

mtcyclist  --- Don't Leave Me NOW!  This is when your expertise is needed!

post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 

I've been skiing on k2 180's for the past 15 yrs.  They are OLD.  I haven't skied much in the past few years since I gained 40 lbs. but want to ski this year on newer skis.  I ski Lake Tahoe and Mammoth in California.  I rented some much shorter skis last year ( i think 160's) and the ski's felt nice.  Sooooooo..... what do I buy hopefully for <$400 with bindings on sale.  I'm worried that due to my weight of 185 at 5'6" female that a woman's ski will be to soft.  Will it?

post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by photog4fun View Post

I've been skiing on k2 180's for the past 15 yrs.  They are OLD.  I haven't skied much in the past few years since I gained 40 lbs. but want to ski this year on newer skis.  I ski Lake Tahoe and Mammoth in California.  I rented some much shorter skis last year ( i think 160's) and the ski's felt nice.  Sooooooo..... what do I buy hopefully for <$400 with bindings on sale.  I'm worried that due to my weight of 185 at 5'6" female that a woman's ski will be to soft.  Will it?

 

Maybe. So what? Unless you are skiing fast and agressively (over 30mph on a regular basis) it won't matter much. In fact soft skis are easier to ski under 20mph than burlier skis are. So how fast do you ski? 

post #8 of 27

I am a lighter woman (115 lbs) and have: men's skis (Atomic, Dynastar, and Kastle); junior race skis (Elan) and women's skis (Dynastar). They all work fine after a few days of getting used to them. Some are just stiffer than others. But when you think about it there are men from 130 lbs (or less) right through way over 200 and women from 100 through way over 200.   I just would not worry about the "gender." The one thing I would watch out for is too soft a women's ski - some are real soft and it may be an issue. But most mens or womens should be fine at your weight. Nordica women's skis were on the stiffer side last year when I tried some but not too much for me (I race and need a ski to go fast but I am too light to work the stiffest men's or women's skis).

post #9 of 27

FWIW I'm female and ski men's skis.  But then I ski 70 - 80 days a year.  Some women's skis I've liked (Auras) and many I've hated (all the K2 skis for women that I've tried so far -- and I'm a K2 lover).  I think your best bet to save money is to buy last year's models.  Beyond that, because of the "groomer only" and "less aggressive" thing, you might be happy on women's skis, but if you have ANY way to demo, I'd recommend it.  Because you are skiing the West, you'll want a somewhat wider ski, but maybe not as wide as some here will push you towards.  Personally, I say keep the width around 88 or so for what you are looking for.  I don't THINK I am a fan of "early rise", but you are going to find that hard to escape from these days.  I say that because you have been skiing older skis and as someone who has been very slow personally to adapt to new stuff, I think you will be happier easing into things after your most recent pair.  Maybe look for some two year old Auras???  They are a bit stiffer than many other women's skis, maybe a bit wider than ideal, but the older model might save you some money.  Of course, that has been such a popular ski, there may be no old models out there.  

 

Edit, Lookee here:  http://www.untracked.com/p3974c46b53-11_volkl_aura_skis_w_salomon_z10_ski_bindings.html

post #10 of 27

^^^bear in mind the Z 10 binding is only worth about 80-90 bucks if that. so the deal at 599 is not that great, 499 is pretty good, but not a steal. I'd get the ski flat (on sale) if I could, and select a better binding because that is a great ski, perfect flex for what you need, IMO.  The model before the blue, green and grey I think, is just as good if you can find it. 

post #11 of 27

The first shaped skis that I liked during a Demo Day was a K2.  I was an intermediate on straight skis long ago, not really a consistent parallel skier.  Got back into skiing after 2000.  Found it odd to be skiing skis so much shorter, but got used to it pretty quickly.  Have since improved to an advanced skier.  With early rise, I'm renting skis out west that are essentially the same length as my old straight skis.  Meaning 5-10cm longer than my all-mountain Rossi.

 

Have you ever heard of TheSkiDiva.com?  You might get some ideas by asking over there too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by photog4fun View Post

I've been skiing on k2 180's for the past 15 yrs.  They are OLD.  I haven't skied much in the past few years since I gained 40 lbs. but want to ski this year on newer skis.  I ski Lake Tahoe and Mammoth in California.  I rented some much shorter skis last year ( i think 160's) and the ski's felt nice.  Sooooooo..... what do I buy hopefully for <$400 with bindings on sale.  I'm worried that due to my weight of 185 at 5'6" female that a woman's ski will be to soft.  Will it?

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

^^^bear in mind the Z 10 binding is only worth about 80-90 bucks if that. so the deal at 599 is not that great, 499 is pretty good, but not a steal. I'd get the ski flat (on sale) if I could, and select a better binding because that is a great ski, perfect flex for what you need, IMO.  The model before the blue, green and grey I think, is just as good if you can find it. 

Yeah, I poked around the site later and came across the flat ski.  I guess I should have changed the link.  I was just surprised to even find it available.  And, I sort of agree that a two season back model when there have been design changes in the interim should be priced lower than that.  But, maybe there are others like me that are not sure they like early rise and want the older model, thereby supporting the price.  

post #13 of 27

Time for a reality check here.

 

In most cases, the difference between a unisex ski and a "Women's" ski is flex and decoration. There are some mounting positions that are different and very occasionally a difference in binding delta but for the most part, it is flex and graphics. Hence a stiff "women's" ski is seldom significantly different than unisex models. There are plenty of choices, and you shouldn't worry much about a "women's" model one way or another as your size is not terribly out of whack for most skis if selected in the proper length. You probably do want to avoid models marketed as intermediate as those are generally entry level skis with a marketing title of intermediate (some of those will be too soft) Get a ski that is appropriate for your ability and terrain preferences and in the proper length (160 ish) proper width (75-85mm) and you will be fine. To be honest, given your self description quoted below, a wide ski in the range of a Volkl Aura is not appropriate.

 

Quote:

 I am 58 yrs old and no longer ski aggressively like when I was young.  I stick to groomed intermediate slopes.  I only ski about 8 days

 

SJ

post #14 of 27

She's in Tahoe, you're in Tahoe, clearly she should stop in.  

 

I was thinking maybe the Aura was on the wide side, but I was thinking even though she liked groomers, that given the weather, "groomed slopes" are NOT always "groomed" in Tahoe.  They could have a ton of snow on them.  

post #15 of 27

People here could literally recommend dozens of perfect skis, but given the OPs budget a demo or new old stock is the way to go. That requires the OP to just get out there and see what is available in the ski shops and as has already been suggested why not start with the Start Haus.

post #16 of 27

NOS (new old stock) skis that might work within your budget. 

2011 Dynastar Legend Sultan 85 165cm Skis w/ PX12 Lifter Medium bindings $399.99

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2011-Dynastar-Legend-Sultan-85-165cm-Skis-w-PX12-Lifter-Medium-bindings-/310498469351?pt=Skiing&hash=item484b26a5e7

same ski same price but with Fluid binding system (binding slides onto track built into ski)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dynastar-Legend-Sultan-85-Fluid-165cm-2011-Skis-w-PX12-/190752746684?pt=Skiing&hash=item2c69bfecbc

Free shipping. Good company.

Disclaimer - I have no clue about these skis other than that is a good price for intermediate Dynastars with good bindngs so am curious to see what others think. OP should check reviews.

post #17 of 27

That would be a great choice, IMO. Less sidecut = less catchy tip and tail = relaxed slipping and running flat.

post #18 of 27

Dynastar made a women's ski in that same model that, at least a few years ago was the exact same ski with different graphics. It was called Exclusive Legend initially and then in more recent years they expanded the line with an extra name Exclusive Legend Fluid, Powder, etc. etc.  This made it a lot more complicated. In fact in the first year they were introduced the women's model was geared to very high end and was stiffer than the men's version with 2 sheets of titanal. I got a pair from one of their sponsored skiers (who used it as her lesson ski) and liked it very much (mine just moved to retirement/rock ski status last year). If OP can find one of the older models as a NOS, they can be a great bargain for a very good ski.

post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsirin View Post

Dynastar made a women's ski in that same model that, at least a few years ago was the exact same ski with different graphics. It was called Exclusive Legend initially and then in more recent years they expanded the line with an extra name Exclusive Legend Fluid, Powder, etc. etc.  This made it a lot more complicated. In fact in the first year they were introduced the women's model was geared to very high end and was stiffer than the men's version with 2 sheets of titanal. I got a pair from one of their sponsored skiers (who used it as her lesson ski) and liked it very much (mine just moved to retirement/rock ski status last year). If OP can find one of the older models as a NOS, they can be a great bargain for a very good ski.


Jamie Burge skied the Exclusive Legend; it was the same ski as the 176 Legend Pro Rider

post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post


Jamie Burge skied the Exclusive Legend; it was the same ski as the 176 Legend Pro Rider

This is probably the ski here but definitely too much of a charger for the OP

Dynastar Exclusive Pro Rider 176cm 09 Skis w Roxy PX15  $199.99

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dynastar-Exclusive-Pro-Rider-176cm-09-Skis-w-Roxy-PX15-/200849522457?pt=Skiing&hash=item2ec3907f19

 

Heck of a deal - the PX 15 bindings alone are worth more than $200

post #21 of 27

Is this the Exclusive Legend you are thinking about?  The Eden and the Pro Rider are obviously quite different.

 

http://www.skinet.com/ski/gear/dynastar-exclusive-legend-eden-2010

 

Names for skis are very confusing when looking back a few years.  I have never figured out what the equivalent current K2 ski is to the 2008 OneLuv I bought as my first good shaped ski.  Stopped trying when it became obvious I like Rossi or Blizzard a lot better than K2 once I improved enough to be an advanced skier.

 

Wonder if 158 would be okay for the OP since on groomed blues.  These are for sale at a pretty good price.

http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/dynastar-exclusive-legend-158cm.14953/

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vsirin View Post

Dynastar made a women's ski in that same model that, at least a few years ago was the exact same ski with different graphics. It was called Exclusive Legend initially and then in more recent years they expanded the line with an extra name Exclusive Legend Fluid, Powder, etc. etc.  This made it a lot more complicated. In fact in the first year they were introduced the women's model was geared to very high end and was stiffer than the men's version with 2 sheets of titanal. I got a pair from one of their sponsored skiers (who used it as her lesson ski) and liked it very much (mine just moved to retirement/rock ski status last year). If OP can find one of the older models as a NOS, they can be a great bargain for a very good ski.

post #22 of 27
158 would work. I know a guy who's over 220 skis an 155 Atomic SL11, never leaves the groomers, but he rips pretty good on them.
Edited by mtcyclist - 12/1/12 at 10:03pm
post #23 of 27

The Eden would be better for the OP than the Pro Rider (which would be appealing to me if the bottom end of the DIN on the binding wasn't an 8). They are an excellent value and there are lots out there. I find the naming for the Dynastars very confusing but all of them I've tried have been good to excellent. I did some research and the Idyll would also be a reasonable choice. It is a step down from the Eden.


Edited by vsirin - 12/1/12 at 9:53pm
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsirin View Post

The Eden would be better for the OP than the Pro Rider (which would be appealing to me if the bottom end of the DIN on the binding wasn't an 8). They are an excellent value and there are lots out there. I find the naming for the Dynastars very confusing but all of them I've tried have been good to excellent. I did some research and the Idyll would also be a reasonable choice. It is a step down from the Eden.

I agree the Pro Rider wouldn't work for the OP. A friend of mine who uses a sitski wanted a cheap pair of stiff, wideish skis (the Pros are 100mm) with solid bindings and he bought the Pros. They are very stiff, definitely burly chargers not built for intermediates.

Are the Eden and the Sultan the same ski? Same dimensions.

The Idyll is 78 mm compared to 85 on the Sultan/Eden. Any other differences? Which would be better for Tahoe and Mammoth groomers.

The same store has the 2011 Idyll in 164 for $299 which is $100 cheaper than the 85s but not as nice a binding. I like PX bindings. 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dynastar-Exclusive-Idyll-Fluid-164cm-2011-Skis-w-NX-Exc-/200850403509?pt=Skiing&hash=item2ec39df0b5

post #25 of 27

Skis, the ever ending search for a ski that works for me after 45 years of skiing i have come to the conclusion that the ski i am on that day is the best ski for me.First there is ski length which is based on the notion that skiing is all about going fast,well that can change when you reach a certain point in you life. If your an aging skier,do not really want to ski at mach 5 anymore ,maybe a few moguls a little powder, but mainly want to stay on the groomed,perhaps a little fearful, a little anxiety,over weight ,a little out of shape or have slowing reflexes ,or only skis a few days a year all these factors and more might make a shorter ski a better choice for achieving your skiing objectives. The way you should pick you ski length and ski should be based on your own personal skiing objectives not because its a ski that you saw at the world cup ski event or  because you saw a ski marketed as the latest thing in a ski magazine or read all the stuff on this site, its about having fun is it not. So a short ski would be best for you between 146 -156 irrespective of your height and weight,most skiers over 50 years of age have better balance, better speed control ,less fatigue, more confidence ,lower anxiety and more ability to ski more challenging terrain,while still having fun on a short ski. What size under foot, the the wide ski thing has taken over, don not be fooled it takes good legs to turn anything 90mm or over, on a groomer all day under control ,but it can be done for sure, I would recommend K2 burning luv about a 2 year old ski or k2 superific or the k2 super sweet all skis that are around for women or something that is not to stiff or to soft a ski that is kind of in the middle for stiffness, to many to mention . Then there is the demo thing ,all most impossible to be there when there there. Why is that. It is the best way to find what you like if you can do it .

post #26 of 27

Hi photog4fun,

It's a long one--but hopefully will help. This might be my first and last post with how long this thing is.

Well, i'm new here and I've never posted before. But wanted to tell you my own experiences in this. I too skiied the same ski (Soloman Xscream) from age 13 to 32 because they were my Dad's skiis that he passed on to me when he got a new pair when I was in the 6th grade.  those were my finances.  Started teaching at 15 and got free skiing from there on out- taught in CO a bunch. i'm an expert skiier. i ski telemark too. Finally saved up and skiied a season in Whistler (not teaching, just skiing) and bought a new pair because I could demo tons of stuff for free. My first "shaped" skiis. This was a couple years ago at 32 yrs. old.   When you are addicted to a sport- well, I'm out there no matter what I can afford to put on my feet or how I look.

 

Okay--to the point--so in 2009 i was at Whistler; I was 180 lbs when I started and 140 when I left. Whistler. I'm 5'4" For all of January and February I went through and demoed every single ski that they had at the Whistler demo tent (male and female;   skinny and wide  -a couple race skiis when the vendors came(Fischer, etc) and payed for 2 days of high end rentals where I tried about 8 more ones that weren't weren't available for free demos(a Kastle, many Volkl's) and a day from Prior........Between all of that  I tried:  Rossi's, Atomics, K2's, Nordicas, Line, Fischer, Volkls, a  Kastle, Prior (actually I decided on one of their specific skiis for my brother) , Soloman, Moment (well-that was for telemark skiis) , Dynastar, Heads, and Icelandic.  Okay--clearly not their full lines as it wasn't available for free or too expensive to rent. But i demoed probably 40 skis in a row before I decided and felt a ski on my feet that literally felt like an extension of my body. Well--2 or 3 but 1 was really specific and could afford only 1 new pair so it had to be a do everything--and the Kastle was too expensive for me.

 

I did not like almost every single ski I put on my feet. And not a single "female" ski that was available for me to demo. Only "non gender/guys" skiis  were even remotely in the ballpark of allowing me to have fun and just go along wherever I wanted.  I didn't know why at first---I figured out it was because the "female" middle priced skiis--meaning what you run across at most ski shops (we're not talking about a World Cup ski or kastle or any of that--and not the Volkl Aura, etc.  which is a good "female" ski closely built to the Men's version-the mantra.  but i think too wide underfoot for where you're coming from and what you're going to in the near future--and by the way was, at that time anyways, not built exactly the same as the Mantra-the people in the shop would say it was the same with different graphics, but I called up Volkl and asked ) They were all  way waaayyyy too soft for how aggressive and how heavy I was at the time. And....it did make a huge difference what length and underfoot width ski I tried.--I mean a HUGE difference. Because of the demo tent situation i was able to ski numerous lengths in the same ski. I know that there are all these charts and guides of what length ski to get---but in the end, you use your muscles the way that you do and create your own set of angles and physics connecting you to the snow and not the same as someone else of your same height and weight.. I ended up with the perfect amount of control between 167-169 on all the skiis except the Atomic metron B5 which was a bit too much effort to turn at 168 and perfect at 163.  It is a curious thing.  According to charts and salespeople- that length is way off. If I was 120 it probably would be off. If i skiied different. But I'm not.   AND--coming from a long association  of 68 underfoot---i found that  anything over 75 or so underfoot felt like I was turning on boards and felt unwieldy everywhere(moguls, trees, groomers) unless there was recent new 5" not scraped away:  . Now--i did end up getting an 84 underfoot so I wouldn't totally sink at Whistler but could use them for many more years in many other places. But it took some getting used to and still feels too wide on flat  surface, groomers, or hard pack - and perfect everywhere else that isn't extremely deep.

 

Now.   Luckily :)  as an intermediate, you won't feel all these itsy bitsy differences that I felt and will like most well constructed skiis if you get the right width and length.    You will definitely be affected by the major things. And if you want to be happy and comfortable and enjoy just being out on the slopes, Then you need to have skiis that you don't even think about once you're going!!   If thoughts are popping into your head having to do with them feeling heavy and like you are having to make them turn--or they are washing out or really chattery or flimsy or you're not sure that they'll make the turn, or you have to be really careful or delicate to make a turn or they feel like boards, or your knees or ankles hurt because the amount of torque from being too wide, etc. etc. etc.  That is what will happen if you just go and buy skis without getting the major factors figured out.   I STRONGLY urge you to take the time, effort, and a little bit of money if you can't be there for free demo days; to figure out width underfoot and ski  length . All rental shops I have run across will allow you to change skiis several times over the course of a day if you explain what you are doing and ask,"is there any way I can try 2 regular guy's skis with 2 different widths. And then 2 different lengths of the width I like."  And use your "tries" to test what you think you would be buying. Preferably an advanced regular ski (not what they give beginners-or advanced beginners!!!)  maybe say you are an intermediate and will be using them into becoming advanced  -width -a 72"- a 78" ?   See what they have.  i don't think you'll necessarily enjoy over 78 or even 75 that much---altough everyone's different. Then try lengths of the same ski which you decide you like the width of.-160? down from there? if you really **don't** like a ski--write down the name and look up the description online and see if they talk about it as an intermediate level ski, entry level ski,  etc...and then you will know to avoid this type of ski generally.         There you go...If you do it at the mountain shop at the base of the mountain--you should be able to do 2 widths and then the 2 lengths to get you in the ballpark..If you are nice and they are nice (maybe tip them $10 each--then it will have been well worth the time effort and $50 you just spent. You're talking about buying something that is for a bit of a long term. So I think this is absolutely a must.. I  would recommend nothing wider than 78 - and probably more like under 75.  And go with the "gender neutral/men's skiis for now while you're at this weight. And get a ski that is not specified as intermediate or as beginner. If it is not specified at all- then it is probably a better made ski than an intermediate. Not a race specific ski or mogul or twin tip. I personally found all the Volkl AC 30 -50, tigershark, etc. to be heavy and unweildy ( not in your budget anyways).      And once you figure those out, see what sales you can find. You should NEVER pay full price at this point. Get the width, length, and general type get/avoid and it'll work out. I would go on Sierra Trading Post--sign up for their emailed coupon deals--and buy a better ski at 60% off .and bindings --and places like REI can put them together for however much and set you up.    

Just went on STP - and sure enough i plugged in Skiis between $420 and $520 and with my 30% off and 99c shipping, there is a bunch of stuff -some with bindings. That used to be $750 retail and come in at around $350 with the emailed coupon.   I personally think this is the way to go about it.

post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for everyone's advice.  You all have been so helpful.  

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