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Ski Length and Person Height - Page 2

post #31 of 48

All this brings up another question to add to the soup. Should the weight of your gear be added to the equation when calculating ski size? Some gear setups can weigh 15-20 lbs with back pack full of water, beer and a flask, toss a couple granola bars in there and its 15 lbs easy.

post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

Ability matters more than either height or weight.  A lot more.

 

oldgoat, what is your height and weight? Comment behind the question is this: My observation is that people who say things like the above are typically big guys ... say, 190lbs. If that's not you (roughly speaking), then never mind, I hang my head in shame. smile.gif  In my case, at 135lbs, I can tell you absolutely that even though I'm a competent technical skier, there are skis out there that are just plain no fun to ski because they are too stiff. (Volkl Six Star was an egregious example of this for me.) It's not about ability; it's about how much force is readily available to bend the ski on demand. Yes, I can make good turns and have a good time on some of these skis if I'm motoring along on an empty groomer and can add a whole bunch to my effective mass with speed ... but fun in general conditions at lower speeds on softer snow or in bumps? No. For big guys, I suspect it's a question of whether you like a softer flex or a stiffer one for the given conditions, but you are able to bend the ski either way without wrestling with the thing.

post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsirin View Post

We were talking about 2 lengths of the same ski so there should not be much stiffness difference.


Rossi builds some models, don't know the E series, different for each length, different metal, core, thickness. So the stiffness difference between 168 and 178 may be quite a bit, say 20%. .

 

I like to check my ability to flex the ski when standing on firm flat snow and pushing my knees around, lifting the ski off the snow tips and tails. If you can't do that with normal effort , the ski will feel unmanageable.

post #34 of 48
Quote:

Originally Posted by davluri View Post

 

Rossi builds some models, don't know the E series, different for each length, different metal, core, thickness. So the stiffness difference between 168 and 178 may be quite a bit, say 20%. .

 

Good point.

 

This is going off on a slight tangent, but there was a time within the last ten years when Elan was making essentially the same ski (same sidecut, same basic construction) with a "one sheet of metal" option or a "two sheets of metal" option. E.g., the '04-'05 "Fusion Pro S" and "Fusion Pro SX" were, I think, softer and stiffer versions of the same ski. Other companies may have done this too. Atomic had a blue "women's" and a red "men's" version of some of their race carvers. I don't believe they were really sex-specific; I think they were just skier-weight specific.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post


I like to check my ability to flex the ski when standing on firm flat snow and pushing my knees around, lifting the ski off the snow tips and tails. If you can't do that with normal effort , the ski will feel unmanageable.

 

I think we need video of this. smile.gif I think I get the second part ("lifting the ski off the snow tips and tails") but not the "pushing my knees around" part.

post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post


Rossi builds some models, don't know the E series, different for each length, different metal, core, thickness. So the stiffness difference between 168 and 178 may be quite a bit, say 20%. .

 

I like to check my ability to flex the ski when standing on firm flat snow and pushing my knees around, lifting the ski off the snow tips and tails. If you can't do that with normal effort , the ski will feel unmanageable.

I hadn't know that about Rossi. I've tried some race skis that do that but I don't think most of the other manufacturer's do that with most of their lines. I know when I've tested different lengths, the longer typically feel a little stiffer but not usually a lot.  Ability to flex a ski is important to me as I am pretty light and there are lots of skis that don't work for me. Many of the skis that are soft enough don't have the edge hold that I want for skiing icy eastern conditions.

post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaelfahlund View Post

I know it's only a general guideline, but skis, generally speaking, should come up approximately between one's chin and nose. The Rossignol E83 would , at 178 cm, come up to the top of my forehead. For an intermediate skier', this seems a bit long to negotiate at slower speeds and tighter turns, no?

Only if you imagine all turning is done with a strenuous twisting of the skis. But modern skis aren't designed for twisting-based turns. The last skis designed for that were the Clif Taylor GLM designs of the 1970s. That's a good while back!

Modern ski designs have more in common with how you turn when on ice skates.

The general length recommendations of chin height, nose height, forehead height, taller than self are all really general guidelines. Once you get specific about which ski you're considering, the flex and design of that ski will also affect how long the ski should be, relative to the skier's weight, style, speed, power.

You are plenty heavy enough to warrant the 176 length here. The appropriate length is determined mostly by your body weight. But that's not a hard/fast rule, and lighter skiers who ski very fast and aggressively often will up-size because their speed and power deliver the same loads a slower but heavier skier would put into the skis.
post #37 of 48

***Quote function not working properly.

Quote:
This is going off on a slight tangent, but there was a time within the last ten years when Elan was making essentially the same ski (same sidecut, same basic construction) with a "one sheet of metal" option or a "two sheets of metal" option. E.g., the '04-'05 "Fusion Pro S" and "Fusion Pro SX" were, I think, softer and stiffer versions of the same ski.

Volant did this with the V2 Chubb and the FB.  Same ski, one with foam core one with wood. (Hey VA, I got that right, didn't I?)

 

I had both in my quiver for a couple of years.  It was a fun experiment.

post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

Ability matters more than either height or weight.  A lot more. And obviously the kind of skiing a ski is designed for matters a lot more than either--just looking at the ranges of sizes for carving vs powder skis will tell you that.

I agree with this statement. My skis are taller than I am and I have no problems using them.

 

Also keep in mind a 10cm difference is a hair under 4 inches, for the skiing that you described yourself doing I think you would be very hard pressed to notice a difference. 

 

IMO ski sizing charts are for people who are new to skiing and need a starting point.

post #39 of 48

I think the OP would be better off with the 178 E88 or the 176 E82.  Ski length is determined by several factors, many of which have already been mentioned here.  Height matters because of the length of the lever arm applying force to the ski.  A 6' person of the same weight will apply more force to the ends of the ski than a 5' person.  Overall weight also matters for obvious reasons.  Then we get into what the ski will be used for and what kind of a ski it is.  For example I recently acquired a pair of WC slalom skis that were made for and previously owned by Bode.  They are 165cm, 651/2mm under foot with an 11 or 12 meter radius.  They are crazy fun to ski and I wouldn't want them to be any longer.  I also have a pair of 188 S7s and they are also crazy fun to ski.  I wouldn't want them to be any shorter.  Skiing style also matters.  I am a pretty technically proficient skier, but can't bend a really stiff ski well with leg strength alone.  It becomes easy when I harness the "external" forces generated in the turn.  Of course a heavier skier generates more force, but I know several smaller skiers that use skis that are longer and stiffer than would be indicated by their size alone who ski fast and aggressively enough that they bend their skis just fine.  I also know plenty of, mostly guys, skiers that use skis that are too large and ski them like crap.  

 

I have some experience with the Experience linerolleyes.gif.  I skied on the 180 E98 for about 50 days last season and have using a 178 E88 quite a bit this season.  I also demoed both of those skis in several lengths early last season.  I am 5'10, 175lbs.  I ski more often and at a higher level than many people, but I chose these two lengths in the E series for myself based on them being on the easier side so that I could teach on them and perform accurate demos at slower speeds for my students.  I had no problem skiing the 186 E88 for example.  I like both of those lengths for my free-skiing as well.  In general for most skis and most skiers I believe that chin to nose is a good starting place for beginners to intermediates, then nose to forehead as skill levels move up and speeds/forces increase.  You can add a little length when a ski has rocker or early rise.

post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzledVeteran View Post
You are plenty heavy enough to warrant the 176 length here. The appropriate length is determined mostly by your body weight. But that's not a hard/fast rule, and lighter skiers who ski very fast and aggressively often will up-size because their speed and power deliver the same loads a slower but heavier skier would put into the skis.

Pretty much hit the nail on the head.

post #41 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsirin View Post

Given that leg length matters, what does someone DO with the information? (other than of course an expert EPIC poster who already knows what ski length differences are likely to do and what works for them). But when someone like the OP asks a question and we tell him look at your inseam.... is that helpful if we can't also tell him what  the correlation is between a 30 inch inseam and ski length?  It may be interesting information in a general sense but you can't find anything that charts inseam to ideal ski length and try walking into 95% of the ski shops and see the reaction to asking for a cruising ski for a 27" inseam.

Just that it is a helpful tiebreaker when you are trying to decide between ski sizes and you fall kind of in between. One more of many variables.
post #42 of 48

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

Just that it is a helpful tiebreaker when you are trying to decide between ski sizes and you fall kind of in between. One more of many variables.

 

I wouldn't even consider it that.

post #43 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

 

I wouldn't even consider it that.

Well, depends. Works for me. Not an issue for average proportions, I guess. But after years of being steered toward the wrong size of skis, based on conventional wisdom, it makes more intuitive sense to me, from a physics standpoint. (Intuitive physics! of course!)

post #44 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

 

oldgoat, what is your height and weight? Comment behind the question is this: My observation is that people who say things like the above are typically big guys ... say, 190lbs. If that's not you (roughly speaking), then never mind, I hang my head in shame. smile.gif  In my case, at 135lbs, I can tell you absolutely that even though I'm a competent technical skier, there are skis out there that are just plain no fun to ski because they are too stiff. (Volkl Six Star was an egregious example of this for me.) It's not about ability; it's about how much force is readily available to bend the ski on demand. Yes, I can make good turns and have a good time on some of these skis if I'm motoring along on an empty groomer and can add a whole bunch to my effective mass with speed ... but fun in general conditions at lower speeds on softer snow or in bumps? No. For big guys, I suspect it's a question of whether you like a softer flex or a stiffer one for the given conditions, but you are able to bend the ski either way without wrestling with the thing.

175#. 5'11 5/8" (I used to be over 6'--boo hoo).  But I was talking about ski length, not stiffness. Weight certainly matters as far as stiffness, but again ability matters a lot--probably more.  The faster you ski the more force you apply to the ski when you turn--so the faster you ski the more you bend the ski. So for two skiers of the same weight the one who is skiing faster will be able to use a stiffer ski.  

post #45 of 48
Quote:
175#. 5'11 5/8" (I used to be over 6'--boo hoo).

 

What I thought.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 Weight certainly matters as far as stiffness, but again ability matters a lot--probably more.  The faster you ski the more force you apply to the ski when you turn--so the faster you ski the more you bend the ski. So for two skiers of the same weight the one who is skiing faster will be able to use a stiffer ski.  

 

I totally get that. But I think you're missing my point. You're equating ability with speed. Sure good skiers like to ski fast sometimes. I certainly do. And when I do - especially on hard snow - I like a stiffer ski than when I'm not. Sure, good skiers on average ski faster than skiers who aren't as technically strong. So I guess if we were limiting the scope of the conversation to hard-snow carving or high-speed crud-busting in wide-open terrain, I might be inclined to agree with you. But most good skiers spend some of the time - or even a lot of the time - skiing relatively slowly. Example: tight trees. Example: challenging bumps, especially when the surface is hard. Example: where it's really steep and visibility is bad. I don't care who you are, you're not skiing at 30mph in the spruce thickets at Saddleback or Sugarloaf. Therefore, I stand by my assertion that weight matters at least as much as ability. If you are a lightweight expert you need a ski with moderate flex to maximize your enjoyment of trees and bumps. Otherwise you're jousting, not skiing. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

post #46 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

 

You're equating ability with speed. Sure good skiers like to ski fast sometimes.

 

I've seen many good skiers.  In general, even when they like to go "slow" and be playful, they ski fast.  It's a natural progression.

post #47 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

 

I've seen many good skiers.  In general, even when they like to go "slow" and be playful, they ski fast.  It's a natural progression.

Exactly, I really can't think of many people who are good/expert skiers who don't ski fast, and in turn exert a lot of force.

post #48 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

 

What I thought.

 

 

I totally get that. But I think you're missing my point. You're equating ability with speed. Sure good skiers like to ski fast sometimes. I certainly do. And when I do - especially on hard snow - I like a stiffer ski than when I'm not. Sure, good skiers on average ski faster than skiers who aren't as technically strong. So I guess if we were limiting the scope of the conversation to hard-snow carving or high-speed crud-busting in wide-open terrain, I might be inclined to agree with you. But most good skiers spend some of the time - or even a lot of the time - skiing relatively slowly. Example: tight trees. Example: challenging bumps, especially when the surface is hard. Example: where it's really steep and visibility is bad. I don't care who you are, you're not skiing at 30mph in the spruce thickets at Saddleback or Sugarloaf. Therefore, I stand by my assertion that weight matters at least as much as ability. If you are a lightweight expert you need a ski with moderate flex to maximize your enjoyment of trees and bumps. Otherwise you're jousting, not skiing. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

 

There are ways to "turn" a ski without bending it through an arc.  Expert skiers can use various skill blends which may feature more active unwieghting and rotation than the edging and pressure model used in a carved turn.  Turns like the hop pedal made famous by Scott Schmidt or the QCT promoted by the SVMM crowd work through unwieghting, redirection, and a rapid increase in pressure at the end of the turn to check speed and harvest rebound.  The rebound from the previous turn is used to drive the unwieghted portion of the next turn.  Spiess turns and other types of jump turns will also work in a pinch as will movement patterns closer to a pivot slip.

 

I can't speak about spruce thickets at Saddleback or Sugarloaf, but at JH some of the guys I know who are on the lighter side and rip using big skis get pretty active and athletic in tight steep situations and make it look good.  The cost is that it is more physically demanding as the speeds decrease.

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