Just got back from 10 days at Whistler-Blackcomb. Against my instincts, I skied mod-x in a 174 (a year ago I was on k2 GS Race skiis in 204). THESE SKIIS ROCK! Steeps, deep, moguls, high speed groomers, hard pack - they worked everywhere, but were particularly strong on the steep runs with little snow or in deep/crud. Skied with my brother with same boot shell size and DIN's - he had 181's so we could swap back and forth mid-run and the choice was unanimous - the 174's were more stable and controllable in crud and choppy powder, with no significant giveup at speed. Forget the argument of 181's vs. 188's - the shorter the better. Also skied Dynastar 4x4, volkl g41's, neither of which were as fun or versatile as the mod-x. For what its worth, we have both skied all our lives, and skied all of both mountains on the trip.