We ski in Tahoe (Alpine Meadows, Squaw, and Northstar) about 30-40 days per year including some recreational racing. I am not sure my wife has ever owned a pair of women's skis - certainly not in the last 17 years. Her current active quiver is (forgive me if I am off a cm or two on the length):
- Head Monster 88 - 163 (currently not enjoying this ski as much in the off-piste)
- Blizzard GS-R Magnesium -172 (loves it for ripping groomers and recreational GS)
- Line Prophet 98 - 165 (newest addition loves them for off-piste, softer snow, and finds them pretty good on groomed runs and bumps).
- Atomic Blackeyes - 164 (enjoys them as early season ski or general all purpose ski)
She is about 5'-4" and 155 lbs and perpetually 49 (at least according to the DIN charts)
She is looking for a ski between the 79 mm Blackeyes and 88 mm Head Monster that may replace the Monster. Although she generally prefers a shorter Unisex ski, they can be hard to demo as the shorter lengths are not usually in the demo pool of retail shops. She likes the graphics better generally of women's skis, but that is secondary to the ski itself.
- If she goes to a women's ski, should she go a little longer than she has in the Unisex models?
- For related skis, say Blizzard Buchwacker and the women's Black Pearl, how similar would they ski if the Bushwacker was in a 159 and the Black Pearl in the next longer length of 166?
- Any other suggestions for a wider than 79 mm all mountain ski (50% groomed-50% off piste)