Originally Posted by AyDubz
The S3's do look really nice, thanks tball. I've heard of them, or more often their big bro the S7's but I guess I still have this antiquated view that powder skis like that are crazy hard to ski or can't perform on groomers at all so I didn't think of them. Would you recommend the 178 or 186? I'm right on the line with Rossi's sizing guide; I'm assuming it'd be a trade-off of maneuverability/turn initiation vs. power through crud/straight-lining stability, right? That's generally the difference between a longer or shorter ski, correct, so I might want to go with the shorter length if it's my first pair? Although I've heard they're easy to size up on because of the 50% rocker, so maybe stick with the 186?
I've skied both 178 and 186 S3. At 5'11"180 I strongly prefer the 186 (and it's still pretty wimpy), but since you are a beginner skier I'd have to say the 178.
I'm second guessing my S3 suggestion, though, because the S3 is so soft snow focused. It's just not a great firm snow ski, and unfortunately we all are on firm snow more than soft, even more so when learning.
This is making more sense to me:
Originally Posted by Skierish
Sticking with the Rossi theme and for a nice all-rounder that would be easy to learn on, why not a Rossi Experience 88?
400 bucks or less online now.
There are many great 88ish skis out there, and leftovers and used are very cheap. You can get an 88 on the shorter side that will be a great learning ski. They will also still be useful as you advance as a firm snow ski. You can add a 105ish ski later as your soft snow ski.
Here's the problem IMO: for a firm snow ski, it's OK to err on the side of a shorter length (short skis rip groomers, look at the racers). For a soft snow ski, you want to err on the side of a longer length (surface area matters in pow and crud). But, for learning you want to be on a shorter ski.
I think a shorter Rossi E88 (or equivalent) would be a great learning ski, and it will still be useful for firm snow as you advance. After you advance, a shorter Rossi S3 (or equivalent) isn't going to give you the surface area you want for soft snow as your speed picks up. It also isn't great on firm snow, so it's no longer very useful.
Originally Posted by Trekchick
The best way to get off piste as soon as possible is to do what Jzamp suggests.
Slow it down, rent gear, take a lesson, then get out there and tear it up.
You will REALLY make progress faster if you slow down to get things going.
This may mean being on groomers for a bit while you get the hang of it.
Good advice. Plus get great boots from an expert fitter as other have said. That's were you can spend money now that will still be useful for 5-10 years. I'd also really be looking for deals on dirt cheap used skis...