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thanks for this - makes a lot of sense.
I just ordered a Fischer RC4 WC SL 158cm WCP in the stiff version - did I make a good choice or is the medium flex better for me? 5'7" / 145 lbs, can cross-block
I figured the stiffer is more versatile...? Apparently the Atomics ski stiffer and I do like their 158 FIS.
FYI, for the record…
I bought those 12'-13' Atomic Redster FIS-compliant SL skis w/ X 16 bindings (158 cm, 12.7 radius) last year and absolutely LOVE them. LOVE ‘em!
I’m obviously a racer (61 yo, 5’-9”, 160 lb., Masters/“Platinum” NASTAR racer), but these skis are by FAR the most fun rec skis I have ever owned. They rip on ice, hard pack and corduroy, they shred bumps better than any ski I have ever owned, and even do surprisingly well in powder.
A few things that make them ideal for me:
Turn radius = 12.7 meters. I can actually carve and turn when and where I want.
This is in complete contrast to most skiers here in Colorado skiing on the mid-fat, and super-fat all-mountain/powder skis. 95%-99% of the time we are skiing on the same hard pack, but they are forced to ski huge radius turns, skid all over the place, nearly loose it on the ice, or otherwise sail down the mountain “carving” nearly straight turns
Length. I can easily maneuver them “at will” in the bumps. I can turn in a flash and inside the turn radius of most others who are forced to follow the ruts.
“Piste rocker.” A feature I thought was BS and didn’t need:
Really helps with turn initiation, especially in the bumps and softens the bumps up considerably
Helps to a surprising degree in powder, especially for these little shorties
Flex. At my size, weight and ability (and my current 100% rec focus), these skis have the perfect flex. I can overpower them on some rare occasions. But if I have any trouble with them, it’s almost always my mistake.
They have okay (not great) stability at high speeds, less than my much longer GS skis.
Also, compared to my GS skis, they are far more workable. It took very high speeds (unsafe on most resort slopes), huge leans and nearly a 99% effort to work and flex my GS skis properly (which is fine/great for short GS races, but not so much for just noodling around).
More on flex.
I might consider a stiffer, longer ski for hard core slalom racing, but in the race training I have done, these skis have been more than adequate. And I think their softer flexing, shorter turning features have helped me more so than not.
So, to answer your question…
I’m about 10% heavier/taller than you and a very skilled/aggressive skier. And I find the “standard” flex of my little Redsters just about right for recreational use (call it high-performance rec use, if you like). I’d consider a longer or stiffer ski for to-the-max racing at my level, but I find the turn radius, length, tip rocker, and flex of these skis nearly ideal and probably more versatile than a stiffer ski that is harder to work and flex.