Last weekend I demo'd the Rossignol Experience 88's for the second time--I really enjoyed the way the ski engages when turning. I currently have the Atomic Access (100mm underfood, 171 cm, wood core). The Access have been great for just that--allowing me to feel comfortable getting down any slope including choppy double blacks and trees, etc. I've realized, though, that I much prefer cruising on blue groomers to more slowly working my way down black diamonds (I don't ski the fall line on blacks or double blacks, but tend to ski more across the trail.)
Basically, I realize my first ski, the Access, was a speciality powder-oriented ski, and I want more of frontside carver, because that's what I love to do. I've lived in the PNW (skied on Mt Hood) but will soon be moving to Colorado. I found the E 88's significantly more engaging and fun on the stuff I most like to ski versus the Access, but the Access will be my go to with lots of new snow.
I can get a great deal on the E 88's as a demo ski with demo bindings. Here's my dilemma: I demo'd the ski at the 178 cm length, which is slightly over my head (I'm 5 foot 9 or around 176 cm). The Experience were fun, easy to maneuver, etc. I didn't take them on blacks, or through trees much. The one time I took them through a narrow gap between two trees, I felt a little bit hesitant, but it worked out fine. The guy in the demo shop said because the Experience have significant rocker, the 178 cm length may be a good fit for me(I've never tried the Experience 88 170 cm, but may be able to demo them this weekend if they're still in stock). Some on this board suggested I may have gone too short with the 171 Atomic Access, and I don't want to make the mistake of buying a short ski again. I imagine I could have fun learning to ski steeper/tighter stuff on the 178s in time.
So, given what I've written above, what ski length do you all recommend? What are the pros/cons of going for the 170 vs 178?
Here are my stats:
5 foot 9, 176 pounds (though I've gained 10-15 pounds recently, and would like to come down in terms of weight). I'm a graduate student, so I tend to be pretty sedentary and not in the best shape, though I'd like to change that (but realistically, may not change too much)
Intermediate, or advanced intermediate skiier.
Skied in PNW last few years, moving to CO soon.
If you're interested in reading more background,
Here's a thread about the Access potentially being too short: http://www.epicski.com/t/126762/soft-noody-ski-atomic-access-not-a-good-fit-for-pnw-skiing-but-ideal-in-colorado
Here's a thread about my frustrations with the Access on hard snow: http://www.epicski.com/t/107938/chattering-powder-skis-on-hard-pack-ice-my-experience-on-the-atomic-access-and-some-questions
Edited by folkfan - 4/2/14 at 11:53am