Originally Posted by markojp
'Playful crud buster' is a tough recipe and a bit of an oxymoron. How fast are you typically busting crud, swoosh?
Have you skied a Nordica Soul Rider?
So here is a thought: consider challenging your notion of what is "too long". What has stuck in my head reading this is "she may be uncomfortable because all of her skis are too short in soft conditions." Hence you want a crud buster, despite perhaps your fun meter pointing to playful, and playful doesn't really punish extra length so much in tight spaces.
I think this is a good suggestion above for the purposes of adding length to demo, because this class is mounted forward. A size longer ski here won't feel that way up front - the extra length is in the tail and neutral stance is rewarded. In that class, the Salomon Rocker2 100 may be easy to rent for a day. It's not a heavy crud buster, but it's a blast in soft crud (just surf it sized up) and is sure to be a killer spring ski. Since you've said, IIRC, that carving isn't your thing, I wonder about the virtue of giving up playfulness in the center of your quiver.
Try it in a 178 as a nod to length for stability and surfiness rather than blasting, but narrow(ish) waist for bumps and overall quickness in tight spaces. In the whole height/weight ski sizing analysis, my first thought is that people who don't fit the standard either taller or heavier should first rule out maximizing length before they rule in stiffness, etc. in shorter lengths, especially if preferred style is to work down fun lines rather than just crushing them.
Again, we are coming at this from opposite ends, but this is only my 5th season and every time I have gone longer, fearing some lack of skills to handle more ski, within a run or two it's just "what the hell were you waiting for?" That might be a question worth answering at the cost of a demo day.