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Stuck between ski lengths? [northeast, Atomic Blackeye TI question]

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

First time poster here.

 

Background:

-ski exclusively NE trails (mostly on piste groomers, occasionally powder depending on weather)

-5'9", 170lbs, Level 7 skier (with the occasional double black thrown in)

-not a super agressive style - like to take nice long smooth turns - prefer wide runs

 

Last season, demoed Atomic Blackeye TI skis in both 167cm and 174 cm lengths.  Now looking to purchase for the upcoming season.  Out of the two, I preferred the 167s as it was more maneuverable, but wondering if I should size up to the 174s in my efforts to improve my technique even more and maybe increase in skill level. (the 174s skied well - but just slightly preferred the 167s)

 

I guess the question is, would it be worth it to "learn to grown" into the longer ski?  If my technique gets better, and I'm starting to hit more and more difficult blacks/double blacks, would the extra 7cm in length be worth it?  Or should I stick with what feels better now?

 

Cheers

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post #2 of 10

2 cents worth of advice.  Go with the length that you feel most comfortable with.  Shorter lengths are easier to manage at slower speeds and longer lengths are easier at faster speeds (gross generality, but I do not know the ski you are asking about).  You will know when you need the longer ski to give greater balance at faster speeds.  So buy the 167, work on your skills at slower speeds (both ski length and speed cover up technique issues)

post #3 of 10

kicker75 -

 

I'm 5'9.5" and 185# and I ski a really difficult mountain, where I benefit from skiing shorter skis.  Case in point: I recent bought two pairs of Blizzard Magnum 8.0 TI from STP at $130 per pair (including S&H + tax).  I went with the 172cm length for both pairs.  

 

That said, if I was picking a length for the Atomic Blackeye TI for myself, I'd definitely go with the 174cm for skiing my home mountain.  I'd want the ski in a 181cm length for floatation (skiing fresh powder) and stability (skiing crud).  But I would also want the 167cm length for skiing in those tight little spots - maneuverability.  So 174 would be the perfect compromise length.

 

Even though I'm 15 pounds heavier than kicker75, 174 should still be a good length for him, too.  A 5'7" 150# guy would want the 167cm, and a 6' 200# guy would want the 181cm.

 

Regarding kicker75 finding the 167cm more maneuverable over the 174... two comments... one is that the shorter ski is always more maneuverable for all skiers, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the length of choice.  A second comment is that kicker75 has things to work on with his (her) skiing, which also applies to nearly all of us, certainly myself included.

 

Definitely voting for the 174cm for kicker75.

 

My $0.02.

 

Dave

post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kicker75 View Post
 

First time poster here.

 

Background:

-ski exclusively NE trails (mostly on piste groomers, occasionally powder depending on weather)

-5'9", 170lbs, Level 7 skier (with the occasional double black thrown in)

-not a super agressive style - like to take nice long smooth turns - prefer wide runs

 

Last season, demoed Atomic Blackeye TI skis in both 167cm and 174 cm lengths.  Now looking to purchase for the upcoming season.  Out of the two, I preferred the 167s as it was more maneuverable, but wondering if I should size up to the 174s in my efforts to improve my technique even more and maybe increase in skill level. (the 174s skied well - but just slightly preferred the 167s)

 

I guess the question is, would it be worth it to "learn to grown" into the longer ski?  If my technique gets better, and I'm starting to hit more and more difficult blacks/double blacks, would the extra 7cm in length be worth it?  Or should I stick with what feels better now?

 

Cheers

 

Very similar situation I was in.  My recommendation is since you are a NE skier go shorter only because of the icy conditions - assuming you ski in icy conditions.   I am in between lengths myself, a level 7 skier and the shorter skis make it easier to mange poorer slopes.  The longer skis would be more stable at faster speeds, but harder to turn if the slopes are also busy and you have to dodge traffic.  Depending where and what time of day you actually ski that may or may not be an issue, but where I am I'm constantly dodging people due to overcrowding on the slopes.  Having longer skis in those conditions would make the experience more miserable.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies.

 

So what I'm gathering, is that if I'm skiing typical NE hard pack groomers extensively (which I am), I probably should go with the 167cm length just to deal with the conditions, whereas the 174s would be more versatile/ideal if I were skiing more powder/crud, off piste stuff?

 

I would say 90-95% of the time I'm skiing hard (sometimes even icy) groomers.  Lately, skiing fresh powder has been rare. (on exception when there's a fresh snowstorm)

 

I was very comfortable on the 167cm, whereas the 174s were great too, but I felt I just needed to do just a little more work and have a little more focus when using the longer length.  The days I demoed, conditions were all on piste groomers.

 

I would probably just go with the 167cm since they feel the best of the two right now, but if my skills/technique/speed were to improve, would I "outgrow" these in a very short time?  Like I previously mentioned, I'm currently extremely comfortable on all blues, comfortable on blacks, so-so on double blacks.  I definitely know I have some room to improve and I do intend on skiing more in upcoming seasons to close the gap.

 

I almost feel if they made a 170, that would be the perfect balance for me.  I only had 2-3 day to demo these models, and I'm just unsure if basically I should size down or up?  Didn't seem like the 7cm made a significant difference, but I did notice a difference.  If my skill improves, will I be able to compensate for that length difference in short time?

 

If it helps, I felt I could push the 167cms a little more, but I had to hold back a little on the 174s. (probably due to less confidence in technique with them)


Thanks

post #6 of 10
Using myself as the example again....

My skis are Volkl RTM 81 2015 full rocker. I ski crap icy NE snow during the week at night and during the day on over packed weekends. These ski sizes are 171cm or 176cm. My exact hight is 179cm. After much debate the store response which matched my own forum inquiry was what I'm relaying to you. Longer out west for more powder conditions and less overcrowding, shorter for NE with the ice and over crowding. Even in my shorter 171cm I am still able to rip the groomers at full speed feeling stable. Just make sure any ski you choose is strong enough to take punishment.
post #7 of 10

Go longer!  I'm in the same spot.  Level 8 skier and have advanced RAPIDLY over the past few years skiing steep and deep camps with a teaching pro.  Her advice...go longer.  Don't let the shops or other skiers talk you into skiing a shorter ski.  With the new ski shapes (I'm an old guy who grew up skiing in the late 70's and 80's), it's MUCH easier to ski a longer ski.  AND, like you, I grew up on east coast "hardpack" (MD, PA mountains, Killington, Smugglers's Notch, more...)  and the longer ski with give you more edge to get into that hard stuff.  AND, when conditions are soft and you've been blessed with a powder day, the longer ski/more surface area with give you more float.

 

Trust me.  

 

As an advanced intermediate a few years ago, I bought an all mountain ski in 177 and rapidly grew out of it.

A few years ago I bought the K2 Shreditor 112 in a 179 because, like you, I was a little nervous about going "long," but I REALLY wish I had!

Last season, bought the K2 Rictor Xti in a 184 (their longest) and wish ALL my skis were at least that long.

 

 

Good luck, and GO LONGER!!  

 

When in doubt, demo.....

post #8 of 10
Tim Gedney does have a valid point a longer ski will have more edge,but this also depends on the type of ski.

In my case I am using a slight full-rocker ski meaning my shorter full-rocker will have approximatly the same amount of edge contact as a longer tip-rocker ski.
post #9 of 10

I also struggle with the issue of longer or shorter, but have opted for longer in the past few years, and it has paid off.  It forces me to improve my technique, and I like the added stability and edge hold.

 

Also, keep in mind that 7cm is less than 3 inches-my guess is that you would adapt to the longer skis over time.

post #10 of 10

If you ski lots of bumps short will be easier to ski them with, if you like to long radius turns longer will be better. I ski out west and I am a big guy so I always get the longest ski length made, but I ski fast so it works for me. My 5'4" wife skis on 162's, 164's and up, she finds anything shorter to be unstable. But she goes faster than most people. What ski someone likes is so much up to them and how they ski that telling you anything other than what people here are saying is hard.

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