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Buying first powder skis - lenght advice for slim guy?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I will be buying my first powder skis, but unsure on the correct length. I will use them as an addition to another daily driver and ski with them probably 20-30% of the time. I am 5'10'', 145 pounds, with decent experience on piste (7-8 out of 10), but little off-piste experience.

 

I plan to use these skis on powder days only - off-piste about 60% of the time (mostly trees, less open terrain and very occasional touring), as well as on-piste (40%).

 

So I am looking at lighter and softer options and my primary choice is the Atomic Automatic 102 as it has good reviews and a decent price for a 2nd pair of skis. What should be the right length for me - 172 or 180 cm given I am on the slim side? No opportunity to demo unfortunately.

 

Or better get K2 Shreditor 102 in 177 cm?

post #2 of 27

pinging @segbrown 

post #3 of 27

Where do you ski?  East coast, west, What kind of terrain....  Open, trees, steeps, technical? Ski switch, park, Need the info

 

in general most powder ski for your weight and height will be in the 177-183 range. For instance, a Soul7 in a 180 would work just fine, Sali Q105 181,  Patron 177, Q115 177,  Schreditor 177  (K2's measure long) 

post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

Where do you ski?  East coast, west, What kind of terrain....  Open, trees, steeps, technical? Ski switch, park, Need the info

 

in general most powder ski for your weight and height will be in the 177-183 range. For instance, a Soul7 in a 180 would work just fine, Sali Q105 181,  Patron 177, Q115 177,  Schreditor 177  (K2's measure long) 

 

I'm usually the fat long guy for powder skis. But at 145 pounds, I'd stay under 180. Low 170s to mid 170s... Though design specifics could push you a shade longer or shorter. Fatter is always good for a powder ski though :D

 

Softer is also not always better for a powder ski  - a full reverse camber ski, or one with lots of rocker is already pretty "pre bent".

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your comments. I used to ski on the East Coast, now I ski in Europe - in similar conditions though. As mentioned in the first post I plan to use these skis for the powder days only in trees and in some open terrain (no cliffs or big jumps for now) so maneuverability would be appreciated.

 

I have narrowed it down to the Automatic 102 and think it will do it for me, I only need to solve the length issue as i am stuck between lengths.

 

So far opinions are tied 1:1 and my dilemma remains - 172 vs 180?

Is 172 outright inappropriate and too short?

post #6 of 27

Hi.   

My guess is that the 172 would be too short, especially so if you are young and growing still. But too short even if not still growing.  It works well to have a powder ski that is a bit longer than your daily driver or on piste ski.  

 

[Here in Colo. for a pure powder ski at your size I'd suggest considering wider than the 180 Auto 102 (182 Auto 109, or even wider, for instance), but back East, or in trees a lot, that 102 might work fine.  I have the 182 Atomic Ritual 103, and it is a great powder ski for lighter weight skiers that would work also, a favorite; so the 180 Auto 102 would work well.  Finndog's suggested skis above seem great too.] Correction:  I wrote this before seeing your above post.   

 

 The 180 Auto 102 will be crazy easy to handle and turn for you, as it would be for most lightweight skiers.  [But the 109 Auto is also fast-turning and easy to handle, and has more float and probably crud-busting.]  Both skis are good for both intermediates and advanced/experts.

 

Note:  I am the exact same height and about the same weight (~144-149 lbs.), but an older guy.  Until the past five years, I preferred narrower skis.  For powder I don't use shorter than 179 and prefer longer, often 180 to 186 (but a few longer still).  

post #7 of 27

I really really really wouldn't go much under 177. In 3D snow, that extra length helps stabilize fore and aft balance. 

post #8 of 27

Note: (I made corrections in my above post based on OP's last post, skiing in the Alps, etc.)

post #9 of 27

If you're only using these skis on powder days I would recommend getting Atomic Automatic 117s instead of the 102s or 109s. The 117s are still super maneuverable in trees, and have a decent top end. They're also surpisingly good on groomers (for being a powder ski). I have the 186 and I'm 5' 11", 185 pounds so I think you could make the 179s work for you.

post #10 of 27

I'm 150# and I really like my 176 cm Volkl One's (116 mm), which can currently be found heavily discounted.   Incredibly maneuverable, great for trees.   But I'm just 5'7"; with your additional leverage at 5"10, I'm not sure if you'd find them a bit short (or they might be fine).  Here's my comparative review:  

http://www.epicski.com/t/119277/ex-racer-demos-modern-skis-titan-rev85-rtm84-kendo-proph98-finds-himself-delighted-and-confused/180#post_1732539

post #11 of 27

One of our ski testers is 5'10" and about 145 lbs as well.  He typically skis on 180+ powder skis, depending on the stiffness and amount of rocker.  Chances are, depending on what ski you end up on, going shorter than 180 won't provide enough float or stability.  If there's a lot of rocker, early taper, or full reverse camber, definitely go close to 180 or longer.

post #12 of 27

he weighs 145 pounds! I ski a sali Q105 in 2 plus feet of powder.  Im 170.... my 150# friend skis a Sali Q105 in the 174 and also does just fine. Plus they turn on a dime.   Anyone CAN ski a longer ski but you don't NEED a longer ski.  

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

he weighs 145 pounds! I ski a sali Q105 in 2 plus feet of powder.  Im 170.... my 150# friend skis a Sali Q105 in the 174 and also does just fine. Plus they turn on a dime.   Anyone CAN ski a longer ski but you don't NEED a longer ski.  

 But it's nicer in deep snow, this is where we are talking about height, not weight. Not recommending a 184 QLab or anything like that. Right at 180 cm, give or take a few cm depending on the ski, sounds perfect. My 95 is 180, my 108 is 177, my 112 is 184. I'm just about the same size.  

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

 But it's nicer in deep snow, this is where we are talking about height, not weight. Not recommending a 184 QLab or anything like that. Right at 180 cm, give or take a few cm depending on the ski, sounds perfect. My 95 is 180, my 108 is 177, my 112 is 184. I'm just about the same size.  I 

I think we are agreeing,  I just dont think for what he's describing he needs a 185/7.  for wide-open, yes, a little longer is fine, for trees, I like a little shorter. 

post #15 of 27

I'm 5' 11" and 145 lbs.  I ski a Nordica Patron (115 waist) at 177 and it works great for me.

 

I demo'd a bunch of powder skis (including the patron) and found the skis longer than 180 too long for me, though my technique has improved a lot since then and now it probably wouldn't be as much of a problem.  Still, I'm perfectly happy on the 177's.

post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimm View Post
 

I am 5'10'', 145 pounds

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by river-z View Post
 

I'm 5' 11" and 145 lbs.

 

You guys need cheeseburgers!  I get called "skinny" and I clock in at 6'2", 170!

 

For the record, my powder ski is a 185cm Nordica Patron, and I usually ski New England (i.e., trees, tighter spaces, etc.). 

post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

I think we are agreeing,  I just dont think for what he's describing he needs a 185/7.  for wide-open, yes, a little longer is fine, for trees, I like a little shorter. 

No, but not a 174 either.

post #18 of 27
No not a 174 for him. Didnt mean tosay that
post #19 of 27

My Heavens, it's sure time for skiing.  

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

 But it's nicer in deep snow, this is where we are talking about height, not weight. Not recommending a 184 QLab or anything like that. Right at 180 cm, give or take a few cm depending on the ski, sounds perfect. My 95 is 180, my 108 is 177, my 112 is 184. I'm just about the same size.  

This is closest to my experience, me being pretty much at the OP's height and weight.  

 

 From my experience, the Auto 102 would be most stable and fun at around 182, for the OP's (and my own) height and weight.  The 180 comes closest.   

But I've found that it really depends on the particular 3D ski, past about 177 - and on the mounting point(s)

It's hard to predict with fatter skis especially.  So I'd demo.  

 

Note:  I ski wide open if available, but pretty much in powder bumps and bump steeps afterwards. (I'd ski those aspen if I were in Steamboat like Finn. :)So I want a fairly quick turning ski, but also fast and stable. 

 

I've found that with 3D skis, segbrown is right the more 3D it gets, stability is the big decider (that translates into more fun). For me at the OP's weight and height, some skis get a lot of added stability going from, say, 179 to longer, and lose very little quickness (e.g., Automatic 117, Pettitor 120, ON3P Jeffrey 110, Rosi Sickle 111, etc.).  Others get more sluggish and difficult at added length, and gain very little extra stability, for me (e.g., some of the same above skis if the mounting point remains at zero; also the Liberty Double Helix 122).  A few skis turn so easily, so lightly yet with stability, that added length neither helps nor hurts, for me (e.g., the Rosi Super 7 and Soul 7; the 180 and 188 are about equal).  Again, the patterns are probably different for heavier skiers.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

I really really really wouldn't go much under 177. In 3D snow, that extra length helps stabilize fore and aft balance. 


Edited by ski otter - 10/13/15 at 2:00pm
post #20 of 27

I'm gonna be a bit of a broken record.

 

Some of that combo of fore/aft stability and looseness really comes into play at speed. Something the CO posse is definitely capable of demonstrating. For most average skiers - and certainly those new to powder - that length is likely to be a hinderance both at slower speeds and on patches of firm snow. Something at least 115 wide and under 180 in length will serve the OP well in soft snow. 

 

I understand the height issue. But consider that 145 weight. Ignoring the OPs gender - In the US, the average woman weighs 160 pounds. And an athletic woman carries more muscle proportionally. So if you get away from the "delicate flower" meme, plenty of healthy athletic women are at least in that zone. While I'm too tight on time to dig for old threads, or to hop over to Divas, I'm pretty sure plenty of women heavier than the OP have been pushed toward soft snow skis in the 160s. And I have a vague memory of suggesting 170-somethings :).  Also look at the manufacturer length/weight suggestions. Heck, in a world where the average woman is in that 160 zone - skis like the Volkl One W cap out at 176 IIRC. Unless you think there is a massive difference in capacity between genders, there is something going on here.

 

Anyhow - I'm not saying a lighter skier can't drive a longer rockered ski. I'm just suggesting that "longer" may not be the best choice for a lighter powder newb. FWIW, I weigh just about 50% more than the OP and often ski a 187 powder ski. 

post #21 of 27

When picking length I generally look at the range the particular ski is offered in. I know that I'm not going to be happy on the shortest ski in the line or the longest. So if you go with the Automatic 102 then the 172's seem right--I don't think you want to be on the biggest 102 they make. But if you're looking for a powder ski I think you'd be a lot happier on the 109 in the 182. What Atomic is telling you with the 102's length range is that it's more of a hard snow ski than the wider models that come in longer lengths.  In the 109 you might be OK with the 175--but the Automatics ski short because of the tapered tips and tails, so the wide parts are closer to the center and the turn radius is short. 

post #22 of 27
Dimm, as skis are made longer, they are also made stiffer. You need the stiffness that performs for you. Length, per se, doesn't matter much. I'm 6', 190#, and I've had great skiing on Icelantic Shaman 170. They are made to be short...and real wide, and suitably stiff for my weight and strength. My guide to ski length is to buy one length less than the max made for that ski line. The longest, stiffest skis in any top line of skis is made for the biggest, strongest skier on the mountain. That isn't either of us. For you at your 145#, maybe two lengths less than the max would work best for you. Demoing really is highly useful for reasons like this. A ski that is too long/stiff will feel like 2x6s under you. A ski that is too short/soft will feel like noodles. The right ski length/stiffness performs for you.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post

Dimm, as skis are made longer, they are also made stiffer. You need the stiffness that performs for you. Length, per se, doesn't matter much. I'm 6', 190#, and I've had great skiing on Icelantic Shaman 170. They are made to be short...and real wide, and suitably stiff for my weight and strength. My guide to ski length is to buy one length less than the max made for that ski line. The longest, stiffest skis in any top line of skis is made for the biggest, strongest skier on the mountain. That isn't either of us. For you at your 145#, maybe two lengths less than the max would work best for you. Demoing really is highly useful for reasons like this. A ski that is too long/stiff will feel like 2x6s under you. A ski that is too short/soft will feel like noodles. The right ski length/stiffness performs for you.

 

Please note that the Shaman is fully traditional camber - zero rocker - which is a totally different game than most modern skis.

 

@Dimm, If you're considering traditional camber and given the widths you've mentioned, you might take a look at my husband's old Nomads from before they changed to rockered. 105mm underfoot. Very little wear. I'd consider shipping them for someone from EpicSki.

 

http://boulder.craigslist.org/spo/5263125331.html

post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 

I ended up buying the Auto 102 in 180 cm, so would like to share my experience after actually skiing on them. In short: Great choice! The skis feel light and are easy to turn, so I have no problem with the 180 length. It doesn't feel much longer than my 170 cm all mountain skis with 82 waist (due to the rocker I guess). I am happy with that length and think shorter would not be a good decision.

 

Also one other issue I started to realize after I got the skis is that obviously many wider skis tend to have their binding mounting point further to the front, compared with narrower skis. The recommended mounting point of the Auto splits the ski 100 cm to the front and 80 cm to the back, while my other ski (Rictor 82) is 98/72 for 170 length (after digging the internet for some charts, I observed this for other models too). So obviously the extra length for a wider ski is designed to go predominantly to the back side. If I had gotten the Auto in 172 I would have ended up with less length to the front of the boot than in my 170 skis, which would be really weird :) Again, overall 180 feels very well for me! If I get better off-piste one day, I may even go to something like 183-185

post #25 of 27
On your next powder ski, consider going wider as many have suggested. The automatic 117 is an insanely easy pow ski and will likely be much easier in over 6 inch pow days then your 102.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimm View Post

Thanks for your comments. I used to ski on the East Coast, now I ski in Europe - in similar conditions though. As mentioned in the first post I plan to use these skis for the powder days only in trees and in some open terrain (no cliffs or big jumps for now) so maneuverability would be appreciated.

I have narrowed it down to the Automatic 102 and think it will do it for me, I only need to solve the length issue as i am stuck between lengths.

So far opinions are tied 1:1 and my dilemma remains - 172 vs 180?
Is 172 outright inappropriate and too short?
post #27 of 27
180 Auto 117.
Crazy easy in 6+.
30 is easy heaven.
I am 6'0" 175. Got the 187 Auto 117
Killer!
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