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Help me convince my wife to buy longer skis

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

My wife has just started skiing. She's been 3-4 times. She's 5'9", about 140 lbs (who can know these things for sure?). She's very cautious and I don't see her developing into some aggressive bomber. She wants to be able to go out with my son and me while we fall down learning to snowboard. The rentals they've put her on were 140, 147, and 150 (though this last time, she said she didn't like the 150s and went back down to 140s). I think her perception of comfort on the shorter skis is generally related to her nervousness about skiing. As the day progresses each time we're out, she gets better and better and more confident (she can snow plow her way down any blue hill we've encountered here in Minnesota). She wants to buy some skis and get out of the rental hassle. We'll probably be going 8-12 times a year to very mellow hills (there are few other here). I think she should get something at least 150, but I can't crack the "but I like the shorter ones better" argument! That said, maybe I'm just plain wrong and she should get whatever size she feels most comfortable on.

 

Any advice on lengths and--for bonus points--thoughts on relatively cheap skis/bindings/boots that would be good for her is appreciated. 

post #2 of 22

Hmm....so setting aside the question of what the perfect length is for the moment...one nearly universal truism of human nature is that spouses seem to often disregard advice from their spouses on some technical point (like the right length of skis) but accept the same advice if it comes from a neutral, credible third party!  :eek  Shocker..I know.  My wife is like that.  Maybe you guys go the to shop together (if there's a good one near you) and have the rep help steer her toward a pair of her own skis that won't be intimidating for her to grow into.  There is a balance between buying her too much ski but also having enough stability to support her size and weight.  My wife is close in height and a little bit lighter and is a decent skier...she skis on 162s (or thereabouts).  I think you are right that at least 150 would make sense for her but I think she needs to hear it from someone else. 

 

In terms of gear advice...focus on the boots first and I wouldn't focus on the "cheapest" for that piece of gear.  Go with what fits well and will make her feel comfortable.  Once you have that nailed..there are a range of decent skis that can be had at discount prices that would be suitable for her.  If you focus on getting her feeling good about her gear and can build the idea that this is "fun" you may have a fighting chance to have her continue building her confidence and love of the sport.  I really believe skiing is a tough sport to fight through the anxiety and fear of the initial learning curve.  Once that breakthrough happens and confidence replaces fear the joy of floating down the side of a mountain on 2 boards really breaks through!!!!

post #3 of 22

Get her whatever she wants.  Happy wife equals happy husband.  Pete

post #4 of 22
Boots first. Not cheap ones. Find a good boot fitter first, not just a guy in a shop that sells boots. Rent the skis until she's ready for 158-162. And I'm only going with that short because of her weight.
post #5 of 22

why are you so focused on length?  what are you skiing?  As long as she can ski confidently that's more important, unless you truly think the ski is holding her back.  Is she ripping it on the 140s?  why would a longer ski be of such great benefit?

 

 

As far as the rental hassle, look instead into a season lease, or buy used skis from the ski shop with a buyback program,

so you avoid the rental hassle but you aren't putting out full money for something you will grow out of.

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfortstarr View Post
 

My wife has just started skiing. She's been 3-4 times. She's 5'9", about 140 lbs (who can know these things for sure?). She's very cautious and I don't see her developing into some aggressive bomber. She wants to be able to go out with my son and me while we fall down learning to snowboard. The rentals they've put her on were 140, 147, and 150 (though this last time, she said she didn't like the 150s and went back down to 140s). I think her perception of comfort on the shorter skis is generally related to her nervousness about skiing. As the day progresses each time we're out, she gets better and better and more confident (she can snow plow her way down any blue hill we've encountered here in Minnesota). She wants to buy some skis and get out of the rental hassle. We'll probably be going 8-12 times a year to very mellow hills (there are few other here). I think she should get something at least 150, but I can't crack the "but I like the shorter ones better" argument! That said, maybe I'm just plain wrong and she should get whatever size she feels most comfortable on.

 

Any advice on lengths and--for bonus points--thoughts on relatively cheap skis/bindings/boots that would be good for her is appreciated. 


How is she learning to ski?  One lesson?  Or just trying to figure it out for herself?  She'll have a lot more fun doing more than wedging down blue slopes in MN.  That's a lot of work.  A good instructor can teach the basics of a parallel turn pretty quickly with the way skis are shaped these days.  As sibhusky said, no need to get skis too long.  But for her ht/wt, 150 is pretty short.  Of course, if always in a wedge then the extra length would make it harder.  FYI, both sibhusky and I are women.

 

Invest in boots first, then a lesson or two on rental skis.  Late season sales will start soon after Pres. Day weekend.  Find out about the ski swaps in the fall and get skis then for cheap.

post #7 of 22

Good advice so far. A couple of things I'll add- 

 

The correct length can vary depending on ski model, use, personal preference etc. I am much taller and heavier than your wife and have skis that range from 172 to 191 and borrowed a pair of friends 155 or 160 cm SL skis for a race and liked them a lot.

 

When teaching lower level skiers, I would much rather see them on something on the short side, than something too long- much easier for them to learn to skate, turn and less likely to cross their skis. The shorter tail makes them feel less stable in the back seat. (I often tell parents to take their kids ice skating at this provides immediate feedback when you get back-seat while longer skis can let you get away with this more).  

post #8 of 22

You're a snowboarder and telling your wife what length ski she should have?  Wow.  First rule of keeping a wife happy about skiing is buy her what she wants.  My wife has been a fairly timid intermediate skier for years.  She went to the SIA on snow demos with me last year and demoed some Head skis.  After demoing them for the third time over the two days, she said "I want a pair of those."  She has never said that before about any skis.  She now has a pair of those skis and actually looks forward to going skiing.

post #9 of 22

I got my wife (5'8" 110lbs) 148cm and she's taken them from total beginner to 3 years later doing VT black diamonds in all conditions (ice, mogul, powder).  She's not shreddin or powering through it all but the shorter skis are comfortable for her.  I had her demo some 160's and she didn't like it.  Until she's charging down harder stuff, I won't push her.  Shorter skis are so competent nowadays, in my unprofessional opinion, I don't see the need to push a beginner-intermediate to a longer ski.  I'd rather see her working on her carves and form on skis which are easier to handle.  

post #10 of 22
Quote:

First rule of keeping a wife happy about skiing is buy her what she wants. 

Will amend this: First rule is buy her a bunch of lessons. She'll gain confidence, believe the instructor more than you, and end up on skis that will better suit her over time. Seriously. Grown women don't need to be maneuvered, just given some opportunities to learn stuff. And if at the end of all this, with her instructor's blessings, she still wants really short skis, deal. 

post #11 of 22
My wife is 5'2, 110-ish and I got her a 140 full camber ski. If I had gone with a rockered ski, I would have gone up to a 150cm. My wife is doing wide radius wedge christie type turns (what I'd call novice-intermediate) down what pass for blues here in Ohio. No issue regarding chatter or sinking in powder (which is when you typically need to go to a longer ski).

My daughter is 4'2, 90 lbs. She just moved up to a 140 full camber ski also. However she does not like them after having been on a 130 rockered ski.

Rockered skis are good for "neutral position" skiers who aren't throwing their weight forward assertively to initiate their turns. I would think they don't "snowplow" well, though, as both skis would want to run in and cross more.

I also read on another post here that so-called "women's skis" are balanced / cut in a way that the bindings are supposed to be mounted further forward than a "unisex" rental / men's ski. Also, the "sizing guidance" for men and women put men and women of similar heights in a different range of lengths. For an woman intermediate - beginner, that range would go from about the armpit to the tip of the nose. That might be something to consider when discussing with you wife what size ski she should buy.

Find out when there is a demo day near you and have her try a variety of skis. Make a note of the sidecut and the camber (and stiffness - if you can tell) as well as the length.
post #12 of 22

Buy her what she wants, not what you want her to want.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happily married 17 years.

post #13 of 22

Get your wife some private lessons.  With an instructor that she likes.  Interview a few, and see which ones she connects with.

 

Get her some properly fitted boots.  Go spend your money here.  Do your research, find the best shop and fitter you can, and spend the time getting her fitted.

 

As for skis and bindings, those won't matter as much as the first two items.  Get a pair cheap at a Turkey sale or ski swap in the fall.  Once she's figured out skiing, and has some confidence in her own abilities, take her out so she can demo a few pairs.

 

 

You know what size skis my wife uses?  Zero, because she doesn't want to ski and doesn't like the cold.  Fair enough, but I've told her that if she ever wants to learn, we're going to follow steps one and two I just listed.

post #14 of 22

Lots of great advice so far.

 

I would focus on #1 Boots, that are comfortable and warm and of course fit her well. You want her to be out there enjoying herself not feeling like she is wearing some torture device. 

 

Skis that are EASY to ski. Sounds simple but it isnt. Generally err on the shorter side with a pretty tight turn radius and softer flex. Fun and easy skis with a high forgiveness rating. Do not focus on exact length but on design.

 

My wife got comfortable boots and just rents the skis for now until she finds something she likes. The boots made a HUGE difference in comfort and enjoyment. Rental boots are generally packed down, cold and not that comfy unless you get new boots that fit you well. 

post #15 of 22

http://www.skiessentials.com/outlet/clearance-skis/2015-volkl-women-s-yumi-skis.html

 

would those work ?

 

Check out that site for other skis and things too.

 

Have to agree with getting her to a boot fitter and getting her a good fitting boot. Atomic seems to have a $280 boot that is popular, 80 flex and good adjustments.

 

See if the shop you get the boots from has a pair of last years rentals they want to sell.

 

I still have the pair I got 6 years ago for my GF when she started skiing, I got them for $125 with the binding. We use them for when someone wants to try skiing for the first few times.

 

 

Another tip, make sure the ski is torsionally stiff. You want her to have good hold on ice, Volkl's are known for that. Also make sure they are tuned well.  


Edited by Max Capacity - 2/9/16 at 10:03am
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 


Quote:

Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
 

You're a snowboarder and telling your wife what length ski she should have?  Wow.  First rule of keeping a wife happy about skiing is buy her what she wants.  My wife has been a fairly timid intermediate skier for years.  She went to the SIA on snow demos with me last year and demoed some Head skis.  After demoing them for the third time over the two days, she said "I want a pair of those."  She has never said that before about any skis.  She now has a pair of those skis and actually looks forward to going skiing.


Ha! I'm an ultra-novice snowboarder. Switched from skiing because, well, skiing in Minnesota is a little boring and the kids look like they're having fun boarding. I do agree about letting her chose what she wants. We have a friend who's a former instructor and much more experienced than me, she's going to talk to him as well.

 

I like the advice so far though: focus on the boots, get her a few more lessons, keep renting the skis, then look for something in the fall perhaps. We're going to get in 2 days in Colorado on a trip to Arches in March. Maybe a lesson at Snowmass would be good (we're staying near Aspen for two nights). 

post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakels View Post
 

I got my wife (5'8" 110lbs) 148cm and she's taken them from total beginner to 3 years later doing VT black diamonds in all conditions (ice, mogul, powder).  She's not shreddin or powering through it all but the shorter skis are comfortable for her.  I had her demo some 160's and she didn't like it.  Until she's charging down harder stuff, I won't push her.  Shorter skis are so competent nowadays, in my unprofessional opinion, I don't see the need to push a beginner-intermediate to a longer ski.  I'd rather see her working on her carves and form on skis which are easier to handle.  


I think it is usually a better idea for someone to select their own skis.  But hey... whatever...so I usually avoid these threads.

 

However, one thing makes me just crazy about these "getting skis for the little lady" type threads. Besides taking choice away from the person who will use the gear, they almost always reduce to someone flinging impossible numbers around. The ht/wt given by the OP is kind of on the margin - at least for anyone with athletic activity ambitions. But 5'8" and 110 pounds is clinically underweight. Dangerously so. Yeah BMI is a broken metric on the higher end. But it is a darn good metric for issues on the lower end. Now and again someone is naturally in the lower zone -of "healthy". Maybe. But a sub-17 BMI is well below what is legal for runway models in a number of skinny obsessed countries. It seems unrealistic that someone in that zone is skiing any black diamonds.

 

Reality is good. This does not feel like that - it perpetuates mythology that is destructive. Both with respect to health and gear selection. Just my .02.

post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 

Totally fair point. I'm guilty here of being too excited that she's liking skiing so far. Probably need to slow it down! Let her take her time and get whatever the heck she wants.

post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfortstarr View Post
 

I like the advice so far though: focus on the boots, get her a few more lessons, keep renting the skis, then look for something in the fall perhaps. We're going to get in 2 days in Colorado on a trip to Arches in March. Maybe a lesson at Snowmass would be good (we're staying near Aspen for two nights). 

The mountain she would probably like the most of the Aspen mountains is Buttermilk.  Compared to places in the midwest, it's a complete ski area that would feel plenty big enough.  Has legitimate black terrain that's not groomed along with long green and blue cruisers.  Since advanced skiers don't usually ski Buttermilk, much less worry about fast skiers buzzing by.

 

Snowmass is a great mountain, but can be a little intimidating for people who haven't skied out west much because it's so big.

 

For someone not comfortable on blues even in the flatlands, a lesson at the beginning of a trip out west is usually a good idea.  A group lesson midweek can be a bargain if no others show up at the same ability level.  For destination resorts, the instructors for group lessons are likely to be full-time instructors mid-week.

post #20 of 22

Greetings, Just came by and saw your post.

 

If your wife is on a Shape Ski, 150 is plenty ski for her. Years ago no one would want to admit to being on less that 200cm. Writing on the wall was: Short Skis Suck!

 

The new skis changed that. Why have more board that you need, it's just that much more work.

 

Just curious, what type of ski she's on now. Is this her first pair you're thinking of getting?

 

Richard

post #21 of 22

Just read your post again. You know, I'd let her go with the 140s if she's comfortable with them.

 

How many times a year will you and she be on the mountain. Most skiers ski about 4 times a season. When she's ready to move up in length she'll let you know.

 

in another post someone said: Get her a pair of boot. I go for that, rental boot are crap. Get her a pair of boot that fit her, not lunch boxes, a pair with three buckles and a power strap, not too stiff, as she wears them the liners will form to her foot, tell her never to loan them to anyone or they'll get to be like rental boot.

 

Get her some lessons, let her have lessons until she's comfortable on the mountain. If she learns correctly she won't practice any bad habits.

 

Good luck have fun on the mountain

 

Richard

post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
 


I think it is usually a better idea for someone to select their own skis.  But hey... whatever...so I usually avoid these threads.

 

However, one thing makes me just crazy about these "getting skis for the little lady" type threads. Besides taking choice away from the person who will use the gear, they almost always reduce to someone flinging impossible numbers around. The ht/wt given by the OP is kind of on the margin - at least for anyone with athletic activity ambitions. But 5'8" and 110 pounds is clinically underweight. Dangerously so. Yeah BMI is a broken metric on the higher end. But it is a darn good metric for issues on the lower end. Now and again someone is naturally in the lower zone -of "healthy". Maybe. But a sub-17 BMI is well below what is legal for runway models in a number of skinny obsessed countries. It seems unrealistic that someone in that zone is skiing any black diamonds.

 

Reality is good. This does not feel like that - it perpetuates mythology that is destructive. Both with respect to health and gear selection. Just my .02.

First off, 3 people were involved with my wife choosing skis.  Her, Me, and my friend who's been a level 2 instructor at Deer Valley.  I don't disagree with the OP though.   He's trying to help guide her toward the next level.  Coming her and questioning shows he is considering more than his own interest.   Don't just assume that someone "buying" something for someone automatically means they are forcing the option with no input

 

Second, where do you get off calling my wife dangerously underweight and unhealthy?  While, as I referenced, she isn't powerful or physically strong, she is very healthy.  The topic was brought up and analyzed by several doctors (when she was pregnant) and none of them + a nutritionist felt she was unhealthy or dangerously underweight.  Quite the opposite actually.  

 

I don't even know why you are so fixated it on it anyways.  When discussing ski length, height, weight, and skill are always a factor.  How you took that into a lengthy post calling her unhealthy and insinuating that I am lying about her ability is just ridiculous.  

 

 

Apologies to the OP and other commentators on this thread for side tracking.

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