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Help choosing ski length

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

Long time lurker first time poster. 

 

I'm from the east, and generally ski there, but last week our family decided to pack our bag and head out west to Park City.  I decided it was time to ditch my almost 15 year old Salomon X-Screams, and try some demos.  I am 5'9", about 155lbs and was looking for a nice all mountain ski with preference toward groomers.  I wound up demoing the Blizzard Brahma in 166cm and a Rossi E88 at 164cm.  I think I may be the only person in the world that didn''t like the Brahmas, I found them ok when I was pushing things hard, but for casually skiing around, or teaching my son how to ski, I had a very tough time finding an edge to turn on.

 

On the other hand I fell in love with the E88s, they seemed to turn easy, and bust through everything I threw at it  The only problem I had with them is that they felt very slightly unstable at higher speeds (not sure if this was because of the skis or my ability level).  I consider my self an advanced skier working on becoming an expert however I am not sure if this will happen as I have been skiing for almost 30 years and for the past 15 I feel like I haven't gotten much better. 

 

I was very happy with the E88s and have decided those are going to be my next skis, but I am curious if I should move up to the next size at 172, I know they will be more stable, but am not sure if they will be too long and I don't know when I will have the chance to demo another ski, Also will the extra 8cm effect performance on moguls?  I'm not a great mogul skier but would like to learn.

 

Anyway thanks for the help in advance.

post #2 of 21

I'd probably jump to 172 for your hight and skill level.  A longer ski will be more stable at speed.  If you are looking for another ski to try out you might like the Nordica NRGy 90.

post #3 of 21

How old are your boots ?

 

X-Screams were one of my lest favorite skis when I demoed them, couldn't wait to get back to the demo tent and get them off my feet, even new they had, lack of edge hold. Had friends who bought them and then a few weeks later began to question there edge hold. Now the Salomon 3V from that time is what I bought. Totally different ski. Demoed it on the same run as the X-Scream.

 

I haven't demoed a Rossi in a couple years, but used to find I had to ski them in a shorter length. I'm 5'11" 195lbs. 

 

For the record, I was not impressed with the Braham either. I'm a Volkl guy.

 

If your boots are from that time era, they will not work well with newer skis. Boots have changed to help drive the new skis.

 

Lets us know what you have for boots?

 

There does seem to be a new trend to up step up in ski length. But that's for a different thread.

 

IMO at your size and slier level 166cm should be about right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdubs View Post
 

Hi All,

 

Long time lurker first time poster. 

 

I'm from the east, and generally ski there, but last week our family decided to pack our bag and head out west to Park City.  I decided it was time to ditch my almost 15 year old Salomon X-Screams, and try some demos.  I am 5'9", about 155lbs and was looking for a nice all mountain ski with preference toward groomers.  I wound up demoing the Blizzard Brahma in 166cm and a Rossi E88 at 164cm.  I think I may be the only person in the world that didn''t like the Brahmas, I found them ok when I was pushing things hard, but for casually skiing around, or teaching my son how to ski, I had a very tough time finding an edge to turn on.

 

On the other hand I fell in love with the E88s, they seemed to turn easy, and bust through everything I threw at it  The only problem I had with them is that they felt very slightly unstable at higher speeds (not sure if this was because of the skis or my ability level).  I consider my self an advanced skier working on becoming an expert however I am not sure if this will happen as I have been skiing for almost 30 years and for the past 15 I feel like I haven't gotten much better. 

 

I was very happy with the E88s and have decided those are going to be my next skis, but I am curious if I should move up to the next size at 172, I know they will be more stable, but am not sure if they will be too long and I don't know when I will have the chance to demo another ski, Also will the extra 8cm effect performance on moguls?  I'm not a great mogul skier but would like to learn.

 

Anyway thanks for the help in advance.

 

post #4 of 21

I personally would recommend going with the 172cm.  IMO it's going to be hard to take your skiing from advanced to expert on such a short ski.  166cm at speed is going to feel pretty small and unstable at your size.  The E88s are quite light weight compared to other skis in their category and are pretty easy to manage when you size up.  It will make mogul skiing slightly more challenging at first, but once you start getting comfortable I think you'll appreciate the length.

 

I am also curious what boots you're skiing in?

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 

The X-Screams served me well.  I can't remember the model name, but they were gray, not the bright orange ones everyone had at the time.

 

In any event my boots are old as well, they are salomon x-wave 10.  I rented a pair of boots with the demo skis last week which were terrible, I was extremely happy to get back in my old boots.  That being said, I was going to buy boots next year.  Figured I would buy skis first since I noticed a huge difference on the demo Rossis compared to my current Salomons.

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

Sorry my boots are the Xwave 7.0 not 10

post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdubs View Post I rented a pair of boots with the demo skis last week which were terrible, I was extremely happy to get back in my old boots.  That being said, I was going to buy boots next year.  Figured I would buy skis first since I noticed a huge difference on the demo Rossis compared to my current Salomons.

 

I think that every downside you noticed of the skis you demoed has its roots in bad boots.     No joke.    Bad edging at slow speeds?   Wobbly at higher speeds?  There could be a half-dozen reasons for either but you can't even begin to eliminate them until you sort the boots.

 

Nothing wrong with grabbing skis, ofc, and I know you demoed in rental boots,  but IMO getting the new skis mounted to your low-level XWaves is kind of like flushing money.  

post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdubs View Post
 

The X-Screams served me well.  I can't remember the model name, but they were gray, not the bright orange ones everyone had at the time.

 

In any event my boots are old as well, they are salomon x-wave 10.  I rented a pair of boots with the demo skis last week which were terrible, I was extremely happy to get back in my old boots.  That being said, I was going to buy boots next year.  Figured I would buy skis first since I noticed a huge difference on the demo Rossis compared to my current Salomons.

 

The X-Waves were great boots!  I had multiple pairs myself.  They are, however, likely worn out at this point.  Plastic breaks down over time.  Without even getting into fit, chances are you're in need of new boots.  I'd reverse your order of operations, personally.  Now is a great time of year to shop for boots.  Most shops and boot fitters will start discounting current year boots and are looking to clear space on their shelves.  It would probably be smartest to get new boots and then demo again with the new boots.  I'm guessing you'll still want to stick with the E88, but better safe than sorry if you have the chance.

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hmm, perhaps I will buy boots this season and skis next.  I'm heading to Mt Snow in VT and I hear that Nick at Bootworks is supposed to be excellent.

post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdubs View Post
 

Hmm, perhaps I will buy boots this season and skis next.  I'm heading to Mt Snow in VT and I hear that Nick at Bootworks is supposed to be excellent.

Absolutely! The best.

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdubs View Post
 

Hi All,

 

Long time lurker first time poster. 

 

I'm from the east, and generally ski there, but last week our family decided to pack our bag and head out west to Park City.  I decided it was time to ditch my almost 15 year old Salomon X-Screams, and try some demos.  I am 5'9", about 155lbs and was looking for a nice all mountain ski with preference toward groomers.  I wound up demoing the Blizzard Brahma in 166cm and a Rossi E88 at 164cm.  I think I may be the only person in the world that didn''t like the Brahmas, I found them ok when I was pushing things hard, but for casually skiing around, or teaching my son how to ski, I had a very tough time finding an edge to turn on.

 

On the other hand I fell in love with the E88s, they seemed to turn easy, and bust through everything I threw at it  The only problem I had with them is that they felt very slightly unstable at higher speeds (not sure if this was because of the skis or my ability level).  I consider my self an advanced skier working on becoming an expert however I am not sure if this will happen as I have been skiing for almost 30 years and for the past 15 I feel like I haven't gotten much better. 

 

I was very happy with the E88s and have decided those are going to be my next skis, but I am curious if I should move up to the next size at 172, I know they will be more stable, but am not sure if they will be too long and I don't know when I will have the chance to demo another ski, Also will the extra 8cm effect performance on moguls?  I'm not a great mogul skier but would like to learn.

 

Anyway thanks for the help in advance.

 

Keep demoing, the Brahma is a great ski at medium to higher speeds but needs a little bit of purposeful input to engage.  You can force it at slow speeds, but it's not ideal for lazily playing with the family.

Conversely, the E88 gives up that sure footed top end in trade for slow speed flexibility which is nice for family days.

I wish I had more input on what ski to look at, but I'm guessing someone here will have a idea.  Totally agree that you should be on a 168 to 172cm length as well.

post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trailtrimmer View Post
 

 

Keep demoing, the Brahma is a great ski at medium to higher speeds but needs a little bit of purposeful input to engage.  You can force it at slow speeds, but it's not ideal for lazily playing with the family.

Conversely, the E88 gives up that sure footed top end in trade for slow speed flexibility which is nice for family days.

I wish I had more input on what ski to look at, but I'm guessing someone here will have a idea.  Totally agree that you should be on a 168 to 172cm length as well.


Yeah, that is what I sensed, in that case the Brahma's definitely aren't for me.  As much as I enjoy higher speeds, skiing with my 5 and 7 year old boys is better.  Perhaps in a few years when their skill level has surpassed mine I can buy something more aggressive.

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdubs View Post
 


Yeah, that is what I sensed, in that case the Brahma's definitely aren't for me.  As much as I enjoy higher speeds, skiing with my 5 and 7 year old boys is better.  Perhaps in a few years when their skill level has surpassed mine I can buy something more aggressive.

 

I think the E88 in the longer length will solve a lot of your stability at speed issues, but you could also consider "splitting the difference" between the E88 and the Brahma.  Something like the Nordica NRGY 90 comes to mind:

 

http://www.skiessentials.com/2016-nordica-nrgy-90-skis.html

post #14 of 21

5'9" 155 lbs a 166 is WAY too short IMHO.  At least a 170 preferably a 175 depending on tip rise, rocker etc

I'm 5'10" 190lbs and learned about too short over the past few years.  177 Mantra awesome and if out west it would be a 184cm.  Elan Amphio 88's 176cm  perfect.  True Slaloms at 165cm perfect, my Head Magnums at 170cm were too short for my weight but would would be good at your weight.  Nordica Burners at 170cm were too short for my weight but would be great for you.  Ramp Groundhogs on 22designs in 179cm great for east along with my G3 Tickets at 174cm in Tele world.

Skiing a Brahma too short made it ski like a brick with no tip or tail to work thru a turn. E88's are a great ski and can ski shorter with that aggressive flared tip that, as you found, get unstable at speed when skied short.

Interesting deja vu mentioning X Screams.  Back in the day at least 50% of the folks on the yellow model should have been on the silver model. (PSIA Level 3 observer) They were were great till they got going too fast then got real squirrelly.  On the other hand Volkl Vertigo G30's (an all time favorite) were just rock solid on everything.  Skiied them till I killed the torsion box (sounded like broken glass at ~120days

 

Speed is a major player.  You can go short if you keep it slow, but the first thing you lose is speed at stability.  If you ski trees stay short.  Groomers like length esp intermediate cruisers where you go 30-40 in GS format.

 

Beware the marketing hype that will try to convince you wider is better.  If you predominately ski eastern groomer 75-85 under foot will serve you better in the long run.  I have them all and know the number of days each piece of equipment is used  A Mantra may be bullet proof on ice, but it still can't hold a candle to a razor sharp GS or slalom ski  (sounds like typical eastern conditions eh?).  All that width slows your edge to edge movements.  Marketing can't refute laws of physics, just like they lied about the wider bindings mounted to same narrow drill patterns a few years back.

post #15 of 21

You're the first person I've seen here who's even tried Ramp Groundhogs.  :D

post #16 of 21

Fabulous ski that is an interesting combination of turny and VERY stable at the moderate tele speeds I can get up to.  Originally demoed as Alpine and thought they'd make a great tele ski.  Great edgehold but width limits their real world quickness.  Their 1 ski quiver line is BS to this eastern skier. At $399 on their webpage, I may grab another pair for our rare powder days at the Loaf.  100 under foot is my max width and I still like my camber for anything after that first tracks run.

 

"I consider my self an advanced skier working on becoming an expert however I am not sure if this will happen as I have been skiing for almost 30 years and for the past 15 I feel like I haven't gotten much better. "  Take lessons from a pro like Mike Egan or a top shelver at Sugarloaf or any other serious resort to improve.  Technique needs instruction beyond watch this or watching from the chair.


Edited by ddsski - 2/23/16 at 11:21am
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help.  Still need to decide whether I should buy boots or skis this season.  Ill keep the thread updated if anyone is interested.

post #18 of 21

*shrug* do both. :D - you really don't want to remount the XScreams to new boots when there's only a few weeks left in the season.

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 

Would definitely do both if money wasn't involved.  In any event I think I may go for the boots as I hear the E88s are going to have some major improvements for 2017.

post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
I listened to you guys and purchased a pair of the Lange rs130 boots and, as a bonus they were 30% off for the end of season.

After rain all week and 15 degree temps on Saturday the entire mountain (Mt Snow in VT) was a sheet of ice. The first run of the day I went out on my old Xscreams. It sounds impossible but something about the new boot / old ski combo had me slipping all over the place, while at the same time having more control over my skis then ever before. Although they emphasized the fact that my skis are lacking buying the boots first was definitely a wise choice so thanks to all that recommended it.

I wound up demoing a pair of the Head Monster 88 at170cm, and holy cow, those things carved right through the ice like it wasnt there, and with the new boots I had more control then ever before. I wish they had a pair of the E88 for me to demo that day as well, but unfortunately they were checked out, I will be taking them out again in two weeks out west, but I'm not likely to find the same icy conditions there as in the east. If anyone has comments on how the E88s fair on ice that would be appreciated.

Thanks again to everyone for your help.
post #21 of 21
In the event the RS 130's are on the stiff side - likely for someone your weight - you can take the top screw out of the spine, get a plug for the hole, reduces the flex to about 117-120, according to sources here. I've done same, flex estimate feels about right. Also, recommend mounting your new Monsters 1-2 cm forward, same reasons. Great gear, good luck.
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