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Ski length recommendation

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

- 160-165 lbs

- 5'11"

- Level 6 skier, want to continue to improve general skiing ability and get good at moguls over the next 2 years

- Frontside skiing mostly, east coast

- Already have my own fitted boots

 

I am trying to pick between a 168 and 175 Salomon X-Drive 8.0. Leaning toward 175. Does that seem right? This site indicates I should be going with something around 165, this one 165-169, whereas this one tells me 169-175 and this one 171-180.

 

**Also, if anyone has a suggestion for a better ski for my skill level, please let me know. I demoed the Salomons and felt relatively comfortable, but since I have limited skiing experience (20 total days), I don't trust my own judgment very much.

 

Thanks!


Edited by FF9000 - 2/27/16 at 6:10am
post #2 of 8
Either should work, but with your weight, if you're going to be focusing on moguls, the 168 might suit you better. The 168 sounds right for your weight, but your height would indicate the 175. If I were you I'd go with the 168 because:

- you're relatively light for your height,
- you are a middle intermediate skier,
- you're interested in doing moguls.

Reasons to go with the 175

- you want more edge length for hard pack conditions,
- you want more length for deep powder float,
- you plan on gaining around 20+ pounds in the next couple of years biggrin.gif

Personally, I think the height -> ski length thing is bogus. Your skis don't care how high your head is, only how much you weigh. BTW, I'm 5'7" and around 180 so we're diagonally opposite each other on the mass-height plane. I ski 170 Head shaped skis, and they suit me well in all kinds of conditions. Well, except for deep powder.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks enkidu. What if I planned to ski 80% hard pack runs and 20% moguls? I do want to get better at moguls, but it won't be the majority of my time on the snow.

 

Is there any truth that longer skis are better for advanced skiers and therefore if I want to grow into a ski I should go longer?

post #4 of 8

At your weight, I recommend the 175 cm. 

 

Some general rules of thumb:

1) Ski length varies primarily with skier weight.  If you are in the middle of the skier weight range, choose a length that is in the middle of the ski length range.   Skier height is a slight modifier as it allows good tall skiers more leverage with which to "work" the ski.

2)  For the same skier, side cut  turn radius sort of goes along with design speed,  and most skiers prefer a longer length in skis that have a longer turn radius.  For example, my 13 m radius skis are 165 cm long and my Mid twenties radius skis are 188 cm long  I think they are the perfect length for me and those skis.  I weighed 158 lbs last weekend.  The X-Drive 8 is about 16 m in radius.

3)Longer provides more float in soft snow, but less pressure on harder surfaces.

4) longer skis work better at higher speeds than shorter skis, mostly in terms of smoothing out the bumps you may encounter and by giving you a longer snow platform to support higher forces.  At higher speeds, the cost of going longer is less burdensome than when making slower speed quicker faster tighter turns.

 

As to longer lengths being better for better skiers, I have not found that to be the case,  However I have found that longer skis magnify errors in technique and are therefore definitely harder to ski for skiers who substitute muscling the skis around for proper technique.

post #5 of 8

168. 

 

Salomon's horrible web site shows four versions of the X-Drive 8.0.  Two show the sizes you're referring to.  I'm guessing you're looking at the FS or the FS + XT12.  I have no idea what all this means.

http://www.salomon.com/us/sports/on-piste-skiing/skis/_r107910

 

As skis are made longer, they're made (somewhat) proportionally stiffer.  The stiffer ski needs more energy put into to it in order to properly respond to the skier.  At your weight and ability, I'd be wary of a ski that is too stiff.  A ski that is too stiff is like skiing on 2x4's.  A ski that is too soft is like skiing on noodles.

 

Find a free demo day at a local ski hill.  Get there early and ski as many makes & models as you can find.  Pick the one that puts the biggest smile on your face.  Keep in mind that a great model for you in a length that is too long & stiff will feel awful, as will one that is too short & soft.  When you find your favorite, buy it on line at a great spring close out price.  No one can tell what ski will be the preference for any of us.  The one that feels best to me might not be your favorite, and vice versa.  Demo.

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post

168. 

Salomon's horrible web site shows four versions of the X-Drive 8.0.  Two show the sizes you're referring to.  I'm guessing you're looking at the FS or the FS + XT12.  I have no idea what all this means.
http://www.salomon.com/us/sports/on-piste-skiing/skis/_r107910

I realize this is rocket science so allow me: the first part is the skis, e.g. X-Drive 8.0 FS and the second part, after the +, is the binding model number, Xt12, XT10, etc. The 8.8 is not offered with a binding.

And by all means, take of advantage of your local shop's demo days and then buy online. Eventually ski shops might not even exist.

And if you think Salomon's website is bad, try Head.
post #7 of 8

If you really want to improve your turns and ski on mostly groomers, I suggest you look at 13 to 15 m turn radius, 165 to 170 length, and 68 to 76 mm width with minimal tip rocker or traditional camber.  Good luck.

post #8 of 8

Ski length calculators are kind of useless--unless you have no experience with skis. Ideal ski length varies not only with weight, height, and ability but with the style of ski, which the calculator doesn't consider. Slalom skis and carvers run much shorter than powder and big mountain skis. Skis with a lot of rocker, especially full rocker, ski short. The best way to get a handle on length is to look at the range of lengths offered for that ski. In most cases a skier will be happy with a skis in the same relative length, regardless of the actual length. In other words--if you like the second longest ski in one model you will probably like the second longest ski in most models.  And while weight is an important determinant of length it is even more important as a determinant of what ski to buy--a light skier will be happy on a softer ski than a heavier skier will like.


Edited by oldgoat - 2/27/16 at 3:41pm
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