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Advice on my New Skiis

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, this is my first post. Great forum!

I know this topic has been beat to death, from the searching I've done, but im still not clear on what length of the skiis I should get.

I go out west every year and ski mainly back bowls, moguls, basically some of the rougher trails. I do ski the front groomed trails at "fast" speeds with less experience friends. I'm 19 and have been skiing since I was 7 maybe, 5-10 days a year. I've an advanced skiier, can ski basically any run, but nessarily not with the technique of an expert. 5'11" 175 lbs.

Anyway, I picked up some Salomon X-Scream 9s in 169cm. They are about up to my nose in length. I'm debating on exchanging them for 177cm, as I've skied on non-parabolic 178cm skiis for the last 6 years.

I think I value manuverability over speed, but will the shorter length be a MAJOR trad off on speed, and stability? I found the 178 sometimes hard to manuever quickly on moguls, and quick turns.

All advice appreciated!

post #2 of 14
I'd trade 'em for the 177cm pair - 177 ain't long for an all mountain ski...
post #3 of 14
If you found the 178 hard to maneuver in the STRAIGHT ski, you're gonna HATE the 177 in a wider shaped ski. Stick with the 169. After some experience with it, you'll have a better idea of how shaped skis feel and what lengths might be good for you. It's an individual thing, and also each model of shaped ski has its own length situation. Foe example, I ski my Rossignol Bandit XX in 170, but the Bandit X feels to squirrely for me in that length while the 177 Bandit X is ideal. I own some Rossi T-Power shorty slaloms which are perfect for me in 160. The K2 5500 escape is a ski tha works for me in 174 and I bet 181 would be good, too. So just enjoy the skis you got and get a feel for them before going longer. That'll be worth more than all the advice you can get here.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well I wouldn't say I found the 178 hard to manuever in terms of regular skiing. I found them somewhat hard to manuever on tight runs with moguls, trees, that requiered constant back and forth turning.

The reason I want advice, is because this is a large investment for me, and pretty much regardless of what I think, unless these skiis are plain horrible, I'm going to be skiing on them for at least the next 4 seasons.

post #5 of 14
There's your answer - if maneuverability in moguls and trees is important to you, then stick with the 169's.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Awesome, I think I'll stick with the 169. Thanks for the advice.

Just out of curiosity, how much of a trade off does length have on overall speed on groomed conditions, ie regular runs.


[ November 04, 2002, 09:55 PM: Message edited by: Indyxc ]
post #7 of 14
My Rossi T-Power shorty slaloms are 160 cm long - come up to my chin - and they'll beat you down the mountain every time. If you're talking about anything you'll notice outside of a downhill race course and measuring hundredths of a second differences, the length/speed issue does not exist. You will go as fast as you want. However, most skis have some sort of speed limit - and if you're going so fast your 169's can't handle it, then you shouldn't be on a hill with other skiers anyway.

I love to talk about this stuff and theorize as much as you do - maybe even more! But there comes a time when you get your equipment, then move on to thinking about other things, like technique. A really good skier can do better on the worst pair of skis than a poor skier can do on the best pair of skis - technique! Skill! That's where it's happ'n'n!
post #8 of 14
Length vs speed.
Here's a little anecdote from about 4 years ago when I was a definite intermediate...
A group of about 100 of us were at Keystone, and going to the NASTAR course there. We were split in to 4 ability levels for the races: Beginners, Intermediates, Advanced, Experts. I chose to go in the Intermediates group.
On the plus side, I had good edges, on the minus side, I had no poles to give me a push of speed at the start. The only speed I could give was pushing out of the starting gate with my hands.
After two runs, I was the fastest Intermediate, and a time close to that of the top advanced skiers. We just based our results on time, not age, etc.
Now, what has this got to do with length?
Well, most of the Intermediates were on 160-180cm carvers, and some on 170-190cm straights. I was on 90cm Salomon Snowblades, this was only my second day on them, so they were in good condition.
It's not about the length, it's about what you do with it!

But, a question to ask as well is: How often do you just tuck & straight line down a run with NO turns? Most people make turns as they ski, and that is where the shaped skis will outperform the straight ones, so if you went for the same length as you are currently on, you will have a ski that is a lot faster, I'd definitely drop down to the shorter length, and I don't think you'll be disappointed with the speed, once you pick up how to ski on a shaped ski instead of on a straight one.

Hope this helps,

post #9 of 14

I demoed that ski a few seasons ago in 186 and the next size down, a 179. I had a similar experience with those as with the Xscream Series. The larger size seemed to be a higher speed cruiser with a lot of grip while the smaller size was a lot lighter and far more nimble: a fun tree and bump ski. Very different ski between the sizes.

This may not be applicable to the even shorter ski but I think that shorter one may be too short for your weight and western skiing desires.

Not sure this is helpful at all. But you can always cover you butt and BUY BOTH.
post #10 of 14

For what you are suggesting (moguls), maybe 169 is OK - but seems a bit short for your weight and height, or for speed, or for anything else.

I actually would suggest 177 for you. IMHO, I don't like that particular salomon model - absolutely too slow and soft and narrow for me. The salomon series is a better ski all around, as are many others.
post #11 of 14
I'm not too familiar with that ski; but, seems that the 169 will be short for your height and weight. But then again it seems you were under skiing in straight skis. I'm 5'11'' 175#s and never skied anything less than 180 in old straight skis. Learned on 180's and advanced to 200s, before shaped skis. Now with shaped, I've worked back down to 180s for all mountain skis. Everyone is going short these days, but be careful with that: if you race, your gona go short for slalom no question. There is also a class of skis for recreational use that are short, Oboe mentioned his T-powers. These are on piste only skis for rippin the front side, not back bowl skis. If your looking for an all mountain ski, I'd go with the 177s all things being equal; BUT, and this is the tricky part for you - like I said, you were on the shorter side for straight skis. So if you go 177 your going to have to spend some time getting use to them first on the groomers before taking them into tougher spots. The ideal thing for you would be to take them back and get your money back. Go demo several pairs of new technology skis in different lenghts and find out what the new skis are all about before making any purchasing decisions. If you can't do that, go with the 177's you'll be happier in the long run on those skis, with your height/weight and the type of skiing you do.
post #12 of 14
Well, I usually don't double dip, but... I'd consider a couple of things:

1) Peter Keelty reviews the ski: "Even more forgiving, not stable at speed on hard snow, maybe a bit easier off trail than the series."
2) The ski comes in 161, 169, 177, 185, 193 lengths and you are 5'11", 175 lbs (i.e. it is not a shorty slalom design)

Given this ski's design (soft, i.e. "not stable at speed", all-mountain) and your height and weight, the 169 is probably not gonna keep up with you for long (and you did say that speed was your friend?). 19 years old... Get the bigger stick - it still just ain't that big at all.

post #13 of 14
I'm not as heavy as you, but I skied straight skis no shorter than 190 and up to 200. Yet, my Rossignol Bandit XX's work best for me in 170, and my K2 Mod 7/8's [today's Axis] are great for me in 167. I ski about 40 days a year for the last ten years.

You've been skiing maybe 10 days a year, and you've been challenged in the tight situations you like by the 178 straights.

You may follow advice to go to 177 and the world won't end, but bear this in mind: Be prepared to find the 177's a lot of ski. The people who have been giving you well meaning advice probably ski a lot more than you do, and what would be right for them just might not be right for you. Those 169's will be a blast in the bumps and trees, and I'll bet you'd be happier with them AT THIS POINT IN YOUR SKIING LIFE than the 177's. Im sure they will not be the last pair of skis you ever own.

Good luck!
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
I appreciate everyone's time and advice.

I'll keep all of it in mind, when I make my decision. Ideally I'd love to demo a pair or skiis, but with the amount of skiing I do, I just want to go out there, and have fun. Not use up the time messing around.

Like Oboe, says I think at my skiing level, the 169s will be better suited, as the im probably not as skilled as most people on this forum, and would probably benefit from a more nimble light ski.

My main dilema is getting a pair of skiis that will limit me in tight turns, vs getting a pair that will keep everyone else waiting for me in the straights.

The skiis I had were Rossignol 3vk in 178, great overall skii, and I was very happy with the overall performance on groomed surfaces. The only times I felt as if they could of been better, was the last couple of trips to Vail, and Keystone, on the back bowls in deeper snow, when I had to make tight quick turns, and often felt out of control.

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