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Advice on Ski Length Please....

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
i'm looking at getting some new (used) expert all mountain skis to replace my solly axendo 9's (179cm). i'm 5'9", 180lb, advanced to low expert skier who only skis out west. the skis i'm considering are the solly crossmax pilot 10, k2 axis x and atomic 11.20. since they only come in 7-10cm size increments i'm wondering what all of you think would be the appropriate length for each of the above skis...thanks for the advice!! if you are in touch with any sellers of these skis let me know as well, i've just started looking around. :

richard cohen
post #2 of 11
"Go short young man..go short." Start your demo at about 165 cm. and see how they work, and go up in 5-7cm. increments, until you find the performance and stability you want from the ski.

Stay away from used skis, unless you know specifically how they were skied and for how many days.
post #3 of 11
In the Salomon Crossmax 10 Pilot, I loved the 170 and hated the 160. I weigh 150 and stand 5'8". I imagine the 180 would be about right for you, if you can't demo.
post #4 of 11

we are similar in size and skills, except i ski in the east with my atomic r11. since you only ski out west, there are several options you should consider.

1. groomed vs ungroomed
2. moguls vs bunny slope

if you ski only groom than just about any mid-fat down to sl skis are fine, in my opinion ofcourse.

if you are 50/50 groomed/ungroomed, i demoed the bandit xx, rpm 21, atomic 9.22 were good for me on any terrain even moguls. in the moguls, i used the "old man" technique, go slow & turn.

you might even want to demo the 10EX from atomic. i didn't, i can't really help you here. it's fatter than the others, which should help in the powder. atomic usually make good crud busting skis, if it's anything like the r11.

post #5 of 11
forgot to answer your question.

i demo the atomic in 170

bandits xx & rpm 21 in 177, did not like the 170. i felt more confident in 177 length, you should demo first.

i also demoed salomon x-scream in 170 did not like it at all.
post #6 of 11

If you only ski out west have you considered any of the midfat skis such as the Atomic R-ex, Rossi XXX, or Volkl G4s. The skis you mention are nice but the newer fatter skis really perform well throughout the mountain.

At your level I expect you ski more off piste than on groomed. Before you commit to such an expensive ski you might want to at least demo a midfat ski.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the advice everyone!!

this is hilarious, between the advice here and from the 4 ski shops i've asked i'd just about call it a draw as far as opinion on 170 vs 180 goes for me. i think that makes me wish they made 175's!!

where i'm coming out of this is leaning towards the shorter skis (170's in xmax or 11.20, 174 in axis x) given my ht, wt and skiing. i don't see too much hardpack and like to spend time in the trees where longer skis are a tad less maneuverable.

now the problems is finding the skis on my budget!! it seems the longer sizes are the ones still around (maybe that's telling me something).

again, appreciate the help.

richard cohen

post #8 of 11
If you ski mostly off piste, you should really try some wider skis like the ones Knuck mentioned. I was talking to a guy that had a bunch of Atomics, he said he found that the 10EX will do everything the 11.20 will do and floats better so he sold the 11.20's.
Also I would tend toward the longer end of the range, like 177 or 178, short skis are great on hardpack, but really not the best off trail.
post #9 of 11
If you are partial to K2's then you might try the Axis XP over the X. It's more versitile for the Western conditions. More shovel and tail for float but still plenty of sidecut for the groomers. It's about the only other ski I'd consider other than my XX's and may actually own a pair before the season's over. I ski the XX in a 184 but would probably go for the K2 in a 181 because of the additional width. Another thing, the money you'd save by not buying the Solomon will buy you a lot of lift tickets.
post #10 of 11
Wink is right. Stay away from used skis unless you know their history. Some people park them in their unheated garages for quite some time. the hot-cold-hot-cold and other factors tend to make them softer than a beginner's ski, and tends to delaminate them.

Length? Classically the shapped ski should be just barely over the head. Then give or take a few centimeters based on what you want out of the ski... higher speed/shorters turns, etc. At this point it's your preference. At the above starting length as I mentioned you are getting the best of both worlds compared to the proper length for you of the conventional ski.

I have heard recently, many salesmen telling their customers to go very short... down by the eyeballs. My conjecture for this (maybe wrong) is two-fold: 1) many are hooked on what slalom racers are doing these days... going very short... for good reason. but are most of us slalom racing for money and trophies? 2) Sell the shorter ski... the beginner and intermediate find it easier to turn; therefore will be happier with skiing, happier with the store and most likely to return to that store for their next ski.

But as the skier improves they find they don't have enough edge to hold turn properly, the ski doesn't stay on top of the snow like the salesman said it would, due to lack of length the tails whip around and they are fighting the ski to stop turning.

To sell the very short ski to the customer plays into the customer's desire for an easy turning ski which often tends to be a compensation for not learning how to ski correctly. Ergo- the intermediate plateau.

On the other hand it's all about getting out there and having fun. Some want to improve their form and style. Others only regard skis as a form of transportation from the top to the bottom of the hill, take a few pictures along the way, beat up the kids, etc.

Do ski blades if you want. Or... no skis! Just wax the bottoms of your boots and have at! [img]smile.gif[/img] The important thing is to have fun on the hill, courteously and safely.
post #11 of 11
Go short! Many of the new skis are designed for carving short radius turns. To do that you need a small sidecut radius, which limits the length of the ski, because the combination of the short sidecut radius and long length reult in tips and tails that are just too wide. In soft snow, a ski that is too much wider at the tip and tail will sink in the center and become very difficult to control, because it wants to turn and because it can be bent enough to store a significant amount of energy.
That's why short-turn skis are very short, and soft snow skis need to be wide under the foot. In most new high performance skis the longest length available is between 180 to 190 cm, but you won't be happy with the longest ones unless you are a real big guy. Of course, if you are not into carving and enjoy skiding you turns, a 205 cmm slalom ski is your best choice.

BTW, for anyone who thinks all the new technology is just marketing, I skied an old (1997?)but unused Dynastar G9 yesterday. IMO that was the best straight ski ever made, but compared to the new short shape skis, THEY SUCKED!

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