Hey, newbie! Welcome! The answers to your questions:
(a) Traditional skis are not made now, but many unused traditional skis are available for purchase, and they are inexpensve. However, you would be better served to get modern shaped skis. It does make a huge difference.
(b) You refer to the "height" of the ski - but today, we call it the "length" of the ski. The length of a modern shaped ski which will be good for you depends partly on your weight - the heavier you are, the longer ski you can use. However, modern skis are all different from each other. For example, I ski on a "shorty slalom" ski which is 160 cm long, a wide all mountain ski which is 167 cm long, and I have learned that the Rossignol Bandit X skis are best for me when they are 177 cm long. However, I also tried a "shorty slalom" ski made by Atomic in 160 cm and it was too long! I hope this has not confused you. The truth is, however, that different skis reqire different lengths. I am 145 pounds, 5'8", sixty years old, and a very average skier. I hope that others also will give you some answers to your questions. Also, I think that after you see the information posted here in answer to your questions, you should talk to some ski shop sales people and get their views.
<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 03, 2002 05:55 PM: Message edited 1 time, by oboe ]</font>