Originally Posted by Walks
I think you're right about the retail slaloms as a good free ski. The only one that seems to have really caught on that way is the Atomic SL9 which I've considered as well. I think people often shy away from anything with a "race" designation, not really knowing what they're missing.
In any case, you suggest longer lengths as a free ski. I'm 6' 165 lbs. I was thinking about the 165's, but maybe I should consider the 170's?
I would agree with Gotama on the length: 160/165 is probably right for you. I was skiing primarily the 160 earlier in the season, and could arc any size turn with it: it would run well in big arcs, and was a great fall-line ski as well. Stable at speed: not as much as a race GS, but easily as stable as a high-end, hard snow ski like the S10 or RX8. On hard snow, it would be my choice. Back here in the PNW, we often get soft snow, and the groomers get cut up and rough. For those conditions, I would go 165: the extra length is nice in rougher snow: much smoother and less demanding. I am 5 foot 9, 155lbs.
I really don't know why consumer slaloms have not caught on as free skis, especially for East Coast skiers. 3 years ago, I used to own a Volkl P50 slalom in 170, and it was super fun as a free ski! I also loved skiing my Elan SLX's all over the place.