Originally Posted by PhysicsMan
Not really an answer to your question about appropriate equipment, but a related comment about her technique ...
While I obviously haven't seen her ski, from your description, I would be willing to bet that her graceful technique was developed from years of being on straight skis. Such technique usually involves lots of rotary motion of the lower body and heel-pushing windshield-wiper turns. That's probably how she stays in the 4 foot wide corridor.
If she is handed new equipment without appropriate instruction, she will probably continue to use the same technique. It will work, but it will not allow her to get the most out of the new equipment. Even worse, she will likely feel that the new, short, deeply sidecut skis are unstable and dislike them. This happens to many folks with similar skiing backgrounds.
My recommendation would be for her to take a lesson on rental/demo equipment of newer design before you buy anything for her. In the first few seconds of the lesson, most instructors will sense whether her technique needs an update to work best with the new skis, and will give her the appropriate coaching.
Tom / PM
i went from 185 straight ski to 163 shaped volant super carve . at the time it took me a day and a half to figure out how to ski them and that i liked them. my husband bought them for me and would not let me take my beloved olins up that weekend. he said i would love my shaped skiis.then i thought they were not enogh ski for me and they were too short.
i then got the womans's salomon crossmax a few years ago at 170- i loved them for about a year but i felt i needed more of a solid ski, esp. when we went out west, did not feel solid at speed and i am no demon ,i am the last one down!!! i demoed the head monster im75 chip last march and just put the crossmax back on for a check run and threw them back in the trunk. i absolutely love my monsters. i am 125, 5'6" the monsters are 163 , my husband now has the 170, he is about 6" .he bought then just because i raved about them so much, he got a better bargain than i did,tho. i did not demo a smaller size.
if she is a good skier, she should definitely demo several pairs, and it does take time to get used to the new shape
hope this helps