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Which ski is right?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello, all. I am in desperate need of help. I am in the process of deciding on new skis and bindings to purchase and since it has been a while since I last purchased skis - I am lost!

I am a 30 year old female. Five foot three, 120 lbs. Ski all greens easily, most blues without trouble and some blacks. I have difficulty with moguls and am very timid on bumps (but do very well on steep terrain with no moguls). I live in the Southeast (near Ober Gatlinburg), so, unfortunately ski mostly in TN, NC and WV - which means ice and/or mashed potatoes. I usually take at least one (if not more) week long trips out West each year, as well.

I currently ski on Rossignol Cut Skis - I think they are 164s (somewhere in the 160s, but I bought them in 1997 so I cannot remember exactly), Marker bindings and Salomon boots. However, last winter I rented Atomic skis in the 150 range and had a blast. Hence, my decision to buy new skis.

I am interested in purchasing women-specific skis and would love to pick up a pair of last year's models at a reduced price. I am looking at the Atomic Balanze (not what I rented last year - I skiied on unisex Atomics), but cannot tell which model is right for me - B7, B9 or B11. I would love some advice! I know that the number relates to the stiffness, but I do not know which "stiffness" is appropriate for me . . . Basically, I need something that will work on ice/mashed potatoes in the East and groomed trails out West and something that will give me more confidence on the moguls. Also, I think I am going to buy something in the 148 to 152 range. Suggestions?
post #2 of 10
Your boots are much more important than your skis, and a good boot fit will improve your mogul skiing much more than a choice of ski. Who fit you and what did he or she do to the boots?
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
I bought them at a ski shop in Knoxville, Tennessee (maybe not the most knowledgeable staff) in 1997. They have the micro-buckles and we adjusted them until they felt snug but not so tight as to cut off my circulation. I have a narrow heel, so we also put in a heel pad (I suppose that is what they are called). To be quite frank, I have hated the boots since I have owned them. Perhaps that is the problem . . .
post #4 of 10
At your size and ability level, the B9's would be you best bet of those listed. Probably the 159cm model. As FOG mentioned, your boots and their fit are your most important piece of equipment. Nothing will slow your improvement more than a boot that is too large (most common) or uncomfortably tight (least common, for obvious reasons).
post #5 of 10
Hello SS421 and wellcome to epic! Mostly men here doing "cartalk" but this fall there has been lots of threads about women skis. Take a look at the past here and use search.

Anyway, lets not talk about "problems", lets talk about opportunities and new beginnings. Since you tryed Atomic and that happens to be a "Finnish" brand Im not going to try to talk you into Head, my supplyer, or anything else for that matter. Atomic skis are great and Im going to suggest you buy the B11pluss. Its not "stiffer" than the lower numbers but it has a more radical shape as well and its a great ski. The turn radius is something like 12m and that is maximum for slower speeds IMHO. The SL9 is also a good ski as is the old SL9. Problems with these are that they are so expensive. And the new ones are even more expensive. I just bought a pair of old SL11's for 50bucks. No bindings but who cares....

Like alredy mentioned, buy new boots if you find something that really fits well. Preferably out west when you are visiting a bigger resort with a qualified bootfitter. Aske here for recomendations.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
OK. New boots will be on the list for my first trip out West this year.

As far as skis go, it looks like the advice has been either B9s or B11s (if I go the Atomic route) - in the 158 size. Can anyone tell me the pros/cons of having a longer ski (i.e., I was thinking 148-152 just based on my height which is 5'3")?

TDK6 mentioned Head skis. I am not opposed to a brand other than Atomic - I was just trying to narrow it down and found a considerable amount of positive feedback on the Atomics. If anyone has any suggestions for a good fit in another brand, I am all ears.
post #7 of 10
Just another suggestion. Last year I bought the Volk Supersport Gammas after trying them. They are excellent in all the conditions you describe. I thought they really improved my skiing. I bought them in a 147. I am 5'2" and my other skis are or have been 150-152. Where they are last years I have seen some bargain prices on ebay and other sites.
post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by SnowSkiier421
TDK6 mentioned Head skis. I am not opposed to a brand other than Atomic - I was just trying to narrow it down and found a considerable amount of positive feedback on the Atomics. If anyone has any suggestions for a good fit in another brand, I am all ears.
Ok SnowSkiier421, here are the Head women skis:
One major difference between women and unisex skis are that on women skis the bindings are mounted further to the middle of the ski. This makes the ski more friendly to turning. Atomic has been using this feature for a long time and have therefore been very popular among women, ski-instructors and ski-rent shops.

I got very good feedback from women on last years Heads and they have now improved the line for this year with lots of different models. Hot Thang sounds like the ski you are looking for although the Fast Thang SL with its snugg turning radius would be my pick since women usually ski on groomed slopes and at slower speeds and benefit from easy SL turning.
post #9 of 10
I'm researching skis for my daughter - 110 lbs 57cm tall level 7. Skis that I'm considering are Balanze 11, Hot love, Olympia Victory, Speedmachines, Wild Thang, Magfire 10, Old Rossi 9S Oversize, Maybe RX8, Maybe S12.

Re Heads.
Fast thang and wild thang (female version of new im72) have gotten good reviews. However Last years lightning i.CSR2 is the previous years lightning 160 that my daugther tried out. It has a low speed limit. I don't know about the cool thang, or fine thang, but I would be leary of them.
post #10 of 10
Hi SnowSkiier421 7 welcome to Epic.

My wife is the same size as you are, & seems to be the same abilty level.
She purchased the Atomic C9 puls last year, & has really improved on these.
They really seem to hold an edge on hard pack too.

Good luck
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