I have 177s. I'm 5'10" 170lbs.
Absolutely love the ski. Can't rave about them enough.
Had a demo weekend up at Sun Peaks in Kamloops, bc.
What I skiied and ranked:
1: rossy scratch bc (176 i believe)
* I was able to power this ski around, and it responded much like my karmas. Slightly longer radius than my karma. I would buy a pair to be my powder ski.
2: elan 777 (175?!? i think it was high 170s)
* good ski. I had fun on it. Did what ever I asked of it. Close second to scratch.
3: rossy zenith (170)
* good ski. Little soft for me. Prefered the longer radius over the metron. Had a couple good runs on the ski. Might want them to be longer.
4: atomic metron b5
* I think this ski is stupid. Only beat the legend b/c the legend's performance was so bad. You don't even have to ski on these. Just along for the ride. No fun, in my opinion.
5: dynastar legend 8800
* felt very squirly. wanted to wonder on me. I don't think it was set up as good as it could have been. Bindings felt to forward.
Moral of the story:
I skiied quite a few good ski's, some comparable to the karma, others not. In the end, I was always happy to get back onto my Karma's. I love the ski.
Look up some of my posts, and you'll see some threads on my indecision towards the length of karma that I wanted/should get. 177's are perfect. Don't feel an over the front feeling. These are incredibly solid in crud. ((Legends were friggin horrible in crud)). I would not go any shorter in length. Would an increase in size hurt me? NO Would it be necessary? Not at all.
Good luck w/ purchase.
PS: K2/Volkl were not demoing. Really wanted to demo Public Enemies.