|Originally posted by Cheap seats:
Quoted by powderhoundin:
"Don't be foolish in thinking that "shorter" skis aren't as stable / fast because the way ski's are designed today allow them to be much stiffer torsionally than ever before, and that, combined with the sidecut has evened the playing field. If you're still buying long skis (185+) you're either a 6'4" 200+ pound expert, or hurting your own skiing. "
Powderhoundin, there's a few advantages of going longer that NO short ski can overcome:
1) Longer = better fore/aft stability. Picture a dingy sailing in choppy white-caps, then picture an 40' sloop
1a) Longer = better dampening of rough terrain to the undercarriage. Picture a small skateboard wheel rolling over peastone, then picture an 12" diameter tire rolling over the same spot
2) Longer = better tracking at speeds. Picture trying to shoot a target at 100 feet with a pistol, then picture shooting the same target with a rifle.
3) Longer = better control while scarving. Picture trying to trowel smooth some concrete with a two inch putty knife, then picture using a 12" trowel.
Not everyone chooses to spend most of their time on the artificial surfaces created by groomers. Longer skis adapt FAR better to the variations of surface conditions and terrain inherrent in a natural environment, and if a skier is strong & crafty, they can manipulate the physical characteristics of a longer ski to perform like a shorter one. Unfortunately, all the craftiness in the world can't allow someone to make a shorter ski, ski longer - It's like putting Dennis Conners in a dingy and expecting him to ride the waves as smoothly as the sloop next to him.
DING DING DING....We have a winner!
Those are many of the major reasons I ski a longer ski - 190 cm+, although it's tough to get a softer expert ski these days in that length. I ski on the east, and last time I checked, most of our groomed trails are far from pool table smooth, unless you ski from 8 am to 9 am. A 184 G3 is just not going to cut it for me in a long, fast gs turn or straight run - it has too much sidecut for longer turns and it too stiff and short to handle that on even slightly rough terrain, it just gets kicked around. A G3 with a damper plate might make nice short GS turn carver, but that's about it - but for that I would buy a 180 cm 11.20 first, which is a better feeling ski.
I do have a pair of 170 cm P40 SL's for recreational slalom carving, but I don't ski them all over the mountain. Eh, but I also bought a pair of 213 cm dh boards this year, to freeski on occasionally, so what do I know?