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did I go too short?? - Page 2

post #31 of 42
If your not an experienced Skier from many year's of Sking
The newer Shorter versions are probably for you.

I have to agree that longer is better.
But I've Skied for over 40 year's!
Some people call me an Expert, but I Still take lesson's.

As well as give lessons, I prefer to teach my new student's on the new shorter version's as they are easier to Learn the Carve Feeling.

Sorry if my View's are not that of the Majority.

Just an older Skier airing my feeling's on the Issue.

Be Good Or Eat Wood
post #32 of 42
The surface area of a 189 Seth Pistol is the same as a 223 DH. There is a reason you can go short. Just about every instructor at Mammoth (especially the Euros) with a real race background skis on a 155-170 shorty slalom all the time. These guys (and girls) ski fast all the time, including off piste, and the upper mountain steeps. Clearly, more technical skiers with modern technique (wider stance really helps) find all the stability they need in a pretty short ski. Lots of big name pros live and ski here every day. Most of them ski 170-180 twins all the time, even out of the park. They have no problem going mach speeds on or off piste. I have seen them carving switch down steeper int runs at scary speeds. When we get into a storm cycle most break out 185-195 fat twins. Although, I have seen plenty of 40 footers and straightlining done on 175 Pocket Rockets. Keep in mind that twins ski shorter than their length. The seemingly massive 188 AK Enemy is really a 180 Launcher with the addition of a tuned up tail. That's why a little guy like me can have ablast on it.
post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by John Dowling:
At the end of the day, the best skiers in the world are going short, and they don't have any trouble going fasr with shorter skis.

John
Actually John,

The best big mountain/freeskiers (non jib) are still skiing longer skis. Its all about where you like to ski.
post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by helispin:
The surface area of a 189 Seth Pistol is the same as a 223 DH. There is a reason you can go short. Just about every instructor at Mammoth (especially the Euros) with a real race background skis on a 155-170 shorty slalom all the time. These guys (and girls) ski fast all the time, including off piste, and the upper mountain steeps. Clearly, more technical skiers with modern technique (wider stance really helps) find all the stability they need in a pretty short ski. Lots of big name pros live and ski here every day. Most of them ski 170-180 twins all the time, even out of the park. They have no problem going mach speeds on or off piste. I have seen them carving switch down steeper int runs at scary speeds. When we get into a storm cycle most break out 185-195 fat twins. Although, I have seen plenty of 40 footers and straightlining done on 175 Pocket Rockets. Keep in mind that twins ski shorter than their length. The seemingly massive 188 AK Enemy is really a 180 Launcher with the addition of a tuned up tail. That's why a little guy like me can have ablast on it.
That's exactly right. Except fpr a few specialized powder skis, the longest skis available now are about 190 cm. These skis are designed to be skied short. Unless you are heavy and strong, you generally won't be happy with the longest length of any model. So if you think you need a 215 to ski off-piste, you better hang on to your old skis.
post #35 of 42
Those who have posted on this topic before me are not all wrong. And, I hate to be overly simplistic, but all this debate over the perfect length for any given ski smacks of a hand tailored suit in an off-the-rack world.

The try-before-you-buy, or demo, concept works because so few of us are likely to encounter similar conditions with comparable skills on a given day that we need to find out for ourselves; that saying a ski X centimeters long will work for all skiers of a given size is ludicrous.

In my opinion, a person's height is irrelevant in choosing the length of their ski. A person's weight, and how much pressure they are able to apply to a ski (a function of ability), in conjunction with the desired ski characteristics drives what model ski and length a person might buy.

I said might, because some people want, or need, to make one pair of skis work in all conditions; and thus comes an obvious concession to absolute performance.

Where I used to ski a full length GS ski for everything, I now ski a 183cm GS racing ski if it hasn't snowed for a while. And if it has snowed recently, I take out the 178 mid-fats. Like buying a new pair of sneakers - there is a shoe for every conceivable purpose - buying skis is a personal choice made by weighing several factors unique to the buyer.

The most common mistake people make in purchasing a contemporary ski - I, too, have succumbed to my fragile male ego - is they buy a ski that is too long. Which begs the question - what is too long? Ultimately, you'll have to answer that question for yourself.

What a bummer, the idea that you would have to go skiing and try out all manner of really fun skis to find the perfect weapon to add to your arsenal. Sign me up!
post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by IG:


Where I used to ski a full length GS ski for everything, I now ski a 183cm GS racing ski if it hasn't snowed for a while.
The longest GS race ski in the Volkl or Rossignol catalogue is 185cm. So I guess you are still skiing a full length GS.

John
post #37 of 42
Touche John .

Allow me to clarify, not all that many years ago a full length GS ski meant 207's - give or take a few centimeters - and 213's, if you were lucky enough to get a pair of team stock skis.

There is danger in responding to any posting . . . . isn't there.
post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by John Dowling:
The longest GS race ski in the Volkl or Rossignol catalogue is 185cm. So I guess you are still skiing a full length GS.

John
Hey, did you know that race stock GS skis are still available over 190 cm?

I've posted my full (active) quiver here before, but here's the longest and shortest:

Volkl P30 DH, 213 cm
Volkl P40 SL, 170 cm

So I do own a pair of somewhat longer modern slalom skis, and take them out freeskiing.....but I wouldn't for a second consider them to be a good all around freeskiing ski. I will also free ski on the DH boards this year (they're new to me), but I don't think they're a good all around freeskiing ski either!

To the guy at Mammoth: I think you're picking the wrong people to emulate. Ski Intructors and New Schoolers are the last people I would want to have as role models for my skiing. Shorty slaloms are a poor choice in rougher snow or on steeps when you should be "scarving". These instructors might be able to stay upright on them, but they are giving up alot of stablity when things get wild, and they don't really like a straight run or long turn. I can't believe 175 PR's are a good all around ski either (but I haven't skied them). By far the softest, wimpiest ski I ski on are my 177 cm 1080's. They are virtually useless for freeskiing, IMHO. They are only good at slower speeds on well groomed snow, and for tight, tight treeskiing. They glide poorly. Very soft and light, and this is coming from somebody who likes a soft ski. I haven't skied that many twin tips, but the 183 cm Enemy's I demoed a couple years ago would be a good all mountain ski for someone around 150 lb.

Kevin
post #39 of 42
IG - I think demoing is often a bad idea. People like skis that feel familiar. They tend to go long, just because they are used to depending on length for stability. If they got the right length, and modernized thier skiing, they would take thier skiing to new places. Instead, most go too long, and get a ski that works fine with thier current technique, and stay in an ignorant rut.

Red Sled - Of course, I am biased, being a trainer at Mammoth Ski School, but I think our instructors are worth emulating. We have ex pro racers, ex bumpers, ex WCers, Etc... on staff. We have also had instructors that placed top 10 in the Rip Curl Heli Challenge. Several of our guys have notched first descents in the backcountry. Of course, plenty of us are just ex weekend warriors (like me). The skiing of new school park rats is oftened very maligned, but most of these guys have race, and or freestyle backgrounds, and are amazing skiers anywhere. As far as gear goes, shorty slaloms are of course not the first ski you think of for steep off piste skiing, but they do it quite well. You certainly have to have the right skill blend, but these little skis are super versatile. It is really good for ones skiing to ski a short narrow shaped ski. It makes you a better skier. You would be amazed how sloppy you can get on steady diet of fats and mid fats. I am surprised you don't find your old 1080s more versatile, many do. I spent most of the last three years on a 173 Enemy, and have been amazed at what it was capable of. I have straightlined the upper mountain at Mammoth on both the 173 Enemy, and the 175 PR (scary on the Enemy, fine on the PR). Of course, my 160 Axis XRs would not work for this.
post #40 of 42
That was a bit of a cheap shot at the instructors and new schoolers out there. I'm sure mammoth is a hot bed for talent, and I can respect any good skier. My brother spent last winter out there, snowboarding.

On the short skis:

Quote:
It is really good for ones skiing to ski a short narrow shaped ski. It makes you a better skier. You would be amazed how sloppy you can get on steady diet of fats and mid fats.
Bingo...they are harder to ski on in many cases, but in a different way than a more traditional ski! It's sort of like the whole cd vs. vinyl thing....they fixed the problems with vinyl, but the cd has problems of it's own!

**Having some extra length lets the ski be softer, lighter and livelier, but still be stable at speed and over rough terrain.**

What's wrong with a little swing weight? I think this whole short thing is a ski industry scam to keep themselves afloat. They sold everybody nice sidecut skis a couple years ago, but now everybody needs to buy new skis because "shorter is better". HA! Ski *constructions* have not changed/improved THAT much in past 5 years. The majority of race stock skis are still hand made laminates, or at least laminates. The reason these commercial short skis can be short is that they are made stiff and very damp....that's not anything special.

I bought my 195 cm X-scream's last year after demoing many shorter, stiffer skis, some of which I liked, some of which were horrible. The x-scream's were just much better all around skis, that could do virtually anything, with fairly high limits, and telepathic ease. Rip fast GS turns on ice, fast gs on variable groomed snow, 60+ mph straight runs, bumps, trees, steeps, fresh wet snowmaking crap, jumping, powder, corn snow, crud, jump turns - I couldn't find anything the ski couldn't handle well. (I ski on the east coast)

I don't use a plate on them, just a Salomon race stock binding and bolt through lifter.

I got the stormriders this year as a compliment to the X-screams. They are heavier, damper, and have a plastic plate, but are also soft and have little (26m) sidecut. Same length.

Kevin
post #41 of 42
Helispin,

As for the danger of buying the wrong ski or a ski that is too long subsequent to a demo ride, there is a saying that comes to mind: "You can give them brains, but you cannot make them think." (That ought to make me some new friends!)

I believe this forum, and its friendly banter, may aid the average bear in narrowing the field. But, I don't think it's an adequate substitute for some education and, more importantly, some quality time on the slopes with several skis of choice.

Furthermore, I would hazard a guess that several people that have posted responses on this topic have:

- better than average product knowledge
- better than average skiing ability
- more than one pair of skis to choose from (i.e. Red Sled)
- more days on snow per year than the average skier
- a good feel for what a ski does well or not
- etc.

These details make up the fabric of our experience and give our friends and family members the confidence to come to us as trusted advisors when it's time for them to buy their new toys. While I am comfortable in recommending skis to people - especially when I know how they ski - there plenty of people out there that need to try things for themselves. As they should.

I'm sure there are any number of details that I have omited in my little diatribe, but I'm just as sure they will be brought to my (our) attention by some ever vigilant soul [img]tongue.gif[/img] .
post #42 of 42
And this too:

I feel like I'm sort of ahead of the curve on this short ski/deep sidecut thang. In 1996, I bought a pair of the Elan SCX monobocks in 163 cm, and put about a 1" or so of riser on them. I did a good amount of freeskiing on them. I found out that they sucked pretty bad as an all around ski. They sucked in the trees, powder, crud, corn, sluff, steeps, moguls, jumping etc. However, they were awesome at carving consistent white ice on an intermediate slope.

Guess what - they are the predecessors to today's modern slalom ski.

Kevin
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