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Too Short a Ski?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have seen a ton of posts problem of buying too big a ski. What are the problems associated with buying a ski that is TOO small? For someone that is 5ft 9in tall weighing 220# ready to ski what is too small a ski? For example, lets say I am skiing a Nordica Speed Machine 14 in size 154cm and size 178cm what effect would my weight have on either set of skis? I am assuming the construction of each ski is basically the same so would my weight over power the 154's etc.?

I have no clue so I was hoping someone can give the dynamics of what roll weight plays into buying too small a ski within a model line of skis. How would effect the performance of a particular line of skis.

I hope I didnt write that so that no one understands what I am trying to ask!

post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 
This discussion doesnt have to be limited to Nordica skis I just used that as a reference point. Any experience anyone has on any brand is more than welcomed to reply as I am just trying to get general knowledge on the subject.

post #3 of 10
How fast do you ski? What kind of "arcs" are you cutting and on what type terrain and snow conditions.

On a very general note, at speed, a short ski will lose stability, additionally if you try to lay it over on edge, the tails may "wash out" .... etc.

I have never been on Speed Machines .. so it's just a guess. On a packed powder groomer where everyone looks good ... What's your level of conditioning and skill?
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am in decent shape and would consider myself an upper intermediate skier. I would consider myself a giant slalom or super g type of skier. I am not into moguls at all. I can survive them but they are just not my thing.

post #5 of 10
1. The snow is only so strong. If you only have 154 cms of edge, you will overpower both those edges at a lower force than it would take to overpower 200 cm of edge. Being heavier it takes more force to accelerate you around the same corner at the same speed that I can go around it at.

2. Some manufacturers build stiffer skis at longer lengths. They figure that you must weigh more to want the longer ski and scale everything up accordingly. Kind of like you have to get a high speed-rated tire if you want the extra grip that comes with it, even though you don't drive at 150 mph. Stiffer skis tend to do better at higher speeds. It used to be that you needed 200+ cm to get a stable ski at speed, but modern skis can be quite stable at shorter lengths, say 165-170 cm. The longer ski will still smooth out the bumps better at speed and give you a more secure feeling vis-a-vis fore aft stability.
post #6 of 10
The skis you are talking aobut have a radius of 13m for the 154 & 17m for the 178.

A GS ski has a relative radius of about 21m in the shorter lengths. Put it in perspective. It sounds like you need to work on a few things in all ranges.

Straightlining a short ski, what is essentially what you are doing or will be if you buy them ..... SG turns ... well it sounds like you are gonna be where the "fit hits the sham".

I see no problem with splitting the numbers on such a ski, but I would work on the short mid range radius turns. Don't confuse speed and GS/SG type turning with skill.
post #7 of 10
If you are going to be doing SG turns, then you need to be looking at at least a GS ski. Turn radius of 21+ m. A seperate topic from length of ski, even though longer skis in the same model typically have slightly longer turn radii.

If you enjoy going fast, and don't endanger others, I see no reason why you can't learn how to ski by making the long turns first. I was straight-lining virtual cliffs on my SGs before I really knew how to turn and I survived. I probably would have learned a lot quicker at slower speeds, but it wouldn't have been as much fun for me; I was a speed (not meth)addict in my younger days.

Funny thing, it only took one fall to change my perspective and shatter my illusion of invulnerability.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
In my original post I stated that I just picked this ski to have a ski to debate. I want this topic to be about the effects of having too short of any given ski for any type of skier.

The reality is that 98% of skiers probably mis-classify themselves, me included. I personally like to cruise and make sweeping type of turns. I am not into going down moguls. Does that make me a GS type of skier I dont know but that is what I would think I would be called.


PS. I just have no clue with these new ski what would be best for me.
post #9 of 10
There is no perfect ski. From what you describe .... groomed and sweeping turns, a longer ski would be the way to go. A lot more support at the top end.

If you get into true "real deal" GS skis, you have a problem with avoiding traffic. A "real deal" GS board is not a fun ski on a crowded afternoon.
post #10 of 10
My two points above pretty much cover the weight versus too short aspect.

There is a lot of choice out there, and it can be over-whelming. If you haven't made up your mind, then I wouldn't go too far one way or another, and not knowing where you like to ski (big open mountain, back country, groomed, small hills, ice, etc), I would say your best bet is probably about a 16 m radius (SX11 at 180 would be my best guess for 220lbs on groomed). If you ski mainly big mountains, then more GS similar to RX9 or WC RC, If you ski small hills, then WC SC.
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