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Is length everything? - Page 2

post #31 of 45
Thread Starter 
Also, what is all this Metron stuff people keep referring to? Is there some kind of argument raging about this particular ski? If so, why?
post #32 of 45
"I find many skiers in the ne substitute length for lack of skill." "... the more adept the skier, the less they depend on the length and more on their skill/technique." Brueacim

What this says to me is that shorter skis are more difficult to ski and require more skill/technique, which I agree with when it comes to skiing unpacked terrain. I like a longer ski because I can relax on it. A good skier ripping through god awful snow conditions can be much more relaxed if they are on a longer ski. Is that a bad thing? Regardless of how much skill and technique I have, I would rather let the ski do the work as much as possible. I do not "depend on length", I use it to my advange and enjoy every inch of it.

A longer ski is a smoother ride in almost all conditions. I guess I would rather be throwing big smoothies than whatever those guys are doing on their sub 170s. If you are enjoying it then no one can say it is not the right ski for you.

P.S. Keep up the good work. It is always easy to get screaming deals on long skis at the end the season.
post #33 of 45
PRC - Atomic have a range of skis called Metron's. They come in a very limited range of sizes, all of which are, from a traditional perspective (meaning 2001, not 1975) "too short" - 152, 162 and 172cm. They publish a set of sizing tables based on weight (not height), ability and preferred turn radius that ends up putting most people on skis shorter than the longest in the range, which were already "too short", especially on the stiffest most deeply sidecut skis in the range.

I'm pretty much your height and weight, which depending on the subjective stuff in Atomic's sizing tables put me on either a 162 (yes, really) or a 172cm Metron B5. I went for the 162cm after demoing both (I like short turns), much to my amazement. You'd expect a loss of edge-grip and some general instability at speed, but to be honest, I couldn't find it. Seems that in some of the more recent models of ski length has become even less important (provided you have the width and stiffness, snigger) and more a matter of taste.
post #34 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruceacim
howdy, kidz,

i'm amazed at how frequently this topic comes up & how little most 'skiers' understand just what it entails...it drives me crazy (and it's a really short trip).:

my rule of thumb to gauge length (for you knee jerkers, please refer to statement above, thank you) for skis for my region/conditions (check details in my profile) is: no shorter than your chin, no longer than the tip of your nose.
Good post with helpful advice. Reading some of the posts prior to your's and ghost's was making me wonder if I had bought too short of a ski (Metron 9 @ 157cm), despite what their charts said. At my height, the 157s do fall between my chin and nose and the M9s perform very well on groomers at speed and do fine on powder.

So PRC, if the 170s worked as well as you said, go for it. What works, works. :
post #35 of 45
There's really no way to completely simplify ski length selection. There are just too many variables - including:

1. Skier height
2. Skier weight
3. Skier ability
4. Ski type (front side, back side, park, deep stuff, etc.)
5. Ski flex (both longitudinal and torsional)
6. Ski sidecut
7. Binding mount position
8. Typical skiing conditions
and more...

I believe that ski length is a very personal decision and although you may want to take some advice as a starting point, it's important to demo skis you like in multiple lengths. It's surprising how a ski can feel very different from one length to the next.
post #36 of 45
OK - True different skiers skiing different conditions and looking for different characteristics in a ski means that there is no one best length and/or stiffness for everyone.

But to simplify, is it true that if comparing different lengths of the same model, the shortest one will carve shorter turns easier and the longest will be more stable at faster speeds. (Assuming the stiffness is appropiate for the skier)
post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by skugrud
OK - True different skiers skiing different conditions and looking for different characteristics in a ski means that there is no one best length and/or stiffness for everyone.

But to simplify, is it true that if comparing different lengths of the same model, the shortest one will carve shorter turns easier and the longest will be more stable at faster speeds. (Assuming the stiffness is appropiate for the skier)
The bracketed statement is the key here. If the ski is stiff enough then the longer one will be more stable, but if it isn't the ski will still become unstable and in that case the the longer ski will cause more misery than the shorter one.
post #38 of 45
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...217#post349217

Quote:
don't be bullied into a short ski. the short ski craze is a silly little fad that hopefully goes away before long... i've seen more skiers suckered into 161's and 165's by well-meaning salespeople and "experts" who would and end up being MUCH happier with something a little bit longer and more appropriate to their skill level and style....

not to say that short skis don't have their place, they do, but a graph of ideal ski length (x axis) in relation to ability (y axis) is NOT a straight line or even a curve, it's more like a parabola. At your size skiing a 161 or 165 in anything but a slalom ski that You Know How To Use is just as silly as skiing a 195 or 200. go demo a 174 or even 180 in an all-mountain ski, like a dynastar 4800, the rossi b1 already mentioned, or that fischer or nordica. if you can't lay down dual trenches with that 165 you're missing the point of 'em.

a long ski may be a little more work to turn, but not by THAT much. it will, however, be a lot more forgiving and confidence inspiring. technique/ability has a much, much bigger impact on your ease and ability to turn.

longer will make you stronger, and it won't hold you back like a short ski will. short skis, for many here, seems to almost be reverse compensation ("see, i'm secure, i ski 160's.").
180+ ski lengths are still very relevant to most skiers. Ski what feels good, but keep in mind that there will always be a tradeoff of low-speed/short-turn performance with high-speed/off-piste stability. As ski design continues to mature, don't expect the longer lengths to continue to fade away.

I'm by no means an amazing skier, but I seriously doubt most "expert" skiers here could keep up with me on their 160's on the runs I like to ski any day where more than 8" of snow has fallen in the pevious 3 days. It's not about being rad, it's about choosing the right tool for the job. Kinda like blowing by the Chevy Corvette in the ditch in your '92 subie wagon on the way to a powder day.
post #39 of 45
Thread Starter 
I tried the Atomic SX10s at 170 for 3 days in total. The second morning I also had my Dynastars Intutiv 74s at 182 at the bottom of the slope so I spent a couple of hours doing one run and swapping. The run had groomed snow, shortcuts with 12" of fresh snow and steep, hard packed 'rat runs', a bit of everything really, and a nice, fast 6 seater chair lift. I'd say that the Atomics were as good as the Dynastars in the fresh snow but felt quicker and easier to turn due to their shorter length. In all other aspects they were better. I ski pretty fast, when I want to, and at no time did I feel they performed any worse that my longer skis.
post #40 of 45
I think skis too short have much more of an effect on skiing than skis that are too long (for skilled skiers). I have demoed longer and shorter skis and found that for me, 6', 175#, 170 is the optimal length. Shorter starts to feel too squirrelly. (sp)
post #41 of 45
FWIW:

5'5, 190lbs. 95% front side groomers. Level 7/8 skier. Used to ski 190cm straight sticks.

Own Volkl SL Race Stock 155cm, 6* 161cm, and GC Motion 173cm.

The 173s only come out for racing cuz they're too attention intensive.
The 161s are used for crud, pow (such as it is in the mid-west ), and any other weird conditions. I rarely wish they were longer, but REGULARLY wish they were shorter.
The 155s (bought for slalom racing only), ended up being my all-day, every-day skis. They make every kind of turn I could ask for on groomers, at every conceivable speed with rock solid conviction. It's really surprising how big a turn they will make and just how fast they will go without getting weird. I am constantly surprixed at their versatility for a race ski.

That's been my experience.
post #42 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRC
I tried the Atomic SX10s at 170 for 3 days in total. The second morning I also had my Dynastars Intutiv 74s at 182 at the bottom of the slope so I spent a couple of hours doing one run and swapping. The run had groomed snow, shortcuts with 12" of fresh snow and steep, hard packed 'rat runs', a bit of everything really, and a nice, fast 6 seater chair lift. I'd say that the Atomics were as good as the Dynastars in the fresh snow but felt quicker and easier to turn due to their shorter length. In all other aspects they were better. I ski pretty fast, when I want to, and at no time did I feel they performed any worse that my longer skis.
Well there you have it. You have heard peoples opinions and thoughts. You have demoed 170s and you have your personal experience.

So now the choice: do you base your ski purchase on theory (those good and valid opinions posted here) or on your personal experience. As it is written: The proof is in the tasting of the pudding.

There is a reason 90%+ of skiers will advise demoing skis before you buy.
post #43 of 45
I couldn't agree more with SNPete's post. Just demo the ski yourself. I too had doubts about ski length and wondered what I should choose for length on my "fat" skiis. After a wonderful time on "shorter skiis" (177 cm) I found that any increase in length (184cm) was probably not necessary for the "fast response" and "liveliness" that I was looking for in a "fat" powder ski. Go with your experiences, and while you shouldn't ignore other people's advice keep their thoughts in proper context...
post #44 of 45

Further thoughts

My further thoughts and experiences on ski length.

1. Use the tool (ski length, stiffness, shape and width) that works best for the skiing you experience most and the style of skiing you like. So demo to find what you like. Or like may posters here, aquire a quiver so you can chose a ski to match the conditions of the day.

2. My recent length related experience: My first shaped ski, purchased in 2000, was an Atomic 10.20 at 190 cm (18 m radius). Loved the way they skiied (very stable in fast with long carved GS type turns) and used them in Minnesota until this year. They handled crud in the mountains quite well too.
This year I picked up the Volkl 6* at 161 cm (13 m radius). The reason was they were a bargin (main reason) and I wanted to impress the PSIA types who I skied with (minor reason). I found them fun to ski. I can
really crank some fast tight turns that build up a huge g force. I was worried they might have a speed limit. But found my that was not an issue on my small hill.
However on my trips to Washington and Utah this year I brought both the 6*'s and Volkl Explosivs a wider ski at 180 cm. Used the Explosives in the powder in Utah and in whatever they call that snow in Washington state.
One nonpowder day in Utah we skied the groomers at Deer Valley. I used my 6*'s and they did well. However, one run on a groomer, I let it all hang out and found that the 6*'s did have a speed limit and for a short period wished I had the stability of my old Atomics.


I also like to ski the park and have a pair of twin tips for that.

Each ski has it's place, so demo and by the one(s) that fit you and the conditions.
post #45 of 45
Dynastar 74's and Atomic sx10's are entirely different animals.

If you really, really like the sx10's in that length I wouldn't worry about it too much if you can't demo different lengths in that or a similar ski (similar sidecut, flex, and application). If you CAN, however, you need to jump on the opportunity. Also, don't write off longer lengths based on your experience with the one ski, as many here seem to. Just because a 160 slalom carver worked great for making short turns on the groomer doesn't mean a powder/crud ski in a 160 is also your ticket.

A previous poster recommended starting with the longest or second-longest length made, at your size, and working your way up or down from there, and that is very sound advice.
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