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# Does Length Matter? - Page 2

by my calculations (weight, ability, ski terrain) I should be skiing a 182.5...too band nobody makes one!

maybe it's time for custom skis?

Another way to calculate ski length for weight roughly is to divide a 95% distribution of all U.S. adult weights (typically from about 110 lbs to about 210) by the available lengths, with the understanding that the range for each length should overlap a bit (say 170 goes from 160-185 and 175 goes from 180 to 205+). Be careful about the longest length because it tends be disproportionately stiff to accomodate really big folks and/or really fast folks. If you're tall and thin or short and heavy, you may be surprised what you come up with...
I customed my new skis to be 179.87654321. They say extra decimals really help in steep terrain. Trust me, custom is the way to go
^^
"say 170 goes from 160-185 and 175 goes from 180 to 205+" are those lenghts first followed by lbs (i.e. 170cm ski for 16-185lb skier)?

^
what kind of custom decimalized skies are you rocking?
Yep, first numbers are ski length in cm, second are weights in pounds. Not a formula, obviously. Just an assumption of how manufacturers engineer lengths. Also assumes roughly linear change in stiffness versus weight, which probably isn't true at bottom, definitely not true at top. Eg, the shortest skis will be a little softer than you'd predict to handle folks below 110, and the longest will be stiffer for reasons above. Main point is that your height works fine for picking skis as long as you weigh about average for your height. Otherwise, it's a bad estimator.
I seem to be right around in the ballpark with my 175-180 lengths. Though again some folks keep hassling me to go longer...
Does anybody ever second guess that they got the right length ski?

Seems that people are always suggesting that I go longer in the skis that I have.

I haven't had any complaints about the skis I currently am riding, but the seed of doubt has been planted both here and on TGR that maybe I should be riding more in the 185 range, especially on the Mantras (somebody even recently suggested going longer on the Karmas, as well and selling all my skis and jumping into the 185-190 sizes).

Note that the FIS minimum length for a GS is around 185. They wouldn't set a minimum if it wasn't to the racer's advantage to go shorter. These guys go a lot faster and turn a lot better than any of us. Therefore, those longer lengths are probably there for marketing reasons, not because anyone actually needs them.

Too long is a bigger mistake than too short.
You seem to be saying a lot of, "So and so pointed at my skis and laughed." In so many words. How do you feel about your quiver? Do you find yourself thinking, "man I can't turn these darn skis at all", or do you look down and think, "I may as well be on snowblades for all the speed and float I'm getting"?
Quote:
 Originally Posted by dookey67 Does anybody ever second guess that they got the right length ski? . . . Then again, I don't want to succumb to what SierraJim calls buying over your head...
Yes, I bought the Mantra too short last year for my typical skiing. End up buying the next length up towards the end of the season. Reasons for being too short: lack of float and lack of stability in the crud. I'm very happy with the longer ski.

But, be careful on going too long particularly if you like skiing in the trees or tight chutes. (I think you have mentioned something about tree skiing at Heavenly before.) You may find yourself really working to get the skis around versus easy carving.

Demoing can keep you from making this mistake. A few years ago, demoing the 195 XXX kept me from buying it as my everyday, take into the trees skis. I got the 185 and was very happy.

### longer or shorter

well, you already have 4 great skis for 39 days of skiing. i think you need to extend the days. and you already have a great powder ski in the mantra.
Big Jim:

The only ski I might say that I look down at and think about float is the Mantra (that's really the only one I'm thinking I should have gone 185ish on). Got plenty of speed out of the AK, Karma, and Blizzard, so no second guessing on those.

Duke W.:

yeah, working on the days skied. Already have purchased 30 lift tickets for Tahoe resorts, a Heavenly pass, plus am sussing out trips to Colo (at least 2) and Utah (at least one) and Big Sky/Moonlight (at least a weekend).

Quote:
 Originally Posted by bsather Too long is a bigger mistake than too short.
+1. If you're generally happy with your current length I'd avoid pushing it any further (except for a demo, of course) unless you're really planning on skiing at truly high speeds. You'd be surprised at what shorter skis can handle - especially on piste.
I honestly believe that we're seeing a revival in going longer on skis again. Probably not as long as where we were on the straight sticks, but I think the go short mantra went too far. There's no escaping that for big mountain skiing you need some length to get stability no matter what the ski dimensions are. I started going longer again last season and I plan on going a bit longer this season up to the point that I think I can't handle it.

Anyhow, I'm also strongly opinionated that weight is only part of the equation when coming up with an ideal length. The way weight is distributed across your body plays into how the ski will work for you - so your height and build play into the decision too. I know everyone wants a simple calculation to eliminate the guess work, but that wouldn't be any fun now, would it?
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