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Longer skis, better! - Page 5

post #121 of 122
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
Very interesting thread, so here's a kind of summation.

If you're an expert skier with fantastic balance and are always centered on your skis:

Short skis can do everything, however many of you greatly prefer longer skis anyway.

For the rest of us (also applies to expert skiers in many cases)

Shorter skis advantages:
Short turns
More G forces and energy at lower speeds
Easier to pivot and skid

Shorter skis disadvantages:
Less stable in crud and powder
Easier to get off balance fore and aft
If you are heavy they may flatten too easily and lack rebound

Longer skis advantages:
More stable at speed
Less likely to throw you around in crud and powder
More edge grip once you've engaged the edges

Longer skis disadvantages:
Require more effort to make short turns
Harder to use old style technique (skidding, pivoting)
Harder to bend if you are light.

For me thus on balance a slightly longer ski is preferred. After skiing on 165's for 2 years I like the extra "stuff" of a 175 ski (still not a "long" ski, but longER.)

I will still keep my 165's for teaching and for times that I just want to make a LOT of turns. Also if I lose 10 lbs (which I will, at least, by next year) I may like them more again.
One disadvantage you missed for short skis is that they are more dangerous at high speeds. It's easier to get a tip jammed, and with a wicked side cut, you can easily get way out of shape in a fraction of a heartbeat.

As to the stability, I think that's more a function of the ski. With todays technology, even a short 165 13-m ski is stable at ridiculous speeds. I've had mine about twice as fast as 176 cm bandit would want to go. They do have a tendancy to hunt for turns when running flat, but with a slight edge they will blast just fine. It's a world of difference from the old days.

When it comes to ice, the shorter skis can build a little more pressure and thus have a better grip.
post #122 of 122
My Everyday ski mountain is a smallish (yet steepish) Massachusetts bump (with-especially after the last storm-some surprisingly excellent and challenging terrain). I have two primary skis-and I now think they are both too short.

1. Firm Snow ski-Apache Crossfire 167
2. Head Monster 88 174 (0r 175 can't remember)-the rest of the time.

I've had the opportunity to ski both these models in the next size up for each model (174 and 186 respectively)--and Honestly, for the lost of-at most 1-2m of turn radii, the longer models perform better-they carry more speed, are way more stable, put more-stronger edge down on ice, push crud and sticky-soft (this year mostly man-made piles-but recently actual snow) better-

the gain of 5-10cm of surface/ length arrea is very much worth the trade off of a loss of 1-2m in turn radii.

I'm thinking of picking up a Fischer WC RC in a low 180-ish length as my firm snow ski as the crossfire just ain't enough any more

Live and learn,

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