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Proper ski length

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm a 6'2", 230 lbs. beginner who is about to buy his first pair of new skis. I'll buy either a Volkl Explosiv, or an "all-mountain" ski (Rossi B2, Volkl 7 24, Salomon Scream Hot, etc.; something with a waist in the 70-80 mm range), but I don't know what the proper length is for me. I've mostly skied on 178s, which some people say is too short for someone my size (the Explosive I skied was around 180 or 185, and it was great). I would appreciate any suggestions on this topic.

(All of my skiing has been done in the Canadian Rockies.)
post #2 of 14
post #3 of 14
Originally posted by Colossus178:
I'm a 6'2", 230 lbs. beginner . . . I've mostly skied on 178s . . .
(All of my skiing has been done in the Canadian Rockies.)
Say what?! You're a beginner? You're not a beginner?

More history, please.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm a beginner, in that this is my first year on skis (8 January was the first time I ever touched a pair of skis). Since then, I've been out 27 days, so I guess that I'm an advanced beginner. I'm comfortable on almost all black diamond runs (although big moguls are still a struggle), and I've had fun on several double black diamond runs. I'm not very graceful, so I make up for it with strength. I ski a lot of crud: tracked up snow that hasn't been snowed on for a while. That's my story.
post #5 of 14
Colossus , what part of Alberta are you in ?
I have some skis you might be interested in , get back to me with a pm.
post #6 of 14
post #7 of 14
27 times on skis, comfortable on almost all black diamond runs plus a few double diamonds, and ski a lot of crud?? Add to that the fact that you love to ski on explosivs - they are not exactly your run of the mill beginner ski. Sounds like you'd be at least a medium intermediate by almost anyone's definition. Like they said in Ski Canada - most Americans seem to overestimate their abilities, whilst Canadians tend to under-estimate theirs.

As for the topic at hand, at 230lb something 180 plus or minus a couple of cm should be about the right length. The 182 B2 would be a great ski. You could stretch it up to something like the 185 Scream Hot, but I would not go any longer than that, especially if you are looking to keep on improving quickly.
post #8 of 14
The Explosive is a great ski for deep stuff and especially crud -- it's a ski that makes skiing that harder snow way easy. But to get from Point A to Point B on the mountain, i.e. to get to powder or chutes or whatever, you need to ski groomers and moguls and everything in between. That is why the Explosive in not the best choice IF you have to pick one ski.

Given your size and your tendancy to ski off-piste, good skis would be the K2 Axis XP (easy-turning all-mountain), the Salomon Super Hot (very versatile, less stiff and lighter than the others), and the Head Monster iM-75 (stiffest of the three and a great crudbuster).

Size-wise, I am resisting the shorter lengths to some extent. What I mean is that some people my size (6' 175) are using 160-175; I am liking the 178-185 range. I definitely resisted the whole trend (not of shaped skis, but of really short lengths) until the last year or so. After skiing some of them, I think they finally have the torsionally stiffness issue down with tip to tail flexibility and dampness when needed. The newer skis are amazing.
post #9 of 14
Sounds like you're pretty athletic to be advancing at the rate you are. Sounds like you're skiing about every 3rd day. I recommend you consider keeping with whatever you're using now and hit the demo circuit to find a ski you're happy with. If you go new, I'd not spend a whole heck of a lot of money. Check out the spring sales in your area. I'd try and find a wood core ski that can handle your weight and is in the mid fat range. A good ski for hard back that encourages carving should do you well. At the rate you're going, you'll probably be readdy for a new ski in another year, maybe two. I'm sure you'll get some good recommendations here and at your local retailers.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, folks. I appreciate all the advice I can get.

Billiam -- I've skied the Head you mentioned, as well as the Head Big Easy, and haven't liked any of them. That could be because I skied too short of a ski -- I skied the 178s -- but neither ski was pleasant for me. I'm going to ski the Super Hot tomorrow, as well as the Fischer Big Stix 7.6. If I can, I'll try to ski a Salomon of exactly the same dimensions as the Fischer, so I can get a good comparison.

You're right about the crud-busting abilities of the Explosiv. One disadvantage of being an inexperienced skier is that I struggle when conditions change -- when I go from groomed cruiser to off piste moguls, for instance, or from steep powder to sticky mush -- and the Explosiv smooths out the transition very nicely. It's nice and smooth on any kind of snow. I'm still skidding my turns way too much, so I'm not really bothered by it's disadvantage on the groomers. This ski opened up a lot of the hill that I really struggled to ski on a narrower ski.

AT -- You're advice is good, but I'm way too much of an equipment junky to wait another year to buy a new ski. Besides, the ski I own doesn't work for me nearly as well as some I've rented. As I find that a lot more of the mountain is accesible on different skis, I'm pretty sure that I need one.

I've tried two or three different mid-fat skis, with mixed results. I'm going to ski on a few more this weekend, so I should know what I want by the time people start selling this year's equipment.
post #11 of 14
I'd not bother with the Salomon XHOT if I were you. I found it needed an extremely aggressive approach, and higher speed to get it to perform than you may like. It also has a very energetic tail. It's certainly not what I'd recommend for the moguls. I liked the Rossi B2 for that stuff.

You should also try the Mantis 662 or 666.
post #12 of 14
I understand Colossus178's reasoning about Explosivs perfectly.

I would MUCH rather find myself stuck on a pair of Explosivs on ice (which has happend to me many times) than be stuck on a pair of twitchy 62 mm boards in cut up crud (which has also happened to me more than once, a couple of times intentionally).

Billiam, I don't know if you have ever personally skied on a pr of Explosivs, but just for a yuck, if you are over 180 - 190 lbs, the next time you get a chance, take a pair of short explosivs (with a decent edge, obviously) out on a hard snow day. Even take them into some moguls, albeit not at full tilt. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. They will get you around the mountain just fine.

Tom / PM

PS - If you are a lighter guy, don't bother with this experiment. You won't like the results and they won't be even vaguely applicable to a guy like Colossus178 who weighs 230. Correctly matching the skier's weight to the ski's flex makes a huge difference in skis for soft snow. For the record, I'm 215 lbs.

PS#2 - Colossus178, if you are interested, do a search on my user number and the word "Explosiv". I have a bunch of posts with more detailed reviews, and in the interest of full disclosure, I own two pair (in different lengths).
post #13 of 14
I have skied the Explosive; conditions were heavy powder and a lot of it, over big bumps. I used a 173 cm. I loved the ski, overall. Later I demoed two I like more: The Rossi B3 and the Salomon Pocket Rocket. The Pocket Rocket was a total blast, much quicker than the other two sticks. The B3 was very good at crud busting and surprisely agile in bumps. The Explosive is a dymanite ski, but the Pocket Rocket screamed "fun" on every run I took it on (at Snowbird).
post #14 of 14
Billiam - It sounds like you had a fun time that day. Your impressions about the Explosiv are just about what I would expect for someone (175 lbs - I just spotted this in your previous post) at the lighter end of the weight range where this ski comes into its own. You obviously could handle it just fine, but it was less fun than skis of similar dimensions but a tad softer. That's cool. That's why they make different skis.

Tom / PM
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