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Ski Questions

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for reading
Ive been reading the Barking Bear fourm for over a year and really enjoy it.
I took my first ski lession last Christmas and have got a total of 6 days in now.
I have skied 3 mountains Sunlight,Ski Cooper, and A-Basin.
I manage to do the greens OK and some blues at Cooper.
I plan 7 days this christmas and taking a few more lessons.
I was issued 160 cm skies on my first (and only)lesson and requested them since.
Most charts say I should be on at least 170 cm skis for my size.
Im almost 58 years old 6' 0 " tall and weight 195.
Should this be a concern ?
I dont care about going fast but I would like to become a solid Int. skier
and be fairly gracefull.
Should I step up to 170"s and what should I expect ?
I ski with my children and Grandchildren who progress faster than me.
post #2 of 15
Baby steps. Go for 165 for a few times and see how you feel. If it feels ok, then move up to 170.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
what are the advantages of the longer skis ?
post #4 of 15
Originally Posted by easy rider View Post
what are the advantages of the longer skis ?
The length of the ski and what id does depends on the sidecut, and flex of the ski.
With the right combination, a little longer ski will lengthen out your turns(longer turning radius). That may not be your goal.
A longer ski will also pick up your speed. That may not be your goal.

IMHO, you need to be comfortable with your skiing, and get your technique to a place that you feel comfortable picking up speed and stepping up to a more aggressive ski, length may be a part of that.

For your stats, I'd say a 170 is perfect,(again, depending on the ski you're considering) but only you know how it feels when you're on the slopes.
post #5 of 15
Some instructors feel that it is easier to learn to ski on shorter skis. As your ability level increases you will be capable of handling a longer ski.

Length will yield more speed (typically not a benefit for most beginners) as well as more stability (especially in ungroomed conditions). But the trade off is that they are more difficult to handle and turn.
post #6 of 15
165 or 170 sounds right, I think Ghost's advice is sound. Also, don't go too wide, 65-72mm underfoot should be plenty. A nice 68 for the groomed is a good place to start. Other's with teaching experience may want to correct me if I'm off here.
post #7 of 15
As far as longer skis going faster it's not the ski itself, but a longer ski will allow a skier to go faster because it is easier to balance on.

Generally longer skis make it easier to go fast and shorter skis make it easier to carve short turns.

You aren't trying to ski fast, so the 160s should be fine. I'm similar to you in size and I use 163s. By all means try different lengths as long as you are renting. Think about buying some boots that fit really well, they are difficult to find even in a retail store, much less a rental shop. Since you live far from mountains it makes sense to rent skis.
post #8 of 15
PS. Longer skis also make it easier to ski deep snow. If you get to the point where you want to ski beyond the groomed trails (off-piste), you will probably want to ask for longer skis. Talk to your instructor and the guys you rent from. Don't take anyone's word as gospel. Lots of opinions, even informed ones. Ask questions here too and decide which answer you believe.

PS. Welcome to Epicski membership! I've taught thousands to ski but only one this century. Take my advice with a grain of salt and others with more or less salt than that.
post #9 of 15
When skiing on snow (as opposed to ice), a longer ski will allow you to push off of a bigger snow platform with the ski base(s). That means that you will be able to push harder before the platform gives way. Since your acceleration is given by the force divided by your mass, bigger skis will let you accelerate harder in turns. This will become more important as you become more addicted to high-speed turns. It is also a bit of a safety feature; the harder you can turn, the more accident avoidance performance you have at your disposal.

Longer skis will also be more stable at moderate speeds in choppy conditions so you will have an easier time skiing over little bumps without needing to be spot on with your fore-aft balance reflexes. This aspect is probably your biggest reason to go longer right now.

Whether or not the ski is more stable at higher speeds depends on the ski, a longer noodle won't be any more stable than a short noodle.

The down side of a longer ski is since the tip and tail will be farther away from your boots, surface interactions with the ski will exert more torque on you, and mistakes will be amplified.

Just for reference I feel very comfortable with my skiing ability, and am happiest with a 170 cm length on groomed runs unless I'm deliberately trying to ski very fast. I weigh 165 lbs. If you increase your skill level to advanced in the next few years you will likely want to be skiing on 175 to 180 cm skis for all-around skiing (not slalom), so think of the 165 - 170 cm skis as a temporary measure.
post #10 of 15
In today's ski construction technology, length plays only a minor part in recreational equipment. I used to ski on 207s. Today, I ski on 167s. I think I get much better performance from today's skis than from the much longer ones I used to ski. I'm a short, fat 5'6" and 220 lbs. I sometimes ski fast, but not as fast as the fastest recreational skiers. I generally prefer slightly slower paces.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all the great advice.
It all make sense ,I just need it explained to me.
I realy enjoy this sport,the only regret is I waited so long,now it seems im hooked.
I think I will go with 165s when I travel back to CO. this Dec.
post #12 of 15
Ghost skis really fast on 170s, Kneale skis moderately fast on 167s, I ski half fast on 163s.

I think you will be happy on skis in this range of lengths unless you find you prefer higher speeds, longer turns or ungroomed snow.

An accomplished skier in Colorado would undoubtedly use a longer ski than what Ghost, Kneale or I use.
post #13 of 15
don't be too concerned about the length of ski at this stage in your skiing career. I have skied 160's at speed, and I normally weigh around 250, just don't expect to provide much flotation in deep powder (but I expect you're spending most of your time on the groomed slopes at this point).

And, you're one of many members we have from florida um, LA.
post #14 of 15
The stiffness of the ski is more important than the length. In any line of skis, the stiffness increases as the length is increased, with usually big jumps in the shortest ski in the line (quite soft) and the longest (really stiff and demanding).

You might prefer a 160 in a top line ski, a 165 in an intermediate ski, and find a 170 inadequate in a beginner line ski.

So...demo the skis. Where ever you rent, reserve the right to come back and try other models and other lengths to see which is the best for you.
post #15 of 15
You're getting good advice here, Easy Rider. As Kneale says, with today's skis, the type of ski is more important than the length. Or, to put it another way, the length must match the type of ski. For example, World Cup racers your size will use skis varying from 165 cm for slalom (short, quick turns, not too fast) to well over 200 cm for downhill (very fast, long turns). (And they'd probably go even shorter for slalom if the rules would let them.) My own skis currently range from 162 cm to 190, and I'm about your height but a little lighter. I tend to ski quite fast, even on the 162's, but they are very high performance skis.

For the way you describe your skiing, I would say that a good all-round recreational ski with a sidecut radius of 14 to 17 meters and a waist width of 70 to 74 millimeters would be ideal, with a length of 165 to 170. I do think you'd appreciate the stability of a ski a little longer than those 160's, although they could be fine if they're good skis, in good tune, and you don't ski very fast, or very much off the groomed runs.

You have to remember, though, that without actually skiing with you, and seeing the actual skis, all we can give you here is general advice. When you take that next lesson, be sure to ask your instructor for specific recommendations.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
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