Originally Posted by dookey67
well as somebody who has gone through two quiver over hauls in the past two seasons i'm of the mind that it's the ski's personality more so than the size, though size does and can matter.
i started out my first new quiver in over 15 years with 177 Karmas and Mantras. loved 'em the first season i was on 'em but as the snow conditions hardened and got sparser last season they began to feel and act really short and squirrely.
i began demoing again and settled on some 180cm King Salmons to replace the Mantras. most folks have said that 3cm added to the length is really minor, but the ski feels totally different than the Mantra. I tend to think it has to do with the build of the ski not so much the length. The 177 Mantra skied short to me. The 180 KS skis long.
i also demoed some Titan 9's and ended up buying a pair of 181's to replace the Karmas. Tip to tail the T9 is the same length as a 185 Karma, so my feeling that the Karmas skied short was more or less confirmed in spades.
i know from demoing the M:EX from Atomic that the 175 felt just right and the 185 felt hella long and cumbersome.
i think in all these cases i was/am dealing with rather stiff skis, which greatly change the personality of the ski. my only comparison would be that my 185cm Spats are really noodly and don't feel half as long as they are (granted a lot of this has to do with the reverse camber and the actual running length, which when i measured it was between 35 and 75cm depending on surface contact).
in the end i've come to the conclusion that some skis are meant to be skied short. they're designed that way. but most of the Big Mountain models that have become popular these days are meant to be skied longer, at least 180 and higher.
the other thing is that after a year on 177 and 180 cm skis the 190s and 195 lengths really don't seem all that long any more.
honestly, if you're interested in a ski i would recommend demoing it in several lengths. i really wish, in hindsight, that i had ridden the Mantra and Karmas not only in the 177, but the 184, 185, and 191 lengths just to fully suss out which length would be best overall.
also we have to realize that a lot of this is all marketing trends. when twips (twin tips) were hot everybody was extolling the virtues of them, regardless if you were riding park or not. 2 seasons ago everyone was extolling the virtues of wider skis to the degree if you were on anything narrower than 80 you were crazy or a diehard OG purist. Now everybody seems to be screaming "longer is better." I really think it depends on the ski, the skier, and the predominant type of terrain. For most of Tahoe skiing I don't really see the need for a 190+ ski unless you are a big (height and/or weight) charger. A lot of our hills may be steep, but they can also be relatively short. I've been with guys on 195 skis and they take 2 turns and they're done with the run!
first: you can't compare different skis in slighltly different lenght;
second: there is no such like a bad or to short/to long skis: there are only skis which are wrongly mached to the skier and conditions. nobody who is sane will ski SL on skis longer than 165. nobody should go short on deep snow either.
my shortest skis are AC40 184 (only cause I would have to wait for 191s).
never skied anything shorter but same talking I do SL on 165 racetigers.
let's be honest: people discussing whether to use 2 or 3 cm shorter or longer skis usualy have technical problems at differernt conditions.
for me nothing is more comical than reading : "I need help : I can't decide whether 163 XYZ skis will be better than 165".
here at USA, the trend towards short skis is not as insane as in europe: overseas, anybody carring skis longer than 165 is looked at like from different world, and everybody is trying to ski "carving" or "fun-carving". fortunately, here the blind move towards extremely short skis is not that overwhelming.
however even in Europe , they strated to see a move towards slightly longer boards.
And the bottom l;ine is: about 10 years ago the manufactures started to lose competition against snowboards. they had to come up with skis which would be easier to managed by beginners and easier to turn and this what the main reason why the shorter skis started to be so popular. for average "skier" spending 7-10 /year on the snow this is just simply an aesier way to enjoy the skiing. and this is fine, however with increasing skills and demands, many people are willing to move towards longer skis for the many reasons mentioned in this discussion
BTW: I'm 6'1 /185-190 lbs