good thread smj and thanks for the props
I know a 175 RX 8 is not a long
ski, certainly not compared to my Rossignol 7 GK 208 purple people eaters or my 7' Head standards or even my favorite straight ski of all time my Olin RTS 205's.
I tried hard to come up with a pair of 180 RX8's but struck out - they are very hard to find...esp at the price I was willing to pay
I will say a few things very firmly however and my comments defin go against the grain or conventional wisdom if you will.
Of the three lengths of RX 8 in this season long experiment the 165 was by far the hardest to ski. It required constant attention and flawless technique, not a ski to get lazy on.
The 175 is the easiest and I expect the 180 will be easier still. Perhaps with more running surface the longer length is less demanding of perfect fore/aft balance...perhaps not.
I will say this tho.....and this is why I tossed in a comment in the HS video flame fest last season suggesting HS would be well served to buy a pair of short racing skis.....and pound the groomers(in disguise of course
) I think it helps huge with technique and balance. I've said many times on the forums I believe the true expert can balance on either ski at any time in any conditions. I am a balance crazed nut, walking 2x4's in the summer, standing on one foot and constantly focusing on it in my tennis and golf games. Since I jumped onto my first super short ski the 168 allstar(thanks guys for talking me into that) there is no question I am a more technically proficient skier. I now firmly feel that the short expert/race ski helps huge as a training platform. I have been clear for many years on the need to engage the tips early in the turn...that that was a key factor in expert skiing. The shortie drives it home...you don't pressure properly and engage the tips....the skis kick back hard.
Any level 6/7 looking to go higher, I highly recommend you consider some time on the hill dialing in a high end short ski...allstar, RX 8 or 6, racetiger, supershape whatever turns you on. The free italian demo team vids
formerly in my signature really helped me with this training program. Some folks might need coaching. As a former instructor and having coached many sports, I don't. The italian vids and to a lessor extent HH vids and CSIA free vids together with the miles worked for me.
Mr go against the grain
thinks is a very good thing. Last year I ski'd rails on groomers on Volkl Explosivs (95 mid) It would not have been possible I don't think had I not dialed in my training wheels....the 168 allstar and smj's 165 RX 8's.
So I say, maybe sometimes the "gnar" is in the shortie.....