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Why so long?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Just curious, it seems to be almost like a badge of courage to be 5'9" and riding 190cm. planks.

I'd like to hear from both sides, the long and short of it if you will.

What is the real world advantage to a ski significantly longer than the manufacturer's reccommended length?

I'm at a level where I'm skiing well, 80-90% of the terrain @ any given hill, and I'm on planks as tall as my nose. Many think this is not sufficient. I have a pair of rock skis that are as tall as I am, andI find the extra length to be of no benefit.

post #2 of 14
I am 5'7"

I learned on 140s.

My first real pair were 160s.

I skied on 170s for awhile.

Now I ski on 162s.

I don't find any stability or crud busting problems in a ski that is up to my nose.
post #3 of 14
I'm not so sure about a "manufacturer's recommendation" on ski length...

I'm 5'9", and my skis vary from 180 to 193. I don't use the 180's much - tree skiing only, and even then I don't care for them as much.

I have Fischer GS in a 188. Tried the 183 and the 188, found the 188 more stable and faster. Ditto on the 180 and 190 explosives. BTW, the FIS regs for a GS ski require a 185 minimum; (not that I will ever race FIS!) AK Enemys are one size fits all in a 188.

Of course, my quiver is shy on slalom skis right now, which I would pick up shorter.

One thing to consider - extreme terrain (which I would assume does not fit your 80-90% definition) calls for different ski characteristics than groomers. I would not recommend a venture into Hairy-Scary at Baker, the Palisades at Squaw or Kirkwood or Couloir Extreme at Blackcomb on nose-length carving skis. The added stability of a full-length ski is crucial.
post #4 of 14
Ski whatever your comfortable on.
The more you listen and study things isn't always the best , alot of reps will tell you most skiers try too many skis and don't make the right choice in the long run . If you find a ski that really fits your style and needs buy it !
post #5 of 14
It all depends on the ski and the intended use.

My usage ranges from 217 for downhill, 209, 205, or 201 for Super G, down to 165 for slalom. Even my powder skis are 191 or 193, depending how deep it is. For ski cross, a 180 is fine but I might use one of my GS skis too. GS is 186, 191, or 193 depending on set and snow firmity (new word).

Use what you have and want, but don't brag that your a better skier because you use a longer ski. It only means that you use a longer ski. I'd be hard pressed to find a better skier than Bode, Palle, Rainer, Benji, ... and they all use 165, and would still be on 155 if FIS hadn't mandated the longer length.
post #6 of 14
Over about 14 months my ski length progression has gone from 197 to 180 to 174 and now 160! I'm 6' 165 lbs. Mostly, I was in the dark for so long about what my equipment could do for me. Since I've really gotten into carving the past year I've gone shorter and shorter with ever-tighter turn radii - starting somewhere around 22m and now down to 13m. And I still feel plenty stable at speed. I do stick to groomers primarily, though.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
From Harry Morgan:
"One thing to consider - extreme terrain (which I would assume does not fit your 80-90% definition) calls for different ski characteristics than groomers. I would not recommend a venture into Hairy-Scary at Baker, the Palisades at Squaw or Kirkwood or Couloir Extreme at Blackcomb on nose-length carving skis. The added stability of a full-length ski is crucial."

Well maybe this is what I want to know. You won't find me in any of the spots you mentioned at my current level of proficiency, but I'm pretty sure those are in the upper 7-10% rather than 10-20%. But I don't want to split hairs over it.

So aside from tight, rocky couloirs, hucking 50 footers, and bottomless pow, where does the long board come in handy?

Seems to be more of a handicap in trees & bumps, and just unnecessary on-piste. Except of course for racing.

Here's another query, have those of you who favor the longer board actually tried something shorter? And I don't mean 2 runs on a demo day.
I wonder if a lot of assumptions are being made.

A Sollie rep at the Oasis project told me to try a Pocket Rocket in 165cm after I told him how much I enjoyed the 175 in pow and crud. I was surprised how solid the ski felt at such a short length. Skied 6 or 7 runs on it and it really got me wondering. Unfortunately I couldn't ski it on anything but groomers, but I plan to demo something short at Bridger in 2 wks. and try it in crud and (hopefully) pow.
post #8 of 14
Peanut Gallery here.

I'm 5'5", and learned to ski on old Dynastar straight heavy skis.....180cm. I had those for about 3 years.

I got on a pair of 160cm Head's (still the old straight skis) and thought those were cool. I made some progress, but not much over the next 7 years.

Last year, I got a brand new pair of Rossignol 150cm shaped skis. I rocketed out of the atmosphere as far as progress goes. (With a little help from ESA, I might add).

I put on those straight skis and toodled down a green run a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't tell the difference. I was not going to ski them down a black trail. Call me chicken. [img]redface.gif[/img]
post #9 of 14
Xdog - those runs I mentioned would probably fall within the most difficult 1% of all inbound terrain in the US, and I would venture that there is a bigger step up between the top 1% and 2% or 3% than elsewhere in the spectrum. As has been pointed out, it is the intended use that should drive a ski length choice, more perhaps than the skier's height or weight.

BetaRacer - On the subject of slalom ski length at the WC level, there is a tradeoff between agility and stability at those lengths. I was at the Men's Combined in SLC in 2002. Bode put in the best times on 155's, but over 40% of all racers fell, prompting the mandated 165cm length.
post #10 of 14
I am 175 cm, ski a 198 cm volekl.
Must say that I'd like to change and buy a 185-175 cm long skis (GS), a 165 SL ski, and a
177-185 long all-round skis (if 6* then 168, if say superspeed/head im75 monster then 175-177).
Money is the primary brake.
I ski the ski I have. When I bought those, they were on offer, and my cousin had just bought the last pair in a the shorter lenght then available 192 cm. I needed new skis anyway, the price was good, so...here I am with a 198 cm P40F1.

Let's say this, most of the skis sold here (amongst people I know ) are GS skis, and we tend to ski a little bit longish than what is recommended, maybe a cultural thing from the past...long=fast?
Albeit whe I tested the crossmax in 180 I was elated (but still would have preferred in 185, go figure), I had a real epiphany.
I just spoke to a colleague who boug Atomic GS skis, in 175. So probably we are adapting too.

[ March 11, 2004, 01:15 AM: Message edited by: Matteo ]
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Food for thought.

I'd venture that a lot of it is mental as well. I mean really, between 169 and 179, what the hell's 10 cm.?

It's just that when you're layin' out the bucks, you wanna make sure it's right. I tend to obsess over such things cause I don't want to regret the purchase, I just want to ski and enjoy what I've got.

Thanks for the input. I'll let you know where I ended up.
post #12 of 14
Perhaps I just an isolated case, but within a single model, ski length has made a huge difference to me.

In 177, the Bandit XX felt useless to me, but I really liked it in 170.

The original Salomon Crossmax Pilot was nifty in 170, but it felt squirrelly and unstable in 160.

On the other hand, in the K2 line, going up a length seemed to have less impact.

My current mistress - Elan S12 Fusion - I ski in 160, and it feels as stable at higher speeds as anything I've skied.
post #13 of 14
It really depends on the ski and the shape of the ski. Back when we were on the old straight skis I skied a 195+ ski and I am 5'9" tall. My first "shaped" skis were 176cm Elan Integra's, they chattered terribly at any speed. My Rossi Bandit X's were 177cm and were fine for me, I felt comfortable on them, but had some trouble with short turns, the skis preferred large and medium radius turns. The skis I am on now are 160cm and they are great! I can go where I like and I can do all sorts of turns.

I have skied 120's (Rossi ShortCuts), 140's (Rossi ShortCuts), 150's (Rossi Cut 10.7), 170's,( Straight Blizzards) 177's (banditX's)and 195's (Straight Volant's) this year and Bonni's pretty purple straight skis [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img] . They all made me appreciate my Volkl 6*'s at 161cm even more!
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, I went short. Not by choice, but by circumstance.

My choices were a given ski in 169 or 179. I was opting for the longer one for several reasons, and thought I had a line on a pair. But that fell through, and I ended up getting a really good deal on the 169.

So I'm gonna run 'em the rest of this season and see how I feel. I'll report back my findings.
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