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ski lengths

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I haven't skied for 12 years and plan on a trip this year. Back in my day, I skied 205 GS & SL and could get down virtually any slope. Now in my mid-50s at 180 lbs and good shape...what lenght is appropriate? I rent the high end stuff...
post #2 of 18
About 160 to 165 depending on the flex of whatever you are going to demo or rent. Not a bad place to start but start short and since most upper end stuff can be swapped out during the week you can always go longer. Much will depend on where your 'comeback" is going to happen; east and ice or west and fluff.
post #3 of 18
What he said ^ . You'll be amazed at the stability of these short skis.
post #4 of 18
How tall are you? If you are at 5'10" or more 165 may be too short and 160 most definitely will be too short.

I am 5'10" 190lbs and ride 170 - 185... longer ones for powder days.

But yea, I used to ride 195-205 and when first moved to the short shaped skiis thought the guy was crazy getting me on 170s but they hold up in speed, crud, everything..
post #5 of 18
No matter how good cantwait was 12 years ago, there will still be a learning curve, so he should start on the most appropriate ski for his current ability and then change as necessary.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm 6' and in the past I would trade in the skis for new wax, edges or something suitable for conditions. 160 seems tiny to me, but as I said at the begining its been awhile and I know things change. Never skied on anything shorter than me
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
i'll be in colorado
post #8 of 18
An "advanced" level mid-fat in the 175-180cm range with a 80-90mm waist will work pretty well for you. Going shorter will actually make it harder for you to learn how to ski again.
post #9 of 18
The old skis and modern skis share one thing...the stiffness of the ski is highly proportional to the length. Modern skis are made to be properly responsive to a skier in much shorter lengths, however. Unfortunately, we go by length when that isn't what we need to know about a ski at all.

In my case, 6', 200#, medium energy level good skier, I pick the next to longest ski in any top line of skis. Usually that's a good starting point for me. The skis made to be longer are usually not as demanding in a specific length as the skis made to be shorter.

Rent at the mountain. Make sure you can bring the skis back in and exchange them for a different size or model. The waist width will depend on the snow conditions, but I'd suggest something in the 66 - 73 mm width unless you plan on going off piste a lot. Try some 165 cm top line or next-to top line ski and see how it feels. If you feel instability, go one size longer. Getting a ski that is unresponsive (too long & stiff) is certainly no help.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
I did not expect such a wealth of info so fast. I hope I can to hold on for the next few weeks. The good news is that I'll be without family and can cruise without any concern about the color of the trail
post #11 of 18
I'd say 175cm for on-piste / all-mountain, or 180-184cm for wider off-piste/powder skis.
post #12 of 18
Ski length will depend on the ski and your size and skiing style/ability. For some perspective, I'm 5'8" 150 lbs, have skied for about 45 years and used to ski on 203-207 cm SL and GS boards. When I got shaped skis, I went down to a 184cm Rossi Bandit X and was shocked that such a "short" ski was so stable. I have since gotten 167 Volkl 6 Stars and 170 cm AC4s. These hold an edge better and are every bit as stable as my old long boards but I sometimes get too far forward on these skis. For someone your size, you should probably be in the 175 to 185 range. Just a guess on my part.
post #13 of 18
cantwait, your initial post and the above post by fudman22; well we all sound like we came from the same place/cut from the same bolt of cloth.

If you go to the photos "What You Guys Look Like" thread you'll see my old 203 SL's and a few others including the 156 SL's I'm down to now!
Almost 60 and around 160 pounds and they do quite well. Again, as indicated in my first reply ... those are my eastern ice skis.

You will be in Colorado now, but what is your intent for the end result? Do you intend to demo with the intent to purchase and if you do where will those skis "call home". A "citizen race" ski at some given length, well you may fall in love with it on the soft groomed only to find that it has some serious warts when it hits the tough stuff. I have had this happen .... lots of early grinning ... then the skis would fall way short when they were challenged.

Find out what is available at the mountain and most importantly do they have the upper end gear at the hill. With your background you will be more appreciative of good quality gear and many hill rental shops at the hill rent junk or poorly maintained stuff.

Also ask if they have demo tents, many of the larger places started to have demo centers right there .... but make sure it's going to be there. Some of these demo tents are like an impressive flea market and you can get to try a lot of the new goodies ... but make sure what's going to be there and open. Usually you will just have to produce a credit card and leave your DL to make sure the stuff doesn't walk away.

Be sure to spend some of that money on day one on a lesson, the 12 year mark you refer to was still a "transitional" period and the world of skiing and the technique have changed. The biggest favor you can do yourself at this point is to be willing to accept that change and an hour with an instructor on the shorter skis will be worth it's weight in gold.

I fought the change too, it was like trying to get a "Goldwater Republican" to give Hillary a big wet kiss but ...
post #14 of 18
Yuki is absolutely spot on. A lesson is a great idea. Your 12 year absence may actually be a good thing as any old ski habits may have been forgotten or lost.

I fought the "change" for years, thinking these shaped skis were a fad, like short skis, Jet Stix, GLM, avalement and the other ski fads that have come and gone over the years. I was wrong. Truly transformational technology (right up there with Tivo). But it is different and lessons would be very helpful to maximize enjoyment, which is what its all about.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
After leaving the mts, I got rid of my gear and all my previous trips I always had demo/high end rentals. One day I thought I was being spoiled and since I was just teaching the kids I tried regular people gear. What a mistake....I learned my lesson and went back to good gear the next day. The mt shop at my destination has good stuff. Right now the only gear I am considering is boots. Lessons are an interesting idea and could minimize my present flat lander title. Now then I have only skied in blue jeans, down vest and wind jacket......will I shame my old friends if I coninue my 70's ski bum image?
post #16 of 18
For a reference point, I weigh 165 lbs and like to ski fast. My old skis are 208 SGs, and I still like them for flat out high speeds, but for short turns I'm on 165 cm skis. For an all around on-piste ski I would go for some 170 cm SX12s, for high speed GS turns I would look at 180 or 190 cm. I haven't tried the new stuff on deep snow, but my left-over on-sale Volant McGs at 190cm work pretty well in a foot or so of snow.

Based on your desired turn size you could go 165 to 190 cm. Extra length is not required for stability at speed, honest!
post #17 of 18
i stumbled upon this guide when i was making the switch from 198 Rossi 7S's to "shaped" skis several seasons ago:


also, the general rule of thumb I was told was to take between 10-20cm (usually 15) off the current length of old long skis. So my 198s became a 178. That's the length I started demoing at and eventually found 180 to be a good everyday length for me and going up to 188 for a powder ski.

post #18 of 18

Boots 1st...Demo Lenghts...

howdy, kidz,

if i were a friend of your's & you wanted to ski in jeans, i'd tell you to go home & put on some real ski gear...jeezzz, i'd be so embarrassed

as to the lesson, i whole heartedly agree...it ain't your daddy's oldsmobile anymore: cuz he's gotta brand new bag (thx for the memories, james brown).

if you haven't got your new booties yet, spend a coupla hrs in the boots forum...then pick a shop where you're gonna be spending the most time at & get to know the boot fitter real well...that person will make your resurgent ski life a whole lot easier.

and now to your ? of length...as you're gonna be out west, you're lookin' about 10cm+ longer than your eastern skis and generally a much softer flexing ski...when you go to demo, you're not just lookin' at different models/brands but lengths in the few skis you've narrowed your choice down to (2nd danglin' participle but just couldn't get it any clearer, ok). you'll be surprised at the difference in performance due to length (read my signature.

as to the skis.com chart...imo it's not that good...my rule of thumb is:

(measured in street shoes standing straight or in ski boots w ankles/knees/waist bent in a ski stance)

short turn/racer (league not pro)...ski tips btwn chin to tip of nose
powder...btwn tip of nose to eyebrow
gs/racer (league not pro)...btwn eyebrow to top of head

understand this is a general guide line but i've found for the vast majority of non racers/pros this works quite well.

additionally, i'd not be in any rush to make a ski purchase at this time...just demo as much as possible...swap skis w your buddies...rent if need be but be patient, cause in the spring there'll be huge discounts on every ski, as well as, some excellent used demos and check out the gear forums here for reliable gear at great prices.

thx for listenin',

bruce marks
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