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question re: length

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi, new to this forum, so please be kind. [img]smile.gif[/img]

I am a 5'6", 130lb female skiier of intermediate level, but I can still keep up with my advanced husband. In other words, its not pretty... :

My question is this: having ditched the old skinny skis (they were 195cm), I'm looking to buy some new skis, and I'm unsure of what length they should be. For that matter, does anyone out there have any general advice on what manufacturer, model, etc?

I really appreciate any feedback. Thanks!
post #2 of 7
Sounds like a similar situation to me and my wife. She's very happy on some 160cm Salomon X-Screams. I'd say demo till you find something you like and give yourself a day or so to adjust to the shorter shaped skis before forming opinions.
post #3 of 7
Well since i dont were your from its hard to say what ski would work well for you but I would think about a 170 length for stability for keeping up with the husband. Maybe an Atomic 9.18 ladies ski at 170 length, or K2 has some new ladies ski's the T-nine X which has a 70mm waste for good float if you ski say out west or the T-nine Spire with a 64mm waste for good groomed carving they come in 160, 167, 174 lengths.
post #4 of 7
I am 5'9" and 135lbs and I have demo'd alot of different lengths but the 160's work really, really well for me.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Oh about where I ski...grew up in CA, so all skiing I did back then was out west. Now we live out east, but still haven't quite taken to the conditions here! Every trip we've planned has still taken us out west (Mammoth), going to Sun Valley this spring, but maybe going to check out Snowshoe in WV.

170's...oh my! Oh well, guess you gotta change with the times! :

Hmmm, maybe the short skis will help me LOOK like a better skiier. Thanks for the quick replies.
post #6 of 7
FWIW, I ski a 167cm Rossi T-Power Cobra S and a 170cm Volant Chubb Ti, I weigh 270lbs and I ski in the east.

I'm a fairly new skier but from what I've seen and learned I have developed a theory.

When skis were straight and of relatively simple construction the length was the only thing that really differentiated skis.
Now, with very sophisticated construction techniques, high-tech bindings, boots that are engineering marvels...
Length has stopped mattering as much, but ironically, it's become even more difficult to find skis.

I read the reviews of skis and I see time after time that the reviewers are saying that the exact same ski in two different lengths ski completely differently.

This makes demoing more important than ever.

I also have a theory about how to select skis and sizes to demo.
Read the reviews and narrow it down to one or two skis based on the reviews.
Then select a size you're pretty sure is too short for you.
Try that size and if it works, then great, you're done.
If it seems a bit too unstable at speed or in the crud, then go up to the next size, which should fix the problem.

Now, understand that I could be completely wrong about all this, which is why I'm making this disclaimer.
I'm just relating to you what I have begin to develop as a strategy for finding a starting point.
post #7 of 7
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by nakona:
...I'm a fairly new skier but from what I've seen and learned I have developed a theory. When skis were straight and of relatively simple construction the length was the only thing that really differentiated skis... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just a bit of history from my personal grey matter archives ...

FWIW, while it may not seem so to the younger folks, even as far back as the late '70's, people certainly knew much more about ski design than just length. In fact, among top end skis, length was essentially NOT a variable, for the simple reason that everyone skied on skis in a narrow length range (ie, 203 - 210) for psychlogical reasons.

OTOH, the designers played with (and hyped) different sidecut curves (but always within the constraint of small total sidecut).

Longitudinal and torsional flex was a big deal to people, and quantitative numbers for these were even reported in the "gear test" articles of the consumer ski mags of that era.

Within the constraint that ultra stiff torsional rigidity could not be achieved on a longitudinal soft ski, even back as far as the late 70's they had considerable freedom in setting stiffness parameters.

For example, designers certainly "knew" that longitudinal stiffness was be useful for gripping on ice. To be precise, what they "really" knew was that a stiff ski would skid over ice in a more predictable way than a soft ski.

OTOH, since skidded turns were the norm for that period, some designers intentionally went in the opposite direction and built in substantial torsional softness to help the ski skid sideways over terrain irregularities.

The effects of different flex distributions were quite well understood by then. The successful flex patterns of that era were ones that you would still recognize today, eg, stiff tails, round flexing for soft snow, overall softer flex for moguls & tricks, etc. etc.

On the unsuccessful side of the ledger, they experimented with some wild designs like a very stiff forebody flex, and a forebody sidecut curve which had almost all of its flair at the very tip. Put it on edge, and the tip suddenly gripped way out at the end of this long lever arm. This was supposed to be for "quick turn initiation". Well, it was so quick/twitchy it was useless! (Note to the other retro-grouches - that was either a Kneissel or Kestle slalom design).

Altho I don't recall consumers and consumer mags discussing ski width very much, I think that most advanced skiers and ski designers knew perfectly well about the advantages of wider skis in soft snow. Unfortunately, they labored under a psychological barrier that seemed to keep almost all mainstream skis under about 70 mm at the waist.

Finally, around that time, they were also beginning to understand the importance of damping selected frequency bands in the ski's response curve, especially on ice. They did this by using "cracked" or segmented edges.

History lesson/rant over.

Tom / PM

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 14, 2002 06:33 PM: Message edited 2 times, by PhysicsMan ]</font>
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