So, I have skied "my" size on the Magnum 8.1 and 8.7 last spring. At 5 foot 9, 155lbs, that works out to 172 and 174cm. As I already have the Duke IQ binding, I need an AT setup, and am not really looking to go as wide as the Argos. At my weight, I rarely need something wider than 85mm, and I have a pair of Huge Troubles for bigger days. I want something a bit more all-around, as I will be using this as my main ski. Originally, the plan was for the Magnum 8.7 to be the ski in 174cm, but that is a little short for fast, wide-open skiiing, which is what I like to do. Skiing the Kastle MX98 in 174cm confirmed this: great ski, but too short for big-bowl skiing. I was thinking the Stockli XXXL or Elan 888 (both are superb skis) but neither will work with my Duke IQ. And, I really didn't want to step down to a Fritschi Freeride XL or Naxo, as they are a little soft for resort skiing (probably 90% in bounds, 10% AT use).
I am thinking instead of a Blizzard 8.1 in 179cm. Measuring the running length, it is identical to the 177cm 888, although the flex seems stiffer. Anyone out there my size try skiing this ski? If so, what were your thoughts? The 172cm seemed short when I tried it, but never thought to give the 179cm a shot. Looking for a ski that is stable at speed, but also not a tank. On paper, it seems like a good idea, but some longer skis work for good skiers that don't weigh much (Stockli XXXL, Elan 82ti) while others don't (Fischer Cold Heat).