Okay, I currently ski on a Dynastar Contact ST 10 (2006 sl) 158, kind of feels short at times, but good in the bumps and trees and fun and easy to feel the movement arc from toe to heel on the sweet spot. Fun, lively ski, I enjoy. Shortest ski I ever owned. I also have a Volant Gravity 68, 168. Very different feel always. Solid smooth consistent edge that grabs and stays put. Not alot of energy and the full edge is longer and more solid. Like a Strong stable friend you can rely on to not drop you. Prior to this I spent about 10 years on the Fischer World Cup, RC4 Slalom of varying year, 195's.
Now, i'm looking for something to compliment my Dynastar for times I head west, but still be a good ski east, in the right conditions when I don't want to do all the turns of slalom or we had a nice dump. Mid 70's wide, maybe a 15 to 16 M turn. Oh, i'm 5'5", 145 ish (varies 136 to 148), In fit shape and a Level 2 CSIA ability, mostly agressive but sometimes just ski smooth and pretty. Oh, I do really like bumps and trees. I ski them CSIA style (feet on the ground, controlled speeds, smooth), not free style, with it's fast straighter line turns, jumps etc. I find no moguls in the Carolina's and have only been able to hit them on ski trips north or west in the past 4 years, so I've only been in the bumps 3 times so far this year, while north, 'Visiting ontario.
Okay, now onto my question. When at the Elan site, if i put in i'm a female advanced to expert at my height and weight it recommends female skis in a 155 to 158 radius (type depends on whether i say all mountain, racer, etc), but all radii recommend about the same short length. If I say i'm male and that weight and height, the all mountain go up to 170 ish. All stats the same. K2 is closer but still recommends a bit longer if I say i'm male and leave the rest of the stats.
Why are the recommendations so extremely different? Are women skis really necessary when you hit high end skiing? I see fischer makes skis the same for men and women, just a graphic change. Volkl and K2 claim to have the narrow of the side cut up to 2 cm forward and the binding can be mounted forward or not on their women's skis. Other say a more forgiving flex pattern. Does this mean my ski gets skied out quicker, or is it just nicer to ski at where our COM moves?
I have concerns when I see coments like the woman's ski is 20% softer and 20% lighter. Why such a difference if the weight and ability and height of the skier are the same? Being around so long, women's skis were not an option in past and I always skied on a high end man's ski in a 195 to 200. Will a woman's ski really make a difference (high end women skiers to answer please)?
Anyhow, any high end female skiers that have gone through this transition, could you offer any advice? I'm really leary of bying anything marked for women as so much in merchandising marked women, means, pay more for inferior quality.