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Need crud and powder ski for petite woman; how wide and how tall to go?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

My girlfriend has a pair of Nordica Olympia Drives in a 146cm. length.(76mm. underfoot).  She is 5'2", 120#, level 6, and skis at moderate speeds, in the west, particularly in Cali (Mammoth, Tahoe).  She has had trouble with these skis in heavy crud and deeper snow as they deflect and get knocked around quite easily. She will likely keep just the Nordica Drives and one other ski, so it has to be somewhat versatile, not a powder specialty ski.

 

So question is, in terms of width underfoot, for a woman of this size, where should we be looking?  I know that for myself, at 165 lbs., but an aggressive level 7, for a ski to be able to give me decent float in powder (say knee high) and bust some crud, it's about the 94-105mm. range if not higher.   But does she really need something that wide?

 

The other question of course is what length?  For her, nose high is about 150cm..head high is around 158cm...and I'm guessing with twin-tips it's the same rule of adding around 8-10cm. to match running length...

 

one model I was looking at was the Fischer Vision Zeal, which seems to be similar to, say a Watea 84..but it's 84cm. underfoot at 159cm...and 88 mm. under foot at 168cm....but not sure if this is gonna be big enough

 

 

post #2 of 27

 Salomon Lady 150-ish would be a good start.

post #3 of 27

It may be a bit much for her at a level 6, uness she's really aggressive, but I say buy her the Aura in the 156. It'll do everything she needs. If the width concerns her/you, maybe the Pearl would be a better choice.

post #4 of 27

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

 

 Salomon Lady 150-ish would be a good start.

 

I would second this choice. The Lady is a great option for an intermediate woman that is looking for something a bit wider underfoot. It is light, nimble and energetic which makes it a very fun platform for her to grow into, while still having fun.

 

 

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

so, 84mm.underfoot and 160 ish, high 150's "big mountain" ski.....for a 120 lb woman...

 

anybody have an idea what an analagous ski would be for a guy of my build (5'10, 165 lbs)?  Are we talking 178cm. Watea 94?....Gotama 176cm?...

 

I know that for me, to feel any difference in terms of floatation compared to my midfat carver (im78's), I'd need to jump up to that 94mm. wide range.  My girlfriend's frontsiders are 74mm. wide and 146cm. long.

post #6 of 27

In terms of lbs/sq cm, you'd match up to a mid 80's for her on a Goat or something in the 100-105 range. If you want to calculate it yourself, go to PM's ski calculator sticky, download it, figure out the surface area for any ski, then divide by weight.  

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 

do you have a link for this calculator?  can't seem to find it. 

 

your saying roughly that a mid 80's ski head high would be like a gotama (100ish) for me?

post #8 of 27

I see a lot of ladies at Squaw on K2 Fat Loves and they seem to ski them every day.

 

post #9 of 27

My wife is 5'9" and 125 lbs and I got her a pair of 167cm Prior Doughboys. They are 103 mm under foot and she had quite a bit of 'big' ski anxiety before she went and used them over the last three days here. She now thinks they are the business. They have a 17 m radius so they are pretty turny on the piste as well.

 

Prior also make the Sister in 157 cm which is 85 mm underfoot and has a 16.5 m radius. They also make the Doughboy in 159 cm which is 103 mm underfoot and a 16 m radius. 

 

The skis are light and work well all over the mountain.

 

Their website is pretty user friendly if you want to have a look:

http://www.priorskis.com/skis_sister.php

http://www.priorskis.com/skis_doughboy.php

 

Customer service is pretty good - she can speak to a real woman who can ski (Shannon) in the office if she wants to here about them from a lighter woman.

 

Depending on where you live you may be able to demo a pair as they are about to launch on a demo tour.

post #10 of 27

The Nordica Olympia Conquor is a decent crud buster that can take her most every where she wants to ski.  

 

VG is right that the Aura is a great ski for most of this stuff but it may be a bit more than you're looking for.

 

post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

THe Aura looks like too much ski for her...you mention the Pearl as a subtitute...do you know anything about the "Cosmo"?

 

Also, do you know anything about the Fischer Vision Zeal?

post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 

T.C.

What's your feeing on how wide and long to go for someone this small (120 lbs, 5'2")?  I tried out the ski surface area calculator that Beyond referred to , and according to that, he is right, a ski that is 84ish in the waist, close to 160cm long , would (if all other factors remained the same) come out to something similar to a Gotama 176, a Scott P4, etc. for me at 165 lbs,   I know that this is pretty rudimentary estimate, but if that is the case, I think this is the range I'd be interested in..

 

Salomon Lady 161

Fischer Vision Zeal 158

Line Celebrity 158

K2 Tough Luv 156

Scott Sheela 162

Dynastar Exclusive Powder 158

Volkl Pearl 162

 

these all have a similar amount of running surface...Volkl Aura and Cosmo are a little bit bigger.

 

Know anything about any of the above?

post #13 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monologuist View Post

 

so, 84mm.underfoot and 160 ish, high 150's "big mountain" ski.....for a 120 lb woman...

 

I know that for me, to feel any difference in terms of floatation compared to my midfat carver (im78's), I'd need to jump up to that 94mm. wide range.  My girlfriend's frontsiders are 74mm. wide and 146cm. long. 


 

I'm 130lbs. 5'5" and get tons of float from my Watea 84's - I've had them in up to 18" although we're talking light CO powder.  For a small level 6 person that will be plenty wide especially since you don't want to give the up the maneuverability and easier edging of a narrower ski.  For deeper days I get out my Gotama's, but I'll be honest - anything in the 90mm-100mm needs a knowledgeable driver to get them to work in anything but the real soft stuff.  My wife (130lbs., level 7) has 78mm and 90mm K2's (tele versions) and because she says she likes to "feel her edges" she ski's the 78mm skis 90% of the time. 

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 

The Wateas are 167cm though no?  The Fischer ski I was considering was the Vision Zeal in a 158cm.  Supposedly it has the same construction as the Watea 84, same width underfoot, dimensions are 121/84/109...watea 84 is 126/84/112 (and 9 cm. longer).  

 

So at 10 lbs. lighter than you and only level 6 and not very aggressive in style, perhaps this "mini-W84" would work?

post #15 of 27

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monologuist View Post

 

do you have a link for this calculator?  can't seem to find it. 

 

your saying roughly that a mid 80's ski head high would be like a gotama (100ish) for me?

Yes, I worked it out for my wife, who weighs about 128, and me, at 165; on a 85 mm 170, she's the same wt/SA as as I am on a 183 cm 105. Since your friend weighs less, she'll have even more float, so actually maybe more like you on a 108-110. 

post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 

I think I found the spreadsheet you were referring to.  After plugging a few skis, this is what I came up with:

 

A ski that is 121/84/109..159cm. long.....skier = 120 lbs...

analagous ski in terms of weight/surface-area was the Scott P4 181cm. (134/108/128). 

 

Very interesting, although of course this doesn't take into account dozens of other variables that may or may not be even more important, like overall flex, flex distribution, construction and materials...Frankly, I'm surprised, and maybe a little skeptical as to how this would bear out in the real world.

 

In any case, the impression I'm getting from this thread and other sources is that for someone as light as 120 lbs., 84-90mm. might be enough to perform admirably in all but the deepest powder days. 

 

 

 

 

post #17 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monologuist View Post

 

The Wateas are 167cm though no?  The Fischer ski I was considering was the Vision Zeal in a 158cm.  Supposedly it has the same construction as the Watea 84, same width underfoot, dimensions are 121/84/109...watea 84 is 126/84/112 (and 9 cm. longer).  

 

So at 10 lbs. lighter than you and only level 6 and not very aggressive in style, perhaps this "mini-W84" would work?

Wasn't recommending the W84's per se (yeah the shortest length is a 167cm, which is what I ski), just saying that an 84mm ski with a similar soft, wide shovel as the W84's should give her plenty of flotation.  Also saying that anything wider than that and it starts becoming more of a powder-specific ski for a lightweight level 6 skier.  As for whether she'll like the "min-W84" vs. anything else on your list - I can't say, since I believe that only demo'ing can tell you that for sure (especially given the issue of dealing with "heavy crud" which is something us Coloradan's know little about except that it's called Sierra Cement - no offense meant).
 

 

Good Luck

post #18 of 27

Mrs CA is about the same height/weight/ability of your GF.  She tried the Salomon Lady, but liked the 154 Scarlet more.  Also, if she lkes the Olympia, she should look at the 92mm Conquerer.  That's the ski that Mrs CA has liked the best and requested that I find for her.

 

FWIW all the skis shes tried were at Kicking Horse in BC.

post #19 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caucasian Asian View Post

 

Mrs CA is about the same height/weight/ability of your GF.  She tried the Salomon Lady, but liked the 154 Scarlet more.  Also, if she lkes the Olympia, she should look at the 92mm Conquerer.  That's the ski that Mrs CA has liked the best and requested that I find for her.

 

FWIW all the skis shes tried were at Kicking Horse in BC.

I'm a guy, but can relate to this discussion as I'm 140lbs. With a ski 84mm to 95mm, a short length works very well. I'd second the Scarlet. a friend rides it a lot, similar stats if more experience.

The fact that it comes in a 154 is great, as you should go no longer if possible. that or any comparable ski model that comes in that size. (honestly, 164 and longer is way to long.)

post #20 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caucasian Asian View Post

 

Mrs CA is about the same height/weight/ability of your GF.  She tried the Salomon Lady, but liked the 154 Scarlet more.  Also, if she lkes the Olympia, she should look at the 92mm Conquerer.  That's the ski that Mrs CA has liked the best and requested that I find for her.

Does she ski the Conquerer in anything but very soft snow or powder?  My experience is that a very short/light level 6 skier does not have the skills (and the stronger/longer legs) to set and hold a wide ski on edge when skiing on more packed conditions (i.e., angulating and driving it through the turn).  You never know

post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 

The Salomon Scarlet looks like a full twin tip.  154cm in a full twin is pretty short running surface no?

post #22 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monologuist View Post

 

I think I found the spreadsheet you were referring to.  After plugging a few skis, this is what I came up with:

 

A ski that is 121/84/109..159cm. long.....skier = 120 lbs...

analagous ski in terms of weight/surface-area was the Scott P4 181cm. (134/108/128). 

 

Very interesting, although of course this doesn't take into account dozens of other variables that may or may not be even more important, like overall flex, flex distribution, construction and materials...Frankly, I'm surprised, and maybe a little skeptical as to how this would bear out in the real world.

 

In any case, the impression I'm getting from this thread and other sources is that for someone as light as 120 lbs., 84-90mm. might be enough to perform admirably in all but the deepest powder days. 

 

 

 

 

There is more to crud busting than just ski deminsions, skis like your iM series tend to be better in crud because hey havd better dampening charateristics ,,,,,they do not get deflected as easily as another constuction might.
 

For instance, my wife has had three sets of skis that are almost identical in deminsion, but all three ski differently.  Dynastar Exclusive 8's,   Head Cool thangs and one of the K2 XXX Luv series---just which one escapes me right now.

 

Of the three, the dynastar was rated for the highest ability level and the one she liked the least since it got bounced around too much.  the K2 were actually the best of this trio in crud condiion and she actually likes the Cool things the best right now for her style.

 

I'm NOT suggesting any of these for your GF, since they do not fit the stated requirements---only that there is more to it than simply dimensions.

 

 

My recession reduced $.02

post #23 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monologuist View Post

 

The Salomon Scarlet looks like a full twin tip.  154cm in a full twin is pretty short running surface no?

I don't know how Salomon measures their skis, full tip to tip length, or exclusive of the tail tip, but either way, at 120lb, 150 o 156 seems optimal. (Acknowlege that if she seriously works out, core and legs, she could handle the next size.)

 

(Consider that a 140 lb expert skier who skis 100+ days can have excellent control on 50mph groomers and bash serious crud or float pow on 164's.)
 

post #24 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ski-ra View Post

 


 

Does she ski the Conquerer in anything but very soft snow or powder?  My experience is that a very short/light level 6 skier does not have the skills (and the stronger/longer legs) to set and hold a wide ski on edge when skiing on more packed conditions (i.e., angulating and driving it through the turn).  You never know

It's been a pretty blah season so far.  Most of her days were spent on groomers with a little off-piste thrown in to challenge her.  She liked the stability and dampness of the Conquerer in all conditions over everything she skied from Salomon, Head, and Nordica.
 

post #25 of 27

I'm similar size to your girlfriend and I demoed a bunch of skis in powder at Squaw a few weeks ago.  The Aura was a bit too stiff and heavy for me, but my favorite of the bunch was the Head Sweet One, although it is pretty powder oriented.  I have heard great things about the Cosmo but it's hard to find a place to demo it.  I like the Fischers and just got a pair of the Zeals, but haven't gotten the bindings mounted yet, but I'll report back soon. 

post #26 of 27

My girlfriend (130#, level 6-7)  has 164cm Scarlets and loves them.  Generally you should get a powder ski a few centimeters longer than your all-mountain ski and since the Scarlets are twin tips, add on another couple centimeters.  Her everyday ski is 158cm long so the 164cm Scarlet works out to be a good fit.

post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 

Valli...please do report on your experience with the Zeals.  My research is leading me to the Zeal 158's, Cosmo 161's, or maybe one of the Salomons...

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