Originally Posted by ilovepdx
My current ski is 153 cm K2 Lotta Love ... I was directed toward this shorter ski length due to my low weight... they come to the bridge of my nose.
My mindset is that mass-produced skis are likely engineered for a more normal weight-to-height body-type, which makes me 25-40 or more pounds lighter than average-weight people for my height.
As for the 153s, if they come to the bridge of your nose, either you're not 5' 6" or your skis aren't 153s. My 167s come to the bridge of MY nose, and I'm only an inch (2cm) taller than your reported height. You sure they're not 16
Anyway, the rest of my comments assume that you are really 5' 6".
Lot of folks replying here. I suspect they're not all lightweights. I am, though not as light as you. I am 5' 7", 135lb male, 46yo. What I have found - and I think others lightweights here too, like Ski-Ra
- is that skiers who are very light for their height sometimes DO have minor to moderate issues with standard ski flex and standard recommendations from people who weighed more in sixth grade than we did when we went away to college. For me, at least, going short is NOT the answer. I might end up with the right flex, but a strong, aggressive skier on boards that are below a certain relative length - say, lower lip height - is likely to find such skis unsettlingly unstable at any kind of real speed or in any kind of inconsistent slow/fast snow conditions such as shade/sun patches on a spring day, or broken up deep snow. I personally prefer skis that are the standard length for my height, but with softer than normal flex and lighter than normal weight. (For me that happens to mean - very roughly - skis in the 165 - 170 range for medium-radius hardpack skis and 170 - 175 for soft snow skis. I say this just for reference.) Consulting a really good demo shop is probably the best way to go if you come in with the explicit statement that you want to go relatively long and soft,
and ask them to recommend some models that they think would be good for you. SJ's suggestion to look at women-specific models is, I'm sure, a good one. Another tack that can work is to look at a model of ski that is one notch "down level" for your ability. I.e., you might want to take a serious look at some "intermediate" skis, even if you are a stronger skier than the intended audience. Skis built for powerful expert men tend to be stiffer in both torsion and lengthwise flex than a lightweight person really needs to provide grip on hard snow, if you're skiing the ski at the right length for your height (not weight). Here's a possible example: People on this board and elsewhere are saying nice things right now about the Dynastar Sultan 85. If you were to demo that in, say, a 165, you might ALSO want to try the Sultan 80 for comparison. I have seen this model dismissed as a more of a "passive skier's ski," but I suspect, based on experience with earlier Dynastars, I would find it fine for me as a soft snow driver in my preferred length of 172. (NOTE: I have not been on either of these skis myself and am not recommending either of them, per se
, but I'm using them as an example of the way that ski makers often make pairs of models with similar geometry for a specific use case, where one is aimed at stronger, faster skiers and the other at slower, more casual ones.)
Another, more minor, thing is ski weight. I often hear people say they don't think weight matters, or even that heavier is better. For me, heavy is okay if I'm skiing fast, doing clean carves on a very consistent surface, where my speed and the flex / rebound / cross-under effect of the turn are providing more than enough energy to move me and the skis around the slope. On the other hand, if I'm skiing bumps or inconsistent soft snow, I find a heavy ski quite tiring and slow to respond, and enjoy a light ski much more.
Hope this helps, and good luck!