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another length dilemma

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
well here's my problem.  I recently demoed a few skis at my local mountain and am now looking to buy a pair of rossi z9's.  My dilemma is that i was only able to demo them in 170cm (i had previously been thinking 162cm).  Well the 170's skied great but i also skied a pair of rossi classic 70's that day in a 165 length.  The classic 70's had a 12m sidecut radius (while the 170cm z9's had a 15m) and i really preferrred the shorter radius because i like quick g-force turns.  However the 162cm z9's have a 13m radius which is pretty spot on for what im looking for in a sidecut.  I was thinking i could get the z9's in a 162cm then, but i am worried they will either be/become too short for me.  What do you guys think, Should I go with the longer 170's(better in powder, will be more stable) or the 162's (preferred sidecut, easier to use at slower speeds)?  I'm 18, a level 6-7 skier, 5'9" 150lbs, and looking to improve.  And as i said earlier i really like cranking the skis over and doing high-speed high-load turns down the blues and easier blacks.  Any quick input wouls be very apreciated as i am looking to buy this week.
post #2 of 6
The Z9 in the shorter radius will not come close to the CS70, imho of course.
post #3 of 6
 I recently shared your dilemma, Volkl Mantra 177 vs 184.  I ski lots of trees, steeps and powder/crud.  I don't like going fast nearly as much as skiing a steep tight line so I felt the shorter ski was what I needed.  When I tried demo skis in each length I noticed that the shorter skis were easier to turn further reinforcing my preconceived notion.  Still, I had this nagging suspicion that I needed a longer ski (5ft 11in, 195 lbs).  When I ski steeper terrain, and, the radius of the turn dictated by the terrain is larger than I like for the pitch, I worry that my edges will not hold in the bottom of the turn.  Also, on those occasions where the easiest way out of a dicey spot is to point the skis and let them run, I feel uneasy in my ability to control my skis at the higher speeds.These concerns arose from my experience skiing multiple skis in lengths from 170-180.

I finally found my Mantras, but in a 184 length.  They were gently used and a great deal so I took the leap and made the purchase.  Once I started skiing on these longer boards, the world opened for me.  Steeps were easier and fear of control at speed disappeared.  The longer ski was definitely what I need.

Though the shorter skis are easier to turn, they do not hold an edge as well.  This prompts turning with linked hockey stops and skidding as opposed to carved turns which take longer to complete and therefore leave you in the fall line longer and let your speed build at the end of the turn.  The longer skis give you better edge hold at turn completion and that security allows you to have the confidence to carve the turn and linger in the fall line.  The other advantage afforded by the longer skis is stability at speed.  Again, when you know that your skis will feel stable if you let them run, you are less afraid to link a few carved turns in the fall line.  The bottom line for me is that the longer skis gave me more of a safety net than they cost me in maneuverability.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
mmmm great information maxwell, i do have that nagging suspicion that the 162 wont be enough for me.  I think i may take your advice here, but for comparison what sort of ski style would you say you have?  Are you like me and big on quick carving, or do you prefer longer turns.  Im just a bit worried i wont get as much fun out of the longer radius.  Thanks for your help. :)
post #5 of 6
 I prefer short quick turns.I usually ski single blacks and easier double blacks out west.  I usually only ski groomers to get from A to B.  I seek out soft snow and trees.  I encounter lots of bumps which I generally enjoy if they are not too icy. I think the key question you should ask yourself is what would you like to do on skis that you cannot easily do now. When I switched to longer skis, all sorts of turns on the hill opened up to me.  The biggest single difference was that suddenly, I could go faster everywhere without feeling out of control. If control at speed, edge slip on the steeps, and ability to absorb small bumps are difficult, go with the longer ski.If you have a hard time carving a short radius turn (i.e. you have to twist the skis to get them around) then the shorter length is what you want.  Remember, as you progress, you will likely want to ski faster and longer skis make that easier and more fun.  All that said, unless you are getting paid to ski, pick the gear that makes you smile the most.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
thanks maxwell you've been a big help.  This seems to concur with some other stuff i've read.  I'll go with the 170's.
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