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Ski Width Dilemma

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi, I pretty new around here, I've just come back to skiing after being out of it for 24 years. Last year was my first time back. I picked up snowboarding in my late teens and have been on one until  last year.


Things have certainly changed since the 80's LOL. I picked up a pair of Elan MAG 8's 168 last year and it was like I had never left the sport. I jumped right back in it. I got about 30-35 days in last year.


My problem is that in deeper snow, I get my ass kicked on these skis of mine.


Ski Specs: 168cm 123/74/104


I'm thinking of giving my Elan's to the wife, so she can learn on them.



I ski mainly Steamboat Springs


I am 40 years old, 215lbs, 5'10

I consider myself at about a level 6 skier.


I have no idea about the new designs in skis, like I said, I skied on straight 185 Dynastars back in the day.


What size ski should I be looking for that will get me through the powder days, but still allow me to ski on the days when all the slopes are groomed?


I know there is no one perfect ski for all conditions, but I really can't afford a bunch of different sizes, I'm one of those in need of a one ski quiver.



Thanks for any help,




post #2 of 13

Take a look at Sierra Jim's crazy 8s thread.  He made fun of me for not mounting up my Watea 84s yet, but this might be a good do it all ski for you.  At your size I would be inclined to say go for the 184s, especially for powder, but given that you say your are a level 6, maybe the 176 would be a better choice.  If you pick something else I would probably stay away from the stiffer wide carvers and go for a mellower ski with something of a soft snow bias.

post #3 of 13



These are the type of skis to be looking at, sir.  The Wateas in particular are well-rounded, but since I ski on Watea 94's I'm somewhat biased.


Steamboat still have the Yurt to demo skis at?  I had my son try out a few there a couple of years ago, and you can't beat an on-hill demo of several skis to help with the decision.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks, yeah, the yurt is still there, I was going to hit it up this year


I've been looking at the Line Prophet 100, and 90


Would a 100mm wide ski, be too wide for me?

Edited by Malazan - 10/11/10 at 10:09pm
post #5 of 13

Malazan, welcome back from the darkside.  If you could do the demo thing for a day or two it would answer so many questions for you.  100s' why not, in 2 years we will all think they are narrow. 


 For length, at your weight, at least a 175.  If it is a twin-tip 180, they will ski shorter.

post #6 of 13

You have gotten some advice already......here are a couple more ideas.


First, a 168 would not be a great learning tool for your wife, I'd scratch that idea. Depending upon how much (if at all) she has skied, and her size etc that 168 may never be the right thing. Don't saddle her with something that'll make her work too hard.


Second, boots are the most important thing for both of you but especially her. Do the boots correctly and you will both progress and have fun. Do them incorrectly and she won't have fun and therefore.......welllll......you know.


So, how wide? That depends on you and the conditions you regularly see and how you prioritze them. Wider vs. narrower is all about accepting compromises. Here in Tahoe, when somebody comes into our store with no preconcieved notions, we start by asking about terrain and conditions priorities. For the skier with modest aspirations toward off piste skiing, we'll start the conversation in the low-mid 80mm range. For skiers with a more mixed bag on their minds, and more desire for deep snow, we'll talk more about high 80's to high 90's. For skiers with an expectation to be off piste and in 3-D snow at least 1/2 the time, the mid 90's can be fine but wider yet is perfectly feasible.


Here is an example of what I mean using myself as an example. (5-10, 200#, L-8)


I ski in Tahoe at a variety of resorts and spend about 75% of my time skiing off trail. I probably see deepish snow (12" +) maybe 20% of the time, and I have the luxury of skiing anything on any day but I usually will own three pairs of skis.


Approximately as follows......and if I were to have only one, it would be the one in the middle.


85mm = The ski for for no new snow in several days but also up to maybe 4-6"" of new. Medium stiff flex, slight hard snow bias.


95mm = Could ski the above conditions too but usually used within a couple of days after a storm or a mild storm day. Medium flex, slight soft snow bias.


110mm (or more) = Storm day or the day after a 12" + snowfall. Generally won't see much use outside of 3-D snow. Naturally this ski is baised towards soft snow.


So......Which of the three sounds best to you?


The thread already suggested is a good one and here is another.





post #7 of 13

215lb and 168 narrow waist ski in Colorado powder? Ouch....    SierraJim is right on, I'd suggest looking at a upper80-mid90 ski of at least 175cm length for your weight.   Here is my reference point: I am basically a two-ski quiver guy, 6ft, 195lb, and I use a 180cm all-mountain ski in mid-90 range (94mm twin tip Head) and a 184cm powder ski at 110+ (115mm Dynastar).  Head is perfectly adequate on groomers, and will handle powder just fine too, so don't be afraid of looking at that width range for a one-ski-quiver. 


P.S. Giving a ski to your wife is a bad, bad idea- why do you think she will enjoy the ski that kicks your a$$?   Also, SJ is totally right about boots, this is where I would put your money first and foremost.  Especially for your wife .  

post #8 of 13

Don't pick out your wife's skis.  You have no idea what she likes on the snow or what will feel good or bad to her.   Let her demo, she will know the right ski.  If you are going to help here - make sure she demos at least 3 pair so she has some comparisons and doesn't just settle for the lst pair she tries.

post #9 of 13
Wise man say "your wife should never be on gear that is worse than yours"

Secret to happy marriage and return visits to the hill.
post #10 of 13

Amen. First pair of skis in my house-- wife's Volkl Lunas. Other pairs of skis in my house-- none....

Originally Posted by Que View Post

Wise man say "your wife should never be on gear that is worse than yours"

Secret to happy marriage and return visits to the hill.
post #11 of 13
Originally Posted by keniski View Post

Amen. First pair of skis in my house-- wife's Volkl Lunas. Other pairs of skis in my house-- none....


Ya. Actually, it was my brother in law who tossed out that sage nugget. He and his wife, my sister, were doing about a 10 day nordic hut trip in Norway. He was on a pair of Asnes with a big burly back country boot and a three pin binding. She was on some sort of Rossi waxless, NNN, hybrid boot. They were about 6 days into it and her boots were shot. Soaked & ripping. About 7 days into it the waxless skis were utterly failing in the conditions and she was totally gassed. On the 8th day the NNN binder broke. They managed to push through but while it was an ok trip for him, she was pretty miserable. We have a saying in our family, "when my sister isn't happy, no one is happy". When they got back they switched her over to a Asnes/3pin/real boot setup and it was like night and day.


On its face the statement sounds sexist. It is, I'll admit it. But how many times have you seen a couple out there where the dude is rocking the greatest gear in the world while the female half is either using hand-me-downs or downgraded gear from the bargain bin. The other winter I sat next to a couple on a chair on a cold day. He had on Marmont and Arcteryx. She had on a shell that was one step up from a Starter jacket and some hanky Columbia pants. She was cold. He wasn't - and he kept on giving her crap about wanting to go into the lodge. Um... dude? Really?

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the suggestions.


I just figured my Elan's would also fit the wife, she is 5'9, 160lbs.



I'll let her try some out instead.

post #13 of 13
Originally Posted by Malazan View Post

Thanks for all the suggestions.


I just figured my Elan's would also fit the wife, she is 5'9, 160lbs.



I'll let her try some out instead.

SMART !!!!!!

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