Seems like if you ask 10 people about ski length, you get 8 different answers, so might as well ask 10 more people! I'm a second year, 48 year old skier, weighing about 220 with all my gear on, 5'10" plus a few hash marks. My skiing for now is in Ohio, PA, and NY, where hardpack is predominant, and slopes are short. I'm not at all about speed, but want maneuverability on our more narrow slopes and stability and ease as I learn to turn better.
I bought a close-out set of Atomic Nomad Sunbursts at the end of last season, at 169cm. Not a bad entry level ski, certainly better than the rentals, and with the Head Edge 10 boots I was able to progress pretty good.
This year, we plan on going to places like Holiday Valley and Seven Springs a few times in addition to our anemic Ohio slopes. I have an opportunity to buy a set of 2010 Blizzard Magnum 7.6's w/bindings at $500. question is, should I stick with the 170's or try the 163's? I ask, because on the Sunburst skis, I seem to have a hard time keeping them parallel, and turns are not as smooth and crisp. Some of this may be technique yet (OK, probably most of it!), but I can't help but feel the skis are a bit long and clumsy on me. 163 would put the ski tips to the tip of my nose when I am barefoot; 170 is at my eyebrows.
Also, are the Blizzard's a significant and noticeable improvement over the Atomics? Or should I give it another year on the Atomic Sunbursts?