To give a quick background, I'm an occasional skier (3-4 days annually) until recently, in which now I'm able to ski much more due to a recent move north to Virginia. Until now, I've had some frustrating days to be sure but I've progressed to an intermediate level I'd guess (very comfortable on blues, somewhat comfortable on blacks based on how I feel that day or overall fatigue, and the run itself). However, as of late I feel that I'm making little to no progress overall; I thought by now I'd be ripping down blacks but that simply isn't happening, and some days I feel like I'm regressing a bit. I'm 6'0, 190, and my current skis are Salomon Verse 7 (160 cm) that were given to me by a relative a few years back when I was first introduced to skiing. After doing a bit of research here, I'm now well aware that my skis are too short, if not grossly too short for me at this point. With that being said, are my skis at least partly to blame for the wall I've seem to hit lately, or should I chalk it up to typical growing pains in which a good day or two of instructing should cure (or both)?
I guess I'd say my main problems are that, on black runs, my skis feel unstable during turns and flat runs overall. They seem to chatter a good bit and basically don't feel as stable as (I think) they should. Thus my confidence goes out the window quickly and you all know what that can do to you. Also, my legs seem to get tired very quickly as well; after a few hours today for example I was pretty much shot, and was even a bit sketchy on blues which isn't normal for me. For what its worth, fitness isn't a problem for me with my legs, as I'm a biker and do quite a bit of lifting/training as well. Regardless, I plan on getting some quality instruction the next time out, but I'm just curious if some of you feel that perhaps my skis are to blame as well, and are holding me back. Until now I assumed that shorter skis simply meant you couldn't ski as fast and that's about it, but after doing a few searches here it looks like proper ski length is very important for your development.
If my skis are a problem here, how exactly are they holding me back and do my symptoms above sound like someone who is skiing on undersized skis? Finally, I'm starting my search this week for new skis, probably in the 170cm range. Any comments here (along with any specific ski recommendations) would be appreciated. As I mentioned earlier I ski in the east exclusively (Snowshoe mainly).
By the way, if this post would be more appropriate for the instruction form let me know and I'll move it...this is my first post so I was unsure as to which form to post this on. Thanks.