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Advice in deciding on ski length

Krikaya

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it is definitely the driver, not the car. but the driver does himself a disservice by driving tiny little short toothpick narrow gaper cars.

I have 85s, for park, urban, and the very thinnest of early/late season days
I have 105s which I use every day
I have 118s for lucky days

my 105s lay trenches just fine when I want them to, and are way more fun in even a few inches of soft snow than your lame eastern twig skis.

OH great god of skiing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I fear I have offended thee. Please have pity on my scrawny pansy worthless self!!

To gain back your respect I will immediately build a shrine in your honor and name it The Altar of Saint Krusty the patron Saint of all things Vertical. And next to the altar I will build a bonfire!! And onto that bonfire I will place my lame eastern twig skis and sacrifice them in your honor!!!

And the next time I ascend the mountain I shall do so with snowboards strapped to my feet. Wider is better. And if I see any scrawny, pansy skiers on toothpick skis I will smite them down in your name!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Cornhead

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OH great god of skiing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I fear I have offended thee. Please have pity on my scrawny pansy worthless self!!

To gain back your respect I will immediately build a shrine in your honor and name it The Altar of Saint Krusty the patron Saint of all things Vertical. And next to the altar I will build a bonfire!! And onto that bonfire I will place my lame eastern twig skis and sacrifice them in your honor!!!

And the next time I ascend the mountain I shall do so with snowboards strapped to my feet. Wider is better. And if I see any scrawny, pansy skiers on toothpick skis I will smite them down in your name!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Too funny, by the way, I own a pair of snowboards, 132 underfoot, l was happy to be able to use them somewhere besides Snow Ridge last year. They're not even powder skis, big mountain, pretty stiff, titanal top sheet. They are surprisingly fun to ski on anything but ice, stable as Hell. The lift line conversations are priceless, skis were cheap, $269 new old stock, I used an old pair of bindings, just had to buy uber wide brakes.

I'm now tipping the scales at 260, I need all the help I can get on powder days. I bought a pair of Blizzard Brahmas for daily drivers, 87 underfoot, two and a half sheets of metal, should be a great every day East coast ski. Got the in 180, maybe 187 would've been better, I don't know.

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kingslug

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Just because you can does not mean you should.




You can carve 115 on hard pack, but don't try anything outside the natural turn radius. Fat skis are just not a good tool for hardpack and are absolutely useless on ice. We've all seen dudes straightlining icy runs on fat banana skis, but that's not skiing.




The macho factor.... You're not a real skier unless you can ski hardpack with 115+. Is it what you're trying to say ? When I was a kid, you were not a skier unless your ski was longer than 200cm. Nowadays it's all about ski width. So dumb.

For the record, my skinniest ski is 88mm at the waist. My fattest is my touring ski at 104 and my go to is 98 mm wide. I hunt powder in the woods all I can. I ski groomers and icy run when I have too and I do it without any problems. I just don't go pretending they're the best tool for the job. They're not.

If you mostly ski groomers (like 90% of skiers), there is no logical or physical reasons to pick anything above 85 mm at the waist.
No macho factor at all. I always will say that whatever works for you is good. I don't care what people ski on. I picked 105 as it can be used on everything. The 117's will be for the deep days. My wife has 3 different width skis because she needs that. I don't. Thats it.
 

Bosco DaSkia

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I'm now tipping the scales at 260, I need all the help I can get on powder days. I bought a pair of Blizzard Brahmas for daily drivers, 87 underfoot, two and a half sheets of metal, should be a great every day East coast ski. Got the in 180, maybe 187 would've been better, I don't know.


I'm surprised you like the Brahmas. I tried a pair at Smuggs at the end of last season and really didn't care for them. At least, not in the heavy wet spring slop I had to navigate that day. I was disappointed with the float, especially in the tighter woods where I really could have used the help.

Maybe I'll give'em another try this year in different conditions.



:cool:
 

deadheadskier

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Just because you can does not mean you should.




You can carve 115 on hard pack, but don't try anything outside the natural turn radius. Fat skis are just not a good tool for hardpack and are absolutely useless on ice. We've all seen dudes straightlining icy runs on fat banana skis, but that's not skiing.




The macho factor.... You're not a real skier unless you can ski hardpack with 115+. Is it what you're trying to say ? When I was a kid, you were not a skier unless your ski was longer than 200cm. Nowadays it's all about ski width. So dumb.

For the record, my skinniest ski is 88mm at the waist. My fattest is my touring ski at 104 and my go to is 98 mm wide. I hunt powder in the woods all I can. I ski groomers and icy run when I have too and I do it without any problems. I just don't go pretending they're the best tool for the job. They're not.

If you mostly ski groomers (like 90% of skiers), there is no logical or physical reasons to pick anything above 85 mm at the waist.
I agree with this completely.

Just because you can screw in a Philips head screw with a flat head driver, that doesn't mean it's the best tool for the job.

My daily driver is a 90. Wildcat only grooms 50% of their terrain and has plentiful trees. Perfect ski for that mountain. On the days that the natural terrain is off limits, I'd want something 80 or less and will be looking to pick something up for that purpose next off season. My 84 waist Fischer Motives were designed to be a all mountain ski with a carving bias. I think even they give up a ton in carving performance.

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skiNEwhere

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OP, I wouldn't just keep your weight in mind but your height as well. Seeing as you are taller, your center of gravity will be higher as well. In your case I do think that a longer ski would suite you better.

As others have said a million times, DEMO! If you demo the longer skis, I'd make sure you take them in the trees to ensure you feel comfortable on them in tight places. (I wouldn't share this tidbit with the demo people [emoji38])
 

spiderpig

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Jeez, I'm 6'4" and just went UP to 178. I would not want to go longer since I ski all terrain. The salesman tried to get me to 88 width, but I stuck with 84. Probably for the best in the East.
 

SIKSKIER

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I'm surprised you like the Brahmas. I tried a pair at Smuggs at the end of last season and really didn't care for them. At least, not in the heavy wet spring slop I had to navigate that day. I was disappointed with the float, especially in the tighter woods where I really could have used the help.

Maybe I'll give'em another try this year in different conditions.
I got a pair of 187 last year and love them.They are a stiffer ski that can cruz high speed while being a mid fat.BTW I'm also about 250 at 6'3" and ski at faster GS speeds.


8
 

BenedictGomez

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178 is way too short for 6'4"

I'd be more concerned with net surface area rather than just the ski length. Obviously 178 is pretty short for someone his height, but if it was fat underneath it might be okay in the woods. But at 178/84 for someone who's that tall, it's not going to have much float unless he's Ethiopian. If he stays mainly on groomers, it might be fine in to-each-his-own fashion.
 

fbrissette

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178 is way too short for 6'4"

This is once again a dumb blanket statement.

It would be true for fast speed big mountain skiing even though skier weight is the primary driver for length.

It would obviously be wrong for slalom racing.

It would also be wrong for a less aggressive lighter weight skier (even if tall) looking for a manoeuvrable ski.
 

fbrissette

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I'd be more concerned with net surface area rather than just the ski length. Obviously 178 is pretty short for someone his height, but if it was fat underneath it might be okay in the woods. But at 178/84 for someone who's that tall, it's not going to have much float unless he's Ethiopian. If he stays mainly on groomers, it might be fine in to-each-his-own fashion.

Float is only relevant in powder which never lasts very long in eastern resort, even in the woods. You can do fine in powder with 84mm width although they will not be the ultimate tool in virgin powder. But then, how many virgin powder runs does one do in a typical eastern on-resort year ?

I've skied virgin powder on ski width from 70mm to 115mm. It's more work on thin skis but there's a law of diminishing return with width. At some point more float is not any better, especially at speed. It's just different. I'll even say that tip shape and rocker are significantly more important than width for powder once you reach a certain ski width.

Food for thought: For equal ski width, an aggressive 120 pound girl skiing 170cm long powder ski will have nearly 40% more float than a 180 pounds guy skiing 190 skis. This shows that other criteria are more important than float, even in powder skis.
 

bdfreetuna

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This is once again a dumb blanket statement.

It would be true for fast speed big mountain skiing even though skier weight is the primary driver for length.

It would obviously be wrong for slalom racing.

It would also be wrong for a less aggressive lighter weight skier (even if tall) looking for a manoeuvrable ski.

It's not a dumb blanket statement if it applies to the blanket majority of skiers who are not slalom racers.

There is NO reason to ski 178 at 6'4" other than: 1) suck at skiing, 2) old age and afraid to break a leg

And for the record-- I don't care whatever weird skis or boards everyone likes to enjoy. Awesome. Rip it. I'm talking about peak performance recommendations for the majority of advanced skiers at a certain size and weight.

Go bitch at your local ski shop for giving you the same advice.
 

WWF-VT

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Hi All, I am new to this site, but loving the content so far.

I am looking for some advice on choosing the correct ski length. I am planning to purchase the Head Kore 93, and I am trying to decide between the 171 and 180.
I am 5'11", 155 lbs., advanced skier with racing background (high school and some club racing in college). I was leaning towards the 171 because of my weight, as I am worried I will not be able to turn the 180's as effectively. That said, I do ski on the fast side, so the 180's would probably be more stable at speed.
Any input on these skis or general input on what size I should go for would be appreciated. Thanks for the help!!

The best advice in deciding on ski length is not to ask for advice on a ski forum
 

mister moose

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Float is only relevant in powder which never lasts very long in eastern resort, even in the woods. You can do fine in powder with 84mm width although they will not be the ultimate tool in virgin powder. But then, how many virgin powder runs does one do in a typical eastern on-resort year ?

I've skied virgin powder on ski width from 70mm to 115mm. It's more work on thin skis but there's a law of diminishing return with width. At some point more float is not any better, especially at speed. It's just different. I'll even say that tip shape and rocker are significantly more important than width for powder once you reach a certain ski width.

Food for thought: For equal ski width, an aggressive 120 pound girl skiing 170cm long powder ski will have nearly 40% more float than a 180 pounds guy skiing 190 skis. This shows that other criteria are more important than float, even in powder skis.

This. I love 84 in virgin powder unless it's cement. In deep blower 70 is fun. Sure, 105 or 120 has its place, if there's a crust you don't want to punch through, or if its 3 inches and you want to pretend its a powder day. Probably all of us can ski 110 on a powder day, how many here can ski 80 in deep stuff well, and are preaching that 110+ is de riguer? I'm thinking that's a low number.

News flash: Float goes up as the square of the speed. Speed is the great equalizer in width. The fun level goes up with the square of the speed as well. Everything is more dynamic in powder at speed. Do you ski at the same speed in deep snow, tips submerged, as you do on groomers? If not, why not? (Not talking about tight trees) At 25 mph, 70 mm underfoot provides a lot of float, and at 25mph (and up) if you are immersed the ski tracks like a race car, but if you don't steer with precision you will be going for a divergent ride and over the handlebars.

Also, the width of my size 11 foot at the arch is 80mm. If the ski edge is inside the edge of my foot I am over the edge, the edge is under my foot. At 110mm the ski edge is 15mm outside meaning beyond the foot. It is no longer under my foot. The geometry of an edged ski in a turn progressively gets worse the wider you go. Can you make it work? Sure. But don't think there aren't some major compromises being made.

If you ski a quiver, and spend any time at all on hardpack days, you will enjoy a narrower ski. The edge to edge quickness and superior grip will astound you. (If you keep it tuned) If you only ski one ski and need an all purpose tool, 100 or so may work for you, but you are giving up edge control for slow speed float. There's a lot of 84-90 carvy favored all mountain skis, (Rossi Experience 88, Volkl RTM 86, Head Titan, etc) this is the choice for some improved float and still decent edge grip. But 84 is still a compromise. My narrowest ski is 65mm, and it's a screamer.

So sure, pick the ski that is the most fun for you. My problem starts when you start telling me my Mazda race car isn't as much fun as your Lincoln town car.

And lets be somewhat honest. On an average Eastern powder day, I get 2-3 runs (If I don't get hosed) in virgin snow, then another 2-4 runs where I cross tracks and make my turns in a patch of virgin snow, then 2-3 runs in soft crud, trail edges, marginal tree lines, and then it's mostly bump skiing. Time spent in powder is short. Powder days are few. Your one ski quiver is going to be geared to what you ski 3% of the time?
 

fbrissette

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It's not a dumb blanket statement if it applies to the blanket majority of skiers who are not slalom racers.

Not specifying anything is the definition of a blanket statement.

I'm talking about peak performance recommendations for the majority of advanced skiers at a certain size and weight.

That's both correct and NOT a blanket statement. Advanced agressive skiers at peak performance are NOT the majority of skiers.


There is NO reason to ski 178 at 6'4" other than: 1) suck at skiing, 2) old age and afraid to break a leg

I know a lot of skiers who are expert and have no interest in tuna speed. Let me put it this way:

There is NO reason to ski 185+ unless you are 1) expert 2) heavy 3) aggressive. Anything less and you are a poseur. And I see a lot more people who should go shorter than the other way around.

Narrower all mountain skis rarely reach 180cm in their maximum available length. That should tell you something.
 

bdfreetuna

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My one ski quiver was previously an 80mm 185 and now it's a 90mm 184 with overall better design.

I think of that more like driving a Subaru WRX than a Lincoln Town Car. Fun, good, and reliable in most conditions.
 

bdfreetuna

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Advanced agressive skiers at peak performance are NOT the majority of skiers.

There is NO reason to ski 185+ unless you are 1) expert 2) heavy 3) aggressive. Anything less and you are a poseur. And I see a lot more people who should go shorter than the other way around.

I see what you're saying. I just assume most folks on a ski board are advanced skiers or at least aspire to be.

I don't judge people on what they ski, if they want to ski fat or narrow or full rockers on hardpack, I could care less. Just saying from my experience, which I think is in line with typical advice for advanced skiers, will give the best all around performance.

I've learned to muscle a ski if needed to be able to enjoy stability. Some people don't want to do that and don't want to ski fast, that's fine.
 
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