Ski Length Dilemma

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Stephen
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Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:49 am

Ski Length Dilemma

Post by Stephen » Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:19 am

Looking for thoughts on how to balance choosing skis based on height, vs based on weight.
We’re all built different — and I’m on the, let’s say, skinny side.
6’ 3”+
160 in shorts
Strong enough, but not an athlete.
Fairly experienced XC skier.
For reference, I skied 220s in the (distant) past. :)
And I would have no problem skiing that length for a Light XC Tour Ski (as long as the camber matched my weight).

For example, a recommended ski length for me, based on height, might be 210, and based on weight might be 180.
That’s a 30 cm difference.

I think the biggest consideration is being able to engage the wax pocket for K&G, but I’m sure there are other considerations that would move the scale one way or the other for size selection.
I have already committed to a pair of 210 MR48s for this season, but am also looking for a wider ski to handle other conditions (deeper and/ or steeper, spring corn downhill, etc).

I’m sure it can vary by type of ski, so let’s say XC to XCd, with maybe some XCD.
Not skate, not race, not mostly track, not XCD

I keep leaning towards longer (my height), because of my past skis (ski tips to the wrist is 220 for me). But am wondering if I’ve got it wrong, and should really be giving my weight more consideration In size selection.

Any comments / thoughts / recommendations are appreciated.

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Woodserson
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Location: New Hampshire
Ski style: Bumps, trees, and steeps and long woodsy XC tours
Favorite Skis: DH: Voile V6, Altai KOMs, XC: Asnes Gamme 54, Classy Woodies
Favorite boots: T2Eco, T4, Alaska
Occupation: Retro Rager-grouch. Flailmeister. E99 Nerd

Re: Ski Length Dilemma

Post by Woodserson » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:52 am

I think we need to know more about where you are skiing, terrain, and predominant snow type/quality.

There's also an enormous amount of personal preference that goes into this.

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phoenix
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Re: Ski Length Dilemma

Post by phoenix » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:12 am

Getting the right camber is quite important, but height does need consideration as well. The "old" standard of ski tip to wrist is no longer a good indicator.
I relate to your situation in that I'm a skinny guy for my height, but an experienced skier who grew up on long skis. Over the years (and decades) I've gradually moved down in ski length; I usually find one length above the mfg.'s recommended length to work out best.

The more we know about your situation, as Woodserson suggested, the better the advice we can offer.

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Stephen
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Re: Ski Length Dilemma

Post by Stephen » Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:25 pm

I had thought my original post was already way too long!
Okay, so for more background, I would say this:

While each geographic area has its unique snow conditions, in the end, snow conditions everywhere vary throughout the season. As well, while one might be in the same area most of the time, people do travel or move.

In my case, I would hope to be using these in the Colorado Rockies: Mountains, hills, flats, powder, new snow, old snow, spring snow, ...

I know that “wrist to tip of ski” is not the current measurement methodology.
In the good old days, even that was not the end of the story, in that each wooden ski set of a given model and length would have unique flex characteristics, and could be tested and matched to a skiers weight, skill, use, etc.
And still true today, with machines to test flex and match ski to skier weight for a perfect match.

Maybe there just is no “right” answer here.
Maybe there are too many variables in the kind of snow, terrain, weight carried on a particular day, goals for the day, etc., and I should just aim for someplace in the middle and call it good.

Bottom line, I am just looking for some ideas on how lighter people (relative to height) resolve the “weight vs. height” disparity in making a choice on ski length. Just trying to avoid buyer’s remorse on making a choice that ends up feeling too short or too long.
Wait, maybe Goldilocks knows the answer!
:D
Last edited by Stephen on Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cannatonic
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Re: Ski Length Dilemma

Post by Cannatonic » Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:31 pm

I've got similar build, only slightly heavier than you. FWIW, I've always liked longer skis for all pursuits. For anything resembling XC skiing I need 210's or it feels like the skis are unbearably slow. I have MT51's in 205 and 210 and I like the 210's better.

However I am happy with 200's in skis aimed at up & down skiing and turns. Which skis were you thinking of buying for this? I like 205's in something like a Gamme or E99-type ski, although I like 210 in that size too. Losing the 5mm makes turning a little easier but they are a bit slower in K&G mode. I've got older Sbound 78's and NATO combats in 200cm, that feels about right to me. I'm not taking those skis on 5-mile loops around the lake.

Having a quiver of multiple skis allows you to go a little longer or shorter to focus on one particular niche of skiing. I wouldn't be afraid to disregard the manufacturer's length recommendations. I have yet to get a pair of skis and think they have too much camber.
"All wisdom is to be gained through suffering"
-Will Lange (quoting Inuit chieftan)

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Stephen
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Re: Ski Length Dilemma

Post by Stephen » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:03 pm

Cannatonic, thanks!
That is exactly the kind of feedback I’m looking for.
(But don’t let that stop anyone else from chiming in!)
I don’t have the experience to draw on that you do, and yet I feel the same as you do about length.
I’m trying to avoid having a garage full of skis, and hoping for just two or maybe three different skis.
All on NNN BC and Alfa Guards.

I could write more but need to get some stuff done just now!

Thanks again.

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Nitram Tocrut
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Re: Ski Length Dilemma

Post by Nitram Tocrut » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:34 pm

Stephen wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:03 pm
I don’t have the experience to draw on that you do, and yet I feel the same as you do about length.
I’m trying to avoid having a garage full of skis, and hoping for just two or maybe three different skis.
All on NNN BC and Alfa Guards.
Before I chime in I just need to say that if you really want to only get 2 or 3 pairs of skis you should not come back to this forum because you have a high risk to succumb to GAS or eve AGAS. I had only bought one pair of new skis in my 45 first years of XC skiing, I did not know I was mostly doing XC-BC..., and I just bought my 5 pairs since I first found this forum... so you have been warned ;)

This said, I just want to say that I second Cannatonic about the length. I have been skiing long skis 210-215-220 for as long as I can remember. You mentioned you are an experienced skier used to ski 220 so long skis should not be a problem and you will sure appreciate the k&g efficiency especially with your long legs. I always look for the longer skis but I had first to settle for the 195 Ingstad when I was struck by AGAS...but I had the “chance” to get the 205 because of a defect in the 195. I noticed an improvement for k&g and could not notice a difference on the dh. So I like this ski even better now. I know from an another thread that you are considering the FT62. I had the 188, sold them to get the 196 for the promise of better k&g even though they are really Xc capable skis even at 188 and I am quite sure they won’t be that much harder to turn as they are made for that. The “only” compromise I am ready to make, well I had to as they don’t make them longer.., is for a wider ski like the Objectives that I want to use to ski in the glades close to my farm. I would not want to go long distance on that short a ski.... it would just take too much time and I love to glide...

Well, that was my 2 cents... maybe not as valuable as Cannatonic... but he is almost a Knight so he has to give better advice :lol:

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Woodserson
Posts: 1694
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:25 am
Location: New Hampshire
Ski style: Bumps, trees, and steeps and long woodsy XC tours
Favorite Skis: DH: Voile V6, Altai KOMs, XC: Asnes Gamme 54, Classy Woodies
Favorite boots: T2Eco, T4, Alaska
Occupation: Retro Rager-grouch. Flailmeister. E99 Nerd

Re: Ski Length Dilemma

Post by Woodserson » Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:00 pm

Stephen wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:03 pm

I’m trying to avoid having a garage full of skis, and hoping for just two or maybe three different skis.
All on NNN BC and Alfa Guards.
HA! A joke!

Resistance is futile.

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Stephen
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Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:49 am

Re: Ski Length Dilemma

Post by Stephen » Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:00 am

OK, you guys did make me smile.
I do understand, really, I do.
The skis promise the magic and bliss we are looking for.
I want them all, of course!
Nitram Tocrut wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:34 pm
Before I chime in I just need to say that if you really want to only get 2 or 3 pairs of skis you should not come back to this forum because you have a high risk to succumb to GAS or eve AGAS. I had only bought one pair of new skis in my 45 first years of XC skiing, I did not know I was mostly doing XC-BC..., and I just bought my 5 pairs since I first found this forum... so you have been warned ;)
“You have been warned.”
Acceptance of warning should be a condition of joining the group!
:D

I really do appreciate the more substantive comments.
I have been thinking maybe I should just get with the program and drink the shorter-ski kool-aid.
But you have sort of validated my own thinking.
Cannatonic wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:31 pm
I've got similar build, only slightly heavier than you. FWIW, I've always liked longer skis for all pursuits. For anything resembling XC skiing I need 210's or it feels like the skis are unbearably slow. I have MT51's in 205 and 210 and I like the 210's better.
Cannatonic — Just curious if you have compared the MR48 to the MT51 and what you think?
Cannatonic wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:31 pm
However I am happy with 200's in skis aimed at up & down skiing and turns. Which skis were you thinking of buying for this?
That’s what I’m trying to figure out! Maybe the Ingstad or FT62?

Nitram, I like the way you are thinking.
I already have the MR48s in 210, so I was dreaming about the ski for the next step up.
What do you think, Ingstad or FT, or ...?
Just blasting around, nothing extreme, but capable of more than the MR — More deep, more steep, and still XC capable?
You like the Ingstad, so I’m curious about why you like it? What characteristics or experience of using that ski?

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Rodbelan
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Re: Ski Length Dilemma

Post by Rodbelan » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:15 am

I am afraid you'll not be able to make any assumption prior to experience... Try long, try short and decide for yourself. There is no rule, no universal ski length chart. Sorry about that. It's good to hear about others experience, but you'll have to make your own decision. You know what? You can't be wrong... Short, long, it is all about compromise...
É y fa ty fret? On é ty ben dun ti cotton waté?
célèbre et ancien chant celtique

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