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All mountain skis for petite advanced intermediate skier

Seattleskier

Diva in Training
Hello! What a great forum to find.

I’m in search of a new all-mountain ski, and would love your recommendations! Here are a few notes about me:

-I’m 5’2 and 103 pounds
-Based in Seattle and ski in WA, Whistler, and Utah
-This is my first season back after tearing my ACL skiing in 2020, so I’m a bit timid
-I’m advanced intermediate: I mostly cruise the groomers but also love playing in powder on steeper terrain
-I don’t like skiing fast. I love taking my time and enjoy quick turns
-I love moguls
-Some skis on my list to demo: Salomon QST Lux, Blizzard Black Pearl, Elan Ripstick, Nordica Santa Ana
-I’ve mostly demoed skis over the past few years and unfortunately haven’t kept notes about which ones I’ve liked. The skis I currently own are ancient Volkls.

Thank you in advance for your help!
 

tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
What are your current Volkls? What did you like/not like about them?

I'm about your size but admittedly have not tried many skis in recent years due to being a poor college student again. I'm currently on Volkl Yumis myself, and I also own a pair of Junior SL skis, but I'm also on the east coast so I see more ice than powder. @Pequenita is out west and our size so she might have some good recs. @marzNC also travels out west a lot.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Hello! What a great forum to find.

I’m in search of a new all-mountain ski, and would love your recommendations! Here are a few notes about me:

-I’m 5’2 and 103 pounds
-Based in Seattle and ski in WA, Whistler, and Utah
-This is my first season back after tearing my ACL skiing in 2020, so I’m a bit timid
-I’m advanced intermediate: I mostly cruise the groomers but also love playing in powder on steeper terrain
-I don’t like skiing fast. I love taking my time and enjoy quick turns
-I love moguls
-Some skis on my list to demo: Salomon QST Lux, Blizzard Black Pearl, Elan Ripstick, Nordica Santa Ana
-I’ve mostly demoed skis over the past few years and unfortunately haven’t kept notes about which ones I’ve liked. The skis I currently own are ancient Volkls.

Thank you in advance for your help!
Welcome! Where do you ski the most in Utah? Alta is my favorite and I'm usually there for a week or two in April.

I'm a successful coper without an ACL (not a skiing injury). I'm 5'0, 110 pounds, and didn't become a solid advanced skier until after age 55. The first season after knee rehab (July-Dec 2012) I skied a pair of skis I'd bought used for my daughter. They were a bit narrower and 5cm shorter than the skis I was using most of the time. I started taking lessons at my home hill somewhat regularly. By mid-season I was comfortable on my all-mountain skis, which were the original Black Pearls, 88mm (2011 version bought in 2012).

In general, my preferred brands are Rossignol, Nordica, Blizzard, Head, and K2. Have demo'd a couple Black Crows models and liked them.

For some reason the Salomon QST Lux 92 @153 wasn't much fun during an early season trip to Jackson Hole last year. Only took a couple shorts runs on a groomer.

I've liked the BP models in the 80s and 90s but haven't been on the latest versions. Same for Santa Ana models. Once I fell in love with the Stöckli Stormrider 85 a few years ago, I haven't spent much time demo'ing all-mountain widths.
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I haven't demoed non-powder skis in a while, and at the risk of outsourcing, I would start with the list of skis that are in the "Women's All-Mountain Demo" tab at the Palisades Tahoe demo page: https://www.palisadestahoe.com/plan-your-visit/rentals-and-demos/demos

These are all very popular brands and models. One ski that I'm eager to try out (but they are wicked expensive) are the Stockli Nela 88. In my view, a good width range of a "daily driver" "do most things" ski for smaller west coast skiers is 85 to 95.

I hope this is helpful!
 

scandium

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Welcome! The Blizzard Sheeva 9 might be a fun one to add to the list as well for comparison, especially since it seems to have a better float in powder than the Santa Ana which is a bit more demanding and probably not my first choice for a quick turning/mogul ski - however this is mostly due to the fact that I still struggle a lot with my technique through moguls. The newer Black Pearl is also a bit stiffer compared to its predecessors.
 

newboots

Angel Diva
You could think about your preference for width. (Black Pearls come in 70-something, 82, 88, and 90-something, for example.)

But hi! We have a lot of PNW skiers here who will likely chime in. Glad to have you join us!

:welcome:
 

former-boarder

Certified Ski Diva
I'm a PNW skier - ski mainly Stevens and Snoqualmie. Yesterday at Stevens I skied the Salomon QST Lux 92 (length 153, I'm 5'2"). I loved it! For the first time I could float through the powder off the groomers and the skis handled fine on the groomers.
 

lisamamot

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Of the ones I see mentioned....

2018 Elan Ripstick 94 (own). Bought without demoing, and then demoed and bought the Sheeva 9. Chose to keep this rather than return, mounted it, and then swapped it to an AT binding. Super light, quick turning, but does have that carbon feel to it. I wouldn't want it as my one and only, but it is serving me well as an intro to backcountry ski. I believe new models are stiffer and more demanding.

2019 Sheeva 9 (own) has a huge fun factor, a bit of a turned-up tail, and is tons of fun in bumps and trees. Very approachable and forgiving ski, but you can also push it, turns on a dime. I have happily skied this in New England on everything but the firmest of groomers, and in Big Sky in bumps, trees, soft groomers, and boot top powder.

Stockli Nela 88 - I own the predecessor (2020 Stockli Stormrider Motion 85) and while I have not been on the Nela 88, I expect it is very similar - smooth as butter, great edge hold, has a flatter tail so is excellent on groomers, but still fun in bumps. Fantastic all around ski. It is damp without being a yawn.

2022 Santa Ana 93 (own) a bit more stable than the Sheeva 9, holds a fantastic edge, but plenty of fun. Really loving this ski and it is likely coming to Diva West with me. I wanted something a bit more burly than my beloved Sheeva 9 for chopped-up conditions and wind groomed steeps. It is holding an excellent edge in mixed New England conditions - everything from firm groomers to soft whales of snow from the snow guns. I have done some bumps with it and was quite pleased, but still need to put it through more paces as conditions allow.

Based on your description of your style, and where you ski, I vote Sheeva 9.
 

Regina

Diva in Training
Of the ones I see mentioned....

2018 Elan Ripstick 94 (own). Bought without demoing, and then demoed and bought the Sheeva 9. Chose to keep this rather than return, mounted it, and then swapped it to an AT binding. Super light, quick turning, but does have that carbon feel to it. I wouldn't want it as my one and only, but it is serving me well as an intro to backcountry ski. I believe new models are stiffer and more demanding.

2019 Sheeva 9 (own) has a huge fun factor, a bit of a turned-up tail, and is tons of fun in bumps and trees. Very approachable and forgiving ski, but you can also push it, turns on a dime. I have happily skied this in New England on everything but the firmest of groomers, and in Big Sky in bumps, trees, soft groomers, and boot top powder.

Stockli Nela 88 - I own the predecessor (2020 Stockli Stormrider Motion 85) and while I have not been on the Nela 88, I expect it is very similar - smooth as butter, great edge hold, has a flatter tail so is excellent on groomers, but still fun in bumps. Fantastic all around ski. It is damp without being a yawn.

2022 Santa Ana 93 (own) a bit more stable than the Sheeva 9, holds a fantastic edge, but plenty of fun. Really loving this ski and it is likely coming to Diva West with me. I wanted something a bit more burly than my beloved Sheeva 9 for chopped-up conditions and wind groomed steeps. It is holding an excellent edge in mixed New England conditions - everything from firm groomers to soft whales of snow from the snow guns. I have done some bumps with it and was quite pleased, but still need to put it through more paces as conditions allow.

Based on your description of your style, and where you ski, I vote Sheeva 9.
Must add in on both the Sheeva and the St Ana 93 - I can not decide which one I like the most :-). If you are more playful (trees, moguls, off-pist, turn on a dime, jump) I would go for Sheeva because it makes you smile and you can also ride it a full day in comfort. I also use a softer boot on the Sheeva9 (110).

The St Ana (21/22) I believe can talk to skiers with racing background. It is a bit more directional and the edge grip is something special. The tail is a bit flatter and not as "splashy". If I want to go fast on groomers and not get passed I always take them. On them I have a Head race boot that keep me more in front for driving more directional, but sometimes a take my freeride boot that also works.

Love them both :-)! Recommend them both.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Thank you! Swede and I ski mostly in the northern part of Sweden and live in the ski resort Åre.
Welcome! Off-topic but there is a Diva who is hoping to make it to Sweden soon from Denmark.

 

teleskichica

Diva in Training
Hi @Seattleskier -

I'm new here too and have learned so much reading all the gear review from this forum. I ski tele so haven't been able to demo any gear specific to my skiing style. (But thanks to everyone's detailed reviews, I'm both nervous and confidently excited about purchasing my first pair of skis in 10 plus years, a pair of Volkl Blaze 94s.) My daughter however is 5'2", 130, and skis the Sheeva 10s at White Pass and Crystal in much the same terrain you mentioned. She is not into bombing down the hill but playfully cruises groomers popping in and out of the trees and little powder stashes She absolutely loves the Sheeva 10s or the 9s.

Let us know what you get!
 

MontanaMom

Certified Ski Diva
I ended up with the blizzard black pearls 97, I love them but have only skied them twice now. I will say they are not very forgiving and love to go fast. If I get in the back seat at all the want to run out from under me. But they are far more fun and steady than my volkl attiva's... For what it's worth: I'm 5'4 a size 6/athletic build, and would say I'm intermediate.
 

Seattleskier

Diva in Training
Thank you so much for all of the helpful wisdom! I really appreciate it. After doing more research, I’ve narrowed it down to the Sheeva 9s and QST Luxes, and think I will bite the bullet without demoing (yikes) because I have some upcoming trips where demoing would be too expensive.
 

chasinghorizons

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
+1 for Sheeva 9s! I demoed them and they were super maneuverable and fun. They get chattery at speed if you go too short though - I demoed the 148 and got chatter on greens (for reference, I'm 5'1"/155 cm and 110lbs) - so I would suggest to aim for something close to your height or even slightly taller.

Another ski to take a look at - Rossignol Stargazers. I actually choose these over the Sheeva 9 because they were similarly maneuverable, light and intuitive, but more damp and with a higher speed limit. Still a very easy and forgiving ski though. I bought these in the 154 length.

Also - the Moment Sierra. Very versatile, great edge grip, uses triple camber which is unique to Moment. And generally excellent graphics.
 

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