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First skis - sizing advice

brownelb

Diva in Training
#1
Hi guys! I'm excited to be purchasing my first set of skis and am a bit stuck on the size since it's been a season or two since I last skied. I'm going with the Rossignol Experience 76 CI W ski and have asked several store employees about sizing and they all have given different answers haha.

I'm a beginner skier -- I guess an example of my level is that I can make it down Jackson Hole blues with stops on the steep parts but that's my limit. Jackson Hole greens are no trouble and I haven't had much experience on the east coast. I recently moved to New Hampshire and really want to improve my skiing while I live here, so would like a ski that I can grow into a bit. I'm 26, 5'2", 115lbs.

The Experience 76 CI comes in a 146, 154, and 162 and has a tip rocker. Was originally thinking the 146 would be good, but now I'm worried it will be too short. What do you guys think?
 

mahgnillig

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
I'm the same weight and height as you. My first skis were 150cm and I outgrew them in a year. If you are going to ski a lot then you'll probably improve fast and outgrow those 146cm skis in a season, just like I did. You could go longer from the outset, but it might make learning a bit harder (this is very personal - longer skis might be fine for you). You could opt to get some used skis in a short length for learning, then replace them once you're a consistent intermediate+ skier.
 

tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
What ski length are you typically skiing now?

My initially gut reaction was 154 b/c of your height but then I realized I'm only an inch shorter than you and only 10 lbs lighter and as an advanced skier ski 147 and 150 cm skis (Yumis and Jr SLs respectively). My initial gut reaction though is still probably 154 for you. I tend to like my skis shorter than most people here.
 

brownelb

Diva in Training
#6
Thanks, guys!! This really helps. I'll go for the 154 over the 146 :smile: So excited to get back out there!

@tinymoose - I'm not sure. It's been a few seasons since I last skied so I don't have a number in mind. Would have been helpful if I could only remember!
 

tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#7
Thanks, guys!! This really helps. I'll go for the 154 over the 146 :smile: So excited to get back out there!

@tinymoose - I'm not sure. It's been a few seasons since I last skied so I don't have a number in mind. Would have been helpful if I could only remember!
If you don't know, then yeah 154. I think that's the safer bet. Gives you room to grow.
 

hanqi4

Diva in Training
#8
Hi, I'm new here and have the same question for the same skis. I only skied about 7 days the last 2 seasons and maybe 3 or 4 days of cross-country. I'm not sportive at all and have weak knees. Last time I used a rental ski size 140. I'm 5'3 and 130lb. I can go down green almost parallel but found myself a little bit too fast sometimes. My problem with rental skis is that I feel they are quite heavy and I want more maneuverability, not speed.

In my case do you think 146 is a good fit? And honestly, I'm not sure what you mean by "outgrow" a pair of ski. Is there any disadvantage of choosing shorter skis?
 
#9
Hi, I'm new here and have the same question for the same skis. I only skied about 7 days the last 2 seasons and maybe 3 or 4 days of cross-country. I'm not sportive at all and have weak knees. Last time I used a rental ski size 140. I'm 5'3 and 130lb. I can go down green almost parallel but found myself a little bit too fast sometimes. My problem with rental skis is that I feel they are quite heavy and I want more maneuverability, not speed.

In my case do you think 146 is a good fit? And honestly, I'm not sure what you mean by "outgrow" a pair of ski. Is there any disadvantage of choosing shorter skis?
Just to be sure, do you have your own boots that fit also? This can affect your control and manueverability of a ski as well and is the most important starting point.

Usually a shorter ski will be more maneuverable, but if you go too short you will give up stability, especially when you start picking up speed as you progress. I’m 5’4 and 130lbs, I ski ~165 length skis now as an advanced skier. When I started I was on a 146, but progressed much more rapidly when I went to a 156 and then into the 160s after that.

I wouldn’t go down to the 140s for your size, I think something in the mid to high 150s will serve you much better at this stage.
 
#10
Hi, I'm new here and have the same question for the same skis. I only skied about 7 days the last 2 seasons and maybe 3 or 4 days of cross-country. I'm not sportive at all and have weak knees. Last time I used a rental ski size 140. I'm 5'3 and 130lb. I can go down green almost parallel but found myself a little bit too fast sometimes. My problem with rental skis is that I feel they are quite heavy and I want more maneuverability, not speed.

In my case do you think 146 is a good fit? And honestly, I'm not sure what you mean by "outgrow" a pair of ski. Is there any disadvantage of choosing shorter skis?
Welcome! What region are you skiing in? Typically beginners are given relatively short skis, meaning chin height or sometimes even shorter. While shorter skis are easier to learn to turn, most people find that skis at chin to nose height feel more stable when they are past the stage of making wedge turns only on green runs. How did you get started on downhill? A lesson or two?

Rental skis are not only generally made of heavier materials, the "demo" bindings that can be easily adjusted for a wide range of boot sizes are substantially heavier than bindings that are installed to a particular boot size.
 
#11
I'm a beginner skier -- I guess an example of my level is that I can make it down Jackson Hole blues with stops on the steep parts but that's my limit. Jackson Hole greens are no trouble and I haven't had much experience on the east coast. I recently moved to New Hampshire and really want to improve my skiing while I live here, so would like a ski that I can grow into a bit. I'm 26, 5'2", 115lbs.

The Experience 76 CI comes in a 146, 154, and 162 and has a tip rocker. Was originally thinking the 146 would be good, but now I'm worried it will be too short. What do you guys think?
Welcome! As others have said, 154 makes more sense. I'm a little shorter than you are and a few pounds lighter. I was a solid intermediate when I bought my first pair of good skis. I went with a mid-150 length and that worked out well.

Have you skied in NH at all yet? Since trail ratings are only relatively to terrain at a given mountain, I think you'll find that a JH green can be like some New England blues in terms of steepness, especially at smaller ski areas.

How many days have you skied at JH?
 

tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#12
Hi, I'm new here and have the same question for the same skis. I only skied about 7 days the last 2 seasons and maybe 3 or 4 days of cross-country. I'm not sportive at all and have weak knees. Last time I used a rental ski size 140. I'm 5'3 and 130lb. I can go down green almost parallel but found myself a little bit too fast sometimes. My problem with rental skis is that I feel they are quite heavy and I want more maneuverability, not speed.

In my case do you think 146 is a good fit? And honestly, I'm not sure what you mean by "outgrow" a pair of ski. Is there any disadvantage of choosing shorter skis?
146 would be fine for a year or two probably, but eventually you're going to outgrow them. I'm 5'1 and used to be about 90 lbs when I first started skiing and had 130-something skis the first year that were terribly soft and short. Hated them. I upgraded in year two, based on reviews I'd read here, to an intermediate Volkl in 142. Loved it. Used it for two more years after that before upgrading to a 146. If you want the ski to last more than a year or two, you may want to go up a length in whatever model you're considering. BUT that may feel long to you b/c you've been renting really short skis so....

And rental skis are awful and heavy. So that's normal to feel like they're heavy.

There are a couple things to keep in mind with a ski. How long it is and how torsionally (side to side) stiff it is and also how stiff it is tip to tail. What happens when you outgrow a ski is you're going to start applying more pressure (often b/c of speed and/or technique) to the ski than it can handle. And it will get squirrely and feel unstable. The stiffer a ski both length-wise and torstionally, the longer you can probably get by with a shorter length. But at your height I'd go no shorter than 146 and maybe the next size up b/c height and weight.
 

hanqi4

Diva in Training
#13
Just to be sure, do you have your own boots that fit also? This can affect your control and manueverability of a ski as well and is the most important starting point.

Usually a shorter ski will be more maneuverable, but if you go too short you will give up stability, especially when you start picking up speed as you progress. I’m 5’4 and 130lbs, I ski ~165 length skis now as an advanced skier. When I started I was on a 146, but progressed much more rapidly when I went to a 156 and then into the 160s after that.

I wouldn’t go down to the 140s for your size, I think something in the mid to high 150s will serve you much better at this stage.
I just bought a new pair of boots that is 22.5 in size. They fit well but I’ll only be able to test them in 2 weeks. The rental boots didn’t fit me well since my feet have high arches and I had to go a size up. Like you said, it definitely impacted the control.

Last time when I skied on the powder with faster speed, it felt bumpy and shaky and pretty scary. I was not sure if it was me or the skis.

On a separate note, I feel I have no problem going fast even on beginner slopes. The problem is to learn how to slow down. Any tips on that?
 

hanqi4

Diva in Training
#14
Welcome! What region are you skiing in? Typically beginners are given relatively short skis, meaning chin height or sometimes even shorter. While shorter skis are easier to learn to turn, most people find that skis at chin to nose height feel more stable when they are past the stage of making wedge turns only on green runs. How did you get started on downhill? A lesson or two?

Rental skis are not only generally made of heavier materials, the "demo" bindings that can be easily adjusted for a wide range of boot sizes are substantially heavier than bindings that are installed to a particular boot size.
I ski at Tahoe Donner area which is very beginner oriented. My husband thinks it’s boring, but it was perfect for me and my 5 and 7 yo. They learn much faster than me! I think I’ve taken at least 5 lessons. Normally I started with a lesson in the morning and then skied by myself in the afternoon.

I just started to make shorter and faster turns and not even sure I’m going to be able to reproduce that in 2 weeks. Somehow I figured out that longer turns just made me go faster than I wanted. Since I got the new boots, skis are on sale right now, and this season probably will be longer. But I have no idea how skis are going to influence the way we learn.
 
#15
I ski at Tahoe Donner area which is very beginner oriented. My husband thinks it’s boring, but it was perfect for me and my 5 and 7 yo. They learn much faster than me! I think I’ve taken at least 5 lessons. Normally I started with a lesson in the morning and then skied by myself in the afternoon.

I just started to make shorter and faster turns and not even sure I’m going to be able to reproduce that in 2 weeks. Somehow I figured out that longer turns just made me go faster than I wanted. Since I got the new boots, skis are on sale right now, and this season probably will be longer. But I have no idea how skis are going to influence the way we learn.
How did you choose the boots? Getting well fitted boots usually makes more of a difference than the choice of skis.

Yep, kids learn much faster because they have no fear. Good for you for spending the time to work on fundamentals. Ultimately, quite possible your husband is likely end up using more muscle power than is needed to make skis turn on steeper terrain.

I have a friend (originally from China) who started the same day as her kids, who were 4 (daughter) and 6 (son). I took them to my home mountain in northern VA. Took her a few seasons to become a blue skier, while her son was well past that by his second season. She took a lesson every ski trip, which meant two long weekends each season initially. Meant she was able to ski blue terrain at Alta after a group lesson during a spring break trip.

Might get some ideas about speed control from these threads from the Ski Tips section.

https://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/diagnose-my-control-issues.22475/

https://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/speed-control-for-beginners-intemediate.20533/
 

mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#16
Hi, I'm new here and have the same question for the same skis. I only skied about 7 days the last 2 seasons and maybe 3 or 4 days of cross-country. I'm not sportive at all and have weak knees. Last time I used a rental ski size 140. I'm 5'3 and 130lb. I can go down green almost parallel but found myself a little bit too fast sometimes. My problem with rental skis is that I feel they are quite heavy and I want more maneuverability, not speed.

In my case do you think 146 is a good fit? And honestly, I'm not sure what you mean by "outgrow" a pair of ski. Is there any disadvantage of choosing shorter skis?
Welcome to the forum and to the addiction we call skiing! I am very close to your stats - 5'2" and 135 lbs - intermediate/advanced skier. I'm going to be a bit of a voice of dissension here and say - yes -for a starter ski 146 will be good. Particularly since you are skiing with smallish kids. I don't think it's a problem if you outgrow them in a couple of years. To outgrow a length in skis, generally means that you are wanting to ski faster and need more stability at speed. With small children, that won't happen that quickly for you. At some point, as you improve, you will outgrow a beginner ski anyway. Don't worry about that. Get what works for now. Look for a gently used pair on eBay or in end of season sales. Personally, I like skiessentials.com!

I just bought a new pair of boots that is 22.5 in size. They fit well but I’ll only be able to test them in 2 weeks. The rental boots didn’t fit me well since my feet have high arches and I had to go a size up. Like you said, it definitely impacted the control.
Last time when I skied on the powder with faster speed, it felt bumpy and shaky and pretty scary. I was not sure if it was me or the skis.

On a separate note, I feel I have no problem going fast even on beginner slopes. The problem is to learn how to slow down. Any tips on that?
Bumpy and shaky in powder can happen once it starts to get cut up by tons of skiers creating uneven surface. Don't worry about that. It's not the ski or you - it just takes some time to learn how to ski it.

If the ski did not feel shaky at speed on groomed slopes (chattering) then don't worry. As for slowing down, think big giant C's and reverse C's (when you go left!) - just keep turning until you slow down. The more your turn, the slower you can go. It's actually harder to ski slowly than to ski fast because gravity works! However, skiing slowly is important to technique, so practice.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#17
Not knowing the resorts at Tahoe, I'm not sure if this will help, but we have a SkiDiva named @SnowHot that works in a ski shop. Now if I could just remember the name of the shop....
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#19
Last time when I skied on the powder with faster speed, it felt bumpy and shaky and pretty scary. I was not sure if it was me or the skis.
My guess is that the skis you were on were too short and required you to find a smaller balance point.

On a separate note, I feel I have no problem going fast even on beginner slopes. The problem is to learn how to slow down. Any tips on that?
Finishing your turns, execute more turns, and take another lesson if you don't know how to finish the turns. :smile:
 

hanqi4

Diva in Training
#20
146 would be fine for a year or two probably, but eventually you're going to outgrow them. I'm 5'1 and used to be about 90 lbs when I first started skiing and had 130-something skis the first year that were terribly soft and short. Hated them. I upgraded in year two, based on reviews I'd read here, to an intermediate Volkl in 142. Loved it. Used it for two more years after that before upgrading to a 146. If you want the ski to last more than a year or two, you may want to go up a length in whatever model you're considering. BUT that may feel long to you b/c you've been renting really short skis so....

And rental skis are awful and heavy. So that's normal to feel like they're heavy.

There are a couple things to keep in mind with a ski. How long it is and how torsionally (side to side) stiff it is and also how stiff it is tip to tail. What happens when you outgrow a ski is you're going to start applying more pressure (often b/c of speed and/or technique) to the ski than it can handle. And it will get squirrely and feel unstable. The stiffer a ski both length-wise and torstionally, the longer you can probably get by with a shorter length. But at your height I'd go no shorter than 146 and maybe the next size up b/c height and weight.

Thank you for sharing your experience and the very concrete advice. I think I have a tendency to go shorter just to be cautious. I may feel more comfortable with 146 at least psychologically. After all, it will be the first pair I own, I need to feel how they work first. With the end-of-season discount now, it will be about the same cost as 2 seasons of rental, or 1 season if comparing with the rental fee by day I do currently. At least it should feel lighter than the rental.

Now since you pointed it out, I will pay attention to the stiffness (torsionally and tip-to-tail) of the ski. :-)
 

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