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Real Petite Lady Looking for New Skis

Rachoo

Diva in Training
Hi Ladies!

I'm super petite and looking for some advice on new gear :smile:

I'm an intermediate skier in the PNW. I'm 4'10 (147cm),110lbs. A ski shop recently sold me on getting the Salomon QST Lux 92; 153cm. But after talking to a girlfriend of mine she thought I'd be better off with mid-80s waist and shorter skis.

I started off skiing in Vancouver (Cypress and Whistler) but have since relocated to the Seattle area. I got a seasons pass this year to the Summit at Snoqualmie. I'm still pretty cautious on blues but really want to get better this year since I don't really do tree runs or bumps off the side. I'm planning to hit up Mount baker and probably whistler again this year for some powder. Would say mainly stay on groomers but definitely want something that can handle the one off powder days.

What are your thoughts on the Salomon 92s? Should I go down to mid 80s like the black pearl 88s? I was also recommended Line Pandora 84 (151), K2 mindbender 85 (149).

I'm also really concerned about the height of the ski. Someone told me generally if the skis are above your head it's for aggressive/ advanced skiers.

Thanks in advance for sharing your ski gear experiences !




 

newboots

Angel Diva
@Rachoo - So glad to have you here! Ask any and all questions; almost anything will spark a conversation around here.

Is there a chance you can demo skis before you buy? It's not cheap, but it's notably cheaper than buying the wrong skis. A friend (or we) can recommend specific skis, but you likely won't know until you get to ski them. As an example, I ski the Blizzard Black Pearl 82s. BPs are extremely popular, but people either love them or hate them.

:welcome:
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I don't think the ski is going to be a problem. What have you been skiing?

I'm not sure how helpful this will be, but here goes.

Both height and weight matter, and that length ski correlates pretty well with your weight. If you were 20lbs lighter, I would suggest going down to a 146cm ski. The main thing about skis is whether the skier can flex it during a turn, and inherently, the person with more mass is going to flex the ski more easily.

Mid-80s width might be a bit better only because of your height (skinnier is gentler on knees, and when you are petite, the distance between your feet is decreased), but as a practical matter, we are talking about less than a cm difference between 92mm and "mid-80." They are both fine for the conditions you'll be skiing.

Another way to think about things is that usually the shortest ski in a manufacturer's lineup is made for the smallest - height and weight - skier. I really do think that skis under 150cm are made for women who are around 100lbs or less.

The reality is that there is a huge difference regarding what input based on weight alone a 90lb person and a 115lb person can put into a ski, and they can both be the same height and healthy.
 
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tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I don't think it's necessarily bad. I think how it feels to you might differ depending on what you have been skiing.

I live on the east coast and ski a pair of Head Jr. Slalom skis @150cm and also a pair of Volkl Yumis @147cm. I'm 5'1 and around 100 lbs. I've tried longer, and I'm just not a fan of stuff over 150, but I'm the exception. Most people my size ski longer skis.

ETA: I also don't have much need of wider skis living on the east coast. When we travel out west or get any significant amount of snow, I just ski my Yumis as my "powder" skis.
 

FayGoneAstray

Certified Ski Diva
Hey! Fellow petite intermediate - based in Vancouver, BC! It's tough being small sometimes! So much less choice for our size. Jut wanted to reach out! I know not much (as you will be able to tell by own endless questions on the forum) but FYI I'm on BP 88s (not current generation) in 153cm - I"m 5 foot 1 and just over 100pounds. So slightly taller but lighter. For what it's 88s are considered on narrower side and totally front side at Whistler from what I can tell. Also when I was discussing with with my husband ie. 88 vs 90 my husband was like - ugh that's cms difference.

I"m in the same boat as you but learning as an adult in her 40s after last skiing when I was 12ish. I don't think it's worth going down to mid 80s width. What did the ski shop say about the length of the ski on you? I think it might also depend on the ski how it skis.

I'm wanting new skis this year ....
 

Rachoo

Diva in Training
@Rachoo - So glad to have you here! Ask any and all questions; almost anything will spark a conversation around here.

Is there a chance you can demo skis before you buy? It's not cheap, but it's notably cheaper than buying the wrong skis. A friend (or we) can recommend specific skis, but you likely won't know until you get to ski them. As an example, I ski the Blizzard Black Pearl 82s. BPs are extremely popular, but people either love them or hate them.

:welcome:

I guess I could also try to get demo skis this season but having your own pair to start the season is just so nice!
 

Rachoo

Diva in Training
Hey! Fellow petite intermediate - based in Vancouver, BC! It's tough being small sometimes! So much less choice for our size. Jut wanted to reach out! I know not much (as you will be able to tell by own endless questions on the forum) but FYI I'm on BP 88s (not current generation) in 153cm - I"m 5 foot 1 and just over 100pounds. So slightly taller but lighter. For what it's 88s are considered on narrower side and totally front side at Whistler from what I can tell. Also when I was discussing with with my husband ie. 88 vs 90 my husband was like - ugh that's cms difference.

I"m in the same boat as you but learning as an adult in her 40s after last skiing when I was 12ish. I don't think it's worth going down to mid 80s width. What did the ski shop say about the length of the ski on you? I think it might also depend on the ski how it skis.

I'm wanting new skis this year ....
Hey there Vancouverite! It's a major struggle for us small gals... The ski shop surprisingly didn't mention anything about the length. Why do you not think it's worth going down to mid-80s just curious.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
I ski the Cascades and my daily drivers are 98s (Black Pearls). (I'm 10 lbs heavier than you and have the 156s). IMO skis in the 80s are better for the kind of hard pack conditions we don't have much here. I have some Head Total Joy 85s and have never used them here--I bought them in Sun Valley and have only used them there and also in Lake Louise on vacations. I think skis in the mid 80s will be tough at Snoqualmie due to the heavier snow at that low elevation.
 

FayGoneAstray

Certified Ski Diva
Hey there Vancouverite! It's a major struggle for us small gals... The ski shop surprisingly didn't mention anything about the length. Why do you not think it's worth going down to mid-80s just curious.
Hey- I think mid 80s is considered very quite skinny for Whistler type of skiing (I haven't skied anywhere in Washington State and I"m not familiar with your resorts). Again I don't know much but it feels like I wouldn't get skis for Whistler much skinnier than 88s... I think 92s in terms of width might be fine for Washington State (???).

If you are really worried I"d go back to the ski shop and ask them - and see what they recommend. Or try a different shop with a good reputation and see how you feel after talking to them.

This article discusses width:


I've only ever skied on my BP 88s so I really have no idea...and nothing to compare to except the super short and skinny second hand ones I tried when I went back to skiing, and it felt like I couldn't move under the heavy fresh snow!
Hope someone here has more insight ! I"m looking for new skis too so interested in opinions and I"m doing my armchair research.
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
I would think those Salomon QST 92's in a 153 would be good for the PNW.... I ski mostly Tahoe and am 5'1 105 ish and my skis are in the 150's. Blizzard Samba 153, Blizzard Sheeva 9 157, Black Crows Camox Birdie 156. I tried the BP 88's in 152 at Taos and really liked them.
We get heavy dense snow a lot in Tahoe. I have skied at Whistler several times (6-7) and they get similar snow.
 

SkiBam

Angel Diva
Someone said demo. I know you want skis to start the season, but I would strongly second the demo recommendation. I will never again buy skis without trying them.

FWIW I'm a similar size to you - maybe a bit lighter. I'm an advanced skier and ski on Yumi 147 (at Tremblant) and love them. In a fit of grandmotherly concern for their equipment the Christmas before last, I bought skis for two of my granddaughters - actually, in the case of one of them (the smaller) I didn't buy but gave her my Head Super Joys. Kind of regretted that so hope to replace the SJ this year - but will get the 149 rather than the 143 I had. (Not a ski for Whistler, but a great one for Tremblant.)

Anyway, if you can demo, please do so. I've never regretted demoing, but have regretted some ski choices over the years.
 

scandium

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Please try and demo at least a couple of pairs of skis! Even if it's demo rentals of varying kinds, it will solve more of your questions about length and width than any amount of online research can. I've got about 10lb and 2.5" on you although used to be a similar weight a couple years ago - and demos taught me that I like something completely different from what people often *think* I should like.

I'm solidly intermediate with dreams of being an advanced skier and tend to like stiffer skis close to my own height rather than shorter and softer skis. I have demoed the QST 85 (I think the 2020 model) but was very ambivalent about it and found it a bit insecure on piste and not any fun off. I've also been on the Mindbender 88 Ti this year and really enjoyed it. I didn't like the Line Pandoras. But this tells you nothing about what will work for you, and just tells you about my personal preferences in the conditions I normally ski! So....demo!
 

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
- and demos taught me that I like something completely different from what people often *think* I should like.
Same, even as a beginner trying to reach intermediate, there were skis which on paper were good for my skill level which I demoed and didn't like, even though i know other people have enjoyed them and bought them! E.g. the Mindbender 85, Vantage 86c. Didn't enjoy those skis. But I loved the Head Total Joy and the Black Pearl 88, and the Pandora 84 was up there for me too. (all at the same time period). Go figure.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I'm an intermediate skier in the PNW. I'm 4'10 (147cm),110lbs. A ski shop recently sold me on getting the Salomon QST Lux 92; 153cm. But after talking to a girlfriend of mine she thought I'd be better off with mid-80s waist and shorter skis.

I started off skiing in Vancouver (Cypress and Whistler) but have since relocated to the Seattle area. I got a seasons pass this year to the Summit at Snoqualmie. I'm still pretty cautious on blues but really want to get better this year since I don't really do tree runs or bumps off the side. I'm planning to hit up Mount baker and probably whistler again this year for some powder. Would say mainly stay on groomers but definitely want something that can handle the one off powder days.

What are your thoughts on the Salomon 92s? Should I go down to mid 80s like the black pearl 88s? I was also recommended Line Pandora 84 (151), K2 mindbender 85 (149).

I'm also really concerned about the height of the ski. Someone told me generally if the skis are above your head it's for aggressive/ advanced skiers.
Welcome! Sorry for the slow response. I've been traveling.

I've demo'd the Salomon QST Lux 92 @153, but only for a couple very short runs on a groomer. The length was fine for me. I'm 5'0" (but shrinking), 110 lbs, older, became advanced in the last decade with the help of lessons and lots of days on snow.

My all-mountain skis that I take out west are mid-80s, 158cm. I got the original Black Pearl, 88 wide, 159cm and found that to be a good width when I wasn't quite a solid advanced skier. I was an adventurous intermediate at that point who was starting to ski a few runs off-piste when I was fresh in the mornings.

I think the K2 Mindbender 85 might be too short @149. My narrower skis that I use in the east are 78 underfoot and 148cm. I took them for a late, late season trip that included skiing at Bachelor and Mt. Hood Meadows. They felt on the narrow side for the snow conditions.

As for skiing when there is powder, I used to ski my first all-mountain skis that were 75 underfoot with a wide shovel in up to about 6 inches of fresh snow without much problem. That was before I started taking lesson more regularly.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
My all-mountain skis that I take out west are mid-80s, 158cm. I got the original Black Pearl, 88 wide, 159cm and found that to be a good width when I wasn't quite a solid advanced skier. I was an adventurous intermediate at that point who was starting to ski a few runs off-piste when I was fresh in the mornings.
To clarify, I used the Black Pearls (2011 model, bought used from a Diva in 2012) for a few years. Then changed to a different pair of skis that are mid-80s underfoot. I take the chance to demo even when I'm not looking to buy in the near future. Bought what I'm using now for trips out west during a destination ski trip after the second day demo'ing.

I still have the Black Pearls and use them as "rock skis" during early/late season at my home hill (northern VA).
 

Rachoo

Diva in Training
I don't think the ski is going to be a problem. What have you been skiing?

I'm not sure how helpful this will be, but here goes.

Both height and weight matter, and that length ski correlates pretty well with your weight. If you were 20lbs lighter, I would suggest going down to a 146cm ski. The main thing about skis is whether the skier can flex it during a turn, and inherently, the person with more mass is going to flex the ski more easily.

Mid-80s width might be a bit better only because of your height (skinnier is gentler on knees, and when you are petite, the distance between your feet is decreased), but as a practical matter, we are talking about less than a cm difference between 92mm and "mid-80." They are both fine for the conditions you'll be skiing.

Another way to think about things is that usually the shortest ski in a manufacturer's lineup is made for the smallest - height and weight - skier. I really do think that skis under 150cm are made for women who are around 100lbs or less.

The reality is that there is a huge difference regarding what input based on weight alone a 90lb person and a 115lb person can put into a ski, and they can both be the same height and healthy.

Sorry late reply! I had to fish my skis from the shed. I've been skiing the Elan Zest 140 (3 inch / shy of 76mm waist) so I guess children's skis? Not exactly woman skis... Thanks for your input! I think maybe my 110lb should help with skis over 150... Also, have you tried skis with 85 vs 90 waist?
 

Rachoo

Diva in Training
@Rachoo - So glad to have you here! Ask any and all questions; almost anything will spark a conversation around here.

Is there a chance you can demo skis before you buy? It's not cheap, but it's notably cheaper than buying the wrong skis. A friend (or we) can recommend specific skis, but you likely won't know until you get to ski them. As an example, I ski the Blizzard Black Pearl 82s. BPs are extremely popular, but people either love them or hate them.

:welcome:

Thanks for the warm welcome! After reading all of the other ladies' comments, thinking maybe I should demo some skis this season. I can always return the QST within a year if I end up with other demo skis :smile:

Also - would you mind sharing weight/ height and what made you decide on the Black Pearl 82 vs a 88 for example ?
 

Rachoo

Diva in Training
Someone said demo. I know you want skis to start the season, but I would strongly second the demo recommendation. I will never again buy skis without trying them.

FWIW I'm a similar size to you - maybe a bit lighter. I'm an advanced skier and ski on Yumi 147 (at Tremblant) and love them. In a fit of grandmotherly concern for their equipment the Christmas before last, I bought skis for two of my granddaughters - actually, in the case of one of them (the smaller) I didn't buy but gave her my Head Super Joys. Kind of regretted that so hope to replace the SJ this year - but will get the 149 rather than the 143 I had. (Not a ski for Whistler, but a great one for Tremblant.)

Anyway, if you can demo, please do so. I've never regretted demoing, but have regretted some ski choices over the years.

Thank you for your input! Definitely going to look into demos this season
 

diymom

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Sorry late reply! I had to fish my skis from the shed. I've been skiing the Elan Zest 140 (3 inch / shy of 76mm waist) so I guess children's skis? Not exactly woman skis... Thanks for your input! I think maybe my 110lb should help with skis over 150... Also, have you tried skis with 85 vs 90 waist?
The Elan Zest is a women’s ski, but a light weight one with a composite core. I’d call it a step up from a youth ski, but still a basic beginner ski.
 

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