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Skis for very petite women...

AlwaysCold

Diva in Training
#1
Hello,

I've read about every ski thread on the forum about petite skis, but I'm interested in experience with versatility in all mountain skis. I'm 4'11'', 100lbs, and skis on the West coast (Tahoe, Whistler), going down soft moguls, hardpack, and hoping to improve my landing in powder (I don't jump in terrain parks..even though I probably should to improve, but it's a fear factor). So it's about around 70% on piste and 30% off...and around 50% ungroomed. I need something to get me through crud but I'm average-aggressive skier.

Junior ski like Bent Chetler minis (90mm underfoot) felt better than Temptation 84 (154cm is way too heavy for me, 146cm works but felt less responsive than Bent Chetler) but would not let me go through larger moguls or deeper powder so I skied on K2 Missbehaved 149cm which is stable and heavy and great on powder, but hard to control on icier hardpack; seriously, I thought the skis were taking me for a ride...

So- I'm hoping for some feedback on Blizzard Black Pearl since it's so popular, whether 152cm would be too long. My ski coach said I shouldn't get anything bigger than myself (150cm). And really, any other recommendation for the new skis of 2017 would be great. I've spent a fortune on rentals and demos at short length are difficult to get. At this point, I just want to buy something that's not heavy, but stiff and long enough to do things. Short radius turns would be a plus.
 
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#2
There are others here who, unlike me, will have some useful info. But welcome! Glad to have you here.
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#3
I think in a normal snow year in Tahoe, the Black Pearls will work well, and that 152 will be fine. But, I don't think of it as a stiff ski - maybe it's changed. I haven't been on them since the 2010-11 version, which I found too soft for the often firm conditions that Tahoe was having then. A good width for smaller/lighter skiers to have in Tahoe for a go-to all-mountain ski is around 85 to 95 mm. Something to keep in mind when you refer to skis being heavy is that demo bindings are heavy. Also, imho, being able to ski one ski on both ice and deeper powder is more of a skill issue than an equipment issue.

And welcome!
 

AlwaysCold

Diva in Training
#4
Thanks! I haven't skied in Tahoe this winter. It's been Whistler for a few weeks and skiing powder and moguls, which's very different from the ski-gauging conditions at Tahoe the previous years!

I've a question about bindings: demo bindings are heavy, but how much do they effect how much pressure I can put on skis? I can't quite tell if it's because of the 5cm or else when I have to lean and lean to turn on a slightly longer ski?

Do you have any opinion on 148cm Head Total Joy?
 
#6
The Total Joy in that length sounds like a good bet. :thumbsup: I have demo'd them in a size more appropriate to my stats (5-6/125, demo 163) and found them quite lovely, very versatile. Light. They come with bindings included, and the whole package is feather-weight. Another skier your size (paging @tinymoose ) has 149(?) Volkl Yumi and is very happy with them.
 

SkiBam

Angel Diva
#7
I too am small - just under 5 ft and about 105 lb. and have decided I really don't need a wide ski. At the moment I have Temptation 88 (154), which I used to love but found them heavy and less responsive this season (could be cuz I'm getting older...). Also Blizzard Jr. slalom ski (143) which I was loving on the hardpack, then decided I was hitting a speed limit on them. Ended up going back to my Salomon Bamboos (145) - at least 3 years old which have performed just wonderfully in a variety of conditions this year. Finding them a tad heavy to carry though.

Seriously considering getting the Head Super Joy (143) - demoed these a couple of years ago and liked them a lot (but wasn't in a position to buy at that time). Haven't tried the Total Joy but think the Super would be fine for me. I look forward to carrying around a light light ski!
 
#8
Seriously considering getting the Head Super Joy (143) - demoed these a couple of years ago and liked them a lot (but wasn't in a position to buy at that time). Haven't tried the Total Joy but think the Super would be fine for me. I look forward to carrying around a light light ski!
Having skied with you in 2015, I can confidently say I think you would love having the Super Joy - as do I, earlier this season, 163. :smile: I was able to demo both the Super and Total, loved both, thought the narrower ski was what I needed more than mid-width (quiver overlap). You will LOVE the light weight of these! Wow, almost disconcerting. But - they WORK. The whole line is stellar.
 

tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
Hi! I'm similar stats to you. 5'1" and 95 lbs.

I definitely wouldn't buy the Black Pearl without demoing them because of the length and they seem to be a love 'em or hate 'em ski. I demoed them out at Big Sky a couple years ago and did not care for all of the tip rocker or the length. But if you can try them, definitely give them a try!

Like MSL said, I have the Yumis in a 147. I've been very happy with them at my size. They're just stiff enough to have some energy to them, but not so stiff I can't bend them well. They're not the greatest crud busters though b/c they're not that stiff and they're a very lightweight ski. I really have to keep them on edge in crud or I get tossed. So if you get a chance to demo, I'd recommend them too. Also, keep in mind... next year's Yumi has had a bit of metal added to them so they'll be a bit stiffer than the current year and should handle crud better. But I haven't tried them myself yet.

I'd love to offer you more skis to check out, but I live in PA and we just don't have a lot of demo opportunities around here and I haven't been in the market for new skis the last couple years. But I've heard a lot of people rave about the Head Total Joy on here and they've been recommended to me by a few folks.
 

Little Lightning

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
Hi,
Another petite skier. 5'1 and 97lbs. I ski 50-70 days a year. This year I demoed 2 skis that I thought would work well for small skiers. They were the Elan Twilight 84 and the Atomic Vantage 85. Both skis were easy turners, handled well on groomers and in day old snow on the side of the runs. I didn't get to try them on powder or bumps. Both skis had Salomon Z10 demo bindings which work well for me. I didn't pay attention to the lengths I demoed, both somewhere in the 150 + range. Keep in mind that a ski with some rocker means you can go longer in length because they will ski shorter.

I have one pair of skis with Salomon Z10 demo bindings and I can't tell much difference with the extra weight.

A couple of years ago I demoed the Black Pearl and wasn't impressed with it. It seemed fine on groomers and was ok in bumps. It just didn't have the pop and liveliness that I like in a ski.
 
#11
I'm petite (5'1 103 lbs) and ski mainly in Tahoe.... I demoed two skis this season that were very short radius (which I wasn't used to)... In Tahoe I demoed both the 153 and 161 in the Nordica Santa Ana 100. In Switzerland I demoed the Head Great Joy in a 153. Both had turning radius around 12.... Very fun ski.
FYI I ski the Blizzard Samba in 152 as daily driver. Turning radius close to 18 and demoed the Black Crow Camox Birdie in 153 w turning radius 18...
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#12
Thanks! I haven't skied in Tahoe this winter. It's been Whistler for a few weeks and skiing powder and moguls, which's very different from the ski-gauging conditions at Tahoe the previous years!

I've a question about bindings: demo bindings are heavy, but how much do they effect how much pressure I can put on skis? I can't quite tell if it's because of the 5cm or else when I have to lean and lean to turn on a slightly longer ski?

Do you have any opinion on 148cm Head Total Joy?
My stats are 5'0", 110 lbs, older, advanced, actively working to improve in the last 4-5 years. Hard to tell if my experience will help you decide or not. I started with shorter skis in the mid 150s for all-mountain but have since gone longer. I demo before I buy skis. When I demo, sometimes I take out the same ski in different lengths to understand the difference it can make.

I bought the Black Pearl at 159cm in 2012 after demo'ing at Big Sky. Have used them mostly in the Rockies on relatively soft snow in a variety of conditions from groomers to 10 inches of powder. Fine on soft bumps for me. Don't particularly like them on hard snow.

I bought the 148cm Absolut Joy for Mid-Atlantic skiing after demo'ing the 153. Have demo'd the Total Joy at 158cm and liked it. For me, the Total Joy at 153cm was too short on groomers at an Alta Demo Day although that made them more fun on bumps.

I liked the Atomic Vantage 90W @ 161cm for a couple runs during the 2016 Alta Demo Day.

My first all-mountain skis were 127-75-108 and had demo bindings. Never really worried about the bindings. I rent powder skis when I get lucky and catch a powder storm. Only reason I switched out to regular bindings for a recent purchase of demo skis was to make the skis lighter to carry. I'd skied on them a couple days before deciding to buy them. Didn't notice any significant difference. I intend to keep those skis for a long time, so there was no advantage in having demo bindings in order to make them easier to sell at some point.
 

AlwaysCold

Diva in Training
#13
Thank you everyone. I've decided not to be hasty and either demo or wait until next winter. It seems that I've to buy a hardshell case if I'm to travel with skis to Canada anyways...
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#15
Thank you everyone. I've decided not to be hasty and either demo or wait until next winter. It seems that I've to buy a hardshell case if I'm to travel with skis to Canada anyways...
Only on Air Canada. Use Westjet if you can. They are sooooo much better. On my trip to Whistler there were more bags than Sport tubes, on an Air Canada flight. I was surprised. Not sure if you have to sign off if there is any problems.
 
#16
Only on Air Canada. Use Westjet if you can. They are sooooo much better. On my trip to Whistler there were more bags than Sport tubes, on an Air Canada flight. I was surprised. Not sure if you have to sign off if there is any problems.
I don't know to what extent Air Canada actually demands hardshell cases. I don't own one and have never had a problem. Our group of over 30 people travelled to France on AC and almost everyone had just a ski bag (in my case, a very old one...). No issues at all.
 

AlwaysCold

Diva in Training
#18
I don't know to what extent Air Canada actually demands hardshell cases. I don't own one and have never had a problem. Our group of over 30 people travelled to France on AC and almost everyone had just a ski bag (in my case, a very old one...). No issues at all.
Air Canada specified that only for US to Canada flights, which is kind of odd.

That said, now I'm staring at Praxis custom skis since now the base cost is 50% off, making them more affordable. Has anyone tried them? At my height, it looks like something called "Le Petit" or a parkn'n'ride twintip with extra width would probably do?
 

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