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The often-asked Q: Eeeek, what length?

katcha

Diva in Training
#1
Hi everyone,
Been checking this forum now and then for info (sooo helpful) and I've now finally signed up due to an urgent Q:
What length for new skis?!!!

My deets:
5'7 (170cm) - 130lb - Anywhere in the Austrian Alps. Ski around 20-25 days per year.
I'm looking to improve as much as poss but I'm a laid back skier with two kids so I'm not really going to go crazy. What's my level? No idea. Put it this way:
Austrian rated pistes are Blue-Red-Black.
I find Blues a little boring, Reds are good fun and Black is where I wanna be but sometimes avoid. Would that make me a low-intermediate?

Looking at Fischer Koa 75, (mainly because they're cheap!).
These skis, they come in 160 or 165... Rocker in tip, regular camber.

I almost ordered the 165 but it seems a little scary, even though the shop guy told me that's my length, and most people in this forum seem to be on that Length/Height ratio.

Your esteemed opinions highly appreciated!
 
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mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
What are you skiing now? That will help you to choose length. These are rockered in the tip so they will ski a little shorter than a ski w/out rocker. A bigger concern I would have is that these are a beginner to intermediate ski and you sound like an intermediate skier wanting to progress to advanced. If it’s a really good deal and you are happy to trade up in a season or two then no problem. I think either length would probably work for slow cruising with the kids - you are tall, but lightweight. Shorter skis will be easier to progress with on piste at cruising speeds. Longer skis will give you more stability at higher speeds.
 
#3
If you're skiing Reds in Europe, you are definitely intermediate ++.
Many reds in Europe (switzerland & france) are like easy blacks in the US....
just sayin.
 

katcha

Diva in Training
#4
Hmmm, Santacruz Skier, when I look around at everyone else I feel more on the low end of intermediate ;)

Thanks Mustski - that's opened a can of worms! There are other options.. Especially if I don't go for women's skis (but I like the idea of women's for the centre of Balance thing). Right now I'm on some 147s that à friend gave me & they're driving me mad. But because they're so short I'm a bit scared of such a huge leap to 165..
 
#5
Ha I doubt it @katcha .... for US divas I equate red runs in Europe to blue-black in Colorado or double blues or easy blacks out west anywhere. And in Chamonix a red seemed like a black.....

Skied lots of reds in 2017 in Kitzbuhel and Portes du Soleil that were definitely more difficult than most blues in Western US and Canada and some blacks. Don't know about the East as I've never skied there.
 
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Belgiangirl

Certified Ski Diva
#6
Hmmm, Santacruz Skier, when I look around at everyone else I feel more on the low end of intermediate ;)

Thanks Mustski - that's opened a can of worms! There are other options.. Especially if I don't go for women's skis (but I like the idea of women's for the centre of Balance thing). Right now I'm on some 147s that à friend gave me & they're driving me mad. But because they're so short I'm a bit scared of such a huge leap to 165..
Oh my that sounds way too short for your length. I'm 162cm and my skis are 163cm (Volkl Aura) and 172cm (Line Pandora). Where in the EU are you based? Long shot but you're always welcome to try whatever I have available.

A lot of shops will also allow you to take out a few different pairs if you rent skis, this might be a good way to get a feel for different models and sizes. It's not exactly like demoing in the US I think but it should be close enough.
 
#7
I am a similar size, and I like anything from 160-168, but typically prefer 162-165. I know it can be daunting to jump up, but you'll feel so much more stable on a 160ish ski than on a 147. It might feel weird for a run or two, but then you won't give it a second thought. If you can demo some skis, definitely do that, or visit a shop that can help you home in on what kind of ski you like. Definitely do research and find the ski that is best for you - don't just go based on price.

Also consider how wide of a ski you want to be on. Are you only on groomers or do you sometimes ski deeper snow? The Koa75 could be a good choice, but it is geared more toward beginner/intermediates and won't be a great choice if you ski anything except corduroy. A few years ago I skied the Koa 84 and Koa 98 a lot and loved those - they were versatile, offered different speeds, performed well on all terrain and snow conditions - but I personally would find the 75 too limiting.
 

katcha

Diva in Training
#9
Ah, thanks girls! Yeh, 147 is ridiculous - there's no way to go fast so I have to dither around even when I get a few hours away from the kids.. But it seems like it's back to the drawing board & possibly a bit more cash to get something worthwhile (you've talked me into it!). For a start there are not many groomed pistes in our area.. And @MilkyWookiee you're right ;) I'm being a classic girl.. and also a classic perfectionist virgo ;)
 

SqueakySnow

Diva in Training
#10
I just jumped back into skiing last year after snowboarding for the last 12 years. So, I took a lesson and they stuck me on 147s... way too short. The instructor took one look at my skis and said way way way too short. So, when I started demoing skis after the lesson, I jumped up to 157s and then to 161s. I decided to err on the side of caution and maneuverability as I got back into the sport, so I bought 161s even though I probably could have managed 167s. I'm about 5'7" but weight more than you do... maybe that will help you make your decision. Also, my wife who's about my same height and weight bought twin tip skis at 169 and has had no problem at all. As @mustski said above, the twin tips ski a lot shorter because less surface area is actually in contact with the snow. Hope that helps... we both love our skis!
 

katcha

Diva in Training
#11
Hmmm.. OK, I think I've got my head around length.. now I'm confused about going for Female-specific: most of the stuff out there for women seems to be easy stuff just for piste or something. I like the idea of female-specific skis as I'm defo very feminine in stance so I like the whole centre-of-balance thing, but how important is it really? Options are a lot wider when I look into men's..
 

lisamamot

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#12
Hmmm.. OK, I think I've got my head around length.. now I'm confused about going for Female-specific: most of the stuff out there for women seems to be easy stuff just for piste or something. I like the idea of female-specific skis as I'm defo very feminine in stance so I like the whole centre-of-balance thing, but how important is it really? Options are a lot wider when I look into men's..
At your height and weight if you go to a men's/unisex ski you may find they are stiffer than you prefer especially if you go with a length that is commiserate with your height. I am just shy of 5'9"(174-175cm)/140# and ski women's skis in the high 160s-high 170s with my happy place being the 168-173 based on construction and rocker profile. My outlier is the 177 Santa Ana 100 (pre metal) but it has significant rocker in the tip/tail so skis quite short. I can ski mens skis, but I prefer women's specific since I don't favor a super stiff ski.

I expect an 80's underfoot 163-167cm ski is where you should be for length and versatility. If a ski has more rocker you can likely go towards the higher end...if it does not, towards the lower.

You are coming from such a short ski - it may sound scary but I expect you will be amazed at how quickly you adjust.

Best of luck and if you can demo all the better!
 
#15
As women we tend to underestimate our talent. I'm sure we've all noticed men are the opposite!
It’s true! There is research backing this up! Not to mention our longstanding observations, although they might be so ingrained we don’t even notice. I have to check myself every time a man says something (with an air of supreme confidence) that I know is inaccurate, and remind myself that I know what I know.

Mansplaining, anyone?
 

MilkyWookiee

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#16
It’s true! There is research backing this up! Not to mention our longstanding observations, although they might be so ingrained we don’t even notice. I have to check myself every time a man says something (with an air of supreme confidence) that I know is inaccurate, and remind myself that I know what I know.

Mansplaining, anyone?
I frequently have to remind myself I more than once successfully educated a man on the dangers of the venomous snow snakes, as well as the importance of square tires when driving on Canadian ice
 

mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#17
As women we tend to underestimate our talent. I'm sure we've all noticed men are the opposite!
Years ago,someone conducted research on self image. I don’t remember who, but 75% of the men surveyed rated themselves as above average on physical attractiveness scale. 75% of women rated themselves below average!
 

katcha

Diva in Training
#18
Years ago,someone conducted research on self image. I don’t remember who, but 75% of the men surveyed rated themselves as above average on physical attractiveness scale. 75% of women rated themselves below average!
Oh yes, absolutely! Magazine images, Photoshop etc etc.. Women's self-image affected by media, the male gaze, patriarchy.. Waaaah, don't get me started!

BTW I'm now looking at Atomic cloud 11, Head Great Joy.. And other stuff, very varied.. I think somehow that Great Joy isn't really for European mountains. When I go to a ski shop they reckon 77 underfoot is a good all-mountain..
 
#19
Oh yes, absolutely! Magazine images, Photoshop etc etc.. Women's self-image affected by media, the male gaze, patriarchy.. Waaaah, don't get me started!

BTW I'm now looking at Atomic cloud 11, Head Great Joy.. And other stuff, very varied.. I think somehow that Great Joy isn't really for European mountains. When I go to a ski shop they reckon 77 underfoot is a good all-mountain..
I demoed Head Great Joy In Switzerland ! Guy in ski shop recommended it!
 

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