/ Ski Length for Touring

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kathrync - on 18 Dec 2012
I am in the market for a pair of skis. I mostly ski downhill and spend most of my time on the pistes, although in recent years I have been getting off the pistes more and more as well. Given that I live in Scotland, it would seem rude not to buy something that I can also use for light touring so I guess I am looking for a bit of an all-rounder really.

Up until now I have always rented. Although I am not particularly short, I am very light (only just over 8st) and usually ride something around about the 152cm mark. I've been looking on the Braemar Mountain Sports and Mountain Spirit websites and this seems to be very short for a touring/all mountain ski. Most of them, even the ladies' skis, seem to start at 158 or even 160. I understand that a longer ski will give me more float and stability, but when I have rented something longer than 155 I have always struggled to control my tips. The idea of buying skis that long worries me a bit. Is a ski this long really necessary or can I get away with buying something shorter that is not marketed as an all-mountains ski?

On the same note, does anyone have any opinions on the Scott Luna or Salomon Geisha? These are the skis I have seen that have the width underfoot for getting off the groomed stuff but which come in slightly shorter lengths...
Cuthbert on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to kathrync:

Just get the same length as you would for the piste. My ex, about the same weight as you, used Scott Maya 155cm and she definetly wouldn't go any shorter. I reckon about 155 to 160 for you.
AG - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to kathrync: My wife is 160cm and her touring skis are 160 and her new all mountain skis are 158 ish (they have a slight rocker). I wouldn't go too short for touring skis but it's what ever you feel comfortable with. I'm only around 60kg and i use 170cm for touring or 164cm for off-piste trips. My first touring skis were 190cm - I only used them for a season!.
galpinos - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to kathrync:

My wife, a giant at 5'1", wants a pair of Lunas in 156 as her "all mountain" skis with some touring bindings. In her words, "They're bloody brilliant".

(She's a pretty good skier, on and off-piste)
kathrync - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to kathrync:

Ok, thanks for the information. If I aim for something around the 155-157 mark that should open some more options and give me a bit more length without freaking me out too much. I'll hire something a bit longer next time I am out and see how I get on with them before I delve in and spend all my cash :o)
kathrync - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to galpinos:
> (In reply to kathrync)
>
> My wife, a giant at 5'1", wants a pair of Lunas in 156 as her "all mountain" skis with some touring bindings. In her words, "They're bloody brilliant".
>
> (She's a pretty good skier, on and off-piste)

That's pretty much what I was looking at. Seems to be a relatively common set-up for women who tour a bit but I've never actually had a chance to try them.
hokipoki - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to kathrync: Being a short arse, but reasonably dense (5'6" and 10 stone), I ski slightly longer, burlier skis. My slackcountry setup is a set of 179 preachers, with some shiny new Duke EPF's. Found them absolutely fine, but took an hour or two to feel comfortable, due to increased length and width (112mm).

Definitely worth testing as many skis, and lengths, as possible, before you buy. Then having to make the decision about bindings and boots that will fit them... So the only advice that I can really give is buy a quiver ;). Oh, and head over to snowheads. Mecca of info over there.
Oceanic - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to galpinos:
> (In reply to kathrync)
>
> My wife, a giant at 5'1", wants a pair of Lunas in 156 as her "all mountain" skis with some touring bindings. In her words, "They're bloody brilliant".
>
> (She's a pretty good skier, on and off-piste)

I don't have any direct experience, but I thought that I read somewhere that Venturi tips make it difficult to fit skins?
Oceanic - on 18 Dec 2012
Gael Force - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to kathrync: I wouldn't buy new skis to use in Scotland for obvious reasons, particularly touring where rocks lurk just under the surface to blow out your edges and a costly mistake, unless your well off.
Re size, it depends on your ability and the total surface area of the ski, ie if they are really fat then they don't need to be so long. If you've had trouble crossing tips on piste then you will have real trouble off piste, so I would keep them short and fat, like the mother in law, until you improve a bit.
Skis are not going to make much difference to your skiing, its all about time on snow...

h11lly - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Gael Force: I'm 5.4 and 7 stone and I've spent the past 4 years on 155 Scott Mayas with Fritschi Explore bindings . Brilliant skis on and off piste and no problem fitting BD Glidelight skins to them. Done some fairly long tours on them .
I bought new skis this month and was thinking about the Luna but after discussing it with someone 3 stone heavier who said she found them quite a bit stiffer than the Maya I went for the 158 Line Celebrity 90 with the Fritschi Scout.
I've used them so far on 7 days at Cairngorm in a variety of conditions and love them. Lively, so easy to turn , and even on yesterday's hard pack very stable and grippy. I've only skinned up to the summit with them so far but they feel great and again BD Glidelights attach easily.
Both set ups are fairly lightweight and the bindings start at a din 3. I ski on a 3.5 and this restricts my choice as most bindings eg dynafits, Markers and the new Salomons start above that !
Both sets came from Snowfit in Norwich who are incredibly helpful. John there measured the length of the actual contact edge on the Lines as I was wondering about dropping down to a 151, but very glad I went up to the 158's which actually have the same amount of edge in front of the binding as the Mayas.
Good luck with your hunt for skis and although the Fritschi Explores are pretty wrecked on the Mayas after about 350 days use in Scotland , the skis and bases are in good shape.Being light does mean you tend to float over rocks and edges stay attached!
AG - on 20 Dec 2012
Have to say in 25 years of skiing mostly in scotland (around 15 years or so touring) , I've never blown an edge. I tend to buy new skis but wait until the end of season when you usually get them half price or less.
galpinos - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to Oceanic:

They could well be awkward but not a disaster. I was looking at G3 skins so their tip adapter would cope fine.

Worth it for a ski she loves!
kathrync - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to h11lly:

Thanks, that's useful to know about the stiffness of the Lunas and I'll add the Celebrity to the list of skis to look at :o)
inboard - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to galpinos:
My OH had G3 skins, and didn't like them. They have shorter hair than either of my black diamond skins (I have both fully synthetic and the mixed ones), and she found the G3 skins less grippy on certain snow types. It was clear that she couldn't skin straight up slopes as steep as I could. So she got rid of them, and has now bought BD skins = much happier.
Carolyn - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to kathrync:

I'm about 9.5 st (5 ft 8) and ski the 165 Maya. Love 'em. They're very light and flexible (much more so than the bloke's equivalent my other half has), and turn really well. So much better for my skiing style than my previous monsters (which were a bargain I stuck with for years...).

The trade off is they're not great at high speed, but that suits my fairly cautious style (or lack of...) just fine.
Ian Carr - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to kathrync: Hi Kathryn, it's not about length anymore. It all about finding the right ski for you. Once you found the ski then the length comes automatically from the manufacturers calculations. The Scott range is good. Female specific skis are usually softer and lighter than the male version purely because of the weight of the skier.

Modern, fatter, bigger rocker skis, are far better off-piste than a piste specific ski because the width and flexibility in the tip keeps them above the surface. Tip control is usually a balance issue.
girlymonkey - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to kathrync: I'm 154cm high, and I ski Scott Maya 155. I absolutely love them. I have them set up with touring bindings (Marker f10) and use them on piste and touring and they are brilliant for everything. Dunno if that helps you, but just my experience.
alasdair19 on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to kathrync: bear in mind a couple of things

the clever rocker tips reduce the effective length of the ski cause the front is designed to be out the snow all the time.

There is currently a fetish for big wide skis, ideal for shredding the pow but i believe your planning on scottish touring??

An all round ski needs to be able to ski hardpack/ice etc this becomes harder as the skis become wider.

Is the scott luna the female Mission? If so they should be ideal.

Have fun.
al
Rigid Raider - on 24 Dec 2012
In reply to alasdair19:

I went from very dated 207 cm Salomon Force 9s to much shorter Rossignol Bandits. The Force 9s were excellent in the shuss and great for cutting across a cruddy slope but just good at the rest. The Bandits otoh feel disconcertingly unstable in the shuss but are just fantastic at turning in crud, which is what they are designed to do. In Scottish conditions with all kinds of mixed snow they excel. I bought them from Mountain Feet, now in Marsden. They are real specialists in ski touring and mountaineering.
lisafer on 31 Dec 2012
In reply to kathrync: Go with what you know you can ski. Also, if you go too long, then it will make kick-turns a pain in the backside (unless you have legs like a stork. A friend of similar height to me was on rented 160s and found it a nuisance, but I know others who don't seem to have issues.
I'm 5"4 and around 8st.
I ski about 145-148 on piste, and have a pair of hagen reptile 150s (only 72 underfoot and I ain't sunk yet!) for touring, bought from Braemar. They do have skis that short, but only in the womens specific styles (Hagen Queen, K2 She's back...) so there won't be that much choice.
Especially being as you're light, it will be weight that will be your compromise. Lugging heavy skis up the hill on a tour is a nuisance, but if you hit an icy piste on lightweight skis you really notice! If you mostly ski in scotland, and are a lightweight, I wouldn't get too caught up over underfoot width!

Enjoy :)
kevin stephens - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to hokipoki:
> (In reply to kathrync) Being a short arse, but reasonably dense (5'6" and 10 stone), I ski slightly longer, burlier skis. My slackcountry setup is a set of 179 preachers, with some shiny new Duke EPF's. Found them absolutely fine, but took an hour or two to feel comfortable, due to increased length and width (112mm).
>
+1, I have the 169 Preachers (I'm 5'4")with Marker F10s - awsome fun both on and off piste and brilliant in deep powder. However for all round use inc touring and Scotland my 158 Scott Missions with Diamir Eagle are more practical. The Missions have now been discontinued replaced by the slighly fatter Ventures, which would be my recommendation for the OP's requirements

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