ski size (touring) query

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 facet 26 Mar 2023


I'm at the stage that I might get some new ski's in the sales for next season etc. I'm very much an intermediate skier at 178cm tall. My current skis, Scott super guide 88, 168cm are great, nearly worn out and now seem a bit squirrely on the downs (as I think I've improved over the years) and I think I need something a bit longer. But most manufactures seem to have a 168/170 then the next size is 176/177. And although it doesn't seem much on paper I'm reluctant to make that jump as I think that 173/174 would be a good compromise for me.

This will be my one ski, for a bit of piste, but mainly touring, predominantly Scotland, but also abroad less frequently. Any thoughts? Thanks

Post edited at 15:14
In reply to facet:

I have the 176 super guides and they are great for piste and touring. I’m similar height as well. Although I’m not the best skier they have definitely upped my game from the last set of skis I had.. I was also weary of them being a bit long but you don’t really notice it to be fair. 

Post edited at 15:25
In reply to facet:

I think it depends on other factors not just length - some ski shorter than others for the length, depending on how much rocker they have and to some degree the stiffness.

I’ve got a paid of BD aspects and Kastle TXs that are close to the same length but the BDs ski an awful lot shorter, especially in heavy snow.

Think you need to try whatever to see how well it fits your skiing style (or lack of in my case).

OP facet 26 Mar 2023
In reply to Garethza:

yeah super guides were a big improvement to me from the first ski's I had. Its difficult because if you live in the UK/Scotland it's impossible to try ski's so basically you take a gamble and just pay £xxx and hope for the best

 HeMa 26 Mar 2023
In reply to facet:

I have toured mainly in the nordic countries, but also in the Alps and also elsewhere. Not the greatest skier by any means (considering I did majority of my touring days in the past on telebindings… half the binder, half the brain or How it goes). And I have not owned a single touring ski shorter than I am… Ok, in mid 2000 I had Völkl Explosive’s that were perhaps a cm or so shorter… but at that time they were also really fat at 95mm waist… and stiff as hell.

Majority of the skis were in the 180cm range (still are), which is some 5cm longer than I am. Steep switchbacks are not a problem with those. But when I had the original Big Daddies (193cm, 107mm waist), steep and tight switchback was not fun… but still doable.

in short, look for skis around your own lenght… or with modern semi Twintip skis, err on getting slightly taller than thou. Modern skis are quick enough in the tight. Lenght brings stability at speed and in difficult snow. And the weight penalty isn’t that great. So look for those ~180 skis and call it good.

OP facet 26 Mar 2023
In reply to HeMa:

Ha! thanks for the reply! Maybe I'll go up to 176/177 which are pretty much my height. I feel it's an impossible situation in one sense, you learn on shorter ski's as easier... then there's so much stuff about the ski being around nose/ forehead length etc.. and like I said before unless your in a 'proper' alpine area impossible to try ski's easily to work it out yourself. 

 Carless 26 Mar 2023
In reply to facet:

No idea of your age but as I've aged my hips aren't as flexible as they were meaning very steep conversions are more awkward: I sometimes wish my skis were 5cm shorter...

Of course, if you're still young and flexible, ignore

I'm also 178cm and have 173s

 John Cuthbert 27 Mar 2023
In reply to facet:

hey buddy, I'm also 178cms and would not ski a length less than my height.

Currently on Line Sick Day, 98 under foot for multi-day tours..

These are slightly rockered, and are playful, stable, and floaty. 

They are however 7 years old, some I'm also looking at a new ski in the sales, and given the further improvements in materials and design, I'll defo be going fatter, maybe Blizzard Zero G 105s... for more stability, more playfulness, and more float...

I really don't know how you cope with a short ski in deep pow, crud, and at speed..


 S Ramsay 27 Mar 2023
In reply to facet:

Weight and aggressiveness are more of a factor in choosing ski length than height which as far as i can tell is just used as a fairly inaccurate proxy for weight. I am approx the same height as you and tour (and do everything else) on 181cm skis and weigh 70-75 kg. Aggressiveness is of course subjective but always trying to drive my skis as hard as I can. If I spent a lot of time in tight couloirs then I might wish for something shorter, amd I suspect that my kick turns would take less effort if they were shorter. On the downs though they are a hoot and I don't find myself wishing for anything shorter 

 gooberman-hill 27 Mar 2023
In reply to HeMa:

>> half the binder, half the brain

Or alternately: Free your heels and your mind will follow

 HeMa 27 Mar 2023
In reply to gooberman-hill:

Actually from a lovely Norwegian, telemark is short for "hey guys, wait up..." in norwegian...

that bein said, I haven't touched on my telemark skis  in nearly 2 years now... not the best selection of gear to learn park skiing (rails felt really hard... and fallin' on rails hurts, jumps were actually ok)... also trying to do somewhat icy competition moguls was not fun on those ~125mm wide skis, go figure.

In reply to facet:

I am 185cmm tall and have touring skis (to many really) from 180 - 192, I tend to have shorter skis for spring and couloir skiing and the bigger longer ones for the mid winter stuff, my go to set is 186cm

As other have said design make a big difference in terms of rocker and flex etc and where your weight is on the ski.  

You should be fine on skis the same hight as you. There is no reason this will cause a problem, and is the norm for most people. It may take a little while to get used to, but probably more likely it would be time getting used to a new ski rather than the length. 

 daftdazza 27 Mar 2023
In reply to facet:

If you are mainly touring in Scotland I would go for the shorter 168/170 ski, makes tight turns in often poor or difficult Scottish conditions easier, if mainly alps I would go longer, more stability and float in fresh snow plus added weight from pack for multi day touring.

But probably best seeking advice at one of the shops in Aviemore if your passing through, will be lots of sale skis at this time of year.

Post edited at 11:16
 kathrync 27 Mar 2023
In reply to facet:

I'm 167cm. My one pair of do-it-all skis, for very similar uses to what you describe (bit of piste, touring mostly in Scotland but sometimes abroad) are 166. I am by no means a good skier!

I was a little wary when I bought them, but it didn't take me long to get used to them and I wouldn't go shorter again now.

The only potential problem is kick turns, which are harder on a longer ski, but should still be doable unless you have very tight hips.

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