I’m an intermediate skier who hasn’t skied much in the past seven years. I ready to go now, but my skis are out of style. I’m five-foot, eight-inches tall and about 180 pounds. What length ski do I need, and what kind of boots are out there now? Donna Basalt, Colorado
Ski length is easy to figure. These days, with a shaped ski, a woman your height and weight would do well with a ski thats about 160 to 170 centimeters in length. The final ski size will depend a little on what the maker is offering, how wide the ski is, and things like that. But, lets say you were after a decent all-mountain ski for those blue diamond runs. You could get a pair of K2 T:Nine Tru Luv skis ($585; k2skis.com), which come with integrated Marker M2 10 bindings (thats another change, most skis now have built-on bindings). They are fairly forgiving, flexible skis with lots of turning ability. They come in a 160cm length, which would be just right.
K2 T:Nine Tru Luv Skis
T:Nine Tru Luv Skis
Another option is the Salomon Topaz ski, which come with Salomon Z10 Ti bindings ($670; salomon.com). Maybe a little sprightlier than the K2s when making fast turns, but still an excellent all-mountain ski that should have you skiing well past your previous level pretty soon. Salomon makes a 158cm and a 168cm version. The longer skis will give you more stability when going fast and better float in soft snow. But the shorter ones will turn better.
There are lots of good boots out there, too. Fit matters, of course, so find a ski shop person who will take the time to work with you and find the best fit. Salomon Divine 8s are a womans boot that will match well, performance-wise, with either of the skis above. Theyre $400. You can adjust the height of the boot at your calf, and they have a thin plastic shell that helps with better feel." Tecnica boots are excellent, and the Attiva V2-8s ($400; tecnicausa.com) are no exception. Tecnica lengthened the last for these boots this year, so if you have trouble with your toes getting smashed into the toe of your boots, these might work well.
So there you go. Its snowing like mad in my part of the world. Time for some skiing!
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