How do you know what length skis to get?
I would like to buy shaped skis. I currently ski on straight 160s and 5-foot, 2-inches tall. I've gotten so many different opinions on how long my shaped skis should be. Help! Jacklyn Meriden, Connecticut
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Help is here, Jacklyn.
I made the switch to shaped skis just recently. Volant metal skis. I must say, they’re mah-velous. Turning has become almost an exercise in telepathy, and they’ve also made me a better mogul-masher. Which is to say I’m still pretty lousy, but definitely a little less lousy. The only downside is that on fast, straight runs they tend to be a little twitchier than straight skis, or at least than my six-year-old Salomon GS skis, which were best suited for big turns and high-speed descents.
Basically, your shaped skis need to be shorter than your straight ones. Alas, how much shorter will depend a bit on the type of skiing you do. But for the sake of discussion, I’ll say you’re a mid- to high-intermediate skier who skis most all the mountain at a pretty brisk pace, but shows some caution when it’s icy or super steep. For you, an all-mountain ski would be the right choice, something like Rossignol’s Bandit XL ($550), a ski designed just for women. Normally, I’d suggest you go ten centimeters shorter than your current setup. But that is one short ski - you can’t even get most skis shorter than 160.