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Non-race-competiton slalom ski length

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi guys.

Right now I have an Elan Amphibio 18ti2, I love those skis, really stable and I feel like it is the perfect ski for me.
The only problem is that in November and December the snow was still not the best in the alps and I hit a few rocks with it and now I have some damage in my base. Nothing crazy but I'll need to use a ptex candle to fix it. So I thought... why not have one pair of skis for early/late season and another one for mid-season??? snowHead

In November I was skiing with a friend that also had an Elan ski similar to mine, but 178cm in length and I did a few runs on it... although very stable, I felt it was a bit more difficult for me to make my turns, especially on steep areas.... that made me think about how the length of a ski can change your ability to drive the skis. Also, it's common to see first-timers renting very short skis, because that makes it easier for them to turn.

My current ski is something between a slalom and a gs ski with 172cm in length, 15.7m turn radius and 73mm waist.
I tried a pair of short slalom skis from a friend of mine and loved it, so I'm thinking about getting one for myself.

I am 1.78m and 95kg, do you guys think a slalom ski of 165cm would be too short for me ? I don't really remember what was the size of the slalom ski I tried but it was shorter than my elan, so probably 160 or 165 and it was very stable on high speeds.
I'm looking for a playful ski, so I guess a shorter one will make it more fun!

I'm thinking about the Atomic S9, Fischer RC4 Worldcup SC or the Volkl Racetiger SL, all of them range from 65-68 waist and 12-12.5 turn radius.
What do you think ? Laughing
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seem unlikely - the world cup pros race SL on 165cm
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jedster wrote:
seem unlikely - the world cup pros race SL on 165cm

Why unlikely ?
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Roman Zenhäusern is 2.02m tall (so the British commentators like to keep telling us on every race) and he seems to do pretty well on a 165 SL ski.

If you can get hold of a set of either of these you won't be disappointed, just ask anyone that was at the ski test in October....

https://www.dynastar.com/product/speed-omeglass-wc-sl-r22
https://www.dynastar.com/product/speed-omeglass-wc-fis-sl-165
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I had a go on Admins 165cm Kneissl White Star FIS Sl skis and they were fine for me at 186cm tall and 90kg. They were very stiff and had a really snappy feel to them. Also, excellent edge hold particularly on icy pistes. Tiring though.......
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I borrowed a pair of these (earlier season version) when my Atomic SL's delaminated and thought these Nordica's were brilliant

https://www.sport-conrad.com/en/products/nordica/dobermann-slr-rb-xcell-14-fdt.html

I'm normally a fan of Atomic slalom skis and also heard good things about the Voelkl's but not skied them myself.

I'm a (little) lighter than you and similar height - the 165's were perfect.
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I'm 178cm tall and 80kg and ski on a pair of Fischer SL at 165 cm and find them great on ice and quick in the turn but not too stable going in a straight line at speed.
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The OP isn't asking about lengths of FIS SL skis, they are asking about lengths for recreational ones.

I would think of it in terms of how your weight fits into the range of weights that the skis are designed for, so would look at either the 165cm or 170cm ones.
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If possible try to test, I once had a pair of recreational slalom type skis, which were 173 cm with a radius of 12 m. I never got on with them, as there was some fundamental mismatch in their dimensions. They were also very soft, and flapped on harder snow/ice.

In addition, I would in general be careful to avoid very short radius skis. Some of the consumer models go down to 11.5 m. The actual race models tend to be closer to 13 m at 165 cm, which feels a lot better to me.

p.s. I'm 6 ft and about 90 kg. My fighting weight is closer to 80 kg, but I haven't noticed a great deal of difference while skiing, except general fitness.
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I'm 178cm and 73kg, and have 155cm womens' SL skis, which I find are good for recreational skiing. I wouldn't want to take them above 70-80kph, but at normal speeds they are fine. They aren't my go-to everyday ski but are enjoyable, particularly for piste skiing with a mixed-ability group.
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snowdave wrote:
I'm 178cm and 73kg, and have 155cm womens' SL skis, which I find are good for recreational skiing. I wouldn't want to take them above 70-80kph...


Shocked
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@AndreSilva, the Dynastar Speed Master SL's in 173cm with the R22 race plate and either their SPX12 or SPX15 bindings would be perfect for your requirements.
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AndreSilva wrote:
jedster wrote:
seem unlikely - the world cup pros race SL on 165cm

Why unlikely ?


That you would find a 165 slalom ski too short if skiers who are stronger and faster than you don't. That is all I meant. Remember nearly all that 165 is effective edge and that is longer than most all mountain skis that are much longer.

I have some FIS SL skis and I find them pretty user friendly, they are very heavy and damp but roll them on edge and they work just fine for me.
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You know it makes sense.
@jedster, indeed, and imho they are only tiring if you aren't using them correctly, @Klamm Franzer,
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jedster wrote:
AndreSilva wrote:
jedster wrote:
seem unlikely - the world cup pros race SL on 165cm

Why unlikely ?


That you would find a 165 slalom ski too short if skiers who are stronger and faster than you don't. That is all I meant. Remember nearly all that 165 is effective edge and that is longer than most all mountain skis that are much longer.

I have some FIS SL skis and I find them pretty user friendly, they are very heavy and damp but roll them on edge and they work just fine for me.


Agree re heavy damp SL skis. As an aside, they also do surprisingly well in slush late seaon on piste, just keep them on some edge all the time, rolling the turn and the weight just ploughs through - makes me want to go spring skiing now...
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 Poster: A snowHead
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under a new name wrote:
@jedster, indeed, and imho they are only tiring if you aren't using them correctly, @Klamm Franzer,


Quite possibly. I was seeing how often I could get my hand down and was getting pinged out by the rebound. I find that they are quite addictive and you get really in to the grip they give you - so much so, that you end up having done a days worth of turns by lunchtime. Also, your legs can't switch off because they aren't that kind of ski!
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@Klamm Franzer, oh, that sounds like you were being quite correct then! How much fun? snowHead snowHead
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ptex wrote:
jedster wrote:
AndreSilva wrote:
jedster wrote:
seem unlikely - the world cup pros race SL on 165cm

Why unlikely ?


That you would find a 165 slalom ski too short if skiers who are stronger and faster than you don't. That is all I meant. Remember nearly all that 165 is effective edge and that is longer than most all mountain skis that are much longer.

I have some FIS SL skis and I find them pretty user friendly, they are very heavy and damp but roll them on edge and they work just fine for me.


Agree re heavy damp SL skis. As an aside, they also do surprisingly well in slush late seaon on piste, just keep them on some edge all the time, rolling the turn and the weight just ploughs through - makes me want to go spring skiing now...


Yep, you can carve slush or surf it. If you like to carve it (and i do) then SLs are great but you have to watch out for sticking your knee in a big pile of slush when you crank the edge angles!
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The only reason the WC and any male racers ski on the 165 is because that is the min for FIS, it used to be 155 for the men (now its woman 155, men 165). You will be totally fine on any length of the adult SL skis, 157 could be a good middle ground. Also of the dry slope racers are using the 155s. They don't really make SL race skis bigger than 165.
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Coming back to this thread as some summer sales are looking interesting.
As I said in my initial post, I am 1.78m and 95kg and according to many responses, 165 would be fine for a slalom ski for me.

Question: is the recommended ski length more related to the skier's height or weight? For my size, 165 is good, but for my weight, I'm inclined on getting either an Atomic S9 or a Fischer SC PRO in 170 instead of 165.
Due to my heavy weight, would a 170 be more stable than a 165, or is the difference between them too small?
Would a 170cm slalom ski defeat the purpose of doing short turns because it's too long?

Cheers!
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@AndreSilva, IMO. The ability to bend the ski is what counts, so weight is more important than height - as is one’s ability and aggressiveness.
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@AndreSilva, if it is a proper SL ski it probably won't come in 170,.... 165 is the standard mens SL ski they may be a few 167 0168 but unlikely to find anything more that is a proper SL ski
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@AndreSilva, Skis that aren't 155 (famale) or 165 (male) are not really slalom skis, as for competition that is the minimum size they can be. You can't buy a FIS-spec ski that is more tham a cm or so bigger.

That does not mean that the skis you are looking at won't turn well. As they are not (despite what the mfr says) a race ski, they'll be easier to use, but still provide an exiting ride. A proper race ski will provide more performance, but will be less tolerant of poorer technique.
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@ski, The title of the thread makes it clear that the OP isn't looking for FIS skis. In non-competition terms there are still a lot of 'race' skis on the market that mimic the characteristics of Slalom or GS skis, and yes, they come in lengths that don't conform to FIS rules. That doesn't in any way disqualify them from being 'real' slalom skis.

Amongst my quiver are a pair of GS 'World Cup' Stoecklis, at 182cm, and new earlier this year a set of Head Slalom skis, incredibly stiff and responsive. And 170cm. Does that make them 'not really slalom skis'? No, it does not. They are pukka race skis, albeit not within the FIS rules.

One of the problems in such discussions is the way manufacturers mis- and re-use names. My Heads, for instance, are branded World Cup Rebels. Last time I looked there have been about a dozen Slalom-radius skis using that name over the last few years. Mine are also labelled "I-Race" but again, the names have been switched around so much over the last couple of years that it's quite difficult to know exactly what they are until you actually ski on them.

So yes, some skis labelled as Slalom skis are simply sharing a similar short-radius shape and not in any way intended for use in a Slalom race. But the radius, as you say, will still be a sinificant factor in how they ski.

As it happens, my previous, bought second-hand locally, Head Slalom skis did actually have an FIS label on them. Despite being longer than FIS rules. How does that work? Well, the FIS create rules for different levels of competition, including things like Masters' events, which don't all share the same length restrictions as full FIS-sanctioned competitions. So yes, it's possible to have a FIS slalom ski that is longer than the FIS regs used in top-level international competition.

Oh, and for the OP: I'm slightly taller and slightly lighter than you, and chose to go for a 170cm ski, having tried a few different sizes. I don't want a ski that will be difficult to control in a long high-speed carve and the extra length gives them just that bit more stability. YMMV, of course.
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@CEM, @ski, as @Chaletbeauroc mentioned, indeed I'm looking for a recreational slalom ski, not the same as the athletes competitors use during the Olympic games.
As far as I know, all the ski makers have the FIS skis and the "civilian" version, which is inspired by that FIS ski and usually, those ones range from 150 to 170 in length.
I do consider them slaloms skis, they are just not the competition version as that would require regular people to have racing skills, and I am FAR from that snowHead
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AndreSilva wrote:
@CEM, @ski, as @Chaletbeauroc mentioned, indeed I'm looking for a recreational slalom ski, not the same as the athletes competitors use during the Olympic games.
As far as I know, all the ski makers have the FIS skis and the "civilian" version, which is inspired by that FIS ski and usually, those ones range from 150 to 170 in length.
I do consider them slaloms skis, they are just not the competition version as that would require regular people to have racing skills, and I am FAR from that snowHead


Sounds like a good approach.
That said, I enjoy skiing on the cheap second hand pair of FIS SL I picked up and I have no racing skills. If I see some gates set up and empty I'll have a go at them but I've never raced or race trained in my life.
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AndreSilva wrote:
@CEM, @ski, as @Chaletbeauroc mentioned, indeed I'm looking for a recreational slalom ski, not the same as the athletes competitors use during the Olympic games.
As far as I know, all the ski makers have the FIS skis and the "civilian" version, which is inspired by that FIS ski and usually, those ones range from 150 to 170 in length.
I do consider them slaloms skis, they are just not the competition version as that would require regular people to have racing skills, and I am FAR from that snowHead


i am well aware of what is on the market thanks for telling me

and if you read my respinse there are some that come up that length but not many and certainly not many worth looking at .... the exception would be the S9 which is in 165 then 172, but if buying a SL ski why not buy one that is designed for SL (ie in 165) rolling eyes rolling eyes rolling eyes
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CEM wrote:
the exception would be the S9 which is in 165 then 172, but if buying a SL ski why not buy one that is designed for SL (ie in 165) rolling eyes rolling eyes rolling eyes

Not really, S9 comes in 165 and 170: https://www.atomic.com/en-nl/shop-emea/product/redster-s9-revoshock-s-x-12-gw-aass02744.html
To be honest, almost all major SL skis consumer-oriented comes in 150-170: Fischer SC Pro, Voelkl Racetiger SL, Head e-Original... the exception would be Elan SLX which goes up to 169.

The only reason I am considering the 170 instead of 165 is to have more stability at high speeds.
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@AndreSilva, i am sat with the 22/23 atomic trade catalogue and it states 165/171 for the servotec version 165/170 for revoshock, but you didn't want the competition ski

this is the bit i don't get, you want a SL ski but want it for high speed... why not get a more general ski, if you are looking at the atomics then the X9 is a great ski, it isnt some floppy piece of rubber just because it isn't a SL or GS ski

then i go back to your original post and you found the 160 or 165 that you tried "very stable at high speeds"

that said most world cup skiers on their 165 skis are skiing a lot faster than most recreational skiers will ever ski
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@CEM, I don't think Atomic still sells the servotec ones. Well... at least it's not on their website, maybe they still have some leftover stock from the previous model.
About what I said about being very stable: Thinking twice now... I probably didn't go very fast on them.. maybe something around 50 or 60km/h, so difficult to say.
If I didn't have any ski, I would definitely go for the X9, I think it's a perfect balance between short and long turns, but I think it would be too similar to my existing Elan I mentioned in the original post, the idea is to always travel with both skis, so I want something different, and I think a short-turn ski would be a nice addition. If I can have a short-turn ski that is also stable, even better Madeye-Smiley
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AndreSilva wrote:
@CEM, I don't think Atomic still sells the servotec ones. Well... at least it's not on their website, maybe they still have some leftover stock from the previous model.
About what I said about being very stable: Thinking twice now... I probably didn't go very fast on them.. maybe something around 50 or 60km/h, so difficult to say.
If I didn't have any ski, I would definitely go for the X9, I think it's a perfect balance between short and long turns, but I think it would be too similar to my existing Elan I mentioned in the original post, the idea is to always travel with both skis, so I want something different, and I think a short-turn ski would be a nice addition. If I can have a short-turn ski that is also stable, even better Madeye-Smiley


the servotec version is still in the 22/23 catalogue so very much still available
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