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Input on skis for a big/tall beginner
15 posts from 6 users
Updated 19 days ago
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20 days ago

Hi all,

Newer skier here. Just got fitted for boots so I’m all set there. Looking to get my first pair of skis for frontside/groomers so I can skip the rental lines and get right to the slopes with my season pass (time is money, and so are rentals).

I’m 45 yrs old, 6’3” and athletic 235 lbs. Where I will do 90% of my skiing will be on a man-made snow/ice/slush hill with mostly greens/blues at the moment.  A few people have recommend some entry level skies in the 75cm width range that are on the soft side and in the 175cm length (right at my nose in height).  Others have told me that at my size/height I need a stiffer more advanced ski as due to my size I’ll be able to flex it more than a standard/lighter weight person.  Personally, I’d like to have something that gives me a little challenge and I can grow into, opposed to getting a super soft beginner ski I’ll grow out of after 7 days out.  Figure if I need a super soft flex ski, maybe I’ll just stick to rental for a few days then move on to whatever I purchase here.  I’ve done some homework and based on recommendations, reviews, specs and value, here are a few finalist.  Let me know what your thoughts are if you wouldn’t mind.

2018 Salomon XDR 78 ST with Mercury 11 Bindings
- 180cm
- Medium Flex
- Rocker/Camber/Rocker
- Beginner/Intermediate/Adv Intermediate
- 2016g /Per Ski (@180cm)
- Turn Radius 15m (180cm)

2018 Nordica Navigator 80 w/Marker 11 Bindings
- 179cm
- Soft/Medium Flex
- Rocker/Camber/Rocker
- Intermediate/Adv Intermediate
- 1765g /Per Ski (@179cm)
- Turn Radius 16.5m (179cm)

2018 Nordica Navigator 85 w/ Marker Griffon 13 ID Bindings
-186cm
- Medium Flex
- Rocker/Camber/Rocker
- Intermediate/Adv Intermediate/Advanced
- 1865g /Per Ski (@179cm)
- Turn Radius 16.5m (179cm)

2018 K2 Pinnacle 88 w/ Marker Griffon 13 ID Bindings
- 184cm
- Medium/Stiff Flex
- Rocker/Camber/Rocker
- Adv Intermediate/Expert
- ?? /Per Ski (@??”cm)
- Turn Radius 15m (184cm)

20 days ago

These skis seem long. I ski on 170’s and I could probably go shorter. My friend who is about your size skied 170 Head Monsters and he kicked butt. K2 produces some great easy skiing skis; they almost do the turning for you. I suggest you rent for the winter and demo skis until you find what you like.

 

20 days ago

At my height 180cm is right at my eyes.  And these are all rocker/camber/rocker which makes the ski feel shorter than the length suggests. 

20 days ago

IMO, 175cm is about right, even with skis that are rockered in the tips and tails.  

I’m an expert, 6’1 - 205 lbs, and I own plenty of pairs of skis in the 174-180 cm range.

Width is measured in mm, not cm.  75mm is fine for frontside/groomers.

Since you’re a beginner, I would not get a stiff ski.  Like golf, there is something to be said for flex, and many people use equipment that is too stiff for them.  Tiger Woods could pick up a set of regular (or even senior) flex shafts and shoot a 66 from the tips with them, and an advanced skier can rip on flexy park skis (I love skiing my foam core park skis).  

It’s the indian, not the arrow.  You’re completely on the right path buying equipment, but look for a good deal, the right size, and don’t overthink it or worry about outgrowing them.

20 days ago

Thank you for the response. Trying not to be in a rush to get gear as I’ve been sucked into that hole with other hobbies, but the thought of standing in line for an hour to get skies everytime I want to hit the hill makes me cringe.

Found this article that looks to have some good info I’ve been trying to follow as I search:

https://blisterreview.com/gear-reviews/best-skis-for-beginners-a-guide

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
20 days ago

hawk45 wrote:

Hi all,

Newer skier here. Just got fitted for boots so I’m all set there. Looking to get my first pair of skis for frontside/groomers so I can skip the rental lines and get right to the slopes with my season pass (time is money, and so are rentals).

I’m 45 yrs old, 6’3” and athletic 235 lbs. Where I will do 90% of my skiing will be on a man-made snow/ice/slush hill with mostly greens/blues at the moment… .

Completely understand wanting to own a pair of skis to avoid the rental line.  Especially after getting fitted boots.  Where did you get the boots?  Could probably get good suggestions from that shop.  Might even have a deal from last season’s stock.

I remember reading threads on a big ski forum by men who called themselves Clydedales.  Guess that term came from biking.  It’s fair to say that what you read that applies to the typical beginner is less relevant to you.  Just as I don’t learn too much from professional reviews because I’m at the other end of the size spectrum.

In short, listen to Reisen.

Invest in a few lessons.  Especially if your goal is to ski at big mountains eventually.  It’s easy to develop bad habits buzzing down the short, relatively easy blacks in the Mid-Atlantic.

19 days ago

Great advice!  Yes, I plan on getting some 1:1 lessons, or at least with the wife.  

19 days ago

hawk45 wrote:

At my height 180cm is right at my eyes.  And these are all rocker/camber/rocker which makes the ski feel shorter than the length suggests. 

Not sure what eye height has to do with ski sizing in this day and age. I think Reisen provides a good recommendation. Shorter skis are easier to turn. I also agree that having a properly fitted boot is by far the most important item to address. I hope you will love skiing as much as we do.

19 days ago

Other mentioned this, but didn’t fully explain it.   You can rent a pair of skis for the entire season; it’s typically called a seasonal lease.  This is a great way to get started and not buy beginner skis that you’re going to outgrow.  The Ski Shoppe, now operating out of Gaithersburg (ex Ski Shoppe of Reisterstown, ex Ski Center of DC) does a seasonal lease program, although they don’t have pricing online any more:  https://www.skicenterltd.com/services-lease/equipment-lease/

I believe the Snowtime resorts (Liberty, Whitetail, Roundtop) also do a seasonal lease, but I would expect it to be slightly more expensive there. 

Seasonal leases are also a wonderful option for kids who ski more than a couple times a year; that way you don’t have to deal with outgrowing boots and skis.

 

19 days ago

Thanks for all the replies.  I took a small trip today to hit a semi local shop after having some discussions with them through email.  I went up and talked with 2 of the guys that ran the shop and they put me into a pair of 2018 Atomic Vantage 75 CTI 177cm skis with their XT12 bindings for about half-off ($350).  Said for my size they would allow me to still work on technique but also have lots left in the tank for when I progress.   Have to take my boots to them so they can setup the bindings and get me all squared away for opening day.   This will be my carver and I can add some other skis as I get some experience.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/q90JTCW.jpg[/img] 

19 days ago

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
19 days ago

snowsmith wrote:

hawk45 wrote:

At my height 180cm is right at my eyes.  And these are all rocker/camber/rocker which makes the ski feel shorter than the length suggests. 

Not sure what eye height has to do with ski sizing in this day and age. I think Reisen provides a good recommendation. Shorter skis are easier to turn. I also agree that having a properly fitted boot is by far the most important item to address. I hope you will love skiing as much as we do.

Even these days, for beginners/intermediates who are asking for advice for buying their first pair of skis, it helps to give some guidance on length.  Somewhere between nose and forehead usually works pretty well for adv. beginners and intermediates for a first pair of skis.  If someone has only rented as a beginner, sometimes they think the best length is about at their chin because never-evers are often given very short skis.  Can be as short as shoulder height.

marzNC - DCSki Supporter
19 days ago

hawk45 wrote:

Thanks for all the replies.  I took a small trip today to hit a semi local shop after having some discussions with them through email.  I went up and talked with 2 of the guys that ran the shop and they put me into a pair of 2018 Atomic Vantage 75 CTI 177cm skis with their XT12 bindings for about half-off ($350).  Said for my size they would allow me to still work on technique but also have lots left in the tank for when I progress.   Have to take my boots to them so they can setup the bindings and get me all squared away for opening day.   This will be my carver and I can add some other skis as I get some experience.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/q90JTCW.jpg[/img] 

Nice!  Glad you could support a local ski shop.

My experience demo’ing the Vantage line in the northeast is that they are a good fit for the usual snow conditions.

 

19 days ago

Get strong quality poles

19 days ago

Thanks, got a good set of poles on the way as well at 52”

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