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I am 6'2" (185 cm) tall, 200 lbs (~ 90 kg). I am in the market for backcountry touring skis and have my mind set on Madshus Eon. I have demoed similar skis in the past and really liked the wider ski with an actual steel edge to facilitate downhill while not being too wide (like some XC skis) so they are not too slow. Essentially, I am looking for a ski that does a little bit of everything but is not too good at any single aspect. I prefer going off trail than being on trail but I like both and I like climbing hills and going backcountry.

Someone mentioned that, under such conditions, I should look for skis that are shorter than 185. I am looking for advice.

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The answer to this question depends a lot on your skill level.

You say you want a ski that does a little bit of everything, so I'd recommend a ski with both camber and rocker, but you're going to have to balance length and width based on how you ski. The shorter ski you get, the more control you're going to have on the downhill, but you're going to have to go wider to get the float you need to support 90kg plus a backpack (you need to factor in the weight of your gear and backpack when shopping for backcountry skis).

I'm 188cm, but not even 75kg, and I ride skis 210cm long. They are amazing for staying afloat in deep snow, and climbing steep slopes with full skins, but I'm not as strong a skier as I used to be, so I struggle a bit on the downhill in the glades trying to dodge trees. My next pair will probably be 170cm at the longest for tight turning (and slightly slower descents) with a little more rocker because I tend to stay in deep snow. I probably won't enjoy the uphills as much, but if I get a wider ski I should still be able to float fairly well.

If you're really not sure what kind of ski to get, then go for the best deal, riding your skis is really the only way to learn what kind of ski you really want or need, but if in doubt, just pick something whics seems to be a balance of everything (rocker, camber, radius, width), and use them for a season, from there you'll be able to discover what type of skier you are and what type of ski you'd need.

  • so all things considered, do you think 185 cm is a decent bet to wager ? – amphibient Sep 3 '15 at 22:07
  • I totally jumped the gun when I answered this question, I answered for shopping AT skis. With XC skis the flex is very important, you need to actually stand on the skis and check your clearance. With your weight on both skis your kick zone should be elevated from the ground, but as soon as you shift your weight to one ski, you should make full contact. your length is dictated by your weight. Go to a shop and have them size you for skis, bring you fully loaded bag with you if you're mostly going to be skiing with a backpack. – ShemSeger Sep 3 '15 at 22:16
  • i am not buying this at a shop, ordering online ... – amphibient Sep 3 '15 at 22:17
  • @amphibient you can still go to a shop and determine what length you should order. – ShemSeger Sep 3 '15 at 22:17
  • thanks but i was hoping to get a simplified guidelines on how to choose a ballpark given my description – amphibient Sep 3 '15 at 22:18

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