Have read many great responses to my question on Height vs Weight factors in ski selection. A recent response has led me to pose this new question. Someone thoughtfully stated that (paraphrased) tall, short, fat or thin, go with the ski that works
I now respectfully ask:
For a skier of a given competency level who is comparing multiple skis against the same future usage, what is the relative weighing of length/width/radius/stiffness?
Intentionally avoided boxing in the question
with a East, West, Ice, Powder, etc scenario. In usage, say comparing All-Mountain skis, what are the general merits and or repercussions of greater or lesser length, width, radius, stiffness?
OK, Round 2 on a ski “sorting hat”...
Is this like the Ouji board of ski selection?
These are tough questions to answer. I think one needs a baseline, even if it's a bad one. Meaning a ski you don't like. Then you get comparisons from there.
I've had skis that were too soft. Too short, too long, too stiff. There's something I liked about all of them. A soft ski can teach you how to be subtle and not over power it. But there's situations like steeps with 3-d snow that it's garbage.
If you like something about a ski, just the feel of it, you'll push it in places and get something out of it. That teaches you something. If you like nothing about it, move on. As long as it's not due to say the tune.
It comes to preference.
Wisdom comes from experience.
Experience comes from .........
You can't try them all, but get out on a few different types.
I'm a Volkl guy. The G4 was out at the same time as the Salomon Pocket Rocket.
I liked the German ski, Didn't think much of the baby blue ski from the French Alps. Too floppy.
At times I ski the Elan 777 or the 888 (195cm, a great open mountain soft snow ride).
Eastern ice get's the Ingemar Stenmark signature Speedwaves out. Grippy, but a very narrow sweet spot. Not for everyone , that's for sure.
Today I started in remounting an old pair of Volkl Explosiv with Look Pivots. I have always liked those snappy wide (100mm) skis. The new bindings are Grip Walk compatible. We will see if the memory holds. I have not been on them for over 4 years. ;-)
What I am saying, is there are so many choices! ;-)
Starting de novo is difficult. Blister has the best articles on the topic I’ve seen from anyone.
While it is true that they have their own biases, I think the information provided above about what different ski design characteristics do is quite good.
I actually don’t think that’s the best way for you to think about what skis to buy though. I would strongly advise you to demo a few things consistent with other comments. It’s way easier to recommend skis to someone that tried a Blizzard Brahma and hated it than it is to describe a set of trade offs between width, length, radius and stiffness.