Today I got the chance to ski on a pair of next year's Fat-ypus I-Rocks at 186 cm. For reference, I am about 5' 9 1/2" and weigh around 137 lbs. First off, let me just say that they were AWESOME. Hats off to Fat-ypus. My dad also skied the L-Toro in the morning and loved them—and he has never skied a twin in his life, he's a directional ski kind of guy all the way—and skied the D-Sender last week and loved them as well. But anyway. I skied the I-Rocks on Stratton; inopportune for those skis, I know, but I managed to find some semi-deep snow to bring them through. They held an edge well on hardpack, were easy to get up on edge, were surprisingly quick through the trees (though not quite quick enough), and my god, those things were so much fun to jump off of shit with that I laughed every single time I jumped anything. The profile gives you perfect pop every time. On my Chronics, unless it's a manicured park jump, you can end up backseated or even worse and even easier, in the front seat, far too easily. With these skis, I stomped every jump and every drop, every time. And I found some sizable stuff to jump. I've been eyeing that cliff under the Shooting Star lift for quite some time now...maybe tomorrow is the day if I can get on those bad boys again. They're also a great conversation starter, most people at Stratton have never seen skis that big.
However, the length made them a bit less playful and rather hard to control in many situations. And they made it a lot of work to ski them. I have read an extensive review on these skis which said they were some of the easiest skis to ski on that said reviewer had ever ridden. Now obviously I'm not looking for a luxury comfort ski where I don't have to do anything, but when you're fighting to try to keep control of your skis often, that gets a little limiting and a bit exasperating. But all in all this problem wasn't too massive, just enough to make me wonder: should I get a 176?
Now, I know that rockered skis ski shorter than their length due to the decreased contact length, so a 186 with as much rocker as the I-Rock (read: TONS OF ROCKER, almost to the binding in the tip and not much less in the tail) probably skis closer to something in the high 170s with traditional camber. So I am worried that the 176 will ski too short, and I have been skiing too-short skis for too long, no pun intended. Especially for a powder ski (heading out to California in a few weeks, and hopefully going to Argentina this summer), I don't want to go too short. But if a 176 will give me significantly more control without sacrificing too much in the way of float and support, then I would go for those. Unfortunately, the place from whence I demoed these skis does not have the 176 length, so I can't try them out. I am torn, and don't want to make an $800 bad decision. What do I do?