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I would take a few things into account...1) how aggresive you are. 2)how wide the new ski is. 3) What you weigh.
If it were me I wouldn't go any longer than 169 if you're gonna stay on packed snow. If I were you and I had any money, I would get a nice park/groomed ski then down the road invest in some nicer.......little longer off piste skis. I'm gonna tell you what I told parker earlier, asking the same question.
I am 180 lbs. and my shortest ski is 170cm. I can ski those in the deepest snow you throw at me, but it's not as fun. I also have a powder ski in 180. I think that someone your size getting 179's would be making a mistake.
I don't know man..i would not hesitate to go with the 169. I have this year's 1080 in a 171 and I love them. They are good for everything and that's no joke. The 1080 are also 80 at the waist. OH, and by the by, I race on the side and I slalom with a 164. my biggest ski in my setup is a 183 mogul ski...and I'm 185 pounds 6'. Good day.
Man, I'm 5'9' and weigh 155 lbs. I ski the 169 cm 2002 1080, and it's perfect for me. It does depend on what you'll be riding too. If you're gonna ride mostly park, get the 169. It is also a good length for the groomers. If you're gonna ride a lot of powder, and you're a good, strong skier, get the 179. But I would suggest the 169. Peace