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I ski probably about the same rail to jump ratio, I need a nice park ski that will last a long time and stay snappy even after doing a lot of butters and skiing. I am 5'3 and about 110-114 lb. I like to ski a bit of a longer ski but I'm not sure if the 171 would be to long.
Finally, a gear talk thread in which I can help! I rode the line afterbangs last season and the step ups this season. The biggest difference I noticed was the stiffness. Compared to the afterbang, the step up is about as flexible as concrete. The step ups feel much more stable on jumps and feel about the same as afterbangs on rails. The afterbangs are extremely fun just to mess around with. I didn't notice that much of a difference in the race base on the step ups. I feel this may just be advertising. Also, the weight of each is anout the same with each IMO. All in all, it comes down to whether you want a stiff ski for jumps and rails, or a super fleecy ski to fuck around on and just have fun.
yah I would think any added speed from the race base is going to go out the window once you hit rails with them. Probly just marketing to make it more of a "Jump" ski vs afterbang which is more of a "rail" ski
I ride 177 afterbangs and love them. they are starting to get a little bit of rocker from butters, but you can hardly notice it. Super playfull all over the mountain. They are tough, the wood just chips a little compared to other skis were there plastic rips back exposing the core, so they last for ages. I have seen a bloke snap afterbangs but it was a hectic crash.