I'm new to skiing this year. Live in Wisconsin. Yesterday was my first experience with icy/slicker-than-ish conditions during a 50-degree afternoon melt on hard-packed, old snow... It hurt -- my pride more than my body, but I fell more times yesterday than I have during each of my previous outings combined.
As a newbie, would a longer ski have made my experience less discouraging?
Each park I've visited has set me up with 158cm rentals when I tell them I'm new to the sport. I'm 6'3, 260 pounds. This does not jive with what the online forum community, articles, and salespersons in the stores I've visited tell me I should be looking at. General consensus online and in-stores seems that I should be looking 175+.
Until yesterday, I'd been generally pleased with the way I've progressed. I get that shorter, softer skis are better suited for shorter turns at slower speeds. I've been enjoying that life; I'm not looking to move past it. However, there was nothing slow about yesterday. I reverted back to my first day of lessons - tried a couple times of trying to remain in snow plow with painfully slow turns. Nuh uh. Didn't work. Every run I made after our lunch break resulted in flying down the hill at speeds I wouldn't even drive my truck at on this kind of substrate. I eventually just gave in, embraced the suck, and spent my afternoon rendering my best impression of a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tubeman - much to the chagrin of my wife and our friends (two snowboarders and tiny, tiny skier - all three of whom are much smaller than I and had no solutions to offer).
I felt like I was getting on edge but it didn't do anything -- just kept flying sideways. I'm heavy, I know, but I'm an athletic-ish' 260. I got low and wide for the turns; I always had to abort or tumble. Would a longer edge have helped? Or at least made my attempts at land-speed record setting somewhat controllable? Orrr, should I just stay at the bar during these conditions forever?