After I started skiing 4 years ago at the age of 39 and soon stood on touring skis in the backcountry for the very first time – I skied down the mountains not exactly brilliantly with my equipment at the time (narrow skis without rocker) and due to a lack of technical basics. Of course, I didn’t have the necessary technique and experience at the time – and my conventional skis soon started frustrating me.
As a beginner, who preferred to go on tours in the backcountry, it quickly became clear to me that I needed a ski that turned more easily for smoother swings and provided more float in deep snow. Lightweight for the ascent and therefore not TOO wide were also important attributes. Luckily, on recommendation, I switched to the ultra-light Cosmique touring skis from OGSO the next season. With my height of 1.69m, I decided (as a beginner) to go for a ski length of a relatively short 160cm, combined with a lightweight pin binding.
It quickly became clear: This ski is a real “Game Changer” for me!
In fact, the turn initiation was so much easier for me now. In deep powder snow, of course, the strong rocker profile fulfilled all expectations of being able to float upon and get that desired surf feeling. No matter how good or bad the snow was, thanks to the energy-saving properties of the Cosmique, I was able to get down from every mountain successfully and with joy.
On many ski tours in a wide variety of terrain over the last three winters, my skiing technique has improved. So I started to ask myself last season whether (as an “advanced beginner”) the same ski in longer 168cm (so approx. body length ) would also be a good option. Thanks to OGSO’s friendly support, I had the opportunity to test the Cosmiques even in both lengths of 168 and 160 from the same model year (22/23).
Here are my personal impressions when comparing the two skis – maybe this can be helpful for some readers when deciding which length to choose:
In general, the shorter Cosmique 160cm ski is, as expected, noticeably more playful and very easy to turn. Not only is it more maneuverable on the descent, switchbacks in steep terrain are also easier to manage on the ascent. However, you always have to see this in context, as the Cosmique 168cm is definitely a ski that can be turned very well, too.
It is also noticeable that the latter runs a little more smoothly. In addition, due to its greater length, it floats even better in deep snow. If, for once, you are not off-piste but on a groomed slope, the longer ski allows for higher speeds before it gets unstable. And the edge hold is also slightly better on hard and icy snow. All in all, for me personally, the Cosmique in 160 is the handier, more playful ski – whereas in 168 it is predestined for those larger turns.
In the end, this makes it quite easy to decide when I would choose which skis:
If wide and open areas await me on my ski tour and the weather forecast also promises deep, fresh powder snow, then the 168 will definitely be under my feet. Even if I have a high proportion of fast downhill runs in the tour. So whenever I have space and can make bigger, faster turns, I choose the longer ski.
On the other hand, I take the 160 whenever I know I’m going to ski through tight woods or when the snow conditions aren’t ideal. In general words: The shorter skis are my choice, when it’s not really clear what to expect on the mountain – because they are still a bit easier for me to ski overall.
For ski tourers like me, who are still at the beginning of their skiing career, I would advise you to use shorter skis. With increasing skill, the Cosmique is a ski that will offer you a lot of fun also in body length – and thanks to the “SuperRocker” shape it still will be comparatively playful and easy to ski.
So which length the “better” is for YOU, finally depends on your skiing skills and also on the terrain in which YOU like to ski mostly – but maybe my experiences can help you in your decisions.