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Skis for the wife

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I know this thread comes up again and again, but I really need some help.  My wife is in an interesting place.  She skied quite a bit in her early 20's but then took a lot of time off.  Started picking the sport up again last year, but since having kids, life changes, etc. she's digressed a bit in her abilities.  It seems to be more fear than anything else.

 

Well, she is a good skier in form, very cautious and slow.  We've tried to rent "better" skis for her thinking that would help instill more confidence, but I think the better tuned demo skis may be part of the problem.  When we go to the rental shops, since she has her own boots, they seem to assume she is better than she is and put her on higher performance and longer skis than she probably needs.

 

We would like to get her some skis of her own at some point since renting/demoing is such a hassle.  However, I would like some suggestions on what she should be demoing.  Should she just stick with crappy rentals until she improves?  I feel like lousy skis will hinder her ability to improve as quickly, but so far my gut has been pretty wrong on this stuff.

 

Her issues probably go well beyond "ski gear discussion", but it is a part of it for sure.

 

We are headed to Alta in a few weeks, so if anyone has some specific suggestions or ideas, we are all ears.


Thanks!

post #2 of 14

I think the best thing you could probably do for her, rather than skis which I'm sure she'd like, would be to get her either a private lesson, or a womens group lesson. Then she can figure out what she wants from skiing, what her problems are and how to solve them. Just throwing equipment at the problem isn't likely to solve it. If you just get her new equipment and she still has the problems she's just gonna get more problems because of doubt or guilt when the equipment doesn't solve it. You don't say where exactly you are located but I know in the east that it is often possible to demo intermediate skis. Maybe ask for them in a length that doesn't exceed the tip of her nose, then put her in the lesson. As for the demo people giving her skis that are hindering, you should just acquaint yourself with what skis are offered and which ones might fit her ahead of time and be firm when they are getting her skis.

post #3 of 14
Persee is spot on!!!!
post #4 of 14

Even though I know you're asking for advice on skis, I have to say: what Persee said, 100%.

After a bit of a break from skiing (you know, life), I started last season in a very similar place to your wife. The technique and the knowledge was there, but the confidence wasn't. I progressed drastically through the season, but still had confidence issues.


Towards the end of the season, I had one 2 hour private lesson. It is THE best thing I have ever done for my skiing.

 

Almost all my problems were confidence related, which slowed me down, or made me make bad decisions (turn in the wrong place, freak out, lean back). The instructor pushed me, and that pushing made me realise I was capable of much more than what I was doing. I left the lesson with great technique tips, and a whole lot of new-found confidence. The improvement in my confidence and ability from those 2 hours is crazy.

If you’re down there for a few days, seriously consider getting her a private lesson, even if it’s just for a couple of hours. My husband (a much better skier than me) went along with me because I begged him. It also made me feel more comfortable in the lesson, and with the unfamiliar instructor (who was hilarious and completely awesome). Hubby going with me also made me feel like less of a newbie (even though I've been skiing since I could walk!).

 

Good luck with the skis, and I do hope she gets her confidence back soon :)

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

I appreciate all the replies.  I agree 100%.  She's had a private lesson last year, and on our last trip took a group lesson, but it was a flop as she ended up in a "never ever" type lesson, which did nothing for her.

 

I'm not trying to imply that throwing equipment at the problem will solve her issues.  I just wanted to see if there's anything we should be looking at equipment wise (purchase or rental) that will help her build confidence and technique.

 

I am open to other suggestions regarding equipment, but should probably start a new thread in the other forum.

 

Thanks!

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by elduderino View Post

I appreciate all the replies.  I agree 100%.  She's had a private lesson last year, and on our last trip took a group lesson, but it was a flop as she ended up in a "never ever" type lesson, which did nothing for her.



Well you should be able to get her in a lesson that is not geared for "complete newbies". Almost all mountains offer "reach the peak" type lessons. But in particular maybe a womens clinic would suit her. These type of deals are becoming more and more common. Just call either your local mountain, or the one where you are planning a trip and inquire. Once again you just need to be firm in asking for and getting what she needs. So you make sure she gets a "reach the peak" type group, not a newbie. If the mountain claims they don't offer that then find another mountain. As I said for gear you should be able to get her some intermediate womens specific demos. You just need to be firm in asking for what is right, and not get pushed or swayed. Lastly I know you say she has her own boots, but simply having your own boots doesn't mean they fit properly. I learned in boots I owned which were not properly fit - better than rentals, but not right either. Even if these boots were properly fitted years ago it doesn't guarantee they fit properly now - bodies change, boots pack out.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks Persee.  As we live in Austin, TX, we don't have a local mountain, unfortunately.

 

Regarding her boots, they're new and she just recently had some work done on them, so they are definitely not part of the issue.

 

Appreciate all the helpful replies!

post #8 of 14

I agree with the above, but, I recently bought skis for my wife who sound very similar to yours from Dawgcatching on the forum.  They are the Fischer KOA 84, which would be good for Alta, and for us, also work out east.  A nice ski and the price he has them for is hard to pass up. Just let him help you with the length.  I bought them about 10cm short of her height - which is a little short, but they worked wonders for her and her confidence is improving. 

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbartski View Post

I agree with the above, but, I recently bought skis for my wife who sound very similar to yours from Dawgcatching on the forum.  They are the Fischer KOA 84, which would be good for Alta, and for us, also work out east.  A nice ski and the price he has them for is hard to pass up. Just let him help you with the length.  I bought them about 10cm short of her height - which is a little short, but they worked wonders for her and her confidence is improving. 


I believe the Koa's are the women's version of the Watea (which I own).  Maybe just MY ego, but I would think that would be a little too much ski for a beginner/lower intermediate to confidently ski.

post #10 of 14
Im pretty sure there'll be people who disagree,with this recommendation, but as I said earlier, I started last season in a very similar place to your wife. I ended up demoing both the K2 lotta luv (which I bought), and the Free Luv, which I loved.
Both are pretty 'damp' skis (you'll hear this variously as a criticism and a praise), but I had a lot of fun on them. I bought the lotta as it seemed like a ski I would grow into a bit more, and it suited the type of skiing I want to be doing more of. I was very close to buying the free luv. It's the most forgiving ski I've ever been on, was a lot of fun, and gave me a lot more confidence. It's more lively than the lotta. On the other hand, an older relative we were skiing with hated it, but loved the lotta.
I demoed the 2010/11 skis, for clarification.
I wouldn't buy either without demoing them, but I enjoyed both a lot. Hope this helps a little!
post #11 of 14

Maybe what you need to do is take here skiing mid-week on a work day when the hill isn't crowded until she get's her confidence back. 

post #12 of 14

I'd take properly aligned boots, not just fit, but ALIGNMENT over good skis any day. If you want to invest in equipment, get some properly fitting boots erroring on the soft side and then get the lateral alignment, longitudinal alignment and ankle range of motion right. I see way too many skiers who could be worlds better if they fixed this stuff, especially ankle range of motion. You should be able to get your hips well below your knees in the boots sans skis, move the knee so it's past the toe and tracks straight, etc.

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by elduderino View Post

 

Quote:
I believe the Koa's are the women's version of the Watea (which I own).  Maybe just MY ego, but I would think that would be a little too much ski for a beginner/lower intermediate to confidently ski.


I think the KOA is a great ski. It has been the go to ski for me and many of my shorter and lighter weight friends. Some of us own the 78 and 84 in two sizes, one a little shorter than head height and one a little longer than head height. The softer flex of the KOA's compared to the Watea is significant.

I think it is a great ski for any level skier. Most of us have ours set uo with Railflex bindings.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Maybe what you need to do is take here skiing mid-week on a work day when the hill isn't crowded until she get's her confidence back. 


Ghost,  great suggestion.  Unfortunately, living in Austin and busy work schedules doesn't really provide for this at this point.  However, I'm hoping Alta will be much less crowded this upcoming weekend then our typical Xmas/New Years trips, etc.

 

I appreciate everyone's advice.  It's all great and well received.

 

I posted another post on recommendations for an Alta instructor for a private lesson for her but haven't received any responses.  Hate to  "double post" but since this forum seems to get a lot more action, if anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.

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