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Equipment for 50+ skiers

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have been a very active skiier since the age of 8.  I have been skiiing for 45 years. I would consider myself a relaxed expert.

 

However I have neglected to purchase new skiis since 1983 as I love my Rossignol Fp Comps (83 or so). Yes, I have purchased new boots and binding over the years.

 

I ski perhaps 10-15 days a year now and I would like to re-equip myself with more modern equipment. Since I ski northeast hard pack most of the time, I enjoy a salomn type sidecut. Quick turning skiis. I would also like boots that are no longer as stiff but still perform with the feel and percision of a racing boot..

 

Where should I start with this.....HELP!!

post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcars2007 View Post

I have been a very active skiier since the age of 8.  I have been skiiing for 45 years. I would consider myself a relaxed expert.

 

However I have neglected to purchase new skiis since 1983 as I love my Rossignol Fp Comps (83 or so). Yes, I have purchased new boots and binding over the years.

 

I ski perhaps 10-15 days a year now and I would like to re-equip myself with more modern equipment. Since I ski northeast hard pack most of the time, I enjoy a salomn type sidecut. Quick turning skiis. I would also like boots that are no longer as stiff but still perform with the feel and percision of a racing boot..

 

Where should I start with this.....HELP!!


I see a bit of a contradiction there.  1983 SL skis had a pretty straight sidecut.  Which is it straight sidecut or slalom sidecut?

 

post #3 of 13

As you enjoy lots of turns and enjoyed the slalom ski in 1983 which, although didn't have today's side cut, was designed to make smaller radius turns and be easier to initiate then a GS or Downhill ski I'm sure you will want to try out some a nice new slalom cut skis with a 13 to 14 m side cut.  If you did lessons and became a high end skier on your 1983 slalom ski you are likely also familiar with the practice of extending the leg to the outside of the turn to bend the ski and having it build pressue and it shoot round in front of you, as was quite easy to do with a peppy slalom ski of your day. You also likely use an up motion to start your turn that you will now want to get rid of as with the new sidecuts it's an unnecessary move. 

 

When you purchase your new skis take the time to go for a lesson.  The skiing at a high end has not really changed significantly but there are some differences (in particular on the initiation) that a lesson can help you figure out.  Basically the ski position is much lower with a relaxing of the knees under your body, a pivot and an extension out to the side (not up) to initiate the turn.  The lesson will help you get full use of your new, easier to turn technology and enjoy them all the more.

post #4 of 13

Go out and try some "low-mids" (86-88 waist) and some "mid-fats" (94-98 waist).

Things have happened Mr. Van Winkle!  Even if you have to take a lesson specifically

for changing up any retro style---though solid skiing is solid skiing.

The ski gear forum has plenty of good info, in the midfats, skis to try include

Salomon Sentinel, Nordica Enforcer, Dynastar Sultan 94, Head Johnny 94 (wicked fast)

Blizzard The One.  And there are others.

post #5 of 13


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcars2007 View Post

I have been a very active skiier since the age of 8.  I have been skiiing for 45 years. I would consider myself a relaxed expert.

 

However I have neglected to purchase new skiis since 1983 as I love my Rossignol Fp Comps (83 or so). Yes, I have purchased new boots and binding over the years.

 

I ski perhaps 10-15 days a year now and I would like to re-equip myself with more modern equipment. Since I ski northeast hard pack most of the time, I enjoy a salomn type sidecut. Quick turning skiis. I would also like boots that are no longer as stiff but still perform with the feel and percision of a racing boot..

 

Where should I start with this.....HELP!!


Welcome to Epic. You have come to the right place. But your question is the ski equivalent of "what is the meaning of life" or "what is the best wine." May I suggest you spend a bit of time gong through the ski gear discussion and member review sections to find out what is out there. You will discover there are consensuses. Keep track of what looks interesting and then have fun demoing a few of your top candidates.

Now that I have given you the generic answer, I owe you something to get you started - something a bit unique.

I am 4 years north of 50 and began my skiing passion perhaps on the same day as you. I live and ski in Maine and am no stranger to hardpacked conditions or the need to have the right tool for those conditions.

A "relaxed expert" is an elegant term that will co-opt if you don't mind. 

I started my search for modern gear about 5-6 years ago. Have gone through a few of the major manufacturers along the way - Elan, Volkl, Blizzard, and a smaller one - VIST. After spending too much money along the way, I have found what I regard as the perfect ski for the average Maine day - hard/ice/pkdpdr. It is the Hart Phoenix.

 

http://www.shopatron.com/products/productdetail/part_number=phoenix/1563.0.11070.0.0.0.0

 

The dimensions begin the story: 116/66/101

This is no deep powder board. It is, rather, a fast running, quick turning, stable, confidence building scalpel. It has the characteristics of a racing ski in this respect without the unforgiving qualities. I ski this ski all day. And every day it makes me smile. Perhaps you remember this name from the old days. Did you have a pair of the Hart Javelin XXL's in 1969 (205cm) like I did? Unlike those, the Phoenix is made in Italy in a factory that produces some of the best European skis that rarely if ever make it to the US. The Blossom factory produces skis under its own top sheet, and for Spoilt, VIST and others. If you want to look into this deeper, you will find that you can buy the exact same ski as the Phoenix with a VIST top sheet for a few bucks south of $2000. I should also say that if you have questions about the Phoenix, as I did, I emailed the company and struck up a conversation with the people who run it. They are very nice folks. And I think this adds somehow to the ownership experience. I am 175lbs, 5'9 and ski the 174cm. I use the VIST binding system which is brilliant. A plate is mounted on the ski. The bindings clip onto the plate. You can move the bindings forward or back along the plate to fine tune to taste. And you need only one set of bindings for any in your ski quiver that have this plate. The elevation from the plate also gives you more leverage in turns. That is a whole other topic. Simply put, I have ended my search for the my hard/pkd pow ski. It deserves a look.

 

As for boots. These are even more personal. Bottom line (mostly) whatever fits the best. You may hear a chorus of people telling you that the right boots are more critical than the "right" ski. True that. There are two approaches. You can burn through a bunch of money like I did, trying different boots and learning along the way. Or, you could find a great boot fitter in your area (or elsewhere ) and get it right the first time. You see, the boot off the rack is just the "canvas." A good fitter will get you comfortable and centered on the skis - mostly through footbeds or shell work. Minor adjustments can make all the difference in the world. I was having a lot of quad burn in my new boots (Nordica Doberman 130 Pro's  - highly recommended if they fit you - medium stiff "plug-style" boot). My fitter put a 5mm plate under the boot toe to counteract the ramp angle of the binding that was tilting me forward causing my quads to fire. Voila. No more quad pain. My suggestion. Get the boots FIRST. Then go play with skis.

 

Finally, listen to Lady Salina's advice. I know her. She is a wise woman. You may be coming to this new generation of equipment with old skills. I did until I went to a ski camp two years ago. On the first run where they cull you out, one of the instructors (a Brit) told me "You ski so beautifully - in that passe style." I am thinking of that as an epitaph. Five days later, under the watchful eye of Rick Schnellman ("Your Ski Coach") I no longer ski in that "passe style." And I am having the most fun ever. Simply put, you will not be able to get the full measure of of your gear until you learn how to use it as it was designed to be used. I learned that the hard way. My first pair of shaped skis were Volkl Superstar 6's. I fought the skis and the skis won - massive quad cramps from trying to foot steer a ski stiff as steel girders. 

 

So my advice:

1. Get the boots done right first

2. Take a few lessons so you will know how to demo skis (check out Rick Schnellman's series of training DVD's that are a great self teaching tool. I own them - http://www.yourskicoach.com/YourSkiCoach/About_Rick_Schnellmann.html)

3. Then demo skis

This is not how I did it - but should have when I was in exactly your situation a few years back. And I have never skied better, easier or have had more fun as I am right now.

Hope this helps. Feel free to pm me if you like. 

Oh, consider 

4. Become a supporting member of this great site.

 

Happy trails,
David

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
.............After spending too much money along the way, I have found what I regard as the perfect ski for the average Maine day - hard/ice/pkdpdr. eek.gif

........(snipped).....

 

So my advice:

1. Get the boots done right first

2. Take a few lessons so you will know how to demo skis (check out Rick Schnellman's series of training DVD's that are a great self teaching tool. I own them - http://www.yourskicoach.com/YourSkiCoach/About_Rick_Schnellmann.html)

3. Then demo skis

This is not how I did it - but should have when I was in exactly your situation a few years back. And I have never skied better, easier or have had more fun as I am right now.

Hope this helps. Feel free to pm me if you like. 

Oh, consider 

4. Become a supporting member of this great site.

 

Happy trails,
David



The nice aspect of skiing, on a continent such as that of North America, is that there often is something for everyone, whether it's the kind of conditions/snow or type of equipment for any type of physique.  One day can be a day in-resort = solid-packed or mixed with boilerplate/ice....the next = various terrain of wind-crusted powder...out in the exposed summit drops..as well as within the trees on the mountainsides...outside the resort.

$.01,

steved

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
.............After spending too much money along the way, I have found what I regard as the perfect ski for the average Maine day - hard/ice/pkdpdr. eek.gif

........(snipped).....

 

So my advice:

1. Get the boots done right first

2. Take a few lessons so you will know how to demo skis (check out Rick Schnellman's series of training DVD's that are a great self teaching tool. I own them - http://www.yourskicoach.com/YourSkiCoach/About_Rick_Schnellmann.html)

3. Then demo skis

This is not how I did it - but should have when I was in exactly your situation a few years back. And I have never skied better, easier or have had more fun as I am right now.

Hope this helps. Feel free to pm me if you like. 

Oh, consider 

4. Become a supporting member of this great site.

 

Happy trails,
David



The nice aspect of skiing, on a continent such as that of North America, is that there often is something for everyone, whether it's the kind of conditions/snow or type of equipment for any type of physique.  One day can be a day in-resort = pp or mixed with boilerplate/ice....the next = various terrain of wind-crusted powder...out in the exposed summit drops..as well as within the trees on the mountainsides...outside the resort.

$.01,

steved

post #8 of 13

I'm over 50 and I really like my 5-year old (pre hole, but not pre 13 m radius) Fischer WC SCs for short turns.

I'm also getting to be quite fond of my 2002 Volant Machete Gs. 

My 2002 P50F1s are nice too, but a little too soft for hard GS turns in rough terrain.

 

If I skied softer snow I would no doubt have some much wider skis.

 

I recommend you get a subscription to Peter Keelty's expertskier.com review web pages.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well they were what was considered a slalom side cut in 1983. What has changed in equipment I am not sure. I love these skiis in everything but powder for which I have other skiis... so I am not sure what to say...

 

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

That sounds like good advice. I tried a shorter rental ski one time, some type of K2s and I felth they were perhaps too short as when pushed they washed in mid-turn. Yes, it could sound like me, but I felt the ski was not stiff enough. The other thing is frankly, these old skiis are ones where you either ski them or they ski you.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

David,

 

Thanks good advice. And yes from my experience I agree with the boots portion. After skiing for many years, I alway start with the boots. But that is also an issue. I think my boots are too agressive for my age as my knees tire easily. They are an older very stiff pair of dyna fit world cups I think.

 

I always tried skiis before I bought them,  but never boots. Good advice that I appreciate very much...

 

post #12 of 13

I'm north of 60 and ski 50-60 days a year, 2/3 in Vermont, 1/3 in Colorado.  Also consider myself a relaxed expert.  Like you, I grew up on slalom race skis.  Believe me, the technology has changed - and for the better.  I would recommend looking for an advanced to expert ski with a waist around 70-80 mm.  An all-out race ski is going to be too much work for an older relaxed expert.  Check out this tread for some ideas:

 

 http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/99620/2011-sub-80mm-skis-from-fischer-dynastar-kastle-blizzard-head-nordica-stockli-elan

 

FWIW, I own a pair of Fischer Progressor 8+ which pretty much meet your criteria.  The 10+ in the review above is new this year and similar to the 8+ but a step up in performance.  

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcars2007 View Post

Well they were what was considered a slalom side cut in 1983. What has changed in equipment I am not sure. I love these skiis in everything but powder for which I have other skiis... so I am not sure what to say...

 

Things have really changed.  I can remember skiing a Fischer RC4 Vacuum SLS.  You really had to pressure those tips to get them decambered and cut a tight turn, and while they worked great for Slalom turns and arcing lazy super-g type turns, they didn't respond too well for turns in between.  Most people smeared their turns, but I will assume you knew what to do with the skis.  The sidecut  on these skis was closer to modern DH skis than modern SL skis. 

 

Today I own a Fischer RC4 WC SC.  These skis almost turn themselves.  You can start a clean carved turn just by tipping them.  On a hard surface, the sidecut interacts with that surface so that your weight on the ski when it is tipped gives you the turn you want without you having to do anything else (just tip to the desired turn radius) to get the ski bent into the desired shape.

 

I find the SL turn shape (about 13 m sidecut) is best for game improvement, but as I usually like to speed I find a GS shape is more appropriate to my skiing.  You may like the modern SL shape more.


 

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