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Could switch to FIS approved GS skis with 23m or 27m radius seriously improve my Nastar handicap?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Recently I've discovered the beauty of Nastar competing and it really grabbed me a whole lot. I'm a strong skier currently racing around 11 handicap in average, I'm 5'9" 170 Lbs mostly racing on the GS cheater Kastle RX 176, love the skis but I'd be curious to think if I can seriously improve my handicap by switching to FIS approved GS skis, men's or women's for that matter. Is there anyone out there able to tell me if that's going to help? Also wouldn't the men's 27m radius be too much of a ski for me to handle mostly at slow speeds? Will appreciate any feedback. Thank you.

post #2 of 25

It won't help. You have a good ski for normal NASTAR.

post #3 of 25

A 27m FIS GS ski is most likely way too much for Nastar. If you have no trouble making the gates but could use more stability, a bigger ski may help. If you can't carve the course with your current skis, if anything look at something smaller. Since Nastar is typically pretty slow and tight compared to GS, a 17x cm that's built like the skis with the FIS legal radius/length might be worth a look. If you look at my past posts, you'll see I also firmly believe that most skiers stand to gain a lot from improving their boot alignment, so consider playing with that.

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 

That's exactly type of the skis I'm on right now, 176 Kastle RX, 17m radius, top of the line Kastle carver with GS guts. Will check your boot alignment articles for sure though. Thanks for the feedback.

post #5 of 25



What he said...NASTAR is not ski racing, it's Midget Jello Wrestling...what you're on will work just fine...

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post

It won't help. You have a good ski for normal NASTAR.

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

Midget Jello Wrestling... hmm... guess even midgets are trying to go faster... and it's not about the fact if my ski is good enough but the question if FIS ski could potentially be faster... 0.5 seconds on 30sec course would better my handicap by 3-4poins...thanks anyway.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post



What he said...NASTAR is not ski racing, it's Midget Jello Wrestling...what you're on will work just fine...


 


 

post #7 of 25

It won't be faster... trust me.

post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 

Why do you think so? Few guys that are beating me on our home mountain all ski FIS skis... 

post #9 of 25

FIS skis will slow you down for sure.  FIS skis have much less side cut...your skis are known as "cheater gs skis" for a reason...they make carving a full course much easier.  FIS skis set minimum side cuts etc to preserve the skill of steering.  Your skis allow you to "cheat" by making the gates with no steering skills required....your skis are less then the FIS minimum, for NASTAR thats most likely a good thing. 

 

If you want to improve spend your money/effort on good coaching.

 

Alternativley if you are destined to be a gear junkie...the Kastle RX at 70mm waist is not exactley a race ski...great skis yes...but they are more a all mountain carver.  Look for somthing in the mid 65-68mm under foot, but still with the "Cheater GS Cut"....having said that I wouldnt throw out your RX's out by any means.

 

Also if you are looking for "free time" dont under estimate the value of a good wax and clean edges.

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Passionate Skier View Post

Why do you think so? Few guys that are beating me on our home mountain all ski FIS skis... 



They are probably better skiers than you and will beat you no matter what they ski on (no offense). The fact that they are on FIS skis to begin with leads one to believe that they probably possess the skills to pilot them and didn't purchase them just to run NASTAR on Saturday mornings. If they did, then someone needs to check the water downstate... I ski with a bunch of guys that run their 188 and 191 GS skis in NASTAR too... They do it because that is what they have for GS so they make it work. NASTAR isn't really important enough to run out and buy another $800 pair of skis after you've already dropped a few grand on SL and GS skis for real racing. The gold pin isn't that important... NASTAR is tons of fun (we use the scoring for our beer league), but it doesn't require FIS skis to be competitive. I've run NASTAR on everything from all-mountain skis, to 188cm 27m GS skis, to 165cm slalom skis - it doesn't really matter that much - I usually land between a 4 and 8 handicap against some of the best masters racers in the country (although I hope to be closer to a 2 by the end of the season).

 

FWIW, our GS beer race is closer to a real GS set than it is to a NASTAR set. I ran it the other night on Rossi CX80's. Saturday we had another beer league GS (on a real hill - real Masters/FIS set) - I used my 183cm 23m GS skis for that (didn't ski very well, but had the right skis at least). Tomorrow we have another GS like the one I skied the CX80 in and I'll either use the CX80 again or a 186cm 21m Nordica GS ski. I don't plan on taking either of my Fischer GS skis. Now - the NY Masters race I did this year I skied my 188 27m GS skis.

 

Keep your skis and just go faster. You have good skis.

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

FIS skis set minimum side cuts etc to preserve the skill of steering.



All this time I thought it was to highlight the skill involved in, and advantages of, high-level carving. wink.gif

post #12 of 25



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

FIS skis set minimum side cuts etc to preserve the skill of steering.



All this time I thought it was to highlight the skill involved in, and advantages of, high-level carving. wink.gif


biggrin.gif It is.  Remember you can leave nothing but pencil lines and still be "Steering".  I use proper definitions.  I am not TDK6.
 

post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post


biggrin.gif It is.  Remember you can leave nothing but pencil lines and still be "Steering".  I use proper definitions. 
 



Would those be proper definitions from the same sources that define "Carving" to include non-arced, non-pencil-thin lines?

 

A steered carve ... what's your definition of oxymoron, btw?

post #14 of 25

I think 17r is perfect for most NASTAR courses.  If you're looking to shave time without a lot of technique modification look in to reducing wind resistance.  Lose the jacket and tuck more.

post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjp5 View Post

A 27m FIS GS ski is most likely way too much for Nastar. If you have no trouble making the gates but could use more stability, a bigger ski may help. If you can't carve the course with your current skis, if anything look at something smaller. Since Nastar is typically pretty slow and tight compared to GS, a 17x cm that's built like the skis with the FIS legal radius/length might be worth a look. If you look at my past posts, you'll see I also firmly believe that most skiers stand to gain a lot from improving their boot alignment, so consider playing with that.


Since when was NASTAR tight compared to GS (or is my idea of GS skewed by the stuff that I have been racing over the past few years)? Nastar around here is pretty damn straight compared to GS.

post #16 of 25

FIS skis, in addition to having specific radius constraints are usually stiffer, thus harder to bend to attain the proper turn shape. In our Epic Ski race camp last week I didn't use an FIS ski in NASTAR. I used an 18 m radius recreational ski. I have FIS skis, but they were not right for the set. It is difficult to buy speed. Gear maintenance will make more difference that different gear in the range of gear choices you are discussing.

 

Improving your start will gain you time both to the first gate and beyond as you will be going faster from the get go. This is the easiest thing you can do to loose time in the course.

 

Have skate races with your friends. Skate uphill to get stronger. Use longer poles; you'll get longer stronger pole strokes. Go for long, strong skating and poling movements, not short quick ones. Learn to sense when your skating and poling aren't effecitive.

 

Aerodynamics are essential to speed. A speed suit will cut tenths off a 20 second course. Tucking is important too, but not at the expense of good clean turns.

 

Check your line. If the course has very little offset, you want to have the apex of your turn at the gate; half of the turn above, half below. You'll cover less ground this way. With more offset you want to make just enough of your turn above the gate to insure you make it to your desired line for the next gate.

 

The guys that can hold a clean, tight line are strong. You can't hold a high edge angle or fight a rut if you are weak. Exercise to build your core and leg strength.

 

Use progressive pressure on the skis. Use only enough pressure as is necessary. Keep you upper body calm. Everytime your upper body moves up and down needlessly is adding pressure to the skis that is only slowing you down.

 

Reach with one arm for the finish beam you may only gain a hundredth of a second, but that is free time.

post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 

Appreciate the feedback!

post #18 of 25

Passionate Skier, Masters Racer gave you excellent information there.  I was also a coach at that camp, and used an 18 meter cheater GS ski too.  The "cheater" designation on the surface carries a negative connotation, but it's an excellent ski for NASTAR.  NASTAR courses generally are not very FIS GS ski friendly.  The courses are usually set too tight for them, and the slopes they're set on are too flat to generate enough speed to bend them well.  

 

If you're looking to go faster, stick with a 17-18 meter skis, and work on all the things MR just told you in his post above.  Clean carves combined with a straight line with the apex at the gate is the first thing to master.  If you can't do that, any ski you're riding will be dirt slow.  Once you can do that, duplicate it while in a tuck, which my testing indicates can provide a 2-3 handicap point benefit if you can still maintain the same straight line and tight turns.  Then, shed the puffy clothes.  A suit can provide up to another 5 handicap point improvement, depending on what you're wearing.  Again, I've tested that.  And finally, as MR says, a strong start is crucial.  

 

If you get that all down pat, and you feel like running a straight line is feeling pretty easy, then, AND ONLY THEN, think about experimenting with a lesser amount of sidecut.  Keep an eye out for a pair of the older 21+ meter GS skis that are in good shape.  They're better suited for NASTAR than the newer 23 or 27 m models, and you should be able to get them for a song.  But be aware, depending on the course set, even they may not work as well as the cheaters.  I run them sometimes when the course set is more straight and open, but usually I'm riding the 18's.  

 

Enjoy your NASTAR racing.  It's great fun, and will do wonders for your skiing.  There are thousands of NASTAR addicts out there.  

post #19 of 25

Another coach from the aforementioned camp chiming in here.  The ski I ran is a 14.7m cheater GS/SL hybrid (Head Supershape Magnum), and while it may have been a bit too tight for NASTAR, it allowed me to fire off clean carves and utilize my gliding skills as much as possible.  And this was at Breckenridge, where the NASTAR course is set on a very mellow slope and with very light offset for the majority of the run. 

 

As Rick reiterated, I also recommend what MR mentioned, especially the starts and poling drills.  Both an effective start and a powerful pole & skate require a strong core, so make sure you have a good core strengthening regimen going year-round.

 

Also, as stated above, clean turns are close to godliness in any race course, and in the flatter terrain and straighter sets of modern NASTAR, it's especially important that the clean turn come first.  Keeping a clean carve while in a tuck is an acquired skill that should come after mastering a clean turn while in an upright stance.

 

But a 24-27m sidecut ski is a lot of ski for a NASTAR course - overkill for all but the top 0.1 percent of folks participating in the system.  For now, concentrate on your skiing first, rather than the equipment.

 

Just my $0.02, of course, and GOOD LUCK!

post #20 of 25

Nice to see all this info that was shared at the camp preserved here for eternity. wink.gif  Subscribed!

post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post

 

Reach with one arm for the finish beam you may only gain a hundredth of a second, but that is free time.

All of MR's advice is really valuable, including this tidbit.  However, I would add the caveat that it is very easy to catch an edge (at speed) while learning this technique.  I see it used more in SL than Nastar or GS - probably for that reason.  I've seen enough yardsales as a result of this move that I have deemed it not to be worth the risk.  That said, it certainly can gain you a couple of .01s.

YMMV

 

post #22 of 25



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

FIS skis set minimum side cuts etc to preserve the skill of steering.



All this time I thought it was to highlight the skill involved in, and advantages of, high-level carving. wink.gif


If my memory serves me right the major reason was safety. A tight radius at WC-GS speeds is very streneous.

 

I also disagree with the statement that FIS skis are stiff. They come in many flavors, mine are quite soft (the Elan race-stock come in three softness variants)
 

post #23 of 25



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamt View Post



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

FIS skis set minimum side cuts etc to preserve the skill of steering.



All this time I thought it was to highlight the skill involved in, and advantages of, high-level carving. wink.gif


If my memory serves me right the major reason was safety.  

 

No safety is why they limited lifterplate heights, at least as I recall, their may have been a safety angle but the main reason was definatley to ensure racers couldn't just make "rollerblade turns" down the course.  They increased offset and limited allowable sidecut to preserve the sport and acknowledge the increasing skill level of the skiers...ie FIS took steps to keep it challenging.  Any good racer will tell you that the easier the course, the harder it is to win.

 

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by NE1 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post

 

Reach with one arm for the finish beam you may only gain a hundredth of a second, but that is free time.

All of MR's advice is really valuable, including this tidbit.  However, I would add the caveat that it is very easy to catch an edge (at speed) while learning this technique.  I see it used more in SL than Nastar or GS - probably for that reason.  I've seen enough yardsales as a result of this move that I have deemed it not to be worth the risk.  That said, it certainly can gain you a couple of .01s.

YMMV

 


Finish,Web.jpg

post #25 of 25



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpedges View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post


biggrin.gif It is.  Remember you can leave nothing but pencil lines and still be "Steering".  I use proper definitions. 
 



Would those be proper definitions from the same sources that define "Carving" to include non-arced, non-pencil-thin lines?

 

A steered carve ... what's your definition of oxymoron, btw?



 My source is the dictionary...rolleyes.gif

 

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/steering

 

Definition 2a: 2.

a. To direct the course of.
 
Is how it is applied in skiing.  If you find yourself unable to direct your course when in a pencil line carve, you are doing what is known as "park and ride".  It is a low skill version of carving.  A good skier can still guide a perfectley carved turn via increasing/decreasing edge angle, or manipulating their fore/aft pressure distribution.  This is pretty basic stuff in modern ski teaching.
 
 
Oh, and btw to me an oxymoron is someone like....biggrin.gif forget it, too easy.
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