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I am a Beginner Skier - Is this a good ski for me?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 



I posted this thread in the "Ski Gear" forum as well but I am reposting here as maybe it is more appropriate for this beginner forum.


I am a beginner skiing approaching intermediate and I am trying to figure out if I am skiing on the proper skis for my level.


I can ski greens and blues fine and I can struggle down a black diamond (but I have to go so slow down the black diamonds that its just not fun and thus I stay away from those).


I really enjoy skiing and I hope to get better at it.  My goal this year is to learn some basic carving.


This year instead of renting each time I went to the mountain,  I rented for the season from a local shop.  The store recommended the following skis for me from the selection of seasonal rentals:  168 cm Elan X-Carve 3.0  100-62-86.  I cannot find any information on the Internet about these skis so I dont know how old they are or if the skis are good for a beginner to learn to carve etc.  Was this ski a slalom racing ski?  Why is the waist so thin (62mm)?


I am a 6' 180 lbs male and somewhat athletic although I am in my early 40s and did not ski in my younger days.  Also, I ski on the East Coast and at this point I stick to groomers.


Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.





post #2 of 8

Welcome to Epic.  Google found a list of skis from Ski Canada magazine, 2000 I believe from the title of the list, that indicates it is an all-mountain ski for intermediates.  But it lists the tip width as 102 rather than 100.  Since you only ski groomers, the width underfoot is not really an issue.  You could use a wider ski but a wider ski is slower edge-to-edge than a narrow one, although for non-racing this is not really an issue.  I don't know this ski but based on this information it should be fine for learning to carve.


If you thinking of buying your own gear, boots are the priority and you should buy them from a boot fitter to make sure they actually fit your feet.  Go to the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum and read the wikis there so you have some understanding about how boots should be fitted.  Never deal with any shop/store that asks what your shoe size is.

post #3 of 8
Welcome to EpicSki, Amyles!

Those skis will be fine for your early learning stages, and especially for learning the movements of carving. When those skis came out, Elan was very focused on skis meant for carving, and for learning to carve. There was a period when Elan had few, if any, skis wider than 62 mm underfoot, and some very much narrower (in an experiment that was rather short-lived).

Narrow skis roll easily onto edge and tend to hold well, because the edge is closer to directly beneath your leg--like the blade of an ice skate. The wider the ski, the more it creates torque (at least on hard snow) that tends to counteract your efforts to tip it, making wider skis simply less tenacious in their ability to grip and carve on hard snow and ice.

As others have mentioned, you may well like a bit wider ski at some point, for more ease and versatility in soft and deep conditions. But the movements you'll learn with these skis (with the help of some good instruction) will serve you well on any ski you choose.

With those narrow-waisted skis, it often makes sense to have a lifter plate beneath your bindings. Many Elan skis from that era came with plates, but I don't recall about yours. "Lift" makes the rolling-to-an-edge and edge grip even easier and more powerful, and it also helps keep your boot from hitting the snow when you tip the skis to extreme edge angles--creating a surprising and sudden lack of edge engagement known as "booting out."

Best of luck, and please keep us posted on your progress and adventures in this great sport. The EpicSki gang is here to help!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #4 of 8



You could use a wider ski but a wider ski is slower edge-to-edge than a narrow one


MtCyclist--could you, or someone else, please explain to me what you mean by this? (Perhaps in another thread in another section, because it's really beyond the need or scope of this discussion?) 


"Quicker edge to edge" is a phrase you hear a lot, especially in ski tests and gear reviews, but I've never had a clue what it means. Of course, without a brain, I don't have a clue about much of anything--nor do I need one. But this one, I really don't get. My skis, at least compared with my height (I'm about 3 inches tall), are very wide. It seems to me that they tip exactly as fast as I tip, changing edges and tipping to higher edge angles as my body crosses over my skis. And it seems that that would not change if they were narrower, or wider (at least to a reasonable point--if they got too wide, I might not be able to tip them at all). 


So what does this mean, "quick edge to edge"? Can someone please help a little tin man understand? Thanks!



post #5 of 8

IMHO, you need a ski that will reward good technique. I would tend to err on the high side and get a ski that is a little less forgiving, but many (perhaps most) folk would disagree with my choice.  Here's a thread you may find interesting: 


post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all of the input.  I went to Okemo a few weeks ago and had an awesome time.  The blue trails there (Screamin Deamon, Sidewinder, Sapphire) were a blast compared to my previous experience in the Poconos and Michigan.  Also skied my first black diamond (although I heard Okemo's black diamonds are easy).


I have now purchased boots (Atomic Hawx 100) and I am thinking about buying skis over the next few months (at a discount hopefully).


I really like what I hear about the K2 Rictor...it seems to be more of an advanced ski that I can grow into, good for groomers but also good when I eventually level up to skiing off-piste (on the East Coast).


I noticed the Rictors are sold in 167 and 174 lengths.  As stated above, I have been skiing on narrow waisted 168 Elans.  I am concerned that moving up to 174 would be too much ski (this is a more advanced ski compared to my current Elans) but that I would outgrow the 167s (170s would be perfect?).  I have also heard that one can go longer with rockered skis such as the Rictors but that if one skis mostly groomers, shorter is better (hence my confusion).


The Blizzard 7.6 IQs look like really cool skis too.


Any additional feedback would be appreciated.  Thanks much!

post #7 of 8

I'm not the expert that some of the folk on here are, but I have a hard time believing that a 174 with a bit of rocker would be too long for someone your height/weight.  I think the more noticeable difference would be moving from 62 to 80 underfoot.  If you are focused mainly on carving and still getting the hang of it, this might make it a bit harder, but it seems an ok tradeoff (to me) for softer snow versatility.  I ski an 89mm underfoot ski almost every day on the East Coast and like it a great deal.  I am on mostly ungroomed stuff though and don't always carve clean turns on icier hardpack with those skis.

post #8 of 8

Just picked up the Blizzard Magnum 7.6 from Philpug at Starthaus and find that they do everything pretty well. It ,IMHO, would be a great ski for you to grow with. Really solid edge grip.very nimble and kind of playful with a pretty big sweet spot.Either in a 170 or 177 for your size,some of the bigger guys could probably chime in on size,I am only 5'7 and less than 160.  Hope this helps.    Dave

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