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Learning with twin tips??

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

So, I recently moved from Texas to Massachusetts and have gotten into skiing.  I went a few times this past season and really enjoyed it. All of these places where around the Boston area as since I was just starting, I didn't want to go far/spend lots of $$$ in case I hated it.  This snow thing is pretty knew to me. 

 

Anyway, that's not the point here.  Basically I found that renting skis from different places was not for me.  There were too many inconsistencies between gear at each places I went.  I specifically recall my very first time skiing where the skis were quite heavy (as compared to other places and their skis) and I had a problem with one ski where my boot kept popping out while on turns.....not the best way to set out learning to ski. Well after a winter of skiing on rentals, I've decided to buy my own. I found that I can comfortably ski of blues here in NE (for whatever that's worth...since these aren't real mountains here). 

 

My issue is that I'm still new to this sport and after researching for quite a while, I think I've pretty much decided on twin tip skiis (particularly, the k2 silencer).  My thinking behind this is that seems like it might be a good "all round" kinda of ski.  I want to learn to do tricks (and think I will begin trying these next season).  I also want a ski that's wide to keep speed down and should I ever want to take a trip west, I want something that would be decent for those ski conditions. 

So I'm wondering if a twin tip ski would be a good ski for someone who:

1. will ski mostly in New England (seems mostly to be on ice)

2. still new to the sport....only one season under the belt

3. wants to learn to do tricks, but may not right right away....basically looking for a good ski to grow into for a few years

4. will work for ski conditions in the west.

 

 

So any help on this would be much appreciate.  While there seems to be tons of info out there on how to size skis etc, I haven't found much that can help beginners pick skis that will allow them to try multiple areas of skiis (ie, tricks, basics, downhill racing etc.) So based on what I can find, the mentioned k2's seem to be a good one for me.

 

Also, what should I look for in bindings?  There doesn't seem to be a lot of info that talks about bindings, however they can range in price from $100-$400 and possibly more.  So what makes one more expensive than the other?

post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 

Also, if anyone has a better suggestion on skis for my situation, of places to continue researching, please feel free to let me know.

post #3 of 19

Nothing wrong with twin tips even for beginners such as myself, even the rentals I had were twin tips before I bought.

 

Also helps if you ever slide backwards they wont dig in :)

post #4 of 19
If you want to do park, my suggestion is to buy a cheap pair of twin-tips for that, and some kind of all-mountain carver for freeskiing. You will *wreck* the edges on your skis doing rails or boxes, and you don't want tons of edge for jumps either. There's nothing really 'wrong' with twin-tips, but I like all the help I can get on ice. :-)

If you buy something in the 75-85mm range, it'll work anywhere... But not the best on ice or in deep snow. If you go out West and hit the powder jackpot, just rent for a couple days.
post #5 of 19

Yeah I can attest to powder on narrow skis, hit it deep enough, and you'll have them pulled off your feet.  If you're looking for late season skiing, Arapahoe Basin is open until June, just call before you book to get conditions.

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

What would you say would be good for ice?  I found that almost every time I went out (unless it just snowed), the snow would freeze towards the end of the day and mostly be ice.  I

post #7 of 19
Quote:
What would you say would be good for ice?  I found that almost every time I went out (unless it just snowed), the snow would freeze towards the end of the day and mostly be ice.

Yeah, that happens when it's melt-freeze conditions in the spring, or if it's ice underneath with just a bit of new snow on top.

 

For ice, you want narrow, stiff (especially torsionally stiff), and sharp.  Basically, the closer the skis are to being ice skates, the better.  smile.gif

 

Some models I like in that range are the Dynastar Contact and the Fischer Progressor.  The Head SuperShape is good if you like going fast.  There are many others.  Race skis work too, but they tend not to be very forgiving of mistakes.

 

The downside is skis like that don't handle variable conditions as well.  In soft snow or chopped-up crud, you want something softer and wider.

 

Something like a wider Fischer Motive or narrower Fischer Watea, or the Head Peak series or SuperShape Titan would handle a wider range of conditions.  But you give up some performance on really hard snow and ice.

post #8 of 19

Have to bring up the Blizzard Magnum 7.6.  Depending on your size(no stats given) this is an awesome ski for an aspiring skier on the East coast.At 76 in the waist,not too narrow,not too wide.Being as light as it is I figured it might get pushed around in the Spring slop but held its own. On hardpack,they carve up a storm. Bumps and trees, they are very quick and nimble. Yes, if the snow is deeper there are many better choices but I have been very impressed with these so far. If you are a bigger or heavier skier then you may opt for the 8.1s which would offer a little more stiffness but not too overpowering.As far as twintips,IMO they are fun ,I would personally suggest to learn all the skills of basic skiing and master them before moving on.  Dave

post #9 of 19

learning to ski on twin tips can actually help your skiing. For one a twin tip wont carve for you like a carving ski. It teaches you to progressively do stuff instead of park and riding. It also lets you learn to ski bumps with out having an overly catchy tip and tail.

 

post #10 of 19

Working through your suppositions:

 

1.  Skiing in New England is NOT mostly on Ice.  The level of snow making, grooming, and as you head north natural snowfall precludes this old cliche.  Yeah, we get tricky conditions off-piste, but ice is usually the least of your worries.  And, short of race skis under a skilled skier-'m not sure what ski makes that big of a difference on ice anyway.  So no problems with twin tips there.

 

2. New to the Sport-twins are easier to skid and pivot (like Bushwhacker says, they won't be extra grabby). and they all have plenty of side-cut to still carve decently.

 

3. Want to learn 'tricks'-spinning and drifting and skiing backwards are all easier on a twin tip and are the main reason they were invented.  So this is a no brainer.

 

4. Will work for conditions out west.  Any ski you ski all mountain in the east will work in the west.  Crazy deep powder is really the only X-factor.  Since spaces tend to be much bigger at big western resorts folks often opt for a longer ski to eat up the vertical, and the mileage with more speed and stability.  But, your east coast ski still floats and carves and pivots on snow regardless of which side of the continental divide you find yourself on.

 

Truth is, most skis over 80mm waists have some sort of turned up or twinned tail these days (if not a full on switch skiing inducing twin tip) so just about any all-purpose ski will probably fit the bill. Beware of shop employees selling you skis that are too short (if they hear you are newer to the sport they'll try to push you on a shorter intermediate ski...not all shop employees, of course, but a lot of them).

post #11 of 19

 

Quote:
1.  Skiing in New England is NOT mostly on Ice.  The level of snow making, grooming, and as you head north natural snowfall precludes this old cliche.  Yeah, we get tricky conditions off-piste, but ice is usually the least of your worries.  And, short of race skis under a skilled skier-'m not sure what ski makes that big of a difference on ice anyway.  So no problems with twin tips there.

 

This depends totally on where and when you ski.  I've been on everything from corduroy groomers to hardpack-covered-by-freezing-rain to watery slush to windblown powder this season.  If it doesn't snow for a couple weeks, it doesn't matter how far north you go -- it's gonna be scratchy, at least on the groomers.

 

Perhaps it's better to say that you will SOMETIMES have to ski on ice in NE unless you cherry-pick your ski days, and IMO it's harder to make a wider ski behave nicely on ice than to make a narrower one behave nicely in other conditions.

post #12 of 19


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post

Working through your suppositions:

 

1.  Skiing in New England is NOT mostly on Ice.  The level of snow making, grooming, and as you head north natural snowfall precludes this old cliche.  Yeah, we get tricky conditions off-piste, but ice is usually the least of your worries.  And, short of race skis under a skilled skier-'m not sure what ski makes that big of a difference on ice anyway.  So no problems with twin tips there.

 

 

I skied 50+ days in the east so far this year in  PA, NY, and VT. I ski on every ski day I can get regardless of the weather. I also tend to ski all day, and try to catch the last lift up. About 20% of my ski days included night skiing. I would guess that I hit icy conditions on about 1/2 of those days ranging from rainfalls freezing once the temps dropped, the whole mountain freezing late in the day and into the evening, spring slush on top of ice base, frozen ruts on race courses, and winds blowing all the  very nice snow off the hard pack base at the top of Stowe last weekend. For night skiing, the icy percentage is higher than 50%. If you quit at 3, the percentage would be lower. I have a quiver of skis and the ski makes a difference in terms of ice hold - particularly for a novice like the OP. The OP also noted that in his experience he encountered ice most of the time he skied. Mathias was right - torsionally stiff skis hold better on the ice. Skidding is not a skill that a new skier is going to enjoy learning  on ice. The OP will first want to learn to ski under control even when the conditions are icy, he can then have the confidence to work on bumps, tricks, trees, etc. But by then he will probably have a clearer idea of what kind of ski he is looking for.

 

There are twin tips and mid fats that have good edge hold but IMHO, the most important thing for any new skier to learn is that there are no skis that are really all mountain, all condition (especially on the feet of a newer skier). The OP should select which criterion is MOST vital and which are desirable. I would probably not go too wide as a newer skier's transitions may not be fast enough for good edge hold on wider (above approx. 82) skis on ice. It is also probably better to read the gear reviews here than to listen to the salesman in the shop. Learning to do basic edge sharpening will also help  to deal with ice.

 

Carving down a steep icy trail is probably my favorite skiing, although I enjoy whatever the conditions happen to be. I tend to like stiffer, narrower waisted skis for my go to skis and trade-off performance in bumps, new snow, trees. I have a different pair of softer wider skis for new snow, bumps, etc. My personal unscientific brand opinions: I have never found a K2 I liked much on ice. I have liked  Atomics, Heads, Fischers, Dynastars and Elans for ice hold. Have not tried Nordicas.

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

Wow...lots of good info here.  After more research and talking to various people, I ended up purchasing k2 silencer's.  Seemed to be a good ski to learn on, but one that I won't necessarily out grow real fast.  That was the other part I was trying to research as well.  I wanted to buy a ski that I wouldn't out grow real fast (in case that happens).  That was def the appeal of the twin tip....just gave me some extra options......As other as said, there's no great all round ski for everything. Some are better at some things while others are better at others. So I thought the silencer was a good choice for me.  Guess we will see.

 

As for the ice comment in NE....First of all, I tend to ski around boston (so not the best places for skiing...but convenient). Usually I found as the day progressed and def after 2-3, the ground would really start to freeze and the snow would turn to ice.  This happened every time I went, however I never went right after a fresh snowstorm. It was always days after so any fresh snow had time to really freeze.  I'm looking forward to next season when I can plan ski weekends out (instead of ski days....it really limits how far out I can travel and where I can go).

post #14 of 19

we had ice here at stowe for probably 15 days this season 7 of those were during president's weekend. I dont cherry pic my days I ski everyday.

post #15 of 19
just ski whatever you can find for cheap. You will soon discover that boots are WAY more important than skis.

Its more fun to think about what skis to buy, but the fit and flex of your boots will make or break your experience.
post #16 of 19

No, I'm standing by the ice in the east comment.  I ski a lot of days in the east.  Most at a smaller (but pretty great) mountain  in W. Massachusetts.  I'm a patroller there as well-I work weekends, friday nights, I pro mid-week, I don't get to cherry pick my days either.  I get another 10-12 (usually spring) days in VT and NH.  The number of days I skied true icy (and not just really hard and fast well-scraped snow or refrozen snow) over the last 5 seasons is pretty small.   Sure it happens, but I don't think anyone needs to base a 1 ski quiver on ice-worthiness in the east.  even a beginner.   It certainly isn't a reason to avoid buying twin tips.

 

Now, if the question was-What is a ski that excels on hard snow and icier conditions and the OP stated a premium desire to master those surfaces, I wouldn't steer him towards any twin tips.

 

The silencer, huh?  Did K2 stop making the Public Enemy/ Extreme?  That was the last k2 I skied...and I liked it.  Wasn't too bad even on Ice wink.gif

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Verwilderd View Post

Wow...lots of good info here.  After more research and talking to various people, I ended up purchasing k2 silencer's.  Seemed to be a good ski to learn on, but one that I won't necessarily out grow real fast.  That was the other part I was trying to research as well.  I wanted to buy a ski that I wouldn't out grow real fast (in case that happens).  That was def the appeal of the twin tip....just gave me some extra options......As other as said, there's no great all round ski for everything. Some are better at some things while others are better at others. So I thought the silencer was a good choice for me.  Guess we will see.

 

As for the ice comment in NE....First of all, I tend to ski around boston (so not the best places for skiing...but convenient). Usually I found as the day progressed and def after 2-3, the ground would really start to freeze and the snow would turn to ice.  This happened every time I went, however I never went right after a fresh snowstorm. It was always days after so any fresh snow had time to really freeze.  I'm looking forward to next season when I can plan ski weekends out (instead of ski days....it really limits how far out I can travel and where I can go).


The snow is not freezing and turning to ice the snow is being or has been scraped down to the man made hardpack. If there is not fish under it it is not ice just very firm snow.

 

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

Well, then maybe I mislabeled it....makes sense that you put it like that.  I'm not originally from a snowy climate (Dallas, Texas) and this was only my second winter (first in NE) to experience true snow....not just one day with only an inch as I did in Texas.  So what you call hard pack I was referring to as ice....so that's my bad there.

 

 

As for boots.....some people mentioned those as most important.  I agree and ended up with Nordica Hotrod 75's.....hopefully these will work.  They seemed the most comfortable at the store when I bought them and I can always have them adjusted a little if need be.  They recommended skiing in them one or two times to "break" the lining in and from there, if I need adjustments, the store I bought them from could do them

post #19 of 19

During the day, direct light hits many trails. If the air temperature is not too cold, (e.g. below 25 or so), the direct sunlight warms up the snow surface and causes some melting which is absorbed into the surrounding snow - the warmed snow gets "softer." When the sun is no longer directly on those trails that excess water freezes again - the snow "set up." The same phenomenon occurs when there is a sharp general temperature drop from above freezing to well below. If you call that ice or not is not really important but that seems to be what the OP was describing as ice at 2 or 3 PM every day. In extreme situations, it can create very difficult skiing conditions with frozen tracks, "death cookies",  ruts, etc. It is not the same as the softer snow being skied off (although both often occur).

 

I tend to call these conditions ice and I definitely ski them using my ice technique.

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