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Body Weight vs Ski Stiffness?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Any idea how body weight affects ski stiffness?

 

I'm 6'2", 220lbs, Level 6, with K2 Apache Raider 170's exclusively on East Coast.  The Raiders have decent flex and are absorbing, but I'm looking to move things up a bit and they tend to start to chatter under speed.

 

Here's the thing, I plan on losing 20 lbs and get under 200.  195 if I'm lucky by the time the season starts. So, assume I hit my target, will the skis act a bit stiffer if I'm lighter?  Will it make a noticeable difference or should I just say Screw it and look for stiffer/longer skis as my ability/speed increases?  I am on a budget but I may be able to convince the wife that I "need" new skis.......if not I'll have to wait for now and settle on dropping the weight.  Figure that crappy tradeoff, eh?  LOL.

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 22

Going from 220 to 200 is a 10% weight difference... so the question is, would a 10% weight difference be significant enough to alter the amount of pressure applied to the flex of the ski to really make a difference.  Hmm... I'm guessing it wouldn't be a remarkable difference but who the hell knows if there's a tipping point for any given ski where it might.  Any former or current physics/math majors around here?

 

I say screw it and just get some stiffer skis.  Besides, if you lose 20 pounds you'll be in better shape, likely with a stronger core and your body will probably be better suited to handle any extra stiffness in the ski resulting from the weight loss.  That's my two cents, anyway.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

Any idea how body weight affects ski stiffness?

 

I'm 6'2", 220lbs, Level 6, with K2 Apache Raider 170's exclusively on East Coast.  The Raiders have decent flex and are absorbing, but I'm looking to move things up a bit and they tend to start to chatter under speed.

 

Here's the thing, I plan on losing 20 lbs and get under 200.  195 if I'm lucky by the time the season starts. So, assume I hit my target, will the skis act a bit stiffer if I'm lighter?  Will it make a noticeable difference or should I just say Screw it and look for stiffer/longer skis as my ability/speed increases?  I am on a budget but I may be able to convince the wife that I "need" new skis.......if not I'll have to wait for now and settle on dropping the weight.  Figure that crappy tradeoff, eh?  LOL.

 

Thanks.



 

post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

Any idea how body weight affects ski stiffness?

 

I'm 6'2", 220lbs, Level 6, with K2 Apache Raider 170's exclusively on East Coast.  The Raiders have decent flex and are absorbing, but I'm looking to move things up a bit and they tend to start to chatter under speed.

 

Here's the thing, I plan on losing 20 lbs and get under 200.  195 if I'm lucky by the time the season starts. So, assume I hit my target, will the skis act a bit stiffer if I'm lighter?  Will it make a noticeable difference or should I just say Screw it and look for stiffer/longer skis as my ability/speed increases?  I am on a budget but I may be able to convince the wife that I "need" new skis.......if not I'll have to wait for now and settle on dropping the weight.  Figure that crappy tradeoff, eh?  LOL.

 

Thanks.



weight has less to do with ski length as you get better. Overall force exerted on a ski is a more import consideration.

post #4 of 22

You need new skis.  That ski will not be stable at speed regardless of how little  or how much you weigh.  It will also not come close to having enough beef to accelerate you properly at 200 lbs.

post #5 of 22

Yeah, get stiffer skis.  At your size, the chances of accidentally getting something too stiff are pretty slim.

(Whether at 220 or 195).

I like skis that are fairly soft for my size, but it's all relative.  I have only once been on a ski where I said, "wow, this is WAY too stiff."

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hmmmm, good points.  I got the Raiders because I'd been off skis for 15 years and wanted to get the feel for shaped skis and these seemed like a good set to get in the groove.  Easy to turn, forgiving.  But it seems I'm getting back in the swing of things quicker than I anticipated and should be moving up with a better set.

 

So, assuming I drop to around 200 lbs, get stronger........6'2", East Coast, predominantly groomers, looking to move out of Level 6 territory.........any suggestion as to a stiffer all-mountain ski and size? Maybe a pair of AC30, Blizzard 8.1, or ....??   I want to learn to push more but don't want skis that are gonna throw me around the hill.

 

Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

post #7 of 22

Dude, just get some decent ski's    Here are some ideas for east coast, but you need to demo to see what you like.

ANd don't go smaller than a 177 at your height weight.  

Volkl ac50 or ac30

Salomon Enduro

K2 Aftershock (softest of all of these, but plenty stable)

 

If I had to pick I would look at the ac50 and Solomon Enduro and get which ever one I could get the best deal on.  Both are quick turners, a little stiff, but are not so stiff that you can't take them in the bumps.   In the shop the Enduro feels stiffer than the ac50 when you flex it in your hand, but the early rise on the enduro just feels softer or as soft in the bumps when actually skied.   That is my opinion, lots of great ski's out there you can not go wrong with either of these.      If someone said, "I am not going to demo and just buy online"  I would say Salomon xw ENDURO .  (only because my friend who is a level 5 skied on them way better and thought they were great too, so they are NOT just for advanced skiers).  

 

 

 

 

 

post #8 of 22

First, it's statistically unlikely you'll lose 20 lbs in a summer and keep it off the next season. Just sayin'. And as JT says, 10% not a dramatic impact on force anyway. Second, even at 200 lbs, as Ghost says, your current skis are waay too short and soft for you. 

 

So brands to think about for bigger advancing intermediate guys on EC: Blizzard, Dynastar, Volkl, Salomons, Atomics. Within these, lostsa choices, and you may be able to find some deals in your lengths. You don't say where on EC, or whether you favor softer snow (so wider), or like carving hardpack (narrower). But Blizzard 7.6 or 8.1's are superb skis that are stiff but maneuverable, the 7.6 should have some deals, the 8.1 may be harder to find. Dynastar Sultan 85's are appropriate if you go on softer days and should be cheap, Salomon Enduro is nice all around with predisposition to softer, although not sure it's a bargain; the Tornado Ti will handle hardpack better, really nice ski, but also not sure it'll be easy to find. Atomic Smoke or Blackeye Ti are versatile and forgiving, also around cheap now. The current Volkl AC30 will be on sale because it's being phased out. Lot of people like it. I'd avoid the AC50, it's fairly demanding and not as versatile as the others mentioned IMO. If you want a Volkl in that width range, the Kendo is a better all around ski. But in general, only get into the mid to high 80's widths if you plan to mix in soft snow and perhaps some trees. Otherwise the mid 70's to low 80's will give you more bang on ice and hardpack. You should be looking for high 170's to lower 180's. And strongly recommend lessons to help you enjoy any of these skis more. Good luck with the wife. wink.gif

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

LOL.  Statistically speaking, I've been with this body for 38 years and I know that keeping the weight off won't be a problem because my natural weight is actually below 200.  Haven't played hockey or ball in a long time so I've got a spare tire around the middle right about now.  Just sayin wink.gif

 

I'm in the Toronto area on East Coast.  No massive hills around here, Blue Mountain is good enough for me, but I'll do the odd trip to Quebec and Vermont.  I favour softer snow but the conditions around here make that a rarity, since the conditions tend to be hardpacked and man-made stuff.  For now I don't plan on hitting the deeper stuff or trees, if I do later then I'll likely just get a wider set to add.  I think for now I'll stick with groomers, learning better technique while increasing my speed. 

 

Many options you mention are hard to find here at a good price but there is a HUGE sale going on here for the next few days so I'm trying to hurry up and nail down my top picks. I may have to choose something out of what they have available though, so here's my shortlist, I'd appreciate any further feedback:

 

-Atomic Blackeye Ti 

-Blizzard Magnum 7.6 or 8.1 (hard to find around here)

-Volkl AC 30 (strangely, can't find any good prices here)

-Elan Waveflex 82 XTi (no mention of these, how are they?)

-Salomon XW Tornado (can't find them yet)

-Dynastar Contact 4x4 (I can get a fantastic deal on these, how are they?)

 

Many thanks.

post #10 of 22

Gunner Bob

Check these skis out.. I am 235 and these skis rip .. I bought a set last year and love them for carving 

http://cgi.ebay.com/Atomic-SX-12-190cm-08-09-Skis-w-Race-614-Blk-Yellow-/190541969498?pt=Skiing&hash=item2c5d2fb85a

post #11 of 22

There are dozens of skis from the past few years that would suit.

Go to expertskier.com/realskiers.com and sign up for their subscription reviews.  Make a short list of high scoring skis with a radius between 13 and 22 (shorter is a better learning tool, longer is more fun at speed), that have at least the "expert skier" Icon and the "intermediate skier Icon" and a wide speed range.  See what's on sale from the past 5 years or so that match your list. 

 

You don't need anything wider than 70 mm for where you can usually get to, but the current trend is getting wider.  I wouldn't go over mid 70s for skiing Toronto Area up to Blue Mountain, but that's just me.  If you like K2, you might like the recon, or it's replacement the Rictor (a little wide at 80 mm, but if you hit J-peak a few times...).

post #12 of 22

Also check out theK2 Charger. There are some very good deals on last year's model. I saw some for under $375 with bindings.

post #13 of 22

Groomers?   thats easy then,  ac30,  NOTHING rips like the ac30.   Rock solid at speed.   you should be able to pick up a pair on ebay for under $475.     get 177's.  

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

-Atomic Blackeye Ti Always seem to get solid, if not stellar, reviews, try Skiing online. 

-Blizzard Magnum 7.6 or 8.1 (hard to find around here) Hard to find anywhere, probably a lost cause if you're looking for cheap.

-Volkl AC 30 (strangely, can't find any good prices here) Nice choice for your mission, should be cheap online.

-Elan Waveflex 82 XTi (no mention of these, how are they?) I've heard they're a great ski, have liked my other Elans, oddly ineffective marketing. Reviews in the Gear forum. Dawgcatching handles Elan if you want to do internet purchase. 

-Salomon XW Tornado (can't find them yet) Think these have been reviewed in Gear section. Also do a search. 

-Dynastar Contact 4x4 (I can get a fantastic deal on these, how are they?) Excellent ski for your purposes, but fairly demanding, basically a ski for advanced and up. If you're planning to take lessons and push yourself, these and the Magnum 8.1's are the best call of the bunch. They're stiff, so you don't need to go above high 170's. See reviews in Gear forum, do a search.

 

Many thanks.



 

post #15 of 22

I am gettin' in a little late, but I have been skiing the Raider for 3 years and found that I outgrew it as well after a lay-off and skiing cheap skis for a couple of years.  I am 5' 11" and ±195 (on a good day).  The Raiders are 167's.  I did like the skis and recently acquired a pair of K2 Recons (2009-10 New in Wrapper at 177) as they are a discontinued and stiffer version of the Raider.  Go with new skis, though I will defer to others on what skis are best. 

post #16 of 22

I weighed under 110 in high school and skied on foam core mens race skis instead of beefier wood cores back then.  But after I filled out and passed 1the 140 mark I had no trouble handling anything and everything., now hanging around 170ish.    Going from 220 down to anything over 140 would probably make the ski work more within it's recommended and design optimal range and thus BETTER.  I'm under the impression that no off the rack ski is designed to accommodate folks over 200 as the ideal although most good skis can certainly handle a person that large, just designed for average size folks instead. 

post #17 of 22

Avoid the AC50 without a demo prior to purchase - it's a ski that polarises opinion.  I think it's a plank, and my friend loves it.  We're about the same size.

 

The Contact 4x4 is a terrific ski, and for a bigger guy they'd be ideal.  If you can get a fantastic deal they'd be hard to knock back, so I'd have to say that's your base case.  On the other hand the 4x4 is described as an expert all-mountain ski, and since you describe yourself as a Level 6 (an "aspiring expert" perhaps?) you might consider the Contact Cross, which is the little brother of the 4x4 (although still plenty of ski).  I managed to demo the Contact Cross last year and it was on of the skis of the day for me.  From memory both skis come in 172 and 178cm.  You could ski either one, but I believe you'd grow into the longer length. 

 

Good luck with it all.

post #18 of 22

It isn't only the body weight vs. ski stiffness Bob..

 

It is more the skier's skill level comes first, then weight vs. ski stiffness. 

Otherwise how would you explain let say T. Ligety/around 175lbs./, dealing with the stiffest skis around/for the WC racers in comparisson with some of the much heavier build guys/Cuche for example....

post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy4g63 View Post

It isn't only the body weight vs. ski stiffness Bob..

 

It is more the skier's skill level comes first, then weight vs. ski stiffness. 

Otherwise how would you explain let say T. Ligety/around 175lbs./, dealing with the stiffest skis around/for the WC racers in comparisson with some of the much heavier build guys/Cuche for example....


every WC racers gets there own flex for the most part.

 

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

Well I subscribed to ExpertSkier, thanks Ghost.  It helped.

 

Since I live in Canuckland, some of the online deals don't ship here (or after huge shipping and Customs costs from the States it's not very cheap at all actually), but thanks to everyone that pointed out some deals, I do appreciate it.  I ended up getting the Dynastar Contact 4x4, they seemed to be very highly recommended and well reviewed everywhere.   Scooped them with Fluid PX bindings for $500 new, couldn't pass that up since I found them  about 10 minutes from my place and could see them in person at the store, talk to the sales reps, etc.   I did look at the Cross set but decided to pass after hearing so many good things about the Contacts.

 

Got them in 178 size, I hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew but I really want to get better and improve, and I think these should help me do that.  An "aspring expert" if I'm lucky, yes. 

 

Now I need new boots.  Same shop has a few bootfitters so I'm gonna drop some extra cash and get a custom fit pair.  I'm tired of sloshing around in these cheap Salomon's I have now.  I may just sell the Raiders, bindings, and boots as a package deal for cheap to help pay for my new boots, doubt I'll wanna go back to any of the old gear at all after tasting what the good stuff is like :)

 

Thanks everyone for the help, much appreciated.  One more question though:  should I get my new Dynastars tuned in the Fall?  I have my own tools, etc for sharpening and waxing but I don't know if I should get these done first with a 1/3 tune and then take it from there myself through the season.  I can't even find any info on what the bevels are on these skis.  I tried looking up contact info for Dynastar at their site but it only shows a phone number in France LMAO.  Any advice??

post #21 of 22

Good call, 178 is fine for your size IMO; a coupla lessons and some slope mileage will help sort things out. Boots: Another smart choice, wait until fall to sell old skis, you'll do better. Tuning: Have shop check, often factory tunes are so-so, and they should be able to do the proper set if needed. New bases can be thirsty, so extra wax is good, you can do that as needed. Not saying you couldn't do edges, but it's a minor cost compared to what you're already in for. Agree with 1/3 for those skis, your region. 

post #22 of 22

Good choice.  178 should be fine, so long as you work with your skis and not against them.  A little long for Eden, but very good for Blue Mountain Collingwood.

 

Make sure your boots are fitted properly so there's no wiggle room at the heel, no heel lift, and don't put your fore-foot in a vise.  Boots and liners can be stretched, but not shrunk.

 

Usually when I buy skis the shop throws in a wax job, if not I'm sure to wax, scrape and brush.  Do a fingernail test on the edges, and if they are sharp enough to scrape material off your fingernails, then just go with the tune you've got. 

It says here that Dynastar comes standard with a 1 degree base bevel and a 2 degree side bevel...  http://www.epicski.com/wiki/factory-edge-bevels

I wouldn't touch the base, just sharpen the side every few days, until it's time for a base grind or base repair (due to hitting rocks).
 

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