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Ski advice for a skier returning to the sport after 18 years!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

In March I just went skiing for the first time in 18 years and to my shock and horror (lol) all the skis were shorter! I own an ancient pair of 195 cm Blizzard Thermos and was sure glad I didnt cart them all the way to Canada with me! Back then I was looking at moving to the next length up!

 

This time I was on mid range rentals of about 172cm and whilst 99.9% of my problems were me I wondered if some of the hassles with wobble I was having were due to length or ski design especially going fast on long flat run outs!

 

I'm 6 ft and fairly heavy at 270lb and I was a fairly good intermediate (18 years ago). After a week on the snow in March I was probably at best only a low intermediate but was getting good carving turns again (sometimes). Bumps and trees were something I was starting to do long ago but didnt go near this time!

 

Will be skiing for 2 weeks over Xmas and again in March so thinking of buying skis (taken a vow to ski every year from now on) although I may rent some demo ones first. I was familiar with old style long skis and knew what I should look for and progress to but theses damn fangled new ones are shorter, vary in width and shape so I am looking for peoples general thoughts on what I should look for in Skis and bindings and why.

 

Thanks for allowing me to pick your brains!

Regards

Nicbridge

 

post #2 of 7


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicbridge View Post

... I wondered if some of the hassles with wobble I was having were due to length or ski design especially going fast on long flat run outs!

...

 

Yeah, most modern skis don't like to run flat.  You need to be just a tiny bit on edge and turning.  Or let them swim and don't worry about it...it feels like they are doing a lot more than they really are.  This was one of the things I hated when I first modernized, but I got used to it.  So will you. 
 

 

post #3 of 7

I see a lot of discussion of ski length vs skier height, ability, etc.  But as a heavy guy I believe that for a given ability and wide range in heights, weight should be considered as a major determinant of ski length.  That is why, to me, that many ski manufacturers publish ski length-ski weight charts; it also seems that many skis, especially the backcountry skis, are designed for skiers under 190 lbs.  When I bought my Volkl Mantras (reportedly a stiff ski), I found a Volkl Mantra chart that recommended the  191 cm ski for skiers over 220 lbs; the next shorter was for skiers up to 220.

 

Obviously there is also a relationship between skier strength and activity; a strong skier with an active style, skiing fast puts more force on the ski than a more relaxed skier.  But even a relaxed heavy skier exerts considerable more force than a relaxed moderate weight skier.  I remember my wife commenting on the extreme bend I was putting on my skis in deep wet snow without even trying.  Obviously, skier weight is more important in softer snows where the ski can be bent.

 

So maybe some of the experts might comment.  It has been my assumption that 2 major features are important to skiers.  (1) flotation for lighter, softer, deeper snows (my 178 Dynafit 7 Summits sink like a stone, my 184 Volkl Snowolfs do marginallly ok, my 187 Manaslus with early rise tip do support my weight, and keep me in the upper snow, but an RP112 in 184 would be better; the 1st two have 80 mm wastes, the 3rd 98 mm, I believe, the 4th 112 mm); and (2) flex for carving turns and quick turns--skis must be designed to operate optimally in some relatively narrow weight/force range.  BTW, the 178s, 184s, and 187s are the longest lengths available on those models.


Edited by Andy Carey - 10/8/11 at 12:16pm
post #4 of 7

They make skis in different lengths for a reason.  At 270 lbs, you need the longest length (or at least 2nd longest if you don't ski too fast).

 

Modern shapely skis will wander hunting for turns as the sidecut interacts with the passing uneven snow.  You have to tell them which way to go by tipping them onto either left or right edges to stop this indeciveness on their part.  You don't need to be constantly making a hard turn, but you need to be constantly turning even if only slightly.

 

Additional length is not required for a ski to be vibrationally stable at speed, although a longer radius helps the ski carve cleaner long radius turns, and that is the type of turns you will be making at speed.

 

A higher quality ski with good vibration damping characteristics  IS still required for stability at speed (of any kind), and those qualities are not what is usually found in your basic rental ski.

 

 

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks all for the advice. Currently I'm thinking of spending my first few days trying some performance rentals/demos. Thinking long, wide and stiff (if you can ignore the really bad double entendre) might be the place to start!

 

Regards

post #6 of 7

If you are skiing 2 weeks a year from Australia why buy skis? 

 

Buy boots for sure and certain, but why not just rent demos?  There are so many ski designs that do certain things really well, so you can fit the ski to the days conditions.  

 

The money and aggravation of transporting skis 1/2 way around the world should tip the balance way into your favor.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
lol, Stranger! 12 days over Xmas and another 7 in March and perhaps a couple of months in 2013 if my plans come together...Renting performance skis would add the $$ up! I also do like to have my own gear and happen to have a good friend in Vancouver who will give the gear a home and save me carting it back and forth (I might be in Oz but my boots are still in Canada!)
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