Hello everyone, I'm the father of a 13 year old girl transitioning to her first pair of adult skis. I have been researching online and in magazines for a good set of skis, and I stuck between a pair of Atomic Cloud 7's and Atomic Affinity Air. Just not sure which would be better for her. Erin's athletic, been skiing for about 6 years and doesn't like to carve much. She likes going fast and straight down the hill. I'm not sure if it was the childrens boots/skis that were the reason for not carving but I think it was. We're from the northeast and we ski on ice, hard as concrete ice, not snow. I'm partial to the Cloud 7 cause I think it will help her to learn to carve more, and better from what I read. If anyone has any advice or other options I would appreciate hearing from you. Thanx, Styro
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Womens/Girls Ski Advice
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I think you're on the right track. There are some awesome skis that will help a growing young lady improve her skiing and still be cool.
Another one you may want to look at is the Rossi Attraxion. Check it out
She's 5'5" about 120 lbs. Very athletic. Attends dance class 2 or 3 nights a week, school basketball, softball and soccer. Skis a couple of nights a week at Wachusett Mtn. in central Mass. Every other weekend up north, Bretton Woods is her favorite, but also Cranmore, Stratton, Mt.Snow etc, on groomed ice weeknights, hard pack, crud weekends. Will be attending a high school next year that has a ski team. Mainly skis with me at bigger resorts up north, I'm an intermediate to advanced intermediate skier and on green and blue runs she keeps up with me but on blacks she's hesitant. Hates taking lessons. Like I said she's not much for carving. Really only does it to keep speed down.
Okay, so this is completely off topic from what you were originally asking, but might be more relevant to her needs.
It sounds like she's gotten about 20 days a year on the hill over six years. I don't know any other kids at her age who aren't on a team and get that many. There's nothing physical holding her back. She's clearly able to follow direction about how to move her body, or dance would be a non-starter (not to mention the other sports).
Yet her skill level is stuck.
So my guess is that either (a) she doesn't really like skiing and is just doing it to spend time with (or maybe humor) you; (b) she views skiing as a respite from the kind of effort and training she needs to put in in her other physical activities; or (c) she just hasn't found a learning structure that works for her. Or maybe some combination of those three.
Different kids learn in different ways. I know that my daughter, who's a year older than yours, does much, much better when she feels bonded to her instructor/coach/teacher. When she was still taking ski lessons, she made little if any progress in her first lesson with a given instructor, because she didn't "get" the instructor yet, but her second and third lessons would be a whole different story. Once she joined a team, she was the kid who preferred to eat lunches with her coach rather than her family. (Of course, I'm her dad, so credit her for wanting to spend as much time apart from me as possible.) Also, my daughter's six years on team have yielded a bunch of ski friends, with whom she often skis when team isn't on, and skiing with peers definitely pushes them to ski better.
The bottom line is that if she wants to improve -- and she may not -- you need to find a structure that will let her do that. Skiing with you hasn't done it, for whatever reason. The fact that she does well in other instructed sports -- sports in which she works with the same teacher/coach from week to week, instead of a different one each time -- suggests that her hatred of lessons may be an extreme version of the way my daughter approaches life. And if that's the case, and I'm not just projecting my experience onto yours, she may improve dramatically if you can set her up in a learning environment in which she's working with the same instructor and peers for a while this winter.
It looks like Wachusett has a couple of different options that may provide that kind of structure: a Saturday team, a Sunday team, and 3- and 4-day vacation clubs. You might want to give them a call and see whether the program sounds like something that would appeal to her. It would restrict your travels this year (particularly if you went for the Saturday or Sunday team), but it sounds like investing that time this year might give you both a lot more enjoyment in the future.
Take this all with a grain of salt. I could be the guy who, having learned to use a hammer, thinks every problem looks like a nail. But it might be worth a shot.
As far as the original question, it sounds like she's right on the awkward precipice between kid and adult equipment. (Welcome to adolescence.) A 150cm junior slalom ski might be a good option, or something like the Volkl Gem Jr in 148 if she has any interest in jumps and such.
Edited by TheDad - 10/16/11 at 2:03pm
Thanx for your thoughts. No she really does like skiing. On snow days she's up at the crack of dawn waiting to go. And I didn't say she hasn't improved, she has quite a bit. Erin has done the vacation camps, 2 each year till last year when she didn't want to go, had made other plans, and she takes about 10 hours of individual lessons a year and finds them boring but I insist. I didn't say she can't carve, but she doesn't like/want to. Most northeast trails are narrow and winding so you need some carving skills. She likes pointing her skis down the hill and ripping, from about her first time on skis. But I think if I can find her a good transitioning carving ski from child to adult she my learn to enjoy it more. There aren't as many options in childrens skis as there are in womens. I think you read to much into my post. From buying her a new jacket, pants, gloves and helmet in February, new boots a couple weeks ago, and now $500 - $700 for a pair of skis. Plus ski passes that are due in a couple of weeks and were talking real money. I just want to make sure I get a pair of skis that will help her get better and enjoy skiing that much more. So I figured I would get some advice thoughts on the matter. But again, thanx for your reply.
Aaaah. That makes more sense.
So she's straightlining to keep it interesting. That's good, even healthy... as long as she doesn't hit anything.
I remembered that I have a pair of never-mounted 153 K2 Apache Jrs from when they were still K2's advanced junior carving ski with a wood core. (K2 later used that name for their foam core beginner skis because parents weren't buying advanced kids carving skis -- they were buying them park skis.) Basically, they're the kids version of the Crossfire or Burnin Luv. They have storage wax and a little superficial rust on the edges, but have never been drilled, mounted, or skied. My kids didn't end up using them (unlike the two pairs of 136s and one pair of 146s) because by the time they were big enough for the 153s, they were either racing or telemarking. Yours for $40 plus shipping, which should be under $30, if you want them. (I'd feel sleazy bringing them back to REI.)
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