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Former Racer Needs Equipment Advice

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I am a former racer that hasn't skied in ten years and I need advice on what ski characteristics would be right for me.  My children are now showing interest in skiing and I am considering starting up again myself.  I grew up racing USSA in the Midwest on small hills and raced Masters and NASTAR up until ten years ago.  When I quit racing, I was a low single digit NASTAR handicapper that was ranked nationally if that helps identify my skill level.  I sold my skis years ago (Volkl P40 F1 - 188 cm) but still have my boots.  I am completely clueless as to what technologies, materials, sidecuts, and lengths are relevant to a guy like me today and am looking for advice.

 

I would like to ease back into recreational racing with my kids doing NASTAR and my local league.  I am 5'11" and about 215 pounds now but am looking to drop that (aren't we all...).  Can anyone provide me with any guidance on length, sidecut, etc?  Thanks much.

post #2 of 18

Welcome to Epic.  I have no idea how old your boots are but I would recommend getting new ones, from a competent fitter.  Once you do that, demo some skis and see what your like.  Ski design has changed so drastically since the Volkl P40(I used to race NASTAR in MN on P30s) that it would be difficult to make a recommendation.  If you only plan to ski in the midwest, then you probably don't want anything wider than 80mm underfoot, but if you plan to take annual trips out west, you might want something wider.  If you plan to race seriously again, you may want something around 70mm underfoot.  Go to the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum and read the wikis about fitting and terminology.  Then check the list of fitters to see who is closest to you.  If there isn't anyone close enough, ask and someone here can recommend a fitter.

post #3 of 18

many of us re-entry skiers out there.. and more on the way.

it's hard to 'recommend' much without knowing much about a skier and where they want their skiing to go after re-entry.

there have been many threads on this - as search usually comes up with some interesting reading - such as this thread..

http://www.epicski.com/t/92256/coming-from-straight-skis-considering-k2-recons-and-line-prophet-90s#post_1206196

 

I did the 10 yr layoff from end '98 and re-entered in '09 season.

what worked for me, was a bunch of days on the local SoCal hills, which are actually the equivalent of the Mid-sized hills in New England...

I used my prior equipment, which was all 203/205/207 stuff. The skis were fine, the boots needed some attentional eventual replacement.

I worked for most of 8 days with recovering my technique through on snow exercises and drills. That worked better than I expected.

Then I moved thru the entire evolution of straight to 'shape' to the almost current 'wide' ski , with purchases of good condition 'used' stuff and demos.

This worked like a charm. re-sold some of this interim stuff, keep some I liked a lot...

Mixed my ski days with 'local' hills and Mammoth. Mostly ski Mammoth now and making trips to other FAV western resorts like The Bird, Steamboat, Squaw, etc...

 

I come from a speed background, so slalom cuts have always been and still are not my first choice in a all-mtn ski - but I do have 2 and ski them when skiing is restricted to on-piste stuff.

 

My best rec is to first focus on the boots. In ten yrs the boots are certainly on the very iffy side of both fit and function. I demo'd a bunch and ended up on my current Fischers and find them to be the best I've ever had on my feet for the combo of performance and comfort.

 

If you were accomplished, skiing on 'familiar' boards for a few days seems to help bring the muscle memory back quickly. You'll quickly remember what was supposed to feel like. If you were a good slalom gatebanger, your technique would be very adequate for most of the modern stuff.

And once the legs are back under you, Demo alot!

Then come join us as soon as possible on the big hills!

3yrs back into the game, and I'm still feelin like a kid and SEG doesn't go away for weeks after a good session!

Welcome back! beercheer.gif

post #4 of 18

Just my opinion, for what little it's worth, but:

 

Your boots are probably fine. It isn't like basic, fundamental boot technology has changed that much since 2001 or 2002. That's assuming (probably accurately) that your old boots are fairly standard race boots, and not an example of one of the odd detours and frolics that boot designers have taken over the years.

 

The really big changes since 2002 in skis  - which will be pretty obvious if you walk into a ski shop - have been in those that are designed for off-piste skiing, either primarily (see: rocker, extreme widths) or partially (the "all-mountain" ski now tends to have a width in the 80s and up).

 

To throw out a sort of philosophical overview: what people use as an all-purpose ski has moved even further away from the race ski paradigm. It's not unusual to see people on ordinary runs in what would seem to be deep-unpacked specialist skis. More to the technological point, the "new-mid" width skis (c. 88 mm underfoot) are constructed so that they actually work well as frontside recreational carvers.

 

If you want actual race skis, they're still just a bit over 65 mm underfoot. FIS rule changes have made a bit of a hash out of the GS ski world (at least in my opinion). I think, for your NASTAR/beer league use, you'd likely want what is sometimes called a "cheater" ski: a race-designed ski with more sidecut than the rules allow. If you're sufficiently casual, you could run NASTAR on all-mountain skis. That would (in my opinion) be a mistake in a Masters race, but could be fine for low-key easy back-n-forth recreations races.

post #5 of 18

FWIW: the Volkl P40 would've had a sidecut radious around 21-23 m or so. That's hardly a straight ski.

 

A "cheater" GS ski today would have a radius more like 17-19 m. That's very little adjustment from the old P40.

 

I'm a bit smaller than the OP, and have a 185 cm cheater GS ski and a 186 cm all-mountain ski (88 mm underfoot) (and some other skis less relevant to this discussion).

post #6 of 18

There is a long and winding thread..... http://www.epicski.com/t/109358/whats-becoming-of-the-frontside-ski ...........that explicates the current situation of the frontside ski very well. However, there is a lot of winding going on in that thread and hence that thread might be a little tough to digest. Here is the Cliff Notes version.................

 

"Frontside" skis are roughly divided into two categories.......dedicated hard snow and versatile. The former includes some "cheater race ski"s like the Dynastar Course Ti as well as slightly less dedicated models such as the Rossi Avenger 82 Ti. The latter group are wider, easier in mixed conditions and bumps but less grippy and powerful. If you are OK with a NASTAR HC of 20-25, you would probably be fine with the latter group but if you are looking to be in the teens or single digits, then you probably want to look at the former. It sounds to me as if the more hard snow oriented group would suit you the best. If that's the case, then the two I listed could be supplemented by........

 

Blizzard G-Power and M-Power

Rossignol GS Master

Head Titan or I-Speed Magnum

Fischer Progressor 1000

 

SJ

 

post #7 of 18

I'd get a SL. 

 

Most of the hills aren't really big enough or their too crowded,  to enjoy a GS ski in WI. 

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the good advice.  I believe I have Tecnica ICON TNT boots purchased around 2000 - they were the top of the line race boot at the time.   Back then, my NASTAR handicap was always around the 3 to 5 range if that helps.  I would be happy with a 15 now :-P  (age 41).  I was thinking that boot tech really hadn't changed that much but perhaps I need to look at it in more detail.


Edited by rcmcg2 - 2/15/12 at 1:25pm
post #9 of 18

2000 Tecnica TNT

I'm not sure how one tells the difference between 'Orange peel' color and 'Orange Sorbet'... or if this applies, but...

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/108328/technica-icon-tnt-plastic-problems

 

6 of us, skiing together this past Sunday, were chatting on the Mammoth Gondie. One guy has on Tecnica TNT's, circa 03 or 04ish, thereabouts.  Seeing them jolts my memory of that epic thread above and I ask about his boots...

he says, " Oh No, these have been great, but the pair these replaced did explode!".  Everyone on the Gondie cracks up cause they were all with him when it happened.

Turns out they were in Sun Valley, they're somewhere just below the top, ski suddenly comes off and rockets down the hill, no stop. He starts walkin down to find it. Foot is getting cold... He looks down and the lower shell/sole is completely missing!... walks down about 500 yds and eventually finds ski.  Boot sole, still in one piece is clamped into the binding - hence the brake didn't come down... he decides it's better to post-hole the rest of the way down, rather than post-hole back up to the tram. took him over an hour of high steppin.

I and everyone else laughed our asses off for the rest of the ride up...

 

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Nice.  My boots are the ICON carbon model, which I believe used a different plastic.  Regardless, I just tried them on and it would appear that my foot has grown by at least a half size.  Using these may not even be an option...

 

 

post #11 of 18

I still see people skiiing Icons all the time.  If you had a race fit and you haven't had them on in 10 years, they're going to be tight!

Just pick up some used race skis.

I wouldn't go out an get a bunch of new equipment, this seasons's just about done in WI?

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

There is a long and winding thread..... http://www.epicski.com/t/109358/whats-becoming-of-the-frontside-ski ...........that explicates the current situation of the frontside ski very well. However, there is a lot of winding going on in that thread and hence that thread might be a little tough to digest. Here is the Cliff Notes version.................

 

"Frontside" skis are roughly divided into two categories.......dedicated hard snow and versatile. The former includes some "cheater race ski"s like the Dynastar Course Ti as well as slightly less dedicated models such as the Rossi Avenger 82 Ti. The latter group are wider, easier in mixed conditions and bumps but less grippy and powerful. If you are OK with a NASTAR HC of 20-25, you would probably be fine with the latter group but if you are looking to be in the teens or single digits, then you probably want to look at the former. It sounds to me as if the more hard snow oriented group would suit you the best. If that's the case, then the two I listed could be supplemented by........

 

Blizzard G-Power and M-Power

Rossignol GS Master

Head Titan or I-Speed Magnum

Fischer Progressor 1000

 

SJ

 


Having recently demoed the Rossi 82 Ti, and owning the P50, I think you should look at something along the lines of Fischer WC RC, Atomic D2 Race GS, Stockli SX.  About 17 m radius, and under 70 mm if possible at the waist for your "front side ski".  AS an ex racer with skills, look at something with traditional camber, at least under foot, like the older Watea 101on sale as a leftover (or is it 102..I can't recall) for deeper stuff.

 

The Ross 82 Ti (also at about 17 m radius) is a great cruising ski if you like to ski faster than most bears, and you can get quite a work out carving big angle trenches arc-2-arc, BUT it doesn't have the joy of the instant response a skinnier ski does.  While not truckish once you get it over 5 mph, it still feels like a substantial amount of ski flipping over from left to right and vise-versa, it's just not quick enough, and that comes down to width not turn radius.  Also you can hammer a cheater race ski and it rewards you by biting in and making a hard turn on icy scraped off steepish hardpack.  Hammering the 82 Ti just shows up its weakness - not enough grip in the tip for full-on insane skiing.

 

I would avoid the dual radius skis too.  Yeah I know tapered skis are as old as the hills, but....  after trying some of the newer mid-level skis (Nordica Spitfire I think) marketed as dual radius I find you can carve railroad tracks easily enough, but it seems that you have to force the ski to obey the front or else it fights itself.  Stay neutral and the tail wants it to carve a longer turn and the front ends up skidding.  Heaven forbid if you ski in the back seat; forgetaboutit.  It's almost as if by design the ski is making nice smooth speed control turns.

 

Never mind the progressors; there is absolutely no reason to step down any lower than Fischer WC.

 

Cheers.

 

 

 

post #13 of 18

Do you know if your looking for a GS or SL type ski?  Do you want a more serious race ski of a "cheater" ski?  Do you know if it'll come back to you easily, for some it does and others it takes awhile to re devolp skills.  I've seen people who still ski on the Icon's and it is there favorite boot.  If your looking for a race ski ive got a few for sale, I know I know shameless self promotion rolleyes.gif

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/109912/fs-race-gear-blizzard-165-sl-blizzard-182-and-190-gs-head-mojo-xp-pro-wtb-at-gear#post_1427013

post #14 of 18
I disagree that the boots must be jettisoned due to age.

A new set of ZipFits or Intuitions or similar replacement liner boots would make them new again. Especially if he liked the fit when he last skied them.

Exception, I suppose, if they were stored for those 10 years directly in UV light and hot temperatures, or otherwise if the shells are deformed.

As to skis, I would buy a pair that suits the conditions you see 85% of the time, not compromising to suit the 15% -- when you encounter that 15% in a trip elsewhere to ski deep or other 3D snow, rent/demo.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

I still see people skiiing Icons all the time.  If you had a race fit and you haven't had them on in 10 years, they're going to be tight!

Just pick up some used race skis.

I wouldn't go out an get a bunch of new equipment, this seasons's just about done in WI?


Skied yesterday and indeed, they were tight.  I ended up taking the insole out of the liner and it definitely helped.  The season is getting close to being over, it normally ends in the first few weeks of March but this year it has been unusually warm.

 

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post


Having recently demoed the Rossi 82 Ti, and owning the P50, I think you should look at something along the lines of Fischer WC RC, Atomic D2 Race GS, Stockli SX.  About 17 m radius, and under 70 mm if possible at the waist for your "front side ski".  AS an ex racer with skills, look at something with traditional camber, at least under foot, like the older Watea 101on sale as a leftover (or is it 102..I can't recall) for deeper stuff.

 

The Ross 82 Ti (also at about 17 m radius) is a great cruising ski if you like to ski faster than most bears, and you can get quite a work out carving big angle trenches arc-2-arc, BUT it doesn't have the joy of the instant response a skinnier ski does.  While not truckish once you get it over 5 mph, it still feels like a substantial amount of ski flipping over from left to right and vise-versa, it's just not quick enough, and that comes down to width not turn radius.  Also you can hammer a cheater race ski and it rewards you by biting in and making a hard turn on icy scraped off steepish hardpack.  Hammering the 82 Ti just shows up its weakness - not enough grip in the tip for full-on insane skiing.

 

I would avoid the dual radius skis too.  Yeah I know tapered skis are as old as the hills, but....  after trying some of the newer mid-level skis (Nordica Spitfire I think) marketed as dual radius I find you can carve railroad tracks easily enough, but it seems that you have to force the ski to obey the front or else it fights itself.  Stay neutral and the tail wants it to carve a longer turn and the front ends up skidding.  Heaven forbid if you ski in the back seat; forgetaboutit.  It's almost as if by design the ski is making nice smooth speed control turns.

 

Never mind the progressors; there is absolutely no reason to step down any lower than Fischer WC.

 

Cheers.

 

 

 


I ended up using a set of Demo Elan's (170s - they felt short!) that the ski shop had.  I spent most of the day working with my kids (BTW, this is the key- if they ski, I ski) but I did manage to get in some runs to see what they felt like.  They had "rocker camber", which I have never skied on but they felt like they didn't initiate turns the way I remembered.  I was able to lay them out and carve some nice GS turns but I felt like they were torsionally not stiff enough, or something like that, as they I didn't have edge hold like I would have liked.  Now, I am sure that part of it is being quite rusty but the feeling came back within the first run and I once again had that awesome feeling you get when you are carving and being propelled out of your turn and into the next - I could almost feel the gates...

 

At any rate, I think I will most likely focus in on a race GS ski.  I will start with the Volkls since I skied them for years but I am open to anything.  My next question is length.  I am thinking of something in the 180 to 185 range or is that too long?

 

post #17 of 18

Were are you skiing?   IMHO:  Shorter skis are easier if your kids are little and your constantly picking them up. I want to make as many turns as possible, for myself and for the kids to emulate.  Getting them to carve should be your first priority and speed, just about last. 

post #18 of 18

That doesn't seem too long to me. For an accomplished skier who's on the bigger side, and puts even a slight premium on edge hold, I wouldn't go any shorter.

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