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Does race ski year matter much?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

While the answer seems like it should be a very easy yes, the newer the ski the better, Does it actually matter that much for race skis?  If your looking at either new or used skis from a couple of years ago are they any worse off if they are in the same condition of a more recent ski?  Finally, barring any major changes to the ski dimensions, how much do race skis actually change from one year to another?

post #2 of 20

It depends. Slalom skis tend to change minimally year to year, and the same goes with Super G and DH skis. With SG and DH skis, generally the older the better (well, depending on where you get them from). GS skis on the other hand have changed alot over the past few years due to regulation changes.

 

Newer skis better? Maybe. Worth paying near full MSRP price for versus 80-90% off? Not for me.

post #3 of 20

Most of the time your paying for a new graphic. 

post #4 of 20

You would be surprised how many changes come through from year to year even though it may seem superficially the same.  A couple of examples

I have owned every generation of Fischer WC GS from 2004 to 2011 (with the exception of 2008) and in each generation (from >21 m to >23m/ >27m) there have been some definite differences from year to year.

 

Atomic D2 FIS Slalom - 2010 and 2011 look pretty much the same, only change was the binding (from Race to X-series).  2011 is a much better ski, snappier and more responsive 

 

Doesn't mean you need to be on current year though!. ( I am normally on the previous years version)  in a lot of cases these changes are fairly subtle but they are there

post #5 of 20

Race ski dimensions are going througha  large transition this coming year so it would be important to get on the right gear asap.  GS skis that is.  Assuming you are involved in racing where this matters you need to get the newest skis.  If not older skis are fine but, like anything, newer is always better.

As it pertains to DH skis and SGS skis older is not better and more pairs are not better than one pair.  It is very ahrd to get a fast and good turning pair of skis as the ones that are not on the WC or Europa Cup tour are not there for a reason.  They didn't cut it on the test track or the inspection in the race room.

Atomic tests all the skis and normally good spedd skis come in batches of serial numbers and it has to do with the way the base material cools and from which part of the base coil it stems from.

I used to race for a living so the bottom line is make sure you get fast skis from someone who can hook you up rethr than a deal from a rep who has some boards.  Yeah you can wax them, put a sweet grind on them but it will always be a pig wearing lipstick.

Wish I could tell you wher to buy some good speed skis but I can't because its impossible to buy really good ones you have to earn them.  One of my best pairs came from Hilary Lindh back in the day because they were too stiff for her and she was ranked 1st in the world on Rossignol.  They kicked ass and when I went to US Nationals I was winning the training runs, Rossignol said AJ Kitts tuner wanted to do my skis for race day so I was psyched and let him do them and on race day I didn't have my skis, I was fourth and AJ won and I never saw the skis again! 

Good, expensive skis mean they have the right materials in them and be careful because you need to kow flex for you in both tip and tail of the skis.  You need to ski diff skis to know what you need and there are huge variances within a company like Atomic alone and the race skis they make.  This includes all discplines of skis.

A lot of racers adn parents just assume a race ski is good because it is a race ski but I can assure you there are plenty of bad race skis on the market from all companies.  If you want to give yourself the best chance at success for having fast skis only use red swix as your base wax and make sure it is non flouro based.

To finish new skis are better and it has nothing to do with topsheets.  They change the dynamic of the skis with new materials integrated into the skis to enhance performance and the integrated binding and plate systems are always changing with this to enhance performance.  I know for a fact there are plates out there that the world cup guys were using that were no good and they sent the rest of the inventory down to the lower race divisions to get rid of inventory vs yanking them all out of service(that was this season and I don't want to say the company name).  You have to get with people who know all this and you can then make good, qualified decisions.

Find a mentor, work with him/her and learn what you need, why and spend money on quality not quantity and most importantly try to understand and know what the ski flex and set up is that works best for you.  I am new to this site and not sure I will be back as I was just checking out some new stuff on the net.  Good luck and hope this helps.  Chad FLeischer

 

post #6 of 20

Thanks for that info Chad, and welcome to EpicSki.  Hope you stick around, first hand experience such as yours is invaluable and much appreciated.  Sucks about your skis and the AJ situation.

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

I am not in any situation close to you.  Race high school and maybe some USSA.  Shocked that a company would just dump all their skis on the market that don't work.  One question to you Chad.  When you say use the red swix  wax as your base (assuming CH8) would you then scrape that and put on a new layer or do something different?

 

My reason for starting this was I picked up a pair of Rossi SL this year that I thought were 09/10s and they can absolutely rip (first sl race ski so anything would have ripped).  I just found out that they are actually 07/08s and was a bit shocked at how the older ski could still kill it. 

 

Yes I am aware of the whole FIS side cut changes (21-23-27-now) I was just wondering if outside the top sheet much changed in the skis. It seems like there are occasional big changes, such as Atomic D2 and I think volkl recently put a whole bunch of metal in their skis, but for the most part they are pretty similar.

 

 

Thanks for the feed back as always appreciated

post #8 of 20

I've wondered this too.  I think with some models/contstruction motifs (such as the double-decked Atomics, Rossi's rocker, etc), things might change from year to year.  But for some skis that have a pretty basic construction (like the Volkl GS skis... just a sandwhich with two sheets of metal), I'm not sure.

 

I know sometimes the thickness of the laminates changes.

 

 

This may or may not be a stupid comment for you, but one way to think of it is:  if you buy (say a 2009 ski that is affordable), although it is 2012, you'll be skiing on the "best" technology available in 2009, so just think you are running gates three years ago; if you wouldn't be bad off then, you're not going to be bad off now.

post #9 of 20

I feel you're talking about race stock GS skis.

 

But to give you another frame of reference, the Fischer cheater race skis have varied pretty significantly in recent years, from year-to-year.

post #10 of 20

What he said.  Additionally, I just got a pair of the non-D2 SLs that are pretty similar to what Hirscher and company are using on the WC, and they're waaay better in a course than the D2 SLs. On the other hand, I have 6  pairs of Atomic speed skis, from 201 to 210, which range from 2008 to this year.  All are really fast, however, and have a really great flex pattern and feel for the snow...per what Chad says about speed event skis....

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post

You would be surprised how many changes come through from year to year even though it may seem superficially the same.  A couple of examples

I have owned every generation of Fischer WC GS from 2004 to 2011 (with the exception of 2008) and in each generation (from >21 m to >23m/ >27m) there have been some definite differences from year to year.

 

Atomic D2 FIS Slalom - 2010 and 2011 look pretty much the same, only change was the binding (from Race to X-series).  2011 is a much better ski, snappier and more responsive 

 

Doesn't mean you need to be on current year though!. ( I am normally on the previous years version)  in a lot of cases these changes are fairly subtle but they are there



 

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by skisalot View Post

  Shocked that a company would just dump all their skis on the market that don't work.  



Its not that they don't work, they have been shown to be hundredths or thousandths of second slower for whatever reason, for the vast majority that difference is imperceptible, and might even be imperceptible to the pros, but to the clock it is not, and when you are trying to squeeze out every possible advantage, then if its 0.000002 seconds slower then that's enough reason for it to be not good enough for them.

post #12 of 20

Skisalot, Most of the race skis that show up in the market (retail) haven't been mounted, so they are simply an unknown. The batch they were from may have proved slow in random test, etc. They aren't junk.

 

...

 

What has been said about newer is better, et al. is true. But consider that for masters, league and NASTAR racing, new skis every year is not going to make nearly as much difference as staying fit, improving your technique and proper ski prep. If you can afford new every year great. If not, being on older gear is unlikely to prevent you from winning unless you are in the upper echelons of racing.

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post

 

Atomic D2 FIS Slalom - 2010 and 2011 look pretty much the same, only change was the binding (from Race to X-series).  2011 is a much better ski, snappier and more responsive 

 


 

The differences in the two skis is actually quite large. Looking at both alone, there might be the misconception that hey are the same. Put them beside each other and it will be quite evident that they are very different.
 

 

post #14 of 20

old skis can be better too, because they have more wax pushed into the base.

post #15 of 20


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post

Atomic D2 FIS Slalom - 2010 and 2011 look pretty much the same, only change was the binding (from Race to X-series).  2011 is a much better ski, snappier and more responsive 

 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Betaracer View Post


 

The differences in the two skis is actually quite large. Looking at both alone, there might be the misconception that hey are the same. Put them beside each other and it will be quite evident that they are very different.
 

 

Thanks Beta racer.  I didn't look that closely at them  After skiing the 2011, I sold the 2010s, the difference was that significant!

post #16 of 20


Also, the 2012 FIS non-D2s are waaay different,,,
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post


 

Thanks Beta racer.  I didn't look that closely at them  After skiing the 2011, I sold the 2010s, the difference was that significant!



 

post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post

Skisalot, Most of the race skis that show up in the market (retail) haven't been mounted, so they are simply an unknown. The batch they were from may have proved slow in random test, etc. They aren't junk.

 

...

 

What has been said about newer is better, et al. is true. But consider that for masters, league and NASTAR racing, new skis every year is not going to make nearly as much difference as staying fit, improving your technique and proper ski prep. If you can afford new every year great. If not, being on older gear is unlikely to prevent you from winning unless you are in the upper echelons of racing.


icon14.gif

 

post #18 of 20

I buy leftover skis a year or 2 old at a giant discount and use the difference to fund an extra clinic or race camp. My performance improves more than new gear would give me.

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rise To The Top View Post

Newer skis better? Maybe. Worth paying near full MSRP price for versus 80-90% off? Not for me.


 

Whoah--where can you get 80-90% off older gear? 

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post


 

Whoah--where can you get 80-90% off older gear? 



Just look around. I've seen DH/SG skis that are only a couple seasons old (2009/10) for sale in certain shops for $150/pair ($1000+ retail).

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