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Any reason to get new skis?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

I ski on a tight budget.  I always buy used or closeout skis.  I've been pretty lucky with what I've found, but

 

I am a 50 y/o 5'10" 210# very aggressive (for an old guy) expert skier, mostly skiing bumps with some woods and park (big jumps - no rails) thrown in.  I ski the groomers only when there is nothing else, but get bored quickly with that, and usually end up doing something stupid and wrecking myself.  I am hard on equipment - I've been breaking a ski or two almost every season, and ski companies don't stand behind their equipment like in the old days (infected by the snowboard industry, IMHO) so I'm loath to dish out new-ski money.  I figure that I'd beat a $1200 pair of skis to death just as fast as a $100 pair anyway, so might as well save the dough.

 

My last season's pair were '02-03 Crossmax 10s (180s) that I got on ebay for $65.  I loved them - I found them just almost perfect for what I normally do, but were a bit lacking given the conditions we had this past season - not the greatest groomer ski.  They were a great bump ski though, although I would've liked something a little higher-energy/response - stiffer, especially in the tail, maybe a little narrower underfoot and maybe a hair longer.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a whole lot of bumps in this year (what with the no-snow thing).  As it was, they almost lasted the whole 23 ski-day season, but one blew apart on day 22, so I'm back in the market.

 

Anyway, I'm wondering if there is any utility to digging-deep and looking at newer skis - have there been any earth-shattering improvements over the last 10 years?  I don't want the trendy fat skis, and I think the whole rocker thing is stupid, at least for here in the northeast.  So, for your basic 65-70mm underfoot expert all-mountain ski, is 10-year old tech still current?  Will I gain anything looking at the new stuff, or just throwing money away for trendy graphics?

 

In any case - any suggestions on an ultra-responsive high-energy light slalom ski with a forgiving shovel made in the past 10 years?

 

Thanks - JayC

post #2 of 42
Thread Starter 

Anyone?

post #3 of 42

There has been more change to skis in the past 5 years than the prior 15. So, yeah...buy now. There are some deals on leftover skis around. We (Start Haus) will be having our Nordica Armada sale this summer and skis will be SERIOUSLY discounted and worth the wait.

post #4 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayC View Post


 

Anyway, I'm wondering if there is any utility to digging-deep and looking at newer skis - have there been any earth-shattering improvements over the last 10 years?  I don't want the trendy fat skis, and I think the whole rocker thing is stupid, at least for here in the northeast.  So, for your basic 65-70mm underfoot expert all-mountain ski, is 10-year old tech still current?  Will I gain anything looking at the new stuff, or just throwing money away for trendy graphics?

 

In any case - any suggestions on an ultra-responsive high-energy light slalom ski with a forgiving shovel made in the past 10 years?

 

Thanks - JayC


Skis have gotten consistently better.  Narrower and all-mountain (up to 90mm width or so) skis haven't changed all that much recently; more like refinements over revolutions. Big skis have changed a lot, with many different designs, although that is settling out, and some of the more recent designs might be pushing the envelope one way or another, but not necessarily an improvement in the end for lots of folks.  Even comparing a current frontside carver with something from 10 years ago (like an old Atomic SL9) is going to be a much different ski. Certainly the all-mountain skis have changed enough, even in the past 5 years, to notice the improvements. 

 

You can probably find something really good that suits your needs at 50% off these days. Shops like ours have been blowing out skis at that price most of the spring (it has been a terrible year for most areas of the US).  Probably don't need to get a 5-year old ski to save some money.  There are good used skis+bindings on the gear forum all the time for $300, for setups that would retail for north of $1000.  You can get into a top-end ski and binding combo for $500 if you are willing to look and do your homework.  Plus, 10 years ago, there were some real dogs for skis. Now, most everything is a high performer, but possibly not most everything would work for your needs.

 

Full selection of 2015 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

Reply
post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 

On a related topic - what exactly is a "front side" ski, vs whatever else they might be called?  I haven't been able to figure out a bunch of the new terminology.

 

JayC

post #6 of 42

simple answer is yes!  from what you described, yes...

 

 

"trendy fat ski's"- can you define a trendy fat ski?  is that something in the 80's for you biggrin.gif

post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayC View Post

On a related topic - what exactly is a "front side" ski, vs whatever else they might be called?  I haven't been able to figure out a bunch of the new terminology.

 

JayC



The opposite of "front side" is "back country."  Then there is "side country."  Front side implies mostly groomed trails, but can include trees and steeps that do not require any hiking in-bounds.  Side country implies in-bounds fun for advanced/expert folks after riding up a lift, but need to do a long traverse and perhaps a little hiking.  Back country takes more work, should have avy training and equipment.  Does that help?

post #8 of 42

As someone who took a 11 or 12 year hiatus from skiing and only got back into it last season, let me emphatically say that the sticks you can slide on are much, much improved.  They're easier to use and get more out of, without question.

 

Also, fat skis are not trendy, they're just good skis and popular for many reasons beyond marketing.  Same goes for rocker.  Embrace it.

post #9 of 42

The ski widths and functionality have changed so much that they are throwing out new terms.   Here is an UNEDUCATED guess from consumer point of view,   A front side ski could be anything from 70 width to 98 .....   Side country ski could be anything from 90 - 106, and a backcountry ski could be anything from 76 -150 because if you are good enough to ski in the Backcountry you are good enough to ski any ski. :) But I am sure the market dictates a Backcountry ski to be 100 and wider.  Again not looking to argue with anyone because the definition and widths vary from each manufacturer and so do the camber designs.   So real answer ,  who knows! 

post #10 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

simple answer is yes!  from what you described, yes...

 

 

"trendy fat ski's"- can you define a trendy fat ski?  is that something in the 80's for you biggrin.gif



For ME?  Probably more like 70's.  I'm a mid-60's fan.

 

JayC

post #11 of 42

so a fat ski is in the 70's regardless of sidecut, flex and stiffness?  We need to have a chat.......biggrin.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayC View Post



For ME?  Probably more like 70's.  I'm a mid-60's fan.

 

JayC



 

post #12 of 42
Quote:

Originally Posted by JayC View Post

 

 I would've liked something a little higher-energy/response - stiffer, especially in the tail, maybe a little narrower underfoot and maybe a hair longer.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a whole lot of bumps in this year (what with the no-snow thing).


Quote:

Originally Posted by JayC View Post

.  I'm a mid-60's fan.

 

JayC


There is no reason for you to look at new skis, if I were you, I'd do my 'new' ski shopping at ski swaps prior to the start of the season. Buy a nice GS ski that a racer skied out and pull any race plate off... voila, cutting edge technology for bumps and firm snow.

 

post #13 of 42

If I could characterize what I have seen in skis over the past decade, I would say that on the whole, skis have gotten a lot more versatile.  It used to be pretty much a given that any ski over 90mm in waist was purpose developed as a deep snow powder ski, and were marginally effective on hard snow.

 

That has changed. There are now a ton of skis on the market that ski powder better than anything in the pre-spatula days, yet are still very charp on hard snow.

 

Its at the point where I consider my 95 waist Kung Fujas my ski of choice as a west-coast hard snow ski- they handle hard snow down to refrozen blu ice with reasonable aplomb, are ridiculous fun on groomers, and I can still drop them into trees when I see a line with loose snow and have a ball. Basically, the skis can handle anything from nasty crust to 36" blower. I bought them because I ski with a developing skier that still wants 75% of her day to be groomed, and the skis allow me to have fun doing that, while still hitting "lines of opportunity" while I ski with her. There are LOTS of skis that do MUCH better at skiing everything available on the mountain than there used to be.

 

I think there are a ton of skiers that would be better suited skiing narrower skis- it makes no sense to me that people clamor for 100+ waist skis to hit up midwest ski areas, but the fact is that the larger skis these days are much better suited to be all mountain skis than the big skis were a few years back.

post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayC View Post

On a related topic - what exactly is a "front side" ski, vs whatever else they might be called?  I haven't been able to figure out a bunch of the new terminology.

 

JayC



For me, front side is basically skied out snow.  Groomers, skied out trees, bumps.  I tend to prefer "front side" skis that do trees and bumps well, as I don't ski a lot of groomers.  That is a much different ski than something that is more of a carver and groomer specific ski.  Head REV 85 in bumps: lots of fun. Stockli Cross CX in bumps: lots of work.  But, the Cross wins hands down on groomers; it isn't even close.  Then again, 95% of the skiing population spends 98% of their time on groomers.  Even industry people, it seems, won't ski of piste unless the snow is really good (go to an industry even and you see everyone cruising groomers, even on big mountain and powder skis).  So, you have to keep that in mind. Most people aren't looking for a fun off-piste ski for firmer conditions, which is why most of the off-piste skis are soft-snow biased.  But, there are good "frontside" skis that are true all-mountain designs for those of us who ski lots of days, not just those with good snow.

Full selection of 2015 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

Reply
post #15 of 42

K2 Kung Fujas 2012.  ...enough said.  $400.

 

post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by awegrzyn View Post

K2 Kung Fujas 2012.  ...enough said.  $400.

 



I thought you only did "high performance skiing".

post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by awegrzyn View Post

K2 Kung Fujas 2012.  ...enough said.  $400.

 



Wait - you're the guy who goes to Whistler to only ski groomers, and only on 66-70 "wasted" skis, (http://www.epicski.com/t/111481/whistler-questions-in-order-to-make-it-perfect) and suddenly you blurt out Kung Fujas"?

 

Enough said about what?

post #18 of 42

^ As a matter of a fact most of you were wrong.  After Whistler I know why. 

post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
I think there are a ton of skiers that would be better suited skiing narrower skis- it makes no sense to me that people clamor for 100+ waist skis to hit up midwest ski areas, but the fact is that the larger skis these days are much better suited to be all mountain skis than the big skis were a few years back....

Many of those people skiing 100+ width skis in the midwest (and in the east, for that matter) aren't necesarily skiing all of their time in the midwest. Many of them are likely to be using a ski that is versatile enough to use at their home resorts as well as their trips out west.

 

As you said, the design of fatter, rockered skis has advanced tremendously over the last few years. The skis that combine tip and tail rocker with underfoot camber, along with a convex/concave sidecut pattern to match the camber, have really hit the sweet spot for versatility. Skis like the S7, Armada JJ, Bent Chetler, etc. excel in powder, turn easily in tight trees, and do a decent job(and  are fun to ski) on groomers. Not the tool for racing or ice. But for people who's first choice is off piste/powder, but sometimes have to settle for skiing groomers, that class of ski has become a popular choice.
 

 

post #20 of 42

What are you talking about?  I'm asking literally...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by awegrzyn View Post

^ As a matter of a fact most of you were wrong.  After Whistler I know why. 



 

post #21 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DropKickMurphy View Post

Many of those people skiing 100+ width skis in the midwest (and in the east, for that matter) aren't necesarily skiing all of their time in the midwest. Many of them are likely to be using a ski that is versatile enough to use at their home resorts as well as their trips out west.

 

As you said, the design of fatter, rockered skis has advanced tremendously over the last few years. The skis that combine tip and tail rocker with underfoot camber, along with a convex/concave sidecut pattern to match the camber, have really hit the sweet spot for versatility. Skis like the S7, Armada JJ, Bent Chetler, etc. excel in powder, turn easily in tight trees, and do a decent job(and  are fun to ski) on groomers. Not the tool for racing or ice. But for people who's first choice is off piste/powder, but sometimes have to settle for skiing groomers, that class of ski has become a popular choice.
 

 

 

I definitely don't want a rockered ski.  I like reverse camber, and lots of it.  That's where the explosive turn-exit energy comes from.  No offense to those who like them, but I snicker at the guys I see skiing fat skis here in the northeast.  We really don't have powder.  Hardly ever.  After I swore to only ride my snowboard on powder days, I hauled the thing around for 5 years before I finally gave up (not a single one) and gave my board away.  In any case - I ski fast, hard, and typically on hard surfaces - WC mogul technique - I like an extremely quick and snappy ski.  I believe that my ideal all-mountain / mogul ski would be narrow underfoot, ~16m rad, stiff overall with very stiff tail but forgiving shovel, torsionally rigid, light, and pretty much indestructible.

 

JayC

post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by awegrzyn View Post

^ As a matter of a fact most of you were wrong.  After Whistler I know why. 


 

60-70mm for groomers at WB. Clueless, truly clueless.

post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayC View Post

 

I definitely don't want a rockered ski.  I like reverse camber, and lots of it. 



? Huh.

 

Let's see, reverse camber would be __________.

post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by awegrzyn View Post

^ As a matter of a fact most of you were wrong.  After Whistler I know why. 


troll extraordinaire! Well done!
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayC View Post

 

I definitely don't want a rockered ski.  I like reverse camber, and lots of it.  That's where the explosive turn-exit energy comes from.  No offense to those who like them, but I snicker at the guys I see skiing fat skis here in the northeast.  We really don't have powder.  Hardly ever.  After I swore to only ride my snowboard on powder days, I hauled the thing around for 5 years before I finally gave up (not a single one) and gave my board away.  In any case - I ski fast, hard, and typically on hard surfaces - WC mogul technique - I like an extremely quick and snappy ski.  I believe that my ideal all-mountain / mogul ski would be narrow underfoot, ~16m rad, stiff overall with very stiff tail but forgiving shovel, torsionally rigid, light, and pretty much indestructible.

 

JayC

Demo the Salomon Enduro xt 850,  
 

 

post #26 of 42

my thoughts exactly....  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post



? Huh.

 

Let's see, reverse camber would be __________.



 

post #27 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post



? Huh.

 

Let's see, reverse camber would be __________.


I guess I meant just "camber".  I was thinking...oh, never mind.  Sheesh...get all over me for petty semantics.  Got any meaningful recommendations or ideas under all of that sarcasm?

 

I've never tried a rockered ski, but I do know I can feel it in a ski that has low camber, and I don't like it one bit.

 

JayC

post #28 of 42

 

Quote:
We really don't have powder.  Hardly ever.

 

Paging BWPA...

post #29 of 42

JayC,

 

As you've found by now, you're going to get a lot of opinions on this site.    I think you will get a lot of useful information from demoing skis.  If you like a particular ski, chances are you will find a used or late-model closeout of that same ski.   Have an open mind.

 

In general, I've found a lot of improvements with skis, just in the last few years from when I was returning to skiing and bought my skis.  It's not just the width or whether they are rockered (and there's a lot of variation there); there are a lot of new construction and materials that make skiing better.  More edge grip with wider skis is one such change, so that if you want to rail a groomer on a wider ski you can happily do so.   

 

Chances are, in whatever width, you will be able to ski the way you want to ski.  If you so choose to expand the range of what you ski as well, you will be better able to, but that is not a requirement of owning a newer pair of versatile skis.   Again, have an open mind, try things out for yourself and decide for yourself.

 

 

post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesiredUsername View Post

JayC,

 

Again, have an open mind, try things out for yourself and decide for yourself

 

 


In all things, I have found that is the path to happiness.  While I may listen to other peoples suggestions, ultimately, we all need to find our own way.

Try a bunch of different skis out and decide for yourself.

 

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