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Ski making the skier or vise versa - is it worth new skis? - Page 2

post #31 of 55

We recently had 7 days at WBC. We had 3 full day lessons with the Blackcombe ski school. I was on new skis (which I love) but suspect would have learned almost as much on my older 5 stars. What was valuable for me was the reinforcement of the relationship between the snow conditions, slope, equipment, and the skills used to effect  enjoyment of any given descent. That is, each action whether it is pressure, pivot, vertical movement, fore and aft balance, contributes to a particular result, and if the desired outcome is realistic (eg with my skill set and strength I would not attempt to clean carve a steep slope) then every turn is a learning experience.

 

This was achieved partially by drills that showed cause and effect, which showed me that as long as you know what you are trying to do, and are confident you have the understanding correct, then practice can be part of the free skiing experience. And that is why I had no complaint at all doing a whole run of side slips (forward, straight down, and backwards)

 

I believe a ski that makes it "easy" to practice various skiing skills does help, and using a ski that is completely wrong would diminish the learning experience, but that overall, lessons are more valuable than the latest gear

post #32 of 55

I'll stick with my initial comment and add:

 

If your asking this question, you are likely ready or just about ready to move to the next level.

 

Move to early the benefit can be longer in coming, move to late you will be frustrated and not progress as quickly, either way your going to have to make a choice.

 

All of us are trying to make you look at everything possible from what we have learned, to help you decide the best course of action.

 

No easy answer.

 

Good skiing.

 

 

 

post #33 of 55

If you want to progress in your skiing the most important thing you can do is buy boots from an experienced and competent boot fitter.  I wasted a lot of money buying "hot" skis while  buying only boots that were on sale from places like Sports Authority.  My skiing never improved.  When I finally bought boots that fit correctly, 98mm last, size 25.5, my skiing improved immediately because the skis did what I wanted them to do when I wanted them to do it.

post #34 of 55

Skis don't make the skier, but they can break the skier. If you get a bad tune, you may not be able to release your edges--all kinds of new issues can ensue to mitigate. If your skis are noodled out or too beginnery, it'll be nearly impossible to experience/create rebound or carve on more hardpacked conditions. If the mounting point's wrong, you'll have to ski way in the frontseat or backseat to make turns (and correspondingly lose much of your range of motion). If your skis are too stiff for your ability, travel speed and weight, you'll get locked into skidded turns around the mountain. 

post #35 of 55

Skis are tools.

 

Skiers are craftsmen/women.

 

If I'm having work done on my house, I would prefer a craftsmen with the knowledge and possibly not the best tools over a novice with the best/latest tools.

 

While a ski that is better for the terrain or task at hand might "enable" someone to do something better, it doesn't necessarily make them capable of doing it.  This most evident on bump runs and recreational race courses.

 

You are better off having the right tool for the job but that does NOT guarantee that you will get the job done correctly.  It does however minimize your excuses.  If everything else is right for the task at hand and you still have poor results, then the only thing you have to fix is you.

 

 

post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by pete View Post

Ok,
 
Here's a question, is it the ski that makes the skier or the skier who makes the ski?
 
I've seen lots of posts on asking which ski is best, but short of a high end competitive (even to oneself) skier does it really make that big a difference for most folks on buying the latest ski? I'm by no means am an expert skier but while I'd love to buy a pair of new well received ski's, don't really know there is much improvement need to upgrade, update to a new pair especially given costs.
 
I pondered this wishing to buy new skis but honestly, given my limited skills, perfectly happy with what I have today, short of the possible wider powder skis. Mostly on piste, I love my old Elan 666 which I'll admit were partially bought for the demonic nomenclature, my newer Hot Rods are great but I love the Elans and usually ski those, and short of hitting an epic snow dump year, have difficulty in justifying upgrading to anything more than something powder. Really, my current skis work well even if not ideal for off piste skiing. It just seems the incremental gain isn't worth spending when better spent on something like custom boots or even comfort like a nicer coat.
 
So, the question is does one make the ski, using the ski's features to improve oneself or does one use one's own skill to adapt to the ski using or learning the nuances of the ski to make themselves better? Shouldn't one's skills predominate the benefit of the ski? Here where one uses their skill to use the ski to it's fullest verses vice versa? I guess I would liken this to a good driver, the driver uses the attributes of the car to make oneself better verses the car itself really making the driver better.
 
A recent thread went towards should one buy over their skill level? If the ski helps make the person, then it seems one should. So, when should one really need to upgrade if their current ski is isn't the latest greatest design? Is it really that much of an improvement if your not a top end skier?
 
Maybe I'm looking to justify not buying newer wonderful skis.

Your skis are fine. Keep the edges sharp and the bases waxed. Have fun!
post #37 of 55

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

If you want to progress in your skiing the most important thing you can do is buy boots from an experienced and competent boot fitter.  I wasted a lot of money buying "hot" skis while  buying only boots that were on sale from places like Sports Authority.  My skiing never improved.  When I finally bought boots that fit correctly, 98mm last, size 25.5, my skiing improved immediately because the skis did what I wanted them to do when I wanted them to do it.

 

Best advice of this thread so far.  

 

post #38 of 55

Question was about skis, boots while a valid point do not address the question.

 

Just sayin th_dunno-1[1].gif

 

post #39 of 55

Alpine boots will delay the development of your skiing skills. Make sure you get boots that will allow you to grow as a skier. I've never skied in Iowa, but I'm guessing Iowa skiing is more fun freeheel.

post #40 of 55

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

Quote:
They will reward good movements, and give you proper feedback.
Perhaps, Ghost, but the problem is that they can also reward and reinforce bad movements.
Now I realize that some people will inevitably think, "how can they be bad movements if they're functional?" And it's a reasonable question, of course. My only reply to that question would be that there are different degrees of functionality, defined by such things as efficiency, range of effectiveness, ease, and perhaps even the number of options they leave open--the margin for error--for when things don't go exactly as planned.
Best regards,
Bob

 

This also sounds like a broad descriptor for evaluating and choosing skis...

 

post #41 of 55
True enough, Naybreak! There is no doubt that condition- and task-specific skis, skillfully used (and even sometimes not so skillfully used) can be better tools for the job. There are plenty of reasons for having more than one pair of skis!

But that does not change the fact that the better tool does not in itself make you a more skillful skier. And it doesn't even necessarily make the case for skiing "better" skis all the time! If your definition of "better" is "easier," or "more forgiving of error," then certainly, use the best tool for each specific job (if you have it). But I, for one (and I am definitely not alone on this) really enjoy the challenge of, for example, skiing challenging crud and such with slalom race skis. Perhaps even more than that, I am willing to ski slalom race skis in those conditions, just so that I have them on my feet when the conditions are more "appropriate" for those skis. Personally, I'd much rather ski crud and powder on a slalom ski than firm snow on a powder ski.

Best regards,
Bob
post #42 of 55

Hmmm...I'm not yet quite so gung ho about skiing 6-8" cut up, heavy Cascade Concrete with my 65mm Stokli's.   That's not exactly why I got them. (Actually, it's the overall trend to wider powder skis that resulted in my getting such a deal on the used Stockli's).   

 

But I digress......tell you what, Bob, I'll give it a try  do or do not.   Though my 92mm K2 Outlaws are for me a purrrfect Cascade Concrete crud buster, I will challenge myself with the skinny carving skis in the crud.  

 

Next year.

post #43 of 55

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

Skis are tools.

 

Skiers are craftsmen/women.

 

 

I beg to differ. Skis are toys, skiers are players, skiing is for having fun.  Getting new skis is to have more fun.  Mr. Barnes can ski powder with his race skis if he wants. I have more fun skiing powder with a powder ski (and I grew up skiing on skis narrower than Bob's race ski's, and probably stiffer--Kneissl Reisenslaloms 215cm and I was all of 135 pounds.)

post #44 of 55

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

True enough, Naybreak! There is no doubt that condition- and task-specific skis, skillfully used (and even sometimes not so skillfully used) can be better tools for the job. There are plenty of reasons for having more than one pair of skis!

But that does not change the fact that the better tool does not in itself make you a more skillful skier. And it doesn't even necessarily make the case for skiing "better" skis all the time! If your definition of "better" is "easier," or "more forgiving of error," then certainly, use the best tool for each specific job (if you have it). But I, for one (and I am definitely not alone on this) really enjoy the challenge of, for example, skiing challenging crud and such with slalom race skis. Perhaps even more than that, I am willing to ski slalom race skis in those conditions, just so that I have them on my feet when the conditions are more "appropriate" for those skis. Personally, I'd much rather ski crud and powder on a slalom ski than firm snow on a powder ski.

Best regards,
Bob
 Fun to Bob & others like Bob, is to challenge/hone his skills.  At least that's the way I see it.

 

post #45 of 55

It ain't the arrow, it's the Indianwink.gif  But, when digging through the quiver a brave will choose wiselybiggrin.gif  However, if there is only one arrow left the true warrior will focus and still hit the target with lethal precision. 

post #46 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post

Question was about skis, boots while a valid point do not address the question.

Just sayin th_dunno-1%5B1%5D.gif
We all know that the vast majority considers skis first when mulling gear upgrades, and that the same group needs boot attention more. Therefore the poster was just helpfully (I thought)
double checking that point with the OP.
post #47 of 55
Thread Starter 

quote:

Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post


We all know that the vast majority considers skis first when mulling gear upgrades, and that the same group needs boot attention more. Therefore the poster was just helpfully (I thought) double checking that point with the OP.

 

Generally yes, but it just seems so often the question of new ski's come up with folks posting the desire and plans to get new ones ... made me wonder, and confirm my reason for not buying new.  I really don't buy the latest greatest simply because I'm cheap, not elite in skills, and figure it's seldom a new feature (technology) that considerably outshines anything less than 5 (or so) yrs old. 

 

My basic real needs should be some needed lessons (can i get a discounted rate for saying this biggrin.gif, maybe a "Biggest Improver" series) but need to really pick up some new boots or liners.  I've learned that much from Epic.  The boots primarily as mine are effectively DOA ... lower end (but I like to hate em) and blowing out a rivet or two.

 

However, back to the general question, when at ones present skills, does it really pay to upgrade (or replace) ones skis?  I believe that the right tool is nice, maybe not needed but nice.  It's one's skill that is the driving primary factor. 

 

I also know I usually always ski a run better the 10th time than the first, so between practice and self assurance, tools help but haven't yet made me a great skier.  The plus about this year being the least (8 times) I've skied in a season since at around 6 yrs ago, I'm left with some cash to invest in some lessons.  This of course if next year affords me the time.

 

I agree with:

Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

You are better off having the right tool for the job but that does NOT guarantee that you will get the job done correctly. It does however minimize your excuses. If everything else is right for the task at hand and you still have poor results, then the only thing you have to fix is you.

 

 

ps, I do like the Indian analogy ... just don't trust me to save ya!

post #48 of 55

If you have to ask this question in the first place, you're probably not that into sking.

post #49 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

You are better off having the right tool for the job but that does NOT guarantee that you will get the job done correctly. It does however minimize your excuses.

 

Not the first one to say this in this thread, but when it comes to minimizing excuses, the freshness and quality of the tune counts for at least as much as the freshness and quality of the skis, at least where I live. You will have a FAR better and more well-guided (in terms of the feedback you get from your skis) experience on a pair of seven or eight year old skis with a superb tune than you will on this year's hot model, if those new ones are a disaster on the bottoms. Another way to say this is that it's a waste of money to upgrade to new high performance skis if you are not also committed to keeping them tuned. Otherwise it's like buying a quick new sports sedan and then throwing a pair of old bald minivan tires on it.

post #50 of 55
Quote:
Fun to Bob & others like Bob, is to challenge/hone his skills. At least that's the way I see it.

Yes--partly, Slider. But it's not only that. There are extraordinary and enticing sensations that I can extract from race and race-type skis, even in soft snow, that are simply not available on big rockered powder skis (and yes--vice-versa also). Those sensations are a lot of what "fun" is for me. Big skis are definitely "easier" in some conditions--and it is refreshing and lots of fun when I do take them out, and rediscover just how much I can "get away with" on them. You can relax, and just don't have to worry about what they'll do, what they'll hit, how they'll react to unpredictable conditions. That's all good. But then, they feel about as lifeless as old rawhide snowshoes to me, compared with the lively sensations I get from my slalom skis, for example.

Of course, there are conditions where slalom skis are just about untenable, and where specialized powder skis give you so much more capability and freedom--and even "surfing" sensations that are unique to them. Wednesday in February at The Gathering at Northstar, with the deep, heavily drifted and inconsistent wind-affected snow, I was actually glad to be on 106mm-wide powder skis, for the most part. But even there, I did start to get almost bored at times because the skis, while "capable," really gave me less opportunity to play, at least where the skiing was relatively easy.

It is all fun, and I enjoy the mix, and the challenge, of trying to get the most out of whatever conditions and equipment I'm skiing on.

Best regards,
Bob
post #51 of 55

Fat skis-luxury car..

Race skis-Sport car.

post #52 of 55

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

. Personally, I'd much rather ski crud and powder on a slalom ski than firm snow on a powder ski.
 

 

I'll never argue with anyone about what they'd rather ski or not ski in this context. However. suggesting the above to others less trained, without very explicitly qualifying the statement as very much a personal preference that is just choosing one end of the spectrum is arguably, at a minimum, rather strange to me.

 

Skiing powder on slalom skis is not materially different than skiing ice on reverse/reverse skis. At least in terms of equipment suitability, technique mismatch, and required adjustments.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

...I was actually glad to be on 106mm-wide powder skis, for the most part. But even there, I did start to get almost bored at times because the skis, while "capable," really gave me less opportunity to play, at least where the skiing was relatively easy.

 

I have two issues with this one.

 

First, where I live, 106 is not, in the eyes of many, a powder ski. Not in Tahoe either. It is a middle of the road all mountain size IMO (so yes, you have to allow that the same waist can be more firm or more soft biased - but 106 is not by definition a powder ski by any means).

 

Second, the definition of "play" is highly subjective. How well would slalom skis do in terms of "play" in powder for someone who wants to slarve or power slide or butter or ski switch? Folks into that would call your slalom skis limiting and boring and offering no opportunity to "play"...

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

It is all fun, and I enjoy the mix, and the challenge, of trying to get the most out of whatever conditions and equipment I'm skiing on.
 
 
Tough to argue with this part. Although I have to say that at least for me, skiing deep soft granular summer snow on Head Supershapes was a big PITA.

 

I'm not at all sure what the OP should do or not. Last I paid attention to that class of ski, the 666 rated pretty decently for what it is. If nothing is broken, why fix it? OTOH, if powder and soft snow, or even slabby wind crust, is ever on the menu - that class of ski is a wildly inappropriate tool for anyone who simply wants an appropriate ski designed for the task at hand.


Edited by spindrift - 4/26/12 at 4:00pm
post #53 of 55

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post

 

 

I'll never argue with anyone about what they'd rather ski or not ski in this context. However. suggesting the above to others less trained, without very explicitly qualifying the statement as very much a personal preference that is just choosing one end of the spectrum is arguably, at a minimum, rather strange to me.

 

Skiing powder on slalom skis is not materially different than skiing ice on reverse/reverse skis. At least in terms of equipment suitability, technique mismatch, and required adjustments.

 

 

 

 

I have two issues with this one.

 

(1)First, where I live, 106 is not, in the eyes of many, a powder ski. Not in Tahoe either. It is a middle of the road all mountain size IMO (so yes, you have to allow that the same waist can be more firm or more soft biased - but 106 is not by definition a powder ski by any means).

 

(2)Second, the definition of "play" is highly subjective. How well would slalom skis do in terms of "play" in powder for someone who wants to slarve or power slide or butter or ski switch? Folks into that would call your slalom skis limiting and boring and offering no opportunity to "play"...

 

 


 

(3)Tough to argue with this part. Although I have to say that at least for me, skiing deep soft granular summer snow on Head Supershapes was a big PITA.

I'm not at all sure what the OP should do or not. Last I paid attention to that class of ski, the 666 rated pretty decently for what it is. If nothing is broken, why fix it? OTOH, if powder and soft snow, or even slabby wind crust, is ever on the menu - that class of ski is a wildly inappropriate tool for anyone who simply wants an appropriate ski designed for the task at hand.

 

I could separate the three points I've highlighted but I can sum it up by saying it in a fairly easy statement. 

Bob, and those of his caliber of skiing, are of some of the highest quality of skier I've skied with.  Defining his (their) term of "play" is not something that most skiers can comprehend.  And yes, there are plenty of them skiing on skinny skis in the Tahoe area. 

When you take lessons and begin to develop skills that open up the sensations that Bob has experienced, then you'll appreciate a feeling that fat fun shaped skis can't provide.  

The trouble is, I can't explain it to you.  No one can.  I hope some day you'll experience it.  

 

My only regret is that I didn't begin to enjoy this sensation until mid season this year.  But WOW what a great feeling.

 

post #54 of 55

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post

I'm not at all sure what the OP should do or not. Last I paid attention to that class of ski, the 666 rated pretty decently for what it is. If nothing is broken, why fix it? OTOH, if powder and soft snow, or even slabby wind crust, is ever on the menu - that class of ski is a wildly inappropriate tool for anyone who simply wants an appropriate ski designed for the task at hand.

 

But then again, why wouldn't he just rent or demo wider skis on those days (probably rare) when the powder/soft/wind-crust happens?  In my experience, it's actually MORE DIFFICULT in today's environment to demo skis that are appropriate for hard snow (e.g. narrow skis) than it is to demo skis that are appropriate for soft snow - even though a significant majority of a vacationing/occasional skier's days will be on hard snow and a settled base.

 

If he saves the money he would have spent on wider skis and instead invests it in boots (first) and lessons, I'd be willing to bet his skills and enjoyment of the sport would ramp up much more quickly than simply buying a wider ski.

 

IMO, the 666 is still an excellent ski for the conditions most vacationing skiers will run into most of the time. 

 

post #55 of 55

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pete View Post

quote:

 

Generally yes, but it just seems so often the question of new ski's come up with folks posting the desire and plans to get new ones ... made me wonder, and confirm my reason for not buying new.  I really don't buy the latest greatest simply because I'm cheap, not elite in skills, and figure it's seldom a new feature (technology) that considerably outshines anything less than 5 (or so) yrs old. 

 

My basic real needs should be some needed lessons (can i get a discounted rate for saying this biggrin.gif, maybe a "Biggest Improver" series) but need to really pick up some new boots or liners.  I've learned that much from Epic.  The boots primarily as mine are effectively DOA ... lower end (but I like to hate em) and blowing out a rivet or two.

 

However, back to the general question, when at ones present skills, does it really pay to upgrade (or replace) ones skis?  I believe that the right tool is nice, maybe not needed but nice.  It's one's skill that is the driving primary factor. 

 

I also know I usually always ski a run better the 10th time than the first, so between practice and self assurance, tools help but haven't yet made me a great skier.  The plus about this year being the least (8 times) I've skied in a season since at around 6 yrs ago, I'm left with some cash to invest in some lessons.  This of course if next year affords me the time.

 

I agree with:

ps, I do like the Indian analogy ... just don't trust me to save ya!

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

Fat skis-luxury car..

Race skis-Sport car.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post


IMO, the 666 is still an excellent ski for the conditions most vacationing skiers will run into most of the time. 

 

Yes, the 666 at 75 mm wide and say about 18 m turn radius is a great all-around ski (except for very small hills), like your basic sports sedan.  If you want to experience the joy of tearing along at high g's on hard icy snow, then a race ski,(or street machine like a built camaro) would be more enjoyable, but if you are just cruising along making reasonable turns, you won't miss the extra performance.  There are also some easier choices for really deep days or very wet choppy uneven snow, but the 666 works just fine there without needing the skills or careful attention a racing SL ski would require.  SLs are easy enough to manage in powder, just not easy in chopped up tracked up piled up old powder.

 

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