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GS and Slalom ski questions

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

What length/brand/model skis are you currently using for GS and Slalom and are they FIS or non-FIS?  I’ve been out of touch with the latest technology, but I’ve recently checked out some of the newer skis.  I’m 5’10”, 170 lbs, been skiing for over 30 years and raced about 10 years.  I'm looking at club and master’s racing, so I’m considering a 179-180cm, Atomic (D2) or Volkl (Speedwall) non-FIS for GS and a 165cm Atomic (D2) or Volkl (Speedwall) for Slalom, either FIS or non-FIS.  Not sure if FIS or non-FIS is the way to go with Slalom skis.  Rossignol (Master series) and Nordica (next year’s non-FIS) seem to have some good options also, plus I heard next year’s Atomic D2 GS (Slalom also?) will have tip rocker.  Your feedback is much appreciated!

post #2 of 25

Ya can't go wrong with the non-FIS 179cm Atomic D2 Gs. Fabulous ski!

 

I have a pair and so do 5 of my friends!

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

Great, thanks!  Good to hear from someone who owns the ski.  I'd read a few threads that mentioned delamination problems with the D2 non-FIS.  Were the problems with the earlier years of production and now have been corrected?  Also, what are you and your friends using for slalom skis?

post #4 of 25

2 of us have Head I.SL RDs  Mine is a about a 4 years old 166cm.

 

The other guy has a 165 last year’s.

 

I have heard that last year’s D2 FIS slalom is an amazing ski.  I have not tried the new early rise Slalom.

 

Back to GS: I  skied a friend’s D2 FIS GS 183 23m and it was only fun once up to true GS speed on a slope void of other skiers.

 

Very burly and much less sidecut.

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks very much for the info!  Are your Head slalom's FIS or non?  I've heard Head has a good GS also, but I'm not sure which model is their non-FIS.

post #6 of 25
If you are going to be skiing masters go for the woman's fis (>23m)rather than the non fis. You will find it much more effective. Look for a 183.. The non fis can feel ok but once you get full gs sets you want more ski under you and the cheaters can get over turny. Great gs skis from Fischer, blizzard, atomic .
For slalom, the best sl skis out there at the moment are the dynastar/Rossi and the atomic d2
post #7 of 25

RD is Heads Race Stock designation. They are FIS Legal Slalom ski.

 

As SS said if you are going to Race full length USSA Masters GS. on a course that is not too tight, the FIS ski may be the one for you.

 

Just one word of cuation. I beleive the SS is a very good strong very experienced RACER and TAKES IT VERY SERIOUSLY.

 

he is very knowledgable and I have bought skis from him in the past.

 

If you can,  try to demo some non-FIS and TRY TO SKI ON SOMEONE'S FIS GS skis. Only you can be the judge.

 

Just as a side note (Ray this does not apply to you) My son and on were riding the chair adjacent to the GS that we were both racing in at our home mountain  . As some the Masters racers came down the course we were both laughing our asses off because right in the middle of the turns you could see light underneath their skis. The course was hard and smooth.  A lot of these guys were on full blown Race Stock Gs sksi and were struggling in the course. The reason for the light, yep, they couldn't decamber them.

 

this may not apply to you either, but a funny anecdote non- the less.

 

I believe one of these racers was pulled over by the ski patrol warming up for the race!

 

His infraction:  FAILURE TO CARVE!!!!1ROTF.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Truckee Skier View Post

Thanks very much for the info!  Are your Head slalom's FIS or non?  I've heard Head has a good GS also, but I'm not sure which model is their non-FIS.

post #8 of 25

Tip rocker in race skis was discussed in another thread recently.  I'm reposting some info here:

 

I was fortunate to be able to borrow a pair of next year's Atomic D2 GS Redsters for the NASTAR Nationals at Winter Park this past March. 174 cm, 17.8 m radius, 114/70/98, and early rise rocker.  The courses this year were distinguished by reduced vertical offset and many racers opted for shorter radius skis.  I had never tried a race ski with tip rocker before this season so I demoed a pair at Okemo's NASTAR course before heading for Colorado.  On one weekend I set dual courses with a few crankers thrown in and the skis performed beautifully.  On one run when I was the only one on the courses I intentionally took a super wide turn by hopping over and back to the adjacent course.  The D2 GS Redster held the line beautifully.

 

At Winter Park, I took 2nd in my age group in the Platinum Division and missed winning by an average handicap margin of only 1.9%. 

 

A number of customers have already expressed interest in buying a pair when they become available this fall.  

 

Here's an advance look from Atomic Rep John Esterbrook who was kind enough to loan me his personal pair for the Nationals.

 


 

post #9 of 25

Although I'm a girl so have different lengths...

I have Head RD slalom skis (FIS) in 155. I did use some Salomon 3Vs that weren't the FIS reg ones and there is no comparison. Unless you were just starting to ski in the gates I think you definately need FIS skis for Slalom and GS. 

For GS go for womens FIS skis in whatever length is appropriate for you, they will be min 23m radius.  I have Elan GS skis but would probably recommend the Head RD GS skis my friend has that I have also used, torsionally stiffer than the Elans.  If you haven't noticed I am a big fan of head skis.  I also have some Head iSpeeds which are 165cm length and 15.5m radius and they are awesome skis for taking everywhere, same construction as SL and GS skis but an in between size.

post #10 of 25

gotta to beg to differ here!

 

I demoed the 180cm i.speed back to back with the Fisher RC4 Pro (175cm)  and the Atomic Non-FIS D2 179cm.

 

the Head and Fischer were brutally siff longitudinally. The Rep. said not to even bother skiing the 180cm Fischer Pro, even stiffer.

 

The Atomic D2 non-FIs skied circles around both of them.

 

Smoother, quiter, better edge grip and way more energy!

 

Yep, I bought the Atomic!

 

By the way I am about 5'11"and about 185 lbs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alig View Post

Although I'm a girl so have different lengths...

I have Head RD slalom skis (FIS) in 155. I did use some Salomon 3Vs that weren't the FIS reg ones and there is no comparison. Unless you were just starting to ski in the gates I think you definately need FIS skis for Slalom and GS. 

For GS go for womens FIS skis in whatever length is appropriate for you, they will be min 23m radius.  I have Elan GS skis but would probably recommend the Head RD GS skis my friend has that I have also used, torsionally stiffer than the Elans.  If you haven't noticed I am a big fan of head skis.  I also have some Head iSpeeds which are 165cm length and 15.5m radius and they are awesome skis for taking everywhere, same construction as SL and GS skis but an in between size.

post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 

This is great information!  Thanks to everyone for taking the time to post comments!  I think I'll try to demo or borrow both non-FIS and FIS before making a purchase.  The rocker race ski designs definitely sound interesting.  I have a pair of 184cm Volkl Mantras with tip rocker and some 183cm Atomic Bent Chetlers with rocker and camber under foot.  They're both excellent skis!

post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 

Atomicman,

 

Good to know.  The non-FIS D2's come with a riser plate (maybe built into the double deck?) and bindings, correct?  Is there just one DIN range available for the bindings?  I noticed Volkl has either a 12 DIN or a 16 DIN for their non-FIS skis/binding system.  Did you have a chance to demo the Volkl's?

post #13 of 25

Yes on the NON-FIS version, you can only get the Atomic Neox TL12. DIN 4-12 (Tooll ess adjustment)

 

I ski 'erm on 9.5 or 10 never have released.   And quite a bit of fore/aft adjustment available on the ski.

 

The FIS version you can get plenaty of DIN up to 20 I believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Truckee Skier View Post

Atomicman,

 

Good to know.  The non-FIS D2's come with a riser plate (maybe built into the double deck?) and bindings, correct?  Is there just one DIN range available for the bindings?  I noticed Volkl has either a 12 DIN or a 16 DIN for their non-FIS skis/binding system.  Did you have a chance to demo the Volkl's?

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

 

 

As SS said if you are going to Race full length USSA Masters GS. on a course that is not too tight, the FIS ski may be the one for you.

 

Just one word of cuation. I beleive the SS is a very good strong very experienced RACER and TAKES IT VERY SERIOUSLY.

 

he is very knowledgable and I have bought skis from him in the past.

 

If you can,  try to demo some non-FIS and TRY TO SKI ON SOMEONE'S FIS GS skis. Only you can be the judge.

 

Just as a side note (Ray this does not apply to you) My son and on were riding the chair adjacent to the GS that we were both racing in at our home mountain  . As some the Masters racers came down the course we were both laughing our asses off because right in the middle of the turns you could see light underneath their skis. The course was hard and smooth.  A lot of these guys were on full blown Race Stock Gs sksi and were struggling in the course. The reason for the light, yep, they couldn't decamber them.

 

this may not apply to you either, but a funny anecdote non- the less.

 

I believe one of these racers was pulled over by the ski patrol warming up for the race!

 

His infraction:  FAILURE TO CARVE!!!!1ROTF.gif

 

ROTF.gif  Don't think i would quite categorize myself as very good AMan, but appreciate the compliment!.  Moderately successful for an old guy based on this season's results.  Judging by the number of skis in the closet and how I keep trying different options i guess i need to own up to being serious (even if i have never grown up!)eek.gif.

 

There is however a reason I always recommend the real deal ski rather than the cheater for any serious GS.  While the cheater can initially seem attractive and easier to make the turn it (IMHO and experience) becomes more limiting once you start to progress.  There is a tendency to overturn or start making a multipart on/off/on/off turn rather than a clean radius in a proper GS course .  There is also a greater potential for getting injured if you are a stronger skier and suddenly load up a smaller radius ski and it hooks up pretty savagely).  Can still happen with a full on ski but less likely.    If you are just racing beer league/Nastar type stuff, not really an issue but certainly in Far West masters our GS courses tend to be full sets and deserving of a FIS ski.  I have been using both a 25m and 27m this season.   For free-skiing I spent most of my time on the 27m.

 

I do fully agree though that you need to be able to bend the ski.  This is primarily a function of body position/angles/technique/training, raher than pure strength/weight.  (I was guilty of  being way too upright for a long time as well!).    This is probably where the cheater ski  can be of benefit, an inexperienced pilot will lose less than he will with the FIS ski if he is not getting the ski properly weighted.    Also, the Atomic D2 is certainly one of the best non-FIS skis out there.    Of course when it comes to slalom skis, go for the FIS version every time, the slightly larger radius (~13m in 165 v. ~11.5 for the non-FIS ) makes for a better ski. 

post #15 of 25

Looks like you did pretty damn well at the Masres event at Mammoth!

 

Did you  meet Wili Schmidt. He has been our Masters coach for quite awhile now.

 

Last year while carrying a bundle of gates up the chair. ththat tough SOB feell of about 35 feet. He has got tobe close to 75.  He is ridiculous. Saw him in the hospital the next day. It was not pretty, but he is back at it full bore!!!

 

Amazing. He is an Austrian Billy Goat!

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

Looks like you did pretty damn well at the Masres event at Mammoth!

 

Did you  meet Wili Schmidt. He has been our Masters coach for quite awhile now.

 

Last year while carrying a bundle of gates up the chair. ththat tough SOB feell of about 35 feet. He has got tobe close to 75.  He is ridiculous. Saw him in the hospital the next day. It was not pretty, but he is back at it full bore!!!

 

Amazing. He is an Austrian Billy Goat!

 

Thanks!  The World Masters at Mammoth was a great experience.   Starting 124 out of 126 in GS and SG was something I haven't done for a while!  The slalom was worse running down at 120 in soft snow as the ruts were horrendous, I am sure i saw a Volkswagen bus in the bottom of one of them eek.gif!    Didn't quite make my target of top 15 in class but was reasonably happy given the level of competition.   Probably met Wili, but so many people hard to recall. 

 

Really glad I went, some great competition and some awesome skiers.  Also kept me in shape to finish off with a win and clinch the Far West class title a couple of weeks later so a bit of a breakthrough year for me.   
 

post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 

I have an option to pick up some older Rossi GS and Slalom skis cheap, very good shape & not beat up, to use as a back up or for training.  Years are 2005, 2006, 9X and 9S, both World Cup models, GS are 21m.  Any thoughts on those and is it worth it?  Price would be $100-$200 per pair with bindings and plates, to be negotiated.  Thanks in advance for any comments!

post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Truckee Skier View Post

I have an option to pick up some older Rossi GS and Slalom skis cheap, very good shape & not beat up, to use as a back up or for training.  Years are 2005, 2006, 9X and 9S, both World Cup models, GS are 21m.  Any thoughts on those and is it worth it?  Price would be $100-$200 per pair with bindings and plates, to be negotiated.  Thanks in advance for any comments!

 This can give you a good cheap entry point and let you play around in the gates.  However, race ski technology has moved on a long way in 7 years.  The Rossis of that era tended to be on the softer side.  (They have really transformed their skis in the last couple of years and the current Rossi/Dyanastar slalom is one of the best out there (and the first Rossi i have liked smile.gif)),

 

So if you get them cheap enough they can give you a start, but it depends on your objectives.  Are you racing for fun or to be competitive?    Assuming the second, I would tend to look for more recent gear that you will find will give you more  (shameless plug, check out the Atomic D2 GS I have posted in Gear swap - this ski is light years ahead of the 2005 9X for not a lot more money).

 

Good luck!

post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post

 This can give you a good cheap entry point and let you play around in the gates.  However, race ski technology has moved on a long way in 7 years.  The Rossis of that era tended to be on the softer side.  (They have really transformed their skis in the last couple of years and the current Rossi/Dyanastar slalom is one of the best out there (and the first Rossi i have liked smile.gif)),

 

So if you get them cheap enough they can give you a start, but it depends on your objectives.  Are you racing for fun or to be competitive?    Assuming the second, I would tend to look for more recent gear that you will find will give you more  (shameless plug, check out the Atomic D2 GS I have posted in Gear swap - this ski is light years ahead of the 2005 9X for not a lot more money).

 

Good luck!

Thanks, as that's what I've been wondering about.  I raced for about 10+ years, but not for the past 3 or so.  Plus, I'm thinking a 9S/9X ski that old may have lost most of it's life, even though they would just be more of a backup set.  May be ok for early season/poor snow conditions though.  I'll definitely check out yours in the Gear swap ads.  Thanks very much for responding!  Are there any good race training dvd's/videos you would recommend?

post #20 of 25

The other option is to wait for Start Haus's consignment sale over Labor Day weekend...there will be over 500 pr of skis and a good amount are race skis. There selection is endless. 

post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

The other option is to wait for Start Haus's consignment sale over Labor Day weekend...there will be over 500 pr of skis and a good amount are race skis. There selection is endless. 

Exactly Phil and thanks!  I spoke with Mike the other day about it and I've got a few items to sell also.  August 31st through September 3rd, correct?  Accepting consignment gear August 1st, right?

post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post

I do fully agree though that you need to be able to bend the ski.  This is primarily a function of body position/angles/technique/training, raher than pure strength/weight.

 

I agree with this as far as it goes, but have to put in my inevitable caveat that if you are significantly outside the typical size range for American men you always have to be prepared to adjust the advice you get here accordingly. In my case, being on the lighter end of the spectrum at 135, what I find the most challenging about skis that are too stiff for me is not getting them to bend into an arc (given enough speed and therefore available force), but rather contending with the re-cambering that happens at the end of the turn. If I am 110% "on" it's all good, but if I am just a little bit behind the ski or otherwise a tiny bit off balance at the moment of truth, the amount of force generated by a stiff ski can be overwhelming and toss me around or launch me in a way that's scary at best and dangerous at worst. The sheer mass of my bigger friends tends to absorb this energy, creating more margin for error. When you consider that many of them are 50% heavier than I am, it's easy to see why I'm always wary of comments that dismiss skier size as relatively unimportant. Often it seems like these comments turn out to have come from a 210lb guy thinking about his "much smaller" 180lb buddies.

 

Meanwhile I totally agree with your comment that it never really feels right or satisfying to make a "multipart on/off/on/off turn" in the gates. Even in the Nastar-style courses I race in, I sometimes find my cheater-radius skis contributing to this situation. I end up reducing the edge angle to keep the radius big enough, but often that is not a successful solution because of the grip-related consequences.

post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

I agree with this as far as it goes, but have to put in my inevitable caveat that if you are significantly outside the typical size range for American men you always have to be prepared to adjust the advice you get here accordingly. In my case, being on the lighter end of the spectrum at 135, what I find the most challenging about skis that are too stiff for me is not getting them to bend into an arc (given enough speed and therefore available force), but rather contending with the re-cambering that happens at the end of the turn. If I am 110% "on" it's all good, but if I am just a little bit behind the ski or otherwise a tiny bit off balance at the moment of truth, the amount of force generated by a stiff ski can be overwhelming and toss me around or launch me in a way that's scary at best and dangerous at worst. The sheer mass of my bigger friends tends to absorb this energy, creating more margin for error. When you consider that many of them are 50% heavier than I am, it's easy to see why I'm always wary of comments that dismiss skier size as relatively unimportant. Often it seems like these comments turn out to have come from a 210lb guy thinking about his "much smaller" 180lb buddies.

Meanwhile I totally agree with your comment that it never really feels right or satisfying to make a "multipart on/off/on/off turn" in the gates. Even in the Nastar-style courses I race in, I sometimes find my cheater-radius skis contributing to this situation. I end up reducing the edge angle to keep the radius big enough, but often that is not a successful solution because of the grip-related consequences.


Yup, great points. Also demonstrates why a lighter female racer can bend the same ski . And also shows where you get the benefit from high early pressure into the new turn if you can stay on top of it.

Just to put my recommendations in context, I am not one of these 210# guys either. Pretty much middle of the pack at 5'8" and 165#
Edited by ScotsSkier - 5/23/12 at 10:42pm
post #24 of 25

I'm on Volkl in FIS lengths/radii (mostly because I still race FIS).

 

What works best for you is going to be dependent on your style more than anything. Getting a junior's year-old skis is probably the best way to go - they'll (likely) be in good condition, and be pretty fast (or at least, getting them fast will be much less work than a brand-new ski).

 

If you're going to be skiing real-deal GS, get a FIS ski. The women's skis (~183, > 23m) are a great option - they're generally a little softer and are easier to initiate than the 27m skis. If you can, demo demo demo. It's the best way to find out what you're most comfortable on.

 

People ski well on every brand. Find a pair for a reasonable price, that's in good condition, and that you like to look at. If you think your skis are ugly, you'll never ski well on them.

post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruins14sammy View Post

I'm on Volkl in FIS lengths/radii (mostly because I still race FIS).

 

What works best for you is going to be dependent on your style more than anything. Getting a junior's year-old skis is probably the best way to go - they'll (likely) be in good condition, and be pretty fast (or at least, getting them fast will be much less work than a brand-new ski).

 

If you're going to be skiing real-deal GS, get a FIS ski. The women's skis (~183, > 23m) are a great option - they're generally a little softer and are easier to initiate than the 27m skis. If you can, demo demo demo. It's the best way to find out what you're most comfortable on.

 

People ski well on every brand. Find a pair for a reasonable price, that's in good condition, and that you like to look at. If you think your skis are ugly, you'll never ski well on them.

Very good points!  Thanks for the post!

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