EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Help Breaking Down the New Technology
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help Breaking Down the New Technology

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'm one of those guys who learned to ski on the straight "skinny" skis back in the seventies as a teen. I'm getting back into the sport now and am trying to come to terms with the new technology. I thought it was just about a new way of turning with sidecut, but the variables seem almost endless. I guess that some of this is real and some is marketing.

 

I'm sure I've missed a few, but apart from the obvious length and sidecut radius, we now have waist width, progressive side cut, variable flex, camber, reverse camber, rocker, early rise, effective edge, torsional stiffness and skis built upside down. Even length has become confusing because some of these features change the effective length in varying skiing conditions?

 

I presume that some of this technology is good for skiers trying to improve and some of it is aimed at, and only useful to, experts. I also presume that some of the technology may even be detrimental to beginners, or even, to experts.

 

Forgive me, but let me use a golf analogy. A lot of the new golf technology is geared towards allowing the average golfer to have a better chance of hitting the ball straight. So the manufacturers try to make "forgiving" easy to hit clubs, with big sweet spots, that get the ball up quickly and straight. These are great for average golfers but bad for skilled golfers who actually want to shape the flight of the ball. They would rather use older clubs that allow them to use their advanced skills, like muscle back irons. I'm wondering if ski equipment has the same issue?

 

Here's the question;

 

As an intermediate/advanced skier, what technology should I be interested in, or avoid. What is going to help or hurt me?

 

For reference, I'm forty nine, but very athletic (martial arts), 5'9" and 168 lbs. I spend most of my time on the blue/black groomers and bumbs. Due to multiple knee surgeries I'm more into controlled turns than maximum speed and bypass the terrain park. I can handle a little air by accident, but don't go looking for it. I mainly ski in Arizona, so get a lot of early ice and late slush. I don't have the resources to chase powder, so if it happens it's by chance. I will get to ski Wolf Creek the week before Xmas this year, weather permitting.

 

I got about twelve days in last season after a thirty year layoff and made it from the bunnies to the blacks by the last day, on rental skis. Remembering that length sacrifices speed for mobility, I took the shortest skis they would rent me, I think they were 140/150 ish.

 

I wasn't specifically looking for ski recommendations, more technology advice, but would be happy for any input or suggestions you guys have. If this season goes well, I'm hoping to invest in skis when the time is right.

 

Sorry for the long post. Hope it makes sense.

 

BW.


Edited by flow dab - 9/12/12 at 10:25pm
post #2 of 17

In general.......................avoid the hype, don't fret the tech, and stick to basics.

 

It sounds as if you are going to be an 80% or so groomer guy with a little bit of off trail skiing when the right conditions fall into your lap.

 

What you don't need..........

 

  • Anything over 90mm or so in ski waist width.
  • Anything with any more than a modest amount of rocker.
  • Anything with an inordinate amount of bias toward soft or deep snow.

 

What does make sense.....

 

  • A ski in the width range of 80-90mm at the waist
  • Something in the middle flex range. Not the stiffest, not the softest.
  • A little tip rocker and mild tail rocker are OK but neither are necessary.
  • Ignore finite comparisons of turn radius......it is largely irrelevant.
  • Ignore marketing/technology phrases such as "progressive sidecut" and myriads of similar........they don't matter a whit.

 

These are some basics for you to think about................................

 

 

SJ

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

 

What does make sense.....

 

  • A ski in the width range of 80-90mm at the waist
  • Something in the middle flex range. Not the stiffest, not the softest.
  • A little tip rocker and mild tail rocker are OK but neither are necessary.
  • Ignore finite comparisons of turn radius......it is largely irrelevant.
  • Ignore marketing/technology phrases such as "progressive sidecut" and myriads of similar........they don't matter a whit.

 

These are some basics for you to think about................................

 

 

SJ

 

 

Thanks,

 

Can you recommend some skis that fit the above description?

 

Also, is it such a big deal if I want to sacrifice speed for maneuverability by getting a shorter ski? Ego aside, can there be a performance issue by going to short? I'm up to four knee surgeries now so control is desirable over thrills and spills.

 

BW.

post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Wolf View Post

 

 

Thanks,

 

Can you recommend some skis that fit the above description?

 

Also, is it such a big deal if I want to sacrifice speed for maneuverability by getting a shorter ski? Ego aside, can there be a performance issue by going to short? I'm up to four knee surgeries now so control is desirable over thrills and spills.

 

BW.

 

Get something around 70-75mm under foot.

 

According to your posts you ski mostly groomers and bumps and have had 4 knee surgeries.

 

Wider skis are harder on the knees on harder snow. 

 

Wider is the exact opposite of what you want.  Forget the hype, let the kids spend and dream big.  Go for reality and enjoy your time on the hill.


Edited by Skidude72 - 9/13/12 at 8:05pm
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Wolf View Post

 

 

Thanks,

 

Can you recommend some skis that fit the above description?

 

Also, is it such a big deal if I want to sacrifice speed for maneuverability by getting a shorter ski? Ego aside, can there be a performance issue by going to short? I'm up to four knee surgeries now so control is desirable over thrills and spills.

 

BW.

Not even trying to be a smart aleck here, but after four knee surgeries have you considered snowboarding instead?  

post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Wolf View Post

 

 

Thanks,

 

Can you recommend some skis that fit the above description?

 

Also, is it such a big deal if I want to sacrifice speed for maneuverability by getting a shorter ski? Ego aside, can there be a performance issue by going to short? I'm up to four knee surgeries now so control is desirable over thrills and spills.

 

BW.

 

 

There are tons of very good model choices. Among the incoming crop of 2013 skis, the K2 Rictor, Rossignol Pursuit HP, Salomon XT 800, and Blizzard Magnum 8.0 CA. All come to mind. All of these are relatively narrow for todays market and have a bias toward packed conditions. None of these are the stiffest or most aggressive within their category.

 

When you say shorter ski, you don't say shorter than what (?) Generally, for your size I would suggest something in the 167-174 range. Do you want shorter than that? If so, something in the 162-166 range might be OK as long as you are willing to embrace the tradeoff. Shorter even than that?...........I'd say no, don't do it.

 

Among older (2012) models, we will have some of the Sollie XT 800 and also the Nordica Firearrow 80 pro in last year's graphics within the next week or so at some really big savings. I don't have 'em yet so I can't be more specific than that.

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

Not even trying to be a smart aleck here, but after four knee surgeries have you considered snowboarding instead?  

 

Yes I did.

 

I have always been very active and played many sports well. I have a single digit golf handicap and a third degree black belt in TKD. In the last ten years I have skied maybe half a dozen times. I used to watch the baby and my wife would take our eldest up to Snowbowl (AZ). Now that the baby is ten and wants  to ski, I decided to get back into it last season. Snowboarding looked like a safer bet for my knees, and with a strong history in skateboarding I decided to give it a go.

 

I bought a board and boots in the summer sales and did all the dry land exercises to get ready. I did fairly well on the board but just couldn't get up when I fell. Repeated knee injuries just wreck your ability to get up from a deep squat. I gave up after about two hours and went to the rental shop for skis. From the old days of graduated length, I knew that the shorter the ski the more control. I didn't care about the loss in speed so I asked the shop for the shortest skis they had. I think I ended up with something around 150 cm, to the disgust of the technician.

 

I took it easy at first, then started learning how to turn the new skis and was cruising on the blues by the end of the day. Just to be clear about the knees, they have been injured many times, but I still compete in martial arts. I just can't afford to take any unnecessary risks and the cost of surgery and time off work. They are not completely shot, just more prone to injury than most.

 

OK, here is where it gets a little weird. My wife is an advanced skier, but also likes to play around on skiboards form time to time. I borrowed her 100cm Fischers the next time we went skiing and really enjoyed them. Easy to turn, easy control, easy on the knees. By then end of that day I was on the bumps and blacks. There, I confessed.

 

I do want to get back on skis, I just need to put my ego on hold and not let the ski length put my knees at risk. I don't know if the new technology supports a shorter ski, like 160, for men, or is that too short?  To be honest, I could carve all day on those skiboards, but something inside me wants to get back on the real thing.


Edited by flow dab - 9/13/12 at 10:56pm
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

 

When you say shorter ski, you don't say shorter than what (?) Generally, for your size I would suggest something in the 167-174 range. Do you want shorter than that? If so, something in the 162-166 range might be OK as long as you are willing to embrace the trade off. Shorter even than that?...........I'd say no, don't do it.

 

 

 

Thanks for the advice and the link, I'll keep a look our for the new (old) models.

 

I know I sound somewhat naive, I am, but what happens if I go below 162; is it just a trade off of speed versus control, or is there more at stake?

post #9 of 17

The tradeoff is that the shortest skis will give more control at the slowest speeds while a longer ski will give more control as speeds pick up. If you really want a 150 (ish) ski, I'd say don't buy skis at all. Buy boots, continue to rent skis and spend the savings on lessons. FWIW......most men's ski models don't come much below 160-162 unless you go for beginner type skis.

 

SJ

post #10 of 17

Have you considered wearing hinged knee braces while skiing?  The braces are common around here for people with knee issues, and might help protect yours without affecting your on-snow movements.

post #11 of 17

^^^^ As one who's been there, does that, a real brace (as in Rx) will reduce risk of further injury, and stabilize the joint to slow down the progression of OA. Which is coming, trust me. Braces don't prevent injuries the first time around, but by the fourth...

 

As far as gear, yes, a shorter ski will reduce some of the forces acting on your knees. As will a narrower ski. Keep in mind that a 165 SL is not a short ski, but a 165 big mountain is. For where you ski, you might think about a non-symmetrical park ski; they tend to be short, which is knee friendly as long as they don't get unstable on you, they have fairly shallow sidecuts, which is knee-good, they have low mass springy tips and tails to start and finish, which is knee-good, they are easy to pivot, as well as carve, which is knee good, and they are especially easy in the kind of terrain that hurts, like bumps. The trick is to find some that have enough beef to handle the rest of the mountain at moderate speeds. Finally, think about a plate for your bindings; it'll reduce the leverage on your knees when you turn. Here are some candidates, in order of preference:

 

1) Stockli Rotors

2) Volkl Wall

3) Nordica Dead Money

4) Armada THall

5) Rossignol Scratch

 

And the new park line from Kastle is supposed to be great, but $$ and symmetrical, I think. 

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

Have you considered wearing hinged knee braces while skiing?  The braces are common around here for people with knee issues, and might help protect yours without affecting your on-snow movements.

 

My problems started at about twelve with my left knee subluxing (dislocating). It does a huge amount of soft tissue damage when it comes out, which has happened several times over the years. The OA set in by my mid teens. I had micro fracture surgery done about three years ago with pretty good results. It is not a candidate for the lateral release surgery and braces don't help. I actually have incredibly thick and strong ACLs, they just happen to be very loose and cause a lot of movement in the joint. My knees actually fail all the ACL manual tests, like the anterior drawer and latchmans, despite being intact. Believe me, I've tried about every bandage, brace or support made over the last forty years. My best protection is extremely strong quads and hams, along with flexibility. I do have an RX brace for the other knee, the relatively good one, which I do wear skiing. It was actually mis perscribed when then thought my ACL was gone. Insurance paid the $1800 for it.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

^^^^ As one who's been there, does that, a real brace (as in Rx) will reduce risk of further injury, and stabilize the joint to slow down the progression of OA. Which is coming, trust me. Braces don't prevent injuries the first time around, but by the fourth...

 

As far as gear, yes, a shorter ski will reduce some of the forces acting on your knees. As will a narrower ski. Keep in mind that a 165 SL is not a short ski, but a 165 big mountain is. For where you ski, you might think about a non-symmetrical park ski; they tend to be short, which is knee friendly as long as they don't get unstable on you, they have fairly shallow sidecuts, which is knee-good, they have low mass springy tips and tails to start and finish, which is knee-good, they are easy to pivot, as well as carve, which is knee good, and they are especially easy in the kind of terrain that hurts, like bumps. The trick is to find some that have enough beef to handle the rest of the mountain at moderate speeds. Finally, think about a plate for your bindings; it'll reduce the leverage on your knees when you turn. Here are some candidates, in order of preference:

 

1) Stockli Rotors

2) Volkl Wall

3) Nordica Dead Money

4) Armada THall

5) Rossignol Scratch

 

And the new park line from Kastle is supposed to be great, but $$ and symmetrical, I think. 

 

Thank you so much for breaking down the technology in relation to force on the knees. Excellent!

 

BW.

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

The tradeoff is that the shortest skis will give more control at the slowest speeds while a longer ski will give more control as speeds pick up. If you really want a 150 (ish) ski, I'd say don't buy skis at all. Buy boots, continue to rent skis and spend the savings on lessons. FWIW......most men's ski models don't come much below 160-162 unless you go for beginner type skis.

 

SJ

 

Thanks, I think that was the key I was looking for.

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

As far as gear, yes,

a shorter ski will reduce some of the forces acting on your knees.

As will a narrower ski.

Keep in mind that a 165 SL is not a short ski, but a 165 big mountain is.

For where you ski, you might think about a

non-symmetrical park ski; they tend to be short, which is knee friendly as long as they don't get unstable on you,

they have fairly shallow sidecuts, which is knee-good,

they have low mass springy tips and tails to start and finish, which is knee-good,

they are easy to pivot, as well as carve, which is knee good, and

they are especially easy in the kind of terrain that hurts, like bumps.

The trick is to find some that have enough beef to handle the rest of the mountain at moderate speeds.

 

Finally, think about a plate for your bindings; it'll reduce the leverage on your knees when you turn. Here are some candidates, in order of preference:

 

1) Stockli Rotors

2) Volkl Wall

3) Nordica Dead Money

4) Armada THall

5) Rossignol Scratch

My first post...

 

Fabulous information, even though I'm not a guy I've had grinding knee caps (chondromalacia of patella) for years and its marvelous to actually get this kind of specifics regarding skiing-knees. I do use hinged neoprene 1980's Rx knee braces, but have discovered that the new smaller wrap-around under knee cap support works pretty swell, too. Icing after skiing is a must for me.

 

However, Boots have been the biggest saving knee strain issue for me. After my Hanson rear entry boots inner liner disintegrated, I couldn't find similar comfort boots for feet as well as ease on knees. That is not until I got ☃ Rossignol Bandit B1 Cockpit downhill ski boots. They FIT and Function just like my sweet old Hanson's, perfect with no fiddling required either dangling from a lift or making run after run. I even forget I have ski boots on! Most ski boots for me and especially rentals, relax with use during the day, which then become like trying to turn, grr-argh, inside bedroom slippers! Can't edge if you're sliding inside the boot ;-)

 

I do buy newish skis ever once in awhile, drag them up to the mountains, but end up using my trusty, go-anywhere, really-really-old 165s Rossi Smash Skis, which still rock the bumps and are the easiest knees-skis ever ;-)  Did break down and bought Rossignol Saphir 100 replacement bindings (2004) women's DIN 2.5/9, otherwise, just wax to weather.

 

My New-old skis have backs similar to the Smash's rear carving angle cut, but goofy wide fronts. Still haven't put to snow the 2007 Rossignol Bandit B-Squad Ski w 110Pro bindings.

 

1. a. Can you explain how the old fashioned Rossignol Smash skis manage to still amaze and

    b. whether or not the Bandit's will eventually become my knee friends?

2. And, I don't quite understand ...that a 165 SL is not a short ski, but a 165 big mountain is?

3. ...nor what or how a plate differs from your average bindings?

 

BTW... a shorter ski used to be for tricks and kids. Weird, eh!?

I like the longer ski for control and speed above timberline.

As for powder, I just lean back *hee* a lot!

 

OT: An aside; I have Porsche 911 "Piper Ski Rack" which I can't use on my Miata. Anyplace on forum for exchange/sales of equipment?

 

Thank you kindly for info already gained. *\o/*

post #16 of 17

I'll take a stab at your questions-

 

1a. You are probably so used to the skis and they are probably fairly light, putting less strain on your knees? Not entirely sure about this one or the second part of this question as I fortunately haven't injured my knees so far

 b. I don't know how much research you did before buying the B-Squad, but from what I can see they look like Rossignol's big mountain ski from a few years back, designed to go places really fast. You might want that, I don't know what kind of a ski the Smash is as all I know about it is that it is fairly old, but I wouldn't pick the B-Squad if I wanted something to go easy on my knees and be good in bumps or making short turns.

 

2. A slalom ski that's 165 cm long is going to be pretty stiff, and not have any rocker. Also, it's about as long as slalom skis get.  However, a big mountain ski of the same length is probably going to have a big rocker, with a lot of edge off the snow, making it ski shorter than it actually is, and although it still may be stiff, it is about as short as you can get a big mountain ski.

 

3. A plate is an additional piece of hardware that you mount onto the ski, and then you mount a binding on top of to give you more height and therefore leverage over the ski, which makes it easier to tip the skis and also can stiffen up the ski.

post #17 of 17

What about a detuned version of the GS race ski,  Long turning radius than a SL ski shorter than a radius than a GS ski, a little more forgiving than a full blown race ski and still can be pushed as hard and fast as you want it.

 

Atomic D2 GS series

Dynastar Speed Course Ti

 

for examples.

 

I would suggest listening to SJ (SierraJim) and few others here on whether is a good idea or not.

 

BTW you will find that after switching you will have to adjust your style a little to accommodate the new shapes (some of the timing different from what was taught back then).  I switched last year and it took a few days to adjust.  Possibly a good private refresher lesson may help the progressions (I had good advice from friends).  Additionally you will find you can create a lot more loading on the knees than you could with the straight skis in turns, build up gradually on the speed until you get comfortable on them.  (I have the opportunity to still ski both new and old and am still surprised and pleased how well the new skis carve on ice).

 

Another part not questioned is the boots.  SJ and a few others here can definitely make very good suggestions as to what you should look for.

 

Otherwise you should find the switch enjoyable....makes you fell like you're 17 again yahoo.gif.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Help Breaking Down the New Technology