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Ski Advice for my HS Racer

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Ok, guys..here is the data on my son (HS racer): I am getting conflicting advice on whether to buy a full on race FIS level ski or one step below that. I don't want to hinder my sons skiing by getting him too much ski -but- I also don't want to buy him too little ski?  Confused and probably won't be able to demo before we need these.

 

Age: 16

Weight: 178 lbs.

Height: 6'0"

Team: High School Varsity

Skill Level: Mid-level HS racer with room to improve.

Conditions: Michigan, Smaller to Medium Hills, Hardpack

Courses: Slalom & GS (hills not too long), not too much speed gained before turns start.

Current Ski: 2006 Nordica Dobermann World Cup SL 155 w/salomon binding 6-12 Din

 

Situation: Had a few issues with course wipeouts last season (partially technique) but am looking to get him the right equipment as to give him the best chance to succeed. Was told he is probably overdriving his 155's for his size. He also uses a rec boot and looking to move him into a race boot.

 

Narrowed it down to the following (probably getting him a 2012 model to save some $):

 

All in 165 (non-FIS version listed First)

A) Atomic D2 Race SL (doubledeck)  -or- Atomic Sl World Cup (no doubledeck).

B) Dynastar Omegalss TI -or- Dynastar Omeglass TI World Cup

C) Rossignol 9SL WC - or - Rossignol WC SL FIS

D) Fischer ?

 

Couple Notes:

- Atomics with D2 decks are rated highly but they don't put D2 on the FIS level skis. They do put D2 on the Race SL version on e step below that. Atomic D2's are highly rated on the web by testers but tests were for accessible slalom skis and not only high level racers.

- Dynastar and Rossi are made by the same company in the same factory so I assume same (or very close) performance. Rated very highly.

- Fischer seems to be the local HS favorite and local ski shops really push them (only have fischers) and local ski shop says he should only get the FIS type Fischer ski (ski shop is in a high end area so I thin he is just used to pushing the top of the line no matter what - does he have a point to just get the best most race level ski?). Fischers are rated just ok online.

 

Questions: 

1) Should I only be considering FIS level skis -or- are those too much ski?

2) Which brand do you have experience with or have an opinion on?

 

Any other advice is welcomed. 

post #2 of 17

Where are you in MI? Who's coaching? Are you affiliated with any clubs other than HS? If he's only racing HS and not USSA, is there any real need for a full FIS ski? 

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

In SE Michigan - I don't think an FIS ski is the best thing for him but ski shop guy is pushing him to "top of the line Fischer" acting like they are the best on the market. But, in my reading online, it seems the Fischers, while good, do not get the rave reviews of the Atomic D2 SL's and the Dynastar/Rossi skis. He is doing no USSA racing.

post #4 of 17

I don't know what I'd tell you, but I don't really see the advantage to a full on FIS ski if it's not required. SL, maybe. GS, no. Maybe more important is the proper preparation of whatever ski(s) you buy, and access to some good coaching. If I were in your shoes, I'd look up whoever's doing USSA coaching in SE MI and just ask for their opinion and the costs of some coaching programs.

post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodguy View Post

In SE Michigan - I don't think an FIS ski is the best thing for him but ski shop guy is pushing him to "top of the line Fischer" acting like they are the best on the market. But, in my reading online, it seems the Fischers, while good, do not get the rave reviews of the Atomic D2 SL's and the Dynastar/Rossi skis. He is doing no USSA racing.

 

Which shop? Most shops in southeast Michigan don't have anybody worth listening to in my experience. Notable exceptions are Don Thomas, who have a few guys worth listening to, and Sun and Snow who has at least one guy.

 

What does the coach have to say?

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks - I also don't really think FIS is the best thing for him. I know Don Thomas (Skiers Edge now ) carries only Fischer. Probably one of the contributing factors for seeing a so many Fischers on the slopes during HS races. So you would think that Fischers are the bomb since so many kids race on them. But online race reviewers give them mid level marks while highly praising the Atomics and Dynastar/Rossis?

post #7 of 17

   Nothing wrong with the Fischer[ Fischer rep disclaimer] or any of the other skis you mentioned. If your son isn't racing USSA then it doesn't matter if he is using SL skis for GS, upsizing from a 155 to a 165SL will probably fill the bill for him. Around here [Wi.] some of the GS's on smaller hills are rather tight and the SL should be fine.
 

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
You make a great point about the fishers. A guy I spoke with said the reason some high school racers like them so much, is certain versions are softer and allow the non-technical racer to bend them a little better but still have torsional stability.
I think I am barking up the wrong tree by even considering FIS level skis. I think I will look for the "pro" versions moving forward. Thanks for your advice.

I may consider the fischers after all because it sounds like they may be good for his ability. I realize they have multiple levels for all skiers. I wish it were easier to determine the different ski designations that are used it gets confusing. It seems each manufacturer has their own way of naming skis which sometimes conflicts with other manufacturer nomenclature.

Anyway, does anybody have any opinion or experience with the vokl race Tiger's speedwall with motion bindings ski?

Thanks for all the great advice!

By the way, which fiicher model would you recommend for him thanks?
post #9 of 17

       Well its a bit tough when I've not seen him ski. He's big enough for the WC SL IN 165, a friend of mine got some WC SC's in 165 last year and he's 6'2  180lbs excellent skier and they worked great for him. My guess is the WC SC would be fine.
 

post #10 of 17

For slalom, don't waste your money buying the non-fis, go for the real deal ski.  Slalom (even at HS level) requires the correct tool for the job if you are serious about trying to be competitive and that is the race stock version.  It also has the benefit that they are a slightly longer radius (~13m) than the non-fis (~11m) if he is going to use them for gs as well.  And it is not as if he is a lightweight.  And while you are getting the race stock versions, which is the best available to the public, rest assured these are not the full-on WC versions, despite what it says on the top sheet!  This is actually a good thing in most cases!

 

There is also some confusion around the Atomic D2.  for 2010 and 2011, the D2 race stock had the double deck. For 2012 teh race stock was actually available with both the Double decka dn without the double deck.  The reasoning AFAIK was that the WC guys found the D2 was not snappy enough for them. IIRC skiracer 55 has used tehm both and did indeed find teh non D2 a bit snappier.  This does not mean the D2 is not as good a ski!.  In fact in a lot of cases, such as this, it may actually be preferable as it is a little damper and can work better on more varied conditions.  I have raced on it and rated it the best slalom ski around until I went to the Dynastar slant-nose which is just a bit snappier. The Blizzard WC sl is also up there among the best.

 

As to the fischer wc sl, i have kind of mixed views.  I have had a couple of pairs and never really found them to work that well for me (in contrast to their GS skis which are one of my favorites) but several of my team mates swear by them.  One of them did switch to dynastar at the end of the season though and is not going back to Fischer!  In fact his Fischer slaloms are for sale.

 

Personally I would not advocate running a GS course, even a HS version,  on a slalom ski (especially not the non-fis 11m version) if your son is anywhere near aggressive.  I know you will get some suggestions to the contrary but, as someone that probably spends more time in gates than a lot of posters here, I firmly believe it is an accident waiting to happen. (I have personal experience requiring rotator cuff surgery from pushing a Slalom ski to high GS speeds and it hooking up on me so somewhat biased here)  A slalom ski hooks up pretty quickly and aggressively when you step on it.  Again , the right tool for the job.  You wouldn't out of choice use a 25lb hammer to put a picture hook on the wall even though it could be done.  A cheap GS ski is probably less than a co-pay!!

post #11 of 17
+1 on the real deal sl ski. I would advocate for a softer, 180 ish GS in saw a 23 m ski.

As SS notes : get the right tools!
post #12 of 17

     We seem to have a volley going. Lets review what the poster stated originally.

Age: 16

Weight: 178 lbs.

Height: 6'0"

Team: High School Varsity

Skill Level: Mid-level HS racer with room to improve.

Conditions: Michigan, Smaller to Medium Hills, Hardpack

Courses: Slalom & GS (hills not too long), not too much speed gained before turns start.

Current Ski: 2006 Nordica Dobermann World Cup SL 155 w/salomon binding 6-12 Din

     Skill level- I'm reading this as HS is probably his first taste of organized racing past Nastar

     Conditions- smaller to med hills, I have raced out west and other longer steeper venues but my home hill is 325 vert so I'm answering according to that

      Courses- not much speed gained before turns start, good luck at slow speed and not alot of GS experiance bending a 21meter gs board

  OK with that in mind a 165cmSL will feel more stable than a 155 that he's on now. I personally am a big fan of GS and GS skis, but for years I have skied on them[ from the era of 210's] and currently ski our WC RC[cheater GS] for our league, works great, so I wouldn't recommend a 21+meter ski to a HS racer at a smaller hill.

      I personally don't like running GS on SL boards,but I've raced for a long time, if you wish to buy more than 1 pair of skis I would add a 17-19 meter cheater GS

post #13 of 17

FWIW, my 15 year old U-16 racer at 6' 145lbs runs on 165 Dynastar Omeglass WCs and 182 Speed Course WC. This is ACA/AOA (think USSA) club skiing in Ontario - since we don't really run HS sports the same way as the US does. Pretty much all the racers at his age level run 165, 13m "FIS" SLs and 23m FIS GS skis (not the "true" WC as ScotsSkier pointed out) and this is on 7-800' vertical hills.

post #14 of 17
Good advice here from irip and ZG. it mirrors almost exactly what I posted and what was in my email.....
post #15 of 17

I was thinking some more on this, and I assume Michigan has roughly the same conditions as Ontario. Assuming that your  son is a good sized, fairly strong kid and a decent skier and probably as competitive as anyone else. My opinion is that that he will be pushing as hard as he can and at his size, I think anything less than FIS ski is not going to be up to the job on the hardpack courses he will be racing and training on. Ultimately he will either have to slow down, or will blow out if the skis can't hold an edge at speed. Same thing applies to the SL vs GS question.  If you think his skiing may not be up to a level of a "FIS" ski, I would suggest a "softer" flexing (reps hate that description) ski that works for lighter or more finesse racers like a Dynastar/Rossi (same ski, different topsheet) or if he is a powerful skier then a Fischer, Atomic or inbetween a Head or Elan.

 

There are deals to be had on off-year skis from places like raceskis.com, starthaus.com, edgewise etc if you look around.

 

Good luck.

post #16 of 17
And remember, the right ski will guide form. ESP in an athlete.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by iriponsnow View Post

And remember, the right ski will guide form. ESP in an athlete.

 



    Maybe, but over equip'ing yourself on a small hill HS GS is a guaranteed way to star in your own teen angst movie. We need jclose to weigh in on this, he knows Mi. racing.

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