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Rossignol S3 for begginer?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm interested in getting my first set of skis and would like to know if the S3 will be adequate. I am 35 years old, have only skied once, but I've been mountaineering, paragliding, surfing, all my life so I'm quite reasonably skilled and fit.
I have very little experience, been on a 7 day ski trip in Chile this year, 3 days lessons and practice, 4 days on the groomers blue and a couple of reds. Did a 18min descent on a 13km blue, with some red sections, more experienced skiers do it in 14mins... By the end of the week I was quit comfortable carving turns on blue and red tracks, even atempting some jumps on the edges and landing a couple.
Where will I ski: I work once a year in Norway, jan/feb, and will be taking some days off to go to a ski resort. I will also be visiting some friends up north who go out on snow mobiles, building jumps, and doing runs in the backcountry. Given the opportunity I will surely want to go with them.
As I live in Brazil, I plan to go to Chile in winter(jun, july) wher I will spend some days with my son who wil be learning how to ski (I'll probably be going alongside him on the kid slope trying to ski switch.... Lol) and one or two days I would like to try and have a go at the Catskiing rides coming down the volcanoes they have there.
So, I know I have very little experience, but would like to get a ski that will last me a long time as I hope to be evolving to an intermediate level quite soon. The only reference I have is riding what I was given at the ski shop in Chile, a pair of 1,60m Salomon X-Scream (old I know) . I am thinking of getting something in the lines of a Rossignol S3 168cm, I am 5'8" and 155llbs, is that a good size for me? I am also considering a pair of boots such as the Salomon Quest 90 or Tecnica Crossfire or Phoenix.
Any advice will be really welcome, thanks
post #2 of 13

I don't think you are a beginner anymore if you can make it down well and are doing jumps.

 

So the S3 has a 98mm waist, which is pretty "fat" ski.  

 

For true beginners, you should probably stick to skis around 80mm and definitely to really fine-tune those basic turning skills.

 

The whole appeal of fatter skis is mainly to make the off-piste or powder experience more enjoyable for those who have already tired of doing the groomed runs and do a lot more varied skiing.

 

So if you intend to go to ungroomed backcountry, and you seem like an intermediate already, yes the s3 is probably a good pick, you are beyond beginner I think.

 

If you are a true beginner working on your turns on groomed run and finetuning carving turns, i would say the s3 is not a good ski, you should pick from the all-mountain skis that are around 80mm in waist.

 

Sizing of 168 is about right for you, considering the S3 have quite a bit of rocker and ski shorter, and you are not an expert so can benefit from having the shorter ski still.  

 

 

For boots.

Please read the bootfitting article as well as 

http://www.epicski.com/atype/9/Level_One

 

Everybody's feet are different, so the boot that matches your foot is the best boot.  

What works for you may not be good for others and vice versa.  You should see a ski shop and try on boots or ask a bootfitter if you have hard to match feet,

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi raytseng,
Thanks a lot for your reply. I understand you point and agree with you, although I might be trying out some intermediate stuff, and maybe even succeeding occasionaly, that doesn't mean I have mastered all the basic skills. Actually I know I am miles away from that. Maybe something on the lines of the Blizzard Bushwacker, or the Atomic Panic, Line Prophet... would be better? Any suggestions?
My main concern is it would kill me to have the opportunity to try out some backcountry fresh snow, and not have the gear with me. When up in Norway with friend I won't have any rental shop nearby, and from my experience in Chile I surely won't get anything very "backcountry fancy" there either. But I can always rent some regular, narrow, gromer riding skis, in pretty much any ski resort I go. So my thought was to get something wider for these "special ocasioons", and eventually learn to ride them on a regular basis, so I would be buying something more for the long term.....
Please any advice on gear will be most apreciated.
post #4 of 13

I agree with Ray.  Unless you plan to be strictly on groomed pistes, the S3 sounds great for you.  It's a fairly easy ski but grows well.  The rocker will make turn initiation easy and make it less likely that you'll catch an edge.  The S3 is also no very stiff.  This adds up to a forgiving ski.

 

The thing I'd consider (and really demo-ing would be best) would be the size.  The 168 vs. 178 is hard for you as the S3s ski very short due to their tip and tail rocker.  I have no doubt that the 168 would be ideal for you at the moment, but you sound like you are picking things up very fast and if you do want to be using this ski for a long time I might be tempted to go for the 178 and grow into it a bit.  It would be a bit more difficult and you'd have to focus a bit more on your technique starting out, but it would be a ski that you might be happy with for a longer period if you do continue to improve.  I wouldn't suggest this with a stiffer, less rockered ski, but it seems like an option with the S3.

post #5 of 13

I agree with Ray.  Unless you plan to be strictly on groomed pistes, the S3 sounds great for you.  It's a fairly easy ski but grows well.  The rocker will make turn initiation easy and make it less likely that you'll catch an edge.  The S3 is also no very stiff.  This adds up to a forgiving ski.

 

The thing I'd consider (and really demo-ing would be best) would be the size.  The 168 vs. 178 is hard for you as the S3s ski very short due to their tip and tail rocker.  I have no doubt that the 168 would be ideal for you at the moment, but you sound like you are picking things up very fast and if you do want to be using this ski for a long time I might be tempted to go for the 178 and grow into it a bit.  It would be a bit more difficult and you'd have to focus a bit more on your technique starting out, but it would be a ski that you might be happy with for a longer period if you do continue to improve.  I wouldn't suggest this with a stiffer, less rockered ski, but it seems like an option with the S3.

 

Edit: the other reason I'd think about the length is that the S3 measures short.  I don't know about the 168s, but according to Blister the 186s measure 182.5cm.  I didn't measure them myself, but they looked a tad shorter than my 186 Billy Goats or Mojo 90s.  So the 168s and 178s might actually be closer to 165 and 175s.

post #6 of 13

How do you intend on getting into the BC, getting around, getting up? 

 

I know this isn't what you asked, but you keep mentioning BC and catskiing. This assumes skiing powder, perhaps deep, perhaps within trees, perhaps steep, perhaps in avalanche territory. This is not something you want to tread lightly on. You should really know exactly what you're getting yourself-- and your companions-- into before going ahead with those plans. 

 

As for your level/ski choice, perhaps describing how you ski (parallel or wedge or something between the two) would help. 

post #7 of 13

Daniel,

Check out http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/2011-2012-rossignol-s3-186cm. The S3 is worth further consideration, at least as an in bounds ski.

OlderthanDirt

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I really apreciate all the reply's, thanks a lot! I feel a lot more confident about the idea of getting these skis now, even if I rent something narrower for my first couple of days back on the slopes, I am pretty sure I will grow to like these skis quite soon! Now one thing intrigued me, Marcus post about length, I thought I was already pushing it by going for a 168cm ski, as my previous experience was on a 1,60 ski, buying a 1,78cm ski now seems way too much for me, but I understand the argument. I had a look at the size chart for this ski, my weight (155 pounds), is suitable for both sizes, I would be smack in the middle range for the 1,68cm (140 to 165 pounds), and quite light on the 178cm (150 to 180 pounds). What are your insights on the pros and cons of each size?
Russ, concerning your question about my BC comments, I wish to take any WISE AND RESPONSIBLE oportunity I have to go ski BC. I have been mountaineering, rock, and ice climbing since I was 12, have already done winter snow/ice climbing courses with avalanche awarness classes. But I do understand skiing is quite a different game from climbing, and would never venture out into the unknown without being part of an experienced goup and/or an experienced guide. On both the examples I gave, if I go along, I will be with very experienced skiers, in Norway the guys live in the area where we wil be going and are totally at home in the BC, Catskiing in Chile would be done with a pro guide. So I hope to be abble to get started in a quite safe and responsible manner.

Cheers,

Dan
post #9 of 13

I am a relative noob, but even my on powder days you get some feel that that powder skiing is completely different discipline as compared to regular groomer skiing.   You can compare maybe a bicycle to motorcycle.  Both are different disciplines, but if you don't know how to ride a regular bicycle, you are not going to be able to ride a motorcycle and learning the controls and gears and clutch and so on.  

When you fall in powder, you end up in awkward positions and maybe partially stuck in the soft snow, and takes a lot of effort to dig yourself out (or your buddy has to help).

I think part of the concern is if you are the weaker skier you maybe holding your group back as they rescue you over and over again.  You need to be responsible for yourself to some degree.  You don't want to be in a position where they have to carry you down the mountain.  It is better to be at least a very strong skier on the groomers and attacking resort powder before trying backcountry.  

 

Since you mentioned you do mountaineering.  It would be like taking someone who doesn't even know how to go car-camping or even regular dayhike, then taking them on a full multi-day mountaineering expedition.

Then again, if your group is willing to have you, and willing to look after you, i suppose go for it and take the opportunity.

post #10 of 13

Dan, I didn't mean to be a downer. Ultimately, as long as you're totally open/forward about your level of experience, and a guide says he'll take you-- then that's the guide's choice.

 

I just meant to imply that it's hard to imagine someone who has skied once-- or even for one or two seasons-- going into the BC, even with super experienced guides/friends. It's one thing to dabble in the snow between pistes (great way to learn, in addition to specific off-piste/powder lessons), and mess around on the edges of the trees in the resort (that's how you step into this), but another to be away from any sort of ski patrol, in challenging conditions, where avalanche control isn't happening and things can go terribly bad terribly fast. 

 

It's possible to be in a situation where your entire crew ends up in an avalanche, and you're the only one who can do the rescue since you didn't get buried. A good guide should prevent this from happening most of the time-- but there's no such thing as full security in this. Now you're left, a relative beginner skier on piste, let alone off-piste in the BC. You need to know how to work your avy gear quickly and efficiently, ski over potentially dangerous terrain (avalanche debris, steeps, additional slides), locate the people you need to rescue, make a snap judgement about WHO to rescue, and then pull of the rescue. That's a tall order for an intermediate-advanced level off-piste skier; it's difficult to imagine for a 1-2 season on-piste beginner. 

 

Of course, I guess it's possible your friends and guide are willing to take you to very safe terrain, under 25 degrees, away from any avalanche run-outs or threats, away from tree wells, etc. In that case, buy your friends a case of beer... since they're gonna be staring at all the 35 degree stuff all day, salivating. Those are some good friends. 

 

I won't harp on this. And it sounds like you're pretty experienced in other potentially dangerous outdoor pursuits. But I just wanted to provide a voice in the back of the head that, when you're on the line about just going for it or making a solid, rational decision, says: Do what you know is smart. It'll payoff in better, more hard core skiing down the line. 

post #11 of 13

As to sizing: The Rossignol chart I'm looking at-- just downloaded from their website-- shows the S3 at 168cm for people between 120 and 149 lbs, putting you above that range, and 178cm for people between 150 and 180 lbs. Generally beginners size down and experts up. But also, generally, off-piste intentions size up. Same for skis with significant rocker.

 

If your intention is going to be to get off-piste as soon and as much as possible (Rossi considers it a 70% off-piste, 30% on-piste ski), then I'd get the 178cm. My understanding is that the S3 has significant rocker, is pretty soft, and benefits from bigger length. If your intention is not to get off piste as soon and as much as possible-- or if conditions don't allow that-- then I might suggest looking for a different ski, at a slightly narrower width that still has some float for your ventures, but may make learning at the beginner/intermediate levels more fun and more focused on the fundamentals of good skiing. For instance: Blizzard Bushwacker, at 88mm wide, with a 10% tighter turn radius. Still has some rocker/early rise, still has camber, will still give you some float. Has a more traditional, stable, tail design. 

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot for so much valid info!!! Seems like my instincts, and very limited knowledge of skiing gear were right... By what I can grasp from most coments is that, although I may be abble to handle the S3's, it's not quite suited for the reality of terrain I should be skiing mostly. About my "backcountry" coments and aspirations I guess it's also a bit of lack of knowledge on my part of the correct skiing vocabulary, maybe SIDECOUNTRY is the word I should be focusing on !?!? Meanwile I'm doing my homework and reading Martin Volken's "Backcountry Skiing", quite an eye opener to this discipline...
Regarding my ski choice, browsing through the most popular models under 90mm wide, the ones that most call my atention are the Bushwacker, Atomic Panic, and Nordica El Paco. The Panic and El Paco both have twin tips wich is a feature I am really looking forward to learn how to use. The Panic seems to be the most aopropriate option for me, very good price, good reviews, aimed at intermediate level, all mountain, and park friendly for me to ocupy my hiperactive mind while I build the necessary skills to go out on the powder search in the future. Any thoughts, reviews, advice, on these or other models will be more than welcome.
Once again thanks for all the great feedback you guys have been giving me!!!
post #13 of 13

if you have time, read through this massive thread.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/96359/how-to-ski-powder-please-post-your-tips-and-suggestions


Many people who face powder for the first few times, myself included, promptly fall over and get buried on what was otherwise an easy run; their dreams of effortlessly dolphining through the powder  like they see in movies are crushed and they wish it was a regular groomer day or head to the lodge...

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