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Coming back to skiing - ski and boot advice needed

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi Guys,

 

I am coming back to skiing after ~12 years of snowboarding (26 now, stated skiing very young before boarding).

 

I'm an aggressive advanced-intermediate and the few times I've rented over the last two seasons (as I've slowly decided to come back to skiing - I now want to ski 100%) I've felt comfortable all over the mountain (blacks, etc.).

 

I mostly ski in Ontario (Blue, St. Louie), Quebec (Tremblant, Mt. St-Anne), and the NE US (Whiteface, Jay Peak, etc.).

 

I'm 5'11" and ~175 lbs.

 

I have two questions relating to skis and boots:

 

1) I can get a good deal on 2012 Rossignol Avenger Ti's, but can't decide between 82 mm or 76 mm underfoot. I've been told to go for the 76's for Ontario/Quebec on-piste hardpack (which is where I will do the majority of my skiing, though I'd love deeper stuff if I ever see it), but the 82's seem more versatile and come with better bindings (Axial vs Axium on the 76's). Will the 76's perform better on the east coast? Any negatievs to the 82s? Really don't know which way to go here and won't be able to demo.

 

2) I've been through a thorough boot fitting and love the Lange 97mm last, just can't decide on the RS or RX and I'm not 100% sure about flex. I'm leaning towards the RS 130 given I'll be primarily on groomers, but I'm not fussed if there are advantage to the RX (other than sole grip, which I'm indifferent about). Otherwise, will 130 be too much for me? They seemed firm but not over-stiff in the shop, and I'm thinkng I should err on the stiff side. Is this the right way to go?

 

Any advice would be appreciated - thanks in advance for all your help, I can't wait to get on the snow this year.

post #2 of 14

Sounds like you enjoy ripping the groomers mostly.  I do too.  Get the 76's.  A powder day where you and I live in Ontario is about 2" of fresh if we're lucky.  And that's gone in about 10 minutes.  It's all hardpack here all the time.  Blue is always slick, even the mogul runs.   The only time it's not hardpack around here is in March when it's mashed potatoes.  I use a 75mm GS cheater ski for Blue, Moonstone, and even Quebec and Vermont.  I've even taken them out West to Lake Louise and done fine.  For smaller hills around here like Eden, Hockley, Horseshoe, etc I break out the slaloms and rock a 67mm underfoot to slice and dice the smaller hardpack hills.

 

As for boots, I'm not an expert but I will say that I ended up going with a stiffer flex than I thought I would....and it's great.  As you get better, you'll wish for something stiffer overall.  That's a generalization, I understand, but forget the softer boots, sounds like that's not in your future.  RS or RX?  I can't imagine using an RX anywhere around here all at EVER.  Maybe a couple times at Jay if you're lucky.  

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

Sounds like you enjoy ripping the groomers mostly.  I do too.  Get the 76's.  A powder day where you and I live in Ontario is about 2" of fresh if we're lucky.  And that's gone in about 10 minutes.  It's all hardpack here all the time.  Blue is always slick, even the mogul runs.   The only time it's not hardpack around here is in March when it's mashed potatoes.  I use a 75mm GS cheater ski for Blue, Moonstone, and even Quebec and Vermont.  I've even taken them out West to Lake Louise and done fine.  For smaller hills around here like Eden, Hockley, Horseshoe, etc I break out the slaloms and rock a 67mm underfoot to slice and dice the smaller hardpack hills.

 

Thanks for the advice, Gunner. Would a cheater GS be a better option? Something like a Rossi 9GS (which I can also get for a good price) - 72 mm underfoot and about 18 m turn radius. Would seem to be a bit more one-dimensional than the Avenger 76, but probably better on the groomers, which is where I'll be. Just as long as I can mix in some short turns as well I think it would work.

 

Thoughts, anyone?

post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post
 RS or RX?  I can't imagine using an RX anywhere around here all at EVER.  Maybe a couple times at Jay if you're lucky.  

 

Can you elaborate on this? I am shopping for boots this season as well and Lange is on the list because they have fit me well in the past. What about the RX makes you say this?

post #5 of 14

Wooly: Like I said, I'm NOT a boot expert by any stretch, so please don't take my comments as gospel in any way, shape, or form. But as I understand, the RX is geared more toward backcountry, skinning, off piste, etc......while the RS is more performance/race oriented and not suitable for any backcountry type usage.  If someone is staying on piste, particularly groomers, I believe the RS is suited for that type of use. That said, the Boot Guy sub-forum here at Epic might be a better place to ask about the RS vs RX, since they ARE the experts.  I think the proper response from me is, "consult with a pro boot fitter and see what he/she says would work for your feet the best".

 

As for the GS option, True Blue, if you want something a bit more versatile, then the 76 sounds like a great option.  My 67mm slaloms are far too turney and squirrely for bigger hills, they only come out for the small local hills (300' vert) to get the most turns in I can. But my 75mm GS-esque skis rip the frontside and are still versatile enough to dabble elsewhere.  They're far too stiff for decent moguls, and far too narrow for powder, but I rarely hit them on those skis anyways.  But the option is there, and so is the limited versatility, if I want.  Sounds like you don't want JUST a dedicated groomer ripper, but want something a bit more well-rounded, so if that's the case then I think the 76 might be the smarter move.  If you plan more time off the groomers, then the 82mm might be the better option but the problem is they won't be as good on the groomers as 76mm, and they won't be nearly as good elsewhere as some other skis, so the 82mm will be stuck as "pretty good" at a few things but not "really good" at anything.  And if you plan on mostly frontside, then the 76 sounds like a much better option.

 

I should mention, the 9GS caught my eye too, but the radius and sidecut wasn't as suited to smaller turns from what I could tell, so I passed and went with something more versatile.  I went down in an embarrassing heap when I tried to push really hard, tight turns on a GS type ski.  Hurt my ego more than my butt LOL. So then I tried to find skis afterward that better suited what I wanted to do, rather than trying to make the ski be something it was not designed for.  Subtle but important distinction, I think.


Edited by Gunnerbob - 10/18/12 at 10:35am
post #6 of 14

Haven't skied St Louie, but ski mostly at Blue, and Glenn Eden.

 

Just about same wt and ht and I'm on Dynastar Speed Course WC FIS 176's (GS Ski) with Lange WC 130 Boots.  Love it.  The ice and crub just doesn't exist.  Honestly though also consider the Ti (sort of a compromise between SL and GS skis with forgiveness built in) versions of this ski, I've been told that they are slightly more forgiving and may be more fun depending on level of experience and intensity you have.

 

Anything in that range (race or detuned race Ti versions) from any of the manufacuters should be good.  (Dynastar and Rossi basically the same ski, Atomics are supposed to be good)

 

Since you are in Ontario consider ASOGEAR (part of Corbetts) sell on eBay, clearing out new old stock.

post #7 of 14

RS is more race specific in a 97 or 100 mm last.  The RX is a high performance on piste boot with a 100 last and it also comes in a low volume 97 last.  The RX might be more comfortable and would probably be a bit warmer as it has a different liner from the RS.   The RS might be a bit stiffer laterally.  Which feels better, which has the better fit?  Go with that.

 

The avenger 76 is a good ski for what you want and where you ski.  It would give you more options than a GS if you want to go into bumps, vary the turn radius or play in general.  I use a Rossi WC GS when I'm at a hill that has bomber hard pack and no crowds,  Great ski, but I would not want it for my only ski as it is sort of a single purpose ski - fast and big turns.  Not the best of skis for crowded hills.  The Avenger would give you more options, but slightly less performance if you only want to ski GS style. Always a trade off!

 

Have fun


Edited by canadianskier - 10/18/12 at 6:53pm
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help everyone. Still don't know what I'm going to do, but I'm considering whether a quiver is in my future or if I really only will use one ski for the next few years. Gunner, I like your Slalom/Cheater GS combination, especially around Ontario, so an SL might be in my future.

 

My priority for the next season or two will really be improving technically on the frontside, with anything else really being a brief distraction - I'm thinking a 174 cm, 18 m radius detuned race ski (9GS) might not be a bad option, especially as this review (for what it's worth) praises the ski's agility and versatility: http://skicanadamag.com/ski-tests/ski-test-2012/on-piste-cruisers-2012/rossignol-9-gs-cascade-2012.

 

Is there any "best" type of ski to improve from advanced intermediated to solid advanced/expert on frontside groomers? I would think slaloms would be a little too limited to quick turns and GS to long turns, so something in between (length/radius-wise) would be perfect, which is why I'm leaning towads the 9GS. The Avenger 76 would also seem to fit, but given it's a little more "all-mountain", I think I might be losing a little bit on the frontside.

 

Tradeoffs suck.

post #9 of 14

I actually wanted that Rossi ski, but I have enough right now and my wife would shoot me if I went there, so........I keep what I have (for now).  Talk about tradeoffs, eh? wink.gif

 

Whatever direction you choose, just be sure you don't overlap your skis too much; keep them different enough to make sense.  For example, that Rossi would be your frontside ripper just about anywhere.  Then if you add to your quiver, go for a short SL ski for the small local hills.  It's an entirely different ski from the Rossi, so there's no overlap in usage/ability, and it sounds like those 2 skis would cover probably 90% of all your ski days.  Then if you want to add to your quiver, grab a wider ski for the trees and powder days in Vermont, etc....or something for an all-mountain out West.

 

So make sure you get something that you can build into a quiver (because you will want to add more, trust me LOL).  Going with the Rossi 82mm, for example, wouldn't work if you add skis to a quiver because there's too much overlap and it's a more all-purpose ski that wouldn't do much against more dedicated skis (GS, SL types) that you're leaning toward.  That make sense?

 

What I've found is in our area, a good GS set is the best overall for the East Coast hardpack.  Then the SL skis make perfect sense for our local small hills.  After that, I decided to add with a 94mm ski I only bring to Quebec and Vermont for any soft/deeper snow days, or going into the trees.  These 94mm never get used around home at all, ever.

 

Establish your priorities, make sure there's little overlap going forward if you have any plans on adding more skis (which sounds like you will).  Keep your eyes open for deals.....as was suggested, ASOGEAR on Ebay Canada is essentially Corbett's (Oakville) online clearance seller, they have some killer deals, you just gotta be a little flexible and keep checking what they have because their stock always changes.  Skiis and Biikes also has clearance sales, some excellent stuff and I know they have (at least did have) the Rossi GS ski there too.  I almost bought them before my wife gave me "the look" haha.

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

I actually wanted that Rossi ski, but I have enough right now and my wife would shoot me if I went there, so........I keep what I have (for now).  Talk about tradeoffs, eh? wink.gif

 

Whatever direction you choose, just be sure you don't overlap your skis too much; keep them different enough to make sense.  For example, that Rossi would be your frontside ripper just about anywhere.  Then if you add to your quiver, go for a short SL ski for the small local hills.  It's an entirely different ski from the Rossi, so there's no overlap in usage/ability, and it sounds like those 2 skis would cover probably 90% of all your ski days.  Then if you want to add to your quiver, grab a wider ski for the trees and powder days in Vermont, etc....or something for an all-mountain out West.

 

So make sure you get something that you can build into a quiver (because you will want to add more, trust me LOL).  Going with the Rossi 82mm, for example, wouldn't work if you add skis to a quiver because there's too much overlap and it's a more all-purpose ski that wouldn't do much against more dedicated skis (GS, SL types) that you're leaning toward.  That make sense?

 

What I've found is in our area, a good GS set is the best overall for the East Coast hardpack.  Then the SL skis make perfect sense for our local small hills.  After that, I decided to add with a 94mm ski I only bring to Quebec and Vermont for any soft/deeper snow days, or going into the trees.  These 94mm never get used around home at all, ever.

 

Establish your priorities, make sure there's little overlap going forward if you have any plans on adding more skis (which sounds like you will).  Keep your eyes open for deals.....as was suggested, ASOGEAR on Ebay Canada is essentially Corbett's (Oakville) online clearance seller, they have some killer deals, you just gotta be a little flexible and keep checking what they have because their stock always changes.  Skiis and Biikes also has clearance sales, some excellent stuff and I know they have (at least did have) the Rossi GS ski there too.  I almost bought them before my wife gave me "the look" haha.

Good advice. 

 

True Blue, If your goal for this year is improving groomer performance, it is a good thing to have skis that do different things.  SL skis force you to be very active in turning and to link turns quickly.  GS skiing requires a bit more patience and has differences in edge control and pressure.  You do different things to make these skis work well, so skiing on both types of skis will make you more of a well rounded skier and help you to know how turning radius affects how skis turn, at least on piste.  At the beginning of each year, I often ski my SLs a lot.  For me, SLs are great for early season conditioning and getting the muscle memory alive again.  Skiing 2000 or 3000 vert per run on SL skis gives a lot of practice!

 

IMHO, the best thing that you can do to improve is to get lots of time on skis.  If you end up with two skis this year, get to know a ski instructor and take a lesson or two while using each ski.  Dedicate  several weeks learning about how best ski that ski, then switch.


Edited by canadianskier - 10/19/12 at 11:25am
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Sorry for the late response, but thanks again for the detailed advice. I'm pretty sure I'll be going with the 9GSfor now with a view towards picking up a shorter SL for the smaller hills around Ontario.

 

Gunner, when you say short, how short would you recommend? Im thinking of the 174 cm in the 9GS - would a 165 SL ski be different enough or should I go even shorter? (5'11" and ~175lbs, as mentioned).

 

Also, I will definitely be buying the skis through ASO Gear - happy to hear others are aware of it as well!

post #12 of 14

The 9GS is similar to the Dynastar Speed Course Ti,  I'm 6'0"  168lbs skiing the 176 FIS version of the ski (23m) womens Radius in Ontario.  I would say anything above 174 should be good.  The detuned version is slightly more forgiving and I believe closer to a 18m turning radius. 

 

In either case you love it.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post

The 9GS is similar to the Dynastar Speed Course Ti,  I'm 6'0"  168lbs skiing the 176 FIS version of the ski (23m) womens Radius in Ontario.  I would say anything above 174 should be good.  The detuned version is slightly more forgiving and I believe closer to a 18m turning radius. 

 

In either case you love it.

 

oldschool, are you saying 174 would be too short?

 

The other option would be a 180 (20 m radius), but I was thinking of going with the 174 (18 m radius) for the shorter radius, essentially giving me a detuned race ski in between a GS and SL, without going to an "all-mountain" narrow waist (like the Avenger 76 I mentioned above). Given we are essentially the same size, I can't see how 2 cm would make too much of a difference and I think the shorter radius would be to my benefit in Ontario, given what I'm looking for.

 

Also, if anyone has any thoughts on SL ski size for a second ski I would appreciate recommendations.

post #14 of 14

Sorry wasn't clear, I think the 174 should be ok, remember I'm on the 176 FIS version (Dynastar almost same as Rossi).

 

I think that once you ski the cheater ski (which is basicly what I'm doing) you might not require the SL ski. The only difference is thats a little more nimble (tighter turning if you push it).

 

http://youtu.be/SCZwgA6NwNw

 

http://youtu.be/kiMrvPeIUOA

 

The Rossi's should be similar.

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