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"Narrow" waist skis good or bad for beginner?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am a beginner skier looking to buy inexpensive used equipment as an alternative to renting.  I will probably never ski more than 3-4 times a year, so it's not worth it to me to invest much money, and I realize I will probably never advance to a high skill level.  My size is 5-9/140lb, so I am looking for a ski in the 160-165cm range.  I have a chance to get what appear to be some decent skis (Dynastar Agyl 9 - 162cm) for not much $.  But compared to others I see for sale, they seem pretty narrow (95-72-104).  My question is:  are these skis too narrow for someone like me, who is a low skill level skiing entirely on groomed conditions?  Given my body size, skill level, and purpose, what are ideal dimensions I should be looking for? Thanks for any advice!

post #2 of 7
The skis will do fine. Just make sure to get the skis serviced before you use them.
post #3 of 7

 Most important will be boots that fit (it is SO easy to buy unsuitably large boots as a beginner) and lessons. 

 Beginners will usually be seen on fairly narrow skis so they can learn to find their edges to grip and turn easier before their technique catches up with their enthusiasm. If your on hard icy groomers you will keep on with quite narrow skis anyway as they are ideal for those conditions.

 If you look back at the old fashioned straight skis you will see how narrow they were and they were used all over the hill, you really had to be on top of your technique to ski those in deep powder!

 The really wide skis you see are for floating on powder not a balance aid for beginners (which is what my OH thought bless him) lol

post #4 of 7
They aren't really narrow, they only appears that way when compared with the fat ski every wannabe punk kid seems to be on today, even on perfectly groomed wide trails.
post #5 of 7

as others have chipped in, boots first (don't go cheap or used).


for the skis i'd look towards something a bit wider than low 70s, to be frank....

something used (craigslist or here) in the high 70s to mid 80s in waist width...mid stiff

....a good versatile all mountain ski.


2 reasons:


1...with this width (high 70s to mid 80s) they're still narrow enough that you'll learn comfortably about the importance of balancing and edging ....(atomic blackeyes, for example at 82 mm...very user friendly, those things can rock on groomers when locked and loaded, but still have fun, skied 'at ease' in mixed snow and are not too hooky with a turned up tail...can get them for a deal used) 


2...you will have more versatility with this width of a ski (esp mid stiff) because it will be good for both packed out days as well as for when you get up to a 1/2 foot of fresh snow on the ground....so with increased versatility it will act as an incentive .... thus you might want get out to enjoy skiing more than you first thought.


many others on here can point out specific skis for you ability much better than i can.


lastly pls take lessons from a certified pro:

a good instructor can do tons of good for confidence building

and giving you a good platform to help you  to safely enjoy this wonderful sport further.

Edited by canali - 1/6/13 at 11:59am
post #6 of 7
Just a thought. Find out the make and model of the bindings. Some older bindings cannot be worked on due to liability insurance reasons. Let us know. There are some shop guys lurking around who can tell you whether the bindings are indemnifiable.

There were several generations of Agyl skis dating to the early part of the last decade.

post #7 of 7

Those will be perfectly fine.  A significant part of learning to ski is learning to feel/control your edges.  IMHO,  a narrower ski provides an easier platform from which to feel those edges working.


Years ago,  in the early days of "shaped" skis,  I had put my 4-5ish y.o. boy on some new 80? cm Atomic "shaped" skis.  They had fat tails and tips with a ridiculous amount of sidecut.  I was struggling to get him to learn to use his edges together.  I happened to ride up the lift with a ski intructor with whom I shared my struggle.  He suggested I put my kid on some straight skis until he learned to edge better.  I didn't do anything that winter,  but the following winter,  on a whim,  I drug out some old straight 140's I had in the shed.  Althought they were too long for him,  by the end of the first day,  he was "getting it".  He put in several more days on those things before we put him on something more appropriate.  That experience turned him into a skier and he never looked back.


I'm not suggesting you should start on old-fashioned straight skis today,  as technology has improved greatly from those early days.  However,  I still believe a narrower ski is what I would suggest for a beginner.  Ironically,  that same little guy in my description above is teaching his girlfriend to ski for the first time today (18 now).  We fixed her up with an old pair of his skis from years ago - some 156 cm Dynastar Concept twins,  which were about as narrow as twins were ever made. Probably narrower than the Agyl's the OP was questioning.   I'm anxious for them to get home to hear how it went!



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