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Ski recommendation for intermediate skier

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone!

I'm planning to buy skis, but lost in reviews and classifications. Very often different reviewers put the same ski into intermediate and expert levels and that's very confusing, so please tell me if anything of described below is completely wrong.


At the beginning information about me:

Height: 180 cm (6')

Weight: 75 kg (165 lbs)

Experience: 4 days. I'm not sure if I'm already intermediate, but I hope so =). The plough technique isn't interesting for me any more since second day skiing. I can ski from 30 degree descent without any problems and 40-45 degree slowly, with falls from time to time. So based on ski tutorial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAsGPnEYzLE) I placed myself to intermediate group. Though the technique is far from ideal of course. And here is my first question: what is my real level and what level of ski should I search for not to change it in the near future?

Skiing preferences: 

Technique: I believe carving is most close to the tecknique I use during skiing, especially on higher speeds and steeper slopes =).

Speed: usually I like to ski fast relative to my friends (I get to around 40-60kmph (25-35mph) quite often if there is not many people nearby).

Skiing conditions: probably the most hard to describe and this is the major problem in selecting new skis. So, I ski only on-piste, but the quality of snow surface in Ukraine (where I live) very often quite bad: there is slob, small bumps and big icy fields, especially in the second part of the day. Often I need to decide to ski either on ice or slob =). Although such conditions are only on ~10 % of the slope, they make 95% of problems and falls. Here is the second question: are this conditions considered mostly groomed on-piste, or should I search for all-mountain skis? And what should be the waist width for such conditions?

Common problems with skis I have: I used rented skis by now. I can't say the problems are in skis (probably most of them are in my technique). So here are they:

- very often skis slipping on icy slope and it doesn't matter how hard I try to stay on edges.

- on higher speeds skis in turns skis sometimes whips off (not sure if this is correct word - they just aren't able to keep the edge and slips to the side and makes me fall).

- again higher speed, but slob conditions: skis immediately slows down and dives - again the result is falling (here I'm sure it is problem in my technique, but maybe if I had wider skis it would be easier to overcome it).



Here is third question: what size of skis should I take? By now I always used 165 cm as proposed by rental service, but most charts recommend 170-180 cm (again big difference). I was planning 170 cm - is it correct decision?


I plan to buy used skis of 2010-2012 year to save money (budget is around 200-300$)

Here is the list of skis I selected by now:

Salomon X-Kart - there are few very good responces in russian saying it's one of the best intermediste to advanced skis.

Fischer Viron 8.8 c-line or 6.6 if it's more appropriate. But 8.8 is easier to find used and looks like it is still intermediate. Few reviews say it is extreemely good for groomed and icy slopes.

Atomic D2 VF 75

Salomon Enduro XT 800 - All-mountain variant

Rossignol Zenith 76Ti 2012 - marked as best intermediate ski in that link. Though it is hard to find them used.


Ahd here is the fourth and the most important question: Am I going into right direction? Can you say anything about variants listed or propose your option?


PS: Whew, a big post. I hope that information will help you to help me =)

post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

Any thoughts? It's my first post. Did I do anything wrong? Why every question except my has 10+ answers and my is 0?

post #3 of 11
You need boots before you get skis, and you need to get them from a good boot fitter/ski shop as they need to fit well, ordering boots online ends in disaster most of the time. As far as what boots to get, you dont need to worry about that, if the store knows what theyre doing theyll set you up with a pair of boots thats right for you.

A decent bootfitter will take into account your level of skill, the size and shape of your feet and lower legs when fitting boots. They should also make custom insoles that are specific to the shape of your foot.

As far as skis are concerned, if youve only skied for four days Id wait until youre a little bit more experienced. Theres no point buying a ski now if your technique and the terrain youre skiing is going to improve quite quickly in the near future.

Hope that helps.

post #4 of 11

Hello and welcome.


One reason that you have not had any replies to your thread might be because there are endless "What skis should I buy?" threads.


The standard response to a new skier is to first spend the whole budget on buying boots from a quality boot fitter and continue to rent skis. Pay extra and rent demo skis not standard rentals.


There is no point in recommending skis in advance to someone who is buying used skis because the choice is limited to what used skis are available in your area. The good news is that used skis have bindings so you should be able to try before you buy.


No matter how successful your 4 days of skiing have been, unless you are a very gifted athlete, after 4 days of skiing you are still a beginner. However beginner or intermediate, it is just a name and the important thing is it sounds like you are progressing rapidly and having fun.

post #5 of 11

Hi welcome to Epicski.  I think the "what ski should I buy" threads are pretty common here, but you did put a lot of thought into your question.  I have to admit, I'm not personally familiar with some of the selections you identified, and I suspect that there are some different models of skis sold in Russia and the Ukraine than we have available in the U.S. where most of our members are. 


Maybe while we wait on an answer to the gear questions you can tell us more about where you ski?  We have several members from that region of the world, but don't get a lot of information about East Euro skiing.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Regarding boots, I read a lot about them too and know they are more important than skis. You convinced me finally it is right decision, because I still had doubts and temptation to buy them used to =). So I decided to go to the local ski store when the discounts starts (in 2-3 weeks). You actually answered the question which I didn't ask yet =). Thanks!

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Yes, I know that "What ski to buy" is very popular question and I read dozen of related threads. But there are so many preferences and parameters that I didn't find answer to my question.


As for spending the whole budget on boots - maybe you are right. But I'm afraid the renting of skis is of the same price as skis+boots, so one advantage (rental fee) less in this case. Actually I'm not strictly limited by some budget but the prices are quite high and I don't want to overpay (I'm not a millionaire unfortunately). So I can afford new boots + used skis (which was the original idea - I just didn't mention that).


I haven't seen any of the good models of skis at rentals, so I won't be able to test them in advance, unless I'll go once to Poland or Slovakia, or Austria. Hm... That's a good idea =).

RE "There is no point in recommending skis in advance to someone who is buying used skis because the choice is limited to what used skis are available in your area." - I understand it would be hard to find single selected model, but the models I've listed (except Rossingol) are quite common in Ukraine and I can find them in 2 weeks without a problem.


Probably buying skis is really the next step and I should hold on a bit until my technique will become more stable.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi Cirquerider,

I will share my view of Western-Ukrainian Ski places with pleasure.

The climate of Ukraine is mild. In winter we usually have temperatures -10..0 by Celsius, sometimes -20.
We have Karpathian mountains here and all big ski resorts are located there. The most popular ones:

- Bukovel - the largest. It is going to apply for hosting Winter Olympic games 2018. But it is quite far in the mountains, so I didn't visit it yet. Planning this year.
- Plai - more close to Lviv (biggest city in western Ukraine), so very popular. But it is quite small and crowdy as a result.
- Slavks - really good transport connectino with Lviv. But the quality of slopes often much worth than in neighbouring Plai (Skavsk don't have snowmakers as far as I know. At least most of the slopes doesn't have them).
- Dragobrat - usually popular in spring when other resorts stop working. It is high in the mountains and from the north side. But high mountains is also a disadvantage as it is hard to get there  on your own auto.
- Krasiya.

There are also many others mountains and resorts, less known, but still good enough to go there and have a great time.
Most of the tracks are up to 1000 meters, but some resorts have 2km ones.

I visited Skavsk, Plai (2 times) and Pylypets. The situation is not as bad as you might imagine actually (I heard a lot of really funny stories about the ideas of americans and europeans how we live here).

Most recent memories are about Plai (was there a week ago and planning to visit next week again). In the mourning it was below zero and snowing, so the slope was in almost ideal conditions. But in few hours many people and new snow created small areas and bumps of powder (very confusing when you go fast and then immediately slow-down in this powder), and icy areas on steeper slopes. The worst was ice on about 150 meters of ~30-35 degree descent - there was no way to stop there unless skiing on the wayside of the track which wasn't very good too. But still about 80% of the slope is in good conditions. There are small bumps and tramplins (10-20 cm high), made by many skiers turning there, which are unnoticable on low speed but on higher they can teach you fly =).

In general I would say we have quite good conditions and resorts for skiing and I had a lot of fun there. But you'll usually need skis which are more or less universal. If you are a sportsmen, used to ideal groomed conditions, you'll probably be disappointed with our tracks. But for most of people it's not so important and they simply want to have fun. Ukrain is the perfect place for it I think =).

Welcome to Ukraine!


post #9 of 11

Having a consistent set of skis will really help you to develop your feel for the snow and your style.  Overall, would you consider snow conditions to be soft and forgiving, or more icy where you ski?  I have demo skied the Rossignol Zenith skis a few years ago, and while they performed alright over a variety of conditions, they left me feeling kind of flat.  Take a look at this thread from three years ago.  All of these models are used now and you can see they each have very versatile uses on the mountain, good performance and might meet your needs.  Are any of these available?

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Talking about snow conditions, I would describe them as mostly soft with about 10-20% hard areas. I haven't seen a lot of different conditions actually so hard to pretend for reliable evaluator =).

You may see some videos (not my), I would say usual conditions from Ukrainian resorts: Bulokel, Plai, Dragobrat, Slavsk.


You've pointed to a great review. Does that mean you recommend All-mountain skis instead of carving or slalom ones? Unfortunately it is much harder to find used wider skis here. I saw somewhere Fischer Motive 84 and Salomon Enduro XT 800, but usually we have more narrow variants. I reviewed  all local used-ski-store sites and actually found onle Salomon BBR 2012 from a wider range. Looks like the market in USA and Europe is really differs a lot (we usually get used skis from Austria). The most popular brands are Atomic and Salomon while your review doesn't contain any of them =(. Here are few stores: http://yavorov.olx.com.ua/iid-411500565http://if.olx.com.ua/11-12-iid-376884156http://forum.bukovel.com/viewtopic.php?id=9192http://forum.bukovel.com/viewtopic.php?id=8745 - just for example of skis available here. Quite a lot actually, but no one from recommended in provided review.

post #11 of 11
Hi, PostScriptum...

I'm in a similar situation. I'm back in the sport after a 20 year hiatus. The explosion in equipment baffled me when I was looking to re-equip. I grew up skiing east coast US hard pack (home mountain - Sugarloaf, USA in Maine) and boot-packing up Mount Washington to ski the Tuckerman Ravine headwall every spring. When I needed performance the only real options at the time were racing skis. Now-a-days, you've got effective choices all over the map.

You're on the right track starting with boots. Hit up your local shops at the end of the season and you should be able to get something brand new for relatively cheap. I ended up with last season's Nordica Enforcer Pro boots for $400.

As far as skis go, if you've been on boards 4 days total I think you're in a good position to just buy any old set as long as they've got bindings that'll be indemnified and covered for service by your local shop for a couple years. Honestly, you're not going to need a ton of performance for a little bit. Save your money for when you know exactly what you need. Just make sure to ask if the bindings are still indemnified. If the seller doesn't know, you should be able to route around on the web and find a current list.

Manufacturer's are required to release a list of indemnified bindings every year, which means if you buy a set that isn't listed, it's likely you won't be able to get them serviced.

Once you're set up on something cheap and reliable just start making the rounds of the local shops. Ask A LOT of questions. You obviously have the bug and people who work in shops will dig that. Find a shop or two where you really groove with the people. Hang out once in a while for a few minutes. Get into conversations and develop relationships with these places.

Once you know these folks and they know you, they'll have you in the back of their mind when a deal pops up or someone they know needs to unload something nice for cheap. This is where your real, final set-up will come from.

Since I'm typing this on an iPhone I'm not going to bother to go back and check for spelling or grammar. I just have to hope I didn't come off as a rambling fool.
Edited by Viddiewell - 1/20/13 at 10:05am
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