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Question about skier weight for backcountry ski

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

My kids are finally old enough (and interested in) starting to cross country ski and we are finally living in an area where we can do it (belgium) as living in Morocco the past few years was not conducive to getting them into this sport.


I pulled out my old Black Diamond Valmonte X skis which are in great condition for being in storage for the past 11 years.  I am not nearly the weight I was back then and need to know if I should use these or not on an upcoming excursion.


I am 5'10" and weight rougly 210lbs.

The skis are 190cm long.


This ski does not have as stiff a camber as my slightly longer Fisher touring skis (which I bought in 1997) but unlike my Fishers these have a metal edge which helps in turning when going down hills on trail. I THINK the camber difference is that these black diamonds are considered backcountry touring skis.


While standing evenly on both skis I had my wife try to pull a sheet of paper out from under the binding area...no go, as both skis were flat to the floor...but I am not sure if that is an appropriate test for this type of ski.


I know that I am heavy for these skis but...can anyone with experience with these skis or something similar advise whether or not I am far too heavy for these based on my weight and the ski length or should I use them anyways?


Thanks in advance,


post #2 of 13

They'll be fine for XC in Belgium.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

We are heading to the Haut Jura of France soon for a few days...do you think these will be ok or should I rent something else while there?



post #4 of 13

I think they'd be fine.  Nordic skis have gotten a little better, but not the huge changes of Alpine.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your help.  I am not concerned about running on newer equipment...just concerned that I may be too heavy for my old skis.



post #6 of 13

If you are too heavy you'll get great grip but your glide won't be as good as it could be. Sometimes that could be a good thing.smile.gif My Fischer Crown skis act differently depending on the snow conditions and the weight of my pack (5-40 lbs depending)  but it's always a fun day. As a matter of fact, I enjoy those non-perfect days more as it forces me to pay more attention the the quality of the snow I look to ski over. Slipping? Move toward fresher snow at the side of the trail/track and stomp a bit more. No glide? Look for the slicker/icier snow and ride your tails on the downs.

post #7 of 13

Old fashioned paper test is this: with both skis weighted evenly on a a hard surface, you should be able to slide a piece of paper from under the wax (or pattern) pocket.  When you stand on one, paper should be immobile. 

It sounds like your skis are, in fact, under-cambered for your weight (or, alternately, you are too heavy for the skis).  As Wooley suggested, sometimes that's OK if you're anxious about the downhills.  But it's less than optimal.


I'm not familiar with the Haut Jura area, but I will disagree with Shred; I think the skiability and grip/glide characteristics of xc skis have radically improved in recent years. I don't know what your long-term plans are, but if you're gonna ski xc a lot, I think it makes sense to look at new skis (along with the new binding systems, like NNN).  Relative to downhill, equipment is affordable.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks to everyone who responded.  I appreciate everyone's assessment.  I am thinking about packing both the black diamonds as well as my fishers which have more camber and are a bit longer.  The only issue with the Fishers are they do not have metal edges that I would prefer.


Both sets of skis have NNN BC bindings and my Alpina BC boots look to be in good shape with no dry rot around the toe bar.  I will mount the boot in the binding and torque it around to double check that everything is in good order.



Thanks again for the assessment/advice.



post #9 of 13
Originally Posted by zohan View Post



Both sets of skis have NNN BC bindings and my Alpina BC boots look to be in good shape with no dry rot around the toe bar.


Also make sure to check the boots at the outsole to upper seam.    Any small sign of delamination here can mean you won't be connected to your skis 5km later.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Good point.  I will be sure to check this.



post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Just got back from a trip to Les Rousses, France.  Skis and boots worked great.  Thanks to all who replied for giving me the confidence to dust off my sticks and get them back on the snow.



post #12 of 13


post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

This was a school trip.  I am currently stationed with NATO at SHAPE (NATO military HQ in Belgium).  My kids attend the international school on the base.  Two of the sections (Canadian and Norwegian) of the international school do an annual ski trip that ties in physical education, cross-culture, and celebration of winter activity as mainstay of their national cultures.  Although we are from the US, my kids attend the Canadian section of the school as they received a foundation in French at my last post and we felt the bilingual program of the Canadian section would be the best way for them to continue to build and strengthen their foreign language skills as well as best integrate them in a multicultural environment.  I happen to be asked to help chaperon the trip due to my skiing experience as well as my background as a medic and sports medicine.  We spent 3 days alpine skiing, 2 days cross-country skiing, and one evening ice skating.  Due to a lack of instructors at the mountain, I spent the first day teaching the kids who had never been on alpine skis before.  By the end of the day we had them integrated with the groups with instructors higher up on the mountain where I was assisting the french instructors by translating their instructions into English for the Norwegians and the Canadian school students who were not as fluent in French.  The two days of cross of country were great and my wider skis with edges helped me move around out of the pre-set tracks to assist the kids who had never done this sport either.  Unfortunately/fortunately my skill set had me in high demand throughout the trip so I myself did not take any photos but there were other chaperons and teachers that did.  I am sure they will put a disk together in the next week or so for everyone who went.  I will post some photos as soon as I get them.





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