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What would be a good, older carving ski for me?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I would like to get a carving ski for around $100-$150 and have been keeping my eye on Craigslist and eBay. It seems like skis from around 2005-2006 or so are selling for around $100, but I don't know much about skis from that era. A couple I am looking at right now are a Volkl Supersport Allstar in 175cm and a Nordica Speedmachine 14 in 178cm.

 

I am 6'5" tall but only 175 lbs. I would like a carver for those long stretches of no new snow we get in the Tahoe region, but I would not use them very much, which is why I don't want to pay a lot for them. I enjoy my Sultan 85s in 178cm but on the firmest days I am not getting the edge hold I want. I like the energy level and stability of the Sultan 85 but want something closer to 70mm waist width and more torsional stiffness for better edge hold. I am not an ex-racer but am a decent recreational carver. I don't want a pure race ski, but it doesn't need to be super versatile since I am only going to use them on firm groomer days.

 

Should I be looking for skis like the Speedmachine 14 and Allstar along with skis like the Volkl 5 Star and 6 Star? If so, what other skis in that genre should I watch for?

post #2 of 15

I wish I could help - I only got serious about skiing in 2005ish. But here are some reviews for skis from that era: http://www.newgear.net/skitest_skis.asp?LA=EU&SP=SKI&YR=2005&TY=R You can change the year and resort using the menu bar on the left side.

 

 

Google anything that looks like a good deal before you buy as many skis from that period are crappy foam core. Specifically I would avoid any Salomon x-wing skis. 

post #3 of 15

Look for something with a waist under 70 mm.  Here's a few not too bad ones:

Head skis with "SW" in the name;

Fischer RC4 WC SC or RC (depending on if you are looking for SL or GS  sized turns) - good luck finding one in your price range;

Salomon LAB or Equipe skis;

Atomic SX11 or SX12;

post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by TallSkinnyGuy View Post

I would like to get a carving ski for around $100-$150 and have been keeping my eye on Craigslist and eBay. It seems like skis from around 2005-2006 or so are selling for around $100, but I don't know much about skis from that era. A couple I am looking at right now are a Volkl Supersport Allstar in 175cm and a Nordica Speedmachine 14 in 178cm.

 

I am 6'5" tall but only 175 lbs. I would like a carver for those long stretches of no new snow we get in the Tahoe region, but I would not use them very much, which is why I don't want to pay a lot for them. I enjoy my Sultan 85s in 178cm but on the firmest days I am not getting the edge hold I want. I like the energy level and stability of the Sultan 85 but want something closer to 70mm waist width and more torsional stiffness for better edge hold. I am not an ex-racer but am a decent recreational carver. I don't want a pure race ski, but it doesn't need to be super versatile since I am only going to use them on firm groomer days.

 

Should I be looking for skis like the Speedmachine 14 and Allstar along with skis like the Volkl 5 Star and 6 Star? If so, what other skis in that genre should I watch for?


For $100-150 at the end of the season (now?) you should be able to buy a pair of this years carvers for that.  Go ask instructors/racers...they are usually unloading their gear about now.  Check the notice boards in the ski locker rooms.  If you dont get anything ski swaps in the fall.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions. Metaphor - for the site (I hadn't come across that before and it seems like a useful tool), Ghost for the specific ski suggestions. Skidude72 -- I wish I could find current carvers for under $150. I live an hour away from the closest ski town (Truckee), so I don't have easy access to ski locker rooms and such.

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by TallSkinnyGuy View Post

Thanks for the suggestions. Metaphor - for the site (I hadn't come across that before and it seems like a useful tool), Ghost for the specific ski suggestions. Skidude72 -- I wish I could find current carvers for under $150. I live an hour away from the closest ski town (Truckee), so I don't have easy access to ski locker rooms and such.


Do you have access to the internet?  There are websites that cater to skiers...try "google".   There is a good one called....Epicsnow, or Epicskier....or something like that.  If you post a "Want to buy"  Ad you should get stuff, or people who can put a note up in a locker room for you.  The best skiswaps all happen in towns that are an hour from places like Truckee....as that is where most people who ski....live.

post #7 of 15

Craigslist could work too. I picked up a Prior snowboard for $200 there (about 1/4 the cost of new). Skidude's actually on the money--I imagine a ski that's one or two seasons old will ski way better than a ski that's six or seven seasons old, and it shouldn't really cost much more.

post #8 of 15

If you are in the market for skis from years gone by, it's worth the subscription fee to realskiers.com; their reviews are pretty accurate (i.e. they match up with my impressions for the skis I have skiedbiggrin.gif), and go back a long ways.

post #9 of 15

I'd look for a deal on a race ski from a few (2-3?) years ago.  Often they don't hold value terribly well.

 

The Dynastar Course and Rossi Radical are both supposed to be on the more forgiving side of 'race' models.  Just with a brief ebay search I'm seeing some *new* pairs with bindings from 2010 and 2011 for ~$250, so $150 for used ones might not be out of the question.

post #10 of 15

Being a skier who tends toward exactly the kind of ski you are looking for - somewhat race oriented - I had a question.

 

Over the past 3 years I used a circa 2003 183 Rossi GS ... a women's race ski. It was wood core with very little initial use. I skied them hard and put them to rest. They were very durable. I then picked up some Atomic Beta series - both the yellow slaloms in a 165 and then a red 188 GS. These were foam core. I love them both and they continue to be my "go to" rock skis.

 

My question is this:

 

I never really noticed the difference between wood core and foam core. Both performed equally well. My conclusion (being drawn by my experience of skiing only 3 models fairly hard):  wood cores and foam cores do not appear to have any major difference in performance characteristics or in longevity of the ski. Am I missing something? Am I not sensitive enough to nuances of how the ski reacts?

 

One reason I ask is that I have recently become the proud owner of an older model Sockli Stormrider that has a foam core. I figured this ski would be as good if not better than the Atomic Beta series. I assumed that the meticulous Swiss craftsmen would surely have examined closely the performance characteristics of the foam before marketing the product.

 

One further thought ... the color of the foam. I wonder if that can offer a clue as to long term performance? The Atomic foam cores are black. They always have been. The Stockli foam core is pale yellow.

 

I'd like to know more about the wood core versus foam core debate. I used to be a big "wood is good" type ... way back in the Strato 102 and VR 17 days. But then came the Dynastar MPI with a black foam core in the mid 1980's - a superior ski both with regard to performance and durability.

 

My recent experience has shown that foam cores (at least in Atomics) are just as good as wood cores.

post #11 of 15

Hey TSG,

 

I have a pair of 2003 Nordica SUV 12 skis (70mm across the waist) in 170 in my garage.  The SUV series was the wider carving series before the Speed Machines came out.  This model has the same core as layup as a Dobermann race ski.  Torsionally, the skis are stiff.  They are yours for $100.  PM me if you are interested.  I live down in Rocklin.

 

The bindings are Nordica 0312.  It is a rebranded Marker M12.0 designed as a system model.  The bindings can be adjusted to fit most adult ski boots.

 

Dennis

post #12 of 15

Nick's post there actually reminded me of something I forgot to mention -- if you're concerned about the burliness of race skis, you can try a women's race ski.  This is a fairly common recommendation for lighter guys looking for a race ski, but could also work for a recreational skier looking to use a race ski as a general-purpose frontside carver.  Although at 6'5" you may have a hard time finding one long enough in the women's race models...

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nick Z Taos View Post

 

I never really noticed the difference between wood core and foam core. Both performed equally well. My conclusion (being drawn by my experience of skiing only 3 models fairly hard):  wood cores and foam cores do not appear to have any major difference in performance characteristics or in longevity of the ski. Am I missing something? Am I not sensitive enough to nuances of how the ski reacts?

 

...

 

My recent experience has shown that foam cores (at least in Atomics) are just as good as wood cores.

 

What you're missing is that there are many different kinds of "foam" cores and constructions that can use them.

 

At a very, very high level, there are basically two kinds of foam cores: injected and milled.

 

In an 'injected' core, the center of the ski is a hollow box that they spray/squirt expanding plastic foam into during the manufacturing process.  The foam expands to take up all the space in the box and then hardens.  As a general rule, these cores are crap -- they don't fill or cure (harden) perfectly evenly, they don't have the same rigidity/flex/dampening characteristics, and they tend to break down with wear and tear.  This kind of construction is normally used in cheap beginner or kids' skis, since it requires very little precise manual labor.

 

With a 'milled' core, they manufacture sheets or blocks of high-density foam (or solid plastic), then mill (cut/shave) them down to the exact dimensions required.  The resulting block of material can then be used the same way you'd use a solid wood core -- wrapped in a torsion box, layered with wood or carbon fiber or metal ('laminate'), etc.  These vary in quality depending on the material used, but at the high end they hold up well and if reinforced with metal or carbon can be plenty stiff.

 

I don't think "color" matters per se, but I would think that newer manufacturing processes have improved the consistency and strength of foam and plastic materials in general.  These days I wouldn't say that either wood or milled foam cores are universally better or automatically make a ski better suited for a particular application.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Z Taos View Post

Being a skier who tends toward exactly the kind of ski you are looking for - somewhat race oriented - I had a question.

 

Over the past 3 years I used a circa 2003 183 Rossi GS ... a women's race ski. It was wood core with very little initial use. I skied them hard and put them to rest. They were very durable. I then picked up some Atomic Beta series - both the yellow slaloms in a 165 and then a red 188 GS. These were foam core. I love them both and they continue to be my "go to" rock skis.

 

My question is this:

 

I never really noticed the difference between wood core and foam core. Both performed equally well. My conclusion (being drawn by my experience of skiing only 3 models fairly hard):  wood cores and foam cores do not appear to have any major difference in performance characteristics or in longevity of the ski. Am I missing something? Am I not sensitive enough to nuances of how the ski reacts?

 

One reason I ask is that I have recently become the proud owner of an older model Sockli Stormrider that has a foam core. I figured this ski would be as good if not better than the Atomic Beta series. I assumed that the meticulous Swiss craftsmen would surely have examined closely the performance characteristics of the foam before marketing the product.

 

One further thought ... the color of the foam. I wonder if that can offer a clue as to long term performance? The Atomic foam cores are black. They always have been. The Stockli foam core is pale yellow.

 

I'd like to know more about the wood core versus foam core debate. I used to be a big "wood is good" type ... way back in the Strato 102 and VR 17 days. But then came the Dynastar MPI with a black foam core in the mid 1980's - a superior ski both with regard to performance and durability.

 

My recent experience has shown that foam cores (at least in Atomics) are just as good as wood cores.


My foam core ski knowledge is as dated as your's is, but mine is a little different.  What I remember from the 80s is the foam core sl skis performed really well, but didn't last.

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post


My foam core ski knowledge is as dated as your's is, but mine is a little different.  What I remember from the 80s is the foam core sl skis performed really well, but didn't last.

The K2 VO Slalom, one of the burliest skis of all time was a foam core ski, not only did it not have wood, it didn't have metal either. 

post #15 of 15
The Volkl Superspprt All-star is a great carving ski. I currently have a Nordica Jetfuel Ca and Nordoca Steadfast. I often pull put the Vokls when the conditions are firm or icy.
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