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Strong Intermediate Skis??

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 

Hello again, we ski basically anything 'cept for moguls (knees and proficiency...), and the wonderful powder.

 

We now use 150 length, have been told that's part of the problem to skiing powder:  too short!!

 

Me 5'5", 165 and my son 5'8" and 140.

 

Benefits/Cons of longer skis?  Speed?  Ease of Skiing?  Tighter turns??

 

My problem is I loose control on anything longer than 150.

 

Gracias.

post #2 of 43

When you say you ski anything, does that include powder and if so how deep can you handle on those short skis?  Also, you don't mention if your son can handle longer skis because 150 is really short for him.

 

I'm about your son's height but 10 pounds heavier and ski 170s and I have a pair of 174s on order.  I spent most of two days last season on a pair of 176s and even used them in the trees.  I could handle them but they were more work than I really liked, partly because of the design.  My 170s' have some tip rocker and the 174's have both tip and tail rocker so they ski shorter than the measured length.  Longer skis will be more stable at speed and will provide more float in powder than shorter skis.  Turn radius is mostly related to the radius built into the skis, but if you have good skills you can bend skis into just about any radius you want.

 

Not knowing where you ski and what your level of ability is makes it impossible to even recommend anything to demo.  But, I highly recommend that you both take a lesson and find out what you need to correct so you can control a longer ski.  Part of it may be "in your head" because 160cm is only 4 inches longer than your current ski.  If you happen to have a video of either you or your son skiing you could post it and get some constructive feed back also.

post #3 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpaulski View Post
 

Hello again, we ski basically anything 'cept for moguls (knees and proficiency...), and the wonderful powder.

 

We now use 150 length, have been told that's part of the problem to skiing powder:  too short!!

 

Me 5'5", 165 and my son 5'8" and 140.

 

Benefits/Cons of longer skis?  Speed?  Ease of Skiing?  Tighter turns??

 

My problem is I loose control on anything longer than 150.

 

Gracias.

 

 

What MT said about lessons... For a ski, IMHO, one of the best intermediate skis out there for the money that will take you right up the learning curve is the Nordica Avenger. 82 waist, partial side wall, $399 flat. 

post #4 of 43
I'm not entirely sure what "ski anything" means in your description as it excludes moguls and powder. Which pretty much eliminates trees, as well. I'm thinking what you mean is you will attempt to ski any groomed run, no matter what the rating?

It would be easier if you'd look at some Skier Level description and give us something of that. Here's an example: http://epicski.onthesnow.com/t/49569/refined-skier-ability-level-descriptions/0_10#post_627445
post #5 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpaulski View Post
 

Hello again, we ski basically anything 'cept for moguls (knees and proficiency...), and the wonderful powder.

 

We now use 150 length, have been told that's part of the problem to skiing powder:  too short!!

 

Me 5'5", 165 and my son 5'8" and 140.

 

Benefits/Cons of longer skis?  Speed?  Ease of Skiing?  Tighter turns??

 

My problem is I loose control on anything longer than 150.

 

Gracias.

Examples of trails at a well known place might be helpful.

 

Given that I'm 5'0" and skiing 155-160cm, depending on construction, you really are skiing on skis that are quite short for more than just powder conditions.  Shorter skis are easier to turn, but less stable at higher speeds.  That's why beginners who rent typically end up with skis that come up to their chin.  When my daughter was an intermediate and taking several lessons a season (skiing 10-15 days overall), I bought skis that were at her forehead and she had little trouble with them.

 

Do you know what turn radius implies as part of the specs for a ski model?  Width underfoot is also a factor when choosing a powder ski.

post #6 of 43
Thread Starter 

As requested, here some examples of favorite runs:

 

"Dad, you're faster than me, but you ski ugly" My son,14 y/o, and a natural athlete (national swimming champion until 12, now national best midcourt/forward soccer sub-15). Not bragging, just some background. He skies gracefully, anything, tireless!

Me, ski, NOT slide, anything 'cept bumps and deep powder (yet...). Example run Vail's Avanti, top to bottom including dreaded last drop into lift. Skier's left off of Little Cloud in Sbird.
JH Amphitheater and Sundance, Stowe's front 4, etc., etc.

So, I guess that makes me an un-polished intermediate, but when I tried to go longer COULD NOT CONTROL TIPS and TURNS, really.

So, now what??? Gracias!

post #7 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpaulski View Post
 

As requested, here some examples of favorite runs:

 

"Dad, you're faster than me, but you ski ugly" My son,14 y/o, and a natural athlete (national swimming champion until 12, now national best midcourt/forward soccer sub-15). Not bragging, just some background. He skies gracefully, anything, tireless!

Me, ski, NOT slide, anything 'cept bumps and deep powder (yet...). Example run Vail's Avanti, top to bottom including dreaded last drop into lift. Skier's left off of Little Cloud in Sbird.
JH Amphitheater and Sundance, Stowe's front 4, etc., etc.

So, I guess that makes me an un-polished intermediate, but when I tried to go longer COULD NOT CONTROL TIPS and TURNS, really.

So, now what??? Gracias!

 

 

my guess is the shorter ski was easier to muscle. A lesson will go further than any ski purchase or even some painfully honest self assessment.

post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpaulski View Post
 

 


So, now what??? Gracias!

 

 

Brutal truth? Lessons. 

post #9 of 43

What Josh said.  New skis (longer, wider, different flex, whatever) will not make a significant difference; initiating and shaping your turns with different technique will.

 

 

This community can help you identify what might make the biggest difference for you and your son.

How do you start your turns?  What movements do you use? 

post #10 of 43
Thread Starter 

Gracias, great community never fails!

 

Mebbe this will help:


http://www.skiutah.com/winter/members/s ... tubevideo2

I ski like this guy, just not as pretty.

post #11 of 43

Whoops, can't see the video.  

post #12 of 43

Sorry but a video of someone else will never allow us to evaluate your skiing.

post #13 of 43

Oh.  Yeah.  What he said.

post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpaulski View Post
 

As requested, here some examples of favorite runs:

 

"Dad, you're faster than me, but you ski ugly" My son,14 y/o, and a natural athlete (national swimming champion until 12, now national best midcourt/forward soccer sub-15). Not bragging, just some background. He skies gracefully, anything, tireless!

Me, ski, NOT slide, anything 'cept bumps and deep powder (yet...). Example run Vail's Avanti, top to bottom including dreaded last drop into lift. Skier's left off of Little Cloud in Sbird.
JH Amphitheater and Sundance, Stowe's front 4, etc., etc.

So, I guess that makes me an un-polished intermediate, but when I tried to go longer COULD NOT CONTROL TIPS and TURNS, really.

So, now what??? Gracias!

You're going to SLC at the start of your next ski vacation, right?  Were you thinking of buying skis before that?  Why not warm up on Day 1, book a private lesson on Day 2, and see what the instructor says.  I would think you could get a recommendation for an instructor around SLC that would fit into your trip plans.

 

I would not call someone doing the runs you tackle an intermediate.  But then, I'm not an instructor.

post #15 of 43
"I would not call someone doing the runs you tackle an intermediate."

Come on, marz. You know better than that. A barely competent skier flailing down a run way over his head is about as rare as a Dunkin donuts franchise.
post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpaulski View Post
 

As requested, here some examples of favorite runs:

 

"Dad, you're faster than me, but you ski ugly" My son,14 y/o, and a natural athlete (national swimming champion until 12, now national best midcourt/forward soccer sub-15). Not bragging, just some background. He skies gracefully, anything, tireless!

Me, ski, NOT slide, anything 'cept bumps and deep powder (yet...). Example run Vail's Avanti, top to bottom including dreaded last drop into lift. Skier's left off of Little Cloud in Sbird.
JH Amphitheater and Sundance, Stowe's front 4, etc., etc.

So, I guess that makes me an un-polished intermediate, but when I tried to go longer COULD NOT CONTROL TIPS and TURNS, really.

So, now what??? Gracias!

I would not call someone doing the runs you tackle an intermediate.  But then, I'm not an instructor.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

"I would not call someone doing the runs you tackle an intermediate."

Come on, marz. You know better than that. A barely competent skier flailing down a run way over his head is about as rare as a Dunkin donuts franchise.

We all know "intermediate" is a fuzzy term.  If gpaulski posts a video, then we'll all know more.

post #17 of 43
Thread Starter 

Sibhusky, these are me:

 

Intermediate: Level 6: Skis mostly in a skidded parallel, beginning to use a pole plant, upper body beginning to face down fall line, can vary turn shape and speed, beginning to use edges during turn, struggles on ice and heavy snow, skiing off well groomed slopes is a rarity and extremely challenging, can ski at this level on groomed Harder Blacks in best conditions

Advanced: Solid Level 7: Good parallel form with pole plant, upper body mostly faces down fall line, capable of using edges on all groomed slopes in most conditions at moderate speed, capable of keeping downhill ski on edge throughout turn, beginning to weight and un-weight ski, has achieved a fair amount of athleticism and conditioning, beginning to ski off-piste, can ski at this level on groomed Hardest Blacks in less than ideal conditions

post #18 of 43
Thread Starter 

Hey marznc, I don't like Dunkin Donuts, much rather have H & H Bagels...

 

And:  

Me, ski, NOT slide, anything 'cept bumps and deep powder (yet...). Example run Vail's Avanti, top to bottom including dreaded last drop into lift. Skier's left off of Little Cloud in Sbird.
JH Amphitheater and Sundance, Stowe's front 4, etc., etc.

So, I guess that makes me an un-polished intermediate,

 

Neither a flailer nor over my head (too old for that)..:duel:

post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpaulski View Post
 

Hello again, we ski basically anything 'cept for moguls (knees and proficiency...), and the wonderful powder.

 

We now use 150 length, have been told that's part of the problem to skiing powder:  too short!!

 

Me 5'5", 165 and my son 5'8" and 140.

 

Benefits/Cons of longer skis?  Speed?  Ease of Skiing?  Tighter turns??

 

My problem is I loose control on anything longer than 150.

 

Gracias.

 

Gpaul, this in red is the reason you're getting the responses you are getting.  Losing control on skis over 150 is a technical issue that can be fixed, and when you fix it your skiing will improve astronomically.  You are most likely turning your skis fast at the top of your turns and for the rest of the turn experiencing braking action from the skis scraping against the snow.  The way you muscle the skis around at the top must not be working for you when the skis are longer; they get stuck, catch an edge, throw you around irregularly (I think that's what you might mean from losing control).  Most likely your feet/legs turn at different rates, and the skis are on different edge angles as you do this.  I'm guessing, though, simply from what you say in your posts.  

 

These issues will not go away with different skis.  Not unless you get some instruction.  That's why I asked how you start your turns back upthread.  People will be happy to give suggestions for tweaking your technique if you describe something specific that you do.   A lesson on snow will be better, but you can get started here.

 

Yes, you are right, 150 is too short for you to ski powder and you'll need longer and fatter skis for soft off-piste snow.  However, in powder you can't turn the skis the way you've been turning them (my supposition again, from what you say in red above), no matter how long or short the skis are.  

 

How do you start your turns?  What movements do you use?

post #20 of 43

Yes, you need longer skis, but my guess is that you also need to learn how to control skis.  You may think you that you know how to control skis, but your posts suggest you do not. 

 

Think of steering a car, toy car or wagon.   When you want to turn left you turn the steering wheel counterclockwise, or turn the handle, so that the wheels no longer align with the direction you are travelling in and you turn.  Supposing you didn't know how to turn the steering wheel.  You could still turn the wagon even if the wheels couldn't turn, by putting one foot on the ground  (or just using enough body English) and torquing and twisting and pushing, forcing it to go where you wanted it to go, scraping the wheels against the ground, until you were turned.  Your skis don't have a steering wheel but they do bend into a curve and you can tip them onto their edges.  Tipping a ski onto it's left edge when it is bent into a curve will cause the ski to turn left.  So will torquing/twisting and pushing the skis around so the tips point left.  Tipping and bending makes the ski want to go where you want it to go.  Torquing and pushing skis where they don't want to go is much easier on a short skis than on a long ones.

 

Also beneficial to know is when you have your skis tipped onto their edges and are not carving a clean line, but sliding a little sideways you adjust your path partially by changing the angle the skis make with your direction of travel.  When doing so, you should let the snow torque the skis, controlling it by where along the ski you place your weight; let the snow do the work, instead of supplying all the torque yourself.

 

In short, you have to learn to work with your skis instead of overpowering them.

 

BTW if you have crappy skis, you will have lots of trouble controlling them at speed regardless.  What skis do you use, specifically?

post #21 of 43
Gpaulski, I'm a 5'5 155# intermediate (5days old/self declared level 6-7) on 170cm 2009 Nordica Nitrous and feel solid (equipment wise) on moderate blue groomers. Was renting 150-160cm before and thought the rattle/chatter thru crud, sliced up soft over hardpack, would cause a loss of control (especially when straight lining). The stability of the longer (and slightly stiffer) skis really helped out a lot. That being said, my balance and technique need much improvement and I expect to become much more stable w/ more practice and instruction this season. I haven't tried steeps or blacks, so can't imagine what you might be encountering there. Don't get a good feel for when you experience lack of control.

In short, yes, get/try out the longer, maybe stiffer, skis. Yes, get a sanity check by an instructor for your technique.

I find this forum to be extremely helpful, but the full meaning of the words from the experts usually need a little translation to the barely initiated (that's me wink.gif, as do those learning trying to communicate our perspective.

Looking forward to learning powder (may it fall) this season, and maybe trees when short radius linked get dialed in.

Good luck.
post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpaulski View Post

Gracias, great community never fails!

Mebbe this will help:

http://www.skiutah.com/winter/members/s ... tubevideo2


I ski like this guy, just not as pretty.

I was going to post a video of Ted Ligety and say the same and add, "... and not as good." smile.gif
post #23 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpaulski View Post
 

Hey marznc, I don't like Dunkin Donuts, much rather have H & H Bagels...

 

And:  

Me, ski, NOT slide, anything 'cept bumps and deep powder (yet...). Example run Vail's Avanti, top to bottom including dreaded last drop into lift. Skier's left off of Little Cloud in Sbird.
JH Amphitheater and Sundance, Stowe's front 4, etc., etc.

So, I guess that makes me an un-polished intermediate,

 

Neither a flailer nor over my head (too old for that)..:duel:

Have you ever read the advice in this thread?  Even though it started out geared towards beginners, you might pick up some ideas for your situation.

 

http://epicski.onthesnow.com/t/114722/tips-for-beginners-over-40-or-50-or

 

Warning, more than you want to know below . . . 

I went from a confident intermediate to an advanced skier after getting more time on snow in recent years.  Skied on short skis the first few seasons skiing locally as a retired parent with time for weekend ski trips to a small mountain.  Getting appropriate skis after on mountain demos helped me move to the next level.  But what really helped was a 3-day advanced clinic in north Tahoe, followed by lessons with Level 2+ instructors a few times each season.

 

Note that long ski length was never an issue as for me as an adult because I learned to ski on straight skis that were 10-20cm longer than my current skis.  I only had two seasons skiing as a kid.  Luckily my daughter liked skiing from the first time on the slopes.  I made sure she had enough lessons as she skied 10-20 days a season so that she was officially better than I am last April during our annual ski week at Alta.  Money invested on good lessons makes more sense than buying new skis and hoping they will help.

post #24 of 43
Thread Starter 

Ok kids, after a loooonnnnggg lerarning session I finally uploaded 2 vids from Crested Butte.  In the one with many skiers I'm the absolute last one at tope of hill, the one that passes the snowboarder towards the end.

 

BE HONEST, please....

 

 

 

 

 

http://youtu.be/KzJQEITyW0Q 

 

http://youtu.be/aXQR2gvLOjQ

post #25 of 43
Hello,
I rarely bother with the " which skis for me" posts but this one caught my eye. Based on the OP, the obvious issue is technique. No doubt about it and the community has responded as such.
I would like to add another perspective. As you get older, correct technique becomes very important if you want to keep skiing safely.

I was happy to muscle my way around a mountain up until my mid 30's ( 16 years in the Army, rugby forward for my unit, on the military skills team. I was not unfit). I decided to start spending some more time skiing and began joining a few group lessons for company more than anything. No great progress until I was fortunate enough to have a Level 4 instructor take our group. His analysis and advice was transformative. I can still picture myself racing home, smoothly transitioning from edge to edge laying down clean arcs, to excitedly tell my wife what had happened.
I booked another 5 days of group lessons in the "expert" class and was once again fortunate to have a very experienced level 3 instructor. I told her that I wanted to be able to confidently ski steeps and off piste and the rest of the group was happy to do so as well. She, rightly or wrongly, said that the best way to learn to ski steeps was to lean how to ski moguls first. Which we did before spending time on short turns and jump turns. By the end of the week I was skiing the resorts double blacks. Possibly not with a great deal of finesse but reasonably confident and more importantly with a fair degree of safety.

That was about 13 years ago now and I had a couple of private lessons about 7 years ago when I became interested in negotiating powder. I'm almost 49 now and am skiing better than I ever have. I get to ski bottomless powder in Japan, hit the steeps when I can get to North America and can still ski ice if for some reason I find myself in Oz/NZ.

Sorry for the big ramble but to summarise. Yes, your skis are short and longer skis may help but if your technique is holding you back then you may find your skiing experience being less enjoyable as you age. Some instruction may be very beneficial for you. Particularly if you want to keep up with your kid as he develops.

Cheers
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpaulski View Post
 

Ok kids, after a loooonnnnggg lerarning session I finally uploaded 2 vids from Crested Butte.  In the one with many skiers I'm the absolute last one at tope of hill, the one that passes the snowboarder towards the end.

 

BE HONEST, please....

 

 

 

You are correct . . . you are an intermediate. :)

 

Waiting to see what @LiquidFeet and other instructors like @RicB have to say. :popcorn

post #27 of 43

Not the best quality video, but this is what I see.  You appear to initiate turns by shoving your heels out to the side, so the edges aren't being used.  The skis are just skidding across the snow.  I couldn't see where there was really much of a weight shift from one ski to the other.  I'm pretty confident that you're in the backseat since near the end of the video you certainly look like you are.  It also looks like you're crouching but it is hard to tell because the video is pretty much straight on.  Crouching just makes it more difficult to transfer your weight from one ski to the other which is what you should be doing to initiate a turn.  So from my perspective you have four problems that you need to correct.  You need to learn how to properly initiate turns, how to actually use the edges of your skis(carve), get centered, and adopt a more upright stance.  The first two can and should be worked on simultaneously and the last two can be worked on pretty much simultaneously.

post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
 

So from my perspective you have four problems that you need to correct.  You need to learn how to properly initiate turns, how to actually use the edges of your skis(carve), get centered, and adopt a more upright stance.  The first two can and should be worked on simultaneously and the last two can be worked on pretty much simultaneously.

 

On the money, which falls inline with your issue to ski lengths above 150cm.  Short skis let you cheat. As skis get longer, the less they will allow you to cheat.

 

A private (semi-private) lessons could help put you on the fast right track.

 

BTW Ghosts comment about crappy skis (quality, level or tune) also makes sense for difficulty with any ski regardless of length.

post #29 of 43
Thread Starter 

Sorry for the big ramble but to summarise. Yes, your skis are short and longer skis may help but if your technique is holding you back then you may find your skiing experience being less enjoyable as you age. Some instruction may be very beneficial for you. Particularly if you want to keep up with your kid as he develops.

Cheers   Muchas, muchas gracias, well said!

 

Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
 

So from my perspective you have four problems that you need to correct.  You need to learn how to properly initiate turns, how to actually use the edges of your skis(carve), get centered, and adopt a more upright stance.  The first two can and should be worked on simultaneously and the last two can be worked on pretty much simultaneously.   And I thought it was only ugliness.  Thanky mucho, maybe we'll hook up in MT!

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post
 

 

On the money, which falls inline with your issue to ski lengths above 150cm.  Short skis let you cheat. As skis get longer, the less they will allow you to cheat.

 

A private (semi-private) lessons could help put you on the fast right track.

 

BTW Ghosts comment about crappy skis (quality, level or tune) also makes sense for difficulty with any ski regardless of length.

Lessons at beginning and mid-trip are happening this time, thanks to all who nudged (forced) me to make this momentous decision:  Lessons!

 

Happy Winter!

post #30 of 43

Gpaulski, glad you are planning on taking some lessons.  Lessons can help you manage speed more appropriately, keep up with your son, give you more control when you ski on longer skis, and those longer skis will help you handle speed and variable conditions with more control.  Here are some specifics to ask for when you take your lesson.  From your videos I've taken some screen shots.

 

1.  See how your shins are at 90 degree angle to your skis?  See the bend in your knees?  

This combination causes you to ski in a sitting down position; it taxes your quads and

compromises your balance because it limits your mobility.  Your weight is more aft than

centered, which means you are shaping your turns without using the bend in the front half of

your skis.  In your lesson, you will probably work on your stance to eliminate this perma-crouch

and get your weight centered over your skis.

 

 

2.  This shot shows you skiing "square" at the bottom of a turn.  This is ski instructor language

for keeping your upper body (shoulders and hips) facing in the same direction your skis are heading.  

For better control of your skis, you need to allow your them to turn under your upper body as a turn

progresses, while your upper body turns less.  If you were doing this, in this picture we would see 

your shoulders, face, and hips facing the camera while your skis and knees point off to the side.  

Work on this in your lesson;  it's called "skiing into counter."  Counter enables you to better do

what is discussed in #3 below.

 

 

3.  In the picture below, you are "leaning in," aka "banking" your turn.  This feels

quite natural, and usually is bundled together with skiing square.  The problem with

banking is that it loads the inside ski with too much of your weight; your outside ski

will have difficulty holding its grip on the snow, and you'll find yourself sliding

diagonally down the trail without much grip on the snow.  You may be going fast, and

you may be skiing on a steepish trail, but you aren't really in control if you are sliding 

diagonally down the hill.   That outside ski needs a better grip on the snow.

To get it, you need to have more of your weight directed towards that outside ski.  
Work on eliminating banking in your lesson(s).  

 

You will be amazed at how much more directional control you'll have over your skis

once you allow the skis to turn more under your upper body, direct your weight and

the forces of the turn to the outside ski, and replace the quad-burning crouch with a

long-leg/short-leg stance that moves your weight forward.

 

 

4.  Nice pic below!  You are initiating a turn with a release of the old outside ski; that leg is

flexed and your body is toppling in the direction of the new turn.  Your new inside arm and

shoulder are advanced; your new outside leg is extending.  You have a long leg and a short

leg.  All of this is really good!

  

Your instructor will be better able to see what happens between this strong initiation and 

the rest of the turn that leads to skiing square, leaning in, and being crouched and aft.  

Hang onto this good stuff and replace the other movement patterns described above

with new, more functional movement patterns, and you'll find that longer skis will feel better

than those 150cm shorties you are currently on.  Everything will feel better!

 


Edited by LiquidFeet - 10/20/13 at 8:43pm
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