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Women's skis AND boots

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Are women's skis designed assuming that mens boots are being used? Should women use BOTH womens skis AND womens boots, or is one enough?

If its' important, this question has this woman in mind.

Are both womans boots AND skis advisable at this stage of development?
post #2 of 22
Based on her description - I'm thinking two things in regards to boots:
1. Her feet are probably fairly small (size US8 or below)
2. Her lower leg is not that long
Both of these things would make me think that she should be in a women's boot. A 'men's' boot would probably be fairly loose around her ankle and heel area, as well as having a higher cuff. This combo would lead her to experience something like driving a car in clown shoes - not much response.
Women's skis are designed for the 'typical' woman - one who is lighter in weight and less muscled than an equivalently sized (in height) man.

Having said all that - ski equipment should match to the individual. If she finds a mens boot that she can flex easily and that fits her foot well and comfortably, that's what she should ski in. At her height/weight, I would definitely recommend the women's ski (probably the 142) as well.
post #3 of 22
First lets get this right she is strong and has good skills. She will be advancing soon. If money is a object. I would buy used equipment. May be some used race ski's from a J4 or lighter J3 skier. There boots can also be made softer.

I would think she may like a man's boot because she is strong. IMO most womens boots have wider cuffs because most women's calves get big lower then a man's.

Last weekend two friends a Mom and Daughter demoed the K2 T nine and liked it. I was amazed, daughter was 19 4'11" x-racer, Mom 5' level 8/9 both liked the ski. Mom didn't want to give them back, Mom skis everwhere we do, the whole mountain. Both are in high end boots, I don't believe they are womens boots.
Both keep active and run everyday are so.

I would be careful about putting her in something she will out grow quickly. Fine a good boot fitter and shop in your area.
post #4 of 22
Actually some of the new womens boots are excellent for strong skiers. I just switched from a Tecnica Icon Carbon to a Salomon Women's X-wave 9.0. The fact that it holds my heel tighter than mens boots did improves the fit and I hardly notice the difference in stiffness.
post #5 of 22
Any other high end women out there?
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Sprspeedgal:
Based on her description - I'm thinking two things in regards to boots:
1. Her feet are probably fairly small (size US8 or below)
2. Her lower leg is not that long
At her height/weight, I would definitely recommend the women's ski (probably the 142) as well.
Correct on both counts.

Size US 6, Mondo 23.5. currently skiing in a Rossi Comp Jr -- it's just a touch narrow on the upper side of the foot just infront of the ankle. They were used, and she can get half-back...

Could you clarify please? The 142 you suggest is the Exclusive 8?

Thank you!
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Max Capacity:
First lets get this right she is strong and has good skills.

I would be careful about putting her in something she will out grow quickly. Fine a good boot fitter and shop in your area.
She is not "strong", she has good balance. She does not scrape her way down the hill. Geez a video would really help, wish I had a camera!

This is the concern regarding choosing to purchase either the Exclusive 8 or 9: The 9 may be too stiff right now, yet she may outgrow the 8 very quickly.
post #8 of 22
From a gal (ahem, 40 something) who started at 30 and is also 102)...

Correct me if I'm wrong all, but no, I've never heard of a woman's ski *requiring a woman's boot*, BUT there is no reason for a woman to use a man's model boot!

Because we carry our weight differently, have adifferent center of gravity, etc., women's boots are definitely going to improve her ability (and comfort).

Search out some stuff by Jeannie Thorens. She does great clinics for beginner-low intermediate women.
I think her articles would help your friend.

As for the necessity of a woman's ski (and I know you all are gonna' holler at me for this...), it "ain't necessarily so." When learning, I could only afford 1 pr of skis so I opted for the ski best for my ice covered/hard packed home hill. At that time there was no "softer flexing woman's ski" but even after they came out, I still preferred a stiffer ski.

Unfortunately, I can't comment on the skis you noted, but in general when I (a tennis playing, cross-country skiing type) was learning I always
bought something I though I would "grow into" so I
had a bit of a built-in benchmark.

Hope this helps,
TS
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by TreepickerSue:
Correct me if I'm wrong all, but no, I've never heard of a woman's ski *requiring a woman's boot*, BUT there is no reason for a woman to use a man's model boot!
The issue/red herring is slightly different. I don't know about this particular thing, or if I'm worried needlessly.

First off, a womans ski is softer, and the boot is designed for differing shape. No problem there.

But, when I look at the Dynastar web-site, it appears that there is a angle built right into the ski, with a higher heel.

Now, is that angle not also built into a woman's boot?

You see what concerns me? Getting the heels lifted twice, once by the ski, once by the boot!
post #10 of 22
Quote:

But, when I look at the Dynastar web-site, it appears that there is a angle built right into the ski, with a higher heel.
"ramp angle", yes. Different bindings have different amounts too.

Quote:

Now, is that angle not also built into a woman's boot?
Not necessarily. The foot shape, cuff height, flex, heel lock etc. are more important.

If it will ease your mind, my SO has 13mm extra heel lift, equivalent to about 3.5 degrees, added to her Salomon XWave 9.0Womens'. On the C9s (mens'- Variozone in forward pozition), she doesn't even notice it. She skis the trees at Sutton on mens' Whistler 8.0s (S710) and pays no mind. Taking those same Whistlers into 30cm+ of powder is problematic (she can't get back far enough to float) but put her on a center-mounted reasonably stiff midfat and she's good to go.

If I was in your shoes, I wouldn't worry about it one bit, unless you plan to use those Exclusive 8s out West.
post #11 of 22
Womens boots typically have a lower cuff and some may be flaired somewhat to accomodate a calf muscle that goes lower down the leg (I believe some also have a last that may be woman specific but if thats a concern we should hear from some of the boot fitters on this site ), coming from her background she may need this . My 13 yr old daughter (5'2") and 112 lbs. needs a womens boot due to muscle mass from figure skating and also a good boot fitter (aka L7). It boils down to what fits properly and is comfortable plus what they can handle for a ski . Don't get stuck on a womans specific ski if she can handle or is happy on something else . Just make sure what she's on keeps her happy or she may try "SNOWBOARDING".
post #12 of 22
She should be on skis and boots that suit her, men's, woman's, alien's or whatever. She certainly needs a soft enough ski at her weight and in the lengths she needs it will likely be a woman's. Ditto the boot on the guess she has a tiny foot to go with the rest of tininess.

As Leeroy mentioned a low calf will push her forward. This is a very likely culprit in her being back seat, look closely at this. Pushing the leg forward forces her to drop the hip back and straigtening the leg makes her feel like she'll fall forward.

Binding ramp angle is exagerated by small feet. An 8mm difference toe to heel is a lot bigger angle over a 275mm boot sole length than it is on a 225mm BSL. Flat bindings are a safer bet. Atomics are among the flattest out there.

I don't see the 150 as such an issue if it is the appropriate ski and is tuned well. Word of warning on the exclusiv. Dynastar builds a lift (ramp angle) on to the rear mounting area of the ski. They say it is to help woman get forward. As I mentioned the effect is opposite, it pushes the lower leg forward forcing the hip to drop back. An idea born of marketers I'm sure as opposed to actual research. (think rear entry boots). It's a nice woman's ski but if ramp angle is even slightly an issue she should stay away from it.

It sounds like she is advancing fast and skiing on an appropiate ski and learning the skills to use it will allow lots of growth. Not enough ski (too short or too soft) may hold her back soon and also allow a lot of shortcutting through skills that are better learned early.
post #13 of 22
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post #14 of 22
I missed a couple of other posts when I first posted. Ramp angle (heel lift) internal in the boot is not the same and often has a totally opposite effect to ramp angle (binding or built into the ski) external of the boot. Internally generally has a positive effect for allowing woman to stand up taller in the boot and stay more centred. It can both lift the calf up out of the boot and open the ankle for those lacking dorsiflexion. External angle generally causes the hips to drop back and a squat stance which is generally quite negative and can contribute to ACL danger as mentioned above.
I tend to think that the heel lift on the exclusiv ski is a bad idea for this reason and only makes sense from a marketing perspective.
If a woman likes a men's ski then ski them. Usually (not always) a woman's OR JUNIOR boot will work beter for a woman. Sizing will dictate much of it.
While I buy woman have a lower COG which indirectly can make it harder to stay centred/forward in an active situation. I do not buy the COG being further back until you put them in boots or on bindings that push the leg too far forward and then their hips have to drop back.
post #15 of 22
this year I switched to kids boots and they really improved my control. Rossignol racing boots. I wear a size 7.5 shoe but my feet are not wide and my legs are on the skinny side. They fit much better and are a bargain. I think the Atomic e line is a real confidence buider. Very stable and easy to turn. I used the e:5's at 140 all last year. My first full year skiing. (I am 5'2")
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all that have responded so far! It's been really helpful.

Given all the talk about the Exclusive series ramp angles being about marketing, it sounds like the Atomic E:5 is actually a better ski for a beginner.

Any other models that should be considered? I've been dissuaded from JR skis, because "they are all foam cored". So? Is there a problem with foam core?

Cheers!
post #17 of 22
My wife fits similar description. She's been skiing more times and is few pounds heavier. She skied Volkl 4Star in 148 this weekend and had a ball.
post #18 of 22
BigE I know of a number of ladies on the E5 or other Atomic E-zone skis , my 11 and 13 yr old daughters are on the ETL in a 138cm at 75lbs and the E7 in 148 at 107lbs . All have found the skis to be very stable and a good confidence builder .
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Possibly Volkl 220's? Gamma or not? Does the Gamma series have a more forwards binding position or is it just lighter/softer....

Any thoughts on Rossi offerings? Saphir Pulsion?

I really don't know this end of the market.
post #20 of 22
The Gamma Supersport has two mounting positions - both are forward of 'men's' mounting - one is 1cm and the other 1.5 cm ahead. The 220's differ between Gamma and non-Gamma - the Gamma has a lighter and more flexible core (20% softer & lighter). The Gamma 220 does not have a forward mounting point on the motion, but can be mounted forward on the flat (non-integrated binding) ski.
post #21 of 22
E,
You might want to have her demo the Salomon 8 Women'. It must have broad ranging appeal as I've seen it as demo/rental equipment all over.


TS
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all that have responded. The woman in question ended up with a pair of Nordica Easy Move 10's and a pair of Dynastar Exclusive 9's, from Cupolo's. It's about a 75-90 minute drive from Toronto.

Skiing this combo, she does not feel any tendency to get into the back seat, and when she begins to go, it is very obvious and she can correct easily, prior to feeling "off balance".

There is far less tendency to get to the back seat than on men's skis under Rossi Comp Jr's. The cuffs of the Rossi Jr's are pretty upright....
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