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Shopping for new non-FIS GS race skis

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I've been skiing on my old Atomic Beta Race 10.22s since I bought them new sometime around the turn of the last century. They were Atomic's top GS race ski at the time (although mine are regular production, not the race stock) and I've always liked them well enough, but I think it's time for something new.

 

I've been meaning to try out some of the newer "cheater" skis, but can never make it to the hill during a demo day. And none of the local shops carry anything besides all-mountain/twin-tip/powder skis - anything remotely race is special order only. I think I'm just going to have to order them blind, based on whatever I can learn from the interwebs.

 

I'm 44, 6'3", 195lbs. Used to ski a lot and race some, but now maybe get out only a dozen days per season.

 

I'm not racing (not even beer league), just looking for a single-purpose ski to lay big, fast arcs on hardpack. A bit more sidecut than the 10.22s would be fun (I think they're 22 meters, but mine are 188cm, so might be a little more?), but I don't want to give up much in lateral stiffness or edgehold. I've never had any trouble working these or any other full-bore race ski.

 

Boot out is an issue for me on less-hard snow with the 10.22s (I think they're only 62mm underfoot), so I'm assuming the wider skis today will take care of that? (not sure what kind of rise the new bindings/plates have).

 

I would just get the new Atomic Redster Doubledeck GS, but to be honest I'm a little concerned about the whole vibration dampening/D2 thing. I already find the 10.22s to have kind of a dead feel, and I really miss the life and energy of a classic wood/metal sandwich ski.

 

Which makes me want to consider the Fischer RC4 Worldcup RC Pro. Traditional construction, lots of sidecut, maybe a little closer to a true race ski than the Atomic D2?

 

I guess I'm wondering if the "cheater" skis are going to be a noticeable step down, performance wise, from my older race skis. The extra sidecut might be fun, but if they're going to be too soft and dead, it might be not be worth the change.

 

Any and all thoughts and experience are welcome. Thanks.

post #2 of 16
You are pretty much on a Cheater ski now; it would be called such if it were on the market today. smile.gif. I believe you are speaking of migrating to a consumer race ski with a bit more sidecut, though?

As it happens, I ran 10.22s back in the day, and I have a pair of the RC Pros in my quiver now. I think you would really like them or the Atomics (which I have demoed), but I agree with your premise that the Fischers feel more lively.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Okay, thanks. Haven't shopped for skis in a long time, so probably misunderstood what a "cheater" ski is.

 

But yeah, what I basically want is a race ski with more sidecut than the FIS skis of today.

post #4 of 16

I think you will find the current GS (non FIS) to be a step or 2 up in terms of overall performance. the 10.22 was a great design, consumer GS ski.  

 

A few I have skied:

 

Fischer WC RC: already mentioned above, damp, powerful, good amount of life

Elan Waveflex GSX: a little more lively, super powerful, love the feel! 

Head i-Speed: damp, smooth, a little less energy than the 2 above.

Blizzard R-Power 7.2: meaty, powerful, strong ski.  Maybe the highest speed limit of any ski here. Also the stiffest? 

Blizzard S800: basically the R-power w/o the Power system.  Better ski for lighter skiers

Kastle RX12: just a gorgeous ski, damp, no speed limit, pretty versatile too.  Throw a VIST plate on there and you might have the best cheater GS on the planet.

Stockli Laser GS: competitor to the Kastle: classic race ski feel, medium flex, decent sweet spot, amazing snow feel. 

post #5 of 16

I just demo'd the Atomics in this thread: http://www.epicski.com/t/123793/probably-the-least-informative-multi-ski-review-on-epicski-yet-to-the-point

 

They were my least favorite of the GS ski's, but I'm 5'7" 145, and maybe they were a bit much ski for me in a 175cm.  Maybe I would have had a different impression in a 168-170 cm ski, I don't know.  They felt like they would be the most stable at break-neck speeds, but that's just a supposition on my part as I didn't have time  to run all the ski's at mach speed.  They didn't have the Fischer's for me to demo, but if they did I would have loved it, having ski'd on the RC4's, back in the day.  The other GS ski's I ski'd, felt lighter underfoot and maybe even a bit quicker.  Even the Nordica in 182 cm's felt livelier.  I really don't want to dissuade you from the Atomics - I didn't NOT like them (sorry for the double negative), they just weren't what I prefer in a front side carver when compared to some of the others.  I'm sure I could ski the Atomic all day long and enjoy myself just fine, but what the hey, I'm picky - so picky I will be!  Good look finding the right boards for you.  

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks, lots of good info to consider here.

 

It's odd though, I'll find a review of the Fischers (for example) that describes them as an easygoing ski for lighter intermediates to carve lazy arcs on soft snow, then someone else will say it's a burly ski for hard-charging heavyweights only. So which is it? I'm wondering if ski length has a lot to do with it. Is the 175cm ski that much softer and easygoing than the 185?

 

Anyway, think I have narrowed it down to the Fischers, Blizzard and Nordica (are Nordica and Blizzard the same ski these days?) in the 180-185cm range. It sucks not being able to actually try any of these for myself. The decision will probably come down to cost and availability as much as anything.

post #7 of 16
Quote:

Originally Posted by Alpha407 View Post

Boot out is an issue for me on less-hard snow with the 10.22s (I think they're only 62mm underfoot), so I'm assuming the wider skis today will take care of that? (not sure what kind of rise the new bindings/plates have).

 

I would just get the new Atomic Redster Doubledeck GS, but to be honest I'm a little concerned about the whole vibration dampening/D2 thing. I already find the 10.22s to have kind of a dead feel, and I really miss the life and energy of a classic wood/metal sandwich ski.

 

Which makes me want to consider the Fischer RC4 Worldcup RC Pro. Traditional construction, lots of sidecut, maybe a little closer to a true race ski than the Atomic D2?

 

I guess I'm wondering if the "cheater" skis are going to be a noticeable step down, performance wise, from my older race skis. The extra sidecut might be fun, but if they're going to be too soft and dead, it might be not be worth the change.

 

Any and all thoughts and experience are welcome. Thanks.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpha407 View Post
 

Thanks, lots of good info to consider here.

 

It's odd though, I'll find a review of the Fischers (for example) that describes them as an easygoing ski for lighter intermediates to carve lazy arcs on soft snow, then someone else will say it's a burly ski for hard-charging heavyweights only. So which is it? I'm wondering if ski length has a lot to do with it. Is the 175cm ski that much softer and easygoing than the 185?

 

Anyway, think I have narrowed it down to the Fischers, Blizzard and Nordica (are Nordica and Blizzard the same ski these days?) in the 180-185cm range. It sucks not being able to actually try any of these for myself. The decision will probably come down to cost and availability as much as anything.

Fischers will give you that lively feeling.

 

If you are really only going to be skiing fast (GS race speeds and above), then get the Fischer World Cup GS.   If you will also be skiing them at reasonable speeds, get the RC.  I got the Fischer WC SC, and I'm not disappointed in its ability to hold an edge in any conditions, nor it's ability to turn where I want it to at any speed I can reach on any hill in Ontario Canada.   While the race ski will perform better when pushed hard, the RC/SC is still pretty good without feeling like you are on the wrong ski when you have to ski like the other 97% (obligatory Epicski statistic) of the skiers on the hill.  I have skied the SC at 150 and 190 lbs (according to Mom's bathroom scale); it's good.

 

You didn't say where you skied or how much of a mountain/hill you had to play with.  Since you seem to want to lay down big arcs, I'm suggesting you get the GS.  The SC/SL choice makes a smaller mountain more fun that a GS/RC would.  Shorter radius will also make boot-out more of a problem.

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm skiing in western Canada, mostly around Banff. Norquay and Nakiska are favourites for the high speed GS stuff, and both have great, long, hardpacked, right-down-the-fall-line runs. I'm lucky that I can go midweek and have the entire run to myself - if it's crowded and I can't ski fast, I'll just go home. And I have another pair of skis (older Atomic R:EX) for powder days and all-mountain stuff.

 

Yeah, I'm scared to miss the snap and energy of a true race ski, but I'm also keen to have some fun with a bit more sidecut. The 10.22s are fine on the harder, steeper slopes, but when I get to the flatter sections I'd like to be able to lay them way over and work the sidecut just for the fun of it. Maybe I could find some taller riser plates for the old Atomic bindings (to help with the boot-out), but that still leaves me with 14-year old skis. I think it's probably just time for new ones, but I don't think I'd want to go back to a 27+m radius ski.

 

Was just poking around on the net and saw a pair of new-old-stock 2012 Nordica Doberman GSR EVO EDTs 182 cm for $600 Canadian, including bindings, shipped to my door. Seems like a good deal on a decent ski. Will ask around at a few shops today, but am tempted to go with the deal on the Dobermans.

post #9 of 16

Sounds like a good ski, but just going on family resemblance (haven't been on Nordica GS, but have been on a few other Nordicas), the Nordicas (descendant from the original Kästle) feel more solid and stable, like Atomics.   Fischers give you a livelier feeling (they are just as stable and perform just as well if you trust them; they just feel less substantial).  The RCs are about 17 m radius maybe just a tad too short for high speed long radius turns.  Maybe what you need is an older Fischer GS with one of the previous FIS radii.  

post #10 of 16
I think you will find the Nordica to have plenty of life to it. I would also suggest you look at the 182/183 23m women's ( prior to the latest changes) FIS ski. While you may think that it is too similar in radius to your 10.22 you will find it a whole different experience and easy to lay over as you want. Will also be a lot more stable and better bite than the 19m cheaters. Personally I find the cheaters too turny to want to really redline them
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

The 23m women's FIS ski is an intriguing idea, but it looks like they are a little tough to find. I think I found a few out there, but by the time I ship them to Canada and put some bindings on them, I'm looking at a grand or so. Not outrageous, I know, but I'm tempted to do this on the cheap if I can.

 

I think I am about to pull the trigger on those 182 cm Dobermans. I might have preferred the 186, but I think 182 will be fine as well. If they're a little skittish at redline, well, it probably wouldn't kill me to slow down a bit and make more turns if that's what the ski is happiest doing. I'm not 25 any more and nobody has a stopwatch out. :)

 

But I am a little concerned about the N Pro Evo bindings that they come with (4-12 DIN, I think). I liked Markers back in the day, but these seem to be a totally new design. I never had any problem skiing the old Markers at a DIN of 10, but have had to go up to 14 on some other brands (*cough* ESS, Tyrolia *cough*). Does anyone know how these N Pro Evos compare to Marker's race series bindings and whether the hole patterns are the same in case I need to switch?

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpha407 View Post

The 23m women's FIS ski is an intriguing idea, but it looks like they are a little tough to find. I think I found a few out there, but by the time I ship them to Canada and put some bindings on them, I'm looking at a grand or so. Not outrageous, I know, but I'm tempted to do this on the cheap if I can.

I think I am about to pull the trigger on those 182 cm Dobermans. I might have preferred the 186, but I think 182 will be fine as well. If they're a little skittish at redline, well, it probably wouldn't kill me to slow down a bit and make more turns if that's what the ski is happiest doing. I'm not 25 any more and nobody has a stopwatch out. smile.gif

But I am a little concerned about the N Pro Evo bindings that they come with (4-12 DIN, I think). I liked Markers back in the day, but these seem to be a totally new design. I never had any problem skiing the old Markers at a DIN of 10, but have had to go up to 14 on some other brands (*cough* ESS, Tyrolia *cough*). Does anyone know how these N Pro Evos compare to Marker's race series bindings and whether the hole patterns are the same in case I need to switch?

Send me a pm. I have some 2013 Rossi gs 182 and 2012 blizzard gs that might be just what you need - and at a lot less than a grand!
post #13 of 16

If Scotsskier is offering take him up on it,  On skis he'll steer you in the right direction.

 

BTW on 23m skis and love it.

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

Yes, thanks to everyone for the help and ideas.

 

Yesterday I had pretty much made up my mind to get the Dobermans. I figured that even if they end up being a little less stable than the 10.22s, I could enjoy them on softer days or if I didn't feel like cranking them up to eleven. I could still keep the 10.22s for those mach schnell days when the snow is hard.

 

Then I remembered why I started this whole process in the first place: I can't complain about the way the Atomics perform, but I've never really enjoyed that "dead" feel from the cap construction (at least, I assume it's due to the cap).

 

So, I have decided to buy the Dobermans and the 23m Blizzards from ScotsSkier (thanks!). The prices were right, and I figure I can try them both and sell whichever I least prefer, or more likely, keep them both: the Blizzards for charging on hard snow and the Dobermans for more relaxed days or when the snow is softer. Who knows, the Dobermans might actually make for a semi-versatile ski that I'll want to take off the groomers occasionally. That's the plan, anyway. Who knows what the reality will be, but I'll update this in the New Year when I get a chance to hit the snow again.

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well, I've had a chance to ski both pair of new skis now, so may as well wrap this up...

 

First, the 182cm Dobermanns are awesome! Solid, stable, with plenty of snap and energy to them, but still fun and playful. If they are a Doberman, it would be a 6-month-old Dobie puppy - tons of energy and a mouth full of sharp little teeth nipping at your heels to play!

 

The Blizzards are awesome, too, but not quite as much fun as the Nordicas (mostly on account of the lesser sidecut). They're still plenty turny, but they don't whip you through the turn like the Nordicas. They're also a little slower edge-to-edge, and I would still boot out on softer snow if I wasn't careful.

 

But, the Blizzards did seem more versatile in that I could throw them around more. The Nordicas really like to be tipped on edge to initiate the turn smoothly, while the Blizzards didn't mind being chucked across the fall line and edged a bit more aggressively. Again, I think it mostly comes down to the sidecut. I have a feeling the Blizzards might be more enjoyable on really steep, icy terrain (like a real GS course).

 

Stability at speed isn't an issue for either ski. I don't know how accurate it is (probably not very), but the Ski Tracks app on my phone clocked most of my runs at 80-90 km/h. The Blizzards are a touch more stable at speed, but I think I'd have to be wearing a speed suit and/or doing tuck turns to find the top end of either of these skis. Both are just fine for fast free skiing.

 

So, the Nordicas are a clear winner for me so far, but I still really like the Blizzards and will hang onto them. I suspect they will shine on the icier days.

post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

I think you will find the current GS (non FIS) to be a step or 2 up in terms of overall performance. the 10.22 was a great design, consumer GS ski.  

A few I have skied:

Fischer WC RC: already mentioned above, damp, powerful, good amount of life
Elan Waveflex GSX: a little more lively, super powerful, love the feel! 
Head i-Speed: damp, smooth, a little less energy than the 2 above.
Blizzard R-Power 7.2: meaty, powerful, strong ski.  Maybe the highest speed limit of any ski here. Also the stiffest? 
Blizzard S800: basically the R-power w/o the Power system.  Better ski for lighter skiers
Kastle RX12: just a gorgeous ski, damp, no speed limit, pretty versatile too.  Throw a VIST plate on there and you might have the best cheater GS on the planet.
Stockli Laser GS: competitor to the Kastle: classic race ski feel, medium flex, decent sweet spot, amazing snow feel. 

Now that Alpha has found his skis I don't feel bad bogarting his thread.... Which of these ^^^^^^skis would best replace my Atomic SX9s? IYHO of course...thanks
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