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GS Ski recommendation help

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi all!  I'm new to the forum and have been reading a lot of threads here which just expanded the amount of information I realized I didn't know about skis.  So, I'm taking my question to the group. 

 

BLUF/tl;dr:  What GS race/"race" skis would you recommend for a former racer and big guy who skis hard and has a tendency to break things?

 

A little about me:  I am 36yo, 6'2", 245lb former racer and ski instructor in the northeast.  My wife and friends have and still do call me a neanderthal at times if that gives you any indication of my size.  My current skis are 205cm Rossignol EXs circa 1995/6.  I've used these skis for everything from bumps to groomed cruisers to the race course to lazy beginner hills teaching students and I'm very comfortable with the stiffness.  After about 20 years (that shocked me thinking about how long I've had these skis), the feel of these skis has become kind of a standard I use when demoing.  The ski I loved most, though, was a pair of 203cm Volkl GS race skis from 1993ish.  They were heavy, fast, stiff and could hold an edge on granite.  I'm looking to replace them with a similar type of ski with current technology and could use some help pointing me in a good direction to start my search.

 

I like to go fast and I ride the ski hard through turns.  The newest ski I've used was a 2007 Atomic Beta Race GS11 in 183cm and it was a nice little ski.  It held edges well for me and wasn't overly demanding but it felt a little light.  I guess coming from 205s to 183s will give that feeling but I'd like to at least keep the feeling of stability which the GS11 had.  I'm not partial to one brand or another.  I just want the best ski for me.  I've read a little about the difference between FIS skis and "cheaters" but what kind of difference will I really see?  I'm not going to be using them for sanctioned events so I don't know if FISs are right but I hate to be on a ski that snaps around on me when I step on it. I might do some masters racing in the future but by then, I'll probably be in the market for something new again.

 

Any help would be appreciated to narrow down my search.  I don't have the opportunity to demo everything this year and I'd like to buy something this off-season.  Also, what length should I demo?  I'm leaning toward the 180-190 range - 188s are top of my list.

 

Thanks everyone!


Edited by jokerusn - 1/7/14 at 10:04am
post #2 of 3
Quote:
What GS race/"race" skis would you recommend for a former racer and big guy who skis hard and has a tendency to break things?

 

This would tend to make me cautious about recommending a race ski at all. The reason is that despite their stiffness and apparent durability, GS race skis are relatively easy to bend. It is not that uncommon for a 140-160 lb boy to bend his ski just by falling in a race and slamming across a cross rut. (we probably see maybe 5-6 a year).

 

Having said that, here are some differences...........

 

Cheater skis have much more sidecut (~~ 20M) than FIS GS skis (30-35m) and the cheaters are also a bit softer.

Most cheater skis stop in the range of 183-185 as the biggest size.

A current FIS GS ski in 188 will be a women's build and a 30m ski.

A current 190 will be a men's ski and a 35M ski.

There are tons of used GS skis from prior years that are no longer legal and hence cheap, but prone to bends as well.

GS race skis may be somewhat difficult to find as a demo in many cases.

 

Most high end "carving" skis are a bit softer than the GS cheaters but also stop in 183-185 as the longest size.

The carvers will be less prone to bends and should be stiff enough for your tastes.

Two that will probably be relatively easy to demo are the Dynastar Course Pro and Nordica FA 84 EDT.

 

Good luck.

 

SJ

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
 

 

This would tend to make me cautious about recommending a race ski at all. The reason is that despite their stiffness and apparent durability, GS race skis are relatively easy to bend. It is not that uncommon for a 140-160 lb boy to bend his ski just by falling in a race and slamming across a cross rut. (we probably see maybe 5-6 a year).

 

Having said that, here are some differences...........

 

Cheater skis have much more sidecut (~~ 20M) than FIS GS skis (30-35m) and the cheaters are also a bit softer.

Most cheater skis stop in the range of 183-185 as the biggest size.

A current FIS GS ski in 188 will be a women's build and a 30m ski.

A current 190 will be a men's ski and a 35M ski.

There are tons of used GS skis from prior years that are no longer legal and hence cheap, but prone to bends as well.

GS race skis may be somewhat difficult to find as a demo in many cases.

 

Most high end "carving" skis are a bit softer than the GS cheaters but also stop in 183-185 as the longest size.

The carvers will be less prone to bends and should be stiff enough for your tastes.

Two that will probably be relatively easy to demo are the Dynastar Course Pro and Nordica FA 84 EDT.

 

Good luck.

 

SJ

 

Thanks for the recommendation and the info!  I probably should've explained a little bit more about the "break things" piece.  I have never actually broken or bent a ski but have flattened a few out from use.  I've tried some carvers in the past and they weren't bad but felt very soft and not as stable at speed as the GS "race" ski I demoed afterwards.  Again, that was quite a few years ago so I may give those a try this time if they're going to fit my needs.

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