Hi, folks - I'm about to make one of those $300-$1,000 ski buying experiments and could use your advice.
* What is the best slalom race ski (and binding) for me, given my ability, weight and strength?
* Just as important , does anyone know where I can find a low cost pair of their recommended model(s)? (Maybe last year's model, demo'd, lightly used, etc.)
Ability: Previous high school and college racer. Current NASTAR handicap 13 (Platinum). I'm joining a race training program today and I'd like to step up to USSA masters racing. Therefore, my target racing venue would be mostly homologated FIS-like race courses.
Stats: I'm 60 year old male, 5' 9" (175 cm), 155-160 lbs. (71-72 kg)
Strength: When I workout, I leg press 300 lb. 20 reps x 3 sets. If need be, I could press 450 lb. or even 650 lb. a few times, but my back gets crushed. Nevertheless, I'd say I'm a finesse skier rather than a power skier.
Right now, I'm currently leaning towards FIS-race stock skis, but dialed down a notch or two, given my non-FIS racing skills. I currently ski on 11/12 Atomic Double Deck GS Non-FIS (174 cm) race skis with Neox TL 12 Bindings and use 12/13 Fischer Vacuum Fit 110's.
Those skis have never let me down in a race, but during freesking or race training I think they are almost too much ski for me. They require a 100% effort out of me and I have great difficulty exploiting their stated 17.8 m turn radius. I can get my hip about knee's height above the snow on most occasions, but rarely can I lay them over and get my hip on the ground a la Ted Ligety and his fellow FIS friends.
That's why I'm leaning toward the women's 155 cm FIS gear. I can get a tighter turning radius using a more upright stance and go straighter at the gates. Speed, stability and recoveries are nice, but my main concern is I have to be able to flex and work the skis, especially in slalom. Non-FIS skis are an option, too. Naturally, I'm tempted to "man up" and go with the men's 165 cm FIS equipment, thus the dilemma.
What do you guys think? Thanks!