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Elan Race SX vs. Amphibio 76

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Longtime lurker, first time poster here. Love this forum, especially the retro memories threads! I have been blown away by the depth of knowledge, friendliness and the enthusiasm here and I hope you all may be able to offer some insight so I make the right decision on new gear, after a long hiatus from skiing.

I weigh about 225 lbs, 6 ft tall. I could certainly stand to lose some belly fat, but I have a large frame with broad shoulders and lean, muscular legs, which accounts for a lot of my weight. I am quite athletic, not obese and have lots of energy. I have not skied in a good 15 years. I skied every weekend in high school and quite a few weekends in college. My last year I skied on 200 cm Volkl P9 RS and had no problem at all handling them. I was at the advanced level then, I would say.

I want to start skiing again and have been told to forget my P9s with Tyrolia 490 Racing bindings and get new gear. I have never skied on the new parabolic skis.

I want to try Elans and have narrowed it down to two choices: the Elan Race SX, which is available for under $300 with bindings, or the Elan Amphibio 76, which will run $600. I hate to spend the extra money on the Amphibios if the Race SX will do the job, but good info on the Race SX is a bit hard to come by and some of it is contradictory. (Ads say it is soft and de-tuned, people who have skied it say it feels stiffer than the SLX.). Apparently the Race SX is from Elan's rental catalog and some have found their way to the states to be sold at retail.

I am also concerned that the Race SX could be too much for me to handle, given how long it has been since I skied. I have been assured that it is like riding a bike and it comes right back to you.

I like the idea of the easy turning Amphibio technology and Waveflex vs the simple Race SX design, but it is twice as much, I may need boots and clothes and I am not sure how much I will use them this year, though some skiing in Europe in March is a strong possibility. I have a trip planned there.

I ski primarily in the east, lots of groomers and icy slopes. I will get 168s, whichever I buy.

I would appreciate any and all feedback about these two choices!
post #2 of 22

Hey Pittski, welcome to epicski!

What are the details on the SX? Width, etc.

Realize that with the amphibios you'll have a left and a right ski.

People like them, it's a good ski. Could go both ways on that one.

 

I'm not sure it matters. Get the 300 ski if you'll ski more with it and if you'll be more likely to get another ski also. There's  a lot of used skis for that price, with bindings. At this point you want to get out there and find out about the new skis.

Lots of good stuff. No sense in spending everything on one. I

 

I would recommend going the next length up. Mid 170's. I've skied 165/170's for years in the east and even I am starting to go longer. At your weight it would make sense too. Either length though is not a mistake.

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

They are 117/71/103 with a turn radius of 14.6 m in 168cm size. The price went down to $224.99 delivered, including mounted Tyrolia bindings.  The vendor was down to one pair so I went ahead and bought them.  At that price I could not pass it up, I think they will be fine for reintroducing myself to the sport. 

 

The Race SX is described on a German webpage as a "sporty carver" not a full-blown race ski.  Apparently they are sold to rental shops in Europe as a high performance rental ski, and Elan must have brought a bunch of them to the states.  They are all over Amazon and eBay for $225-$335 with bindings.  My local shop just added a pair to their rack for "sale price of $449, regular retail price of $1000."  The actually MSRP in Europe with bindings is about $600.  Doesn't seem very honest to me.  I probably won't be going back there.

 

Here is a link to the skis I purchased.  They have the newer, updated graphics, which I like.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/161207551583?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

 

I am glad I went for the less expensive option because after reading a lot of stories about old boots failing, it is becoming apparent I will need new boots too.  I don't want to have to deal with shattering.  Ever see this video?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRLyOpnNeAQ

post #4 of 22

haha.....had not seen that video. I have seen parts of old boots in the snow though. Like heel or toes. I've also seen them crack or split. Really depends on the boot. 10yrs is not that old to have them blow up like that.

 

Skis:

Sounds just fine. A great price for sure.  I think it's just more important to get out there.

You're better off spending on boots. You really need to use a bootfitter that's decent.

Generally it's best to have one near where you ski if possible to make adjustments.

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

I missed the five questions post.  The instructions couldn't have been bigger, LOL.  D'OH!  I guess I gave my answers in my post, at least.  Moot now that I have bought the skis.

 

Do you think an 80 flex is enough for me?  I have been trying on boots and the Nordica Cruise 80 fits me perfectly and they are on sale for $239. I tried on some Dalbellos with a 100 flex but they did not feel any stiffer when I tried them in the shop.  The Full Tilts look very appealing as well, though I have not tried them on yet.  I hate to make this all about money but I don't want to buy $500 boots when I am just getting back into the sport.  Unfortunately they charge a lot to go from an 80 to 100 flex!

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pittski View Post
 

I missed the five questions post.  The instructions couldn't have been bigger, LOL.  D'OH!  I guess I gave my answers in my post, at least.  Moot now that I have bought the skis.

 

Do you think an 80 flex is enough for me?  I have been trying on boots and the Nordica Cruise 80 fits me perfectly and they are on sale for $239. I tried on some Dalbellos with a 100 flex but they did not feel any stiffer when I tried them in the shop.  The Full Tilts look very appealing as well, though I have not tried them on yet.  I hate to make this all about money but I don't want to buy $500 boots when I am just getting back into the sport.  Unfortunately they charge a lot to go from an 80 to 100 flex!

You weigh 225lbs and are 6feet tall.

Short, easy answer: NO

That's basically a junior boot or a rental boot. Terrible for you. Waste of 20$ if that's what they were but they're 10x that.

 

Use your old boots for now. Where are you located?

Really, I don't know what shop would put you in an 80 flex boot, but you should not go there.

You could wait till after Feb break and things will go on sale.

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

I live in the east, Pittsburgh, PA.

 

One of the reasons I may get new boots now rather than later is there is a good chance my GF and I will be going to Garmisch-Partenkirchen to ski in early March.  The last thing I want is for one of my boots to break during our trip and be stranded halfway up the mountain.  Our relationship is still new and that would be simply uncool, and really put a damper on our trip!

 

I want to get the gear now and take a couple of days here getting my ski legs back before the big trip to Europe.

I am looking at the Full Tilt boots now. The FT Classic is a 100 flex and based on Raichle, which I have always liked.  Those won't be cheap, but could be worth it. A local store has some Alpinas in my size with a 100 flex for $200.  I am going to try those, too.

post #8 of 22
To be honest even a 100 flex boot for you at 225 lbs and 6 feet is likely too soft.
A lot depends on how long your shins - tibias are. The longer the softer the boot feels.
Off hand a minimum 110 and more likely a 120 flex is needed.
Realize that flex #'s are not fully comparable one brand to the other. They are extremely rough guides. People who know the actual boots will tell you.

There's also a lot more than flex to a boot. What type of foot you have, the instep, and the calf are all very important.
Honestly the path your on at the moment may result in just wasting money and living with it for a few years.
Don't know much about Alpinas other than the ones I've seen are rental oriented and just garbage.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Honestly the path your on at the moment may result in just wasting money and living with it for a few years.
 

 

I agree.  I will do some more research and spend more on a better boot.

 

One advantage to the Full Tilt boots is I can change the flex pattern by changing to a stiffer tongue.

 

Thanks for your comments about Alpina.  I really didn't know much about them.

post #10 of 22

Full Tilts are a fairly high volume boot that's aimed at folks who do bumps, freestyle, backcountry tricks etc. They have the advantage of the various tongues, and they'll be a bit easier to manage in rough snow or moguls, but they won't work quite as easily on ice or hardpack. 

 

If you like the basic design, Dalbello offers the same idea, but a lower volume last with a narrower heel. Also with different tongues, and so on. If you are simply interested in being able to vary the flex, a number of brands allow that one way or the other, and a competent fitter can make any shell softer. But in all honesty, the best approach would be to try on various models of an appropriate flex - I'd say at least 110 for you, 120 would work - and pick the one that fits your foot the best. That involves a good fitter, looking at your foot in the shell without the liner in, and making sure you don't go for comfy boots in the store that you'll swim in out on the slopes. The boot needs to be very snug in the store, especially in the heel and ankle area. A good fitter usually can take care of the front of the boot if things are too tight up there. Some reliable brands you're likely to find at a shop are Dalbello, Full Tilt, Lange, Nordica, Salomon, Atomic, and Rossignol. There are others. Alpina is sort of lost in space. 

 

Good luck.  

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pittski View Post
 

The FT Classic is a 100 flex 

 

Did someone tell you that?  Full Tilt doesn't rate the the flex the way other makers do.  The Classic comes with a #6 tongue but how that might translate to the flex of a Lange or Tecnica or anyone else is difficult to say because the flex "curve" of a cabrio boot is different from that of an overlap boot.  If a knowledgeable boot fitter said that, I would probably still take it with a couple grains of sale, but if sales person in a shop said it, I would probably need a couple pounds of salt to go with it.

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

I tried on some Atomic Hawx 110 last night and they were very comfortable, while keeping my heel locked in perfectly.  They had the Dalbellos with the 3-piece design but they really didn't feel good on my foot.

 

If the trip to Germany goes through I may just splurge and get the Atomics.  They were comfortable but did not feel sloppy on my feet at all.  I'll try on the Alpinas just for grins but am leaning against them now.

post #13 of 22

Were you dealing with a boot fitter when you tried on the Atomics?  If not, I will bet money on them being too big, either too long or too wide and maybe both.

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

No boot fitter, just a salesman in the shop.  He seemed pretty knowledgeable, though.  He did recommend a custom volcano footbed with a lot of arch support until I told him I have extremely flat feet, then he backed off of that.  Last time I tried something like that in shoes they just about crippled me...

post #15 of 22

Did the sales guy remove the liner from the boot and have you put your foot into just the shell?

post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
 

Did the sales guy remove the liner from the boot and have you put your foot into just the shell?

 

No, he didn't.  None of them did that.

post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pittski View Post
 

 

No, he didn't.  None of them did that.

Find another shop. Also recommend visting a boot fitter prior to visiting a shop so they can create a list of items or issues to look for as you try on different boots. I am speaking from first-hand, hard-learned experience.

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pittski View Post
 

 

No, he didn't.  None of them did that.

The sales guy knows nothing about proper fitting and I guarantee the boots are too big.  A shell fit is how you know what size boot you need.  If you want boots that fit, you need to go to a boot fitter.  If your boots don't fit, it really doesn't matter how good your skis are.  Trust me, I wasted a lot of money trying to buy better skiing by buying hot skis and I do mean wasted.  When I was finally coerced into going to a boot fitter and getting boots that actually fit, 2 sizes smaller than what I had been using, my skiing improved immediately because the skis did what I wanted them to do, immediately, not later.  Go to the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum and read the wikis about fitting and terminology.  Then check the "Who's Who" because I think there is a fitter in the Pittsburg area and that is who you need to see.

post #19 of 22

I believe Billy is near Philly, not Pittsburgh. You could ask in the ski gear section for a fitter near Pittsburgh.

 

MtCyclist is right, those people know nothing. You'd prob be better off tracing and measuring your foot, instep, calf at various points, photographing, and sending them to someone for advice. If you find no one near Pittsburgh, or where you ski, then that would be the best option. They'd recommend a boot and you'd try them on at a store. The thing is, any boot that is going to fit you will need some adjustment most likely.

 

You can shell fit yourself. Bring a small flash light and shine it behind your heel with toes just touching the front of the shell. No liner in there. No more than 1inch. Really more like 5/8 - 3/4. People in performance fit are going for 1/4 inch all the way down to zero where they then grind and punch to make room.

 

Basics:

http://www.epicski.com/a/boot-fitting-which-boot-will-work-for-me

 

Terms:

http://www.epicski.com/a/boot-fitting-terms-and-glossary

post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pittski View Post
 

No boot fitter, just a salesman in the shop.  He seemed pretty knowledgeable, though.  He did recommend a custom volcano footbed with a lot of arch support until I told him I have extremely flat feet, then he backed off of that.  Last time I tried something like that in shoes they just about crippled me...

 

Hi Pittski, For a good boot fitter in your area check out Peak Ski and Snowboard in Gibsonia. Give them a call and see if you can get an appointment with Richard. 

post #21 of 22

PFFT!  What's 300 miles?  I drove that far to get my new MTB a couple years ago.:D 

 

Start a new thread and ask for recommendations for a fitter near you.  Edit:  There you go, a recommended fitter.

 

Something to remember about ski boot fitting is that your want it to feel very snug, even tight out of the box.  The reason for that is that the liner will start to pack as soon as your start using the boots and will continue to pack out for quite a long time.  So if that brand new boot is comfy out of the box they will soon become baggy.  The Dalbello that didn't feel good might have had the Intuition liner which needs to be heat molded to your foot and could have been closer to the correct size but without doing a shell fit you don't know.  If you want to do a shell fit for length in a store, go to Home Depot or Lowe's and get a 3/4" dowel.  If you can just slide it behind your heel during a shell fit, you have the right size.

post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
 

The sales guy knows nothing about proper fitting and I guarantee the boots are too big.  A shell fit is how you know what size boot you need.  If you want boots that fit, you need to go to a boot fitter.  If your boots don't fit, it really doesn't matter how good your skis are.  Trust me, I wasted a lot of money trying to buy better skiing by buying hot skis and I do mean wasted.  When I was finally coerced into going to a boot fitter and getting boots that actually fit, 2 sizes smaller than what I had been using, my skiing improved immediately because the skis did what I wanted them to do, immediately, not later.  Go to the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum and read the wikis about fitting and terminology.  Then check the "Who's Who" because I think there is a fitter in the Pittsburg area and that is who you need to see.

^^^^ This. If you can't get to a qualified fitter, then at the very least, demand that the sales guy take the liners out, put your foot in with a light skiing sock, and move your foot forward until your toes just touch the front. Now measure how much distance is between your heel and the back of the boot. If more than about 15 mm, the boot's too big. Also useful to see how much room you have across the metatarsals - widest part of most feet - and shell. Shouldn't touch, about 2 mm is perfect, too much more and it'll be sloppy. Remember that liners contribute much a fit feel early on, but they pack out, and the entire boot gets bigger and bigger. Throughout it all your shell, not your liner, is what moves the force from your leg to the ski. So what you're looking for is a very snug fit, especially around the ankle and heel, not just a fit that keeps your heel from moving. Fitters near the slopes you ski at can deal with dialing the fit in, as long as you show up with a decently fitting shell. Tight places can be expanded. Loose places are far harder, or impossible, to fix. 

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