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Narrower Ski for an improving intermediate [Tahoe]?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Need a sanity check before I gather more gear.  [Yes, I know that's counter Epic standards, but I'm asking anyways. :-]

 

Short: Would like to know if a more narrow width frontside ski will help me get turn initiation down quicker?

 

The Long:

Been skiing a couple of  80/20 78-79mm width skis @ 170cm.  Am ~5'6" @ 155lbs.  I find skiing greens too easy and relatively steep blues ok, but not with the effortless grace desired.  Am visiting various resorts in the larger Tahoe area.

 

I want to get turn initiation down.  Am not quite as in the backseat as last year, and with each ski day, there's less and less quad burn.  But, I'm still working on patience turns, and rounding out my turns.  I find it takes a bit of effort to move COM in the right direction, at the right time.  As is, I'm getting about 2 good runs out of 5.  A few ski days ago, it was closer to 1 good run out of 10, so there's some improvement.

 

Just did a private group lesson and it re-iterated the need for better 'turn initiation' with inside LTE tipping (also reduce the inside ski wander), and more dynamic (flex-extension) stance (for edge release and COM movement).  In other words, the usual intermediate hang ups.

 

I'm wondering if more narrow skis would help hone technique faster.  I'm willing to put in the mileage to get there, but if equipment can help, why not?

 

Bonus question: If the answer is to get a more narrow ski, which?  or rather, what characteristics to chase?

 

Thanks in Advance.

post #2 of 16

A narrower ski than yours will not likely help at all. Most skis that are narrower than yours will be pretty high end and pretty technical skis and that's not what you need at this time. A different ski will not be of notable help in getting you out of the backseat.

 

One equipment thing that might be of help is to make sure that your boots are correctly fitted. A cheap boot and/or one that is oversized could be holding you back more than you know and could well be part of that backseat problem that you mention. You might get a good bootfitter to evaluate your boot setup. It may be just fine but then again..........

 

SJ

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

SJ:

 

Thanks for the words.  I should have mentioned that, yes, I'm in the process of dialing boots w/ a bootfitter.  The fit is snug all around, and alignment looks to be good.  I've already been through the "too big boot" routine, and now am "enjoying the pain" ;-)

 

Can we say that my feet hurt from trying on way too many boots?

 

Sounds like it'll just be mileage and waiting for that magical "ah ha" moment.

post #4 of 16

OK....good job on the boot thing. Now mileage and instruction should take care of the rest.

 

SJ

post #5 of 16

I think a full-camber skinny short radius ski, like a one-step-down-from FIS SL ski will help you out by rewarding good technique.  It may not get you out of the back seat, but it will help teach you how make a proper turn.  Just my opinion; I have seen too many people skiing weak-grip ineffective skis.  Frankly, it's no wonder it takes them so many years to learn how to tip them over and carve a good turn; tipping them over at speed only makes them slip. 

 

I like the Fischer WC SC, but offerings from Head, Atomic, Kastle, Stockli, Rossi, and others are good too.   Look for Radius about 13 m, length 165 cm, and level of ski FIS or close.

post #6 of 16

You can't buy a turn. There's no substitute for practice. New gear is not the answer to your problems. And some people (like me) can ski for decades and not achieve effortless grace. You need the right genes for that. 

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Ghost, thanks for the thoughts. That's my current intent. Though I think my current skis have enough edge hold. Its driving through cut up, especially in afternoon soft where the problems appear. Something that should have been mentioned earlier.

Oldgoat, ain't trying to buy the turn. I have felt the turn, but can't get it consistently. Am trying to find the sensation, and make it repeatable. I don't expect the equipment to turn for me, but am hoping maybe to get quicker edge to edge, and get that sensation/feedback quicker.

I can tell the difference between a crappy (soft) tennis racket, and something stiff enough to punch the ball. I can tell difference between a fly rod that can punch through the wind, one that will finese the line, and one that is just a noodle. This is an exercise in trying to figure out this COM timing thing and more vague the input, the less I learn. At least that's the current thought.

Maybe this mental picture unachievable, but that's the drive right now. Why kill it? My aspirations will be ceilinged by my realities soon enough on their own.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

You can't buy a turn. There's no substitute for practice. New gear is not the answer to your problems. And some people (like me) can ski for decades and not achieve effortless grace. You need the right genes for that. 

What he said.  But, lack of quad burn is not a good indicator of whether or not you are in the back seat.  I purposed skied that way a lot many years ago and rarely had quad burn.  I worked out and had really well developed quad and abs.  I could literally lay backwards going down a run and just pull my self back upright without pain.  Fortunately I never crashed while doing that or I most likely would have destroyed at least one ACL.  Try taking a private lesson and ask specifically for a Level 3 instructor or even an examiner to do it.  Any decent ski school can do that.

 

And when oldgoat said "you can't buy a turn" he wasn't referring to ability.  What he meant was buying some non-FIS SL skis will not help with the basics, except to punish you when you do it wrong.  That kind of ski demands pretty high level input.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Mtcyclist, I think I had that understanding of the phrase too, new equipment isn't going to turn for me. Nor will it get out of the backseat on its own.

As for racing level ski, my intent for "narrower" wasn't for a racing ski, but something quicker side to side. But as SJ said, most narrower skis are probably race skis. Thanks for reiterating "no" to race skis. Thanks for reiterating lessons and mileage.

Lets consider thus topic closed. Back to putting in the miles....
post #10 of 16
Once you get more mileage... Carving on some 165 fis level sl skis is a blast! With the lack of snow in the west coast and after a few seasons on being on 95+ waisted skis, I expanded my skinny end of my quiver and it has really helped me with my technique. Making sure my boots were up to snuff was the key. One thing about skiing an fis level sl gs or sg is the built in training aid... It will punish poor technique and reward good smile.gif
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by c20500 View Post

Once you get more mileage... Carving on some 165 fis level sl skis is a blast! With the lack of snow in the west coast and after a few seasons on being on 95+ waisted skis, I expanded my skinny end of my quiver and it has really helped me with my technique. Making sure my boots were up to snuff was the key. One thing about skiing an fis level sl gs or sg is the built in training aid... It will punish poor technique and reward good smile.gif

Give him some more mileage and instruction first until he's got blues wired and is starting to really understand what skiing tip,to tail means and how it works. No need to be punished by any ski just yet... We're still too well into the 'self-inflicted' error stage to need help,turning it up to '11'.
post #12 of 16

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by plai View Post

Lets consider thus topic closed. Back to putting in the miles....

You must be new here :D.  That just won't wash in these parts; give us a topic and we are like sheep dogs with a bone.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by plai View Post

Ghost, thanks for the thoughts. That's my current intent. Though I think my current skis have enough edge hold. Its driving through cut up, especially in afternoon soft where the problems appear. Something that should have been mentioned earlier.

Well the short radius ski won't make cut-up any easier; a longer and longer radius ski is the easy button for that.  However the short radius ski will be a the better teacher in other smoother conditions, and it will give you more turns for your skiing dollar.

 

Sorry, I did not take a closer look at your profile, unless you weigh 180+ lbs or really ski faster than the average bear, you might want to try two steps down from FIS,  much easier to bend into a carve.   Just avoid early rise or any other form of rocker (marketing possibly acceptable rocker acceptable) if you can; that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.  My Fischer WC SCs seemed very forgiving to me, especially before I re-tuned the base edge from the 1 degree it came with to the 0.5 it should have come with if Fischer had designed the ski with me in mind, but I already had lot's of mileage. 

post #13 of 16
Ghost, all fine and well, but its not about you. smile.gif
post #14 of 16

To the OP. Just enjoy this. Once you get the Blues dialed in you'll "think" you know how to ski. Then you head to the black runs and bumps and realize you still don't know sh*t.

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
RatherPlayThanWork: that's my usual attitude, "I don't know sh*t". That's why I asking strangers for input :-; The corollary attitude applies, "I'm here to learn".

Grrrr, I took the bait......
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by plai View Post

RatherPlayThanWork: that's my usual attitude, "I don't know sh*t". That's why I asking strangers for input :-; The corollary attitude applies, "I'm here to learn".

Grrrr, I took the bait......

 

Just so you don't start asking us for medical advice.:eek

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