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Time to retire my K2 Four Classics. Recommendations?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm not one to buy equipment every new cycle (obviously).  But it is time based upon everything I've read on these boards.  So I'm trying to hone in on a collection of skis I should demo.  Last time I demoed skis and ultimately selected the Classic Fours (these were the ones with the piezoelectric light), I demoed several skis and really determined what I liked and didn't.  Back in '98, I was coming off of straight skis.  And while I liked the side cut the "curved" skis offered, I didn't like it to be too extreme.  For example, I skied Rossi Bandits and absolutely hated them.  Anytime I got any speed, the skis just were squirrelly.  Forget skiing wide turns.  Tucks?  Forget it.    I also tried the Saloman X Scream (IIRC the name correctly).  These seemed okay... but I was not wowed.  Jack of all trades, master of none, imho.  The Fours where just awesome.  They were FAST, easy to turn.  I loved not being tired at the end of the day and feeling like I could just keep going and going.  Length: 183cm.  Sidecut: 14.0 mm dimension: 99/65/88

 

So a little bit about me.  I'm 49 and have been skiing since I was 13.  I don't get a lot of days in (a good year is 5-7 days).  Life for one reason or another just has not allowed me to ski as much as I'd like.  I would say I'm an advanced skier but I tend to stay on the front of the mountain.  I ski Tahoe and preferred location is Kirkwood (typically The Wall).  I used to ski the bumps.  But the Fours just were not the ski for that and I find myself more enjoying, fast, steep runs.  

 

I honestly don't know where to begin looking.  My last demo experience would seem that I should stick with a ski that is roughly the same shape as the deeply side cut skis just are not my thing.  But perhaps looks are deceiving and the truly hour class shapes of today are very different than the ones I struggled with in the late 90s.  It just seemed a more subtle side cut (but definitely not straight) were the best for me.  And here's a question, on top of the demo recs, if I get a ski that is roughly the same dimensions as my Fours and intend to ski the same front mountain blacks (and blues to be with my son), how big of a difference would the the newer skis actually be?

 

I've seem some of the race GS skis.  But my understanding is that while the dimensions may be close to my old Fours, they may be worlds stiffer.  Anyway, suggestions are greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 9

Welcome! First off, if you haven't come across it already you may find it interesting to read this thread started recently by another user who was also at the update point, only moving from even older straight skis to about what you're getting ready to leave behind...

 

Click here to read

 

If you're looking for new skis one option would be to find a shop with someone on staff who's been skiing for a good while and has been through the transitions already, understanding where you're coming from, from an experienced perspective, and let them suggest some skis to demo. If you can make it up to North Lake Tahoe Starthaus in Truckee is the place to go. There are several folks there who could help you sort things out.

 

Another option might be to consider buying something used but newer than your Four's, maybe something like this...

 

http://reno.craigslist.org/spo/4283394783.html

 

Longer, stiffer, but could be a good choice to succeed your Four's, given what you like to ski and how.

 

If you were to buy and ski it and end up not liking it you could probably get your money back selling on Craigslist or eBay.

 

Here's a more forgiving version...

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/K2-Axis-188-with-Look-Pivot-bindings-mens-ski-/131118669031?pt=Skiing&hash=item1e87481ce7

 

And remember, you can always make an offer lower than the asking price!   ;-)

 

Good luck!

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Very interesting thread.  Thanks for pointing that out!  That thread really resonated, as there is a part of me that wonders why I'm considering retiring skis that are still in excellent condition.  In fact, I think in the thread you linked, you ask that straight ski owner a similar question. Correct? 

 

Btw, am I correct that you have these same Fours?  In another thread I searched for K2 Fours, I thought I saw a post where you had taken the bindings off a pair -- which are the exact same ones I have (i.e., no fake wood graphic but are solely RWB, a big FOUR at the bottom and the piezoelectric red light above the toe).  Anyway, if you do own these, and assuming you also have more modern skis in the same category how do the Fours stack up against more recent skis?   Is there a massive/revolutionary difference?  I ask this because while demoing would be an interesting exercise, I'm wondering (given that I'd want to stay with a similar shape, cut, and radius ski), if a newer ski would be as transformational.  I already know I would not be interested in super shaped skis (hated those big shovel skis when I demoed years ago since they always want to turn – often when I don’t want to) or even the really wide skis given how they are slower to go from edge to edge.  I think this leaves me with non-FIS Race GS skis - which I wonder if they will be as transformational to my skiing experience as the Fours were back in '98 when I dumped my straights. 

 

So on one hand, I'm thinking in 17 years, technology has got to be such that a new pair would be just as liberating (maybe not in the same way, necessarily).  But on the other, when I look at skis in various buyer guides, it seems that aside from non-FIS GS Race skis, all the newer skis are either really fat or super shaped (which I either know from experience or from the description don’t match my type of skiing).  

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Last reply didn't seem to get posted.  So I'll try again...

 

Appreciate the feedback... especially the thread you mentioned.  It does make me wonder if I should be looking into new skis at all.  The ones I have are in excellent condition and I do enjoy skiing them.  When I bought them back in '98, I was moving from straight skis.  The move to the Fours was nothing short of transformational.  I never had any equipment, regardless of sport, escalate my ability to such an extent. 

 

My consideration of new skis today is that over 15 years have passed and I would love to take advantage of skis that made another quantum leap.  However, my challenge is in finding skis that fit my skiing preferences.  So many today seem to have a huge sidecut well beyond my Fours or are very wide.  From my last demo experience many years ago, I really disliked the super curved skis.  I enjoy a curved ski that makes an easy turn as much as the next guy.  However, I still want to be the driver.  The Fours were curved just enough to make smooth, easy turns while allowing solid control in high speed situations.  Anything further and the ski felt out of control.  In addition, today's fat skis seem like the wrong fit for me.  From what I've read, they are not as good at skinny skis on the front mountain where one wants a fast to edge-to-edge ski.  And I don't see much powder.  So it seems that the best shape and radius ski would be something along the lines of what I already have... and I'm not sure what group of modern skis fits that bill.  Almost seems like it is some GS Race ski.  Is there that huge of a difference in ski even if the shape, size and radius are the same?

 

Btw, I did notice in another thread that I believe you posted in that you picked up the same Fours I currently have (the bindings had been removed in the photo).  If so, and if you also have modern skis in the same category, I'd be curious to know how the Fours compare to modern skis in the same category.


Edited by jgwallace3 - 2/17/14 at 11:14am
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgwallace3 View Post

 

Btw, I did notice in another thread that I believe you posted in that you picked up the same Fours I currently have (the bindings had been removed in the photo).  If so, and if you also have modern skis in the same category, I'd be curious to know how the Fours compare to modern skis in the same category.

 

I've mounted the Four's I got with new bindings, (actually Railflex plates), but haven't had a chance to ski them yet. Will post when I do. I do have a pair of 12 or so year old K2 Axis X skis that I really like a lot. They're close to the ones I posted an eBay link to earlier.

 

If you can get to Starthaus I think it would be worth your while. I'm an intermediate who started skiing later in life and likes to experiment and experience a lot of different skis. The folks at Starthaus are expert skiers, and would understand exactly where you're coming from, and where you best might want to go. Not all new skis have a short turning radius. They can get you on something that might make the transition to a modern ski a reasonable/happy experience. They also offer highly regarded boot fitting services if you happen to need anything on that front.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks!  I'll give them a shout!

post #7 of 9

HI -

 

I am wondering if you ever had any luck matching the K2 Fours.  They were my best and favorite skis ever, and I've been trying to find some I like as much since 1999.  I have about the same skiing background as you.  I've tried Dynastar Bigs, which I liked alot, but kind of clunky, K2 Sideshows - which are fatter and not that good on high speed groomers, and I can't remember what else, but I am getting new ones this year and am wondering if you've had any luck. It looks like the 2015 Potion 98Ti might be close.  Any ideas?

 

TClarke44

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by TClarke44 View Post
 

HI -

 

I am wondering if you ever had any luck matching the K2 Fours.  They were my best and favorite skis ever, and I've been trying to find some I like as much since 1999.  I have about the same skiing background as you.  I've tried Dynastar Bigs, which I liked alot, but kind of clunky, K2 Sideshows - which are fatter and not that good on high speed groomers, and I can't remember what else, but I am getting new ones this year and am wondering if you've had any luck. It looks like the 2015 Potion 98Ti might be close.  Any ideas?

 

TClarke44

 

I think you would be happier on skis in the 80-90mm range if you are looking for an evolutionary replacement for your Four. The K2 AMP Rictor series..the 82 and at most the 90 would be where I would start. The Potion 98Ti is a women's ski, great if you want to get in touch with your feminine side..not that there is anything wrong with that. The mens version is the Annex 98, I think a bit wide for what you are asking especially since you did't like the Sideshow. 

post #9 of 9

If you re-read the post linked by jc-ski you'll see that "not right for your kind of skiing" is your way of saying you just don't know how to ski the newer shapes.  When I made my first transition in the mid 90's I did a "ski better week" at Taos, 5 days with the same instructor.  I did another intense multi-day lesson 10 years later.  Old habits are hard to break but what you think you don't like is just the ski giving you negative feedback.  Changing the technique was a fun experience for me.  If you are just dead set against changing technique and since you don't ski often, you might do best to stay with vintage equipment. 

 

Also, you don't give your height and weight but, looking back, I think my progress was slowed by choosing skis that were too long during my "transition".  There was a certain comfort in skis that were 200-210cm that was hard to give up.  I chose several "all mountain" skis from 1995-2009 that were the longest offered for a particular model (usually 185-195cm), these were too stiff and designed for guys who weigh 40+lbs more than me.  I didn't really "get it" until I bought a pair of 170cm "carvers".  My most "shaped" skis are now 165cm and if I tried to use old technique with them they would throw me on my face.

 

 

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