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Junior Race Ski Stiffness: Nordica vs Volkl

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Just got 3 new 2012 GS skis for my 3 kids, 2 Volkls and 1 Nordica.  The skis are all the same size, as are the kids, give or take a few pounds. Found some good deals I couldn't pass up.  (I seem to be the only race dad with 3 kids the same size so I can't pass anything down. And I'm pretty new to this, they're all U12s.)

 

The Nordicas seem slightly less stiff by flexing them (still flat) but not sure how reliable that is. I'm trying to figure out which kid gets the Nordicas.  Do they in fact ski less stiff and therefore should go to the lightest/weakest skier?  The strongest skier also happens to be the lightest by a few pounds, further confusing matters. 

 

I'm not even letting them see the skis 'til I decide because they'll go nuts arguing about who gets what based on the graphics.  

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 13

Do they also have same BSL? Do they really need to belong to a particular kid? I'd put the lightest kid on the Nordies, but if you can, maybe you can let the kids try 'em and see which ones they like best.

post #3 of 13

Have two racers, U10 and U12. Both on Rossi's, FWIW. The prevalent wisdom is that junior Volkls and Rossignols are slightly softer, compared to Heads or Atomics. OTOH, a Nordica rep, and a bunch of coaches have told me me that all junior skis up to U14 are pretty similar in flex and design, may have slightly different snowfeel. After that, the brands begin to diverge. Also said that Nordica thinks U12's and U14's should be on fairly flexy skis - coaches concur - so what Epic recommends fits, but I'm not convinced there's a major diff between your Volkls and Nordicas. Let 'em pick...

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback.  Interestingly all the 142cm-range GS race skis seemed to flex about the same except the Atomics, which felt much softer.  Not what I expected.

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by hirustler View Post
 

Thanks for the feedback.  Interestingly all the 142cm-range GS race skis seemed to flex about the same except the Atomics, which felt much softer.  Not what I expected.

 

 

How big are your u12's?  My U10 at 56lbs is on a 145 Fischer GS ski and is very competitive and my U12 at 83lbs is on 156 Blizzards and I wish I had gone with 160 or 165's?  Most of the competitive u12's and u10's here in CO are on GS about 5" or so above their heads?

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

All 3 kids are small, in the 60-65 lb range.  Most kids here are on GS skis about 2" above their heads, I think.  Hope I didn't go too small.  The next size up looked ridiculously big next to them.

post #7 of 13
I don't have lots of experience with different brands, but after two racing seasons with my daughter (2nd year U12) my impression is that Jr race skis are all good and p r e t t y similar. Rossis/dynastar might be the exception, they seem notably softer. So right now I'm thinking that next season she'll be on what ever cheapest skis I can find in after season sales. She's been on Elan up til now. No complaints and good "results".
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Time to stock up on race skis for next year, so I thought I'd update the thread.

 

The folks at Edgewise say that under 155 cm there's no major difference in stiffness from one brand to the next. And any variation changes from batch to batch. Rossi/Dynastar slalom skis are popular because of the wide shovel, and they seem to be good for lighter skiers.  Maybe.

 

They say there's no reason to keep young racers in one brand.  OK to mix and  match.

 

 

 

On the contrary, word on the street is that there is a difference, ranked below from stiffest to softest:

 

Atomic/Head >> Volkl/Fischer >> Nordica/Dynastar/Rossignol/Atomic  (Yes Atomic is said to be softest by some and stiffest by others)

 

 

My very unscientific opinion from flexing flat race skis in a store is:  Volkl >> Head >> Fischer >>  Nordica >> Rossi >> Atomic  (stiffest to softest) 

 

Once again, not science.  I'll buy what I can find at the right size and price.

post #9 of 13

Yeah, they're pretty much the same flex wise. Some are e x a c t l y the same: Rossi/Dynastar -- Blizzard/Nordica.

Also heard from a fellow 'race dad' that JR Atomics now are on the softer side of the spectrum.

 

cheers

post #10 of 13

I'd amend the Edgewise statement to read, "below 150 cm;" some brand differences in flex begin to show up when you move from junior "combi" models to SL and GS junior models. Would suggest talking to a coach. And keep two things in mind about bindings: 1) Once you commit to a binding line, it's cheaper to stick with it and move the bindings, but 2) the bindings have to match the lug widths of the boots. There are brand to brand differences in what BSL adult bindings can go down to, 22.0 for some, 23.0 for others, or when junior bindings have to be replaced (again varies a touch, Tyrolias I think may have a greater range.) Again, some planning ahead can save $$. If that's not a concern, no matter.

 

IME, Rossi/Dynastar and Volkls are the flexest junior GS/SL's, then Atomic, then Blizzard/Nordica, Head and Fischer are stiffest. This is borne out by fact that Volkls, Atomics, and Rossis are more popular among the female juniors. 

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

I'd amend the Edgewise statement to read, "below 150 cm;" some brand differences in flex begin to show up when you move from junior "combi" models to SL and GS junior models. Would suggest talking to a coach. And keep two things in mind about bindings: 1) Once you commit to a binding line, it's cheaper to stick with it and move the bindings, but 2) the bindings have to match the lug widths of the boots. There are brand to brand differences in what BSL adult bindings can go down to, 22.0 for some, 23.0 for others, or when junior bindings have to be replaced (again varies a touch, Tyrolias I think may have a greater range.) Again, some planning ahead can save $$. If that's not a concern, no matter.

IME, Rossi/Dynastar and Volkls are the flexest junior GS/SL's, then Atomic, then Blizzard/Nordica, Head and Fischer are stiffest. This is borne out by fact that Volkls, Atomics, and Rossis are more popular among the female juniors. 

I suspect the key frase is "some differences begin to show up". Talking to a coach is always a good idea.
Edited by Karlsson - 3/6/15 at 12:11am
post #12 of 13

I am looking for new skis for my 2nd season 8yr old racer and I found this thread. So far the kid skied Rossi MTE 120cm skis and was generally happy. but he is now 138cm

I am deciding whether I shall move from multi-event skis to dedicated SL skis, and then - which brand? The ski length that most interests me is 130cm for them to be useful for couple of seasons. Most multi-event skis top out at 128.

Coaches basically say - you have to try different and find your own.

Are there any follow-up impressions on ski stiffness and brand differences that you guys have?

Many thanks.

post #13 of 13
If he's happy with Rossignol they have SL FIS HERO @ 126 & 132 cm. My daughter is now on her 1st U16 year and she's been on rossi/dynastar since 1st U12 year. She's now on the tweeners and my impression is that they have a very good kid/youth offering. With that said, her team mates have been happy on Nordica, Fischer and Atomic as well, so if you find a great deal you can't really go wrong inmo as long as you get a JR race model and not a kids ski painted like a race ski.
At your sons young age though, it's not a bad idea to continue on multi events for a year if you can find big enough (Elan has RCX that goes to 130, we used that in U10 - great ski). And he's entering an age where he'll probably grow fast, so prepare to get new equipment each season, sometimes mid season.
Edited by Karlsson - 7/24/16 at 3:41am
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