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Demo advice - short radius skis

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I'm in the market to expand my quiver, and need some advice.

 

Me: 5'10", 155, advanced/expert skier.  I'm currently on Volkl Kendos, which I love.  I will almost certainly replace the Kendos with a new  pair, or something with a similar size (Brahma, E88, etc).  

 

But I find the Kendos tough to ski in really short-radius turns and crowds, and would like something that works better in that setting (short-radius, frontside, groomers) I'm planning to hit a couple of hills in the next few days and demo some skis, and need some advice on what skis to try.  I demoed the Salomon X-Race 13m, which was great but I found it a bit "high-strung", for lack of a better term.  It also felt a bit one-dimensional -- that is, it only wants to do high-cadence slalom turns. Maybe that's just because I was coming off the Kendo, but I'm not sure. 

 

So - what should I demo?  The two hills I'm likely to ski have stores on-slope with Salomon, Dynastar, Volkl, Atomic.  Any suggestions?

post #2 of 23
The Rossignol Experience 88 has a short turn radius compared to the Kendo.
post #3 of 23

I'm confused. You say here that you want to replace Kendo with a ski of similar width (~~88mm) and then you demoed a ski in the low 70's. Not that a low 70's ski is a bad idea or anything, it's actually a good choice but it's just not what you said you were after. Among the 88's the Kendo is not especially short radius biased. It is light and springy but does not have a short natural turn radius. None of the other 88's from the companies that you mention are particularly tight in natural turn radius either although most can carve tighter than the Kendo.

 

If not restricted to 88mm ish skis, you have few more options. The Dynastar Course pro has a more stable/damp feel than the Salomon and if you can find some Head demos, you'll find a number of tight turning skis that will give you what you ask for. Personally, given what you said you wanted, I think the narrower skis would be a better choice than the Kendo. All will make tighter carves than the Kendo, grip better and be more damp. Not all are high strung like the Salomon (good term for the Solly BTW)

 

SJ

post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
No, it's me who's confused! I really didn't express myself well.

I am interested in the short radius/narrow waist (~70 ish) ski as a second pair in addition to the Kendo, not a replacement, so I will have a ~90 and a ~70.

Thanks for the suggestions. I will look for the Heads and I am sure I can test the dynastar.
post #5 of 23

In my experience, a dedicated short radius on-piste ski is very good at... just that: turning short turns on hard snow. If you want a hard snow ski (i.e. lots of grip, stability, camber, rebound) that is also capable of medium long turns on lower speeds (groomer cruising), than you shoud have a look at the high performance series rather than the (non-FIS) racing series. 

 

Most of these high performance skis have a bit of tip rocker these days (and you could ski them at roughly body length for stability). And remember: the sidecut radius is the widest on-snow turn radius you can carve with them (longer turns will be skidded turns). So perhaps you should look for a ski that has a longer radius (say 18 metres in stead of 13), but that is flexible enough to flex into tighter turns.

 

Some examples: Fischer Progressor 900, K2 Charger or Bolt, Blizzard Power 800 S, Atomic Redster LT (Long Turn), Nordica Burner etc.

post #6 of 23
How long is your Kendo? 20+ meters sidecut is pretty big for the molehills. I find around 15 meters a good mix of agility and ease of use, it will turn when I want to turn, and not demanding when I want to relax.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheizz View Post
 

In my experience, a dedicated short radius on-piste ski is very good at... just that: turning short turns on hard snow. If you want a hard snow ski (i.e. lots of grip, stability, camber, rebound) that is also capable of medium long turns on lower speeds (groomer cruising), than you shoud have a look at the high performance series rather than the (non-FIS) racing series. 

 

Most of these high performance skis have a bit of tip rocker these days (and you could ski them at roughly body length for stability). And remember: the sidecut radius is the widest on-snow turn radius you can carve with them (longer turns will be skidded turns). So perhaps you should look for a ski that has a longer radius (say 18 metres in stead of 13), but that is flexible enough to flex into tighter turns.

 

Some examples: Fischer Progressor 900, K2 Charger or Bolt, Blizzard Power 800 S, Atomic Redster LT (Long Turn), Nordica Burner etc.

 

That was exactly what I didn't like about the X-Race.  If a ski can have feelings, it was as if this ski was annoyed every time I tried something that wasn't a short, quick, turn. I know I can demo the Atomic Redster LT, so will give that one a try.  Another one that came up in a conversation with a sales guy was the Dynastar CR74 Pro, which looks like it's similar to these skis (16m radius, 74 underfoot).

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzmtl View Post

How long is your Kendo? 20+ meters sidecut is pretty big for the molehills. I find around 15 meters a good mix of agility and ease of use, it will turn when I want to turn, and not demanding when I want to relax.

 

My Kendos are 170.  I love them most of the time, but when I'm asked by an instructor to ski a really short-radius line, or if I'm at the molehill on a Saturday with the kids' lessons going on, I recognize their limitations. 

 

Thanks again. I am looking forward to my demo day!

post #8 of 23

I fill this niche with Fischer World Cup Slalom SC's.

Softer and more user friendly than the SL's.

post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQC View Post

No, it's me who's confused! I really didn't express myself well.

I am interested in the short radius/narrow waist (~70 ish) ski as a second pair in addition to the Kendo, not a replacement, so I will have a ~90 and a ~70.

Thanks for the suggestions. I will look for the Heads and I am sure I can test the dynastar.

 

Ahhhhh...........makes perfect sense now. In the 70's you can find a lot of good stuff. Have fun.

 

SJ

post #10 of 23
Atomic pegs the redster LT as intermediate ski, wonder why, the rest of redster line are expert according to them. I demoed the double decker redster sl once and that thing bites into snow like devil, tons of grip, but at 11 meters it's way too turny even for molehill
post #11 of 23
I have the Kendo 177. I can long GS turn them or short swing them in tight linked turns down the fall line. I am expanding my quiver for a quicker turning dedicated pure ski moving to the Volkl code L. one of the reasons I like both of these skis is because they do not dictate or lock me into a turn so I can ski them in the style I want even legs locked together old style. watch out for skis that dictate your turn.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post

I have the Kendo 177. I can long GS turn them or short swing them in tight linked turns down the fall line. I am expanding my quiver for a quicker turning dedicated pure ski moving to the Volkl code L. one of the reasons I like both of these skis is because they do not dictate or lock me into a turn so I can ski them in the style I want even legs locked together old style. watch out for skis that dictate your turn.

 

Sounds like we are shopping in the same area.  I think I can try out a Code L - now my list is getting long! 

post #13 of 23
start out with the code L and see if the list gets shorter. Also I would suggest you try and narrow everything down to a handful or you can get seriously demo confused.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzmtl View Post

Atomic pegs the redster LT as intermediate ski, wonder why, the rest of redster line are expert according to them. I demoed the double decker redster sl once and that thing bites into snow like devil, tons of grip, but at 11 meters it's way too turny even for molehill

Compared to the D2 series, the Redster LT is way more forgiving and far more versitile for us mere mortals.

post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 

Tried a bunch today, now I have a length question:

 

After a bunch of demos, I had a clear favorite. I really liked the Volkl Racetiger SC Uvo (15m radius, 72 underfoot).  The demo was 170cm, they don't have that one in stock, only a 165. Hard to find info on this ski as it looks like they don't sell it in the US. It's more or less a slalom ski, so I think 165 ought to work. 

 

Any thoughts?

post #16 of 23
Is it full camber? If so should be fine on 165. I'm 40 lbs fatter and 170 full camber feels stable to me.

Just googled and it has tip rocker, so I dunno, I guess depends on how much tip rocker.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQC View Post
 

Tried a bunch today, now I have a length question:

 

After a bunch of demos, I had a clear favorite. I really liked the Volkl Racetiger SC Uvo (15m radius, 72 underfoot).  The demo was 170cm, they don't have that one in stock, only a 165. Hard to find info on this ski as it looks like they don't sell it in the US. It's more or less a slalom ski, so I think 165 ought to work. 

 

Any thoughts?

For your size, ability, and desired purpose, I think the 165 will be better than the 170.  But really, it's just an inch on each end.  If you aren't in a slalom course, you might not even be able to pass the blindfold test between the two.

post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks. I think I will go for it.  A demo day is an interesting experience; I did not appreciate the extent to which skis with similar dimensions ski differently. The store was great - he let me switch in and out of several pairs over the course of the day, and made some suggestions that were not on my list (including the Volkl that I liked) based on my feedback from the different skis that I was trying.

 

JZ: there is tip rocker, but it is so minimal that it's hard to even tell that it's there.  All of these slalom skis had some variation of tip rocker, but it was very small.

post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQC View Post
 

I'm in the market to expand my quiver, and need some advice.

 

Me: 5'10", 155, advanced/expert skier.  I'm currently on Volkl Kendos, which I love.  I will almost certainly replace the Kendos with a new  pair, or something with a similar size (Brahma, E88, etc).  

 

But I find the Kendos tough to ski in really short-radius turns and crowds, and would like something that works better in that setting (short-radius, frontside, groomers) I'm planning to hit a couple of hills in the next few days and demo some skis, and need some advice on what skis to try.  I demoed the Salomon X-Race 13m, which was great but I found it a bit "high-strung", for lack of a better term.  It also felt a bit one-dimensional -- that is, it only wants to do high-cadence slalom turns. Maybe that's just because I was coming off the Kendo, but I'm not sure. 

 

So - what should I demo?  The two hills I'm likely to ski have stores on-slope with Salomon, Dynastar, Volkl, Atomic.  Any suggestions?

At your weight I would definitely do the 165. Now how about expanding on your experience. What did you like best about the demos and what were your top pics? I love my Kendo 177 (I am 185lbs) and can ski it long western GS or short radis turns on my little 300 ft vertical, 1500 ft high mountain here in Columbus Ohio. I have been searching for a ski more for the small hills here and I joined our ski club race team. I am not very good but at 66 I get a great handicap. Because of my age and not many in my age racing at Telluride (or very few) I qualified for the Nastar Nationals which would be funny if you saw me run gates. I am now turning my search to a slalom ski (which is what most of the racers in our club use at 165cm) and I am demoing this Saturday but I do not know what will be available to test. Did you ski on or do you think I could get a slalom ski which I could also long turn (GS) that might have some stability. I recently purchased a new Volkl Race Tiger in the package 2009 WC race stock, turn radius 22 which was a mistake and not at all what I am looking for even though at 177 it is a women s model. 

post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 

Here's a more detailed description of my day. 

 

Conditions: in the morning it was extremely windy with blowing snow, so the conditions were lousy (windblown bumps on top of ice, as it had thawed and frozen in the past week, with very limited visibility so it was hard to see the bumps and ice patches).  In the afternoon the sun came out and things were better but it was still windblown ice in several spots.  Not the ideal conditions to be trying out short-radius skis, but you take what you can get...

 

Dynastar Chrome 74, 172cm: skied three runs in the morning, two in the afternoon.  This ski just felt, for lack of a better word, lifeless.  The edge grip and rebound in short radius turns wasn't there.  But it felt comfortable with a variety of turn sizes and shapes. This felt like a great ski for groomers when out skiing with my kids and don't want to ski aggressively.  

 

They didn't have a Chrome 74 Pro to demo, but it is supposed to be substantially stiffer.

 

Atomic Redster Edge SL 164: skied three runs mid-day.  Great ski for short-radius turns, but did not feel good in longer turns (but the radius is 11.7!).  Liked it, but it felt limited and not versatile enough.  It was not a ski I wanted to have out on yesterday's conditions. 

 

Volkl Racetiger SC Uvo, tested in 170: felt like a short-radius Kendo.  Great edge grip, great responsiveness and rebound in the turn, but not at all skittish or high-strung like a slalom ski (for which my point of reference are the Redster Edge SL and the Salomon X-Race).  I took them through a few runs of very short turns, and a couple of GS runs.  Very versatile, smooth skiing, but very comfortable if I wanted to try to ski fast short-radius turns.  It did not feel like I was "locked in" to a specific turn shape, as you noted earlier about shorter-radius skis.

 

And I think now I know what people say when they talk about the Volkl feel - as I said, there was definitely a similarity between the feel of the Kendo and this one.  They did not have the Code L you recommended, only the Code Uvo, which the guy didn't recommend based on the feedback I had given him.

 

We discussed at length whether I should try either one of the more race-oriented Volkls or Dynastars, but based on the feedback on the Atomic I decided to pass.

 

Finally, I took my Kendos back out at the end of the day and had a couple of great runs.  They were great for breaking through the windblown bumps.  Still my favorite skis and my go-to ski.

 

Thanks to everyone for the helpful suggestions and feedback.  I am now negotiating the price on the 165!

post #21 of 23
Where did you demo them? Must be a small shop to willing to negotiate.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
SkiVelo at Mt Orford. While their selection isn't huge, the service was excellent. To be clear, he hasn't started negotiating back, though! smile.gif
post #23 of 23
Ah. It's already close to end of season, so if he doesn't negotiate now, he'll need to put them on clearance in a month anyway.
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