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Good Beginner Skis? [for GF]

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

My fiance and I started skiing last year.  In that time I've gone at least 20 times and consider myself to be very good, I picked it up quickly and bought a pair of race skis this year.  My fiance, on the other hand, hasn't picked it up as quickly as I have.  We bought her skis this year so that she could get used to a pair of skis instead of getting different rentals every time we go out.  We picked her up used VOLKL V1 20-20's 140cm  and she still had difficulty skiing with them.  She has a hard time turning and can only use the "pizza" method to turn and stop.  I'm trying to find her skis that will be easier for her to learn to slide with when she turns. I did some research and ended up picking up a set of new Fischer Aspire R9's 140cm for her.  They're a bit wider, and much lighter.  These skis are marketed as being beginner skis.  Do any of you have experience with these skis, and do you think that these will make turning easier for her?  I got them for a good deal so I jumped on it and I want to make sure that they will be good for her before I mount the bindings and can't return them.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance!

 

Here are the new skis http://www.the-house.com/8940fiabf9r1wb12zz-fischer-ski-packages.html

post #2 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeJay126 View Post
 

My fiance and I started skiing last year.  In that time I've gone at least 20 times and consider myself to be very good, I picked it up quickly and bought a pair of race skis this year.  My fiance, on the other hand, hasn't picked it up as quickly as I have.  We bought her skis this year so that she could get used to a pair of skis instead of getting different rentals every time we go out.  We picked her up used VOLKL V1 20-20's 140cm  and she still had difficulty skiing with them.  She has a hard time turning and can only use the "pizza" method to turn and stop.  I'm trying to find her skis that will be easier for her to learn to slide with when she turns. I did some research and ended up picking up a set of new Fischer Aspire R9's 140cm for her.  They're a bit wider, and much lighter.  These skis are marketed as being beginner skis.  Do any of you have experience with these skis, and do you think that these will make turning easier for her?  I got them for a good deal so I jumped on it and I want to make sure that they will be good for her before I mount the bindings and can't return them.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance!

 

Here are the new skis http://www.the-house.com/8940fiabf9r1wb12zz-fischer-ski-packages.html

Welcome to EpicSki!  Where have you been skiing?

 

Why did you choose 140cm?  Where does that come up to?  shoulder? chin?

 

Investing in a few lessons is probably a good idea in the long run.

post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Welcome to EpicSki!  Where have you been skiing?

 

Why did you choose 140cm?  Where does that come up to?  shoulder? chin?

 

Investing in a few lessons is probably a good idea in the long run.

Thanks for the welcome!  We ski in western Pennsylvania.  7 Springs and Hidden Valley in South Western PA and Blue Knob in central PA.  Next year I'm planning on going to Wisp, Holiday Valley, and Snowshoe.  Needless to say, I LOVE SKIING! LOL

 

Anyway, she was using rentals and was using between 120-150 and decided that 140 was her favorite size.  They come up to her shoulders roughly.  Also, we took one lesson when we first started, but haven't gone back.

post #4 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeJay126 View Post
 

My fiance and I started skiing last year.  In that time I've gone at least 20 times and consider myself to be very good, I picked it up quickly and bought a pair of race skis this year.  My fiance, on the other hand, hasn't picked it up as quickly as I have.  We bought her skis this year so that she could get used to a pair of skis instead of getting different rentals every time we go out.  We picked her up used VOLKL V1 20-20's 140cm  and she still had difficulty skiing with them.  She has a hard time turning and can only use the "pizza" method to turn and stop.  I'm trying to find her skis that will be easier for her to learn to slide with when she turns. I did some research and ended up picking up a set of new Fischer Aspire R9's 140cm for her.  They're a bit wider, and much lighter.  These skis are marketed as being beginner skis.  Do any of you have experience with these skis, and do you think that these will make turning easier for her?  I got them for a good deal so I jumped on it and I want to make sure that they will be good for her before I mount the bindings and can't return them.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance!

 

Here are the new skis http://www.the-house.com/8940fiabf9r1wb12zz-fischer-ski-packages.html

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeJay126 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Welcome to EpicSki!  Where have you been skiing?

 

Why did you choose 140cm?  Where does that come up to?  shoulder? chin?

 

Investing in a few lessons is probably a good idea in the long run.

Thanks for the welcome!  We ski in western Pennsylvania.  7 Springs and Hidden Valley in South Western PA and Blue Knob in central PA.  Next year I'm planning on going to Wisp, Holiday Valley, and Snowshoe.  Needless to say, I LOVE SKIING! LOL

 

Anyway, she was using rentals and was using between 120-150 and decided that 140 was her favorite size.  They come up to her shoulders roughly.  Also, we took one lesson when we first started, but haven't gone back.

From what I've heard, Wisp may not be worth the drive in comparison to 7Springs.  You might consider Timberline/Canaan Valley in WV instead.

 

Did she choose ski boots that were "comfortable"?  For rental boots, that often means they are actually too big.  Loose boots make it very difficult to control skis.

 

Paging @DSloan for advice.  She is a local at 7Springs.

post #5 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

 

 

From what I've heard, Wisp may not be worth the drive in comparison to 7Springs.  You might consider Timberline/Canaan Valley in WV instead.

 

Did she choose ski boots that were "comfortable"?  For rental boots, that often means they are actually too big.  Loose boots make it very difficult to control skis.

 

Paging @DSloan for advice.  She is a local at 7Springs.

 

We went and tried out a bunch of different sizes and found a size that was comfortable and snuggled up perfectly.  I actually almost went to Canaan Valley this year and then couldn't go!

post #6 of 40

Last year my gf was skiing very similarly to how you describe your gf skiing this year.  This off season we went to a bootfitter and bought her some boots and then at the beginning of the season she took a couple of lessons.  She is a totally different skier now.  We went skiing this past weekend and when we got off the lift she took off before me and I was just watching her ski for a little bit and it was really awesome to see the improvement.  I'd second the people who suggested visiting a bootfitter and taking some lessons.  

post #7 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeJay126 View Post
 

Thanks for the welcome!  We ski in western Pennsylvania.  7 Springs and Hidden Valley in South Western PA and Blue Knob in central PA.  Next year I'm planning on going to Wisp, Holiday Valley, and Snowshoe.  Needless to say, I LOVE SKIING! LOL

 

Anyway, she was using rentals and was using between 120-150 and decided that 140 was her favorite size.  They come up to her shoulders roughly.  Also, we took one lesson when we first started, but haven't gone back.

 

Sounds like its time for another lesson.  She shouldn't be trying to learn on her own, especially if she is struggling.  A couple of good lessons will have a greater impact on her skiing than new skis.  

post #8 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ragazzo View Post
 

Last year my gf was skiing very similarly to how you describe your gf skiing this year.  This off season we went to a bootfitter and bought her some boots and then at the beginning of the season she took a couple of lessons.  She is a totally different skier now.  We went skiing this past weekend and when we got off the lift she took off before me and I was just watching her ski for a little bit and it was really awesome to see the improvement.  I'd second the people who suggested visiting a bootfitter and taking some lessons.  

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmr40 View Post
 

 

Sounds like its time for another lesson.  She shouldn't be trying to learn on her own, especially if she is struggling.  A couple of good lessons will have a greater impact on her skiing than new skis.  

I guess we'll have to do a few more lessons then.  I'll take her to the ski shop and get her fitted perfectly for boots when I get her bindings mounted.  I don't understand it because I picked it up real easy.  I went from never skiing before to going down all the double blacks with no problems and hitting the terrain park.  Guess some people pick it up faster than others.  Looks like it's time for some lessons ;)

post #9 of 40
Who knows why your fiance and you learn differently, but it's clear that you do. It could be related to her equipment (not familiar with the skis, but if they're stiff they might be too hard for her to handle), her fitness, her other athletic or outdoors experience. But I agree wholeheartedly with marznc that the best investment for both now and the long run is instruction so she can learn how to control her speed and direction without being gripped all the time. That alone will make skiing a lot more fun. Also, the longer she spends being tense and not having reliable control, the more ingrained the bad habits will be.

As for the new skis, if you haven't bought them already you might want to hold off a little. We don't have your fiance's stats, but shoulder height is very short, and although they may feel secure now, I suspect that once she's ready to add a little speed the lack of stability is likely to to hold her back. So just be aware that she might want an upgrade in length once she starts to see what's possible.
post #10 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeJay126 View Post

 

I guess we'll have to do a few more lessons then.  I'll take her to the ski shop and get her fitted perfectly for boots when I get her bindings mounted.  I don't understand it because I picked it up real easy.  I went from never skiing before to going down all the double blacks with no problems and hitting the terrain park.  Guess some people pick it up faster than others.  Looks like it's time for some lessons ;)

 

After watching my wife learn many years ago and most recently my children, its just one of those things you need to keep after/struggle through until you have that "ah ha" moment.  Lessons just make that happen faster.

 

My son picked it up really quick.  My daughter struggled and struggled and has finally figured it out.  They both are still required (by me) to take lessons every trip to the hill.  Heck, I need to get my but into a lesson.

post #11 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by litterbug View Post

Who knows why your fiance and you learn differently, but it's clear that you do. It could be related to her equipment (not familiar with the skis, but if they're stiff they might be too hard for her to handle), her fitness, her other athletic or outdoors experience. But I agree wholeheartedly with marznc that the best investment for both now and the long run is instruction so she can learn how to control her speed and direction without being gripped all the time. That alone will make skiing a lot more fun. Also, the longer she spends being tense and not having reliable control, the more ingrained the bad habits will be.

As for the new skis, if you haven't bought them already you might want to hold off a little. We don't have your fiance's stats, but shoulder height is very short, and although they may feel secure now, I suspect that once she's ready to add a little speed the lack of stability is likely to to hold her back. So just be aware that she might want an upgrade in length once she starts to see what's possible.

The old skis are definitely stiff, the new ones that we bought are a lot more flexible and they're a little bit wider.  I completely agree that she needs more lessons.  I didn't even think of it until now because I never took any (except one with her when we first started).  I'll have to at least get her one more lesson and see where she goes from there next year.

post #12 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmr40 View Post
 

 

After watching my wife learn many years ago and most recently my children, its just one of those things you need to keep after/struggle through until you have that "ah ha" moment.  Lessons just make that happen faster.

 

My son picked it up really quick.  My daughter struggled and struggled and has finally figured it out.  They both are still required (by me) to take lessons every trip to the hill.  Heck, I need to get my but into a lesson.

That seems like it could get kinda expensive taking a lesson every trip!  I'll definitely get her a few more lessons and see where it takes her.  Hopefully she has that "ah ha" moment soon! I just don't want her to get frustrated and quit skiing because she "can't" do it when it's really that she just hasn't learned how to do it properly.  It's something I really enjoy and I see her slowly not enjoying it as I keep progressing and she struggles.

post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeJay126 View Post
 

That seems like it could get kinda expensive taking a lesson every trip!  I'll definitely get her a few more lessons and see where it takes her.  Hopefully she has that "ah ha" moment soon! I just don't want her to get frustrated and quit skiing because she "can't" do it when it's really that she just hasn't learned how to do it properly.  It's something I really enjoy and I see her slowly not enjoying it as I keep progressing and she struggles.

 

With the kids, we started with private lessons, which can get kind of pricey, but they both have their skis under them now so they are in group lessons which aren't bad at all.  If she's getting frustrated, I'd definitely get her a private lesson with a level 2 or 3 instructor.  The $ for a couple of hours may seem like a lot, but if its the first step toward something she can enjoy for the rest of her life, its a small price.

post #14 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmr40 View Post
 

 

With the kids, we started with private lessons, which can get kind of pricey, but they both have their skis under them now so they are in group lessons which aren't bad at all.  If she's getting frustrated, I'd definitely get her a private lesson with a level 2 or 3 instructor.  The $ for a couple of hours may seem like a lot, but if its the first step toward something she can enjoy for the rest of her life, its a small price.

Yeah, I looked up prices of private lessons on the site of the resort local to us and they're not that unreasonable.  It's about $100 for an hour private lesson, which includes the lift ticket, so that's not too bad.  We'll have to pay for a few of those and see how she does.  I agree that it is a small price in the long run.

post #15 of 40
Thread Starter 

Well, getting back to the original question, have you heard of these skis (Fischer Aspire R9)?  If you have, are they good beginner skis?  Everything I have read about them online makes me think that they're perfect, but I'm looking for some first hand experience if any is available.

post #16 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeJay126 View Post
 

Well, getting back to the original question, have you heard of these skis (Fischer Aspire R9)?  If you have, are they good beginner skis?  Everything I have read about them online makes me think that they're perfect, but I'm looking for some first hand experience if any is available.

Do you have any idea what year these skis were made?  The only references I can find on TheSkiDiva.com are from 2009 or earlier.  The current Fischer ski that's often recommended for beginners is the Pure.

 

In general, while buying a ski that is more than 2-3 years old may be better than standing in line to rent, it may be worth waiting a bit longer and learning a bit more first.

post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Do you have any idea what year these skis were made?  The only references I can find on TheSkiDiva.com are from 2009 or earlier.  The current Fischer ski that's often recommended for beginners is the Pure.

 

In general, while buying a ski that is more than 2-3 years old may be better than standing in line to rent, it may be worth waiting a bit longer and learning a bit more first.

 

If they are the Black Aspire fp9's on the House website, they are 2012-2013 skis. With that said, I know nothing about them.

post #18 of 40
There are a few pair with bindings for sale on Amazon for $200, but no reviews, and this thread is the first hit on a Google search, which says we'd be lucky to find anything more on them.

What you want are skis that a beginner can handle but that won't hold her back when she starts learning to really pressure them. They need to be good enough that she can improve as she gets some skills and get inspired to learn more. I suspect that the best way to buy skis at her level would be used, because these are skis people love and then usually grow out of, and you'll able to spend the same amount for a much better ski.

I still think that aside from lessons, she needs boots that really fit. She doesn't need a race fit (unless she's like me and a race boot is the only one that works), just a boot that fits her foot shape and volume, and is snug enough to be effective. The difference between what she chose in the shop and what a decent bootfitter would put her in will be huge, and will make a much bigger difference in her skiing than different skis will.

Look out, though. With lessons and some well-fitted boots, your fiance may soon be out-skiing you!
post #19 of 40
Thread Starter 
Who knows, maybe she will turn pro wink.gif In a nutshell I have definite decided we need her to take some lessons. I guess I'll let you guys know how she does next year, since the season is all but over here frown.gif
post #20 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmr40 View Post

If they are the Black Aspire fp9's on the House website, they are 2012-2013 skis. With that said, I know nothing about them.

That's exactly what they are. And yeah I haven't had much luck finding info on them other than that they're a beginner ski.
post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeJay126 View Post

Who knows, maybe she will turn pro wink.gif In a nutshell I have definite decided we need her to take some lessons. I guess I'll let you guys know how she does next year, since the season is all but over here frown.gif

If you are free this weekend and willing to do the drive, Timberline is having the annual Snowy Luau March 14-16.  There is a small group of Epicski members in the DC/northern VA/WV area who will be there having a good time. :)

 

Timberline, WV

March 14-16
Snowy Luau Festival – Hawaiian music & dancing by Hula Halau ‘O Hokuolino, Polynesian food, pig roast, fireworks, torchlight lava parade, ski and snowboard races. Hawaiian dancers will give a preview of their Saturday show on Friday evening at 8 PM and also an added feature of their Saturday program they will have ‘fire knife’ on Saturday evening just before the fireworks..

post #22 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

If you are free this weekend and willing to do the drive, Timberline is having the annual Snowy Luau March 14-16.  There is a small group of Epicski members in the DC/northern VA/WV area who will be there having a good time. smile.gif

Timberline, WV
March 14-16


Snowy Luau Festiva
l – Hawaiian music & dancing by Hula Halau ‘O Hokuolino, Polynesian food, pig roast, fireworks, torchlight lava parade, ski and snowboard races. Hawaiian dancers will give a preview of their Saturday show on Friday evening at 8 PM and also an added feature of their Saturday program they will have ‘fire knife’ on Saturday evening just before the fireworks..
That would be amazing, but I have plans this weekend frown.gif How does timberline rank among ski resorts in the area? Up here our biggest resort is 7 springs but I've been there so much lately it's getting old. I need to find somewhere new to travel to next year and was thinking Holliday valley, timberline, snowshoe, or wisp.
post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeJay126 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

If you are free this weekend and willing to do the drive, Timberline is having the annual Snowy Luau March 14-16.  There is a small group of Epicski members in the DC/northern VA/WV area who will be there having a good time. smile.gif

Timberline, WV
March 14-16


Snowy Luau Festiva
l – Hawaiian music & dancing by Hula Halau ‘O Hokuolino, Polynesian food, pig roast, fireworks, torchlight lava parade, ski and snowboard races. Hawaiian dancers will give a preview of their Saturday show on Friday evening at 8 PM and also an added feature of their Saturday program they will have ‘fire knife’ on Saturday evening just before the fireworks..
That would be amazing, but I have plans this weekend frown.gif How does timberline rank among ski resorts in the area? Up here our biggest resort is 7 springs but I've been there so much lately it's getting old. I need to find somewhere new to travel to next year and was thinking Holliday valley, timberline, snowshoe, or wisp.

Paging @jimmy or @JohnL about Timberline.  I haven't made it over there yet.

 

For a weekend trip, Massanutten has a great ski school.  They offer Adv. Beginner/Intermediate 90-min group lessons three times a day.  Quite a deal at $35.  Usually the 10:30 or 5:30 sessions only have a few people.  Sometimes can end up with a private with a Level 2 instructor because Mnut has quite a few Level 2 and above instructors.

 

Have you looked at any of the EpicSki Unofficial Guides?  There are several for places within driving distance of Pittsburgh.

post #24 of 40

I going to suggest a few other things for you to consider.

 

While I believe this may be an older ski, this is less of a concern other than the bindings (get them checked).  The second thing is get it tuned if the bindings are ok (if the shop won't touch them don't ski them). For the tune, base grind and set 1 for the base and a 2 or 3 for the side.

 

Good boots, beginner intermediate range that are fitted.

 

Lessons.

 

For advice on what she needs give ht and wt as it does change recommendations.

 

Safety and comfort first, the rest follows.

 

Have fun.

post #25 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post
 

I going to suggest a few other things for you to consider.

 

While I believe this may be an older ski, this is less of a concern other than the bindings (get them checked).  The second thing is get it tuned if the bindings are ok (if the shop won't touch them don't ski them). For the tune, base grind and set 1 for the base and a 2 or 3 for the side.

 

Good boots, beginner intermediate range that are fitted.

 

Lessons.

 

For advice on what she needs give ht and wt as it does change recommendations.

 

Safety and comfort first, the rest follows.

 

Have fun.

She is 5ft 5 120 lbs.  The skis and bindings are both brand new, but I am going to have a shop set them up and check over everything to make sure.

post #26 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

 

Have you looked at any of the EpicSki Unofficial Guides?  There are several for places within driving distance of Pittsburgh.

I haven't looked at the Unofficial Guides yet, I will now :) Today is my first day on the forum, so I'm just getting used to looking around here Thumbs Up

post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeJay126 View Post
 

She is 5ft 5 120 lbs.  The skis and bindings are both brand new, but I am going to have a shop set them up and check over everything to make sure.

To put it in perspective, my Daughter got new skis, is 12 and is about 5'4" about the same wt.  (She swim 10hrs per week training). She is on a 150cm ski Youth ski.  she is a low intermediate skier.

 

So the skis that your GF has right now, are likely ok and will get the to the next level.  That leaves boots, fit and comfort, not to stiff (60 to 80 range should be good as a beginner).

 

Finally lessons and hill time, once it clicks, she'll be good in no time.

 

One thing on your earlier comment.  You've skied 20 times and are on race skis?   While I love race skis (all I ski) I think you may be in a bit over your head as they can limit your ability to learn correct technique at this point.  Too stiff too learn the correct techniques.  Keep that in mind if you are having problems.

 

BTW take a lesson or 2 yourself, you wouldn't believe the impact it will have on your own skill set and it will correct any bad habits that you may be developing before they are permanent.

 

Have fun, going out again today.

post #28 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post
 

To put it in perspective, my Daughter got new skis, is 12 and is about 5'4" about the same wt.  (She swim 10hrs per week training). She is on a 150cm ski Youth ski.  she is a low intermediate skier.

 

So the skis that your GF has right now, are likely ok and will get the to the next level.  That leaves boots, fit and comfort, not to stiff (60 to 80 range should be good as a beginner).

 

Finally lessons and hill time, once it clicks, she'll be good in no time.

 

One thing on your earlier comment.  You've skied 20 times and are on race skis?   While I love race skis (all I ski) I think you may be in a bit over your head as they can limit your ability to learn correct technique at this point.  Too stiff too learn the correct techniques.  Keep that in mind if you are having problems.

 

BTW take a lesson or 2 yourself, you wouldn't believe the impact it will have on your own skill set and it will correct any bad habits that you may be developing before they are permanent.

 

Have fun, going out again today.

Thanks for the info.  It seems like these skis will do my fiance quite well.  Yeah, I have Atomic Supercross SX-11's.  They're faaaast to say the least.  Honestly, I'm not real worried about lessons for me.  I'm sure there are a few things that I could pick up and learn, but I ski with pretty advanced skiers and they've taught me.  Like I said before, I picked it up really fast.  These skis fit my style perfectly and I've only gotten better since using them.  

post #29 of 40
Boots, boots, boots. This is what makes a beginner skier an instant intermediate. If you bought her boots yourself in a big box store, she is most likely in a wrong size boot.

While you are at a boot fitter, have them check your boot as well, chances are you are in a wrong boot too.
post #30 of 40
Thread Starter 
She tried on the boots first but we didn't get them professionally sized or anything. I'll take them when I get the bindings on and see if they're right.
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