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Beginner on a expert skis [returning after long hiatus, new to ski shopping]

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone!

 

I am a relative beginner, I learned some 25 years ago, then I was again on skis 12 years a go and finally last season I was 12 days on the snow. 

 

I went on preseason fair to buy some boots and guy offered me some great deal for skis too. I bought Head XRC 163cm, R 13,6 117-71-102. To be honest I told him that I will never go anywhere near the reds and blacks too (now I am confident to go on any slop in any condition and arrive at the bottom in one peace, but I dont struggle for life anymore, and sometimes I think I am doing it elegantly. when my shadow is in front it looks great :)). I am 183cm, 120kg rather fit for that measures.

 

I didnt know that there are different types of skis. Ok, i assumed that ski jumps and GS are done with different skis, but for general population I thought it was all the same. Not to mention skill.

 

I must say that I love that skis and that they are perfect for me, not complaining at all.

 

I want to ask what would I feel if I went on, for example, Head i.Supershape titan 177cm? (that is the ski that heads internet site wizard told me I should buy, when I clicked that I am an expert :))

 I am asking that because first time I felt vibration at speed I lean more forward and that did a trick, next time I locked my boots more tight (I have big chunky feet and large Gastrocnemius muscle that goes into the boot few inches.) . Last thing I can do is to return that harnesses back 2 inches with a screw (I've loosen them a bit). 

 

I dont plan to buy new skis at least next 2 seasons, but when i realized that there is a correlation between skis and skill I cannot stop thinking about that and as I have no access to demo days and rental skis here are rubbish, only thing that I can do is ask someone with more experience.

 

Brg,

post #2 of 49

Longer skis = more stablity @ speed. Skis won't make a lot of difference at your level. Lessons will.

post #3 of 49

@cikamartin, you need to tell us more about yourself.

Where do you ski?

What type of terrain and conditions do you like best, and what do you find difficult?

Have you taken any lessons?

What do you want to be able to do that you can't do now on skis?

post #4 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by cikamartin View Post
 

Hi everyone!

 

I am a relative beginner, I learned some 25 years ago, then I was again on skis 12 years a go and finally last season I was 12 days on the snow. 

 

I went on preseason fair to buy some boots and guy offered me some great deal for skis too. I bought Head XRC 163cm, R 13,6 117-71-102. To be honest I told him that I will never go anywhere near the reds and blacks too (now I am confident to go on any slop in any condition and arrive at the bottom in one peace, but I dont struggle for life anymore, and sometimes I think I am doing it elegantly. when my shadow is in front it looks great :)). I am 183cm, 120kg rather fit for that measures.

 

I didnt know that there are different types of skis. Ok, i assumed that ski jumps and GS are done with different skis, but for general population I thought it was all the same. Not to mention skill.

 

I must say that I love that skis and that they are perfect for me, not complaining at all.

 

I want to ask what would I feel if I went on, for example, Head i.Supershape titan 177cm? (that is the ski that heads internet site wizard told me I should buy, when I clicked that I am an expert :))

 I am asking that because first time I felt vibration at speed I lean more forward and that did a trick, next time I locked my boots more tight (I have big chunky feet and large Gastrocnemius muscle that goes into the boot few inches.) . Last thing I can do is to return that harnesses back 2 inches with a screw (I've loosen them a bit). 

 

I dont plan to buy new skis at least next 2 seasons, but when i realized that there is a correlation between skis and skill I cannot stop thinking about that and as I have no access to demo days and rental skis here are rubbish, only thing that I can do is ask someone with more experience.

 

Brg,

Welcome to EpicSki and back to the snow!  What country are you skiing in most often?  I guessing somewhere in Europe, not North America.

 

There usually aren't too many threads in the Beginner Zone about specific skis.  I'm going to move this thread to the Gear section where there is more discussion of the merits of different brands/models/lengths.

post #5 of 49
Thread Starter 
@slider
Does that mean it wouldnt be harder to ski on them?

I ski mostly (will be skiing) in Alps and local mountins in and around Serbia (mostly blue runs)

I love that perfectly groomed slopes,
Find moguls amusing, off piste seems interesting, but for me now that is a lot of fresh snow on piste, never tried to really go off (i will)

Can do some amount of short turns before i skid a bit to adjust speed or just cause Ive lost rhitam. Long turns seems easyer to do.

I had lessons, but that was 1/4 of a century a go.

I dont know what to do with my poles, that planting before a turn - it doesnot feel natural.

Mostly i enjoy on reds, then few blacks for a shot of adrenalin and blues for easy ride and rest. Probably with time that will shift towards blacks (better fit and more skill) but i will always enjoy effortless ride on blues.

I dont know what i cant do, ill answer that after next season smile.gif

So, how would it be for me on some exper, long skis (i mentioned head as i have one and i liked them, it doesnt have to be head)?
post #6 of 49

@ cikamartin there is a smaller margin for mistakes in technique on stiffer skis. So yes expert skis are harder to ski. They will reward you for good ski movements or punish you for improper balance. Example-If you get your weight to far back on the ski tails they will squirt out from under you.

post #7 of 49

@cikamartin : to use "@" for messaging another member, you need to do more than type the "@" in front of their name.  You need to click on the user name when the popup list appears.  Notice that in this post, your username is in blue and is a hot link to your profile.  In Post #2, that is not the case for slider.

 

When the season starts, you can always rent some skis for a day to get started.  Best if you did a lesson too.  Your technique may well be based on what worked best for skinny skis, as opposed to the shaped skis of the last couple decades.  Since the 163cm skis are 20cm shorter than you, they should be fine.

 

Remind me, is blue easier than red or the other way around?  In North America, the colors are green, blue, black going from easiest to hardest.  I haven't skied in Europe . . . yet. :) 

post #8 of 49

At 120 kg, those 163 cm long skis are too short for you.  You should be on the longest or 2nd longest ski what ever model of ski you decide on comes in.   Also, I think you would be fine on Head i Supershape Titan, but you might like Head i Supershape Magnums better for what you do.

post #9 of 49
Thread Starter 

@marznc got it. Here it is blue, red and black , but it is just a loose marking,  I found some reds that are much easier then some blues.

 

From that lessons I remembered only plow and to stand up and to fall down. Other things I picked up from youtube, when I become more confident.

 

If I go next year to the Alps, I will rent some (they call it A class skis). I am planning to take some lessons, but last year I was in a pack and didn't want to go with a instructor.  Although, I must say that youtube has some great footage to watch and to recognize what one does as intended and what to improve. 

 

 

And I assume that with some reduction of speed I would be OK. As I sad I am not planing to buy new skis for a season or two, but I am curious would I be able to drive some. 

 

@Ghost 

 

Yes it seems so, but that skis feel great, and when I started last season, I went on a 3 day trip  to Kopaonik (local mountain), and my attitude was "will not go anywhere that it is not blue". And 10 days on the snow later, I went on a black, with moguls and crude, stormy weather and I was like "I wanna go again" with a grin on my face :D. Now I cannot stop thinking about skiing :D

 

That is why, by my opinion, I should wait with purchase of a new skis and improve more on this one. 

 

 

@ all 

 

I am very happy that I can chat about skiing in May :Ott 

 

 

post #10 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by cikamartin View Post

 

From that lessons I remembered only plow and to stand up and to fall down. Other things I picked up from youtube, when I become more confident.

 

 
That is why, by my opinion, I should wait with purchase of a new skis and improve more on this one. 

 

 

 

You have mostly gotten good advice. I've highlighted here two things, one of which is correct, one not so much.

 

Watching you tube or trying to self teach by watching other skiers is generally not productive. The problem is you won't know how to interpret what you are seeing. Spend your money on good professional instruction rather than wondering about expert level skis. A good instructor will teach you the fundamentals in the proper progression to eventually get you there. Until you have improved your skill set, the ski won't matter much.

 

Waiting on the ski purchase is the way to go. You don't need expert skis and you don't need long skis. What you have is fine. Get instruction and time on task. When your skill set improves, then rent some skis but not necessarily expert skis. Just try a mid level ski in a longer size (say.....168-170) first. When you do that and say a 170 feels comfortable, then try a 174 or 176 or so and see how it goes. When those feel like second nature, then try a higher level ski or maybe even the top of the line. Don't rush the purchase of an expert level ski, develop your skills first.

 

FWIW......Yes, Head makes some fine skis and certainly will have a model that will suit you when the time comes. Don't put too much stock in specific models at this point because if your skill set takes a while to develop, the models may change before you are ready to buy. If you absolutely had to buy a new ski right now, the Titan is probably not the choice and certainly a long size would not be a great idea. Rather, the Rev 80 in a 170 would be a nice intermediate step toward a long term purchase of an expert ski in a longer size later on.

 

Good luck...................SJ

post #11 of 49

Am I the only one here who thinks that a 264 lb dude skiing reds and blacks needs something more than a 163 cm long ski, and something with a little beef to get him to turn?:confused

post #12 of 49
Thread Starter 
@sierrajim (on the phone - no link)

I will take some lassons next year certanly.

I started this tread because when I went on internet to see what have I bought (it should be other way around) but Ive gotten that skis for 140$ and I still think that was good deal. Then I realized that theres different types for different leves etc.

I only mentioned head cause I had head allready I went on their site. It could be any other expert ski.

I think of me as an intermediate (relative beginner) skier, so if I am on beginner ski, I was wondering what would happend in other extreme - me on expert skis.

In some way I agree with ghost, I could probbably bend much longer and stiffer ski, but would that be much less fun and much more hard work biggrin.gif ?

I could change thread title to : would it be better in my case to go bit over my head or get more confedent quickly and go to bigger stiffer ski later?
post #13 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by cikamartin View Post
 

@marznc got it. Here it is blue, red and black , but it is just a loose marking,  I found some reds that are much easier then some blues.

 

From that lessons I remembered only plow and to stand up and to fall down. Other things I picked up from youtube, when I become more confident.

 

If I go next year to the Alps, I will rent some (they call it A class skis). I am planning to take some lessons, but last year I was in a pack and didn't want to go with a instructor.  Although, I must say that youtube has some great footage to watch and to recognize what one does as intended and what to improve. 

 
[snip]

 

@ all 

 

I am very happy that I can chat about skiing in May :Ott 

 

 

In North America, difficulty ratings only apply within a ski area.  I assume it's the same in Europe.  Meaning that at the one mountain, green is easier than blue, which is easier than black.  Very often a black at a small mountain with not much vertical can be easier than a blue at a big mountain in the Rockies.  Of course, snow conditions make a difference in how easy or difficult any trail is to ski.

 

By the way, once someone posts in a thread, they are usually automatically "subscribed."  So when there is a new post, it's easy for them to notice.  So not as much need for @ messaging for those people.  It's most useful to bring in someone else who might not notice the thread.

 

You might find some useful ideas about ski technique in the Beginner Zone.  Most of the threads there are actually more for intermediates than someone who has never skied before and is in their first or second season.

post #14 of 49
post #15 of 49
Thread Starter 

I didn't know that it will poke them, I was just answering questions :) 

 

I just finisher ghosts tread and I am bit confused.

 

I have one question about ski stiffness. As I know longer plank of wood is easier to bend then short one. So, if you take some model (HEAD XRC eg) and if it is same build for all lengths then longer ski is less stiffer. But if longer ski has reinforcement to be stiffer, than that same model but in different size can be an "expert ski"?

 

Correct me if I am wrong, but one has to try, try, try and then to buy the one that most suits him. And that beginner, intermediate and expert is as loose as blue, red and black (or green, blue and black)?

post #16 of 49

You are right about planks of wood but not about skis.  The manufacturers make the longer version of a ski stiffer so the skier's weight will be distributed along the whole length.  

In other words, they make the long ones different from the short ones.

post #17 of 49

Manufactures make different ski models for different skier levels.  They make different lengths of the same model to accommodate people of different weights.  

 

A stiffer ski will transmit more force to the tip and tail of the ski and spread the load out more.  A stiffer ski in flex and in torsion is able to apply higher loads to the skier from the snow (and vice-versa.  It is however for the same reason less likely to loose grip and allow you to over-rule what it's trying to do by brute strength.  Beginner skis are typically softer in flex and thus more "forgiving"; if you catch and edge or end up tipping and turning the ski more than you really wanted to it will give up in the ensuing fight with you.  If you have an expert ski, it's harder to win that fight, but experts seldom fight with their skis.

 

You, being a massive guy, should  have some stiffness and length in the ski or it won't reward you for correct moves and will let you get away with "pushing the skis around" instead of skiing them they way they were designed to be skied.   You don't Need to go out and buy SG racing skis, but short intermediate skis aren't going to teach you much, imho.

 

That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.

post #18 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Manufactures make different ski models for different skier levels.  They make different lengths of the same model to accommodate people of different weights.  

 

A stiffer ski will transmit more force to the tip and tail of the ski and spread the load out more.  A stiffer ski in flex and in torsion is able to apply higher loads to the skier from the snow (and vice-versa.  It is however for the same reason less likely to loose grip and allow you to over-rule what it's trying to do by brute strength.  Beginner skis are typically softer in flex and thus more "forgiving"; if you catch and edge or end up tipping and turning the ski more than you really wanted to it will give up in the ensuing fight with you.  If you have an expert ski, it's harder to win that fight, but experts seldom fight with their skis.

 

You, being a massive guy, should  have some stiffness and length in the ski or it won't reward you for correct moves and will let you get away with "pushing the skis around" instead of skiing them they way they were designed to be skied.   You don't Need to go out and buy SG racing skis, but short intermediate skis aren't going to teach you much, imho.

 

That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.

 

 

Ghost, I don't think skis teach anyone much.

post #19 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by cikamartin View Post
 

I didn't know that it will poke them, I was just answering questions :) 

 

I just finisher ghosts tread and I am bit confused.

 

I have one question about ski stiffness. As I know longer plank of wood is easier to bend then short one. So, if you take some model (HEAD XRC eg) and if it is same build for all lengths then longer ski is less stiffer. But if longer ski has reinforcement to be stiffer, than that same model but in different size can be an "expert ski"?

 

Correct me if I am wrong, but one has to try, try, try and then to buy the one that most suits him. And that beginner, intermediate and expert is as loose as blue, red and black (or green, blue and black)?

No problem.  A lot of folks aren't too clear what @ messaging does or how to Subscribe to a thread without posting in it.

 

Let's see if @Philpug can comment on what it means when a ski model is describe as being for an advanced or expert skier as opposed to a beginner or intermediate.  It is fair to say that there is no clear definition of "intermediate" just as "red" trails can be quite different.

post #20 of 49

There is definitely 2 variables of length and stiffness to consider, and I would correlate it loosely to length should match skier's height and stiffness matches skier's weight.  

 

But both variables are also linked both to each other as well as to skill.  Where reducing length or stiffness==less skill, and increasing==more skill.  

AND reducing one variable and raising the other can cancel each other out to some degree.  

Getting a longer ski can also compensate for

a) more weight

b) more height

c)more skill.  

But having everything match in both is better then compensating.

 

I think you can say  is somewhat like a car's suspension. If your springs/shocks are really stiff, you can have soft tires to give you a comfortable ride.  And the reverse is true too where harsh tires can be compensated for with softer springs.  But dialing in everything to match both the road you are on and how you drive will result in a better performance envelope.

 

In the past there weren't quite as many skis to choose from, so you could only make adjust mainly using length; but nowadays there's a plethora of skis that accounts for many styles and stiffness and widths for the same length ski.

 

 

So here's my take:

In general, I'd go by the skill level should be matching the length of the skill as they do in the rental shop from the chin for beginners, up to your height for experts.

Then the stiffness or ski-level can be the secondary pass that then does adjustments from there for your weight.

 

Let's remove the variable of learning and skill.  Say you are an expert and are done learning and are dialed in, and you know you like to ski skis about your same height.  Let's just evaluate some skis.

 

Here's an example.

If you look up all the user reviews of the bonafides from esteemed reviewers here.  You see that the "lighter weight" 150lb people are saying this ski is too stiff for them, they prefer the kabookie.  However, the reviewers are inevitably 6' tall and are skiing bonafides in 180 or 187 length but still weigh just 150lbs, which I feel is the main mistake in the ski selection.

 

If skill only equals length as people have said; and experts only means long skis; then who the heck is supposed to buy the 166 or 173 versions of the bonafide?  Why do they even make the bonafide in these sizes?  The 6' tall expert skiers surely are not going to ski a 166cm ski no matter how skinny they are or how "expert" the ski is proposed to be.

 

Instead I think you need to match length approximately to height, then get the proper stiffness to somewhat match to weight.

 

Assuming skiers are both technically proficient and fit and ski in the same way (style).

 

Skier A: you are 180cm  tall and 150lbs.  You have a BMI of 20, which is technically "normal" but I feel is somewhat bean-pole-ish skinny for an active person.  Perhaps the Kabookie in 180 works right for you, as your mass is relatively light for all other people of your height.

 

 

Skier B:  you are 166cm tall and 150lbs.  You have a BMI of 25.  Assuming you are actually fit, and that's not all flab, you have more muscle and mass for your given height.  You need a proportionally beefier ski then skier A, if you get the ski that proportionally matches your height.  So perhaps the Bonafide in 166 IS the right ski for you.  

 

Skier C: you are 166cm tall and weigh 120lbs.  You have a BMI of 20.  You match skier A in proportion and perhaps the Kabookie 166 is right for you.

 

So that's my take, I think basically consider matching length to your assumed skill level based on height.  Then assuming you are fit, use your BMI to calculate whether you need something beefier then "normal" or lighter than "normal" (although I think the BMI's measure  of "normal" needs a moved over a couple of points for people who are athletic).


Edited by raytseng - 5/24/14 at 9:43pm
post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Am I the only one here who thinks that a 264 lb dude skiing reds and blacks needs something more than a 163 cm long ski, and something with a little beef to get him to turn?:confused

I'm with you all the way. While testing skis in Sölden, Austria last fall, the biggest eye-opener I had was that with my 1,82 m length and 85 kg weight no ski under 175 really gave me much confidence or feel of stability and egde hold (I tried all kinds of all-mountain skis 80-100 mm underfoot, different constructions, all with some amount of tip and sometimes tail rocker). Even the skis with the most 'cambery' feel - 2014 Nordica Burner - were just right in 178. I would have demoed a longer size as well, but they didn't have any (just a few models in 180 or over).

 

I also prefer a longer softer flex ski (with a longer effective edge, but one that I can actually bend into any turn radius) over a shorter, stiffer ski. For example: I prefer the Fischer Wattea 88 in 184 over the Blizzard Brahma in 180 (a ski that just didn't agree with my style or preference - something that puts me in a very lonely place on these forums, I feel). But thaht might just be a matter of preference or style.

post #22 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

You are right about planks of wood but not about skis.  The manufacturers make the longer version of a ski stiffer so the skier's weight will be distributed along the whole length.  

In other words, they make the long ones different from the short ones.

That was my point :)

 

Starting to get the picture, but there is one variable missing. Diving style. (car parallel helped :)

 

 

For me it would be driving my big SW with bit stiffer suspension then a boat on the racetrack and without (not without, but as little as possible) breaking. Like very fast cruising, with speed in the corners to hear the wheels squealing, but in the straight line without top speed. On the other hand, go cart is fun, but for 10-20 minutes, I wouldn't go whole day.

 

I think I understand what ghost is trying to say. Like in two same cars, one with 4x4, good traction control, ton of CPU to do driving for you, etc and same model with just RWD. In the second car one would feel more confident, go faster, but without proper warning from the car when he is over doing it until the point where rubber and asphalt would not hold the car anymore. In the first car you'll get a ton of warning :)   But if you are a beginner driver, you are most likely to continue driving after experience in first car, second car would frighten you. 

 

An expert driver would be able to go fast in both cars, but also would be faster in second one.

 

So I would never buy BMW M5 (although I would love to drive it from time to time), I would rather have Mercedes AMG E class.

 

So what is the equivalent of an E class in skis? :D  

post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by cikamartin View Post
So what is the equivalent of an E class in skis? :D  

Kæstle MX (I would go with the MX 70 for groomed slopes on the pistes)


Edited by Ghost - 5/25/14 at 5:21am
post #24 of 49

:rolleyes  ... and ... they're off ...


Edited by qcanoe - 5/25/14 at 6:40am
post #25 of 49
When car analogies come in, I'm out. Can't understand any of it.
post #26 of 49
Or sports..
post #27 of 49
Thread Starter 
Another thing, how should I know how stiff are some skis,,I just went to see then and I cant recognize any marking that can be stiffness. Except "F index 1389" dont know what is that.
post #28 of 49
There's another thread around that points to a web site for that. Most of us just read a lot.
post #29 of 49
post #30 of 49
Thread Starter 
So, to conclude, try until you find right pair. I hope to rent some skis (long and stiff biggrin.gif) next season and will report back

Thanks for posting
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