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SL ski for highschool racing girl

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi, I have a question about women’s SL ski lengths.  My 15 year old daughter is big (155 lbs) and strong.  She has never raced in a program, but we ski as a family and I come from a race background, and the kids carve pretty strong, and also now instruct.  Last year in her first year of high school she was able to race in a division for kids not in a competitive race program after age 13.  So, despite being the youngest of 4 grades and the fact that she only learned to cross-block the week before the city race, she did very well in the SL and qualified for provincials.  She was even 2ndafter the first run in Provincials (before she fell in run #2).

So far so good.  The only thing was that she also raced GS.  At our local hill, for the city event, they do have “GS” but it’s not a proper GS.  However, when at provincials she skied a real GS and was taken by surprise by the speed.

She currently is on a 155cm SL ski.  I thought about getting her GS skis but she’d only really get to race them in a true GS once a year (provided she qualifies for provincials again).  She would probably not train on them enough and get them dialled in enough to be the ski of choice.  Given that she instructs and does not spend every weekend training gates, I’m thinking she’s better off on a single pair of skis.  She weighs about the same as me (155) and I ski a 165 race stock SL.  I can’t imagine opting for 155 if I was going to run a SL and GS.  Then again, I guess I’ve never skied a really sharp well-tuned 155.  Maybe I’d be OK in an SL course, but it sounds squirrely on a faster course.

What is the ski length of choice for her?  Should she move to a 160 or 165?  There are some big strong women racing 155’s at the highest levels, what is the advantage in the 155’s for them?  Obviously at a higher level they don’t take them into a GS course.  Are they getting a tighter radius?  Better edgehold?  What are they giving up?  Stability for one I would assume.

I’d like to at least get her onto some 160’s, but am wondering about 165’s.  I guess a stiff 165 would not be a good idea.  Suggestions?

Thanks,

Peter

post #2 of 18

Not a race coach, so wait 'til you hear from one of those before you take what I say with more than a grain of salt. Sounds like you have a skilled, strong, competitive racer there. Good going! :) You probably don't want her racing a real GS course on SL skis for a variety of reasons, but the first one is that it's not really safe. Once you're moving at those kinds of speeds if you mis-judge something on a slalom ski it will launch you at best and break parts of your body at worst. One reason GS skis are long and have a very gradual sidecut is to encourage direction changes that happen slowly enough for a human's brain and body to deal with them. Imagine she's riding down a really long steep hill, going a buck ten, on a bicycle. You want her on a solid, long-wheelbase touring machine, or on a BMX bike? My two cents. There is more, but that's probably enough to think about and let other people shoot down before moving on to subtleties.

post #3 of 18

Women are skiing either a 155 or the really strong ones are skiing the  "super women's" 157/158 sizes offered by Fischer, Atomic and Volkl. The 165's really are not a viable option for her..men that weigh about what she weighs and who ski Masters and Club leagues are skiing 155's and the super women's models I just mentioned. 

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

Women are skiing either a 155 or the really strong ones are skiing the  "super women's" 157/158 sizes offered by Fischer, Atomic and Volkl. The 165's really are not a viable option for her..men that weigh about what she weighs and who ski Masters and Club leagues are skiing 155's and the super women's models I just mentioned. 

 

Yes. For slalom only, though. (I know that's what you meant, Phil, but in the context of the OP's post about a theoretical combi ski, do you agree that no one, of any size or either sex, even in High School, is skiing a proper GS course competitively on a 155 SL ski ... or on a 165 SL, for that matter?)

post #5 of 18

you have a 155cm SL ski for her, good. You are considering a 'new' longer men's length SL ski for her, bad. Buy a 'new' 17m to 19m citizen/Nastar/ Cheater ski to compliment that SL ski and that can also work well while working a ski instructor, problem solved and no extra $$ spent. You're welcome.

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

Women are skiing either a 155 or the really strong ones are skiing the  "super women's" 157/158 sizes offered by Fischer, Atomic and Volkl. The 165's really are not a viable option for her..men that weigh about what she weighs and who ski Masters and Club leagues are skiing 155's and the super women's models I just mentioned. 

 

Yes. For slalom only, though. (I know that's what you meant, Phil, but in the context of the OP's post about a theoretical combi ski, do you agree that no one, of any size or either sex, even in High School, is skiing a proper GS course competitively on a 155 SL ski ... or on a 165 SL, for that matter?)

 

You can ski a slalom on GS but not a GS in slalom. If he wants her to be competitive in GS, no way will she be with one pair of skis, even the 17M that Whiteroom suggests. She has the 155SL now which should still be good, get a GS, even a out of date non FIS 23M ski for her. These are readily available at good swaps for around $200 with bindings. 

 

That is what I was posting but in rereading the OP..I am confused/ What are we trying to accomplish? Do we want a SL for both events or add a GS? 

post #7 of 18

23m radius old FIS standard women's ski in a length of 180-185 is the way to go. You should be able to pick up something pretty cheap, either surplus stock or second hand. There are loads of them out there because every FIS racer had to scrap all of their skis when the rules changed. She needs to learn how to turn a GS ski, it takes a slightly different technqiue and timing. In one sentence (which is of course a generalisation), you use more hip and less knee. Be prepared that it will take a bit of getting used to - she needs to free ski on them as much as possible at the start of the season.

 

As a master (age 47) I used to race on typical GS cheaters 17-19 radius. Then I took the plunge and got a pair of Atomic LT 183 for about 100 dollars. Thos skis were old, beat up, hardly had any edge left and it was a struggle for me to handle them. However, by the end of the season they had totally changed my racing. Not only did my technqiue take a massive leap forward, but I actually won a couple of races.

 

M

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

 

You can ski a slalom on GS but not a GS in slalom. If he wants her to be competitive in GS, no way will she be with one pair of skis, even the 17M that Whiteroom suggests. She has the 155SL now which should still be good, get a GS, even a out of date non FIS 23M ski for her. These are readily available at good swaps for around $200 with bindings. 

 

That is what I was posting but in rereading the OP..I am confused/ What are we trying to accomplish? Do we want a SL for both events or add a GS? 

This

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperkub View Post
 

23m radius old FIS standard women's ski in a length of 180-185 is the way to go. You should be able to pick up something pretty cheap, either surplus stock or second hand. There are loads of them out there because every FIS racer had to scrap all of their skis when the rules changed. She needs to learn how to turn a GS ski, it takes a slightly different technqiue and timing. In one sentence (which is of course a generalisation), you use more hip and less knee. Be prepared that it will take a bit of getting used to - she needs to free ski on them as much as possible at the start of the season.

 

As a master (age 47) I used to race on typical GS cheaters 17-19 radius. Then I took the plunge and got a pair of Atomic LT 183 for about 100 dollars. Thos skis were old, beat up, hardly had any edge left and it was a struggle for me to handle them. However, by the end of the season they had totally changed my racing. Not only did my technqiue take a massive leap forward, but I actually won a couple of races.

 

M

and this

 

BUT ...DO NOT if she is competitive and you want her to remain unbroken, let her run a proper GS course on a slalom ski.  recipe for disaster. I need to go back and check my rule-book bur IIRC an official or referee can actually stop a racer from starting in this situation as it is unsafe.  

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

Not a race coach, so wait 'til you hear from one of those before you take what I say with more than a grain of salt. .. You probably don't want her racing a real GS course on SL skis for a variety of reasons, but the first one is that it's not really safe. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post

 

BUT ...DO NOT if she is competitive and you want her to remain unbroken, let her run a proper GS course on a slalom ski.  recipe for disaster. I need to go back and check my rule-book bur IIRC an official or referee can actually stop a racer from starting in this situation as it is unsafe.  

 

And there it is. Thanks, SS. 

 

@peterw, to make sure we are with you on the nuances here, I'm aware that sometimes on small hills organizers will sometimes set a course that has GS-style panel gates, and which may be called "Giant Slalom," but is in reality a very tight, turny layout that more resembles and open slalom set than a real GS course, and which imposes a lot of speed control. At least I know this is occasionally done for adult amateur races. That may be the kind of thing you have at your home hill. On this course, the skier may be on the cusp between a slalom ski and the kind of cheater GS that Whiteroom talks about. The line that caught all of our attention, though, was this one:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterw View Post
 

However, when at provincials she skied a real GS and was taken by surprise by the speed.

 

That's a different story.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hmmm.... I guess my title is a bit misleading.  I am really asking about a single pair for GS and SL.  If we ignore the GS ski option for a minute, and try to make this a simple one ski solution, the question is, is she really best on a 155 to 158 for BOTH races?

 

As for not putting her onto 165's for SL, it seems to me that boys by about 16, who are often still pretty light and skinny are all required to move up to 165's based on FIS SL rules.  So, should I assume that most of these boys should not be on 165's if it weren't for the FIS rules?

 

 

As for the GS ski option:

 

That's interesting about it being unsafe.  I'll have to ask her, but I think that because all the kids in her division are not currently in a race program and are all growing, I suspect a lot of them do not have GS skis, even if they did when younger.  Maybe the GS they are running is not quite as fast as a proper FIS GS, but I do know the provincial race was a lot more like a GS than the "Glalom"  that passes for GS at the city meet.  (FWIW, top boys in the competitive division who got bumped up to the large radius FIS GS skis last year generally dug out the older GS skis from the year with smaller radius before for running the city meet course).

 

I might go with a pair of older smaller radius GS skis, but I'm concerned I'll get the teenage girl attitude "these skis don't turn, I don't like them" if things don't go well at the start.  I think the FIS rules changed last year, so will all skis from before the 2013-2014 season have a shorter radius, and were there any other years where dimensions changed recently?  Any particular brand/model/year which has the smallest radius and/or will be the easiest to adapt to for someone who won't get the same miles on them as someone who's in a real race program?

 

Thanks,

Peter

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

Actually, another question to ask might be what is the best single SL ski length for her to be on if she were to only race SL and the semi-GS they race at the city school meet?  She will only race a real GS at most once a year at provincials, and only if she qualifies for it, and will never get to train gates like that.  I'm sure if she were to want to do well in one event, it would be the slalom, but she has to do well in both disciplines at the city meet to qualify for provincials.

 

This is a bit different than the above discussion, but might hopefully be a simpler question.

 

Peter

post #12 of 18

Peter,

 

I have a suggestion, to save a few bucks  if she is not going to ski a lot of GS,  If you can find a pair of Look PX bindings, I can sell cheap (like $40-50) you a pair of well-used but not dead Dynastar FIS 182 GS skis. I have 4 pairs sitting in my basement (Barrhaven) that are pretty much destined for a ski-chair since they are well used, and since my son skis FIS he has new spec GS skis.

 

Send me a message if you want to consider this.

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroGravity View Post
 

Peter,

 

I have a suggestion, to save a few bucks  if she is not going to ski a lot of GS,  If you can find a pair of Look PX bindings, I can sell cheap (like $40-50) you a pair of well-used but not dead Dynastar FIS 182 GS skis. I have 4 pairs sitting in my basement (Barrhaven) that are pretty much destined for a ski-chair since they are well used, and since my son skis FIS he has new spec GS skis.

 

Send me a message if you want to consider this.

 

Here is a great offer for you!  And ZG is a top class guy to deal with.  If you need bindings, I think I have a set of PX12 race in the closet at a reasonable price

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterw View Post
 

Actually, another question to ask might be what is the best single SL ski length for her to be on if she were to only race SL and the semi-GS they race at the city school meet?  She will only race a real GS at most once a year at provincials, and only if she qualifies for it, and will never get to train gates like that.  I'm sure if she were to want to do well in one event, it would be the slalom, but she has to do well in both disciplines at the city meet to qualify for provincials.

 

This is a bit different than the above discussion, but might hopefully be a simpler question.

 

Peter

 

If you want her to be competitive and qualify from slalom, keep her on the 155 or 157/158.    I would actually strongly recommend if she is not training gates regularly to stick with the 155.  The 165 might feel more of a dual purpose ski for her but will NOT be quicker for her in slalom  gates 

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info and offers guys.  I'm just heading out the door to the airport for a couple of days for work and will be mostly offline, but will follow-up when back.  Of course I'm still interested to hear any other great suggestions.

 

Peter

post #15 of 18
This is a difficult question and probably more complex than just a gear issue. To do well in GS your girl must learn to love speed. Speeds that are dangerous on short radius skis. If she were in a club she'd be U16 and they ski r17 metres in GS according to FIS rules.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karlsson View Post

This is a difficult question and probably more complex than just a gear issue. To do well in GS your girl must learn to love speed. Speeds that are dangerous on short radius skis. If she were in a club she'd be U16 and they ski r17 metres in GS according to FIS rules.

 

yes, good point.  to be clear, we would not allow any of our U16 athletes to run GS on a slalom ski, even in training, because of the injury risks involved.........coaches of course is a different matter...:D

post #17 of 18
My daughter is a U16. Last year (first year in class, age 14) she was skiing GS on 176/r21. She is not that aggressive and many of her friends were already up on 182/r23 or similar.

To counter the "not turning" problem you need to get her free skiing on them as much as possible. Once she gets hooked on the power and speed a true GS ski offers she won't look back.

The offer of some cheap Dynastar 182 skis is what Epicski is all about! Great ski (I trained on that ski last year with our U14/U16 skiers). Of course they wiped the floor with me but I had a lot of fun :-)

M
post #18 of 18

Placed 2nd in the ON provincials, even just one run, one week after learning to cross-block? WOW! I have to say I find that hard to believe. I've been at the U14 provincials last year and I assure you something like that could not happen. Is she racing div.1 rutted hardpack regularly?

 

Never been on a real GS course before - surprised by the speed? Seriously...

 

She's not supposed to be on a real GS course on SL skis. The problem is that at the higher speeds, these skis really bend and can cause all sorts of issues. Sure, experienced racers can survive a GS course on a SL ski, as they can "feather it" but it's not for everyone. Also, it will distort her understanding of the GS turn, as these skis would turn too short and cause her to just cruise between the turns.

 

155 vs 165 SL skis - the shorter skis are quicker to turn but you loose some stability. Men's FIS went up from 155 to 165 because of injuries: the tail was too short to support their weight when the skis shoot out in front - quite common on the short skis. Backward falls tend to mess up the ACLs.

 

I think 155-160 would be a good size for her - I bought a pair of Fischers 158 SL from Ottawa last year, from a 16 year old in the QC provincial team, around the same weight. 4-5 side edge - almost blew a knee before i figured out what the heck was hapenning :( my foot hurt for 2 weeks. Be careful if you buy race skis from high-level racers...

 

Many coaches think that GS represents the true form of skiing. Certainly, you can't learn technique properly without lots of GS. It gives you time between turns and those skis won't turn if you don't use them right, timing and all.

 

Make sure she has a good pair of GS skis. A longer Junior ski. Atomic has D2 in 171/19m or a 175/23m. Both very nice - perhaps the shorter one would be easier for her. You should find something around those sizes at a skis swap.

 

OR the best prices in ON:

 

This would be on the big side for her: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2013-Atomic-Redster-FIS-D2-GS-175cm-Junior-Ski-w-X16-Binding-/311097257754?pt=Skiing&hash=item486ed76f1a I have and are great but require good technique to work on a course.

 

This would be perfect: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2013-Atomic-Redster-FIS-D2-GS-171cm-Junior-Ski-w-X16-Binding-/311085062426?pt=Skiing&hash=item486e1d591a I have and are awesome - require a fair technique to work - at her weight, just decent technique.

 

Don't get the X16 bindings though - call them and ask nicely if they'd give you the X12 bindings instead. I will not comment on her DIN but X16 starts at 8 I believe, - ask her coach if it's ok for GS for her...?

 

cheers

 

P.S. For SL, I have this and can't get enough of it: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2014-Atomic-Redster-FIS-SL-158cm-Ski-w-Atomic-X16-Binding-/191336285133?pt=Skiing&hash=item2c8c8803cd

 

For SL you should definitely not get the X16 bindings though... this is an insane ski as well (yeah, have one too, older-kind'a spent though) http://www.ebay.com/itm/2014-Fischer-RC4-WorldCup-SL-WCP-158cm-Skis-w-Fischer-Z11-Bindings-/201166490298?pt=Skiing&hash=item2ed6750aba

 

I weight 145lbs, so thereabouts.

 

Mind you that Fischers and Atomics are not very forgiving - once you start turning, you better keep turning. Head are generally described as "more forgiving" - they have a bland forgiving nature until you really get on them and then they start popping. Rosigniols are inbetween.

 

P.S.2 - reading this thread backwards :) don't put her on the GS skis at the beginning of the season - let her build up some power and skill on the SL skis - all seasons plans are designed with GS training later in the season because of that.

 

P.S.3 - ok, I see you didn't mean the Alpine Provincial Championships - but highschool provincials of some kind - that adds up :) forget the rutted hardpack comment :)

 

For GS - maybe stick with a 165-170/17-18m, there are some nice Fischers if you dig around the store I sent you. In those leagues, she will probably have to ski a log of short GS sets and may struggle on the 20m and just won't make it on the 23m skis. A stiff, narrow, sandwich all mountain ski could be a choice as well - one that she can use off the course as well.

 

 

 

cheers


Edited by razie - 9/19/14 at 10:15pm
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