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Introduction and Advice Needed on Skis Purchase! [east coast, rented performance skis after 1990]

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Greetings all.  First post as a new member!!

 

I'm looking for some advice on purchasing skis.  I've been skiing for over 50+ years but lost track of the technology a loooonnnggg time ago.   I'm an East Coast-er but always spend a week with my grown kids in Utah/Colorado/Whistler.  Haven't owned skis since the 80s but instead rent "performance" skis on the slopes or at a local shop.  Its time to take the plunge but I'm abit confused by the technology and all of the numbers that go with it.  I could use some advice on THE TYPE of skis for my abilities.  Rocker? Rocker/camber? Ski length?  Tip/tail/waist?   Etc.    The brand and model will come abit later.

 

Based on some reading I've done, it seems like a rocker/camber, all-mountain ski would be best for me based on my experience and skiing preferences. Perhaps 165/170cm. But I am unfamiliar with the waist measurement and how different widths would help me carve out some turns...and how that changes best overall length.

 

My vitals are below and I'm very interested in hearing the advice from experts out there.  Of course if a specific brand/model come to mind (a friend suggested Head Rev 90s), I take that advice as well.   Thanks in advance!!!!

 

--Jeff

 

Age: 61

 

Height/weight:  5'8" / 165lbs

 

General health:  Excellent and athletic.  Former triathlete.   I still swim, bike, and run...just not competitively.  But sore knees from 30 years of running means I have to avoid conditions that might put alot of pressure on the front of my knees (moguls, fast skiing with hard turns, etc)

 

Experience: I consider myself an Advanced skiier.   But I have lived on the east coast forever and never really learned how to ski in powder above ankles/shins.  I have trouble floating and keeping tips up.  Forget the waist high stuff!

 

Type of skiing:   I don't ski fast and my bad knees will not allow me to ski moguls.  I prefer groomers (black). I will ski bowls but not aggressively. Lots of stops and starts in bowls because I have trouble floating on fresh snow, executing smooth turns, and feeling like I'm staying "in control".  I never ski in the trees.  I prefer wide carving vs sharp/quick turns that might put pressure on my knees.

post #2 of 23

Welcome. Your friend give you good advice. Virtually all modern mid-fats have some "early rise" or light rocker in front, perhaps also in back. All good. Don't worry about the ratios of tip to tail, don't worry about what the ski is classified as in magazines. For your size and level and knees, the Head REV90, or The Ski, or Rossignol Experience 88, or Line Supernatural 92, would all be great all-arounds that will handle groomers with aplomb but give you some capacity for cruising fresh powder on those groomers, or hitting the bowls after some typical (3-6") of powder. And they're fairly damp, which is key for your knees. 

 

Now the obligatory urging to look at new boots first. At a boot shop near a mountain. It will improve your skiing and make it more enjoyable. Back to skis:

 

Lengths in the low to high 170's are fine for your size and level. Length will give you stability - again the knees - and confidence. Also, rockered skis have reduced running lengths on packed snow, so you can get away with a few more cm. Don't go short. Skis in the 160's will be silly easy to turn, but will be less enjoyable at speed, on ice, or when you hit crud. 

 

Good luck. 

post #3 of 23

Blizzard Bonafide at 173cm - if you can demo this, give it a go. Really great all-mountain daily.

post #4 of 23

@jeffb99, where do you ski most often, apart from your week out west? How many days?

 

You have been skiing 50+ years and are an east coaster, but have not owned skis since the '80s. Reading between the lines of your post a bit, and speaking as someone who has been skiing in the east for almost that long, I'm guessing that you have not internalized - or maybe even been properly exposed to - the movement patterns which will allow you to take best advantage of 21st century shaped ski technology. (How many lessons have you had in the last 10 years?) If that is true, I suggest erring on the narrower side (< 90mm) rather than the wide side, because I think it's easier to latch onto how to make the new skis work for you when they are narrower. Especially true if you are on hard snow, which you will be most of the time as an easterner. Plus many people report that wider skis are harder on the knees because of the lateral leverage a wide ski has on your leg as you try to tip it up on edge (and it pushes back). That's a non-issue in powder, but how many powder days do you get a year, really, when being honest with yourself? Beyond's post is great - all sensible suggestions. Personally I think the Bonafide mentioned by jay-bird might not be a great fit unless you are spending more time out west than here in the east and have lots of ambition. (It sounds like you don't, actually, and that's fine; we just need to take that into account, is all.) People have a very strong tendency to recommend what they know and ski and think works for them. That might not be right for you.

 

Bears, the fact that he spends a week out west does not necessarily mean that he is spending every run traversing out for the least tracked lines, or needs a ski for that. Zillions of people ski out west for a week ever year, for decades, and never really get off the many long, wide, luxurious groomers that to an easterner can be very hard to resist after all that ice. Read his post carefully. This is a modest guy telling it like it is. Many of us could learn from that.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffb99 View Post
 

Age: 61

 

... I have lived on the east coast forever and never really learned how to ski in powder above ankles/shins ...

 

I don't ski fast and my bad knees will not allow me to ski moguls.  I prefer groomers (black). I will ski bowls but not aggressively. Lots of stops and starts in bowls because I have trouble floating on fresh snow, executing smooth turns, and feeling like I'm staying "in control".  I never ski in the trees.

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all for the advice so far. It matches what I've found online.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

Now the obligatory urging to look at new boots first.

 

Yup...did that a few years ago. I realized that I could not rely on rentals for comfortable boots every year!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

Reading between the lines of your post a bit, and speaking as someone who has been skiing in the east for almost that long, I'm guessing that you have not internalized - or maybe even been properly exposed to - the movement patterns which will allow you to take best advantage of 21st century shaped ski technology. (How many lessons have you had in the last 10 years?)

 

So true on all points!!  And I probably haven't had a lesson since skis were all wood and boots had laces!!!!  Well...that's an exaggeration but not by much!!!  Every year I say "You know, I should invest 90min and get a lesson."  But it never happens...I'd rather buckle up and head for the summit!   :rolleyes

 

I'll do some additional research but it sounds like something in the 175cm range with a width of around 90 (no more!) and turning radius in the 16m range would be about right.  Rather than sinking $$$$$ into the 2015 version, I'll be looking for something new but perhaps a pre-season "closeout" of last year's model.

 

Other points, brand/model recommendations, or advice always welcomed!!

 

--Jeff

post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffb99 View Post
 

So true on all points!!  And I probably haven't had a lesson since skis were all wood and boots had laces!!!!  Well...that's an exaggeration but not by much!!!  Every year I say "You know, I should invest 90min and get a lesson."  But it never happens...I'd rather buckle up and head for the summit!   :rolleyes

 

Jeff, I'd suggest ponying up for a private lesson. 

 

A good instructor will talk AND ski with you to learn your opportunity areas, and then will tailor their instruction to your specific needs/desires. Think about it as a day spent skiing with a guide that's offering you advice and I think you'll be very happily surprised.

 

Truth is, I somehow transitioned from a never-ever to a racer without a single lesson and, despite skiing for 30 years, my technique was seriously deficient in a lot of areas. A couple of private lessons transformed my skiing in ways I couldn't have imagined.

post #7 of 23

Just one guy's suggestion but you've waited this long, you might want to consider hitting a couple "demo days".  A good advantage of that is that you can pick a run or three that you think are representative of what you like to ski and try a variety of skis under pretty much identical conditions.   Then once you've narrowed down the tech & size range your are interested in you can search our a pair of demos and get them for roughly 1/2 the price of new.  

post #8 of 23

If you have been renting boots, you should start your journey at the shop of a qualified boot fitter.

post #9 of 23
Bonafide is a great ski but it needs an experienced driver. I won't recommend it to someone who is not strong, or young, or skis 20+ days a year. I'd start with something more forgiving. Line prophet used to be the ski to recommend, I'm not sure about the new Supernatural as I have not been on it
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffb99 View Post
 

 

Yup...did that a few years ago. I realized that I could not rely on rentals for comfortable boots every year!

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lonepine View Post
 

If you have been renting boots, you should start your journey at the shop of a qualified boot fitter.

 

Always sound advice, except OP has already said they've invested in boots.

 

That said, what's this malarkey about comfortable boots?!?!?!?!?!?!?

post #11 of 23

90mm underfoot is still fattish on Eastern hard snow.  It strains mature knees to tip 'em.  (There's an article somewhere about that, but I can't find it right now.)

A 78-84mm waist would be better.  You want to carve the groomers, right?

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

90mm underfoot is still fattish on Eastern hard snow.  It strains mature knees to tip 'em.  (There's an article somewhere about that, but I can't find it right now.)

A 78-84mm waist would be better.  You want to carve the groomers, right?

 

Agreed.  I ski 90mm as my one ski quiver in the East and would actually like to go bigger, but I traverse and bushwack my way to any soft snow I can find, and couldn't care less about hard snow performance.  If I were mainly skiing the groomed runs, I'd be shooting for right around 80mm.

 

Maybe @Philpug can help out:

Quote:
 

 Nordica FireArrow 84Ti Evo $899.00

 

128/84/112 17M@172cm

 

412TC Binding

 

 

 

Returning from last season, the FireArrow 84 Pro Evo. The FA84 is the big brother to the above winner the FA76. I found the 84 Pro to be an exceptionally inexpensive option for someone looking for a hard snow biased mid 80mm ski. East coasters, put this one on your short list, west coasters it could be the only ski you need under 95mm underfoot.

http://www.epicski.com/t/129122/philpugs-2015-steals-deals-winners


Edited by St Bear - 9/24/14 at 6:13am
post #13 of 23

I skied a Rev 85 on refrozen western hard pack, coming from a 76 in the east: tons of leverage.  The problem may have been me, but I didn't like it much -- and I have good knees.  If you're on eastern groomers most of the time, you might consider St. Bear's suggestion: something like 80.  

 

That said, I'm dating an 83 this year that I hope will work on low-snow days out west, too, so go figure.

post #14 of 23

I agree with with Khead, but you don't need to wait till a demo day. I found a ski shop that happened to have the couple of skis I wanted to test and demoed them for the day. After a bunch of runs on each I fell in love with the K2 82XTI Rictor. I think every ski will feel different on every skier so before spending big bucks you need to see how the ski feels to you. 

post #15 of 23

I'm on 84s (4 years ago on 78s) and that width difference doesn't worry my mature knees on hard icy snow which is common where I ski.

Tipping the 106s (and even 90s) up on edge on New England "packed powder" (formica) is a different issue.

 

The knee problem as I've experienced it (YMMV) lives in those microseconds before those edges get up there and become fully engaged.

The wider the ski, the more microseconds it takes.  Multiply that by number of turns you make to see how wide skis might take a toll on the knees.

 

If you are a precision carving instrument, know what platform angle is, and maintain that at 90 degrees or less as you progressively tip

(see Ron LeMaster for the best description), your knees will probably be fine on any width ski when you're on polished groomers.

 

Otherwise, shoot for 78-85.  

post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

If you are a precision carving instrument, know what platform angle is, and maintain that at 90 degrees or less as you progressively tip

(see Ron LeMaster for the best description), your knees will probably be fine on any width ski when you're on polished groomers.

 

Otherwise, shoot for 78-85.

 

I am definitely NOT a precision carving instrument and after reading more, its clear that my original "90" plan is outta whack with reality.  RTM 81 or 84s, or the K2 82xti seems a more appropriate choice.

 

--Jeff

post #17 of 23

K2s: Yes.

 

RTM 80 instead of 81 (more user friendly at a moderate pace, less demanding, different internals).

 

Nordica Firearrow 76 instead of 84.

post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post 

 

That said, I'm dating an 83 this year that I hope will work on low-snow days out west, too, so go figure.

They all say that. But will you pop the question? 

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

They all say that. But will you pop the question? 

 

I did with the boots, natch.

post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_m View Post
 

K2s: Yes.

 

RTM 80 instead of 81 (more user friendly at a moderate pace, less demanding, different internals).

 

Nordica Firearrow 76 instead of 84.

And at 5'8, I should consider 176/177s, right?  Not 170/171s.

post #21 of 23

Correct.  The longer length will provide more stability and versatility without being unwieldy (but don't go longer).  Demo if possible.  Each have a different "feel," but all three should fit your requirements quite well.  Good luck!

post #22 of 23

My K2s are 170 which I prefer over the 177 ( I tested both).  I'm 5'7 170 lbs and the 170 just skied better for me. 

post #23 of 23

I'd reiterate the value of demoing

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffb99 View Post
 

Greetings all.  First post as a new member!!   .....   Haven't owned skis since the 80s but instead rent "performance" skis on the slopes or at a local shop. 

Hi Jeff. 

 

First: welcome!

Second: I'm assuming these "performance" skis were somewhat lower-end than what you're looking for, but do you recall the models/sizes and how you liked them?  That might help forum members guide you.  Alas, buying skis without demoing (either via a demo day, or shop demos) is hit-or-miss.  Do any of your ski-area shops rent what are called "demo" skis (this is the term they typically use for the higher-quality skis you might be interested in buying, such as those recommended above)?  If so, I'm inclined to suggest that your best course might be to continue what you were doing for a bit longer, except this time rent "demo" skis when you go out -- that way you'd really get a sense of what you do and don't like.  It also allows you to determine length.  

 

Barring that, here are some possibilities to add to those listed above:

 

Head iSuperShape Speed (66 mm) (not sure if you'll find the Heads on closeout, though, since they may be unchanged from last year).

Head Magnum (72 mm)

Stockli Laser SC (72 mm) (you won't find these Stocklis on closeout, though, since the SC is unchanged from last year, and the AX is new; plus they're Stocklis:)).

Stockli Laser AX (78 mm)


Edited by chemist - 9/26/14 at 8:10am
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