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Will these skis be too small for moi? [second season in VT]

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I'm leasing skis again this year and I went with 159 cm K2 Press skis.  I am 5'10 160 lbs and in hindsight I think these might be a little small for me. I made the mistake of telling the guy that it was my second year skiing and I think he went with a more beginner friendly ski even though I tried to make it clear that I picked up skiing really quickly and am already way past the beginner stage. Last season I had 169 cm K2 silencers that were hard for me to handle. I went a returned those and got a pain of dynastars that had a softer flex and were shorter and they were so much better. I'm afraid however that I might have gone too short this time. What do you guys think? I'll be skiing trails (mostly blues and blacks), and a fair amount of woods. The guy initially recommended Volkl Walls, but they seemed heavy to me, but maybe they would work out better in the long run for this season?

post #2 of 20

Helps to know what region you are going to ski in.  You bought boots at a boot fitter, correct?

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah I forgot to mention I'll be skiing in the northeast (Vermont specifically). And yes I have my own pair of boots that fit really well
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantstoplt021 View Post

Oh yeah I forgot to mention I'll be skiing in the northeast (Vermont specifically). And yes I have my own pair of boots that fit really well

Where did you end up getting the boots?  Have you had a chance to ski on them much?

 

Probably good to read the EpicSki Articles under First Run (click on Articles in the menu bar at the top).

post #5 of 20

Volkl Wall and K2 Press skis are both dedicated park skis -- i.e., for playing around in the terrain park, jumping off of things, etc.  Park skis "work" for regular use as well, but it's not really what they were intended for, and if you never intend to go in the park, there are better options.

 

That's a very bizarre recommendation from the shop guy unless you stated that you wanted to hang out in the park all day, and above you mentioned that you intend on skiing trails.

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
I got to ski on my new boots about 20 times last year. I went a lot. Yeah I'm not sure if he knew what he was talking about he was kind of young and new. I did mention that I have no interest at all in park skiing
post #7 of 20

Yeah, I would bring those skis back to the shop and ask to talk to a more experienced staff member. Those skis are definitely not for you. During the season, I am roughly your size (5'9", maybe 175-180... right now I'm a little heavier). I also ski Vermont, a little bit on trail, a lot bit in the trees. I've long since given up park skiing. My quiver consists of a couple pairs of skis in the 165 range, and a couple skis in the 180 range. 164,165, 178, and 181, to be exact. So I would definitely say 159 is a wee bit short for you. Not to mention a park ski. Don't get me wrong, I spent almost all my time on park skis like the Salomon 1080 for a solid decade, and skied everywhere. But back then, park skis weren't as specialized as they are now.

 

I'd aim for a ski that's in the 165-175 range, not overly stiff, maybe with a little early rise rocker. Something in the range of 90mm underfoot should suit you well for general skiing about here in the 802. Mind if I ask what mountain you're skiing at?

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
 

Volkl Wall and K2 Press skis are both dedicated park skis -- i.e., for playing around in the terrain park, jumping off of things, etc.  Park skis "work" for regular use as well, but it's not really what they were intended for, and if you never intend to go in the park, there are better options.

 

That's a very bizarre recommendation from the shop guy unless you stated that you wanted to hang out in the park all day, and above you mentioned that you intend on skiing trails.

The Wall is a pretty nice ski, it is one of the few Volkl's that have actual camber along with some tip and tail rise. IMHO, the Wall in a 169 would be a great choice of a ski. 

post #9 of 20

Quote:

Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

Yeah, I would bring those skis back to the shop and ask to talk to a more experienced staff member. Those skis are definitely not for you. During the season, I am roughly your size (5'9", maybe 175-180... right now I'm a little heavier). I also ski Vermont, a little bit on trail, a lot bit in the trees. I've long since given up park skiing. My quiver consists of a couple pairs of skis in the 165 range, and a couple skis in the 180 range. 164,165, 178, and 181, to be exact. So I would definitely say 159 is a wee bit short for you. Not to mention a park ski. Don't get me wrong, I spent almost all my time on park skis like the Salomon 1080 for a solid decade, and skied everywhere. But back then, park skis weren't as specialized as they are now.

 

I'd aim for a ski that's in the 165-175 range, not overly stiff, maybe with a little early rise rocker. Something in the range of 90mm underfoot should suit you well for general skiing about here in the 802. Mind if I ask what mountain you're skiing at?

 

You obviously see more students than I do, but I wouldn't put a second-year skier on 90mm-underfoot skis in Vermont who stated that he'll be skiing the blue and black trails.  Why make a ski harder to get on and off its edge?  I doubt the OP is diving into untracked trees where the extra width would come in handy.

 

Or maybe I'm just an old f--- who desperately clings to the idea of narrow(ish) skis.

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

Something in the range of 90mm underfoot should suit you well for general skiing...

^^^^ VT? Would depend on the ski, and what part of the state, but seems kinda wide for a beginner. Keep in mind that the trees seldom have more than a few inches of fresh, are tightly spaced, do often have lots of bumps, and the trails between them can allow you to see blades of grass 6" down. 

post #11 of 20

The OP is doing a season lease, so that will limit his choices in any case.

post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

^^^^ VT? Would depend on the ski, and what part of the state, but seems kinda wide for a beginner. Keep in mind that the trees seldom have more than a few inches of fresh, are tightly spaced, do often have lots of bumps, and the trails between them can allow you to see blades of grass 6" down. 

Since I have somewhere in the ballpark of 800 days of skiing in Vermont in the last decade or so, I think I am fairly aware of what Vermont is and is not, thanks. My recommendation of 90 is not wildly optimistic, its based on my own experience. My daily drivers, in Vermont, are 99 and 105 underfoot. Many of the people I ski with are using 95-100 for their dailies. Recognizing that most skiers can't handle this, I suggested 90ish as a decent starting point for a search, since that will still handle well off trail but be able to handle firmer snow as well.

This is a perfect illustration of why ski recommendations are worth very little most of the time. Everybody's experience colors their preferences, but our experience as the recommender is never the same as the recommendee.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post


This is a perfect illustration of why ski recommendations are worth very little most of the time. Everybody's experience colors their preferences, but our experience as the recommender is never the same as the recommendee.

 

True.  On the other hand, most skiers I see (in NH & Vt.) are on sub-90 skis.  And for someone learning parallel and coming to edge, a 90 is harder than, say, a mid-70 to mid-80 ski.

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
So is the general consensus that these are too small for me? When you guys talk about underfoots and cambered edges I have no idea what you guys mean. Is there a good explanation for this stuff? I hate mentioning that I'm a second year skier cause most assume I'm still learning to ski parallel and carve, but that's not the case. I skied a lot last winter and I picked it up really fast. I'm certainly not a great skier by any means, but I would say I'm at more of an intermediate level than a beginner level. Like I said before I had k2 silencer 169s last year and they were a bit hard for me to handle especially when going slow through trees.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantstoplt021 View Post

So is the general consensus that these are too small for me? When you guys talk about underfoots and cambered edges I have no idea what you guys mean. Is there a good explanation for this stuff? I hate mentioning that I'm a second year skier cause most assume I'm still learning to ski parallel and carve, but that's not the case. I skied a lot last winter and I picked it up really fast. I'm certainly not a great skier by any means, but I would say I'm at more of an intermediate level than a beginner level. Like I said before I had k2 silencer 169s last year and they were a bit hard for me to handle especially when going slow through trees.

 

Yes, they're too small for you. I don't think you'll find any disagreement about that from anybody.

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantstoplt021 View Post

So is the general consensus that these are too small for me? When you guys talk about underfoots and cambered edges I have no idea what you guys mean. Is there a good explanation for this stuff? I hate mentioning that I'm a second year skier cause most assume I'm still learning to ski parallel and carve, but that's not the case. I skied a lot last winter and I picked it up really fast. I'm certainly not a great skier by any means, but I would say I'm at more of an intermediate level than a beginner level. Like I said before I had k2 silencer 169s last year and they were a bit hard for me to handle especially when going slow through trees.

 

Skis are listed with three dimensions -- tip, waist and tail.  They refer to:

  • The width of the widest part of the ski in front of your boot
  • The width of the narrowest part of the ski under your boot (underfoot)
  • The width of the widest part of the ski behind your boot

 

The "underfoot" number is often the most interesting one, or at least is the most discussed one.  In terms of gross generalizations, the smaller that number, the better the ski will grip on firm snow and the worse it will be in deep fluffy snow.  The larger that number, the better it will handle 3D conditions and the better you'll need to be to handle firm conditions.

 

As this thread has aptly demonstrated, what one skier considers "ideal" dimensions is wildly different than what somebody else does.  freeski919 and I ski the same mountain (Stowe) and we ski wildly different skis as we tend to ski different parts of the same mountain.

 

As for camber...  First thing that came up on Google:  http://gearx.com/blog/knowledge/skiing/ski-shape-profile/.  If you don't like that explanation, type "rocker vs. camber" into Google and take your pick.  Everybody and their brother has taken a stab at explaining this one.  I don't feel like re-inventing the wheel.

post #17 of 20

I would have liked to provide a picture illustrating rocker vs. camber, but that would require copyright violation.  Here's the Wikipedia explanation, which is in the public domain:

 

Camber & rocker[edit]

 

Camber is the ski's shape as viewed from the side. Typically skis are designed so that when the tip and tail are on the ground, the waist is in the air. Without camber, when the skier's weight is applied at the waist, the weight would be distributed on the surface closest to the foot, diminishing along the length. Camber distributes weight onto the tips and tails, extending the surface area bearing the skier's weight, and thereby improving the amount of ski edge in contact with the surface. The technique was first introduced by ski makers in Telemark, Norway, and remained largely unchanged through the 20th century.[5]

In 2002, skier Shane McConkey led development of the Volant Spatula, an alpine ski developed for skiing deep powder snow. The Spatula uses reverse camber with the tips and tails rising above the waist in an effort to improve floating on soft snow. Referring to the shape of the running on a rocking chair, these designs became known as rockers.

Today alpine skis often feature a combination of rocker and camber. This is often subtle, with natural camber at the waist, and rocker at the tip and tail. These designs often lack sidecut as well, relying on their interaction with the snow to provide the curving shape that causes the ski to turn smoothly.[6]

post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 

Maybe he went with the park skis because they would be easier to turn since they are twin tip??? I don't know what he was thinking and since I know nothing about skis I can't make an informed decision myself. Someone recommended the Volkl Wall up above. Is that a better option? Its still a park ski though I believe. Should I ask for an all mountain type of ski?

 

I also ski at Smuggs if that makes any difference.

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantstoplt021 View Post
 

Maybe he went with the park skis because they would be easier to turn since they are twin tip??? I don't know what he was thinking and since I know nothing about skis I can't make an informed decision myself. Someone recommended the Volkl Wall up above. Is that a better option? Its still a park ski though I believe. Should I ask for an all mountain type of ski?

 

I also ski at Smuggs if that makes any difference.

 

Most likely the kid recommended park skis because he's probably park skier. As we noted above, our recommendations are always going to be colored by our own experience. He's probably skied mostly park skis, so that's what he knows. After looking a little more into it, I definitely don't think the Press is the right ski for what you want. It is very park specific, and it won't work all that great for other stuff. However, some of the things might be along the right lines. The 85mm underfoot, the 20 meter radius, and the little bit of tip and tail rocker would all be good things. However, something more in the mid-160cm range would probably be better for you, from what I surmise of your preferences above.

 

The twin tip doesn't really have any effect on the ability of the ski to turn. Personally, I prefer a twin tip in the trees because in Vermont trees, you frequently find yourself having to let the skis slide backwards. With a twin tip, you're less likely to hang up or dig in the tails in those situations. But for on piste, it doesn't make any difference.

post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 

I went back to the shop and they recommended 167 Line Masterminds. Said it would be good for tree skiing and all that. Maybe this is a better choice?

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