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Skis for Teen [female]: Expert Downhill, Moguls, Powder, Alps, Poconos?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

My 17 year old daughter wants skis for Christmas, but I know absolutely nothing about them!

 

She has been skiing since she was 3.  She has been taking lessons at the Lech, Austria ski school from the beginning - passing all test levels many years ago.  She is very good!

 

Normally, we rent the latest, greatest skis for her each season, but now she wants her own.

 

She is 5'3", 115 lbs, lots of muscle (a figure skater)

 

She loves moguls, downhill, deep powder, off-piste, very small jumps

 

She skis in the Austrian Alps and in the Poconos (lots of ice)

 

I know there is no ski that does it all, but can someone please offer recommendations with a variety of price points?

 

Thank you so much!

post #2 of 23

Salomon Lux 88 ($499)

Nordica Wild Belle ($599)

Volkl Kenja ($649)

 

If she's a strong athletic skier, which it sounds like she certainly is, that Kenja would be a hot ski for her. 

post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
 

My 17 year old daughter wants skis for Christmas, but I know absolutely nothing about them!

 

She has been skiing since she was 3.  She has been taking lessons at the Lech, Austria ski school from the beginning - passing all test levels many years ago.  She is very good!

 

Normally, we rent the latest, greatest skis for her each season, but now she wants her own.

 

She is 5'3", 115 lbs, lots of muscle (a figure skater)

 

She loves moguls, downhill, deep powder, off-piste, very small jumps

 

She skis in the Austrian Alps and in the Poconos (lots of ice)

 

I know there is no ski that does it all, but can someone please offer recommendations with a variety of price points?

 

Thank you so much!


Welcome to EpicSki!  Would help to know what the situation is for boots.  Certainly sounds like it's time for at least one pair of her own skis.  Will she get more days in Austria or in PA?

 

Paging @Trekchick for other suggestions.  She out in the Tahoe area now but learned to ski in the flatlands of the midwest so can relate to Pocono conditions.

post #4 of 23

Hi Michelle, Marznc has touched on an important thing, make sure she has properly fitted ski boots.  With her developing age its important to make sure her feet are supported properly and that she's aligned well. 

 

Now on to skis...

These are skis to look for that will serve her well for her size, at home and while she travels. 

  • Head Total Joy (85mm under foot a little stronger on groomers than others I'm listing but still wide enough to go off piste)
  • Blizzard Black Pearl (will carve nicely with skill and is nimble, really fun in the bumps)
  • Salomon Lux (not as responsive on groomers but nimble and playful.   Fun in the bumps)
  • K2 Potion 90(the widest in this group and a little more cruisy) 
  • Scott TheSki 165cm (Blue) I have this ski to play around on a daily basis.  Its nimble and fun, meant for moguls and will be great for most ski days.  Not as strong on carving as the Total Joy or Black Pearl but super fun.  (mine are Yellow from last year, this year they're blue.)

 

 

All of these skis are tagged on the side of the page. 


Edited by Trekchick - 11/21/14 at 8:33am
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hello! Thank you for your reply.

 

She will ski about the same number of days in each.

 

In Austria, she will ski for 17 consecutive days, and in the Poconos, she will ski most weekends.  The Poconos will only allow her on groomed trails.

 

Austria is the tricky one...  She will stay on the mountain all day splitting her time between groomed trails, moguls, deep powder, and off-piste routes.

 

I was going to wait until we chose the skis to think about boots & bindings.  The last time I checked, it was relatively inexpensive to get custom boots in Austria.  They weren't any pricier than good stock boots.

post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hello!  Thank you for the recommendations!  I appreciate the detail.

 

She just mentioned that she's a "carver", and that good carving is a must.

 

This is a nice comprehensive list, and your info is very helpful.

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

Excellent!  Thank You!  I will check these out, too.

post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
 

Hello! Thank you for your reply.

 

She will ski about the same number of days in each.

 

In Austria, she will ski for 17 consecutive days, and in the Poconos, she will ski most weekends.  The Poconos will only allow her on groomed trails.

 

Austria is the tricky one...  She will stay on the mountain all day splitting her time between groomed trails, moguls, deep powder, and off-piste routes.

 

I was going to wait until we chose the skis to think about boots & bindings.  The last time I checked, it was relatively inexpensive to get custom boots in Austria.  They weren't any pricier than good stock boots.


What do you know about the process called "boot fitting"?  It's not just a matter of adding custom options like a heat molded footbed.  Not sure what you mean by "good stock boots".  I suggest you and she read the following before making a decision about where and when to buy boots.  Perhaps more than you need to know but the bottom line is that how she buys boots is more important that what skis she ends up with.

 

Assuming you live near the Poconos, it should still be possible to get some early season deals.  A good boot fitter may have "new old stock" that would work.

 

Example of choosing a boot fitter while on a ski trip:

http://www.epicski.com/t/115476/lake-tahoe-area-custom-bootfitting

 

Finding a boot fitter when do not live in ski country, in Ask The Boot Guys:

http://www.epicski.com/t/130021/no-bootfitter-in-my-area

 

Finding a boot fitter in a specific area (NYC):

https://www.epicski.com/t/129689/recommendation-for-dealer-in-nyc-area-10-years-away-from-slopes-big-and-tall

 

Overview of boot fitting process:

http://www.epicski.com/a/boot-fitting-which-boot-will-work-for-me

 

Boot fitting terminology:

http://www.epicski.com/a/boot-fitting-terms-and-glossary

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the links.  I wasn't referring to custom options, but completely custom boots...

 

The custom process they use (loosely speaking)  is to measure everything: up, down, around...

Next, they choose a shell that most closely fits those measurements, your weight & type of skiing

Finally, you stand behind a fixed bar with your arms wrapped underneath, and while they inject hot foam, you push your feet down into the floor as hard as possible using the bar to add more force.

 

The injection process took about 30 minutes when I did it years ago.  It might be faster now.

 

I have personally had greater success with this method versus buying an off the shelf boot (properly fitted) with a custom insert.

 

I was never "a skier", but simply one whom enjoyed an occasional ski vacation.  I just have very oddly shaped feet that nothing fits!

 

My daughter has "normal" feet, so I am unsure if the custom route, as stated above, would be better than custom options with a good boot fitter.

 

Which method have you found to be the best for you?  My experience is very limited...

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 

Should the stiffness of the ski correlate to the stiffness of the boot?

 

For example, if you have a ski that requires a little muscle, would it be better to get a stiffer or a more flexible boot?

 

If the waist is wider, would a stiffer or a more flexible boot be better?

post #11 of 23

I have little experience as well, but I can tell you for what it's worth that nothing come close to the fit of my custom-foamed race boots, with custom cork footbeds.

 

As for stiffness of boot, it relates to weight and aggressiveness of her skiing.  If she is skiing hard and fast, she will want to apply high forces NOW, and will require a stiffer boot,

much like stiffer suspensions on a car are meant for higher speeds and harder cornering.  If she is only 115 lbs, she might not want the stiffest available boot.  Let her choose the boot stiffness when she is trying on the boots the fitter will have her try on.  Bear in mind that boots are a bit stiffer in the cold.

post #12 of 23

Just to interject on the custom bootfitting...  If she is in Lech Austria this is the home of Strolz, the original custom boot makers/fitters!  She could make worse choices ;) .

 

http://www.lechaustria.com/lecadv/strolz/index.htm

 

JF

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
 

Should the stiffness of the ski correlate to the stiffness of the boot?

 

For example, if you have a ski that requires a little muscle, would it be better to get a stiffer or a more flexible boot?

 

If the waist is wider, would a stiffer or a more flexible boot be better?


Never heard of any connection between ski stiffness and boot flex.  My impression is that boot flex is based on several factors, including but not limited to, level of ski ability, leg strength, and type of skiing of interest (racing, recreational on groomers only, off-piste > 50%, etc.).

 

I ski on different skis depending on where I ski.  For the Mid-Atlantic, don't need anything wider than 85 underfoot.  For that matter, 70-80 is fine.  Out west, I usually ski something 80-95 underfoot.  But if there were deep powder, I would rent something wider.  Note that I'm petite, so don't need much width to float in even 8-10 inches of powder.

 

Bottom line is that a skier with properly fitted boots can use them with lots of different types of skis.  The reason to choose different skis depends on snow conditions (power, east coast hard pack, etc.), type of ski day (easy fun with friends, hard charging, teaching, etc.), and personal preference (only want to own 1 pair of skis, want to own a quiver of 2-3 skis).

post #14 of 23

Also, just found this epicski thread about Strolz:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/79565/strolz-v-surefoot

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post
 

Also, just found this epicski thread about Strolz:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/79565/strolz-v-surefoot


Very helpful.  Now the distinction between "custom" and "good stock" boots from a boot fitter makes more sense.  Had never heard of Strolz before.  Didn't realize it's a brand of boot with injected foam and custom footbeds.

 

Does seem that Strolz boots would be more expensive for someone who does not have complicated feet.  The Strolz North America website says the cost is $1150.  My boots (advanced but not aggressive skier) were "new old stock" from an experienced boot fitter in the flatlands.  Even with a custom footbed, total cost was under $700.

post #16 of 23

As far as boot stiffness--generally speaking stronger faster heavier skiers use stiffer skis and stiffer boots because the forces that bend the skis and flex the boot increase with speed and with weight. For your expert daughter, especially since she likes bumps and powder stiffness of both are going to be in the middle range. Keep in mind that boots that are too stiff can be softened, but too soft boots can't be stiffened. And boots that are a little too small can be enlarged, but boots that are too large can't be made smaller. 

post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input Ghost - she'll most likely want racing skis and boots next year when she joins a college team!

 

4ster - Strolz Is where I had my ski boots made - that's exactly where I'm talking about! Mine were about $700 US dollars.  Sounds like they have upped the price for the US market.  I wonder if there is a hefty US distributor fee on that $1150, marznc, I'll have her go in there and check out the prices.  She'll be there in 3 weeks... Come on snow!

 

marznc - Thank you! The info on waist sizes is particularly helpful.  That's a factor she's been stuck on...

 

oldgoat - You make great points, and I personally appreciate how simply stated!

 

You have all been extremely helpful.  My daunting task has been greatly simplified, and I now have a manageable list and enough knowledge to ask questions!  Thank You!

post #18 of 23

You are welcome Michele,

Although I'm sure the "racing" purpose of these boots probably ties into what I like most about them (performance), I have never used them to race, except perhaps race to get a second or third "last chair".  My point wasn't about them being racing boots, but about them being custom foamed to fit MY feet, and having custom foot beds also formed to MY feet.  I also have a pair of boots that were, according to the slick salesman, supposed to fit just as well as custom foamed boots because of some sort of sensi-fit heated liners.  Those boots never even come close to the custom foamed fit, despite a lot of subsequent boot work.

post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 

Ghost - I got my custom foamed boots about 20 years ago. They changed everything!

 

I had always been in tremendous pain - even with my properly fitted, heat molded boots with custom inserts...gotta love those slick salesmen! I could not believe how comfortable the Strolz boots were!

 

After I had my daughter, my feet changed, so I wanted new ones. I searched and called every reputable place in the US and described what I was looking for. They all thought I was crazy and none had ever heard of this process. It was very frustrating! I am happy to hear there is a US market, now. It's a little more convenient!

 

I know the Strolz are expensive (at least here and now), but I spent more than that $1100 replacing (after each season) boots that hurt too much. I always thought they were supposed to hurt - at least a little!

 

If anyone reading this thread is spending $500+ each year trying to get a good fitting boot, spend the extra $ to have an extremely comfortable custom foamed boot that should last for a least 5 years! You will actually save $ in the long run!

post #20 of 23

coming into this a little late, but for a boot fitters perspective.... boots in the USA are generally slightly more expensive than they are in europe (pretty much because we make em all in europe then have to ship them to the USA)

 

that aside it depends on what she is looking to do, strolz whilst a great "completely custom " option is not the only one, a good boot fitter can select a closely matching shell and either use a custom liner or the stock liner if that is more appropriate for the foot NOT ALL FEET LIKE FOAM

 

if she is getting into racing next season then getting a suitable boot now is not a bad thing, the strolz is certainly not a race boot and i doubt very much it conforms to any regulation out there being as it was designed many decades ago and not really changed since (strolz lovers will not attack me for that statement)

 

where is Austria will she be, i have a couple of guys i know out there who are good boot fitters who can set her up with a suitable boot rather than a run of the mill one...please be aware there are many bad boot sellers in Austria (any any other country for that matter) as there are in the USA, the typical is 2 sizes big because it feels comfortable in the store and normally as people are only in resort for 1-2 weeks it feels great for that time then packs out badly

 

hope that helps

post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
 

Hello!  Thank you for the recommendations!  I appreciate the detail.

 

She just mentioned that she's a "carver", and that good carving is a must.

 

This is a nice comprehensive list, and your info is very helpful.

In that case, the Head Total Joy is probably one of the stronger choices on the list with the Black Pearl running a close second. 

post #22 of 23
She sounds very similar to me! I'm also 17 (5'5" 145) and. Have been skiing since I can remember. I'm based in western PA but take frequent trips to the Rockies (Lake Louise, Sunshine, Alta/Snowbird, Park City) I have the k2 super free 162 from last year that I LOVE. they're a rocker ski so they give some spring on the ice but are wide enough to handle powder. They're a little long but if she's advanced enough to handle them (and she sounds like she is), they're a ton of fun!
post #23 of 23
IMO she doesn't need custom boots or foaming, she's not a high end racer, no need for that. Any great boot fitter can put her in a proper boot. Ask around here for a great boot fitter or over on "skiheads" I think is the site in Europe.

I would also say the Kenja would be a good fit for a ski for her. It dose everything well and has great edge hold. It can handle anything she can give it. You you grab the ski and flex it...I'm not to big on that, I'm big on torsional stiffness. That's where the ski give you confidance.

Example, I high end skier friend, just bought the Blizzard Viva 810, She is saying, she having a hard time geting confidance in it. She has been a Volkl girl for a long time. Has Kenja's. I grabbed the tip of the 810 in my right hand and put my left hand about 12" below then twisted the tip. You can't do that with a Kenja. The movement allows the tip to be pushed around by the snow and not track true. Yea, I know its the #1 ski in the magazine. Sorry I wouldn't buy it for a high end women. That twisting step is something you can do with any ski you want or ar thinking about buying.

If she's a powerful skier she needs a torsionally stiff ski.

As for you, I read you talked about foaming boots, your 20 year old foamed boots should be replaced, your feet have changed over time.


If she joins a college team, she should be able to race skis at racer cost.
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