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Race Skis for Beginners...

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

i have a friend who used fischer rc4 161 skis for a about 5-6 seasons, hes talked me into buying my own after renting for the previous 2 seasons. and he is giving me a killer deal.... $90!!!!!! which is how long ive been skiing in total. so would these be acceptable for me? or will i be asking for a death wish?

 

i DO NOT plan on racing, its an ejoyable stress reliever for me and absolutely love skiing at descent speeds. and i am an intermediate beginner you can say. not all that much experience, mainly ski eastern slopes. blue knob, wintergeen, canaan. once both places and wintergeen ive skiid three times and am going back there in january 

post #2 of 21

Welcome to EpicSki.  You left out some vital information:  height and weight.  But, if this older RC4 is anything like the current RC4 it really isn't the ski you need or want.  A race ski requires a certain level of skill that you don't have yet and it will punish you for every tiny mistake.  Race skis are not forgiving and at this point you really should have a fairly forgiving ski, one that will allow you to make mistakes in balance  and weight distribution without kicking you down mountain.  Something like a Nordica Avenger 75 or 78, Rossignol Experience 75 or Head Natural Instinct would a lot easier for you at this stage of the game.

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

im 6 foot 190 played college footbal and lacrosse. and am in pretty good shape at 23...
 

ok i got you, BUT ive been seeing a few other people that kind of appreciated the RC4 becuase it forces you to betechnically sound and since it doesnt forgive it forces a newbie to actually be a bit more cautious and pay attention to detail oppose to an easier ski. but i have no clue if its an old or new rc4 model, i know its been used for about 4 seasons i attached the link underneath to it hwere he has it posted. like i said im quite fresh to the world of skiing, and the way i function, i dont play flag when i can play fully padded football, i cant play box lax, when i can play full fielded lacrosse.,... i dont want to apply the same mentality to skiing, becuase i KNOW its not a game, but i rather just work with some tougher, i guess thats just how i function.

 

sn: i would also appreciate someone who has used it to drop a couple thoughts if possible.

 

 http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/spo/5234690733.html

post #4 of 21

Yes, a race ski will force you to be technically sound.  What's your plan to become technically sound?

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 

well mainly try out groomed and well packed runs. wintergeen has some pretty good slopes that are usually groomed and ill be staying there for about 5 days and then going straight to blue blue knob for another 3 and then to canaan valley after for 3 more. and in the process i just want to try out as many different types of terrains possible and see how to better my skill sets, BUT i have been seeing a lot of info on how the race skis can make for bad habits and be much harder to get the fundementals down right on. 

 

if THAT truely is the consensus then ill steer away from them for now... but they look amazing!!!! lol 

post #6 of 21

First, RC4 is not really model, but more like product line. In that line you have everything from race stock FIS compliant Worldcup DH/SG/GS/SL skis to intermediate skiers skis like Superior SC/RC.

But either way, there's one thing to consider. Alpine skiing is one of very few sports, where better equipment doesn't make you do sport better but it actually makes it do it harder. With cycling, you can ride easier with top pro bike, even if you are nowhere near top athletes. Even in xc skiing, you actually ski easier with top skis, then with beginner skis. But with alpine skiing, you will fight much more and enjoy less with some race skis, then you would with softer, more forgiving beginner's skis.

post #7 of 21
Race ski + instructor (daily) might work
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ham42092 View Post

well mainly try out groomed and well packed runs. wintergeen has some pretty good slopes that are usually groomed and ill be staying there for about 5 days and then going straight to blue blue knob for another 3 and then to canaan valley after for 3 more. and in the process i just want to try out as many different types of terrains possible and see how to better my skill sets, BUT i have been seeing a lot of info on how the race skis can make for bad habits and be much harder to get the fundementals down right on. 

if THAT truely is the consensus then ill steer away from them for now... but they look amazing!!!! lol 

Race skis generally force you into good habits and punish bad ones. The trouble is as a beginner, you'll have some less than optimal movement patterns. For $90, if they're in really good shape, sure, buy them, but see if you can fine something a bit more forgiving to spend at a minimum your first couple handfuls of days on. The suggestion for a Nordica Avenger for a guy your size and with your athletic background is excellent. 178 for you.


http://www.skis.com/Nordica-Avenger-82-Skis/400021P,default,pd.html
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oleg S View Post

Race ski + instructor (daily) might work
^^^^^^This
Oleg nailed it. Just going out and trying to teach yourself proper technique using race skis is not a recipe for success. I tried to teach myself to ski and fumbled around for decades until I finally decided to get serious and take lessons. It took me four seasons and countless hours of drills to unlearn all my bad habits and actually learn proper technique. And I still spend time doing drills, especially at the beginning of the season and I attend PSIA clinics where I get instruction from national team members and examiners. And I have a lot more fun skiing now than I did even ten years because I can ski the entire mountain.
Edited by mtcyclist - 10/12/15 at 7:09am
post #10 of 21

@ham42092, you sound like a confident athlete who wants to learn on his own.  But get this:  skiing is a technical sport.  Expert skiing requires counter-intuitive movement patterns.  Gear, as stated above, does not teach you how to ski.

 

If you find the thought of taking lessons and buying equipment that is appropriate for your current level of skill (beginner/novice/low intermediate), then do due diligence before heading out on those new skis.

Watch instructional videos that are made for beginners; they abound on youtube.  These videos will address very fundamental movement patterns which you'll need.  

Watch videos of great skiers, which are also easy to find on youtube.  

Read a how-to-ski book in a bookstore while drinking a nice cup of coffee.

Skiing's movement patterns are not intuitive.  What's intuitive is often dysfunctional; it works for a little while but severely limits your progress to all the fun terrain out there.

 

Ski often.  Practice on easy terrain (not black diamond terrain, please) the things you've absorbed from videos and reading.  Practice on easy terrain is boring, but tremendously useful.

Practice on thrilling terrain is pointless; you'll be in survival mode and the adrenalin rush will fool you into thinking you're doing great because you'll be going fast on steep terrain.  

Just because someone goes fast doesn't mean they are an expert.  Get good at the skills you are building on easy terrain first, then take it up the mountain.

 

Follow good skiers around, trying to match what they are doing turn-for-turn. 

You'll know which skiers are truly good because you watched truly good ones online first.

 

Get a friend to video you as you ski down to them, past them, and away from them.

Almost everyone finds that they don't look the way they think they do.  Video will help you figure out what you need to work on.

 

Eventually, if you hit roadblocks that you can't figure out on your own, take a lesson.  

This will be humbling, or extremely frustrating, because the instructor will take you to the bunny slope and make you do stuff slowly on nearly flat terrain, surrounded by beginners.  

But it will be very good for you.  Swallow your pride and just do it.  

Or start off right and take a lesson with a recommended instructor, build a relationship with that person, and come back to the same person when you hit those roadblocks.

 

Best of luck in your new endeavor. 

 

Hey, I just reread your original post.  Looks like you've got 2 seasons under your belt.  Above I was talking as if you were a beginner, because of the thread title.  Adjust my advice as you see fit, of course.


Edited by LiquidFeet - 10/12/15 at 8:39am
post #11 of 21

For $90, it's worth a shot.  Consider it like the cost of an extended demo rental.  If you are commited to learning proper skiing, and have two seasons under you belt, it should not be too bad.  You will be fine, so long as you are committed to bending that ski and slicing some tight turns using your edges and exploring how to control things, and not just going to "ride the side cut". 

 

Just beware that there is a point where a slight increase in tipping angle will give a dramatic increase in turning force, and that you don't want to hook into a tight turn at high speed with a 13 m radius ski.

 

Also a little hard to tell what shape the tips are in (superficial topsheet damage only?)

post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

For $90, it's worth a shot.  Consider it like the cost of an extended demo rental.  If you are commited to learning proper skiing, and have two seasons under you belt, it should not be too bad.  You will be fine, so long as you are committed to bending that ski and slicing some tight turns using your edges and exploring how to control things, and not just going to "ride the side cut". 

 

I agree with all that, plus you have the mass to make them work. Worth a shot, if you commit to improve your technique

 

It might be unnerving at some situations the need to be always centered, but it is also thrilling

 

Also, will give you confidence in the steeps and icy conditions

 

As primoz said, there are several RC's, try to get more details (model, length, geometry, version, etc)

 

Maybe one last detail, and I hate to be the boots-boots-boots guy, but to drive a stiffer ski, for a person on the heavier side, might be good to check you have boots that are stiff enough

post #13 of 21

Am I the only one seeing "161cm skis" coupled with a "6', 190 pound" skier?

 

You're either going to:

  • Spend a lot of time on your ass
  • Develop phenomenal fore / aft balance skills

 

Given the OP's self-described reasons for skiing (stress-relief) and skill level (intermediate beginner), I'm guessing the former will be the result.

post #14 of 21

On a groomed slope with average-to-hard snow conditions, this ski might be a good tool to help reinforce good habits (IF someone has instructed you on the those habits). But I'd urge caution in fully adopting these skis as a learning tool in all conditions. 

 

In variable snow and terrain - particularly chop and bumps -  a stiff slalom ski will be demanding of excellent technique. Even with instruction, good movements won't come immediately, and I can see a ski like this hindering your progress toward better skiing as you're trying to build a good foundation. And between lessons, it's unreasonable to expect a learner to just figure out better movements while being thrown around by the ski. 

 

I think it's good to develop skills on a ski that will reward good movements, and slap your wrist when you're not perfect. This might be that ski on ideal groomed terrain, but anywhere else, they will punish you hard for lapses in technique. It sounds like you plan on using these as your only ski on a variety of terrain, and not just in the context of lessons. 

 

But, for $90, you could buy them and just see what you think on a variety of terrain. If you don't like them off-piste, hey, you have a good groomer ski. Then you can find a deal on a more versatile option, and start building your quiver! 


Edited by LiveJazz - 10/12/15 at 11:17am
post #15 of 21
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
 

Am I the only one seeing "161cm skis" coupled with a "6', 190 pound" skier?

 

You're either going to:

  • Spend a lot of time on your ass
  • Develop phenomenal fore / aft balance skills

 

Given the OP's self-described reasons for skiing (stress-relief) and skill level (intermediate beginner), I'm guessing the former will be the result.

 

I have a Fischer 165 Sl ski and I am the same size as the OP. Size alone may not be the end all factor in this case. 

 

As stated above, the reference to RC4 places the ski in a very large family of Fischer performance skis. I would like to know all the information on the ski to determine the exact model. Another question is does the ski come with bindings, if not, then the total cost for ski, binding and mounting will approach a good used ski with bindings more appropriate for a newer skier.

post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
 

Am I the only one seeing "161cm skis" coupled with a "6', 190 pound" skier?

 

You're either going to:

  • Spend a lot of time on your ass
  • Develop phenomenal fore / aft balance skills

 

Given the OP's self-described reasons for skiing (stress-relief) and skill level (intermediate beginner), I'm guessing the former will be the result.

Yep, big guy, tiny ski that's going to be overpowered and short for even doing a wedge.

Likely result is zero fun and a horrible way to work on technique and to learn proper form.  

 

post #17 of 21

Yes, it's a little short, but it is a 13 m radius sl ski.  Should still be fun on groomed.  Agree it would pose a challenge on tracked out powder.  I.e. once every three years.

post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Yes, it's a little short, but it is a 13 m radius sl ski.  Should still be fun on groomed.  Agree it would pose a challenge on tracked out powder.  I.e. once every three years.

Didn't notice the craigslist link.  

Still not a huge fan of sl skis for learning, but the price is good.  One could start on rentals for a day or two of learning before moving to the slalom skis.

post #19 of 21
I ski on occasion a 151cm SL WC Head & am 5'10" @ 200#. You just can't mob down everything.
post #20 of 21

I don't mind the idea of a technical carving ski for the OP but I think he should shoot for something both more modern and less intense.  If he is athletic and wants to work on his carve/technique (I can't think of anything else to do where he skis), a shorter radius carving ski would be ok but the most "racy" will protest loudly when given the lean back and twist move. 

 

I think that craigslist ski is a 2002 model of the "real deal" SL ski and probably better suited to competition than free skiing. I think most race stock SL skis of this era were chock full of rebound energy, technically demanding and really don't want to skid, at all.

post #21 of 21

The Fischer SL 161 was easier to work with than the full 166 version of that era. In any case, a slalom ski from 2002 that's actually been skied on regularly (these look like they have been) will have the rebound of a wet noodle at this point.

 

Feel free to get them if you want a slalom ski to dick around with. As long as you're not entirely new to the sport, you're not going to die a fiery death. You might find yourself quickly wanting a ski that is more versatile and appropriate for your skill level and style though.

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