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First ski purchase (PA, VT skier)

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I am a northeast skier that skis mostly PA and Vermont. I recently got fitted for a pair of boots and I am looking to pick up my first set of skis (I had a crappy experience with season rentals last year). Up until last season, I would ski a couple of weekends a season, never enough to really get any better. Last season though I got out around 20 times (probably a bit more, mostly in PA but with 7 days in Vermont), and I was able to ski enough that I was able to progress and get to the point where I can ski almost anything in PA and blues and some blacks in Vermont. Because I ski in PA a lot, I am on groomers or ungroomed trails with very little loose snow often, but when I get the chance, I enjoy going off the groomers and started getting in the trees a bit by the end of last season. I took a couple of lessons last year and I am able to carve sometimes but by the end of last year, I was still mostly skidding. 

 

So,  what I am looking for is a ski that is suited for PA skiing, that can handle some time off of the groomers. My skis last season were 166cm Volkl rtm 73s, these were on the short side for me as I am 6'1, 200lbs, but I asked for something shorter last year to learn with.  I went to my local shop and told them I was looking for a ski that I can grow into without it being too far advanced for me, and they suggested the Motive 80s in 175 along with a set of Atomics that were a little narrower under foot (76mm I believe). Would these skis work for me? Thanks for any advice you can give!

post #2 of 18

Welcome to EpicSki!  You'll find this site has a ton of valuable information and members willing to share their own anecdotal experiences.

 

Sounds like your local shop is pointing you in the right direction, overall.  Part of why you were having trouble consistently carving is the length of your skis.  At your size, 166cm is quite short and generally won't provide enough strength and stability to hold a carving turn.  It's not impossible, but it doesn't help.  So the 175cm that the shop recommended I would agree is much more appropriate.  I'd say stay in the 170-180 range, with 175ish probably being the sweet spot.  

 

As far as width I would recommend something in the mid 80mm range under foot.  This will give you a little bit extra stability when you're off groomers and won't hinder your on-piste progression much at all.  The wider a ski is, the harder it is to get it up on edge, however for most people this don't start to have a big affect until you get closer to 100mm under foot.  

 

Some skis to consider:

 

Rossignol Experience 84

Volkl RTM 84

Blizzard Bushwacker

Nordica NRGY80

 

All of those skis are good examples of something you can "grow in to", but shouldn't feel overwhelming at first.

 

And again, welcome to EpicSki!

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the information!

 

I see a lot of people are skiing on skis that are just a bit wider, would I be hurting myself if I went up to something that is 88 under foot? 

 

I am going to try to get out to a demo day in early December, but I wanted to get some ideas first. 

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesa4234 View Post
 

Thanks for the information!

 

I see a lot of people are skiing on skis that are just a bit wider, would I be hurting myself if I went up to something that is 88 under foot? 

 

I am going to try to get out to a demo day in early December, but I wanted to get some ideas first. 

I'll give an unequivocal +1 to all the recommendations skiessentials gave you, and I'll say my endorsement comes as a skier and instructor who has skied and worked at Okemo in VT, Blue Mt in PA, and Stowe in VT. So I definitely know the type of skiing and conditions you're going to encounter both up here and down there. 

 

88 underfoot should be fine for what you're looking at. I'd just say keep it between 80 and 90. 

 

If you need to wade into the discussion about camber and rocker (which will be likely, as most skis have some type of rocker profile these days) I would suggest you look for something that at most has a little early rise type of rocker in the tip. You definitely want a cambered ski under foot, and skiing PA and a little VT, you have little need for a rockered tail either. So a slightly rockered tail will be fine, but a fully rockered banana ski wont' work well for you. 

post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesa4234 View Post
 

I am a northeast skier that skis mostly PA and Vermont. I recently got fitted for a pair of boots and I am looking to pick up my first set of skis (I had a crappy experience with season rentals last year). Up until last season, I would ski a couple of weekends a season, never enough to really get any better. Last season though I got out around 20 times (probably a bit more, mostly in PA but with 7 days in Vermont), and I was able to ski enough that I was able to progress and get to the point where I can ski almost anything in PA and blues and some blacks in Vermont. Because I ski in PA a lot, I am on groomers or ungroomed trails with very little loose snow often, but when I get the chance, I enjoy going off the groomers and started getting in the trees a bit by the end of last season. I took a couple of lessons last year and I am able to carve sometimes but by the end of last year, I was still mostly skidding. 

 

So,  what I am looking for is a ski that is suited for PA skiing, that can handle some time off of the groomers. My skis last season were 166cm Volkl rtm 73s, these were on the short side for me as I am 6'1, 200lbs, but I asked for something shorter last year to learn with.  I went to my local shop and told them I was looking for a ski that I can grow into without it being too far advanced for me, and they suggested the Motive 80s in 175 along with a set of Atomics that were a little narrower under foot (76mm I believe). Would these skis work for me? Thanks for any advice you can give!


Sounds like you are progressing in skill level and preferences very quickly.   Have you thought about leasing for the season -- and getting 'new' each year.   The lease shops in my area (Western PA) tend to offer high end skis in their leasing programs -- but the earlier you get there (as in NOW!) the better equipment you will get.

 

Also, going from hard packed groomers to ungroomed loose snow in trees may call for different skis.  Most recommendation I have seen for hard groomers is a width of 70-80.

post #6 of 18

If you want to keep progressing with your carving I would stay a little on the narrower side for now. It's easier for you to get better at carving. I think the shop was steering you in the right direction. I would stay between 75-85 width.

 

My daily ski for PA is 76 underfoot.

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post
 

If you want to keep progressing with your carving I would stay a little on the narrower side for now. It's easier for you to get better at carving. I think the shop was steering you in the right direction. I would stay between 75-85 width.

 

My daily ski for PA is 76 underfoot.

 

I'm confused where you got the idea that the OP was focused on carving. Nowhere in his post does he mention carving as a point of emphasis for him. The only thing he mentions as doing/wanting to do was get into ungroomed off trail in Vermont. He also states he got 20 days last year, with 7 of those in VT, meaning he is wanting to focus on a ski that will do both states well, not just a PA ice ski. 

 

This is one of those situations in which we need to listen to what the OP is asking for, rather than giving our opinions on what we personally like. 

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

 

I'm confused where you got the idea that the OP was focused on carving. Nowhere in his post does he mention carving as a point of emphasis for him. The only thing he mentions as doing/wanting to do was get into ungroomed off trail in Vermont. He also states he got 20 days last year, with 7 of those in VT, meaning he is wanting to focus on a ski that will do both states well, not just a PA ice ski. 

 

This is one of those situations in which we need to listen to what the OP is asking for, rather than giving our opinions on what we personally like. 

 

 

"I took a couple of lessons last year and I am able to carve sometimes but by the end of last year, I was still mostly skidding."

 

Reading comprehension 101.

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

 

 

Some skis to consider:

 

Rossignol Experience 84

Volkl RTM 84

Blizzard Bushwacker

Nordica NRGY80

 

 

I don't put people into skis all the time like skiessentials and I've never skied out east but the suggestions seem on the soft side for a 6'1" 200lbs guy, especially in the low 170's sizes.

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post
 

 

 

"I took a couple of lessons last year and I am able to carve sometimes but by the end of last year, I was still mostly skidding."

 

Reading comprehension 101.

 

 

He mentions carving. Doesn't say its a point of emphasis or his focus. He is pretty clear that his preferences is ungroomed... where carving doesn't often happen, IME. 

 

The point is, steering the OP toward a certain kind of ski just because you happen to ski it is a disservice. He has stated he skis PA and VT. He states he wants to get off trail and enjoys ungroomed. Trying to saddle him with a sub-80 waisted ski is not going to help him do what he states he wants to do. 

 

I've recommended he stick between 80 and 90 underfoot. Personally, I don't regularly ski anything less than 95 underfoot. But that's because that suits where I ski and how I ski. I'm not going to recommend he go out and grab a 117 underfoot ski with tip and tail rocker, even if that is my personal favorite ski. Because that's not what he asked for. 

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

 

He mentions carving. Doesn't say its a point of emphasis or his focus. He is pretty clear that his preferences is ungroomed... where carving doesn't often happen, IME. 

 

The point is, steering the OP toward a certain kind of ski just because you happen to ski it is a disservice. He has stated he skis PA and VT. He states he wants to get off trail and enjoys ungroomed. Trying to saddle him with a sub-80 waisted ski is not going to help him do what he states he wants to do. 

 

I've recommended he stick between 80 and 90 underfoot. Personally, I don't regularly ski anything less than 95 underfoot. But that's because that suits where I ski and how I ski. I'm not going to recommend he go out and grab a 117 underfoot ski with tip and tail rocker, even if that is my personal favorite ski. Because that's not what he asked for. 

 

No. At his level he is better to continue to develop his carving skills. A slightly narrower ski will help that.

 

I'm pretty sure if he was taking lessons and voicing concern about still "skidding" he wants to carve better.

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post
 

 

No. At his level he is better to continue to develop his carving skills. A slightly narrower ski will help that.

 

I'm pretty sure if he was taking lessons and voicing concern about still "skidding" he wants to carve better.

 *Facepalm*

 

So now you know what is best for this particular skier. You're really just proving my point that you are trying to dictate what and how this individual skis, rather than actually listening to what he wants, and suggesting things based upon that. 

 

Again, he has stated he wants to go into ungroomed and off trail. To that end, something wider than 80mm underfoot is preferable. There is nothing keeping him from learning to carve on something that's 85 underfoot. I spent 4 years calling PA home, and skied on an 86 waisted ski the whole time. I carved plenty. I'm not advocating getting a fat powder ski here. 85ish isn't fat. Something in the 80 to 90 range will generally allow him to have good purchase on firm PA ice/snow, while also allowing him to enjoy leaving the trail at a place like Killington or Stowe. Suggesting a 75 waisted ski because you feel he 'should' be working on carving is mind boggling. 

 

I'll go ahead and make recommendations based upon what the OP has actually stated he wants. 

post #13 of 18
I recommended 75 UP TO 85.

Reading comprehension 102.
post #14 of 18
And 90 might be a little wide. But unlike you I'm not willing to argue over *5 mm*.

LOL
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions. Carving is definitely something I will use the skis for but it is not my top priority. My local ski shop is really suggesting the motive 80 in 175. They definitely have a bunch of other brands, so it isn't like he is suggesting them because of limited selection. 

 

At my size (6'1, 200 on a good day) would the 175 fit me or should I go bigger?

post #16 of 18

If I were buying those skis, I'd probably get the 182 and I am a couple inches shorter and about 30lbs lighter.  I've never skied out east, how fast are you skiing and how crowded are your slopes?

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utagonian View Post
 

how crowded are your slopes?

 

I think the Red Pine lodge area would be a good visual here.

post #18 of 18

Sounds like fun.  :mad

 

If that is the case than shorter is probably better.

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