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Ex-racer - need help entering the world of modern skiing!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi guys & gals - appreciate in advance any assistance that you may provide. Sorry for the long post... 

 

Quick background...raced high level FIS until mid-late 90s and then coached for a couple years. Then made (according to my father) the evil switch to the snowboard and have enjoyed many amazing seasons doing that. Looking to get back into skiing now but having a hard time understanding what might be best for me. My last days on snow were spent with 198 Rossi race stock GS skis with derbyflex/plates under Course K race stock boots. Absolutely loved both :)

 

I actually skied three days during the 2014 winter in Fernie - first time since '98 or '99. Rented a pair of Head Supershape Magnums...first in 170 (which felt way too short) and quickly switched to the 177 which still felt a little skiddish at first but got used to them and was pretty happy in the end. No idea what boot I had but I think it was mid-market Head. Felt pretty good with the 177 magnums and was able to crank some pretty fast GS turns.

 

Most of my time will be spent skiing in the East (Ontario/Tremblant/NE US) and I enjoy fast GS on groomers (big mountain trips will still be on the snowboard). 

 

I would like a race ski (that's really all I know) and am drawn to the Head line. Thinking about the WC Rebel iRace. It seems like the 175cm (15.3m ski) is likely the right size but wondering whether the 180cm (16.2m) makes more sense given that I felt comfortable on the 177 magnums (14.2m)? My height is 5.9 and I weigh 165. Or, should I think about something like the i Speed Pro which is an 18m ski in 180?? Anyone have any experience with either? I assume the i Race might be a little more versatile?? While I enjoyed the Magnums I am almost positive I want something more race inspired. 

 

As for boots, no idea what the equivalent in today's flex to my older race boots. I'm tempted by the Raptor 140 RS or would the 120 RS make more sense? Whatever my rental boot was in Fernie, felt pretty soft and conservative. 

 

Again - thanks in advance for any thoughts you might have. Always nice to draw on the experience of others!! 

post #2 of 11


well, if you were a high level FIS racer, I would not be looking at a 175/15m ski to make fast GS turns at your height and weight.  Assuming you know how to work the front of the ski and make the transition to modern technique you will find you are just skidding them at that length.  I would cerainly be looking at the 180 as a minimum,

post #3 of 11
Sounds like boots should be your #1 priority. There are tons of 130 flex performance boots out there that will ski light years better than your old boots. At 5'9 and 160lbs a full plug is a bit overkill for freeskiing though.

I would avoid race skis honestly, I would find a pair of skis ~90mn underfoot with a ~20m sidecut. All mountain skis of today will hold an edge as well as race skis from 20 years ago. There is no sense limiting yourself to niche skis that don't do well off groomed runs when there are so many outstanding skis these days, especially after being used to the float of a snowboard.
This might be right up your ally:
http://www.head.com/us/sports/ski/product-hero-monster-88/
Edited by clink83 - 11/29/15 at 8:50pm
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
 


well, if you were a high level FIS racer, I would not be looking at a 175/15m ski to make fast GS turns at your height and weight.  Assuming you know how to work the front of the ski and make the transition to modern technique you will find you are just skidding them at that length.  I would cerainly be looking at the 180 as a minimum,


This, also keep in mind that WC GS Heads are fairly muscular as racing skis go, curious why as a smaller guy, you're drawn to them for recreational skiing. Personally, I'd think Volkls or Rossis or medium flex Fischers would be your cuppa tea, and for recreational slopes, seems like a women's GS model would work better. Have you thought about the Rossi Hero Masters? Really sweet ski, from all reports, basically a women's FIS GS using the older radius. 

 

Also agree about starting with good boots; you can get some good used racing skis and see if you like them. At your size (I'm taller but same weight, race Masters), suspect you'l prefer 120 flex boots for recreational skiing. Maybe 130 if you are skiing bigger slopes with more room to run fast. Since you were a high level FIS racer, you already know it's pointless to recommend specific boot brands; you'll need to go to a reliable fitter and see which lasts fit your foot. 

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks folks for the helpful insight, appreciate it. Used to be so straightforward back in the day - excited to play with 15+ years of advances in ski technology!

post #6 of 11
Demo Elan Amphibio and you will never look back, the most advanced innovative ski technology today, 2-in-1 carving mode when you switch the dedicated right ski for left one.
post #7 of 11

I like this thread, (yes I would as - I have five pair of plus 200cm race skis sitting in the basement, and yes I too am a former FIS racer, and they were fun fun fun till daddy took the T-Bird away [because I'm the 60 year old daddy now] {and its too freaky to use my 220cm Dynamic VR17s any more, especially in the lift line-ups). And so I'd still like to know of more options, and will throw this un-tried bronco into the bunch: the Nordica Fire Arrow EDT (yes the top one) at 185cm - which I have not though skied.

Now I've tried the former FIS-homologation of the Head GS i.Racer (?) at 185cm - and it was fine and which was something like 25m r. - whereas the the current homologation for GS is at least +30m r. But really do I need another race ski, or — maybe I need another race ski, because to my mind at 185cm they were easy to turn. It would appear that my natural balls-of-the-feet balance/stance serves me well with the new ski/boot/paradigm {and yes I do do own modern +120 boots}.

Here is another wacko suggestion - which again I have not skied: the Head GTO200 in 190cm?

Is this ski just wacko and retrograde, or a viable possibility?

post #8 of 11
I own the Fire Arrow 84EDT and it is my favorite frontside ski ever. Right now you can buy a NOS FA84EDT from Sierra Trading Post for a ridiculously low price, less than $500. Just be sure you get it with the binding because it isn't easy to find just the binding alone. What STP has is the 176, but unless you're very tall and very heavy you don't need a longer one. The FA84EDT is basically a fat race ski. The design for it came from Nordica's race room. The edge grip is almost beyond belief and it is amazingly quick edge to edge and it has no speed limit. I've skied it in bumps and also in the trees. I don't recommend the trees because the pucker factor is excessively high. Bumps are not easy on this ski, at least they aren't for me. It requires a high degree of skill but in return you get the ride of a lifetime.

Be aware that this is the last year for the Fire Arrow skis. They are all going away and being replaced by the "GT". The widths will remain unchanged but there will not be an EDT version.
post #9 of 11

That STP listing seems a little suspicious - no bindings??  Fake Nordicas??  Why do they reference it as the Nordica 13 Fire Arrow 84EDT?  13?  I'm guessing that means it's the 2013, but the picture they show has the graphics of later models. 

post #10 of 11

STP did have some with bindings but I guess all the smart people snapped them up first.  I would not buy what they're selling now.  It says they are seconds which probably means cosmetic blems, but trying to buy just the bindings will be close to impossible.  Seems like it should be simple but that binding is not listed in the Marker catalog and maybe Nordica was using a non-Marker binding in 2013, I don't know.

post #11 of 11

Strangely enough, I don't actually want the bindings (free heel mount) but I just don't trust that product.  Pulled the trigger over at REI.  

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