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Suggested skis for 18-yo female, 5' 9", 160 lbs, strong but not technical?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Looking for pointers for someone who needs very different skis than I do...

 

Statistics as in the title of the thread.  Several years of race training, but only at a D-team level.  Skis fast (and in control), but not very technical (e.g., no really big edge angles).  Limited experience with slop and crud, essentially no experience with powder or off-piste. 

 

What she says she doesn't like about current skis is that they wash out when she tries to turn hard on softer snow (meaning, not ice).   They've been too short for her for a while by my reckoning, now she agrees.   But the lightest/softest of my current skis (Blackeye Ti) are too heavy and too stiff for her for anything except mach schnell on a significant slope.

 

Looking for a OSQ.  We ski mostly in MN, so usually small hills, groomers, hard snow/ice to an occasional few inches of fresh/crud/slush, with an annual few days out west when we can.   She'll probably be under 15 days per season for the next few years (in college, at a location in the flatlands).

 

So, here's a range of what she's been on recently:

 

Current skis, too short, possibly too soft:   159 Volkl RTM 75 (2012?)

 

Too heavy/stiff (but not necessarily too long):  2012 Atomic Blackeye Ti, 174 (waist 82, 16m radius)

 

Given where we mostly ski, I'm thinking 80-ish waist, turning radius 13 - 17m, length 170-175, limited rocker, on the softer/lighter side for that length (at least, softer than the Blackeyes).

 

So I'm doing some research, but would be grateful for pointers to good skis and good prices.  New old stock and gently used are both ok.  Black Pearl is one possibility, gets some good reviews here and elsewhere, though it's on the wider side.   Other suggestions welcome, certainly not limited to "women's skis."  And yes, I have read once or twice that we should demo.

 

Thx.

post #2 of 16

Some clear, some unclear bits in your post. Assume D league and racing are in the past, or she'd own racing skis. But if you've raced for several years, you've picked up some "technical" skills. Also, keep in mind she's about the same size and weight as Dawgcatching, and for that matter, the height of an average American male. And you say she's a power skier. (I relate, my wife is 5'8", advanced, also a power skier, super athletic but not raced so far.) So I'd forget about female model carvers, think about lighter unisex with moderate/stiff flex, in a middle to high 160's length. My wife skis on a 160 Kastle RX, which is a touch too short, and a 168 MX88, for reference. 

 

So here goes: Head Rally, Blizzard Power 7 Ti,  Fischer F17, Rossi Pursuit 700. Yep, I realize nothing here's over 75 mm. But where you ski rewards grip, versatility in mixed snow, and maneuverability in the bumps. If you go out west for a weekend and it snows more than 4", feel blessed and rent some fatter skis. Eg, don't buy for the 15% of your ski time, buy for the 85%. 

post #3 of 16

Kästle RX 168 or 176 depending on speed preference.

Fischer WC SC 165 cm or Fischer WC RC or 175, again depending on speed preference.

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

Some clear, some unclear bits in your post. Assume D league and racing are in the past, or she'd own racing skis. But if you've raced for several years, you've picked up some "technical" skills. Also, keep in mind she's about the same size and weight as Dawgcatching, and for that matter, the height of an average American male. And you say she's a power skier. (I relate, my wife is 5'8", advanced, also a power skier, super athletic but not raced so far.) So I'd forget about female model carvers, think about lighter unisex with moderate/stiff flex, in a middle to high 160's length. My wife skis on a 160 Kastle RX, which is a touch too short, and a 168 MX88, for reference. 

 

So here goes: Head Rally, Blizzard Power 7 Ti,  Fischer F17, Rossi Pursuit 700. Yep, I realize nothing here's over 75 mm. But where you ski rewards grip, versatility in mixed snow, and maneuverability in the bumps. If you go out west for a weekend and it snows more than 4", feel blessed and rent some fatter skis. Eg, don't buy for the 15% of your ski time, buy for the 85%. 


Thanks, @beyond.

 

It's useful to be reminded that she's about avg height for a guy, little below avg weight.  She's a lot smaller than I am, so what works for me doesn't work for her.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Kästle RX 168 or 176 depending on speed preference.

Fischer WC SC 165 cm or Fischer WC RC or 175, again depending on speed preference.


Not sure how to quantify "speed preference."  Far as I know nobody's tracked just how fast she goes.

 

She routinely beat the other racers down our local (i.e., small) hills outside the gates, even those with much better technique, because she's just willing to bomb it (and has the weight advantage, generally).  Another data point:  I've seen her straightline 500 ft or so vert on a steeper Western blue groomer.  Maybe worse than that:  she uses turns to accelerate, more often than to slow down.

 

But the local hills aren't large enough to get going that fast, or not for long.  On a bigger hill, she can bend my Blackeyes, because she's got the momentum to do it.  Around here, or on a flat pitch, not so much.  And around here is where we'll mostly be skiing.

post #6 of 16

If she is usually skiing on hills less than 350' and skiing at or around SL racing speeds, then go for the RC4 WC SC at 165 (my ski for small hills and I'm 5'9 and 160 lbs) or the RX12 at 168. 

It takes a hill of around 350' and more speed before the longer radius RC or longer RX12 can be readily appreciated.

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

If she is usually skiing on hills less than 350' and skiing at or around SL racing speeds, then go for the RC4 WC SC at 165 (my ski for small hills and I'm 5'9 and 160 lbs) or the RX12 at 168. 

It takes a hill of around 350' and more speed before the longer radius RC or longer RX12 can be readily appreciated.


Thanks, @Ghost.  That's a useful calibration point---just what I didn't have.

 

The local hills are more like 300' so we'd be looking at the shorter ski/shorter radius.  

post #8 of 16

I predict the slightly wider and slightly longer Kästle will have the edge in snow (less likely to wash out in soft snow) and the Fischer will have the edge on hardpack.  If you are not used to the Fischer feel, it might take a little getting used to.  You can trust the ski once you get used to it.

post #9 of 16
Quote:

Originally Posted by SlowObstacle View Post

 

she uses turns to accelerate, more often than to slow down.

Until I read that I was sort of in the same boat with Beyond, not really understanding how she could be a racer and not be technical.  I used to do the same thing, make lots of turns and just keep going faster.  The reason was that I never properly finished the turn and that's probably why the skis are washing out on her..  Talk to an good instructor.

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SlowObstacle View Post

 

she uses turns to accelerate, more often than to slow down.

Until I read that I was sort of in the same boat with Beyond, not really understanding how she could be a racer and not be technical.  I used to do the same thing, make lots of turns and just keep going faster.  The reason was that I never properly finished the turn and that's probably why the skis are washing out on her..  Talk to an good instructor.


The reason I did that was because I wanted to go faster and had no desire to slow down.   Small short skis will wash out in soft snow because the snow platform cannot take the load.

 

Once addicted to a good SL radius ski she will learn (as I did) to keep the speed within their design range most of the time just because the turns feel better, even if the occasional jaunt beyond their design cannot be resisted.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SlowObstacle View Post

 

she uses turns to accelerate, more often than to slow down.

Until I read that I was sort of in the same boat with Beyond, not really understanding how she could be a racer and not be technical.  I used to do the same thing, make lots of turns and just keep going faster.  The reason was that I never properly finished the turn and that's probably why the skis are washing out on her..  Talk to an good instructor.


I probably used the term "technical" improperly.  In an attempt to clarify which may only dig the hole deeper: "D-team" (as in "development") around here is not USSA in terms of rigor.  Once a week, running gates pretty much the whole time, rather than working on skills.  That's what she wanted:  not thinking too much about technique, just go out and go fast around the gates.  For example, the coaches were pretty frustrated that she basically refused to learn to cross-block.  No surprise that she preferred GS courses to SL...   As a result, while she can definitely get the skis on edge, big edge angles with a variety of transitions from one turn to the next aren't really where she's at.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if she's not finishing turns properly, and if she'd agree to take a lesson (unlikely), I'd be happy to pay for it.   But her intent is more like what @Ghost said---it's not that she can't slow down, she doesn't want to.

 

As far as the skis washing out, I'm not really competent to judge whether that's a technique issue.  But the current skis really are a bit small for her.  And they don't wash out where she can set an edge in ice.

post #12 of 16
Yeah, D team is used for "kids whose names could be in lights soon", not the local mountain development team, i.e. pre-race. Which is what I think you mean. Based on her size, I'd be looking at unisex skis. But I'm not a gear head, I only know what works for me. I don't suppose she's coming with you this year?
post #13 of 16
I had the good fortune of skiing on the Blizzard Latigo yesterday and loved it. I have really enjoyed the Cheyenne and was encouraged to try the Latigo because it's a but stronger. Wow. Was it fun!
post #14 of 16

I was also thinking about suggesting the Blizzard Latigo.

 

Last season, at  the demo centre where I work, the Blizzard rep told us that the Latigo/Cheyenne differed only in top sheets and lengths.:dunno

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Yeah, D team is used for "kids whose names could be in lights soon", not the local mountain development team, i.e. pre-race. Which is what I think you mean. Based on her size, I'd be looking at unisex skis. But I'm not a gear head, I only know what works for me. I don't suppose she's coming with you this year?


Hah.  So I ran into a terminology issue.   The local "mountain" (well, bluff) development team is called "D-team" by everybody involved including the coaches.   Not having been involved in more serious racer training, didn't know the other usage.  Sorry about that.

 

There have been a lot of good suggestions so far in this thread.  It turns out that one of the local hills (Welch, for anyone local reading this) has a new rental fleet of "performance" skis, all of which are for sale, with the rental price taken off the purchase price if you buy it from them.   Don't remember all they had, but a couple that stuck were the Nordica Fire Arrow 76, Atomic Smoke (less favored, but it's free to try other skis).  They had a Head ski from last year, 15-ish radius, think it was the Worldcup rebels, in which case that might be overkill.    That would be a good way to get her on a range of different skis and lengths.  No out-and-out SL skis that I saw, unfortunately.

 

And you're right, she won't be coming out, due to college commitments.  Which is too bad---WMR is the only place we've been where she doesn't get bored.  Which could also be taken as a sign that we need to hit some more Western resorts, of course.

 

Looks like you guys have been getting some good snow the past few days.  Good to see---it's pretty ugly around here.

post #16 of 16
Snow quality is excellent. Running a bit behind on quantity, however. Fortunately, the forecast is good.
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