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Junior GS Ski - any recommendation?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

My son (146cm, 33kg) will turn 10y in May. we shall preorder skis for next season now. According to the tables he shall be around 151-152cm in a year time. He has been skiing since he was 3, started racing quite successfully this year. His skis are second hand, however almost unused,  Stockli Junior GS, 152cm. He is very comfortable with them. Ski importers as well as coaches say height plus 5-10cm for GS skis. Our ski team has offers from Rossi/Dynastar, Head and Blizzard. I have heard Rossi and Head are quite inconsistent in quality. On the other hand Blizzard produces 156 and 163cm skis which are either too short or too long. Would you recommend any of these brands or shall I look elsewhere? thanks for any advice.

post #2 of 19


Heads!    Building incredibly competent skis...

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

junior skis included? I 100% believe in Head race stock but not sure if junior skis are produced with the same consistent quality. do not have any experience though...

post #4 of 19

Having been through this many times, made a few mistakes along the way so here's my advice.

 

You may not like it, but he's 10 years old, it doesn't matter. Get the ones that are the best deal for you.

 

Why?

 

The brand of skis are not going to make a difference for that size, there's no such thing as "race" stock Jr skis and they are all going to be pretty much the same. As far as pre-ordering, you are taking your chances based on assumptions. He may or may not grow and the worse possible thing you can do for his development is putting him on equipment that is too advanced for him. This happens for several reasons. Enthusiastic parents want to see there kids on what the think is "the best" equipment, or the equipment they "should be on" based on their age or level, not on their ability. Or they buy things in advance  and by the time they get to ski season the equipment doesn't match the child's size or ability. but parents not wanting to spend more money on the proper equipment have their child on the wrong stuff.  There's no way to guess where they think their child will be in 8 months despite what a chart on the internet says is "average".

 

My advice, unless there is a compelling reason to buy now, wait until you are close to next season, see where your son's size, strength and ability are then, get the advice of a coach, and then match the equipment to that. At 10 yrs old or U11, the equipment is still pretty generic and there is so little difference between brands, it simply doesn't matter. Get the best deal, at the size appropriate at the beginning of next season because he will most likely grow out of it anyways so you are looking at one season of use anyways, and most importantly DO NOT buy equipment that is too much for his ability that he will grow into later. He will struggle with it and it will slow his development and he will  get frustrated.

post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroGravity View Post
 

You may not like it, but he's 10 years old, it doesn't matter. Get the ones that are the best deal for you.

 

This ^^^. At that length, AFAIK, all are made by either Elan or Fischer anyway, similar specs, different top sheets stuck on. By U14, there will be distinct brand differences in terms of flex patterns and feel, and your athlete will have learned which suits him by talking with friends, the coach, and so on. 

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

thanks a lot for your post. understood, I was wondering whether the producers make similar skis as I heard some parents were not happy with consistency of some brands.  regarding the preorder or waiting till autumn, there is a huge difference in the price, sometimes more than 50% for kids with podium places in national cups. therefore it makes sense to make a guesstimate and order a pair. if he outgrows it during next season, I will buy another pair. If the skis are too much for him, he can still ski on the current ones. Having three kids, whatever skis I buy they will be used not only by him..:) besides, we have 80 kids in the club. 

post #7 of 19

Agree that brand at those sizes are all fairly similar, however there are differences in construction when getting into real jr race skis. (not just the ones that say race on them).

 

Just take a look at the differences between Head's jr ISL-RD, Blizzard jr SL/Nordica's Doberman SLJ, Atomic's Redster FIS jr SL, Fischer's RC4 WC Jr. SL, Volk's Jr.Racetiger SL and Rossi Hero FIS R20/Dynastar's Team Omeglass WC R21 Jr. SL.  All pretty much a different shape, different radius, some with full sidewall, some with partial or in the case of Atomic their sandwich capped construction, and differing amount of titinal in them as well.

 

So while in the big picture any brand will do, there are enough differences in them to warrant further research.

 

Of course the SL line is true race construction and not the capped fiber "race skis".....same applies to their real GS race line.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

do I understand right, that junior racing skis are pretty much the same up to 170(GS) and 150(SL). otherwise what do you mean real jr skis? 

post #9 of 19

I mean real sandwich construction, layers of titinal, sintered bases, etc.  Effectively toned down versions of the actual FIS skis.

Problem I see is that too many topsheets with "race" on them which are not true race skis.  The skis I listed above are true race skis and I believe can differ enough in design/construction for a young racer to notice.

 

How much of a difference can it make is debatable at young ages, but there are differences so no I do not believe all true jr. race skis are the same.  (confusion compounded by skis marketed as race skis, but are not all that different than the ski with monster or luvbug topsheets).

post #10 of 19

As for your original question, any reason you aren't going up a size with current Stockli (e.g. Laser GS Junior FIS)? Or is it simply the discount program?

I have no experiece with Stockli as they aren't common up here.

 

We've had no issues with head race skis (the actual iSL RD or iGS RD variants) but have been told they are fairly stiff relative to others.  Lots of Volkl and Rossi/Dynastar for GS.  Lots of Fischer SL but stragely not much on the GS side (Head tends to be brand of choice if the athlete skis the Fischer SL).

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

ok, then I am losing it. Rossi FIS Hero Pro (R21 Racing/ R 20 Pro) are siblings of your Rossi SL skis. the same I can say about Blizzard GS JR Racing and Head GS RD Team. my understanding was that all GS skis are the same up to U16 level... can I simplify it this way?

post #12 of 19

With all due respect hbear, other than sandwich construction, If you look at construction they don't have a titanal sheet because it is too stiff for small kids.I think that you are overstating things, there are no "real race skis" for 10 year olds. Kids skis for that age group resemble almost nothing of a FIS ski other than general looks.

 

inej - for now, you are correct, you can simplify that all the brands at the size you are looking at are pretty close and the differences are not enough that a 10 year old will do better on one or another. You are correct that around U14 or U16 they they begin to be skilled enough and strong enough that characteristics of different brands can start to make a difference.

 

Again, given your situation, get the ones you get the best deal on since you could use them again with your other children and there is some risk that ones ordered now may not be the right ones for him next season. On a personal note, when he was younger, we have had several brands except Heads (Dynamic, Volkl, Atomic, Elan) and my son has been on Dynastars for four years with no issues U16 + 3 year FIS - but in full disclosure, he is a now a Dynastar/Lange sponsored athlete. He has demo'd practically every brand and the only other one that is suitable for him are Blizzards.


Edited by ZeroGravity - 2/24/16 at 4:11pm
post #13 of 19

No, they are not the same skis. Similar sure....but not the same (construction and spec differences between brands).  I guess it depends on how much it matters.

 

What was posted previous was that at U10-U12 it doesn't really matter.  The best skiers will still perform no matter what is on their feet.  Similarly the less accomplished will still be back of the pack in the same way.  That being said there is still "better" for each individual child.  I've literally seen my young racer ski differently with different brands on her feet.  Specs looked very similar but she skied them differently....now does that mean she's auto-podium?  Not a chance, but she certainly has taken a variable out.  (she actually races better with her current ski than an identically tuned other brand) Could it be she liked the color of one better?  Very possible.

 

Another poster mentioned all jr. skis were the same except for topsheet....well for true race skis all you have to do is compare them on the rack and you'll see this is not true.  Fischer RC4 WC SL jr has a hole in the tip and tail while the Rossi FIS R21 SL Jr does not and has the "cascade" tip instead.  

 

Agree that in the grand scheme it doesn't matter (or you can decide if it does).  But there are differences.

 

As to my assertion about "true" race skis, yes they are not exactly like their FIS brethren, but they share way more in common with the FIS ski than they do with the "race branded" ski that more closely resembles the toy skis you can by for less accomplished skiers/racers. (titinal vs. none, sandwich vs. cap, wood core vs. fiber, sintered base vs. extruded, etc.)

We have some pretty solid U10 skiers that can get on edge and crank their turns.  They are in metal SL skis and not the fiber multi skis the other kids are on.  Of course they have the skill to be on them as well.  They are expections, but even at U12 we see most kids on metal SL skis...and not the soft multi-event skis.

post #14 of 19

Sure there are differences, but I would argue that at that level the "differences" like hole tip vs cascade tip are simply gimmick window dressing to make them look like their big brothers. Even if they did make a difference, even the most skilled U10 or U12 isn't likely to be able to tell.

 

I suspect why a child of that age does better on one ski than another isn't the difference between the skis, rather it's as you say it's they are the right color or the ones that all the cool kids are skiing on AND they are the right fit. Too many kids that age are simply on the wrong equipment for them because their parents want them on what they "think" they should be on, or what the other kids are on, or economic reasons.

post #15 of 19

Agree hole vs. cascade, etc.  Just pointing out that they aren't all the same ski with different top sheets.  

Similar thought is specs, some have slightly different radius, OEM will measure length a different way, etc.  So different but yes as long as the type of ski/construction is similar most decent OEMs all produce a great product.

 

As for ill fitting equipment, you bet, see way too many kids with skis that are too long.  Consequently they can't properly turn and load them....but mom and dad know junior will grow and try to eek out another season out of the ski by buying longer (mistake).  

 

Most kids are not tuned in enough to notice the small differences between OEM, however some are and that's why it's always good to have access to demos if possible.  I know there was a difference in my racer, you can visually see it in her sking and on video.  She indicated which ski she preferred although couldn't verbalize one held edge better (we could see it though).  Oddly enough it wasn't a brand (Fischer) that we saw many girls on and certainly not the brand her ski heroes were on either (that would be Atomic and Head).

post #16 of 19

Certainly agree that each brand is unique and they are not all the same ski except topsheets. I think we also agree that for the purpose of the OP's question they can all largely be treated as the same from the perspective of ski performance. There is only so much you can do with a Jr ski and there's only so much a Jr can do with a ski.

 

And finally I think we agree that the kid will ski their best on the ski that fits their abilities, but also important is the one they want to be on, whether they think the all black Fischers look mean, or the Rossi's are a pretty red, or their idols like Lindsey and Ted ski on Heads. Placebo effect is strong.

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbear View Post
 

Agree that brand at those sizes are all fairly similar, however there are differences in construction when getting into real jr race skis. (not just the ones that say race on them).

 

So while in the big picture any brand will do, there are enough differences in them to warrant further research.

 

Of course the SL line is true race construction and not the capped fiber "race skis".....same applies to their real GS race line.

I doubt this is true for skis a 10 year old of 146 cm will ski. The further research honestly can wait a bit. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by inej View Post
 

do I understand right, that junior racing skis are pretty much the same up to 170(GS) and 150(SL). otherwise what do you mean real jr skis? 

 

It is my impression you start seeing small differences below that, at about 158-160 cm, for instance. Volkls and Rossis, for instance, are seen as slightly softer than Heads, while Fischers and Blizzards are in the middle. But the real differences in flex are small compared to the differences in skill set. Eg, it's the kid who will make the ski perform, not the ski that will make the kid perform. By the time you get to 170 cm for GS, 150 for SL, you're at a juncture; you can buy "junior" FIS skis that will be comparatively stiffer - often good for early maturing kids who are bigger and beefier -  or the "team"/"pro" models of the same lengths that are flexier. In fact, coaches don't begin to begin to ask for separate GS and SL skis until along about U12; at U10 it's optional, maybe a good thing for the larger, more aggressive kids.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by hbear View Post
 

I mean real sandwich construction, layers of titinal, sintered bases, etc.  Effectively toned down versions of the actual FIS skis.

 

I am not aware of any ski in the 150-160 range that has metal in it. Skis for a 10 year old are not toned down FIS skis, AFAIK, and even the real junior models, like a U16 150 cm women's SL, are fairly "toned down" compared to a 155 FIS WC design. A 15 year old girl does not have the same lean body mass as a 25 year old woman of the same height. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by inej View Post
 

ok, then I am losing it. Rossi FIS Hero Pro (R21 Racing/ R 20 Pro) are siblings of your Rossi SL skis. the same I can say about Blizzard GS JR Racing and Head GS RD Team. my understanding was that all GS skis are the same up to U16 level... can I simplify it this way?

No, you're not losing it. But your analogy is off. The Rossi Masters or longer U16 models are more like female versions of current FIS spec WC skis than the "Jr" and "team" versions are like detuned versions of the U16 skis. That is, the biggest jump is between the team/pro models and the U16 models. Your son is 33 kg. You do not need to be worrying about how close his skis are to WC versions. In fact, his coach, if you asked, would say something like, "It's the parents who want their kids on boots and skis that are too stiff for their skill level, not us." You won't get your son to the podium any faster by putting him on skis he can't bend. BTW, what flex are his boots? That needs to match up with his skis, as you probably know. At 33 kg, I'd say 60 flex is about your limit. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroGravity View Post
 

With all due respect hbear, other than sandwich construction, If you look at construction they don't have a titanal sheet because it is too stiff for small kids.I think that you are overstating things, there are no "real race skis" for 10 year olds. Kids skis for that age group resemble almost nothing of a FIS ski other than general looks.

Yep. ^^^^ This. 

post #18 of 19
Listen to hbear. He knows what he's talking about re Jr race skis.
They have differences, however, they are all good. And they are constructed for kids. Getting the best deal is not a bad idea.
Edited by Karlsson - 2/24/16 at 11:24pm
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by inej View Post

My son (146cm, 33kg) will turn 10y in May. we shall preorder skis for next season now. According to the tables he shall be around 151-152cm in a year time. He has been skiing since he was 3, started racing quite successfully this year. His skis are second hand, however almost unused,  Stockli Junior GS, 152cm. He is very comfortable with them. Ski importers as well as coaches say height plus 5-10cm for GS skis. Our ski team has offers from Rossi/Dynastar, Head and Blizzard. I have heard Rossi and Head are quite inconsistent in quality. On the other hand Blizzard produces 156 and 163cm skis which are either too short or too long. Would you recommend any of these brands or shall I look elsewhere? thanks for any advice.

My daughter has gone through U10, U12 and now 2nd year U14.
Currently on Rossi FIS R20 and Dynastar for SL, GS-and SG.
Has been on Elan and tried out Völkls. Best friends been on Fischer and Nordica(Blizzard) and now on Atomic.
They are different skis.They are all good, not any real quality diffrences in general. They are real race skis. I usually just try to get the best deal I can find. Only issue was when she skied off the edge, about 1" under foot came loose (don't know what happened where, as I wasn't there), on a Rossi FIS Hero GS. But Rossignol replaced that ski w/o questions with a new pair.
Edited by Karlsson - 2/25/16 at 2:14am
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