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How important is having the right skis?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I've been skiing for two years now, mostly trying to learn how to get downhill on groomers (I can get down a black confidently but I can't say that I can carve while doing it).  But recently I've also started dabbling in other aspects such as skiing switch, hops/jumps, trying small moguls and will probably venture into a glade or ungroomed terrain in the near future.  I currently run stiffer carving skis (Head Monster 77s).  How important is it for me to match my skis to what I'm doing?  Am I right in thinking that I should be able to do all of the above regardless of what skis I have, or am I paying a real penalty because my skis are stiff, thin and heavy? 

 

EDIT: Meant to place this in the beginner section.. but please move to wherever it's most appropriate.

 

Moderator Note: moved to Ski Gear

post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by skisobad View Post
 

I've been skiing for two years now, mostly trying to learn how to get downhill on groomers (I can get down a black confidently but I can't say that I can carve while doing it).  But recently I've also started dabbling in other aspects such as skiing switch, hops/jumps, trying small moguls and will probably venture into a glade or ungroomed terrain in the near future.  I currently run stiffer carving skis (Head Monster 77s).  How important is it for me to match my skis to what I'm doing?  Am I right in thinking that I should be able to do all of the above regardless of what skis I have, or am I paying a real penalty because my skis are stiff, thin and heavy? 

 

EDIT: Meant to place this in the beginner section.. but please move to wherever it's most appropriate.

 

Moderator Note: moved to Ski Gear


Would help to know what region you are skiing in.  "Black" in the Mid-Atlantic is very different than a black trail in the northeast or the Rockies.

 

As people progress, if they are skiing in a variety of conditions then those who are interested in investing in gear often find that having two pairs of skis to be worthwhile.  But it's certainly not a requirement for someone just getting started.  What usually more important is investing in boots, and perhaps a few lessons.

 

You can learn a lot by going to a demo day next season.  For some info about demo'ing skis, check out this Beginner Zone thread:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/142999/what-is-a-demo-day-for-skis-a-beginner-zone-thread

post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by skisobad View Post
 

  Am I right in thinking that I should be able to do all of the above regardless of what skis I have,

 

When you can do all of the above on the skis you have you will be advanced intermediate.   

So ...not 'regardless'... but 'yes on your current gear'.

It's tempting to spend money on new gear, and yes you can find skis that will make bumps and glades easier than your current ones.     That said, your current skis are functional and were even rated very very very good for all of that terrain back in the day.  

Are they right for your size?  Do you keep them sharp and waxed?  What shape are your boots in?

post #4 of 19
So you have to ski switch to be an adv intermediate?

smile.gif
post #5 of 19
Groom or ungroomed that is the question
post #6 of 19

The right ski is important, but so is the left one..  That said, size is probably the most important aspect.  A little too small (narrow or short) is better than a little to big (wide or long, or otherwise more demanding) when starting out.  Once a skier advances past middle intermediate a little big is better than a little small IMHO.. Better safe than sorry when starting out.. something to grow with is better when you start getting serious. 

post #7 of 19

I can ski just about any ski just about anywhere in just about any conditions.  However, the RIGHT ski for the job makes it so much more enjoyable!  It is well worth the cost of the job specific ski if you decide you really like a particular venue, be it bumps, carving SL (or GS or Speed event) turns, park, deep snow, or whatever.

post #8 of 19

I would recommend custom boots, fitted by someone who is good at it, before buying a second pair of skis.  In my experience, the boots matter way more but I have weird feet.  If after the boots you still have money to spend and/or your feet are a more "normal" shape than mine apparently are, you might consider another ski.

 

However, I feel I should warn you: if you're expecting new skis to make you able to ski bumps or land sick airs, you are likely to be disappointed.  The differences are not that large for most people most of the time.  My own experience is that if I'm using a ski in a very different set of conditions than intended I might ski slightly slower or get tired a bit faster than I would otherwise.  For example, I recently got some new powder skis that impressed me with how well they carved and how stable they were at speed in firm conditions.  While the skis worked fine, I was really tired by 2 pm or so - they were definitely physically harder to ski that day than a more appropriate ski would have been.  Skiing things that are more extreme or at more extreme speeds magnify differences that probably don't matter that much for a typical intermediate.

 

FWIW I feel comfortable with skis I think may be somewhat similar to yours, albeit 10mm wider (and slightly short for my height/weight), in most of the types of terrain/scenarios you describe unless it has snowed over 6 inches, in which case I prefer something wider.  Don't ski switch except as a joke so can't comment on that one.

post #9 of 19

Head Monster skis aren't carving skis.  They are all mountain skis.  And, they aren't particularly stiff, unless yours are too long for the energy you put into them.

 

In any line of skis, as they're made longer, they're also made (somewhat) proportionally stiffer.  The longest skis in any line are made for the biggest, strongest, highest energy skier on the mountain.  The shortest are made for a much lighter, lower energy skier.  The other lengths are somewhere between.  (My personal formula to pick ski length, for my size and speed/energy level is to buy one size below the max.  Your proper ski length/stiffness is likely different.)

 

There are carving skis.  The Head i.Supershape line is one example, although the Rally and Titan are pretty good in not-so-deep fresh snow.  Then there are all mountain skis like your Monsters.  And powder skis are even wider.  Also important is the flex distribution along the ski.  That is one big difference between carvers and all mountain & powder, not just the waist width.

 

So, MarzNC nailed it.  Three rules to pick skis--demo, demo, demo.  You need to try different length/stiffness skis as well as different makes and models.

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryBadger View Post
 

I would recommend custom boots, fitted by someone who is good at it, before buying a second pair of skis.  In my experience, the boots matter way more but I have weird feet.  If after the boots you still have money to spend and/or your feet are a more "normal" shape than mine apparently are, you might consider another ski.

 

However, I feel I should warn you: if you're expecting new skis to make you able to ski bumps or land sick airs, you are likely to be disappointed.  The differences are not that large for most people most of the time.  My own experience is that if I'm using a ski in a very different set of conditions than intended I might ski slightly slower or get tired a bit faster than I would otherwise.  For example, I recently got some new powder skis that impressed me with how well they carved and how stable they were at speed in firm conditions.  While the skis worked fine, I was really tired by 2 pm or so - they were definitely physically harder to ski that day than a more appropriate ski would have been.  Skiing things that are more extreme or at more extreme speeds magnify differences that probably don't matter that much for a typical intermediate.

 

FWIW I feel comfortable with skis I think may be somewhat similar to yours, albeit 10mm wider (and slightly short for my height/weight), in most of the types of terrain/scenarios you describe unless it has snowed over 6 inches, in which case I prefer something wider.  Don't ski switch except as a joke so can't comment on that one.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
 

Head Monster skis aren't carving skis.  They are all mountain skis.  And, they aren't particularly stiff, unless yours are too long for the energy you put into them.

 

In any line of skis, as they're made longer, they're also made (somewhat) proportionally stiffer.  The longest skis in any line are made for the biggest, strongest, highest energy skier on the mountain.  The shortest are made for a much lighter, lower energy skier.  The other lengths are somewhere between.  (My personal formula to pick ski length, for my size and speed/energy level is to buy one size below the max.  Your proper ski length/stiffness is likely different.)

 

There are carving skis.  The Head i.Supershape line is one example, although the Rally and Titan are pretty good in not-so-deep fresh snow.  Then there are all mountain skis like your Monsters.  And powder skis are even wider.  Also important is the flex distribution along the ski.  That is one big difference between carvers and all mountain & powder, not just the waist width.

 

So, MarzNC nailed it.  Three rules to pick skis--demo, demo, demo.  You need to try different length/stiffness skis as well as different makes and models.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

When you can do all of the above on the skis you have you will be advanced intermediate.   

So ...not 'regardless'... but 'yes on your current gear'.

It's tempting to spend money on new gear, and yes you can find skis that will make bumps and glades easier than your current ones.     That said, your current skis are functional and were even rated very very very good for all of that terrain back in the day.  

Are they right for your size?  Do you keep them sharp and waxed?  What shape are your boots in?

 

 

Thanks for all the input.  I think I'm just looking to confirm that I really don't need "more ski" than what I already have.  Reading through the gear threads everyone seems to be in a competition for wider and newer skis.  I'm getting tempted to just get new skis and all the gear threads make me feel like I don't have the right skis for what I want to do.  My skis are starting to show their age (2006 models, bought used), but they're still repairable so I think the smarter thing to do is to get a base touchup and spend the rest of the money on lessons.

 

I've only ever tried on a handful of other skis (K2 comanche and Atomic Nomad), and they both felt lighter and more flexible than what I have.  But it's good to know that at one point my skis were considered more than sufficient for what I do.

 

I just got new boots (full tilt classics), and still in the process of getting them fitted.  They fit very well but I get a bit of numbness in one foot so trying to work that out locally.

 

I get them sharpened/waxed at a slope shop once per season but that's keeping to the stock 1/1 angle edges.  I use rub-on wax and scrape every few days as well.  Reading through some of the older threads on my skis, it seems like 2/1 or 3/1 might be a better choice.

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by skisobad View Post

 

 

Thanks for all the input.  I think I'm just looking to confirm that I really don't need "more ski" than what I already have.  Reading through the gear threads everyone seems to be in a competition for wider and newer skis.  I'm getting tempted to just get new skis and all the gear threads make me feel like I don't have the right skis for what I want to do.  My skis are starting to show their age (2006 models, bought used), but they're still repairable so I think the smarter thing to do is to get a base touchup and spend the rest of the money on lessons.

 

I've only ever tried on a handful of other skis (K2 comanche and Atomic Nomad), and they both felt lighter and more flexible than what I have.  But it's good to know that at one point my skis were considered more than sufficient for what I do.

 

I just got new boots (full tilt classics), and still in the process of getting them fitted.  They fit very well but I get a bit of numbness in one foot so trying to work that out locally.

 

I get them sharpened/waxed at a slope shop once per season but that's keeping to the stock 1/1 angle edges.  I use rub-on wax and scrape every few days as well.  Reading through some of the older threads on my skis, it seems like 2/1 or 3/1 might be a better choice.

 

Sorry, I had thought you were on the new Monsters released this year.  Dealing with a 10 year old ski, bought used, changes the cost/benefit of new ones pretty materially!!!  I would be surprised if you didn't notice a change by buying a new ski.  I would still personally prioritize the boots, but the skis make way more sense to me now.

 

That said, you don't really need something wider per se assuming you mostly ski the east coast.  77 is a fine all mountain width on most eastern mountains, but if you wanted to replace it with an 80 or 90 something that's reasonable.

 

Try to demo some stuff!

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by skisobad View Post

 

Thanks for all the input.  I think I'm just looking to confirm that I really don't need "more ski" than what I already have.  Reading through the gear threads everyone seems to be in a competition for wider and newer skis.  I'm getting tempted to just get new skis and all the gear threads make me feel like I don't have the right skis for what I want to do. 

 

It's a sickness around here.  :D  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skisobad View Post
  My skis are starting to show their age (2006 models, bought used), but they're still repairable so I think the smarter thing to do is to get a base touchup and spend the rest of the money on lessons.

 

Lessons and travel to extend the season are much more directly rewarding than new skis.   Thumbs Up      Lessons will change the way you ski - and will therefore change the outcome of any demos.  

( For example, Ms. Tuna has 3 pairs that she loved in demo but hates now)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skisobad View Post
 

I've only ever tried on a handful of other skis (K2 comanche and Atomic Nomad), and they both felt lighter and more flexible than what I have.  But it's good to know that at one point my skis were considered more than sufficient for what I do.

 

IMO when you're definitely done with the Heads, you will have outgrown both the Comanche and the Nomad.     If you put in 20+ days next season it would not surprise me at all to see you looking for 90-105 waisted skis in combination with a high performance skinny pair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skisobad View Post

 

I just got new boots (full tilt classics), and still in the process of getting them fitted.  They fit very well but I get a bit of numbness in one foot so trying to work that out locally.

Thumbs Up

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skisobad View Post

 

 

I get them sharpened/waxed at a slope shop once per season but that's keeping to the stock 1/1 angle edges.  I use rub-on wax and scrape every few days as well.  Reading through some of the older threads on my skis, it seems like 2/1 or 3/1 might be a better choice.

 

Ummm, yes.     That ski and it's 72mm brother used to be poster kids for 'Improved By Aftermarket Tune'.

post #13 of 19
Just be sure the base is 1 degree and the side is 3 degrees not the other way around.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Would I be better off with a 2 degree side or 3 degree side?
post #15 of 19
Well i'd always say 3 but how much park spining will you do? Very sharp edges are generally not a plus there. So 2.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'd say 80/20 on piste to park. I can't do more than a short hop or a flat spin but it's something I'd like to learn. But safety on the piste is more important as I tend to go stupid on blacks.
post #17 of 19
Well 3 then.
post #18 of 19
1 base - 3 side.
post #19 of 19

How important is having the right skis?

 

Just as important as having the left skis!  ;)

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