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Ski for teaching / sitting exam, but also generally having fun ... suggestions please?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Bit of background -- I'm slightly under 5ft 9 tall, weigh a bit over 80kg, middle-aged woman, recently qualified L1 instructor, possibly planning to sit L2, and have been teaching novice skiers in school holidays. I generally ski on Blizzard Brahmas in 173cm, and really like them, for pretty much everything, but suspect they will be viewed as a bit wide (88mm waist) for sitting further qualifications, bearing in mind that L2 has more emphasis on shorter turns than L1 exam.

 

I also don't want to be stuck with a ski that will do the job more or less, but be a noodle for skiing in my free time, should I have any. Of course I can bring my Brahmas up too, but having to go in to change skis is precious time wasted. 

 

In local shops I've pinpointed a couple of skis, one of which actually appeals to me to ski on, and the other which may be better suited to my working brief -- but I have some concerns about its viability for free-time skiing. I can get reasonably attractive deals on both.

 

So, ski one is the 2015/16 Blizzard Power X8, which sounds like fun to ski and excellent on groomers, but potentially a bit of work (from some reviews I've read) when it comes to demonstrating shorter, slower turns. It's 81mm under foot, I believe, and can't remember the turning radius, though it didn't strike me as excessively large. The shop guy, whose advice is generally pretty reliable, thought it would be an excellent choice. 

 

(I'd potentially be interested in the Latigo too, but they're not available in shops here so I'd have to buy online.)

 

Ski two is Kastle LX82. No idea what year, though it's unused. Given the price (NZ$900 with bindings), I'd say it's not the latest model. I'd done a wee bit of reading on these and hadn't gone out looking for them at all, thinking they'd be too lightweight or soft. But the guy at this other shop is also an examiner and he recommended this ski as ideal for demonstrating shorter, slow-speed turns due to easy-to-pressure tips. My fear is that while that may indeed be the case, they won't be as much fun to ski for a fairly hefty individual like moi. But he reckons their lateral stiffness will be ample, even if lengthwise they are softer. Another point -- the ski length he was pointing me towards was in the 160s, but I've been reading that the LX82 skis short, and even Kastle's own website recommended the 170-something ski for me.  

 

Thoughts?

 

Other suggestions?

post #2 of 14

I think you're going to get a much different picture from the group of people here than you may get from a more local perspective. The vast majority of members here are based in North America, whereas you're in New Zealand. In North America, 88 underfoot is not, in any way, a fat ski. 85-88 is about the default waist width for all mountain skis around these parts, with the "fat" range not really starting until 90 or 95, depending upon who you speak to. 

 

That being said, I just finished the PSIA Level 2 on a pair of 96 underfoot skis, and passed pretty comfortably, including short turn skills, based upon my score cards. 

 

My best advice is to use a ski that you're comfortable with. If you are comfortable and ski well on your current ski, don't go out and buy another ski just for an exam. If, however, you're interested in expanding your quiver for your own ends, then by all means, buy another pair of skis. Between my wife and me, we have six pairs of skis in the garage. Oh, and my wife doesn't ski. :D

post #3 of 14

I am 5"8 and 140 pounds and use the 172 LX82 for my teaching ski and used it for my Level 2 exam last year (and passed). I think it is a great exam ski because it is not too stiff in the bumps and is a good ski for the slow speed maneuvers.    I like using it for my teaching ski because it is easy to turn and if I end up going skiing, not teaching, it is an enjoyable ski.    

post #4 of 14

interesting comments here..

 

Almost ALL of the L3 candidates at my L3 Ski were on 82 or narrower. The other person that passed was on 74 (I think) I was on 80. (Head Titan) I think the examiner was on a 85. I think one of the smaller skiers was on an 11M radius full on SL ski. Good skier, didn't pass. Not because of the ski, but the inability to show versatility on those skis. We are on the west coast(exam was at Squaw FYI)

 

At one of my clinics where I was working on MA, the examiner I was skiing with and I were watching some of the other instructors (at Alta, where there are a LOT of fat skis) One of the instructors was trying out for their tech team and failed. As I was watching I asked, "Did that person really try to take their tryout on a fully rockered fat ski?" then I commented on what I saw, and how it's too easy to "cheat" at certain movement patterns (get hidden by the way that ski responds). The examiner's response was "exactly!" and that my movement analysis was spot on. This instructor was lacking in precision in their edging movements so that the inside ski was not tracking the same as the outside ski. While they can be skied well, the precision does not show up accurately.

 

That all being said,

 

Pick a ski you are comfortable on, Ski that same ski as much as you can and get real familiar with the way it skis. Learn to balance against that edge but don't be "locked" on the edge all the time.

Learn to do the full range of movements on that ski. Shmeared turns carved turns pivots, side slips traverses, leapers, and every kind of variation you can come up with. Own the movements and go ski.

 

Oh yeah, FYI, I'm 5'8" 155lbs. Currently skiing on a Head Titan, (80mm under foot) and 170cm ski. 14.3M Radius.

 

DC

post #5 of 14
I've seen this as well. It's very difficult to ski precisely on a 98+ ski. For the OP and what it's worth, I also passed my L3 on a Head Titan. Other common 'pass' skis that day were the Rossi E88 and Head Rev 85. We had some pretty challenging off piste conditions during our exam that the Titan wasn't exactly ideal for, but they had to ski them precisely, which is something I'm sure the examiners saw.

FWIW, during the teaching segment, one examiner was on the Brahma. Not really my cuppa ski, but for an L2 exam, I don't see why an 83-88 width ski with the right characteristics wouldn't work.

I'd think a Head Rally might make a nice ski for you, turtle. IMHO, the Blizzard Power X8 really wants to be a cheater GS ski like the Blizzard WRC (which is a fine fine ski!), but isn't. It's sort of a clunker, neither fish nor fowl... Doesn't have the grip and precision of a race ski, and doesn't have the response on snow that the Rally has.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

I'd think a Head Rally might make a nice ski for you, turtle. IMHO, the Blizzard Power X8 really wants to be a cheater GS ski like the Blizzard WRC (which is a fine fine ski!), but isn't. It's sort of a clunker, neither fish nor fowl... Doesn't have the grip and precision of a race ski, and doesn't have the response on snow that the Rally has.

I'd second the Rally. Great ski. It's the one ski I would have bought if I didn't already have my magnum.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your responses! Lots of sensible advice.

 

Perhaps I should just stick with my Blizzards for the time being (i.e. work) and do some demoing before deciding whether to sit the exam on them or something narrower. They're already pretty cut up on the top sheets from teaching last year, so possibly no sense trashing another perfectly good pair of skis for teaching beginners. And I do find them very versatile, so maybe they'd fit the bill for the exam too. 

 

@markojp and @dchan Head Rally is definitely on my radar also -- just haven't found any local deals.  

 

@freeski919 Ski widths aren't that different here to what you see in western North America, though certainly that can vary from one ski area to another. My observation is that local examiners do expect candidates to front up on narrower skis (I'm just not sure if my Brahmas qualify as narrower skis). If I was a really awesome skier I might be less inclined to worry about that. 

 

@skier31  You're a lot lighter than me, but maybe that's less relevant than I'd expect. I wish demos were available here, sigh. 

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchan View Post
 

I'd second the Rally. Great ski. It's the one ski I would have bought if I didn't already have my magnum.

Third vote for the Rally, great ski.

post #9 of 14

Decent number of coaches on my mountain ski the Rally as a daily driver, and for coaching. They seem to like that they can demonstrate things at subsonic speeds, talking as they go, but it holds up to getting pushed. Maybe not for heavier guys. 

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Cheers all, just found a good deal locally on an ex-demo i Rally from last year. Would 170cm be about the right length for me? My stats are in top post.
post #11 of 14

Yep.  170cm will work nicely.

post #12 of 14

With precisely the same question as the OP, I bought and skied Head iSupershape Rally in 163cm length this recently concluded season. It was my teaching ski. While it worked well for teaching Levels 1 through 4, they're for sale. Why? because my PSIA clinician watched me ski both on the Rally and my 166mm Kastle FX94 skis. He used shims to try different cants and to reduce ramp. After that, he advised that, unlike the majority of skiers, I benefit from absolutely no ramp. Since the Rally is a "system ski", changing the ramp, while humanly possible, is problematic for a few reasons. He advised that I buy skis that are sold flat and get bindings with the least ramp - and then used a shim under the toe piece when mounting the binding to achieve no difference in boot sole height between toe and heel.

 

By the way, my stats are 5'8" and weight is 155. I demoed the Rally in 170cm and 163 cm - and the 163 definitely worked better for me.

 

These have been used one season of part time teaching. I skied on the Kastles when not teaching. Anyone interested in buying these skis, please contact me by PM.

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by oboe View Post
 

With precisely the same question as the OP, I bought and skied Head iSupershape Rally in 163cm length this recently concluded season. It was my teaching ski. While it worked well for teaching Levels 1 through 4, they're for sale. Why? because my PSIA clinician watched me ski both on the Rally and my 166mm Kastle FX94 skis. He used shims to try different cants and to reduce ramp. After that, he advised that, unlike the majority of skiers, I benefit from absolutely no ramp. Since the Rally is a "system ski", changing the ramp, while humanly possible, is problematic for a few reasons. He advised that I buy skis that are sold flat and get bindings with the least ramp - and then used a shim under the toe piece when mounting the binding to achieve no difference in boot sole height between toe and heel.

 

By the way, my stats are 5'8" and weight is 155. I demoed the Rally in 170cm and 163 cm - and the 163 definitely worked better for me.

 

These have been used one season of part time teaching. I skied on the Kastles when not teaching. Anyone interested in buying these skis, please contact me by PM.

 

 

You most likely had the Tyrolia PRX rather than the PRD binding. The PRX isn't shimable. The PRD is. You could keep your skis with the plate and replace the binding if you really like them.

post #14 of 14
They've been sold. Paid for. Shipping out today.
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