- 12 Posts. Joined 9/2016
- Location: MA
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Great! Just make sure you go to a good bootfitter (or at the very least know how to do your own bootfitting). You might want to consider getting your boots first, then renting and demoing early season to try various skis out and decide what you really want.
The Elan GSX fits your bill. I'm not sure if I recall correctly, but I think the GSR is just a tiny step down in terms of turn radius and high-speed race-like skiing purpose, so should work as well if high speeds on groomed runs is your thing.
Also worth doing, if you don't go for one of the above is get a subscription to real skiers and make a list of top speed long radius narrow ski rippers and use it to shop old skis for a bargain.
The best way to get a fast pair of skis is to put a fast skier on them. Drop some coin on some good boots, do some demos, and take some lessons. You can ski the current technology in an old school style, but it's almost guaranteed to disappoint. Its simply not how the skis are designed to work anymore. The adjustment to current technique is actually not that difficult, and even a slight adaptation will yield significant returns. I assure you, I can put a skier with good modern technique on a pair of 166 carving skis, and they'll scorch someone skiing old technique on 190 straight skis.
Like most responses, I would recommend to go for a shorter masters ski.
Look for radii between 16m-21m would be a good starting point. See what deals are out there.
Don't be afraid to go short on a master ski either. A nice long turn by riding the sidecut is a way to relax and keep energy through the day. Buying a larger radius will work you much longer and harder. It might feel twitchy at first on a shorter ski, but a single lesson on adapting your technique to work with the ski makes the world a difference.
I guess we have different approaches. I would still go with a slightly shorter radii masters and these are my feelings as to why.
One, the radii on shorter masters are usually bigger than your typical all mountain skis. Two, having the masters stiffness over an all mountain ski should help the twitchiness by requiring more planned power to initiate the turns as opposed to the floppy all mountains which start flexing at the slighting hump or bump. Three, judging by when OP bought skis currently in use buying new equipment for different uses doesn't seem like a priority. Maybe a medium radius ski from the shorter masters and a single lesson to get up to speed on technique for the next 5+ years might be a better option.
But, I'm just some young buck. Take what I say with a grain of salt.
OP was hinting at Elan GSX and whatnot. I'd say yeah, they are a reasonable fit. Looking at the GSX Masters Plate there is a 182(19.8). That is still a shorter radii masters ski and would be a great fit for both learning and cruising but not being overbearing or twitchy.
Rental boots usually fit like crap, it can be the boots if your tips and tails aren't doing what you want because you foot slides all over inside the shell.
Try some Rossi hero LT's in 176 or 183 and Volkl cheaters in 175 and 180 if you can bump up your budget.
Elan ripsticks should be attainable for under $300 used as will some older Jr GS 21-25M 175 and 180CM sticks.
Personally, I'd find something a little more all mountain oriented while you get used to shaped skis.
You will find that the lateral stiffness of a newer boot and especially the Lange RX 120 (if that is the flex you need) a totally different experience. The k2 5500 was not a challenging ski. You should get the boots first and see what the costs are then go for the ski. You will have more control but a small learning curve. You will be faster and have more fun but in the $400 range of a few years older you will find it will be hard to make a mistake. The mistake will be if you do not go to a good boot fitter and find out what boot and flex fits you.
Seeing that the OP is presently on 25 year old skis and boots and skis once or twice a year it would seem to me that suggesting that he get a new GS race ski is a recipe for disaster. Those old skis have to be quite soft by now and the new ones will be as stiff as the proverbial board. They are going to toss him around like he is on a bucking bronco if he is not the expert skier they are designed for. As suggested, there are all mountain skis that are as or more stable and faster than what he has and will be more user friendly.
Demo is the way to go.