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New skis for my wife and myself [in Denmark, advanced, to replace 2008 skis; wife is intermediate]

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hello ski-lovers,

 

I am a 42 year old man from Denmark who has been skiing for pretty much 40 years, even if I only ski for one week a year - typically in Norway or France. Back in the first part of the 00's I had sort of gotten fed up with skiing. It didn't excite me all that much anymore. At this point I had NEVER owned a pair of skis. Always rented. I did own my own set of boots though. Anyway, in 2008 I decided that I really wanted for my wife and kids to learn how to ski so I went out with my wife to buy her some skiing clothes. Somehow we ended up going on a serious spending spree that day buying tons of stuff, included skis for both her and myself. This was a pretty big gamble, but it paid off.

 

The pair I got was a pair of Dynastar Speed Course 172 cm skis. I was sceptical, as I had previously always had skis that were at least 185 cm and often 190cm+ (I am 188 cm - about 6'2 - myself and weigh about 82 kg - about 180 lbs). Anyway, on the very first ride on my new skis I knew I had made a great purchase. What a feeling. I immediately rediscovered my love for skiing and infact even more than before. These skis were fantastic. They just cut through the mountain. I finally taught myself to carve, whereas I had learned skiing the old-fashioned way back in the early 80's. I loved and still love how amazingly stable these skis are at high speeds and I have always loved going FAST. I am definitely an advanced skiier, although calling myself an expert would be a stretch. I almost exclusively ski on-piste. Going really freaking fast with huge carve swings on a nicely groomed red or black piste is my favourite thing. Even blues are alright if I can have the space to go fast.

 

Anyway, as much as I love my Dynastar Speed Course 2008 skis, one of the skis is starting to break apart, so I should start looking for something new. Which leads me to my first batch of questions.

 

1) Has there been much progress in skiing technology over the last 9 years? Should I expect to get something even better than my Dynastars or should I be happy getting something as good as them?

 

2) Basically I want something like my old Dynastars. Something that has a superb edge hold that you can go really fast on with great stability. I don't care about off piste skiing and powder is rare where I ski, so we are talking regular groomed pistes or at times icy pistes in Norway or France. Would you have any recommendations? Would something like Rossignol Hero Elite LT TI or Dynastar Speed Zone 12 TI be what I am looking for?

 

----

 

Now for my wife. She has now been on seven skiing vacations since 2009 (each lasting a week) and has progressed from beginner to intermediate, or possibly even advanced intermediate. However, she is still a fairly cautious skiier. She is not decidedly slow, but certainly not fast either. She can ski on groomed blacks but avoids bumpy pistes and icy pistes and is generally most happy on groomed reds and blues. She has zero interest in off piste skiing or powder skiing. Strickly on piste skiing. We are now at a point where I feel like her beginners skis are pulling her development back, so we are looking to buy a new pair for her. We want something that is good for intermediates but are more stable at higher speeds than beginner skis. Some stats: She is 40 years old, is 6 foot tall (183 cm) and weighs about 66 kg (146 lbs). For some reason she cares quite a lot about how the skis look, so she really likes these very girly looking skis Atomic Vantage X 77 CTI. Would these likely be a good fit for her?

 

Any input is appreciated. While I am a very good skiier and have been skiing for 40 years, I really know very little about skiing equipment.

post #2 of 25

Sounds to me like you should definitely stick with "groomer zoomers" like the skis you mentioned for yourself. I don't know enough about the latest skis to recommend anything specific, but the usual recommendation on this forum is to demo if at all possible. Lots of ski shops here in the U.S. will charge around $50-$60 or so for demo skis and you can often make multiple trades during the day to try out many different skis (very convenient when the shop is actually on the ski hill).

 

I think it is important to figure out what kind of characteristics you like. Do you like a lot of rebound out of the turn? Too much rebound can throw skiers off balance if not able to stay in good form. Do you like to really feel the terrain under you or do you want the ski to smooth everything out? Personally, I prefer "damp" skis that smooth out the ride.

 

Sounds like you prefer big GS turns. Does that mean you would prefer your skis to not hook up and pull you into the turn fast or do you like the tips to grab and pull you into the turn immediately after you tip them on edge?

 

Demoing multiple skis can help you answer these important questions and that can help you and someone knowledgeable about what's available in the market figure out what would be best for you.

 

Regarding your wife, I agree with you that it sounds like she would benefit from a higher level ski that will be more stable at slightly higher speeds. Skiing gets a lot more fun when you are on skis that give you confidence. Demoing can be a lot of fun -- your wife will probably get a lot out of the experience, too.

post #3 of 25

The short answer to your first question is yes, there has been improvement in ski technology in the last 9 years.

 

From the description of your skiing and the two skis you linked to, it looks like you want a narrow carver or race ski.  Those kind of skis are much more popular in Europe than they are here in the US.  Lots of good choices in addition to the two you linked to.  I would avoid FIS GS skis. Too specialized.  But an SL race ski or consumer GS would be fine.  One ski in this category that has gotten very good reviews is the Fischer Curv DTX.

post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TallSkinnyGuy View Post
 

Sounds to me like you should definitely stick with "groomer zoomers" like the skis you mentioned for yourself. I don't know enough about the latest skis to recommend anything specific, but the usual recommendation on this forum is to demo if at all possible. Lots of ski shops here in the U.S. will charge around $50-$60 or so for demo skis and you can often make multiple trades during the day to try out many different skis (very convenient when the shop is actually on the ski hill).

 

Yeah, demoing would definitely be the way to go. But that is part of what sucks about being a dane. There are no decent skiing locations close to Denmark at all. The closest is Mid- to Northern Sweden and Norway. Currently we ski a week in Norway each year, but buying stuff in Norway?? Yikes, probably the most expensive country in the entire world! So demoing is probably not a realistic option, unfortunately.

 

I think it is important to figure out what kind of characteristics you like. Do you like a lot of rebound out of the turn? Too much rebound can throw skiers off balance if not able to stay in good form. Do you like to really feel the terrain under you or do you want the ski to smooth everything out? Personally, I prefer "damp" skis that smooth out the ride.

 

Yeah, I think I do really like what you describe as "rebound". Sounds exactly like what I like about carving. Regarding the second question, I like feeling like I'm just plowing through everything, ignoring small bumps, so definitely what you call "damp" skis sounds nice.

 

Sounds like you prefer big GS turns. Does that mean you would prefer your skis to not hook up and pull you into the turn fast or do you like the tips to grab and pull you into the turn immediately after you tip them on edge?

 

This question I'm less sure of. You're right about the GS turns, but I'm unsure about what I prefer here. Too little experience with different kinds of skis, I guess.

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimH View Post
 

The short answer to your first question is yes, there has been improvement in ski technology in the last 9 years.

 

From the description of your skiing and the two skis you linked to, it looks like you want a narrow carver or race ski.  Those kind of skis are much more popular in Europe than they are here in the US.  Lots of good choices in addition to the two you linked to.  I would avoid FIS GS skis. Too specialized.  But an SL race ski or consumer GS would be fine.  One ski in this category that has gotten very good reviews is the Fischer Curv DTX.

Will look at that ski, thanks!

post #6 of 25

Not sure how much you're willing to spend, but I picked up a pair of Head Supershape i Speed about 2 months ago.  I bought the 177's witch have a 14.9 m turn radius.  I absolutely love these ski's.  They are a pure front side carver, and I now prefer them over my GS race skis.  The turn radius makes them very playful.  Edge hold is superb even in the iciest, rutted up conditions.  The rebound energy they provide is amazing.  If you like going fast, you should take a look at these skis.  http://shop-us.head.com/us/ski/skis/on-piste/i-supershape-speed-22.html

post #7 of 25

I'm familiar with the Head brand of skis and highly recommend the Supershape line.  The Supershape i.Speed are excellent on groomers.  For your size & weight the 170 cm size would work very well.  As skis are made longer they're also made stiffer.  Too long means too stiff.  Too short means too soft.  The Supershape i.Magnum is also an excellent choice, especially when the snow on piste is new (not yet groomed) or pushed into hills.

 

For your wife, the 77 mm width of the Atomic Vantage will be a detriment.  A ski in the 66 to 73 mm width will ski more easily for her.  A ski like the Head Pure Joy, maybe 158 cm length, sounds like a good choice for her.

post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 

Very useful information, thanks! Will look at the suggested skis! But from reading about the Head Pure Joy it sounds more like a beginners ski?

post #9 of 25

You've already mentioned two excellent skis in the Rossignol Hero Elite LT and the Dynastar Speed Zone 12ti.  Hard to go wrong with either.  I've skied both and would be hard pressed to choose between them.  Of the two I think the Dynastar is a little more versatile in mixed conditions without giving up much (if anything) in its hard snow / carving abilities.  The Rossi has a slightly wider sidecut, but I doubt it's enough to sway you one way or t'other.

 

The Head iSpeed is comparable.  Be aware that Head has a Supershape iSpeed and also a World Cup Rebels iSpeed, and the latter is a stiffer, more focused carver.

 

Fischer offers the Superior and Superior Pro in that same space, and they're excellent carvers; slightly lighter and more lively in feel than the (more traditionally damp) Heads.

 

All excellent skis.

 

Best of luck.

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinbad7 View Post
 

Fischer offers the Superior and Superior Pro in that same space, and they're excellent carvers; slightly lighter and more lively in feel than the (more traditionally damp) Heads.

 

 

Just to be clear, Fischer completely revised its consumer race ski lineup, and the Superior and Superior Pro skis are no longer offered for 16/17.  Seem to be replaced by the Supercompetition Pro, The Curv Race, and Race.  

post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinbad7 View Post
 

You've already mentioned two excellent skis in the Rossignol Hero Elite LT and the Dynastar Speed Zone 12ti.  Hard to go wrong with either.  I've skied both and would be hard pressed to choose between them.  Of the two I think the Dynastar is a little more versatile in mixed conditions without giving up much (if anything) in its hard snow / carving abilities.  The Rossi has a slightly wider sidecut, but I doubt it's enough to sway you one way or t'other.

 

The Head iSpeed is comparable.  Be aware that Head has a Supershape iSpeed and also a World Cup Rebels iSpeed, and the latter is a stiffer, more focused carver.

 

Fischer offers the Superior and Superior Pro in that same space, and they're excellent carvers; slightly lighter and more lively in feel than the (more traditionally damp) Heads.

 

All excellent skis.

 

Best of luck.

Thanks. Looks like I probably won't go wrong with any of these.

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSwan View Post
 

Hello ski-lovers,

 

I am a 42 year old man from Denmark who has been skiing for pretty much 40 years, even if I only ski for one week a year - typically in Norway or France. Back in the first part of the 00's I had sort of gotten fed up with skiing. It didn't excite me all that much anymore. At this point I had NEVER owned a pair of skis. Always rented. I did own my own set of boots though. Anyway, in 2008 I decided that I really wanted for my wife and kids to learn how to ski so I went out with my wife to buy her some skiing clothes. Somehow we ended up going on a serious spending spree that day buying tons of stuff, included skis for both her and myself. This was a pretty big gamble, but it paid off.

 

[snip]

 

Now for my wife. She has now been on seven skiing vacations since 2009 (each lasting a week) and has progressed from beginner to intermediate, or possibly even advanced intermediate. However, she is still a fairly cautious skiier. She is not decidedly slow, but certainly not fast either. She can ski on groomed blacks but avoids bumpy pistes and icy pistes and is generally most happy on groomed reds and blues. She has zero interest in off piste skiing or powder skiing. Strickly on piste skiing. We are now at a point where I feel like her beginners skis are pulling her development back, so we are looking to buy a new pair for her. We want something that is good for intermediates but are more stable at higher speeds than beginner skis. Some stats: She is 40 years old, is 6 foot tall (183 cm) and weighs about 66 kg (146 lbs). For some reason she cares quite a lot about how the skis look, so she really likes these very girly looking skis Atomic Vantage X 77 CTI. Would these likely be a good fit for her?

 

Any input is appreciated. While I am a very good skiier and have been skiing for 40 years, I really know very little about skiing equipment.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSwan View Post
 

Very useful information, thanks! Will look at the suggested skis! But from reading about the Head Pure Joy it sounds more like a beginners ski?


What is important for your wife is to get skis that are an appropriate length for a tall intermediate.  What length skis has she been using?

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

 


What is important for your wife is to get skis that are an appropriate length for a tall intermediate.  What length skis has she been using?

 

Her current skis are 170 cm, as far as I remember. But that's is mainly due to chance as we just bought beginners skis for her at a sale back in 2008 knowing nothing about skis really.

 

EDIT: "nothing" may be stretching it, but back then I figured that we would just buy some beginners skis on sale for her, since at the time we didn't even know if skiing was for her. The sales person recommended the ones we bought and they were very cheap indeed.


Edited by BlueSwan - 3/19/17 at 7:30am
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSwan View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

 


What is important for your wife is to get skis that are an appropriate length for a tall intermediate.  What length skis has she been using?

 

Her current skis are 170 cm, as far as I remember. But that's is mainly due to chance as we just bought beginners skis for her at a sale back in 2008 knowing nothing about skis really.

 

EDIT: "nothing" may be stretching it, but back then I figured that we would just buy some beginners skis on sale for her, since at the time we didn't even know if skiing was for her. The sales person recommended the ones we bought and they were very cheap indeed.


For an intermediate, skis that come up to about nose height is usually a good length.  The issue for tall women can be that the skis made for intermediate women don't come in lengths long enough.  Then it's worth looking at skis for men or unisex models. Note that some skis that are labeled as "advanced to expert" can be good for taller or heavier skiers.

 

If I remember correctly, the longest length for the Pure Joy is 163cm, which would be far too short for your wife.

post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


For an intermediate, skis that come up to about nose height is usually a good length.  The issue for tall women can be that the skis made for intermediate women don't come in lengths long enough.  Then it's worth looking at skis for men or unisex models. Note that some skis that are labeled as "advanced to expert" can be good for taller or heavier skiers.

 

If I remember correctly, the longest length for the Pure Joy is 163cm, which would be far too short for your wife.

 

That does complicate things a bit. Most of the womens skis I've looked at aren't much above 160 cm, if even that.

post #16 of 25
BlueSwan, when you make your choise, check out sport-conrad.com, they normally have good prices and I believe they have a sale now.
Many of my fellow instructors buy their gear from that site. Good luck
post #17 of 25
For you ho back to the Rossi or Dynastar, look at the masters ski in a GS (cheater) version. Also go with a longer length. For your wife there are a lot of women's specific skis out there in a similar performance range (and slight lower) performance range. Again Rossi and Dynastar make some good models her. Most companies now make them. She would also likely do well with an intermediate/advanced (consider advanced) ski as it will provide the confidence on ice (ski build and hold) which will help her. Beginner skis when pushed hinder advancing skiers as much as they truely help beginners at the start. This issue they cause appear as the same symptoms as beginners have at the beginning, only now it caused by the ski and not the skier.

Why GS cheater skis, reasonable tight turning radius, yet long enough radius for higher speed runs, with stiffness to match. Think 17-23ish meter (not sure about the masters spec. Let's you cruise at higher speeds, hold ice and span right turns on one ski (though a quiver could be started.....)

Final note, make sure you are not getting JR race skis (which I think yours may have been based on the length), They feel great for easy skiing, however, are not up to par with what you should be skiing, your will appreciate the difference. Same goes your wife.
post #18 of 25

Dynastar and Rossignol are very similar. Both French and under the same corporate umbrella, use the same bindings and have the same 'feel'. If you like the Dynastar, my guess is that you will like the Rossignols as well. For you the Hero LT Ti seems a viable option. More a GS ski than the equivalent Dynastars. For your wife: how about the Dynastars Intense 10 or the Rossi Famous 8?

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSwan View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 


For an intermediate, skis that come up to about nose height is usually a good length.  The issue for tall women can be that the skis made for intermediate women don't come in lengths long enough.  Then it's worth looking at skis for men or unisex models. Note that some skis that are labeled as "advanced to expert" can be good for taller or heavier skiers.

 

If I remember correctly, the longest length for the Pure Joy is 163cm, which would be far too short for your wife.

 

That does complicate things a bit. Most of the womens skis I've looked at aren't much above 160 cm, if even that.

That's probably because you are looking at beginner/intermediate or intermediate/advanced skis for women that are narrow underfoot.  For an intermediate on-piste (groomers), perhaps consider the Vantage 85, which comes in longer lengths.  Obviously, it's best if she could try some longer and/or wider skis than what she has been using.  She may think she won't be able to tell the difference, but I found as an intermediate it was obvious if a ski was fun or not even when I had not idea why two models of the same length could act so differently.  A "personal demo day" when you pay to try out a few pairs of skis might be a worthwhile investment of time and money.

 

I know of quite a few women who demo'd the Atomic Vantage line in the last year or two who really liked them on firm groomers.  Myself included, but I'm not at all the same size or ability level as your wife so my experience is not really relevant to what to expect for her.

 

I have a friend, a women who is taller and heavier than your wife.  She has gone from a beginner to an advanced skier in the last seven years, with the help of regular lessons.  It took a while for her to get comfortable with idea of checking out men's skis or unisex skis that were more appropriate lengths for her.  While shorter skis are easier to turn, they are less stable as an intermediate improves and goes faster, as your wife has discovered.  That can make the skier more timid in the long run.

post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

That's probably because you are looking at beginner/intermediate or intermediate/advanced skis for women that are narrow underfoot.  For an intermediate on-piste (groomers), perhaps consider the Vantage 85, which comes in longer lengths.  Obviously, it's best if she could try some longer and/or wider skis than what she has been using.  She may think she won't be able to tell the difference, but I found as an intermediate it was obvious if a ski was fun or not even when I had not idea why two models of the same length could act so differently.  A "personal demo day" when you pay to try out a few pairs of skis might be a worthwhile investment of time and money.

 

I know of quite a few women who demo'd the Atomic Vantage line in the last year or two who really liked them on firm groomers.  Myself included, but I'm not at all the same size or ability level as your wife so my experience is not really relevant to what to expect for her.

 

I have a friend, a women who is taller and heavier than your wife.  She has gone from a beginner to an advanced skier in the last seven years, with the help of regular lessons.  It took a while for her to get comfortable with idea of checking out men's skis or unisex skis that were more appropriate lengths for her.  While shorter skis are easier to turn, they are less stable as an intermediate improves and goes faster, as your wife has discovered.  That can make the skier more timid in the long run.

Good info, thanks!

post #21 of 25

If your wife is going to ski on groomers, I don't see a problem with her being on a 160-165cm ski length, particularly if they are not beginner skis and therefore more stiff and stable. The rule of thumb I have heard and that makes sense to me is to ski the shortest length you can and still be comfortable at your fastest speed. An intermediate skier staying on groomers doesn't need a long ski in order to feel stable enough. I would be very comfortable putting your wife on the longest ski length of most women's skis.

post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimH View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinbad7 View Post
 

Fischer offers the Superior and Superior Pro in that same space, and they're excellent carvers; slightly lighter and more lively in feel than the (more traditionally damp) Heads.

 

 

Just to be clear, Fischer completely revised its consumer race ski lineup, and the Superior and Superior Pro skis are no longer offered for 16/17.  Seem to be replaced by the Supercompetition Pro, The Curv Race, and Race.  


For you...

Fischer likes to play around with the names of their skis, but two things are always the same: their best ski for GS type turns on groomed or hard snow (other than the actual FIS GS racing ski) is the Fischer RC4 WC RC, and their best ski for SL type turns on hard or groomed snow is the RC4 Worldcup SC.   If you can't make up your mind get the Curve.

 

Stockli SX is also a ski that might do the job quite nicely.

post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

... their best ski for GS type turns on groomed or hard snow (other than the actual FIS GS racing ski) is the Fischer RC4 WC RC.

 

Great ski.  Spent a day on those a couple of years back and couldn't stop smiling.

post #24 of 25

Just about every manufacturer makes a good "groomer zoomer"  I would encourage you to try out a bunch of different ski, not just groomer zoomers by doing a few demo days.  I found it really helpful to try a succession of skis on the same day under the same conditions to get a feel for what you like.  The process really helped me develop my preferences more carefully and in the end set me up to enjoy my ski experience more.  You should also feel free to play a bit with size but think of it more in terms of turn radius than ski length. I too am a fan of the big carved GS turn.  Maybe I don't ski quite as fast as you though.  My GPS watch tells me I am typically keeping my speed under 30 mph. 

 

I started off thinking I would like something in the Volkl Code line up the most since there was something there that was likely to line up well with Volkl P50 skis I had worn out. Form there, it was suggested I try a wider "all mountain" type ski.  So I tried their RTM line.  Here I found that it did not give up too much in the way of carving performance but allowed me to do some other things like deal with softer snow, more irregular conditions, even a little (very little!) off piste stuff. Once I started looking at all mountain skies the world also opened up.  It turns out I tried them and bunch of others and discovered that I liked a pair of Kastle MX 88 / 89 skis the most. I feel like these are quite a long way from where I started but I did enjoy the process and journey.

 

My wife who was coming from Volkl supersport 6 stars also did a bunch of demo testing and also ended up on a pair of all mountain skis.  She liked the Rossignol e88's the most.  Talk about a very different ski!  She was explicitly looking for something easier to ski though.

post #25 of 25

At 180 lbs you can likely flip a coin between the 170 to 180 length skis.  Going to the second longest they offer in each range will give you more stability over playfulness.  The only exception would be the Head Supershapes, I tend to ski the longest they offer in that line and I'm the same size as you.  With a 1/3 tune, a good frontside ski will hold ice just fine and deal with afternoon crud and chop better than a race ski.  I absolutely love the Head Supershape line with the playfulness and various turn shapes they will lay down when you ask them to.

Frontside Carvers:
Volkl Code S, Volkl Code UVO

Head i.speed 
Head Magnum
Dynastar Speedzone

Cheater GS skis:
Volkl Racetiger UVO in 175 or 180
Atomic XT
Rossignol Master M18
Rossignol Hero LT

 

I have no idea what to recommend for her other than testing a head rally or blizzard Quattro 7.4.  The blizzards are not super stiff and engage like a toggle switch, super fun, but not burly enough for my size.  Could be a great ski for her.

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