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Read all the posts, but now I'm confused @ length

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Read all the posts, but now I'm confused @ length

Looking for new boards, I just spent the last week reading all the posts here (and in the Gear review forum), as well as all over the net and elsewhere, based upon all the suggestions you guys have made- Ski Canada, skipressworld.com, realskiers.com, footloosesports.com, etc.
Based upon all the advice, particularly those given to proskibum (we’re similar size) I have decided to put the following skis at the top of my demo list:

1) Atomic SX:11 (worried this will not do short radius, though)
2) Fischer WC RC or RX8fti, assuming I can find them to demo locally (does Rusty Guy know southern Vermont dealers?) AND I can figure out which model is more for me).
3) Elan S12- never would have found these with this forum.
4) Volkl 6 Star (a little put off by all the hype, but I loved my P-9’s in the 80’s, and Volkl does great holding on eastern blue ice)

My big problem is, I won’t get that many demo opportunities ($50 a pop, max 3 as credit towards purchase at the shop I am thinking about using) and I have absolutely no idea where to start with lengths.

I’m a 6’4” (193 cm), 215 lbs. (without the ski gear), 35 y/o male, skiing 33 years, eastern only skier (have a condo in Vermont), about 30 days/yr., used to ski bumps 70% of the time through college but now spend 90% of my time on the groomed eastern hardpack doing short, hard, fast, fall line turns with my feet glued together on my circa 1991 Solomon 9000 2S’s (pure slalom skis) in a 207 cm- and I have absolutely no clue where to start looking, length wise, if I’m going to get dragged into this new age of skiing by my ski buddies (I refuse to give up my Rossi monoski, however, even though the kids in the lift line always ask me why I put ski bindings on a snowboard).

Reading all the posts here, most suggestions for guys my size were in the 175 range, but that seemed to be for people looking for a more versatile ski that could do soft snow or crud- (about a versatile as I need to be is when I slow down to ski with the family I can cut some GS sized arcs without loosing an edge). However, when talking about the pure slalom skis, recommendations here seemed to be in the 165 range, but all the posts seem to point guys like me to the all mountain skis not the slaloms. The local ski shop wants to put me on the biggest ski made by the manufacturer, so he’s throwing 180’s into the mix-

That leaves the range at about 168 to 180 which is way to much for me to deal with in a few days of demo’ing, while also getting used to the new method of skiing required by these skis. Can you help narrow the length range for my short turn, go fast needs? If you think I’m way off in my models of skis given my specs, please let me know, too. Thanks.
post #2 of 22
short turns with feet glued together?

welcome to the New World.

you have a lot of re-learning to do.

I'll let the recommendations flow from others who are more adept at teaching the square-turner how to carve.

I was in your position 5 seasons ago. What fun it was to learn all about modern equipment and techniques.

With all that said, I would suggest you look at the top level all-mountain "carver" skis, sometimes called Skiercross skis. Since you ski the East, I'd tend toward the Austrian/German/Swiss ski makers. Atomic R:9 comes quickly to mind.

Good luck. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by gonzostrike:
short turns with feet glued together?

welcome to the New World.
Yeah, go easy on me- It took a 12 step program and being ostracized for 6 seasons to get me to the point of admitting I need to get on the new sticks- so I'm not ready to admit I also need to do the feet apart, carve across the mountain thing just yet, hence my looking at the slalom boards. Demo day will tell, assuming I can narrow the field without going crazy.

[ November 10, 2003, 08:33 AM: Message edited by: Longboarder ]
post #4 of 22
If you haven't bought into the carving thing, you might not like slalom boards. Modern short slaloms carve GREAT, with lots of energy through the transition, but they won't feel stable if you use lots of unweighting and rotary in your turns. They can also be a handfull in the bumps, regardless of how short and quick they are.

That said, for fast turns in the fall on groomed Eastern slopes, short slaloms are the way to go. Look for something a little more versatile and softer than a real race slalom. A guy your size can use the longest version of any ski, but look for a ski that is less than 175cm in its longest version. The problem with longer lengths is that the sidecut radius gets longer as the ski gets longer. FWIW, I weigh 190, and I will be on a 158cm Rossi 9S Oversize this year. I'm a little nervous that it will be too energetic, and that it will lack versatility, but it will definitely be a fun ride.

Also, DON'T DEMO. If I had demoed short slaloms I never would have gotten one. Once I bought it, I had to learn to work it, and I loved it.

OTOH, if you want to stay with that feet together thing, forget slalom skis. Get the longest, straightest boards you can find.

Regards,
John

[ November 10, 2003, 08:35 AM: Message edited by: John Dowling ]
post #5 of 22
Sounds to me like you need to be on Atomic SL11's in 171cm. A great Slalom ski that in it's longer lenght is a great all mountain ski. I have demoed it and it as well as a few other long slalom skis make good all mountain skis.

Seeing as your in Southern VT you should talk to Shon at Northern Ski Works in Ludlow 802 228 3344. He dosen't have Fischer skis at that shop but can get them for you if you really want them. There is another shop in Ludlow that carries them, but we don't shop there, to many bad stories. Shon will take care of you. Feel free to let him know where you got his name.

Up at Killington, Peak Performance carries Fischer. My freinds daughter used to get her Fischer race skis from the guy's there. She' get's them from Fischer now.

The other ski you may like is the Atomic R11, I personally like the Volkl G3. All Mountain Skis.

Remember to open your mind, don't go into a shop with your mind made up. Talk to the Tech's. and be honest with them. Tell them your history and what you hope to achieve. The more they know about you, the better they can help. That should be the same for every shop.

When you get your new skis, do yourself a favor and take some lesson's. Again, open your mind, it's amazing what these new skis can do, if you know how to use them...

Here's another thought, Take a lesson on the demo skis. You have them for the whole day.

[ November 10, 2003, 09:00 AM: Message edited by: smithby ]
post #6 of 22
I feel your confusion.
Looks like a good list. Maybe Heluvaskier or other racerheads could address whether true (modern) slalom skis are too specialized? As one who went from 208(GS) to 198 to 191 and about to drop below 180 i'm no frigging help?! It is goofy!
If you can find a pair of old K2 KVC slalom skis and build yourself a windmill type setup with the skis as the blades (pink fluorescent bases towards you) start spinning them (use a powerful fan) and throw in a strobe light, then perhaps you will become enlightened! (Take two aspirin).
You will cut the string that ties your feet together, and you will love it.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
171 huh? I am definately thinking too long- got my head stuck in the 176 range. Also, the more I read, the more I may try starting off on one notch down Slalom boards (like the Elan SLX Fischer WC RC, P60 SC, etc.) as the way to go. Good idea on the lesson with the demo skis- I keep forgetting how different the new ski technique is and I may end up more frustrated than anything else without the instruction. Thanks for the heads up on the Fischers- new skis may be the perfect excuse for a day trip to Killington early this season, as it is just too damn warm (so far) for snow anywhere else south of Stowe.
post #8 of 22
Killington opened 45 minutes ago at noon today and Okemo will open this Thursday the 13th.

I will be on snow this Saturday at Okemo.

Longboarder, check your PM's
post #9 of 22
Longboarder, bring your new skis here: ETU Brochure & Registration

The operator's manual for them will be available there
post #10 of 22
I'll second what John Dowling said. I guess it's been a while now but you and I were in the same boat. But not to worry! You don't have to have your feet three feet apart to appreciate a new generation SL. As an eastern type I am a firm believer that an SL is the ski most suited for our trails (narrow and hardpack to icy) .... for those rare powder days.... Heck, I'd even recommend buying two pair of used boards from demo stock and get the best of both worlds.

Once you get used to tipping your ankles to edge the ski, you DONT push through the tongue of the boot or hop like a bunny anymore, you will get to love a short SL, or ski it one size up as an "all mountain/GS ... at 215 you can probably bend it.

My own progression went something like (I'm 170 pounds and at 55, not a powerhouse anymore) .... 185 SL, 193 GS, 188 GS, 178 GS, 170 SL, 178 GS & 168 SL ....

Newest skis are 156 SL .... but I swear that is the end .. no shorter.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks yuki, this is really helpful- can I ask why you went from 168 SL’s to 156 SL’s? This seems to be the dilemma I am facing now- some people noted that skiing a SL ski longer makes it a better all mountain ski, so I was leaning towards SL boards around 170. Do the 156’s seem squirrelly, or is it really as simple as shorter are easier to tun, longer are more versatile/stable when the conditions loosen up?
post #12 of 22
hey long,

don't believe everything you read (especially the one about not demoing - yes absolutely do demo). Not alot at 6-4, 215# is goin out on much less than 180 (agreed - slalom skis are shorter)

IMHO your original instinct in length and model is about right -though demanding skis - depends on skill level.
post #13 of 22
I know "Don't demo" os unusual advice, but the truth is that short slalom skis ski so differently from traditional slalom skis that most people will not like them until they've spent some time learning to ski them. I know that was true for me.
I also think you need to go VERY short to get the most from them. The shorter skis have a much shorter sidecut radius, and engage MUCH quicker than the longer skis. In longer lengths, you won't get more versatility as much as you will get a stiff ski that is difficult to bend. I weigh 185, and I'll be on 158cm Rossi 9S Oversize this year. If I wanted versatility, I would have gotten a Rossi B1 at 170 or an RPM100 at 167, but for skiing the groomed in the East, I wanted a slalom ski.

Regards, John

[ November 11, 2003, 03:10 PM: Message edited by: John Dowling ]
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by Longboarder:
171 huh? I am definately thinking too long- got my head stuck in the 176 range. Also, the more I read, the more I may try starting off on one notch down Slalom boards (like the Elan SLX Fischer WC RC, P60 SC, etc.) as the way to go. Good idea on the lesson with the demo skis- I keep forgetting how different the new ski technique is and I may end up more frustrated than anything else without the instruction. Thanks for the heads up on the Fischers- new skis may be the perfect excuse for a day trip to Killington early this season, as it is just too damn warm (so far) for snow anywhere else south of Stowe.
I too disagree with the don't demo advice.

A few good lessons are a must, have you considered attending the tune-up?

And 176 for a guy your size is around the minimum I'd suggest. Maybe 171 would be OK. I'm 5'11 180# and I ride 169 and 177 skis, I prefer the longer ski for almost everything except park and pipe.

Demo some K2 X series in 174 and 181.

Also, sent you a PM.
post #15 of 22
You poor guy - I feel your pain and confusion - so many choices; so much marketing! Two years ago I went from 200s with feet glued together to a pair of Atomic 9.22s in 180s. I wish I could comment on skis but I am 5' 11" and 160 lbs so am totally out of your weight class; plus I ski west coast in BC so my conditions are totally different.

Having said that I am on a pair of Atomic SX-11s in 170 and R:Exs at 177. It is amazing how short yet stable these new skis are.

I was a decent skier stuck in a rut and took a lesson and an "advanced" skier camp and learned how to ski those darn short boards; boy did I have a lot of re-learning to do! Now I have my feet wide apart and appreciate riser plates so I don't drag my buckles all over. Bottom line - if you really want to get the most out of your new skis I highly recommend some camps or lessons; no matter what ski you eventually decide to get.
post #16 of 22
don't be afraid to go a little longer than most people tell you. if they're two or three inches above your head, ski 'em! in the east, you'll get more stability and won't blow out your turns as easily. also, you won't have to work as hard. my humble opinion is that recommended shorter lengths are used for two things: first being salespeople selling a winner in just about any ski, and a "guide" for beginners and very average intermediates. i'm 5'7" and 155lbs., i ski on a salomon scream 10 in 175. and yes i ski mostly in the east. good luck.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by sakamo:
don't be afraid to go a little longer than most people tell you. if they're two or three inches above your head, ski 'em! in the east, you'll get more stability ...
If you are 6' or taller, you'll have a hard time finding a ski that's taller than you are. Modern skis are stable enough if you keep them up on edge they way they are designed to be skied. THe best advice is take soe clinics to bring your skll level up to where you can take avantage of the new skis.

Regards, John
post #18 of 22
sorry guys, i didn't read the original post all the way thru. definately if you're 6' or taller, it'll be hard finding a longer ski. this is coming from a 5'7" guy that gets dwarfed by my 175's. [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all for the recommendations- this has really helped- my plan is now to stick to my demo list in the 175-180 range, with the possible substitution of the Elan HCX for the S12. However, I will also see if I can get on a shorter pair of dedicated slalom boards purely for comparison sake, to make sure I am shopping the right class of ski, which I think I am. Now, I just can't wait for Thanksgiving, so I can get on the boards and let you all know how right you were about bringing this longboarder into the 21st century.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by Longboarder:
Thanks to all for the recommendations- this has really helped- my plan is now to stick to my demo list in the 175-180 range, with the possible substitution of the Elan HCX for the S12. However, I will also see if I can get on a shorter pair of dedicated slalom boards purely for comparison sake, to make sure I am shopping the right class of ski, which I think I am. Now, I just can't wait for Thanksgiving, so I can get on the boards and let you all know how right you were about bringing this longboarder into the 21st century.
K2 dude, don't forget the K2's!
post #21 of 22
Whatever you do, don't go below 170, even in a slalom ski. You need to be very solid on the new technique to enjoy them and not find them squirrelly. I wouldn't suggest a 160 for learning, especially with your build.

But also, if you're interested in learning new technique, I also wouldn't go above 180 because it'll be too easy to fall back into your old habits!

I'm a big fan of slalom skis, and I would say that a one-off would be a better idea than a sandwich construction race board. Have a look at Atomic SL9's, if you have a chance. They are extremely versatile and solid on the edge for a slalom ski, and ski much heavier, making them ideal for cruising.

Whatever you get, with practice, you will enjoy.
post #22 of 22
RX8 in a 170 or 180.

Either will work. To some degree I think folks have a tendency to split hairs. In a 170 it has a 14 meter turning radius. It will not change appreciably in a 180. I would guess no more than 17 meters.

In either case it is a ski that has a great deal of energy and tenacious grip on hard snow.
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