or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Moving up in size

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi all

I got into skiing last year (just a couple of visits) and my intention is to ski at least 15-20 times this year. At the suggestion of the guy in the rental booth on my first day last year, I chose very small shaped skis. 120cm. My height is 5'9 and I weight 148 lbs.

I found these very easy to turn in and was parallel turning within a couple of hours and by my third day could comfortably handle many of the easier blue runs. However, When I tried changing up to a larger size (only 140), my ability dissapeared and I had to resort to snow plow turns on green slopes. I didn't dare try the blue runs. My enjoyment factor was far less with this.

I've been told that I should be skiiing 150-160cm and this will give me better stability. My questions are -

1. Should I try and progress in small steps or go straight up to my correct size and take a step backward in my skiing .I.E. get 160 skis and start again from scratch with learning.

2. I'm going to take lessons this year. Would it screw up my technique to take lessons on 160s and use shorter skiis in between lessons until my ability increases ?

I'm hoping to start skiing this Friday but the course I plan on taking doesn't start until January.

post #2 of 6
Why did you feel more comfortable on the small skis? It is not clear to me why a 140cm ski would be so much harder than 120cm (assuming similar radius and flex). This is a guess-- you are comfortable doing small, slow turns and the 140 brings too much speed to the equation so you snowplow to slow down.

My first thought is you probably need a lesson or two and the sooner the better. Don't wait for a course in Jan. if you are skiing now and you want to improve. My second thought is: how do your boots fit? Most beginners I know have trouble with ski control when their boots are not well fitted.

If you are renting, change ski size as needed as your ability increases. Don't buy skis yet-- buy boots first.

I am sure other bears have more sage advice.
post #3 of 6
Don't sweat the details. You need to move up to a longer ski, when the current ones no longer feel stable at the speeds that YOU have progressed to feel comfortable with. If your skill and speed requriements are met with a 120 cm ski, stay with it until you know that it is too short. It will eventually happen. YOU will know the ski is holding you back. Meanwhile, it does not make you any less of a skier to use a short ski if it feels good and does what you need.

Advise to get lessons will accellerate the learing curve, but don't feel obliged to buy a longer ski than your current skills or speed demand. I for one started on very long skis, and even though I have been skiing over 35 years, have been steadily progressing to shorter skis. Perhaps we will meet somewhere in the middle. Go with what works for you now, then re-evaluate next year. One thing is for certain, we don't buy skis for life!
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks both of you.
I don't plan on buying skis this season. I know a pair shouldn't last for life but I'd like to get at least 2-3 seasons out of them when I do buy. I've just bought my first pair of boots that I hope to use on Friday. Maybe the better fit will help somewhat.

Renting skis should allow me to change up in small increments as I feel confident throughout the season. However, I was worried that using very small skis may introduce bad technique. (Perhaps it's possible to turn using bad technique on small skis but not large ones ? )

I'm sure lessons will help me build correct technique but I didn't want to turn up to my first lesson on the wrong size. The reason I planned on waiting until January for a course is because that's when my local ski centre is running the course - It's a 12 week course (1 day a week).
post #5 of 6
It sounds to me like you were likely on railed skis which often lead people to think they are on too long a ski. You need to learn how to check for railed skis yourself and never get put out on a pair again.

Railed refers to the edge protuding further out than the base. Take the skis and squeeze the bases together with no snow or wax in between them and then slide the bases back and forth across each other. With railed skis you were here anything from the slightest tick, tick to a solid thump or in extreme cases the edges will catch on one another and stop the movement. The slight to loud sound in the metal edges hitting each other and indicates a problem. Mildly railed skis may be somewhat functional on some snow but still give lots of trouble on many snow conditions. You should squeeze the bases together at the shovel and rub, midway down the front and in front of the toe piece. The sound of edges hitting any one of those spots is a no go.

Find a shop that takes enough care of their gear that very few to none of their skis go out in that state. Many rental operations through bad tuning will have close to 100% of their skis in that state and you must avoid them.

Railed skis are the bain of new skier's existance and any amount of lessons will not change the fact your equipment is not working for you.

At your size with some more mileage on good skis a 160 and even towards a 170 in the appropriate ski with good tuning should not be a problem.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
If it helps, conditions weren't great the time I tried larger skis. It was a night skiing session and there were lots of icy patches. I did however, feel comfortable in these conditions on the shorter skis.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion