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Lisa & all Bearettes Please! Luv v. Exclusive v. Unisex skis

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My gf and I have been following most of Lisa's recent posts with interest - (we've been on the search for skis for her too, unfortunately without the luxury of er, snow....)
There was a demo this weekend in our eastern area but was cancelled due to - I don't even want to type it out...

The last couple years' wave of women specific skis have left us with a a few q's.
All the marketing emphasizes lightness+forward binding mount=ease of turn initiation and winter joy.
-How much lighter and softer than unisex skis are the w spec skis that you've been on? A good thing?
-Forward binding mounts make a difference?
-Are you skiing your w spec skis shorter or longer than you would unisex skis?
- Lisa, in one of your threads, you mentioned that the Vertex turned more easily on ice than the One Luv - is the Vertex heavier? Is your binding mounted forward on the Volant?
-Finally, we'd love to hear any experiences with the raised binding interfaces on Dynastar's Exclusive series. And the Exclusive series in general for intermediate skiers.

Valerie's skiing isn't at your level yet, Lisa - she'd be a cautious but solid intermediate - and this year she'll be getting a good dose of eastern skiing (read: ice) plus some time at Tahoe, this compared to the relatively softer snow she's been on in Utah and France. We're looking at getting her first pair of skis(!) - the ones we're hoping to demo are k2 1st Luv/true luv & omni 2.5/3.5, dynastar Exclusive 8/9, and atomic b7/b9. she's 120, so we're thinking 150 cm range.

Thanks for any input!
post #2 of 14
Hey Tiger! I actually said that the Volants were easier on bumps than the Burnin' Luvs, but the Luvs were infinitely better in crud. That being said, while we don't get that much ice out here to experiment with, but when I lived back east, I did find the Volants to be an excellent ice ski. Be warned: The Volant is a heavy ski to carry, heavier than Mark's longer skis!

The Burnin' Luv has a stiffer tail, so you need to be careful if she has a tendency to be in the backseat. That could be why they were challenging in bumps. But on the other hand, the day I tried them my instructor was putting me on more challenging bumps than I had ever been on, so that could have been the issue.

I'm ashamed to say that I have never been on a Unisex ski, so I'm not sure if I can compare the difference between lightness and foward mount.
I think that the True Luv may be too conservative for her. Try the One Luv. If she gets a ski that is too low end, she will out ski them too quickly. 150cm sounds good.

I'll give a report on the Exclusive Legend this weekend.
Good Luck! She's lucky to have a boyfriend like you!
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks LM!

We'll look for your reviews of the Legend -- we'll be eager to hear if the raised heelpiece interferes, or if it's even on there --

btw -
"She's lucky to have a boyfriend like you!" - well, we'd sincerely be lucky if my snowdances would work. Of course, the average non-snow person around here mistakes this dance for uncontrollable cursing and fist waving at the sky, but what do they know?
post #4 of 14
Originally Posted by Tigerpaw
snip--- we'd sincerely be lucky if my snowdances would work.
Oh! So you're to blame eh? will you please stop dancing !
post #5 of 14
It is a falacy, weigh a (new) Volant and compare it it a Dynastar or K2, they are going to be (w/in 4 oz.'s) about the same, if not lighter. The new Volants are lighter than the old ones, but everyone thinks because they are steel, that they will be heavier. not the case.
post #6 of 14
I've always owned a unisex ski...until this year. I just bought a pair of the K2 Phat Luvs for powder skiing and alpine touring. My next pair of skis for all-mountain will most likely be a K2 Spire.

I am an expert skier, been skiing for 36 years. I started demoing women's-specific skis over the last 2 seasons because women I ski with were making the switch and I wanted to see why they were so excited. I can't comment on any of the models you refer to, but I can make some generalizations that might help. I like that a woman's ski is lighter, so it takes less muscle to work it. It's not that I CAN'T ski a stiffer, heavier ski--heck, I've been doing that all my life--it's just that it's nice not to HAVE to do that, and yet still get excellent performance. I demoed at Jackson Hole, Telluride, Alta and Brighton--on some super steeps, in nice deep powder, in spring crud, even on some old-snow dicey stuff--and the women's skis were completely able to handle the terrain and conditions. So, to men who think women's skis are for wimpy skiers, I disagree...

My women's ski is the same length as my unisex ski. I skied a shorter length and I overpowered it. But some of the women I know (most are patrollers) have chosen a shorter length than they had in their unisex ski. It really depends on the ski, the skier's style and personal preference. Your girlfriend should demo the same ski in a couple lengths so she can decide the length issue. Then compare the length she likes in each model against the other models.

Good luck!

post #7 of 14
I have the Atomic C9W and the R10W and love both of them. I am 5'8, 140 and ski 150's. Check out the Atomic website for the WINGS seminars which are free demo days for Atomic's women products. Atomic provides an instructor and plenty of their women skis and boots.
post #8 of 14
I love my Volant Vertex (epics). They dont feel or ski heavy at all. Also, I had my bindings moved even more forward (1.5-2cm) than the manufacturer's recommended mark last year and it made a huge difference. Huge.
post #9 of 14
Originally Posted by Tigerpaw
The last couple years' wave of women specific skis have left us with a a few q's.
All the marketing emphasizes lightness+forward binding mount=ease of turn initiation and winter joy.

-Forward binding mounts make a difference?
Not a bearette, but I do have a wife who's an avid skier. She has always skied on unisex skis, and in the last few years has usually chosen the same slalom race ski I'm on (yea, she skis pretty well ;-) ). BUT I always mount the bindings forward for her. It does make a big difference, one that was clearly demonstrated when we got rentals in a ski emergency one year. The rentals as they came out of the shop "sucked" according to her (even though they were good skis) she was ready to quit for the day, I checked the bindings and found that I could recenter them, (not something you can do on all rentals) and moved them forward about 1/2 inch. The rest of the day was great. Same ski, different position = better performance for her.

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input -
Really confirms our hopes that we might be able dial her in this year. She blades very well, but she always feels like she's fighting her skis... but those were unisex center mount rentals.

We'll definitely be trying some out for her as soon as we can, if not this week, then the next when we'll try to grab a day early next week coming back from a family trip to Boston. Hopefully we'll grab a demo for her then, or find a demo day to try some out.

skier31, saw that tip on the wings - There's actually a wings seminar this wednesday at Huntah, we'll see if we can play hookey and get up there for that - sounds like a fantastic all day seminar for her, and free!

Anyone been on Dynastars Exclusive line?
post #11 of 14
Tried the Exclusives today. http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=21279

I definitelly did feel as if I was much less in the backseat than usual. Not sure if it's the skis, or if I'm finally learning how to stay foward. The best advice I got about the Legends was from the woman at the shop. Don't be afraid to let them run. They won't take off on you.

I have found that ski companies exagerrate the level that a specific ski is appropriate for. The two skis I've demoed this yerar, Burnin' Luv and Exclusive legend are for "All Mountain Experts." Hardly how I would describe myself!
post #12 of 14
Hey Lisamarie - a lot of the "learning to stay forward" symptoms you describe sound to me like you need to get yourself into a Jeannie Thoren clinic. She'll do wonders for your setup, and you'll never have to think about getting forward again. I'm shot out of a cannon now that my gear is all adjusted properly for my size and shape. She makes her mods to your equipment and then takes them away so you can really feel the difference between before and after. Plus Jeannie has tons of brands to demo all day for 2 days straight.
post #13 of 14
I've always been interested in what she does, but she never seems to hold clinics at a convenient place. I'll check her website, though, thanks!

This is a fun thread! It's usually guys who dominate the gear talk. Tigerpaw, have Valerie become a member and talk with us!
post #14 of 14
It was the best thing I ever did. I already had all new gear, but was not convinced it was the right gear (it was). Nothing felt "right". After she was done with me, my boots fit, I stay forward without thinking about it, and my skis no longer noodle around.
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