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Help with Atomic SX-11

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

After a long year of demoing new skis this summer I Finally bought a pair of Atomic SX-11's. The problem is, I can't ski them! i have been skiing for 15 years+ and consider myself a pretty good skier. I like hitting light bumps, as long as there not to hard nor close together, I love making great big fast turns, and really like to make lots of fast choppy turns down the fall line. Well I am having a hard time controling these skis, I have not fell so much in my life as I did in the two days I skied these skies. Any thoughts. I dont want to just get rid of them on ebay but I m a little freaked out. I notice that I have had a hard time finding my center of gravity, felt like I was far back in my skis, and kept crossing the fronts. I havent skied like that in 5-7 years. Whats the deal? Do I give up on them for a little less of a ski or can I grow into them?
post #2 of 25
How did they feel when you demoed them?

What ski were you on before them?

What length are the skis, how tall are you, and how much do you weigh?

We need specifics.
post #3 of 25
Where are you from. You may need to have the shop check them. Every now and then a ski may get by the final inspection and tune from the factory.
post #4 of 25
Give us more specifics, height, weight, age, ability, skiing style, skiing history (racer/instructor/recreational), the previous pair of skis you owned, as well as how many days you ski in a season (on average). The SX:11 is a lot of ski. If youre not using modern, or close to modern technique the ski is not going to be easy or fun to ski on. They are essentially a wider version of the Atomic GS:11, which is by no means an easy ski to ride. You may have jumped in over your head, or you may not be using modern technique. Sometimes the glamor product at the top of the market isnt the best choice. Anyhow, give us more info on yourself and we will make some recommendations.
post #5 of 25
Maybe your boots don't hold the skis flat to the snow? You need your alignment checked too.
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 

More Info Provided

Ok, I m 29 years old (been skiing since I was 10) I am 5’10” tall 180 lbs. This is the first set of skis I have purchased in about 10 years. I only got out a few times a year for the last 5-6 years (as I was in law school and college) during highschool I skied once a week and was damn good even witho out the new shape skies. Last year I got out about 12 times (I love Jay peak Vermont). I demo'ed a lot of different skis (the sx9 R10 solomon screem and bandits and the six stars) and skied a day on the SX9 loved it but felt something was missing (a little to slow but great turning ski). So I took out the R10’s loved them and then the SX11 for a run or two but only on the groomers and felt that it was such a fast ski on the groomers but never took them into the heavy stuff like we had this weekend at Sunday river.

So during the summer I got a great deal on the SX-11 with the 6 series atomic bindings and went out and bought a pair of Dolomite boots (the 5 buckle ones) sinisui 6.5’s. got them all fitted and went out for the first time this weekend. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with the equipment b/c I switched skies with a friend on the slopes and he made them dance. I am afraid to say I think it is me!

So the long and short is after skiing most of my life I am afraid that the ski is too much for me. What is the solution, can I grow into them. Can I use this ski as an all mountian ski to tkae in the bumps and have it as a ski that will make me a better skier or are the just ment to be pointed down the mountain and go fast and straight.

I want a ski that I can go fast, when I want to, that I can take in the bumps (as long as there not too close together, and be able to make lots of turns both quick ones and long sweeping turns. I like to go fast but at the end of the day (like 2:00) when my quads are burning I want to ski at a reasonable speed on a long black diamond or maybe even a blue with good snow (with my girlfriend). Most of my skiing is on black diamond I really like to challenge myself on a double black (I do about 20-30% of my day there and fell I look pretty good while there but get tired). I am not afraid of steep and even prefer it. Too much powder is hard to ski. I want to make tight turns and look good and have the skis that don’t make me work super hard to do it. I though the SX-11’s were the ski, are they? Or is it just going to take some getting use to? May be a lesion?

Need any more info let m,e know?
post #7 of 25
What length are they and how much did you pay for them?
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 


They are 170's I got my ski's (retail 900) boots (retail 500) bindings (retail not sure) anf a gary fisher tessahara bike for 1000. good deal? I think I ended up paying about 600 for the ski's and bindings when it all works out.
post #9 of 25
By giving your pal a ride, you've established that the SX-11's were not broken.

Did you try your new boots on any another pair of skis?
post #10 of 25
170's could be a touch short for you in that ski, but it's in the ballpark.

What I've learned about mine:

* They love to go fast. I really haven't found (or had the guts to find) the top end.

* They carve as well as anyting I've stood on

* They absolutely positively do not like to skid. As a matter of a fact, if you don't ski these with a "modern" technique, they ski like crap. That's good tho'...

* They don't do moguls too well.

* If you go fast enough, they are a blast in the crud and powder.

* Medium radius to large turn. You gotta work really hard if you try and ski them like a SL ski.

* Did I mention they like to go fast? My wife made me buy a helmet after she saw me on these skis. No kidding.

post #11 of 25
I will echo the statements above. The technique could be a huge thing. If you havent skied shaped skis until recently and havent logged a lot of days in the past few seasons you have missed out on a lot that has happened in the ski community as far as technique and teaching methods are concerned. There is no reason that you cannot grow into the skis, but you will probably have to take a few lessons and update your technique. It will probably take a lot of back tracking (starting from scratch), but in the end it will be worth it. A skier who was very good 10 years ago may find that they are missing a few key elements to their skiing now. You might want to post a similar question to this in the instruction thread and see what help can be offered. Unfortunately there is no real help anyone here can offer you without seeing you ski first. We can speculate, but ideally you should seek a private lesson with a good instructor - if skiing is something that you would like to improve at and be more involved in.


post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 

short turns

What about making turns in an area say 10-15 feet wide with scatters moguls that is my favorite If I could ski that all day id be in heaven.

Also, what does everyone mean by modern technique?
post #13 of 25
I would say that 170 is probably the right length for you but you have bought the wrong ski for short turns down the steeps. What skitoolong said about the sx11s is right on the money - they are made for medium to long carved turns at warp speeds. They are excellent at this and deal with firmpack, ice, crud or shallow powder very well (I haven't mastered them in deep powder yet but from my experience with these skis, that probably just means that I'm not going fast enough in the deep stuff).

As you haven't had a lot of experience yet on the new-style skis, I'd suggest not changing over your skis yet. If you get a couple of lessons and try your sx11s firstly at what they're designed for, I think you may like them. If not, I'm sure you won't regret the experience. In contrast to some other comments, I don't think that the sx11s are that hard to ride - as long as you ride them fast and trust your equipment.

In summary, go get a lesson, point yourself down a big steep groomer and scare yourself!


post #14 of 25
Bingo - found your problem. Mordern technique is (in a nutshell) the idea of keeping your feet about shoulder width apart (we'll use that for practical purposes for now), and putting your skis on edge so that you ride the sidecut/edge through the turn to complete an arc. At the finish of the turn your tracks should look like rail road tracks. This also adapts into skiing off-piste and adds all sorts of tough things like rotary movements and such... but that isnt something that we want to start in the gear section. Do a search, or post another topic in the instruction forum. There are much better people there to describe this to you than myself.

That being said, the skis you have are not going to ski well at all if youre using old technique where you lock your knees and feet together and make windsheild wiper turns down - like you said - a section of trail that is about 15 feet wide. They are simply meant to be skied on edge in a true carve - not a skid.


post #15 of 25
Did you try different settings on the Atomic bindings? If you feel you are too far back, you can move the boot center forward. That will also give you a quicker carve, though it may turn so quick you might have trouble with it.

The SX-11 is definitely not mogul friendly compared to other skis. It's a racehorse. Like most race skis, they feel best driven hard, pressing forward. To me, they are not as versatile as other skis, but they do fly.
post #16 of 25
Stay with the 170cm, take a few lessons, these are demanding skis. What everybody say's above is what I found when I spend a day on them when they first came out. Remember all those Skier Cross type skis are not all mountain skis and all mountain skis are not carving skis. You can make any ski do anything. You just can't keep doing it all the time.
post #17 of 25
Originally Posted by martinojon
I skied once a week and was damn good even witho out the new shape skies.

Too much powder is hard to ski. I want to make tight turns and look good and have the skis that don’t make me work super hard to do it.
Welcome Martinojon. Like people have already pointed out, your problem is almost certainly that you are still using a traditional skiing technique which you got quite comfortable with when you were younger. The de-facto skiing method on the straight skis you grew up with was to use unweighting and strong rotary forces to bring the skis around. Things have changed since then, but you will never go back once you get back up to speed with technology.

If nothing else, go get the book "Breakthrough on the New Skis" by Lito Tejada-Flores.

I bolded your quote about powder skiing becuase it presents a pretty big clue. In deep powder snow, attempting to force your skis around by rotation will usually result in tripping and falling. The wall of snow will resist the rotation.

New modern techniques, which shaped skis work well with, are focused on tipping the skis on to their edges and using the skis naturally bending to carve turns. There is still some skidding at times, but rotation is not the primary turn movement.

I am going to go against the grain a bit and recommend selling your SX-11s if you can get a good deal on them. While you could learn the new techniques on them, they aren't going to give you a ton of help. Going with a more forgiving ski for one or two seasons will let you learn faster, and probably not hinder your top end skiing much right now. Additionaly, I don't think this ski quite meets the profile you are looking for. As a plus, you can probably save some cash on less aggressive skis, use it on a few lessons to pick up the new approaches, and at the end of this season be skiing better than you ever thought you could.

I repeat, if nothing else, go get the book "Breakthrough on the New Skis."
post #18 of 25
Originally Posted by martinojon
What about making turns in an area say 10-15 feet wide with scatters moguls that is my favorite If I could ski that all day id be in heaven.

Also, what does everyone mean by modern technique?
For this, it's the wrong ski. Absolutely, positively, no doubt about it. Don't waste your time - it's like trying to fit a square block in a round hole.
post #19 of 25
It sounds like too much ski for you at this time. I suggest that you try to exchange them for something more versatile, like the R10, since you already know they work for you. It will make things much easier and you will have more fun.
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Wow I got a lot of good advice I especally like wht helavaskier said I think he is on the money. I am really reluctant to sell my sx-11's I think I want to get another day on them. I saw my friend skiing them and he made them dance. But he is alot better of a skier then I. Out and out, is the sx-11 a good all mountain ski to do a little of everything? Say 20-30 % light moguls 40-70 % cruses and 20% blue box show off time?
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 


What about the three setting on the front of my bindings? will they help me make sharper turns if I chnge there settings
post #22 of 25
Originally Posted by martinojon
Out and out, is the sx-11 a good all mountain ski to do a little of everything? Say 20-30 % light moguls 40-70 % cruses and 20% blue box show off time?
I'll buy that. They really are a great ski, just not that 15' wide - slot - mogul - nirvana!

Learn to ski them, and you'll be grinnin' ear to ear in no time.
post #23 of 25
Like mentioned previously the sx11 doesn't like to skid , they are a hook up and hang on ski (feel like they're on rails , and the faster the better they handle). You probably would have been better off with the sx9 for now , if your looking for an all mountain ski consider the m10 or m11. As for technique the sx11 can punish you for little things , stay out of the back seat and ski flat footed on groomers till you get a feel for them . As for powder I've used them in deep stuff and they can be a bit of a handfull , definately the faster the better in powder.
post #24 of 25
The SX11 is a great ski for hard-chargers on groomers or the race course. It is not meant for moguls, and I would not recommend it for anyone who talkes more than a (very) occasional mogul run. It does ok in soft snow, but not deeper powder.

Many skiers prefer to ski the SX11 with the Atomic bindings set forward one notch or even two (if you have that model). I like them centered myself.
post #25 of 25

Can anyone identify the year this SX:11 was made?




Also, short of examining the underside of the heel lever (as per this recall post) anyone have an informed opinion as to whether the SX 310 bindings on these skis are likely to have been manufactured between 1998-2002?

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