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Fischer race stock skis vs retail

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
How can you tell the difference between Fischer race stocks and normal retail race skis. Do they come marked or packaged differently? Do they have flex stickers or different cosmetics? I have a pair of 2004 Fischer RC4 WorldCup Giant Slalom. I was told that they were race stock skis, how can I tell for sure?

10 years ago the race stocks would be way stiffer than the retail skis, but in recent years race stocks have been near the same stiffness or even softer than the retail skis.
post #2 of 30
There are a few differences. Both are sandwich construction and have the frequency tuning stuff on the topsheet. The topsheet on the race stock has a flat profile, while that of the shelf model has a sort of arched profile to it. As well, the race stock plate is all black and seperate heel and toe, while the shelf plate is one piece and has a light grey stripe down the middle of it.
post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
So the off the shelf World Cup GS has an arched topsheet like the World Cup RC? I have never seen one of those. Your description sounds like the Fischer World Cup RC, which has the arched topsheet and the built in lifter with the grey stripe.
I'm trying to figure out the differences between the Fischer RC4 World Cup GS Race Stock and The Fischer RC4 World Cup GS like you could buy in a store.
post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 
For comparison

http://www.untracked.com/highlight-175190.html

http://www.untracked.com/highlight-175595.html

I'm interested in the Race stock and retail stock version of the Fischer RC4 World Cup GS.
post #5 of 30
To my knowledge, Fischer has a race stock and a shelf GS ski. The shelf is the RC and the race stock is the GS. If you have the GS, you have the race stock.
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by NordtheBarbarian
How can you tell the difference between Fischer race stocks and normal retail race skis. Do they come marked or packaged differently? Do they have flex stickers or different cosmetics? I have a pair of 2004 Fischer RC4 WorldCup Giant Slalom. I was told that they were race stock skis, how can I tell for sure?

10 years ago the race stocks would be way stiffer than the retail skis, but in recent years race stocks have been near the same stiffness or even softer than the retail skis.
What is likely causing the confusion is that the "race stock" ski is sold retail. If you have the ski with the all black two piece plate you have the race stock ski. If you have the "RC" with the one piece plate w/silver strip you have the non-FIS approved 17ish radius ski that is not "race stock."

Whether the Fischer skis given to sponsored racers are drastically different is another question. My understand is that the Fischer skis sold as "race stock" to the public are as close as you are going to get to a manufacter offering the actual race stock ski for retail sale. Perhaps someone else could speak to this... I would guess sponsered skiers will get to choose flex, etc...

If you have the ski listed in the top link you posted, you have the race stock ski. Whether it was purchased retail, or came for a sponsored skier who knows... but I don't know how much of a difference that would make with the Fischers.
post #7 of 30
Nord,

The Fischer's you are referring to are the "available at retail" racestock, not unlike your RS119's from Head (with the VIST plate). It would be similiar to the Elan GSX or Rossi WC RK CP, the race ski from Stockli, or the Noridca Dobermann GXR (one with the VIST plate). I was told that the Fischer's in particular, and those skis in general, are basically what the WC people were skiing 2 years ago. Some companies don't sell those skis at retail (Atomic) or only at special outlets (Salomon Lab) so it can get confusing. If it is the WC and not the RC, it is "race stock", at least as the term applies to commercially-available skis. I know the Head RD series is the same ski that the WC women were using last season, and the Elans are basically the same as the WC skis as well. Fischer makes and sells more of those skis than most companies, so they may have the opportunity to tweak the ski more to tailor the FIS racer whose points aren't under 50. I do know that they have more sidecut than many of the race stock products (still FIS legal), which may support that theory (the Fischer's have a 21m radius basically in all sizes, while the current Head product (i-GS RD) is something like 23.8cm in 180cm and 25.1m in 185cm, which is alot closer to what World Cuppers are skiing in terms of sidecut). The Elans don't have much shape as well-there is no way that is anything less than a 24m ski. It is said that WC'ers ski models with a 24-28m radius.

To sum it up, there are varying levels of race stock. In my experience, the Nordica, Elan, and Head are the closest to a real race stock GS (with big turn radius) that one can buy, and hence the slowest for me! Those skis don't come around very fast, and are serious skis. Fischer, Dynastar, Blizzard were a race-stock construction and base, as well as plate, but with a turn radius of 21m, and much easier in the course. The Volkl P60 GS was one step below those-still 21m ski and vertical sidewall, but softer and much less demanding. Of course, the Volkl's were the most fun to freeski! I guess it depends on what one needs-most skilled racers I know do well on the Fischer product, and one would have to be very, very fast to require more ski (prat least fast enough to be getting free skis).
post #8 of 30
Good info Dawgcatching. I notice in The NE masters series that Fischer is the most popular GS ski which would be explained by the points you make
post #9 of 30
Thread Starter 
Wow, the term race stock has gotten watered down. In my mind a Race stock ski is not the model sold in stores, but that's what how Fischer and volkl are now describing their retail skis.
Maybe the correct term is "World cup stock" or the "skis the sponsored racers get".
Race stock used to mean:
1) Skis with a different cores, construction or flex than the retail stuff. Like K2 or Rossi race skis with Wood cores. Rossis with Authier air cores etc. K2 with flex number stickers.
2) Race skis model that weren't ever in the Company Brochure or on their website. Like my Head RS119 with the wood and fiberglass lifter.
3) Dynastars with 4 digit serial numbers. Who knows whats going on inside those. Extra layers or totally different construction
4) Retail Cap ski cosmetics on a Vertical sidewall (sandwich) ski.
5) Next years retail race ski in this years graphics.
post #10 of 30
"Fischer, Dynastar, Blizzard were a race-stock construction and base, as well as plate, but with a turn radius of 21m"
can't speak for the others but D-star race stock(available to the public if ordered now for sept delivery) comply with FIS rules by having the topsheet marked with a <21m radius like most WC skis the sidecut radius is somewhere between 25-31 meters.
the catalog leaves the dimension blank or shows a group of numbers that would equal 21m if you used the FIS formula. these, however are wrong
the skis you get may or may not be the same as kjus or aamodt but having worked for "R" and "F" they are as close as a north american consumer is going to get
post #11 of 30
Thread Starter 
Waxman
How about my Omeglass 63 with the serial number in large gold letters behind the binding plate? Are these the same ones that the World cup guys get?

I have seen the Salomon World cup GS skis. It's a burly long (190 ish) skis with thick metal plates. I wouldn't want to ski on it, I'm not big enough.
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by NordtheBarbarian
Wow, the term race stock has gotten watered down. In my mind a Race stock ski is not the model sold in stores, but that's what how Fischer and volkl are now describing their retail skis.
Maybe the correct term is "World cup stock" or the "skis the sponsored racers get".
Race stock used to mean:
1) Skis with a different cores, construction or flex than the retail stuff. Like K2 or Rossi race skis with Wood cores. Rossis with Authier air cores etc. K2 with flex number stickers.
2) Race skis model that weren't ever in the Company Brochure or on their website. Like my Head RS119 with the wood and fiberglass lifter.
3) Dynastars with 4 digit serial numbers. Who knows whats going on inside those. Extra layers or totally different construction
4) Retail Cap ski cosmetics on a Vertical sidewall (sandwich) ski.
5) Next years retail race ski in this years graphics.
These are the same skis they would have given thier entry level sponsored skiers back in the day, except that now you can buy them. FIS racers will still get the same skis you can buy, except for free. Now, as always, more elite racers like nat'l team members have access to a higher level race stock. But everythingthing has remained the same except that the entry level race stock can be purchased.
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by D(C)
These are the same skis they would have given thier entry level sponsored skiers back in the day, except that now you can buy them. FIS racers will still get the same skis you can buy, except for free. Now, as always, more elite racers like nat'l team members have access to a higher level race stock. But everythingthing has remained the same except that the entry level race stock can be purchased.

That is also my understanding regarding Fischer skis. Sponsored skiers get the pick of skis matched for flex but Fischer's race room skis have traditionally been sold at retail. I would not be surprised if their very top Word Cup skiers like Mario Matt, Rainer Shoenfelder get more individualized treatment. Fischer has a small overall alpine market share in the USA but a lot of racers on their skis. This may help explain why.
post #14 of 30
A simple situation with my Fischers RC4 FT S-Gs (209 cm).
They are definitely racestock.
When have you last seen a SG or DH ski as a retail model?

A more useful piece of info:
Last year I was skiing on Fischer slaloms belonging to man Nr. 4 or 5 on the Fischer team.
Absolutely easy to ski on, a pleasure. Might also be due to the very thin (though still sharp) edges at the end of the season, he quit using it but the ski was left untouched by the servicemen.
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by checkracer
A more useful piece of info:
Last year I was skiing on Fischer slaloms belonging to man Nr. 4 or 5 on the Fischer team.
Absolutely easy to ski on, a pleasure. Might also be due to the very thin (though still sharp) edges at the end of the season, he quit using it but the ski was left untouched by the servicemen.
Why would thin edges make a ski easier or more of a pleasure, or did I misunderstand?

I had some Authier GS skis that had thin edges when new off the shelf. It was my understanding real race skis had thin edges because metal is slower than P-tex.
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by waxman
"Fischer, Dynastar, Blizzard were a race-stock construction and base, as well as plate, but with a turn radius of 21m"
can't speak for the others but D-star race stock(available to the public if ordered now for sept delivery) comply with FIS rules by having the topsheet marked with a <21m radius like most WC skis the sidecut radius is somewhere between 25-31 meters.
the catalog leaves the dimension blank or shows a group of numbers that would equal 21m if you used the FIS formula. these, however are wrong
the skis you get may or may not be the same as kjus or aamodt but having worked for "R" and "F" they are as close as a north american consumer is going to get
I was referring to the current "Course Comp" with a sidecut of 104/66/91, which has been Dynastar's race ski of the past (but now they have that true WC ski out that is a real race stock). It is my understanding that there is another ski that is the WC ski-the "Course Comp" I saw in Vegas was definitely a 21m ski with a consumer (blue) flex plate. The rep told me that this wasn't the raceroom model that the big boys are skiing, although that ski will have the same graphics, and a different plate. He told me that for 2006, there would be the Course (a 18m FIS illegal ski), the Course Comp (a 21m FIS legal ski, laminate with friendly plate) and a raceroom version with a totally different sidecut and alloy plate.

Also, I can add the new Stockli GS race ski to my list of "real" WC skis (it has a turn radius of 24.4m in 182cm). That is one serious ski!
post #17 of 30
@ dtraub1:
The edges mentioned were not standard narrow edges in race skis but the result of the season´s work on them and they were definitely at the end of all possibilities to sharpen them.
I suspect such a loss of edge material might diminish the ski´s stiffness because the edge contributes to it to some extent.
I don´t know if it really plays such a role as to tell/feel the difference (besides I hadn´t skied it as a new pair).

@ dawgcatching:
I also think that since Dynastar came with the "public" (sandwich) Course Comp it is a different ski than his real racestock/worldcup skis:
(i) in both 2003 and 2004 tests done by a German Active magazine (I wouldn´t normally take test results as a source but it´s practically the mag of the German Ski Federation, not a purely commercial rag, and the test leader is a fully respected expert) the ski was found not to be the best choice for gates and real racing
(ii) 1999 I was told at the Dynastar factory they produced just 300 pairs of "race department" skis as compared to 20,000 Rossis. I also know from the Czech Importer (a good friend of mine) that real racestock has always been hard to get since very, very limited.
It´s evident that two years ago the Dynastar policy changed - at least in offering the full sandwich to the public as the Course Comp.
But based on the facts stated above I´m sure there still is the very limited class of more (racestock) or less (worldcup) available skis.
The older Dynastar 64 Course I have (the same ski Schlopy broke 3 years ago) is nothing compared to the also-sandwich Course Comp offered as a retail GS now: extremely stiff, a very thick upper titanal, different sidecut, bigger radius, no plate, no mounting point.

Last but not least, I hate to write that (the Importer My Friend) but there seem to have been too many problem with Dynastars lately:
- Schlopy
- now in Bormio someone racing on a delaminated Dynastar
- a young Czech racer tore out the binding (should have been his fault, though - self-mounting as I heard)
- my above mentioned GS seem to be in a permanent counterflex position with the contact points not touching (sorry but I can´t describe it better nad I don´t know the English slang term for the phenomenon - btw typical for many Salomons)
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by NordtheBarbarian
Wow, the term race stock has gotten watered down. In my mind a Race stock ski is not the model sold in stores, but that's what how Fischer and volkl are now describing their retail skis. Maybe the correct term is "World cup stock" or the "skis the sponsored racers get".
Quote:
Originally Posted by D(C)
These are the same skis they would have given thier entry level sponsored skiers back in the day, except that now you can buy them. FIS racers will still get the same skis you can buy, except for free. Now, as always, more elite racers like nat'l team members have access to a higher level race stock. But everythingthing has remained the same except that the entry level race stock can be purchased.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostboy
That is also my understanding regarding Fischer skis. Sponsored skiers get the pick of skis matched for flex but Fischer's race room skis have traditionally been sold at retail. I would not be surprised if their very top Word Cup skiers like Mario Matt, Rainer Shoenfelder get more individualized treatment. Fischer has a small overall alpine market share in the USA but a lot of racers on their skis. This may help explain why.
My understanding on all of this was that the big boys get 6-10 pairs that have been maybe put together with a little more care than the standard stuff. They then get to rip for a few runs on each pair and then let the factory reps know what they like or don't like about them, usually picking a couple of pairs that seem "fast" for the next race. The factory rep then goes crazy trying to figure out how hanz and franz on the factory floor put together the "fast" ones, maybe they had a little pfeffer on the salamibroetchen that day or something. While computers and machines for testing flex profiles have probably improved the preselection process somewhat I'm guessing that this still goes on to some extent, not to mention the superstition/voodoo factor which factors in here somewhere.

The average club racer is not going to get that level of attention or the ability to pick and choose. So race stock is potentially the same, and yet not the same, as the skis we mere mortals get to buy at retail.

And many European ski makers like Fischer may be more worried about their domestic share (Oesterreich und Schweiz, not Colorado and Utah) since ordinary skiers over there actually watch races and buy skis based upon who is winning and what is hot. This is unlike the US where we have maybe two FIS world cup events in a good year (this year I think it was only one and one in Canada) and everyone is more interested in fresh and going out of bounds than watching a race. These guys on their national teams are like living gods over there, and most average Europeans act accordingly and prefer the groomed to boot.

That said, most of us do not have the reflexes and the conditioning to notice the micoseconds that make the difference for this type of skier (not to mention the superstition/voodoo factor).

See Checkracer's post from another thread generally on these topics:

Quote:
Originally Posted by checkracer
The latest Czech-based story from World Championships.
The SL-bronze medalist Sarka Zahrobska got a new GS ski a few days before the Champs. Though she could only once point in a WC GS before, now in St. Caterina she was 10th with the fastest 2nd run. They keep saying it was mostly the ski that made the difference.

As often, there were other factors involved: a rather flat course, her shape, good mood (already 5th in the combined, no great expectations in GS, etc.), nice weather, etc. There might be some marketing behind the mentions of a new "secret weapon" ski as well (though we discussed it privately as well and they wouldn´t play such tricks on me since they know I also have good friends at Head and don´t need to be biased that way).

Back to topic: the new ski didn´t make her a better GS-racer but it did improve her performance (besides/bacause of increasing her self-confidence).

The example from top ski-racing is only partially transferable but hopefully interesting enough.

Btw, the 183 cm ski has the current "liquidmetal" label but it seems to be still the old good GS RD with some less sidecut (bigger radius).
So regardless of how close the skis we get are actually close to race stock, for most of us they are probably close enough.

That said, this is a great post and I have learned a lot. I'm a lot more interested in the Fischers than I was previously, I'm going to have to give these a serious look.
post #19 of 30
Interestingly enough I was out googleing the names of some of the more common race skis (using number designations) this morning and after about 3 to 4 US websites, most of the hits I was getting were in languages like German, Norwegian, Danish, Slovenian, etc. Try it, you'll see.

As a follow up to my previous post, it looks to me like there is a fairly active market for adult skis of this type over in Europe, as opposed to the US. Maybe Checkracer can confirm this. I notice on Ebay that many of the race skis available in the US are junior, and then it looks like things drop off in the older catagory.

I am wondering why most US skiers are not interested in skis of this type? Does this have something to do with the European preference for groomed everything? Any thoughts here?

A straight race stock ski is not always the most flexible thing on the mountain, but they are always fun to have, especially if you want to play around with a few gates or really zip a few runs.

Also, at the risk of repeating my post in another thread, does anyone here have a good site where the FIS equipment rules are readily available?

Thanks,

Kaj
post #20 of 30
I forgot to add that Atomic advertises all of their US GS:11's as their

"original World Cup ski designed to go from 0 to 60 faster than you can say, "Giant Slalom."..."

Are these actually "orginal" or is someone pulling another fast one here?

Thanks,

Kaj
post #21 of 30
QUOTE=viking kaj]I forgot to add that Atomic advertises all of their US GS:11's as their

"original World Cup ski designed to go from 0 to 60 faster than you can say, "Giant Slalom."..."

Are these actually "orginal" or is someone pulling another fast one here?

Thanks,

Kaj[/quote]


I don't see how they can be. An interview was posted somewhere of a WC tech guy (I believe that was his position-it was noted that he was a very strong skier) who skied Hermann's GS Atomics, and said he could barely turn them to get down the hill: they were incredibly stiff, with a turn radius of 28m. I know that Daron's GS skis are supposedly of 26m radius. If this is true, then it would eliminate the standard (19-21m) retail Atomics, as well as any other 21m race ski (which is most everything commercially available, save for the 2006 Stockli, Head i-GS RD, and a couple of others I may be forgetting) from being classified as true WC stock skis.
post #22 of 30
"Last but not least, I hate to write that (the Importer My Friend) but there seem to have been too many problem with Dynastars lately:
- Schlopy
- now in Bormio someone racing on a delaminated Dynastar
- a young Czech racer tore out the binding (should have been his fault, though - self-mounting as I heard)"

i once watched a race where an athlete landed a huge air in a DH by doing the tail to tip ski slap the ski(atomic or blizzard) promptly delaminated and the commentator said someting along the lines of "someones technician is going to get in trouble for that..."

skis break, period. usually by weird crashes and stuff but in tech events especially the life expectancy of race skis is maybe two weeks on snow, maybe. i guess from your posts that you are kind of connected in europe so maybe you could really find out what happens but having seen the piles of broken skis from all the suppliers to US and Canada i would say the breakage is pretty even across the board.
post #23 of 30
I lived over in Europe for 8 years in my 20's so I got to ski a lot of stuff over there and also hang with a few Europeans. It is really a buzz to watch a WC event in Europe (in more ways than one, since you can usually get high off the Stroh rum fumes coming off of the race fan next to you).

Breakage is fairly common but it's my understanding that this happens more on practice runs than in WC events. It's one of the reasons the factory truck with all the mechanics follows the skiers around from event to event.
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching
I don't see how they can be. An interview was posted somewhere of a WC tech guy (I believe that was his position-it was noted that he was a very strong skier) who skied Hermann's GS Atomics, and said he could barely turn them to get down the hill: they were incredibly stiff, with a turn radius of 28m. I know that Daron's GS skis are supposedly of 26m radius. If this is true, then it would eliminate the standard (19-21m) retail Atomics, as well as any other 21m race ski (which is most everything commercially available, save for the 2006 Stockli, Head i-GS RD, and a couple of others I may be forgetting) from being classified as true WC stock skis.
The turning radius greater than 21m makes sense if you look at how the WC racers are turning the skis. They are actually doing modified jump turns at speed to move through the gates with a fairly wide stance. They aren't really carving, they are setting edges against flat runs. Their legs are strong enough to do this, and they want the straight run and the stiffness in the ski to carry speed through the course. The wide stance actually gives them greater stability and the ability to change edges more quickly (you see football or basketball players doing this as well, a low stance allowing the thigh muscles to power you into a different direction quickly). Most ski instructors would not call this great technique in an ordinary student since it is powering through the turns rather than making the ski work for you, but it is what gets them down the hill fastest.

I notice the Rossi 9X's also have a 21m radius, do you have any experience with these?
post #25 of 30
Europe has a different "skiing philosophy" with much less backcountry und much more stress on skiing on groomers.
Alpine skiing ranks among the most popular activities for people in the countries with the most important markets. It literally belongs to the lifestyle there.
The status of alpine racing is fairly high influencing the importance of race gear.
Italy, for example, is racing-obsessed and there always has to be the GS category in ski tests. Not the pseudo-GS like in other countries but real racestock with race bindings - not the demo-thing used generally.
OTOH, the FIS-legal GS ski has a small market even in Europe. That´s for sure why the skis disappear from the catalogs and are available just for experts who know where to get them.
The GS skis with radius slightly over 21 meters are nothing less sexy than the real WC beasts in lengths around 190 cm.
I´m sure there are young racers on the FIS and maybe even Europe Cup levels making use of models with smaller radius than the 25-28 m the WCers use and also of lengths 180-185 cm.
(In an interview for the German SkiMagazin the German head coach said so. He had no reason not to tell the truth. Besides, it´s logical.)

The broken/damaged skis:
I don´t think it´s so common. How many WC racers you have seen destroying their skis during a race? A few years back I did WC coverage for a newspaper and I have seen (on TV) all races of that season. I don´t remember any such case.
I spend a lot of time on glaciers in the spring, summer and fall. Again, I don´t remember having seen any racers damaging or breaking their skis when training.
The slow disintegration/delamination in SL skis is something different than a sudden breakage.

The Atomic rhetoric:
"The thoroughbred of World Cup GS competition" describes the retail GS:11m with 17.5-19.5 m radius (I have quotted this in some thread already).
post #26 of 30
"I spend a lot of time on glaciers in the spring, summer and fall. Again, I don´t remember having seen any racers damaging or breaking their skis when training."
thats probably because unless it's catastrophic most racers/coaches won't notice anything until the tech tells them. after summer camps in chile/whistler/farnham the pile of broken skis would make you cry(all disciplines)
post #27 of 30
Yes, possible. I just meant the spectacular breaks like those mentioned above. I don´t study the skis in ski rooms and I know no statistics. It´s just what I can see around. Might be deceiving.
post #28 of 30
Yes, I would echo Checkracer's comment that broken skis do not happen all that often in races. It was my understanding that this happens more during practice when racers are really trying to push the curve. Most racers tend to emphasize control in real races, going fast enough to win but not to break equipment or wipeout (DNF/DSQ is to be avoided at all costs). In order to figure out the limit they push things in practice, hence more broken equipment.

Anybody have any info on those Rossi 9x's? There is a pair on eBay that supposedly belonged to a member of the US Ski team, so if you wanted to get real race stock, this could be the pair. Of course, as others have noted, racer's equipment tends to get used hard, so maybe you would want to check things like this closely before buying.
post #29 of 30
If you want racestock GS they are rock bottom cheap on Austrian or German ebay. They often go for 200 Euros new. A used 195 of Hans Knauss was sold for 155 Euros only. But no clue about the condition it was in.

I can only recall broken skis rarely in races. sometimes after people have crashed into the safety nets. I believe I can remember HM skiing down on a broke pair of DH last year.
What happens too is that they catch a stone with the edge. Like Michael Walchhofer did at the W. Champs. Though this is not spectacular.
post #30 of 30
Real Quick about the Fischers,

Green Sidewall = non-race stock retail
White Sidewall = "retail race stock"

easiest way to tell, but also the 'hump' in the middle of the ski.
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