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Old School upgrade. Recommendations please.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm an advanced skier currently looking for a new set of skiis, and don't really have the time to demo lots of things.

I used to race in school (over ten years ago) and have since married and got my wife into skiing. We'll get out 2-3 times/year. I weigh about 150 and my last set of skiis that I owned (I've been renting/demoing since) before the broke down were the Volkl Zebra Super (190) - and YES thats almost 15 years old now. heh

I generally am found on the hardpack with my wife but like to go off and do my own thing on some more challenging terrain.

In general I like to turn very fast on steep choopy or groomed terrain - flying from turn to turn. I say Old School in the subject because I tend to use a very hard edge and generate lots of snap with my own work.

When my skis first blew out I rented once and tried the standard intermediate excessively shaped ski. I found it very easy to flip from turn to turn on a moderate slope, but when i sped up or tried some something with more grade I found myself being wipped ourround (almost ALL the way around!) with liitle control

I'm looking for a ski that will allow me to still do some of the work and thus controlling - and handle the fast, steep very quick turns. I simply don't know how the current gauges relate to my needs - i.e. turn radius, tail/mid/head cut width, height, flex, weight etc.

I've been looking at skis with large turn radii (to get rid of some of the snappiness) but I'm not sure if this is the answer. Could a lighter softer ski help? What about toe width or tail stiffness?


Any direction would be appreciated
post #2 of 12
at 2 to 3 times a year i would just demo/rent a good pair from a decent shop either in home town or at the mountain you ski at...the price of a good ski and bindings will be what you spend on a daily demo for quite a few years"approx 30$ for demos" so thats a hundred a year a good set up will run at least 600-900 bucks...well thats my 2 cents
or ski 50 to 60 days a year and buy"i do it"
post #3 of 12
If you are happy to stay on hard snow, get a pair of short skis with a radius less than 15 meters, and learn to work them.

post #4 of 12
I would not go higher than 17 in terms of radius, and closer to 15 would be better. Modern slalom race skis have a waist around 65 so anything in the 68-65 range would provide you slalom like performance. I would go for something like the Atomic SL:9, Fischer SC slalom (non race stock) or the Volkl supersport 6 start. If you want to make quick turns keep the length under 170.

Also, you mentioned going softer with your skis... if you are aggressive (as you say you are) and want great edge hold on hard snow, a softer ski will not provide that.
post #5 of 12
Demo some Atomic SX:11s.
post #6 of 12
Another way to go is with a "skicross" type ski like the Atomic SX's, Dynastar Skicrosses or the Volkl 5-Star/6-Stars (68-72 mm midfoot). The turn radius will be a few meters larger, but it will make the ski feel less snappy/high-strung relative to slalom skis and make it a bit more versatile in different terrain and conditions.

The larger the midfoot, the better flotation in powder you would expect. Midfats (72-76 mm approx.) are really popular these days, in part because they are more forgiving when tipping a ski on edge. However, they will not be as quick edge to edge (which you might want on steep, icy or choppy terrain).

You didn't mention your height, but you are a "lightweight" like me so I'd suggest finding the top-level ski in a brand you found you liked by demoing and then take a serious look at a level or two "down". Examples: Volkl Superspeed (top-level), 5 Star or 6 Star (your demo choice). Dynastar Skicross Pro (top-level), Skicross 9 or 10 (your demo choice).

I bought a pair of Dynastar Skicross 9 this year and I am extremely happy. They are suprising stable at speed and hardpack. I also prefer steep, relatively flat terrain and enjoy carving turns at high speeds. True to reputation, they are also quick edge to edge and quite versatile. I suggest you take a look at the Skicross 9 or 10.

Demo, demo, demo before buying something. I agree with the advice not to buy new skis. It isn't worth buying skis if you are going to get less than 10 days a season. It will be cheaper and easier to rent/demo skis when you need them, plus you get to demo the latest gear every year.
post #7 of 12
demo,demo and demo more...
post #8 of 12
Originally Posted by hrstrat57
demo,demo and demo more...
You won't like a real short radius ski until you ski it a few days. If I demo-ed skis I'd still be on a 200 cm Dynastar G9. Get a sort slalom ski and learn to work it.

post #9 of 12
Lots of variables here and you don't share much regarding to where and how often you will be skiing.

Where? Any recommendation for a western powder type ski is outa my ken and I would NOT make a recommendation. But if you live or vacation out west that is a major consideration. "Back East" where we have lots of hard pack and ice and narrow trails ..... go short and get a ski with lots of guts, something that will do well on the icy steeps, straight sidewall (not a cap), perhaps a slightly longer SL type (I'm 170 and ski my SL's from 156 to 168). Will those be great skis for Colorado .... nope .... so pay careful attention to conditions where you will be spending your time.

TAKE a lesson .... yep ... the money will be well spent on a private! Get an old guy who understands the issues regarding ditching and transitioning from rotary and can teach you to roll an ankle.

The above is primiraily a noise attenuation/noise abatement issue. The sound of those wider tips clashing drives me nuts!
post #10 of 12
I would recommend the Atomic GS 9 in 180cm. Your background and skier style would seem to match perfectly with this ski. Any size turn, any conditions (not powder), very light, sticky edgehold. Anywhere outside the course, I'd take the GS 9 over the GS 11, which is great but much less versatile.

Best part - can be demo'd almost anywhere...
post #11 of 12
it8nteasy, welcome to EpicSki! You might want to check some other threads here, since similar questions have been asked by others fairly recently.

That said, may I second the suggestion that you continue to demo until you think you'll break over the "break even" for the number of days (somewhere around 20-30 per season, I think)? That way, you can try lots of different skis until you find your favorite.

I would be willing to bet that you'd like the Volkl EXP in a 168 a lot.

You may also find the Fischer RX8 in a 160, the Elan S12 in a 160, and the Nordica SpeedMachine 14 in a 160 interesting for what you seek. Get out and play with them, then let us know what you like and perhaps we can help you pick out some others to try.

Most of all, ENJOY!
post #12 of 12
I'm in a fairly similar situation, but with a less racing and a lot of what used to be called "hot-dogging" - now "freeskiing", I guess. (Please don't anyone tell me "hot-dogging" meant organized freestyle skiing - it didn't.)
I'm on Atomic SX:9 SuperCross. I was going to get r:11's but figured the sx9 would be more fun when I was skiing with my wife.
I find the SX9 fast and very 'live' - and a lot of fun. Someone here called them smile machines, and I agree.

Still, having just returned to skiing I'm anxious to demo skis and learn about what's out there.
I'm still trying to figure this all out...
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