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Skis for 12 y.o. daughter

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
This question is aimed at instructors who have experience teaching young girls or parents who have lived through it. My 12 y.o. daughter is in need of new skis. She has skied for three years and has improved greatly. She is tentatively skiing single Black groomers and has really no trouble handling ice. Because, like many Easterners, she skids a bit more than she should (we are working on her carving) she actually has more trouble with crud/soft snow than with typical Eastern hardpack (which she loves). She is now picking up her speed and her skis are holding her back because they lack stability when things pick up a little. She is a big girl (5'5" and about 150lbs). Three years ago she started on 130cm K2 T9 Spire Juniors and did well. There was significant, almost immediate, improvement when we upgraded to her current skis-Dynastar Exclusive 8, 142cm. I know they are on the short side given her body size, but at the time I didn't want to make too much of a jump in length and discourage her. So far things are going well, but she definitely now needs both a longer and higher performing ski.

My real question is: should I buy a mid-level ski (Fischer RX4/6, Volkl 4*, Elan S8/10, Dynastar Exclusive 9 etc.) and expect to replace in 1 to 2 years? Or given her body size and apparent rapid improvements (she is noticably better almost every time we go out) should I skip the mid-level and just go for a top end ski now and let her grow into it? Obviously, I would avoid a racing ski that would punish her every indiscretion, but many higher end skis seem quite forgiving these days. Should I consider Fischer RX8/9, Elan S12, Volkl 5*/6* etc.? I realize that she would not push these skis to there limit, but would there be any harm? I ski the Elan S12 and find it very forgiving. Would there be any real advantage to avoiding the highend skis for another year or two, or should I just go for it now? She definitely wants to improve and is highly motivated to become "better than her Dad". Any opinions appreciated.

Also, how much length increase would generally be easily tolerated. I think 160cm in a higher performing ski seems reasonable.
P.S. She has no interest in parks, pipes, snowboards or twin-tips.
post #2 of 11
At her height and weight, you might think about a nice woman's ski like the K2 One Luv. I'd encourage you to stick to a women's ski to get a better flex characteristic and some help from the geometry.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Steve, I understand what you are saying, but she is as heavy as many men on this forum so I'm not sure that this really applies. Maybe, but it seems to me that women's skis are aimed at lighter skiers (100-135lbs. typically). Why not just go shorter in a "regular" ski? I know there is prob. no exactly right answer here. I'm just trying to figure out whether to go with a mid-level and plan to replace it soon or go to a highend ski for her to grow with or would this be to hard on her?
post #4 of 11
The best way to find out what she can handle is to put her on some demos.

We just finished shopping for skis for our daughter, who is at the opposite end of the spectrum. At 16, she's 5'2" and only 85 Lbs, so we were looking for things to demo under 150cm. We didn't find much, but saw plenty of skis available for demo in the 150-160cm length, including some of the ones you mention.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks Gary, I intend to have her demo esp. for the length issue, but I'm just trying to narrow the field a bit. I'm really not looking for specific ski reccomendation, but just trying to get a sense for whether I should concentrate on mid-level vs high-end. We'll prob. end up trying some of each, but since she is a minor, she can't go to 'demo days" and most shops charge a sig. demo fee so its not easy to demo very many.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Anyone else?
Also, I was just looking around and it seems to me that the Supersport Gamma may be a 4* with diff top sheet. Dimensions are the same and both are softer than the 5*. Anyone know?
post #7 of 11
The following is a review of the Supersport Gamma from the Realskiers website: "Great all around for strong, technically accomplished female skiers. Likes speed, but still worthy in the fall line. Think of it as the female version of the 6."

Most of the high end skis (on the order of the Volkl 5/6 Star) will be too much for your daughter unless she has some reasonably well developed carving skills. If she's still skidding her turns, she will not enjoy these skis. I think she will be much happier on a good intermediate ski.

As far as the cost of demos goes, you'll get a lot more bang for your buck by demoing at the mountain. For the same money you pay to demo a single ski from a shop up the road, you can demo several pairs of skis the same day.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks Gary, I will check into mountain demos. I think at Sunday River they charge an outrageous $50.00 per day with up to three days appliucable to purchase.
post #9 of 11
I'm close to the same size as your daughter (5'7" and 148 lbs or so) and ski about the same terrain she does. Like her, I'm working on getting rid of the skid, which I do sometimes when I don't intend to.

I demo'ed the women's Elan S8's in a 160 cm length at Mt. Sunapee and *really* liked them. The other ski I really liked was the K2 Burnin' Luv in the same length. I think she'd have good luck either of these, and will find that they're great as she works to improve her carving. I ended up buying the K2's myself, but if I found the S8's on sale I probably would have gotten those instead. She might consider taking either of those out for a demo. I think either of those skis would work as she continues to improve and 'ski better than Dad.'
post #10 of 11
At 12, it's not the ski you have to worry about as much as the binding and how much her foot grows. A rail system might help. If you use the screw in type bindings and her foot grows you can move the bindings out, but not sure you want to do that a third time. I stopped buying my daughter boots too until I see growth stoppage. Was getting expensive and you don't get much for year old boots that cost good money new...
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks nic and low
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