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Do you buy skis that are designed for your ability? - Page 2

post #31 of 37
Originally posted by droldman:

Back to the automotive analogy - Why would anyone buy a Porsche?
Status [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img] At least for most people. Same with skis.

And the 911 is actally much roomier than my Miata. I can't fit my 3 kids in the latter.

post #32 of 37
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by buzzy:
For some skis a porsche is a bad analogy. We are talking in some instances of a hatchback driver trying to control an F1 racer, or a level or two below that, maybe Formula 5000.
This is exactly the point I'm trying to make. While anyone could drive an F1 car, in the strict sense of the word, driving an F1 car with any degree of performance or precision would be highly unlikely for most of us mere mortals. And, as much as I would love the opportunity to take a spin in a contemporary F1 car, I'm confident my lap times would be just this side of a motorized boat anchor - even when compared to the backmarkers. Though, of course, my ego says otherwise.

While any skier would be able to ski a racing ski - in the strictest sense of the word - skiing a high performance or racing ski without the strength and skills to make the ski work is extra work for the skier.

I like a ski to "talk back" to me, to give back the energy I have loaned to the ski. Ideally, I get repaid with interest because the ski is designed to store and release a lot of energy. A ski is unforgiving when - whether intentionally or accidently - a skier's input is released from the ski and the skier doesn't know how to utilize the energy. Watch a World Cup slalom race and see what happens when the best racers in the world get in the back seat; the massive energy release jets the skier forward and often out of the course.

When the lower skill skier wants to slide or skid a turn, the racing ski wants to hook-up and carve a turn. Will racing skis slide or skid turns? Yes. Will they do it as easily as a lower performance ski in the hands of the less adept? No.

As Oboe stated, the performance envelope of skis today is much larger than in years past. Today's contemporary performance skis promise to talk back to you in a language you can understand. But, when it's the end of the day and your hearing is impaired, you won't feel like you have made a deal with the [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]

As Indiana Jones' father said in the Temple of Doom

"CHOOSE WISELY" [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

[ March 06, 2003, 09:57 PM: Message edited by: Inspector Gadget ]
post #33 of 37
I don't think it was his father, I think it was that immortal knight in that cave. But anyway...

Maybe the problem is in one's assessment of their own abilities and level of skiing. I read somewhere (maybe in this forum) that people have no realistic concept of how much better a pro skiier is above even the highly accomplished "expert" amateurs you see. No amateur cyclist would ever contemplate the slightest possibility in keeping up with Lance, or golfer with Tiger. But I am sure you could find plenty of people who think they could at least hold their own against Bode. So obviously they can handle his equipment.

So I think as I start looking around for new equipment, the real question is not so much assessing the best ski, but realistically assessing my own abilities and picking a ski accordingly. However, that isn't quite so easy to do. I don't fit into one of the "aspiring carver, all mountain cruiser, etc" categories of Ski Magazine. The level 1-9 levels really only differentiate well from beginners to lower intermediates. From upper intermediate all the way to expert are really crammed into levels 7-9.

This is great -- getting a better idea of the issues -- should be interesting and fun.
post #34 of 37
I was really talking about Intermediate skiers buying advanced skis or advanced skiers buying expert skis, not a beginner buying race skis.

I don't think people should be discouraged from buying skis that they can grow into as long as they have a good, honest assessment of their skill level and are committed to advancing.

Clearly, using skis well above your level would be ill advised, just like skiing terrain way above your ability.
(please no flack from the so who should ski what, when & where thread)

The trick is striking a balance between challenge & comfort.

The best indicator of this balance is the answer to following question:

Are you having fun?
post #35 of 37
droldman, good question. I have no idea what good skiers buy but I buy forgiving cheater skis like the Volant Gravity Power. At my level (lower)it takes me everywhere I dare to ski and easily. Not the most versatile ski around but easy and enjoyable. Being a much better golfer I constantly ask that question of myself and others. I think many of the reasons stated are true, ego, versatility, and a questionable assessment of one's ability. I get your point though, my mp 33 blades do punish me bad if I miss em and there are those days when I think of buying some Pings. Course with golf an excess of ego will only kill my ball and my wallet, in skiing my body is in jeopardy. skidoc [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #36 of 37
It's hard to say it all without writing a damn book. :

Ain't it the truth!
post #37 of 37
I like the golf analogies; it gets back to my point of all of us being charlatans and if any of us were worth a damn, we’d be skiing 200 cm plus straight race skis or lace-up leather boots for that matter. The truly best skiers in the world would be able to rip any run in any condition on any piece of equipment.

The recent comments by Phil Mickelson regarding Tiger Woods’ inferior equipment was not so much a slam on Nike as it was at Tiger not taking advantage of modern technology and that he is the only one good enough to overcome this disadvantage. Tiger uses blades for irons and steel shafts in his three wood and driver where many pros have gone to game enhancing cavity back irons and graphite shafts in their woods/metals. Isn’t technology great, we all benefit. If one would see a great skier effortlessly conquering a super steep and deep slope and see that they are on a pair of pencil skis in the end, I would think that that is a skier who is skiing on skis designed for his ability and would be able to do so on any modern piece of equipment.

The modern skis make all of us better for those who know how to use them and allow us to go places in conditions we only dreamed of a decade earlier. I could take those old slalom skis through much of the tough stuff I do now but it was a lot more work than it is now on my Axis X or Chubbs. It wasn’t near as much fun and it certainly was not effortless.

Am I skiing on skis that are designed for my ability? Yes, even if I use mid fats and powder skis on the East Coast, but they really are not that special. In fact, many would probably say that they work quite well for intermediates. What I would like to see is all of these so called hot shot “free skiers” on Seth Pistols, Pocket Rockets, and Sugar Daddies who are hucking cliffs and straight-lining the deep to get on my Axis X or any mid-fat or less and make some turns in crusted crud or the steep and deep. Then, maybe I’d be really impressed.

In the end, if a skier is not getting the most out of the ski he/she is on, whether it be continuously skidding a carver or never venturing off the corduroy with anything bigger than a mid-fat, then they have bought a pair of skis that are not designed for their ability.

What’s the saying, “it’s not the arrow it’s the Indian”.
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