or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Help with shaped ski selection
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help with shaped ski selection

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I think I've finally talked myself into ditching the old straight skis to a new pair of skis. The problem I'm having is picking out what ski to get. I'm a little confused as to how the three dimensions relate to skiing. I do all of my skiing on the groomed "ice" slopes in Wisconson. I've never made it out west. I ski all the black diamonds (again in Wisconson). I'd say I'm an intermediate level skier, weigh about 170 lbs, and I'm about 5'9".

I talked to a few ski shops and one of them has me convinced that the K2 Escape 5500 (107-68-97) is exactly what I need. I've seen a lot of other similarly dimensioned skis on E-bay. I've checked and there aren't any demo days near me which is what I really need to do.

Help, I'm confused with what is really important. Will varying one or two millimeters from the 5500 dimension really matter.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 15
Welcom IL Skier,
From what I'm told, the 5500 is a sweet ski. You should be looking for something around a 165-170 length.
The dimensions will affect performance, but so will stiffness, etc. If you're looking at a few skis, post your thoughts here.
You might also want to throw the Rossi Bandit XXs into the pot as well. A very good ski, and with a few fans on here.
Not sure if this is of any help, but it's the best you'll get from me!

post #3 of 15
That K2 5500 would be a good one. As well as the XX check the Bandit X, which has less waist than the XX which, in my opinion, you don't really need on the harder snow of lovely WI (I did my time at Wilmot and Alpine Valley). Maybe a Volkl or a Fischer or an Atomic as they tend to have excellent hard snow edge grip...look at skis ranked as intermediate with a waist of 68-70mm. There are a lot of them. You may be restricted by what is available at your Chicago area ski shops if you seek some kind of package deal with binders, etc. This restriction can help narrow things down as they can get confusing with so many skis out there.

www.techsupportforskiers.com has a lot of skis listed.
post #4 of 15
I would suggest renting some new shaped skis (make sure they are well tuned and waxed) and take a lesson. You can ski them adequately with your straight ski technique (pivot slips, short swings and skidded turns), but you are definitely not getting the most out of them. Don't worry about dimensions too much as you are probably going to like just about any ski you demo these days. The main exception being a case where a large percentage of your skiing is on one type of terrain ie. powder, moguls. Even still, today's midfat/all-mountain skis come close to doing it all well.

Most quality ski shops guarantee that you will love the skis you buy or they will let you exchange them. So if you get the 5500 and decide it is not enough ski for you, try something else. But I am willing to bet you will like the 5500. I demoed the Mod X a couple years ago and it inspired so much confidence in me that I was skiing much faster through stuff I would have avoided before. The 5500 should be livelier than that model, but also provide similar stability and edgehold.

Good luck!
post #5 of 15
I knew there was something else I wanted to say, and I'm glad you said it...
TAKE A LESSON (or a few)
Learn how to use shaped skis to make your skiing better and more enjoyable.

post #6 of 15
IL skier, I have skied the 5500 in 174cm (at Cannon Mt. NH, no shortage of ice) and it is indeed as versatile as described. I am 160lbs and the 174cm was fine, certainly no need to go shorter. In about the same price range, the Rossi Cobra-X twin-deck reads like a similar natured ski, I am going to try to demo that tomorrow and will post a review if I can.
post #7 of 15
In addition to taking lessons, read Lito Tejada-Flores's Book - "Breakthrough On The New Skis-Say Goodbye To The Intermediate Blues" This book will help you immensely, I can't recommend it strongly enough. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #8 of 15
Or cheaper, and way more effective than a single lesson, consider buying Harb's book & video: http://www.harbskisystems.com/publications.htm

Half a dozen simple fundamental movement exercises will take you a long, long way. It's all about balance with new ski design.
post #9 of 15
TS, books/vids are OK, but nothing beats mileage.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Wear the fox hat:
TS, books/vids are OK, but nothing beats mileage.

I think you guys have convinced me that the escape 5500 is the way to go. I've found two on ebay right now. One is 167 and the other is 174. If I had to error on the shorter or longer side what would be the safest bet? I weigh about 165 pounds. I also saw some atomic 9.14 HC SL BETA CARVE SKIS - 170'S for $199. Do the atomics compare to the 5500?

Thanks again to everyone for the excellent feedback.
post #11 of 15
Since you asked about Atomics: I finally got my dad a pair of Atomic R:9.22s 180cm. I am your size and got to try them last night. Wow, this ski is fun. I normally ski a K2 Axis X Pro, which I like a lot, but this ski actually felt alive on my feet. Very nimble edge to edge, cut up junky snow and has an excellent hard snow grip. I would suggest you at least demo this ski before you make your decision.

post #12 of 15
You really couldn't go wrong with the K2 5500. I did a demo on that ski and it really is a lot of Fun. It has a much better proformance range then most Intermediate skis. It's a ski that will help you learn how to ski on a shaped ski. The Other skis To look into would be the Atomic 922. Our local REI had a few of last seasons 922's on sale at a vary good price. You may want to take a look at the REI web site and see if they have them there. In that ski Try a 180 and a 170 In the K2 I wouldn't go shorter then the 174.
post #13 of 15
IL skier, on the 5500 I also would not go below 174. In fact if I wind up buying this I will be getting the 181, based on my demo of the 174, and some correspondence with Peter Keelty. (FWIW I am 160 lbs.)
post #14 of 15
If you wait about a month, Vertical Drop in St. Charles usually has there end of season sale in late February or early March.
Half price at most for new is usually a better deal that used on e-bay.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well I got back from skiing Saturday night with my daughter and my wife surprised me with a set of the K2 Excape 5500's! I dropped them off with my boots yesterday to get the bindings installed. I can't wait until this weekend to try them out. It had better not get warm or rain this week. Thanks again for all the help.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Help with shaped ski selection