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Help! Tempted by deal on SL11s+what I think of other skis i've tried

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Please tell me what you current thoughts are on this ski. I'm debating on getting a pair without trying them.

I'm about 5'9, 170 lbs, a level 8 skier (I think) when it comes to sking fast, but suck at moguls (I don't fall, I just can't go through them as quickly as I think I should be able to, and am only recently trying out the skid-pivot approach to mogul skiing). Most of my skiing up to this year (about 30 years of it, but only a dozen or so days a year) has been blasting along on SG racing skis.

My wife thinks that since I only skied 12 times this year, it's not worth buying my own skis, since it would take two or three years of rental fees to pay for them (not counting the cost of maintaining my own), and then I would want new skis again. I like the idea of showing up with my own skis and not having to go through the hassle. I'm also poor (single income, 3 kids, mortgage, etc). She thinks I should just use my old skis anyway. I think a 208 cm super giant slalom racing ski is overkill for the Ontario hills I ski, and with two layers of steel, not really suited for bumps which I'm begining to explore out of boredom. I'm looking for a really quick short turner with phenomenal ice grip that will let me rip along at speed when I want to.

Skis I've tried out and what I think of them:

RX8 - 170 cm Great ski, favourite so far. I really liked it at all speeds and turn radii. It did not behave the best on really hard ice, and gave a little too much "feel" when zipping past the ice that is formed in the pattern left by grooming machines (lots of chatter, but what can you expect from so light a ski), but it was a blast on all other surfaces, especially on snow. It did become a little nervous, hunting for turns when running straight over smallish bumps, but it was acceptable, it was more begging me to turn than insisting on it.

SX11 - Great, best modern high speed ski I was able to try, but outperformed in short turns by a few other contenders, and I was on the 160 cm SX11 ski, which is shorter than I would probably want for flying over slightly bumpy terrain. It also had some rebound and lots of power, and good ice grip.

SX10 (170 cm)
I tried this one twice, the second time, because I had the opportunity to and just to confirm that it wasn't a bad tune the first time. My first impression of this ski was pretty harsh, due to the fact that I compared it back to back with the Soloman Equipe 10, which worked so well and precisely at slow speeds, and the SX11 which is the ticket for high-speed hijinks. Maybe in other company it would seem o.k. I found it letting go of the ice at speeds and turn radii where the other skis kept gripping. I found that while it felt super stable up to 35 mph, it just lost it after that. Mind you between 25 and 35 it was actually easier to ski than the Equipe, which demanded precise attention. As I had to get it back to the demo hut before my hour was up, I used the excuse to push it past it's limits. It could only make the most gradual of turns skimming along (not always in contact with the snow due to terrain undulations) at about 45 mph (guessing at the speed, but it was faster than I had seen anyone else on Blue Mountian Ontario that day). More edge angle only provided more slipage, whereas the SX11 would have been in complete control with many options available for missing other skiers who might try to cut you off (I had a clear run and a good line of sight). Although not a concern for me, this ski had the same strong preference for a carved turn that the SX11 had, without the 11s grip and stability at high speed. If you don't like carving, forgetaboutit.

Equipe 10 SC (165 cm) (nobody around here demoes the 3v: or the sl11 for that matter) I loved it in short turns and at speeds up to an estimated 30 mph (all speeds are estimates only for reference to what I felt the other skis were doing at about the same speed), where it became difficult to control in a turn, and hunted like crazy if going straight (at least the RX8 only asked if I wanted to turn). It still had about another 5 mph before it became dangerously unstable. BTW these skis are very forgiving, on bump bashed one of my skis askew at about 30 and it had no effect on my trajectory, a bash like that on the RX8 would have had me lifting the ski to affect a recovery. This ski made the SX11,SX10, and Crossmax 10 fell positively "truckish" at slow to moderate speeds (i.e. anything under 25 mph) by comparison.

Rossi 9S and 9X oversize.
The 9S was superb at short turns, but couldn't handle high-g high speed turns; it was too easily overpowered at high speeds (guessing over 35 mph). The 9X was able to stretch the speed barier a little bit, but was so outclassed by the 9S in short turns, that the little bit more was deemed by moi to be not worth it.

Elan S12 (170 cm)
Very mellow feeling at speed, lovely in short turns, lots of rebound and power. Conditions were not icy, but what ice I did encounter lead me to believe that it would do fine. This ski just wanted to turn so bad at high speed that I decided it wasn't for me. It was a smaller hill with no really long steep section so I probably didn't get it up to much past 35.

Elan S08 (170 cm)
Had a chance to demo this while skiing slow with my daughter, so I figured why not? There is no reason for anyone not to just go for the 12. This one didn't have it at speed; not enough beef. Still a fun ski though.

Solomon Crossmax 10 (165cm)
A competent ski, I was sking with my daughter and she was, for some strange reason (maybe it was the fact that they gave her 165 cm skis instead of the 155 skis we asked for and we didn't notice until we changed them to demo something else, or maybe it's because she's a level 6-7, and the signs kept reminding us that those runs were for "experts" only), not interested in going down the icy double black diamonds, so I didn't get to push it too fast. I felt it had better ice grip than the SX10 and could handle speeds that the SX10 couldn't. For what it's worth this ski would be more versatile for a traditional skier; it could carve or pivot just as easily. In terms of feel the SX11 outperformed it at high speeds and everything else beat it at short turns. I didn't get to go fast enough to tell you which (sx11 or Crossmax10) would have the higher speed limit; if I had to guess I would say the sx11 could lay it down better at high speeds.
Edit: I did get to go down one double black icy run that met up with a blue square (calamity lane).

I'm thinking the 165 cm SL11 might have the ice bite I want, and at the same turn radius as the RX8 won't be such a bad ski for wider turns, being a "race" ski it should be able to handle some speed too.

Oh, and please give me some good arguments for the wife!
post #2 of 24
I can't speak for the different skis that you have demoed but I am completely blown away with the SX 11 on hard snow. Its just superb and doesn't wash out. Plus it can be used to make longer radius turns as well. I don't think its limited to its shape.

I love this ski and have skied my friend's several times out this winter. As per the justification argument that's a tough one. I think the SX11 ski is the ski for the conditions you encounter the majority of the time in Ontario and you would enjoy it for many years. I don't see the SX 11 breaking down with the magnesium channel construction. How good a price can you get on it. I've seen t157 cm on ebay at $257 I believe , but I would want the 165 .
post #3 of 24
I'm sorry I had a senior moment on my post. I meant to say SL 11 not SX 11. I have never skied the SX 11 only the SL11.
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
RX8 - 170 cm Great ski, favourite so far. I really liked it at all speeds and turn radii. It did not behave the best on really hard ice, and gave a little too much "feel" when zipping past the ice that is formed in the pattern left by grooming machines (lots of chatter, but what can you expect from so light a ski), but it was a blast on all other surfaces, especially on snow.
What the heck does "especially on snow" mean?! Since you seem like a perfectly normal guy, I have to assume that it is either a simple mistake, or complicated sarcasim. Feel free to claim the latter.

I would strongly advise against buying the SL11 "blindly" without demoing. If you have a certain amount of experience with a particular company, and even more so with a particular model from a previous year, and do a good amount of research as to the changes etc., and read/hear reviews/advise from someone who's oppinions you have already learned to respect as accurate and parallel to your own experience, only then would I recommend such a leap.
In your case, not as above, it is even more so, because of the finances. If it is hard to sell your wife on this purchase, try thinking of telling her that it was a mistake, and you have to buy another pair.
But, you do have to make this purchase. Tell your wife that the 208 SGs are not even safe. : Not only are you getting too old to handle them, but they make you ski faster than you should prudently. Later, you'll tell her that you misunderstood the advise you heard about "skiing your age". Now you realize that it means that if you are 40, you have to go 40!
post #5 of 24
Wow! Roundturns get to make them really fast!
post #6 of 24
Another argument to use is that demoing is really unreliable because of often poor (=unsafe ) tuning, and the inconsistant availability of model and length etc.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
RadRab,
The day I demoed the RX8, conditions were very icy, and what wasn't ice was hardpack. There was one run however where there were piles of loose snow scraped into piles that were only about a six inches to a foot high, maybe a yard wide and a few yards long. The ski's feel when turning in about 6 inches of this loose snow was excellent.
The deal is about 700 canuck bucks with bindings.
post #8 of 24
Ok, now I get it.
Anyway, DEMO!
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
Please tell me what you current thoughts are on this

My wife thinks that since I only skied 12 times this year

I'm also poor (single income, 3 kids, mortgage, etc). She thinks I should just use my old skis anyway.

Oh, and please give me some good arguments for the wife!
If she is the single wage earner---she is correct.
If you are the wage earner, there is two things you should get. A new pair of skis , and a job for your wife

How's that for a good wife arguement (please don't tell her it was me that said it)
post #10 of 24
Ghost, far be it from me to talk you out of buying skis....so I won't

You are a skier. From your post history here, I suspect you were a skier long before marriage. Its part of the package. By continually renting, your advancement and enjoyment of skiing is impaired in a number of ways. It also diverts significant money each year that you could otherwise use to ski more. By my estimate you are spending at least $25 Cdn each outing, and multiplied by 12 times adds up to $300 in a single year. Buying at this time of year, when prices on the past year's models are low makes a lot of sense. If the purchase means sacraficing essential needs, obviously you can't do it, but if it just means some budget maneuvering for a short while, by all means you should do this. Really no one here can advise you.

You seem to be an ideal candidate to work part-time as an instructor or with first aid training on the ski patrol. You probably have the skiing skills, but I don't know if you have the interest. Have you considered talking with the SSD or patrol at your area to see if they offer training and have openings? Its a lot of work and committment, but it eliminates the direct cost; and the argument you only ski 12 times per year! I can't advise on the ski, but working around domestic objections is my specialty
post #11 of 24
I have the 157cm SL11s from last year and they are awesome on ice. Everybody kept saying how they bite back and are a hard ski to be on unless your an intense pilot, I think thats false. I've never had any problems with tails fighting back, or with bending them, and I only weigh 145 lbs. But then again it all depends on your skiing skill. Unless you are confident I don't know how easy they will be.
post #12 of 24
Well, Ghost, I know you've seen my posts on the RX8, so I won't go there. I will say, however, that you don't want to judge the SL11 based on the skis you've skied. It skis different enough that you really need to try it yourself to see...
post #13 of 24
I'm going to back up ssh here. I've skied both the 11.12 and the 11m, it certainly feels different from the other slalom racers out there. Great ski, just different.

I reviewed the 11.12's here

and the 11m's here

Ps. where's this great buy you came across.. I might be interested later on if you aren't.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice guys (and girls?). I think I will wait until I've tried them. I don't want to end up with an "ice-only" ski, or one that forces me to go to the car and get another set of boards if I want to ski super-fast or learn how to ski moguls. The store is Sign of the Skier in Toronto. At that price I guess they will be gone by the time I make up my mind.
post #15 of 24
I have found that the SL11 is definitely not a slush ski. It may just be me, but in slush they feel pretty useless. Same thing in powder. They just don't seem to be made for those types of conditions. Everything else they rock on, and are fast on.
post #16 of 24
Ghost

this may seem a stupid question (something I am good at ) but given that the financial aspect is a consideration and you are not quite sure which ski you want, why not consider the E-bay route or the for sale section here. If you are selective you can usually score some pretty good deals AND, if you don't like them you can always move them on again. (always a good argument in my experience!

Just a thought. (Oh and could I interest you in a hardly used pair of Nordica GS in 178 )
post #17 of 24
look at www.skidealer.com. Sometimes he has some really good deals on top of the line skis from Atomic, etc. Last summer I got there SX11+race412 for $420 or so. Btw, if you decided to go with SX11 try to get them with the Race (412 or 614) bindings. Those can be moved to 4 or 5 positions along the ski in ~1/4" increment, so you get both GS and SL in one ski.

P.S.: And look at ebay of course
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Scotskier,
I have heard of too many deals gone bad on Ebay. Now if those Nordica GSs were Doberman slalom ski's I might be tempted, only tempted, mind you; I will try before I buy, unless it's a ridiculously good deal. I'm happy with my high-speed cruizer, just looking for something to make quick short turns on small hills.
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
vov,
"SORRY BUT WE CANNOT SELL OR SHIP ATOMIC SKIS OUTSIDE OF THE U.S. "
Edit: That's Ontario Province in Canada, not Ontario County in California Usa in my location.
post #20 of 24
Well if I were you I would pick up a pair on ebay. You should have no trouble finding a pair on ebay. I have seen the rossignol rpm 100 which is the same as the 9x oversize for less than $200 with bindings.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigndude
I have found that the SL11 is definitely not a slush ski. It may just be me, but in slush they feel pretty useless. Same thing in powder. They just don't seem to be made for those types of conditions. Everything else they rock on, and are fast on.
I agree, I race on them and they are my favorite skis, but when the snow gets really soft they don't like to bend into anything resembling a slalom turn.
post #22 of 24
Ghost,
I can't believe your skiing on old strait super G skis, they have to be waaaaaayyyy too stiff to freeski on. Have you tried the fischer RC (almost like the race stock GS ski) It has a 16 m radius, so you can still make fairly short turns but stay at a high speed. Also if you are used to skiing on strait skiis your using the wrong technique on the new skiis and the feelings that your getting while demoing are going to be very different from how they feel when you learn the new style.
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Neufox47,
You are thinking of the feet and knees glued together, brake-check at the end of every turn, keep your straight skis straight as you skid the back side of every bump, skier. That's not me. My style was called the "new" style thirty years age, and it's now new again. Actually the "new" style at all speeds is pretty much the old DH racer style. Mind you, with modern equipment, you don't have to put all your weight on one ski to flex it at low speeds. You still tip to the required angle and carve a turn. Feet are shoulder-width apart as aptly demonstrated By Steve Podborski, Ken Read, and Steve(?) Irwin back some thirty years ago. You still Flex your edges into the shape you want (can now be done just by setting the angle the basses make with the snow for most turns; you used to have to jam the fronts to get a sharper turn), and use them to pressure the ice/snow so that the reaction force moves you where you want to go. The only difference is that it's easier to get more use out (ie. get it to contribute more turning force) of the inside ski.

Yeah, those tails on the SGs are a little stiff for moguls, and it is a little hard to make mid-air recoveries with the swing weight; I think I've got the earlier steel-plated version, not the ultra-modern much lighter aluminum-plated ones. The tips are soft though.
post #24 of 24
I suggest that you also try the Dynastar 09 as a good all-rounder in Ontario. You should be able to get them for a much better deal than $700 CDN. Try buying them from an ebay store.
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