or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

New to shaped skis...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I found this forum a couple of weeks ago, and must say that this is an excellent resource!

With all the great end of season sales, I’m very tempted to pick up some new skis (currently on 10 year old straight skis). I’ve been researching the various tradeoffs for ski performance and realize that there is no perfect ski, but could really use some advice weighing those compromises.

I’ve skied for 25 years, but for most of that I lived in Florida and was limited to a couple of trips per year. Now I’m living in northern Virginia and found myself skiing more this winter than ever. I’d consider myself a level 8, and can ski everything I’ve found so far in the mid-Atlantic (although my moguls aren’t pretty… still need some work). I’m 6’1”, 180 lbs, and athletic.

A couple of weeks ago I was in my first race (Snowshoe 24) and loved the experience. I’d really like to do more racing next season and am trying to consider that in my purchase. Most of my skiing will be east coast, so I’m more concerned with performance on groomers and ice more than powder.

This weekend I found some really good prices on the Atomic line, and am currently looking at the SX:B5, SX:10, and SL:9. I’d really like to demo them, but my timing in the season prevents that. Also, since I’ve never skied a shaped ski, I’m guessing that I’d spend more time becoming accustom to the new style and not be able to adequately assess each ski.

This ski will likely take over as my everyday ski as well as being my race ski. I at least want to run NASTAR and I’m looking into other races in the area. I’ve read lots of good things about the SX:10 as a one ski quiver, but have also seen a couple people mention that it can be overpowered. I’m worried that could be the case in a race situation, but it should work well as an everyday ski. The SX:B5 seems that it would be a good race ski, but may not be the best introduction to shaped skis.

Would this switch be hard? Also, does anyone have any experience with shorter turns on the B5? Since I don’t yet know what kind of racing I’d be likely to favor, which would be the lesser of the two evils: to experiment with a more GS style of ski like the B5 on a tighter course, or to run a slalom ski like the SL:9 on straighter course?

I apologize for being so long winded, but wanted to include as many details as I could. I’ve found some very helpful threads out there, but nothing that seemed to match up with my situation.

Thanks for the help!
post #2 of 8
My only recommendation to you is to demo a lot. Don't buy before you demo and try a few different skis. Nothing worse than thinking you got deal on skis only to find out next year that there is a ski that better suits you tha would have cost a few more bucks. So you end up buying that one. Your real cheap ski gets very expensive very fast. Don't be afraid to spend a couple of dollars.
post #3 of 8
I would say if you don't want to demo the SL9's in 170cm should work well for you. Take some lessons with the shaped skis. Learn how to use them before you develop bad habits.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the thoughts so far. Honestly I don't know how plausible demoing will be for me for several reasons. Since I'm new to shaped skis, I really should take time (likely through lessons) to learn the new equipment before I'd be able to really judge different skis. For this I'd either need to rent skis, or buy a pair. I'd rather make an educated guess as to what ski would work for me than spend the money on the rental. Even if I make a less than optimum purchase, I'm sure it'd be a better fit than a rental.

Once I get use to the new skis, I can always shop around for a different ski that may be better suited for my taste. Who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky and have the right ski from the start. Or, it gives me a good excuse to increase the quiver.

The other problem with demoing is that the largest ski shop in the area is going out of business and they were the ones that put on the demo days at the local mountains. The mountains do have their own demos, but the selection is very limited.

It sounds like the slalom would be easier to learn on and then progress up to an SX/GS ski if desired rather than the other way around. Any other thoughts?

post #5 of 8
Originally Posted by Max Capacity
I would say if you don't want to demo the SL9's in 170cm should work well for you. Take some lessons with the shaped skis. Learn how to use them before you develop bad habits.
The SL11 is much more popular than the SL9. Look at that one.
post #6 of 8
I ski at Wintergreen VA at least once a week, and Snowshoe WV at least 1-2 times a month (I bet the SS24 race was a lot of fun, eh?). I got some Fischer RX-8 skis this season, and they have been remarkable. I switched to shape skis last year (K2 Axis X) and it transformed my skiing technique. Won't ever go back to straight skis, not even for old times sake. This year, I honed my technique and moved to the RX-8 because they are very capable high-speed carvers with exceptional grip on ice. They also do fine in every other type of snow I have skied this year, even a powder day at Snowshoe in early March. SO I would recommend the RX-8 based on my experience.

I am 6'1" and 235lb, and ski on the 180cm RX-8. For your weight, you can definitely go down a size.

BTW, I demoed Volkls last season, and the 6-star and Superspeed are also excellent carvers for Mid-A skiers. Overall, I find the Fischers to be slightly more versatile and forgiving, and every bit as capable as the Volkls.

For 06, Volkl will have a "All-Star" ski, that is similar to the 6-star but wider throughout (thus increasing its versatility). Those would definitely be worth a demo.

Finally, folks who like the RX-8 rave about the Atomic Metron B5, so that's worth trying too.


P.S. If you ever want to borrow my K2s for an intro day on shape skis, you are welcome to. They are fun and forgiving, and you can push them pretty hard. They are 188cm, which is on the long side for a shape ski but also easier to transition to if you're used to long straight skis. After a season on the K2s, I knew I was ready for shorter more dedicated carvers and that's what led me to the RX-8.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for the offer. I'll probably pick up something before next season, but if I don't, I may take you up on that. I've read a lot of good things about the RX8 and have really broadened my search. Right now my opinion on skis is changing daily.

The SS24 was a blast. It was my first time running gates, and we were in the pro division! After my 6 hours of racing, I was in awe of the people that did it solo. It also really got me thinking about new skis. I'd like to do it again next year, so whatever I get, I'll need to make sure that it's stable at high speed.
post #8 of 8
Go with the Atomic SXB5 if you are aggressive. You mentioned NASTAR so I assume you want some speed, but just how much? If you can turn gates on straight skis don't worry about the transition, after you get used to the slightest lean ripping a turn like you are on rails, you'll be just fine...

The B5 is designed for folks who REALLY want to tear it up and go fast. If you aren't comfortable with the thought of breaking 40 mph, they are more ski than you need. If your idea of fast is a 30 second run on a Pocono course, the SX 11 or even 10 will suit you. They turn real nice and go through varied conditions with suprising ease.

A note to size. YES, shaped skis should be shorter, but not THAT much shorter. If you are 6 ft + go with a 175 - 182 ski in shaped. The length is still needed for stability at speed. You don't see Bodi Miller racing GS on a pair of 165's, he'd kill himself..

Even if you find after demo that Atomic isn't your ski, look to other skis in the super cross catagory. That is the ski type you are looking for. It is amazing close to a one ski quiver.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion