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Too much ski

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Let's say an intermediate went out and got an experts carving machine. What would be so bad about that? Would they give up skiing? Would they constantly trip over their dug in tips? Or would they learn to ski properly?

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 29
I think the answer is the famous, "It depends." With coaching and a willingness to dial back terrain to work on technique, it could work.

But, for many, it would likely be an exercise in futility. Every balancing nuance of their feet, hands, etc. would be translated to turning movements by the skis, perhaps giving them the ride of their lives. Of course, it may also be that their boots won't transmit as much energy, so the skis may sit there like sticks on their feet.

Has anybody tried it?

FWIW, I think that my guiding last year was huge for my skiing. It got me on snow a lot. I skied a lot on terrain that was relatively easy for me (a lot of groomers), but I could ski pretty much at my own pace and style, and it allowed me to work on a lot of technique elements. According to others, it seems to have made a big difference. I also feel that I'm skiing reasonably well, and I think that has a lot to do with it.
post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
But, for many, it would likely be an exercise in futility. Every balancing nuance of their feet, hands, etc. would be translated to turning movements by the skis, perhaps giving them the ride of their lives.
And alternativly they wouldn't be able to turn them at all, given that many expert level skis demand a lot of energy in turn initiaition.
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodro
And alternativly they wouldn't be able to turn them at all, given that many expert level skis demand a lot of energy in turn initiaition.
Let's say an expert ski with a slalom side-cut; that should turn easily enough when put on edge.
post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
Let's say an expert ski with a slalom side-cut; that should turn easily enough when put on edge.
I'd worry a bit about the phantom foot ACL issue. It seems to me that when they shoot out from under them, the chances of them holding on and popping an ACL would be pretty high.
post #6 of 29
I can give an example from experience. I am an intermediate with very limited carving skills.

I tried an Atomic GS11 last year. I think it was like 182 length or something around there. I thought it would be interesting to see how a race ski handles and rented the ski for 2 hours. I was wearing my Technica Rival RX boot.

I had no idea what to expect. I found the ride required my legs to always try to keep the skis straight and noticed when I turned in a skid/stem/christie one ski would want to go one way and the other ski had a mind of it's own and just wanted to keep going straight. To sum it up I would say it took a lot of energy to keep the skis straight and centered -I would say it was 'boring' and no fun - a lot of work for little in the smile department(no doubt because I had no idea what I was doing). The ski didn't skid very well and took a lot of leg energy to turns. I had no trouble though just sliding around but had enough sense to not take it on anything very steep or chalenging and hung around the blue/green section near the learners area. The ski was noticebaly heavier than anything I had ever been on but I really didn't have any out-of-control experiences or anything of that nature and had no problem doing a hockey stop at realtively quick speeds. If anything ther GS11 on my feet did not want to turn at all and preferred a straight line run down the fall line like it was at home straightlining.

Actually I had more trouble when I demoed the Volk 6 star.
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
I'd worry a bit about the phantom foot ACL issue. It seems to me that when they shoot out from under them, the chances of them holding on and popping an ACL would be pretty high.
Good point!
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
Let's say an expert ski with a slalom side-cut; that should turn easily enough when put on edge.
What ski? I can share with you my personal experience. When i was a high intermediate i was put on Volkl P50 SL WC skis. This is real. I was taking lessons at that time. I was told by another instructor that i would not be able to keep up with my skis and, as a result, i would be in the backseat all the time. this did not happen. I have to say that it was not easy but i got used to the ski. Ironically, the same day was the first on my Icon ALu Comps. So i had new skis and new boots. The snow conditions were not great.

The ski did not hold me back. It improved my skiing and my carving technique. I am still on the same ski. I love it. My skiing has improved a lot since then. Another thing that helped me is the ICon Alu COmp. This is a great boot for an intermediate skier and even for and advanced. But that's all.

All in all, i think that my case is an exception b/c i had a very good instructor.

To answer the original question, i think that one of the problems is the ski stiffness. If you put an intermediate on a soft sl carver it will probably not hold him back. But if the ski is very stiff, this could lead to many problems. Remember, the boot is as important as the ski. There are exceptions, but very few.

So if i were you i would try with a soft sl carver. And one more thing. The skier should have the right boot. This will enable him to control the skis. If the boot is loose (which is often the case with intermediate skiers IMO) the control will be sacrificed and the skier will be unable to control the skis.

Jamie
post #9 of 29
I aggree about not keeping up with the skis. On the 6 Stars I found they liked to lock on the edge and if I was not paying attention they would keep going and 'lock' in a turn(if that makes any sense). I found this out the hard way. I was pretty forward over the skis and was not in the back seat but had never experienced that kind of edge grip on a ski prior to being on the 6 star. All I literally had to do was tip them a wee bit on edge and they would turn(sometimes violently if I was moving fast enough). My typical routine is using the edges to start the turn accross the hill then skidding the rest of the turn. On the 6 star it didn't like that. I ended up 'locked' moving rather quickly towards the treeline. I tried to tip over to slide to a stop in a controlled crash but found it very difficult to do this and eventually ended up doing a 360 when I lifted my uphill ski off the snow. The binding popped off halfway through the spin.
post #10 of 29
I exchanged my 6 stars with an intermediate friend on Atomic Betacarve 9:18 skis last year in Myy. As I scarved easily down the mountain on the 9:18s, he was in a battle for his life on the 6 stars. The third wreck at the bottom was really hard, and I rushed over to let him have his ride back. He was not impressed with the Volkls. I think it would have helped if he had switched his soft boots from walk mode.
post #11 of 29
I remember a test written up in ski magazine in the late 60's. Two groups of rank beginners were sent out, one group on "beginner gear", one group on Lange Comps and Rossignol Stratos. The group on racing gear learned much faster.

I don't know if that means anything today. Beginner boots have more support than a 1969 Lange Comp and skis actually flex. I just thought I'd mention that it has been done.

I once put my sister on some slalom skis, Volkl P40 163 with about a 14 m radius. She made her usual skidded turns, something I really didn't think possible on those things. My wife then tried them and started to finally carve. She hated the skis but did get the feeling of carving a rail. When she went back to her skis, her carving was 100% better.
post #12 of 29

intermediate skiers on expert skis

I am an intermediate skier and I have skied expert skis. I am 5' 10" and 185 lbs. I do have good boots (Nordica K 9.1, 120-130 flex). I think it depends on the ski and the skier. The best way to learn how to flex a ski is to ski a flexable ski, or a ski you can flex. Once you know how to do that is when the real trouble starts... I can put any ski on edge, getting them to carve, flexing them on edge is a different story. I just skied an Elan M666 at Loveland and got it to carve. The conditions made it easy but I still did it. The length of the ski and weight of the skier are also a consideration. I think this term expert gets applied a little too liberally to skis. In some cases I think it is easy to think skis have a skill requirement that is matched by a skiers ability when in reality the ski may be simply manufactured to a higher standard making it the most expensive ski in a particular line. Ok, now let me just say the skis you are talking about are in my opinion, more dangerous for me and other intermediates than a wide ski. I think that anyone who cannot turn a ski on edge is a begginner. I would ski any of them as long as it was icy and they were dull. I like my knees to flex in one direction only. I know about how a carving ski can hook up. I would seriously ski any of the carving expert skis reviewed in Skiing magazine. I learned to ski on an Elan Stilletto @ 188, which I think was an expert womans carver. I know it was like 62 or 64 across the waist. I learned to flex a ski on a ski that was easy for me to flex. I also learned that if you just get your skis sharpened and ski ice you may find out why good balance is preferable to getting tossed off the back, high sided, and how catching an edge is similiar to cartwheeling down cement steps.:
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
I exchanged my 6 stars with an intermediate friend on Atomic Betacarve 9:18 skis last year in Myy. As I scarved easily down the mountain on the 9:18s, he was in a battle for his life on the 6 stars. The third wreck at the bottom was really hard, and I rushed over to let him have his ride back. He was not impressed with the Volkls. I think it would have helped if he had switched his soft boots from walk mode.
I didn't really think they were unmanageable but hard to handle in the sense that I could not use the same the technique I was used to. When skidding they felt super heavy as if they were resisting the attempt to skid the turn. On the other hand just tipping the edges the skis felt light and very easy to turn but once in the turn is when the problems would arrise. They like to complete an entire arc and don't like to be interrupted. I did not find the ride fun as it took too much attention to trying to stay balanced over the ski during the turn. Also I noticed that it liked to jump like a rubber band snapping back and this was a little different.

I prefer the Head models right now. They don't seem to surprise me with anything and are pretty even tempered. The Volkl's I have tried all seem like they are very tempermental and unforgiving of any errors.
post #14 of 29
I put a 22y old beginner woman on Atomic SL11's and she became an expert carver in just a few weeks time.

Same goes for my wife. She was an intermediate skidder but learned to carve and go faast after a few days on a pair of Junior GS racing sandwich skis.

Borrowed my Head iSL RD to an intermediate level friend and he just took off and I could not catch him on his 3y old Salomons. He did not want to swap back.

In other words, too much ski just might bring out the best in you.
post #15 of 29
to much ski on groomers is one thing. too much ski in the backcountry/offpiste can be dangerous.
post #16 of 29

They like it but they don't know why...

For every success you can count, I'm sure you can find a failure. eg.
Low intermediate on a High performance carver....

Instead of carving, which means acceleration and therefore lack of control, the result was overturning at initiation which created a linked series of hockey stops.

Rest after each set 10 turns. One run and it's time for a break! Well, of course, as the run takes over 1/2 hour!

Disaster, disaster, disaster. Getting it wrong can ruin the whole season for them and their families.

It's not worth the risk. And this was AFTER demoing!
post #17 of 29
When I was a pure intermediate, went out and bought some detuned racing slaloms - Dynamic VR 7's or 17's I think (this was obviously a while ago). They were a disaster - beefy, stiff, totally unforgiving carvers on a skier who skidded his turns on a good day, stemed on a bad day. Never figured out how to move them, traded them in at a major loss, gave up skiing for the rest of the season.

Lesson, as any teacher will tell you: Challenges need to be within the parameters of a person's skill; ideally just a bit ahead. Otherwise, it'll just sour you on the whole deal. So find a ski that can grow with you. Plenty out there.
post #18 of 29
even an intermediate can ski on "expert skis"......just make sure to detune them first

Atomics I;ve found to be way to grabby and sharp when they are new

take away the sharpness in the front and back with a gummi stone so that when you run them flat, they don't pull toward the center as much (ie. they don't turn as much on their own anymore but wait for you to turn them)

maybe by 30-40% or so (30-40% is just a rough estimate of the amout of sharpness to lower them by, it's not science)
post #19 of 29
Hmmm...reading some of these posts I wonder if there isn't another subtle danger here. Surein some cases a stiff SL pair may actually make it easier to experreince a carve, esp. on very moderate terrain. The aspring carver should just be able to roll their angles slightly and get a very clear sensation of what a carve is like. However...as some people have noted the default reaction of many newer skiers is to revert to a very skidded turn. Again they simply don't have the strength and skills to get on the ski hard enough to make it turn properly, get going to fast and then skid around to make the turn. The suggestion to detune the skis bares this out -- the only reason you would want to detune the ski is if you wanted to make it less likely to carve. Thus, I am thinking that skiing on too much ski would often actually force a new skier into skidded turns. Such a skier would thus be learning to ski defensivly, and not learn to have the patience to relie on the ski turning for them. Bad news.
post #20 of 29
Well: I can speak about myself so far: I considered myself to be an intermediate to good skier, skiing on very old 9:18 (used more than 200days, edges nearly gone). Whatever I tried I had quite a lot of difficulties. Then one day I forgot my snowboard boots (I always take 2 snowboard at least + 1pair of skis to the mountain). So I went into a shop and asked for the most aggressive Slalom they got. I was given a 160cm Fischer Worldcup SC 03/04. My level improved from the first second I stood on them. I got down some really tight gates with ease and never, ever went back on the old 9:18 again. About 20 days of skiing later that season I was carving down the mountain and went to some guys from Atomic who had set up a race-ski demo for youth racers from Windischgarsten. After taking out some Atomic GS11 I had no probs in mastering them down the gates. My times were in the region of 13-14 year old racers - actually some of the best 13-14 year old racers in the world as the 15-16 of that schoolhad just won the Skischool worldchampionships. They then invited me to test a SuperG 205cm which was for a racer between 80-85kg (I'm only 65kg) - they had seen my style and were confident that I could handle a SuperG ski. I put them on, whent up the 500m vert of the lift and went straight into the flagged out DH course. The ride that followed was one of the worst I ever had. Even without tucking I gathered tremendous speed and those damn skis didn't want to turn at all - or so it felt to me. I actually made it down without braking of drifting. Maybe SuperG Skis just feel that way, that they just go straight, I was however scared to death. There was a 40m jump during which I nearly flew off, the security net was in only 3-4m distance and I knew the binders would not release easily (set to 13 or so as 15 was the minimum level on the scale). When I was down I nearly didn't even have enough power to brake anymore. However - if anyone had seen me on the 9:18s last december he wouldn't believe that I could be able to get down any race course. So I believe starting out on a demanding slalom race ski is very good and efficient. However you need to be powerfull and sportive enough. Learning on a GS ski isn't good because as a beginner one would fear the speed and drift instead of carving them. I must admit however that I am/was a very good snowboard racer.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
I'd worry a bit about the phantom foot ACL issue. It seems to me that when they shoot out from under them, the chances of them holding on and popping an ACL would be pretty high.

ssh, absolutely right. I was trying to explain that to my sister (intermediate old schooler) when she choose salomon 3vs for learning to carve. Unfortunatelly, she made her mind and result was complete ACL tear after 30 mins on slope.
post #22 of 29
Last year, as an intermediate/advanced intermediate, I skied on both the Volkl 6-Star and 5-Star, and found the 6-Star much more fun to ski.

I would think that having too much ski is like having too much of any tool: it works perfectly well for basic tasks, but the beginner/intermediate will not be able to utilize its full potential. I do't think that lower-caliber skiers or tradesmen are harmed by using better tools than they need.
post #23 of 29
I am a firm believer of putting a skier on something that will allow them to grow into the skill level that it rewards, but I also believe that it is possible to take this too far. I also feel that without proper instruction and coaching during the process of putting a low level skier on a high end ski, the move is useless and most likely counter productive. I have 3 stories:

1) My girlfriend, who learned to ski very young, and then didn't ski again until last season. I purchased skis for her b-day, knowing well that they were way out of her league as far as ability was concerned. She started out as a true beginner, and after about 10 days on the snow, I had her well beyond what I would consider the minimum ability for the skis. By the end of the season last year (she went between 15 and 20 times) she was just beginning to carve, and venture into moguls and uneven terrain. I am certain that skiing with a race team every day and having essentially what amounted to private lessons from racers and race coaches every day helped, but I believe that the skis gave her the confidence and security to advance as far as she did. Luckily she now loves the sport and doesnt want to stop, which means I can keep dating her... which is a good thing.

2) Another girlfriend story... she got a little over confident mid-season last year when she was learning to carve (real RR tracks - not too shabby for day 10). She got it in her head that she wanted to take a run on my race stock Nordica Dobie SLR's (155cm)... not a good move. She couldn't make them do ANYTHING, which made me realize that the ski she is on is a great starting point for her. I thought that they would automatically carve her into a turn, but they were so hooky and required so much speed that she didn't dare attempt it and really sent her a step backward until I gave her own skis back to her.

3) Last season my dad got into beer racing and had a blast doing it with a few of his work buddies. By the end of the season he started taking pointers from me at an attempt to keep his co-workers behind him (one of them might be reading this actually). He wanted to know if a 21m radius GS ski would make him faster... since he is racing on WC RC's with a 17m radius. So... he took my stock Elan GSX/Hangl GS setup out for a spin. My dad is a good skier, and those skis almost had him in the trees multiple times by the end of the head wall at our mountain. He simply couldn't turn them. They didn't help him at all... in fact I almost got orphaned (although I am 22). I was scared for his life, so I can't imagine how he felt. We traded back after his wild ride down the head wall, and he said he never wanted to ski those #%$#!@ things again because they didn't turn! Needless to say he decided that in order to ski faster he would focus on technique.

Later

GREG
post #24 of 29
I know K2 ski's aren't the most difficult things to ski based on opinion here and elsewhere, but I had an 03/04 pair of 5500's and they were fine for my ability. Last year I bought a pair of 03/04 Axis XT's at the 50 percent off sale and although these are considered advanced/expert ski's I didn't notice any difference at all in how they skied.

I just bought some Nordica HOTROD'S (Top Fuel) and will be on them for the first time in Summit County on 11 Dec. I'll revive this thread then and let everyone know my opinion. I suspect my skiing will get better and I will not have any difficulty handling these ski's. I'll definately eat crow if i'm wrong and pass along the gory details.
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodro
Hmmm...reading some of these posts I wonder if there isn't another subtle danger here. Surein some cases a stiff SL pair may actually make it easier to experreince a carve, esp. on very moderate terrain. The aspring carver should just be able to roll their angles slightly and get a very clear sensation of what a carve is like. However...as some people have noted the default reaction of many newer skiers is to revert to a very skidded turn. Again they simply don't have the strength and skills to get on the ski hard enough to make it turn properly, get going to fast and then skid around to make the turn. The suggestion to detune the skis bares this out -- the only reason you would want to detune the ski is if you wanted to make it less likely to carve. Thus, I am thinking that skiing on too much ski would often actually force a new skier into skidded turns. Such a skier would thus be learning to ski defensivly, and not learn to have the patience to relie on the ski turning for them. Bad news.
I am a little confused, personally, I have a harder time carving a stiff ski. I usually use speed to help, but the tricky part for me is balancing correctly so I can bend the ski to get it to carve. My problem is I usually load the tip or the tail too much because my weight is too far forward or back. I have found a more flexible ski easier to carve on moderate terrain going slow and simply rolling my ankles. I have skied on ice and think an intermediate would be well served skiing an expert ski detuned on ice. I would think it obvious, for anyone who has skied a dull ski on ice. I would think an expert skier should realize easily why this would be beneficial. Skiing a dull ski on ice forces the skier to be quiet. Any hand or arm movement actually moves the skis. The sweet spot of the ski, or balance point, whatever you wish to call it becomes critical to remaining upright. I know the West never gets ice. I saw it once at Keystone early in the season, like five years ago. It wasn't even that loud, it was soft. You really can't understand what I am talking about until you have experienced it. Hunter mountain is a good place to go for it. My point is that expert carving skis tend to have a smaller sweetspot than intermediate skis and learning where this spot is before the ski is able to hook up is important in avoiding potential knee injuries.
post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 
I see three problem areas so far:
1. Old-school skid turners, not ready for the ski to cut into a turn and who through force of habit want it to skid who will fight it and ruin their knees.

2. Too big a sidecut which will move quicker and harder than the novice can balance on it.

3. Too straight a sidecut that will not make a sharp turn without a lot of lean angle and/or some forceful tip decambering, accompanied by some one footed skiing.

I guess slalom race stock and DH boards are definately on the to be avoided as learning tools list for the newly carving. ,
post #27 of 29
Good topic.

If I don't agree with the idea of jumping to the high-end once I am past the 'beginner' stage (thought about it and this thread made up my mind - not for me) -> how do I select the 'next' ski to bring me along for seasons 2 through 5?

I'll be fine on my beginner skis for half this season and plan to demo when I can, but everyone here has to admit that the criteria is soo subjective - and marketing plans and engineering often don't line up for these manufacturers.

It's crazy - take K2 as an example. I bought the 2500 to start last year. In retrospect, probably a bad choice, but made for all the right reasons at the time. Logic would dictate that there should be a good 'medium' ski for me like the 3500/4500/5500 -> but I would guess that most here would suggest not to even consider the 3500 and 4500 - and many would suggest that I push straight on into the Apache series if I have any athletic ability. A quick look around shows the same approach at Elan (A2,A4,A6,A8).

My only point is that once you buy into the low end and have a positive experience you want more - fine - I'm in - but there is so much in the 'middle' even staying within a single category - even within a single manufacturer.

Is it possible that there is a 'skier' for each of these skis out there? I can believe it's not all 'Small' 'Medium' 'Large' - Choose One, but really, out of the population of skis 'in the middle' the differentiation is lost on me.
post #28 of 29
I consider myself an upper intermediate and I feel that Volkl P50 sc racing worldcup is a bit too much ski for me - I get totally tired after 2 hours on them and would swap them for a non worldcup model if I could. But I think everyone can ski 2nd best non-worldcup slalom ski the company produces - let it be Volkl sc (or slalom carver from last year), fischer race sc or similar
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by janesdad
My only point is that once you buy into the low end and have a positive experience you want more - fine - I'm in - but there is so much in the 'middle' even staying within a single category - even within a single manufacturer.
OH, to be clear I think you do want a 'middle' ski almost from day one. 'Beginer' skis are crap and you will quickly outgrow them. Just don't jump into a top tier or one tier down ski.
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