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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › New to the board: Need tips and opinions.
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New to the board: Need tips and opinions.

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Im unsure of what skill level i'd put myself in. Im 16 (6'1/190lbs) and been skiing the northeast (upper vermont lower quebec) since I was 5. Im pretty confident in my abilities on the groomed trails that chracterize the notheast. but i've never seen a video of myself skiing, so i don't know how great i am.

Anyway, enough about me. onto the skis. My dad got me these Ski's off ebay for like 60 bucks. They're Elan HCX Race skis. not sure what year. On Marker M5.1 bindings with some kind of 1 inch riser. Specs on the ski, accroding to ski canada, are tip/waist/tail 107/63/94. turning radius is 11.5@146. i beleive the length is 170 (largest ski canada says this model is available in) but the ski itself says 173 on it. so can't be sure. I really have no idea what these numbers mean to me as the guy skiing with them. im guessing shorter is easier to use and better for turning? but aside from that, i can't really speculate on what these various numbers mean. i'd really like to know what the pros and cons to a wider or shorter tip/waist/tail and turning radius are.

so pretty much what i'm wondering is, what should i expect from this ski, binding combo. will they stay composed over ice and slush? carve easily and predicatbly? etc etc. if anyone has anything of notable value to throw in that'd be great.

on ebay i was considering picking up these Atomic carve 8.18 betas. circa 2003. should i spring for these or stick with the Elans?

thanx in advance guys, and nice board.
post #2 of 11
Hey there! I can't really answer any of your questions (sorry), but I wanted to welcome you to the board (from another relative newbie) and to bump your post to make sure others see it.
post #3 of 11
The Tip/Waist/Tail numbers determine a number of things about a skis performance. Bigger numbers will tend to provide better performance and flotation in ungroomed snow but sacrifice some groomed/hard snow performance. Waist widths less than 66 tend to be carving skis, 66 - 76 general all-mountain skis, and 76+ are more off-piste oriented.

The radius determines more or less the turn sizes the ski is most happy to make. In the case of the Elan, very short turns. Below 14 is pretty short, 14-18 medium, and 18+ on the longer side. It is also the maximum sized turn a ski can carve without some sort of skidding (I think).

The proper length of a ski is typically a function of your weight, height, and typical skiing speed. Heavier, Taller, Faster skiers will be more comfortable on longer lengths.

While I haven't skied the Elan HCX, based on simillar Elan skis, I would expect it to be a great hardsnow ski which carves very well on harpack and ice. Probably not the best choice for ungroomed snow.

I'd ski them a few times and see what you think of them. If you like them, great, if not I would come back here and post in the grear section what you are looking for and how much you have to spend.
post #4 of 11
I'm thinking maybe HeluvaSkier has been on the HCX. I'm sure others here have been, so you'll get some good input.

In the meantime, Welcome to EpicSki!
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
thanx for the input guys. im having them rewaxed and sharpened as we speak. the guy said the riser will make it better everywhere. that made me happy, but for some reason i doubt it. or else everyone would be on risers, dont u would think?

i prefer short, fast turns as opposed to those long arcs. when i try to do long arcs its like my adrenline level drops off and i lose concentration and such. so shorter, more flickable skiis sounds good.
post #6 of 11
Actually most people are on "risers" on the narrower skis these days whether they realize it or not. Most bindings now incorporate much more lift than yesteryear. Measure from the bottom of the ski base to the bottom of the heel of your boot (stick the boot in the binding) and tell us what the lift measurement is - then we can comment.

The extra lift helps avoid boot-out and gives you a bit more leverage when putting the skis on edge.
post #7 of 11

What color?

I would ignore the Ski Canada numbers and read them right off the ski.

If the ski is matte grey with red side trim, then take a look at Bob Barnes' review here:


The ski canada ski:

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
i finally got to ski my the HCX yesterday. first thing i noticed was they seemed alittle vague. i wasn't getting much feed back from the ground. only when hard on it on the ice did they start to chatter, THEN i felt them. so it made transitions from snow to ice more noticable then others. took me a few runs and a rise in volume on my ipod to block out. second, they seem reeeaaallllyyyyy heavy. idk, maybe its just me but they felt like weights. was a real workout, and made them stuborn to change lines especially on ice (it was a really windy icy day at Jay Peak). and i couldn't just thro them around the trail without alittle muscle to get them where i want them to go. made off trail excursions thru the woods really hard. and i didn't try moguls but i would imagine they would fairly tiring and not to easy.

but thats the bad i noticed. i was getting more and more used to them, and by the end of the day i was feeling pretty confident on them. even with a POS rental boot that was always to loose or to tight. but i did still notice i was out of breath soon when i really put the carves in high gear.

going to Mt. Orford this saturday, so i'll push em alittle harder and she what i find.

anyone want to recoment a good new/used boot for me??? preferably something lite weight.
post #9 of 11
I believe the HCX was the detuned slalom race ski from Elan.

It sounds as though you're fighting them. It will be a workout if you are trying to bully them around. Treat them like a race horse that is reign-trained; just tip them on edge put a little force into the tips, not much, and LET them turn as you maintain balance and try not to fall off. If you do it right the only work out you will get is from the G-force in the turns.

They are probably a little too shapely to be easy on the ice. If you can carve moguls you will like them, otherwise you might want to avoid moguls with them.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
i think ur right. it do try to bully them a bit.

can u explain to me this "putting force on the tips". u kinda lost me there. i probably know the feeling but dont know what its called.
post #11 of 11
Just keep the tips pressed down into the snow with your weight SLIGHTLY forward, not so much that you leverage the rest of the edge off the snow; you want the whole edge to grip, but make sure the fronts grab on and don't slip. Just tip 'em (cross section of skis from the rear / / for left turn) and rip.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › New to the board: Need tips and opinions.