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Slalom vs Carving Skis

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I've been skiing on Rossi Cobras for a couple of years now and I am looking at upgrading, but every time I go into the ski shop I get different advise as to what I should buy. :

I tried out the Atomic SL9.12 in 170 length and really liked them but the guys at the ski shop tell me that there too stiff and that I should look at carving skis, not slalom skis. Triede the Atomic R:10.20 but after being on the SL9.12, it felt like I was driving a Caddillac.

I've been told that the Head IC 160 is the best ski me, then the next day I'm told that I should go with the Head IC300's. Other shops recommend Volkl 4 and 5 star's and I've been told that the Rossi Viper is too stiff to ski.

I ski in Ontario, Canada where the hills are steep and short, and my skiing is mixed (slow sking with the kids (4 and 6 yrs old) in the afternoon and fast skiing with my buddies at night). I get out about 20-25 days a year.

I saw the new Elan Fusion skis (integrated Marker binding system)last weekend but I couldn't ski them because I cut my hand open requiring 12 stiches which means I have to stay off my skis for a couple of weeks

It's getting to the point where I think I might just put off buying skis until next year.

So should I be looking at carving skis or slalom skis?
post #2 of 7

A good way to do it is to first go by shape. Either slalom or carving is o.k.. A good slalom ski can make a great all around ski. I ski the Head wc slalom (last year's) in a 170 on the east coast. It even did fine in Utah though it was tough to keep up with Alta on his 188 G4's.

Yeah, the Atomic 9-ll might be a stiff ski, but if you liked it try another slalom ski. Then try the softer versions. Isn't the viper the softer slalom ski? Check out the catalog. Elan makes the Hlx which is a softer version of their ripping slalom ski. You could probably get a good deal on those.

so go by shape, then try stiffness. you might prefer a softer ski...or not
post #3 of 7
You might want to try the Atomic 11.16 in 170 cm length. It carves a 14 metre radius.
post #4 of 7
Dude, I don’t want hammer anyone who is giving you advise BUT!!!! [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img] If you have found a ski that you like and it works for you (and you have skied it and still like it) then who cares what anyone else has to say , you are by far the best judge of what makes you happy. My advice (and now I am being a hypocrite) is go get the SL9’s and “tip em and rip em!!!!” [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #5 of 7
The Atomic SL:9 is not what i would call a terribly stiff ski. It should handle all mountain skiing just fine. If you liked them then i wouldnt look at any other skis. It sounds like the shops are trying to push certain skis on you for one reason or another. You know best what you like, especially if you have been on a few pairs of skis. Personally i prefer short slalom skis for all mountain skiing in Western New York, they rip up the groomed (ice) and whip through the trees like nobody's business. Granted they get a little lost when you head into deep stuff, but i keep a pair of Salomon XScream Series around for deeper days.

A good example of a shop not knowing what kind skis a person needs is when i went into a shop in Buffalo about a year and a half ago. I was looking for salomon bindings (which they didnt have in the shop), and in the process i started looking at atomic race skis. I was looking at the atomic 9.12 and 9.20 just to see what kinda skis they were. The salesman who was in the ski section promply told me that they would be way too much ski for me to ski on and that i would never be able to bend them - this was before he even asked what kind of skier i was. Instead he suggested an atomic 8.18 or a rossi 10.7 or something along those lines... I just laughed and left the shop. So the moral of the story is that a lot of the time shops dont know anything about what you will like. The 9.12 is a hot ski, if you can find a serious weakness in it when free skiing then you might want to try something else, but if you liked it better than all of the other skis that you have tried, then i say go for it. You will then own a ski that you know you like.


post #6 of 7

Did the guys at the shop actually see you ski? If not, then how do they know that they are too stiff for you? If you can demo more, go for it before you buy; otherwise, just get the ones you like best and enjoy!
post #7 of 7
Check out the reviews at Peter Keelty's site . There are plenty of less-demanding short slaloms out there, and I'd include the Atomic 9.12 (SL9) among them. Peter Keelty gave it the overall "ski of the year" award last year. Short slaloms can make a small hill fun again, and the ones with wider tips generally float fairly well in most conditions.

By the way, 9.12s in 170 are fairly cheap on eBay, since most racers go with the 160 length.
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