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Can better technique compensate for skis that are too long?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Last year, I got rid of my straight skis and bought myself
a pair of Atomic Beta Ride 11.20s in 180.

I really love this ski for high speed medium to long radius
turns. They are super super stable and give me lots of
confidence. However, short turns are another matter.
I find it very hard to carve short turns on hard surfaces.
I know my short turns need work, but from what I've been
seeing on this forum, I'm skiing it longer than most people,
(I'm 5'11", 150lbs.) so suspect that this is part of the problem.

My question is, given my build, would I be able to carve short
turns on hard(icy) surfaces with this ski if I improve my technique,
or is it just too long/stiff for me for this purpose?
post #2 of 20
Hi Paul,
I'm 6ft, 180lb and on a 181 ski that I'm starting to think is a bit long at times. Improving technique will help up to a point, but you may well end up working a lot harder than you need to just to get the ski to do what it was designed for. Many skiers on here are happy with longer skis, but a lot of us are now going quite a bit shorter.

I'll let some of the better skiers give you an answer, but my thoughts for you would be to drop below 170.

S
post #3 of 20
Yes.
post #4 of 20
I'm about your size and skiing on a pair of Atomic Beta Carv 9.20's (180cm) that I bought at a ski swap before this season. I found that, like you, I was able to master medium and long radius turns in the new technique fairly easy, but short range turns took longer. Again like you, short turns were never my strongest suit.

After about 10 ski days this year, I can say that I make short radius turns with a good amount of confidence and reasonable skill, although I am certainly not always 100% carving. I am happy with the way I have progressed, in general.

Since I bought my skis at a ski swap and had never skied on shaped skis before, I was taking a bit of a gamble on the length. If I could do it again I would definitely go shorter -- probably 170cm. I'm still a little shakey in the trees and in other situations requiring super-tight turns. But I take advantage of the extra length to really let it rip out in the open.

Given that the Beta Rides are known less than the Beta Carv for short radius turns, I would consider returning them if possible. And if not, hey, I wouldn't worry about it too much; you will get used to them -- even if it feels like swinging two bats in the on-deck circle for a while. [img]smile.gif[/img]

-BM.
post #5 of 20
Paul,

The ski you've chosen was designed as an all-mountain cruiser, 70 mm underfoot, with a natural carving radius of 19 metres. You've noticed these performance characteristics in your medium to long radius turns when you "park and ride". Crud should feel like butter.

Learning to steer the ski by actively rotating/twisting your legs in their hip sockets will go a long way in tightening up the radius. Take a lesson with these parameters in mind.

Nonetheless, you will have to come to grips with the fact that your ski will not be able to make a purely carved short radius turn like a slalom ski -- <65 mm underfoot with a 12 metre radius -- can. Some skidding will be involved, usually in the middle to end phase of the turn.

A shorter length -- 170 cm ~ 18 m; 160 cm ~ 16.5 m -- will make carved SL turns easier since the natural radius of the ski tightens up but it's better to get the skill I mentioned above since you like the other aspects of the ski. Technology will only get you so far...

[ February 18, 2003, 10:19 AM: Message edited by: Warren ]
post #6 of 20
Technique will help you, but as others have said, only to a point. Your skis have been designed for a given turn radius, and shorter radii involve going out of that design space and you have to expect the ski not to react as well.

Don't despair... I am going from 200 S9 slalom skis (straight) to 188 G4 (83 mm underfoot, 22.9 m radius), and short turns are an issue! But like you, the rest of the ski makes it up for me... I can't turn short anymore, but I can turn just as fast, I just need 5 times the space [img]smile.gif[/img]

YA
post #7 of 20
I had the R11:20's in 180. I am 5'11" and 170. They don't want to make supert shourt turns on their own, but it is very possible to do so. It is not like 180 is long or anything, so you are already on a "shorter" ski, so I wouldn't worry about it. Just work on technique. In chutes and tight spots you may need to jump turn. I now ride a fatter ski with a larger turning radius and I feel they turn just as quick as I could with the R11s. So yes you can overcome ski length issues with technique. And I don't feel your ski is too long anyway.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by amorgan0001:
I now ride a fatter ski with a larger turning radius and I feel they turn just as quick as I could with the R11s.
Which ski?
YA
post #9 of 20
I'm about 10lbs lighter than you and 5'6". I chose the 11.20's in a 160 because I knew that this was a stiff ski and wanted versatility, so went with the 160 instead of a 170. The short length is not only just shorter but is also softer flexing.

Another thing you should play with is the binding position. The atomic binding allows you to set it more forward or back. Try one of the more forward settings. I think you will be surprised at how much more response the ski is in the more forward settings. I set mine at the most forward position which happens to be the closest my ball of foot center.

I have no problems with short turns or bumps on my 11.20's.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by Ladede:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by amorgan0001:
I now ride a fatter ski with a larger turning radius and I feel they turn just as quick as I could with the R11s.
Which ski?
YA
</font>[/quote]I now ride the R:EX. It is pretty similar to the R:11, just a little wider and more bomber in crud/pow. But not as good carving and edge hold on hard snow.

The varizone feature does change the ski handling a lot. Moving it forward may help with quicker turns. I have experimented with all the settings but always wind up back in the "all-around" setting. It seems to be the best compromise between quick turns and max speed.

The R:11 in 180 does favor long strong turns so perhaps paulwlee would like a 170 better, and at 150lbs I would say either size will work. I still feel the 180 is quick and nimble enough and shouldn't be a problem anywhere on the mountain. And with technique you can grow into them. I used to make tighter turns on Slalom sticks, but now I tend to bomb through things at higher speeds, since that's what they skis want to do; although you can pretty much make them do whatever you want with effort.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all your replies so far.

It seems that the consensus is, yes, it does work, but will be
more difficult and not work as well as other skis. If that's the
case, I think I'll try a bit more and see how it goes. The extra
stability at speed is something that I would hate to lose, since
that's what I enjoy most.

In response to Warren's comments, I've actually been trying the
rotary motion as well as some other tips floating around here at
EpicSki and it did wonders to my turns, and I now feel that I
have a lot more active control compared to the park-and-ride
turns I was doing before that. (Replacing my decade-old packed-
out boots last Nov with a pair that fit helped a lot too.)
Maybe I just need to work it into my short turns a bit more.
I also plan to take some lessons soon.

Adjusting the variozone setting is a good idea. I experimented
with it a little when I first got the skis, but have left it at
All-round ever since. I'll try that when I get up to the
mountains.

On another note, what is a good length for slalom skis if I'm
interested in carving fall line short turns on icy runs?
(I'm 5'11", 150lbs, as a reminder.)
I have half a mind to buy something like this to complement my
R11, but can't seem to find any way to try them first.

[ February 18, 2003, 07:00 PM: Message edited by: paulwlee ]
post #12 of 20
The answer is yes, of course. Now, that being the case, imagine how much better you would be skiing on a ski in the proper length. You just have to decide if it matters to you enough to go and get a new pair of boards.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by amorgan0001:
I now ride the R:EX. It is pretty similar to the R:11, just a little wider and more bomber in crud/pow. But not as good carving and edge hold on hard snow.
Did you get it in 184? Or 177? Just curious.

YA
post #14 of 20
Quote:
On another note, what is a good length for slalom skis if I'm interested in carving fall line short turns on icy runs?
(I'm 5'11", 150lbs, as a reminder.)
Wouldn't go over 170, indeed if this was all you wanted to do, at your weight I'd suggest you try a 163 even. I'm 5'8" ski 170 in the SL, prefer the 163, and next time I need a new SL will try the 156! Ah technology.
post #15 of 20
For short and icy, I ski Stockli SL's in a 156 and Stockli Spirit Pros in a 158.

I'm 5' 9" and 170 pounds.

I tried to do a PSIA thing on my 188 GS skis a few years ago. Things were going fine till the examiner requested short radius turns ..... yea, I could get there but every compensation equaled another flaw and every flaw was picked up.

[ February 19, 2003, 04:43 PM: Message edited by: yuki ]
post #16 of 20
While mosto of this is correct, they are leaving out the factor of edge angle/leg angulation.

I can make a medium radius (smaller than GS) turn on my 27m radius Stormriders, this is with LOTS of angle. I haven't seen myself videoed lately, but I can easily put my inside hand on the ground with out bending over, and I have put my inside buttcheek on the ground on occasion mid-carve and had it friction burned. If I can do this on my stormy's you can do it on your 11.20's to make a short radius turn. The 11:20's aren't all that stiff, you should be able to bend them even at your weight.

You basicly have to do all the angulation with your legs, while keeping your pelvis and torso vertical - just like a modern slalom skier, but very high in the range of leg angulation they would use. You will need to keep a very straight downhill leg too do this also, with a bent leg you won't have enough leg strength to support it (nobody does, even WCer's). This is different than GS/SG/DH, where the tendancy is to lean the body in also, where you are generating even more force in the turns. Lots of lift, a wider ski, and hard pack will also help, because they keep you from booting out.

These are not the carves you can do on flat terrain with a slalom ski, they are a quite a bit trickier and can't be done everywhere.

Enjoy,

Kevin
post #17 of 20
I'm 6-2, 215. I skied those in 170's and thought they turned like CRAZY. They were a blast (to me) on jamming as many short turns as possible top to bottom as well as med/long radius turns. I will say I did notice they required more flex/extension similar to old school race slaloms than the new shape skis normally require, but when I did this they seemed to turn faster to me than even the SL9's.
post #18 of 20
I don't know much about those particular skis, I would just keep in mind that there is no solid rule on ski length in general. The proper length for a given individual totally depends on the ski. Some skis ski longer and some shorter. My wife is 4-11 and 130 and skis 163 cm Volkls V-10 which are pretty soft. She would be in big trouble though with G-3s. I think that there is too much emphasis put on short skis these days. The only way to be sure is to try before you buy.
post #19 of 20
Last year I bought the Atomic 11.20's, 180 cm model (am about 5.11/165/lev 8) and had a lot of trouble keeping the skis under control during 2 weeks. Consequently I was not too happy with 'em. Untill I got 'em serviced properly. Had them tuned 3° side and 1° base (thanks to posters who pointed out the bevel degrees). It made a hell of a difference and I love the 11.20's now.

So Paulwlee, if you didn't have your skis edges tuned, just do it. I can only conclude that the 11.20's I bought must 've been very poorly tuned at the Atomic factory.

Greetz.
Daniël
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
I actually took a look at my side bevel and changed it to 3 degrees, so am hoping it will make some difference for those conditions, along with the advice on technique I got here.

It's only this year that I've taken an interest in tuning my own skis, and it seems that it was at 2 degrees before that.
Either the original owner, or the shop I had the skis tuned at the end of last season did that..

3->2->3 degrees : a lot of metal gone, Ouch!

[ February 22, 2003, 12:21 AM: Message edited by: paulwlee ]
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