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Low End Skis

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Just wondering if any of you have done this: Just for the fun of it, I am thinking of taking a few runs on a pair of beginner/low-end skis then switching back to my regular skis. I have not been on any low-end skis for many years and am very curious to see just what I will notice. I think this could be an instructive exercise. I hope that it re-kindles my appreciation for my regular gear. But I am also curious about what my own perception will be. We all demo skis and wax poetic about the relative virtues of various models. We make comparisons and fine distinctions between various high-end skis some of which have only subtle differences, others greater differences, but all HP skis. So, I am curious about whether the differences will be shocking and dramatic or if my reaction will be more along the lines of "Gee, they don't hold an edge like my S12's but you know, they're not THAT bad."

So, have any of you ever done this?
If so, what was your reaction? I'd love to hear you impressions and thoughts.
post #2 of 28
If you are an instructor, grab a pair of rental skis from your shop and try it. I think its a great idea. Might try it myself.
post #3 of 28
I would sooner ski a low end ski of today than a $600.00 race ski of 10 years ago.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
I would sooner ski a low end ski of today than a $600.00 race ski of 10 years ago.
Interesting point Phil. I skied for 4 or 5 years, 30 yrs ago. Then didn't ski all that time. I am now back to it for the past 4 years. The equipt. had obviously changed dramatically, but I restarted on good stuff. I have never put on a pair of modern low-end gear, so I am very curious.
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiDeC58
Interesting point Phil. I skied for 4 or 5 years, 30 yrs ago. Then didn't ski all that time. I am now back to it for the past 4 years. The equipt. had obviously changed dramatically, but I restarted on good stuff. I have never put on a pair of modern low-end gear, so I am very curious.
Quite franklym I think the low end stuff of today is under rated. For the Metron-ites...The M9 is very under rated. Even when the SCX came out, I liked teh blue one better than the red, it was more versatile and you could modulate is better.
post #6 of 28
I did that last year....I took a beginner level ski and took if for a ride at a pretty good clip on a groomed intermediate run.

If I was dead on in the right spot and tried not to overpower it, the thing didn't ski all that bad. At speed the tip and tail wobbled violently up and down but the ski was so soft that under foot was still holding...It was pretty comical. You will understand exactly where the center of the ski is, and therefore exactly where you have been skiing on yours.

There was zero energy in the ski.

It is quite a wake up call and when you get back on your own gear, boy will you have some fun.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
I would sooner ski a low end ski of today than a $600.00 race ski of 10 years ago.
Very interesting. I guess racing skis must have had a downturn 10 years ago. I would rather ski a race ski of 20 years ago, than the low end ski of today. I demoed some Salomon streetracers (8 and 10, I think) and they were rubbish. Not only were they unstable at speed, but they wouldn't hold an edge when cranked into a high angle on hardpack due to lack of torsional rigidity. I suppose they would be ok for going slowly in soft snow and not making any hard turns.
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
Very interesting. I guess racing skis must have had a downturn 10 years ago. I would rather ski a race ski of 20 years ago, than the low end ski of today.
When were you last on a mid 80's race ski? A Rossi FP. K2 77, Kastle Team National, Atomic Bionic RS's.(all in a 205 cm-ish length) These things are like the muscle cars from the 60's,,the will go fast in a straight line, don't even think about taking them into the turns.
post #9 of 28
I recently did this. A friend wanted to try my Metron so I switched skis with him for about an hour.(his skis were beginner/intermediate) I was surprised how good they were but they seemed a little slow, too soft and flat. I felt like I could throw them around. It was fun for a while, but I appreciated my metrons more when I got back on them.
I'd do it again for kicks!
post #10 of 28
do it all the time! sure appreciate my well tuned HP skis afterwards..

It's also a good way to get empathy for your students.

DC
post #11 of 28
The ones i've used are pretty good. I tried my wifes R8's (160) and they were a blast......slalom ski that won't kick your'e butt. I liked them enough that when I saw a pair in 180 new with bindings, for $150 I bought them, put the bindings on other skis and put Fritcheys on the R8's. Been my main patrol ski for two years, soft enough for powder, Atomic bite, flat top for AT bindings.

Atomic calls them sport ride whatever that means but they are usually marketed as beginner -intermediate. I find them softer and wider than the R11 but still a perfectly useable ski. And more fun and better carvers than my 205 Kastle National Teams.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchan
do it all the time! sure appreciate my well tuned HP skis afterwards..

It's also a good way to get empathy for your students.

DC
I actually said this out loud during a lesson with my school group. "How on earth did I ever learn to ski on those things".
That was more than 20 years ago when we still used safety straps instead of brakes, and the equipment was never tuned.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
Very interesting. I guess racing skis must have had a downturn 10 years ago. I would rather ski a race ski of 20 years ago, than the low end ski of today. I demoed some Salomon streetracers (8 and 10, I think) and they were rubbish. Not only were they unstable at speed, but they wouldn't hold an edge when cranked into a high angle on hardpack due to lack of torsional rigidity. I suppose they would be ok for going slowly in soft snow and not making any hard turns.
Either you are heavy enough to overpower these skis, pushing back instead of managing the pressure or got some poorly tuned skis.. I'm a light 155lbs and found the Street racer quite stable on early morning spring hard pack in the sierra. I wasn't moving at all out race speeds but I was moving pretty fast. Got them up pretty high on edge (almost putting one hand on the ground) with no skid or unstableness.

They are not as stable as my 10.3v race's but I didn't find them too horrible or scary. (demos were 165CM my race's are SL 155)

for a 5'8" person I guess 155 is a low weight compared to the average.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick
That was more than 20 years ago when we still used safety straps instead of brakes, and the equipment was never tuned.
There's an oxymoron! Safety Strap. Right up there with military intelligence:
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
When were you last on a mid 80's race ski? A Rossi FP. K2 77, Kastle Team National, Atomic Bionic RS's.(all in a 205 cm-ish length) These things are like the muscle cars from the 60's,,the will go fast in a straight line, don't even think about taking them into the turns.
I had my 208-cm Kästle RX National Team Super G skis out twice this year, and had a pair of 190 Fischer Vacuum Techniqe SLS skis out last year. The only place the modern low end skis would be better is going slow on the groomed runs or slow to medium in soft ungroomed snow.

Edit: I also tried out some Elan S8 skis. They were ok going up to about 20-25 mph and felt nice doing that, but they just would only turn so hard. It's kind of like putting snow tires on your car in the fall and taking off the high performance summer rubber; you might overcook a few curves until you get your right foot recalibrated.
post #16 of 28
I had them thar straps on my skis as a kid. We called them windmill straps. When you fell the skis spun around like a windmill. With luck the first hit knocked you out so you didn't feel the rest smacking you around like a ping pong ball.

I took a few hits from those things and just thought of it as part of the skiing package. Man, do I like the brakes of today.
post #17 of 28
Haha maybe safe for the other people ont he mountain...but not you, as in no 205 cm missile on heat seek
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchan
There's an oxymoron! Safety Strap. Right up there with military intelligence:
Remember those days?
Hey, maybe I should give my great Uncle Deweys skis a try. They are longer than "heck" and some of the leather straps may have to be repaired but I think I could give em a whirl.....Nah! I'll just keep them for decoration.

He told stories of soaking them in water and bending them around the wood stove to get the curve back in the tips. Glad I don't have to do that to my skis today.
post #19 of 28
I haven't tried rental skis, but I tried skiing in a rental boot last season. I would've been just as well off sticking my foot in a bucket and clicking in.
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
I had my 208-cm Kästle RX National Team Super G skis out twice this year, and had a pair of 190 Fischer Vacuum Techniqe SLS skis out last year. The only place the modern low end skis would be better is going slow on the groomed runs or slow to medium in soft ungroomed snow.

Edit: I also tried out some Elan S8 skis. They were ok going up to about 20-25 mph and felt nice doing that, but they just would only turn so hard. It's kind of like putting snow tires on your car in the fall and taking off the high performance summer rubber; you might overcook a few curves until you get your right foot recalibrated.
Power to you man.. .

I had out my Old G9's about 2 years back...NEVER again. yes, I know what you talk about summer/winter tires, been there...done that.
post #21 of 28
On a business trip to Denver a few years back, extended my trip over the weekend and headed for the mountains (Keystone to be specific). Second weekend of the ski season - didn't have my skis with me, just my boots, so I headed to the rental shop to take out a pair of their 'performance' skis. They didn't have their performance skis ready to rent yet, so I had to take out their 'standard' rental or drive back into Dillon or Slverthorne. Don't remember what model - pretty sure the brand was Rossignol.

Anyway, it was my first time out for the season and for the first few runs, I was surprised at how nicely the skis handled. However, once I felt warmed-up and started to push the skis a bit (higher speeds, more challenging terrain, etc.), the skis became unstable. My first experience with a ski that had a "speed limit". Made for an interesting day of skiing.
post #22 of 28
Shouldn't it be obvious to anyone that skis well that a lower end ski is going to be softer, not perform as well at speed, and not hold an edge as well? They're made easier to flex for more low end skiers.

Trying them out is a good idea, but don't be suprised when they don't preform up to your standards. It doesn't mean they're a bad ski, just not for you.
post #23 of 28
Are we talking a low end ski or a rental ski?
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchan
There's an oxymoron! Safety Strap. Right up there with military intelligence:
I think the safety was for other people. I used to ski at a place with a poster of a ski which impaled itself into a fence right up to the toe piece.

Actually, I still use them with my dynafit bindings and on some powder days. I figure I skied 700 days before the brakes were invented and only got hit once, and that was when I had the bright idea to section a downhill course on my slalom skis. Now I wear a helmet.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchan
for a 5'8" person I guess 155 is a low weight compared to the average.
Low end Salomon skis not manufactured by Fischer are often hilariously and ridiculously soft. Like, lean back slightly and tips come 12 inches off the ground.

I would gladly ski on Blizzards' $299 MAP ski any day of the year. I might go a little slower in gnarly stuff, but it would do me just fine. Like Phil, I'd rather ski on a pair of those then a pair of race skis from 6 or 7 years ago.

Importantly, not all low end skis are built alike. The low end Volkls, for instance, all ski like utter horseshit IMHO.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman
Importantly, not all low end skis are built alike. The low end Volkls, for instance, all ski like utter horseshit IMHO.
You really should learn to spell "Rossignol"
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex
You really should learn to spell "Rossignol"


Hah.

Rossi actually has a couple cheap skis that ski pretty well, but they are usually SMUs or high-perf rentals. It appears this happens because they have so much excess production capacity, so these weird 40 off deals show up.
post #28 of 28
I went to our local hill today because it was so warm and the snow was going to be great slush.

I brought two pairs. My 8800's and my Rossi Axium T power with twin deck. The Rossi's are intermediate.

I did about 10 runs on my 8800's then grabbed my Rossi's. Sure the Rossi's were much turnier and easier to manhandle but they just didn't have the stability and edge hold of the 8800's. The Rossi's were getting knocked around in the slush, they wouldn't hold a turn strongly.

I went back to my 8800's and smiled for the rest of the day at how great they were.
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