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Soft Race Skis

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hi,

First i want to thank Heluvaskier and L7 for their advice on plug boots. Now i know what i have to do.

I am looking for a new ski, too. 5 foot 9 and weigh 160lbs. and i need a soft ski. I want a race ski for free skiing. I do not race.
I know there is a lot of info on Epicski but i did not find much on soft race skis.
First, i need to know if i should get a race stock ski or a consumer model.
I really like the idea of a soft race stock ski but i do not know if it is good for me.
There are a few skis which i can get. Some of them are cheaper than the others.
This is what i can get.
Atomic:
06/07 SL12 155 or 165
06/07 ST12 155 or 165
06/07 ST12 racestock 155

The Atomics are expensive.
Nordica:
04/05 Dobermann Pro SL XBS 165 (cheapest ski)
05/06 Dobermann Pro SL XBS 155 or 165

I can get the best deal on the 05 ski, but only in 165 length.

Volkl:
06/07 Racetiger SL Racing 155 or 165
06/07 Racetiger SL racestock 155

Expensive,too

Rossignol:
9S Radical Oversize (i don't know the exact length)
04/05 9S WC 155 (used and probably not the best option because i want a new ski)
06/07 Radical RS WC 155 (very hard to get)

I would like to keep the Rossis as my last option.

Which skis do you think would be good for me? And in what length? I really need a soft ski which i can bend even in soft snow and mixed terrain.

Of course, the binding/plate system plays a major in ski flex IMO.

For me the cheapest ski would be the 05 Dobermann Pro SL XBS. 165 only. Anybody knows if the X-Balance system is good? And is the ski soft?
Don't get me wrong. If you guys think that this is not a great option for me i will not consider it.
05 Dobie SL Pro sidecut 112-64-97 and R=14m Not many skis have a 14m radius in 165 these days i think. I do not know if this is an advantage or not for freeskiing.
06 Dobermann Pro SL sidecut 114-64-100 and R=13 in 165. This ski i can get cheaper but not as cheap as the 05 model. I think i can get it in 155, too. In this case R=12 Same construction as the 05 model.

As you can see, i am very interested in the Nordicas because i ca get them cheaper (for the others i would have to pay full retail most likely) , but if the other skis are much better i would not hesitate to get them.

Thanks a lot!
Jim
post #2 of 26
Have you demoed any of these skis? If not then that is where I would attempt to start. I have looked at the Nordica skis, talked to a former rep about them and they seem to be a good product. Thought about buying some on Ebay too, (Dobermann Pro SC series) but held back because I have not demoed them ever- saw one pair on the ski rack at a local resort, no shops handle this model. I did like the radius and the dimensions compared to the ski I have been on.

The Volkl Racetigers (retail version with the system) skied very well in the 165 when I demoed and raced on them. I also recommend to look at the Fischer Race SC series. I demoed them and they are a system binding with a slightly softer feel than the World Cup full race series. Atomic has the blue and white slalom ski (sort of started out as a Woman's ski) that is softer than the red and white or the gold and black ski (sorry I do not have the exact model numbers).

If you want a race series slalom ski that will work for your weight (I am lighter too 165 to 170 max), the full blown race stock ski may not be the best- but you have to demo some stuff to know for sure.

Also remember that we are at the end of the season and deals should be everywhere, you should not have to pay retail for anything other than the hottest model 2007 skis just coming out. Ebay, dawgcatcher, and others out there on Epic should be able to offer up some deals.
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
RShea, i agree with you. But i can't demo all these skis. I can demo the Volkl SL Racing and Rossi 9S Oversize but not now.

Heluvaskier, you stated somewhere that you skied the Dobermann GS XBS version. Could you tell me if the Pro SL and GS skis can be used with the factory base and side edge bevel? I can't remember exactly but i think i read that the SL comes with 1/3. And did you like the GS? I do not know if this can be considered a good analogy but if the GS is good then the SL can't be a bad product...
I did not find a review of the SL XBS on Epicski.

Thanks,
Jim
post #4 of 26
I have a brand new pair of Dynastar Omeglass 63's in 165. $200 if you're interested.
post #5 of 26
I actually like the idea of the 04/05 or 05/06 Pro SL (I think they are the same ski, and if they aren't the 05/06 is the same/similar ski to the 04/05 SLR). I was actually looking for a pair mid-season because I really like my SLR, but they are crazy demanding to ski on every day. The Pro GS is a great ski, and skis buttery smooth. They are essentially similar skis to the "R" models, but ski much softer. I really like those skis though. I would reccommend the 165 though. I have both sizes and really only ski the 165's. They rip... PM me if you have any more questions or need more info.
Later
GREG
post #6 of 26
I ski the Racetiger race stock in 165. The ski is quite soft and very manageable. It grips with very little effort and is quite forgiving. I would recommend this ski. Even easier race stocks are Dynastar Omeglass Comp and the Rossi 9S.
post #7 of 26
Stockli SC. Proper race ski, but damp and floppy longitudinally. Put them on edge though and be reminded of what they are (and don't ever get back on them). Best bump ski ever, too.
post #8 of 26
The non-stock GS or SL 11 (and i'd assume the 12) are pretty soft, at least compared to the stock. I haven't skied the ST series, but I've tried the LT11's (see my review from a month ago) and they are noodles, compared to a full GS ski, much less stock. They are a ton of fun to ski though, and are not at all demanding. I'd imagine the ST's would follow suit in this.

If you want a slalom ski, I'd suggest a softer ski like the racetiger sl stock or the sl11 retail with an fis sidecut. I find that the 12m skis turn too sharply when you bend them, which you will if they are soft. Case in point: the metron b5s. I like the skis to shoot under me, but it gets ridiculous on a steep groomer where the forces can really build.
post #9 of 26
I have a pair of FIS Dynastars and I'll just say - Don't buy a Race Stock ski! It's not what you are looking for. A whole different animal from the consumer slaloms. I'll probably get a pair next year as I miss having them in my quiver.

The Race Stock ski is the be all - end all in the grip department, but not a whole lot of fun anywhere other than the race course or on very hard snow. It is an appliance with only one mission, to get you down the hill as fast as possible. If you have anything other than that in mind, you are looking in the wrong place. Last year I had a pair of P60 SCs, that was a fun ski. It didn't have the grip of the FIS ski, but it was more playful, fun and versatile, and skiied the whole mountain, even icy bumps.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Alu wrote: re: Soft Race Skis I am looking for a new ski, too. 5 foot 9 and weigh 160lbs. and i need a soft ski. I want a race ski for free skiing. I do not race.
Based on what you are saying Alu - take a look at the Salomon 165 SLs this year. Those skis are so soft that I was reluctant to purchase them - got the Rossignol SL 165 instead. Yet the national champion in my age group (Masters) uses the Salomon 165 so I know they are good. (Actually he is not the national champion this year since he skipped the nationals and went to Alpe d' Huez - he is the world champion!!!) This is the race stock SL 165 - it comes with a little yellow and black warning sticker telling you in le Français that the edges are not prepared. They are available from the race centers at 50% off now. They were so soft in my hands it was hard to comprehend they could be good race skis even knowing that they are.

Bon Appétit - Le "Fossile vivant"
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Fossil
Based on what you are saying Alu - take a look at the Salomon 165 SLs this year. Those skis are so soft that I was reluctant to purchase them - got the Rossignol SL 165 instead. Yet the national champion in my age group (Masters) uses the Salomon 165 so I know they are good. (Actually he is not the national champion this year since he skipped the nationals and went to Alpe d' Huez - he is the world champion!!!) This is the race stock SL 165 - it comes with a little yellow and black warning sticker telling you in le Français that the edges are not prepared. They are available from the race centers at 50% off now. They were so soft in my hands it was hard to comprehend they could be good race skis even knowing that they are.

Bon Appétit - Le "Fossile vivant"
Keep in mind that someone that good might be getting WC stock skis, which are an entirely different animal.
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
I want to thank you all for your suggestions.

I bought the Nordica Dobermann SL XBS 165. This is 04/05 model. Actually, it is better (for me) b/c i noticed that my ski is different from the 05/06 and 06/07 Pro SL. My ski uses the same contruction found in the 04/05 SLR - Energy. But it has Ca instead of Ti. The newer models are using a different construction - Active Ti, which is less aggressive than the Energy. The Active is suited for high performance while the Energy is made for race performance.
I like the XBS system. Now i know how it works. When i looked at the pics i did not fully understand how the plate would flex with the screws in. But it works and the screws have nothing to do with flex.

Two more differences: the sidecut 112-64-97 vs. 114-64-100 (06/07)
topsheet smooth (05) vs. textured (07)

Jim
post #13 of 26
Let us know how it goes. I've been lusting after a pair of those myself.
post #14 of 26
eBay!

I got a pair of Salomon 3V's which say "non skiable" on them and they are really nice. They are very soft but still hook up well. Its weird for a ski so soft (I can bend them leaning forward) can ski so well.

Look on Ebay. I got my salomon with bindings for $75 shipped!
post #15 of 26
non skiable?
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic
Let us know how it goes. I've been lusting after a pair of those myself.
I will. I just have to ski them I can't wait.

I hate chemistry. I looked for info on Carbon and Titanal. Carbon is not a metal so my ski has no metal in it. Titanal is a aluminium alloy. So the difference between my ski and the SLR is this: Carbon v. Titanal. I can say that both 05/06 and 06/07 Pro SL models use Active Ti construction. As i said in one of my posts, the Active construction is less aggressive than the Energy. However, they decided to use Titanal instead of Carbon for both GS and SL models. Back in 04/05, the GS had the Energy TI construction while the SL had the Energy Ca.

IMO there must be a reason Nordica uses Ti for all their top-of-the-line skis. I have read that titanal makes the skis quieter and more damp. "Damp" is the word Peter Keelty used in his review of the 05/06 Pro SL.

I have a question for chemists/experts: how does carbon affect the ski compared to titanal? Does it make the ski softer/stiffer than titanal, have more/less rebound, more/less torsional stiffness etc.? Is the carbon better for lightweight skiers? I have read somewhere that titanal is better for stability.

Thanks,
Jim
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by alu
I have a question for chemists/experts: how different is a carbon construction compared to titanal?

Thanks,
Jim
I'm pretty sure carbon is a graphite/fibreglass weave and titanal is a titanium alloy.
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by D(C)
I'm pretty sure carbon is a graphite/fibreglass weave and titanal is a titanium alloy.
These materials seem to come in and out of favour. I know that Atomic used Carbon for the 9.16 SL then used titanium and they are using magnesium for the sl 11m.
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
04/05 SLR - Energy Ti construction
04/05 SL - Energy Ca contruction (with 2V technology for enhanced energy transmission from the XBS system)
post #20 of 26
I'd think carbon is less stiff than titanium. I have no idea where magnesium fits in. But there's more than one way to skin a cat... there are many ways to make a ski that will perform as needed...
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
I do not know if carbon is less stiff than titanium. What i do know is that the SL mirrors the 04/05 SLR in construction but uses Carbon instead of Titanium. The SLR had only one sheet of titanal. Now it has two. With the XBS system it should be a pretty good ski.

Jim
post #22 of 26
Based on my experience with Mountain Bike frames and components I'll throw my .02 in. For layers of comparable thickness, Carbon will be more flexible and also more damp than Ti. Titanal, if it has Aluminum in it, will be more rigid than Ti alone.
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Let's not forget that it is a consumer race so it is normal to be softer than the stock ski, even if it has the same construction. What i find interesting is that fact that for the 04/05 season, brand N used Ti for the GS ski and Ca for the SL. Now they are using Ti for both Pro GS and SL models. But the construction is different than the Energy used in my ski. This means that brand N is using Ti in a high performance, less aggressive construction. Last year they used Ca in a race, more aggressive construction.
post #24 of 26
You can't just look at the raw material- Carbon Fiber vs Titanal is a registered trade marked product (Titanium is not the same- the main material in the sports variety is not Titanium from what I have read it is an Aluminium Alloy- but almost white in color though.) It also depends on how they lay and layer the material down and the pattern (Carbon fiber is almost a fabric weave to it- similar to fiberglass mesh).

Just like in bikes where they are made of the product exclusively (not layered in sheets like in skis) each has strengths and weaknesses- Carbon fiber has good dampening and absorbsion but can be brittle, aluminimiun is stiffer for shock absorbsion but can bend easily, titanium is light weight but stiff for for the weight.

If you want to read up more on Titanal check out http://www.titanal-sports.com/indexfla.htm
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
RShea, thank you for the link and info.
post #26 of 26
yip - titanal is the way most manufactureurs go for. Last year they had severe shortcomings and couldn't keep up with demand. Many ski-companies had delays of 2-3 month to produce their titanal skis because they didn't have enough on stock.

However titanal is quite expensive - therefore we will not see it in many consumer skis. Most talk about dodgy forms is left alone to consumer skis. Race skis are build up mostly the same (except for Atomic Cap and Salomon). Oh and yess Salomon is very soft. I found a 165cm model too soft to freeski on with 65kg.
For lighter riders I recommend to get a very soft tip that engages easily so even if you can't bend the skis you will get through tight gates easily - but have lots of fun freeskiing them too. this advice isn't for good times but just for fun. I have seen and attended enough snowboard races were 80% percent of the participants couldn't bend their boards properly and lost much time - luckily this is/has changed. - but I myself like snowboards I can't bend for freecarving if snow situation is very good.
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