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GS Ski Buying Advice Please

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi - nxt season I'm planning to enter several GS races (part of European Speed test training for Grade 1 cert) - going to buy 2 pairs GS skis (pair to train, pair to race) - I'm 6ft, 189 pounds. Never bought modern GS skis before - what would you race bears recommend size wise (I can get a good deal on race stock Atomic's from Denver Wholesale in 183 and 186 size - but wondered if they might be too small? - many thanks, Dave
post #2 of 19
DG3. How much race experience do you have? What sort of courses will you be competing on?

I don't have any personal experience with the Atomic GS but you will find that in a modern GS ski, these are unlikely to be too short. I suspect you will find that the 183 is a bit more wieldy.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
hi - couple of weeks race training (out of gates)and last season trained in gates for first time for a wk - no actual full race experience yet. the courses will be full FIS specced GS courses and will be early to late season (so ice - soft). so 183cm may be better, mmm thanks scotskier, dave
post #4 of 19
many people here will tell you that unless you are a sponsored athlete and throw away your skis after each week of training you don't want a pair of skis that only ever see snow on race day - reason: the skis you train with will soften up and become worked in, then your race skis on race day will behave completely different.

so ski them both evenly and just maintain them both @ the same level you would for a pr of race skis, then on race day you can wax them both differently and pick the skis closest to snow temp come start time.
post #5 of 19
Dave, based on that I would definitely suggest going with the 183 as a better option. Plenty of others here who can also give recommendations tho.
post #6 of 19
I would say that is the logical choice going with the 183. But I can say that this year I switched to 191s for my GS skis and I'm not that big of a guy(6'3, 170lbs). And I found stability and grip I never experienced before. Something that I often see in the provincial ciruit here are peoples with too short of a ski and they get thrown around as soon as the course gets fast. And even more so when were talking FIS race courses where you get hauling in the ruts. So my recommendation would be the 186 which could give you a little more grip and stability with just a little deeper radius
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dg3
Hi - nxt season I'm planning to enter several GS races (part of European Speed test training for Grade 1 cert) - going to buy 2 pairs GS skis (pair to train, pair to race) - I'm 6ft, 189 pounds. Never bought modern GS skis before - what would you race bears recommend size wise (I can get a good deal on race stock Atomic's from Denver Wholesale in 183 and 186 size - but wondered if they might be too small? - many thanks, Dave
How old are you?
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
unfortunately a mature start age of 36
post #9 of 19
I am going to give you a little different viewpoint here.

We have 4 pair of Race stock Gs11

2- pair of 186 04 World Cup.

2- pair 05 Blu/White Gs11 M Women's WC Cap no beta with Wc riser

1st the 186.

This ski is ridiculously stiff. I am about your size and unless i am going absolutely balls to the wall I can barely bend the thing. Additionaly Atomic race stock GS skis are some of the least shapely in the industry and have the narrowest tip dimension. these skis are 99-65-85. that is a 24.8M sidecut radius. In my opinion much too little sidecut for master's level GS. With that narrow a tip the ski really does not draw you into the turn.


The 183 this ski is quite a bit more user friendly`, but still pretty burly.

the dimensions are 100-65-85. Still 23.6 M turn radius. Again pretty narrow tip and certainly not an easy turning ski when up on edge.

If I were you i would look at something in the 180cm range with an 18-19 M turn radius. In the Atomic line the SX11 Supercross or SXb5 would be much more user friendly and much easier to crank through a masters level Gs, still have plenty of edge hold (plenty of stiffness torsionally) Let's face it, if you can't bend the ski, you can't carve it or get good edgehold and if the turn radius is too big, unless you are a World cup, world class class racer you are absolutely going to struggle on the race stock Atomic GS skis.

A lot guys also race on the GS9.

I used the SX11 supercross to run masters Gs in a 180 and it was perfect. it has the same construction (B4 Beta) as the original Gs11 but has an 18M turn radius which is 3M more sidecut then FIS legal which is totally manageable. It is more like 11-66-97, Atomic says 18M
the SXB5 is 111-68-97 19 M in a 182 7 the 174cm (don't laugh, you would probably rock on a 174 GS ski) is 110-68-96 18M)

In conclusion if your last name is Maier, Miller or Rahlves, go for it, if not, tone it dow, have some fun with faster runs and less DNF's at the same time!
post #10 of 19

I pretty much agree...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
I am going to give you a little different viewpoint here.

We have 4 pair of Race stock Gs11

2- pair of 186 04 World Cup.

2- pair 05 Blu/White Gs11 M Women's WC Cap no beta with Wc riser

1st the 186.

This ski is ridiculously stiff. I am about your size and unless i am going absolutely balls to the wall I can barely bend the thing. Additionaly Atomic race stock GS skis are some of the least shapely in the industry and have the narrowest tip dimension. these skis are 99-65-85. that is a 24.8M sidecut radius. In my opinion much too little sidecut for master's level GS. With that narrow a tip the ski really does not draw you into the turn.


The 183 this ski is quite a bit more user friendly`, but still pretty burly.

the dimensions are 100-65-85. Still 23.6 M turn radius. Again pretty narrow tip and certainly not an easy turning ski when up on edge.

If I were you i would look at something in the 180cm range with an 18-19 M turn radius. In the Atomic line the SX11 Supercross or SXb5 would be much more user friendly and much easier to crank through a masters level Gs, still have plenty of edge hold (plenty of stiffness torsionally) Let's face it, if you can't bend the ski, you can't carve it or get good edgehold and if the turn radius is too big, unless you are a World cup, world class class racer you are absolutely going to struggle on the race stock Atomic GS skis.

A lot guys also race on the GS9.

I used the SX11 supercross to run masters Gs in a 180 and it was perfect. it has the same construction (B4 Beta) as the original Gs11 but has an 18M turn radius which is 3M more sidecut then FIS legal which is totally manageable. It is more like 11-66-97, Atomic says 18M
the SXB5 is 111-68-97 19 M in a 182 7 the 174cm (don't laugh, you would probably rock on a 174 GS ski) is 110-68-96 18M)

In conclusion if your last name is Maier, Miller or Rahlves, go for it, if not, tone it dow, have some fun with faster runs and less DNF's at the same time!
...I did just fine, for Masters GS, on a 181 GS 11M with the 19 meter sidecut. I know guys who were on a 183 race stock GS 11, and it was a lot of work in a Masters GS course, which are getting turnier all the time. I just got a pair of 180 GS12s, which are also a 19 meter sidecut, and the follow-on to the GS 11M 19-meter. Great ski...more like a race construction, beefier, more energy than the GS 11M, but still a good sidecut. Just as an experiment, I got a pair of this year's 185 cm. Head IGS RDs with the VIST plate and 25.7 meter sidecut...basically a women's World Cup GS ski. Great ski, but I did some training on it and the GS 12 on a typical Masters course at A-Basin last weekend, and guess what? I couldnt't fit the Heads between the gates without an unnatural act...so your mileage may vary, but I'd go shorter and shaplier...
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55
...I did just fine, for Masters GS, on a 181 GS 11M with the 19 meter sidecut. I know guys who were on a 183 race stock GS 11, and it was a lot of work in a Masters GS course, which are getting turnier all the time. I just got a pair of 180 GS12s, which are also a 19 meter sidecut, and the follow-on to the GS 11M 19-meter. Great ski...more like a race construction, beefier, more energy than the GS 11M, but still a good sidecut. Just as an experiment, I got a pair of this year's 185 cm. Head IGS RDs with the VIST plate and 25.7 meter sidecut...basically a women's World Cup GS ski. Great ski, but I did some training on it and the GS 12 on a typical Masters course at A-Basin last weekend, and guess what? I couldnt't fit the Heads between the gates without an unnatural act...so your mileage may vary, but I'd go shorter and shaplier...
Thank you for following up. Shorter and shapelier! Well put!(works when you are checking out women too!)
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
Thanks you for following up. Shorter and shapelier! Well put!(works when you are checking out women too!)
post #13 of 19

Many viewpoints have weight

In addition to already mentioned issues that the longer skis can be too burly (Atomic) and conversely that the longer skis are more stable with better grip (Dieppe NB). Would add that generally the shorter skis can be skied a little closer to the bone a little more easily and for that reason are usually faster. Converesly some racers feel a longer ski keeps their technique from denigrating in that respect. Also great variability to manufacturer.

Dynastar as example is usually favored as a more forgiving GS ski perhaps in a similar sense to the Atomic being favored as more burly and difficult. Some more serious racers like to have a shorter and a longer pair for GS using the opposite for inspection of the racing choice on that particular hill.

It would be nice to have demo days for racing as they do with all the twin tip fat garbage freeride crap. I've often wondered what the demo setup is over in the Soelden and Hintertux valleys since it looks to be such great training terrain in the videos we see from Canadian Coaches Association.

Best of luck in this process, are you going to be racing GS somewhere in the alps?

- Fossil
post #14 of 19
Whilst I really don't know very much about GS skis, I'm fairly sure that the speed tests are run under FIS rules, which mean you have to use FIS legal skis, meaning the shorter, turnier skis aren't going to be an option.

I'm not certain about this, but I have been told this by a few people that have done the test/plan to do it.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Guy's thanks for the sound advice. Jim's right, I am going to have to use FIS legal skis as what I'm aiming to accomplish over the nxt few years is passing the Equivalence - a French speed test which European Instructors need to pass to get to the top level (in the UK our BASI Level 1 - International Ski Teacher Diploma). Maybe you race bears might be interested in the rules -

"The test is a giant slalom run within FIS regulations. Openers will have been calibrated at the start of the season and will each be issued with a coefficient for adjusting their times to 0 points. The openers will set a base time which is adjusted using the coefficient for each opener to 0 FIS points, the pass standard for men will be 0 FIS points + 18% and for women will be 0 FIS points + 24%".

Yip doing it in Europe, mix of training camps and finding races I can enter to get race experience - mix of Alps and Scottish Highlands (if we get another cracking season like the one just passed).

Atomicman many thanks for the detailed explanation on ski characteristics - v.insightful and I agree, I'd rather have a shorter, less "burly" ski to help me achieve a high line and "make" tricky gates.

Interesting also on the Dynastar ski perhaps being a bit more forgiving. I was in France recently and on a drive over to Courcheval passed the factory in Sallanches (massive) - which I think you can arrange to get skis from, which is handy.

Thanks again guys - top race forum.
post #16 of 19
Within 18%? On a 60 second course, that's 10.8 seconds... Learning the fundamentals of running a decent line through a course should be prioritized. Whatever skis you choose, put 'em on the right line.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dg3
Guy's thanks for the sound advice. Jim's right, I am going to have to use FIS legal skis as what I'm aiming to accomplish over the nxt few years is passing the Equivalence - a French speed test which European Instructors need to pass to get to the top level (in the UK our BASI Level 1 - International Ski Teacher Diploma). Maybe you race bears might be interested in the rules -

"The test is a giant slalom run within FIS regulations. Openers will have been calibrated at the start of the season and will each be issued with a coefficient for adjusting their times to 0 points. The openers will set a base time which is adjusted using the coefficient for each opener to 0 FIS points, the pass standard for men will be 0 FIS points + 18% and for women will be 0 FIS points + 24%".

Yip doing it in Europe, mix of training camps and finding races I can enter to get race experience - mix of Alps and Scottish Highlands (if we get another cracking season like the one just passed).

Atomicman many thanks for the detailed explanation on ski characteristics - v.insightful and I agree, I'd rather have a shorter, less "burly" ski to help me achieve a high line and "make" tricky gates.

Interesting also on the Dynastar ski perhaps being a bit more forgiving. I was in France recently and on a drive over to Courcheval passed the factory in Sallanches (massive) - which I think you can arrange to get skis from, which is handy.

Thanks again guys - top race forum.
then the question is which FIS category must you adhere to.

If you can COC, FIS and FIS Masters/ USSA J2 & up can use a Min. 180cm GS & must have a minimum 21M radius.

or do you have to adhere to WC rules and use a 185/ 21m. Whichever it is try to find a ski that is as close to the specs as possible but not over.
post #18 of 19

I'd definitely ask some questions about what skis they allow...

...before you get yourself hard-wired to a ski that you don't like. Per what AtomicMan says, it's 180 cm. and 21-meter for Masters...for International Masters events. For Regional Masters, nobody cares, and I've also heard that for International Masters, the only thing they'll beat you up for is if your stack height is over 55 mm.

They're telling you, generally, that the race is being run according to the FIS...whatever that means. Masters sets, for example, have different length/vertical/number of gates requirements than WC races, and stuff like Rocky Mountain series has, I believe, different requirements also. So I'd find out what you're looking at for course set requirements, what they'll allow for skis, and go from there...
post #19 of 19

What size race skis

I have posted this question on another Epic forum and it seems there is
no black and white length for recreational racing and from my experience
in my very first race, the further the gates are outside the fall line for GS
the tighter your turns have to be and if your skis are too long youll end up
skidding like a rally car driver around them. The skis I had were 188cm next time I am trying 177cm
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