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Question for returning skier

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I had my left ACL replaced in 1993. Since then I stopped skiing and playing basketball(how I destroyed it). I finally got some courage and took my son snowboarding last year. I bought some old K2 fours at a garage sale for $40.00. I actually did pretty good for not skiing for 12 years.

We did about 10 days skiing last season and this season we are heading to Utah for a week and will do some additional skiing in Mammoth and locally. I plan on getting new skis but part of the problem is I am an old style skier. I skid. I've read on these forums and heard from other people that many of the new skis are not friendly to my style of skiing. So I plan on taking lessons. Understanding that everyone is different, how many lessons(average) will I have to take to change my technique. Or would you recommend finding skis that fit my style. I really don't want to spend weeks changing my style. I want to have fun.

I consider myself intermidiate. 6'3 215 pounds. Started skiing at 12 and quit at 22. Now I am back at 34.

Thanks in advance for the advice.
post #2 of 14
valleydude, great questions. First, know this: you do not need to change anything if you don't want to do. The only reason to change anything is because you will enjoy the process of change and/or the results are worth it. Only you can determine that.

Interestingly, one of the benefit of using modern skis' design is that there is less strain on your body, especially your knees. The traditional heel push is actually created by a torque on the knee that largely goes away with a more modern, carve-biased technique.

That said, you may be encouraged to know that the "new" technique isn't a massive change in skills, but rather a shift in the way that the skills are blended. In general, you'll use more tipping and less rotary to accomplish a similar line with less muscular exertion. This may or may not be attractive to you, and will determine whether or not you spend time pursuing it.

One of the cool things about skiing, I think, is that there's always more to learn. In 2003 I had all but quit the sport. As a result of finding EpicSki and the advice I received here, I've rebuilt my skiing from the ground up and taken on teaching others (part time). I find skiing exciting again, and am delighted by what I've experienced in the process.

On the other hand, you could take a lesson or two (or a 4-day EpicSki Academy) and learn the fundamental differences between skidded and carved turns, and then go play to discover your own preferences.

One cool thing about skiing is that there's no right or wrong, no judge or jury. Just you, the mountains, and your smile. You decide.

...so... what'll it be?
post #3 of 14
Similar tale here, although my hiatus was brought about by finances rather than injury. Since returning to skiing six or so years ago, I've taken one lesson. I have had to adapt my technique some to work well with newer skis -- most of my teenage skiing was in France, so I had the glued-ankle thing down -- but most of that was pretty intuitive, based on what felt good.

As a rule, if you were able to carve straight skis, you'll be able to carve shaped skis. The nice thing is that even if you weren't able to carve straight skis consistently, you'll probably be able to carve now.

The other thing is, skiing in the Sierra and the West generally, you probably won't want a highly-shaped ski. You'll probably be better off with a mid-fat -- something with a waist in the 80s, high 70s at least. These will have more sidecut than the skis you learned from, but not nearly what the dedicated carving skis have. If you're anything like me, you'll probably find that mid-fats bring back the love of skiing you had as a kid, when the ski had more surface area relative to your weight, and it felt like anything was possible.

Enjoy.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
If you're anything like me, you'll probably find that mid-fats bring back the love of skiing you had as a kid, when the ski had more surface area relative to your weight, and it felt like anything was possible.

Enjoy.
Ain't that the truth!
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by valleydude View Post
I skid. I've read on these forums and heard from other people that many of the new skis are not friendly to my style of skiing.
This is largely untrue unless you buy a pair of modern racing slalom skis with a very aggressive tune. The majority of skiers are still quite content to skid their way down the hill on new skis, but most of them call it carving now.

The mystique of shaped skis is how easily they will turn for you by applying a few simple movements of the feet. This does not in any way preclude one from using brute force to turn should one choose to do so. If you find the skis overly grabby, it is easy enough to detune the tips and tails to prevent this.

I'd spend money on getting set-up by a pro bootfitter before buying new skis or taking lessons though. Lessons and skis aren't going to do you much good if you have bad boots.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxjl View Post
I'd spend money on getting set-up by a pro bootfitter before buying new skis or taking lessons though. Lessons and skis aren't going to do you much good if you have bad boots.
Amen, brother!
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
I already got the boot set up. Did that this Summer.

Thanks for the advice on the mid-fats. I was going to hit up the other forum for advice for skies. I dropped the $20 on realskier and read alot of reviews here. I did the demo thing too. I wanted to find what the instructors thought about lesson part.

That was good advice about the mechanics taking the pressure of the knees. I have to admit I do feel some tenderness to my knee after a day of skiing and if I can change the technique to relieve the pain I think I will ski with more confidence. A part of me is really holding back worrying about another 9 months of rehab.
post #8 of 14
If you want to enjoy skidding turns, don't buy a top-drawer slalom or any racing ski. Stay away from an Atomic SX* where * is 10 or higher.

It's been too long since I demonstrated skis, so not too many come to mind when I try to think of good skis that also skidded easily, but maybe you can find an old crossmax 10 floating around on E-bay. There's probably a couple of skis that still do the skid thing that will allow you to carve as well. Realskiers.com has reviews (going back several years) where the ability of the ski to carve and to skid are rated on a numerical ski.
post #9 of 14
Dude,

Should you decide to become a supporter, you might check out the shape ski primer article. It was written to answer the very question you asked.
post #10 of 14
valleydude,

Skiing is about having fun. Don't hesitate to heave the K-2's in the hopper. They are not safe as used $40 beater skis. There are many types of skis on the market now and the brand doesn't matter that much. Mid-fats are really fun but they are a little heavy. I suggest you demo some skis at the mountain you ski at and see what you like before you buy.

The nature of shaped skis is they want to move forward (toward the tips) and keep trying to ski out ahead of you. This puts skiers in the "back seat" (weight too far back) from the fall line point of the turn and beyond. This is a very bad place to be in b/c it puts strain on your knee cartilage (bad). A lesson from a qualified instructor would be very helpful to you to help prevent any unnecessary strain on your joints. This will also help you enjoy skiing more and you'll find a balanced stance is much less tiring.

OOOHHH! Welcome to Epic! and good luck.

RW
post #11 of 14
I'll echo the others: a softish midfat is the go. Very user-friendly, very stable, very versatile. Don't try to get the same length as you skiied in the olden days, but don't go silly-short, either.
Your style of skiing will prefer a longer ski, but it will be shorter than what you used to be on.

As for asking about lessons, instructors take more lessons than anyone, which is why they are better skiiers, so they will basically say take as many lessons as you can afford. As for how many it will take for you to reach your goals, that's like a peice of string. You wont' know until you start, and your goals will change, either upward or downward. So stay flexible, I guess.

If you book into upper level group lessons (cheaper and longer), you should find smaller classes, and better qualified instructors (as a general rule without being the rule all the time). If you are really crafty, you'll go take a look at where they meet, and see how the land lies in that regard.
post #12 of 14
Somewhat surprisingly, the Four *is* a shaped ski.
I have two pairs I bought at ski swaps ($40 and $75).
When I recently shopped for new skis, I was surprised to discover a lot of current models have similar or just slightly more sidecut. (My 188 cm's are 97-64-86 mm wide. The Rossi B3's I just bought are wider overall, but only 4 mm more sidecut (120-83-110).)

My experience is that a moderately shaped ski can be
skied either using or ignoring the shape.

Of course, there is another population of skis out there with dramatically more sidecut. Those I think have to be skied using the shape.
post #13 of 14
mdf,

We are aware that the "4" is a shaped ski, but if it was in LN (like new) condition, there might not be an issue. My guess is that for $40 in a yard sale, it is not LN and a little long by today's standards. For safety reasons, they are not a good risk for valleydude to use given the information that he has had knee reconstruction. New equipment that is indemnified for his size and ability is prudent advice. Also, most mountains offer demonstration (demo) deals on equipment, so people can try different skis before they buy.

The Rossi B3 is for mostly off piste skiing and must not be confused with a ski that has a 64mm waist. It is an entirely different animal.

RW
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
mdf,

The Rossi B3 ...is an entirely different animal.

RW
Admittedly. I was only using it as a modern ski I had stats handy for.

My point about the "4" was simply that he had already been skiing on them, so 12 years-ago straight skis were not his only point of comparison.

And of course binding safety is key with used equipment -- no argument there.
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