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buying skis: limiting yourself vs. too much ski

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to purchase all new equipment this year as I am getting back into skiing after a 7 year break.

I don't know which senario is worse.... limiting yourself to a ski that is too entry level and not versatile enough to use if you progress or buying a ski hoping to improve and finding it too much ski for you to handle at your current skill level.

I would say I am an rusty intermediate skier, comfortable with easy black diamonds in the past, last year on my first ski day in years I was able to manage blue runs at Mt. Tremblant, although the greens felt nice and safe!

I'm 5'7 124lbs female. When I skied before I was on 180cm HEAD straight skis and then 170cm Kestle carver skis, both sets were mens/unisex.

I plan on taking 6 private lessons this so I can try to get better to ski with my expert friends.

What do you think???? entry level for ease of learning or more advanced for the future?

any input is greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 25
First off, welcome to the forum.

As far as your ski choice goes, I will give you my opinion, which is only that.

Compromise is probably your best bet. From what you have stated, there is no reason for you to buy anything overly stiff or unforgiving. Even as you improve, it probably would not be what you were looking for in a ski. At the same time, you would not want something so forgiving and easy that if left you no room for improvement.

From word of mouth through friends and comments I have seen here, you might consider something along the lines of K2s luv series (True Luv, One Luv, etc) or the Volkl Attiva AC or AC2.

Best of luck with whatever you purchase!
post #3 of 25
If you live near a decent sized hill, the chances are one of the local shops will have a demo program. That way you can test a few different types of skis and zero in on what you want. That said, the first thing you should buy is a good pair of boots. What kind? Well, buy the ones that fit the best from a good boot fitter .I think somewhere on this site there is a list of boot fitters and hopefully there will be one in your area.

hanging around here can be detrimental to your wallet. Before you know it you will be sporting a 5 ski quiver and weighing in on the great Flexon vs Krypton boot debate
post #4 of 25
Try to demo Volkl Attiva S5 Titanium in 161cm. Do not get scared it is advanced ski, but it is very forgiving. It will accommodate your current needs and will not limit your progress until you will decide to go off-piste. Few of my intermediate friend bought it following my advice and they love it.
post #5 of 25
You don't want entry level, but you also do not want the top of the line. Shoot for the model one or two steps off the top. It will be stout enough to respond well, but not so demanding that it requires fast speeds and large angles to bend.
post #6 of 25
In my experience in dealing with woman skiers is that it is very easy to get "undersold" with skis and also be talked into skis that are too short. For some reason ski shops think that all woman should be on either a 146 or 153. Once you demo, I would suggest trying your top choices in different lengths, I think you will be surprised. Also check out our "sister" site, The Ski Diva.

But before the skis...get set up in boots first. You will get more out of a better fit boot and a lesser ski than a bad fitted boot and a better ski.
post #7 of 25
Also keep in mind that women's specific ski is going to be softer and more forgiving than the unisex skis you have had in the past, so don't under estimate yourself (which many women do with their skiing).

The women here have seemed to like the K2 women's skis in the past. K2 and Volkl would be a good demo starting point.
post #8 of 25
This is a fairly common question and one where hopes and egos can often override common sense. So....here's my take as a retailer who talks to hundreds of skiers a month and has been testing skis for 30 plus years.

Many skiers hope that a top of the line ski will make them a better skier. Many skiers egos cause them to feel that they are better skiers than they are. The result of these two factors cause quite a few skiers to buy higher end skis than they need. In some cases this is not an entirely bad thing for one's skiing experience, but usually the benefits are not what the skier hopes they will be.

Generally, and without being model or brand specific, most any ski/binding set up in the street price range of $549-$649 (ish) for an '07 model is more than enough ski for any soilid advanced skier of your weight. Some skis in slightly lower price ranges are all an intermediate will ever need.

SJ
post #9 of 25
As long as your not skiing at say 40 + mph you don't need the a racing ski or even top model just below race. I would also advise against the "beginner" model. A $20 membership at realskiers.com will get you a good look at dozens of skis from the last half-dozen years to pick and choose from. My daughter was very happy with a left-over Porsche (Volkl carver) that I picked up with bindings for a song. RX6 sounds like it might be a good fit too. Nordica makes some Olympia Victory skis and Balanze 11s that are pretty good too. I would also try out Head's Fast Thang, and Fisher Visions in the appropriate turn radius.

The problem with getting too high-strung a ski is that like a race horse, it might take off on you when you don't want it to and cause you to fall off. You have to be on your game and paying 100% attention 100% of the time, like driving in freezing rain, it gets a little tiring after a few hours. It also will not let you get away with stuff you can muscle your way out of with a lesser ski.

The problem with too low a ski is that you will not be able to turn as hard as you might want to and IF you do find yourself in a situation where you get going too fast you will have almost no ability to control what's happening to you.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
In my experience in dealing with woman skiers is that it is very easy to get "undersold" with skis and also be talked into skis that are too short. For some reason ski shops think that all woman should be on either a 146 or 153. Once you demo, I would suggest trying your top choices in different lengths, I think you will be surprised. Also check out our "sister" site, The Ski Diva.

But before the skis...get set up in boots first. You will get more out of a better fit boot and a lesser ski than a bad fitted boot and a better ski.
I can say ditto to that!
If I were you I'd go for a ski that has some technical properties to it but is also forgiving
The first one that pops into mind is the Volkl 5Star(S5)
Not necessarily the Attiva, but either would be a good ski.
That ski has some properties that make advanced skiers happy but also is forgiving enough to allow an intermediate room to grow.
There are others out there, but this is a great example.

I've skied them and really enjoyed them.
post #11 of 25
Also!
I finally got on my K2 Burnin Luvs today for the first time
167 cm.
They are awesome. Not a noodle in comparison to some of the other women specific skis I've tried.

I would definitley recommend the K2 Burnin Luv
post #12 of 25
IMHO buying a ski that is beyond your ability to effectively utilize and expecting to improve into it is an extremely bad idea. You cannot buy a better turn, and skiing on skis that are too stiff for you will only inhibit your progress. SierraJim is right on (as usual).

The high end stuff is better for going real fast in real bad snow, but for most skiing you will be doing you don't need a pro level ski. If you get something that is fun to ski you will end up pushing yourself and progressing more quickly than if you are constantly trying to stay on top of a demanding ski. Progress comes when you feel confident and comfortable on your equipment, not from the knowledge that good skiers use the same stuff. As the old saying goes, "the place to learn to fight with a knife is not in a knife fight."
post #13 of 25
If you were skiing in the West... I would recommend 2004 -2005 K2 Phat Luvs (with the 90mm waist), a beautiful all-around ski for ladies. Stay with the longer length if you are used to it.
post #14 of 25
Can you not rent skis for a while until you are comfortable with your choice ?
post #15 of 25
Again,

Get set up with professionally fitted boots first! Then demo skis if you can!!

If you can't demo; I just demo'd the Volkl Attiva AC2 and the Nordica Olympia Speed (both women's skis). They are the first women's skis I've tried that I would highly recommend. If you'll be on mostly east coast groomers, look at the Speed. If you'll be skiing out west, look at the AC2.

You can check out part 1 of my demo day review on theskidiva.com - all impressions are only my own - YMMV!
post #16 of 25
Volklgirl speaks the truth here; after that long a layoff, some lessons on demos, with your own boots, will be a lot more rewarding.

Also to paraphrase something SierraJim has said elsewhere, it's hard work to carve well on a ski you can't bend.

So even for demoing, I'd also think about how fast you ski and whether you consider your legs strong for a woman of your size, or typical. Some brands, like Volkl or Atomic, tend to be relatively stiffer - whether unisex or women's models - then other brands like K2 or Rossignol. Also think about the conditions you ski. You'll prefer a softer ski if you ski powder than if you ski hardpack. If you mix in both, I'd err on the side of softer flex, and keep you ice runs below Mach 2.
post #17 of 25
This thread makes me question the standard "demo, demo, demo" advice. If someone is planning major changes in their skiing, is what "feels right" at the current skill level & type of techique really the best criterion for picking a ski?

Of course, demoing is a good way to get a better-quality rental that you can trade in every time. But that is not really demoing qua demoing.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much for the responses! I'm going to get fit for a good boot and check out the skis that were mentioned, and hopefully demo them if they are available.
The only reason I wanted to purchase right off the bat, is because i demo'd a set of dynastars last year and I couldn't tell if they were good or bad. They just seemed fine. I guess I'm not aware of the judging criteria as well as some other skiers. I just wanted to buy something and get used to it.

Also thanks for the mention of theskidiva, that is a great site for women skiers!!!
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by elle-9ner-9ner View Post
Also thanks for the mention of theskidiva, that is a great site for women skiers!!!
It's also good site for men who purchase for the wife and daughters. What a great guy I am! Whoa...did I just man up or man down with this comment?
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by elle-9ner-9ner View Post
The only reason I wanted to purchase right off the bat, is because i demo'd a set of dynastars last year and I couldn't tell if they were good or bad. They just seemed fine. I guess I'm not aware of the judging criteria as well as some other skiers. I just wanted to buy something and get used to it.
Do some more ski demos before you decide. A few years ago, I was looking for a new ski to move up to (off my beginner skis). As an intermediate, I didn't think I knew enough about how to judge whether a ski was good for me or not. I just picked a few out of the latest magazine's buyers guide, and tried them out. Most skis felt pretty ho-hum, and then I picked out a ski that the magazines called more advanced. Whoo! It was instant love. Felt like the ski was made just for me. Went to the shop that day and bought a pair.

So don't just settle for buying something and "getting used to it"! Demo lots of skis until you find a pair that you like and fits your ski style. (After you get your boots, that is. )
post #21 of 25
Hi there

As a chick who skis, and as one who is in my 9th season on skis I have some opinions ...

I agree with everyone -- boots first. Tell your boot fitter what kind of skiing you aspire to and make sure you get a snug fit!

Skis ...
- your height and weight make a difference (how much you weigh can affect how you can flex a ski)
- your muscularity/athleticism also affects how you flex a ski
- again think about the skiing you aspire to and get a ski that will not be overwhelming now *and* will last a few seasons as you progress

I personally love K2's women's skis and think that the One Luv is an excellent growing ski.

Good luck!
kiersten
post #22 of 25
Ok. Broken record here, but indeed I'd suggest looking at K2's T9 series (a one luv or tru luv) or the volkl's attiva ac2 - the ac1 will be too low end for you.

As for all the demo advice, while it's nice it's not practical in many cases as a female skier who wants to demo women's specific equipment, particularly in the Northeast!

I was not able to demo and bought myself a pair of Tru Luvs last year based on reputation and I am very happy with them. I got these after roughly 12-15 days of skiing (total in my life!) - I'm a perfectionist and have been advancing quickly. (Me = 5'4, 125, approx level 6-7 skier in New England).

You're a lighter woman so I suspect you will like the K2's. This has been theme in my reading is that lighter women like the K2 T9's much better than others. The Tru Luvs I got made me a better skier almost immediately (had my own lower intermediate skis I bought as a starter set before hand) and have allowed me to advance more quickly while still being forgiving if I slack. Good Luck!
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well all of the posts have been great to read and I can't thank the members enough for the advice.

Over all looks like I should be choosing between the K2s and the Volkls. I went to a local shop and came home with this info to ponder:

K2 True Luv is $469 cdn with Marker bindings
Volkl Attiva AC2 is $649 cdn with marker bindings

kid working there said the k2s have a softer flex than the AC2 but I could clearly notice holding both with a binding that the AC2 was much lighter, and also has a soft flex compared to most skis.

decisions decisions!

all you read about is how great both the lines are, and the AC2 is a so called "award winning ski"

money isnt really a factor but I do want to make the right choice.

I tried to find the Nordica Olympia speed with no luck in my neck of the woods.

thanks again!! When I do pick two boards and strap them to my feet I will let you know if they are helping me improve... or limited/too much ski for all the not even close to expert skiers out there!
post #24 of 25
Interesting observation on the weight of the skis. I didn't notice the Attiva AC2 being lighter than my Tru Luvs with binding... And I will say the Tru Luv's feel nice and light when they're strapped to my feet!

Hrm... maybe I have an excuse to go to a skishop now....
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well its good to hear that you find them nice and light on your feet, which of course is the most important thing!

I would like to demo both skis, however this weekend is the demo weekend at Mt Tremblant and I will out of town. Other than the big demo weekend, they probably not have the skis to test, so a friend of mine says.
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