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Old vs new style

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi,
Haven't really skied in 15-20 years. I used to be an advanced skier (5'10", 170 lbs) enjoying going fast (Atomic 205s). I guess my style (at least back then) would be considered "old style", putting a premium on keeping the ankles close.

After a hiatus, I just purchased a pair of Fisher RX8 (170). I understand these skis are likely to require a different style.

Any words of advice?

thanks
post #2 of 14
Look for an older instructor that likely skied on the old equipment and is now using new technique on new equipment. Discuss how much instruction you might need, then do it. Be aware that some instructors are still using much of the old technique on their new equipment, and this doesn't get the most out of the equipment.

Or, buy one of these books or DVDs I like very much
http://www.harbskisystems.com/publications.htm


Ken
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mindless View Post
Hi,
Haven't really skied in 15-20 years. I used to be an advanced skier (5'10", 170 lbs) enjoying going fast (Atomic 205s). I guess my style (at least back then) would be considered "old style", putting a premium on keeping the ankles close.

After a hiatus, I just purchased a pair of Fisher RX8 (170). I understand these skis are likely to require a different style.

Any words of advice?

thanks
No different style required. You can start out with just hitting the slopes and see how it feels. Taking lessons is allways a big pluss but there is nothing wrong with finding out stuff all by yourselfe. First thing you are going to notice is that the new skis are much much shorter. Next thing is that they turn very easily. Annother thing that is going to be different is that they are trying to run on an edge. This is your ticket to carving and for that you probably need a lesson or two.

Have fun.
post #4 of 14
The new skis will turn in a much tighter arc when set on their edges than old skis would. This is the fundamental difference. It means that ordinary recreational skiers can carve turns if they want to. To really take advantage of the new technology you need to focus on getting the skis on edge early in the turn and increasing the edge angles. You can tighten the turn radius by getting more weight on the tips, and by increasing the edge angle more rapidly.

Some "old school" movements get in the way of doing this efficiently. My personal bugbear is a tendency to push my heels out at the start of the turn, which dislodges the skis from their arc and makes carved turn almost impossible. Any kind of twisting action with the upper body will have the same effect. If you've focussed in the past on skiing with your ankles together, you may want to get them further apart, to a comfortable hip width or thereabouts. A really narrow stance inhibits edging movements.

I'd second SoftSnowGuy's recommendation for Harold Harb's books. HH has really focussed on shape ski, carving-based technique. Also, you may want to go to a good bootfitter and get your boots aligned, if you never did it before. I get the impression this has become much more important since the advent of shaped skis.
post #5 of 14
Hi Mindless,

There can be some dramatic changes in your movements to really take advantage of the new technology built into the skis. I've been teaching for 15 years and the pinnacle of my ski lenght journey was some Fischer RC4 WC Slalom skis at 203 cm. I'm 5'7", about 175-180 and these were ridiculously long, but that was the deal at the time. I now ski on something between 156 and 169, depending on the kind of ski and what I'm doing with them. So, here are some highlights:

Stance - hip width, with feet under you. Ankle lock - just don't do it!
Rotary movements - the big twist and pivot of the 80s is gone, it's not needed. We had to extend our bodies up, get a flat ski and twist them to get the turn started. These movements aren't needed any longer.
Pressure control movements - applies to bending and flexing or extending our legs, using ankle, knee, and hip joints - the up/down movement which in many cases was a pop up to get weight off the ski and to flat should now be directed down the hill instead of straight up and down.
Edging movements - rolling the skis from one set of edges to the other can be accomplished by directing the hips/center of mass toward the tip of the new inside ski. Driving the knee to help create angles, or making an "A" frame isn't needed. The outside knee used to be tucked in behind the inside knee. Ineffective now to do this.

The tips of your new skis are much wider and less is needed to get the edge of the ski engaged. Explore these movement changes to see just what is needed. Most of all, I'd take a lesson that focueses on just what you've asked, moving from one style of skiing to another.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the feedback! Feel slike I got a lesson for free.

Can't wait to try out these new skis (Fisher RX8)
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by schanfm View Post
Hi Mindless,

There can be some dramatic changes in your movements to really take advantage of the new technology built into the skis. I've been teaching for 15 years and the pinnacle of my ski lenght journey was some Fischer RC4 WC Slalom skis at 203 cm. I'm 5'7", about 175-180 and these were ridiculously long, but that was the deal at the time. I now ski on something between 156 and 169, depending on the kind of ski and what I'm doing with them. So, here are some highlights:

Stance - hip width, with feet under you. Ankle lock - just don't do it!
Rotary movements - the big twist and pivot of the 80s is gone, it's not needed. We had to extend our bodies up, get a flat ski and twist them to get the turn started. These movements aren't needed any longer.
Pressure control movements - applies to bending and flexing or extending our legs, using ankle, knee, and hip joints - the up/down movement which in many cases was a pop up to get weight off the ski and to flat should now be directed down the hill instead of straight up and down.
Edging movements - rolling the skis from one set of edges to the other can be accomplished by directing the hips/center of mass toward the tip of the new inside ski. Driving the knee to help create angles, or making an "A" frame isn't needed. The outside knee used to be tucked in behind the inside knee. Ineffective now to do this.

The tips of your new skis are much wider and less is needed to get the edge of the ski engaged. Explore these movement changes to see just what is needed. Most of all, I'd take a lesson that focueses on just what you've asked, moving from one style of skiing to another.
Best explanation of "why change" I've seen yet. Thanks.
post #8 of 14

Go for it

Hey Mindless one - you're in for a great time if you learn to use those skis. I'd say find a nice smooth steady pitch thats not very steep at all - like say, all of Bretton Woods (you know, Bode's "home" mountain) Point them down the fall line and articulate a ski. Resist the temptation to slide sideways - ride the edge you put in till it brings you around a bit then try the other. Just keep riding the edges and check out the feeling. Let your confidence build in what the skis will do and go with it. Gradually up the ante as you learn how to steer. Pretty soon you'll be able to do it with both skis weighted similarly and carving. It's not like sliding, no breaking going on in the turn, but if you were comfortable with speed you should dig this! More like riding a motor bike. This is the best sensation on skis short of waist deep... Enjoy.
post #9 of 14
The KISS riding method of shaped skis. Keep'm on edge cause they don't like to go straight.:
post #10 of 14
Kiss instructions: Tip and Rip!

If you rode the edges in the old days, it's not much different. You just don't need as much (if any at all) forward weight shift to bend them before hooking up the edge. If you are used to pivoting, you can forget that; it's seldom needed now. If you like straight-lining the fall line, you will have to adapt. The skis have to be turning even if only slightly, otherwise they will hunt for turns like shopping cart with a wonky wheel.
post #11 of 14

For example...

Here's a vid link of what it can do. This is last run at about 3:45 pm in heavily skied up crud - about 45 deg. f - first day of the season. I'm old, and yup legs were feeling it but the skidders had all gone home long since completely burnt out. Freshish manmade snow that hadn't frozen for over 48 hours - Nice way to start the season!

http://s19.photobucket.com/albums/b1...unapee1206.flv
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice guys.

Since my original post, I've skied Loveland last Sat and just go back today from Winter Park. Loveland was cold and windy! Snow was hard, but I followed some of your tips and must say that the skis are easy. Turning is such a pleasure, just tilt and there you go!

Winter Park today was absolutely beautiful! A bit more snow on the blacks would have been nice as rocks were showing their ugly faces.

I'm improving and feel quite comfortable with the Fishers. Moguls are still difficult but that's my shortcomings! The feel (carving) is reminiscent of the good old days, except back then, it took much more strength and physical fitness to get there.

Thanks again for your tips!
post #13 of 14
A few other old habits to be left behind as things get sorted out may be ditching the "pole plant" and getting used to a light reach down the fall line to "pole touch".

Pressure in the boots is a bit more directed toward the sides and less "pushng through the tongues" .... a more balanced stance.

More finesse and lots less muscle.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mindless View Post
Thanks for all the advice guys.

Since my original post, I've skied Loveland last Sat and just go back today from Winter Park. Loveland was cold and windy! Snow was hard, but I followed some of your tips and must say that the skis are easy. Turning is such a pleasure, just tilt and there you go!

Winter Park today was absolutely beautiful! A bit more snow on the blacks would have been nice as rocks were showing their ugly faces.

I'm improving and feel quite comfortable with the Fishers. Moguls are still difficult but that's my shortcomings! The feel (carving) is reminiscent of the good old days, except back then, it took much more strength and physical fitness to get there.

Thanks again for your tips!
keep the new skis out of the bumps for a few more days:

i have two ideas. if you ski a great deal at loveland book a lesson with bob booker. he is a full cert in both nordic and tele and a superb teacher. another is to take a group lesson in the afternoon at winter park. typically it will be two or three folks at the upper levels. be specific in explaining your situation and i think you'll quickly enjoy "new" technique on the rx8's.

btw.......prior to repping nordica i did it for fischer and you picked a really, really great ski.
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