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benefits of more expensive skis

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
HI all , I just re-started skiing, and I bought a very basic model ski that a major ski store had on special, they were liquidating 2 year old models I think.

My question is what ski is the best fit for me and please offer some explanation. Obviously our goals and our way of skking are the factors.

I am 5`8 and a half, and 152 lbs. I am 36 and so although I am sure I could improve if I wanted to, I don`t. I learned at a very young age ( 5 I think ), and not to go off-topic here, but I think learning early is key. I feel very natural on skis, and I read many posts here, and I don`t know what people are talking about under the instruction topics. The body ( mine ) seems to know what to do. I attribute this to ski school and private lessons for which I consciously remember nothing.

So to get back to it, I ski quite aggressive, usually very fast, and I am usually very low, lower as I get faster. I am turning ( is that what it is still called ?) , not just bombing down in a crouch. I ski for me and my enjoyment only, so I find it thrilling to go fast on steep hills and yet feel very stable and very much in control ( I also have big upper thighs - don`t know if that adds to feeling more stable, but at the very least, it may lower my center of gravity. I can`t imagine there is a downside - except that all pants made to fit my waist dont fit comfortably over my thighs, indluding my ski pants )

I am no expert when it comes to moguls, but I like to try them a little and accept that to improve on those, practice as well as private lessons are needed, but I am content going down single diamond runs which are very steep, offer some good bumps, but are not these crazy double diamond mogul runs. For me, if I can go faster, I will, and mogul runs are not for that.

The skis I got were rossignol carve X and I went a few centimetres longer on purpose. 170 cm

Where will I notice a difference on better skis. I appreciate the time you took to read this post, and look forward to some comprehensive information that no one seems to know ( no one whom I ask in person that is )
post #2 of 15
First of all, If you are skiing parallel on blacks you need a slightly stiffer ski. Those are the skis our rental shop gives to newbies and although I've never used them, I have a feeling that they are pretty flexible.

I skiied on some low end Head rentals once and when I got my own gear (K2 Escape 5500), I noticed an immediate difference. I went from skidding parallel to carving (although ugly and shoddy technique) in just a couple runs.

I'd recommend getting a intermediate/advanced ski, in about a 160-165 (my Escapes are 160cm, I'm 5'9" and 140-145lbs). If you want to go fast, a 170cm MAY be appropriate.... I will give you the advice everyone gives and recieves...

Demo, Demo, Demo! Try as many as you can, see what works best for you. If you don't notice a huge difference over your Rossis, stick with them. Demoing is pretty cheap and you'll get a good taste of what different skis have to offer.

Then, if you decide the improvement you feel on different skis isn't worth the extra money to buy another set.. less than $100 to demo is cheaper than a few hundred (or more) to find out you were fine on the skis you had.
post #3 of 15
Originally Posted by AMG View Post
I am turning ( is that what it is still called ?)
post #4 of 15
1. Boots
2. Lessons
3. Skis

You will get more out of a lesser ski and a better boot than vice-versa. A better boot, does not always mean more expensive, but a better FIT boot. Do NOT buy boots at a "box" store, but go to a specialty ski shop. You should be able to walk out with a solid intermidiate boot in the 300.00 range. Do NOT be concerned if it is this years or even last years. FIT is key.
post #5 of 15
Phil - thanks for having my back on that one... I didn't even think of boots...

Also, be sure to ask if the shop has any used boots. I got a pair of Rossi FreeX boots for $100.. they were used ONE day.

Also, last years models are good value and boot technology hasn't changed too much within the past year (especially in that range of boot). My girlfriend got her Dalbellos new for $125.00. Last years model (well, 2 years ago, now), good intermediate boots.

Also, if you find a pair that fits you PERFECTLY, note the model and size and go see if you can score them on the internet for cheaper. Especially for year or two old models, there is a good chance.
post #6 of 15
The biggest benefit of more expensive skis are they lighten your wallet. Therefore your hips are more able to line up, aiding in having a properly stacked body. Of course this depends on if your wallet is in your left or right back pocket.
A lesson will also help. Not only will the instructor aid in getting that wallet weight down. He can tell you what rear pocket would be best for your aliment. The best wallet reduction system, would be a PMTS Camp
post #7 of 15
1) Just right boots, YES! Call ahead to a good shop and ask who's their best bootfitter for someone with foot problems. You might not have foot problems, but that's the fitter you want helping you choose and fit boots. Or, contact a local racing club and ask who they send folks to for the best boot service. You want a shop that will help you find the boots that will ski best on your feet, fit right, and do any necessary fitting chores at no extra charge.

More info:

2) Those skis are too floppy for you. There are three rules for selecting skis for you...demo, demo, demo. For you, I'd make a list of near-top-line, narrow waisted skis, and probably about 165 cm for you. To help you make this list, or to pick skis without the demo, I highly recommend subscribing to Peter Keelty's techsupportforskiers.com subscription web site. It is $20 very well spent. Peter has the best ski reviews I've seen, and he answers individual questions from subscribers. I like the skis made by Head and Fischer a lot. You'll probably like the Head i.XRC 1200, maybe their SuperShape, and the Fischer RX8.

3) Price doesn't matter. You can get some very fine skis at good prices that are demos in excellent condition, or year-end close outs, or store's over stocks, etc. This does not mean that these skis are the best for you. Peter's recommendations and your demo experience are the best way to find the skis that do best on your feet. You will find a huge difference in what you feel between equally excellent skis made for the same ski and skier conditions.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the all the info, yes I guess demo does make a lot of sense, does this mean I can just rent at hills, is that how you demo ?

For the boots, I know the importance of fit, and I definately didnt go overboard, but I am happy with them.

for the length, explain why you think 170 is to long, I would like to know more on this because I am not up to date with newer technology, but a few people agreed that 170 as better for me, so I would like to know why you think 160-165 is better.

utah49 - lol
post #9 of 15
For demos, first make a list of the skis that suit your likely snow conditions, type of run, and your skiing ability level and style. Peter's web site is a great help for this. Ask if any of the areas you ski at have a Demo Day scheduled where one or many manufacturer's reps provide the demo skis. Ask the rental shops at these areas if they rent high performance skis. You may need to rent the demo skis from a shop in the city. The best thing, if possible, is to rent the demo skis at the mountain on a slow day where they agree to let you switch skis during the day at no extra cost. Ask.

I'm 6', 200#, quite a good skier, ski medium-high energy and medium-high speed, and I'm on 170 cm top-line skis. I've skied with a former World Cup racer of your size (very high energy and very high speeds), and he's on 170's. Actually, ski length per se isn't the criteria. As the skis are made longer, they are made progressively stiffer. The trick is to find the ski model and length that gives you the stiffness that is responsive for you...not too soft so they have no response left when you ski them hard, and not too stiff so they don't get into their best response when you work them as hard as you'll ever work them and provide no response when you ski them easy. Note that sometimes the longest ski in a model lineup is much stiffer and more demanding than the next shorter size, and sometimes the shortest is very soft compared to the next longer.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
thank you , what is pete`s website, I look forward to checking it out
post #11 of 15
Originally Posted by hydrogen_wv View Post
Also, if you find a pair that fits you PERFECTLY, note the model and size and go see if you can score them on the internet for cheaper. Especially for year or two old models, there is a good chance.
[Tread drift on and on my soap box] NO>>>NO>>>NO!!!!! That is wrong, if the shop spends its time and effort, you give THEM the business. You do not gather their information then go and buy on line. That is called "Theft of services", it is wrong. [/Tread drift on and on my soap box]
post #12 of 15
Have to agree with Phil here. Not sure it's Theft of Services, but it's self-absorbed stupid: Carried to its logical conclusion, milking shops for info and then buying online will a) drive the shops out of business, or b) make them less and less willing to give "customers" informed advice. Then there's no one to let you fondle skis. (Sound of Homer S. groaning).

Solution is to spread your bucks around to help the sport. If you find a killer deal at SAC and no shop near you carries that ski, certainly reasonable to ask about it and then buy online. But make sure your next ski purchase is from the guys who helped you. And if they carry the same ski for an extra 20%, well, maybe that's the cost of the advice. It's still cheaper than a bad purchase. Deal.

Alternativey, choose a bricks and mortar place that also has an online site (SierraJim's, Dawgcatching's, Lou's etc.; in fact many do now) and then you get your expert advice AND good prices. IMO, again try to spread your purchases among the folks who help you. (Sorry guys - I try not to play favs.)

Finally, I've found that the people here at Epic know about 6,237% more about skis and skiing that the average college student working a big sports chain that sells skis. Do your homework. Off to a good start by asking.
post #13 of 15
Trick question, more expensive does not mean better. You should just concentrate on your skiing style and what you have demoed or read fits it.

Case in point I bought as good a ski as you can, a race dept. GS ski for less than $400, it originally was around $1500, but I got it a year or two NOS, so it was cheap but what I wanted and what suited my style. You can get the top of the line ski a year or two old and the technology will be up to date, just get what you need to help you ski your best.
post #14 of 15
I say it depends on the shop if you buy from them or not...

For some people their local ski shop may be a chain retailer. In that situation, you talk to a semi-knowledgeable employee who works by the hour and doesn't get anything for making a sale...

If you go to a small shop that only has one location, I agree with buying from the shop if you get good service. There are a few shops within 50 miles of me. I know of one of them where they will say 'These are our boots, enjoy.' and leave you on your own. In that case, jot the model/size down and Thank them for their service by buying online.

On the other hand, if you have a guy helping you every step of the way, basically serving you, and answering all your questions and making recommendations... give them the business... Unless they are GROSSLY overpriced.

A store only deserves business if they provide:
1) Good Service
2) Competitive Prices

I'm committed to my local shop. If I need anything, I go there first. If they don't have it I will order it online.. (They were low on tuning supplies, so I ordered from Dr D.. racewax.com).. If money is an issue and it's something "urgent", I'd use their service and buy elsewhere, because they have had so much business with me that they know that the next time, I'll be there.
post #15 of 15
Usually, the more expensive top of the line skis will provide more edge grip and be more stable at higher speeds. If you do not ski at high speeds nor demand large amounts if g-forces in turns, you will only waste your money on more expensive skis. Some top of the line skis only perform well at high speeds and are not the right tool for lower speeds, other's behave at a wide range of speeds. A top of the line left-over ski that did not sell for a couple of years will be a bargain, and will still perform reasonably well. The trouble is that most of the good ones did sell. The exceptions are skis that are not popular because most people do not want what the ski does. If you really like carving high-speed GS turns and don't give a rat's behind about mogul performance you can find great bargains in GS race skis, not the best toy for small hills though.

170 cm is a bit long for 152 lbs, but a good length for your weight if you like to ski a little on the fast side, provided you have a high end ski; going longer in a noodle only makes it worse.

I second the recommendation to the realskiers.com subscription site.
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