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Walking in previous equipment footprints when buying skis...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I just concluded reading the lengthy link on whether someone should by expert skis (http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=52038).

I found the answers very interesting and not surprisingly, somewhat all over the board. This is a nice forum where people show respect and try to give intelligent answers. With that said, I think what many seek by trying to get answers to some of these types of questions is actually a more serious request for knowledgeable input so as not to make a mistake and for sure, to get a ski that will help them become better and go to the next level.

That is my interest in this thread.

First, I have posted here two other links asking for the kind of direction I think many thought might come of this post. I currently have Rossignol T Power Cobras (174 I think). I think I got them five years ago after two years of skiing on really old, long, heavy Olin skis. They were like a dream and set me free to go to the next level or two. They helped me link turns, legitimately carve once in a while, add some speed and more confidence overall. What a great lift this was. I liked these because they were soft and I felt they helped me turn while staying in control via their softness and slow speed.

Then, two years ago I seemed like I hit some kind of wall. I was finding many situations that the skis couldn't help me out of. I had been receiving periodic quality private lessons throughout this time as well.

I was have control problems with some of the snow and crud I see often. I live in Ohio, ski mostly Holiday Vallen, Seven Springs, Peak n Peek, Snowshoe and hope to go out west sincerely some day.

My beloved Cobras were just not helping me anymore with ice, icy/crud, longer turns, consistent carves. Then, two weeks ago came something called a demo day here in Ohio (yeah, don't laugh as it's only 40 min away (so I can get there often) and they do a really nice job given their size and location). I really did the demo purely out of curiosity as I had only skiied 2-3 pairs in my life and wondered just HOW much difference once ski could be compared to another?

Conditions at the time of testing was high winds, snow showers with patches of clearing, temp 15 deg F and the snow was very well groomed packed powder.

To say I was blown away is the understatement of the decade. I had no idea skis were so different. I tried a total of 6 different skis, several of which I personally had never given the time of day thinking about as a possible next purchase.

I demo'd:

Atomic Metron 10
Atomic B5
Rossignol Bandit
Fischer AMC 76
Salomon X Wing Tornado
Some Elan brand (didn't want to try it but the girl was cute)

To me the Metron 10's were very funny, very easy to turn, held in ice better than my Cobras and was overall a good experience - far better than my Cobras.

The Atomic b5 reminded me a lot of my old Olin skis weight-wise, as the both felt like railroad ties. They were sweet once I got them going but it reminded me of the huge amount of work I put into turnin the Olins. No dice.

I tried the Rossignol Bandits and found it turned easier, was more stable than my Cobras, handled the few bad areas pretty easily (best so far) and felt like these might be the next ride for me. Good turning, smooth, easy to ski and held an edge when needed.

THEN, THEN it happened!

The guy from my skis shop told me he thought I could handle a little more ski than what I had been telling him I thought I needed. He handed me a pair of Fischer AMC 76 in 170cm. (last year's bird poop green color).

I started down the hill with these on and instantly noted how light and easy to move they were compared to the others. I was going down a short, but healthy angled hill and did my normal slower turns to bleed off speed and stay in control. These let me do that the first couple of times, then I noticed I was very smoothly and confidently going noticeably faster than ever before, yet felt in total control. I started to turn and the skis almost seemed to complete my thoughts and actions.

I couldn't believe it. So I ran them faster and they were still calm and smooth. I remember thinking to myself that I NEVER go this fast, but it was posing no problem or scare for me - in fact, I liked it! I went through icy areas and undulations in the mountain and connected turns like never before.

I got down to the bottom and wondered if it was a fluke and whether anyone might have video taped me, as I felt my form to be more like what I see from other really good skiers.

Had to be a fluke, so I went again. This time, it was serious. I test drove these things. Long, short, intermediate, straight line, strong skidded turn, slow, fast, linked turns, the skis seemed to know what I wanted. I decided right then and there that Fischer my was new ski product line and I might as well get used to it and be proud of it's heritage. Well, damn straight I was ready to buy these on the spot, but didn't.

The guy told me to take out one last pair, a set of Salomon X Wing Tornado's. By the way these last two skis were 170 cm long. Figuring there was no way to top this, I said OK and strapped the X Wing Tornado's on.

First trip down the blacks and aggressive blues proved that I was far from done being amazed for the day. These Salomon's were even more stable, almost as light, actually easier to turn and seemed to almost want to put me in the right line, carve position before I even thought about it.

Easy to ski, you ask? Seemingly, TOO damn easy to ski. I went down several more times, having been sold on the Fischers and each time the Salomon's blew me away. They were an extension of my body, mind and legs and feet. One with the tool. As of now, my first choice.

Perhaps not everyone will experience this, but I do know that if you are planning new skis, go out of your way, no matter what the cost and attend a demo day and get there early. If you have never done it before, you will be absolutely stunned. I can't possibly imagine buying a new car without first driving it and other competitors, buying a new gun without shooting several competitors, trying on different suits or marrying someone without dating them. Perhaps a little extreme, but you WILL learn, yes, THAT much.

You can take all of the misery out while shopping until you drop.

Do your research, Narrow it down, Demo 5-10 and may then demo the final three choices. Take ALL of the quest work out of it.

Trust me, you WILL be stunned and informed.

post #2 of 6
Based on what I gleened from your thesis, your T-Power Cobra's were too advanced for you unless you weigh more than 230 lbs. I think those skis were serious carving skis and you are lucky to happen into a carved turn occasionally. That they helped you to "Consitantly link turns" was one indication. By the way, you might also be blown away by a new pair of old T Power Carves because ski lose performance quicly. The still work but performance deteriorates.

post #3 of 6
PJS - Welcome to the world of the enlightened (and to Epic BTW).

We have discussed the pros and cons of demoing many times here. There are many pros and sometimes a few cons (poor tunes, wrong lengths, bad conditions, etc.). I fall on the side of heavily pro for demoing and I really like your analogy about buying a car. It's hard to image buying a car without ever test driving it. How about buying a house without ever walking inside? I guess people get the idea. The unfortunate truth though is that demos aren't easily accessible for the majority of skiers. Luckily most skis are all decent these days, but there are MAJOR differences between many of them. You'll never know what will work best for you without some spending some time demoing (or buying lots of skis - right Phil? ).
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Interesting that you say that, in that when I first skied them my performance and confidence seemed to both jump.

There is certainly nothing wrong with my current Cobra's, I just skied significantly better on several of the demo skis I tried. I just had my skis professionally tuned and waxed, so I don't THINK it was for lack of adjustment.


post #5 of 6
Originally Posted by PJS View Post
I remember thinking to myself that I NEVER go this fast, ! I went through icy areas and undulations in the mountain and connected turns like never before.

First trip down the blacks and aggressive blues proved that I was far from done being amazed for the day.
Just curious as an Ohio alumni

Where on earth was this "mountain"?

(and welcome to epic!)
post #6 of 6
might also be the tune on the demo skis that you liked was right for the terrain, snow, you and the skis.

just another idea
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