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Club / Beer League / NASTAR ski selection

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking of doing some club or Beer League racing next year and I was wondering about ski selection. I've read most of the racing equipment posts here; however, hanging out with better racers (as in faster) this weekend, their ski selection seemed to go against most of the recomendations from the forum.

Most of the races here are either SL or GS with and occasional SG (How you set an SG course on 300' vertical, I haven't a clue.) What was interesting was for slalom many used a production slalom ski and then used a race room SL ski for GS. The reason I got was they could tuck the "GS" course and still carve the whole thing. To me, it didn't look like the course was so tight that a 13m ski would be ideal. Maybe something more along the lines of a 16m ski. Wouldn't something like a cheater GS ski be faster in this kind of course?

The reason I'm asking is I will be looking for ski deals at the end of the season. I was figuring on getting a cheater GS ski like a Supershape Speed. I already have a race room SL ski that I really like, Head i.SL RD VIST that I think would work well for slalom. I'm not going to worry about any "SG" courses (that's got to be an oxymoron in Ohio: ). Also, many of these races are run as NASTAR races, so there is a chance I could qualify for nationals next season. It would be nice to find a ski that would work for that too.

As far as GS suits go. I'll wait until I lose 20 more lbs before I even think about that.
post #2 of 12
I have access to some Blizzard SL Mag's w Vists and Marker 14.0's. If interested, PM or IM me.
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SrMike View Post
(How you set an SG course on 300' vertical, I haven't a clue.) I'm not going to worry about any "SG" courses (that's got to be an oxymoron in Ohio: ). .
I had skied some of the same bad races growing up.

I used to have a pair of 200cm Volkl Sno Rangers which would outglide anything on the flats. I often thought they would be great for an Ohio downhill. If you see a cheapo pair give em a try.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
I have access to some Blizzard SL Mag's w Vists and Marker 14.0's. If interested, PM or IM me.
I'm covered for SL with the race stock Heads. Looking more for cheater GS skis.

BTW, if you are still looking for Olin's I have a 25 yo pair of Mark VI Slaloms.
post #5 of 12
I'm in Western New York with similar vertical. Im a former junior racer turned masters and beer league racer. I have been on race stock gear up until this past year. For reference I am 5'7" and 135lbs, and what I found is that race stock gear does not work for me for 2 reasons-

1. Lack of vertical/momentum to really get it working
2. Lack of body mass to really get it working

I found this in discussing gear with the tech's at Mount Hood this past summer. Never seeing me ski, but working off the background (above) they rationalized that the race stock gear was a bit much for my use. By any standards even a true WC racer would not truly have a need for race stock gear at my weight on my home turf.

By stepping back to non race stock gear (2006 Atomic LT11 and ST11) this year I have found a ski that is more responsive and that "works". What I mean by works, is that I can power it through a turn and get energy back out of the ski. I am skiing faster and with more comfort (confidence) than in the past, and it feels great.
post #6 of 12
Another Western NY'er here who races beer league and Masters. Our vertical at Bristol is higher, but we seldom use the whole hill. I'm on the "cheater" Atomic GS12 (18.5 m @175) and they seem to work well for both the beer league and Masters courses. I'm 55, 5'10" and around 185 lbs.

Some of our better guys use race stocks. With my slowly improving but still very mediocre skills ( I started racing at 50), the cheaters are the way to go. I can't imagine using race stocks on the typical NASTAR course-kind of like taking a Ferrari to the grocery store.

I wasn't at the race, but rumor has it the guy who won the Masters SG at Bristol last Friday was on 180 cheater GS skis.....
post #7 of 12
Have you ever raced before? What are the fast guys using, and how does that compare to what the less fast guys are using? For someone new to racing, getting the timing down in the course is enough of a challenge, and worrying about properly pressuring a longer ski is definitely not going to help. If you're new to all this, I would probably start with one pair, some 165 slaloms, just to get things down, and then go from there.

If the fast guys are skiing GS on 165 slaloms, that probably says something about the course sets, and that's probably the right ski for the job.
post #8 of 12
While I agree with using comparisons to what the "fast guys" are skiing, I also caution you in using this method. If the "fast guys" have a different build or greater ability this may not be the best method of choosing what to ski on. My example from above is with regards to race stock gear. The "fast guys" in my leagues are all about 185lbs. The race stock 165cm slalom and 183cm GS ski they use won't work for a guy like me (135lbs) even with similar racing skills.
I think too often we get caught up in the hype of race stock gear, and trying to ski on what the world cup guys ski. Unless your going league rules state otherwise, there is no need to be on "FIS Legal" gear that inhibits your abilities. Ask around to see if you can take a couple race runs on someone elses gear, I know most of the guys in the local leagues are pretty open to this and it's a good way to see what else is out there without buying it!
Good Luck!
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by D(C)
Have you ever raced before? What are the fast guys using, and how does that compare to what the less fast guys are using? For someone new to racing, getting the timing down in the course is enough of a challenge, and worrying about properly pressuring a longer ski is definitely not going to help. If you're new to all this, I would probably start with one pair, some 165 slaloms, just to get things down, and then go from there.

If the fast guys are skiing GS on 165 slaloms, that probably says something about the course sets, and that's probably the right ski for the job.
Good questions. I have raced before - not a lot, I like free skiing too. Lately, I've been doing a lot of carving. I have run practice SL and GS courses lately.

I can carve nice tight arcs while hauling with my FIS SL skis. Plus, I'm 6', 240, being able to bend the ski is not an issue. I don't think that will be an issue if I lose 20-40 lbs either.

When I was auto racing, the advice we gave the new guys was copy the fast guys, then learn to to it better than they do.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJB
While I agree with using comparisons to what the "fast guys" are skiing, I also caution you in using this method. If the "fast guys" have a different build or greater ability this may not be the best method of choosing what to ski on. My example from above is with regards to race stock gear. The "fast guys" in my leagues are all about 185lbs. The race stock 165cm slalom and 183cm GS ski they use won't work for a guy like me (135lbs) even with similar racing skills.
I think too often we get caught up in the hype of race stock gear, and trying to ski on what the world cup guys ski. Unless your going league rules state otherwise, there is no need to be on "FIS Legal" gear that inhibits your abilities. Ask around to see if you can take a couple race runs on someone elses gear, I know most of the guys in the local leagues are pretty open to this and it's a good way to see what else is out there without buying it!
Good Luck!
You make good points. You can probably ski on the same type of ski as the fast guys, but you can't use as stiff a ski as the 185lb guys. I will check out what the fast guys are skiing.
post #11 of 12
Skiing Slalom skis in beer league racing is pretty common practice everywhere you go these days. An FIS complient GS ski is not the way to go for the sets you will see in a beer league. I am a huge fan of cheater skis though. For me the Fischer RC in 180 is awesome. I personally feel more comfortable charging hard on those as to opposed to my FIS slaloms but both would work.
post #12 of 12
My kid races in a high school league and deals with this problem all season long. Though there are no restrictions in his league, the coaches push the kids to use USSA legal skis as soon as possible. The problem is that the sets, especially for the "GS" are about 1/3 the scale of USSA courses. Plus hes light and has a hard time bending the the legal skis on the flat pitches they seem to favor for safety's sake. So we are looking for softer, shorter skis for that league for next year and will keep the legal skis for his USSA races. And of course, now that the season is over, the final fun race today was on an FIS slope with a legit, if short, GS set on a good pitch and the legal skis were right - the only time they matched the course all season. In our beer league (in which I'm only a sporadic participant because of work commitments) I started last year with short GS skis, had a hard time staying high in the gates which were about like my son's GS sets, even though posting good times. I went to slalom skis and climbed all over the courses - had a ball. Now this year a different guy is setting and the offests are only about 2 meters. Its a shussing contest more than a real ski race - best times are a full 2 seconds faster than last year and I'm on longer GS skis and happy. Go figure. If it's too turny by all means get the ski that works. It isn't cheating if there aren't restrictions - find the right tool for the job, IMHO. As long as you aren't losing time to excessive sidecut or reduced length, go for it. It's all about fun and you should enjoy it.
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