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Pick the short list; old newbie seeks advice in a changed world.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am old to new skiing. That is to say I am making a return to this sport I loved so much in my younger days. One thing is abundantly clear – gear has changed dramatically. My last set of sticks were 201cm IIRC. A guy I work with who is of similar stature skis a 170, I asked him, jokingly, if they were Harts and was he was into ballet?

So here is my story. I started skiing in 1979 with The Blizzard Ski School in Birmingham, MI. It’s funny how skiers remember their gear over the years. The first pair of skis I owned (I rented for the first 2 years) were Rossignol Tornado’s topped with Tyrolea 150D bindings. I thought I was cool in my San Giorgio boots. I went on to race Jr. Nastar and skied into my college years. I took a 5 year hiatus and then made a few sporadic trips into my 30’s. Then the dam broke and I haven’t skied since 1995. Add a life, wife, career, kids and major spinal surgery.

Here I am watching my kids learn to ski and deciding I too will re-learn. So I’ve been reading this site and others. So much information and varying opinions. Where to start – a boot fitter. Check. Next, a list of skis to demo. Scan the FAQs for the best method and here you go:
    • Male, 6’2”, 240Lbs., 41
    • According to the scales listed in the FAQs, I was a 7/8+ skier. Today I’d have to say a 5/7 because of age, injury and time off. I’m confident that after just a few hours I’ll be carving turns completely though. I was always more about force than finesse; a thug really. However, I skied around gates, not over them. It was after all, pre springs and bamboo is hard! I liked fast steeps and moderate bumps (I was never a great bump skier, but I would try anything). Today, bumps are for watching other people do as I have a toasted ACL and 6 titanium screws in my back. Racing career is done. I see my self skiing fast blacks, avoiding air. Perhaps like this:
      • 50% groomed
      • 40% off piste (think Billy’s Bowl @ Breck or some easier lines in Christmas Tree Bowl at Steamboat)
      • 10% doing things I probably shouldn’t
    • I’ll ski one full week in Colorado and a long weekend (4 days) in CO or UT each season. I’ll get in 3 weekends in northern Michigan (Boyne, Crystal, Caberfae) and a bunch of time at local pimples (Holley, Alpine) with my kids. I’ve never been a big powder hound and the best conditions I can ever remember was a 14” fresh dump overnight in Breck one year, deep enough to be fun but not get lost in. Michigan has its fair share of icy chop and man made crud. An ideal but realistic season, would have me at Vail or Steamboat for a week, Alta (never been) for a long weekend, and 3 short weekends at northern MI resorts.
    • My favorite skis ever were a pair of K2 Extremes, the last pair I owned. Olin Comp IV’s were fun, but I enjoyed Olin Mark II’s more (they were longer & faster). K2 710FO’s were my race skis – I never lived up to their potential.
There you have it, the unabridged version. Now, knowing all that, the question – what skis would you put on the short / demo list?
My apologies for being so long winded, but I figured more info was better than less after reading countless threads here. Thanks in advance for any and all replies.
Mark
post #2 of 15
K2 Recons
Rossi B3
um...

Oh and Welcome to EpicSki!
post #3 of 15
I'd suggest trying a Volkl S5 or S4 and a wider ski like the aforementioned Rossi B3 or a B2 (I'm waiting to demo the B2 and B3 myself).

I demoed the S5 and the thing can turn on groomed and ice with little effort. It's not great for powder, but it worked well on an icy/hardpack day on Mt. Hood.

Have fun trying out some different skis!
post #4 of 15
The great thing is you no longer need heel bindings. Modern telemark boots/bindings and shaped skis will allow you to carve turns rarely imagined in 1995.

Telemark will help you get in shape and develop the finesse that you say was lacking. Strength and grace. Telemark will make those local pimples enjoyable. Riding with your kids will be less boring. Also moguls are easier to ski freeheel.

About the skis, that matters less than the boot/bindings. I'd suggest something around 180cm/70mm waist if you want to use it both locally and in the Rockies. Anything fatter is not going to be fun at the small local hills. If you really want to carve, look for 165cm, 65mm or less waist.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post
The great thing is you no longer need heel bindings. Modern telemark boots/bindings and shaped skis will allow you to carve turns rarely imagined in 1995.

Telemark will help you get in shape and develop the finesse that you say was lacking. Strength and grace. Telemark will make those local pimples enjoyable. Riding with your kids will be less boring. Also moguls are easier to ski freeheel.

About the skis, that matters less than the boot/bindings. I'd suggest something around 180cm/70mm waist if you want to use it both locally and in the Rockies. Anything fatter is not going to be fun at the small local hills. If you really want to carve, look for 165cm, 65mm or less waist.
Um, I don't think this guy is interested in telemarking as he was talking about slalom racing. As his post hints, he might have already gone to the bootfitter, so he's probably committed.
post #6 of 15
Spend 20 bucks and enjoy the subscriber reviews at realskiers.com.

I would say you might like a Fischer WC RC or SC or maybe an Atomic SX12 for the eastern groomed. The Fischer's have a lively light feel, and the Atomics feel solid. Both skis perform well. At 240 lbs, you don't want anything less than 175 cm.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by DtEW View Post
Um, I don't think this guy is interested in telemarking as he was talking about slalom racing. As his post hints, he might have already gone to the bootfitter, so he's probably committed.
I wasn't responding to a perceived interest in telemarking. I was trying to generate such interest. I thought he said he was done racing. Trapps, if you have already signed a letter of intent with a bootfitter or purchased alpine boots, nevermind. It was just a thought. You will have more fun, lose weight and get strong telemarking if you choose to go that route.
post #8 of 15
Your desired 40% off-piste usage suggests that you look in what they call today an "all-mountain carver" (i.e. carving skis that are a compromise between on and off-piste). Your size and weight suggests that you won't have much of a problem flexing the stiffer skis in this genre.

Not that I have much experience with any of them (I'm 5'8", 156#, and don't venture off-piste), I think the following skis are marketed toward your intended usage:

Volkl AC2, AC3 and AC4
Atomic Metron 11 B5 and Metron B5
Fischer AMC 76 and AMC 79
Salomon XW Tornado, XW Hurricane and XW Fury (past Salomon skis have a reputation of being softer and better suited for finesse skiers, dunno about these)

The Volkl S5 and S4 skis would be worthwhile to try, but these are primarily on-piste skis. Then again, you are in the East and the ability to carve on boilerplate would probably be beneficial.
post #9 of 15
Wait till you get on these new skis. You won't believe it. The skis that are availabe today are a friggin blast!
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comments all! I am committed to a local boot fitter and to alpine. I have a ton of respect for tele and snow board people; I just lack a ton of interest in those disciplines.

I've never had problems bending anything - size and attitude triumph over all. I'll check out the skis mentioned above and start my list. I am not opposed to having 2 pairs; a 'home base use and abuse' set and a 'take them out west' set. I do not foresee needing to buy new skis every year. I would hope to get at least 5 years out of them. Short of stupidity or accidents at least.

Thanks again.

Mark
post #11 of 15
Cool. Alpine is better than nothing I guess. I met a guy the last time I went skiing who was using alpine gear because he also had a back injury, resulting in nerve damage and loss of the use of part of his quadricep.

If you are willing, definitly get two pair, lots of people here feel they need 3 or 4 pairs. The great thing about alpine is you can rent/demo until you decide what to buy. Get a slalom ski, 160-165cm, no longer! They will make short turns real fun and real fun short turns make short runs last longer and uh, more fun. I can't advise on the powder/crud ski, I got on the short carvers when they first came on the market and have been having fun with them on small hills (and ocassionally big hills) ever since. I bought soime mid-fats a few years ago but haven't used them yet.
post #12 of 15
Actually scrap that, I can't edit that post but you should get something longer and slightly wider than a Sl ski. Along the lines of what others have suggested. Slalom skis and telemark skis invite a lot of falling down, which you probably want to avoid with your injury. Another bad idea. I just get carried away sometimes, sorry. Anyway, have fun, be safe, enjoy trying a few different skis, get some you like.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Subject to change, here is the short list:

Nordica Hot Rod Eliminator
Volkl AC-3
Volkl Supersport S5
Atomic SX10 B5
Rossignol Zenith Z9

I have chosen these as the first skis I want to try based upon feedback here and other places as well as trying to match my goals with a set of skis performance and design criteria. Most of these are Michigan first and out west second.

I can always add a wider second pair later. That list could include the Rossignol Bandit B3, Fischer AMC26, K2 Apache Outlaw.

Thanks again all!
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post
I wasn't responding to a perceived interest in telemarking. I was trying to generate such interest.
Anything you've gotta go out and try to "convert" people to can't be that great. If telemarking had any kind of logical advantage over fixed heel, there would be no need to "generate interest" in it. You telehippies are like Mormons...
post #15 of 15
Yeah, sorry, Jer. Not recruiting exactly, just suggesting. I guess telemarking sucks. The logical arguments are more challenge, and better exercise but alpine is challenging enough and I guess it's a workout for some. Besides, who ever used logic when deciding to ski? The desire to ski comes from the heart, not the head, and my advice was from the heart. I have no good info on what ski this guy should demo/buy, so all I can do is apologize for mucking up this thread
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Pick the short list; old newbie seeks advice in a changed world.