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Does length matter??

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Does ski length matter that much in a 24/25 second Nastar course? I have been skiing with RX8's in a 170 and the other day raced with 170's and 175's. My times were better with the 170's. I've been eying a good deal on RX9's in a 180 and am wondering if that would help. I have an 11 handicap so always very close to the pacesetters time. Always looking for faster times....
post #2 of 23
All that matters is that you can do better with one ski over another. I think the shape of the ski might matter more than the length since we never obtain too much speed, stability is really not an issue. That being said I think a GS ski is the best ski for NASTAR.
post #3 of 23
Generally speaking, a GS ski is faster than an Sl in a typical Nastar Race., this is dependent totally on the course setter especially near the bottom where most courses straighten out. I have ran several courses over the years comparing GS to Sl times and less than 1 out of 10 courses where quicker with Sl skis. If you going to the Nationals in Steamboat take your Sl's along just in case.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Should have also been more specific on the models.

The Fischer RX8 in a 170 is a 14m radius and in a 175 a 15m radius.
So I added length to the ski but but the same shape. I felt that I did better with the 170's because I could create more power and snap coming out of a gate. The RX8 size is 116-66-98

That's why I'm thinking of the Fischer RX9's. The 180 has a 19m radius. I believe the size is 110-69-96.

I would consider the RX9 to be a GS cheater ski, correct?
post #5 of 23
I have never skied that particular model but have skied quite a few of Fischer's race skis, and quasi-race skis including the SC series. Though I'm sure they are great skis, I don't think there's any way the RX series will be as fast in gates as a race ski either while turning or running. Sidecut/turning characteristics/running speed is funny business. We once tested some skis against each other. I skied right in my son's tracks, him heavier and on longer SCs and me on shorter SLs, both in short and medium turns - the speed of the SLs was obvious as I caught up with him very quickly. The GS model, though harder to turn tight, was faster by another order of magnitude. He never raced on the SCs again - I sold them all on eBay. I think Fischer makes the rec and quasi-race models slower on purpose to help recreational carvers feel more confident. Of course, they would never say that... If you can turn a production race ski in those courses I think you'll find them significantly faster. Just MHO.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
I am a big fischer fan though. Maybe I should look into the Worldcup RC instead. A rec race ski.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by midfielder View Post
I have never skied that particular model but have skied quite a few of Fischer's race skis, and quasi-race skis including the SC series. Though I'm sure they are great skis, I don't think there's any way the RX series will be as fast in gates as a race ski either while turning or running. Sidecut/turning characteristics/running speed is funny business. We once tested some skis against each other. I skied right in my son's tracks, him heavier and on longer SCs and me on shorter SLs, both in short and medium turns - the speed of the SLs was obvious as I caught up with him very quickly. The GS model, though harder to turn tight, was faster by another order of magnitude. He never raced on the SCs again - I sold them all on eBay. I think Fischer makes the rec and quasi-race models slower on purpose to help recreational carvers feel more confident. Of course, they would never say that... If you can turn a production race ski in those courses I think you'll find them significantly faster. Just MHO.
I am sorry, but the above explanation is way off. How on earth would Fischer make the RC model "slower". And how can you compare the "speed" of a ski when two different sized people of different abilities are skiing different skis. Not to mention, wax, base prep that might differ from ski to ski. I own the RC4 World Cup GS and SL, as well as the RC. The RC rips and can go just as fast as any of the other skis, and faster depending the conditions and set of the course.

As for the original post. No length is faster than another. It just depends on what fits your size and skiing characteristics better. In your case though, you are comparing much more then length, you are skiing different skis. As said about, the RX9 and the RX8 are completely different skis and have very different radiuses. If a 170 RX8 is faster than an RX8 in 175, I would think an RX9 180 with a larger radius and more length would not be an improvement for you.
post #8 of 23
Just to agree with kester9:

"Faster" = "works better for the particular skier and the particular course." Whether we're talking about length, sidecut, model or whatever. While there are some general things one can say with confidence ("220 cm downhill skis are slow in a slalom"), when you get to fine distinctions, it all depends on the skier.

The Fischer RC seems to be a popular race ski for Masters GS.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by kestner9 View Post
I am sorry, but the above explanation is way off. How on earth would Fischer make the RC model "slower". And how can you compare the "speed" of a ski when two different sized people of different abilities are skiing different skis. Not to mention, wax, base prep that might differ from ski to ski. I own the RC4 World Cup GS and SL, as well as the RC. The RC rips and can go just as fast as any of the other skis, and faster depending the conditions and set of the course.

As for the original post. No length is faster than another. It just depends on what fits your size and skiing characteristics better. In your case though, you are comparing much more then length, you are skiing different skis. As said about, the RX9 and the RX8 are completely different skis and have very different radiuses. If a 170 RX8 is faster than an RX8 in 175, I would think an RX9 180 with a larger radius and more length would not be an improvement for you.

Well, I don't have experience with the RC per se, but we have tried the skis I mentioned every which way, heavier skier on shorter ski and vice versa. No matter how we did it the skis performed the same. We were not in a course, rather skiing tracks in tracks, all carved, no skid, in turns of varying intensity, all edges newly tuned, bases bare and simlilarly structured. Sorry to have said something "way off" but there didn't seem to be any doubt about the tests. It bore out what we had "felt" about the skis. The results have also been supported by two years of race results in a broad range of course sets. If you have tested and have information about those skis to the contrary, other than anecdotal, I'd be interested to hear it. In the meantime, I'll stick with the race skis.
post #10 of 23
OK 11 HCP in parka and bib or suit? Pretty good. Boston? Nashoba guy?

Your (male?) pace setters post 11s? Sheesh. Giddyap.

How big are you?

170-175 cm is not that big a diff for the "average" size guy. 170 is pretty short. 180s will feel pretty long at Nashoba.

Your times are prob more a reflection of the course than either your skills or your skis. Tighter course = shorter ski. Looser, harder packed course with a long gliding flat would do better with the longer ski.

Love my Fischer RC4s in 173. 5'8, 175lbs. Wachusett guy. 28-31 sec course. 8 HCP in suit.

Found last years Bizzard RS in 176 a bit too beefy but they performed well in the league championshiop race. Good pitch - about a minute.

I would prob pass on the RX9s in 180 for racing beer league. But hard to resist a good deal!
post #11 of 23
Going back to the original question on the first post, the submitter says that he was quicker on a 170 than a 175, that could be possible simply because the shorter ski will respond quicker to a late turn as the GS ski will be a little slower, but over all if the course is skied correctly the GS ski will usually be faster. One cannot begin to compare skis as to their speed by brand, if that was the case all WC racers would be on the same ski, now as to following a skier and trying to compare skis is a big waste of time. You must compare skis in the same course by the same skier the same day and hopfully the next run to compare fairly. What ski works for me will probably not work for you. Since we are throwing around handicaps mine is 7 with a coat. You must compare apples to apples, following some ones track do not make it! I skied Fisher for years but have found that rescently Dynastar gets the job done better for me. Does that mean that everyone should be on Dynastars, Dynastar sure thinks so! I will see you at the Nat's if you are fast enough!
post #12 of 23
The speed of a ski is the result of a combination of preparation (base/wax), sidecut, and length.
The sidecut and length of a ski are different for each type of course. This is why we have SL, GS, SG and DH skis. Increased sidecut decreases running speed, but also increases turn initiation. Greater length increases speed and stability, but decreases turning ability. Therefore, it's a balance depending on what the course you're skiing asks for. Downhill skis have very little sidecut, in fact, they're almost straight (with a radius of >44m) and they're also very long. This gives you incredible speed and stability, but you lose the ability to turn (and initiate turns) quickly. A slalom ski, on the other hand, has huge sidecut (radius of only 11-14m) and is very short. It is a slower ski, but it will turn (and initiate turns) much more quickly.
So what's the right ski for NASTAR? Certainly not a slalom ski. It's far too open. GS is more suitable. Still, on my 180s I always find myself wishing for a longer ski because there's no problem tucking the entire course at all on them. I'd say a 185 GS ski would be ideal for NASTAR.
However... before you rush out and buy a recreational 185 GS race ski... consider a real race ski. Recreational race skis are slower skis and there is a reason for this. The bases are identical, the lengths are the same, but the sidecuts are very different. You may notice that Fischer's RC, for example, has a 16m radius, whereas its race counterpart, the Worldcup GS, has >21m radius. This means that the RC's sidecut > GS's sidecut. This is unnecessary for a course so open as the NASTARs and it is a waste of speed.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sherman89 View Post
Now as to following a skier and trying to compare skis is a big waste of time. You must compare skis in the same course by the same skier the same day and hopfully the next run to compare fairly.
That's not at all fair. In fact a course is probably the last place you want to test speed because there are so many variables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sherman89 View Post
I skied Fisher for years but have found that rescently Dynastar gets the job done better for me.
Just out of curiosity, what's your height/weight? The Dynastar is a far softer ski better suited to a lower weight person whereas the Fischer is a beast. You may simply be able to choose a better line with that ski, thus giving you better times. It's definitely not the ski being faster, though.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by c4rv3 View Post
That's not at all fair. In fact a course is probably the last place you want to test speed because there are so many variables.



Just out of curiosity, what's your height/weight? The Dynastar is a far softer ski better suited to a lower weight person whereas the Fischer is a beast. You may simply be able to choose a better line with that ski, thus giving you better times. It's definitely not the ski being faster, though.
How do you know that it is not the ski(Dynastar) that is faster, the time in the course is the only criteria that is important, you make my point, the only place to test a race ski is in the course, how else will you determine which ski is faster for you? I rest my case. By the way I am 6/1 and weigh 220#, the ski is the Dynastar 66 at 182cm and a 21m turn.
post #15 of 23
Yeah, so you take two different skis in a course same day, back to back runs. One performs better. Why is that not accurate? Because the course is different the next day, duh. For all you know you'll be faster on the other pair the next day. When I talk about speed I'm not talking about how you ski in the course with a pair of skis, I'm talking about the raw speed of the skis on the snow.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all for the input.

Sherman89----Are you accusing me of making late turns? :
In my testing, I was not comparing different types of skis. The same model but just different lengths. It was the first time on the 175’s and may need to dial in the sweet spot. I’ll be retesting a lot next week. I will also have a friend’s pair of RX9’s in a 170 just for comparison using a different shape ski.
I mentioned in my original post that I was considering a RX9 in a 180 assuming that is a GS type ski based on shape and radius. Based on recommendations, I need to really start looking at other skis

My original post should have addressed two issues. Length and side cut (radius).

I have not been in a Nastar course yet with a GS ski. This is what I’m trying to figure out. Will a GS ski improve my times? I need to find a demo shop that carries GS type skis.

What length are your Dynastar’s?

Racer256—I didn’t think that an 11 was all that great. I would love to get to an 8 like some of you. Anyway, I run the Nastar courses at Sunapee, Waterville and Loon. They’re the closest ones to Boston. Handicaps are usually around 8, 10 and 12 depending on who is setting the pace and where I am.
post #17 of 23
Nikon,

What I was getting at is that a Pace Setter posting an 11 is fairly lame. (No offense!). Our league pace setter guys regularly post 2s and better.

8-10-12 HCP is very good for street clothes and all mt skis. Age 40+, 10HCp gets you a platinum medal. How old are ya?

Your clothed HCP figure would indicate a fairly high degree of racing proficiency at least compared to my central MA Mt which is pretty competitive. Western guys - simma. Come out and get dusted on hardpack by the Umass and Dartmouth alumni uber teams. Freakin science projects.

The fast 30 something guys are posting 4-6s dialed in and suited up. My 8 Hcp does not even get me in the top 5 34-39 Plat guys. #3 my buddy is a low 6 and change.

Since you appear to know what you are doing, I am wondering what has taken you so long to get on some race stock GS cheaters? For what it is worth, all the fast guys and gals at Wawa are on Fischers RC4s, Atomic GS11s, and a sprincking of Head Race stock fans.

PM me sometime, always looking for fast guys for league in 2008!
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by midfielder View Post
Well, I don't have experience with the RC per se, but we have tried the skis I mentioned every which way, heavier skier on shorter ski and vice versa. No matter how we did it the skis performed the same. We were not in a course, rather skiing tracks in tracks, all carved, no skid, in turns of varying intensity, all edges newly tuned, bases bare and simlilarly structured. Sorry to have said something "way off" but there didn't seem to be any doubt about the tests. It bore out what we had "felt" about the skis. The results have also been supported by two years of race results in a broad range of course sets. If you have tested and have information about those skis to the contrary, other than anecdotal, I'd be interested to hear it. In the meantime, I'll stick with the race skis.
I don't disagree that the Fischer WC slaloms are a fast ski. I just got back from CO were I spent a week on them. The are an awesome ski. . . And I don't disagree that perhaps for the couses you are skiing they are best. But I have to first say that I would call your "testing" anecdotal as my opinions from my own experience. I still think there are too many variables using different skiers and attempting to test "speed" by following someone's tracks.

I just don't think you can say the Fischer RC and SC are made "slower" by Fischer on purpose. I could go on about this, but I'm not looking to start a fight or anything. I admittedly haven't skied the SC, but I wouldn't say the Fischer "carving" race skis are not a useful tool for certain courses without trying the RC.
post #19 of 23
Well, call it unintentional if you wish, but once you've skied them both, you'll understand the speed difference. It's entirely obvious. Moreover, my 165 SLs have far less sidecut than my 165 SCs, but they still turn significantly faster. Go figure that. It's my belief that Fischer has decided that they'll make their rec race skis "safe". The SC isn't going to pop as hard as the SL (it wont throw you into the woods like I know my SLs can if I'm not careful). The SC is a much slower ski too, which could simply be caused by the enormous sidecut (9m at 155). Take it for what you will, but if you want the best ski for speed in a course, it's not the SC/RC.
post #20 of 23
Has anyone who is complaining that the SC/RC series is "slow" actually skied the RC? Do I think the Fischer SL WC has a lot of pop? Yes. Will it throw you if you suck? Yes. Is it the best ski for all rec. gs races? Not in my opinion.

Why, because if you ski it properly and you get the "pop" we all agree it gives you will make a very tight turn and you won't be turning at the right radius for certain courses. To make it work in certain courses you have to apply less pressure so it will make a "bigger" turn. In contrast, if you make that "bigger" turn on the RC you will get plenty of snap and power from the ski and be faster to your next turn.

I love the Fischer SL and ski it most of my ski days, but speed in certain courses is a function of having the right radius. A ski with the proper radius to make the type of turns a given course requires will be fastests. Sometimes that is the *gasp* "slower" RC.
post #21 of 23
It has been my experience that the wider the shovel, the more the ski seems to "plow" and the slower it becomes, all other factors being equal.

One can have two different pairs of skis with an identical sidecut but also have different widths.

Example, 125-70-115 versus 115-60-105, with the length being equal.

Both have the same sidecut, that is, the shovels and tails are 55mm and 45 mm. wider respectively than the waist, but one ski is wider everywhere compared to the other.

In a turn, both skis would generate a similar arc, although one would bite more on ice or hardpack. Having a high race plate will also increase the bite.

But I believe the wider pair would be slower if sking on a hard surface with a thin layer of loose snow.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by c4rv3 View Post
... it wont throw you into the woods like I know my SLs can if I'm not careful
Um ... wouldn't that make the SL quite a bit slower than the SC? I mean, for the person who's not careful? Getting up and climbing out of the woods being a time-consuming process and all....

What this all has to do with deciding what's the best ski on a Nastar course, or whether the RC is "slow" or "fast" is another question.

As kestner9 has already noted ....
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well, I did purchase the RX9’s in a 180 and tested both the RX8 in a 170 and the RX9 in a 180 on the Nastar course. I was consistently over a half second faster on the RX9’s and was a bit surprised because the course was set up very tight that day with a lot of quick turns. I felt a bit clumsy on the 180’s and I’ll need a couple of more days on them to dial them in. On an open trail, they are much faster and a lot more stable than the RX8’s. I had a chance to demo the new for 2008 Fischer Progressor in a 170. Seems to be a combo of the RC and the SC with a 15m radius (16m 175). Fantastic ski at all speeds. Smoother with incredible edge hold through the Nastar course but came up under a half second slower. That’s OK though. I just need to purchase these in a 175 for next year.
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