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Beginner Skier Get Head xrc 800?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I'm a beginner skier, 2 out of 10, and I just went to buy skis at my local ski shop. I live in MD; I plan on skiing more next season and I want to get better. The guy at my local ski shop said that I should go with the Head XRC 800's. The price is good and he says I will grow into them nicely. What do you think? Will they be too much for me now? Should I go with something a little less advanced? Thanks for the input.
post #2 of 27
Tell us more. Your size, level of physical condition & general athletic background.

Also what length of ski.

If you’re an active person, it’s a good choice.

Michael
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Sure, I'm pretty athletic, pretty active. I bike, golf and run a bit and I'm 28 years old. I'm 6' 1", and relatively new to skiing. The ski's are 170cm long.

I just don't want to kill myself on these things and I don;t have a good sense of what to expect.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Also, the xrc 800's are an 05-06 model and they cost 400 with bindings? Good deal?
post #5 of 27
It's a good hard surface ski. Might be a bit stiff for a 2nd year guy.
Do a search using the search the forums bar . There are a few threads about these.
I think you might want to consider a more user friendly ski that is not so stiff and one that will help you develop your turning skills better before you buy a ski you need to learn to bend to get a tight turn out of
post #6 of 27
How much do you weigh? How fast will you ski?
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
I weigh 170 pounds and I don't ski super fast. I've stuck to the smaller sloped thus far. Thanks for all of the input so far guys.

So what makes these ski's more difficult to use? Will I go faster or will I have a harder time turning?
post #8 of 27
Not a bad choice.

Michael
post #9 of 27
Softer skis have a little give in them and don't deliver full-force of your movements immediately to the snow. This makes them more forgiving of your mistakes. If you weigh more, or ski faster, you need to deliver more force to the snow and softer skis will let you down. The typical beginner ski also will not have stability built into it for higher speeds. There are probably easier beginner skis out there, but for the amount of time you would need that level of ease and forgiveness, you might as well rent for a few times. I haven't been on this ski, but going by spec the xrc 800 should carry you a fair ways up the path and not be all that hard on you.
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the insight guys. I'm sure it's going to be a little tough on me the first few times out but I'll hopefully get the hang of them in short time.
post #11 of 27
The XRC 800 is a super ski. My only concern is that it might be a bit long for you at this point of your ski development. I'd put you on 165s. If your skiing improves, the 170s will be OK. As skis get longer they get proportionately stiffer. The length per se isn't the problem; the stiffness is the concern.

I got the xrc800 for my wife in 156cm. She a slow green/dark green skier and thinks they're great. I'm a very good skier, 6', 200#, and those skis really hold a carve for me. Too short, I know, but darned good anyway.

The XRC line is being discontinued and will be replaced by the Xenon line next year. Anyone looking for a bargain will do very well with the XRC...800 model for intermediates, 1100, 1200, or 1400 for experts.


Ken
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately my shop only has them in 170’s and 156’s they don’t have the 163’s. Do you think this is a deal breaker for the ski?
post #13 of 27
170 is a good length if you have some ability, but shorter is better for 1st timers, as is softer. That's two strikes.

How many days do you have on snow?
Where do you or will you ski (which mountain, how wide open, how much vertical, trees, bumps, groomed, back country)?
Can you give us a description of your skiing ability, other than 2 on a scale of 1 to 10?
post #14 of 27
If it's any help, I hired some XRC800s for my first ski trip this winter. However I had done some practice on a plastic dry slope over the preceding months, which was very helpful in gaining a basic understanding of how do direct my weight to make the edges turn the ski.

I thought the XRC 800s were super, and better for me than Rissignol Z5s and Monster 78s, which I hired for my second trip. With my prior practivce and a confident approach I was able to cope well with red runs in France on my first trip. I would have bought some XRC 800s if I could have found some in my size. Instead I got a great deal on some Volkl S5s - not used them yet.
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
I've skied about 5 times in my life. The last tiem I went I stuck to the the first couple beginner slopes and had not problem turining and going down the hill. In fact, I wanted to go much faster but the ski's I was on, 140cm, wouldn't let me go quicker.

I live in the MD and will probably ski in the southern Pennslvania area most of the time. I' figure I'd stay on the beginner slopes until I get comfortable with the ski's then move up.

I really want these to last a bit and I don;t want to feel like I've outgrown the skis after 1 season.
post #16 of 27
In that case, would get the 170 XRC 800.
Well actually, I would (and did) get a GS race ski for my first ski, but I'm a crazy canuck (no, not one of the "real" crazy canucks).
post #17 of 27
I would think that a 170 XRC 800 would be fine. They're cheap, they're good hard snow skis, and they've got discrete graphics and a dumb model name. They should last you an extended period of time because, conceivably, even near-experts skiers wouldn't out ski them. I can't believe that 170s would be too long and 163s would seem silly short, generally, for someone 6'1".

By the way I run 170 i.XRC 1200s and I'm a 210 6' expert and my wife runs 156 XRC 1200s (not sure what her weight or height is) but she's an expert too. Then again I don't know how the 1200s translate to the 800s but would assume the 1200s are more targetted at experts and so would be stiffer, stronger, heavier but would have a family resemblance.

But a thought. If you're a beginner skier you may be rushing into the ski decision - have you decided on boots which are far more important ?
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for the advice. For boots I tried a the Lange FLuid 80 and another set that didn't feel nearly as comfortable. The Lange boots felt really good on my feet... much better than the rentals I've tried. Is that a good boot for me? Anything else I should look at?
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lespaulist View Post
Thanks again for the advice. For boots I tried a the Lange FLuid 80 and another set that didn't feel nearly as comfortable. The Lange boots felt really good on my feet... much better than the rentals I've tried. Is that a good boot for me? Anything else I should look at?
Comfort is king in boots for recreational skiers. I, for one, have no knowledge of the Langes but if they're comfortable how about trying other Langes up the performance line and seeing if the comfort is maintained ?
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Good idea. What can I expect from higher quality boots?
post #21 of 27
You'll get better response and snow feel from a good fitting high quality boot. If you have a Lange Fluid foot (wider with a lower instep), the Fluids are a very well made boot that offers the close-to-the-shell feel of high performance boots without the discomfort and stiffness. That's all considering that you're in the right size, of course.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lespaulist View Post
Good idea. What can I expect from higher quality boots?
All Lange boots are high quality and so you can't really move to "higher quality". Just higher spec.
Typically as you move 'up' the boots become stiffer which gives better feel and demand more precise physical input. Now this stiffness may translate into less comfort (especially at the end of the ski day). Lange's naming convention includes some indication of stiffness - the 80, 100, 120 etc. More stiffness isn't necessarily better - 120s are too much for recreational skiers in my opinion (that's what I used to ski !). Oh, and as you move up the stiffness scale the price goes up as does the coolness of the graphics on the boot which becomes important at the lodge (so more important than ski graphics).
post #23 of 27
Good choices.

It is possible for someone your size to ski the 163cm, but the sweet spot is TINY especially in the late-season slush we get 'round here.
post #24 of 27
Head XRC 800 NOT DISCONTINUED in 2007/2008.

I just mounted a pair of 2008 demos and we had them out for some demo days. They are red for 2008 and have the same half cap/half sandwich construction as the 1200.

The Xenon is great if you have soft snow and reports by those who tried it (7 or 9) is that they love the way it flexes. On hard snow days it is not so favourable and is noisy. I skied XRC 800 and XENON on same day this year and in soft snow loved the Xenon more than XRC but on any other snow hated the XENON and liked the XRC800 better.

The 170cm XRC 800 is a good ski but a bit soft for someone over six feet although with your experience not an issue. I have skied a lot on XRC800 in a 163cm size and it is one of the best bargains in the Head line. The Intelligence is great also because at slower speeds it allows the ski to bend but at higher speeds stiffens it as needed.

The XRC800 170cm will be a good ski for you as you get better but is definitely more than you need now. 163cm would likely be a better size but if you have rented or demoed 170cm skis before then not a problem. Also the 800 is not too much of a ski for a learning skier just more than you would normally need to pay. $400 is a great price with bindings also.

I am also 6'1" and weigh more than I care to say. Have skied a long time and taught for 20years. The XRC 1200 is a better ski for me but in a 163cm length I partuicularly like the XRC800 and have skied over a month on this ski this year - it is probably the best kept secret in the Head lineup (for the price).

Hope this helps

Mike
CSIA III
Head on hill rep
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
Good choices.

It is possible for someone your size to ski the 163cm, but the sweet spot is TINY especially in the late-season slush we get 'round here.
What do you mean by the sweet spot. My shop has the 156's but I think they are way to short for me.
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your insights Mike. You guys have made me feel much better about the skis.
post #27 of 27
By sweet spot I mean the range of front-to-back balanced body positions that would let you start and finish turns with least muscular effort.
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