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another newb shopping for skis

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello,

This is my first post. I'm an intermediate/advanced skier writing from Turkey. I'm writing seeking gear advice because it appears to me sales reps over here don't know anything on the subject.

I'm 6'0", 165 and looking for a short turn on-piste ski (rad <= 15m waist <= 69 mm) that doesn't need to be overmuscled at medium/low speeds, but also something that can hold an edge when I occasionaly venture into black runs. Right now I ski on a pair of semishape '00 Kneissl Ergo Race ( rad = 20m, 190cm, 92-62-92 ) which I got for really cheap. I thought I could handle them but I was wrong. While I have no problem carving them at high speeds, it doesn't feel safe to do so in narrow trails or crowded pistes. I'm seeking something more relaxed and manueverable as a second pair, I hate to be on a GS ski in blizzard conditions. Piste conditions here in western Turkey are usually icy above elevations of 2000m.

As it is end of season my limited current choices appear to be a Fischer RX6, Head XRC 1100, Atomic SX9, 05/06 Salomon Streetracer 10 all of which I can buy in the 650$-750$ range.

The cheaper choices I have are :
05/06 Blizzard Sigma X-Cross 11 IQ, 15m@171 cm, (pentax (???) magnesium - woodcore ) 450$
06/07 Blizzard Speedcarve SLC IQ, 13.5m@165 cm ( sandwich compound carbon - woodcore ) 450$

My question is: is it worth paying the extra 200$-300$ for any of the skis mentioned above ? Otherwise my preference appears to be on the SLC as I think it will probably help me develop finesse but I'm not sure as I also think the magnesium X-Cross would hold better at black runs ? Any advice will be appreciated...
post #2 of 9
I'm not sure what logistical problems being located in Turkey may pose, but here's my experience. About 2-3 months ago I made an e-bay purchase of 2005 Atomic ST:11 (170cm) and 2006 Neox 412 bindings for $380 total. Dimensions are 126-65-106 with 12m radius in 170cm length. I've been on them about 12 times both East Coast and Colorado. Obviously the skis love to turn with typical (amazing) Atomic edge hold on ice. The have a pretty forgiving flex for Atomics. They are heavy so they will wear you out at first but I have found they perform well in crud. They floated well in the powder I've been in (8-9 inches with much deeper windblown). I ski fast trying to keep up with my wife and I have yet to find their speed limit. The one (obvious) problem area has been bumps since they are a bit stiffer and have more shape than my prior skis. For comparison I'm 6'0" 190lbs level 8 skier. I hope that helps.
post #3 of 9
Here's another listing for the same ski from the place I purchased them.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ATOMIC-ST11m-170...QQcmdZViewItem
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by discobean7 View Post
Here's another listing for the same ski from the place I purchased them.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ATOMIC-ST11m-170...QQcmdZViewItem
That is an excellent choice but unfortunately dealing with customs here is usually a nightmare. I'll check the tax rates tomorrow morning, if they're low enough, that might the most logical option, thanx for your help.
post #5 of 9
The only ski you mentioned that might be an improvement is the Head 1100 IF IT IS AN 1100 SW.
If you can get a hold of a Salomon Equipe ski you would do well, but the Salomon Streetracers are rubbish imo. The RX6 is an intermediate ski (RX8 would be good), as is the SX9 (SX11 or 12 would be good, but not much slower than your GS ski) and so would be disappointing if you are used to carving high speed turns.

I'm not familiar with the Blizzards.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
The only ski you mentioned that might be an improvement is the Head 1100 IF IT IS AN 1100 SW.
If you can get a hold of a Salomon Equipe ski you would do well, but the Salomon Streetracers are rubbish imo. The RX6 is an intermediate ski (RX8 would be good), as is the SX9 (SX11 or 12 would be good, but not much slower than your GS ski) and so would be disappointing if you are used to carving high speed turns.

I'm not familiar with the Blizzards.
I mentioned the SX9 because its the only SX with a rad<15m but if you think its too soft for level 6/7 then its not an option.

I checked a few more downtuned sl carvers today, most of them (Dobermann SC, SL Fusion pro, etc...) were sold out. The ones I could find were:

Atomic SL:9 - 800$ (still bargaining for this one)
Rossi Radical 8S - 800$
Rossi X-fight 2 - 600$ (appears to be similar to 8S except no axial2 bindings)

Would you recommend any of these ? The Blizzards appear to match the 8S on paper but I hesitate because of Blizzard's "cheap ski" reputation.
post #7 of 9
There's a tendency on these boards to recommend skis that are perhaps more demanding than needed, probably because a lot of the folks are current or former racers who do a lot of mileage every season, push themselves and their skis hard. Which is great, but may not fit a new poster. You don't say how much you ski, or what your goals are, but I'd recommend a ski that will give you rewards right now, and that can stay with you for a while as you get better.

Whatever the Head is, don't see it as quite meeting your criteria. It'll carve beautifully on ice, but it's more of a medium-long radius specialist. If the SW, it's a detuned GS ski, which you state you are trying to move way from. Also, depending on its length, it'll be stiff for someone of our size (I'm also 6', 165) I've seen lighter instructors ski on the 800, in fact, because it's just as grippy at most speeds, but easier to flex below 20 mph, easier to handle while teaching. And frankly, skiing well at low speeds is tougher than skiing well at moderate speeds.

I've heard good things about the Blizzards, but haven't skied them.

Of the choices you note, the RX6 has the biggest upside - it'll do a variety of turn shapes, you'll be able to flex it, it carves well on hard surfaces, and it can totally provide a high intermediate/ low advanced skier with the goods. Unless you see yourself as becoming a high advanced skier within two years, I'd say it's the best choice.
post #8 of 9
Just saw your last post. The SL9 is a good ski that meets your criteria, bit on the stiff and demanding side for you but not unreasonably so, big upside, will stay with your improving skills the best; don't know if the extra $150 over the RX6 is worth it.

Radical 8S is a forgiving, fun intermediate-low advanced ski, will be the easiest to get up on and flex into small turns, will be the smoothest, but not as good on real ice, and you'll grow out of it the fastest. Not much bang at that price.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
You don't say how much you ski, or what your goals are, but I'd recommend a ski that will give you rewards right now, and that can stay with you for a while as you get better.
My goals are to become a better technical skier as I am unhappy right now about the the way I deal with choppy conditions towards the end of the day. I also don't have the confidence to carve at steep blacks, the lack of friction is intimidating ( I can get down steeps safely without carving ). I ski around 10 days a year.

Perhaps I should follow your advice on getting something along the lines of RX6. Expecting a short turn ski to be both comfortable at low speeds and stable at high speeds is probably unrealistic. If I want to crank up speed I have my current pair, while its shape may be out of date it does deliver in most departments except turn initiation.

BTW, since I have no experience with slalom carvers, how do you choose a length for them ? If I ski 170cm on an all round carver at my weight, is it ok to subtract some 5 cm to account for the extra edge length on an SL carver ? For a stiff ski like the SL:9, is it ok to substract another 5 cm and go 160 cm or would that be too unbalanced for my height ?

Thanx for your help.
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