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Ski advice for heavy female

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
hi, I'm hoping I can get some good advice here.

I'm currently skiing level 8 (according to ability scale on this site) but dare I say it - feel I'm being held back a little by my equipment. Well, I know my skis can't look after me the way they should be any more - sometimes they feel like spaghetti!

Anyway, I'm not very tall, 5'4" and weigh ~175lbs and I ski aggressively, all-mountain terrain. Have skiied just about everything at Sunshine/Goat's Eye/LL, upper mountain at Kicking Horse and heading over to Jackson Hole this winter.

Am currently on Head iC170 which are 157cm I believe and they've done their job I suppose until last season.

I'm loathe to go in to my local ski shop where they guy looks at my figure rather than my ability and I let him bully me : in to buying something below my ability just because I haven't got the b*llocks to stand up to him... so I'm currently looking at the Völkl Unlimited AC 40 Carbon + iPT12 but am confused as to whether I should go for the 163 (I'm roughly 163 in height) or the 170 bearing in mind my weight.

Any thoughts, ideas or tips please?
post #2 of 25
You aren't heavy, you are the right weight, you are just undertall. A ski cannot tell how tall you are, but it does know your weight. You are over skiing a 150-something and could/should be on a beefier high end womans ski. Fortunately, you have some good choices out there where you didn't in years past. Elan Wavespice and the Volkl Attiva AC3 are two that come to mind. You could also score a deal price wise on a high end unisex ski in the 160's.

You mentioned the AC40, a great choice of a ski too. It would be ideal if you could demo the 163 and 170 first, if you have that option. I do think that level of a ski, the 163 will give you the hold that you are looking for.
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
hi, I'm hoping I can get some good advice here.

I'm currently skiing level 8 (according to ability scale on this site) but dare I say it - feel I'm being held back a little by my equipment. Well, I know my skis can't look after me the way they should be any more - sometimes they feel like spaghetti!

Anyway, I'm not very tall, 5'4" and weigh ~175lbs and I ski aggressively, all-mountain terrain. Have skiied just about everything at Sunshine/Goat's Eye/LL, upper mountain at Kicking Horse and heading over to Jackson Hole this winter.

Am currently on Head iC170 which are 157cm I believe and they've done their job I suppose until last season.

... so I'm currently looking at the Völkl Unlimited AC 40 Carbon + iPT12 but am confused as to whether I should go for the 163 (I'm roughly 163 in height) or the 170 bearing in mind my weight.

Any thoughts, ideas or tips please?
AC 40 would be good. I'm 5'10" and 200#, I ski a 170 in the east. I ski on the Nordica Top Fuel and that ski is similar to the AC 40. So for your height, weight and the fact that you are a female, probably shorter would be better. If you are 163 cm then a 163 might even be too long in that ski.

On Epic, when ever the topic of choosing a ski comes up, many recommend demoing the ski. I find it hard to demo partly because I am impatient and need to get on a new ski. But you need to demo, imho.

Hopefully you'll get some ideas on other choices here today.

and welcome

bz
post #4 of 25
IMO the AC40 might still be a little stiff for you, i would look harder at the AC30, and it might be worth doing a back to back test of the attiva ac30 and AC30...

As an example, i am male, 5'9 and 220lbs and ride a stoeckli stormrider in a 164, so i think that a 163 AC30 would be plenty of ski for you...
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys - I shall have to try and find somewhere to demo.

Phil - I was told a few years back that the "lady's skis" were actually designed for a more "petite" lady - like 110lbs worth!
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
Thanks guys - I shall have to try and find somewhere to demo.

Phil - I was told a few years back that the "lady's skis" were actually designed for a more "petite" lady - like 110lbs worth!
That is not necessarily true.
Its a bit about weight of the ski, and a softer flex, but women's skis have come a long way, and now they are more about balance.

I think you're on the right track with the AC40,(both in the ski and the length 163) but I think you'd miss out if you don't give some other skis a try.

I'd say the Nordica Afterburner would be a great ski to put on your demo list. I demo'd it and had a hard time giving them back to the rep!

Another ski that I fell in love with and currently ski is the Elan Wave Spice. Its burly enough to never be compared to spaghetti, and wide enough to offer the midfat fun factor. Top it off with the edge to edge transition ability and you've got a rocken ski!!!
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
Phil - I was told a few years back that the "lady's skis" were actually designed for a more "petite" lady - like 110lbs worth!
That used to be the case, what womans skis were just mediocre low level skis with pink or teal graphics. The newer breed of womans skis, particularly the high end gear, is indeed "the real deal".
post #8 of 25
If you like damp skis it might be good to demo a Head IM88 in 164 too. My wife loves it.
post #9 of 25
At this stage in the development of women's skis, they are more geared to accomodate the differences in female biomechanics than just the "petite" thing. Depending upon a number of factors, you will likely be better off with a women's specific model. I test all the mid-high level women's skis every year and IMO you will not find the higher end skis to be lacking. You will want to consider a longer ski than that you currently have, but you seem to have already figured that out.

You are on the right track as far as category. While the AC-40 is not made in a women's version, the AC-30 is and would be a good starting point for a demo program. Another great ski to consider is the Nordica Olympia Conquer. This is the female specific version of the Nordica Afterburner (which compares favorably to the Volkl AC4/40) If you are going to be in demo mode, I'd suggest putting that one on the short list as well.

If......you are considering buying a clearance ski now without demoing then you might consider this '06/7 Nordica Conquer which is currently 1/2 price.

http://shop.sierrasnowboard.com/browse.cfm/4,1595.htm

SJ
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
. Another great ski to consider is the Nordica Olympia Conquer. This is the female specific version of the Nordica Afterburner (which compares favorably to the Volkl AC4/40) If you are going to be in demo mode, I'd suggest putting that one on the short list as well.

If......you are considering buying a clearance ski now without demoing then you might consider this '06/7 Nordica Conquer which is currently 1/2 price.

http://shop.sierrasnowboard.com/browse.cfm/4,1595.htm

SJ
Sierra Jim knows of what he speaks
The Conqueror Rocks!!!

One question?
At the OP's size and ability, will the 162 be enough ski?
I hate to ask, but I do have a tendency to go long in my skis, well, I don't have to explain my gear illness
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
At the OP's size and ability, will the 162 be enough ski?
Yes, I believe it will. And that sounds like a great choice.

sold
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Guys and gals, you've really given me something to think about, thank you. I'm so glad that you've supported my choice and not told me to go out and buy a girly flowered ski or an intermediate one.

I'm also dead impressed I got a response from Sierra Jim! I was just looking at his site yesterday and watching his videos but thought it was a bit cheeky to ask him direct!
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
Guys and gals, you've really given me something to think about, thank you. I'm so glad that you've supported my choice and not told me to go out and buy a girly flowered ski or an intermediate one.

I'm also dead impressed I got a response from Sierra Jim! I was just looking at his site yesterday and watching his videos but thought it was a bit cheeky to ask him direct!
You will not find a better retailer to deal with than Jim. Buy the Nordies that he linked you to, you will NOT be disappointed. That is one of the better HP womans skis out there.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
You will not find a better retailer to deal with than Jim. Buy the Nordies that he linked you to, you will NOT be disappointed. That is one of the better HP womans skis out there.
PhilPug knows of what he speaks!:
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
At this stage in the development of women's skis, they are more geared to accomodate the differences in female biomechanics than just the "petite" thing. Depending upon a number of factors, you will likely be better off with a women's specific model. I test all the mid-high level women's skis every year and IMO you will not find the higher end skis to be lacking. You will want to consider a longer ski than that you currently have, but you seem to have already figured that out.

You are on the right track as far as category. While the AC-40 is not made in a women's version, the AC-30 is and would be a good starting point for a demo program. Another great ski to consider is the Nordica Olympia Conquer. This is the female specific version of the Nordica Afterburner (which compares favorably to the Volkl AC4/40) If you are going to be in demo mode, I'd suggest putting that one on the short list as well.

If......you are considering buying a clearance ski now without demoing then you might consider this '06/7 Nordica Conquer which is currently 1/2 price.

http://shop.sierrasnowboard.com/browse.cfm/4,1595.htm

SJ
Jim -- Would this ski (the Nordica) also be a good ski for my daughter? She demo'd this ski along with some others last season and it was the only ski that day that was "all right", but she didn't fall head over heels.

She is 20 years old, an athlete (skiing and gymnastics since the age of 3), FIS racer through last season (but that's the end, college has become too demanding and that is where her priorities now lie). She got new race boots last season and she loves them. They are quite stiff and she had a tough time getting them as the seven ski shops in the area refused to believe she had the muscle to control them and kept trying to show her lower level boots. She finally got them through the coach's connections from a factory rep due to the petite size she requested (22.5 or something). The boots are Technicas, flex index is 110. She is 5'3", 115-120 pounds. This would be her first pair of non-race skis ever. Up until now, if she went off groomed, she used an old pair of K2 Mach SL's! They were apparently nice and quick in the trees due to their length (from 8th grade or something). But, they are hell in deep snow, as are all her current Volkl race skis. She's been skiing Volkls for the last four seasons and I would guess that feel is what she is used to. She HATED the K2 Lotta Luvs she tried, I know that much.

Her normal skiing is mach schnell on the groomed. I personally have been with her only a few times off groomed as she just vanishes into the trees and I like someone who is moving roughly at my own pace in iffy terrain. I have noticed that if the "groomed" is actually "crud" that she wants to head home when I am doing just fine on my Recons. I am sure it is the skis. Technique movie (She is actually demo'ing things for a friend here, so not quite as relaxed maybe as normal. This is a HUGE file, so skip if you don't have broadband -- in fact, according to my PC, it'll be 3:45 PM before this is all transferred). Race pics: GS, GS, SL in 06.

I wish she had fallen in love with something last year. She really wants new skis, but I am afraid she may insist on continuing to demo things until I have to pay full list price.
post #16 of 25
sib:

In the case of the Nordicas, the concessions that they make for a women's ski at the highest end are basically just binding position. (down in their lower end skis, they do some other stuff as well) The quality and sophistication of a Nordica is at the top of the list. It's an interesting thing, better skiers like racers or ex instructors often will find Nordicas as their first choice. Most of the Nordies are not dramatically stiff, but the balance of stiffness, weight, shape, and torsional stiffness are extremely well executed. The more technically sound the skier, the less overall stiffness they need. I know some fast aggressive skiers that think they are level 11 (on a scale of 10) but honestly are real hacks. (but they are fast and aggressive) Those folks often like very stiff skis as they tend to muscle them around. An instructor or racer tend to use the ski like a scalpel instead of a bludgeon and therefore will often like a more subtle ski.

So.....is the Conquer enough ski for your daughter? I'd say yes it is. Your daughter needs to understand that a ski in this category is NOT a racing ski constuction....if it were, it would simply not do it's "all mountain" tasks as well as it does.

SJ
post #17 of 25
SJ

But she skis on men's race skis. Might there be a slightly beefier ski out there that would offer her more performance on the groomed? A woman of this caliber could ski on something more substancial, it seems. Weight is a consideration I know, but she appears to be a real good skier and could be frustrated by the lack of rebound and general performance. I say this not knowing much about the Conquer.

So I am referring to a men's ski. Like the difference between the Top Fuel and the next one down in that line?

This is mean to be a question
post #18 of 25
"JIM SAys: As with some other models in the Nordica lineup, the name says a lot. The Conquer will allow a skier to do just that, Conquer pretty much anything. This ski is not terribly stiff, nor hard to turn, but it too wide for everyday use unless the skier has some serious commitment to Expert, off trail conditions. This is not to say that it won't handle the hardest groomed conditions around, it most definitely will. When turned up on edge, and pressured, this ski can grip and snap right along with some narrower skis. However, the feel is definitely that of a bigger turn cruiser. I felt that the 164 turned the roughest conditions to soft butter and the width gave float in some very deep snow. Katherine skied this model on a powder day in March and found that the Conquer really lived up to it's name. This ski is suited for good skiers with a significant desire to work the exoert terrain. The Conquer is wide enough to be a second pair for deep snow days."

So I just went back and read the review by Jim, and this answers my question, somewhat. Very well written SJ.

But a men's ski...?

Sibhusky doesn't really say what type of ski she is looking for, and since she already has a race ski or two, one could assume that she is looking to get off the trail. Where she skis is important too.
post #19 of 25
So, Jim, would you say she may like the firefox?
BTW, where is that in the line up? I don't see it, which is disappointing to me.

Sib, the conqueror was fun for me, and I'd ski it again in a heart beat, but I think it was a bit damp compared to the volkl's I demoed back to back.

At the end of the day, I could have flipped a quarter to decide because I had fun on most of the nordicas I tried!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
sib:

In the case of the Nordicas, the concessions that they make for a women's ski at the highest end are basically just binding position. (down in their lower end skis, they do some other stuff as well) The quality and sophistication of a Nordica is at the top of the list. It's an interesting thing, better skiers like racers or ex instructors often will find Nordicas as their first choice. Most of the Nordies are not dramatically stiff, but the balance of stiffness, weight, shape, and torsional stiffness are extremely well executed. The more technically sound the skier, the less overall stiffness they need. I know some fast aggressive skiers that think they are level 11 (on a scale of 10) but honestly are real hacks. (but they are fast and aggressive) Those folks often like very stiff skis as they tend to muscle them around. An instructor or racer tend to use the ski like a scalpel instead of a bludgeon and therefore will often like a more subtle ski.

So.....is the Conquer enough ski for your daughter? I'd say yes it is. Your daughter needs to understand that a ski in this category is NOT a racing ski constuction....if it were, it would simply not do it's "all mountain" tasks as well as it does.

SJ
post #20 of 25
She wants a ski specifically because she has issues off the groomed (where the powder is). She also has issues ON "groomed" once the snow gets deep enough, say 6 or more inches. But she doesn't want a full-on powder ski. More like a mid fat.

Also, if you can recommend something not considered a woman's ski, she might find it more acceptable. She takes after her mom that way.
post #21 of 25
If you like Head skis,as I do, you might want to try looking into the Powerthang.

Here is the description:
POWER THANG

An agile modern race carve-style ski for women who want precise, energetic turns at any speed and a rock-solid feel under the foot. A high-performance ski for athletic women who fly down the slopes and carve with precision.

Plus its a cool looking ski, mostly black.
Man I should be getting paid for all these product endorsements!
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
She wants a ski specifically because she has issues off the groomed (where the powder is). She also has issues ON "groomed" once the snow gets deep enough, say 6 or more inches. But she doesn't want a full-on powder ski. More like a mid fat.

Also, if you can recommend something not considered a woman's ski, she might find it more acceptable. She takes after her mom that way.
Nordica Nitrous, or afterburner
Elan 888, or Elan Wave spice (womens specific but amazingly substantial)
post #23 of 25
Hoooo boy....................OK

First: Race skis including World Cup level race skis have different flexes for women than they do for men. Some are even mounted differently.

Second: I doubt that Nordica would fess up to this but I suspect that the Conquer IS the Afterburner except for binding position.

So....Can she ski a men's ski?? sure.....get an Afterburner......:

There is no women's specific Nitrous or Top Fuel. This choice is going to depend upon expectations. If the girl expects her softer snow ski to ski like her race sticks it's going to take a stiff ski. If that's really what she wants....the Top Fuel will get it done for her along with several other stiffish unisex skis. Those skis will not however, help her out in soft broken snow as much as something slightly softer is likely to.

The Firefox is Nordies top women's specific carver. While in some cases, I suspect that Nordicas women's skis are the same guts as the men's, this is a different ski than all the men's lineup. I flexed one the other day when I was in the store and it is pretty stout but definitely lighter than any men's version.

SJ
post #24 of 25
I skied the Afterburner and the Conqueror, and I believe that they are very similar, if not identical. The binding position did, however make a slight difference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

The Firefox is Nordies top women's specific carver. While in some cases, I suspect that Nordicas women's skis are the same guts as the men's, this is a different ski than all the men's lineup. I flexed one the other day when I was in the store and it is pretty stout but definitely lighter than any men's version.

SJ
Jim, You know I want that ski!!!
post #25 of 25
SierraJim wrote:

I know some fast aggressive skiers that think they are level 11 (on a scale of 10) but honestly are real hacks. (but they are fast and aggressive)

Dammit Jim...Don't tell people how I ski.
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