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Soft GS ski advice

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Need an approx. 160 cm GS ski with 14 < R < 17. As close to 14 as possible without going under (Child 1 FIS restriction).

All I've seen in that length are r>17 and metal.

Any ideas?
post #2 of 27
Who/what is it for?
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
First year K1 female ( 11-12 yo) 110 lbs (I think), 162 cm tall - 5'4" right now.

4 yrs race experience. Skiing since 3. Excellent technically - was top girl in her division of 6 teams from different clubs. Will be 11.5 at season start.
post #4 of 27
Thats a USSA J4 equivalent right?
post #5 of 27
After reading the specs she seems really big for an 11 year-old... although I am by no means an expert on kids. [I did the calculations and that is 90th percentile for weight and 97th percentile for height]

Anyhow, why the focus on radius? She is the size of (or bigger than) most junior high girls (J3 here), so why the concern about such a small ski with a small radius? Do you have concern about them being unstable? Given her size and assuming she is as skilled as you say you could almost go to the top end of the beginner spectrum in both SL and GS skis (170ish GS 17m radius, and 150SL 12m radius)... of course this would be highly dependent on where she is in her skill development and what the courses that she is running will be like.

Later

GREG
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Minimum radius GS skis for 11-12 y.o. kids is 14 m. I believe that the course set takes that into consideration. Putting her on a 17m ski puts her at a disadvantage.

I'm also concerned about the added stiffness of the metal found in what I see is ALL jr skis above 160 cm.

K2 level (Child 2 FIS) is for 13 and 14 year olds that are MUCH stronger and more developed than their 11 and 12 year old counterparts. r>17m is the minimum for these older kids.

We've heard of small kids on big sticks having lots of trouble. This is the flip side of the coin - the small soft sticks are too short and slow, while the right length sticks being faster have a punishing radius and are probably too stiff as they are designed for 13/14 year olds.
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
We've heard of small kids on big sticks having lots of trouble. This is the flip side of the coin - the small soft sticks are too short and slow, while the right length sticks being faster have a punishing radius and are probably too stiff as they are designed for 13/14 year olds.
That is the dilemma that I figured we were headed toward - but I had to make sure... Has she ever been on skis aimed toward the K2 FIS kids? I would try to get her on some skis in the 160 to 170 range to see how she skis on them before you make your decision. A guy a knew a few seasons ago had his (very light weight for her age) daughter on Fischers but opted to remove the plate in order to keep the flex soft (when she was a J4 and J3) so you do have those kinds of options open to you.

You might try Elan... they used to make a 168cm GS ski that had no metal in it. I just checked the Elan site and the ski (RCG) has a 17m radius and has metal in it now although it seems odd for that ski to have two layers of metal given it's target age group... They used to make a 176cm RCG for J3/K2 kids - and those skis were FAST because they were built like the adult FIS race ski with a 17m radius. : Honestly, I wouldn't shy away from metal necessarily. Those skis are all designed to be very soft and even in a 160 length you're going to have a 17m radius and metal... In order to get a 14m radius you have to drop down to a 150's length ski, which IMO would be a mistake.

Later

GREG
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
She's never been on a GS ski.

Ski-depot.com has a video of the Elan rep stating the 2008 160 has metal....

And the Elan web site says they are fibreglass.

Then an official European tech brochure from Elan (found on an nl web site) says only the longest ski has dual Ti...... and the Elan website ski selector says 160 cm / r>17m.

At this point, I don't know what to think.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
She's never been on a GS ski.

Ski-depot.com has a video of the Elan rep stating the 2008 160 has metal....

And the Elan web site says they are fibreglass.

Then an official European tech brochure from Elan (found on an nl web site) says only the longest ski has dual Ti...... and the Elan website ski selector says 160 cm / r>17m.

At this point, I don't know what to think.
What skis does she have experience on?

In my searches since you have posted this thread I have found a trend:

160+cm junior GS skis all have a 17m radius. In order to get a 14m radius you need to drop to a 150cm ski. My guess is that she will be on par with the competition in terms of radius no matter what ski you choose. the construction of the 160cm and 170cm variants of junior GS boards share the same construction - only differences seem to be length and in a few cases dimensions.

Later

GREG
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
She loves her 140 cm Elan RCS.

At this point, it'll be either the 160 RCG or the 161 Nordica GSJ. I'm leaning a lot towards the Elan because I think it's all fibreglass.
post #11 of 27
If I were you I'd check out the 168 RCG... I think it might not have metal... look at a pair and compare them to the other lengths before making your purchase. I have actually skied the 168 RCG and it is very easy to ski - not intimidating at all - and doesn't feel like a GS ski in the typical sense of the term. Nordica's junior skis however... are beefy enough to carry most adults (skied those too).
Later
GREG
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
From an Elan glossy pdf, found online in the netherlands.

RCG _ Race plate

Construction: RST Sidewall, Laminated Woodcore, Fibreglass, (DualTi)*
Length (Radius): 144 (14.2) 152 (15.2) 160 (17.1) 168 (19.1) 176 (21.4)*
Geometry: 101/65/89 101/65/89 101/65/89 101/65/89 101/65/89
Binding: ER 11.0 FF+ black/green

Sales Code: AA7.427

I think a 19.1 m ski for someones first GS ski is a bit much. 17.1 maybe even too much. The 152 looks very appealing - it would be a MUCH better freeski.
Thanks for the Nodica info. It's off the list.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Need an approx. 160 cm GS ski with 14 < R < 17. As close to 14 as possible without going under (Child 1 FIS restriction).

All I've seen in that length are r>17 and metal.

Any ideas?
Does it have to be a GS ski - looked around and everyone is right - either really short for 14m rad or longer gives 17m ad.

Some non GS ski options as several kids in that age bracket are skiing non race skis over here (probably to get the length/ radius ratio right).

Stockli options:

Spirit (billed as all round ski but very capable of being pushed hard) 158cm 111/67/98 R14.8
Cross (a fatter waisted GS ski) 160cm 116/72/101 R14.7m

Race option:
Laser GSJ 152cm, R16.6.

Any one of the first two should be a good race ski at her weight, set it up with a decent edge and they will grip anything that a race organiser will throw at that age group.
post #14 of 27
Volkl?
post #15 of 27
don't focus on the preswence of metal. It is part of nearly all race skis, but they certainly don't all flex the same. Thickness of ski has more to do with it than just the presence of metal.

Stockli Jr. race skis are quite soft and we routinely recommend them for lighter kids or kids that just don't seem to ski well on stiff skis such as the Fischers.
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses. Fischer is a dual Ti ski, so I'd expect it to be extremely stiff.

Would a Head ski @ 160cm be too much ski for her weight? (110 lbs)

That's a 17m radius ski.
post #17 of 27
Have you come to a decision yet? Like one poster said above, I would not focus on the presence of metal to determine stiffness. Flex the skis before you determine whether they are stiff enough or not.

This may not have come up yet: What will length skis will the other competitive racers be on?

Later

GREG
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
The other racers will be on "forehead" height skis. My daughter is FAR taller than most, so their skis would be too small for her. I emailed Elan head office. They said 168 is too much ski for her this year.

I'm not too concerned about metal, just how much metal. Certainly dual Ti sheets will be too much. eg. Nordica and Fischer. I believe Elan @ 160 is a single sheet.

Dunno about Head or Blizzard.

The Dynastar @ 164 is 18m, is too close to the "too much ski" radius of the 168 Elan.

I hope to make the decision by the Toronto Ski Swap Oct, 14.
post #19 of 27
A17m radius does NOT put her at a disadvantage. At age 11, we try to get the kids to that radius as soon as they can. A 14m searches across the hill, a 17m searches the fall line.

I have much experience with this age group. You rave about her skill level, yet want to limit her progress with short length, short radius GS skis. Don't do that.

The most forgiving reliable, consistent ski for what you're looking for is the Nordica GSJ. Put her on a 171. Relax. She'll crush the field. She'll enjoy the fall line. She'll like the wind in her helmet. The ski is forgiving, holds very well, draws a lovely arc, not demanding, consistent, great for learning, and proven capable of winning.

At 162cm tall, a 160 is a weenie ski. No racing background = 162cm ski. Middle of the pack with no ability = 168. That's not how you describe your girl. She wins. +9cm over measured height is not long for her.

Slowly move away from your 14m search. Step back BigE. And get with what's happening.

As her coach, I would either put her on a 171 Nordica, or a 170 Volkl. If you ski on little hills (less than 180m) , put her on a 165 Atomic (aggressive style) or a 164 Dynastar (deliberate style).

Go shorter and you're limiting her progress.
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks!

The consensus is on the r>17 boards.

Should she go with the 171 Nordica plated or unplated? I'm thinking plated.

The benefit here is that the 171 is useful for a couple years. A shorter ski this year only. If she can't manage it, then we can always pick up a shorter ski.
post #21 of 27
Plated... that junior marker plate is all plastic and will probably put her right at the proper height.

BTW, the response you got from whygimf was where I was headed with all of my questions in this thread. I do think she will be much better-off and certainly faster on the longer skis. She will be a step ahead of the competition for sure. The courses will probably be set with the 17m ski in mind since that is what everything seems to be in that category, so she will be ripping on a more stable platform with the same radius as her counterparts.

Good luck to you both!

Later

GREG
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Wow, with PM's calculator, the 171 comes out to an 18.6 m radius.

The 164 Dynastar is labelled 18m, but PM's calculator calls it a 16.6.... and whygimf also does suggest it for smaller hills.
post #23 of 27
I wouldn't get hung up on the sidecut/radius calculator... I'm not knocking the work that went into it, but I don't think it will tell you a lot about the actual performance of the ski... Where will most of her races be this year? If you are skiing at Blue I think that a 170 length ski should be fine (I hear you can get going pretty fast there ). If she is able to create good angles with her skis in a course I would not worry a lot about radius.
Later
GREG
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for sticking with this thread Heluva! I'm guessing that most races will be in the Collingwood area, so all terrain will be pretty much the same and quite icey.

161 was recommended by the local Nordica rep as they "put a lot of K1's on the 161". Which says to me go with the 171.
post #25 of 27
I agree with Greg. Over the recent years we've been learning to rely on radius and waist width to determine ski properties. I agree that tell us what the designers intentions were, but they don't tell us where they ended up.

Also I would caution that many parents err on the side of not being cautious enough when it comes to ski length and boot stiffness. Forever listen to coaches pissed off about kids not being able to bend skis or boots.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou Rosenfeld View Post
Also I would caution that many parents err on the side of not being cautious enough when it comes to ski length and boot stiffness. Forever listen to coaches pissed off about kids not being able to bend skis or boots.
You're right... The best coaches are usually involved in the new ski selection process for young athletes.

BigE,
Even though it sounds like you have arrived at a final decision, you might want to run the length past her coach before you pull the trigger (unless you are her coach).
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
Being 110 lbs and 5' 4" at 11 years old (grade 6) makes her a really big kid. The growth charts say that the average girls 11 y.o. weight is 85 lbs, average height is 4'8". Being 110 lbs and 5' 4" makes her about the size as the average 14 y.o. girl -- or second year K2.

The entry level 17m ski for the average kid, is around 160-164 cm.

And as whygimf says, "she wins" - she's not in the middle of the pack.

I know at least one coach that blindly states: "We put all our kids on forehead level GS skis." End of story. IMO, that sort of advice is not worth following. Size and ability do matter. It's only the overall stiffness that concerns me, length and radius not so much.

As far a me being her coach, no, there is too much confusion between being Dad and Coach. I steer clear, unless there is an obvious coaching error and she does not understand something(she asks/shows what bugs her), or there is a request by the coach for me to work with her on a particular element. Otherwise, go have fun!
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