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Ski Purchase Advice

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

I've been skiing for 2 seasons now, but I recently moved to Japan. In the US, I was skiing 163cm skis, but I'm only 5'5", 130 lbs., which means that I should probably be skiing 154cm skis.

Anyway, since I moved to Japan I had to buy new skis. I wanted to be uber nimble and agile on the slopes this year, so I went for short skis (152cm).

Here is some information regarding my physical condition and skiing ability, which you skiing buffs can use to get an idea of an ideal ski for me:

I have a lot of power under me because I'm 1) very light weight (130lbs), 2) I run 5 miles a day (6:00-6:30 per mile pace) and lift weights 3 times a week (including leg lifts) and 3) I do martial arts. Additionally, I'm only 22 years old and just naturally strong and fast for my size.

My skiing ability is pretty good. I graduated from pizza slice/fry formation and onto carving after about 5 minutes after the first attempt of my life at skiing (about 2.5 years ago). My first season saw many blacks and some double blacks. I tumbled down many of them, but by the end of the season I could make it down some at a decent pace without a single tumble.

My second season saw many jumps (I love jumps) and I was able to make it down most blacks with great ease, and at a fast pace. Double blacks I took slower, but I could still make it down them with relative ease. I'd say that my favorite difficulty right now is black.

Now, I did buy new skis the other day, but they were only $150, so they can easily be returned, or sold, and then I can buy new, better skis if these actually suck. This is one of the reasons that I'm posting this message: I want to know if I bought bad skis that aren't going to be very good for someone of my skill. Here is there description:

Nordica, Olympia, Harmony 2
Lady's Skis
Beginner's Skis

Unfortunately, when I was picking them out I was shopping blind because I don't know jack **** about skis. I was at a second hand store, and the deal was so good that I just had to grab them. I didn't know that they were ladies skis at the time, and all I was paying attention to was the fact that they were 1) cheap as hell, 2) a worthy brand and 3) about the size that I wanted.

A recent conversation with a co-worker alerted me to the fact that ladies snowboards may bend more easily, which could make them easier to ride for weaker people, but at the cost of agility. Harder, more agile boards are meant for people with greater leg strength, because they can take advantage of this extra agility without falling on their asses.

Unfortunately, this might be the case for the lady's skis that I bought. Now, like I said, I really don't know much about skis, so I was wondering what you think. Are the Harmony 2's going to be too soft for me? Are lady's skis even different from male skis beyond the fruitier colorscheme and pictures? Are they so much different that I should go out and get men's skis?

I plan on skiing pretty hard, and pretty often this season. It would be a bummer to go up on the slopes and find out that my skis don't allow me to exploit my physical condition and skiing ability to the max.


Note: Keep in mind that I'm not looking to buy skis online. I mean, it's possible, but I'd like to avoid it because I'm in Japan and I don't want to risk any companies, or ebayers, screwing up the mailing address, which would then result in my being screwed. The shipping would also cost a fortune, which I would prefer to spend on the skis themselves.

For this reason I'd appreciate recommendations for the general type of ski that I should be looking for. But any recommendations would be appreciated, so if you'd like to recommend brands and models too then go for it.

I really want to thank you for your time. You'll be helping me out a lot.
post #2 of 4
Porthios, we have been getting some really epic trip reports from Japan from U.S. skiers who take advantage of the off-piste powder rather than follow the crowd. Some wider longer skis might be a lot of fun in a country where everyone regards powder skiing as off-limits. Womens skis tend to be softer flexing, and have binding mounting points more forward. They don't seem to be the best choice for strong, male skiers. The soft flex can be an advantage in bumps or in soft snow.

You will get a lot of suggestions here, but it would help to know what you want to do in terms of freeride or race / carve. Also, I'm sure a lot of skis are not available or economic compared to here. Anyway, i'll leave you wiht this thought...Gotamas.
post #3 of 4
check with Samurai...he's a yankee transplant who has been living in and riding the snow of Japan for at least a few seasons now.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
I don't plan to go off piste, but I'd be very willing to try it. Thus far, what I plan to do is simply tear up the main courses a bunch. What I like to do is as follows:
  1. Jumps
  2. Quick maneuvering from side to side (I just like to bounce all over the place and just play around on random crap).
I'm not a huge fan of going off piste all the time. It's fun, but it usually requires a major slowdown in speed, which is something I don't like to do. If I go off piste, it would probably be to enjoy the scenery as I'm not that experienced. Additionally, none of the people with who I'd be skiing are experienced enough to go off piste much either.

I'm just looking for a maneuverable ski that will allow me exploit my physical condition and skiing abilities to their upper limits (I don't plan to go all out here, but I don't want to feel like I need to hold back).

Thanks for the quick replies. I really appreciate them, and I'd appreciate more in the future. Thanks!
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