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Race stock vs whatever the other one is called

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
non race stock?

I want a ski that will be good in the gates. I've heard people praising race stock skis but I'm not sure if they're right for me. How will I know?
post #2 of 25
How do you feel on the top of the line serialproduced race skis?
post #3 of 25
OK-I'll be the one to say it-If you don't know the difference without asking, you shouldn't be on 'em! (sorry, couldn't resist!)

What kind of racing are you doing? Nastar? Beer League? Masters?
AFAIK, current '07-'08 FIS Mens race stock skis are 183 + CM with a 27 M radius. This'll be a big burly stick with no forgiveness, so unless you have upper level racing skills, it'll probably be too much ski.
post #4 of 25
[quote=John V.;836170]OK-I'll be the one to say it-If you don't know the difference without asking, you shouldn't be on 'em! (sorry, couldn't resist!)


And I will add that if you don't know the difference, chances of getting legitimate "Race Stock" skis will probably be next to impossible.

I'm not being nasty, but to truly score actual "race stock" skis is harder than you think. I truly believe that this is one of the most abused terms in the racing and race ski world, and that true/legitimate "race stock" is so limited that most folks who claim to own it don't truly have any idea what it is or where to get it let alone posess the skills to use it.

I'm sure that will unintentianally ruffle a few feathers......
post #5 of 25
Race stock skis tend to be livelier and less durable. They can't be ground as much as a ski off the rack.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJB View Post
And I will add that if you don't know the difference, chances of getting legitimate "Race Stock" skis will probably be next to impossible.

I'm not being nasty, but to truly score actual "race stock" skis is harder than you think. I truly believe that this is one of the most abused terms in the racing and race ski world, and that true/legitimate "race stock" is so limited that most folks who claim to own it don't truly have any idea what it is or where to get it let alone posess the skills to use it.
I suppose that depends on what your definition of "race stock" is. Most companies refer to their hand-laid laminate FIS-legal race skis as race stock or at the very least race room skis. You're right that true WC race skis are hard to come by. If you're not sponsored, usually you have to know someone to get your hands on them.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
I suppose that depends on what your definition of "race stock" is. Most companies refer to their hand-laid laminate FIS-legal race skis as race stock or at the very least race room skis.
Race Stock = Flex matched, hand laminated, sans serial number, limited production "not available to the general public". In other words walk into your local retailer to get warranty and they will tell you to hit the bricks.

I guess if you don't get them direct from the manufacturer, with the appropriate documentation or second hand from someone who did then they are not true race stock/race room skis in my opinion.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJB View Post
Race Stock = Flex matched, hand laminated, sans serial number, limited production "not available to the general public". In other words walk into your local retailer to get warranty and they will tell you to hit the bricks.

I guess if you don't get them direct from the manufacturer, with the appropriate documentation or second hand from someone who did then they are not true race stock/race room skis in my opinion.
Then what are they?

ALL ski companies now make race stock skis pretty damn accessible. If you are actually ON the current world cup tour, and are a top sponsored athlete, it is possible that you are probably receiving prototype race skis as the season progresses. The shape and stiffness is being constantly tweaked as a response to the current season's conditions, course setting tendencies and individual racer's requirements. If you are a world cup racer, and are receiving prototypes.... of course they aren't going to bother putting a serial number on them. But to say that the production run race stock skis are somehow "lesser" is ridiculous... They are probably somewhat different, but not much.

At the end of the season, and following testing at summer camps, a final shape, construction, and flex is decided upon, based on what is fastest for MOST racers. That ski becomes the "race stock" ski for the following season.

If you take a race stock ski from nearly any company, cut it in half, and look at the materials from the bottom up you will basically see the same thing.... A plastic base, purchased from the same vendor as all the other ski companies... metal edges, purchased from the same vendor as all other ski companies.... a sheet of metal (most likely "titanal," a ski specific titanium vendor)... a wood core, then a second sheet of metal and a topsheet.

They are all much more similar than they are different. There really isn't anything magical about "race stock".
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by U.P. Racer View Post
Then what are they?

ALL ski companies now make race stock skis pretty damn accessible.

They are all much more similar than they are different. There really isn't anything magical about "race stock".

If you think what you buy in the local shop isn't much different than what the WC or top level "team" racers ski on there isn't much point in debating.

Are the basic materials, sidecut, radius, etc the same? Sure for arguments sake they are similar enough. But to think that your off the shelf retail ski isthe same as the REAL "race stock" ski that WC athletes use is like saying the Chevy or Ford vehicle you buy at the local dealership is ready for Nextel Cup.

Terms like "race stock" or "race room" are completely over used, but that's just my opinion. I am over and out on this topic! :
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJB View Post
If you think what you buy in the local shop isn't much different than what the WC or top level "team" racers ski on there isn't much point in debating.

Are the basic materials, sidecut, radius, etc the same? Sure for arguments sake they are similar enough. But to think that your off the shelf retail ski isthe same as the REAL "race stock" ski that WC athletes use is like saying the Chevy or Ford vehicle you buy at the local dealership is ready for Nextel Cup.

Terms like "race stock" or "race room" are completely over used, but that's just my opinion. I am over and out on this topic! :
Racers are not engineers (at least not most of them) so they start out with the race stock available to anyone else, then that layup and cut is tweaked in subsequent skis for the racer as testing and or the race season progresses. So race stock, IS race stock, but what you can buy will not be what Bode or anyone other high level pro skis on, since those skis are each made specifically for each athletes individual needs.

I understand what you are saying about a car and a Nextel cup race car....but that is as extremely different as can be.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJB View Post
If you think what you buy in the local shop isn't much different than what the WC or top level "team" racers ski on there isn't much point in debating.

Are the basic materials, sidecut, radius, etc the same? Sure for arguments sake they are similar enough. But to think that your off the shelf retail ski isthe same as the REAL "race stock" ski that WC athletes use is like saying the Chevy or Ford vehicle you buy at the local dealership is ready for Nextel Cup.

Terms like "race stock" or "race room" are completely over used, but that's just my opinion. I am over and out on this topic! :
You aren't a racer or a coach, are you? Trust me... You are very uninformed on this issue.

You have to get to high level WORLD CUP before the skis that they are on are any different than the ones that I own, or the ones that any of the local USSA skiers are on. Even Nor-Am, and probably Europa Cup racers are on regular, off the shelf, race stock skis. In fact, I'm sure many World Cuppers are too. The only variable would probably be flex. They probably make different flexes available to different size athletes.

Bode, Hermann, Benni, etc.... can get skis made any way they want. Once you get out of the top, say, 50 in the world, though....

I don't know where you are from, but in areas where USSA is prevalent, race stock skis, plates, bindings and plug boots are easily accessible. Why wouldn't they be?
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by U.P. Racer View Post
You aren't a racer or a coach, are you? Trust me... You are very uninformed on this issue.

Even Nor-Am, and probably Europa Cup racers are on regular, off the shelf, race stock skis.

I don't know where you are from, but in areas where USSA is prevalent, race stock skis, plates, bindings and plug boots are easily accessible. Why wouldn't they be?

OK, I said I was out on the issue but I had to rebut the personal attack that I am uninformed. After this I am out :

1. My credential are such that I probably know more FACT than most. I have plenty of time racing, coaching and behind a shop counter. I have been inside the walls of a true "race room" full of hand built flex match World Cup skis. I have many contacts in the industry and have a fairly good understanding of what actually goes into a manufacturers WC race program. I won't go further than that.

2. I don't think you understand the point that I am making, or maybe I am not making a clear point:
"Race Stock" in MY OPINION = the "stock" that the top 25 or less World Cup Racers have access to. I'm talking hand produced limited production, no serial number product that is under lock and key at each manufacturer.
Thus the reference to "race room"- the room containing a couple hundred pairs of skis that are as described above. You can't purchase it- rather it's given to SELECT athletes.

Realize that the Nor Am, Europa Cup, etc athletes may be given product from a manufacturer, but it's "off the shelf" product that you can buy at retail and not the hand made "race stock" I defined above. (It maybe flex matched, but it's serialized off the shelf product)

3. There is tremendous contradition in your response. You can not say that "off the shelf" and "race stock" skis are the same. Either they are "off the shelf" denoting that ANYONE can purchase them ANYPLACE that has them on the shelf or they are "race stock" implying there is something outside the normal production specifications or procedures that makes them such. (Eg- the Monte Carlo you buy at your dealer is not "race stock" just because you see one on TV at Daytona) The top sheet on your ski may be the same as Bode's, it's simply not the same ski though.

4. I hear everyone talk about buying "race stock" in my area, back to my point- if you or I can walk into a shop and buy it in MY OPINION it's not "race stock".

Key operative in all of this would be my opinion, and I respect yours.

I think that should clarify my point, no?
post #13 of 25
SJB, I think you have to play along with convention and understand that when most everyone else refers to race stock they are talking about limited distribution, but regular production, professional level race skis, available to anyone who wants to pay for them. Which is not to be confused with your definition which I understand to be custom hand made to order skis with a particular racers needs at a particular venue with particular snow conditions...aka Bode and his 100 made to order Head skis.

From what I have on the subject, even if Bode wanted the same skis that he currently has, he couldn't have them, since each one is distinctly unique.

Recently when he damaged a pair of his Heads on the course, he said and I paraphrase: Its too bad, those were really fast and good skis, they will regrind them but they will never be the same again. If he could have the exact same skis again, then he wouldn't even mention that and it would be a non-issue. I can only assume this has to do with wood grain and structure differences, number of waxings and brushings, etc.
post #14 of 25
BTW, for those who are getting confused...

Real-deal WC skis and the race stock skis that are available to USSA and FIS racers are all hand made in the same race rooms. The difference being that the skis available to USSA and FIS racers are mass produced based on the previous WC season's most successful/well-liked shape (or possibly a shape and flex resulting from summer testing) and are usually available in different flexes. Do you ever wonder why it is so hard to get "next seasons" race skis?

All of the skis mentioned above are quite different from a regular "retail" model ski that is mass produced for the general public (usually made by machinery, as opposed to being hand-made). The skis that fall into this category are mass produced to one shape, and one flex and are typically not FIS compliant (cheater skis).

Any skis coming out of the race room are going to have many more similarities than differences, so it doesn't really matter what you decide to call them because they all share similar construction, shapes, and materials. There is no doubt that designs are tweaked for the WC circuit and for individual athletes' preferences. If those are the only skis that someone considers to be "true race stock" then so-be-it, but they are all coming from the same race room.

Speaking of which, I'd like to speak with the drunken Austrian who layed the topsheets on my RC4 SLs off center and un-even.

Later

Greg
post #15 of 25
I think most people call race stock skis that are mass-produced and meet FIS regulations, as opposed to cheater skis.

A Fischer WC GS as opposed to a WC RC.



Are these "race stock"? They've got "Authentic super g racing ski" printed on them.
post #16 of 25

Both right

I read SJB and UPR's comments and they both seem to be saying exactly the same thing. If you are one of the top racers in the world, in the class of the Bode's, Maier's. Rahlves, etc, then you have access to or get custom "Race Stock" skis made for you. These are not the same skis that the general public can buy. If you are a step (or two or three or twenty-five) below that, then you can buy laminate, two sheets of metal, vertical sidewall skis with an FIS compliant sidecut (or with a non-compliant sidecut, if you don't need to be FIS compliant in your beer league) that is mass produced by the various ski manufacturers IF you happen to have a ski shop near you that caters to the local race scene, be it high school, college, NASTAR, Beer league or whatever. These skis will, unfortunately, also be called "Race Stock". Why? Because the marketing department knows that "you" want to buy the same ski that you saw Bode win that last dowhhill with, so you get models with names like Volkl's race ski for the masses, the GS Racing Race Stock (two season's ago). A 'serious' race ski, but not suited for either a top 25 world cupper nor the twice a year NASTAR racer either.

To answer MLB's question (if it's not a troll), tell us what you ski on now, what level of skier you are, what kind of racing you do and then the folks here could give you some advice about race skis.
post #17 of 25

Seems like a good place to ask my question...

I picked these up used at a ski swap back in the fall and finally got a chance to ski them last week. Judging from graphics on the web I think they might be from 2004-05. What do I have here? I know what the 166 and the R>13 mean, what about the A04 and the 56?
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post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJB View Post
OK, I said I was out on the issue but I had to rebut the personal attack that I am uninformed. After this I am out :

1. My credential are such that I probably know more FACT than most. I have plenty of time racing, coaching and behind a shop counter. I have been inside the walls of a true "race room" full of hand built flex match World Cup skis. I have many contacts in the industry and have a fairly good understanding of what actually goes into a manufacturers WC race program. I won't go further than that.

2. I don't think you understand the point that I am making, or maybe I am not making a clear point:
"Race Stock" in MY OPINION = the "stock" that the top 25 or less World Cup Racers have access to. I'm talking hand produced limited production, no serial number product that is under lock and key at each manufacturer.
Thus the reference to "race room"- the room containing a couple hundred pairs of skis that are as described above. You can't purchase it- rather it's given to SELECT athletes.

Realize that the Nor Am, Europa Cup, etc athletes may be given product from a manufacturer, but it's "off the shelf" product that you can buy at retail and not the hand made "race stock" I defined above. (It maybe flex matched, but it's serialized off the shelf product)

3. There is tremendous contradition in your response. You can not say that "off the shelf" and "race stock" skis are the same. Either they are "off the shelf" denoting that ANYONE can purchase them ANYPLACE that has them on the shelf or they are "race stock" implying there is something outside the normal production specifications or procedures that makes them such. (Eg- the Monte Carlo you buy at your dealer is not "race stock" just because you see one on TV at Daytona) The top sheet on your ski may be the same as Bode's, it's simply not the same ski though.

4. I hear everyone talk about buying "race stock" in my area, back to my point- if you or I can walk into a shop and buy it in MY OPINION it's not "race stock".

Key operative in all of this would be my opinion, and I respect yours.

I think that should clarify my point, no?
Ok, whatever. If you only want to count the actual skis that the top 25 racers in the world are on as "race stock", then fine...
I guess my question would be, what terminology should we use to differentiate between these two skis? (for example)

Volkl Racetiger GS is a wood core GS race ski. It has a cosmetic cap construction, a system binding, and a contoured "double edge grip" profile. In a 180 length, it has a 19m radius, and in a 185 (the longest offered), it has a 21m radius. Neither ski would be legal for men's or women's FIS events.

Volkl also offers this ski: Volkl Racetiger GS This is also a wood core GS race ski, however, this has a vertical sidewall, metal/wood/metal sandwich construction, and a flat topsheet. Just like the skis of the top 25 world cup racers. (their skis may be stiffer, or a slightly different shape, or thicker metal sheets, etc., depending on their personal preferences, but the layup is essentially the same) This ski is FIS legal for both men and women. This is the exact ski that eastern cup winners will be on, rocky mountain trophy series, Nor-ams, NCAA national champions, etc... We're talking about guys with FIS points in the teens and twenties.... If your contention is that these guys aren't on "race stock" skis.... I guess you just object to the terminology????

At any rate, for argument's sake, can we use the term "race stock" to refer to any given company's top level, FIS compliant race ski? I think it is understood that we aren't talking about a pair of skis out of Hermann Maier's personal quiver....:
post #19 of 25
I've admittedly been out of the loop for quite some time but It sounds like what a lot of folks refer to as Race Stock are actually Pro Form skis (or what we used to call pro form). Pro form skis were skis from the first production run with a much greater level of quality control reserved for sponsered folks, REPs, VIPs such as ski school directors and other key influencers. The idea was to be sure that they didn't get product that has any quality or performance issues because their word of mouth advertising is very powerful, especially if negative. We also used to get these way below retail price. I've often heard of folks calling these "Race Stock". I've been guilty of that myself. They could vary some from what you buy in the shop as materials and specs are often changed some between the first production run and subsequent higher volume runs for various reasons (usually to recduce costs). But they could also be IDENTICAL in every way to what you buy off the shelf.
I do agree that skis that the top pros and olympic hopefuls use are probably taylered to their exact weight, length of legs, etc..
post #20 of 25
The disagreement above seems to me to be entirely semantic. It's a little like the arguments some people get into when they start talking about what's "back country" skiing.

From what I can tell, "Race Stock," in common parlance, means about what UP Racer says it does. They're skis that are "special" in that they're intended (a) to comply with FIS regulations (more of an issue every year) and (b) to be optimized for use by racers at the level of a good J2 or J1 or above. You won't see them on the rack at the average ski shop, but they're not enormously difficult to get from a rep, someone who knows a rep, (used) from another racer, or from a shop which services racers (though they might only be out on display at an early-season race night or something).

There's a whole variety of race stock skis. For one thing (just to state the obvious) women's race stock skis are different from men's. The race stock skis that somebody at the Development or C-Team level uses may (or, in some cases, may not) be different from what the local J1 is using. A quite small group of WC contenders have custom-made skis, which may have very little to do with one another, much less anything anyone else has. In some cases, they may be more like a ski the manufacturer sold five years ago than anything else (particular if they're speed skis, in which case they themselves may have been made over five years ago).
post #21 of 25
Why is it possible to get 175cm racestock skis then? I've seen some of thoes Fischer GS skis in 175 with radius <23 (women) and 180cm with <27 (men)..

These lenghts are not FIS legal - are these still race stock skis?
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrooK View Post
Why is it possible to get 175cm racestock skis then? I've seen some of thoes Fischer GS skis in 175 with radius <23 (women) and 180cm with <27 (men)..

These lenghts are not FIS legal - are these still race stock skis?
Junior racers.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post
The disagreement above seems to me to be entirely semantic. It's a little like the arguments some people get into when they start talking about what's "back country" skiing.

From what I can tell, "Race Stock," in common parlance, means about what UP Racer says it does. They're skis that are "special" in that they're intended (a) to comply with FIS regulations (more of an issue every year) and (b) to be optimized for use by racers at the level of a good J2 or J1 or above. You won't see them on the rack at the average ski shop, but they're not enormously difficult to get from a rep, someone who knows a rep, (used) from another racer, or from a shop which services racers (though they might only be out on display at an early-season race night or something).

There's a whole variety of race stock skis. For one thing (just to state the obvious) women's race stock skis are different from men's. The race stock skis that somebody at the Development or C-Team level uses may (or, in some cases, may not) be different from what the local J1 is using. A quite small group of WC contenders have custom-made skis, which may have very little to do with one another, much less anything anyone else has. In some cases, they may be more like a ski the manufacturer sold five years ago than anything else (particular if they're speed skis, in which case they themselves may have been made over five years ago).
That's about as clear as anyone can make it. Thanks.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
Pro form skis were skis from the first production run with a much greater level of quality control reserved for sponsered folks, REPs, VIPs such as ski school directors and other key influencers.
I think Pro Form has sort of morphed into meaning "about as good a deal as one can get" for people in the industry. Premise (get them to say good things about your stuff) may be the same...
post #25 of 25
Race Stock Sports in Waterbury VT. Ex World Cup tech PJ Dewey has a custom boot fitting shop and sells the real deal.
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