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Difference in Beginner, Advanced & Expert Skis?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Difference between beginner, Advanced & Expert Skis?
I am a intermediate skier and I thought I would ask a pro for some equipment advice.

When I was a beginner, I was talked into buying a pair of Volkl Vertigo G30 skis. I was told that they were advance skis and I don't know if those were the best skis for me back then. Now I am considering purchasing another set. What is the differnce between a beginner, Advanced and expert set of skis?

Why would someone recommend advaced to me. Did it hinder my learning?
post #2 of 8
About $500
post #3 of 8
post #4 of 8
A quick simple answer:

Higher level skis are usually stiffer and less forgiving. You can't be a passive skier with top of the line skis otherwise you'll get taken for a ride.
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

That's a great thread, Ghost!

BTW, is there a relationship of turn radius to intermediate level skis?
post #6 of 8
Eh... not really, or at least I don't think so (I'm not the most experienced guy with ski equipment, so take it with a grain of salt). Turn radius's go from around 12m-20m for non FIS race skis basically (FIS SG skis are like 30m turn radius... figures). I mean, if you look at a line of skis from any company, they will always have similar turn radius's, for example, the Metron 5's have a turn radius of 13.5m, the 11B5 has 14m, and the B5i has 11m. Intermediate skis have turn radius's similar to their more advanced and more recreational models. I mean, there are powder intermediate skis, carving recreational skis, etc. They are all to fit a skier's demands, not matter the skill level.

The things that do change generally are stiffness, you'll find beginner skis much easier on your knees, quads (thighs) etc. Also edge hold, I don't know if they make the edge hold on beginner skis crappier to keep beginners slower when they make a turn without skidding, or if they just use cheaper materials or something, but usually the better skis have better edge hold as well. With advanced skis, I find myself skiing a lot faster unconsciously, I mean, on the corduroy slopes of the east, I find I have to actually control my speed a little more with advanced skis so as to remain on the safe side from endangering other people or myself.

On a personal note, advanced skis make me want to go fast (which I like), while beginner skis (meh, crappy rental skis) feel like they are almost purposely holding me back.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplemind View Post
BTW, is there a relationship of turn radius to intermediate level skis?
Only indirectly.

Expert skis come in all turn radii, from DH racing skis to slalom skis. The sidecut turn radius is the parameter that affects how much the ski has to be tipped on edge when on a hard surface to carve a turn of any given radius less than the sidecut radius.

As beginners and lower intermediate skiers typically don't tip their skis to really big angles, the sidecut radius is usually smaller so that the newer skier can still make relatively tight turns without too much commitment. On the other hand the turn radius is also typically not at the extreme low end, so that the ski is less likely to make a sharper-than-expected turn should the new skier accidentally dial up too hard a turn and get left behind.

Typically a learning skier wants to make a lot of turns down a hill and hence will not want a 30-m turn radius on his skis.

Skis designed for higher speeds also typically have longer turn radii, the laws of physics dictate that you can't turn on a dime at warp 9. Not all new skiers, but many new skiers do not want to ski all that fast, so a smaller turn radius is more suitable for them. They would find a 26 m turn radius ski would have them skiing faster than they want to ski.

For a deep-snow ski, the flex pattern of the ski, how it bends is the overpowering factor in what size a turn will be made, and the sidecut-radius has a more indirect affect on turn shape.

I think it boils down to how much of a skier's actions are turned into how much force between the ski and the snow. Beginner skis are more "forgiving" and result on less force at the edges than expert skis, for the same skier movement.

Since beginners and intermediate skiers are not supposed to be skiing down the Kitsb├╝hel DH, you pretty much need to get a top of the line expert ski before you find stability at speed.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Only indirectly.
Thanks Ghost, a good read.

How does one find the FLEX data on skis? I would assume that there is some industry standard for measuring overall flex. Yes, there will be differences in front flex, rear flex, etc., but is there a listing of ski flex somewhere? :
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