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Changing Skis.. Need advice

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I was on this forum 2 years ago and got some fantastic advice. Was out last year because of a ruptured Achilles Tendon (no...soccer...not skiing) so wasn't on the slopes.

I'm back this year and looking for some advice as I'm planning to change over from my Fischer RX 8's. They are a great ski---it took some time to grow into them but I really enjoy how precise they are on turns, in addition to their stability.

I'm not an expert skier---high intermediate to advanced...I can ski pretty much all the runs ..but I'm no speed demon---and i'm frankly no big fan of the really steep runs---i believe its called vertigo.

anyway---i love the sport..i love the challenge and enjoy going fast as long as i'm not limited by the reflex of freezing up on steep runs.

The RX8 ...as was pointed out to me when i got them a couple of years ago---is a 'fast' ski.

So---i like its turning capabilities but i don't really need the speed---

A friend of mine is keen to buy them and I figure its a good chance to switch.

Any advice in the Fischer or Atomic...or maybe Rossignol department?

I'm 175cm (5ft 9in) 170pounds. been skiing for 30 years---(yes i'm 50 now but pretty active) and fairly regularly the last 4 years.

Just came back from a trip to the Dolomites and the instructors figure i'm level 7/8....

Many thanks for any suggestions..
post #2 of 24
Fisher Progressor or Cold Heat.

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Many thanks. I'll have a look at them.
post #4 of 24
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
Fisher Progressor or Cold Heat.

Seriously? He is looking for a ski that is "slower" than the RX-8. The Progressor would be like hitting the Afterburner.

I was thinking more like Dynastar Contact 9. Maybe Apache Recon or Rossi B2.
post #5 of 24
i demoed the progressor last weekend
wow it was quick, tons of fun and pop, turns on a dime and felt very in control at speed

ski looks are huge for me and its probably the only reason it wasn't on my new skis to buy list
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Had a quick look at the specs on the Progressor---does look like it would be quicker than the RX 8---which again--really love the ski---but finding it wants to GO (down what they call 'blacks' here in europe) when i'm saying 'whoa!'.. can't help the fact that when the angle steepens i simply have that reflex to tighten up..and the steeper it gets as you all know the more you need to rely on your skills--and the RX8's are a bit quick for my liking in that department.--perhaps theres no ski that will solve this issue..but thought i'd give it a try.
I'll have a look at the Dynastar contact...Apache recon and Ross B2.
post #7 of 24
The RX8 may work well at fairly high speeds, but it also works very well going slow. If you want to buy new skis, go ahead, but don't blame it on the RX8's inability to perform well at slow speeds. Maybe you need to work on speed control:.

That being said if you want to try something different and don't need the head room, you could look for something with a softer flex and a different feel. I'm not sure what that would be today, a couple of years ago a Rossi 9S oversize or a Salomon Equipe SC would have been contenders.

EDIT: just read your latest post. Maybe you should try a ski that feels so good going fast, you stop saying whoa, like an SX12 or any SG ski (the rx8 does have a speed limit, and even the WC SC doesn't hide the fact that your going fast when your doing a mile a minute). Then again, maybe that's not a good idea.
post #8 of 24
K2 Crossfire - fairly soft and very damp, responsive at slow speeds, doesn't give a lot back, but there so damp and smooth you may find you enjoy go fast on these.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks again to all. I'll also have a look at the K2's specs---but nearly impossible to find K2's over here.

You're probably correct Ghost (by the way i am originally from ontario) in that i need to work on my speed control. I have no problem on Red runs over here and even on steep blacks I can do it and have done it before. The problem is more often than not I freeze, tense, tighten up on the steeper runs (because of a basic fear of heights/vertigo whatever)---which completely throws off timing and has a direct impact on ability to control speed. Its incredibly frustrating because I have the technique but am hamstrung by the fear reflex.

Perhaps this issue has been dealt with in other strings/forums---if not I think its overlooked.

Case in point---my 12 year old and Ten year old sons. Both skiing 4 years both high end of intermediate....fairly equal in ski technique--i'd actually say the 10 year olds is more precise.

The ten year old--like me--has a natural fear of heights.. so on the black runs he ..and i-- become far more tentative, try as much as possible to slow-down, fight the mountain, lean back etc..all the wrong things.
Skill/technique goes out the window..

The 12-year old has no fear of heights, is loose, relaxed and although he is at the high end of intermediate, can make it to the bottom of pretty much any black run. As mentioned we just came back from the Dolomites and he (and his mother ..who also has no fear of heights) did every run on the mountain.

Myself and the 10 year old managed one of the monster blacks, a 4.5 km rollercoaster---but the differences between the 4 of us were obvious---

On at least one occasion the 10-year old totally froze --at which point i totally forgot about my own fear and made my way down to him with no trouble at all--he then followed me down and was fine.
That incident re-inforced to me that its not my skill or technique thats a problem but the reflex 'fear factor'.

I am sure there are different levels of 'fear of heights' and..again...if there have been previous writings on this subject I'd like to read them as I am sure there are also tips/techniques for overcoming this 'phobia' or if nothing else mitigating it to such a degree that skiing a black does not feel like a real and present danger.

I know this is probably very difficult for the Expert skiers to understand ( i know, I'm a diver and have difficulty understanding why some people are afraid of scuba diving) but its incredibly limitating..not to mention frustrating.

Has anyone done a survey---how many Advanced/Expert skiers are not afraid of heights? My sense is 90 per cent of you have no fear of heights.. and if you do, or had, then you've obviously found a way to deal with it.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Addendum to my last post: I've just done a search on the 'fear of heights' issue and found some useful posts on the forum.

In hindsight I think it would have been useful for me to have spent a day with an instructor this past week with a specific focus on dealing with the steeper runs.

Because of this fear factor I had a tendency to want to be the first (of our group) which allowed ME to choose the turns and the line---
Even though I made my way to the bottom I wouldn't say it was fun..and probably not pretty---essentially a series of short-radius turns (while hyperventilating) all the way to the bottom.
The short-radius turns help because making that weight transition from one turn to the next on a medium/large radius turn gives me the sensation of falling/jumping/leaping off a cliff. I can do it on the Reds here, and some blacks..but the wide, steep blacks only enhance the feeling of vertigo.

Perhaps if I go with an instructor who understands my phobia--they would be able to help me choose a better traverse line----also encourage me to hold the line a little longer to encourage a more controlled arc into the next turn. I also think focusing on following someone would help me forget about the fact I'm skiing down the mountain of death.

Perhaps if I did that enough I'd get over the hump...so to speak.
post #11 of 24
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Seriously? He is looking for a ski that is "slower" than the RX-8. The Progressor would be like hitting the Afterburner.
My bad, scratch the Progressor or Cold Heat from the list.

post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
What about Cool Heat? I'd like to try the K2's...but difficult to find them over here.

FWIW On the slopes Atomic seems the most popular over here--followed by Rossignols---then Fischers..
post #13 of 24
The more time you spend on steeps, the less steep they seem. Mind tricks might help. Just convince yourself it is just a green slope that's tilted. It might help to work up to it by spending more time on steeper reds, and finding short steeps with run out and bombing them on a good high speed ski (ie. top end ski with GS sidecut, not RX8, and probably not that useful for anything else in your position).
Maybe you need to book a trip to British Columbia. They have some narrow steep runs and they also have lots of soft snow that slows you down. I don't know what Europe is like, but if it's steep slopes with Ontario ice (there are no really steep runs in Ontario, so speed control is easy to overlook), I can see how it might not be the best place to get used to steeps.
post #14 of 24

RX 8's

What length are your RX8's?

Reason I am asking is at 170lbs the length of the RX8 you have will have a huge impact on how the ski responds, both in turn initiation and speed in a long arc. I own the 170 and 175....the 175 is my preference but it can easily handle 25 mph long arcs without chatter and initiates turns a bit more slowly than the 170. I am likely being conservative on the speed....I am not a radar gun guy. I was on the 175's at Sugarbush Tuesday on bulletproof frozen granular and was keeping up with J1's warming up for a super G event. My son, on my old 168 Volkl Allstars, same weight and ability could not keep pace. I haven't found the speed limit on the 175 RX 8 yet as long as they are kept on edge with modern technique. No supershaped ski that I have tried will tolerate running fast on a flat ski without wobble.

I have also ski'd the 165 extensively, she is a completely different beast. Quick/effortless turn initiation and a def speed limit. The 165 wants to be on edge all the time and chatters in any arc too much bigger than it's turn radius.

I experimented quite a bit with this last year, it was a pet project of mine....my theory was find a ski you like and ski it in 3 lengths, 1 above and 1 below your expected size.

With the RX 8 the difference was profound.....the 175 and the 165 bear little resemblance to each other....only feel.

For me the surprising result of my quest was to discover that the 175 was the easiest to ski and the ski I enjoy the most of the 3. The extra length probably is more forgiving of fore/aft errors.

Link to thread below...

Despite my love for the RX 8, I am moving on to a different ski this week....

In a nutshell, if we don't know the length of your RX 8's it is very difficult to produce any recommendations.....

I am 180lbs 6'


BTW, as you are from Italy you may enjoy the link in my signature to the Italian demo team web site if you have not found it already.

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for these---re. your question Hrstrat57--- I ski the 165 RX8...and everything you say is absolutely true--i need to get the edges in when going fast..if i don't...the sensation is very uncomfortable.
Its great in short turns--and actually ok in medium turns but going down a really steep in a medium turn isn't very comfortable.
Perhaps the 170 would be better?? but i'm barely 175cm in height---and my weight is actually closer to 175 pounds.
I figured 170 would be too long for me and that if anything I should be going to 160's..
Re. your point Ghost..about finding short steeps and bombing them in the flats...I've actually made a point of doing that---and it really has helped..
having the 'flats' bit at the end really lessens the vertigo issue--the problem is..as you point out....not great on an RX8..by the time i'm hitting the flat I need to edge asap to keep them under control...
The conditions in Italy the last few years have been generally hard packed groomed----haven't run into much ice in the Alpine areas--but halfway through the day the only smooth snow is a narrow 9ft chute..essentially scraped clean of the loose snow. The 165 RX 8 comes in quite handy thanks to its short turning radius...but because its not as stable at speed making long sweeping turns (through heavy rows of snow) I tend to want to play to its strength and make shorter turns anyway.so i stick to the 'chutes' and away from the ruts and mounds of crud.
We only get to the Alpine areas about once a season...most of the time we're in the Appenines..further south---and unless they've had a good dump of snow when you're there (which has been rare the past couple of years) you tend to be skiing on man made over ice----which is most uncomfortable..as we all know...esp. on steep runs.
Would definitely love to get to B.C. my wife is from the West---and says its great... a far cry to the skiing I did in ontario (with the odd foray to quebec) in my younger days.
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link to the Italian ski-demo---i recognize the teaching techniques and the blue suits!
i'm comfortably in the agento advanzato----may never get to base orso if i don't shake the fear!!!
post #17 of 24
It sounds like a 165 cm WC SC would work well for you. I'm 165 lbs according to our bathroom scale, and enjoy them at any speed I've been able to reach. No drama on ice either.
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Another quick point/issue---- My RX 8's seem to have also developed this 'delamination' problem with the Top protection layer..At first I thought it was minor discoloration---but its come unglued on one ski and starting on the other.
Apparently this is an issue with this particular year/ski--Theres another thread on this forum that deals with the problem.
I'll be contacting Fischer about that..
Out of curiosity---is there a difference between the 2005/2006 (the black and orange one) RX8 and the new RX 8 Fire?
Just in case I decide (after all this) to stick with what I have....
post #19 of 24

ah ha, thought so!!!

Originally Posted by mcas View Post
Thanks for the link to the Italian ski-demo---i recognize the teaching techniques and the blue suits!
i'm comfortably in the agento advanzato----may never get to base orso if i don't shake the fear!!!
You are most welcome....actually your thanks is best directed at our new moderator and fellow Italian Nobody who turned me onto those vids 2 yrs ago.

The videos had a fantastic impact on helping me dial in modern technique....I hope they do the same for you. You have the added advantage of understanding the soundtrack

Re the skis....

Exactly as I expected re ski length....if you are advanzato in the www.amsao.it videos it is likely your fore/aft balance is still under development especially in steeper terrain. The 165 RX8 is very sensitive to that type of technique flaw esp at your weight. The tips always need to be engaged early in the turn....watch the oro videos and do the drills to help lock these skills in.

I am actually going to turn this around on you......keep the 165 RX 8's. That is the perfect learning platform for you on which to master the advanced/gold levels in the demo team videos. It is a turning machine.....but remember, tip simultaneously and always, always engage the tips to start the turn.....think about engaging the little toe edge on the downhill ski in the tipping action, or focus on turning the binding toe pc vs heel whatever visual impression works for you....there is a you tube link to HH demonstrating the two footed release, another drill/skill you should watch and practice. I always recommend the drills found in Lito Tejada Flores first video Breakthrough on Skis avail via www.breakthroughonskis.com. Many of the drill are replicated in the Italian videos tho....because good drills are pretty timeless and work.

You are into a back/rear position stance wise and those little jets are taking off on you.....again, with that tight turn radius and the tips not engaged what you are feeling is uncomfortable. Use it to your advantage and master those little puppies!!!! Watch the athletic stance portrayed in the demo team videos and copy. Skiing, like any other sport depends on a relaxed flexed natural stance to be mastered. Very similar to the ready position awaiting return of serve on a tennis court for example...or the hands forward triple threat defensive position of a good basketball player. Study those videos. It is crystal clear...have a friend shoot some video of you and compare....I promise you will see the difference.

After you master the 165's then get some 170 or 175 Progressors.......for a totally different ride. Once you engage the tips early and ride the entire sidecut of the ski you will be ready for a fast ski!!

Look at the extreme sidecut of your skis. A lot of research money went into coming up with that design. Learn how to let the ski do most of the work.

It will rock your world I promise.


you could also repay amsao for the free videos by taking an occasional private lesson to dial in your changes....

I gotta go get some stuff done now, so I can go skiing tomorrow......170 or 175 so hard to decide


post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
This is extremely helpful---and the analysis is bang on!

I have problems on the steeper terrains because out of reflex I lean/sit back and your description of the result is 'palm sweatingly' accurate..

On steep Reds..which I had problems on in the past---i discovered that if I get pressure on the tips it helps get the edge in early and my turns have improved dramatically--and the RX8 is happy..

Of course..as you point out...this becomes more difficult on steeper terrain with my tendency to put weight on the rear of the ski. Leaning forward on the steeper hills isn't comfortable---but when I've mustered the courage to do that you're right..the pressure on the tips gets the edge in, then comes the turn, and the control.
Towards the end of this recent ski week I was definitely getting better at the steep blacks by getting that forward pressure on the tips---unfortunately i achieved this by 'bending' my torso way too much forward. I suppose because it feels safer than the correct posture...knees flexed, more upright (and therefore --to the vertigo challenged..more scary stance) It looks pretty ugly--but at least it kept my weight forward---I'll have to work on getting more upright. This only happens on the really steep ones.
Anyway---your point about sensitivity to forward/rear weight is extremely useful gives me something to work on.

Many thanks...
post #21 of 24
Originally Posted by mcas View Post
This is extremely helpful---and the analysis is bang on!

Anyway---your point about sensitivity to forward/rear weight is extremely useful gives me something to work on.

Many thanks...
You're welcome.

I normally steer clear of talking technique anymore on Epic despite having taught skiing for years and recently taken the same journey you are currently on(dialing in modern technique via super sidecut technology)

We are also about the same age. As what you described was so crystal clear to me I thought it prudent to chime in.

2 things I want to get done, ski in the Rockies(this was the year, didn't get done again) and ski in the Dolomites. In no particular order....

So please become a frequent poster....I wanna hear all about it!!

.....and your journey!

Copy your countymen's videos/ do the drills.....and keep those little training wheels. You have the perfect ski for the task

Best of luck and welcome to epicski.
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
Many thanks again hrstrat57---if the 57 is your year of birth then we are the same age..
I'll definitely keep working on the Italian video demo---actually ..everytime i got to the dolomites--last week included--i take a lesson from the 'blue suits'... they're very good!
I'm originally Canadian but my Italian is good enough to learn what they're teaching..
You're right to want to get to the Dolomites...its an amazing place..our recent trip took us to the South Tyrol region of Italy---the ski area was called Kronplatz-Plan de Corones.
Heres the link in case you're interested: http://www.kronplatz.com/en/

Highly recommend it. If it interests you think about St. Vigilio as a place to stay.

Many thanks again..will keep you posted --hoping to get out to one of the Appenine Mountains in the next week or so to do my homework.

Now I just have to sort out the issue of my RX8's losing the Topcover protective lamination!!
post #23 of 24


One good link shared deserves another huh?

Looks awesome....I wanna go!!

Ok here's another for you since you are orig from Canada


More free demo team videos.....Enjoy!

As your eye becomes trained, you will see some subtle differences in style. I think the CSIA stuff has a lot more of a race type look...and retains quite a bit of strong "up" movement....a topic hotly debated in these parts and on one of the rival ski forums by the way......

The smiles are the same tho....

and I don't go there anymore re that debate

- - - -

Contact Fischer, they might replace those skis for you.

- - - -

LOL re 57
1957 is the birthday of one of my guitars:

another silly obsession of mine :
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Many thanks again---will be contacting Fishcer asap..
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