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Returned to skiing

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I returned to skiing this year after not skiing for the past 10-15 years. (car accident). I am 50 years old, 6'1" tall and weigh 205 lbs. In the past I have usually skiied fast and aggressive. 70% on piste, 30% off piste.

My equipment is OLD: K2 Comp 610's in 195cm length, Nordica 960 boots.

I used to live in AZ, but now I live in UT and Snowbird, Alta, Solitude and Brighton are only 16 miles from my front door. (please forgive me for the mortal sin of not skiing more often. I am working on it)

I have skiied 3 times this year on my old equipment and seemed to be working much harder than my friends. I went one time last weekend on a rental, Salomon Scramble in 176cm. While easier to turn, the ski did not seem very stable, especially at speed. This could also be my technique since I hadn't skiied shape skis before.

I am currently looking to start skiing much more but until I can go quite a lot I want a 1-quiver ski. I also want to transition from 70/30 on/off piste to 50/50. I consider myself to be high intermediate to advanced. My friends say I am not intermediate but also not expert. Somewhere in between.

As I do my research of possible skis, my list seems to get longer and longer and I also have no idea of what, if any, advances have been made in ski boots.

I am trying to get down to a small list to demo before the season ends here at Snowbird and then look for end of season or beginning of next season bargains. Right now my list is as follows:

K2 Recon and Outlaw
Rossignol B78 and B83
Dynastar Legen 8000
Head Monster 78 & 82
Fischer Watea 78 & 84

Any input is appreciated and thanks in advance. Sorry for the long post.
post #2 of 27
Snowbird has a Dynastar shop at the base. Try the 8k and Mythic Rider - (they'll end up being your final choices anyway so you can save time)
post #3 of 27
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
Try the 8k and Mythic Rider - (they'll end up being your final choices anyway so you can save time)
second that
post #4 of 27
The newer shaped skis, like the Salomon you skied this season, ski different than the straight skis of past. I made the transition from some older Fischer GS skis to Solomon X-Screams about seven years ago. The first season I struggled with ski stability....then I took a lesson with the head of instruction at the small ski area near our town. To make a long story short, he recruited me into the instructor core and when I wasn't teaching the level 1 and 2 skiers I was out on the mountain relearning how to ski.

Using the ski shape to help initiate, shape, and finish the turn is, in my opinion, where you gain efficiency with the new ski design. To use the shaped ski properly you may need to invest some time and money in retraining yourself to use new gear properly. If you don't want to make the investment then there are plenty of skis out there with minimal to negative side cut that will ski more like your old straight skis but I don't think this path will make skiing any easier other than reducing the dead and swing weight you have to carry/rotate.

Try renting a pair of short radius skis and take a level 7 lesson. Tell the instructor you want work on carving and dynamic turns. While carving is only one of many skills we need on the mountain it is the corner stone for efficient skiing in my book. Learn this skill and how to combine it with the skills you learned on your old straight skis and you will become a more confident relaxed skier.

Good luck.
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Any suggestions on length? I may be able to get up there tomorrow.
post #6 of 27
Somwhere in the 170's for length would be about right for your second time on shaped skis. Shorter will turn easier, longer will be more stable at speed.

I'm 6' and 190, of similar ability to you, and ski a 170 carving ski and 178 wider soft snow ski. I would have gone even longer on the wider ski, but I live in the East.

If possible try two different lengths of the ski and ski which ever one you prefer.

Have fun!

post #7 of 27
I am 190 pounds and my 8k's are 178 and I am very happy there. At 6'1" 205pounds I would think you would be happy at 178....but thats just my opinion. I'm sure some would even say 184 at you height/weight.
post #8 of 27
I noticed on your list the K2 Recon and Outlaw. If you are not in a rush (and I wouldn't be if I was you) you might want to wait to buy until next season. While you may find better deals on this years models now, the advantage of waiting is a chance to try out the ski under more varied winter snow conditions than you might find now (even in Utah) where it's mostly turning into very soft Spring conditions?
Also K2 is intoducing next season a new All Mountain ski called the Xplorer that with an 84 waist will be in between the Recon at 79 and the new Outlaw which is going to 92? (I think). This could be an ideal ski for you given your skiing preferences. But it won't be cheap! I've googled it and seen that it will list at $1499. Good Luck with the search and welcome back to skiing.
post #9 of 27
I wouldn't wait if I were you. I'm still a big fan of the old school straight skis along with having some shaped skis for everyday and fatter skis for powder these days. But, you've outgrown your K2 610s by a longshot. I'm 5'9" and was skiing on 190 cm 710s and 195 cm 812s weighing 130 pounds in my prime. The 610 (if memory serves correct-been wrong before) was actually a junior/more forgiving version of the 710. I beleve it was softer. Add all those years and probable loss of camber and you're on a very unstable ski for your weight. If you don't get something this year-to use next fall-no pun intended LOL-, at least consider using demos or renting. Keep those 610s for next spring. They'll probably still be fun in the bumps.

Oh ya, back to the point. I'm now weighing in at 165 and feel most comfortable on about a 180-190 cm ski depending on the intent, bumps, groomer, or off trail.
post #10 of 27
I can't help you much, as I am living in the land of ice and hardpack, and it seems you could use a softer snow ski. However I can tell you after demoing some on what passes for snow in Ontario that the Scramblers you tried are useless at speed. Salomon Equipe and LAB are more suitable, but most heavier people don't tend to go for Salomons.

As to length, it is shorter than it used to be, but at 200 lbs you should still be on at least 175s imho. For reference sake I have found 170 cm makes a good hardpack all-around ski for my 165 lbs. 190 cm works well on my old Volant McGs, and my old SGs are 208s.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Funny you suggest waiting until next season. I was wondering if the best deals are at the end of a season or the beginning of a season. I would think I could find a good deal in August of this year. Also, I am definitely in no hurry unless an unbelieveable deal comes along. I was even thinking of just demoing for a while so I could really see some differences. Someone suggested to me to get the Rossi B83 but the things I have read aren't overly favorable which leads me to believe I should try several different skis to see what I like for how I ski.
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
The 610 was billed as a "Recreational Racing slalom ski". Great for quick short turns and I found it to be very stable. However, sucks in soft/deep snow.
post #13 of 27
I was in a similar situation. I'd been out of it for about 7 years and was skiing on some 10 year old K2 El Caminos. I upgraded to a set of Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous skis. The difference is amazing. The newer skis really require a lot less effort to ski.
post #14 of 27
Originally Posted by Vince F View Post
Funny you suggest waiting until next season. I was wondering if the best deals are at the end of a season or the beginning of a season. I would think I could find a good deal in August of this year. Also, I am definitely in no hurry unless an unbelieveable deal comes along. I was even thinking of just demoing for a while so I could really see some differences. Someone suggested to me to get the Rossi B83 but the things I have read aren't overly favorable which leads me to believe I should try several different skis to see what I like for how I ski.
Now through about August is the best time to buy skis. Keep SAC going at all times, and Sierrasnowboard.com has outrageous deals on occasion - my flat MR's were $327 and it was $500 for my 8k Fluids. You can get 06/07 skis on new ebay at sometimes stupid prices, amny for the same ski with different cosmetics.

You opportunity now is to try everything you can to be ready to pounch on a deal when it comes up. Try a different pair everyday and find out what floats your boat.
post #15 of 27
We need to get this guy into boots first. Get with a good bootfitter and get taken care of that way. Different skis will react with different boots. Get the boots nailed down and demo skis until you do. then buy skis.
post #16 of 27
I completely agree with the boot fitting suggestion. That's priority #1. As for the ski discussion, I have a friend in a similar situation who found it easier to adapt "old school" technique to the Legend 8K and Mythics because of less sidecut. He absolutely loved the Mythics in a 178 - even rocked em in bumps. Most fun I have seen him have on any of the newer skis (and I confess to having a preference for the Afterburner over the Mythic).
post #17 of 27
Originally Posted by Vince F View Post
The 610 was billed as a "Recreational Racing slalom ski". Great for quick short turns and I found it to be very stable. However, sucks in soft/deep snow.
Right you are, I figured I had to be a little off on it since a Jr probably wouldn't come in a 195 cm. Also agree with Phil on getting boots hooked up first. I spent almost a week last summer breaking in a new pair of boots by putting them on for a few hours here and there just walking around the house with them on. My NC native wife almost had me committed. Even still, they didn't really start feeling that good until halfway thru my second day skiing on them. There's really no substitute to breaking in boots in cold weather. I'm sure it would have taken a lot longer if I hadn't started on them though. The correct size boots may feel a full size too small out of the box then will loosen uo after about 20 or 30 hours of using them. That's been my experience anyway.

Welcome back
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Skied this past weekend on the Legend 800 in a 178cm length. Much Better! I liked them better than the Salomon Scramblers but other than that, I don't have much to compare them to. The demo center at Snowbird is currently selling off their inventory and Legend 8000 with the Fluid bindings are $399.99; Mythic Riders with bindings are $439.99.

I am guessing that is a pretty good deal but am not anxious to jump on it until I have tried a few others to make a comparison.
post #19 of 27
Keep demo-ing. One thing I am almost certain you will evolve to GIVEN WHERE YOU WILL BE SKIING (you lucky dog!): if you want a 1-ski quiver and are skiing 50% off-piste at the Cottonwood Canyon resorts, and you are at least a level 7 or low 8 skier, you are going to want more of a big mountain deep-ish snow ski than most of what you've been demo-ing. The Mythic Rider I can see as a good compromise, but I think many of the others are not "big" enough. If you can possibly handle buying/having 2 pair (and this time of year, you can certainly get 2 for the price of 1), I'd get a non-pow day ski and a pow day ski.

I was just at Solitude for a week in late March and skied Blizzard Titan Argos (101mm under foot) when we had fresh and Atomic Nomad Crimson (86 under foot and pretty shapey) when snow was stale, crusty, mixed conditions, re-frozen etc. I can't see any reason why you would ever really want "less" ski than the Crimson AT THOSE RESORTS except to run gates. You might want something with more shoulders than the Crimson for non-pow days if you want to carve steep groomers hard and fast, but then I'd get a mid-80s all mountain carve oriented ski that will still do reasonably well in mixed conditions and 3D snow.

If I lived where you do and could only have 1 or 2 pairs of skis, I'd never be on anything narrower than mid-80s waist. If 1 ski, it would be a flatter, more big mountain style ski. If the smaller of 2, it would be a somewhat shapier, carvier ski but still all-mountain designed.

I returned to skiing after 7 or 8 years off this year myself...am a former racer who hadn't skied anything but old-school SL and GS race skis since I was a kid. I know it's weird to think of your narrowest ski being 84-86mm under foot. But put it this way: I own Volkl Tigershark 10' powerswitch for back here in the east and love them, but I would never even bother taking them to UT.

Good luck!

post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks Josh! I agree completely. I just had a client in my office this morning and he skis the Nordica Jet Fuel. He is doing this and is 78 years old!!!

I would eventually want to have several pairs of skis: a carver for groomed runs, dedicated powder ski and one for crud. However, in the beginning I am thinking of one that can kind of do it all. I know this is a compromise since it is great at nothing and ok at everything. But, until I truly know what I want/need then some kind of all-mountain seems best for now.
post #21 of 27
Yep, I wasn't so much pushing you off the OSQ as pushing you towards 1 ski that's a little more free-ride oriented. At Alta/Bird/Solitude/Brighton, you are going to find yourself spending less and less time on piste, especially as you discover more and more of what these new skis can do! It used to be off-piste wasn't that much fun for most of us when the snow wasn't real fresh, but now...

Plus, at Alta/Bird/Soli/Brighton, there's almost ALWAYS fresh snow!

post #22 of 27
have to agree with the other guys here that are suggesting boots first.This really is the most important aspect .The modern day boot has so much more flex than the stormtrooper boots of old.

They are designed to go with sidecut skis and will as said by philpug affect what you think of the skis you demo
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
Here are the skis that I have been able to try this spring. Others were either unavailable or the shops were closed for the season.

Legend 4800 in 178cm: Good turner and seemed okay as an all around ski until I got up to speed, then I felt it was slightly unstable.

Legend 8000 in 178cm: Good all around ski. I can't seem to find much wrong with this ski.

Mythic Rider in 172cm and 178cm: Felt extremely stiff to me. I tried each size for one run. Willing to give it another try but my guess is I will prefer something less stiff.

Salomon Scrambler in 178cm: Similar to Legend 4800 though less damp.

Other thoughts: After reading NUMEROUS reviews the Fischer Watea 84 or 94 seems like it could be great. Same with the Volkl Mantra.

Also, the Scott Mission seems ideal based upon the very few reviews I can find. Don't know why there isn't more buzz on this ski.

I went skiing 2 weeks ago with Peter Keelty (realskiers.com) and Steve Bagley (Superior Ski @ Snowbird). They both thought something about 74mm to 78mm at the waist was best for "all-mountain". They didn't seem to be big fans of the fat skis. I only spent the morning with them as they were testing boots and the main focus was showing me something called the John Clendinin Method.

Anyway, still looking and open to suggestions with the focus being a "core or all-mountain" ski for Snowbird, Alta, Solitude and then will at sometime in the future add a dedicated powder ski.
post #24 of 27
I think those guys are right if you're tallking "all mtn" and the snow is harder and the terrain is more eastern trails than wide open western. I can honestly say now that I ski mostly at the same places you do since I have place in Park City.....that I would not ride on anything narrower than 90 at the waist. I would use that on harder snow days. My 3 ski quiver would be a 90mm waister...something around 105 (Gotama or similar) and then a rockered fatty 120ish at the waist....I just can't see needing a carving ski around 70 at the waist with all the fresh snow in Utah.
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
That is what was so surprising. They both are here in Utah and Bagley is headquartered at Snowbird. He was on a Nordica Top Fuel or Jet Fuel, I can't remember which and Peter Keelty was on a Head Supershape.

Also, FWIW, they both considered me a "good skiier" whatever that means. On the realskiers chart I am a "Strong" which is: level 8/9 with traditional technique. At least that is what Peter said.

I don't believe I am a 9, maybe a 7/8 but no more.
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
Also, Sierra Jim suggested I look at the Salomon Fury and the Atomic Crimson but I was unable to find them to demo. I don't know how they would feel to what I have already tried.
post #27 of 27
Nice to say that your back to ski again..

Snowbird/Vail -- Good demo shops
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