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To Race room experts: How to discriminate race stock skis ?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi all expert,

A lot of skis are available on the net.
A fair amount or racing skis are sold as "race stock", skis supposed to be hand made and matched for the race course.
But how do you differenciate the skis, depending on the brand, etc ?
Got insights ??? Would like to hear them, cause looking for real deal racing machines...

Thanks,

Dad
post #2 of 21
I would give a call to someone who really knows what the are doing a visit. 2 reasons: a) there are a ton of skis out that are "stock" & you can get taken for a ride by a less than trueful seller. "stock" skis comprises a vertical side wall / off the rack ski to the indivudual flex tested/custom plated/ grind specific / base specific/ matched WC prototype monsters. Sorry to angey anyone, yet I have found that most of the "race room" stores that have popped up over the past 3-4 years have staff that have no idea what they are selling or what they are doing. Beware of the "if it has this sticker......." or the "it is a real ski b/c they have hand written stuff on the ski" I rode the lift w/ a guy who had an older average ski he paid 2x the value for b/c the skis came taped together w/ blue scotch painter's tape & he was told that was the 'secret' sign of a stock ski.

b) high race stock gear really does not work for most average skiers. even some of the best skiers have "fun" skis that they put on right after the race run. the key is to find the correct ski for you ability. the best ski out there is useless unless you can handle moving inside the arc & carving it around.

check in w/ PJ @ racestocksports.com
post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaddySL View Post
Hi all expert,

A lot of skis are available on the net.
A fair amount or racing skis are sold as "race stock", skis supposed to be hand made and matched for the race course.
But how do you differenciate the skis, depending on the brand, etc ?
Got insights ??? Would like to hear them, cause looking for real deal racing machines...

Thanks,

Dad
Do you race? If so, where?
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm coming back to skiing, discovered the only fun I have is... racing.
....In Québec, Canada.
Mostly local, "little" FIS league (approx. 25-40 points penalty)races and a few Masters.

Why Ullr,
Got skis to offer ...?


Dad
post #5 of 21
If you value any comments from a non-racer who appreciates race - like performance read on, otherwise please skip.

It is really hard to buy a ski on line and know what you are buying, but there are a few clues. If you have the make and model then you can read some reviews. If it's a GS ski and it only has an 18 m side cut, then it's not race stock. I don't know of any non-stock super giant slalom or downhill skis.

That being said, you should just get the ski that has the characteristics you are looking for it to have in order that it will do what you want it to do. Is it stiff enough for the kinds of turns I want to make at the speeds I want to make them at. Is it damp enough for the speeds I want to ski. Is it soft enough to make those turns at slower speeds if I so choose (I might forgo this). Is the turn radius suitable for the turns I want to make. I don't really care if it says "race stock" or not.

On a hard surface, the side cut is pretty important in dictating the maximum size of turn the ski can carve in a pure arc, and the stiffness of the ski combined with your weight determines how hard you have to be driving the ski in order to make it perform. Some race stock slalom skis for example will only make sweet turns when fully loaded as in a racing type situation. Slalom race runs don't last several hours, if you are not going to be making tight slalom turns at slalom racing speeds, the slalom race stock skis are not what you should be buying. Sure you can side slip a flat slalom racing ski and make all kinds of turn shapes at all kinds of speeds, but why bother? The ski was made to be heavily loaded and snapped into a hard turn. Skiing a slalom racing ski the way it was meant to be skied (bent into a tight arc) is a lot of fun, but it is hard work.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaddySL View Post
I'm coming back to skiing, discovered the only fun I have is... racing.
....In Québec, Canada.
Mostly local, "little" FIS league (approx. 25-40 points penalty)races and a few Masters.

Why Ullr,
Got skis to offer ...?


Dad
You could always post a question about a specific ski you are thinking of buying here in the the gear forum.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Like I said earlier in the post, the "fun" I have is running gates.
That's where a "real race purpose ski" is at it's best, and IMO, we need this type of tool to improve, I.E. be faster in the course.
Of course, it takes minimum abilities, I'm aware of that. I'm not looking for that type of ski, just by curiosity. I've been skiing on these types of skis from my J1 days, till I stopped skiing (yeah, I know !!....) several years ago...
At the time, we all knew the different codes on the sidewalls that were associated with different "types" of race skis (full "A" team railtrack skis, gentle junior skis, etc...).
I myself had my best results with a ski that a buddy from the CAN. devel. team sold me because he found they were too soft for him (he's 6'1" 225 lbs).
I'm looking for a 165 cm slalom ski, that's going to be skied around 80 to 60 FIS points.
I'm 5'10" 180 lbs. In pretty good shape (weights, road cycling racing in the summer....)
I've always been superstitious that Rossignol had something more in their race department skis, they just went where you think they should...
But, after almost 15 years out of the snow, a lot has changed...
Looking at something to clamp my new Rossigol R2005 boots on...
I'm looking mostly at Rossignol 9S's, Volkl Racetigers SL, Nordica Dobermann SLR, Atomic WC SL11 or 12, or Fisher RC4 WC SL.

Dad
post #8 of 21
Pretty much any ski you buy from a shop labeled as "race stock" will be the same, whether at Sports Experts or a specialty race shop. These skis are based on what is used on the world cup but mass-produced and sold to most entry-level FIS racers. To get anything more specialized, you would probably have to get in touch with a rep. But I would bet that they save that stuff for sponsored athletes.

The off-the-shelf stuff is pretty good and is probably what is used by most of the people you will be competing against. I wouldn't worry too much about it...
post #9 of 21
There isn't too much you can do to 'inspect' a ski via eBay, if you're really worried then you should buy from a shop that supports racing...

That being said, there is not a very large market for race skis in north America, much of the SL ski/ GS skis available are race stock these days. The race like performance market exists, but most of the skis are 'versatile race carvers' that fall into the ski cross category (Atomic SX 12, Dynastar Contact, etc.) or all mountain SL (Head Supershape, Fischer RC4, etc.). Many of these skis are system skis.

Race stock skis are NEVER system skis, they might have a hostage plate but the binding is separate so different spring rate bindings, different stack heights and binding ramp angle can be adjusted. This is probably the biggest clue right here.

As Ghost pointed out there are NO non race stock SG or DH skis, it's all they make.

Starthaus, who posts here is an EXCELLENT source for race skis.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaddySL View Post
I'm looking mostly at Rossignol 9S's, Volkl Racetigers SL, Nordica Dobermann SLR, Atomic WC SL11 or 12, or Fisher RC4 WC SL.
With the decline of ski racing in North America, most skis sold as "race stock" these days actually are. The skis that you mentioned are all full blown race skis. Retail carvers have different names altogether (like RC or Oversize). There's no reason to look for hidden codes in serial numbers or identifier stickers; in most cases, just read the name of the ski written in giant letters on the tip or tail.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaddySL View Post
I'm coming back to skiing, discovered the only fun I have is... racing.
....In Québec, Canada.
Mostly local, "little" FIS league (approx. 25-40 points penalty)races and a few Masters.

Why Ullr,
Got skis to offer ...?


Dad
Me? No. But as was stated above what specifically are you looking for? If you are interested talk to GoNads

Do any of these rock your boat?

post #12 of 21
I noticed that there are volkl racetiger stock and volkl racetiger (non-stock). The advers clearly tells what construction materials are used. Unless you are distinquishing stock off the shelf and those stock tailored to a certain racer? I like to know too. Its fun to know more.
post #13 of 21
I can only speak for Atomic. The FIS legal men's equipment will most likely have the black World Cup plate, though some might have the Race Charger plate. SL and GS have cap construction. Most women's skis have the shorter Race Charger plate, with DH having a World Cup plate. The retail version of SL and GS have the Powerbridge plate. FIS Men's SL are available with a full Beta profile and a matching contoured plate, or a rarer flattish top (with subtle raised profile) and plates similare to the GS versions, in either case, not an aluminum/composite Powerbridge plate.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ullr,
That's one thing I don't understand : Atomic seem to have different types of race skis.
I never saw these blue skis at the feet of WC skiers...
I'm even more mixed up than before on that one...

: LT ??? SL12 ??

Dad
post #15 of 21
For Volkl, its simple. If its a laminate Racetiger, then its Racestock or WC. If its a cap ski with an intergrated binding, its consumer.

Nordica is basically the same, just look out for the bindings/binding system. Racestock models dont come with bindings. Nordica is also easier to distinguish, as they only sell slalom skis in 2 different versions. All others are Racestock.

With Stoeckli's, just watch the radius on GS skis, both the consumer and racestock models look identical. Racestock models for GS will have 23 or 27m radius sidecuts, consumer models will vary with lenght. Their slalom skis for consumer and racestock are physically identical in every aspect except the core. Only way to tell the difference is by asking, or by looking at availible sizes. Racestock versions only come in 156 and 166, consumer come in 151, 156, 161, 166, and 171.

As for Atomic, they make a million different race skis (another million with the word 'race' in them) only way to tell what from what is asking someone who has been on them for years.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaddySL View Post
Ullr,
That's one thing I don't understand : Atomic seem to have different types of race skis.
I never saw these blue skis at the feet of WC skiers...
I'm even more mixed up than before on that one...

: LT ??? SL12 ??

Dad
LT and ST are blue and for women (used by women WCers). GS and SL are red and for men.
post #17 of 21
As for Dynastar, you can tell race stock by the fact there is a gold stamp (etched) right below the rear end of the plate, that states the length and the turn radius (R>21 or R>25 or R>27) and a race stock number, based on the production lot. Blizzard only designates their race stock by the name (SL Magnesium or GS Magnesium)
post #18 of 21

True, except...

Quote:
Originally Posted by D(C) View Post
LT and ST are blue and for women (used by women WCers). GS and SL are red and for men.

....when you get to speed event skis. The construction is all the same but the women's WC lengths (for example, 201 SG) are blue top, and the men's WC lengths (for example, 205 SG) are red top. If you want Atomic...which I highly recommend...find a dealer who has race stock stuff, and let him guide you. Atomic has tons of options in their race construction skis...
post #19 of 21
Try Lous.ca/ especially about Stocklis, Vist, or boots, and there are Master's racing sites that have plenty of used gear, advice about where to find new gear, bunch of other useful stuff. Or better, ask your local coach/race instructor/beer league team

That said, are you sure you really want or need true race stock? The generic "race stock" gear you can buy any number of places like Ski Depot is going to be competitive right through Level 3, and my sense is that a lot of fairly accomplished Master's racers do just fine in non-FIS events with "racing" models/cheater skis. (The Progressor seems to have been last year's hot non-FIS spec ski for everything else). Also, I've seen actual Master's events with RS gear that's 3-5 years old, perhaps so that they can stick with older specs.

Mainly, talk to some guys you're racing with...
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Betaracer View Post
I can only speak for Atomic. The FIS legal men's equipment will most likely have the black World Cup plate, though some might have the Race Charger plate. SL and GS have cap construction. Most women's skis have the shorter Race Charger plate, with DH having a World Cup plate. The retail version of SL and GS have the Powerbridge plate. FIS Men's SL are available with a full Beta profile and a matching contoured plate, or a rarer flattish top (with subtle raised profile) and plates similare to the GS versions, in either case, not an aluminum/composite Powerbridge plate.
Can you explain the difference between the World Cup, Race Charger and Powerbridge plates and how to tell them apart?
post #21 of 21
Interesting thread! Most of the "race stock" skis I have been on are FIS legal for FIS and top USSA level racers, and they are the real deal race skis. Some are burlier than others: the Elan I tried was particularly brutal (might have been the plate) whereas the Head and Fischer's I have skied recently were relatively forgiving when skied aggressively on groomers. I am sure the sponsored racers have skis made to their specs, but you probably wouldn't want Bode's leftover pair of GS skis, unless you can match his squat numbers. If they are FIS legal, they are made for racing. Even some of them that aren't (like the new Head iGS, Fischer WC RC, and Elan GSX Fusion Pro, still do well in the course and are just as stable, but have a tighter turn radius and a more friendly sweet spot. These skis are still more hard-snow and race specific than the "GS skis" that were sold as consumer skis 6 years ago (like the Volkl P40 F1), which were really quite detuned and quite a bit all-mountain with a GS feel. All-mountain GS skis rarely exist these days.

Skiing a real WC ski would probably like getting into Raikkonen's Ferrari. I would crash in the second corner, assuming I had made it past the 1st. Somewhere I read a thing about a ex Europa-level racer that was friends with Hermann Maier. They swapped skis for some reason, and he skied to the bottom on Hermann's GS skis. Even with his background, he felt almost like he needed to hop-turn to get the things to change edges. They absolutely were monsters and would not flex for him (no sidecut either).
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