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GS11 replacement??

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I am contemplating replacing some 2005/2006 GS11 176's (18.5m radius) with something slightly shorter length and radius. Prior to the GS11's I had a pair of Elan Fusion 170cm 15.4m skis, they were a little less work still stable and more fun.

I'm 5'6", 165#'s, skied for 37 years anywhere except extreme chutes out west, home turf is 700 vertical ft Ontario Canada ice and may continue with adult house league GS (very recreational for me). I think I am about a level 7/8 skier.

I trying to do this for little money so I am thus far not looking at 2008 models, I am thinking of picking up one of the following:

1) Head 2006 XRC 1200 SW 170cm 15.4 m radius (the 112-76-98 aka current supershape speed model)

2) Dynastar 2006 Speed course 172cm 17m radius

3) 2006 Rossignol VX TI Oversize 174cm, 15.9m radius

My questions/concerns are:
1) Am I missing the boat by not buying into something newer e.g. magnum supershape, dynastar contacts?
2) Is the behaviour between my GS11 176's and the 3 listed skis so negligible that it is not worthwhile? (i.e. is a 172 Dynastar really that much more forgiving than a 176 Atomic GS11)?
3) I loved the Elan's, they were more versatile than the Atomics. They had the same lengths, construction and dimensions as the Heads which is why i am considering them. The Head 1200 reviews seem to range from sweet and versatile to strong GS like requiring strong technique. Are the Head 1200's going to be more like the Elan Fusions GS's I had or are they so 'beefy' that they would not be much different then my GS11's?

My current thoughts are 1st choice Heads, 2nd choice Dynastars, 3rd choice Rossi's (they get good reviews, elsewhere anyways). It's summer, so no chance to demo. In lieu of demoing, feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Gord
post #2 of 10
From the skis you've listed, my first choice would be the Dynastars, and I think you would notice a fair difference compared to your Atomics. I'm guessing that you're looking at the Speed Course 67.

If you like the Atomics, but your goal is to find something a bit more relaxed than the GS11, have you looked at or tried any of the Atomic SX models? They would be somewhat in between a GS11 and a Speed Course 67.

I've had many good seasons on Head skis, but I haven't found what I like in their models in the past few years. I've found more versatility & better top-end performance with Atomics. Haven't tried Elans for many years, so I can't comment on that comparison. However, I wouldn't assume that similar dimensions & construction would necessarily imply similar performance.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks mogulmuncher, we are skiing on the same escarpment, so I appreciate your feedback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mogulmuncher View Post
From the skis you've listed, my first choice would be the Dynastars, . . . I'm guessing that you're looking at the Speed Course 67.
Yes, the 67s

Quote:
Originally Posted by mogulmuncher View Post
. . . have you looked at or tried any of the Atomic SX models?
No, but I have heard good things about them. Are you suggesting they would be a little snappier/more stable than the Dynastar 67s?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mogulmuncher View Post
I've had many good seasons on Head skis, but I haven't found what I like in their models in the past few years.
I am looking at a brand new pair of 2006 Head XRC 1200 SW skis which appears to have been re-marketed as the Head Supershape Speed (identical construction, materials, sizes, widths, radii - different color and name). By any chance have you skied them? Could you elaborate on what you "haven't found . . . in their models in the past few years".

Quote:
Originally Posted by mogulmuncher View Post
Haven't tried Elans . . . I wouldn't assume that similar dimensions & construction would necessarily imply similar performance.
Agreed, but I have fond memories of the Elans and the Head 1200 reviews and specs sound so similar to my old Elan's that it seems like a logical question so I had to ask if anyone has tried them both and has a sense of how similar they may or may not be. The Elan GSX Fusions were similar to the Elan RipSticks but the GSX's had an extra layer of titanium. What I liked about the Elans was that they could go fast without being unstable, yet still be fairly responsive for slower medium carves. I don't have a racing background; I took up recreational racing three years ago at the age of 44, so I am not drawing on a legacy of FIS (or even Nancy Greene) experience. My freeskiing technique was better on the Elan GSX Fusions (similar to the ripstick with an extra layer of titanium) than my Atomic GS11s. Though in at least GS one race the Elans did hook on at least one turn which led me to look at a bigger radius ski - I now blame that hook on too much forward pressure rather than the Elans. I also see people on the 67s beating me by a painful margin, so maybe I could use a little less ski than the GS11 in the race course as well.

Any furthers answers, questions or comments are always appreciated.

Thanks again,
Gord
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordM View Post
Are you suggesting they (SX) would be a little snappier/more stable than the Dynastar 67s?
I would say they are pretty close. The 67 is a bit quicker turning than the SX, but still with lots of performance available. On really hard terrain, I might appreciate the bit of extra stability that I found in the SX. BTW, I was on the SX11 - I would suggest this rather than the SX10. The SX11 has been a popular & successful ski in the adult race leagues in our area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordM View Post
I am looking at a brand new pair of 2006 Head XRC 1200 SW skis which appears to have been re-marketed as the Head Supershape Speed (identical construction, materials, sizes, widths, radii - different color and name). By any chance have you skied them? Could you elaborate on what you "haven't found . . . in their models in the past few years".
I've only tried their race skis in the past couple of years (SL & GS). Certainly nice skis, but I didn't find their edge hold, responsiveness or base speed matching my current gear (GS11 181cm/21m, SL12 165cm/12.8m, both FIS skis). I'm told the 2008 line made some good changes, but I didn't have the opportunity to try any last year. I tried some Fischers alongside the Heads, and they were great, especially the SL (RC4 WC).

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordM View Post
I took up recreational racing three years ago at the age of 44, so I am not drawing on a legacy of FIS (or even Nancy Greene) experience. My freeskiing technique was better on the Elan GSX Fusions (similar to the ripstick with an extra layer of titanium) than my Atomic GS11s. Though in at least GS one race the Elans did hook on at least one turn which led me to look at a bigger radius ski - I now blame that hook on too much forward pressure rather than the Elans. I also see people on the 67s beating me by a painful margin, so maybe I could use a little less ski than the GS11 in the race course as well.
As noted, I'm not at all familiar with any recent Elan models, so judge that comment accordingly.

Given your background, age & size, I would say that I would expect that you would be very happy with the Speed 67 or the SX11. I might call the Heads a third place choice, but still not necessarily a bad choice.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Mogulmuncher.

Thanks.

If I go for the summer deal I will go for the Dynastars (no SX's available - for a deal). For a change of pace I may actually demo first this time since there are a bunch of newer options available (though he current Dynastars and the current Head SuperShape Speeds seem to be the same as the old stock options I have been looking at, thus the summer temptation).
post #6 of 10
I'm stuck out here in Ontario too, and I've skied the SX11, SS speed, and Rossi VX Oversize you mentioned. If the 1200 SW is the same as the SS speed, the SW might be the one to get.

It's a tough call between the Super shape speed and the SX. Both have great edge hold and grip hardpack and ice like they are on rails. The SX feels a little more rock-solid and the Speed a little more damp. These skis ski as if on rails.

The Rossi is sort of a one size fits non ski. It is so middle of the road that any skier can make it work, and you can't find any real fault with it, and it doesn't require any specific technique or talent, but it just does not seem to impress. The above skis outperformed it on the day I tested skis.

I haven't tried recent Dynastar skis, but from the family resemblance and my fading memory, I would wager that the Speed course would feel the closest to the feeling I got from the old Elan Fusion. I will also bet that you will have a similar problem (sudden decrease in turn radius) with the Dynastar if you bully the tip. I don't know about The Course's level of performance.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks Ghost,

A couple of questions,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
I'm stuck out here in Ontario too, and I've skied the SX11, SS speed, . . . the closest to the feeling I got from the old Elan Fusion.
It sounds like you skied both the Head SuperShape Speed and the Elan Fusions. Elan has a few fusions, mine were a Fusion GSX, do you recall what type of fusions you were on? Do you have any opinion on how the Head SS's would contrast with the Elans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
It's a tough call between the Super shape speed and the SX. Both have great edge hold and grip hardpack and ice like they are on rails. The SX feels a little more rock-solid and the Speed a little more damp. These skis ski as if on rails.
I have heard that the SX's are a little easier turning/less work than the GS11s. How would you contrast the Heads with a pair of 2005/2006 GS11's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
I will also bet that you will have a similar problem (sudden decrease in turn radius) with the Dynastar if you bully the tip.
At the time I blamed the hook-up on the radius (I place more blame on the skier now). Do you think the Heads would be less prone to 'bullying' (than the Dynastar's) in spite of their small 15.4 m radius?

Any and all input is appreciated.

Thanks,
Gord
post #8 of 10
I don't remember exactly what all the fusions I have tried, but I think I tried either a GSX or SLX, and an S12 and an S10. The GSX or SLX was in a poor state of tune and couldn't grip hardpack and the bindings were pre-releasing on my first skating steps after putting them on; someone must have trashed them in the trauma park or beat them with a hammer and file before I got to rent them, so I can't really give them a fair review. The S12 worked fairly well with a damp feel to it, but I didn't really get it up very high speeds (I was at Mount Saint Louis Moonstone and straight lining their steepest run just isn't fast). It did have that shaped ski tendency to want to turn on terrain irregularities when you wanted to go straight like all slalom skis do (more so than other ones I had tried). The S10 was just too weak. All of these Elans had a family smoothness and damp quality to them that reminded me of Dynastars I had skied in the past.


The Head feels more like the Elans than the atomics do.

All skis will reach a point where the stress strain curve gets a little kinked. Pushed much beyond that they will be permanently bent, or at least damaged. That's one way to wear out a ski prematurely. The skis get really tricky to ski near that point, which is far beyond the design parameters side-cut snow-surface interaction. You would be unlikely to encounter this point unintentionally with either the Head or the SX11/12. I'm just guessing that the dynastars would be a little softer in the tip making it more likely.
post #9 of 10
I think you should try both the Head SS (chip in 2008), and the Speed. The Speed would be my choice, but then again you might not like speed as much as I do.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
. . . If the 1200 SW is the same as the SS speed
I think I am correct on this one depending on the year. In my original post I mistakenly listed the 1200's as 112-76-98; I meant 112-67-98. Different web-sites show different specs for the Head SS Speed. The head site (showing 2008) lists them as 116-68-100/15.0m rad@170cm. Tech support and ski-depot list 2007, 2008 as 112-67-98/15.4m rad @170cm - the same as the 2005-2006 1200. The construction is listed identically by all sites for all years.

So it sounds like they, like the Atomix SX 12's got a bit wider, more so in the shovel. Presumably a little better initiation/float.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
I think you should try both the Head SS (chip in 2008), and the Speed. The Speed would be my choice, but then again you might not like speed as much as I do.
Based an apparent trend in dimensions, I may very well wait and demo this time, simply because the latest SX 12's and SS speeds, seem to represent a general dimension change as noted above, slightly wider, slightly move tip width.


Thanks again,
Gord
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