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Moved East, shoud I buy a carver for fun?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I moved east a year ago, and I'm wondering whether i should get a carver for fun. The issue isn't so much being able to ski groomed and ice on my existing skis, as whether a short high end carver would make it more fun to do so. (Or maybe whether it would teach me some things.)

5'-9"
180 lb (hoping that's less by the time the season starts)
49

I'm not sure what "level" I ski at--I can ski most things with reasonable grace, especially in the east: the things I find tough are exposure and entrances that involve mandatory air. When I took a group private with a guy from Extremely Canadian at Whistler, the main comment the he had was that I should try to round the tops of my turns.

As for terrain, I like steeps, powder & crud, trees, bumps, etc. If it's a choice between corduroy and the possibility that the manky looking stuff in the trees isn't completely frozen, I will at least check out the trees. My thought on a new ski, is that maybe I should occasionaly stop fighting the conditions and go with what the mountain/weather gods offer me. Maybe even try some beer league slalom (there doesn't seem to be such a thing as beer league super G).

Currently, the narrowest, curviest thing in my quiver are some 170 Head im70 Monsters, which have a sidecut radius around 15 meters. I'll confess I haven't actually been on these in 2-3 years. Last year my everyday ski was a 172 Salomon Fury and I also picked up a 181 Scott P4 (similar to a Gotama) that I loved out west and had a lot of fun with in the slush bumps at Sugarbush in April. I also have some 170 Head im75 monsters that I liked a lot as an all-around ski before I got the Furies.

I'm thinking about something like a 163 Head irc 1400.

I guess I'm wondering two things: first, whether this is signifigantly different from the 170 im70, and second, whether this these skis are likely to open up a different sort of skiing fun for me, or teach me something about skiing that wouldn't be as easy to experience on the skis I currently own.

(BTW: I do think that one of the interesting things about skiing different skis is learning more about skiing. I think for me that was true even about getting on a snowboard for a few times: it was useful for learning about waiting for a carve to start happening. If this thread were to get hijacked in the direction of a discussion of what you learn from different skis, that would be fine with me.)
post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cometjo View Post
I moved east a year ago, and I'm wondering whether i should get a carver for fun. The issue isn't so much being able to ski groomed and ice on my existing skis, as whether a short high end carver would make it more fun to do so. (Or maybe whether it would teach me some things.)

5'-9"
180 lb (hoping that's less by the time the season starts)
49

I'm not sure what "level" I ski at--I can ski most things with reasonable grace, especially in the east: the things I find tough are exposure and entrances that involve mandatory air. When I took a group private with a guy from Extremely Canadian at Whistler, the main comment the he had was that I should try to round the tops of my turns.

As for terrain, I like steeps, powder & crud, trees, bumps, etc. If it's a choice between corduroy and the possibility that the manky looking stuff in the trees isn't completely frozen, I will at least check out the trees. My thought on a new ski, is that maybe I should occasionaly stop fighting the conditions and go with what the mountain/weather gods offer me. Maybe even try some beer league slalom (there doesn't seem to be such a thing as beer league super G).

Currently, the narrowest, curviest thing in my quiver are some 170 Head im70 Monsters, which have a sidecut radius around 15 meters. I'll confess I haven't actually been on these in 2-3 years. Last year my everyday ski was a 172 Salomon Fury and I also picked up a 181 Scott P4 (similar to a Gotama) that I loved out west and had a lot of fun with in the slush bumps at Sugarbush in April. I also have some 170 Head im75 monsters that I liked a lot as an all-around ski before I got the Furies.

I'm thinking about something like a 163 Head irc 1400.

I guess I'm wondering two things: first, whether this is signifigantly different from the 170 im70, and second, whether this these skis are likely to open up a different sort of skiing fun for me, or teach me something about skiing that wouldn't be as easy to experience on the skis I currently own.

(BTW: I do think that one of the interesting things about skiing different skis is learning more about skiing. I think for me that was true even about getting on a snowboard for a few times: it was useful for learning about waiting for a carve to start happening. If this thread were to get hijacked in the direction of a discussion of what you learn from different skis, that would be fine with me.)
I think you should be fine with the IM70s....

if you do get something 'carvier" get a real SL ski, anything else wont be that much different from what you have now.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
I think you should be fine with the IM70s....

if you do get something 'carvier" get a real SL ski, anything else wont be that much different from what you have now.
Would it be worth getting a race tune on the im70's --and would that be 1 degree base 3 degree side, or could I try some more extreme (1/2 degree base? 3/4 degree base?). I've never run gates or been on a race ski, but I don't mind going through a learning period with a more sensitive tune if I'll get better edge awareness/control in the long run.
post #4 of 25
I think it would be worth it to get a slalom carver. A SL racing ski would be a little too extreme and demanding all the time, but the IM 70 is too forgiving and soft.

The Head SS Speed, or IXRC 1400 would do fine, but the radius is probably what you want AFTER you have been through the learning for process. For this learning process you want a ski with a shorter turn radius, say 13 m or less.
Suggestions: Fischer WC SC, ATOMIC SL 11 /12, Salomon Equipe 10 SC (or whatever the current version is) Rossignol VS Oversize.
post #5 of 25
Stick with the iM70's for a season, definitely get them reset to 1/3, and take some lessons. Maybe at the end of February look for bargains, but not a 1400. Given your current quiver, you'll get more difference out of a SL carver. Something with serious sidecut like a 165 Head SS or Rossi 9S Oversize can make a small eastern run into a big one, smiles all the way.
post #6 of 25
Whether you really need a better ski than a well tuned iM-70 is a different question. There is no doubt that a near race or race level ski will put the fun in to a day on the rocklike slopes of the east.

The difference in grip and power between the iM70 and a top line carver (Head, Nordica, Volkl....etc.) will be pretty significant. I have skied the 70 and thought that it had adequate grip for it's mid level category but far from what you'd get from say a Nordica Speedmachine for example.

A race category ski will be yet another notch higher.

SJ
post #7 of 25
Here's an existential question from someone who admittedly hasn't read any of the other posts in this thread. Does the East Coast skier moving west need to update his quiver (eg, wider) more than the West Coast skier moving east (eg, more shape, hold, etc.)? Would you be happier skiing an East Coast quiver in the West or a West Coast quiver in the East?
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
Would you be happier skiing an East Coast quiver in the West or a West Coast quiver in the East?
No contest; east coast in the west. Yeah, the narrower widths might suck in deep powder, but nothing life-threatening like a fatty attempting transparent ice over bumps on Goat at Stowe, the hungry trees licking their chops.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
No contest; east coast in the west. Yeah, the narrower widths might suck in deep powder, but nothing life-threatening like a fatty attempting transparent ice over bumps on Goat at Stowe, the hungry trees licking their chops.
+1

Skiing pow on skinny skis can still be fun although inefficient. Skiing bullet proof groomers is never fun on anything except a narrow race carver.

I have skied 92mm wide skis in the mid-Atlantic on days when it wasn't icy. Theyt worked fine if the snow is a little softer.

The im70 should be $$$ in bumps I would think and should be great for general cruising as long as it isn't super bullet proof.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
Here's an existential question from someone who admittedly hasn't read any of the other posts in this thread. Does the East Coast skier moving west need to update his quiver (eg, wider) more than the West Coast skier moving east (eg, more shape, hold, etc.)? Would you be happier skiing an East Coast quiver in the West or a West Coast quiver in the East?
Nice hijack.

Back to the original question, I can't think of much more boring than carving all day. Granted you'll need something to deal with the bulletproof packed-powder, but to get some decent snow venture off-piste, where a carver won't be very effective.
post #11 of 25
SL race skis are the most fun you are going to get skiing the groomed and as long as you don't go for race stock, are not difficult to manage and are more energetic and lively to ski than 'normal' skis.

In cut up snow you are OK was long as you can get the edge down to the base and still carve and they are perfectly managable in anything up to 1.5ft deep pow - the big tips and tails means they do have some float even if it is unevenly distributed!
post #12 of 25
I agree with narc, though I've never really owned a pair of "carving" skis. Rather put my money into a pair of race skis for hard snow. Usually find good ones used, too.
post #13 of 25
Where the Hell are you guys skiing with all this ice? I ski the east 50 days a year and those days of 6" thick ice covering everything are over. Snow making and grooming have come a long way and most mountains close truly icy trails. Maybe I just know how to ski, but I'm not finding tons of ice. I'll go out everyday even after a rain and a freeze. Flat trails are managed very well. Ungroomed is another story but your not bombing them at 70mph.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
I think you should be fine with the IM70s....

if you do get something 'carvier" get a real SL ski, anything else wont be that much different from what you have now.

X2.

You'll be fine. If you have been bitten by the gear whore bug and just want new skis, then treat yourself! Otherwise, you'll do fine on the im70s. My narrowest ski is 89 waist and I have no problems here on the "ice coast", where the snow really isn't all that bad.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
Nice hijack.

Back to the original question, I can't think of much more boring than carving all day. Granted you'll need something to deal with the bulletproof packed-powder, but to get some decent snow venture off-piste, where a carver won't be very effective.
Arrrgh, there's the rub. In order to alleviate the boredom you have to turn it up a notch. Ski faster and make harder turns. Sure you would be fine making so-so turns at slow to medium speeds all day long, and avoiding the icy runs, but it's a lot more fun to ski as fast as you can while making 3-g turns knowing your skis will hold. Hence the WC SC, or SL12.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Arrrgh, there's the rub. In order to alleviate the boredom you have to turn it up a notch. Ski faster and make harder turns. Sure you would be fine making so-so turns at slow to medium speeds all day long, and avoiding the icy runs, but it's a lot more fun to ski as fast as you can while making 3-g turns knowing your skis will hold. Hence the WC SC, or SL12.
After 5-6 of those 3-ger's I'm bored to tears and search out the trees and the off-piste. Having a ski to to that all day on groomers - no thanks.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski=free View Post
Where the Hell are you guys skiing with all this ice? I ski the east 50 days a year and those days of 6" thick ice covering everything are over. Snow making and grooming have come a long way and most mountains close truly icy trails. Maybe I just know how to ski, but I'm not finding tons of ice. I'll go out everyday even after a rain and a freeze. Flat trails are managed very well. Ungroomed is another story but your not bombing them at 70mph.
LOL...so true.

Really, I dont find very icy slopes either. Maybe I have become numb to it or that people are exagerating a tad bit. Yeah there is some ice, but for the most part its all just hard pack..perfect for carving and skiing on just about any ski.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post
LOL...so true.

Really, I dont find very icy slopes either. Maybe I have become numb to it or that people are exagerating a tad bit. Yeah there is some ice, but for the most part its all just hard pack..perfect for carving and skiing on just about any ski.

Interesting. I too would prefer the uncharted deep snow making my way through the Ghosts of BC, not quite being sure exactly where I am, but when all you have is groomers at your local hill, you do what you gotta do. It gets less boring as you go faster and closer to the obstacles.

Different strokes for different folks.

It's a lot like moving meditation. Skiing faster and harder, getting better turns. The search for perfection, the perfect high speed turn.

Then again, I have also spent hours in a row with a heavy bag seeking the perfect side kick.

Oh, and if you think you can make a high performance turn on hardpack with an intermediate ski, you haven't made a high-performance turn; they just do not have enough grip.
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi, OP here. Thanks for all the comments. The issue isn't whether off-piste is more fun than groomers: I'm already convinced on that score. I'd pick steep sun-cupped mank over groomers any day (as in the this thread http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=72894&page=2)

The issue is what to do when there is no off-piste or even bumps to ski. I'm in Ottawa and my local hill (Camp Fortune) has one legit black diamond slope that they don't groom. Unfortunately they sometimes don't open it if conditions are sketchy, and it isn't lit, so its never open at night. The question is how to have fun in those circumstances when I don't have the time to get away to VT or Whiteface or or Tremblant (haven't actually been to the last two, but I'm assuming they have some reasonably challenging stuff). Camp Fortune also seems to frown on the trees: if there is even a hint of a line through the bushes, patrol puts a pole there as if to say "don't even think about it."

So I thought, maybe I should race or something to make the best of these circumstances. Then I saw a good price on some Head iRC 1400's and wondered if they would be a good ski to use for that. I've had in mind the idea of picking up a consumer slalom ski for a while and wondered if these were similar to that and whether they were really different from my iM 70's.

What Ghost says here is part of what I am wondering about:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Oh, and if you think you can make a high performance turn on hardpack with an intermediate ski, you haven't made a high-performance turn; they just do not have enough grip.
What I'd like most to get out of this is better technique, which I imagine will help me anywhere. Not that its gonna happen, but i wouldn't mind skiing steep and deep with the kind of bulletproof technique that ex racers like Wendy Fisher & Nobis have.

To that end, I am also thinking about doing ESA Stowe--my original thought had been to try to wait and see whether there was enough snow to make the fun stuff on the mountain skiable, but maybe it would be worth doing regardless.

As for whether I'll get the 1400/s I'm not quite sure: the impression I get is that there is a pretty big difference between them and a consumer race ski (which was not obvious to me from the specs & reviews). Maybe the best thing to do is (as Bushwacker & others have suggested) stick with the iM 70's until something better comes along.

As for the gear whore in me, the 1400's are a little tempting, but what I really lust after are 183 (or 188?) bros, garmont axon boots, and dynafits. But that's another thread. And the realist in me knows that I'd probably ski the race carvers more often.

Actually, I do have one more question: Ghost, I'm not sure I understand the thinking behind this comment:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
I think it would be worth it to get a slalom carver. A SL racing ski would be a little too extreme and demanding all the time, but the IM 70 is too forgiving and soft.

The Head SS Speed, or IXRC 1400 would do fine, but the radius is probably what you want AFTER you have been through the learning for process. For this learning process you want a ski with a shorter turn radius, say 13 m or less.
Suggestions: Fischer WC SC, ATOMIC SL 11 /12, Salomon Equipe 10 SC (or whatever the current version is) Rossignol VS Oversize.
Again, thanks to all for the comments.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post
LOL...so true.

Really, I dont find very icy slopes either. Maybe I have become numb to it or that people are exagerating a tad bit. Yeah there is some ice, but for the most part its all just hard pack..perfect for carving and skiing on just about any ski.
Someone earlier brought up Goat. A steep trail unable to be groomed, Volkswagon sized bumps, and lets guess.... 40 to 45
degree pitch. Argueably the quintessential Eastern expert trail.

ALMOST every time I have skied it there is ice between the natural snow on the bumps. EVERYYIME I ski it it is with my race-carve skinny waisted metal laminate skis.

A narrow trail like Goat necessitates precision ,and the ability to turn anywhere you need, as dictated by the bumps, and nearby trees.

Narrow carving skis are just an extra measure of assurance making Eastern skiiing more enjoyable.

I cant seem to avoid ice in the East.
post #21 of 25
If you live in Ottawa, then go skiing at Mont St. Marie or Calibogie Peaks when you can't make the trip to Tremblant (or Jay Peak, or Owl's Head or...). The off-trail isn't any better, but the hill is a little more challenging. (EDIT actually a lot more challenging than Fortune, but not really challenging compared to what you can find out west, unless you can't handle ice; the steep parts always seem to get scraped down to ice).

A couple of years back I finally bit the bullet, admitted that this neck of the woods was not suited to high-speed long radius turns, and made the switch to modern gear, after demonstrating a number of skis. I was looking for a short radius ski that wouldn't fall apart at speed. I ended up with a Fischer WC SC with a 13-m turn radius.

Since then I have spent a lot of time refining my short turns. Every now and then I take out the long boards for some high-speed hi-jinx, and realize what I'm missing. If I'm lucky I can make one or two good transitions after getting the skis up to speed and then I'm at the lift line again (and probably coming in a little too fast). After demoing the SS Speed, I think it would be an ideal ski, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have improved my shorter turns half as quickly if I had gotten that ski instead of the SC. I recently got a left-over bargain GS ski to fill in the gap.

The 1400 is likely a high enough performance ski, and a great candidate for an all-purpose ski if you are based in Ottawa. There is nothing wrong with the 1400; it's just not the best learning tool for getting your short turns dialed in. Getting a short radius ski will give you more turns for your dollar and make improving your turns that much easier. Learning how to make good sl turns is a lot easier on a sl ski. Once you have got a pretty good feel for arcing sl turns at sl racing speeds, you will want to arc all your turns, even longer ones, and you will want a gs ski for that.

My thinking is that until you really know how to use a sl ski, a race stock slalom ski is a little too much. It only really feels good when you are going full throttle. Learning occurs best at a somewhat lower throttle opening your too busy at full throttle. A citizen racer or one step below stock race ski is what you would want for a year or two. It has the performance you want and can be enjoyed just as much when your not going full blast.
post #22 of 25
For all the ice discussion in this thread, the OP was after more fun and also maybe learning. A race ski is the best bet to deliver both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cometjo View Post
I moved east a year ago, and I'm wondering whether i should get a carver for fun. The issue isn't so much being able to ski groomed and ice on my existing skis, as whether a short high end carver would make it more fun to do so. (Or maybe whether it would teach me some things.)
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
If you live in Ottawa, then go skiing at Mont St. Marie or Calibogie Peaks when you can't make the trip to Tremblant (or Jay Peak, or Owl's Head or...). The off-trail isn't any better, but the hill is a little more challenging. (EDIT actually a lot more challenging than Fortune, but not really challenging compared to what you can find out west, unless you can't handle ice; the steep parts always seem to get scraped down to ice).
I was going to go to Mont St Marie one day when there was 6" of fresh, but I had a little thought and decided to call them first and ask whether they groomed ALL the slopes even when it snowed, and it turned out that they did--I figured that wasn't worth the drive, so I went to Fortune instead and did laps on "Swan Dive" which was reasonably fun for a few hours. But I will probably make it up to Marie at some point.
post #24 of 25
True bulletproof ice is nowhere nearly as common in the north-east as it once was, but conditions still tend to be rather firm. I get about 50 days of year; most are pretty good, but there are also plenty of days where the bumps are teeth-rattling. I'm a sucky tree skier, so I'm not about to try skiing glades when things are probably slick in there as well.

Anyway, my point... yes, I'd rather be skiing bumps or milking the soft stuff on the trail edges, neither of which are an ideal application for a high-performance slalom ski. But there are days when you know you'll be on groomers, and those days just scream for a slalom ski. They'll exhaust your legs, so you won't be skiing all day anyway.

Sure, all kinds of things are capable of carving just fine on a modern groomed slope... But until you've spent some time on slalom skis, you can't appreciate how much fun they make groomers.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski=free View Post
Where the Hell are you guys skiing with all this ice? I ski the east 50 days a year and those days of 6" thick ice covering everything are over. Snow making and grooming have come a long way and most mountains close truly icy trails. Maybe I just know how to ski, but I'm not finding tons of ice. I'll go out everyday even after a rain and a freeze. Flat trails are managed very well. Ungroomed is another story but your not bombing them at 70mph.
Sounds like I ski some of the same places, and while I agree that most blue/blue-back runs start out nice at 8:30 am, often by noon the man-made groomed has been scraped off along all but the sides, what's underneath is scratchy at best. Also depends on temps; obviously more soft snow in April than February. Plus most places don't make snow or groom down their serious black/double-blacks. The basement gets harder and harder as you go north; try Quebec for real bulletproof ice and bumps...
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