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Best type of ski for old timers

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I used to be a very good skier in my twenties and thirties, but have not been on skiis for 28 years. Now in my sixties I want to take up the sport again. What is the best shaped ski for carving slow turns in or out of the fall line on groomed surfaces around the upper midwest. I do not need high speed anymore. Length? I am 6'2" and 220 lbs. Seems the equipment has changed a bit over the years. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 29
I'm not sure which would be best for you, but let me say welcome back to the sport we know and love. We've been waiting for you.

Mike
post #3 of 29
Any carving ski in about a 170 length. Try to demo, some examples of fairly high level carving skis but certainly not all:
Volkl Tigershark 8 or 10
Fischer Progressor 7+ or 8+
Dynastar Contact 10 or Groove
Nordica Speed Machine Mach 2
It's a different and I think more fun sport now with shaped skis than the old days. Take a private lesson or two to get the new technique. Good luck and get ready to have some fun.
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric S View Post
Any carving ski in about a 170 length. Try to demo, some examples of fairly high level carving skis but certainly not all:
Volkl Tigershark 8 or 10
Fischer Progressor 7+ or 8+
Dynastar Contact 10 or Groove
Nordica Speed Machine Mach 2
It's a different and I think more fun sport now with shaped skis than the old days. Take a private lesson or two to get the new technique. Good luck and get ready to have some fun.

How is it more fun? Did you not have fun when you skied in the 90's? 80's? If it wasn't fun then why did you continue to do it?

Back to the OP...Yes indeed, welcome back

I'd say take a look at some of the leftover 2-3 year old stuff you can pick up for a good price. Any of the softer GS type skis would be a good place to start looking, giving you plenty of edge grip for those mid-western conditions.

What were the last skis you had before the break?
post #5 of 29
The other thing that I might suggest is that you think about one, just one, private lesson to get the basics and the feel down on the "newer" ski shape. If you get yourself into some good boots, you could then demo some skis {perhaps in comjunction with the lesson}, and give them a try.

I know a couple of guys who followed this route, having done a lot of quality skiing in the days of longer straight skis, taken the hiatus, and then returned to the sport. Both of them were very good skiers a decade or two earlier. The one lesson made a big difference. The sport's the same, but the equipment is so much different. A lesson with a "seasoned" instructor who's made the transition, etc. was money well spent for them. It might also help you decide exactly what you'd like for a ski.

Just a thought. Have fun. Welcome back!
post #6 of 29
[quote=Rossi Smash;1010677]How is it more fun? Did you not have fun when you skied in the 90's? 80's? If it wasn't fun then why did you continue to do it?

I didn't say it wasn't fun. I skied from when I was 8 years old in 1960 until 1991 when I left New Engand for Texas. I always loved skiing but the last few years of groomer skiing in New England started to SOMETIMES be boring. I started skiing again in 2004 in New Mexico and was blown away and rejuvinated by the new equipment. Powder, soft western bumps and tree skiing may of had something to do with my rebirth as well.
post #7 of 29
There are tons of skis that you would have a blast on.
I recommend you subscribe to Peter Keelty's realskiers.com review site, and then go for any of the skis that show a black skier icon (suposed to mean expert, but it really means the ski delivers) and also a blue icon (means the ski is also forgiving bonus if it has a green icon too, but not needed) that has a 13 to 17 m radius in a 170 cm length from the last few years that is also on sale.
post #8 of 29
[quote=Eric S;1010693]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post
How is it more fun? Did you not have fun when you skied in the 90's? 80's? If it wasn't fun then why did you continue to do it?

I didn't say it wasn't fun. I skied from when I was 8 years old in 1960 until 1991 when I left New Engand for Texas. I always loved skiing but the last few years of groomer skiing in New England started to SOMETIMES be boring. I started skiing again in 2004 in New Mexico and was blown away and rejuvinated by the new equipment. Powder, soft western bumps and tree skiing may of had something to do with my rebirth as well.



Now we're getting to the bottom of it
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 

old timer skis

Thanks, everyone, for the tips. For Rossi, I learned on Northlands where the steel edges were screwed into the wood skis. Had a pair of the first Head metal skis, and then used Rossignol and Solomon "straight" skis.
post #10 of 29
6'2 220 lb, looking for a relaxed ski and you guys are suggesting 170cm? Nah, I think 175-178cm is more appropriate, they will be a lot smoother and more comfortable. I'd say even longer if we weren't considering the wildcard of a 28 year haitus (that could swing me either way frankly).
post #11 of 29
As I recall, Midwest skiing is smooth and hard.

You'll want a ski with excellent edge-grip, that's not too stiff.

You probably want to avoid skis with metal layers, as they'll require more muscle.

You don't need anything wider than 75mm. Narrower is simpler on Midwest porcelain.

Good options:

Blizzard Magnum 7.6 IQ
Nordica Speedmachine Mach 1
Fischer Red Heat
Volkl Unlimited AC20
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post
How is it more fun? Did you not have fun when you skied in the 90's? 80's? If it wasn't fun then why did you continue to do it?

Back to the OP...Yes indeed, welcome back
Yeah we had fun, but more fun now!!!
I guess the proof would be to see how many would go back to straight skis now? Judging by the number of furniture pieces and fences made out of 80's and 90's skis, I'd say not many!!
We may certainly come back to longer skis though. Certainly out west it's happening.

skier219,
Maybe 175, but jaydixonjr is in the midwest for one thing! 170 is a great length even for "large" eastern areas.
post #13 of 29
The height and weight move the length up by my reckoning, and the fact that he's old school and is probably looking for a smooth ride factors in too. If he was a good skier in his 20s and 30s, I am guessing he will get right back on the horse pretty well and would probably outgrow short skis fairly quickly. Unless I am missing something about the upper midwest that is
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post
How is it more fun?
Because current equipment make it easier to ski all kinds of stuff that used to be beyond most people?
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
The height and weight move the length up by my reckoning, and the fact that he's old school and is probably looking for a smooth ride factors in too. If he was a good skier in his 20s and 30s, I am guessing he will get right back on the horse pretty well and would probably outgrow short skis fairly quickly. Unless I am missing something about the upper midwest that is
Some of you might remember my curious experiment of the previous 2 yrs where I skied the Fischer RX 8 in 3 lengths extensively....I am 6' about 185 lbs.....

165, 170 and 175....the 175 was by far the most forgiving of the 3 lengths and certainly the most stable. It could rip long fast gs turns without wobble and still handle shortswing down a steep pitch where needed. At 220 lbs and coming from old school experience I thus completley agree with skier219 recco. The 180 RX 8 for a 220 lb skier might be a great choice but those are hard to find, I wanted to add that length to my experiment but could not come up with a pair.

Alas, all my RX 8's are sold off now, I now own the finest ski I have ever been on....170 Head i supershape via dawgcatching....to which I naturally give my highest recommendation

Might think about dropping dawg a pm for his thoughts....

As you are coming back to a much easier to master (but different) sport courtesy of the modern shaped ski I'd suggest you check out the free demo team videos in my signature for some decent examples of how to apply the new technology to groomed terrain. I second the recco for a private lesson or two with a good instructor as well once you feel you have your ski legs back. Needed only just to help guide you into understanding and learning how to apply the modern ski to the hill. It's all about tipping, edging and creating the proper angles...letting the technology do most of the work for you.

Welcome back, and good luck!
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrstrat57 View Post
Alas, all my RX 8's are sold off now, I now own the finest ski I have ever been on....170 Head i supershape via dawgcatching....to which I naturally give my highest recommendation

Might think about dropping dawg a pm for his thoughts....

As you are coming back to a much easier to master (but different) sport courtesy of the modern shaped ski I'd suggest you check out the free demo team videos in my signature for some decent examples of how to apply the new technology to groomed terrain. I second the recco for a private lesson or two with a good instructor as well once you feel you have your ski legs back. Needed only just to help guide you into understanding and learning how to apply the modern ski to the hill. It's all about tipping, edging and creating the proper angles...letting the technology do most of the work for you.

Welcome back, and good luck!
Well hrstrat57 ("one-niner-bravo"),
You have confused me with your experiments by selecting a shorter length, 170, then the results seem to indicate.

I guess I agree with y'alls comeback length recco, the only thing would be isn't the hill like 250 ft. vertical?
RossiSmash had a good recco about starting off with a 2-3 yr. old ski. God, you can pick a pair up for 150$ with bindings.
post #17 of 29
You know, I had some 180cm RX-8 and loved them, then sold them and went down to a 175cm RX-9 (Fischer stopped making 180cm in the RX-8, and that length was impossible to find in the RX-9). The RX-9 skis OK in the shorter length, but I think I miss the extra 5cm sometimes. Especially when I spend 3-4 days on my bigger skis out west, I come back home and the 175cm RX-9's feel like ballerina shoes.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
Well hrstrat57 ("one-niner-bravo"),
You have confused me with your experiments by selecting a shorter length, 170, then the results seem to indicate.

I guess I agree with y'alls comeback length recco, the only thing would be isn't the hill like 250 ft. vertical?
RossiSmash had a good recco about starting off with a 2-3 yr. old ski. God, you can pick a pair up for 150$ with bindings.
Good call Tog!

Actually 2 reasons.

1/ I promised my bride, as we are seeking to simplify our lives by getting rid of 2 much stuff that I would reduce my extensive inventory of guitars, tennis racquets, golf clubs, photography equipment, road bikes and skis. My goal re skis was create a perfect 2 ski quiver, all I really need here in the east. Volkl Explosivs with Rossi turntables cover the fat end and I convinced her that I would clear out all the shorter, skinnier skis if she let me buy the dream carver.

2/ my first choice was Volkl Tigershark 10 w switch or Volkl Racetigers but my source for those went dry. I then enlisted the support of dawgcatching who after a long back and forth via email(bless him, Scott is a patient man) directed me firmly to the i supershape, suggesting the 170 vs the 175 promising me the ski was more damp and stable than my previous 168 Allstars or the 165/170 RX 8. He insisted that the 170 SS would be able to cruise as well as the 175 RX 8 while delivering much higher shortswing performance.

Thus the 170 i supershape vs a 175.

Dawg was spot on.

Oddly enuff, I've played Head tennis racquets for years(current weapons of choice 3 i prestige mp's) but haven't owned a Head ski since I had 7' Head standards w/Look nevada's in high school. I'm glad I have liquidmetal on my feet now as well as in the tennis bag

- - -
I guess to summarize if the op can find a pair of 175 RX 8's used in good shape I agree that might be a good place to start......dial those in to learn the new technology then search out the perfect steed. Frankly his search might end right there......

OP, make sure you have high end, perfect fitting boots first of course.....

semi thread poach off
post #19 of 29
How much vertical does you usual hill have?

If it is 400 or less feet, then definitely get a top of the line race/carver like the Head SS (not magnum, not speed, not i speed) and stick to 170 cm.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydixonjr View Post
I used to be a very good skier in my twenties and thirties, but have not been on skiis for 28 years. Now in my sixties I want to take up the sport again. What is the best shaped ski for carving slow turns in or out of the fall line on groomed surfaces around the upper midwest. I do not need high speed anymore. Length? I am 6'2" and 220 lbs. Seems the equipment has changed a bit over the years. Thanks in advance.

There are some factors in this Q that would cause me to suggest a more conservative ski than some are. I beleive that this skier would be suited by a softer and easier going ski. A stiffer, grippier ski will be more demanding and more tiring to ski. Further, someone coming in with 3 decades old skills and style may want a ski that is relatively forgiving of old school technique.

I seldom suggest K2's but in this case, it would be the right call. I'd suggest the Crossfire or the Sidewinder in either 170 or 177. K2's are buttery smooth and stable despite being relatively soft. While they are not outstanding at edge grip, they are adequate for this skier and will provide a more relaxing ride than some of the more aggressive skis being suggested here.

SJ
post #21 of 29
+1^^^^^.

I was about to weigh in again with similar comments, about the OP's original comments and description, having read a lot of these posts. And I mention, again, that I wouldn't underestimate the transition back into the sport after a long {28 years} hiatus, and the reality of his age. My friends who have done this took some time getting used to something as simple as looking down at those "short" 175's. And they both feel that some re-orientation time one on one with a good instructor got them up the new learning curve fast. These guys were in their 50's and very fit, formerly real good skiers, and they took it slowly. One told me that the most intimidating thing was the thought of that first hard fall on rock hard snow. The carving skills of two decades ago, and those of today are entirely different. I have a friend who's a veteran instructor, and he talks of trying to break habits like counter rotating, having almost all of your weight on one ski, skiing in a very narrow stance {for those former wedelers}. I could come up with more, but that's my thought process on the lesson. A lot of things worth considering, I think. Done the right way, this should be great fun! My dad was a very serious life long skier, and he re-introduced two of his college buddies to the sport, after a 50 year hiatus. They had a blast skiing for many years. The equipment changes between the 30's and the late 80's were probably a bit more pronounced, too. I think this is great. Have fun!
post #22 of 29
Demo skis and lessons would be the most effective return to skiing.

After some exposure to new equipment and the techniques to use it you would have a better understanding of what might suit you.

What do you have for boots ? You should be thinking along that line first
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydixonjr View Post
I used to be a very good skier in my twenties and thirties, but have not been on skiis for 28 years. Now in my sixties I want to take up the sport again. What is the best shaped ski for carving slow turns in or out of the fall line on groomed surfaces around the upper midwest. I do not need high speed anymore. Length? I am 6'2" and 220 lbs. Seems the equipment has changed a bit over the years. Thanks in advance.
Like others here have mentioned:
  • Think about boots first - a good fit and proper alignment makes a huge difference.
  • A lesson will help. We "old timers" learned to make BIG movements like pronounced up unweighting and rotary pushes to turn the skis. You can carve the new shaped skis beautifully by just rolling them from edge to edge. Or roll them to edge then let them skid a little.
  • 165-175 cm carving skis (<15 meter radius and 70mm or less underfoot) are probably your best bet. I'm 6' 3" and 220 lbs and ski fast and aggressively and I'm on a 175 cm Head Supershape. Love it - medium flex and 13 meter turn radius.
  • Ski shop guys may try to move you to wider skis, which is an industry trend these days. Resist them. Narrow-waisted (<70mm underfoot) carvers turn much easier on the groomers, especially really hard snow, and their tips and tails are wide enough for you to handle anything but really deep powder.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
There are some factors in this Q that would cause me to suggest a more conservative ski than some are. .....Further, someone coming in with 3 decades old skills and style may want a ski that is relatively forgiving of old school technique.

I seldom suggest K2's........

SJ
^^^Exactly^^^ and you were perfect until the K2 bit.

I've stayed heavy in skiing since starting in the 60's, and some of the suggestions here don't have a clue about someone who's coming back after a lengthy lay-off. Maybe the carving desire swayed the conversation.

While, of course, I don't know what you're after exactly, but having a carver is pretty stressful, as well as boring and monotonous. Try something that will let you carve, but also do the other things you've learned iover the years.

My thought was the Dynastar 4800, as I think Dynastar's work well with older technique, and the 4800 just happens to be a ball. More of a carver could be the Contact 9, but try the 4800 and enjoy the potential not only to carve, but also skid the tails, do some foot-swivel etc. It's a detuned version of the acclaimed 8000 - you'll have a ball.
post #25 of 29
I guess we have differing opinions of your ability. I think you would be fine on a 170 cm SS. The soft noodles being recommended would hinder your quest to learn carving. A stiffer ski would make it harder to make those tight turns at lower speeds. If you were half way decent on the old skis, you should have no problem adapting. A too-soft ski will only frustrate you.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
The soft noodles being recommended would hinder your quest to learn carving.
This would be wrong, at least in the case of the 4800.

The 4800's would allow him, however, to use the skills he learned over many years whereas some of the others mentioned (many of which I've been on btw), would not tolerate older technique methods.
post #27 of 29
I came back to skiing after 20 years away and eventually bought 170 RX-8's from Dawgcatching. I loved the skis the past two winters, but I did find them a bit short at 170 after coming off of 205cm straight skis! I now wish I would have gone 175 for the RX8's. I'm 6' and 190 and a level 7-8 skier.

As for technique on the RX8's they will slide as willingly as they will carve and I had no problem skiing them right out of the box. I've also heard great things about the Head i SS, but I don't think they are as forgiving as the Fischer.

Good luck with the search!

Mike
post #28 of 29
220 lbs, upper mid west, short turns, need some torsional rigidity for those icy slopes, Fisher RX8 or progressor, Head regular(edit intelligence ok, just not the speed or the magnum or the i speed) supershape. Dynastar contact groove would be my Dynastar choice for him. Them's plenty forgiving enough.

Western medium turns maybe 4800.
post #29 of 29
k2 pontoons for the groomers and 2 snowboards for powder..
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