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Explaining benefits of shaped skis clearly

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My Dad has been skiing forever, he about 55 now and can hold is own on a pair of skis, he's been skiing yearly for at least the last 20 years and off and on before that. However, he has skis we bought in 1989 and they still look like the day we bought them but are so far behind current technology, he's bought one new pair of boots along the way (3 years ago).

Should I try and convince him to rent some shaped skis (again)?
What points would you make when trying to explain the differences/benefits of shaped skis?

Any input is greatly appreciated ;-) Thank you!
post #2 of 13
rent a decent pair of demo skis, not the one's from the regular rental shop, and maybe get him a lesson so he can learn to use them properly
post #3 of 13
I'm about the same age as your dad, and finally, last year, replaced my 10-year old skis and 25-year old boots with this new-fangled gear. Unlike him, I had a several-year interruption in my skiing before getting back on the slopes.

The biggest plus of going to the latest fad in ski geometry - and this is something that a number of people I have talked to agreed upon - is that there was virtually no learning curve in getting back on the slopes with the newer, shorter, shaped skis. I would have expected a much longer time regaining comfort on the slopes with my old equipment.

Frankly, there is nothing wrong with the old skis, as long as (i) they've still got their camber and stiffness and (ii) the bindings are under warranty. I know guys in their 80's who ski beautifully on equipment nearly as old as I am. I wish I still had my circa 1983 or so Atomic Team Bionic ARC SL 195s...but I also remember that the reason I replaced those skis a decade ago for a softer Olin DTSL 205 is that in my early40's I didn't want to have to ski as aggressively and as quickly as was necessary to make the Atomics perform.

And, that's the real key, for me at least. A newer, shorter (though I only went down to 178's in a Dynastar Ltd - not that much shorter) shaped ski allows old geezers like me and your dad to ski a little less aggressively and still carve pretty turns and impress all the ski bunnies without being too winded to enjoy a good cigar or two in between runs.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by entropic View Post
What points would you make when trying to explain the differences/benefits of shaped skis?
Less effort, more grip, wider set of choices as to where you can move to with the same vertical.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Frankly, there is nothing wrong with the old skis, as long as...(ii) the bindings are under warranty.
I think you mean that the bindings are on the binding makers' lists of models they'll indemnify the shop when trained mechanics work on the bindings. Fuggedaboudit. No bindings this old are on the lists.

Entro--One thing your dad needs to keep in mind is that the modern skis need much less pressure on the tips. Get him to try skiing with his balance centered on his feet, then put a bit of forward balance into the beginning of his turns, as much as works well. Rent some demo skis for him that are good skis but not the highest top line, and that are not too wide underfoot. Try for some carving models if you can find them. Good luck convincing dad that the new skis need to be about nose-high on him.
post #6 of 13
In general, new shapes work well with old school technique. Pintail designs can feel down-right familiar because there is a bit less hookup and its easier to let the tails slide or pivot, which was very common with the straighter skis. What they do better is enable you to apply pressure to the edges and carve tighter turns. When people suggest taking some lessons to make the best use of the newer shapes, that is what they are really talking about. Anyone can take out a set of Nordica Mach 3 Carbons or Head SS and slide them old school, but to lay down tracks takes a bit different technique.

In general though, the skis are much easeir to turn and for us older guys, that can make for a much better, longer day, especially in softer conditions, where these skis really like a bit of forward pressure rather than backseat. The tips float in soft snow and just tipping them on edge can initiate a turn, rather than all the unweighting that used to be necessary. I think its important to stress that modern skis have made skiing easier and more fun, and have opened up terrain and skills that took much more skill and effort on older skis. In other words, try it, you'll like it.
post #7 of 13
You're right, of course - "under warranty" is the wrong term. To be precise, you want to know that the bindings are on the manufacturers' list of indemnified bindings. You can get the list off the web. Techs will only service and adjust bindings on the list.

But, you might be suprised as the vintages of some of the equipment that is still on that list...I could swear the Salomon 727's on my K2 244Mids only just dropped off the list in the last couple of years.

But seriously, if no reputable tech will work on a set of bindings, I wouldn't ski on them.
post #8 of 13
And the most important thing is that at the end of the day an old man, like myself, still has enough zip to chase the ol' lady. The amount of energy expended skiing on newer, shaped skis is much, much less than it was with 205cm straight skis.
post #9 of 13
I would think a good selling point to someone over 50 would be less knee strain. Kind of what goblue and ssg were hinting at. The new skis allow you to carve at slower speeds, and with less (almost none if you want) forward knee drive. A lean of the knee is enough now to engage the tips. Maybe your dad's knees are in great shape, but if he's sore at the end of the day, or week or whatever perhaps that is an angle you can convince him with.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you all very much for the help, I'm going to take him to the demo shop when we get there and get him on some newer skis, I think the ease of turning, less aggressive skiing required for nice turns, more grip and control and it being easier on the knees will definitely sell him on it.

You guys have been so helpful, thank you all!
post #11 of 13
No learning curve is right.

You can relay this to him: I just tried shaped skis for the first time in November (after 10 seasons on old skinnies). The very first run on them I felt like I'd instantly gained 2 or 3 intense seasons worth of skiing experience.
post #12 of 13
then again, he might just like the old skis better, my cousin skis tele on some 210 cm atomics and insists that no shaped ski he's tried has enough edge grip for him.
post #13 of 13
Wow, until I read this thread, I didn't realize I was a geezer at 56!Tell the old fart to get rid of those antiques and get into the new millenium.........................

Seriously, easier turning (get him to widen his stance), less fatigue (skiing longer is better), and he won't look silly doing that up and down motion.
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