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Which of these skis are best suited for me?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I'm considering buying a pair of new skis. I'm 24, 5 feet 7 inches tall, and 138lbs. Until now I've been skiing with a pair of Elan Integra x 7.0 168cm (since year 2001) but I always found them too stiff for me. I like short and medium radius turns and rarely I reach high speeds because groomers are often crowded with people and I don't want to take risks ... Yesterday I tried the new Atomic SL10 156cm and I discovered a new world made of simple short radius turns, super grip on ice and on moguls and great enjoyment! So I decided to buy a new pair of skis but I can't decide among:

Atomic SL10 (which I demoed yesterday)
Head iSupershape (which I've never tried but of which I've read very good reviews)
Fischer RX8 (never demoed but good reviews)

Any suggestion?

Thank you very much!
post #2 of 22
Andrea,

I would definitely keep the Head Supershape on the list and add the Fischer Progressor (Progressor 9 this year I think) and Elan race carvers (SLX Wave Flex, or an older model non-racestock SLX or SX Pro). All are regarded as excellent short to medium radius skis with a soft flex. I think that all three will probably out-perform the Atomics that you recently demoed, although the Supershape will probably be the closest in performance (softest of the three I mentioned). If you wanted higher performance from an Atomic you'd have to look toward the SL12...

My girlfriend (nearly your exact same size) has skied on Elans for several seasons now, and keeps coming back to them as her favorite brand (she also owns Fischer RX6's, which do not carve nearly as well as the Elan SLX's she has been skiing on recently). In the Supershape, Progressor, and SLX's I'd recommend a 160cm length. From personal experience and from listening to my girlfriend comment on her skis, she much prefers the ~160cm skis to skis in the ~155cm range because of the added stability while free skiing. My anticipation is that her next ski will be a 165cm Supershape, a Progressor 9, or another Elan SLX.

Later

Greg
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi Greg, thanks for your answer! What makes you think that Supershape, Progressor and Elan SLX or Waveflex will outperform Atomic SL10?
post #4 of 22
You don't mention your skill set, but assuming you're high intermediate to advanced, my vote would be for the RX8, followed by the Supershape. Not familiar with the SLX, but a lot of fans.

IMO, all these are good skis, it's more about feel. The Fischers will be light and have stiff tails, so easy to initiate, very good on ice, take some attention to staying out of the backseat, great ski to get better on. (Owned a pair) The Supershapes will be damper, smoother, heavier, take more steering, have a higher speed limit than the RX8's. (Own a pair now) The Atomics will be more like the Fischers than the Heads, probably best grip of the bunch, most snow feel, least dampness. Suspect the Elans will have the raciest feel, smooth, but require the most attention of those you mention. Somewhat higher envelope.

You might also think about Volkl, which my wife loves for eastern ice; she's a touch taller and lighter, skis a unisex 5* 161 cm, also likes the recent Fuegos, which are not much softer than the unisex counterparts.
post #5 of 22
The RX8s do a lot of things pretty well: slow speed, medium speed, skid, carve, moguls. The do NOT have the same top end as some of the other skis.

the more you like high speed, the RX8 may dissapoint. but the other more race/slalom skis may not work as well in moguls (often due to metal in the construction). Some dont work as well at slow speed, which is not a problem with the RX8s

I have the Elan Waveflex 12 which is better at speed then the RX8 but the shovels come up real quick in the moguls.

so it may be helpful to decide if you want to rip top speed all day or something with greater versatility but less top end.

some people find a slalom ski on a big mountain requires them to be constantly turning: you can decide if this relevant, a plus or a minus

good luck
post #6 of 22
Id trust helvaskier here

IMO for groomer skiing its better to go with a stiffer ski than it is to go for one of the easier skiing out there like the SL10,RX8.

all those skis are stiffer slightly more demanding skis, if you up to task they will have better edge hold and be more stable.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
As for my level I guess I'm intermediate. I was looking for a slalom carver because, where I'm used to ski (alps), groomers are a bit crowded and I prefer to keep moderate speed. Moreover I get much more fun with short and medium radius turns then with longer radius ones and I never go off piste. I can carve quite well in medium and lower slopes but I've some problem on steeper slopes. I was considering RX8 but I fear that they do everything pretty well but really nothing very well... So among Atomic SL10, Elan SLX, Head Supershape (regular) which is the one with better performances?
post #8 of 22
comments on some skis in the progressor lineup:
http://www.realskiers.com/ski_reviews_fischer.htm

try searching on some reviews by dawgcatching for info on the others...
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea85 View Post
Hi Greg, thanks for your answer! What makes you think that Supershape, Progressor and Elan SLX or Waveflex will outperform Atomic SL10?
Look at where the skis I mentioned fall in their respective "lines" from each company and compare that the SL10. The SL10 is not the Atomic top performer - and it is not designed to be. However, the skis I mentioned are the top performers in their respective categories. Also, for "feel" on groomers nothing will top a sandwich construction ski in most cases. The skis I listed are all constructed exactly like real race-stock race skis so they share the same characteristics and qualities (which is a good thing). On top of that I believe the SL10 is a descendant of the old SL9... which I thought was good for a number of things (making a "shot ski", building a shelf, jacking up a car, building a fence, swatting flies, and building benches...) none of which were skiing related.

I'd put my money on the SLX as being the best short turn performer of the skis listed so far. They are a soft, easy ski, but are also raceable (is that a word?). Progressors are going to default to a slightly longer turn radius (not by much) so might be more comfortable in the medium turns versus the short turns. The Supershape will feel a bit softer than the SLX, delivering less rebound and a more predictable nature that you can ski on all day without worrying about it getting tempermental on you. The stable-mate of the SL10 (the SL12) will have performance more akin to the SLX, although the feel will likely be quite different... although its been a few seasons since I've skied the two of them back to back on the same day.

Later

Greg
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
So the elan slx is one of the best slalom carver on the market... But is it enjoyable? Can I have fun with them? Or are they too stiff or too tiring to be used for a whole day? I'm not a pro-skier and I'm a light-weight! I don't want to feel my quadriceps screeming after 2 hours of skiing!!
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea85 View Post
So the elan slx is one of the best slalom carver on the market... But is it enjoyable? Can I have fun with them? Or are they too stiff or too tiring to be used for a whole day? I'm not a pro-skier and I'm a light-weight! I don't want to feel my quadriceps screeming after 2 hours of skiing!!
They are noodles compared to most other slalom carvers out there. They flex stiff, but the huge sidecut makes them actually ski extremely soft. they or sort-of like being on a slightly worn-out trampoline. If I'm skiing slow or teaching new skiers I often ski on the SLX because it is so easy to ski at slow speeds. It's a fun ski - easily skied on by someone your size.

Also FWIW I only out weigh you by about 20lbs, so my reactions to these skis will likely be very similar to yours.

Later

Greg
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks Greg... You convinced me... Last thing... How Elan SLX Waveflex 2008-2009 compares to the same model of the season 2007-2008 (it's cheaper) and to regular Head Supershape?
post #13 of 22
OK, I've gotta disagree with two of our resident experts here. The OP is a self-labeled intermediate, she's clearly not experienced with higher end skis, she liked a mid range Atomic, she keeps expressing concerns about thigh burn or having to turn too much, and you guys keep putting her on serious slalom carvers. It sounds more like your ideology talking here than your concern for really listening to a poster and guiding that person in a direction that'll make them enjoy skiing.

Andrea85, suggest you PM SierraJim or PTex or Whiteroom or Dawgcatching, all highly respected, all have a lot of experience fitting folks to skis, and ask their advice. I'd be surprised if they recommend SLX's or Progressor 9's or such, but hey, I've been wrong before.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you beyond... Only a thing: I'm a man!!
post #15 of 22
Uhh, and I have a red face. Sorry, the hook and all. Anyway, mostly still applies, though obviously you can exert more force with legs than woman of your size. So for me, gender change makes the 160 Supershape a tie with the 165 RX8, and if there are last year's Elan Speedwaves around (check with Dawgcatching), the 12's would work really well too. Also last year's Contact LTD/this year's 10 in 165 is a really nice 70/30 ski that will carve ice, but handle more varied terrain than any of the above, especially nice in bumps and tight places. A bit softer than the others, but for lighter skiers affects the feel more than the performance except at major speed. (I owned it two years ago in 172, weigh 162-165) Still don't see the racing carvers as a reasonable first choice.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm afraid that with elan speedwave I can't ski short radius turns effortlessly... Is for that reason I've been looking for a slalom carver like the elan slx! Am I right?
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
OK, I've gotta disagree with two of our resident experts here. The OP is a self-labeled intermediate, she's clearly not experienced with higher end skis, she liked a mid range Atomic, she keeps expressing concerns about thigh burn or having to turn too much, and you guys keep putting her on serious slalom carvers. It sounds more like your ideology talking here than your concern for really listening to a poster and guiding that person in a direction that'll make them enjoy skiing.

Andrea85, suggest you PM SierraJim or PTex or Whiteroom or Dawgcatching, all highly respected, all have a lot of experience fitting folks to skis, and ask their advice. I'd be surprised if they recommend SLX's or Progressor 9's or such, but hey, I've been wrong before.
I agree - check especially with Dawgcatching, who weighs in around 150 iirc. Big fan of some of the Elans as having more top than the rx8 but not too stiff. I bought my speedwave 12s to give more performance than the fischers, but the fischers give me more smiles. i usually hit my speed limit before they do... plus if you really really wanna go fast, get a gs ski..
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
OK, I've gotta disagree with two of our resident experts here.
You're certainly entitled to your opinion but I do actually have experience not only skiing on these skis, but also teaching skiers of this person's same level on the skis we are talking about. They aren't aggressive skis at all. In fact they are effortless to ski and learn on - but they still offer a very capable top end combined with the characteristics like snow feel, and edgehold that those company's race skis have.

I pretty regularly ski a 168 Speedwave 14 and they are a REALLY soft ski. I can't imagine why anyone would want to ski a lower level ski from that line of skis - especially someone who has already tried a slalom carver and is looking for that kind of a ski. Putting that person on a less capable ski is only going to disappoint them because their expectations are that they are getting a somewhat energetic short-turning ski that has good edgehold...

Disagree all you guys want, but my advice is formulated on experience with these skis and how intermediate level skiers handle them from a technical point of view. They work extremely well and end up encouraging better skiing. Uncapable, low level skis foster more of the same low level skiing becuase they are not confidence inspiring.

Later

Greg
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
HeluvaSkier, you say "All-Mountain: A common descriptive term for boots or skis that are designed to perform equally poorly under a variety of conditions and over many different types of terrain." Why? Do you cosider the Supershape magnum an all mountain ski?
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea85 View Post
HeluvaSkier, you say "All-Mountain: A common descriptive term for boots or skis that are designed to perform equally poorly under a variety of conditions and over many different types of terrain." Why? Do you cosider the Supershape magnum an all mountain ski?
Skis designed to handle everything are usually good at nothing. Skis designed for a specific purpose are good at that specific purpose.

The Supershape Magnum skis like a soft slalom race ski with an identity crisis. It was however built for high energy short radius turns on groomers - which it does impressively well for not being a race ski. It isn't a slalom race ski though. It is longer (I ski it in a 170), softer, and wider than a conventional slalom ski. As a result it makes slightly larger turns, with less snap, less quickness, and less edgehold than a slalom race ski... so if your interest is a high performance slalom turn on racecourse-like snow, the Magnum won't get you there.

So - to answer your question more directly the Supershape Magnum is more specialized than most all mountain skis. When I think of all mountain I think of skis like the Volkl AC40 (anything with a 75mm to 89mm waist) with a sidecut somewhere between an SL and a GS ski that is too soft to carve good turns on, too wide to hold an edge, and too tight of a turn radius to ski fast GS to SG type turns on... and can't ski tighter carved turns because it doesn't have the balls to hold onto a turn with that much force in it.

Later

Greg
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Greg... Ok, the magnum is not a slalom race ski... And what about the regular supershape as for fast tight slalom turns on groomers? What about its edgehold?
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea85 View Post
Greg... Ok, the magnum is not a slalom race ski... And what about the regular supershape as for fast tight slalom turns on groomers? What about its edgehold?
The regular supershape is one of these that I haven't skied yet. According to all who have tried it - they are quite a bit softer than the Magnum and generally easier to ski. For recreational skiing edgehold shouldn't be a problem with any of the skis we have talked about so far (as long as you keep them tuned up).
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