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Sl or GS skis?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I want to get into racing and would be doing Sl and GS races but can only afford one pair of skis. I think I would be doing about half and half with maybe a little more emphasis on SL. Which tyoe of ski would I be better off getting. My inclination is an SL ski since you can make a shorter radius ski turn longer but not a longer radius turn shorter.
post #2 of 17

SL...

...for the reasons you stated...
post #3 of 17
However ....

You don't say who you are and what kind of racing you will be doing.

There are also some "cheater" and cross skis out there that may be better .... like the Stockli SC for one.

How much you weigh would factor too.
post #4 of 17
I was in your shoes (boots) three years ago.

Your profile states you ski in central Colorado. If you are going to race Rocky Mountain Masters, then you will need skis made for the event you are entering. The SL courses are too technical to do on anything other than a true SL ski, and the GS courses are big and fast, and require a true GS ski.

So you will need two pair. What you can afford has nothing to do with it. When I started, I tried to get by with one all-purpose cheater pair. I would be happy to sell them to you, because I quickly ended up buying the two pair of real race skis I should have bought in the first place. That's not saving money, that's wasting money.

As a beginner racer, buy used gear or new gear from two seasons ago. You dont want to drop $750 on a pair of race skis and bindings (on sale) and then decide you like a different brand better. Check with the race program at your local hill. There is likely someone looking to sell some barely used race skis at a good price. It is better to buy gear you can inspect beforehand, but I have had some good luck buying off the discussin forum here and from ebay (and some bad luck, but they were so cheap I didnt mind that much).

And remember, when you buy any gear that has a safety function (helmets, shin guards, pole guards, back protectors, padded suits, chin guards, padded gloves, new bindings, the new skis to mount the new bindings on), that money comes from your health and safety budget, not from your recreation budget.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
I go to the Air Force Academy and we have a small competitive team. I am not good enough to make the team out right but I was 11th and they took 7 and 8 as alternates. That was with me trying to do GS on a pair of 92mm waisted High Society FRs and a pair of rented skis for the slalom. I think that if I train this season and get a pair of proper skis I could make it as alternate next season. I am 5'10 and 145 lbs
post #6 of 17
Get SL skis if you can really only get one pair.

But you if you make a list of GS skis that would work for you, and commit yourself to checking regularly, you can probably find some great skis for almost nothing.

Rick

PS Not sure it applies with today's skis, but in another era, Ingemar Stenmark, who won more races than any other ski racer ever, raced both SL and GS on his SL skis.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post
I go to the Air Force Academy and we have a small competitive team. I am not good enough to make the team out right but I was 11th and they took 7 and 8 as alternates. That was with me trying to do GS on a pair of 92mm waisted High Society FRs and a pair of rented skis for the slalom. I think that if I train this season and get a pair of proper skis I could make it as alternate next season. I am 5'10 and 145 lbs
That means you would be racing USCSA, in which case you must meet the equipment rules. That means you have to have two sets of real race skis - you would not be allowed to use slalom skis in the GS. Be sure to talk to your coach before you buy anything, to make sure the skis and bindings are legal.
post #8 of 17

What he said...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richr View Post
That means you would be racing USCSA, in which case you must meet the equipment rules. That means you have to have two sets of real race skis - you would not be allowed to use slalom skis in the GS. Be sure to talk to your coach before you buy anything, to make sure the skis and bindings are legal.
...as a taxpayer, I really can't believe that the Air Academy can't find some way to find you two pairs of decent skis. Where do you train? You really ought to come up to Eldora some weekend and train with us...we'll fix you right up, we have plenty of Xtra stuff to get you geared up...send me a PM if you're interested...
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
well I didn't make the team this year, I am just trying to improve my chances for next year. I wouldn't worry about the government spending your money they claim to spend over $400,000 per cadet in 4 years. Not sure how they manage that but that's what they claim
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post
they claim to spend over $400,000 per cadet in 4 years.
Lots of milspec chalk, maybe?

Plus, don't you fly planes? At least a little? Them things is expensive, not only to buy but to maintain and periodically fill with large quantities of fuel.

On the original question:
- If I had to use one pair of skis, I'd probably use a long (up to, say, 170) slalom race carver, or possible a short (around, say, 170) GS race carver "cheater" ski. The first would be okay in a slalom, but would come in under you too much and slip in a GS unless you carried your weight too far back; the second would be okay in a GS and a thrash in a slalom.
- I really really would not want to have to use one pair of skis.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post
Lots of milspec chalk, maybe?

Plus, don't you fly planes? At least a little? Them things is expensive, not only to buy but to maintain and periodically fill with large quantities of fuel.
We only have gliders and twin otters, which are used for skydiving at the academy. they send us out to other bases over the summer our sophomore summer. We never turnout the light though so maybe thats it...

I am thinking that maybe I'll just have to buy one for now train on that and than maybe if I make the team next year I can spring for the second pair.
post #12 of 17

Slalom

I wrote an article on this topic for TopiaRoad.com a while back.

The only difference today is that I'm on the Waveflex version of the same Elan SLX slalom ski.
post #13 of 17
I have a friend who used to race for the Academy, about 10 years ago. Very talented racer. At that time is was a club sport, and got little or no financial support from the school. I doubt that's changed.

Hit eBay, Craigslist, current team racers (collegiate and club), and ski swaps for good deals on used and new race skis. They can go cheap in the spring.

Be careful of skiing exclusively on skis with a lot of sidecut. Very easy to get lazy and ride the sidecut.

Get a softer race stock or FIS/USSA-legal consumer ski for your first GS ski. If you can't bend it, you will end up in the alders. Ask me how I know. Elan makes a pretty forgiving GS, but there are certainly others out there that would work.
post #14 of 17

Cheater GS ski. Something like a Head SS Speed or WC Speed. True race construction with a radius in between SL and FIS-GS.

Than again, I don't know how much you have in mind to spend.....because you can have true race stock skis for relatively little money that are a few seasons old and are just as good as new skis....those race skis don't change much in technology, with exception to the new radius'. Case in point I bought one season old, new race stock SL skis with FF-18 bindings, MSRP $1800, to my door for $350...that doesn't even cover the MSRP for the bindings!


Edited by Richie-Rich - 2/14/2009 at 06:52 am
post #15 of 17
Before you buy anything, talk to a coach about equipment regulations and suggestions (based on an evaluation of your skiing). It will save you a lot of money in the long run.
post #16 of 17

Ok, here's what you do:  pick a current or last year's ski that you are interested in and decide on size.  Type in google the ski name, size and "craigslist".  I went with atomic sl 12  165.   check thru the listings, no matter where they are.  I found last years ski, used 4 times, with bindings for $175.  The package retailed at over $1200.  Send an email and ask if they will ship if you pay the cost.  It cost me about $40 buck.

 

So, for $215, I got almost new sl skis.  Do the same for gs, and you could get 2 almost new pairs of skis for less than half the price of 1 new pair.....

 

Good luck!!

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richr View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post
I go to the Air Force Academy and we have a small competitive team. I am not good enough to make the team out right but I was 11th and they took 7 and 8 as alternates. That was with me trying to do GS on a pair of 92mm waisted High Society FRs and a pair of rented skis for the slalom. I think that if I train this season and get a pair of proper skis I could make it as alternate next season. I am 5'10 and 145 lbs
That means you would be racing USCSA, in which case you must meet the equipment rules. That means you have to have two sets of real race skis - you would not be allowed to use slalom skis in the GS. Be sure to talk to your coach before you buy anything, to make sure the skis and bindings are legal.

 

USCSA events don't necessarily enforce FIS rules, below the regional or higher level. do check first though.

 

As a racer who presently only has slalom skis, definately get slalom.  Its very possible to do a GS on sl's, but impossible the other way around.  Also at least in our league (ACSC), a lot of GS's are a little tigher and turnier than they should be.  (Depends on what mountains you race at, though)

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