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Advice on new skis - will I notice a difference?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm a relative newbie on the slopes having just picked up skiing last season after about 13 since first skiing (and at that time only a few days).  I've progressed nicely in my 20 or so days up, confidently skiing most blue runs if they aren't too icey, and now think it might be a good time for new skis.  I'm about 6'0 and 200 lbs.


I purchased some very inexpensive skis and boots last season preferring that to having to always rent.  I've already replaced my boots for something better fitting (Nordica Sportmachine 12) and am considering new skis too.


I am on a pair of Rossi Axium STX skis 162cm length.  Would I benefit from moving up to a better ski that can grow with me as I continue to improve or are these good enough for now?  I have my eye on an `08 Nordica Hot Rod Overdrive that seems to be a good all mountain intermediate ski, and there are a few other comparible models I'm considering as well.  But will I notice a difference?  Will it help or hinder at this stage?  It's a small investment but I only want to make it if it makes sense and will help me progress and improve.  Any advice is greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 6

I think you will benefit from longer skis.  162cm is very small for someone of your size who has moved past the beginner stage.  You can probably get into the 170-175cm range at least, which will offer some room for your skills to grow into.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 


I have considered moving to a longer ski, say in the 166-168 range if not 170.  I feel comfortable on the 162's right now and don't really know what to expect from moving up in legnth.  As with the decision to upgrade at all this is a consideration, i.e. what can I expect if I do move up in length?  I chose the shorter length in (between either 162 or 170) when I got these for a couple reasons, the general trending to shorter skis being one, helping keep speed in check another.


The other thing I'm trying to understand is radius waist width and how they will effect my skiing (and development).  My current skis are 112-69-95 R16 while the Hot Rods are 119-74-104 R14.  I've read that a wider waist can make carving more difficult, which may not be a good thing for me right now but that this is actually a better all around ski for the conditions we encounter in the PNW (I ski mainly Whistler and Crystal near Seattle).

post #4 of 6

It's true, wider skis take more effort to put on edge, but it's not a real big deal in my opinion -- you will adjust quickly (some of my most enjoyable skis are 94mm in the waist).  Where wide skis can be a major benefit is in variable / ungroomed snow.  I just moved my wife from 67mm waist to 74mm waist skis, and she immediately remarked that they were a whole lot easier to ski in soft snow (and this from a girl who could care less about ski tech talk).  She didn't seem to notice any issues edging/carving, despite 7mm more in the waist.  My own experience suggests anything less than 10mm difference is easy to adjust to. 


Shorter skis are generally easier to turn, all else equal.  Longer skis will be more stable and offer better fore/aft control (which can be beneficial if you're not perfectly centered over your skis, and very beneficial in powder and crud).


Shorter radius skis are more turny, obviously, but can be hooky or nervous in variable snow.  Longer radius skis tend to be more stable in a straight line and have better behavior in variable snow.


If you only ski groomed snow, you can focus on short carver skis with a narrow waist, and optimize your ski choice.  If you want more versatility, consider going longer and wider.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback.  I am looking at the same ski, Hot Rod Overdrive, in either a 162 or 170 length.  The 162 will give me the same length I currently have but with a wider waist (74 vs 69) and smaller radius (14 vs. 16), which I think might be helpful as it should be more responsive but perhaps a bit twitchy.  The 170 will give me the same radius I currently have at 162 and improved fore/aft balance as you mention but I wonder if I'll notice much difference in general given it's the same radius.


I'm not sure which is the better ski for me right now - and to grow into.  I'm a fairly tame skier still sticking to the blue runs and struggling on hard pack/ice in steeper sections.  I'm speed averse preferring to stay in control as opposed to fly down the hill, to gain confidence through better control and also to protect a 40+ year old body and previously blown MCL...

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm also considering these skis - all 2008 models so I cannot demo and inventory is limited and being cleared out (these are all in the $250 - $320 range), any information relative to these as potential skis for me is greatly appreciated.


As mentioned, leading candidate is the Nordica Hot Rod Overdrive 162, or 170


All in 163 - 170 range for length

Fischer Red Heat

Fischer White Heat

Head Xenon Xi 7.0

Head Xenon Xi 5.0

Elan Magfire 8

Elan Magfire 10

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