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Newly Minted Ski Instructor Seeking Ski Advice

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Just got hired as a part-time instructor at Catamount and am in need of new skis. I am 48 years old, been skiing since age three, was on Jr Ski Patrol and raced when I was in high school, am in good shape, weigh 190 lbs and am 5' 10".   At this point I'm looking for a one ski solution and one that I will also enjoy when I go out west for my own personal skiing.  I demo-ed several skis over the past few seasons and am heavily leaning towards Volkl AC50s and was thinking of 170 rather than 177 because of the teaching.    Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

Jonathan
post #2 of 17
AC50 is a great choice (especially if you like Volkl) if you're going to teach, ski and head out west with one pair of skis.  As for length, at your height and weight, the 170 might be better for teaching but you'll probably have more fun on the 177's when you're not.  Don't think you can loose either way. 
post #3 of 17
 I don't quite agree with the advice. I am 43/6'2"/195. I find the AC50 very fun and tuff for all out skiing on hard stuff, but for teaching and more moderate speeds I would prefer something like the AC30 or similar skis. I guess it all depends on how much teaching you are going to do and at what level. I think the AC50's would get me over the long run and are not that easy to handle at the lower speed you typically deal with when teaching. 
post #4 of 17
I agree with vtspeed. AC50's are overkill for a beginning instructor ski. AC30's are a good ski choice for more higher end groups but what would be a good buy would be a shorter, less demanding ski. I bought a pair of 161  Volkl 5 Stars for a hundred bucks w/bindings at a ski swap  to teach kids with. They are very maneuverable, light and can be skied hard when necessary .
I'd buy some AC50's for playing and clinics but get something less expensive for all the demands and intrusions all over those skis you find common place in teaching young people. A good intermediate ski  would serve you well enough
post #5 of 17
AC50 would be ridiculous overkill for teaching at Catamount - (relatively) wide and stiff is not going to be pleasent to be spending the day on on a typically icy hill that doesn't have a lot of vertical. Might as well really impress the students and bring some XXL's.

AC30 would be better for sure but not out west,  (the AC50 isn't what I'd take west anyway either), but as GarryZ says, something softer would be a much better choice.
post #6 of 17
I agree with all your counter opinions but he did ask for a ski that was a one ski quiver.  But if he is spending more time teaching the AC30 would be a better choice. 
post #7 of 17
Time for a little realism here. Stiff skis in general and the AC-50 in particular would be a poor choice for most of your intended usage. You may be a L-9 skier (doubt it but heck you might be) but you will still be teaching kidz and L-4-5 for your first year or two. A stiff ski is miserable for that application and also for L-I and L-II exams. Further, a stiff ski and the AC-50 in particular is a poor choice for a western ski unless you want something that excels on hardpack but comes downright close to sucky in bumps and soft snow.

I passed my L-III in the early 80's (yeah, yeah) but have not taught actively since 1992. If I were going back to teaching skiing as a profession........ I would not choose a ski like the AC-50. Rather I would choose a ski of similar width but that is softer in flex and torsion such as a Dynastar Sultan 85, Nordica HR Pro Burner, Rossi Avenger 82 CA, or Nordica Nitrous CA.

Any of those skis are enough for even the gnarliest dudes 90% of the time and will make your life and progress as an instructor easier.

SJ
post #8 of 17
SierraJim; this is the problem with skiers wanting one ski that does everything.  Really, I think you would agree the best advise is get an older pair of soft skis for teaching and a second pair when you are not. 
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob4snow View Post

SierraJim; this is the problem with skiers wanting one ski that does everything.  Really, I think you would agree the best advise is get an older pair of soft skis for teaching and a second pair when you are not. 

Absolutely, more skis are better. But as you pointed out 3 minutes ago, the OP axed for an OSQ. A medium ski works best for this situation and in fact for 90% of his skiing applications.

Egos put aside, medium skis work best for the vast majority of good skiers, the vast majority of the time. Particularly when they can have (or want) only one pair.

SJ
post #10 of 17
Get a set of good twin-tips in the 80-90mm range.  Skiing backwards is a big part of youngling ski instruction (yes, of course you can ski backwards on any ski, but you'll do it better on twins!)..'sides, twins are fun when drifting as well as carving and at the proposed width you'd be set at home or out west.  I'd try to keep the turn radius under 19 (or less) and not too much metal. 

If you've skied the Volkl's and liked them-than that's probably good enough to buy 'em-I wouldn't be scared off by the 'too much ski' argument'.   As a life-long skier with a high-school racing background, I'm sure you know what your about.  FWIW, I work at a similar mountain to Catamount-I know few instructors who teach on Rossi CX80's-a pretty stiffn and expert ski-but they love it and teaching on the same sort of ski they like skiing.  and why not??
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob4snow View Post

I agree with all your counter opinions but he did ask for a ski that was a one ski quiver.  But if he is spending more time teaching the AC30 would be a better choice. 
You constantly and consistently mention the AC30/40/50 when people ask about a ski for the west. They are lousy soft snow skis, and would be about the last things for someone who wants something for UT or CO.

Any of those skis would be dreadful for a one-ski quiver - mainly useful for eastern ice or hardpack, but marginal (at best) for what would typically be expected in the west.
post #12 of 17
FWIW, I looked at and rejected the AC50 for patrolling at a hill very similar to Catamount, and not too far from there.  Too much work for a daily driver, and not too great a choice for the once or twice a year trips west. 

I like the idea of a softer ski for a first year teaching ski and relatively short as well. 

in my opinion, you can't do a OSQ when one of the goals is low end teaching and another is higher level free skiing and clinic-ing.
post #13 of 17
 I would choose either a softer 160-170 carver or a 170-175 twin tip that has decent edge hold. Both are great for what you need and both have plus and mins. 

When I skied on the AC50 I couldnt help but think what is the point?
post #14 of 17
Buy whatever you want to ski on when you aren't working. 

Buy a short piece-of-chit soft carver for working.  If you're new, your going to spend most of your work day ferrying kids back and forth to the bathroom.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j View Post

FWIW, I looked at and rejected the AC50 for patrolling at a hill very similar to Catamount, and not too far from there.  Too much work for a daily driver, and not too great a choice for the once or twice a year trips west. 

I like the idea of a softer ski for a first year teaching ski and relatively short as well. 

in my opinion, you can't do a OSQ when one of the goals is low end teaching and another is higher level free skiing and clinic-ing.

 


I have to agree with this. It's just about impossible to find one ski that is going to excell at both. Most of the high level coaches I know of would prefer to teach and have their students learn on a narrower waisted ski. Also, you didn't mention what kind of terrain you prefer to ski when you go out West. I just got back from a trip to Colorado. I brought my Elan Magfire 82's, which are a good compromse if you can only bring one pair. Skied a combination of groomers, fresh snow, and some back country. But the trouble with that is that they are just that, a compromse. In really deep bottomless snow, you are going to want something wider, on hardpack and groomers, I was wishing for something a little narrower. I think a ski like the Dynastar Contact 4x4 in a 172 or something similar would be an excellent choice for you, although I own a pair of those, so I am partial to them. I have been told that they make an excellent choice as a teaching ski, while still giving you some decent off piste capability. I was originally turned on to them by Peter Keelty of realskiers.com, who told me that he taught on them for 75+ days last year in Utah. They would make a great choice as an all around East or West resort ski. Of course, if you plan on doing some hardcore backcountry skiing, then it is probably time to think about getting a second pair. Or just renting a fat pair for all the too infrequent days that you really need a powder specific ski.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks everybody for all your input.  I have definitely given up the idea of a "one quiver ski".  My plan is to get an inexpensive pair of short intermediate skis possibly twin tipped for teaching and then later in the season, pick up a pair of skis for my personal skiing.  This past weekend the director of the ski school lent me his Rossi Roc X 130cms and they were well suited for the purpose, though not twin, tipped, which I can already see could be an advantage.  I'm waiting to get a price from him on those (he's a Rossi rep as well), but it seems that there are so many great deals on-line, even without a pro discount, that I might just order something on my own.  Thanks again for everybody's input.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan E. Schwartz View Post

Thanks everybody for all your input.  I have definitely given up the idea of a "one quiver ski".  My plan is to get an inexpensive pair of short intermediate skis possibly twin tipped for teaching and then later in the season, pick up a pair of skis for my personal skiing.  This past weekend the director of the ski school lent me his Rossi Roc X 130cms and they were well suited for the purpose, though not twin, tipped, which I can already see could be an advantage.  I'm waiting to get a price from him on those (he's a Rossi rep as well), but it seems that there are so many great deals on-line, even without a pro discount, that I might just order something on my own.  Thanks again for everybody's input.
K2 Extreme would be a good ski for your plans, and you can get them cheap, either new or slightly used (when it was the Public Enemy).

For the west, if you're not going to do that many days, then renting would probably be a good option, or if you want to buy, then that's a whole 'nother thread (but deep six the AC50 idea anyway )- see the recent "Volkl" thread for some good input from some other the people that know best here..
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