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Lower Intermediate Equipment/Technique Question

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello. First post but I've been browsing for about a year now...so much great info.

This is really my second year skiing. Got out around 10 days last year and progressed from pie wedges to parallel skidded turns to the occasional semi-acceptable carved turn in good conditions. However, in the northeast here, skiing tends to be mainly on groomed runs with a decent amount of ice and sections otherwise cleared of snow by the large amount of traffic and, of course, boarders. Right now working on carving a greater percentage of time (edging drills as part of this), "mastering" blue runs, being overall less stiff, and getting more comfortable on ice.

My question: are my skis remotely appropriate for these conditions/my level of skiing. I'm on Salomon Scrambler Customs, 165cm, which are no-doubt in need of a tune at the very least.

Some more vital info:

5'11, 150lb
Athletic. Mountain biking is my main sport.
Ski blues primarily with pretty good confidence. Ice causes confidence to disappear.
Like making long, faster speed turns. I'm a racer at-heart.
Boots are Tecnica Mega 10 and fit well (any smaller and my toes would be uncomfortably jammed)

Taking a week-long ski trip to Vermont at the end of January, so I'd like to get any equipment issues resolved so that I can focus on progressing my skiing under better conditions (than New Jersey) and having fun!

Thanks for the help!
post #2 of 6
Your scramblers are holding you back.

You need a ski with good torsional rigidity to carve well on ice or even hard packed snow.  Take your ski in one hand at the midsection, and near the tip with the other hand.  Being careful not to cut yourself, twist the ski.  When your try to put your ski on edge and the metal bites into the snow, the ski just twists and lets go.  Not good.  Those scramblers have a low speed limit too.

In my opinion, you should get some higher-end skis.  They don't necessarily need to be stiff longitudinally, but they should resist twisting.  Fischer RX8 or Progressors, Head Supershape, Fischer WC, etc.  Something one step down from a race ski.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply. I guess I was primarily under the impression that, as a relative newcomer, I wouldn't really be able to utilize a stiffer ski because I'm not skiing as aggressively as a better skier. But torsional rigidity and longitudinal rigidity are two different things. Hadn't entirely thought through what their specific effects were other than "stiffer is going to require more energy to get it to work". Interesting.
post #4 of 6
Many folk hold that a ski designed to hold a carving edge against significant turning forces is too "unforgiving" for new skiers.  If a new skier makes a bad move and catches an edge, it puts them on their rear instead of letting them go.   A longitudinally stiff ski requires the forces of a higher speed or a little creative dynamic movements to get it to bend.  You need a certain amount of longitudinal stiffness, but you don't need race-ski stiff.  You should be able to get and  handle a goodly amount of rotational stiffness without getting into too-stiff a ski, and there is no way a beginner ski will grip on ice and hardpack to let you make good carved turns on that surface.

EDIT: You might find this interesting.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for the help.

That is VERY interesting. I think the person in the first post there is probably a bit more advanced than I, but that description definitely sounds generally like what I'm experiencing.

Just browsing now through some of the manufacturer webpages and reviews and it sounds like the Fischer Progressors are right up my alley. I would probably stick with the 165 length and go for either the 7 or 8. This seem like a sound move?
post #6 of 6
Before buying, I would spend 20 bucks to subscribe to realskiers. com.   Then just make a short-list of all the skis that score a 5 in carving and meet your needs re speed, carving radius, etc.  Next keep your eyes out for a left-over bargain that's on your short list.

At 150 lbs, RX8, Progressor 8, or Supershape in about 160 shoud do for shorter radius skis on hardpack or moguls, a little longer for longer radius skis in more interesting snow. 

Here's an example of the reviews (the example is at the bottom and is another good choice)  http://www.realskiers.com/ski_reviews_head.htm
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