EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Light/nimble women's ski recs
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Light/nimble women's ski recs

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
So my wife typically rents boots&skis, and up until recently had no inclination to purchase either ... she just hasn't enjoyed skiing enough.  Than she took a class, which helped her confidence markedly, followed by a class with a private instructor (my idea, one of my few gooduns ;) and felt better still ... so much so that she actually enjoyed a full day of skiing, which is a first!

I talked her into buying a pair of boots, hoping to convince her into a boot-fitting at a local store this weekend or next; however, she doesn't have a lot of patience for this sort of thing (sigh) ... I'm pushing it, though, because I suspect skiing on new gear that's fitted for her will improve her skiing (and enjoyment of it) that much more.

Given that she'll barely agree to a boot fitting and is rather concerned with cost, I've been keeping an eye open to see if I can find some decent skis online for her (very much doubt she'd have the patience to demo skis!), say last year's model or such, on discount.

But as I don't know much about "women's skis," thought I'd see if I can get some recommendations on what might be good skis for her?

She's an intermediate skier, 5'6", ~130lbs.  If I had to pick a word for her style, I'd say cautious ... she likes it slow, easy and always in control.  I'm thinking an on-piste ski, something light and nimble, would suit her well, in the 156-160 range.

I'd come across a pair of cheap, new 160 K2 T9 "one luv" skis that looked ideal ... but I'd read some feedback of this as a relatively heavy ski?  Similar options from K2 appear to be the "sweet luv" and "true luv" models (really, K2? these are the names yer going with??), but I don't really know much about either yet.

The other option is, passing down my own skis to her, so that I get to upgrade ;)  I have a pair of 2008 Dynastar D'Stinct 166 skis that I've only used 4-5 times.  I suspect, though, that the 166s may be too long for her ... I'm thinking that the 158-160 range would be a better, more nimble size ski for her.

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!
post #2 of 18
I just found my girlfriend a pair of K2 Sweet Luv's (brand new with unmounted bindings) for a great price on ebay.   She is very athletic but a newbie and I would describe her level as "cautious" as well.  I have skied with her a few times and she is really eager to improve which I think is difficult without owning your own stuff.

I did some research and the Sweet Luvs seem to be a nice forgiving beginner ski.  She is 5'7" 120 and I suggested she bought them in a 156.  I think your 166 hand me downs would be way too long. 

My girlfriend hasn't been on the skis yet so I can't offer an opinion but personal equipment > rental equipment any day of the week and twice on Sunday.  The Free Luv, Sweet Luv, and True Luv all seem like decent options.
post #3 of 18
 The one luv is a nimble ski for her and though I feel great when I demo the 160(I'm the same stats as your GF) I am not sure if she'll be happy on that length at her ability.
My gut says she will be but I am smart enough to know that some women like to go a bit shorter.

The One Luv may be a little heavy because of the system binding, but that does not translate to performance in a bad way.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback on the one luv ... interestingly, the one I found, well actually I found two T9 One Luvs - a 160cm 2008 model and a 156 2009 model - both are flats, neither has a system binding.

Is it safe to figure, then, that the one luv with a standard (non-system) binding will probably weigh much less than the system binding version?
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
After doing some more searching & research, I figure it's down to the 156 K2 True Luvs w/system bindings vs. the 155 Fischer Vision Vapor w/Dynastar NX Lifter Bindings.  I'm leaning towards the latter - it's a few bucks more, but reviews read very good on it, and it appears to be a ski that she can feel comfortable on, yet continue to grow into.

Appreciate any other thoughts on the matter, thanks!!
post #6 of 18
 I hate to throw cold water on you but have you considered having her demo?

Those three skis are all good but they all have completely different feels.
Of those three, the Dynastar has some significant lift in the heel of the system binding that may either wow her or make her feel uncomfortable.
I have not been on the fischer so I'm not familiar with its properties, but I have heard great things about it.

If she's not going to demo, you could probably pick one of those three randomly and hope for the best, 

Edit: I see that I misread the Dynastar is a binding on the Fischer, not the Dynastar ski.  
The Dynastar ski/binding combination is where the significant lifter is noticed.
Edited by Trekchick - 2/10/10 at 4:36am
post #7 of 18
 the interesting thing about someone who prefers 'on pistes, slower more cautious speeds" is that if you continue to buy uninspiring skis like the the narrow K2 series they will most likely be stuck in that rut. I demo and try out all sorts of skis even womens and encourage alot of my students to do the same. The k2 skis are fine for alot of people, K2 sells a ton of them thats for sure but they dont promote progression IMO.

I have a repeating client this year whos personal skis were 153cm K2 burnin luvs and yesterday I got her on some 156cm Volkl Ac30s from the demo center. the step up in stiffness and waist width helped her out quite a bit everywhere on the mountian. Suddenly all the work we ve been doing since December started to come alive. Steeper bump runs with icey patched were easier and she felt much more confinident. 

Basically what i am saying is demo some skis, most timid people men or women are timid because of their equipment. I have no direct recommendations for your wife to try, I am just saying the timidness might be from crappy rentals, which offer no confindence at all. I challenge any of the 'experts" on here to go try some rental gear. I am quite afraid of black diamonds with ice on it when I tried some rental skis here at stowe. Basically rental gear are beginner skis for the masses and nothing more. Buying a ski a couple steps above rental skis might be a great way first ski but if you can make the leap to something slightly beefy maybe her skiing will change.
post #8 of 18
If I read the OP correctly she needs a ski that inspires confidence as she grows in her skiing.  The two skis listed both do that for a lot of women and would suit her very well.  
Some may call the K2 uninspiring, but I know a lot of people who've been inspired, not the least of which is our very own Nolo, not to mention Ursula.  Those are some incredible women skiers! 
post #9 of 18
Originally Posted by netarc View Post

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!

 Yes, start backing off. You have met with a lot of resistance so far and my suggestion would be to lighten up and start meeting your wife at her needs and not yours. I see that you love the sport and you want her too also. But if you keep pushing, she will turn away. I assume that this is something that you want to share with her for the rest of your life, so you have the rest of your life to grow with her. 

K2 makes some of the easiest skiing woman's skis out there, granted they might not be the most "core" or aggressive skis but she doesn't need (or really WANT) that at this point or she might not at any point. It sounds like she is skiing not for herself but to be with you. Help her find the love of skiing for herself. I have 25 years into getting my wife to love the sport, she will never venture "off piste", sure I would love to have a mate that loves to ski with me, but when she skis, I will ski with her, but she won't ski with me. It is not a "rut" for her to ski groomers but a choice and there is nothing wrong with her choice. 

Note: If a K2 Luv or Apache ski is listed as a 153/160/167/174, it is older and you have to "add 3cm" to compare it to a model of the current generation. A 153=156, 160=163 ect. 
post #10 of 18
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

 I hate to throw cold water on you but have you considered having her demo?

If she's not going to demo, you could probably pick one of those three randomly and hope for the best, 


Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

Basically what i am saying is demo some skis,


Seriously, if you can get her to demo, she will likely find something that gives her a big fat grin.  
post #11 of 18
You're not married to a ski, but you are to your wife. As a woman who's skied K2s since the 710 FO my advice is:

1. Don't pass down your old skis, they're too long.
2. Go for either K2s--last year's One Luvs will be somewhat shorter than the 2-year old True Luvs; either ski is pretty lightweight, though as TC points out, the integrated binding is heavier than a binding without rails.
3. Some people think a wider waisted ski is preferable to a narrower waisted ski, but I believe it has more to do with where your wife wants to ski. If on piste is her thing, you might consider that the narrower waisted ski is designed to be skied on hardpack, because the edge is closer to her foot and responds quicker than a wider waisted ski, which allows us to call it "nimble."
4. If someone tells you one brand of ski is better than another, or that all the skis in a brand line are this or that, is just their bias talking. There are no bad skis, only skis that are inappropriate for the particular job you may be asking them to do: e.g., racing on a powder ski or skiing powder on a race ski. If your wife wants to ski the groomed, get her a frontside groomer ski and your marriage will thrive on the slopes and off.
post #12 of 18

Cautious is her style.  160 is too long as is your used equipment.  You need equipment she feels she can controll.  150 - 155 would be my suggestion.  Lots of good advice already here.
post #13 of 18
 PhilPug is right here--as a "wife" who loves to ski for itself, and am lucky enough to have a husband who also loves to ski for himself, we both are that perfect match who love challenging each other over the WHOLE mountain.  Sometimes I'm the one who is the head challenger; sometimes he is.  It works. Very. Well.  

But IMO it appears that PhilPug's experience for 25 years is more common: either one or the other mate takes up a sport or hobby to be with the other one, to support the other's interests, to be a companion, etc.  Problem is that with something like skiing, all kinds of temperments affect your desires/abilities, etc.  So when PP says "don't push"--he's right. Absolutely.  

Re skis: I'll let others take the lead with some good beginner skis to consider.  Fischers Vision series are wonderful skis--many women love them and find them stable as well.  But I suspect they will be more expensive than the K2s (which so flood the market that undoubtedly you can pick up some inexpensively).  She probably will gain confidence but, more importantly, begin to feel what she "likes" in terms of ski shape, etc, and that will make your (clearly) future purchases easier to limit.

Good luck--and let us know what you/she decide on and how it goes!!
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
re: the DEMO idea - yep, I'd love to have her demo, but I know her ... she's not got the patience to deal with that sort of thing, she wants a ski that will make her feel foremost make her feel comfortable & in-control, and secondly improve her skills.

re: backing off - yep, I figured that out a couple of months back when we had an ... episode ;)  But after she did the class + private lesson, she felt much better about skiing and surprised me greatly by skiing a whole day and saying she actually enjoyed it; so much so that she responded positively when I suggested I see if I can find her some decent, cheap boots and even agreed to a _short_ boot fitting to determine her boot size range (bigger win than it sounds like ;)

Last night, after I told her I scored her a pair of HEAD boots (on the cheaps at Tramdock, figured we'd take a chance with size), she surprised me when she asked whether I found skis for her ... so that's good, eh? :)

But to clarify - I'm not trying to get her to ski "better" so she's at my level and we can ski together ... my goal is to get her outfitted with decent, relatively cheap gear so that she can enjoy skiing better than she would on rentals (for boots, something comfortable w/high last and relatively soft 70/80 flex ... and yes, if the boots fit I'm going to suggest a custom fitting; for skis, something that makes her feel stable & in-control, something light/nimble, and relatively cheap).

That being said, I pulled the trigger on a pair of 2009 155 Fischer Vision Vapors, along with Dynastar NX Exclusive Lifter + Ski Bindings ... at $310, they were more expensive than the K2 True Luvs (and far more $$ than the HEAD Edge+ 11 SH3 boots that I'm hoping will fit her!).

Boots - worst case, they don't fit and we spend $$$ locally to get her fitted in a lower-end boot; Skis - given the size & feedback, I think the Fischer's will work well for her; Bindings - that's the one thing I'm not certain about, I'm not entirely certain what this "lifter" aspect to the bindings is (got them because they were midpoint in price, had the DIN range for her, and brake width to accommodate the skis).  Is anyone familiar with this dynastar "lifter" binding, any potential issues with this?

Thanks yet again for all the advice & feedback!!
post #15 of 18
 The dynastar heel lift for their binding system is in their system ski/binding combination.  This is not something she'll experience with the Fischer ski/Dynastar binding combination

BTW, there are women who LOVE the Dynastar system and excel with it, but its something that you have to try to know if its for you.
Please report back and tell us how much she loves her gear!
post #16 of 18
I would agree with Nolo on this one.   However, I am confused as to why you have spent so much time on the choice of skis but bought boots that you hope will fit.  There are many good, inexpensive women's skis out there that will make your wife happy. It seems like it would be a better idea to splurge a little more on the boots to get her going in the right direction.  Hope everything works out.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Totally with you on the boots thing - these HEAD boots do appear to be decent mid-range boots, however ... I just happened to see them for a steal on tramdock, and figured we'd give it a go.  Either they'll fit ok and we can get them heated or even custom fit to dial 'em in for her, or I'll return them and pay the premium to buy the boots in person.

re: the skis vs. boots - you saw my agnst over the ski decision cuz I posted, but the boot research & angst went on rather longer ... just that I kept it to myself ;)
post #18 of 18
 Good job, Netarc.  You might remind her that well fitting boots and the "right" skis will be safer for her (she's cautious...), that swimming in her boots is not a good idea.  And I hope she loves the Fischer line of skis as much as I do...

Also, someone earlier (or perhaps in another post) said about expensive boots "yeah, they're expensive, but they last years.  So spreading out their cost across the years makes them end up a lot cheaper" even than renting (and then tell her the cost of the boot and the approximate length of time she'll use them and she'll be convinced...)

We do that with our season passes: we divide the pass cost by the  number of days we ski and voila! We ski for usually something like $2.50 per day!  What a deal!!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Light/nimble women's ski recs