New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

First Masters ski

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,


I am thinking about joining a Masters training program next winter and would appreciate thoughts on GS skis.

I've never run gates before aside from NASTAR, but am physically strong and skiing about 70 days this year.  I'm 5'8" 185 lbs. and skiiing 168 Kastle MX88's right now, Level 7/8 skier.  I love the ski's dampness and edge, but would probably go longer if I had it to do over again since I get bounced around a bit when I just let them run.
 

So...thoughts on models I should keep an eye on during the off-season?

post #2 of 19
You need at least two pairs of skis, one for SL and one for GS...and more if you're going to do speed events.  There's tons of discussions in this forum and elsewhere, re brands, lengths, sidecuts, and so forth, so I'm not going to repeat them here, just do searches.

However, in addition, you'll need:

- SL armor.  Shinguards, pole guards, a SL top, a SL helmet with chinguard.  You can get a helmet for GS and take the chinguard on and off, but I prefer to have a dedicated SL helmet. 

- Probably a GS suit, or a DH suit with something like a Spyder Stealth top.  Aero is worth 4 to 6% in a 60 second run, and you can't afford to give that kind of margin away in a Masters race.

- Check your boots.  If they're not an honest to God race boot, consider getting one. 

- Tuning gear and wax.  If you don't structure and wax, you'll get beat by people who do wax but don't ski as well as you do. 

- Hit the gym, ride a bike, play tennis, go hiking...do whatever you have to do to improve your strength, flexibility, quickness, agility over the summer.  Skis matter; the pilot matters more...

- Watch some WC video, as in the 2008-2009 WC Winning Runs DVDs. Also the USSA Skills 1 and 2 DVDs.

There, that should get you started...

post #3 of 19
I would look for a good pair GS skis (or even GS cheat skis) but DO NOT get the FIS GS skis. They will be too much of a jump from where you are.

Look for some older leftover skis. Not used, just older. Take some training clinics or take a few private race lessons.

I wouldn't worry about slalom right now. Just get some GS skis and good race bindings and practice. I also would not jump right in true race boots right away. Get a good high performance boot (aka Race-like boot) and get going.

Best of Luck!

Johnny
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnysdg View Post

I would look for a good pair GS skis (or even GS cheat skis) but DO NOT get the FIS GS skis. They will be too much of a jump from where you are.

  x2  the >21m GS ski is what you should look for

I wouldn't worry about slalom right now. Just get some GS skis and good race bindings and practice. I also would not jump right in true race boots right away. Get a good high performance boot (aka Race-like boot) and get going.

I would side with skiracer 55 on this.  If you want to be serious about driving a race stock ski in the gates I would strongly recommend the full race boot - and this advice is coming from someone who wasted most of a season in a race/race like boot (tecnica XT) and couldn't work out why I couldn't make a GS ski work and then saw a complete transformation when I switched to a dobermann 150


Best of Luck!

Johnny

Welcome to the fold and, in the true spirit of masters, keep that CC ready as the addiction bites!
post #5 of 19

I make my Speedmachine 14's work well with my GS skis. I have a pretty snug fit. I could do better with plugs but I'm in it for the fun and hangin with the guys. I'm also 6'2" 260 lbs so I have good leverage on the skis.

I agree that a plug is better but I'm afraid he may get turned off to racing with sore, cold, and painful feet. Not to mention potential toenail issues.


My concern is that at his size (5'8") he may not be used to skis anywhere near 188cm - race ski or otherwise. Now he going to go from 168cm skis and recreational boots to 188 skis and full on plug boots? I think there needs to be some step or steps inbetween.

post #6 of 19
I use the Nordica SpeedMachine 14 for all events with great success. It is not a plug (JA, a plug boot is one that by design has thicker plastic so it can be ground to fit), but it is quite good. A good bootfitter will get you in the right boot. One of the best put me in the SM 14 knowing full well that I was a top level Masters racer.

An older FIS GS ski with a 21 m radius would suit you well; avoid the 27 m skis for racing. You could work a 188, but the next size down would probably be better.

Getting a SL ski and the requisite protective equipment isn't a bad idea if you are serious about your racing. You can use the SL ski for day to day skiing on piste. Training SL will help you with balance development and turn initiation as it is quite responsive to both good and bad movements.

Are you going to train in Aspen?

Good luck with your racing. Masters racing is a great sport. In CO's RMM you will race with former national team racers through to never evers like yourself. When I joined 8 years ago I was made to feel right at home. SkiRacer55 is an excellent RMM racer and his advise is good.

You can find lots of used gear at forum.rmmskiracing.org. You can PM me (I'm the webmaster for RMM) if you want to sign up so you can post, otherwise you can browse without an account.

We have two race weekends left in the season. This weekend there are a couple SLs at Loveland and the following weekend a DH camp on Friday and DH training and 3 DHs on Saturday and Sunday at Ski Cooper. There is also a fun race, the FuxiTime Super Combi on Monday the 22nd at Cooper. You are on the wrong side of the rockslide to make it over, unfortunately, but we would love to welcome you to RMM and give you a firsthand look at what your are looking at joining. Got wings?  I could pick you up in Leadville for the Cooper races!
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

Wow!  Thanks for your incredibly gracious responses, everyone.
 

If I spend next winter in Aspen again, I will probably sign up for the Tasche program.  The other options for me are Vail and Breck, which would give me access to more of the RMM events.  I have no illusions about ever emerging from a race with anything but minimal embarassment - but I've had some real dud ski instructors this winter and think that running gates is the only way I'm ever going to get more technically proficient.  Plus, it will be good fun.
 

I do have a good working relationship with BootTech here in town, and the SpeedMachines were actually their recommendation.  I have custom ski orthotics already and they will do the work required on my next pair of boots (my feet are wide and one is 1.5 sizes larger than the other).  I'm going to try to buy both boots and skis over the summer.

Based on the recommendation of a 21m GS ski, it looks like the Blizzard GSR Magnesium IQ, Elan GS Waveflex Fusion and Nordica Dobermann GS Pro might fit the bill.  Any thoughts on those?

I'll probably try to pick up a used pair of beater SL skis just for use on those training days.  Speed events are probably a couple of seasons down the road for me, unless I really surprise myself.

post #8 of 19

I like the elan. Can't say anything about the others. Denver Wholesale Skis (dwskis.com) has great deals on older skis. I picked some fischer skis with the plate for $150. They were perfect. I think he has deals on Vist GS skis with bindings. I've never skied the vist GS but I believe Philpug has and wrote a great review about them. I think he may also have some 180ish GS skis and you may want to consider giving that size a go before stepping up a full 20cm.

I'm selling a pair of Elan SLX slalom skis in the classifed section. I'm 6'2" 260lbs and skiing on 165's in to weird for me. I'll stick to GS and I MAY try some SG next season. I'm also 42 so I tend to take less risk.
 

As for the boots.....I really love the speed machine 14 but that shell was the correct one for my foot. I replaced the original liners with intuition powerwraps. Your bootfitter will be your biggest asset. A good bootfitter is worth their weight in gold! Pick a good one and check references. Ask on this forum if anyone has used them and search their name here as well.

Best of luck!

Johnny

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnysdg View Post



I agree that a plug is better but I'm afraid he may get turned off to racing with sore, cold, and painful feet. Not to mention potential toenail issues.

isn't that what they are meant to do??!!!


My concern is that at his size (5'8") he may not be used to skis anywhere near 188cm - race ski or otherwise. Now he going to go from 168cm skis and recreational boots to 188 skis and full on plug boots? I think there needs to be some step or steps inbetween.

Agreed, I wouldn't be suggesting a 188 to a newbie.  180/183 in a 21m would be a better option
post #10 of 19

Scotskier, its funny how your attitudes change with age. 20 years ago I would say ok to molding them to my feet permanently for the perfect fit but at 42 I need my toenails and like my feet comfy and warm!!!

But, to keep with tradition, I may buy plugs again next season then say f-this and sell them here untouched for a deep discount!
 
I'm not going to win if I had full on plug boots, and skis with rockets on them so I may as well have fun.


I only need to beat myself.
 

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnysdg View Post

Scotskier, its funny how your attitudes change with age. 20 years ago I would say ok to molding them to my feet permanently for the perfect fit but at 42 I need my toenails and like my feet comfy and warm!!!

But, to keep with tradition, I may buy plugs again next season then say f-this and sell them here untouched for a deep discount!
 
I'm not going to win if I had full on plug boots, and skis with rockets on them so I may as well have fun.


I only need to beat myself.
 


I just bought a new pair of Nordica Dobermann plug boots, and after getting them properly fitted they are the most comfortable boots I have ever owned, and really not that stiff. And even though I am not a great racer, i can tell a big difference in performance between a race boot and a recreational boot. And I am a bit north of 42. The only down side is that they are so hard to get out of when the plastic is cold.

Richr
post #12 of 19
Many of the athletes I coach are in boots that are too stiff for them. They can't flex them and they can't keep there skis on the snow with the going gets tough because they can't flex to absorb terrain and chatter.

Exercise caution when choosing boots. Too stiff is as bad as too soft, although stiff can be softened, but soft can't be stiffened.
post #13 of 19
Some notes:

- You don't have to live in Vail or Aspen to access the RMM events.  I live in Berthoud, train mostly at Eldora, and just go on the road whenever I want to go to a race...which is not all the time.  After 20 years of Masters racing, I'm really road-weary, and, more specifically, I-70 weary.  We had a great weekend at Vail recently (SL, GS, two Super Gs) and it was worth the money, time and traveling.  I just don't want to go through that every weekend...training and free skiing is a lot more accessible, and at least as much fun as race day.

- Don't get beater SLs, or beater anything, for that matter.  You're just wasting your time.  There's plenty of good, gently used stuff around, so do your homework and go this route. 

- All the brands discussed are good, and there's others, too. Not all race skis are the same, they have different personalities.  One of my coaches skis on Blizzard and loves them, but they're too much for me to horse around.  He hates Atomics because to him, they're too turbocharged...but this works just great for me.  Having said all that, just get some gear and go.  The most important thing is, don't get too much ski or boot.  I'm in a 130 flex boot (Atomic RaceTech CS), and it's just right for me.  There are very few people in our program on anything stiffer than 130, and some of the women and smaller guys are using 100s or 110s.


- I'm a big believer in getting out on a pair of big sticks at least once a week or so, as in a 201 Super G or bigger.  I know slalom jocks who never get on anything bigger than a 165, which is a mistake IMHO.  Skiing SL and skiing DH are obviously still fundamentally the same, but the line, timing, how you stand on your skis, turn radius, how you deal with terrain are vastly different.  Every speed freak should run some SL; conversely, you're never gonna know how to generate and carry speed unless you get on a true speed event ski and get comfortable with that feeling.  And remember, DH is the only event where you get to train, not just inspect, on the same course that you'll race on.  Mastersracer is about to coach all of us, as he does every year, at a downhill camp next Friday before the final speed weekend of RMM...and it's as much a learn to ski better experience as it is a speed camp...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Abshire View Post

Wow!  Thanks for your incredibly gracious responses, everyone.
 

If I spend next winter in Aspen again, I will probably sign up for the Tasche program.  The other options for me are Vail and Breck, which would give me access to more of the RMM events.  I have no illusions about ever emerging from a race with anything but minimal embarassment - but I've had some real dud ski instructors this winter and think that running gates is the only way I'm ever going to get more technically proficient.  Plus, it will be good fun.
 

I do have a good working relationship with BootTech here in town, and the SpeedMachines were actually their recommendation.  I have custom ski orthotics already and they will do the work required on my next pair of boots (my feet are wide and one is 1.5 sizes larger than the other).  I'm going to try to buy both boots and skis over the summer.

Based on the recommendation of a 21m GS ski, it looks like the Blizzard GSR Magnesium IQ, Elan GS Waveflex Fusion and Nordica Dobermann GS Pro might fit the bill.  Any thoughts on those?

I'll probably try to pick up a used pair of beater SL skis just for use on those training days.  Speed events are probably a couple of seasons down the road for me, unless I really surprise myself.

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richr View Post




I just bought a new pair of Nordica Dobermann plug boots, and after getting them properly fitted they are the most comfortable boots I have ever owned, and really not that stiff. And even though I am not a great racer, i can tell a big difference in performance between a race boot and a recreational boot. And I am a bit north of 42. The only down side is that they are so hard to get out of when the plastic is cold.

Richr

 

I'm a 29  mondo so my only real option is to get a 28 and have serious surgery done. It is a nightmare and that is a big part of why I don't do it. If I could get something that would fit better I would consider it. My sm 14's are pretty stiff and fit nice and snug so for the moment I'm happy. I would like to get a little stiffer though.

Johnny
post #15 of 19
I run Speedmachine 14s as my coaching/racing boot, because they are a nice balance of performance and comfort. With my high instep and wide forefoot, standing around in a plug boot is not all that much fun. I need to try the new Nordicas, as I need to find a replacement in the next year or so. 
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnysdg View Post

Scotskier, its funny how your attitudes change with age. 20 years ago I would say ok to molding them to my feet permanently for the perfect fit but at 42 I need my toenails and like my feet comfy and warm!!!

But, to keep with tradition, I may buy plugs again next season then say f-this and sell them here untouched for a deep discount!
 
I'm not going to win if I had full on plug boots, and skis with rockets on them so I may as well have fun.


I only need to beat myself.
 


They do indeed Johnny. And as someone (well) North of 42 so have mine having gone through the cycles of race boots for 25 + years then some slightly softer then going back to a full blown plug I am simply offering my own experience of what I have found to work.  And believe me I have tried a lot of different options as the closet full of boots here shows!  YMMV .  i was simply offering the original poster a POV based on my experience.  May be different from yours Free advice, worth what you pay for it!

I take masterracers point about too many people using too stiff a boot and respect his view  this is the case for many .  Personally i have found after much trial and error (100. 110,130 and 150 flexes)  that i am quicker in the gates in a stiffer boot. (still experimenting with going softer to 130 for speed events but the jury is still out.)   Am I going to win?  maybe not quite there yet but i am making teh podium pretty consistently now in my Masters class which is a step forward and have significantly closed the gap.  One of teh best things about Masters racing to my mind is of course that you can always pick someone in the field to target as your achievement benchmark.  Once you catch them then you select the next target

the other advantage of advanced years is that i don't  worry about whether or not others agree with my choice .  i am now at the stage where i will try stuff and if it doesn't work for me  it gets sold on.quickly  i am with RichR on the Dobermann.  Great boot and i have the advantage of getting into it with minimal work.  And haven't lost any toenails for some time.....
Edited by ScotsSkier - 3/12/10 at 1:39pm
post #17 of 19
Respect back at you, ScotsSkier.   Your advise is sound and experience based.

I try not to paint with too broad a brush and my opinions generally try to reflect a range of possibilities. There are no one size fits all answers when it comes to gear selection. Committed, strong racers of any age can benefit from a good race boot. Many (especially masters) racers just aren't realistic about their condition and abilty. As a coach, I try to open the minds of my racers to the reality of their particular situation and how they can best achieve their goals.

SS, I wish you continued success with your racing.

JA, best of luck with your fledgling racing career. Let us know how it turns out.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post

Respect back at you, ScotsSkier.   Your advise is sound and experience based.

I try not to paint with too broad a brush and my opinions generally try to reflect a range of possibilities. There are no one size fits all answers when it comes to gear selection. Committed, strong racers of any age can benefit from a good race boot. Many (especially masters) racers just aren't realistic about their condition and abilty. As a coach, I try to open the minds of my racers to the reality of their particular situation and how they can best achieve their goals.

SS, I wish you continued success with your racing.

JA, best of luck with your fledgling racing career. Let us know how it turns out.
Thanks MR, sage advise as always.  
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post



........I take masterracers point about too many people using too stiff a boot and respect his view  this is the case for many .  Personally i have found after much trial and error (100. 110,130 and 150 flexes)  that i am quicker in the gates in a stiffer boot. (still experimenting with going softer to 130 for speed events but the jury is still out.)  ..........


 

My one regret about not having plugs is that I would like a 140  or 150 flex. Atomic makes a performance (race-like) boot called cs 140 but I've never seen it in my size although their website claims it comes in a 29.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home