This is my first season but I am athletic and have been fortunate enough to ski a lot this year and have progressed pretty fast. I woulld say that I'm an advanced intermediate.
I was skiing the Volkl AC3Motion (170 cm) skis and got pretty good at a variety of turn shapes, skiing down blacks in a controlled manner.
I bought the Elan Magfire 78ti (176 cm - I'm 6'2", 185 lbs) from dawgcatching (great deal, thanks dawg!) a couple of weeks ago but due to the lousy weather in the Northeast, I haven't had a chance to take 'em for a spin.
The weather in the Northeast over the past week has been very warm, mid-60's, close to 70 and sunny. Prior to that we had monsoon type rains for a couple of days.
So yesterday I finally get the chance to go to the mountain and try out the new Elans. The weather was sunny, with a high near 70. The snow was wet, slushy, bumpy, cruddy, and generally crappy.
Started out on a green and had to pole and skate most of the time because my skis were sinking in the snow in any type of flat area. Moved up to some blues and started carving and I was doing okay but I found it hard to find my sense of balance. I felt that I could not keep my weight forward, kept falling back on my heels or when I was forward I was too far forward. The guy I went with who snowboards said I looked like I was too crouched down and working too hard.
Every once in a while, I would catch a bad edge but was able to correct myself without falling. I gave myself some leeway since the skis are wider underfoot than I'm used to.
The real problems came at the steeper blues and blacks. I was not able to link turns very well at all. Had to skid a lot (which is a lot harder to do on these skis than my Volkls) and the skis felt like rockets. I picked up so much speed so fast and felt like I did when I first started going down blacks. I was leaning back into the hill and doing everything that you're not supposed to do. Fortunately, the mountain was not crowded so when I got a little out of control (picking up too much speed), there wasn't a danger of having other skiers too close, or I would have stuck to blues.
The conditions were such that my skis were getting tossed around all the time (very turbulent and not stable) and I had to spend most of my energy fighting to not have the skis re-vector too suddenly. On the steeper terrain, I would look ahead to try and find good areas to turn but all I would see were bumpy, cruddy areas instead of packed powder. There were even a few instances where it was really slushy that my skis were sucked into the slush and I had to fight not to be tossed forward over the tips. It was not fun.
I was skiing a few weeks ago in spring like conditions with my old skis and the only problem I had was a bumpy ride but I was stll able to link turns on pretty much any trail. I do suspect however, that the conditions were a bit better a few weeks ago as compared to now.
So, I came away confused if it was me or the conditions as the main culprit. Perhaps, the Elans are too advanced for me? Perhaps, I just need to get used to the skis and find the sweet spot? Perhaps, the conditions were too poor? Or perhaps it's a combination of everything?
Two other variables I should mention. I asked dawg to mount the bindings 1 cm forward. Also, I've always had some problems with my right foot/ski pointing slightly inwards, so the shop wehere I bought my boots put in two wedges to help my foot to point outwards (supinate?). This is the first time I was skiing with the wedges in my boot.
I would appreciate to hear the thoughts/assesments of folks who are much more experienced that I am.
In hindsight, I don't even think I would have enjoyed skking those conditions with my old skis.
Thanks in advance.