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Some help choosing a ski for an upper intermediate wanting to refine and improve skiing?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

 

 

Hello. I need some help choosing a good set of skis for improving my overall skiing on and off trail, including moguls.  I am 6' 1" and 185 lbs. and athletic. This is my first year skiing, 20 days total, some coaching from my aunt and uncle who were instructors for years. I like to ski fairly fast," terrain permitting". I already have 94mm waist, 175cm length skis which, I am told by a few people, will make it harder for me to develop the skills I need to advance to a high level. I should use them for days with a good amount of fresh snow, but find something narrower and a little more flexible for everyday skiing. Here are the skis I was looking at: Head C220i blue railflex skis, K2 Apache Ranger, Volkl supersport 5 star, Scott Aztec Pro, Atomic Whiteout, Atomic Highnoon. I am also wondering what a proper length for me would be. Thanks for looking and any help you can offer.

 

 

Quote:
 "Skiing is the best thing ever"

 me


Edited by GLem - 5/15/10 at 7:46pm
post #2 of 15

You'll get a bunch of opinions, but having skied many of these, mine is that the Highnoons or 5* will be your best skis of those you list for learning to carve well. The 5* is 8 mm narrower, lot stiffer torsionally, will be not as versatile in crud or soft groomed, far better on ice (get a 1/3 base tune), more demanding overall than the Highnoon, but more stable at speed, nice in bumps because of its narrowness, but its grippy edges will require some concentration. It'll have more of a last-generation feel, meaning not meant for autopilot turns, wants rider input. If its bases and edges are in nice shape, pick it over the Highnoon. Old Volkls last approximately forever. If not, pick the Highnoon, also a excellent ski, well built.

 

The Aztec will not be that great carving, but best of the bunch in bumps or trees. More of a soft snow ski, IMO. The Whiteout is nice, but more of an all-mountain ski, which you already own. The Head and Ranger may be too forgiving to be good teachers, and neither will be great on ice. As far as a length, I'm 162 lbs, skied most of these in high 160's to middle 170's range. That should work for you at your current level. 


Edited by beyond - 5/15/10 at 3:09am
post #3 of 15

For your stated purpose (developing skills, not all-mountain and deep snow versatility)

1.  Sign up to Peter Kelty's reviews at realskiers.com. (anual subscription fee)

2.  Find skis with excellent carving score, short turn radius (about 13 m),narrow waist, wide range of speed ability and black (expert) skier icon.

3.  Search sales, and e-bay for best deal out of the many skis that will fit your list.

Some skis to get you started, Head Supershape (regular, not magnum, not speed), Fisher WC SC,  Dynastar Contact Groove TI.  There are many many skis that fit the bill, and the reviews go back a few years so you can find left-over bargains.

post #4 of 15


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

For your stated purpose (developing skills, not all-mountain and deep snow versatility)

1.  Sign up to Peter Kelty's reviews at realskiers.com. (anual subscription fee)

2.  Find skis with excellent carving score, short turn radius (about 13 m),narrow waist, wide range of speed ability and black (expert) skier icon.

3.  Search sales, and e-bay for best deal out of the many skis that will fit your list.

Some skis to get you started, Head Supershape (regular, not magnum, not speed), Fisher WC SC,  Dynastar Contact Groove TI.  There are many many skis that fit the bill, and the reviews go back a few years so you can find left-over bargains.


The Head Supershape that Ghost mentions will be a significantly more demanding ski in its upcoming 2010-2011 incarnation due to design changes (KERS = stiffer tail.)  Previous years' versions were great for skill development if you can find a pair. 

 

It sounds like you had a good first year as a skier.  Here's wishing you many more!

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Many thanks guys. I appreciate all your help. I subscribed to realskiers.com, "which has lots of useful info", and checked out the skis you guys listed and many more but could'nt find many of them on the web and the ones I did find were too much $. I was left with the highnoon, supersport, aztec pro. I eliminated the supersport because I already have a stiffer ski that holds well on ice in my 94mm 175. Left with the highnoon and aztec, both having a 76ish waist and softer flex, I'm going with the aztec because of the 14m turn radius, "shortest of the bunch", and reviews stating it carves well on groomers, easy to turn, good in moguls, and some off trail versatility.  Although not the best ski out there for my stated purpose I think the aztec's will serve the purpose well enough.  Thanks Sharpedges. I wish you many years of good skiing as well. Cheers

post #6 of 15

How much are you looking to pay?

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by GLem View Post
 I eliminated the supersport because I already have a stiffer ski that holds well on ice in my 94mm 175. 

Your choice sounds fine. One caveat: Becoming better at your level is largely about carving skills. Not as in "holding on ice," which you can do without anything resembling a carve, if your edges are sharp. And carving skills are best acquired through 1) lessons, and 2) narrow skis that require less force to move from one edge to another, allow you to get higher and more consistent edge angles more easily. 

 

Then you start working on different kinds of carved turns (there are several). So when I suggested the 5*, it was because they fit the bill for adding carving skills, not just for edge hold. When Ghost, who knows a whole lot about carving, suggested Head SS's, he was pointing out a ski that is justifiably famous for wanting to carve up the mountain. That said, you're right, they are never gonna be cheap because there's always demand. I've owned Aztecs, actually, good while back. Smooth, forgiving, versatile. If you want to increase your carving skills on them, get the edges set to something that will bite, like 1/3, and invest your savings from not buying the SS's in lessons. You'll be glad in a year...

 

Good luck. 
 

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

$150 w/ rossi axium 120 xl pro's, only used 10 days in '06, in storage since.


Edited by GLem - 5/20/10 at 5:26pm
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

You're statements are always well put and hard not to listen to. On a side note I found Salomon Streetracer 8 Pilot's for cheap; if they were the sr 10's would that have been a good decision for my case? I know the sr 8's would be to flimsy for my size and style. Truth be told: I wanted the supersports, but advanced skier reviews showed they were not good in moguls which led me to believe I would not be able to handle them in bumps. Plus they were only available in 175; those in a 165 I would have pulled the trigger. As far as lessons: I hope to ski with my aunt, uncle, and cousin in Utah next year. They are all instructers or used to be; their son was a racer and can't ski lift served runs at the level he wants without getting his ticket clipped, so he spends his time in the trees and hitting jumps. He used to ski with Brian Freedman alot "U.S. ski team a few years back" Uncle ski's with another ex-pro, can't remember his name. They will also all be the last people to tell you how good they are. I can't wait until my next opportunity to learn from them. If I go skiing before then I will most likely get a lesson or two because I don't want to get into a bunch of bad habits.

 

Quote:
 

 

Quote:
 "Listen to me, starting to get all obsessed with my technique, like I used to with my golf swing even though everybody told me that my swing was solid!"

 

post #10 of 15

You did the right thing by passing on the streetracers.  Even the Streetracer 10s are not impressive.

 

It looks like you will have to compromise.  It's very difficult to find a top-shelf high performance Short radius ski for less than $400, these days.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

That's what I'm thinking. Hopefully dropping down to the 76 or 78 mm, can't remember exactly, aztec's from the wider ski's I've been on lately will be the difference I need to help me develop in the areas I need. Hopefully it will be alot easier to make the right moves.  Thanks for the knowledge and support guys.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

On a second thought would the atomic nomad highnoon be a better choice for my improvement, even though it does'nt have as short of a turn radius? I also was wondering about the atomic drive 11 carbon? Both have a longer 16.5 m turn radius. I need to make up my mind.


Edited by GLem - 5/19/10 at 7:53pm
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Well it's to late to change my mind now. I won the aztec's on ebay for $99; with shipping = $130. I can't be disapointed about that. I'll just have to remount the bindings to fit my boots.

post #14 of 15

That's a decent price for those skis plus bindings, and they really are nice skis. Don't get buyer's remorse. Like I said, set the edges right, take some lessons, and report back. 

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks, will do, but not for awhile cuz it's almost summa time! L8er.

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