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New, "Old" Guy Needs Some Help/Advice.....?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

First of all, my name is Mark, I live in CT, and am a "newbie" to this site/forum.  With that being said, stated, here goes....

 

I started skiing again last year after about a 18 year hiatus.  My equipment, (especially my skis, are extremely anitquated).  I did though pick up a new pair of  boots last year.  I reused my "old school" Kneissl straight skis last year, (195 in length), and its time for something new I guess. 

 

I consider myself to be an advanced skier.  I taught for a few years back in the late 70's early 80's, and did a little "club" racing.  These days I am primarily a "cruiser" in style, (due to my age I guess, will turn 51 this coming Monday).   I like nice fast, carved GS turns, but will not shy away from breaking out into some nice "short swinging" from time to time.  I stay away from the bumps, my old knees just can't take them anymore.  I attribute it to, too many jumps of perfectly good airplanes while I was in the Army.  I am 6' 1" and weigh about 200. 

 

I did try out a couple pairs of "shaped" skis last season, a pair of Head's and a pair of Atomic's, (can't remember the specific models though).  They were both around 170 in length and quite wide, and I just didn't like them at all.

 

Due to economics being somewhat of an issue, I have been trolling Craigslist for some skis.  But I just don't know what to look for these days?  Just been out of the "game" for too long of a time I guess.  I did spot a posting where someone is selling an older pair of K2 Four's for $50.  They are brand new, never been skied on or enen had bindings mounted and they are 183 in length.  I think the seller told me they are from '01 - '02...?  From what little information I could find on the 'net, they are a, I think a "semi-shaped", all mountain ski.  I like the fact that they do have a shaped look/quality to them, but are not wide.  So my questions are these:

 

1) Are the K2's a decent ski taking into consideration thier size, my size & ability?

2) What binding would you recommend?

3) Any other ski recommendations?

 

I apologize for the lengthy post.  And also would like to thank all for thier help, consideration, suggestions and or ideas...

post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 

Anyone....?

post #3 of 19

Big heavy advanced skier in CT is this mostly groomed or hard snow?

 

If so then you probably want the Atomic D2 race GS (not FIS legal race, just called race to flatter customers and get them to anti up more cash), but since you are looking at the $50 price range, you won't be buying one of those.  You will be buying a ski that is a few years old. That being the case I recommend you get a subscription to expertskier reviews and make a short list of skis going back six years or so that offer the performance found in expert level skis and a radius of about 18 m, and shop around for the best deal on one of 'em.

 

As to bindings, I am fond of Tyrolia race bindings, but you may find the ski you get chooses your bindings for you. Be ware of buying a cheap ski that limits your bindings. I had to get Markers for my Völkls due to hostage plate.  After waiting what seemed forever for a sale price on Marker Comps, I gave up and shelled out $200 Canuck Bucks for Comp 16s for a $50 pair of ski.

 

I find K2s to be to soft and not torsionally rigid enough for my hard snow demands, could be a totally different experience on softer snow though.

post #4 of 19

At #200 the 170 demos were way too short. A longer ski may help.

Agree with Ghost regarding the K2s on hard pack.

 

The Atomic D2 VF82 is also a good choice. I have seen last year's demo in S VT shop for as low as $300 in very good condition.

 

On another note, new skis need new techniques. May consider a quick clinic to brush up on the new stuff.    

post #5 of 19

Agree with the length.  For gs turns you should be looking at 180+ cm.

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

Well, I have been second guessing my decision on the K2 Four's, and have been comtemplating purchasing a new set of skis.  What do you all think of the K2 Apache Raider's...?

 

With all the research I have done on line, I think they would fit the bill nicely for my ability and advanced age of 51...!  I am more of cruiser these days like I said earlier.  I found them on line, (w/ Marker M2 11.0 Ti bindings), for $419 with free shipping.  Is this a decent ski and binding at a fair price....?  Thanks again....

post #7 of 19

The Raider was a softened version of K2's venerable Recon, aimed at terminal intermediates.  Even the Recon would not have the edge hold that you'll probably want in the East, and expecting the Raider to do so with your 200 pounds would be unwise.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

Well, went to a couple of local ski shops today, looked at "a lot" of skis, and asked "a lot" of questions.  Both shops were very good at not hard selling anyone specific ski, make or model.  But the funny thing is after spending at least an hour at each of the shops, (neither one knew I had gone or was going to a competitor), and explaining my wants, needs, & desires in a ski, explaining my ability level & what I was used to skiing on in a "skinny" ski, both shops recommended the Volkl AC20 Unlimited.  So again, what are your thoughts.....?  From what I have read in a few  online reviews, it seems like a pretty decent ski....?  I know the best way to decide on a set of skis, is try them, demo them.  Unfortunately I do not have that luxury at this point in time.  I just really want a decent ski at a fair price that won't break the bank.  So, with that being said, any and all help suggestions would be like always, greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance....

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

Both shops were very good at not hard selling anyone specific ski, make or model.  But the funny thing is after spending at least an hour at each of the shops, (neither one knew I had gone or was going to a competitor), and explaining my wants, needs, & desires in a ski, explaining my ability level & what I was used to skiing on in a "skinny" ski, both shops recommended the Volkl AC20 Unlimited.  So again, what are your thoughts.....? 

I think that their thinking is going something like

"This guy is probably comfortable at some speed, figure he won't get scared at 25-30mph.
He probably knows how to snowplow, hockey stop, skid, unweight, and pivot.
He probably doesn't have highly edged carving skills.
80mm+ waisted skis are probably out, he's going to be miserable trying to find his edges.
Truly fast GS-type skis are probably out because they are too fast to learn carving fundamentals on.

Here is a decent-at-moderate-speed ski that will be a reasonable improvement platform for learning modern carving. "
post #10 of 19

SSI

 

Ski Scene Investigation

 

Comprex Caruso   cool.gif

post #11 of 19
tongue.gif

I will also admit to thinking that Craigslist is about the worst place to shop for skis.

I might eventually admit to thinking that the OP would be happier on a GS-y-feel ski, in the Rossi Avenger/CX80 vein perhaps.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Okay, still trying to find a ski to fit both my abilities and budget.  What do you all think of the Atomic Drive 11 Carbon skis....?  I found them at levelnine for $299.  From what I have read in doing a little online research, they seem to me that they would fit the bill quite nicely.  Only question I have is, what size should I go for: 172 or 180....?  I am leaning towards the 180.s.  As usual, thank you in advance for any thoughts, ideas, comments..... 

post #13 of 19

eBay is actually a decent place for a couple-of-years-old skis.

 

What skis you want depend on what you want to do.  If you want to modernize your skiing, I'd suggest looking for a few-years old lightly-used slalom ski  in what feels like too short for you.  Then concentrate on working the sidecut for a season or two.

 

If you just want to get back into skiing, a longer radius GS-y ski makes more sense.  They will feel more like what you remember.

 

By the way, and the fours were the skis that brought me half-way into the modern world.  I liked them so much I have an identical "backup pair" in my basement.  Unfortunately, by the time I needed the second pair I had moved on...

 

And 51 is not old.  I'll be 54 next week myself.  Never jumped out of an airplane, though.

 

Oh, and welcome to EpicSki.

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

Okay, I am going to order the Atomic Drive 11 Carbon's from Levelnine tonight, http://www.levelninesports.com/Atomic-Drive-11-Carbon-Skis-Wblack-Bind , and just need a little advice, help, suggestions regarding size.  They are currently being offered in either 172 or 180.  I am leaning toward the 180's due to my past experience sking on 195's to 205's.  To reiterate my experience/ability, I would consider myself to be an advanced skier.  Did some teaching way back in the day with a little "beer racing".  I live and mostly ski in southern New England, (Connecticut to be precise).  These days I would catagorize myself as an "agressive cruiser".  Like a little speed, with nice gs turns, but I also enjoy the "steeps" with some nice short turns.  So there lies my cunumdrum on size....?

 

I know others have recommended other skis, but at this point my purchase is driven by economics.  I have already purchased a new pair of boots, & this year I just can't afford to pony up $700 - $1000 for a new pair of skis and bindings.  Hence, my decision on the Drive 11's. 

 

It would be great if I could get some feedback soon so as I can order them tonight & get them shipped tomorrow.  As always, thanks in advance.  For one putting up with all my questions, etc., and your invaluable advice.....icon14.gif

post #15 of 19

Ski hill less than 250 ft = 172.  Ski hills greater than 300 ft = 180.

The '09 Atomic Drive 11 got some pretty good reviews.  I think it's a pretty good gamble for you.

post #16 of 19

I went through a similiar thing after stopping skiing for 10 years, former instructer and racer (midwest).  Tried shape skis when they first came out, hated them - tried them again last year, still hated them.  Wound up buying a set of NOS 2006 K2 GS Comp Team skis, which were still a little shaped and only 191cm, but felt like the 203 Coupe De Monde GS skis that I used to ski on.  Paid a grand total of $200 for the skis and a set of Marker 12.0 Titaniums, another $40 or so to get them mounted up locally.  Raced a couple days of Nastar on them and loved them.

 

This year I decided that I wanted a set of softer skis to replace my 205 Blizzard ATV's for all around skiing.  After looking around I bought some NOS Atomic 18 race stock (201cm) skis off ebay for $35, havn't gotten to try them out yet.

 

The benefit to liking the old skis is that there still seem to be a lot of them around, never been mounted and cheap.  If I got to ski more than a dozen days a year, maybe I would adapt to the short fat skis.

post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldjeep View Post

I went through a similiar thing after stopping skiing for 10 years, former instructer and racer (midwest).  Tried shape skis when they first came out, hated them - tried them again last year, still hated them.  Wound up buying a set of NOS 2006 K2 GS Comp Team skis, which were still a little shaped and only 191cm, but felt like the 203 Coupe De Monde GS skis that I used to ski on.  Paid a grand total of $200 for the skis and a set of Marker 12.0 Titaniums, another $40 or so to get them mounted up locally.  Raced a couple days of Nastar on them and loved them.

 

This year I decided that I wanted a set of softer skis to replace my 205 Blizzard ATV's for all around skiing.  After looking around I bought some NOS Atomic 18 race stock (201cm) skis off ebay for $35, havn't gotten to try them out yet.

 

The benefit to liking the old skis is that there still seem to be a lot of them around, never been mounted and cheap.  If I got to ski more than a dozen days a year, maybe I would adapt to the short fat skis.

 That was my original train of thought so to speak, regarding the trequency of how miuch skiing I was going to do in the future.  Being that my children are getting a season pass ot my local mountain for Christmas, I plan on skiing quite a bit.  Also being newly divorced, I will have the time to venture north more often.  So I guess it was time to join the 21st century regarding my equipment......

 

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

Well, just a little update.  Received my new skis this past week.  Picked up a pair of Atomic Drive 11 Carbon's w/ Neox 412 bindings from Levelnine.  Had the bindings properly adjusted, tuned at a local shop for my height, weight and ability, and tried them out this past Wednesday night. 

 

Went to my local mountain here in CT, Ski Sundown & the conditions were great,  You gotta love 100% snow making capabilities.  I used to teach there "waaaaay" back in the day in the late seventies early eighties.  Actually ran into one of my fellow instructors from back then.  He was there with his kids.  Man how times fly.  He still teaches part tiime so I was able to pick his brain so to speak regarding technique with my new skis.  Remember I am coming off from some really "old school", long, (205's), stiff skinny skis.  He went over a few things during a few warm up runs, and off I went.  I don't know what I was thinking of regarding using the the K2 Fours for a replacement.  These skis absolutely rock...!  Even though they are alot shorter than I am used to, they carve like they are on rails....!  I ended up going with the 172's vs the 180's, was on the fence for awhile regarding the size, but I am glad I went with the 172's.  I realized that I make alot more short, quick turns then I remembered.  I still have some work to do regarding my technique with these, reagarding my stance.  My ankles seem to have "magnets" in them & I find myself with my boots, feet locked together on occasion.  Maybe you just can't teach an old dog new tricks.  Don't know if I will ever be able to break that habit....?  Anyway, it's all good.  I love the skis, they are great fun, quick, responsive, hold a great edge and are fast.

 

Thanks to you all for your help and assistance.  Hope everyone has a safe & happy holiday season........!

post #19 of 19

Great to hear that you're enjoying them.  172 definitely makes sense for your vertical and conditions.

 

I think it took us all a while to break the ankle magnet habit, and many of us still regress from time to time (in my case, on wide-open groomers).  I found that taking a lesson at Alta was the turning point.  Not sure whether it was the lesson or the terrain.

 

Enjoy!

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