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Help! Looing for the right gear for "old school" skier

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,

 

I am 40 and grew up in Europe and spent a lot of time in the Alps. So I consider myself a good skier. I learned things the "old fashioned" way on long skinny skis, have rather aggresive technique and like to maintain full controll at all times.

 

Unfortunately, over the last few years I did not get in a lot of skiing at all. My gear is still from the 90s and needs replacement (205 Fischer RC4 and Koflach boots that are high and very stiff).

 

So, coincidentally, I ran into a sale last weekend and spontaneously picked up a pair of like-new RC4 Worldcup RC with a brand-new binding for $250. Seemed like a good deal. I am 6'1" and they came in 185cm. Seemed ok given that "modern" skis are obviously shorter and wider these days.

 

Here are my questions:

 

1. Did I do the right thing with picking up those skis? Lengthwise? Are Fischers still considered "stiff" and appropriate for aggressive technique (i.e lots of conscious weight shifting, lots of pressure towards the tips...)?

 

2. What boots are the best choice now? I tried on a few pairs last week and all of them seemed too soft and not high enough (I think I tried mostly Dalbellos, never heard of them before).

 

Thanks,

 

L./

post #2 of 9

These are excellent skis, yes, still considered stiff and appropriate for aggressive technique - although someone who knows the actual model year and its length range will have to tell you if they're long (you need to specify your weight) - but OTOH they will limit you to carving fast arcs on groomers. Not my first (or tenth) choice for bumps, soft snow, or billy-goating. So the questions are: Where and how do you intend to ski them? Do you plan to take lessons to update your technique? How often do you plan to ski now, eg, how central is the sport to you now? Personally, I'd keep them for hardpack days and plan to get some wider skis for fresh snow. 

 

As far as boots, all brands make good ones, depends on your foot shape. Dalbellos are moderate volume in back, narrow in front. They probably felt soft for you because you probably tried the cabrio designs, they do not offer a lot of progressive forward resistance. They're intended more for modern lateral movements than for pressuring your tips hard. And they're especially popular among bump skiers, folks who spend a lot of time in soft or irregular snow. Thus not necessarily as high as some brands. Not so much aimed at folks who race or ski ice, although it depends on the skier and their approach to turning.

 

If you plan to use recreational racing skis at speed on hardpack with traditional technique, you might think about familiar overlap designs that fit your particular foot, flex on the stiff side (eg, 110+). Dalbellos make one, my own favorite overlaps are Sollies because my foot is wide in front, narrow in back. Folks with narrow feet all over tend to like Langes. Nordicas are great mid-volume types. And so on. Seek a good bootfitter, don't go by specific recs online. 

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

These are excellent skis, yes, still considered stiff and appropriate for aggressive technique - although someone who knows the actual model year and its length range will have to tell you if they're long (you need to specify your weight) - but OTOH they will limit you to carving fast arcs on groomers. Not my first (or tenth) choice for bumps, soft snow, or billy-goating. So the questions are: Where and how do you intend to ski them? Do you plan to take lessons to update your technique? How often do you plan to ski now, eg, how central is the sport to you now? Personally, I'd keep them for hardpack days and plan to get some wider skis for fresh snow. 

 

As far as boots, all brands make good ones, depends on your foot shape. Dalbellos are moderate volume in back, narrow in front. They probably felt soft for you because you probably tried the cabrio designs, they do not offer a lot of progressive forward resistance. They're intended more for modern lateral movements than for pressuring your tips hard. And they're especially popular among bump skiers, folks who spend a lot of time in soft or irregular snow. Thus not necessarily as high as some brands. Not so much aimed at folks who race or ski ice, although it depends on the skier and their approach to turning.

 

If you plan to use recreational racing skis at speed on hardpack with traditional technique, you might think about familiar overlap designs that fit your particular foot, flex on the stiff side (eg, 110+). Dalbellos make one, my own favorite overlaps are Sollies because my foot is wide in front, narrow in back. Folks with narrow feet all over tend to like Langes. Nordicas are great mid-volume types. And so on. Seek a good bootfitter, don't go by specific recs online. 



 Thanks a lot for the good and quick answers!

 

"Carving" is not really a concept I grew up with - though I always easily achieved the same arcs and the same speed with leaning a lot into the slope. I think I'll be able to adjust. Bumps and things always worked for me on stiff 205s - so that should be fine here as well. We'll see once the first snow comes in here in New England.

 

And no, I have no intent to take lessons and significantly change my technique. The main goal is to get my kids on skis now (4 and 7) and go a lot this season in MA, NH, VT with the whole family and maybe get a few hours of "me-time" on the slopes.

 

Somewhat later I want to take the kids to Switzerland to the places I know and love. So in any case I am not expecting a lot soft snow/deep snow.

 

Thanks for he hint at Langes and Nordicas. They look like they may fit the bill.

 

I'm excited that I'm finally getting to reconnect with things I had not done in a while, like getting back on my road bike and now skiing. Yeah!!

 

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

So I just thought I'd continue this here by posting my experiences so far and from here on. There must be more experienced skiers out there in my age range who grew a little frustrated with the "modern" approach to skiing and equipment.

 

So I ended up buying 185 RC4 "racing" skis (I was told they are still considered stiff skis these days) and a pair of Rossignol Zenith pro 120. The skis came with some generic looking Dynastars and I am contemplating if it's worth looking if my old Salomons would fit here. By looking at the details, I can't really tell what is so new and different about the new equipment other than the ski's width and shape. The boots in many ways are more "primitive" than my old Koflachs as far as options for adjustments or replacable heels go.

 

But I'll stay open minded. Can any one here recommend good books or DVDs on modern skiing? Again, a lot of what I've seen is not really that different than the stuff we learned back in the 80s that was geared towards "racing".

 

Thanks. Can't wait for the first real snow to come.

post #5 of 9

I can't recommend any books or DVDs but I will recommend you sign up for a semi-private lesson and state specifically that you want to update your technique for current gear.  The chances are very good you'll end up with a private lesson.  I'm 66 and started skiing a bit late in life, 1962.  I still have fond memories of my Molitor double leather boots but not many fond memories of the skis, including my Head Competition Vectors.  Four years ago, after being frustrated that skiing shaped skis didn't seem all that easy, I undertook to relearn how to ski.  I had a very good but hyper-critical mentor, but I succeeded and got certified last year.  The technique is not hugely different but there are definitely some differences, subtle though they may be.  For me those subtleties were really important, YMMV.

post #6 of 9

I'll probably draw the ire of some here, but I'd recommend Harald Harb's books and DVD's.

post #7 of 9

The RC4 RC in 185 is a good ski for skiing at relatively high speeds on harder snow or on groomed trials.  You should be able to manage it anywhere, but there exist softer skis for bumps and wider softer skis for powder.  The wider softer zenith might work better on a storm day.

 

I finally bit the bullet and got some modern shaped skis a half dozen or so years ago,  adding a short-turning RC4 SC to my then one ski quiver consisting of an old school 208 SG (the only ski I could find that would handle the speed I craved and not beat me up in the bumps).  Modern technique is basically the same technique I had come to use with the old skis: tip skis right to go right; tip skis left to go left; tip skis more to turn harder.  Minor differences exist in timing of and amount of forward pressure need to be applied on tips to initiate turns (you can just tip them with a centrally balanced weight distribution and the SCs will start carving a turn) and on amount of rear pressure on tails to maintain grip.  A lesson might help you adapt to the new skis if you typically initiate your turns by reducing your weight pushing down on them and pivoting them.  If you already carve arcs by leaning into the hill, you probably are tipping your skis; you just need a little fine tuning, counter action, counter balance, angulation, that type of thing. 

 

The main difference I see in modern skis, other than the obvious wider powder/deep snow skis is in the new skis have more shape and are more flexible, making them easier to carve arcs on.

 

As far as boots go, if your old Koflachs fit and aren't worn out, you could use them, or get some new liners if needs be.  Just test them out to make sure the plastic is still good and not brittle.  My Koflachs seem to be holding up; my wifes old Nordica's didn't hold up so well (fell apart in parking lot; must be different type of plastic).

 

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. Just wanted to briefly follow up in case any other "old person" like me runs into those questions.

 

Just got in my first day of skiing with the new gear. Absolutely love it. Great control and response, none of the negative side effects I was worried about. My "old" technique still works perfectly fine with the equipment and I'm now looking forward to refine things and see what else may be possible. It's "easier" but not in a bad way.

 

Enjoy the rest of the season everyone.

post #9 of 9

I'm older and also learned in Austria in the early 60s. I have liked the Dynastar Legend model series for many years if you pick up another pair for other niches of your skiing.

 

Of course a solid trad skier would like a recreational race ski. right on. get some!

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