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Ski Recommendations for "Husky" Skier?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I've searched the forum to try and avoid a post but most the similar threads are several years old, so here goes....


I'm 40 years old, 6 2" 240 lbs, intermediate/advanced skier from the midwest land of ice and crum.  Last rig I owned was back in high school, pair of 185 Elans that were nice and stiff.


Fast forward 20 years and I'm getting back into this to get my kids on the slopes.  Rented last year and couldn't hold an edge to save my life.  The whole parabolic shortys are totally new to me.  I expected to throw down on some 195's last year and the kid in the rental place hadn't been alive long enough to recall 195's let alone 210's.


So I'm open minded and clueless at this point.  I plan to go to a ski specialty shop in the MW to get fitted for boots (potentially buy the skis there or online) &  I'd love to have some suggestions and tips before heading in.    What models/lengths would you recommend? Are these going to be foam or wood core?   I'm open to last years models (actually prefer it) but don't know whats out there.  As noted upfront my primary terrain will be midwest hardpack crap, with occasional trip out west on groomers. 


Thanks in advance for any suggestions.



post #2 of 11

Here's what I think and why.


You want to get a SL (about 13 m radius) or at most SX (say about 16 m radius) sidecut for skiing with the kids.  For your own personal enjoyment, a GS radius ski may be more enjoyable.


to fully enjoy the GS radius ski you would have to be going much faster than your kids will want to ski and the GS radius skis that are worth their salt kind of suck at slow speed skiing.


What: you want a ski in the 2nd or third level down from the top rung of the ladder.  EG Fischer WC, Head SS, Dynastar 4x4 or any non-FIS level GS or SL race ski. (known as citizen's race skis, or "cheater gs" skis).



Lower than that level won't give you satisfaction at high performance skiing on hard icy hills.  Higher (highest) level won't be functional below race speeds.



What:about 165 to 175 for SL sized skis.

about 180 to 200 for GS.



I like 165 for SL and 188 for GS.  You weigh a lot more than me, but I ski faster than the average bear.

Top shelf skis are incredibly damp.  You don't need length to make them stable in the sense of controling vibtations.


I don't get to ski a lot of demos these days, but going by family traits:

Dynastar, nice and damp rubbery feel.  Head also damp, but very slightly more tense less rubbery feel.  Volkl playful feeling, Fisher light brittel feel, but if your trust them the will deliver.   Atomic Solid feel.  Salomon used to feel very quick, don't know what they are now.   Rossi haven't tried newer models enough to state, turned the performance level up a bit last couple of years from what used to be very forgiving but fun ski (at non-fis level).


If you knew how to use a ski back in the day, it won't take long to catch on.  Just remember the shaped skis need to be tipped on edge and told what to do.



post #3 of 11

just to offer a different outlook. don't get anything that has anything to do with racing skis, sidecut or flex pattern. get a very stiff ski for your weight, that has less sidecut in the tail so you can release the tail at will, as you are used to skiing. you will likely have no interest in carving arcs around your mountain, and with a ski that slides (side slip and turn release) well, you can go any speed you like and in any arc.

post #4 of 11
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post


What: you want a ski in the 2nd or third level down from the top rung of the ladder.  EG Fischer WC, Head SS, Dynastar 4x4 or any non-FIS level GS or SL race ski. (known as citizen's race skis, or "cheater gs" skis).


Just to be clear, you are saying he should get a Fischer RC, head super shape, or Dynastart 4x4 or a cheater GS which are models that are 2 levels below true race stock. Correct?

post #5 of 11

Whether it is one level or two down, depends on manufacturer and definition levels; I am allowing some leeway.   Some manufactures manufacture and sell FIS-legal skis in two stiffnesses "race-stock" and regular, so the skis you can buy in the store are not the same as the ones Didier Cuche et al get to ski. 



In the case of Fischer, the Fischer WC SC or RC (WC SC/RC "Pro" for 2011) would be excellent choices: the SC a little better suited for slower speed smaller turns when skiing with family and friends, the RC better suited to opening it up (you can ski the SC as fast as your hill allows, but the turn radius is really not suited for large turns).  According to the Fischer catalog, one level up from the WC SC/RC Pro is the WC SL and WC GS.  I would not recommend the one level higher Fishcer WC GS or SL (hole ski with WC Plate) for this skier.


From Völkl: Their Racetiger GS (with an 18.6 m  radius - NON FIS legal)  sidecut would do or their Racetiger SL would do, but another level down seems to me a better choice, their Tigershark 11.

If he is going to hold an edge in a turn on icy hardpack at 240 lbs he needs some torsional rigidity and beef in his ski,  But super stiff long radius FIS-legal GS race skis are too much.


post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 



Thanks for the detailed feedback.  For the Tigersharks, would 8, 9,s 10's be sufficient or are the 11's (guessing these are model year?) higher quality?  I want to spend just enough money to get what I need and no more because I'm going to have kids and other beginners inevitably stepping all over the tops of these things for the next few years.  Poking around on ebay seeing what I can get for reasonable price with the suggestions provided. 



post #7 of 11

The numbers refer to different models.


The Tgershark 11 foot would be my choice; it has a slightly longer (about 0.4 m longer) turn radius, is 75 mm underfoot instead of 73 mm, and gets better marks for accuracy and stability from reviews I have read.  The 8 foot Tigershark is a lower performing model) 2009 we had another choice in the 12 foot tiger shark which was about the same level as the 10 and 11, but aimed at slightly wider turns on softer snow (79 wide mm under foot) .


Others may disagree, but I think the power switch is a great idea if you want one ski to RIP and ski slowly on, depending on the company you're keeping at the time.


However, I don't think you will get these skis cheap.


If you want to save money, you will have to spend some.  There really are lots and lots of skis that will fit the bill adequately (and even more that don't).  Get a subscription to expertskier.com to access reviews going back a few years, make a (long) "short" list, keep you eyes open for left-over sales, and check them against the reviews.

post #8 of 11

With your weight and stated ability you should be fine on just about any (big) ski. Research the aspects of different skis and figure out what shape/width/materials etc. will work for you.

post #9 of 11

I am 5'10" 240 and ski the 178 Dynastar Sultan 85 everyday in the midwest be it on hard pack, bumps, fresh corduroy, or boiler plate.  I have skied just about every sort of ski out there over the last 20 years and I think you would have a hard time finding a more well rounded ski.  I don't know where exactly in the midwest you are but I had a first class experience with jdoyal in Chicago when I went to see him for boots two years ago. It was worth the 10 hours of driving there and back.

Edited by cstreu1026 - 12/4/10 at 4:12pm
post #10 of 11

if you want a ski that works well on real ice, I agree with Ghost's list. But with the understanding that it will not be well suited for going off trail in soft snow (which you might want to do on a trip out west). 


I ski the sultan 85 and I don't think its ok, but not great for ice -- but it is a very versatile ski for traveling and great in variable snow.


A better ski for hard pack groomed runs would be the AC50 in like a 170 or 177. Not as versatile, but for you I think it would work.

post #11 of 11

I agree with Tromano that none of the skis I recommended would be good for powder, but him buying a ski that would be good in powder is like buying a dump truck for your 1/2 hour commute on a twisty road every day because you will be getting a load of gravel for your driveway in the spring. 


You would be better off renting for your trip, or if you need to save, buy an old Vollant off the internet.


Of the skis I've mentioned, I think I would rather ski the TigerShark 11 foot with the switched turned to the soft position in off piste and deeper snow (unless it's blower), than a wider ski on hard snow and ice.  I would still want something more suited (wider and longer turn radius).

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