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First Turns

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi All!

 

Had my first turns of the new season on Wednesday..... gotta say that I was nervous....nope....very nervous would be more appropriate.  For those who remember I started skiing back in Feb this year and it was a worrying me...would I remember everything or would I be starting from scratch?  Well..... took some advice from reading several posts here and booked a 2 hour private lesson before venturing out on my lonesome... and this payed off big style biggrin.gif.

 

Instructor had me doing 1/2 an hour on warm up exercises and practicing on a short Blue run.. and then off we went.... felt absolutely brilliant!  Slow to start, but by lunchtime it was full tilt (redface.gif by my standards anyway) and I had a ball.   Spent the afternoon really focused on drills I picked up here on Epic, trying to control edge release and balance using falling leaf, making large and small radius turns, trying to make that 'perfect' hockey stop... and all on Blues....managed to convince myself this would do me more good than taking on Reds on my first day.

 

Learned that (to my embarrassment) my boots are too big... by around 1 size I reckon.   Had some heel lift and got some pain on the outside edge (dunno how else to explain!) of both feet.  Reckon this came because I was trying to 'grip' with my toes.. so it will be a visit to EB in Glasgow when I go back to blighty for Xmas.

 

It's not putting me off tho....I am back at Stuhleck again tomorrow yahoo.gifmanaged to avoid the dreaded Xmas shopping!

post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 

One thought just occurred to me.... at what point do you know (as a beginner or intermediate) when new boots or skis are needed?   My boots are a 60 flex... which I understood were fine for a beginner...but when will a soft flex boot become 'over-powered' (if that's the right term?) by a skiers abilities?   How do you know the difference when skills development is being impeded because of the equipment being used, and not because of skier ability (or lack of)?

 

I am told that my skis will be fine for a couple of years...but

 

 

now I fancy some Elans  cool.gif  (probably too much ski for me right now!)

post #3 of 21
Hi Alen--Congratulations on getting back into this great sport!

As for boots, it is never too early to buy yourself a good pair of boots. High-performance, stiffer boots will be less forgiving of errors, but that is not such a bad thing. High-performance boots are like an honest coach--they'll require you to learn the right movements, and reward you when you do. Most importantly, a good pair of boots, professionally fitted and set up for you, will be the most important equipment purchase you'll ever make. They'll be comfortable, and they'll allow the closest, most accurate communication possible between you and your skis and the snow. Rental boots, no matter how high-performance, will never do that. (In fact, because stiffer, closer fitting high-performance boots heighten the need for proper setup and customization, rental boots pretty much have to be lower-performance models to work at all.)

So ask Santa for a new pair of boots for Christmas. (And be sure to find a shop and a boot fitter with a good reputation. The wrong boots, or a poor setup, will be worse than those rental boots.) Boots are a long-term investment. Invest wisely!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #4 of 21

Alen, welcome back to sliding down the hill and also to Epic.   Love your enthusiasm and obvious beginning love affair with the white stuff and sliding.   Ditto everything Bob Barnes says he is a real great guy and guru.

 

Something you can do about your boots - immediately.  This is meant as only a temporary fix and will not replace good, well fitting boots.   Take the cardboard off the back side of a 8 1/2 x 11 line ruled tablet.  Take your boot liner out and the factory insert under your liner (if it comes out) and draw a line the outside of that and cut with scissors.  Put this cutout between the bottom of your boot and the liner.  This will raise your whole foot just a little and take some of the volume out of the boot and they will fit a little better.   When a boot "packs out" before I buy a new liner or a new boot I will do this and works usually for a year or two.   KISS principle, cheap and it works.

 

Keep us informed on your year.

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 

Pete - thanks for the tip!  Sounds like a good temporary fix.

 

Bob...thanks for the advice - I've come to realize just looking at the posts here on Epic that you are regarded as the Sage and Guru for all things skiing!  So.... I took your advice and now I am the proud owner of Atomic Hawx 80's.... a full size smaller than my previous boots.   Have to say they feel damn tight...but doing a shell check the fit is OK with around 15mm at the heel with my toes up against the end of the boot.  The last width is smaller than the previous boots as well 100 v 104, so I also assume a lower volume boot in general.

 

Next step is another visit to get foot-beds (conformables) sorted out - I ran out of time at the last visit (pressures of Christmas shopping rolleyes.gif with she who must be obeyed!) so that will happen next week.

 

Next on the list.... new skis - I am looking at the Elan Waveflex 10s (168)...but will wait until a good deal comes along!  The Fischer RX's I have right now are less than a year old and it will take some justification (with she who must be obeyed) to change

 

Once again thanks guys.... and for sure I'll keep you updated with progress...I've already got 25 days planned (and agreed with she who must be obeyed)...and even better....She who must be obeyed has now had her first lessons (1on1 for 4 hours)... so fingers crossed she'll also get the 'bug'!

 

Just to close out.... Christmas Greetings and best wishes for 2011 to one and all at Epic!

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

OK...just quick follow up to close out the last post.    Got the conformables fitted and now had the first days out with the new boots and footbeds.....got to admit the first day was kinda tough... a bit of foot pain 'cos I did not fix the adjustments correctly (and wore the wrong socks rolleyes.gif) but once this was sorted....wow!  I did not realise how 'connected' to my skis it would feel!  Everything seems to be immediate...if you know what I mean?  Skiing now feels sharper, more precise and I've got to add I am really aware when I'm in the back seat.... the boots let me know very quickly and remind me that I have to stay balanced or pushing!

I still have a hell of a lot to learn...but there is no doubt that having boots that fit properly will make a difference.   example... skiing in my 'old' boots could not manage pivot slips without losing control as the skis come across the fall line... now much much better!   Off to the High Tatras (Tatranske Lomnica) this weekend for more practice...

target is to ski Lomnicke Sedlo (Below - not my picture!) before end of this season:

 

Ad_Tatranska_Lomnica_LomSedlo_ls000_jpg.jpg

By the way...I deferred on the new skis until end of the year.  I know that one never stops learning....but when do you stop being a beginner? confused.gif

post #7 of 21
Awesome, Alen!

Welcome to the world of precision, sensitivity, "touch," and control. It's one that, unfortunately, few skiers will experience.

Enjoy!

Best regards,
Bob

PS--buy a pair of "Cat-Tracks" and use them religiously (they're a pain in the neck, but get used to it) to protect your new boots whenever you walk on anything other than snow. Buy 'em small--they'll be hard to put on at first, but they'll break in and they'll stretch.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

....
PS--buy a pair of "Cat-Tracks" and use them religiously (they're a pain in the neck, but get used to it) to protect your new boots whenever you walk on anything other than snow. Buy 'em small--they'll be hard to put on at first, but they'll break in and they'll stretch.


haha, I thought my wife and I were the only people who used these. Had a hard time finding them initially, stores had no clue what I was talking about when I'd ask, "do you have cat-tracks?"

post #9 of 21

Here's the latest upgrade:  YakTrax-SkiTrax.  They are rockered so you don't get the clump clump of walking in ski boots.

 

skitrax.png

 

I've got a pair and I really like them.  They are a bit larger than CatTraks.

post #10 of 21
Quote:
haha, I thought my wife and I were the only people who used these.

Depending on the resort and how much walking around on abrasive surfaces they end up doing, many instructors use them religiously. In some places, you'd wear out three pairs of boots in a season without some sort of sole protection. And the wear is cumulative, of course--like the shock absorbers of a car, they wear a little at time, losing performance gradually. You may not notice it for a while, but when the boot soles become round, so they don't hold firm and flat on the skis when you tip them, you lose edge performance badly.

Cat-tracks are a great idea, but not a great implementation of that idea, in my opinion. They don't go on easily, especially when they're new. They also don't stay on easily, and tend to fall off your boots, sometimes without you noticing. I'm intrigued by the Yak-Trax alternative, T-Square--haven't seen them. But Cat-tracks already take up too much room in my pocket as it is...wouldn't want anything bigger. (Of course, there are other ways to carry them when they're not on your boots. If you don't mind them flapping around a little, perhaps the best solution I've seen is a carabiner on your belt that you just clip around the narrow parts of the Cat-tracks.)

In any case, you must protect your boot soles, because they're critical to the performance of your boots. Cat-tracks do work, once you get used to them.

Best regards,
Bob
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post

Here's the latest upgrade:  YakTrax-SkiTrax.  They are rockered so you don't get the clump clump of walking in ski boots.

 

skitrax.png

 

I've got a pair and I really like them.  They are a bit larger than CatTraks.

 

I don't know about elsewhere, but in Australia, you have a fair hike through an asphalt/gravel carpark that's rarely covered in snow, or anything soft (sometimes there's ice biggrin.gif). I've worn my new boots through it maybe 5 times and they SHOW it. I've never been bothered before (my old boots were just that--really old), but I'm looking at getting a set of cat-tracks when we go to Canada in Feb--I really like the look of these. Thanks!


 

post #12 of 21

Bob,

 

The Ski-Trax come with a heavy weight nylon bag you can attach to the carabiner if you want to use it.  They also have nice loop on the heel you use to pull them on with.  You could use that for the carabiner.  I just lock mine up on the ski rack using the loop.  It's a small hill.

 

These are a better alternative to the Walk EZs I have.  Those were $60 a pair, large, and hard.  The Walk EZ company is now out of business.  I'm very glad Yak-Trax now make these.

post #13 of 21

Have used Cat Tracks for some 30 years.  Saves the boot sole and may also save your butt in the icy parking lots etc.

 

Before Cat Tracks:   Worst fall I have ever taken was walking across glare ice in Donner Sky Ranch parking lot almost broke my shoulder and arm.  Wear them ALL the time now. 

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post

Have used Cat Tracks for some 30 years.  Saves the boot sole and may also save your butt in the icy parking lots etc.

 

Before Cat Tracks:   Worst fall I have ever taken was walking across glare ice in Donner Sky Ranch parking lot almost broke my shoulder and arm.  Wear them ALL the time now. 



I nearly had fall slipping on ice in the resort parking lot last year. I think I dropped my skis, and was lucky enough to catch myself on a car next to me. ^^^ is a really good point.

Plus, you spend how many hundred of dollars and hours buying a good pair of boots, getting them fitted, wearing them in... $50 isn't much when you think how much extra life you'll get out of your boots, and how much pain they can save you if you *do* go down before you even get to the bottom of the slope.

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sazbah View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post

Have used Cat Tracks for some 30 years.  Saves the boot sole and may also save your butt in the icy parking lots etc.

 

Before Cat Tracks:   Worst fall I have ever taken was walking across glare ice in Donner Sky Ranch parking lot almost broke my shoulder and arm.  Wear them ALL the time now. 



I nearly had fall slipping on ice in the resort parking lot last year. I think I dropped my skis, and was lucky enough to catch myself on a car next to me. ^^^ is a really good point.

Plus, you spend how many hundred of dollars and hours buying a good pair of boots, getting them fitted, wearing them in... $50 isn't much when you think how much extra life you'll get out of your boots, and how much pain they can save you if you *do* go down before you even get to the bottom of the slope.


Austalia, where do you ski.  Have skied Perisher in 1998.
 

post #16 of 21
We ski Perisher. I've been to Thredbo once, but Perisher's 'home'. It's where we (husband and I) skied as kids, and never stopped going smile.gif
Hope '98 was a good year for you! I know '99 and 2000 were supposed to be really great seasons...
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sazbah View Post

We ski Perisher. I've been to Thredbo once, but Perisher's 'home'. It's where I skied as kids, and never stopped going smile.gif
Hope '98'was a good year for you! I know '99'and 2000 were supposed to be really great seasons...



Very good memories of Australia, wife and I spend 5 weeks there.  Skiing was racing at the Austra/Asian fFire and Police Games. Raced in Am and skied rest of day, spent a lot of times in the big Boulders at Perisher, fun times.

post #18 of 21

Yeah, we love it down there. Wish we could stay all year round, but it's the same the world over: work, money, etc.

Unfortunately we have a short season, so you take what you can get. We kind of look at it as, how lucky are we that it snows in Australia at all, and we have this gorgeous place to do it in!

post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sazbah View Post

Yeah, we love it down there. Wish we could stay all year round, but it's the same the world over: work, money, etc.

Unfortunately we have a short season, so you take what you can get. We kind of look at it as, how lucky are we that it snows in Australia at all, and we have this gorgeous place to do it in!



Yep,l short season I was told that was why it was so crowded.  Also why I was skiing in the boulders.   Great country, great people had a really good time. Sydney, Jindabyne/Perisher, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Ayers rock, Alice Springs, Darwin, Cannes back to Sydney. 5 weeks and good time.

post #20 of 21

Wow, what a trip--must've been amazing!

I think because we don't have many options here (there are no more than 10 resorts in the country) it's pretty crowded also, and if you're there in school holidays it's crazy. 20 minute lift lines are normal. Glad you have good memories... it's a pretty amazing country, I think :D

post #21 of 21

Thanks for the information! The skitrax look like a great idea. I'm a beginner working on getting my first pair of boots & these should help keep them in good shape.

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