EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Help a brother pick some skis out!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help a brother pick some skis out!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Background:  I'm a 38 year old male, 5'8", 150 pounds.  Used to be extremely athletic.  I had years in college where I skied 90 days per season.  I live in the Northeast, a stone's throw from Southern Vermont.  I broke both legs in a car wreck early 20's, spent time in a wheelchair, learned how to walk again, and am active again (Race BMX bikes intermittently, etc), but my legs will never again be remotely strong.  I'm about 50% of where I used to be pre-accident, and old age ain't helping.  Pre-accident, I'd classify myself as an extremely advanced intermediate/ borderline expert. 

 

Back in the day, I skied on 200cm Rossi 4G's and 185cm Dynastar Courses (the old chickenheart skis; gold with red tips).  I was probably pushing my luck with the Rossi GS skis in the handling department, but as long as I didn't head for the bumps with them, I managed most terrain with nary an issue.  The Dynastars were the best thing I'd ever skied- fast side to side, stable at speed, and they'd throw you into the next turn. 

 

Fast forward to now:

 

I haven't been on skis for the last 6 years.  I grabbed a pair of late 90's 185 Dynastar Vertical V8's (freshly waxed and sharpened) and went up to Mount Snow last Thursday.  The Dynastars ended up in the back of the truck after two runs.  I just couldn't turn the things (really couldn't flex them at all), and my legs were absolutely on fire.  I went inside and rented a pair of their stocker rental shapes: 160cm Head Aliens and headed back for the lift.  To say that it was a revelation would be the understatement of the year.  You could tell that they needed wax in the worst way ever, their edge grip on ice was non-existent, and they chattered around at speed, but it was a hell of an upgrade over the OG skis that I fired into the back of my truck.  I got a total of 5 runs in on the shapes, and I was toast.  My legs were totally shot. 

 

So, here's my dilemma:

 

I don't really trust my local shops to pick a good ski for me.  The last time they did, I said that I wanted something that was like the Dynastar Courses above, and they put me on the Vertical V8's, which I thought were much too stiff (this was pre-leg breakage).  I didn't like them then, and I sure as hell don't like them now.  Demo'ing skis is not out of the question, but it's also not something that I think will happen enough for me to decide on something.  At least not without having a short list of skis to walk in there with. 

 

I'm hoping you guys can throw me some ideas.  After this past Thursday, I think I'm pretty smack dab in the middle of the intermediate charts.  I can say that unless I go down one accidentally, bump runs are a thing of the past.  I might build up to single diamond steeps, but I honestly just want to go out there, have fun, and not get my ass kicked.  I'm looking for a ski that is easy to turn, has good grip on the ice we see here in the Northeast, and something that I can go fast on every now and then without feeling like I'm in an old mining cart that's about to go off the rails.

 

Such a ski must exist-  I'm hoping you guys can help me out.   For what it's worth, I was screwing around on the Fischer website, and it pointed me towards 2011 Motive 74 or 2011 Motive 74SW in either 160 or 165.  So I guess I'll start by asking about those.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Jay

Massachusetts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfraga View Post

Background:  I'm a 38 year old male, 5'8", 150 pounds.  Used to be extremely athletic.  ......... but my legs will never again be remotely strong.  I'm about 50% of where I used to be pre-accident, and old age ain't helping.  ....Pre-accident, I'd classify myself as an extremely advanced intermediate/ borderline expert. 

 

.................. it was a hell of an upgrade over the OG skis that I fired into the back of my truck.  I got a total of 5 runs in on the shapes, and I was toast.  My legs were totally shot.............

I'm hoping you guys can throw me some ideas.  After this past Thursday, I think I'm pretty smack dab in the middle of the intermediate charts. ...........................

 

I honestly just want to go out there, have fun, and not get my ass kicked.  I'm looking for a ski that is easy to turn, has good grip on the ice we see here in the Northeast, and something that I can go fast on every now and then without feeling like I'm in an old mining cart that's about to go off the rails.

 


I glad to hear that you are on the mend and ready to start getting back out there.  It sounds like you are keeping your expectations reasonable to conservative.  It sounds like you're looking for something a bit more forgiving and easier to ski than a pure bread carver or man's race ski.  Have you considered looking at some of the higher end womens skis?  Because they are designed for people of ligher weight they tend to be a bit more flexible and forgiving, but still are pretty tortionallly strong and hold decently on sketchy hardpack.  There are those, and there are the generic all mountain skis that are pretty forgiving but can take you to the next level pretty well.  If you're looking to ski off trail a soft Bro might also be a good fit.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

I hadn't even considered a high end women's ski.  I could though-

 

I'm probably not going off piste very much if ever.  If it turns out in a year or two that my abilities are way over where they are at right now, I'm not opposed to sacking up and upgrading equipment again.  I just want to start back out with something that handles good.

 

I'm definitely staying cautious/realistic for the time being.  From a comfort standpoint, I'd rather be more mellow than buy something new and feel like I have to constantly work too hard at keeping up with the ski.

 

Many thanks for your response!

post #4 of 9

Boots first. see Shon at The Boot Doctor in Ludlow...Okemo. Once you get the boots dialed in, start demoing some skis. K2 AMP series is a great easy skiing line is where i would suggest starting with the Rictor being at the top of the list with the Shockwave being second. I would not dismiss a quality twin tip either. 

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Boots first. see Shon at The Boot Doctor in Ludlow...Okemo. Once you get the boots dialed in, start demoing some skis. K2 AMP series is a great easy skiing line is where i would suggest starting with the Rictor being at the top of the list with the Shockwave being second. I would not dismiss a quality twin tip either. 

 

+1  Boots are way more important than skis.
 

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Outstanding- I really appreciate the input from you guys.  I'll put the effort into the boots first!

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

 

I just wanted to drop an update.  After soliciting advice here, I took my time, talked to some local shops about boots, and found one shop that I really felt comfortable with.  The owner spent quite some time talking to me (despite a packed shop with people clamoring for help) about my needs.  He sold me on a pair of Fischer Soma X-100 boots.  My wacky gait (multiple time broken legs) helped greatly to contribute to that choice.  The next day, they spent close to 3 hours with me getting the boots tweaked to fit perfectly.  

 

While that was going on, I spotted a new pair of Fischer Motive 74SW's in the rack.  I'd done a ton of outside research and it kept coming back to those particular skis. Talking with the shop further reinforced a lot of opinions I'd gotten that they'd work well for me.  They cut me a deal on them that I couldn't refuse, and I was thrilled.  I put those on layaway and walked out with the new boots.

 

Fast forward to last Friday afternoon.  I put the final payment down on the skis the night before and picked them up, so I decided to head to Blandford here in Western Mass for a little trial run.  The mountain is small, but it's lit for night skiing, and you can't beat $21 lift tickets for night skiing.  We also received 2 feet plus of fluffy white stuff a couple of days earlier.  My first run down I took it easy and really tried to feel out the skis.  5 runs later, I was marveling at how comfortable (and warm) my feet still were.  Prior to getting these boots, I was typically in agony by my 2nd or 3rd run with foot and ankle pain; especially on my left side, where my legs were the most damaged and where a rather unnatural curve still exists.

 

12 runs in, I was wide open, going strong and ripping big smooth turns.  Alternatively, busting out fast short turns was pretty easy, but I'm still building up leg strength and that will only get easier with time.  I was skiing at a level that was darn close to the best I've ever skied, and the best was literally 20 years ago, and before a devastating injury.

 

I came off the mountain euphoric.  I damn near cried.  That car wreck was a pivotal moment in my life, and while I realize that I was lucky to live and there are certainly many people who have it much worse than I do, I really felt robbed from a standpoint of losing most of my athletic ability and not being able to do the things that I loved.  I hope that doesn't sound overly dramatic, but when I got home and walked in the door, my wife saw the look on my face and she busted out a big smile.  

 

Thanks for the advice to get the boots dialed first and foremost-

 

Jay

 

post #8 of 9

Congratulations.  Sounds like you definitely had a good time.  Expect to ski better now than you did before, work at it and it will happen.  I'm 66, started skiing in 1962 and I now ski better and have more fun doing it than I ever have.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

UPDATE - A YEAR LATER...

 

I know it's been a while since this thread was last active, but I wanted to update it. First, thanks to mtcyclist above for responding with congrats.

Like everywhere else, the conditions here in New England have been kind of funky.  That hasn't stopped me from getting out though.  Saturday was my sixth time out skiing this season.  Admittedly, the first two times I had my kids out, and those don't count as far as working on my own skiing since I was dealing with them the whole time.

Saturday afternoon, I figured carving out for the first time.  At least, I think I did.  Before Saturday, I was really battling with my form this season.  It was like my body couldn't pick up or remember where I left off at the end of last season, and the end of last season was going fairly well.  In my first few outings this year, I was horsing my skis around, forgot where their sweet spot was, and it was generally ugly. I felt disconnected at best. Early Saturday, I found my skis' sweet spot for longer flowing GS-type turns by sort of letting them do their thing and then making only minor inputs.  That felt great and made me feel a lot better about how things were going.  There was light at the end of the tunnel.

After lunch, I went back out and stumbled onto shorter carved turns completely by accident.  It was getting a little sloppy out (not to mention icy), and I was on a steeper inter run that was arguably a black, but this mountain is pretty mellow in their trail designations.  I was really working on trying to control my speed and I guess that set the stage for the carve.  I was concentrating more than I had been- and I guess loading the ski up and keeping pressure on it throughout the whole turn.  Instead of all hell breaking loose halfway through the turn and the tails breaking loose and skidding, I managed to hold the ski into it.  The result was a perfect "C" shape to the right that set me up to pull off a consecutive perfect "C" to the left.  I managed to keep linking those for about a hundred yards until I had to stop and rest. My legs were completely on fire, but I sat there thinking, "Holy s***- I don't think I've ever been that in control down a narrower steep in my life".  I was able to duplicate the same thing again after I rested for a minute or so.  

Today, my inner thighs and hip flexors are absolutely on fire, and I skied two days ago.  I haven't been sore after any of the other time I've gone this season, so something is definitely different.  

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Help a brother pick some skis out!