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Intermediate or Advanced ski?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all

I have done some skiing with a seasons pass before, I am a intermediate skiing still trying to link up my parallels. I have my own equipment apart from my own ski's.

I have used the rental stuff on mountain and I have used a ski rental shop in town - I used the Head Supershape the older red white design one. 168 length if I remember correctly. I am 1.78m, 80kg.

1. I found I liked the Head Supershape ski better than the rental on the mountain. Does this sound correct? I know on the website before they call it a advanced expert ski.


Your thoughts?

Location - Ruapehu New Zealand North Island. I ski on groomed surfaces.



Thanks.
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'm not sure what you are asking, but it's not really possible to say whether your experience of a ski is "correct".

Personal preference is driven by things like skiing ability, skiing style and what sort of response you are looking for in your skis. If you like the ski, then you should maybe not worry too much about its categorisation, but rather be guided by your own perception and also by your coach's assessment of your skiing on those skis.

Have you tried other skis? It's a good idea to compare models and bear in mind that as your skiing progresses, what suits you now may be too soft for you later.

If you are comparing rental skis, bear in mind other factors such as whether they are being maintained correctly, and is the length appropriate.

To see how varied responses are to different skis, have a look here http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/skibase.php
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
rayonlinenz wrote:
Hi all

I have done some skiing with a seasons pass before, I am a intermediate skiing still trying to link up my parallels. I have my own equipment apart from my own ski's.

I have used the rental stuff on mountain and I have used a ski rental shop in town - I used the Head Supershape the older red white design one. 168 length if I remember correctly. I am 1.78m, 80kg.

1. I found I liked the Head Supershape ski better than the rental on the mountain. Does this sound correct? I know on the website before they call it a advanced expert ski.


Your thoughts?

Location - Ruapehu New Zealand North Island. I ski on groomed surfaces.



Thanks.

IMO. At your stage of skiing, a decent Intermediate Ski should be easier to manage (especially at lower speeds), which will lead to greater confidence...which plays a huge part in improving. I believe the 2 models below have enough performance to see you through to advanced level, while being easy to manage.

I would look at skis like:

Rossignol Pursuit 500

Dynastar Speed Zone 9 CA
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Personally @Old Fartbag I think it's utterly impossible to recommend skis based on the OP's post.

I also think that the whole ability-grading of skis is a bit rubbish. I learned on skis that the manufacturer considered 'Expert' then moved onto an intermediate-rated ski which required far better technique to get right; so I don't understand what they're actually getting at.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I visited a local store in the city for some better rentals. So they offered some cheap rentals and 2 others as below:

https://shop.head.com/en/i-supershape-rally-21.html

https://shop.atomic.com/en-nz/products/vantage-x-75-cti-xt-12-aa2249.html

I don't have a proper photograph of the cheap rentals I used on the mountain some years ago. But I think they cannot be bought in the retail shops. The last time I hired them in 2014 with friends who have never skied they were still renting them out which I had them in 2009.

I could ask them to loan a intermediate ski as well. They said I could hire 2 different ski's for the 2 day weekend for the 2 day hire rate.

In 2009, occasionally I used a rental shop in the ski town there and paid more this was what they gave me, it is a advanced ski. It felt better than the cheaper rentals.
I didn't know too much at the time, so I used them occasionally and swapped back to the cheap ones thinking it was just my skill level.
This is the more expensive ski rental in the past I was given, it's the 5th ski from the left side.
http://www.bmwgroupdesignworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/HEAD-supershape-evolution05-14_web.jpg



Cheers.
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Shops - especially rentals - aren't going to be able to supply you with your perfect ski, except by chance. The only way to have some idea is to try them on the snow and compare them with others.
Renting is a good way to do this - so if you have the opportunity to try a different ski each day, then do so and see what works for you. It doesn't matter if the ski model is 10 years old, if that's the one you like the best, though as you observe, you probably won't be able to buy them!
However, if your skiing is changing as you are learning, then it's important to keep trying other skis as your opinion of them may well change over time.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

I also think that the whole ability-grading of skis is a bit rubbish.


+1, I think very often it is too. The only times (there have been three examples) of when I felt underpowered on a ski, the skis in question had been designed by and for big burly DH racers. My feeling was that additional weight - not skill - on my part would have made the experience easier.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
dp wrote:
Personally @Old Fartbag I think it's utterly impossible to recommend skis based on the OP's post.

I also think that the whole ability-grading of skis is a bit rubbish. I learned on skis that the manufacturer considered 'Expert' then moved onto an intermediate-rated ski which required far better technique to get right; so I don't understand what they're actually getting at.

I both agree and disagree. Toofy Grin

On one hand....the only way to find out for sure, is for the OP to try a selection of skis at different price points / levels and then choose the one that give the best balance between performance and value.

On the other hand:

- First time buyers who are not particularly experienced skiers, don't know what they like, or where to start and often don't have the opportunity to try a range of different models. This can be done in resort if the OP is up for it...but this isn't always the case....and even then, it can be useful to have some models to compare with the iShapes.

- Advanced/Expert skis are usually more expensive and have characteristics due to their construction, that could be wasted on someone "perfecting parallels"...so a slightly softer ski (with good headroom) is often the way to go (while saving money).

- There are few bad skis out there now....but some stand out as being a little better....so I listed 2, to give the OP somewhere to start.
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under a new name wrote:
Quote:

I also think that the whole ability-grading of skis is a bit rubbish.


+1, I think very often it is too. The only times (there have been three examples) of when I felt underpowered on a ski, the skis in question had been designed by and for big burly DH racers. My feeling was that additional weight - not skill - on my part would have made the experience easier.

IMO. It is easier for an expert skier to cope with a ski that is not right for their weight, than it is for an Intermediate to cope/improve on a ski that is not suitable for their standard.....neither are ideal.

Like you, I'm on the light end of the spectrum, so have to take that into account. I learned a valuable lesson when I bought my first set of skis, back in the early 80s. I didn't know where to start, so asked the SCGB. They suggested 2 models: one from Kastle (SX363?) and the Langer SLS....because there was no i/net for advice/info back then, I went for the only ones I could find....the Lange.

I hated them.....they seemed to run away with me. The following winter, the SCGB in their ski review, tested them....and the comment from the light skiers, were they were much too stiff and were only for heavy skiers!! So I sold them to a heavier friend and bought one of the stars of that test...a little known brand at that time - Volkl. I had Renntigers for many years and loved them.

I believe that dp is on the burlier end of the spectrum, so will likely overpower a softer ski.
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@Old Fartbag, I had Renntigers for my first season. A very nice ski.

The next year I upgraded to Rossi 7Ss (turquoise silver originals). They were exceptional. The same year I tried a few runs on the then Atomic ARC SLs as expressly designed for A. Tomba. Nightmare. I just didn't have the weight. Both were 203s (or equivalent).
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Old Fartbag wrote:

- First time buyers who are not particularly experienced skiers, don't know what they like, or where to start and often don't have the opportunity to try a range of different models. This can be done in resort if the OP is up for it...but this isn't always the case....and even then, it can be useful to have some models to compare with the iShapes.


This is true but some comparison with a further range of models might only serve to prove that the iShapes were the best of a bad bunch and not something the OP actually liked.

Quote:

- Advanced/Expert skis are usually more expensive and have characteristics due to their construction, that could be wasted on someone "perfecting parallels"...so a slightly softer ski (with good headroom) is often the way to go (while saving money).


To be fair, 'perfecting parallels' is reasonably subjective isn't it? A racer perfecting their parallels technique to their instructor's satisfaction is probably still skiing way better than a lot of people who consider themselves to be beyond lessons!!!

Anyway I still think it's rubbish. For example, they often rate stiffer skis as being more expert... what they fail to mention is that for tall and or fat bustards like myself, you really need stiff skis anyway.

Old Fartbag wrote:

I learned a valuable lesson when I bought my first set of skis, back in the early 80s. I didn't know where to start, so asked the SCGB. They suggested 2 models: one from Kastle (SX363?) and the Langer SLS....because there was no i/net for advice/info back then, I went for the only ones I could find....the Lange.


if you still want to try the Kastles, my ladyfriend is selling some Kastle SX701s Very Happy
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@dp, I actually misquoted his original post....where he said, "I am an intermediate skiing still trying to link up my parallels."....which certainly suggests he is still very much at the beginning of his skiing journey.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@rayonlinenz, if you are still trying to link parallel turns then the last thing you need is what a manufacturer terms and 'advanced' ski 'cos the last thing you have is the strength and skill to 'drive' them. Read ski reviews (as just one example - http://www.onthesnow.com/news/p/2473/2015-2016-ski-buyers--guide ) this is last season's because you don't need new skis at this time and ex demo or rental are ideal with boot size adjustable bindings (NB. if you go this route, get them fitted and adjusted by a pro/shop). Look for terms that say 'easy to turn, confidence inspiring, stable, well damped etc. To progress you need skis that don't require skills, strength and endurance to get the best out of.

THEN, the most important thing of all . . . Get lessons, lots of them.

And have fun Toofy Grin
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You know it makes sense.
Agree with @Masque,

Here is my 2p worth
The main thing about an advanced ski is it is likely to be a bit stiffer. Therefore, it takes more pressure and therefore will need that pressure to bend. Why is this important? Put any ski on its edge and the tip and tail will be touching, now press into it and see how it makes a curve. This is why it can carve. So if you get an advanced ski, that is intended to be "driven" or pushed really hard and then grip/carve you will generally need to apply that pressure.

If you are not up to the ski it will not give you the full control. A ski that is designed to carve at the lower pressure (IE one a wee it more bendy) will be able to let you carve and progress without the full effort of the high end ski.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Masque, @GlasgowCyclops, yeah, but, ...

Given that most manufacturers' ski length guides are height related (historical I guess) then someone my height but 50% heavier will need a much stiffer ski.

So if the height guide for the wobbly noodle beginner ski says 160cm, they're probably better off with a highish end piste or detuned race ski.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
under a new name wrote:
@Masque, @GlasgowCyclops, yeah, but, ...

Given that most manufacturers' ski length guides are height related (historical I guess) then someone my height but 50% heavier will need a much stiffer ski.

So if the height guide for the wobbly noodle beginner ski says 160cm, they're probably better off with a highish end piste or detuned race ski.


Yes that is true. However, you should choose the length based on the height. But everyone knows this. My comment were a general guide not a commandment Happy

But race ski.. Now way Happy
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@GlasgowCyclops, you should choose length on weight. How does the ski know how tall you are?

Detuned /cheater race skis not necessarily a problem.
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under a new name wrote:
@GlasgowCyclops, you should choose length on weight. How does the ski know how tall you are?

Detuned /cheater race skis not necessarily a problem.


Its physics jim.

but yes you are right. At my age there aren't many tall sticks about Happy so Height goes with mass
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I'm with @under a new name... as those who've met me know, I'm 6'7" and not exactly skinny either. As a result I've been on advanced skis ever since I learned how to turn skis.

Basically being 6'7", nobody actually produces a ski long enough. Then being heavy, I bend them too easily so I really need a stiff ski otherwise I'm not pushing against the ski.

The right stiffness is a fine art... too bendy and on hard snow it's like riding a lump of cheese down the mountain. Too stiff and you won't turn it at all. To try and sum that balance up as "beginner, intermediate, advanced" is clearly a waste of time.

There's skis which are right for you and skis which are wrong for you, and classifying them by ability is just way too subjective to be of any value. They categorise them at 3 levels for a million varieties of person. It just can't work.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

There's skis which are right for you and skis which are wrong for you


She and I demo'ed 5 different ski models (phnarrr!) early season, all with very similar geometry (varying rockers being biggest differences) aimed at similar ski preference profiles and "ability" levels.

Wildly different experiences (all on broadly similar conditions).

All would have been acceptable had they been the only ones (actually, no, one wouldn't) but we both opted for different models despite being broadly of similar height, weight ability and experience.
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Masque wrote:
@rayonlinenz, if you are still trying to link parallel turns then the last thing you need is what a manufacturer terms and 'advanced' ski 'cos the last thing you have is the strength and skill to 'drive' them. Read ski reviews (as just one example - http://www.onthesnow.com/news/p/2473/2015-2016-ski-buyers--guide ) this is last season's because you don't need new skis at this time and ex demo or rental are ideal with boot size adjustable bindings (NB. if you go this route, get them fitted and adjusted by a pro/shop). Look for terms that say 'easy to turn, confidence inspiring, stable, well damped etc. To progress you need skis that don't require skills, strength and endurance to get the best out of.

THEN, the most important thing of all . . . Get lessons, lots of them.

And have fun Toofy Grin


Yes still linking parallels.
Would a intermediate level ski be correct?
I told this to the shop which primarily sells stuff but also hires out cheaper stuff and demo skies - I said still learing parallels and doing blues but not all blues and I have used the cheapest rentals on the mountain hire and the older Head Supershape so he suggested the Head iRally and the Atomic Vantage. X 77 CTI the blue one. I asked him again saying would this be too much to handle for my level and he said no I would get used to it and something I will grow into them. He also said if I was going not fast I probably wouldn't notice the difference.
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rayonlinenz wrote:
Masque wrote:
@rayonlinenz, if you are still trying to link parallel turns then the last thing you need is what a manufacturer terms and 'advanced' ski 'cos the last thing you have is the strength and skill to 'drive' them. Read ski reviews (as just one example - http://www.onthesnow.com/news/p/2473/2015-2016-ski-buyers--guide ) this is last season's because you don't need new skis at this time and ex demo or rental are ideal with boot size adjustable bindings (NB. if you go this route, get them fitted and adjusted by a pro/shop). Look for terms that say 'easy to turn, confidence inspiring, stable, well damped etc. To progress you need skis that don't require skills, strength and endurance to get the best out of.

THEN, the most important thing of all . . . Get lessons, lots of them.

And have fun Toofy Grin


Yes still linking parallels.
Would a intermediate level ski be correct?
I told this to the shop which primarily sells stuff but also hires out cheaper stuff and demo skies - I said still learing parallels and doing blues but not all blues and I have used the cheapest rentals on the mountain hire and the older Head Supershape so he suggested the Head iRally and the Atomic Vantage. X 77 CTI the blue one. I asked him again saying would this be too much to handle for my level and he said no I would get used to it and something I will grow into them. He also said if I was going not fast I probably wouldn't notice the difference.


Lots of excellent advice and unsurprisingly it's a minefield. You also seem to be ignoring much of it.

The best advice, needs pointing out again. Test a range of skis through rental. Don't like them? Next.

Have to say though that at this stage normal rentals will probably be fine until you are skiing blues very confidently and enjoying reds.

You can't rely on what many shops say. You can't necessarily rely on what the manufacturers say.

Oh, and the same money would at this stage would imo actually be best spent on personal lessons with a recommended ski teacher.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Ok thanks.
I am maybe a slow learner. I have prob skiied 20 days in total the year I had the seasons pass and of that prob 10hr of private tuition and hired $20US x 20 days in rental. They do add up. Having said that, I don't really aspire to do black runs at all, just happy to do blues more confidently even down the years .... More a seasoned cruiser and a cafeteria type lol. Won't be doing much this year, no seasons pass, was just others who have never said snow said they wanted to go, this thing this year is just a holiday trip.
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Skiing is many things to many people.

If you are just doing a cruisy week with friends this season there is no reason to be buying - especially if you aren't sure what you want. In fact it's an ideal opportunity to try a few pairs out to see what suits.

I'm never quite sure about this idea of "growing in" to a pair of ski's - you can take it different ways. I guess the way I perceive it is that you aren't really going to change mentally or physically. If you get on with it when you first take them out the chances are you'll only love them more as you get better and/or use them more.

I wouldn't sweat the label intermediate/advanced they give to the ski. If you liked the Supershape then keep using it. If you do enough to justify it or have the cash buy a pair. I wouldn't ski intermediate ski's or cheap rentals just based on the fact I was only skiing blue runs at that time. If you like the ski, you like the ski.

On that subject - don't get hung up on piste grades. It's just a guide and conditions make a big difference.
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Cheers ...
Next week, weekend it is Smile In New Zealand skiing is July to September, half of October if lucky. So 2/3 of the season is already gone. I might get a seasons pass next year and if I do that in October 2017 they generally have early bird specials for 2018 season and that's also the time when they have end of season sales on gear.

I know what you mean.
Even the manufacturer's website said the Atomic Redster X5 is a beginner ski - you can select the ability level on the website but when you read the webpage it says it is a beginner / advanced ski. Likewise the Atomic Vantage 75 C (not CTI) review sites say it is a beginner to intermediate but the Atomic site say it is advanced. The CTI is a bit more a intermediate to upper intermediate / advanced ski the reviews say.

Yeah I am just gonna try some ski's with a open mind and see how they go.
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Layne wrote:
... I'm never quite sure about this idea of "growing in" to a pair of ski's - you can take it different ways. I guess the way I perceive it is that you aren't really going to change mentally or physically. If you get on with it when you first take them out the chances are you'll only love them more as you get better and/or use them more. ....[sic]
These days I'm more snowboard focused, but in my humble opinion this is a hugely important point for both skis and boards.

You may possibly "grow into" a ski, but it will slow the process down. You'll progress fastest on something you find easy to use. You'll get our more, do more stuff, push yourself, and waste no time fighting your gear. I think this is me agreeing with the above.

---
On the question about what specifically makes one ski "advanced" and another "intermediate".... other than broadly stiffness (for quoted rider weight), I don't think anyone's actually come up with a coherent answer. Here's an attempt at what else there may actually be there...
  • If it's "all mountain", it's for novices. If you're an expert you don't go touring on your park skis. Novice gear tends to be less focused in design, less application specific.
  • Materials. More expensive construction gives better performance... so metal not glass, proper bases, lighter weight construction.
  • Higher cost. If you want to show to people who may care that you're an expert, you need to pay the price.
  • Almost always shorter. Seriously, I think novices are frightened by length as they're mostly side slipping their turns.
  • Race influenced rather than technology influenced. Expert gear: "this is a de-tuned WC board". Novice gear: "this board has brand new technology which will save you having to learn to ride it". Perhaps that too is simply marketing.
Caveat: I know mostly about race and powder snowboards.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I'll partially disagree about your "all mountain" comment, only because different marketing departments have different descriptions. I think (I may be wrong) that Blizzard "all mountain" means fat but not as fat as "freeride".

I think (!) that one brand has an "all mountain free ride" range.

It has to work otherwise these guys wouldn't get paid so much, right?
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@philwig, I agree with @under a new name on the "all mountain" thing. It is for piste and powder (and everything in between). They tend to be for intermediate/expert because logic dictates beginners don't venture too far from the road. Park, powder, slalom are all one job ski's - most of us don't do that stuff all day. But we're still in the intermediate/expert skier category.
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Layne,
Quote:

I'm never quite sure about this idea of "growing in" to a pair of ski's - you can take it different ways. I guess the way I perceive it is that you aren't really going to change mentally or physically. If you get on with it when you first take them out the chances are you'll only love them more as you get better and/or use them more.
In my own experience, I have found that noodling about on very light skis, probably doing more pivoting than carving, is nice and easy (on piste). If, however, I have to work hard to get a stiffer/more advanced ski on to its edge, that is going ultimately to improve my carving technique. And I think it has. I am pleased to have found (or, rather, pleased that spyderjon has found) an all-mountain ski, which has sufficient float in non-pisted or variable conditions (I do very little proper off-piste, so don't need huge powder skis) but which I have to work quite hard on piste. Win win, really, especially since I'm not prepared to cart several pairs of skis around when I go on holiday.

I am probably talking through my backside, though. I've had plenty of lessons, but this doesn't mean that I know an awful lot about technique, or anything at all about ski construction. Embarassed
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