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Newbie looking for advice

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi

After 5 years' skiing exclusively at SnoZone MK (I know, I know...) the stars are finally aligning, sort of*, and I have booked a trip to a real mountain with a bunch of friends / colleagues, mostly from the corporate sessions I organise bi-weekly.

It's a budget affair and the resort - Bansko, Bulgaria - is probably nobody's first choice but as a trial to see if we all get on it fits within a tight budget that everyone can cope with.

My question is this: what skis do members recommend? I currently own 2 pairs:

- Salomon Aero X 174 all-mountain, a bit aircraft-carrier-like and with a radius of about 17m (from memory) but good and stable, assuming you don't do slalom
- Head Black Veyron II Limited 163, much more "flicky" and chuckable and ideal for my usual 120m indoor piste, but will they struggle on a mountain?

If either of these are suitable, happy days. If they're not, I'm open to suggestions of what to look for and buy some more (you can never have too many skis, right?).

Any thoughts from experienced SnowHeaders will be gratefully appreciated.

*I am recovering from a bad sprain / chipped ankle bone and, hopefully, by January I will be back to my previous level of carving aggressive turns and building / maintaining speed throughout the run.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Salomons. Unless your Heads are a real SL you'll find flicky and chuckable turns into wobbly unstable at speed on a real mountain even in Bulgaria.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I think the salomons would be ideal TBH
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@Turbobanana, Hi and welcome snowHead

I have tested a lot of skis both on the mountain and in the snow dome, and the conclusion that I have come to is that anything that feels good indoors is too soft and/or short for outdoor use. The limitations on speed and distance are largely removed on the mountain, so you may not need something quite a nimble but stability is a big plus. Take the Salomons.

The other thing to remember and often not considered by those who have only skied indoors is that mountains are big, wild places with variable snow conditions, visibility issues, navigation and sometimes crowds of people at various levels of skill and intoxication, and no amount of time at mount SnoZone can really prepare you for that. Book more lessons in resort.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Turbobanana, if you take @Scarlet advice (which I wholeheartedly plus one), I would recommend biking lessons through Bansko Blog. We used these are were happy with them, and they limit class sizes to a decent size unlike another ski school we inadvertently interacted with.

Though you could find just booking a couple of hours privates for a couple hours of days may be better given your background, in which case the group class sizes are much less important.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Thanks to those who have responded so far, and confirmed my own thoughts re the Salomons. They've been stored in the loft for about a year, so I'll get them serviced and run them a few times indoors before I go.

Re lessons, we have already booked a few hours, just as a refresher and to appreciate etiquette, navigation, local conditions etc. I'm comfortable with the likely conditions, having grown up in Snowdonia, but happily admit to being a novice when it comes to circumnavigating crowds at speed.

Good tips - thanks again all.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Turbobanana wrote:
Thanks to those who have responded so far, and confirmed my own thoughts re the Salomons. They've been stored in the loft for about a year, so I'll get them serviced and run them a few times indoors before I go.

Re lessons, we have already booked a few hours, just as a refresher and to appreciate etiquette, navigation, local conditions etc. I'm comfortable with the likely conditions, having grown up in Snowdonia, but happily admit to being a novice when it comes to circumnavigating crowds at speed.

Good tips - thanks again all.


Nice to see another North Walian on the forum. You say you've only skied in a snow dome so far and feel comfortable with the likely conditions. I did 50 hours in a snow dome before doing my first trip on a mountain at the Birthday Bash in February this year. As some have already said, there is a big difference between the snowdome and a real mountain. I was confident I was going to be fine on the mountain; and in general I was. However, the biggest difference I found wasn't the number of people or the speed they were going at, or even the steepness of some of the reds; but flat light.

I'd read all the debates on the forum about which goggles were best in flat light conditions and thought they were referring to white out conditions. I struggled to understand how any goggles would help you in a white out. But they weren't talking about a total white out. They were referring to days when there is no sun and it's all overcast with low cloud. You can see the people in front of you fine, even way down the piste; but what you can't see is any detail at all in the snow. You can't see if there are piles of snow, big dips, anything. The snow itself is just a flat white canvas, when it's really bad. I struggled badly in flat light. Cool Shocked Confused Puzzled

I'm not one for forking out on expensive skiing gear, but I will be buying a good set of flat light goggles for the BB next year; even if I have to fork out £150.

My sole bit of advice to you would be to take a decent set of flat light goggles. Or at least one with interchangeable lenses that includes a flat light option. snowHead
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:
. Turbobanana wrote:
Thanks to those who have responded so far, and confirmed my own thoughts re the Salomons. They've been stored in the loft for about a year, so I'll get them serviced and run them a few times indoors before I go.

Re lessons, we have already booked a few hours, just as a refresher and to appreciate etiquette, navigation, local conditions etc. I'm comfortable with the likely conditions, having grown up in Snowdonia, but happily admit to being a novice when it comes to circumnavigating crowds at speed.

Good tips - thanks again all.


Nice to see another North Walian on the forum. You say you've only skied in a snow dome so far and feel comfortable with the likely conditions. I did 50 hours in a snow dome before doing my first trip on a mountain at the Birthday Bash in February this year. As some have already said, there is a big difference between the snowdome and a real mountain. I was confident I was going to be fine on the mountain; and in general I was. However, the biggest difference I found wasn't the number of people or the speed they were going at, or even the steepness of some of the reds; but flat light.

I'd read all the debates on the forum about which goggles were best in flat light conditions and thought they were referring to white out conditions. I struggled to understand how any goggles would help you in a white out. But they weren't talking about a total white out. They were referring to days when there is no sun and it's all overcast with low cloud. You can see the people in front of you fine, even way down the piste; but what you can't see is any detail at all in the snow. You can't see if there are piles of snow, big dips, anything. The snow itself is just a flat white canvas, when it's really bad. I struggled badly in flat light. Cool Shocked Confused Puzzled

I'm not one for forking out on expensive skiing gear, but I will be buying a good set of flat light goggles for the BB next year; even if I have to fork out £150.

My sole bit of advice to you would be to take a decent set of flat light goggles. Or at least one with interchangeable lenses that includes a flat light option. snowHead


Diolch yn fawr - I'll look into that.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Welcome to snowheads @Turbobanana.

I'm similar to you in a sense as I spend about 4 hrs a week in Hemel so I do most of my practicing indoors and then go to the mountains to try and repeat. The main thing I learnt this year is that going up and down the Mt Hemel didn't prepare me fitness wise and that a lot of my time in Hemel probably hasn't been value added as its easy to build in bad habits. I do a lot of lessons so that helps but I had to work this year to undo some of my laziness once on bigger slopes. Variable terrain is another big difference that throws me (pardon the pun).

I went to Bankso a couple of years ago and I liked the resort, we missed the really busy weeks so no school holidays but there were a lot of people still on the slopes. One of my big tips for the resort would be spend your time aiming for the red's. The blues get mobbed (especially blue #10) and quite chopped up whereas some of the red's were empty and not that steep. Bansko was my second ever trip so I was quite a novice so maybe it wouldn't be so bad now. Ohh and make sure you get up for the very first gondola up the hill, it'll be worth it.

As for skis agree with the others, I love my head skis indoors and hated them on the main slope so I have one for inside and one for out. Recently changed my outdoor ones to Blizzard Brahma's and I think I'm in love.

Good luck with your trip
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