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Buying Skis for a Season

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Ade57, 118mm underfoot, and still plenty 'in it:'







Even when the snow's not as deep and you are more on top, it's NOTHING like skiing on a firm piste, the feeling is more akin to surfing on a fluid medium. Totally different to bouncing in and out on skinny skis, and totally different repertoire of available turns. High speed slashing and smearing, or drive the tips down for gratuitous faceshots; the choice is yours. FWIW I've skied plenty of deep snow on little 165cm 80mm skis and don't find it particularly difficult (whatever you're on powder is far and away the easiest offpiste condition to ski), but I'll never go back to it; the extra sensations on wider skis are too exhilarating.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Wed 17-07-13 9:09; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
clarky999, looking good after only 3 weeks! Twisted Evil
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
under a new name, Laughing
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I was making the comments on skis earlier from a fair bit of hindsight though. I did my first season (when I did instructor training, before working as one) with a pair of 80mm skis, and then bought a 92mm pair (which got stolen Evil or Very Mad ) - ok I'd had around 10 weeks skiing rather than 3. Though I loved the 92s, they definitely weren't the right skis for what I wanted, but after reading so much online about how hard bigger skis are to ski, how they suck on piste blah blah blah I was too scared to step up to a bigger size. Mistake: in hindsight, I could definitely have had even more fun in the frequent storms we had that season. A mate did the whole season (inc instructor course) on 105mm Seths, never once feeling like he needed anything else. There is often a lot of 'anti-hype' against wider skis on forums like this, I'm just trying to give pass on some of my experience - no need to be scared of big skis, even for less-experienced skiers.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
clarky999, that is a fair point. I'd still stand by a 3 week skier buying something narrow and essentially throw away to start a season on though. Then buying something more suited to the sort of skiing you do. For context my 3 ski quiver for last season were 87, 100 and 141 mm through the waist respectively.
The 87 got the most use, though you wouldn't know that from the photos, it was the days that the other skis came out to play where the photos got taken!
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flaming, for sure, if there's a way the OP can afford a pistey pair and a offpistey set, that's far and away the best approach.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Love the photos!
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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!
ditto on the photos - cracking powder!
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Obviously we have differing opinions about the skis Matt and I guess that's not going to change.

My contention is not so much to do with them being too difficult to ski. On the contrary in many situations thay are a lot easier. I just think they bypass adequate technique for many skiers. If the skier is having fun then why should this matter? Apart from just believing that the more accomplished you become the more fun you can have, I have seen a dramatic lack of skill from so many skiers in recent years, often resulting in near misses, accidents and injuries. I'd like to see skiers generally skiing more skillfully for all sorts of reasons.

Modern ski design has made skiing more of the mountain accessible anyway. I feel that these fat skis give access on occasions to skiers who don't have the necessary skill or experience to cope when things go a bit wrong. You are obviously a very accomplished skier so I don't see this applying to you at all. I would like to see a better grounding in the fundamentals and surprise, surprise as an instructor see more skiers taking lessons for longer and not believing they have mastered everything after 2 or 3 weeks!
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Ade57 wrote:
I would like to see a better grounding in the fundamentals


Yup

Quote:
and surprise, surprise as an instructor see more skiers taking lessons for longer and not believing they have mastered everything after 2 or 3 weeks!


Ain't going to happen for the average punter so you need to do as good a job as possible in that 2-3 weeks wink
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Ade57 wrote:
I would like to see a better grounding in the fundamentals and surprise, surprise as an instructor see more skiers taking lessons for longer and not believing they have mastered everything after 2 or 3 weeks!


But isn't this entirely down to the introduction of shorter slim carving skis (vs traditional head height straight skis) - leaving beginners with the belief that the have directional control at , for them, reasonable speed before they have sufficient experience to adapt (and stop/slow down...)

And as long straight skis aren't available anymore, why not make them start on rockered fat skis on piste so they do have to understand the fundamentals incredibly well....

Just kidding but you (might) can see what I mean....

For full disclosure I ski 83, 99, 112, 135 waists....but I do like my kit and I keep them in the alps.
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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.
clarky999 wrote:
Elston wrote:
clarky999 wrote:
There's absolutely no reason why a 3 week skier has to be piste-focussed (which is what <85mm is)!


If they can't ski parallel on piste, and I mean proper parallel turns, then they really shouldn't be off-piste focused.



Why?

Ideally there wouldn't be a focus on just one aspect of skiing at all, mixing it up early on will make for a better skier in the long run. Which would seem to be Easiski's approach, and she's often plugged as an excellent instructor on here.

Of course two sets of skis really is the best way, if the OP can find a way to make that possible.

If someone can't ski parallel then the skis will be pointing in different directions for at least part of a turn. Big skis won't help them and so they are going to be more of a hindrance and a liability than actually helping them. It's a small progression not a massive one but most people won't be skiing parallel after 3 weeks skiing. Actually, I would say that it is better to assume that they can't after 3 weeks skiing because if they can they clearly have some real talent and so it won't matter what skis you put them on so you might as well advise everyone to ski on something narrower.
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I've been thinking about this (dangerous I know but here goes....)

IMHO a key skill is getting BOTH skis onto the edges, this maybe to carve a turn, perform an emergency "hockey" stop, ski a tight line with some skidding, even just sideslip a steep pitch etc etc

My worry is that if folk jump onto fatter skis too early, they miss out on understanding how a ski gets on it's edge and what it feels like. Granted I am sure they would enjoy skiing off piste more, but they've missed an important step in their learning IMHO which could come back to bite them on the bum. Surely nobody can argue that it is easier to get a narrow ski from edge to edge compared to a wider one?

If they are off piste in lovely soft fluffy snow, this isn't a problem.
If they are off piste and hit a narrow, icy pitch, this is a problem.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
kitenski, putting skis on edge is still a fundamental skill for skiing off piste in powder isn't it!?! It's just the contact surface is larger. Anywho that concern seems unfounded given the general lack of significant amounts of powder, anyone skiing off piste outside of the likes of Japan is going to spend a high percentage of their time skiing crud and also getting in the piste miles to access lifts.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
meh, i think you are missing out the leverage aspect of fatter skis...
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Ade57 wrote:
Obviously we have differing opinions about the skis Matt and I guess that's not going to change.

My contention is not so much to do with them being too difficult to ski. On the contrary in many situations thay are a lot easier. I just think they bypass adequate technique for many skiers. If the skier is having fun then why should this matter? Apart from just believing that the more accomplished you become the more fun you can have, I have seen a dramatic lack of skill from so many skiers in recent years, often resulting in near misses, accidents and injuries. I'd like to see skiers generally skiing more skillfully for all sorts of reasons.


We probably don't actually disagree all that much.

I do definitely 100% agree having and spending time on piste skis is beneficial, and will be to the OP.

I just disagree that if he can only afford one set (for a whole season in Canada) it should be strongly piste biased.
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meh, True, but you can tip your skis over a lot less in powder and get a platform hence not really on the edge vs doing the same on a solid icy pitch
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clarky999, i wonder, just how good you get in a season, and how that is influenced by skiing off piste. Just curious, no dog, etc.
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kitenski, definitely because the contact area is larger so you generate a comparatively larger force at smaller edge angles depending on the density of the snow. You still edge though so are still learning the skill and I don't know anyone who is fortunate enough to only ski powder. It's theoretically possible someone might only ski powder and then fall badly the first time they met ice and that fatter skis would be a hinderence. It just doesn't seem very likely and as such doesn't seem like an argument against newer skiers jumping on fatter skis that carries much weight. For arguments sake I'd say there was a much bigger risk reduction in stopping new skiers drinking whilst skiing than worrying about what kit they were on.
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I honestly think I went off piste before I had properly cracked carving, hence I thought I was "on my edges" when I wasn't.

For an average UK holiday skier this is fine, I only discovered this when I failed my BASI L2, hence from bitter experience I think folk should nail the 'advanced' basics and be able to "get onto their edges" on hard icy pistes before progressing onto wider skis.

Despite what is said on here, I can now carve my 78mm skis, I cannot carve my 112mm skis..............there are some "ski gods" on here who swear they can carve perfectly fine on 110mm+ skis---I'd love to ski with them on hardy icy Feb Euro pistes
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Who are these ski gods? I don't think that's a claim anyone's made? I also don't think carving is a skill you particularly need to ski off piste or in icy conditions or to have good edge control.

Also describing a ski just by the underfoot dimension isn't very useful, is it just a trad ski with camber and side cut or a tapered, double rockered number? How stiff is it? How heavy is the skier? My Redeemers are PITA to carve clean lines with in hard conditions and it's survival skiing in icy conditions but my Corvus love icy conditions essentially being a trad ski but a cm wider (5mm on each side!) than the recommended width on this thread. Skis are more than a length and an underfoot width and often the most important factors aren't either of those things. Which is why I don't really understand this underfoot width obsession.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Wed 17-07-13 19:16; edited 1 time in total
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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under a new name, I guess it depends on the person, and motivation. My skiing changed beyond all recognition over my first season, as well as the instructor course (proper snowploughing etc), a large part of that was due to 3 weeks' training with mountain guides.

kitenski, I was sure as poo-poo skiing offpiste before I was carving properly, quite a while before in fact. I really don't see that as a bad thing, though. I'm certainly no ski god (far far from it), but on nice not-too-firm pistes/ideal conditions I can (properly) carve my 118mm skis. Hard icy piste, no chance, though. Obviously.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Wed 17-07-13 20:27; edited 1 time in total
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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!
meh, there are plenty of folk on here over the past 12 months claiming their +100mm skis carve as well on piste as a slalom ski.......

Fair enough, as I said, your average skier may not want to learn to carve but I do think it helps understand edge control.

So your saying you can carve a clean line in icy piste conditions n your Corvus? Have you compared them back to back on icy pistes with a sub 80mm ski?

So 2 questions

1. Wider skis makes it harder to get a ski onto an edge from the other edge, agree or not??

2. I agree there is more than width, but how many double rockered, non cambered skis can you name sub 80mm??

IMHO <80mm>90mm for Euro offpiste and >105mm for Japan/deep days or as a only 2nd ski if you have one <=80mm

me? I'm happy on a 78mm Titan for most all conditions and a 112mm Lhasa Pow for off piste days....
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1. Is the wrong comparison, it's harder to maintain the same edge angle depending on how much the ski extends beyond the widest point of the boot. Although I mostly notice this over time as increased onset of fatigue. Edge to edge there isn't much in it for me and that's far more effected by what kind of snow and how I'm choosing to ski than the technical limits of the ski. FWIW the difference between my narrowest and widest skis is about 2.5cm.
2. None but that is immaterial I'd argue skis at that size are much more homogeneous but the difference when the skis get more all mountain oriented makes that point moot for comparison sake still. For example rocker removing effective edge length.

I personally haven't skied a sub 100mm ski in six years or so but I also commit the heresy of skiing on Dynafits in touring boots full time as well. wink

I also skied my first really fat reverse-reverse ski this season and would say I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would or possibly should. So much easier to pivot, stand on the skis sideways and really changes the game in a very pleasing manner.
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Quote:

IMHO <80mm>90mm for Euro offpiste and >105mm for Japan/deep days or as a only 2nd ski if you have one <=80mm

me? I'm happy on a 78mm Titan for most all conditions and a 112mm Lhasa Pow for off piste days....


Out of interest, what is it about the Titans that you prefer to the Lhasas in crud, mank, wind crust, old tracked consolidated pow, corn etc (common EU offpiste conditions)?
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clarky999, if I was on an off piste day I'd take the lhasas, however I mostly ski with my kids now so the titans have been better than expected, even skiing rain affected off piste snow over Easter when my mates were on 110+ skis.

So in Japan I only took my lhasas and left the kids at home Smile
In Stuben this past easter I took the lhasas out once with a guide and skied the titans every other day. I probably skied 90% on when not with the guide.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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meh, your really saying edge to edge there is no difference between >110mm and <80mm?
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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
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
kitenski, no I'm not. I'm saying I notice no appreciable difference with the skis I ski for their time edge to edge and find other factors have more influence and that typically I find that the time before onset of fatigue to be the main difference I identify in skiing wider skis that I can link primarily to their width. Which is itself a subjective judgement as there are other significant differences between the skis that may well be confounding factors. Not by any means an exhaustive test but as I understand it our experiences are highly likely to differ since we're skiing different skis, with different boots and bindings in perhaps different situations and styles.
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