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Ski’s too long on dry slope?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello lovely SnowHeads, I hope that you’re all having a great weekend. I have been reading every topic going on this forum as well as starting a couple of my own and I just think it’s ace! Apologies that I didn’t reply to each message in my other posts, I’m still unsure how to just do one reply, but add everyone in who you’re replying to.

Anyway so after 8 days since my last outing on snow, I was back on the dry slope this afternoon. Urgh it was like skiing on treacle in comparison, but I’m determined to keep up and improve skills before next trip.

I really struggled today. After leaving the snow feeling good with parallel turns, it wouldn’t come together. I think the surface transition was one thing, but I’m wondering if the skis were too long. I just couldn’t get them to talk to eachother to turn coherently at all.

I would just put it down to a bad day, but my ankles are killing me, something which hasn’t happened before on snow or dry. So I know a bad workman blames their tools, but could I be right on this occasion? I think I was on 150cm on snow and had 155cm today, they came up to probably just under my mouth.

We were also practising hockey stops and I was shocking, just couldn’t do it without stepping the uphill ski in and it made my inner knees ache. Related?

Answers on a postcard please!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just my personal experience, I had a couple of dry slope lessons before my first ski holiday, and it was almost like comparing apples to oranges once I got onto real snow. I'm sure dry slopes vary hugely in quality, but I'd much rather the extra cost and time to get to a snow dome if it's at all possible.

With regards to ski length, I'm sure much more qualified people than me will advise, but my understanding was you tended to go shorter than what you'd use on snow, rather than longer.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
It kind of depends on the design of the ski, but you're almost always going to be moving slower on plastic (the slopes are smaller and the surface has more friction), so for the same ski you'd generally want a shorter version as it's harder to flex correctly at slow speeds. Likely the extra length isn't helping, although plastic is also more exacting of technique and may be a surprise compared to snow.
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@MissBambi, Yep -- coming back from snow onto plastic can be somewhat demoralising. On the other hand, if you can get grip on a dryslope -- you'll find snow much much easier next time. Assuming the slope is Dendix, made of brushes linked together with holes between them, as opposed to a carpet surface, then it's totally worth going back. You will not get the immediate feedback you get on snow, but it is possible to ski very well on plastic. Shorter skis help -- on snow I'm usually on 170ish, and on the dryslope 155 (ladies slalom skis). I'm 9st5lbs and 170cm tall. If there is an instructor at your slope --- ask them for tips.

@johnnyboy, I couldn't disagree more! Very Happy About a quarter of the price, much less busy and outside! I do go to Hemel -- but my local dryslope makes weekly practise pratical and affordable wink
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@johnnyboy I felt the same after a couple of dry slope lessons before snow, it was delightful! Back to dry slope was a shock to the system. The snow domes are 1 1/2 hours drice away, whereas the dry slope is 10 minutes, so that wins for me Happy

@philwig thank you, yes I think I will definitely go shorter next week

@ski yes that sounds like the surface (brushes with diamond gaps between)

I agree with your sentiments entirely, I love to be outside and I see people skiing well on there, so I know that it’s possible. It’s close to home and at £200 for 10 group lessons or £16 to just ski, it means that I can go at least once a week and really get somewhere.

I’m about 9st and 166cm so I will definitely try shorter ones next time. Perhaps give the 145 a whirl and potentially move back up to 150. I had a lesson today, but I didn’t mention my skis feeling too ling until near the end when the penny dropped.

Thanks for your help everyone Very Happy
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Ps I still can’t figure the tagging thing out Laughing
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@MissBambi, Just click on the username Very Happy
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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!
ha, thanks @johnnyboy,
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@MissBambi, as I'm sure you'll have noticed, snow is more slippery. This makes it easier to slide the skis about, even if the technique isn't great. As @ski, says, it's possible to ski very well on plastic, but you have to be using decent technique, so in the long run skiing on the dry slope should definitely make you a better skier, even if it feels harder.
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@karin, yes that makes total sense. I shall grit my teeth and get on with it, knowing that it’ll make me better in the long term Smile
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Your Bambiness.........

For what it's worth, wherever you reside, in all candor if you have access to an (ice) skating rink which I understand might not be the case, assuming you are in England; a great nation and people that/whom I adore, but not remotely big on skating in various form which is 180 degrees plus from where I herald..........., you should say Sayonara to this plastic stuff and look into skating if available, above all convenient. I tell people who ski but do not skate all the time to take up skating as same so improves their skiing ability. Were you able to do so - skate - I can assure you it will prove challenging for months. But, eventually you come around and here's the rub......... MANY fundamentals peculiar to skating ARE integral to, yes, that's right........, skiing. Skating WILL significantly improve your skiing. In the process you pick up another sport/discipline that will serve you throughout your life and does wonders for body, mind......., heart and soul.

As far as the difference between 150/155 cm skis, there is no difference. Remember, whatever length difference exists between any two different length of ski, same is divided by two : one part forward from centerline, the other to the rear. Ergo, you're talking about measly 2.5 cm, or one inch variance. I've seen larger mosquitos than that! Whatever different performance you're purportedly realizing is solely common to this plastic stuff, not the skis per se........., which, the "skis" (just like aforementioned rental skates - fuggetaboutit), may I to assume come with the price of admission - inclusive of, of all things, a slice of delicious treacle and a cuppa tea at session's end - to Plastic Fantastic Land.........?

During your time away from the slopes, notwithstanding the demands of photo shoots, interviews with the media and advising HRM on numerous matters of state and family........, you're honestly BETTER off pursuing skating, cycling, floor exercises inclusive of pull ups, chin ups, lunges, planks, stretching, light but extensive work with dumbbell, hiking in ye olde countryside which England SO wonderfully/beautifully has like no one else. There ARE benefits by NOT skiing (time away) that IMPROVE your skiing............. How so............??

We have a saying in Minnesota, "You begin skating in the winter and learn to skate during the summer........." Your skiing to date has left its signature within you. Think about that. During your time away from the slopes that signature distillates. Think about that. It's amazing how one can actually improve any number of sport during a brief or seasonal time away. In the case of skiing, the plastic stuff screws with the natural signature you have programmed into your noggin by imparting its own aberration of synthetic signature. Spend (waste) enough time on the plastic and it effectively undoes the true signature of real skiing.

Take up skating..........


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Mon 13-01-20 8:09; edited 3 times in total
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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.
MissBambi wrote:

I really struggled today. After leaving the snow feeling good with parallel turns, it wouldn’t come together. I think the surface transition was one thing, but I’m wondering if the skis were too long. I just couldn’t get them to talk to eachother to turn coherently at all.

I would just put it down to a bad day, but my ankles are killing me, something which hasn’t happened before on snow or dry. So I know a bad workman blames their tools, but could I be right on this occasion? I think I was on 150cm on snow and had 155cm today, they came up to probably just under my mouth.

We were also practising hockey stops and I was shocking, just couldn’t do it without stepping the uphill ski in and it made my inner knees ache. Related?

Answers on a postcard please!


I've never seen you ski, but IMHO this could well be down to not getting your weight onto the "new" downhill ski at the appropriate time. The dry slope is actually "helping" identify this issues due to the slower speeds, and nothing to do with ski length.

Ski length "under your mouth" seems fine to me. I honestly thing it is technique related, please take this as constructive in a way to help you improve.
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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
I have done a lot of time on dry ski slopes, but not recently but, in my youth i was skiing on dry slopes probably twice a week both free skiing and slalom training. I have skied on Dendex and Snowflex. By the sound of it the slope you use is Dendex which is the much better dry slope surface.

As mentioned above the transition from snow back to dry slope can be rough, but dry slopes really do reward good skiing, if you can learn to ski dry ski slopes with good technique it really transfers well to snow. They teach you to ski mixed conditions really well along with getting rewarding good stance and balance and edge use. as mentioned above ski length shouldn't make that much difference although ski design can.

Does your dry slope have a sprinkler system to keep the matting wet? if not i always found the best time to ski dry slow was when it was chucking it down with rain, they skies way faster and were much more fun.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
arcsinice wrote:
... As far as the difference between 150/155 cm skis, there is no difference. Remember, whatever length difference exists between any two different length of ski, same is divided by two : one part forward from centerline, the other to the rear. Ergo, you're talking about measly 2.5 cm, or one inch variance. I've seen larger mosquitos than that! ...
Ignoring your incorrect assumptions about UK skating rinks, this is also nonsense.

You are assuming that the construction of these adjacently sized skis is identical. It is not, as you could easily ascertain if you simply look at skis of different lengths in a shop.
Nominally longer skis are also stiffer, as they're designed for heavier/ faster skiers. The difference isn't particularly running length, but flex.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@arcsinice, have you been on the pop? Laughing
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@kitenski, you could well be right, I do try to get forward but as a newbie it’s easy to let it slip. I definitely think they were too long as I had ankle trouble for a couple of days after, from rotation issues. But take your constructive criticism on board, all advice welcome.

@wardy89, thanks, I have a gut feeling too that learning to ski well on Dendex will make snow a breeze. There were 20mph winds which was drying them out even with the sprinklers on, you’re right about the rain, my last session before snow was way whizzier! Thanks.

@philwig, they definitely felt less flexible, I just couldn’t get them around the same. Going to try 145cm this week and see how I go Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
If there is no water being sprinkled, of either the artificial or natural kind, a quick rub over the base if the skis with a cheap white candle will have quite an instant effect. All the instructors at our slope carry a candle stub in their pocket!
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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?
@MissBambi, ankle trouble from rotation sounds like your boots are too big around your ankle. The reason why you wear those great lumps of plastic is to limit the movement of your ankle joint to "some" forward and backward motion and make you do twisting motions with your hips
I'm assuming (hoping) that you are wearing hire boots and it could be just that the boots you skied in on snow were a better shape for you than the ones at the dry slope. It could also be that your boots are just a size too big: it is very easy as a beginner to get boots too big. My daughter skied in a pair of eBay boots that were two sizes too big and too soft 26.5/65 flex)* and she was adamant they were a perfect fit, and she had basically finished the dry slope lessons: next step race training. When I got her new boots fitted for her birthday, she got 24.5/100 flex boots and did admit I was right all along.

Since you are thoroughly bitten, you might consider buying boots. If you do, go to a shop with proper boot fitters (they'll do weird things like ask you to stand in the boot with no inners while sticking various hands, wooden dowels, etc. around your feet to estimate how well the shell will fit. Since you are new, I wouldn't go top of the range (more expensive, much less forgiving) but get an "intermediate" boot. You can always flog on eBay/Gumtree/Snowheads if you upgrade. If boot fitting remains a challenge, custom moulded insoles can help hugely (c. £60 a pair). They are movable between boots so put the original ones back in before selling them.

TSGSH's rule of ski boots: the function of ski boots is to make the skier enjoy skiing.

* Ski boot sizes are highly standardised for length 26.5 Mondo points is the length of the sole in cm; nearly all manufacturers only do boots in half point sizes. Last width (in mm) varies between different boot ranges as does the volume inside. Flex is not standardised but those numbers mean that her 100 flex Fischers provide about 50% more resistance to forward lean than her 65 flex Nordics did.
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@MissBambi, From your description, based on decades teaching on Dendix, seems you’re sitting back (hockey stops the give-away). This may be your adjusting to slope width and surface. If surface dried out and skis ‘sticking’ then could add some explanation also. Skis unlikely to be the issue if rental stock but experiment with other models and lengths. A wee exercise to check whether you’re centred or otherwise is small jumps or hops eg on the traverse, into/out of the turn. Unsure of ankle issue, own boots and good boot fitter should resolve if it persits. You can progress to a high technical standard on Dendix, and as mentioned it exposes flaws quire readily, so will ultimately serve you well. Lessons, lessons. Keep going, well done!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@tsgsh, thanks for the reply. It’s a possibility, but I was skiing in a 26 when I was away and tried a 25 for this session, which gave me a tender big toe afterwards so I was thinking of going up again. Ah it’s all fun and games, so many variables Laughing

@Irrev, yes it was dry as a bone in some parts due to high winds. I’ll be mindful to stay forward to see if it helps, I am conscious of it but sure as a newbie there are times that I forget. Thanks for the vote of confidence. I’m back on there tomorrow so hopefully it’ll be a better session
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@MissBambi, try and stay centred on your skis not forward, that will give you the most control.
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Thanks @wardy89, Smile
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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!
@MissBambi, Imagine putting say a 1p coin in the front of your boot, you want to retain enough contact with the front of the boot to hold it in place without end up with an imprint of it on your shin.
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philwig wrote:
arcsinice wrote:
... As far as the difference between 150/155 cm skis, there is no difference. Remember, whatever length difference exists between any two different length of ski, same is divided by two : one part forward from centerline, the other to the rear. Ergo, you're talking about measly 2.5 cm, or one inch variance. I've seen larger mosquitos than that! ...
Ignoring your incorrect assumptions about UK skating rinks, this is also nonsense.

You are assuming that the construction of these adjacently sized skis is identical. It is not, as you could easily ascertain if you simply look at skis of different lengths in a shop.
Nominally longer skis are also stiffer, as they're designed for heavier/ faster skiers. The difference isn't particularly running length, but flex.


Your Philness............

Thanx for the insight. I stand corrected. I'll let Christopher Dean know how right you are the next time we run into each other. We randomly cross paths a few times each year when he's at the Ice Hall in Colorady Springs right across the street from our main office - USA Hockey. Back in my backwards state of Minnesota we're still struggling when it comes to various forms of skating, in equal breath facility to that of England. We have so far to go, so much to learn. At the height of our summer we only (currently) have 104 public indoor arena. Over 240 additional indoor arena exist, but they are private. Come winter, over 1,700 outdoor NHL sized rink and oversized "patches" for the public. If you speak to George Brumpton or Tom Cantwell in Sheffield, give them our regards. It's a small community.

Different skis..........? Sure, different construction, radius, flex. Even atomic mass or Feng Shui if you want to take it that far which I'm sure you would. But to concern oneself over a measly 5cm goes beyond minutiae. Keep working on your 3T's, A's and F's or COJ's and MT+C's.
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ski wrote:
@MissBambi, Yep -- coming back from snow onto plastic can be somewhat demoralising. On the other hand, if you can get grip on a dryslope -- you'll find snow much much easier next time. Assuming the slope is Dendix, made of brushes linked together with holes between them, as opposed to a carpet surface, then it's totally worth going back. You will not get the immediate feedback you get on snow, but it is possible to ski very well on plastic. Shorter skis help -- on snow I'm usually on 170ish, and on the dryslope 155 (ladies slalom skis). I'm 9st5lbs and 170cm tall. If there is an instructor at your slope --- ask them for tips.

@johnnyboy, I couldn't disagree more! Very Happy About a quarter of the price, much less busy and outside! I do go to Hemel -- but my local dryslope makes weekly practise pratical and affordable wink

The cheapest and best way to teach kids to ski.
Watching the kids racing on the dry slopes around the country makes you realise just how talented some of these kids are!
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Minnesota a state of many many frozen lakes likes ice skating and hockey (though not enough to keep their original NHL team it seems). Who knew?

Anyone seen bears going into the woods? Or asked the Pope's view on religion?
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