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50 year old skier

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Ski advice needed!

After a 20+ Year gap I returned to the slopes three years ago, and yes(!), it’s like riding a bike - except , what’s happened to the skis? Is it a legal requirement to carve? Eh oh! I’m a decent black run skier but I don’t want to tear around all day long but I do want to maintain some of my old school (skool?) style and probably stay on piste most of the time. What would be a good pair of skis? I’ve been looking at Factor and possibly some softer GS skis to get the length I prefer without such a massive shovel at the front. Any ideas would be great.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
You need to wait until Autumn if you are going to buy.
Go on the Oktobertest either in the South or North England (depending on where you are based) and try a dozen skis on the same slope.
In the meantime hire and try several
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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?
@Gnasherdog, welcome to snowHeads! snowHead

You've actually posted in the Snow Reports section of the forum, possibly the more general The Piste section or the Equipment Reviews/Questions section may generate more responses to your question. Edit: it looks like a kindly mod (2nd edit: security hamster Laughing ) has now moved your post to the Piste section. snowHead

I can't recommend any specific skis for you, but I'm sure some more knowledgeable sHs will be along shortly. Smile

P.S Do you know Dennis the Menace? Toofy Grin

PPS JohnHSmith's suggestion of attending the Oktobertest is a good one, you'll get to try out several different skis on the indoor snow slope. Very Happy


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sun 21-02-21 13:17; edited 2 times in total
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I was in a similar situation. Spent a few seasons instructing on a pair of 204cm GS skis and then a 25 year break. When I got back into it it was all weird skis and people wearing helmets! I now ski three or four weeks a season (Covid permitting) and have finished up with two pairs of skis. One is an all mountain ski but the other is very much a carving ski (Hero Pro short turn). When you get the hang of these new fangled carving skis they're a whole lot of fun!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Gnasherdog, Welcome!

Skis have come on light years since you last skied. Firstly, your old school technique will not be wasted and will ultimately be a benefit in terms of bumps and variable snow. GS skis, like Rossignol Long Turns will be the closest things to 1990's skis you will find.... However..... it is well worth spending the time to get on with some of the more spoony varieties as the rewards can be big. A few seasons hiring and trying out different styles and lengths of skis would be my top recommendation. If you knew what you were doing in the past, it won't take long to get a feel for the new skis and you will benefit from trying out different sets.

I was a late convert from straight skis to shaped ones as the early ones had very poor torsional strength and would high side you at regular intervals! I now favour a piste ski for the narrow waist but don't mind the wide shovels on them and tend to look at the radius to get an idea of how they might ski rather than the length or the dimensions of the tips and tails. You will definitely come down in length from 20 years ago. I used to ski 190/200cm and now look at piste skis in the 175/180cm range.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Moved to The Piste as suggested as this is really not weather related.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thanks for the advice. Sorry this was posted in the wrong area!
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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!
As @Klamm Franzer, says, that embedded experience won't go to waste. Good technique will extract significant performance from current skis with ease, but they'll also become more relaxed when you want to turn down the pace.

Worthwhile having a look at reviews of Kastlè FX 96HP to see a good ski described, along with contemporary skis around that ability.

More for the discussion and mix of attributes something like this has. They have a particularly strong mid section to bring that more GS orientation while adding more scope in other directions.

As already mentioned, the big shovels make not much difference on piste with many current geometry, but are certainly welcome when busy conditions bring a lot of cut up piste at day's end. Exploring more of soft conditions also more pleasure than hard work.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I didn't have a large gap - but did have to adapt from Straight Skis....which was somewhat easier, as the modern shaped ski has been constantly evolving into what is about today. Piste skis have got more shaped, All Mountain skis have got wider, dedicated Powder skis have features that that make them so much easier.

In the era of Straight skis, you had one pair for everything - and there were marginal differences between an SL ski and a GS ski - and most Blokes were on a 190 to a 2m ski - where ski length was a measure of your competence (even if only bluffing). Construction seemed to revolve around Wood (often Torsion Box/Double Torsion Box) or "Mousse Plastique".

Given the 60m or so Turn radius, there was Up Unweighting or Down Unweighting; Foot Steering and a tight radius was achieved by Short Swings. Carving required great technique, lots of Speed and all your pressure on the outside ski. Off Piste required "Bouncing"......but you know this.

So what has changed?

Well - pretty much everything.

Skis have become more specialised - but also more versatile. Construction has come on in leaps and bounds, allowing skis to become lighter, yet with greater torsional stiffness.

When choosing skis - it becomes important to know what you want them for....so Piste only? All Mountain versatility? More Freeride orientated? If remaining On Piste - do you like SL or GS radius, or something in between? The other decision is whether you like a very stable "damp" ski, or something more playful.....skill, weight and preference also come into this. It is well worth trying some alternatives before coming to a decision - as the experience is so different to yesteryear.

Old school technique "works", and is also advisable in some situations (like Moguls), but misses the point of what these skis are all about and doesn't tap into the power that Modern Skis can generate.

The biggest change, is that the shape of a modern Piste Ski is such that only a sniff of an edge has them carving - so you have to learn to have a much quieter body, letting the skis do the work, by rolling them onto their edges. Skiing has become more 2 footed, while still putting the majority of weight on the D/Hill ski. A good Instructor will guide you through the changes.

I found that when I went from a 2m ski, to a short, turny and reactive Piste ski, I was left behind until I figured out how to remain in balance by keeping ahead of the turn. I skied for longer on Straight Skis (nearly 30 years), than on Shaped Skis (nearly 20 years).


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Sun 21-02-21 18:00; edited 6 times in total
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And you wouldn't want people to think you were a Mincing Frenchman, would you?
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
If you are going to ski predominantly pistes but do not want to tear around all the time do no get GS skis. However there are plenty of "piste performance" skis in the high 70- low80 waist widths which would do fine with a bit of versatility for other stuff.
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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.
Take up boarding - perfect mid life crisis return to the slopes
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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
A couple of refresher lessons on carvers would also help you as an instructor will help you adjust to them - in group lessons I’ve previously been in skiers who previously used the traditional straight skis although looked to have good technique but their stance tends to be very narrow which as said previously is great for moguls but not so good if you want to get the most of your carvers.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I went with the opposite out of interest, took some 1970's skis with me, serviced and sharpened to run in contrast to modern kit.

Wow, do they punish poor technique. Good fun but you've no let up in concentration else they'll just be off doing something other than you intended.

Modern skis, you can throw a huge range of input to them and still stay on top side. It really is so easy to ski them and given good observstion and reading of the slope (that doesn't really change does it?) they're far less challenging in recreational environment.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Gnasherdog wrote:

After a 20+ Year gap I returned to the slopes three years ago, and yes(!), it’s like riding a bike - except , what’s happened to the skis? Is it a legal requirement to carve? Yes* I’m a decent black run skier (no, you used to be. New program to be getting with) but I don’t want to tear around all day long Why Not? but I do want to maintain some of my old school (skool?) style No. You Really Do Not. Unless you want to look old skool, at which point all the cool kids will be doing what the cool kids always do. and probably stay on piste most of the time a chacun son gout. What would be a good pair of skis? Anything. Anything at all. Really hard to buy a bad pair of skis these days. Unsuitable skis? Different story. I’ve been looking at Factor Why? and possibly some softer GS skis to get the length I prefer (Suits you Sir? I thought technique and girth were more important?) without such a massive shovel at the front. Any ideas would be great.


* joke

Really truly, ...

1. get a lesson or two, probably 1 on 1, update your technique. What you used to do is helpful but what you can do now is massively easier and much, much more efficient. And much, much more fun.

2. try various skis, snowdomes too limited IMV to be much help. Next trip, a. let "us" know where as "we" might have recommendations and b. at least find a shop that will let you switch out many pairs. Try as many things as you can. Buy the ones you like most.

Simples. (oh, and don't get started on the boots thing. They haven't changed that much, but ... yours probably (almost certainly definitely) don't fit very well.)
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi, 50 yer old skier, I am a 72 Year old skier (or perhaps I should say I was a 71 year old skier and will be a 73 year old skier -I hope)
I did a similar thing, 39 years ago, taking up after a 20 year gap. Skis had changed since the 50s, but I am not sure that they may have changed even more in the last 39 years but all to the good. Skiing is just easier now. OK, it will take a few days to get used to it but you have a lot of pleasure to look forward to! Basically you have to learn to do less and just let the ski shape do it for you.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Some skis are more suitable/forgiving of old school style while others want to be on their edges most of the time. I think this is what they mean by "skid turn performance" in these reviews.

https://www.proskilab.com/h/men-s-all-mountain-front/ski-reviews-2020-elan-wingman-86-cti/648

https://www.proskilab.co.uk/
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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?
When we get a customer in for a lesson who is in the same position as the OP, my colleague has a nice way of describing their skiing - 'It's a bit Windows 95'. ie, yes it will work, but things have come on a long way, and there are other things that will work much better!
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@karin, "Windows95"??

Surely a bit "MS-DOS"?

I don't recall Windows functionality being ever quite as discontinuous as comparing my 1990s Rossignol 7SKs with my 2017 Blizzard Bonafides ...

Am I showing my age?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
No doubt you will have noticed that the pistes are now much smoother and everyone is skiing faster. The moguls and the soft snow are gone. Most people are now skiing with their feet wider apart but you don’t have to and that means there is scope for you to shine with your elegant old school feet together stance. Cool
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@Peter S, titter snowHead
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@under a new name, my colleague's phrase, not mine - he's never been great with tech, he probably wouldn't know what MS-DOS was
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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!
Mmm, carving old school skis Very Happy there was a fairly gentle cross mountain trail in the resort I started skiing in the 1980s and our instructor was teaching us to carve on 2m skis! He said he wanted us to ski the entire length of this trail without releasing the edge on any of the corners, so it was the full on racing line, go wide, almos into the mountainside, start the carve at about 50m radius, clip your jacket sleeve on the fence at the apex then hope that you can make those parallel planks turn enough without stuffing into the mountainside as you exit the turn, leaving two perfectly sharp lines in the snow throughout the turn. I loved it, but for some bizarre reason (probably my older brother's bad influence) I stuck with the long skis for years after short radius carvers became available.
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