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Help selecting slalom skis for race training

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I need a pair of slalom skis to for race training and general running around on piste. I dont plan to use them on plastic. If i can get good enough would like to take the Test Technique next season. dont mind last years models or second hand as i have broke the bank on new gear for this year. I currently have K2 recons for general all mountain.

I am 6'4" 99KG and aggressive in short turns. I hired a pair of Fischer FIS rated RC4 SL's 165 and found them great on easy gradients but very hard work on steeps and ice. The short length (and my poor technique) caused a lot of chatter, when i got behind them they threw me and my legs tired out. The guy in the shop said most peeps train on a longer and/or softer ski for everyday use and hire/beg a pair of FIS skis for race day. Cant afford two pairs and this will most likely be what i do.

currently favouring Fischer or Elan as i have had good reports on both, dont like head as model numbers are indecipherable and Rossi's not sure will be stiff enough and know nothing about atomics but am open to all suggestions. Current short list is:

RC4 Race SC 175
RC4 WC SC 170
Speedwave 14 176
SLX Fusion Pro 170

If i go for a pure race FIS rated which is better, Elan SLX WC 165 or RC4 SL 165?

Any and all help will be gladly received.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
skimottaret, People don't train on different skis to those that they race on.

I wouldn't go above 165cm.

I haven't skied on anything other than my Fischer WC SLs since the current generation of slalom skis came out, but I did get to flex a fair selection of current models in a shop at easter. The Elan SLX WC was torsionally stiffest.
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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?
My choice (for you although I haven't seen you ski) would be:

Fischer RC4 WC SC in 165 or my current favorite Head WC iSL RD in 166.

The Head has a sidecut of 12.3 as opposed to the Fischers of 13.
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I don't know id you're interested but I just saw some 165 ATOMIC SL11 RACE DIVISION (radius 12.2m) on ebay

Here
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
skimottaret, I was very impressed with the Elan FIS ski at the PSB two seasons ago. But I absolutely love my Nordica Doberman SL-Rs - if you can find a pair with the Vist WC plate. They were online at a reasonable price last time I looked. I find they're great in everything - bumps, powder, etc. Twisted Evil

For the record I'm 5'6", 62kgs, reasonably competent and quite aggressive. I'm not sure the physical stats have a great bearing on this as I know of some much heavier skiers who really like them too.

Err, AFAIK, you won't get a FIS ski in anything longer than a 165cm - and I didn't think you were allowed to go any shorter. Why would you want to anyway? Ruins the performance in powder.
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Or there's: Head World Cup SL Race Department Skis + Tyrolia FF 14 Binding

Here
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
skimottaret, in fairness, if your technique is "poor" (?) I'm not sure quite how much of a difference you'd notice between the various FIS skis. Then again, I reckon every ski is very different Happy

You might also like the Atomic SL12 http://www.ski-depot.com/miva/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=atomicsl1207&Category_Code=1_race&Product_Count=1

Is this helping at all?

Maybe you should just choose the colour. I think the Elans are very, very pretty. And you get funky translucent green bindings too. Awesome.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
skimottaret,

I think you might have to learn to cope with the Race ski and it might be kicking you off for a reason...which is a teaching tool itself.

I don't know how they would be all day and I didn't find them anything but good fun and whizzy. I'd look at the Fischers and Elans but maybe a Rossi 9 SL types
would be a good all-dayer and available cheaply
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skimottaret wrote:
I need a pair of slalom skis to for race training and general running around on piste.
I am 6'4" 99KG and aggressive in short turns. I hired a pair of Fischer FIS rated RC4 SL's 165 and found them great on easy gradients but very hard work on steeps and ice. The short length (and my poor technique) caused a lot of chatter, when i got behind them they threw me and my legs tired out.
Any and all help will be gladly received.


Learn to love them Madeye-Smiley . I have a pair that do the same thing to me but of all the Rossi / Atomic / Salomon SL skis I have tried the RC4 SL's are just the Porsche 911 equivalent and most of the time you will wish you had them on (at least until about 3pm each day Laughing
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all thanks so far 165 is for sure minimum (sorry only) length for racing and would be correct choice. I was thinking lperhaps i should go a bit longer for general use. Up until demoing the RC4 Sl's i had never skied anything less than 174 and i cant say i immediately fell in love with them and was thinking at 99kg i may be too heavy to enjoy such a short length for general on piste skiing.

rjs,
Quote:

I wouldn't go above 165cm
Even at my height and weight?

JT, your right getting to grips with them will probably take some time

veeeight, In terms of ability i just passed my BASI 3 and was IMO around 7th in the group out of the 20, the few ex club racers were defo better than me. On paper the WC SC sounded the best to me but i was thinking 170 for reason above. How does the WC SC compare to the SL FIS ski?

admin, THe atomics look very good and around the price i would like to pay ta.. anyone have any tips on the Atomic SL11's

And a dumb question but if doing the Test technique MUST you have a FIS approved ski or could i use say the WC SC 165?


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Wed 23-05-07 17:00; edited 1 time in total
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I'm very happy on my 165 Rossignol Radical 9S. 6' tall and 92kgs so a bit smaller than you skimottaret, but I have worked my way down over the course of the last 3 years from a pair of 180 Atomic C9 via 174 Rossi B2 to the current slaloms.
I think they're fantastic for mucking around on piste, coped in the slush on the 1 day's off piste I tried at the recent EOSB and propelled me to a very good finish in the race so they've seen me right in all conditions so far.
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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.
skimottaret, I thought that the TT was a GS course or is that the Euro Test?
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David Murdoch wrote:
skimottaret, in fairness, if your technique is "poor" (?) I'm not sure quite how much of a difference you'd notice between the various FIS skis. Then again, I reckon every ski is very different Happy


Poor technique in the sense that i had never been on slalom skis before and never that short so perhaps didnt know how to drive them correctly wink

what do you recon the differences are between the Atomic SL11 and WC SL?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
spyderjon, TT is special slalom, the eurotest is GS
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
FenlandSkier, interesting you have "worked your way down" is that for race times or are they more fun to ski on piste shorter...
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
skimottaret, as the purpose of these is to take them through a slalom course, definitely go for 165, no shorter and no more that a cm or two longer. Your other skis are for fun, these are for performance. I use a 160 RC4 SC on plastic, and for the two PSBs I used a 160 Stockli Spirit first time and 167 Stockli Laser SC the second. I'm about the same size as FenlandSkier, no problem at all with shortness on piste, but taking the Spirits off piste certainly tested the technique. While the larger radius of the Lasers (they're more a skiercross ski that a full-on slalom ski) was not obvious on the piste, it showed up fairly obviously once I got into a course - the RC4s turned much tighter. You should check whether you need to have FIS compliant skis for TT - if not, going even shorter will make turning easier (AIUI the rule was brought in to slow the guys down by forcing wider turns on them and so reducing the knee pressure...they would go shorter if they could). I know though that you do need 165 skis for racing in the Xscape series, or any SSE races on snow.

I don't think it'll make a huge amount of difference what you go for, as long as it's a slalom ski. Having said that, I tried some Dynamic VR27s which felt great provided you were properly balanced on them, but took no prisoners if you sat back. Personally I didn't get on with the Elans David Murdoch likes so much, but they're getting quite popular on the dry slopes (partly as they're quite cheap). I've never tried the Fischer WCs or SLs. I also tried some really knackered Head iSLs at MK at the ski test last summer and had a ball - best skis of the day for me. Actually ski has a pair of Head iSLs he's been trying to get rid of for a while - they're too stiff for him, particularly as he mainly uses them on plastic (he's only likkle) - but he's now raving about the Dynamic i.Peform 1.2s he has (particularly the very early tip engagement). Not sure what length they are though - may be only 160 or 155. BTW, slalom skis are really too twitchy for GS, so if you need to get serious about GS you'll need a pair of GS skis too Wink .


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Wed 23-05-07 18:13; 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
I have a pair of Rossignol 9S WC which I use as my general piste ski. I agree with the comments about 'getting used to them' - they took me some time until I felt I was in control of them rather than the other way around. I prefer these to the pair of Head WC slalom skis I had previously. The Rossi skis are a little bit softer longitudinally, but very stiff torsionally which I seem to prefer (although the Heads were 155 and the Rossis are 165). In terms of what length to go for, don't forget that many of the top slalom skiers were on 155 just a few seasons ago when FIS allowed them to be.
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GrahamN wrote:
Actually ski has a pair of Head iSLs he's been trying to get rid of for a while - they're too stiff for him, particularly as he mainly uses them on plastic (he's only likkle) - but he's now raving about the Dynamic i.Peform 1.2s he has (particularly the very early tip engagement). Not sure what length they are though - may be only 160 or 155. BTW, slalom skis are really too twitchy for GS, so if you need to get serious about GS you'll need a pair of GS skis too Wink .


I used to own those Head skis and found them impossible to tame when I last skied on them Embarassed

Agree with the comment about slalom skis being too twitchy for GS-type courses. I tried my slalom on one of the days with Phil Smith's GS course in Tignes - not a pretty sight!
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For most things Atomic (and Dynamic; Atomic were so impressed they bought the company) have a look here.

Is you can make it to the north, they'll let you test them at Cas Xscape too.
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Mosha Marc, thanks they have a pair of atomic SL11 for £150 same price as on ebay...

rob@rar, are the 9S WC FIS compliant

GrahamN, After all the comments i think it makes sense if training for TT to use 165's and ideally FIS compliant skis. So, looks like the list is shorter now and i better start getting used to stiff 165's Confused

i have never run a gate in my life so this coming season will be interesting, I may also be spending more time at MK so having a good pair of skis in the UK makes sense. The Head iSL's scare me a bit if too stiff for experienced racers

So Atomic SL series, Fischer RC4 SL or Elan SLX WC or ???
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skimottaret wrote:
rob@rar, are the 9S WC FIS compliant


Yes they are. I bought my 9S and my 9X (also FIS compliant) with race bindings for very good prices from Ski Bilek via their eBay auctions.
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rob@rar, thanks, to be honest i will most likely buy second hand or on an auction and will probably set up some searches once i have a final short list.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

How does the WC SC compare to the SL FIS ski?


Different animals. I doubt you'll easily tame the WC SL as an all mountain ski, skiing those in the bumps would be horrific, if that's what you want to do. They are much more unforgiving.
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Quote:
rjs,
Quote:

I wouldn't go above 165cm
Even at my height and weight?


Assuming it isn't all lard, there are plenty of racers a similar size.

Quote:
How does the WC SC compare to the SL FIS ski?


The SC is softer and also a less even flex. The centre of the ski is stiffer than the tips and tails.

Quote:
admin, THe atomics look very good and around the price i would like to pay ta.. anyone have any tips on the Atomic SL11's


Atomic race skis have a reputation for suiting the heavier racer. I'm only 75kg so have never bothered trying them out.

Quote:
And a dumb question but if doing the Test technique MUST you have a FIS approved ski or could i use say the WC SC 165?


Skis don't have to go through some approval process, they just need to meet the specs.
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skimottaret wrote:
FenlandSkier, interesting you have "worked your way down" is that for race times or are they more fun to ski on piste shorter...


The only races I've run have been the EOSB ones so it's not about improving times in my case (although it's a nice side effect).
I wasn't really happy with the Atomics and after trying the B2s at a skitest I decided they were the thing for me, similar story a year later when I tried the 9S - tried em, liked em, bought em.
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skimottaret,

Get your act together.

If you are going to do TT you need world cup standard skis not some other cr-p. Buy a good pair & get used to them. They are probably throwing you about a lot as they are reacting differently to your 'normal' skis. WC skis are not for cruising on they are for performance & going fast Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
Also learn how to service them and keep them in 'tip top' condition. If you go for your TT it will probably be on very firm snow/ice not nice easy forgiving soft stuff Madeye-Smiley so sharp edges are essential.

Not sure if Rob R skied the same stuff as myself last autumn in Tignes but the snow was firm/sheet ice so after 3 runs your edges were nackered Puzzled

If you check BASI courses the skis used generally go;

BASI 3 Anything
BASI 2 Carving skis
BASI 1 World cup skis

So BASI 1 is the top level & people use the best skis to get the best performance.
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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.
stewart woodward wrote:
Not sure if Rob R skied the same stuff as myself last autumn in Tignes but the snow was firm/sheet ice so after 3 runs your edges were nackered Puzzled

Yup, I ran a diamond stone over the edges each night. The only exception was the day there was a lot of windblown snow on 35, so the edges were fine but I was knackered after a day trying to race in powder!
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skimottaret, The best way (of course) is to demo. To be clear - on snow I quite like the I:SLs - the lower speeds of plastic that give me trouble (and yes that is technique). Is the TT against the clock ? I don't think (but I may be wrong) that the target time (if there is one) is a huge challenge.

The I:performs have a lovely soft shovel so hook up into the turn really easily (sometimes too easily - straighter is often faster wink ) and have quite a large 'sweet spot' - so I don't get dumped on my back the way I have done on some skis, I'm sure they'd be fun on snow - maybe a little soft. As GrahamN, says - I'm not very big (60kgs)

I've also enjoyed SL9s, the current 9S WC (stiff !), Racetigers and Lab 3Vs.


IMHO the thing to do is demo some, and then practise using them in the conditions they were built for Very Happy And ditto rob@rar, they need to be loved.

And (another thought) - nothing shows up technique like short skis Laughing
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

skimottaret, Get your act together.


Quite right Madeye-Smiley , and all the comments from the racers say the same thing. If serious about race training get performance skis, not a halfway house. So that is what I will do!!

After having just bought 3 pairs of skis and all the tuning gear this last season my wife will go nuts if i splash out £500 for a specialised pair of new boards so i will be hunting for second hand and last year models.

Ideally i would like to demo, but at the end of the day they are all 165 with a similar side cut and stiff so i recon in the first instance i just need to get a pair and put some hours in. I am sure once i am used to these type of skis i could then demo and make a better determination as to the ideal ones for me.

Atomic SL11's for £150 sound very tempting and i am guessing there will be a few pair of rossi 9S WC for sale

does MK have any race skis one can demo?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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skimottaret wrote:
.... but at the end of the day they are all 165 with a similar side cut and stiff so i recon in the first instance i just need to get a pair and put some hours in.


i was going to disagree at first, but i think that you/we tend to modify technique to make the skis work better as you/we get used to them.

So any SL ski + hours on board should be OK.

However, if you demo and pick the one you like the best then the benefits would be quicker. I like Atomics/dynamics/Elan but never seem to get on with Head SL's.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Mosha Marc, have you skied the atomic S11 ?

If i could demo several pairs side by side that would be fantastic but unless MK has these type of skis to trial I would prefer to get a cheaper pair sooner rather than later and can always trade up to something else in future.
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skimottaret, The shop at MK is EB, they don't sell race skis.

If you need to modify your technique anyway then a demo won't tell you much.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
rjs, thanks for the tip about EB, didnt think they would have race skis so demoing will prove problematic for me this summer.

As i said earlier i had skied the Fischer RC4 SL for a day this year and they seem to be the benchmark ski, so will probably start with a pair of them.

I have a bid on Ebay going so fingers crossed...
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skimottaret, Once you have your purchase... It'll do you no harm at all to do a little race training (and maybe a race) on the plastic wink Could you be ready for 30 June ?
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ski, It might not do him any harm but the skis would probably prefer to stick to snow.
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NORDICA 'SLR' R and D
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SMALLZOOKEEPER, thanks i neglected those and will have a look at them as well, David Murdoch, seems to rate them..
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rjs, Possibly - frequent applications of Polar-X seems to avoid the worst of the damage Laughing
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ski, i probably wouldnt risk it on plastic and would just use some old gash skis to come to grips with gates in the first instance....
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skimottaret,

Quote:

old gash skis



with sharp edges wink would do fine. The point I was trying to get to was - why wait 'til the snow comes to do some race training ? The ruts don't get so big on plastic but there is a lot that is the same as snow
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