Author Topic: kikobb - getting back into skiing after 10 years and surgeries  (Read 318 times)

kikobb

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kikobb - getting back into skiing after 10 years and surgeries
« on: November 06, 2010, 09:58:37 am »
Hi. I just subscribed to realskiers.com and I think I found the right place to get the answers to my situation.

I am a 53 yo guy with a decent experience skiing both western and eastern snow.

The problem is, i quit it about 10 years ago after 2 knee surgeries (right knee meniscus and ACL recon) combined with relocation to work in Brazil.
Now back in the US and a lot heavier (5'11" and 250 lb.) I am really committed to go back to the slopes this season. I've been working out 6 times a week with a personal trainer for 2 months already with a big focus on knee and hip strengthening and been loosing an average of 2 lb a week of body weight.

Booked already Aspen - Snowmass 10 days in Jan with a group of friends coming from Brazil and definitely need some advice on equipment and tips in general.

Little bit of background:
Used to be probably a level 7 on PSIA scale.
Only skied pencils - Volkl 203cm
Never tried new shape skis before.

My goal right now is to just get back and enjoy some groomed terrain to test the waters. Also got a custom fit knee brace to help with stability (I hope!!)

Big question is: where to start in terms of ski brand, size (forgiveness, ease on the knees...). what about boots.. same questions.
Any help would be greatly apreciated
« Last Edit: November 06, 2010, 04:59:11 pm by jim-ratliff »


jim-ratliff

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Welcome kikobb.? This forum is just a bunch of regular skiers, so you may want to also send a request to Peter from the pay site to get a more professional response.? I'll share my thoughts, but you have a unique set of medical problems to overcome.

1. Shaped skis offer the possibility of skiing with a lot less strain on the knees.? Because of the shape of the skis, they will turn just by being tipped. The bad news is that shaped skis can seem unstable to someone new to them because they tend to wiggle back and forth a bit when they are flat on the snow.? Many actually work better by being skied a little bit on edge all of the time.

2. Ski brand probably doesn't matter too much.? You should consider renting at Aspen (because they'll have pretty good quality skis and probably well tuned).? Then you could see about demoing a few skis after a couple of days of getting your feet on the snow.? As far as the icons on RealSkiers, you want to make sure that the ski has the green skier icon (and probably that it doesn't have the black skier icon).? If you read the explanations, Peter's colors are unrelated to trail classifications, and skis with the black icon are usually a bit stiffer and less forgiving.? You probably want an all-mountain ski, length around your nose so probably mid-upper 170's, and waist width in the low 70's with a turning radius around 15.? Skis with enough side-cut to have shorter turning radius will probably also feel twitchier to you.? You also want a ski with a high "smooth drift" number since that facilitates adapting old technique to shaped skis.

3. Look at the Fischer Progessor 8+ as an example, especially looking for review terminology of "excellent for anyone either learning to carve or working on building up current carving skills".? And then compare that review to the Progressor 9 and 10 which are both excellent skis but higher than I would suggest for you. The Kastle LX72 (Groomer Cruiser of the Year) is also a good choice, but Kastle's are expensive.? Interestingly, I saw lots of rental Kastles at Aspen last year, so consider that option.? K2 Rictor is a new model with a bit of rocker, but good reviews. Blizzard Magnum 7.4.? I'm not a fan of Volkl or Atomic, but that's just a personal preference, but based merely on the RealSkiers reviews you could look at the Volkl AC20 or AC3 Motion.

4. Boots are the most important part.? You should buy boots even if you choose to rent skis and you should have them done by a good boot fitter or a knowledgeable boot shop.? In general, most ski shops will fit you with boots that are plenty comfortable in the store and wind up being too large after a years use. Do a Google search for America's Best Bootfitters. What they should do is something like the following.? Take the liner out of the boot, and with you standing in the plastic boot and toes just barely touching the front of the boot you should have 1/2-3/4" behind the heel.? This is called "shell fitting" and tell a lot more than the "try the boot on and see what you think" approach from most ski ships.? With the liners back in this will feel pretty snug intially; lean hard against the tongue to see how they will eventually feel. Walking around the store in ski boots has little bearing on reality, it tends to push your feet forward in the boot, exactly the opposite of the forces when skiing. In addition to length, boots also vary by "last width". Racier boots (or boots for people with narrow foot) will have lasts of 96-100 mm while more common boots will have lasts of 103-104mm.? When you are standing in the plastic shell get a feel for how much space there is on the sides.? You should not be touching, but it shouldn't be much more than 1/4" or so (I know, that's hard to know). Also feel if the sides of the boot seem to match your foot shape.? With a good fit, expect that the shop will have to grind out a few places (for me, this is at the joint of the little toe and also the big toe).
« Last Edit: November 06, 2010, 10:35:40 pm by jim-ratliff »
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

Perry

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Ditto what Jim said,
The boots are the key.  The single biggest overnight improvement I ever had, and nothing else even comes close, is getting properly boot fitted.  This is especially true with the shaped skis.  Starting neutral as far as going to either edge allows you to pressure both edges equally well. With the shaped skis that allows you to use all 4 edges

kikobb

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Jim and Perry, thanks for the advice.

I think this is a great way to start. I will email Peter, as well, to see what he has to say.

In the meantime I have decided to book, in mid December with my 2 sons, a 4 day trip to Stratton Mountain before going to Aspen. I know it is not the same than skiing in Colorado but, maybe I can prepare myself better for the real thing.

My idea is to hire a private instructor every morning to help with the transition and enjoy the rest of the day on the slopes with family. Do you know anybody there you could recommend?

Again, thanks again for the tips and I will get back to you with the results later in the season.

Perry

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There are two systems of instruction most people here would endorse, PMTS and Clendenin Ske method.  The CSM is simpler and would be easier to learn from traditional technique.  I would recommend that you get the book

http://skidoctors.com/ski-bumps-book.html

     and see if you can find an instructor that has at least heard of it.  Otherwise I would save my money at Stratton and then just work on the concepts from the book and DVD and then arrange a session with one of the CSM instructors when you get to Aspen.

Gary

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Ditto what the guys said but to add.....see John Clendenin when you're in Aspen. He runs an outstanding program there...his cell phone # is 1-970-274-0385. He's a great guy, a fantastic skier and his method like Perry said....quick learning curve.

Keep us posted,

Best, Gary

jim-ratliff

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Here's a link to the PMTS forum.  Take a look at the "More Free On-Line Instruction" thread.

http://www.pmts.org/pmtsforum/viewforum.php?f=1&sid=a687236028975a06281ebf4fe6526728
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

LivingProof

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Kikobb,
Welcome back to the world of skiing. Like you, I took over a decade off and returned to find that it's still the absolutely best way to spend time in winter. I've had many great experiences and meet many new friends, including several who post here. I was also overweight and undertrained and have since used skiing as motivation to correct those issues.

First, enjoy it. Just go skiing and suck in the experience. Your former skills don't disappear totally, at least on easier terrain. Don't push the envelope and make good decisions about the trails and speeds you go at. In your first few days, I'm not certain that equipment means that much. I skied on my old pencil skis and boots and got by just fine - I just didn't know any better. Getting good boots first makes a lot of sense as you can take them to Aspen/Stratton easily and rent skis. There are way more styles of skis these days and you may want to demo different types to figure out what you like. Airlines now charge $$ to carry skis, so some of the rental fees are offset. One issue remaining with new boots is that what feels good in the shop will probably end up being a too large boot as the liner compresses. Get your boots at a good ski shop and fitted by someone who is trained and does it full time.

I think you would be well served to take Stratton lessons prior to Aspen. You'll probably just work on basics like stance and balance, plus how to develop edging skills. Feedback from a good pair of trained eyes is needed. Many who post here are devoted to improving their skills and are students of specific schools of ski instruction led by Harald Harb or John Clendenin. Should you continue to ski, you will make a choice between learning to ride an edged ski or just push the tails to turn (pardon my gross simplification). You can have a lot of fun doing either.

Get some cardio work in for Aspen. Breathing in high elevations does not get easier as one ages, trust me.

Again, welcome back. Enjoy the ride!

Ron

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or learn how to feather edges, carve, slash a turn or whatever skill is required to ski the desired terrain......

Here's a phenominal video of "some guys" not carving turns and they look pretty good.......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANbS6AaEunM&feature=player_embedded


Gary

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WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoo .....wicked sweet! That's some fine arse skiing there bubba!

Smooth as silk and all the edge they need for those conditions for sure!

Thanks for posting Ron...g