Author Topic: Right specs for a big, burly intermediate skier  (Read 1968 times)


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Re: Right specs for a big, burly intermediate skier
« on: January 03, 2012, 01:30:39 pm »
Thanks for the replies this morning!

Jim: I stand corrected -- meters, not degrees. And the tennis analogy works too.

Liam: Per my first post, I've only skied at Mountain High and Snow Summit in southern CA after coming back to skiing, though I expect to ski Mammoth and possibly Homewood, Heavenly, or one of the other Tahoe resorts before the season ends this year, along with the aforementioned a few times since they're closer. (Sidenote -- the southern CA resorts are have better man-made snow conditions right now than the big guys up north). As far as the time commitment goes, that'll vary depending on my job and opportunities to ski, but the point was that I'll be purchasing a custom-fit boot before skis and if I need to take a dozen quality lessons to get my turn technique down then that's top priority.

You asked what I want to ski: for now it's all about skiing quick on groomed and off-piste blues and single-blacks. I'm not into big moguls, not obsessed about learning to ski bottomless powder (yet), not interested in AT/Tele-skiing at this point (prefer chairlift), and I'm a ways off from dropping off steeps and tree skiing but that's on the "someday" agenda. What I need to learn is how to execute a somewhat shorter or mid-radius turn without Hockey Stopping + redirection, and executing longer (I guess they're called "GS" style) turns at speed without timing a slide across the face of the hill, trying to hit a point on the side of the run from which to slide the other way.

I'm not into the rabid carving machine thing. For me it's about getting the edges to work as the means of turning rather than all the wedging and rotation I've been doing. I just want to be able to boogie down the hill at a good clip and execute those nice, uniform turns on edge, whether it's hard, groomed snow or softer off-piste or boot powder. I'm sure with the right technique and equipment that "gets out of the way" I'll be less physically thrashed by early afternoon and will enjoy getting better at the same time. If tennis has taught me one thing it's that it's all about the journey rather than the destination.

As for the consideration of the Rossi E88 -- it seems to be one of those skis that reviewers consider to be really versatile -- at least from the reviews I've read. praise it as being an exceptionally well-rounded ski. Spec-wise, it seems to be capable of a wide variety of turns, initiates turns easily with that "auto-turn" early-rise rocker, have nice liveliness despite a 100% wood core, and skis well in a variety of conditions. Is it the right ski for me? I don't know. I'd also included the Blizzard Bushwacker in my list of possibles. It's a bit narrower in the tip and tail, same early-rise but still cambered design, and reviewed to be a good "all-rounder" that's easy to ski. Again, I'd demo both before purchasing, but I chose those models as considerations based in part on the purported easier turn initiation that this early-rise technology offers.

Mike: First, thanks for referring this to your friend at Tahoe for his opinion -- I'm anxious to hear what he thinks as well. And yeah, all this thinking is probably overkill! I recently read a review of the Scott Dozer in Skiing Magazine that said, "On this ski, just go, have fun, and think later." I have to be careful about under-thinking, though, because if I impulsively buy I tend to repurchase something else sooner rather than later, and skis aren't exactly cheap. 

As to your question whether I have difficulty in coming to final decisions when purchasing, I'd say that I tend to make the actual process of evaluation more difficult than it may need to be sometimes, but not the final decision to purchase once I find something I like. Along the evaluation route I tend to second-guess whether what I'm looking for is what I need, whether I'm asking or expecting too much, or if I'm even thinking along the right lines to begin with. This is precisely why I posted what I did. I'm genuinely interested in whether I have my thinking straight about what I should be considering rather than a particular brand/model of ski. If my reasoning is right for the most part, then it's simply a matter of selecting a brand/model/width/length that should offer what I need, doing the demos and buying what feels and works the best. makes the comment that the tangible performance differences between lengths of a certain model of ski from one brand are more discernible than those of similarly-spec'd skis from different manufacturers.

Maybe the best thing to do is just pick 3 skis in 72/80/88 widths whose turn radius specs are between 13 and 19 meters, and demo the longest and second-longest versions of each. That way, I'm not overwhelming myself with too many brands and models and designs -- that's 6 demos -- and if I find something that works in those 6 I'm good to go. If not, I can seek out something else to try.

Thanks again.