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Thread: down hill ski advice

  1. #1
    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Default down hill ski advice

    I'm needing some advice on which kind of skis to buy. I'm not in tune w/ the modern equipment, I've skied all my life but I've had the same pair of K2 710 comps 215 cm for 25 years lol. I rented a pair of those funky parabolic skis last year and I didn't like the way they performed. I had cranked the binding to the max and they still hardly wanted to stay on. I'm an expert skier and didn't like the way they turned by themselves and chattered at high speeds. My buddy said I need some fat skis, but I'm not sure which ones. They're all so short now days, I'm confused. I like the steep and deep and I also like hitting the bumps (not many moguls anymore thanks to the boarders) but Alyeska is usually icy, do fat skis work on the ice? Also boots are a major issue, I used to wear Langes but they are burger grinders on the feet. I then bought some solomon boots and I had to unbuckle them every run cause they too killed my feet. I'm old school so I'm not up to snuff on the new gear any advice would be appreciated. I now know how my dad used to feel, I swear he was the last one in Alaska to wear leather boots and ski on 215 cm Head 360's w/ Miller binders. In the chair lift line the kids used to giggle at his gear, but they didn't giggle when he was popping down the bumps using the old Stein Erikson method w/ his long boards.





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  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Your best bet is going to be trying out a variety of skis to see what you prefer. Once you put a few days on newer gear you'll start to understand the advantage. All of us but the under 25 set had to undergo the transition you're talking about. Going from 200cm+ boards with almost no sidecut to 180cm skis that are up to 30cm wider at the tip than the waist takes some getting used to...but it is oh so worth it once you get a feel for them. Yes, fat skis will work for Alyeska, but if you're primarily a resort skier, I'd go with a mid-fat ski. Go talk to the folks at SkiAK off of Spenard or at World Cup in Girdwood - they'll be able to talk you through it and get you set up with a few pairs to demo. As for boots, try on as many pairs as possible. A good fitting boot is far more important than choosing the right ski. Almost all boots now have heat moldable liners, so you should be able to get a good fit.

    On another note, the best ski swap of the year is coming up in mid October. If you get a feel for what you're looking for but want to save some coin, be in line at the West High ski swap about an hour and a half before they open. Rush in and grab what you're looking for immediately, as it goes quickly.

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Thank you sir! I will be attending the ski swap at West in mid October. I'll google it and find out the exact date. You're right Brian it's all about the boots. I'll pick the brains of the folks at SkiAk so I have a little knowledge to go by.





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    I can't think of anything more to say than echo the good advice Brian gave you.

    I would emphasize, however, that fat skis (not shaped, sidecut skis, but rather very wide, plank-like skis) are a specialty ski. They are designed for and perform wonderfully in the deep and in the crud, but I would advise to rule them out if you're shopping for a single ski that you'll use day-in, day-out in all conditions.

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Brian's advice of a mid-fat ski is excellent. The somewhere around 85-95 underfoot should do you just fine.

    FYI, all of my skis are at least 100 underfoot.

    I'm a big boy and don't have a problem running the big skis.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    Brian's advice of a mid-fat ski is excellent. The somewhere around 85-95 underfoot should do you just fine.

    FYI, all of my skis are at least 100 underfoot.

    I'm a big boy and don't have a problem running the big skis.
    Bro I can't get over how short the skis have gotten! I weigh about 200 and still ski aggressively, what bindings do you roll w/? The rental bindings I had sucked, and when I told the tech to cinch em down he was all freaked out, when I skied on them I realized they were designed for about a 90lb novice. I have Tyrolia 360's on my old skis and I had them cranked them down to almost max and that was perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsiutoo View Post
    I can't think of anything more to say than echo the good advice Brian gave you.

    I would emphasize, however, that fat skis (not shaped, sidecut skis, but rather very wide, plank-like skis) are a specialty ski. They are designed for and perform wonderfully in the deep and in the crud, but I would advise to rule them out if you're shopping for a single ski that you'll use day-in, day-out in all conditions.
    Yeah I see what you're saying about the day in day out use. I ski in Cordova 3 or 4 times a year which is either pristine power or 2 ft of mashed potatoes nothing in between, Alyeska I ski the rest of the time, I don't get too jiggy about Alyeska till the end of Feb when it gets sunny up there and softens the ice, but I will pop down for some fresh pow when its applicable. When I rented the shaped skis I couldn't stand them! They bored me to tears and they chattered like fiddle strings w/ any speed. I don't know the 1st thing about the new technology, it looks like I'll be looking towards mid fats





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    The rental ski fleet @ Aly is mostly junk. There's a small shop @ the top of the tram that offers demo's on decent skis. Just poke a head in and try some stuff out. They have pow skis and chunder skis. The mid-fat chunder skis handle everything alright but a big fat pair of reverse camber skis rock out on deep pow days.

    I have to put my order in within the next two weeks. I haven't figured out what I'm adding for skis this year but I'm leaning towards the Blizzard Bodacious 196's. I would like to try them first but I may just get them coming.

    As for bindings, I'm not a snob. I have a couple of pair of Marker Dukes and a couple of pair of bindings from Demo skis. They all work for my limited application.
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    does anyone know when the ski swap at west high is this year?

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Brian always posts the dates.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I'm suprised with your experience, when I transitioned to parabolics my experience was the complete opposite. In high school I raced occasionally, so came from the same background, mid 80's agressive expert skier on 215 gs race skis, until some *******s broke into my parents cabin and stole them

    But about 7 years ago my kids were old enough to get them into skiing and on an outfitting the kids with stuff trip to play it again I came across a pair of solomon parabolics, 187's w/o bindings for a really good price. I had an old pair or maker MRR's and my old Solomon SX91 boots. I know, you should have a "pro" mount your bindings, but it's not rocket science with a drill press.

    I hadn't skied in years, and the first time out on the parabolics it was like I hadn't missed a beat. I could get on any type of run I'd ski as a kid and ski them just as well. Yeah, midway down the N face my legs were burning from being out of shape, but I was just as solid picking lines and making turns. I love the parabolics, you don't have to muscle them or fight them, they just go. One of these days when I'm done outfitting the kids I'll go for a complete upgrade.

    Find a pair of skis that are matched to your skiing style, and I think you'll be really suprised. Sounds like you got on a pair of soft beginner skis. Just as you'd hate a pair of beginner skis back in the day, you had the same experience with the new gear. Go with a new, or newer pair of advanced skis and you should be set. The biggest problem I have is there are so many different models out there, it's hard to tell exactly what you are getting until you've researched them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    I hadn't skied in years, and the first time out on the parabolics it was like I hadn't missed a beat. I could get on any type of run I'd ski as a kid and ski them just as well. Yeah, midway down the N face my legs were burning from being out of shape, but I was just as solid picking lines and making turns. I love the parabolics, you don't have to muscle them or fight them, they just go.
    Now I'm confused again, because I had the same experience. I hadn't skiied for years and it was like I hadn't missed a beat. I was used to power skiing w/ a pair of GS long boards and when I got on those parabolic squirrels and it was way too easy! I admit they were junk and probably beginner/intermediate skis. I think the smart move is to demo several styles of quality skis and choose the ones that I don't feel like an idiot on. I felt like a young Franz Klammer on them dang rental junkers come to think of it.





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