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"Performance" skis & when to switch?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Marty_McSly, Apr 22, 2012.

  1.  
    Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Well-Known Member Season Pass Holder

    I don't ski enough to justify the cost of buying skis in the household budget, so I just hire when I go. This will be my 4th year in Perisher and with daily lessons I've slowly progressed over the last 3 years of 5-day stays to the point where I can confidently parallel turn and pole-plant. Last year I finished on level 4 lessons and was told that if I was staying another day I should join a level 5 group.

    I'm looking at a 9-day mid-August stay this year and I'm wondering if I should hire the basic cheapest skis again or consider the "performance" skis. The decision isn't helped by not knowing what "performance" skis actually are. I guess that they would be "allround" skis rather than "beginner" skis as defined here: http://www.mechanicsofsport.com/skiing/equipment/skis.html

    So I'm thinking that "performance" hire skis would be longer and stiffer than what I'm used to (Note: not to be taken out of context!) and maybe a bit more inclined to throw me off.

    I wasn't going fast enough last year to have any issues with flexing, but after 9 days this year?

    Should I upgrade straight up or go with the standard skis at first and try upgrading as my speed & skill improve? Or am I kidding myself that I'm anywhere near needing to upgrade?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  2.  
    pow_pow

    pow_pow New Member

    at 9 nines and super cheap deals on current models due to slow US season i would be buy some in from O/S, you would only be a few hundread dollars worse off for the one trip.

    if hiring go for performance range, hire off mountain from jindy
  3.  
    hipo

    hipo Well-Known Member

    I'm no expert, but I'd suggest hiring the standard skis when your first down there, talk to your instructor and get his ideas about length and shape. Then if you hire on mountain or are staying in Jindy, see if you can change over to a performance ski. That way you will have shaken a couple of cobwebs out, got personal advice from someone who knows how you ski and you can then feel what difference a performance ski makes.
  4.  
    Piste Again

    Piste Again Addicted Member

    Performance skis are probably going to be a bit stiffer but at your level the length would be about the same as you're already using. You probably want them waxed about 3 times for a 9-day trip, too.

    Buy skis (boots, poles, jacket, pants, helmet, the lot). If you're going to continue skiing a week or more a year it pays for itself, at least for adults and if you have multiple kids in tow then you can hand kids' gear down. You've probably missed the boat for the sales this season but keep an eye open. You can often pick up a set of better skis than the "performance" hire skis for less than you've already forked out in rentals for 4 years. I figure on a set of skis lasting me 10 years before they're designated as rock-hoppers, so they do pay for themselves if you're going to keep doing this.
  5.  
    Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Well-Known Member Season Pass Holder

    So far each year has been going to be the last "for a while". But the plan ATM is to give 2013 a miss in favour of taking my daughter to a Japanese field for a fortnight in Jan/Feb 2014 in lieu of her going to schoolies. Any skis I buy to suit local hardpack won't be worth shipping to Japan for powder. So rental is the go for this year.

    Even clothing is a bit of a gamble PA, I've sat at 120kg for a couple of years and have finally started to chisel some off in the last month or so. At 113 today and aiming to be under 100 for my trip in August. Then down to 80 over the next year. I'd try to stabilise before investing in jacket and pants.

    But yeah, if I see myself keeping regular trips up I'll buy the gear, I just feel I need a bit more experience before I lock something in.
  6.  
    squirell

    squirell New Member

    if worried about your budget, then dont hire on the hill as it costs alot more than the closest town. You should be able to pick up performance skis off mountain cheaper than on mountain budget. From my experience not all rental places are the same especially when some places call" performance skis" as just a new bottom end ski compared to their lower package.
  7.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    My recommendation is just get the normal rentals, Focus on what your feet and legs are doing, the skis won't make a whit of difference at the intermediate skill level you've described. The turns are skidded at this stage so there is little point in playing with flex or sidecut. The only 'performance upgrades' worth having all come from skill development. That means mileage, mileage, mileage. Put the cash saved into more skiing. Even one or two extra days means more time to integrate those skills into moves that become automatic.
  8.  
    ODNT

    ODNT Addicted Member Season Pass Holder

    What sly says
    I've resisted temptation & we hire fats OS when required. Its all been about time on snow for me. Different skis werent required to get from green to blacks. [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013
  9.  
    dossa5

    dossa5 Well-Known Member

    Hey sly_062. so youve done a total of 15 days + another 9 to come this winter. In the sceme of things this is not many days to consider purchasing performance boards. All they will do is put you in the back seat, Maybe boots. Why not wait until you've clocked up 100 days.
  10.  
    Nowada

    Nowada Well-Known Member

    Hi Sly_062
    I agree with most on this thread. The dollar is good for puchacing skis OS, but try to save your cash for when you are turning from edge to edge at reasonable speed on blue runs at least. Then demo as many as possible before you buy. Until then, I would be asking for an all mountain intermediate ski when renting. Something with a bit of stability and width will get you through the death cookies and slush perisher often delivers. Rythm at Cooma had an excellent selection (4 years ago).
    As you get better and demo more skis you will be amazed how differently similar skis run. If you buy early you could be very disapointed later.
  11.  
    Piste Again

    Piste Again Addicted Member

    Last January we went to Canada and I left my skis home for exactly that reason.

    We has pretty much Australian conditions for the whole trip. They recommended a wider set than I usually ski here (for the powder) and they were hard work everywhere other than in front of the snowmaking guns. I shoulda taken my own skis.

    But granted, that's not the way it's usually going to be...
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  12.  
    Haka_Tours

    Haka_Tours New Member

    My advice is to stick with the normal ski's and to save your money. At your level, you won't get much benefit from the performance ski's. Keep concentrating on learning more. If you find you need them, then there might be a cheaper option in a local shop to rent. Not all rental outlets cost the same price; shopping around is a must when you are on a budget.
  13.  
    Yardsale

    Yardsale Part of the Furniture Moderator

    Absolutely.

    The thing to remember is that you improve quickly at the start, and slower as time goes on. Not only do you need to replace your skis as you improve, but your boots as well (you tend to go for a stiffer flex). The first thing to buy, if anything, is boots. A decent boot will outlive a few sets of skis. Pony up the cash to have the boot fitted by someone good and get foot beds.

    When you rent, let the know that you are a level 5. They will normally reach around the back of all the other skis and bring out the newer hire skis, and put you in a newer boot that hasn't been softened up so much. If you walk in with your own boots, they are likely to pull out better skis automatically.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  14.  
    Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Well-Known Member Season Pass Holder

    What a difference a day makes - the general run of advice has turned around just as I've been starting to consider buying in :)

    Let me put my comment about "household budget" into perspective. When I came home last year I went to a reputable (AFAIK) ski shop to look at boots. I generally got good advice in line with what I've read online. While I was there I ran a casual eye over their displays of skis, most of which were priced at $1500 and up. I looked at a couple of Australian online stores and generally found their offerings to be in the same price range. So I said "f*** that, skis are too expensive for me!".

    Having spent a few hours today trawling through overseas reviews and stores, I see quite a few good and highly-recommended intermediate skis in the US$300-500 range, which has been giving me some serious second thoughts. FWIW I've come up with suggestions like Blizzard Magnum 7.4 or 7.6, Rossignol Bandit B1 or 74 (B2 at a stretch - perhaps a bit ambitious), Atomic Smoke TI and K2 A.M.P. Photon.

    But I take the point about needing more miles and I understand the benefits of custom-fitted boots so boots are definitely my top priority.

    What might be different this year is the conventional wisdom of hiring off-mountain. With the early bird discounts on hire through Perisher (eg 34% saving for 7 days), I'm inclined to hire on-mountain and see if I can try some of the skis I mentioned earlier after I've been there a couple of days and just see if I'm up to them. That way if I struggle I can always switch back to something less ambitious.

    Thanks for all the advice too! I like to hear and understand POV's that I mightn't have considered. This has all been very enlightening.
  15.  
    Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Well-Known Member Season Pass Holder

    Not sure what this means, do you mean they'll throw me on my arse? Or do the skis take control, leaving me as a passenger?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  16.  
    Nowada

    Nowada Well-Known Member

    Sly-062 I totally understand where you are coming from and I think what you are saying may be feasible, since according to the Perisher marketing machine they have invested big money in new rental stock.
  17.  
    Lady Mamabear

    Lady Mamabear Part of the Furniture

    Not sure what the individual 'rules' of each hire place is, but I used Rhythm (in Japan in March) for a hire board after leaving my tired and worn oldie behind in Zermatt in January. I wanted to trial a few different boards with a view to purchase so the performance package was perfect for me - I could swap the board over as many times as I liked for different ones (and different bindings also - which I did!).

    Obviously with Rhythm being in Cooma that is impractical in Aus, but the on mountain hire joints may offer the same.
  18.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Edging the ski at the end of the turn will bend it into an arc, and this stored energy is released as the ski flattens and transitions into the next turn. This creates rapid aceleration of the skis, which, if you're not ready for it, causes the skis to get in front of the skier. That's called 'sitting in the back seat'. What you want of course is to be in the driver's seat - balanced on the middle of the ski.

    Skis for advanced skiers will mostly have a stiffer flex pattern, especially from the boot to the tail of the ski. This accentuates the energy release at the end of the turn, and skilled skiers and especially racers deliberately use this to maintain high speed. Getting on a pair of these early in your career could be a handful, and there aren't really any other benefits of use to you at this time. Boots are generally the first thing you should buy. My main advice though is not to worry much about equipment. Skill development is the best investment of all.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  19.  
    Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Well-Known Member

    Your weight is a consideration in your ski purchase as well. So maybe wait until next year.

    I agree with the person who said to speak to the instructor, but you may as well go with what the store recommends for you in the 'performance' range.
  20.  
    hipo

    hipo Well-Known Member

    Hi S62, like a lot of folks here have said as a bit of generalisation, performance skis are going to show their true benefit when you start using the edges either on a steer turn or a carve turn.During the pivot stage of turning when you keep the skis pretty flat and skid the tails around, performance skis won't make much difference.

    The vid at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fs2jkOA74o will give a good indication of when edges come into play. (the vid is done by a regular poster on here but we won't hold that against her! Ga'day LT)

    Some more vids that could be helpful for your skiing are the Darren Turner series http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG1uDU0rSLw&feature=relmfu
    or the Warren Smith series
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k4c87HEOAQ&feature=relmfu

    Once you look at the links above, you'll see the links to more vid by these guys.
    There are plenty of other vids on youtube but the ones mentioned will give you good visualisation of whats going on and are pretty much up tp date with current teaching methods.

    They'll also give you a good idea of when performance skiis are going to be of benefit.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  21.  
    Piste Again

    Piste Again Addicted Member

    I've always hated hiring off mountain. If I hire off mountain I'll hire in Sydney. Several reasons for this :

    1 - the second time I went skiing, day 1, up to the top of the main quad at Perisher FV. Three turns later, the binding parted company with one of the skis, which proceeded to travel about half a kilometre down Pretty Valley. Took it back to the hire shop at FV and they swapped it, no questions asked. If it was an off-mountain hire I'd have had to either drive back down (losing most of a day by the time you fart around getting changed into driving shoes, waiting for skitube, driving down, swapping, driving back, waiting for skitube and changing shoes again) or make a new hire at FV and hope I could argue the money back on my way home.

    2 - A few years ago, went down with a mate who'd hired at Rebel. The pickup at Jindy was supposed to take 5 minutes and the gear return about the same. That was true, but what they never mentioned was the hour-long queue to get to the 5 minute process. By the time my mate walked out of the shop at Jindy with his gear I could've been doing turns at Thredbo - it pretty much lost us the free half day sunday afternoon. We wasted another hour returning the gear making us much later getting home.

    Boots - definite good move. Get them for this season if you can.

    Clothing - as soon as your weight stabilises I'd get clothing because the rental gear is rarely much good and if you buy sensibly at the sales it'll pay for itself in a year or two.

    Skis - I reckon you should get something once you feel like the improvement is only slight after each trip. IMO the average one-trip-per-year intermediate or advanced skier spends the first 4 days getting back to where they were last year, so after this 9-day trip you probably won't see a lot of improvement year-by-year. That's the time to buy skis. I've been skiing for 16 years and probably only have 130 days to my name - I bought after about 20 days of skiing, ensuring that I bought skis that would cope as I improved (Atomic 9.22s), and only replaced them last season. I'm very happy with that decision - those skis served me well and saved me heaps in hiring costs.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  22.  
    Little Tiger

    Little Tiger New Member

    Thanks Hipo (not)... damn I hate watching that video! [​IMG]

    On the plus side I'm on GS race skis and I do what I was asked - and usually the video is my first attempt at actually doing the demo required. I still think I'd do better at those demos these days... but....

    Me I prefer Phil Smith to Warren... but horses for courses I guess... IIRC Phil has been trying to preach skill based learning to BASI for years...
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  23.  
    Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Well-Known Member Season Pass Holder

    In past years I took a middle option. As we were staying at Ski Rider, we hired all our gear from there. The first year we got caught behind a busload of schoolies in the hire shop and just made our free Sunday arvo lesson. The next 2 years we arrived earlier (overnighting in Cooma rather than Canberra) to ensure plenty of time. They were happy to kit us out at 10am Sunday. We had minor issues with boot sizing a couple of times and heel wear on one boot. Not enough to be showstoppers, so we were always able to exchange gear at the end of the day. But if we had a showstopper it would have been easy enough to get back to Ski Rider during the day and get it sorted.

    I was under the belief (correct me if I'm wrong) that gear hired from the Perisher outlet at the Bullocks Flat terminal could be exchanged at any other Perisher hire shop on the mountain? That was my original plan....
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  24.  
    Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Well-Known Member Season Pass Holder

    ...until I went looking for boots online and found that I could put together a ski/pole/boot package ex Vermont for not much more than the local price of boots alone. I've tried enough hire boots to know the make and size that work for me. With orthotics they should be even better. So this year I'll have a fresh pair of Dalbello Aerro 6.9's and Blizzard Magnum 7.4 IQ's to play with.

    The skis will probably be better than me for quite a while, but the reviews generally rate them more forgiving than some others I looked at, so I hope not to be overpowered by them. And the available sizes were a bit patchy so I've gone a little short for my current weight at 163cm v's suggested 170cm+ on the basis that as I trim down and build skills they will end up a good match.

    I've even caved in and ordered pants & parka from the US after finding that big fittings are basically special order (ie full-price) locally in brand names (and not available in no-name ebay ranges) but commonplace over there. While not as cheap as mainstream sizes, there is still enough volume to keep them reasonable. And I reckon they'll be easy enough to shift on ebay when I need something smaller.
  25.  
    mauricem

    mauricem Well-Known Member

    How tall are you? Im no expert but at 100kg or even 80 I think the 171s would be a much better choice. As your skills develop and you ski faster you'll want longer skis not shorter. At any rate they should be easy to turn!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  26.  
    Little Tiger

    Little Tiger New Member

    Yep 163cm is nearly my shortest pair(I do have a 155cm slalom).

    I'm 160cm tall...

    They should be easy to turn though as you say
  27.  
    Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Well-Known Member Season Pass Holder

    At full stretch I just make 175cm / 5'9". 163's will come to eye level. Last year's hire skis came to below my mouth. They would have been 155 tops, maybe only 150. I had a ball and progressed a long way on them too.

    At my stage in life easy turning rates higher than outright speed. It'd be different if I had 25 fewer years in my account and ambitions towards black runs and BC. Realistically I'll spend most of my time cruising blues at medium pace, especially this year.

    I know the skis are better than that so if I do push on a bit further in future years they shouldn't let me down.
  28.  
    Lady Mamabear

    Lady Mamabear Part of the Furniture

    Wow...I am used to seeing mates with WAY longer skis than that, usually as tall as them at least. I wonder what they will stick me on for my first ski lesson this year.

    sly_062 I know boards are different and all, but that was the way I started. My first board was a bit undersize for my height and weight, but it was recommended by the board shop guy as a great beginner board, and it was...being fully cambered with none of this fancy catch free edge tech or rocker that helps out now, the lesser size really made it easier to progress. 2nd board was longer, 3rd will be longer still. You may go the same way - hold onto these for a few years, improve and buy again. Have a ball - a snow ball ;-)

    On the jacket and pants sizes: Yes what is available in Australia is shocking! Not everyone is a skinny young thing that wants low rider pants. I have trouble outfitting #3 son - he is 110kg, 6ft2 and a hulking musclebound monster of a just turned 15 year old. He does carry extra weight - always has done (and I mean since birth!) ..genetics..poor bugger is so much like me it is not funny - but he trains a minimum of 2 hours a day, sometimes a shite load more. You can't be a Rugby Tight Head Prop or a Water polo Centre Forward being a skinny runt.... however the Aussie ski industry doesn't seem to acknowledge that very well at all. And it is worse for girls. I am at the top end of being able to buy off the shelf in most ski shops in Australia. Generally the clothing sizes run small for standard also. Even in fashion conscious Europe they did it better and more options available in larger sizes. I am currently organising a bucket list trip for some Snow Virgins and this is going to be a problem here. One friend only fits into my current ski pants (so I need to lose weight to justify buying a new pair for me), and another can barely get them done up, which means it is going to be hard to find her anything to fit! Frustrating.
  29.  
    Little Tiger

    Little Tiger New Member

    Send an order and I'll bring it home MB - or ship it on...
  30.  
    Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Well-Known Member Season Pass Holder

    Thanks LMB. Similar progression with skis. There are sizing guides on the web which factor in weight, experience, etc for selecting ski size. Then there is a simple rule-of-thumb for sizing: chin height for beginners, nose for intermediates, forehead + for advanced. So yes, be prepared for what look like undersized skis.

    I found a good range of big & tall sizing at skicloset.com and ended up buying Columbia Bugaboo pants & parka way cheaper than anything I found here with any sort of brand name on it. The wrinkle with that is Columbia gear sold in the US can't be shipped overseas, so I had to use one of the repackagers. I did get free postage to the repackager's warehouise though. I also found bigmen.com very helpful. If you email them your son's chest, waist, hip & inseam measurements (I did mine in inches) they'll shoot back sizing recommendations. Their pricing is a bit more expensive however, but I guess they don't need to clear out last season's stock as urgently as specialist ski retailers. You could always ask them to pricematch.

    I'm sure there'll be similar resources for women. I started with just googling "buy big mens ski parka" and had good leads on the first page. Best of luck!
  31.  
    Little Tiger

    Little Tiger New Member

    Sly - the trade of with the shorter and softer skis is they are less stable in crud and on hardpack... Hence why I've nearly always skied a ski as tall as me or more(I realy do not need help to be less stable)... The skis in that video are well over head height and a GS WC race skis - they still turn fine...
  32.  
    Piste Again

    Piste Again Addicted Member

    That works if you hire from Ski Rider. It's a bugger if you hired in Jindy or Cooma though.

    AFAIK you can swap/return etc on-mountain if you picked up at Bullocks Flat but the best approach would be to ask them.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  33.  
    Incider

    Incider Well-Known Member

    In Aussie shops:

    Beginner skis = 24 year old Salomons

    Performance skis = 7 year old Salomons (to be moved to the Beginner ski collection in 17 years time)

    Ex - rental = anything more than 30 years old.
  34.  
    Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Well-Known Member Season Pass Holder

    Hmmm... come to think of it, the week I was at Perisher last year we had over 1m of fresh, so it shouldn't be a surprise that the little shorty skis I had then went well on the groomed runs.

    I'll see how I go. The reviews I read for these skis suggested they were more stable than expected for their spec and size.

    But if I do find myself looking for an upgrade, my daughter seems to have stopped growing at 160cm so should be able to get some use out of them.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  35.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Good one!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  36.  
    Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Well-Known Member Season Pass Holder

    Whenever I hire, I usually get Head [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  37.  
    themaninblack

    themaninblack New Member

    Re: "Performance" skis & when to switch?

    Hi Sly_062. It's nearly all hyperbole and marketing and it even sucks in experienced skiers so don't worry. But there is a simple trick. Spend the dough, go to a good bootfitter get some boots that are firm and comfy not too stiff, get a good set of well cared for ex-demo 'so called' freeride/all mountain type skis like some Salomon Lords or Line Prophets or Volkl Kendo type things and go enjoy your skiing. Some people say the skis don't really matter, I don't really agree.
  38.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    then you're not really right...
  39.  
    HappyGirl

    HappyGirl Dedicated Member

    Upgrade to high mid to bottom top range asap.

    Forget anything below.

    Learning on mid range should be mandatory.
  40.  
    themaninblack

    themaninblack New Member

    Correct. It's mostly perception really. [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  41.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Nah mate, just jerkin ya round a bit. Skiing and improving is all about confidence. Whilst I know I can have a good day - hell, a good season - on any old planks at all, I also get that a lot of people derive confidence and assurance from skis they believe to be 'the right tool for the job.' That's hype working in our favour, but of course the flip side is when people fret that they're on the wrong skis - that they're somehow being 'held back' or worried that they won't be able to ski that 10 cm of fresh because they're not on a powder ski.
  42.  
    Nowada

    Nowada Well-Known Member

    I take my now oldish elan 78 waveflex's to Japan and took them to europe, They are excellent on piste and I find them OK in knee deep with minor adjustments to technique. They are a heavy ski.
    For deeper powder I would look at much lighter and wider skis but only when those conditions arise, until a true ALL mountain Ski is developed (that I can afford).
  43.  
    Dusty B

    Dusty B Dedicated Member

    Had a look through the comments. Honestly Sly, everybody as given you some fantastic advice and guidance here, though I can see that everyone's differing opinions can be overwelming. This is no right or wrong, just different ideas here.

    Aus snow conditions, generally warm and wet. So if look for ski clothes, look for something with high water resistance (eg 10,000+) and breathability. Unfortunately this means high cost in most cases. But, you might find some cheaper jackets right now as a "shell" (ie US sites). As long as you can dry them out well overnight, you will be sweet. It also means as a shell that they don't have inner warmer layers, which may not matter in Aus, or just mean that you need a tracksuit top underneath. Cost may mean if you buy a "firmer fit" this year, when you lose a few more kegs, you will be sweet next.

    If you have had a trawl through the countless threads, there is one golden rule, BOOTS BEFORE SKIS. A bad day on the mountain is the difference between comfy and painful boots. I know skis are the "go to" equipment, but really, take your time and spend some dough on a good pair of boots. If working on a budget, go to a local ski shop, ask if they have any performance ex-hire or old stock boots that they are looking to off-load. Make sure that they are good boot fitters (tell us where you are and we will let you know of a good spot to go) and they will make sure that you leave with the right boot for your foot. Orthodics or foot beds is highly recommended but not necessarily an absolute must (I have worn orthodics for the last 20 years, but my current ski boots have normal foot beds as this suits MY shape in them). Prefence is new boots as they have not been worn in, flexed a million times and gotten soft, but at this stage, since your not barrelling at 100km/h on your edges, it may not matter if they are a little soft, so ex-hires should suffice.

    Skis - well if hiring, until you are carving and riding on your edges with no side sliding, side cut and stiffness is not going to matter a whole lot. Length is more judged on weight, so something in the 165-175cm should be alright, shorter means easier to turn, but once your skill progresses, you will appreciate a little more length. For instance, I have been skiing for 30 years, 178cm tall am advanced and ski on anything from 170-178cm. My current skis are 182cm, but that is because they are a twin tip and I lose a good 10cm off the tail that is not touching the snow.

    If wanting to buy some skis width with will be more your issue now. A fat ski (80mm+ or a bit more) will be slower to go from one turn to the other and more difficult to handle in Aus, but get on the powder in Japan and it is a whole new ball game. As an example, my current skis are 89mm under foot, are great for Aus for ME, until it is icey and then they take a lot of work (I wanted something a lot thinner), were great in France early last year, until we got a MASSIVE dump and then I wanted something really wide (110mm +). A ski like a B1 or they might call it a B74 would be a great width to start with and will last you many years (I had a ski similar for many years called a rossignol B2 which was 74mm underfoot and it was great). If you can get it cheap, outstanding, don't forget the binding! BUT, Japan - even if you buy a ski here, expect to hire one there for the greater width. And please, consider buying boots first!!

    (I know it's like a surfer telling your to buy a wetsuit before you buy the board, don't worry about the status, a great day on the mountain is based on your boot. Skis will start to make the difference when you are starting to link together good carving turns).
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    And I know, I will be torn to shreds if I am wrong.
  44.  
    Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Well-Known Member Season Pass Holder

    Thanks hipo, I found that vid very helpful to assess where I was during and after last year's lessons.

    Day 1 I worked through pivot steering and was getting into wide track mode.

    Day 2 I got the hang of narrow steering with a pronounced up move.

    Days 3 & 4 I worked on reducing the hard edge set on exit (although I ddin't know it at the time) and the up move. We did quite a lot of J-turn work here, some singles with complete stops, then linked J-turns as a means of traversing.

    During day 4 our instructor started to teach us pole planting once the group was at or near the "refined steering turn" stage

    Day 5 I started to feel held back for speed by the others in the group so concentrated on precision and technique, eg following the instructor's track marks as closely as possible.

    Some of the faster runs we did down Happy Valley on day 5 felt pretty close to the way LT's last run looked. I recall the incredible ease of controlling the skis almost by thought rather than physical effort, just seeming to shift some body weight left or right to steer slightly away from straight ahead.

    I can't be absolutely certain that I started carving, but I know I was using the edges to steer. On one run down Happy Valley on day 5, the instructor sent us ahead to watch from behind as we picked our lines. In one turn I hit a small icy patch out wide which registered mostly as just a change in the skis' sound. The skis and I hung on and kept going. On day 1, a patch like that would have had the skis shooting out sideways from under me leaving me flat on the snow and winded.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  45.  
    Little Tiger

    Little Tiger New Member

    This is a good trick that few seem to get the hang of... a good instructor will be picking a turn shape that has a LOT to teach you... mimicing that as closely as possible can teach you a lot.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  46.  
    Little Tiger

    Little Tiger New Member

    You can tell the difference between narrow track steering and carving by the feel. The skis will be totally quiet and fast! Narrow track steering is faster than medium or wide track. When you start to carve it feels a bit like when a boat takes off and planes. Also you can look back at your tracks.

    have a look here for more info

    Carving

    http://www.yourskicoach.com/SkiGlossary/Carving.html

    Skid Angle

    http://www.yourskicoach.com/SkiGlossary/Skid_Angle.html

    Steering

    http://www.yourskicoach.com/SkiGlossary/Steering.html

    Narrow Track Steering

    http://www.yourskicoach.com/SkiGlossary/Narrow_Track_Steering.html

    Arc-to-Arc turns

    http://www.yourskicoach.com/SkiGlossary/Arc_to_Arc.html

    Clean Turn Initiation

    http://www.yourskicoach.com/SkiGlossary/Clean_Initiation.html
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  47.  
    Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Well-Known Member Season Pass Holder

    From the site:
    This is what my instructor last year was getting us to do. No pivoting on the feet or jumping up & around. The key to his method was leg position. Simply, the outside knee was pulled slightly back to behind the inside knee, allowing the legs to lean uphill while the upper body leant the other way for balance.

    To end a turn, the knees were brought back level forcing a more upright stance and the skis would naturally turn towards the fall line. Turning again just required moving the outside knee back again and bending the knees slightly to roll the skis while weighting the outer ski. The instructor explained that this would allow the inner edge to naturally turn the ski.

    I found this easy compared to some of the other approaches used by other instructors. For one thing it was easy on the knees as they only had to be bent through the joint's natural plane and any lateral movement was taken care of by the hips which are far better equipped for that.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2013
  48.  
    Little Tiger

    Little Tiger New Member

    Pushing feet forward can lead to a steering movement... If you watch the hips in that video you will see that Fastman drives his new inside(downhill) hip forward as he finishes the old turn. This lets him remove any counter from the old turn and establish any new early turn counter. Similar result to pushing/pulling the feet but by focusing on the hips you do not get that tendency to drive the foot into the turn but can just relax and tip the feet.
  49.  
    Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Well-Known Member Season Pass Holder

    More great tips there, thanks. I'm not sure I was really pushing the feet. It seemed like foot movement was a by-product of what the knees and hips were doing.

    I guess with the benefit of hindsight I can see that the instructor was leading us toward starting to carve. Which is only to be expected really.

    I used all my April quota early this morning & am throttled back to 128k or so, so no more vids for a few more hours for me. I'll be soaking up all I can this year. I've found Darren Toh's turnshape.com blog quite interesting too. I find having a bit of a theoretical "big picture" helps me put things into practice. Not everyone's cup of tea, of course, but if we were all the same it'd be pretty boring.
  50.  
    hipo

    hipo Well-Known Member

    Hi Sly, check your PM's