Are my skis holding me back?

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Are my skis holding me back?

Postby JohnMoore » Wed Jan 11, 2006 4:47 am

It's very difficult to avoid getting caught up in all the new gear buzz. Personally, I've always been sceptical of the notion that if you get the latest and greatest kit you'll be a much better skier or whatever. I see it particularly with photography, where people imagine that the reason their photos are no good is that they're not using the latest $1500 camera (a delusion the manufacturers of course do little to discourage). If I can't ski well, I blame myself rather than my kit.

Nonetheless, I'd be interested in hearing others' views on this question. I ski on Atomic BetaRide 9.22 skis, an 'all-mountain' ski from 2001 which was very well reviewed at the time. This link says a bit about it:

http://www.skimag.com/skimag/buyers_gui ... 77,00.html

Have skis improved so drastically since then that everything would be hugely easier for me if I got the latest equivalent (Metron B5? Head M72?). I can't help feel that if Harald were on my skis he would dance down the slope with no problem. Once you have high quality carving skis, are the niceties of the precise model really that important once you're skiing with the proper PMTS technique? (Not that I am yet).
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Postby Icanski » Wed Jan 11, 2006 5:27 am

Hi,
I'm on a 2002 volkl t50 so it's also an "older" carving all mountain ski. Without seeing you ski I can only say if you're trying the PMTS technique, perhaps it's an alignment issue. I was having a hard time with it until one of the instructors stuck some wedges under my boots, and suddenly all the compensating technique was exaggerated and I was thrown off, but once I got back to the PMTS basics, and got used to the wedges, my skiing improved quickly. Look at your alignment and see if that has anything to do with it.
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Postby JohnMoore » Wed Jan 11, 2006 5:49 am

Icanski wrote:Hi,
I'm on a 2002 volkl t50 so it's also an "older" carving all mountain ski. Without seeing you ski I can only say if you're trying the PMTS technique, perhaps it's an alignment issue. I was having a hard time with it until one of the instructors stuck some wedges under my boots, and suddenly all the compensating technique was exaggerated and I was thrown off, but once I got back to the PMTS basics, and got used to the wedges, my skiing improved quickly. Look at your alignment and see if that has anything to do with it.
Icanski


Actually, I'm not looking to cure any specific problems with new skis. The question was really a more general one - have skis improved so much in the last 5 years that new ones make it much easier to ski well, using the PMTS technique? (But yes, my alignment is not perfect and I'm hoping to get it sorted some time soon). I recall reading messages from Joseph about how he skis on old Chubb skis, which made me think maybe the need for the latest and greatest is exaggerated.
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Postby RadRab » Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:50 am

Bs"D

IMO, its half right and half wrong.
The skis I'm using in the picture to the left, although I'm not the perfect example, are 15 year old Miller Softs. It's the carpenter not the hammer etc. etc.
But, the new skis, even from the last five years, can help.

They won't turn a frog into a prince, but the latest greatest could turn a prince into a king.
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Re: Are my skis holding me back?

Postby Max_501 » Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:12 am

JohnMoore wrote:Have skis improved so drastically since then that everything would be hugely easier for me if I got the latest equivalent (Metron B5? Head M72?).


Yes they have. Great skis to demo for all mountain skiing. Metron M11 and the Metron B5. Head IM77 Chip and the Head SuperShape.
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Postby JohnMoore » Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:51 am

RadRab wrote:They won't turn a frog into a prince, but the latest greatest could turn a prince into a king.


I wouldn't put myself quite at frog level yet. :D
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Re: Are my skis holding me back?

Postby JohnMoore » Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:54 am

Max_501 wrote:
JohnMoore wrote:Have skis improved so drastically since then that everything would be hugely easier for me if I got the latest equivalent (Metron B5? Head M72?).


Yes they have. Great skis to demo for all mountain skiing. Metron M11 and the Metron B5. Head IM77 Chip and the Head SuperShape.


I'm off to Red Resort (BC) in March and plan to rent skis there, so I'll see if I can try out some of these. One thing which intrigues me as that these mid-fats, which presumably have much better flotation in deep powder than my Atomics, also seem to have a tighter turning radius (mine is 22m). I'm not sure how relevant this figure really is, though.
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Postby jbotti » Wed Jan 11, 2006 9:32 am

John, perhaps the type of ski you are on is more important than the vintage. If you look at what Harald and Diana have always used as their everyday ski, they have always been Slalom or short turn radius skis. The reason is quite simple, they want to continually reinforce the feeling of getting the skis on edge with very high edge angles.

I can tell you that my skiing really took off when I got my I.SL chips which are a recreational slalom ski. I also find that when I go from the I.SL's with an 11m turn radius to the IM 88's (19m? turn radius) I take with me the sensation and muscle memeory of getting high edge angles. I can't imagine what it would be like to ski on a 22m turn radius. They must be a chore in the fall line. If you look at where skis have gone these days, only race GS skis and Big Mountain Powder boards have a turn radius much beyond 20m. Most skis today are between 14 and 18m.

I think you will have a new sensation on a shoter turn radius ski (I reccomend Slalom/11-12m turn radius) and I do believe that your skiing will improve form it.

Interestingly, my friend who worked with Tommy Moe (after Harald, but while he was on the US Ski team) originally took him off long downhill skis and they worked for months on technique on slalom skis in slalom courses. (Slalom Skis back then may still have been 200cm, but the point is still valid).

Lastly, you may be able to get everything in the Head Super Shape. It has a slalom sidecut,but is has sandwich construction and the beef to get you through almost anything.
Balance: Essential in skiing and in life!
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Postby JohnMoore » Wed Jan 11, 2006 9:48 am

I'll rent Head Super Shapes if I can. Given that I expect to be doing about 60% off-piste, would slalom skis still be appropriate?
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Postby Max_501 » Wed Jan 11, 2006 9:54 am

JohnMoore wrote:I'll rent Head Super Shapes if I can. Given that I expect to be doing about 60% off-piste, would slalom skis still be appropriate?


Probably not a true slalom. But the Head SuperShape skied at 165 to 175 or the Atomic Metrons will give you a nice SL sidecut that will work will in most off piste conditions. Although I think the Metron handles crud better (its more of a bulldozer).
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Postby JohnMoore » Wed Jan 11, 2006 9:59 am

Max_501 wrote:Although I think the Metron handles crud better (its more of a bulldozer).


Does it work with trees? :D
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Postby JohnMoore » Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:01 am

Max_501 wrote:
JohnMoore wrote:I'll rent Head Super Shapes if I can. Given that I expect to be doing about 60% off-piste, would slalom skis still be appropriate?


Probably not a true slalom. But the Head SuperShape skied at 165 to 175 or the Atomic Metrons will give you a nice SL sidecut that will work will in most off piste conditions. Although I think the Metron handles crud better (its more of a bulldozer).


How about something like the i.c.160? I reckon I'm more likely to find them to rent. Red Mountain is a pretty small resort and I'm assuming there won't be a huge choice for rental/demo skis. May be wrong, though, I've never been there.
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Postby Max_501 » Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:35 am

JohnMoore wrote:
Max_501 wrote:Although I think the Metron handles crud better (its more of a bulldozer).


Does it work with trees? :D


Sure does. These skis with a 12m radius turn very quickly.
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Postby JohnMoore » Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:37 am

Max_501 wrote:
JohnMoore wrote:
Max_501 wrote:Although I think the Metron handles crud better (its more of a bulldozer).


Does it work with trees? :D


Sure does. These skis with a 12m radius turn very quickly.


I was actually meaning as a bulldozer, just in case the turn doesn't work out (but hey, I'm using PMTS, of course the turn will work out).
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Postby JohnMoore » Thu Jan 12, 2006 6:51 am

A couple of general questions to add to this thread:

1. Does PMTS technique mandate any different criteria for selecting skis, or can ski reviews in magazines, etc., be regarded as useful? (I know one needs an on-snow test oneself, but reviews form a good way of getting a shortlist). I ask this because in the case of boots, what get glowing reviews elsewhere might be regarded as unusable looked at from a PMTS point of view.

2. Given that I am rather light and skinny (I'm 5' 11" and weigh 145lb), I imagine this would indicate that I should either be looking for a ski in a shorter length, or slightly less stiff. Is that correct? I haven't got a lot of good to say about my skiing ability, but I do ski pretty well all runs in most resorts in Europe I've been to. I don't know what number I would get in the PSIA scale, it's a while since I took a lesson in the States, but I think it was 7 last time, which was 4 years ago and I've improved a fair bit since then.
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