How do you know when it's time to get new skis?
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Mo
March 2, 2009
Member since 03/26/2001 🔗
33 posts
I know this may sound like a strange question ... but how do you know when you need to get new skis? What kinds of things do I need to look for to know that my ability has outgrown my current pair? I've been skiing 'beginner' Dynastar Drivers for 5 seasons. A friend of mine mentioned something about "chatter" -- a vibration you get when you take beginner skis to speeds faster than what they were intended. Is that an indication I need a different pair? I can ski anything green in the Mid-Atlantic and I can ski several of the local blues quite comfortably -- e.g., Upper and Lower Heavenly at Liberty. How do I know when I'm ready for 'intermediate' skis? Any info would be most appreciated.
GRK
March 2, 2009
Member since 12/19/2007 🔗
404 posts
Mo..thanks for posting this. I have the same question. Lets see what kind of advice shows up!
SteveC
March 3, 2009
Member since 10/24/2005 🔗
145 posts
Here is something to consider.

My sons have been skiing five years now but on old Rossi Cuts. This year I bought brand new skis that were too short and soft for me and gave them to my oldest (13).

He went from being comfortable on blues to rocking Off the Wall at Timberline! Seeing this, I picked up a newer pair of skis for my younger son and all that is holding him back is his fear of heights (put him on a run where he cant see the bottom and there is no horizon line, and he's golden).

Lesson: sometimes equipment can hold you back. But - unfortunately - I don't know how you tell.
kwillg6
March 3, 2009
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,031 posts
Generally I start looking after 100-120 days on a ski. They tend to flatten out and lose their "snap" (camber) that I want a ski to have. I guess it also depend on how hard you ski them as well. If all you do is blue/black groomers, a ski will last a lot longer than one that is punished in bumps and off piste. Just my thoughts and experiences.
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Murphy
March 3, 2009
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Originally Posted By: kwillg6
Generally I start looking after 100-120 days on a ski. They tend to flatten out and lose their "snap" (camber) that I want a ski to have. I guess it also depend on how hard you ski them as well. If all you do is blue/black groomers, a ski will last a lot longer than one that is punished in bumps and off piste. Just my thoughts and experiences.


I don't think he's referring to wearing out his equipment but advancing beyond it skill-wise. I'd be interested to hear some input from the more advanced snowboarders as well.
kwillg6
March 3, 2009
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,031 posts
If people in lift lines snicker because your skis are as old a you are.... you might need a new pair of skis....
If your skis are a lemon yellow or a bright tealcolor... you might need a new pair of skis.....
kennedy
March 3, 2009
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
2 trains of thought. 1. Replace them when you just plain want a new pair or 2. when you need them. I prefer to do when I want to because I'm a big gear whore.

I find replacing any gear is a matter of preference. For example, I'm going to replace my Burton Canyon. Right now it serves as my big out west board. It's a 168 wide so it floats beautifully in the powder, destroys all in it's path when it comes to crud, and rails on the corduroy. So why do I want to replace it? Frankly in the trees this year in CO it was a beast to turn. Maybe it's just the trees in CO, they were extremely tight, but I've decided it's time is done. My 160 is too short and jittery and won't float as well as I'd like so I'm aiming for a 164, maybe a Burton T6, a Never Summer Titan TX or Legacy-R. The Canyon is essentially very good it's just that I want something different.

When I first switched to that board I did it because I had outgrown my other one. It was clear that my old board could no longer cut it so it had to be replaced. Need Vs. Want. So if you want new skis get them. If you feel like you need them get them. Either way you'll probably be happy with some new gear.

On a side note. This past year or two has seem some big changes happen in snowboard tech. Most manufacturers are now offering boards with reverse camber (rocker), new edge profiles e.g. Lib-Tech's Magne Traction, Never Summer's Vario. There are all sorts of new configurations e.g. Never Summer has boards that have Rocker and Camber, Burton has boards that rocker from the front foot forward. Anyone think this stuff will make it into ski's? I know Lib Tech had a set of skis out last season with magne traction so maybe it's on the way.
tgd
March 3, 2009
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
Originally Posted By: Mo
A friend of mine mentioned something about "chatter" -- a vibration you get when you take beginner skis to speeds faster than what they were intended. Is that an indication I need a different pair?


First a disclaimer: I am no expert on ski tech and there are many folks on this board who know a lot more about skis than I do. Please feel free to call me out on this if I am wrong.

I believe your friend is correct. In my experience, beginner and some lower intermediate-level carving skis will chatter when you start skiing too fast for their design. This is a natural progression in your development as you become more comfortable skiing at higher speeds. Your old skis may be holding you back now by causing you to back-off somewhat because ski chatter at high speeds is more than a little unnerving.

I'd say it's time to look for an intermediate or advanced level ski. The best thing is if you can find a demo day to try several models over the course of one day; however, demo days are probably all done for this season. You can also rent some demo skis on your next trip from a local shop, or on the hill, to get a feel for what you like.

Tom
Murphy
March 3, 2009
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Originally Posted By: kennedy
2 trains of thought. 1. Replace them when you just plain want a new pair or 2. when you need them. I prefer to do when I want to because I'm a big gear whore.

I find replacing any gear is a matter of preference. For example, I'm going to replace my Burton Canyon. Right now it serves as my big out west board. It's a 168 wide so it floats beautifully in the powder, destroys all in it's path when it comes to crud, and rails on the corduroy. So why do I want to replace it? Frankly in the trees this year in CO it was a beast to turn. Maybe it's just the trees in CO, they were extremely tight, but I've decided it's time is done. My 160 is too short and jittery and won't float as well as I'd like so I'm aiming for a 164, maybe a Burton T6, a Never Summer Titan TX or Legacy-R. The Canyon is essentially very good it's just that I want something different.

When I first switched to that board I did it because I had outgrown my other one. It was clear that my old board could no longer cut it so it had to be replaced. Need Vs. Want. So if you want new skis get them. If you feel like you need them get them. Either way you'll probably be happy with some new gear.


I'm more of a use it until it dies kind of person and I love my current board so I'm not looking to replace it, just wondering what to look for so I'll know when it's time. I was an advanced beginner when I got this board 3 seasons ago and haven't ridden anything else since, so I have no reference as to how other boards will perform. I always assume it's my fault whenever I'm not riding well and not my equipment but if there's something out there that would help me hold an edge in ice/hardpack I might be interested.

What did you mean when you said "It was clear that my old board could no longer cut it"?
SteveC
March 3, 2009
Member since 10/24/2005 🔗
145 posts
Originally Posted By: kwillg6
They tend to flatten out and lose their "snap" (camber) that I want a ski to have.


I have two Rossi Axiums, 160s and 170s. When you put the 160s together there is almost no space between them (camber) but the 170s have a significant gap. Since we got these used from Ebay, I'm assuming the 160s saw a lot more use.

With that said, I've noticed a big difference in how much camber different skis have. My son's Atomics have a ton, my other son's Dynastars (Contact 8s)have much less. My Dynastar's (Legend 8K) also have minimal camber. My wife's Rossi Attractions are somewhere in between.
kennedy
March 3, 2009
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Hey Murphy,

What I meant was that I could ride much more aggressively then my board could support so it would tend to wash out in turns. This had more to do with board size than my edges being blunt. That first board was very small, only a 156, so I jumped in size significantly. The upshot was that I became a much more capable rider because in order to ride the much bigger board I had to become a much tidier more technical rider. I learned very quickly that letting the tail slop about during turns wasn't going to work so I learned how to carve more effectively. This meant I could go faster and still be stable and I could use turns to generate more speed.

As to having better control on ice or scraped off hardpack, sharp edges and a bit of aggression. If it's hard I tend to drive the edges a little harder so that they bite better, and I try to keep them sharp. As for what to look for in new boards, well that's a personal thing. If you want something to carve look for something a little stiffer so that it pops as you unload from edge to edge. If you want park then go something a little more mellow and true twin tip. The other thing to keep in mind is that flex is subjective. I'm tall and heavy, 220#, so a stiff flex to someone 40/50 pounds lighter than me may be moderate for me.

Lastly, while all this new stuff is interesting don't feel like you have to have it. I rode a Lib Tech Skunk Ape in CO a few weeks ago. It had noticeable rocker and magne traction and I didn't like it. I tried my friends Lib Tech Phoenix which was fun if maybe a little loose, that board has very mild rocker and magne traction.
Murphy
March 3, 2009
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Kennedy,

Thanks. I'm riding a 159 but I'm a good 60lbs lighter than you. It was great in the powder at Snowshoe 2 weeks ago and hopefully I'll really get to put it to the test at Wolf Creek this weekend.

I think your comment regarding aggression is exactly my problem on ice. There's definitely a psychological barrier there but it's being pushed.
Jim
March 3, 2009
Member since 11/22/1999 🔗
317 posts
Its time for new skis when you see a killer deal on a new pair!! At least that's how I got my last two sets! grin grin grin
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
March 4, 2009
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
This is a great thread....but so far not much technical advice.
Unfortunately I can not add much here, BUT from personal experience trying demo skis I can definitely state that similar skis (capability, class of skier, etc.) definitely ski differently). I am a strong proponent of multiple demo skis before settling on a specific pair. Many on-mountain shops will allow you to demo multiple pairs for a set fee. The shop, DCSkiers, and the ski mags all can give advice and suggestions, but until you click your boots into the demo ski you really have no idea how your style and the hardware will mesh...or clash! When I was looking for an "all mountain" ski about fiften years ago I tried multiple so-called "equal" skis. Some I could not control, some I could not turn without a major effort, and some were skied as "smooth as silk" in all terrain.
Your choice, your money....
SKIER219 is one of DCSki's most knowledgable techies...hopefully he will weigh in on the thread.
The Colonel smile
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
March 4, 2009
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Craig,
see my earlier post.
Thanks,
The Colonel smile
skier219
March 4, 2009
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
I'm the worst person to ask -- I buy skis like a kid in a candy store!

But in general, what motivates me is finding a deficiency in a current ski (or collection of skis) and trying to fill the hole with a new ski. If you ski them long enough, every ski will reveal it's strengths and weaknesses, and the latter usually starts me looking for my next conquest. No ski can truly do everything well, so it's an act of balancing compromises and prioritizing needs.

So to the original poster, I'd say you'll know when you get to the point where your current skis are lacking in a particular way or holding you back. Don't listen to what other people tell you, go by your own experience. If you're happy with your current skis, then stick with them.
kwillg6
March 4, 2009
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,031 posts
One other thing for consideration in this doing the demo topic is the bindings. Demo bindings vrs a regular binding or if possible find the ski with a binding system which can be adjusted to any boot size (similar to the Rossi) to give the "real feel" to the ski. Demo bindings are heavier and can distort the feel of a ski.
comprex
March 5, 2009
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Originally Posted By: Mo
What kinds of things do I need to look for to know that my ability has outgrown my current pair?


IMO, the most relevant syndrome for you will be Edge Washout.

This will be very noticeable on hardpack; sometimes you will even see the edges let go. The key way to tell is that it will get *progressively* worse as the snowpack gets harder.

If uncertain, take a lesson. Good instructors can spot this.

"Chatter" is NOT, by itself, a clear indication of a need to upgrade; it can be an indication of a too sudden pressuring or too sudden edging of the ski tips (technique or boot stance or mounting point issue).

"Wobbliness at speed" is NOT, by itself, a clear indication of a need to upgrade skis; any number of skis made today have Published "turn" Radii in the sub-17m range and will tend to hunt for a turn of that size. Since most peeps achieve speed by turning less, the ski hunting is almost to be expected.

Wear indicators I rely on:
- bases peeling off at sites of rock hits
- edges bending or blowing out
- bent sections of ski

Wear indicators I don't rely on:
- lack of overall camber



GRK
March 5, 2009
Member since 12/19/2007 🔗
404 posts
Ah...been wondering if someone was going to mention technique. I have noticed chatter once this year about 7 ski-days ago and I was skiing fast by my standards. Since then, I have skied faster and in all kinds of conditions without noticing it at all. I paid particular attention yesterday and never noticed it.

The one factor not mentioned is waxing...how much of a factor is that?

PS: Whats a peep?
comprex
March 5, 2009
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Originally Posted By: GRK

The one factor not mentioned is waxing...how much of a factor is that?


To base wear? Lots.
To chatter? I don't think it is.

Quote:

PS: Whats a peep?

http://dovearrow.wordpress.com/2008/03/23/happy-easter/


Quote:
YELLOW PEEP
Huge Ooze
Hit Dice: 5d10+45 (72 hp)
Initiative: -5
Speed: 10 ft. (2 squares), climb 5 ft.
Armor Class: 3 (-2 size, -5 Dex), touch 3, flat-footed 3
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+11
Attack: Slam +1 melee (1d6+2 plus marshmallow goo)
Full Attack: Slam +1 melee (1d6+2 plus marshmallow goo)
Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Marshmallow goo, engulf, improved grab
Special Qualities: Amorphous bond, blindsight 60 ft., immunity to cold, electricity, and sonic, ooze traits, sticky body, vulnerable to fire and acid.
Saves: Fort +10, Ref -4, Will -4
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 1, Con 28, Int -, Wis 1, Cha 1
Skills: -
Feats: -
Environment: Underground
Organization: Solitary, pair, or cluster (4-5)
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: 1/10th coins, 50% goods, 50% items
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 6-12 (Huge); 13-24 (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment: -

This creature looks like a malformed, baby chick. Its exterior is covered in a rough, sandy, yellow substance, except for its sides, which ooze with white goo.

A yellow peep is like the ridiculous dream of a mad wizard. Haunting dungeon corridors, caverns, and other dark, cold places, the creatures seem to suddenly appear in mass quantities every spring, disappearing again shortly thereafter.
Mo
March 6, 2009
Member since 03/26/2001 🔗
33 posts
Thanks to everyone for the advice. Sounds like I should demo several pairs of new skis to see what would work for me and if they would make a big difference. I've thought about trying out some 'women's skis' to see if they would be better than my generic skis, but I've also wondered if that was just a marketing gimmick. I guess I won't know until I try them. Thanks again for the recommendations.
fishnski
March 6, 2009
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
DUDE...Now how mucchhh time does this.....Sorry...Am I the only retard...sorry ...Mentally challengend..mo fo that can't figure out out what the Blip yur talkin about?...I ski on my skiis...they seem to work alright but I still take them to the shop cuzz it seems like maybe its time for a tune up...cuzzz peeps tell me on dcski its time to tune em up?...Maybe I could have Skiid better if I only had my skis tuned to the max??!

Just realiuuzed I ain't a ski Jock!....But I shore [censored] in Get the last time i let my skiis looose!...sorry for theignorance...carry on....
Clay
March 8, 2009
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
My 2 cents - While I think all of the comments are valid, most of the people making them are advanced skiers (level 7+) and have high end skis that they don't have to worry about them not performing in a challenging situation.

For me, as someone who was trying to get from level 6 to 7, the first indicator that I might need more advanced skis was that I felt that something was holding me back. At that point, it could have been my technique, fitness level or the skis, but I knew there was something. If you don't feel this way, then you probably don't need a new pair of skis (unless you want one grin)

I worked hard to make sure it wasn't my technique or fitness level and eventually decided that consistent chatter was telling me that a new pair of skis might be in order. I added some Head IM77s to my quiver (thanks Craig) and it has made a huge difference in where I could ski comfortably.

Again, just my 2 cents...
comprex
March 8, 2009
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Clay, I would put that a bit differently perhaps, 'consistent chatter' means that one is asking the ski to do something it wasn't designed to do.

Can -easily- happen with high level skis.
Clay
March 8, 2009
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
Good point and true. I guess that was what I was trying to say - if you are on a ski that isn't designed to handle speeds (perhaps a beginner ski) and you are now trying to go faster because you are more comfortable on the slopes, consistant chatter can be a sign that you could need to move up to a more advanced ski.
comprex
March 8, 2009
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
I have been fighting through some issues of late.

I have a pair of skis that are just smooth as silk if I wear my gray boots, and chatter like crazy if I wear my green boots.

The differences are: 20 flex points, different cuff angle, greater cuff forward tilt in the green boots.

Funny thing is, I would not have noticed that on a softer ski, or one with greater sidecut.
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