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(@geepers)
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@adrian_hamilton

Any idea where and when you'll be next going for the L3 ski off?

Of the 4 main tasks must pass the IP and the bumps and have a 6.0 average across all 4. (Not sure how the added drill - one ski hop turns or the other - affects things.) So I'd be inclined to look at the task/s most likely to be an issue and ensure the choice of skis gives you the best chance of scoring well in that task/s.

Last tested a bunch of skis in 2019 so my experience is a bit out of date. Personally I found the Titans to be a handful in bumps. Those stiff tails tend to punish being even a fraction back or being caught in a valley with not enough room to unload them. Then again I'm not that heavy (72 kg).

Skis that I did like in the bumps and elsewhere were:

  • Fischer Curve GT80 (2018 model)
  • Head iRally (2020 model)
  • Elan SLX 165 (it's too short radius, too narrow a ski for what you are looking for but it is incredibly nimble)
  • Volkl Racetiger SC (again too short radius, too narrow)
  • Dynastar SL Master Speed (at 67 underfoot it's also too narrow although it is quite stable on longer turns for a 14m ski). This is my current ski.

I liked the way any of those skis above flexed in the bumps and they were no slouches for shorts and longs on the groomers, soft or hard.

Felt there were better choices than any of the skis listed below:

  • Elan Wingman 82
  • Dynastar Speed Zone
  • Head iSpeed
  • Kastle MX74

None of these felt at home (for me) in the in bumps and a couple of them felt rather indifferent in long turns.

  


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(@adrian_hamilton)
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@geepers I’ve heard people say the Titans aren’t great in bumps. Not sure my bump skiing is good enough for the awareness you have with the tails. I’m not a lot heavier, probably 74 or 75kg.

Were the Rallys 19/20 or 20/21. I think that’s the demarcation of the new profile.

On another topic, I’ve booked an alignment session with Tom Gellie. I want to see if there’s anything I can do to help my twisted lower body and maybe alleviate some of the injuries caused by it, most notably my ongoing back problem. I don’t think there’s anyone who fits the bill better than Tom.


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Posted by: @adrian_hamilton

I’ve heard people say the Titans aren’t great in bumps

Interestingly Nigel, said he didn’t like the Titans in the bumps for the same ‘tail stiffness’ reason.  I didn’t notice that so much, but found the flared shovel pretty awkward in bumps for a while, and was a bit frustrated by them at first… but eventually got used to them.

I think with most new skis, it takes a while to figure them out.   


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(@adrian_hamilton)
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I don't know about stiffness but my Titans from about 5 years ago have a 117 tail, while the new ones are 115. The Rally is 114 though I don't know what the old ones were. Radius gone to 15.7m from 14.3 and now 14m on the Rally.

 


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Posted by: @geepers

Any idea where and when you'll be next going for the L3 ski off?

I haven't tried for the ski off before. I definitely need to improve in most areas and improve a fair amount.

We've booked flights to Banff for 4 weeks in January and some coaching with Warren Jobbitt which should be excellent. I'm really excited about this and also the Hintertux trip. I have no idea how things will progress or at this stage if we'll even get there but if things go well, I'd like to think I might have a try at the end of the season, ideally in Canada but the Instructor-Academy in Andorra runs a Level 3 exam in April if that doesn't work out.

I did my Level 1 and 2 in Andorra and they bring in some great coaches. I've had coaching there from Heather Robertson, Pierre Godbout, Sandy Gardner, Duncan Berkshire, Nick Reader, Doug Leeming, Meredith Youmans and Jeff Sinclair. I believe Mike Bray was over there a few years back for the snowboarding Skinerd.

 

 


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(@geepers)
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@adrian_hamilton

The Rallys were 2019/2020. These ones. 

image

Re session with Tom... He's very perceptive on movement patterns. Be interested to hear how the online session goes. There's even a couple of things that now work a lot better (e.g. a tightness in shoulder from an old broken collarbone injury) that wasn't specific to any exercises we worked on. Just the overall improvement in movements and range of motion (especially of the spine) helped out.

Also finding the more I understand about physiology from Tom's vids and other sources (such as Muscles and Motion) the more I'm aware of issues that need ongoing work. Like for rest of life. ? 

My take on preparing for L3 ski - the two big things are:

  • Really good coaching (and all the CSIA L4s running L3 courses I've been on have been superb.)
  • Focused mileage - there's no substitute for time on snow. As many weeks in a row as can be arranged.
Posted by: @skinerd

I think with most new skis, it takes a while to figure them out.   

To date my approach is that if I don't make friends with a ski very quickly then it's probably not a good fit. Have had ski buddies say they took days or more to click with a ski.

Not sure which approach is right... Can be expensive buying a ski that doesn't work out.

 


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Posted by: @geepers

To date my approach is that if I don't make friends with a ski very quickly then it's probably not a good fit. Have had ski buddies say they took days or more to click with a ski.

I agree, definitely a bonus if you get along with a ski right away. Although I find this happens more often with a forgiving ski. Higher performance skis tend to have more defined personalities leaving less margin for error, and often there is an adjustment period to understand the subtleties of how it behaves in various conditions. Interestingly, I didn’t notice this so much when I was younger:)

Ahh, choice anxiety, it’s just so hard to know! You certainly don’t want to end up with a ski that frustrates you, but sometimes the adjustment required just means a slight change in technique or tactics… sometimes for the better. 


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(@geepers)
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Posted by: @skinerd
Posted by: @geepers

To date my approach is that if I don't make friends with a ski very quickly then it's probably not a good fit. Have had ski buddies say they took days or more to click with a ski.

I agree, definitely a bonus if you get along with a ski right away. Although I find this happens more often with a forgiving ski. Higher performance skis tend to have more defined personalities leaving less margin for error, and often there is an adjustment period to understand the subtleties of how it behaves in various conditions. Interestingly, I didn’t notice this so much when I was younger:)

Ahh, choice anxiety, it’s just so hard to know! You certainly don’t want to end up with a ski that frustrates you, but sometimes the adjustment required just means a slight change in technique or tactics… sometimes for the better. 

That raises the question: what would be considered a high performance ski in, say, that list above? Can also add to the list:

  • Head iTitan
  • Rossignol Hero Elite ST
  • Rossignol P200
  • Volkl Deacon 74
  • Stockli AX

Have not skied a proper FIS ski of any description. Nor a GS style ski - come to think of it, nothing over a 16-17m turn radius.


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(@skinerd)
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@geepers I haven’t tried most on the list, but from a recreational skier’s perspective (which I am), I’d consider them all to be relatively ‘high performance’. I’m sure some are more forgiving than others, and some might really shine, but I suspect I’d find times when all of them perform well given a chance to get used to them.

I was involved in the Ski Canada ski test in the spring (hoping to do some reviews at some point), but the conditions for the “frontside ski” day were pretty miserable. Warm, white out conditions with rubber snow to start… progressing to sleeting rain. My favourite ski of the day was a Rossi Experience 84 (the softer version), which is considered a more intermediate/advanced ski. It just happened to be nimble and very predictable given the white out speeds and weird, overly grippy snow. When I jumped on the newer version of the Blizzard Quatro, which is the same ski I’m on currently (and love) with just a little different flex pattern, it took me for a wild ride and I had too wrestle for a direction change.

I guess it’s that sort of experience (pardon the pun) that has me hesitant to judge a ski too quickly.


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(@geepers)
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@skinerd

Take your point. Although I'm wondering how long it should take to figure out how to get a ski to do what we want. It may certainly take a while to embed some new movements into SOP however how to tell the difference between the need to tinker and this ski is just not going to work?

Of those skis the only one I took an active dislike to was the Stockli AX. Hired that for a demo day and just could not get that ski to work. Not on the groomers, not in the bumps. Which was a surprise as expectations were high given its fans. Maybe the tune was wrong or something - however it came straight from the Australian dealer so wouldn't expect a problem. Got to wonder about a pair of skis when at lunch you hope some-one steals it to avoid having to use the damn things again... ? (No, I didn't really want them stolen as it would have been my CC that felt the pain. But we did quit the day shortly after lunch.)

Of the rest of those skis they all seemed to work on the groomers. (Undoubtedly you would be loading them in big turns much more than I can and would pick up more limitations.) Some turned in better than others but (AX apart) they'd all be ok for L3 level AP IMO.

Bumps are where the differences stand out for me. Prefer a ski with a lively, springy feeling. Like the Fischer Curve GT, Head iRally, Dynastar Speed Master, Volkl SC and surprisingly the Elan SLX - surprising 'cause that's a heavy, pretty stiff ski. Some skis feel like unresponsive concrete blocks in the bumps. The Volkl Deacons being a prime example. Hey, where'd my rebound go? Not been able to find a way to work around that blockie feeling other than way more physical effort. (Maybe more speed? ?)

     

   


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(@skinerd)
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Posted by: @geepers

Take your point. Although I'm wondering how long it should take to figure out how to get a ski to do what we want. It may certainly take a while to embed some new movements into SOP however how to tell the difference between the need to tinker and this ski is just not going to work?

Good question! I don’t have the answer.

Controlled testing, changing only one variable at a time isn’t all that practical for the recreational skier looking to purchase… but I suppose trying each contender in a variety of terrain and conditions and comparing directly with other skis in the same category (in a similar set of terrain and conditions) is a good way to find a ski that fits your personality.

As you mention, the tune can also be a huge factor with demos and that can really skew your opinion of a ski. It’s just so hard know.

Perhaps just measuring your smile at the end of each run is the best indicator. 


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(@geepers)
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@skinerd 

Those on snow demo expos (multiple manufacturers, multiple models) seem like the best chance to do the comparison. Does require a rapid eval. Will take a note to try more adjustments when the ski doesn't work straight away.

Have on occasion done a follow-up, whole demo day on a shortlisted ski but that can get expensive and time-consuming.

The other thing is that, especially in some Canadian resorts, narrower skis (below 84mm) are not easily obtained for demos. Either at expos or from the local shops. Disinclined to buy without a try.


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Posted by: @geepers

The other thing is that, especially in some Canadian resorts, narrower skis (below 84mm) are not easily obtained for demos.

Yeah, on the Island we have to special order just about anything under 84… and that is considered super skinny. When you ask the shop for something narrower everybody thinks you’re nuts!


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(@geepers)
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@skinerd

Thankfully still have narrow skis available in Australia.


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(@adrian_hamilton)
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I finally got round to writing the next bit of my blog.

JUST NEVER STOP. AGE DOESN’T NEED TO BE A BARRIER | by Adrian Hamilton | Jul, 2021 | Medium


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