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Masters GS skis: glossary request ('cheater', 'tweener', 'masters', etc)

slow-line-fast

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Lots of great info on this forum, but I'd like to ask for a succinct summary of options of GS skis for masters racers.

I'm looking for GS skis that are narrow (65-68mm) underfoot, have an accessible yet functional radius (21-25m), and that can handle my ~190lbs, probably in the 180cm's.

U16 skis fail on skier weight. WC FIS skis fail on radius. But it's not clear on manufacturers' or retailers' sites, what fits the bill. Something advertised as a 'Masters/U16 ski' is obviously not going to work for at least one of these categories.

Many posts in this forum talk about 'cheater' and 'tweener' skis. I don't know what this means – but am happy to be a cheater if in fact that's what I'm looking for. Please, let me know what skis could work - and please post links to the specific models, as it's all a bit fuzzy out there on the interwebs.

Thanks!
 

trailtrimmer

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Tagging to follow this. Torn between a used masters 25m or 27m ski and a brand new 184cm 24M FIS youth ski for masters and loose nastar sets. also about 185lbs and doing well on a rossi M21.
 

James

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Cheater just means the sidecut does not meet FIS specs. So, now a cheater would be under 30m. There are length rewuirements, but that’s not usually the concern when discussing “cheater” skis.

So any gs type ski under 30m is referred to as a cheater. Even if it’s too short to meet the length specs for FiS anyway.
The Rossi masters ski is 70mm wide. Ironically, it’s considered too wide by many for Masters racing. Makes a nice free ski though except for the tip.

A “tweener” ski is between a junior and an adult race ski.
E.g.-
———————-
The 2021 Fischer RC WC Tweener GS race ski is Fischer's giant slalom ski geared toward racers transitioning from junior to adult skis. Fischer makes the Tweener GS ski in sizes 175cm and 180cm. This ski is meant to serve as a bridge from a junior ski to an adult ski. The ski is made more like an adult ski than a junior one, but it is slightly softer and has a shorter radius, making it easier to turn and handle for developing athletes.
———————-
https://www.peakskishop.com/Fischer-RC4-WC-Tweener-GS-Race-Skis-2021_p_7094.html

As for what ski is good for you, maybe @ScotsSkier can offer advice. It might matter where you’re skiing Masters. What area will you be racing?
The 188/30m has been his rec in the past.
 
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Tony S

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WC FIS skis fail on radiu
Lots of great info on this forum, but I'd like to ask for a succinct summary of options of GS skis for masters racers.

I'm looking for GS skis that are narrow (65-68mm) underfoot, have an accessible yet functional radius (21-25m), and that can handle my ~190lbs, probably in the 180cm's.

U16 skis fail on skier weight. WC FIS skis fail on radius. But it's not clear on manufacturers' or retailers' sites, what fits the bill. Something advertised as a 'Masters/U16 ski' is obviously not going to work for at least one of these categories.

Many posts in this forum talk about 'cheater' and 'tweener' skis. I don't know what this means – but am happy to be a cheater if in fact that's what I'm looking for. Please, let me know what skis could work - and please post links to the specific models, as it's all a bit fuzzy out there on the interwebs.

Thanks!
This is a great post and question. It would be great, IMHO, if ski companies would indicate in some unambiguous way on the topsheet what the intended use was. Say I walk into a shop and see a "new" GS ski that may be between 1 and five seasons old. It's 180cm long and says "FIS" on it. How do I know if this is, for example, an older ski intended for adult women, or a newer ski intended for junior ("tweener") racers? "Well, first you have to figure out the model year, which is easy because you memorized all the graphics every year. Then you have to know the all the FIS regulations that applied for that model year. Then you have to look over the ski and see if it indicates the radius on it. Then you combine all of these factors and you might be able to figure out whether it's an adult ski or a junior ski." That's not a reasonable answer imho. At least it's not a customer-friendly one. As someone who is closer in size to adult women or male high school (or even junior high school) racers, just going for the longest length is not a valid game plan for me.
 

Tony S

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Cheater just means the sidecut does not meet FIS specs. So, now a cheater would be under 30m. There are length rewuirements, but that’s not usually the concern when discussing “cheater” skis.

So any gs type ski under 30m is referred to as a cheater. Even if it’s too short to meet the length specs for FiS anyway.
The Rossi masters ski is 70mm wide. Ironically, it’s considered too wide by many for Masters racing. Makes a nice free ski though except for the tip.

A “tweener” ski is between a junior and an adult race ski.
E.g.-
———————-
The 2021 Fischer RC WC Tweener GS race ski is Fischer's giant slalom ski geared toward racers transitioning from junior to adult skis. Fischer makes the Tweener GS ski in sizes 175cm and 180cm. This ski is meant to serve as a bridge from a junior ski to an adult ski. The ski is made more like an adult ski than a junior one, but it is slightly softer and has a shorter radius, making it easier to turn and handle for developing athletes.
———————-
https://www.peakskishop.com/Fischer-RC4-WC-Tweener-GS-Race-Skis-2021_p_7094.html

As for what ski is good for you, maybe @ScotsSkier can offer advice. It might matter where you’re skiing Masters. What area will you be racing?
The 188/30m has been his rec in the past.
So does it actually SAY "tweener" somewhere on the ski? I'll bet it doesn't. And the way the shop has the ski categorized - see screenshot - does not reduce the confusion.

1612379826685.png
 
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@James thanks, this is very helpful.

In my case, it is clear I do not want a tweener. I do want a cheater (not 30m), so my own question is which one.

As for area, I like to be vague here -- rather less than Park City.
 
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@Tony S, absolutely I share your frustrations! Trying to read topsheets, and reconcile this with things people say or post.... So I hope we get some insights here.
 

Ivan

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Lots of great info on this forum, but I'd like to ask for a succinct summary of options of GS skis for masters racers.

I'm looking for GS skis that are narrow (65-68mm) underfoot, have an accessible yet functional radius (21-25m), and that can handle my ~190lbs, probably in the 180cm's.

U16 skis fail on skier weight. WC FIS skis fail on radius. But it's not clear on manufacturers' or retailers' sites, what fits the bill. Something advertised as a 'Masters/U16 ski' is obviously not going to work for at least one of these categories.

Many posts in this forum talk about 'cheater' and 'tweener' skis. I don't know what this means – but am happy to be a cheater if in fact that's what I'm looking for. Please, let me know what skis could work - and please post links to the specific models, as it's all a bit fuzzy out there on the interwebs.

Thanks!
While I personally haven't skied them, I believe @ScotsSkier recommended the Augment Masters GS skis. They are available in 185 cm, 25 m radius, 68 mm underfoot, exactly as you want. You can even choose your own flex. They are pretty expensive, though.
 

Swede

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This is for GS.
U16=tweener. 65 mm waist, 170ish-185ish length, r23-25ish depending on brand.

Masters=cheater 170ish-190ish length, r18-25 ish depending on brand/model. Normally a little extra waist, 68-72 mm.

U16:s are proper race constructions, intended for racing in a course. Not always the case with cheaters, which sometimes do not hold up for gate use. So a little caution.
 

zircon

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I can’t believe it’s not England!
As someone who is closer in size to adult women or male high school (or even junior high school) racers, just going for the longest length is not a valid game plan for me.
Thread drift, but this is a source of endless frustration for me in decrypting race ski marketing gibberish which is somehow even worse than in the all-mountain segment. I had an instructor once tell me the best improvement I could make was get a pair of GS skis and get used to the feeling of using them. Great, so, how do you proceed from there? Conventional wisdom here is for guys to get an FIS women's ski and call it a day, no need to worry about details. And that leaves people the same size but about 0.02% the talent as the person that ski was made for... where? But no you shouldn't get a junior ski because that won't hold up to Adult Man Skiers generating Adult Man Forces.
 

CascadeConcrete

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Cheater just means the sidecut does not meet FIS specs. So, now a cheater would be under 30m. There are length rewuirements, but that’s not usually the concern when discussing “cheater” skis.

So any gs type ski under 30m is referred to as a cheater. Even if it’s too short to meet the length specs for FiS anyway.
The Rossi masters ski is 70mm wide. Ironically, it’s considered too wide by many for Masters racing. Makes a nice free ski though except for the tip.

While it is true that all of these skis are "cheaters", I typically hear that term used to describe 17-20m radius skis that are most often used in NASTAR/beer league sets. Normally I hear the longer radius (but still sub-30m) skis referred to by more specific names like masters, U16, tweener, etc.
 
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This is for GS.
U16=tweener. 65 mm waist, 170ish-185ish length, r23-25ish depending on brand.

Masters=cheater 170ish-190ish length, r18-25 ish depending on brand/model. Normally a little extra waist, 68-72 mm.

U16:s are proper race constructions, intended for racing in a course. Not always the case with cheaters, which sometimes do not hold up for gate use. So a little caution.
Thanks @Swede . This is a bit the dilemma - I want a ski that won't break with gate collisions, but also has a longitudinal flex that accommodates the passage of time since I myself was U16
 

Ivan

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Thanks @Swede . This is a bit the dilemma - I want a ski that won't break with gate collisions, but also has a longitudinal flex that accommodates the passage of time since I myself was U16
Another option that you might take a look at are these skis by Atomic. They are 183/24 with a 67.5 mm waist, and their description clearly states that they are adult Masters skis.
 
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If relevant, I ski a FIS SL and like it. But FIS went a bit weird with GS regs, so those of us not clocking in need to find a solution that fits the fact that we are not bound by them but want a ski that performs well for the same intended use.

What did Ted ski? I am no Ted, nor do I know Ted, nor have I worked with Ted, but I would like to know what he skied before FIS got weird about GS specs.
 

focker

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I'd venture to guess that 60+% of the racers in my Tuesday Midwest league are skiing Atomics. They seem to offer the most 'cheater' option in the 17-20 radius range, which is what most people opt for in my league.
 

Swede

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Thanks @Swede . This is a bit the dilemma - I want a ski that won't break with gate collisions, but also has a longitudinal flex that accommodates the passage of time since I myself was U16

For gate use, the big U16 skis are appropriate for a lot of adult racers. Speed and technique the decider for how a burly ski you need, not so much your size (think Tessa Worley). If you need more I would step up to W FIS.
There are perhaps Masters/Cheaters that are better built than others, IDK. But most are also wider waists which might or might not suit you.
 

Burton

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I'm looking for GS skis that are narrow (65-68mm) underfoot, have an accessible yet functional radius (21-25m), and that can handle my ~190lbs, probably in the 180cm's.

U16 skis fail on skier weight.
Don't be so sure on the weight thing. I'm your weight, and I have a pair of Dynastar 25m U16 tweeners, and they hold up just fine. I use them for masters racing. I've skied them back to back with a women's FIS 30m, and they're definitely easier to hook up (i.e., they're more "accessible") , but I don't feel like I'm giving away too much in terms of dampening or power. Perhaps if I had a week straight to go out and train on a 30m ski, I'd prefer that for racing, but I coach and spend 99% of my time on cheaters or FIS SLs, and generally have about three runs to re-learn how the GS boards work before I jump in a race. The tweeners make that process less daunting.

What did Ted ski? I am no Ted, nor do I know Ted, nor have I worked with Ted, but I would like to know what he skied before FIS got weird about GS specs.

I also have a pair of men's WC race room GS skis from back in the day--they're 23m, with big metal plates that no longer meet stack height regs. These would be from about when Ted was in his heyday. They're significantly harder to turn than my 25m tweeners, but once they engage I'm like a train on rails. Goes to show that radius isn't everything.
 

trailtrimmer

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Don't be so sure on the weight thing. I'm your weight, and I have a pair of Dynastar 25m U16 tweeners, and they hold up just fine. I use them for masters racing. I've skied them back to back with a women's FIS 30m, and they're definitely easier to hook up (i.e., they're more "accessible") , but I don't feel like I'm giving away too

Mind me asking what your weight/height is? Looking at that route, 184/24m or 185/27M ski.

Thanks!
 

CascadeConcrete

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I also have a pair of men's WC race room GS skis from back in the day--they're 23m, with big metal plates that no longer meet stack height regs. These would be from about when Ted was in his heyday. They're significantly harder to turn than my 25m tweeners, but once they engage I'm like a train on rails. Goes to show that radius isn't everything.

Fwiw, there's a good chance they're marked >23m and not actually a 23m radius.
 

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