Slalom carving skis for a carving learner

François Pugh

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I would have said the SC Pro 165 cm given your goals and expressed level of commitment. However the DTX will be more forgiving, and given your current abilities may be more fun to learn on (less punishing of mistakes), also easier to bend into a turn when tipped (more encouraging of doing so).
 
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Grizz111

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I would have said the SC Pro 165 cm given your goals and expressed level of commitment. However the DTX will be more forgiving, and given your current abilities may be more fun to learn on (less punishing of mistakes), also easier to bend into a turn when tipped (more encouraging of doing so).
How does the forgiveness actually manifest in real world scenario. In what way would DTX feel different than SC? From my limited understanding the main difference between those two is that DTX is much more flexible with varying the turn radius.
I really don't have too much experience with that many skis, in recent time I only skied on amphibio (I think it was 14 Ti) which I enjoyed and got a feel for how edges actually work for a first time. After that this year all other skis where slalom ones, Fischer SC, SL and Redster S9. Compared to the amphibio if I could sum it in a few words, they felt snappier and less skiddable when turning. But they also tend to throw me on the tails and it's a bit more difficult to control speed than with Amphibios. In a way that seems like a positive since I'm immediately aware that I messed something up, but I'm not sure if that is a good approach.

Like I said, my goal is to be on a ski that will allow the best learning of carving technique, whatever that be.

I'm most likely gonna go on Sunday on one day skiing, so I'll test out boots. I'll rent some skis again for a day so if you guys have suggestions what to rent, shoot :)
I'll try to find an instructor for that day if I manage. I go to skiing in a neighbouring country so it's a bit trickier to find someone due to language barrier.
 

dbostedo

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I'll try to find an instructor for that day if I manage
I think that would be the best thing... the more you learn, the better you'll be able to tell which ski is best for you.

The first time I got on a slalom-like ski (a Rossi Hero) I was not getting myself in balance and position correctly to bend it, and really having to force turns and not make nice rounded turns. It was somewhat frustrating compared to my softer flexing skis, that were more forgiving of where my weight was and helped with making rounder turns.

The primary thing I notice in your videos is that you're not making very full turns at all. ("C" shaped, to where your skis are pointing straight across the hill one direction then the other. Or even pointing slightly uphill before you start to turn the other way.) Doing that more could also help reveal which skis are more beneficial.
 
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Andy Mink

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I understand the interest in a carving slalom ski. However, there are a lot of skis out there that will help you get to that level you're looking for without having a one or two dimensional aspect of a pure slalom ski. I've been a proponent of the Head V8 since its inception a few years back. The V8 is less demanding than its i or e-Rally bigger siblings. It's very easy to initiate a carved turn, has enough strength behind it to hold those turns at higher speeds. It is also forgiving, less likely to toss you over the handlebars coming out of the turn, and just easier all around. That is just one of the many fun skis out there that will help you get to where you want to go.

There are a lot of great suggestions from folks up thread with regard to pure SL skis. This is just a thought. I like to turn as much as anyone; I just don't necessarily need to get a day's worth of turns in one run!
 

Tom K.

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I'm with @Andy Mink. The last thing @Grizz111 needs right now, at his current level of carving prowess shown in his videos, is an FIS SL ski.

That's for next season, after several carving-specific lessons. ;)

And some of us prefer non-FIS SL skis, simply so that the fun starts at lower speeds and slope pitches. But I would say it isn't even quite yet time for those.
 

François Pugh

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How does the forgiveness actually manifest in real world scenario. In what way would DTX feel different than SC? From my limited understanding the main difference between those two is that DTX is much more flexible with varying the turn radius.
I really don't have too much experience with that many skis, in recent time I only skied on amphibio (I think it was 14 Ti) which I enjoyed and got a feel for how edges actually work for a first time. After that this year all other skis where slalom ones, Fischer SC, SL and Redster S9. Compared to the amphibio if I could sum it in a few words, they felt snappier and less skiddable when turning. But they also tend to throw me on the tails and it's a bit more difficult to control speed than with Amphibios. In a way that seems like a positive since I'm immediately aware that I messed something up, but I'm not sure if that is a good approach.

Like I said, my goal is to be on a ski that will allow the best learning of carving technique, whatever that be.

I'm most likely gonna go on Sunday on one day skiing, so I'll test out boots. I'll rent some skis again for a day so if you guys have suggestions what to rent, shoot :)
I'll try to find an instructor for that day if I manage. I go to skiing in a neighbouring country so it's a bit trickier to find someone due to language barrier.
First a caveat. Fischer (and other companies) make it hard to compare skis by name, even if you don't need to include how skied out the ski is after x years and y thousand miles. The names are all similar, and change with the years. There is The SC, the RACE SC, the SC Pro, the ....ad nauseum.

Nevertheless, I find this site does provide some interesting data, which I will use to explain how that forgiveness will manifest itself in the real world
https://compareskis.shinyapps.io/compare/?_values_&selected_rows=[3576,4434]&tab="Compare"

I compared a Fischer SC with a Head V8.
If you look at the data you will see that the most noticeable difference is that the SC is much stiffer in bending and in torsion than the V8.

What the V8 does for a beginner is lessen the amount of force required to bend the ski into a nice tight carved turn. That means you can learn to make turns at a slow pace, without a lot of force being used; you don't have to be skiing at the upper end of the range of speeds for which that turn shape is possible to be skied at. That gives you more time to see and feel what's going on. It also makes the ski almost want to turn as opposed to needing a firmer command to make it turn.

On the negative side, the V8 will reach a point much sooner (at a lower speed) where the ski just can't hold the turn you want to make. You will be drifting that turn whether you want to or not. It won't give you a high-g turn on hardpack; it will slip off the desired line like an old buick with bald tires in a turn through a deep puddle in heavy rain.

The stiffness of the SC will definitely make the ski turn if you give it the right input, even if you don't want to turn and gave it that input by mistake; it will feel "hooky" to people who don't want that strong response. They will ruin the ski by filing off the tip and tail edges so the skis won't force them to turn when they command (by making the appropriate movements) the tips to engage and make a hard left (or right). With the V8, it will try to turn, but if you don't like what it's doing you can force it not to turn, using brute strength.

Also the relationship between how much you tip the ski versus how much it wants to turn is not linear. It's closer to the cosine function. At low tipping angles, it's not that far from linear, but at high tipping angles it's closer to an exponential function. You ask for more turn and tip 5 more degrees at a low tipping angle and all is good - you turn more. You ask for more turn and tip 2 more degrees at a high angle and all of a sudden you have dialed up an impossible turn, the stiff skis hold onto that impossible turn like a banshee, but your body doesn't make the turn, you go over the skis and get catapulted into the air and land badly - very embarrassing.

Also the SC will be stable at a much higher speed. The higher mass helps there. The extra mass is probably just a result of the materials needed to provide stiffness and vibration damping, but it also helps with stability in and of itself.
 

Tony S

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On the negative side, the V8 will reach a point much sooner (at a lower speed) where the ski just can't hold the turn you want to make. You will be drifting that turn whether you want to or not. It won't give you a high-g turn on hardpack; it will slip off the desired line like an old buick with bald tires in a turn through a deep puddle in heavy rain.
I rarely see recreational skiers who are hitting this point while using the ski the way it was designed to be used. Go back to the video. Don't borrow trouble for the OP by raising issues that aren't relevant to him.
 
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Grizz111

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One more update, I went to a same shop where I bought the boots with the intention of getting Head V8 skiis. I showed the shop guy the same videos that I posted here and explained that my intention is to get better at carving.
However the dude at the shop was against them, not that they're bad skis at all, but the main reason being that I will most likely outgrow them very fast and will have to get new skis next season. He gave me new Fischer Curv DTX for a cheap price for a rent so I can test them.
I'm going skiing tomorrow, I'll take instructor and will see how it goes. In case these are still too stiff, I'll buy V8 on monday. I'll try to get another recording somehow.

Huge thanks to everyone here, I really learned a bunch of stuff from you guys! <3
 

motogreg

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Brave to post up the vid here, shows the proper learning spirit. Agree to not worry about the skis at this point, esp a true sl ski. Sounds like you have lots of potential skis to choose from, so that's good, pick one and learn it. And yep, at your level, lessons.
 
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François Pugh

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One more update, I went to a same shop where I bought the boots with the intention of getting Head V8 skiis. I showed the shop guy the same videos that I posted here and explained that my intention is to get better at carving.
However the dude at the shop was against them, not that they're bad skis at all, but the main reason being that I will most likely outgrow them very fast and will have to get new skis next season. He gave me new Fischer Curv DTX for a cheap price for a rent so I can test them.
I'm going skiing tomorrow, I'll take instructor and will see how it goes. In case these are still too stiff, I'll buy V8 on monday. I'll try to get another recording somehow.

Huge thanks to everyone here, I really learned a bunch of stuff from you guys! <3
The DTX is a pretty good choice.
 
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Grizz111

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I took several rides with the instructor. From the positive sides she mentioned is that rolling and the edges looks very good which usually tends to be the main issue with people.

However there are a few basic things that I keep doing wrong, the biggest being that I'm in the back seat almost all the time.
Proper way to initiate turn would be to actually push forward to engage the tips and keep pushing while going through the turn. When exiting the turn you stop pushing and switch to the other leg.
My issue is that I'm more or less always in the middle of the boot or somewhat backwards which makes the ski not hold that well and which caused me to not complete the turns and cut them short.
When leaning forward I feel more stable on the skiis and can do a "fuller" turn.

After that we went to do some practice runs with poles behind legs that forces you to be forward, bunch of J turns etc. Big issue is that these things don't come natural to me, most likely because I've been skiing with wrong stance for a long time so it takes active thinking about this to actually do it, it's simply not in the muscle memory.

J turns seem to be the best thing for this because I now in which side I will turn and can prepare the stance.

After the instructions I tried to apply this to freeskiing and there is definitely some improvement and better feel and stability, but it will take some time until this gets into muscle memory. Main issue is that when I'm actively thinking about this it's good. As soon as I stop thinking, I'm in the back seat instantly.

Other thing that we also went through is repositioning upper body after the turns. I tend to go into a turn, lower myself but when the turn exits I keep being in the lower stance which makes it harder to initiate next turn.

In general, leg work is good, but I'm basically dragging upper body on the legs like it's a passenger instead of it actively working on a turn in combination with legs.

Regarding skiis, they seem to be more or less similar to redsters maybe a bit less bouncy when exiting turns. Next weekend I'll try to rent V8 just to see how softer skis will be compared to these ones.

I also bought carv, that sensor thingy you put in the boots that monitors the edges, forward backwards pressure. It seems like it could help a lot, especially if you stick to the same track whole day and improve bit by a bit.
 

LiquidFeet

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Main issue is that when I'm actively thinking about this it's good. As soon as I stop thinking, I'm in the back seat instantly.....
...I also bought carv, that sensor thingy you put in the boots that monitors the edges, forward backwards pressure. It seems like it could help a lot, especially if you stick to the same track whole day and improve bit by a bit.
stages of motor learning
sounds like you're in stage 3
it may take a while to get to 4

unconscious incompetence
conscious incompetence
conscious competence
unconscious competence
 

Tony S

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stages of motor learning
sounds like you're in stage 3
it may take a while to get to 4

unconscious incompetence
conscious incompetence
conscious competence
unconscious competence
The infuriating thing about it is that, if you're anything like me, no matter what you do there is always a run or a day or a week where you're suddenly back at #2 again!
 

Andy Mink

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The infuriating thing about it is that, if you're anything like me, no matter what you do there is always a run or a day or a week where you're suddenly back at #2 again!
You only make it back to #2? Sometimes I think #1 is my happy place!
 

Tony Storaro

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The infuriating thing about it is that, if you're anything like me, no matter what you do there is always a run or a day or a week where you're suddenly back at #2 again!

“The sage is full of anxiety and indecision in undertaking anything and so he is always successful”

Ask Chuang Tzu if you do not believe me.
 
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HardDaysNight

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The idea that FIS slalom skis require high speeds and/or heavy weight skiers in order to bend them properly in a turn is false. Ski bend is driven by edge angle, i.e., technical ability. They are more predictable and consistent than consumer junk which means that this technical ability is actually easier to acquire. That is your objective as I understand it. My advice is not to bother with the V8s which are intermediate level at best.
 
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Grizz111

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There are pretty much two school of thoughts in this thread :ogbiggrin: :

1. Softer, more forgiving and more fun skis will encourage more skiing. They will help you turn even if you're skill is not that good. You will ski slower and it will be easier to improve and think about the form.
2. Stiffer, unforgiving skis will force you to have the proper technique. Making mistakes will be easily felt and you will have immediate response from the ski when you mess something up. But you can also end up skiing in defence mode which is bad.

I'll try softer ones this weekend just to see how they behave compared to all the previous ones that were stiff.
 
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