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Slalom carving skis for a carving learner

Slim

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I just figured the word for boot and shoe in his native language was probably the same or very close. I've seen the same thing posted by others from Europe who were experienced skiers who I assumed knew the proper terminology in their native language.
Yep, in Dutch and German skiBOOTS are called ”skishoes“. The words “boots” is only used for rubber boots, riding boots etc.
 
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G

Grizz111

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A bit more updates. Last two weekends I went to a same ski resort with carv sensors in the boots. The conditions were the same on both weekends - hard packed snow on most of the pistes.

The first weekend I rented Salomon X10 162cm which is more or less in the same category as the Head V8. A bit softer and more forgiving ski. On blue runs and easier reds they were nice to ski. In a way they basically do what you want when you want it. On slow speeds they turn as soon as you edge them a bit regardless of the forward/backward balance. I practiced bunch of javelin turns, focused on the stuff that app told me were missing (mostly fore/aft balance, and not rushing the turn initiation). I managed to get the Ski:IQ from 110 to 125 throughout the day, however the runs weren't consistent and would mostly oscilate around 120. All in all it was a great day and I definitely felt that I improved the form.

Next weekend comes and I wanted to give one more try to a stiffer slalom ski. I went to the same shop and rented Fischer WC SL 158cm (this was a FIS ski but with junior bindings if I got it correctly).
The difference in feel is substantial. I rode it on the same slopes as the previous ski's in the same conditions and the feel and security is simply better. And its hard to completely describe why.
Main thing I'd say is that it holds edges much better at the speed than the X10 (average speed on most runs is around 45 kmh with highest around 65 kmh). It also gives much more feedback while skiing, I can "feel" when is the proper time to exit turn and switch weight on the inside ski because you sort of feel the ski pushing you to do that.
I have no idea how much of that is really happening because of the ski or it's just in my head, but the result is that I feel safer to experiment and push myself with this ski. It really feels like it's cemented into the snow when you're turning.
I managed to get the Ski:IQ up to 134 and consistently have the score above 130. Forward backward balance improved a bit, but as soon as the slopes are high angled I tend to go into the back seat. In general I feel I skied better than ever and mostly decided that I'm gonna buy a ski from the slalom category.

Anyways, I went to return the skis to the shop where I talked with the boot fitter dude that I bought the boots from. Also in the shop was a ski instructor just getting his boots fitted. I was mostly looking at the Fischer SC 160cm. They're suggestion was still to go for the Fischer Curv DTX with main thing being that it's easier to ski when the conditions aren't ideal. But in case I wanna go for the pure slalom I should go for SC non pro version 165cm. And Pro version has a race plate on it which I assume makes it more stiff. I'm not sure about the height. I'm 6ft and 165lbs and from my understanding ski length should mostly be based on skill and weight?

Btw, here are the two examples from the metrics from the runs. The 130 one is on a pretty steep red run and 134 one is ona a bit gentler red run. If any more details in some categories can give more info let me know and I'll post them.


IMG_4780 (2).jpeg IMG_4783.jpeg IMG_4785.jpeg IMG_4784.jpeg
 

Skih20

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I ski on a Liberty V76 (carver). I'm s 5'9" hi-intermediate/low-advanced, skiing on a 65cm. The V76 is an excellent carver, and would fit anyone from an intermediate to highly advanced skier. It has simply made me a better skier, and it's so much fun! Very short or intermediate turns---no problem. You can take it wherever you want to go. My only other advice is to go on the short side. Carvers typically have little rocker, which means there is more edge. Going on the short side will help with turn initiation and rebound---which just adds to the fun.
 

François Pugh

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A bit more updates. Last two weekends I went to a same ski resort with carv sensors in the boots. The conditions were the same on both weekends - hard packed snow on most of the pistes.

The first weekend I rented Salomon X10 162cm which is more or less in the same category as the Head V8. A bit softer and more forgiving ski. On blue runs and easier reds they were nice to ski. In a way they basically do what you want when you want it. On slow speeds they turn as soon as you edge them a bit regardless of the forward/backward balance. I practiced bunch of javelin turns, focused on the stuff that app told me were missing (mostly fore/aft balance, and not rushing the turn initiation). I managed to get the Ski:IQ from 110 to 125 throughout the day, however the runs weren't consistent and would mostly oscilate around 120. All in all it was a great day and I definitely felt that I improved the form.

Next weekend comes and I wanted to give one more try to a stiffer slalom ski. I went to the same shop and rented Fischer WC SL 158cm (this was a FIS ski but with junior bindings if I got it correctly).
The difference in feel is substantial. I rode it on the same slopes as the previous ski's in the same conditions and the feel and security is simply better. And its hard to completely describe why.
Main thing I'd say is that it holds edges much better at the speed than the X10 (average speed on most runs is around 45 kmh with highest around 65 kmh). It also gives much more feedback while skiing, I can "feel" when is the proper time to exit turn and switch weight on the inside ski because you sort of feel the ski pushing you to do that.
I have no idea how much of that is really happening because of the ski or it's just in my head, but the result is that I feel safer to experiment and push myself with this ski. It really feels like it's cemented into the snow when you're turning.
I managed to get the Ski:IQ up to 134 and consistently have the score above 130. Forward backward balance improved a bit, but as soon as the slopes are high angled I tend to go into the back seat. In general I feel I skied better than ever and mostly decided that I'm gonna buy a ski from the slalom category.

Anyways, I went to return the skis to the shop where I talked with the boot fitter dude that I bought the boots from. Also in the shop was a ski instructor just getting his boots fitted. I was mostly looking at the Fischer SC 160cm. They're suggestion was still to go for the Fischer Curv DTX with main thing being that it's easier to ski when the conditions aren't ideal. But in case I wanna go for the pure slalom I should go for SC non pro version 165cm. And Pro version has a race plate on it which I assume makes it more stiff. I'm not sure about the height. I'm 6ft and 165lbs and from my understanding ski length should mostly be based on skill and weight?

Btw, here are the two examples from the metrics from the runs. The 130 one is on a pretty steep red run and 134 one is ona a bit gentler red run. If any more details in some categories can give more info let me know and I'll post them.


View attachment 157986 View attachment 157989 View attachment 157987 View attachment 157988
The regular Fischer SC in a 165 cm length should do you well. It's pretty forgiving IMHO with the stock 1 base 3 side tune. Maybe not as forgiving as some other skis, but you sound like you are willing to put up with a little punishment, in order to get the rewards.
 

Danno Ski Dad

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Just read through this thread and it's answered so many queries for me, as well as Grizz. I was unsure about getting slalom skis, but it sounds like they're just what I need (5'10", 200lbs, newbie skier wanting to improve with carving). I've been on 170 Atomic SX 7s so far, which I've really enjoyed, but I ski a lot of hardpack and notice that the edge grip goes on steeper slopes.
Thanks to everyone who contributed!
 

Danno Ski Dad

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Thanks, Jilly. I was wondering how much skis deteriorate/ soften up over time/ with use. I'll be looking to buy something newer but not brand new. If they've got titanium in them, I imagine they'll retain stiffness for longer.
 

dbostedo

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If they've got titanium in them, I imagine they'll retain stiffness for longer.
Just a note that the metal in skis is often Titanal, a form of aluminum. Except for a few specific, specialized exceptions, there aren't any skis with Titanium in them. (Even some that are marketed or described as having Titanium is sometimes just confusion with Titanal.)
 

Danno Ski Dad

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Bearing in mind my weight (200lbs) and level (not sure - maybe budding intermediate with big dreams), would either the Head ishape Pro, Blizzard Firebird RC CA, or Salomon Xrace be good options for moving ahead with carving and not sideskidding on the faster/steeper sections? I can get all these at fairly good prices (new in the case of the Heads, with 16 days' use in the case of the blizzards), but I worry they might sag too much under my weight. I may be making too much out of this, but a lot of the skiing I do is on hardpack and edge grip has been an issue for me (I'm insecure about hardpack, not my weight:rolleyes::rolleyes:).

Or should I go for something more purely slalomy (Nordica Doberman SLR or Dynastar Speed SL - also available at good prices in good condition second-hand).

I've also seen these https://skibuy.at/p/black-star-xc/ and these https://skibuy.at/p/n-67-26-2/ , which I know nothing about, and can't find any reviews on.

Loads and loads of thanks to all for the feedback I've received on all my newbie fears on this and other threads:D
 

Tony S

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not sideskidding on the faster/steeper sections
I can't remember where we've already been in this thread, but you're not going to be doing full-on edge-locked carving where it's steep.

You may be confusing / conflating two things. Carving is one thing. Effective speed control on icy steeps is another thing. There is a relationship between the two, but it's very nuanced and indirect.
 

LiquidFeet

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....moving ahead with carving and not sideskidding on the faster/steeper sections?
....a lot of the skiing I do is on hardpack and edge grip has been an issue for me (I'm insecure about hardpack).
It sounds like you are seeking edge grip on hard snow groomers that have some pitch.

Edge grip and carving are two different things. The term "carving" is most frequently used to indicate that the tails of the skis follow in the groove that the tips cut in the snow. The tails follow the tips. This results in pencil-thin lines (talking about hard snow groomers), one for each ski. There will be little friction generated, so carving is the fastest way to travel on skis. Racers learn to carve, as do technical-minded recreational skiers who want to go fast on hard snow groomers. The feeling of carving is intoxicating.

The speed of carved turns can be controlled by a well-trained skier. The skier needs to ski with a shorter turn radius, which means less time with skis pointed downhill. Learning to manipulate the turn radius while carving is what racer kids learn, so they can beat the competition in a race course, which demands precision control of turn radius.

Imagine an invisible lane (corridor is the usual word used here) going straight down the trail. At the top of the run you can look down and choose the corridor width you intend to ski. As you head downhill, you shape your turns so they go from the left side of the corridor to the right side of it.

The narrower your chosen corridor, the slower your downhill travel will be. Skiing a narrow corridor instead of a wide corridor, with well-done skidded turns or carved turns ,works for slower travel. But, given the same corridor width, carved turns will still be faster than well-good skidded turns.

Carving is just not the best way to control speed on steeps. I think you need to take lessons to learn to make well-done skidded turns that offer good control over grip. These turns are called different things - brushed turns is my favorite. Slalom skis are also a good idea, because they have a short turn radius built into them and therefore are more willing to stay inside a narrow corridor (on hard snow) than skis with a wider turn radius.

Well-done skidded turns on short radius (often called slalom) skis offer two very helpful things for using a narrow line to control speed. If the skis are properly tuned and sharp, and if the skier knows how to make these skidded turns, they will offer good controlled grip. I won't explain how here. It's complicated. Also the skis will generate friction to help slow down the forward travel.

Well-done skidded turns will give you good grip on steep hard snow. It won't feel like you're slipping downhill at the bottom of each turn. You'll feel and be in control. But you won't be laying thin tracks - you won't be carving.

Unfortunately, poorly done skidded turns will not offer controlled grip (on steep hard groomers). How to make these well-done skidded turns is not obvious. The intuitive way self-taught skiers try to get this grip won't work no matter how narrow the turn radius is for their skis nor how sharp they are nor how narrow the chosen corridor.

To sum up: Take lessons to learn to make well-done skidded turns that offer grip on firm snow. And get skis with a slalom size turn radius because they will offer you an easier path to learning to make those turns.

You'll probably need lessons to teach you how to make those good skidded turns. Lessons, not a lesson. It takes time.
 
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Danno Ski Dad

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Many thanks for the excellent advice! The carving I can do no problem on flatter slopes, and get the thin tracks. And I love the feeling!

On steeper slopes I start skidding, but as you say, that's what my skill level will allow. I've had a few lessons and have found a teacher who I really like. One really useful thing I got from them was to go down a fairly steep hard section with no poles and to press down on the leaning hip with my hand as I turned. This reduced the skidding a lot, and I managed to get a nice rhythm going. There was still some skidding though - more where the turns were wider, which ties in with what you say about turn width and speed. The corridor analogy works really well!

Many thanks to all!

Danno
 

Timobkg

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Many thanks for the excellent advice! The carving I can do no problem on flatter slopes, and get the thin tracks. And I love the feeling!

On steeper slopes I start skidding, but as you say, that's what my skill level will allow. I've had a few lessons and have found a teacher who I really like. One really useful thing I got from them was to go down a fairly steep hard section with no poles and to press down on the leaning hip with my hand as I turned. This reduced the skidding a lot, and I managed to get a nice rhythm going. There was still some skidding though - more where the turns were wider, which ties in with what you say about turn width and speed. The corridor analogy works really well!

Many thanks to all!

Danno
That's great! I hope the takeaway that you, and others, get from this thread is that carving at the intermediate level is not about skis - it's about technique and skill, and the three things that will help the most with that is good fitting boots, lessons, and practice.

The temptation is always there to say, "Oh, I need new skis," and we instinctively want for there to be a purchase that instantly fixes our issues, but unless your skis are really ill suited for you (too short, too long, too soft, too stiff, too old), it's probably not the skis so much as your ability to make them work for you - and the higher your skill, the more you can overcome issues such as your skis being too short/long/soft/stiff. Poor edge grip and skidding can often be corrected by better technique that employs higher edge angles and more pressure - just as you have demonstrated - as well as getting your skis tuned regularly (if you aren't already).

So keep taking those lessons, keep practicing, and keep up the good, hard work! :)
 

LiquidFeet

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....Poor edge grip and skidding can often be corrected by better technique that employs higher edge angles and more pressure - just as you have demonstrated - as well as getting your skis tuned regularly (if you aren't already).

So keep taking those lessons, keep practicing, and keep up the good, hard work! :)
Good advice. Another thing is needed - get onto new edges above the fall line. Easier said than done. Thus the lessons part.
 

Tony S

I have a confusion to make ...
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That's great! I hope the takeaway that you, and others, get from this thread is that carving at the intermediate level is not about skis - it's about technique and skill, and the three things that will help the most with that is good fitting boots, lessons, and practice.

The temptation is always there to say, "Oh, I need new skis," and we instinctively want for there to be a purchase that instantly fixes our issues, but unless your skis are really ill suited for you (too short, too long, too soft, too stiff, too old), it's probably not the skis so much as your ability to make them work for you - and the higher your skill, the more you can overcome issues such as your skis being too short/long/soft/stiff. Poor edge grip and skidding can often be corrected by better technique that employs higher edge angles and more pressure - just as you have demonstrated - as well as getting your skis tuned regularly (if you aren't already).

So keep taking those lessons, keep practicing, and keep up the good, hard work! :)

Good advice. Another thing is needed - get onto new edges above the fall line. Easier said than done. Thus the lessons part.
And a good tune.
 

Danno Ski Dad

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Thanks to all for tips and wisdom. Yes, I'm starting to realise that technique is the key issue here. Weirdly I watched this tutorial last night, which really illustrates the importance of stance.
I'll look into the tuning. I've got a special file which I use every time I go out, but this may not be the best method.
Thanks again.
 

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