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Help with new ski setup


Original Post
sandrock · · Colorado · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 115

Hello,
I'm pretty clueless towards ski gear so please bear with me.  I'm looking to get a new/additional setup. Right now I have
Meier Quickdraw size 166
G3 Ion 10 85mm bindings
La Sportiva Starlet 2.0 Boots

and a crappy pair of resort rock skis and boots. I ski the Meiers at resorts and the BC.

These are the only skis I've ever used.  I've been skiing for 3-4 years now in Colorado. Can get down blacks comfortably and double blacks somewhat comfortably. I enjoy steeps and tree skiing. Backcountry I like skiing 14ers and couloirs. Really looking to push my skills this coming season, planning to resort ski every weekend and backcountry ski all spring.

I understand the Meier skis are more front side carving, and the boots are more lightweight and less performance. One questions I have, if I get another set of AT ski boots, can I use both boots in the same bindings, or would they need to be adjusted for one boot only? I've been looking at the La Sportiva Sparkle or Shadow for a new boot, mostly just because I know Sportiva fits my foot well.

If I get a nice all-mountain ski, can I put AT bindings on them and get good performance at the resort? Or do I need a dedicated resort binding/boot/ski setup? I could also mount the Meier Quickdraws on a resort binding/boot, then get a really nice powder/all mountain AT ski and mount it on the ION bindings?

I'm really just looking for some guidance on a new setup or switching around what I currently have. Any specific skis you'd recommend? Boots?  I'm 5'10 153 pounds female.

Do women's skis actually make a difference, or am I ok buying men's skis?

brian burke · · santa monica, ca · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 130
sandrock wrote:...
I could also mount the Meier Quickdraws on a resort binding/boot, then get a really nice powder/all mountain AT ski and mount it on the ION bindings?
hey if you've got the cash, that's the call.

 the 'quiver of one' in the 95-110cm underfoot at 1k-1.5k weight with ions sounds pretty damn sweet.  a mnc binder like a solomon warden for your resort skis would save you from buying an extra pair of boots too.
FosterK · · Edmonton, AB · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 44
sandrock wrote: If I get a nice all-mountain ski, can I put AT bindings on them and get good performance at the resort? Or do I need a dedicated resort binding/boot/ski setup? I could also mount the Meier Quickdraws on a resort binding/boot, then get a really nice powder/all mountain AT ski and mount it on the ION bindings?
Some AT bindings are adequate for resort use (i.e. retention and durability), but a lot of gear nerds would advocate for a proper downhill binding. I'm not familiar with the ski, but AT skis are generally lighter and more prone to be pushed around by snow conditions, so a heavier ski tends to be more advantageous on lift-assisted skiing.

I'm really just looking for some guidance on a new setup or switching around what I currently have. Any specific skis you'd recommend? Boots?  I'm 5'10 153 pounds female.
For context I have an AT boot (Vulcans), in an MNC (Multi-Norm Compatible) downhill binding on a downhill ski, that works for inbounds set-ups. If you have a relatively stiff or high performing AT ski booth, then an MNC binding and downhill ski would be worth the upgrade. If you're on a lightweight boot, then it might make more sense to go whole hog into a new downhill setup.

Do women's skis actually make a difference, or am I ok buying men's skis?

Ski flex is the primary difference and is weight dependent - if you have trouble flexing stiff skis through turns then a woman's ski is probably warranted. B

Tapawingo Markey · · Reno? · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75

Regarding skis: Of course demo if you can. But I’d base your ski choice more on the way you like to ski rather than the terrain. Do you prefer long, carving turns and going fast down the fall line or do you prefer a more playful ski? In general (emphasis on general) longer cambered skis with a little less tip and tail rocker and sidecut are more stable and feel a little better when going fast. Shorter cambered skis with more tip/tail rocker and sidecut like to turn, perform better in pow, can get surfy, etc.

Women’s vs Men’s skis- as said above some brands change the flex a bit, some just shrink it and pink it. I’d ask the shop staff and just compare the flex side by side to see if there’s a difference.

Boots: I’d definitely try a handful of pairs on, even models within the same brand that state similar lasts can feel substantially different. But the Sparkle should be quite a bit stiffer than your current boot. That being said I’ve skied the Men’s equivalent and didn’t find it to be particularly stiff if thats what youre looking for. Scarpa Gea RS and Dynafit W’s Hoji are two I’d definitely recommend trying.

The boots may or may not fit the same mount on your current set up. It depends on the boot sole length of your current boots and the new pair. If they’re within ~5mm of eachother you could get by with just adjusting the heel piece on your old bindings.

Edit: I haven’t talked skiing since May, damn I can’t wait to ski some pow.

sandrock · · Colorado · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 115
Tapawingo Markey wrote: Regarding skis: Of course demo if you can. But I’d base your ski choice more on the way you like to ski rather than the terrain. Do you prefer long, carving turns and going fast down the fall line or do you prefer a more playful ski? In general (emphasis on general) longer cambered skis with a little less tip and tail rocker and sidecut are more stable and feel a little better when going fast. Shorter cambered skis with more tip/tail rocker and sidecut like to turn, perform better in pow, can get surfy, etc.

Women’s vs Men’s skis- as said above some brands change the flex a bit, some just shrink it and pink it. I’d ask the shop staff and just compare the flex side by side to see if there’s a difference.

I'd definitly say I'm more on the playful, shorter cambered skis type that you describe.

B Jolley · · Utah · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 172

What are you going to be doing the most of? Lift access or touring?
First things first, get custom boots fitted by a boot fitter at a reputable shop on the mountain. Don't buy based on reviews, manufacturer or color. Every boot is based off a different foot shape and you should get it molded to your foot (the shell and the liner). I've been a boot fitter for many years and the biggest mistake people make is the wrong boot shape and size.
Depending on what type of boot(s) you end up with could dictate if they are compatible in the same binding, most likely not. even the same size boots could have different sole lengths or even different toe heights. Most touring specific boots will not work with most alpine bindings. All bindings are mounted to fit one boot but can be adjusted slightly.

If you're going to ski 50+ days a season, Ideally you should have 2 boots, 4 pairs of skis. Touring (105mm+) and Alpine (groomer 95mm, all mountain 105mm, powder 110mm+)

Boots
Lange freeride 130 for touring
Rossignol Pro 120  for alpine
(flex index is irrelevant, no industry standard) My Lange is softer than my Rossi boot, different plastics.

Skis
Fisher Ranger w/ Dynafit Ti binders, Touring setup
Armada JJ w/ Look Pivot binders, All Mountain
Stockli Laser w/ Look Pivot binders, Groomers
Rossi S7 w/ Marker Jester binders, Powder

Women's skis are not much different from men's other than graphics. The main difference is the factory recommended mounting position. Women skis are mounted slightly forward due to different center of gravity. For the most part, there really is no construction difference between the two, although some manufacturers make women ski's lighter, i.e softer flex.

AT bindings are okay for resort skiing, terrible for bumps and high speed carving. AT bindings are less rigid than alpine, being able to unlock the heal for skinning and all.

There are so many good skis these days the best way is to demo multiple pairs. Its like buying a car, go test drive. Everyone ski's different, what I like you may hate.

Chris Owen · · Big Bear Lake · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 10,831

I have dedicated carve friendly downhill skis and boots for skiing at the local resort so I can work on my turns more. Having said that my dedicated downhill  boots are Scarpa Freedoms. So if I do a ski holiday to say Lake Louise I take my AT skis (BD Helios 105s) and the freedoms so I can resort and backcountry (my dedicated AT boots are Scarpa Maestrale). I encouraged my girlfriend to buy dedicated intermediate downhill resort set up so she could work on carving. For AT she uses BD Helios 90s and Dynafit TFTs.

Tapawingo Markey · · Reno? · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75
sandrock wrote:

I'd definitly say I'm more on the playful, shorter cambered skis type that you describe.

I’ve found that the black crows navis freebird and wailer 99 & 112 ($$$) are my two favorite skis in that category but again maybe demo a few skis, takr note of the shapes/dimensions of the skis you like and make the call from there. 

J.C.P. · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 0

Echo the others recommending you get a dedicated lift-served set up.  The one ski quiver is a myth.  Sounds like you already have alpine boots.  Mount alpine binders on the Meiers for lift served.  Your knees will thank you.  Touring bindings suck for lift-served skiing.  (1)  there is no elasticity - contrary to the comment above, they are more rigid than alpine bindings.  Lou Dawson did a test several years back comparing the rigidity of various bindings, and dynafits were by far the most rigid bot/binding interface.  (2) the release mechanism of touring binding is far inferior to that of an alpine binding, and for someone who is still improving and wanting to push into more difficult terrain, a touring setup is not the right equipment for that.  (3) they are not designed to stand up to the rigors of lift-served skiing.  You can pick up some used salomons with a driver toe for $50.  They last. I ski on some old 997s, they work great and are old as hell.  If you want new alpine boots, it's not rocket science, get a custom footbed, size down appropriately in a boot with a narrow(er) last, and have a boot fitter do their thing - they can't if you buy a boot too big.  Larry in Boulder will set you on the right path - call first to make an appointment and even then, plan to spend several hours there.  

Pick up some lighter wide-ish (100mm +/-) touring oriented skis for backcountry.  Use the boots you have, unless you feel like you are constantly overpowering your boots (maybe you are) but touring boots are never going to be as stiff (or more importantly IMO,  flex as well) as an alpine boot, nor need they be even for 14ers and couloirs - just need to be light-ish and fit well.   To directly answer your question about crossover compatibility of AT boots, rockered AT (touring) boots will not work in an alpine binding.  There are cross-over AT boots that work in certain alpine binders, but they are heavy for touring and really not good for alpine skiing.  Again, the one ski quiver is a myth.

Don't mean to be a debbie downer or harsh, just hate to see people wasting their money on the latest do-it-all ski setups that in reality do nothing well.  

   

sandrock · · Colorado · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 115

Thanks everyone for the tips, I really appreciate it!

Sounds like the best thing is to get a dedicated resort setup. I still have a season or two left on my Meier skis, so I'll wait until they become rock skis then upgrade my backcountry skis.

Now the quest for which resort ski to buy! I am very clueless, so if anyone has recommendations I'd love to hear. Otherwise I may wait until ski season starts to do a bunch of demos.

thanks again!

B Jolley · · Utah · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 172
sandrock wrote: Thanks everyone for the tips, I really appreciate it!

Sounds like the best thing is to get a dedicated resort setup. I still have a season or two left on my Meier skis, so I'll wait until they become rock skis then upgrade my backcountry skis.

Now the quest for which resort ski to buy! I am very clueless, so if anyone has recommendations I'd love to hear. Otherwise I may wait until ski season starts to do a bunch of demos.

thanks again!

My recommendations may not suit your style of skiing. The best thing to do is demo, most ski shops will apply the cost of demo to the purchase. Demo from a shop or demo center on snow so you can try as many as possible in a single day. Ski the same runs over and over.

Rando Calrissian · · Denver · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 45

Bah hum bug, you CAN get an all around quiver of one ski. I ski Ions in bounds and haven't had any problem. I just don't like skiing them in bumps, they rattle my knees a bit too much. I ski Kastle FX94 (they replaced them with the 95 two years ago) and they are great. I also use these for variable condition days outside but they heavy as hell. My dedicated back country is Movement Shift 98 underfoot and they are fantastic. Heavily recommend movement skis. The problem with skiing backcountry skis inbounds and vice versa is weight. Dedicated in bounds are heavy and will weigh you down on long tours where as the flip side you skis will be too light and floppy (and you may snap them as I did before). If you wanted to buy one, look at the DPS Wailer 99s, both the carbon and wood core are fantastic skis and can hold up to both in and out of bounds work, you just pay a premium for them.

If you were looking at boots too, same thing. A more "freetouring" boot like the Dynafit Vulcan will handle up to in bounds forces well (heavy for touring), but the softer lighter TLT line will feel too noodly. As with climbing shoes, try them on. Get a professional boot fit and moulding. Larry's Bootfitting is arguably the most top notch boot fitter in CO, they are in Boulder. They sell ski boots and ski boot accessories bobby.

Get a cheap in bounds set up at a swap and a nice 95-105 underfoot dedicated BC set up. Wailer 99s are a go to and will kill it, never met anyone who doesn't like them, when I demo'd them they were just effortless. I love my Kastle and Movements for what its worth. I also have a pair of BD Amps (115 underfoot) for big floaty days, they are fun but heavy as hell and burn out my hip flexors on long tours. The Movements are pretty all around and I almost exclusively ski them BC, I've wanted fatter on some days for sure but have been able to handle myself well in most CO pow with this dimension.

sandrock · · Colorado · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 115

Thanks Rrando, the Alchemist Wailer 99 or the Foundation Wailer 99? (eidt: reading reviews it seems like the Alchemist Wailer 99 would best match my skiing?)

I did the "DPS ski fitter" and it matched me with the Foundation Cassier 95, Foundation Wailer 99, and Foundation Wailer 112. Not really sure how reliable the website is though.

J.C.P. · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 0

Why DPS???  You could buy two pairs of skis for the price of one set of DPS.  They're doctor/lawyer skis...and that's coming from a lawyer.  And sure they're good skis, they're not THAT good though. Seriously, there are so many other great skis out there for so much less, and you can find amazing deals on last year models and get two sets for $800, less than the cost for one pair of DPS.  I guess I am also struggling with you saying you want to ski steep terrain and couloirs, push your skills, etc. and yet are looking at a ski like the Foundation Wailer 99 with a 16m turn radius in 184cm length - at your length the turn radius must be like 14m or less. That's a SUPER turny ski and not something for steeps and pushing it on harder terrain - that's a ski that will turn for you, even when you don't want it to.  But maybe that's what you want (now seeing your comment about turny, playful skis)....  If you want an easy to ski ski and still have some extra $$ for boots, look at the Rossi 7 series (effortless and loved by all), Salomon QST, Line Pandora, and other non-metal skis.  Haven't skied Movements, but have heard great things as Rando suggested.  

And, all that to say, as Super Fluke said, all of our comments are essentially useless, because we have no idea what kind of skier you are, and our recommendations are biased by what we like in a ski, turn radius, dampness, camber/rocker, etc.  

Something that we can all get excited about: A-Basin got a dusting!   

Tapawingo Markey · · Reno? · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75
J.C.P. wrote: Why DPS???  You could buy two pairs of skis for the price of one set of DPS.  
Because they’re rad.
They're doctor/lawyer skis...and that's coming from a lawyer.  And sure they're good skis, they're not THAT good though. Seriously, there are so many other great skis out there for so much less, and you can find amazing deals on last year models and get two sets for $800, less than the cost for one pair of DPS.
Two full sheets of prepreg carbon (maintains the ski’s flex much longer than those all wood skis), full sized wrap around metal edges (not that thin strip of metal some companies use), and a harder base material = a ski that will last much longer and ski much better in pow and crud than those noodles you mentioned (specifically the Rossi suggestion). 
Plus they’re made in the USA.
All that being said yes they are pricey, and yes you should demo all you can prior to buying, and your money would be best served on getting a quality boot/fit. But if you got some disposable income they’re the way to go.
Rando Calrissian · · Denver · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 45
sandrock wrote: Thanks Rrando, the Alchemist Wailer 99 or the Foundation Wailer 99? (eidt: reading reviews it seems like the Alchemist Wailer 99 would best match my skiing?)

I did the "DPS ski fitter" and it matched me with the Foundation Cassier 95, Foundation Wailer 99, and Foundation Wailer 112. Not really sure how reliable the website is though.

If you have the coin, I'd go Alchemist. The Foundation line is heavier and skis a bit softer, so they will be more forgiving. Alchemist if memory serves correct is marked up with the aforemention carbon layers. They are a bit more chattery on corduroy but as soon as you get on any sort of soft (even a few inches) that goes away, but they are stiffer so they will have a pop to them. You MIGHT be able to find their older Hybrid or Pure3 line up (Hybrid went to Foundation and Pure to Alchemist, but they did make changes to the design) as blems or demos and get out cheap. Might call up Wilderness Sports in Dillon. There is a slight difference in the womens (Nina) and mens ski, but I honestly can't remember if they made them softer a pinch or if the center mark is moved. Get the 95 if you think you'd be using these more front side, 99 if you think you will be splitting front and back, and 112 if you just want something to run powder days. (I'd rec the 99, more versatile, although I know people who ski the 112 all over resorts on groomer days and they kick my ass)

As the lawyer brought up good points. They are expensive. They also have a relatively* (most versatile skis are getting shorter radii it seems) short turn radius. I like mine around 20-25ish meters. These will be a bit turny. However against his points, they are fantastic skis and you pay a premium for a premium product. Same reason Yeti coolers are selling like hot cakes (cool cakes??), they are blazingly fantastic. Kastle FX line up ain't cheap, they are also doctor and lawyer skis, yet I am a scientist and lyft driver. Once you know how to (and can physically, they are STIFF) flex them and get some speed, they open up beautifully. The reason I rec'd Wailers with their shorter radius, you also said you're a bit novice. You want the ski to be able to do some work for you and hook up turns easily. With wider underfoot dimensions you need to do more work and it takes longer to get them from edge to edge in turns. Yeah we can straightline a couloir on a 30m radius and wide underfoot, but we're no Hoji and I will probably poop myself.

I don't like using those website helpers, Kastle says I can't really ski any of theirs because I am too fat (I'm only 215 and 6'1"!!!!) where I have ski'd, and rather successfully, almost all their TX and FX line up.

A further confounding ski might be the Voile V6, you can find them cheaper than DPS for sure and they ski well. I am not big on cap constructed skis and would prefer abs sidewall but thats because I am very fat according to the Austrians and I prefer stiffer skis (cap is also lighter so good for BC skiing). 
Timothy Case · · Boulder, CO · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

+1 on the Rossi 7 series...have used them with Ion bindings front, side and backcountry...even raced 'em in the GT this past year...have a buddy who Teles on 'em too...great, affordable ski!

brian burke · · santa monica, ca · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 130
Timothy Case wrote: ...even raced 'em in the GT this past year...

burly, those are a far cry from rando sticks....

J.C.P. · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 0
Tapawingo Markey wrote: Because they’re rad.
Two full sheets of prepreg carbon (maintains the ski’s flex much longer than those all wood skis), full sized wrap around metal edges (not that thin strip of metal some companies use), and a harder base material = a ski that will last much longer and ski much better in pow and crud than those noodles you mentioned (specifically the Rossi suggestion). 
Plus they’re made in the USA.
All that being said yes they are pricey, and yes you should demo all you can prior to buying, and your money would be best served on getting a quality boot/fit. But if you got some disposable income they’re the way to go.

Compelling...but hey, you have to come up with some reasons to make yourself feel good about overspending on a pair of skis...


 
Tapawingo Markey · · Reno? · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 75
J.C.P. wrote:

Compelling...but hey, you have to come up with some reasons to make yourself feel good about overspending on a pair of skis...


 

Who said anything about overspending? Also, let me guess you wear Climb X shoes and use Rock Empire cams.

Rando Calrissian · · Denver · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 45
Tapawingo Markey wrote:

Who said anything about overspending? Also, let me guess you wear Climb X shoes and use Rock Empire cams.

bbwwwahahahahaha 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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