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CarveItUp

Learning about skiing (and skis)

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CarveItUp

Hi all,

I started skiing last September and am really enjoying it to the point that skiing is almost always my first choice when we hit the water. I'm eager to learn more about the sport and am going to try to hook up with the local ski club. I'm sure I'll be able to learn a lot by watching beter skiers and will hopefully pick up some pointers that will help me improve.

I've only skied on our 2000 HO Charger (69" with HO high wrap and toe plate). I've found the ski to be very stable (and probably very forgiving of my lack of technique). I haven't run the course yet but feel like I'm progressing in my free skiing. I've made it to the point now where I can definitely tell the difference in my on- and off-side turns, am releasing the outside hand, am improving the acceleration out of the turn, and feel very comfortable at 30 - 32 MPH.

I'm curious, though, to learn more about ski and skiing styles. I feel like I'm ready to start getting more aggressive and would appreciate feedback on how far my Charger can take me (getting in to the course sounds like fun).

Being new at this, how do you know when it's time to step up to "more" ski? I don't have any complaints about the Charger but there's a part of me that's kind of interested to see what else is out there.

Any thoughts from the ski gurus on progression from beginner to aspiring course skier?

Thanks,

Mike

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NorCaliBu

Easy answer....Demo.

I have noticed that skiers either like HO skis or KD skis. I've met very few (actually can't think of any) that like both. Without being able to watch you ski it's impossible to make a valid recommendation (although some may try Biggrin.gif ). Your best bet would be to find a local dealer that has demos and try some different sticks to see which one works best for you. That being said, the HO CDX is by far the most popular ski on this site, just read the "Which Ski?" thread, and can be had through Wiley's.

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CarveItUp

I kind of figured it would be hard to give specific advice. The Charger has been really nice so far in free skiing on the lake. I'm sure it will be better in a course than I will be for quite a while.

One other question: are the CDXs of the world versatile enough to be fun free skiing or are they really just for the course?

If only we had a local place to demo skis! Sounds like a dream. Are there any places within a reasonable distance of Oroville that demo? Might be fun to try one out when we're down at COW with the rest of the "herd"...

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Slurpee

I ski a charger as well. I noticed that my style became a lot more confident after getting double animal boots. Wipeouts scared me less since I felt more secure in the ski. You can move your boots to your new stick when/if you upgrade soon as well.

I kind of figured it would be hard to give specific advice. The Charger has been really nice so far in free skiing on the lake. I'm sure it will be better in a course than I will be for quite a while.

One other question: are the CDXs of the world versatile enough to be fun free skiing or are they really just for the course?

If only we had a local place to demo skis! Sounds like a dream. Are there any places within a reasonable distance of Oroville that demo? Might be fun to try one out when we're down at COW with the rest of the "herd"...

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WakeGirl
I kind of figured it would be hard to give specific advice. The Charger has been really nice so far in free skiing on the lake. I'm sure it will be better in a course than I will be for quite a while.

One other question: are the CDXs of the world versatile enough to be fun free skiing or are they really just for the course?

If only we had a local place to demo skis! Sounds like a dream. Are there any places within a reasonable distance of Oroville that demo? Might be fun to try one out when we're down at COW with the rest of the "herd"...

Mike,

Depending on what size you need, you're more than welcome to give Joe's CDX a go whenever you'd like. It's a 67. There aren't any KD dealers that I know of in our area & since the CDX is out of production....it's one of the prices that we pay to live where we do. ;)

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doughickey

Don't forget.... although the CDX is "out of production", that Wiley's in Seattle just had HO build another 500 or so. That's how I got mine just before Christmas.

I think their price is still $349 for the blank. You can also get with double Animals (I think it was $550 range), or a front Animal and a rear adjustable toe piece..... or get the Wiley bindings. (By the way, the "Animal bindings are fantastic. Really mold to your feet.)

When moving up to a newer ski.... you'l find a lot of skis "hunt" for an edge. They don't like riding flat. At first, this is a little intimidating..... but in reality, just forces you to realize that you should really be "on edge" most of the time anyway.

I found the CDX seems to wander less than I expected.

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HOskier313

CarveitUp - I would give the Charger a shot in the course. As Slurpee alluded to earlier, having bindings that tightly secure your feet to the ski makes a huge difference. Perhaps before investing the whole package, demo some new bindings. For the Charger, I would look at either HO's Animals or Venoms, as well as Wiley's bindings.

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88Skier

The Vengence doesn't hunt for an edge. I used to ski a Lapoint Pulse. That ski would hunt and try to dump you if you skied flat too long.

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NorCaliBu
Are there any places within a reasonable distance of Oroville that demo?

Closest would be Hughes Ski Hut in Chico (on the north end of town, right on Hwy 99). I would think that you would be coming through Chico on your way down so if it's during normal business hours...just pick one up on your way through town. Not sure about their Sunday hours though (for returning it). It's about a half hour drive from Oroville.

I would take WakeGirl up on her offer to try Joe's CDX. Won't be any demo's of that one anywhere. Great ski. And like slurpee said, you can upgrade the boots now and move them to a new stick if you're not needing to upgrade your ski right away.

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NorCaliBu

I tried the Wiley's bindings and I wasn't impressed. I love my Animals but I'd like to try the Approach.

Meant to put this in the last post as well.....Hughes Ski Hut

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Addictedto6

re bindings: I was a fan of the phantom/approach boots, but no longer since my injury. While there were multiple contributing factors to my personal situation, I believe there's a design flaw in the straps that run across the top of the foot. the front binding strap comes up much higher on the foot than on the rear binding. if you have equal tension on both boots, it appears that the back will still come out easier. and you definitely don't want one fit in/one out.

(especially upside down Oops.gif )

HO was kind enough to provide a full refund, which I used towards my purchase of Fluid Motion 66s. YMMV, but I believe Paul Jager's design is about the safest out there today. www.jagersport.com.

Edited by Addictedto6

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Addictedto6

re: progression, definitely find a group where you can ski consistently on a course. I found the instructional videos to be very useful as well, Rathburn's 12 slalom drills really helped me early on.

I'm looking forward to getting some ski school or on site instruction later this summer.

Edited by Addictedto6

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NorCaliBu
Rathburn's 12 slalom drills really helped me early on.

Yes.gifYes.gif

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CarveItUp

Just got Rathburn's 12 slalom drills and can see that it's going to be a big help.

Thanks for all the feedback, everyone. I think I'll pick up a set of Venoms (Ski masters in Seattle has the '01s for $175 a pair and they should have the plate to fit my '00 Charger). They sound like a nice next step.

Looking forward to meeting a bunch of the crew this week at Oroville. Got to try out Joe's CDX and see if I can even get up on it!

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onamission

The early Bob Lapoint Video's are very good for starting the learn the course. Skis and binding are should a personal choice, demo all the you can.

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M3Fan

I wouldn't worry about the ski at all at this point. What's going to be key at the point you are (which I was not too long ago) is getting angle and holding edge behind the boat through the wakes. Your strongest pull should be into/across the wake. That seems to be the hardest part to understand for beginner slalom skiers.

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Another option for you is to buy a demo or visit ski-it-again(google that)and they have some stuff that is used and still in good shape. Dealers may be wanting to unload their demos too and you can save some money. I know that many on here are big HO fans and I agree that the CDX is a good ski but, don't discount the CR7 or a D3 Custom 4.

If you just started skiing, now is the time to get in a course so you never get the chance to learn the bad habits that the rest of us learned before going into the course. Take every opportunity to go ski a course that you can and ride along when you're not skiing. Sign up for a clinic in the area and meet some more people. Have fun!

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CarveItUp
I wouldn't worry about the ski at all at this point. What's going to be key at the point you are (which I was not too long ago) is getting angle and holding edge behind the boat through the wakes. Your strongest pull should be into/across the wake. That seems to be the hardest part to understand for beginner slalom skiers.

Right now I'm working on getting the hips up and getting in to the right angle on the pull -- quickly. There's way too much to learn at this point and the way Rathburn breaks things down helps a lot.

Another option for you is to buy a demo or visit ski-it-again(google that)and they have some stuff that is used and still in good shape.  Dealers may be wanting to unload their demos too and you can save some money.  I know that many on here are big HO fans and I agree that the CDX is a good ski but, don't discount the CR7 or a D3 Custom 4.

Thanks for the tips on that. I definitely want to try a KD or D3 at some point to see if I can feel the difference. As a snow skier, I like the idea of skiing a balanced ski but probably don't have enough skill on water yet to even judge the difference. It will still be fun to play around on them though...

If you just started skiing, now is the time to get in a course so you never get the chance to learn the bad habits that the rest of us learned before going into the course.  Take every opportunity to go ski a course that you can and ride along when you're not skiing.  Sign up for a clinic in the area and meet some more people.  Have fun!

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Chef23

The Charger can take you pretty far. I am skiing a 69" Charger right now and am running deep 28 off at 34 mph. I have made 5 a couple of times and a clean pass is right around the corner.

Now I am a big guy 230 lbs but the ski isn't going to hold you back for a long time.

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