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brad72

slalom ski recommendation 18 years on

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brad72

Hi to all those who can slalom. I am looking for a bit of help in choosing the right ski without the ski shop salesman trying to sell me the slow moving stock because I don't know any better.

I am 41, a little unfit, 180lb and 6' tall and haven't skied in 20 years. My last ski was a Kidder with wrap binding and a wing on the fin. The lakes we ski on are not huge but can get choppy when the wind gets up or the other boats and jet ski's churn everything up. I am looking for a fun free skier and will not be running the coarse as none of lakes have one, except for the ski club lake that is closed due to e-coli levels being too high.

I looked at the Radar P6 but worry this will be too wide and sluggish. The HO comp freeride looks good as does the Radar Theory but the locals do not carry these so something I would need to purchase online. I am thinking a 67" would be a good length to make the ski a little more agile but still make deep water starts a little less strenuous and enable longer runs without getting stuffed too quickly.

As a caveat the Radar Theory and HO match the boats colours and this seems important these days :biggrin:

Thanks for your help

Edited by brad72

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davemac

You left out what speed you ski at (an important factor), but think you are on the mark w/ a 67". Either the Theory or HO would be good, and will be worlds beyond the old Kidder. Good luck.

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ahopkinsVTX

I am going to suggest the Radar Senate, non "C" version. It will be very forgiving in not perfect conditions and to skiing styles. It is a wider ski so deep water starts will be easier and it will be stable on edge. I think 67" should be ok too. The senate will perform good from 28-32mph. I suggest at least 30 or 31 for you because you don't want to ski too slow, it takes more effort and will actually be harder due to the ski riding lower in the water.

I know the senate is a little higher in Radar's lineup, but you have to remember in today's slalom world just because a ski is "high-end" does not mean it can't be skied at slower speeds. I am on an A3 and I have skied it at 30-31mph for clinic and when I ski the course I start at 32mph and work into 34-36. The ski responds the same at all speeds. What I am trying to say is when I move up in speeds I know what the ski is going to do from 32 to 34, I just need to react a little quicker, but not rush, due to the speed increase.

I believe the HO Coefficient, non "x" version is the equivalent of the senate. I don't have any experience with it or know anyone who does though.

I strongly suggest demoing skis. I'm not sure if that is available in Australia, but if it is do it. Some shops make you put money down but it goes towards the final purchase typically.

I don't know if you have thought about boots yet. You said you had a Kidder high wrap, was that double or single with a rear tow strap? I would suggest going with whatever you had 20 years ago. Both Radar and HO offer very good mid-range boots that will perform well and are comfortable. Try them on in the shop before you buy. Both Radar and HO use the same hole pattern.

Lastly, whichever ski you decide on will come with a wing. If you are just free skiing I would leave it on and see how it feels. Or even when you are demoing the ski make a few passes with the wing and then right away make a few more without so both are fresh in your head. I would do the same if you can't demo but when you purchase. You can save the angle of the wing when you take it off if you scribe a light line on the fin before you remove the wing.

Hope this helps!

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Timmo

At least you have the priorities right, colour coordination is vitally important to being able to ski at a decent level. One ski that hasn't been mentioned is the O'Brien World Team. My brother owns one and I use it from time to time and have found it easy to ski on, no problems with deep water starts and it can let you get pretty low on the turns if you push it hard. Maybe worth a look. It's also not too expensive.

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happypappy

I am going to suggest the Radar Senate, non "C" version. It will be very forgiving in not perfect conditions and to skiing styles. It is a wider ski so deep water starts will be easier and it will be stable on edge. I think 67" should be ok too. The senate will perform good from 28-32mph. I suggest at least 30 or 31 for you because you don't want to ski too slow, it takes more effort and will actually be harder due to the ski riding lower in the water.

I know the senate is a little higher in Radar's lineup, but you have to remember in today's slalom world just because a ski is "high-end" does not mean it can't be skied at slower speeds. I am on an A3 and I have skied it at 30-31mph for clinic and when I ski the course I start at 32mph and work into 34-36. The ski responds the same at all speeds. What I am trying to say is when I move up in speeds I know what the ski is going to do from 32 to 34, I just need to react a little quicker, but not rush, due to the speed increase.

I believe the HO Coefficient, non "x" version is the equivalent of the senate. I don't have any experience with it or know anyone who does though.

I strongly suggest demoing skis. I'm not sure if that is available in Australia, but if it is do it. Some shops make you put money down but it goes towards the final purchase typically.

I don't know if you have thought about boots yet. You said you had a Kidder high wrap, was that double or single with a rear tow strap? I would suggest going with whatever you had 20 years ago. Both Radar and HO offer very good mid-range boots that will perform well and are comfortable. Try them on in the shop before you buy. Both Radar and HO use the same hole pattern.

Lastly, whichever ski you decide on will come with a wing. If you are just free skiing I would leave it on and see how it feels. Or even when you are demoing the ski make a few passes with the wing and then right away make a few more without so both are fresh in your head. I would do the same if you can't demo but when you purchase. You can save the angle of the wing when you take it off if you scribe a light line on the fin before you remove the wing.

Hope this helps!

Do the demo thing.. YOur ski shop/pro shop should be able to have a demo day for you and others to try out their skis. Don't be afraid to try it for a weekend.

That being said, you can take any of the top end skis and adjust them to your liking and needs. Adjustments in bindings, fin and wing all make huge differences.

And get a lesson or 2 in on the new ski...much easier to learn new habits, than to break bad habits....and right now it sounds as if you have a clean slate to start from. A good instructor should have you skiing the course by the end of the day.

And if ya find out that skiing is not your forte, at least you'll look good behind the boat..

Edited by happypappy

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CumminsBu

The Radar Senate is an awesome ski, I moved up to it after riding the Theory for about a year. Like you I was restarting after a 7yr break. If I would do it again over again, I would have started with the Senate.

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ahopkinsVTX

Do the demo thing.. YOur ski shop/pro shop should be able to have a demo day for you and others to try out their skis. Don't be afraid to try it for a weekend.

That being said, you can take any of the top end skis and adjust them to your liking and needs. Adjustments in bindings, fin and wing all make huge differences.

And get a lesson or 2 in on the new ski...much easier to learn new habits, than to break bad habits....and right now it sounds as if you have a clean slate to start from. A good instructor should have you skiing the course by the end of the day.

And if ya find out that skiing is not your forte, at least you'll look good behind the boat..

I would recommend that you don't mess with fin settings or binding settings. The manufactures dial them in at the factory now to pretty much the best setting for that ski. A lot of pros will even agree with me on this. I am still skiing stock setting and mostly everyone I ski leaves them alone too.

Changing settings can help.... But most of the time it leads to frustration and no progress. The best way to change your skiing and improve is to improve your body position and movements on the water. And that's where a lesson can make a huge difference. I'm not sure if he does but I would check to see if Aaron Larkin does clinics. He is from New Zealand and is a great guy. If Seth Stisher ever travels that way, I highly highly suggest setting up a lesson with him. Best coach in my opinion and great all around guy.

Edited by ahopkins1988

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Woodski

Good suggestions above, my advice is to demo as many skis as you can before you buy. Each ski or brand tends to have a general personality or set of traits that you either like or really don't like or can not make work for you. The last thing you want to do is end up on a ski that does not fit your style, demoing avoids that pitfall. Assuming you liked your Kidder, and the Redline in particular was a great ski in its day, I would strongly suggest demoing a D3, which is Denny Kidders latest company. The skis are very easy to get up on, extremely smooth and consistent and have a wide sweet spot. They also have an excellent demo program, I suggest you call them and check ask how it might work across the pond. Good luck and have fun!

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brad72

Thanks so much for the replies and advice guys.

@ Ahopkins and Davemac, regarding speed I used to ski around 30mph so I think the skis you all suggested all fall into that speed range. As for bindings it was the single high wrap with adjustable toe strap and plate . I only have 2 shops locally so will see what demo's they have and if not travel to Brisbane which is about 1 1/2 hours away and try them.

My wife still needs to get her licence so at least I can do some homework and get the right ski that feels good.

Edited by brad72

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davemac

Brad, Looks like you have gotten some good advice, and are on track. Be mindful that an individual boat's wake characteristics can be considerably different between 30, 32, and 34 mph. Don't be afraid to experiment with different speeds or rope lengths. Maybe check it out before you get back there. For instance, you may find the wake to be much smaller at 32, and be more happy skiing at that speed. With regard to rope length.. On most boats, it seems like the 22 off rope length puts you in the rooster tail.

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brad72

Brad, Looks like you have gotten some good advice, and are on track. Be mindful that an individual boat's wake characteristics can be considerably different between 30, 32, and 34 mph. Don't be afraid to experiment with different speeds or rope lengths. Maybe check it out before you get back there. For instance, you may find the wake to be much smaller at 32, and be more happy skiing at that speed. With regard to rope length.. On most boats, it seems like the 22 off rope length puts you in the rooster tail.

I have not been behind our SSLxi yet but you can see the wake shrink once 30mph is reached. Whether I will ever get t 22 off remains to be seen. I can already feel my body aching in anticipation of my first time out, but looking forward to it.

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brad72

I would strongly suggest demoing a D3, which is Denny Kidders latest company. The skis are very easy to get up on, extremely smooth and consistent and have a wide sweet spot. They also have an excellent demo program, I suggest you call them and check ask how it might work across the pond. Good luck and have fun!

To be honest I hadn't even though about the new Kidders so I will see who has stock of this one and see if I can demo it.

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ahopkinsVTX

For boots I would suggest the ho attack or basis. The attack will be a bit stuff as it is their mid range boot but should still be comfy. The basis is extremely comfortable but not as stiff so it won't react as quickly to your movements. You may want that now but you may want the attack later as you progress so you might want to consider that. Radars top boot is the strada and that's what I use. It's quite still but still comfortable in my opinion. It's a bit more though. Both ho and radar have very comparable boots. The apex is ho's version of the strada but I didn't like how it felt and radar has comparable boots to the attack and basis boots. The midrange boots will be a bit easier on the wallet over the strada or apex.

Also, just remember you are different than me and the next person so like said above try as much as you can. There are many good products out there. Connelly and O'Brien make great stuff too. I just personally don't like them as much as HO and Radar.

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happypappy

I would recommend that you don't mess with fin settings or binding settings. The manufactures dial them in at the factory now to pretty much the best setting for that ski. A lot of pros will even agree with me on this. I am still skiing stock setting and mostly everyone I ski leaves them alone too. Changing settings can help.... But most of the time it leads to frustration and no progress. The best way to change your skiing and improve is to improve your body position and movements on the water. And that's where a lesson can make a huge difference. I'm not sure if he does but I would check to see if Aaron Larkin does clinics. He is from New Zealand and is a great guy. If Seth Stisher ever travels that way, I highly highly suggest setting up a lesson with him. Best coach in my opinion and great all around guy.

Depending on what level you want to achieve..the factory settings are a good place to start, but most will make significant and numerous fin changes/adjustments in how you and the ski will work in tandom.....adjustments are almost always going to be needed, specially if you are wanting to get into tournament level skiing. But you can read up on several sites about fin position, what adjustments will do and how to improve your weakness(s). The most knowledgable is Steve Schnitzer: http://www.schnitzskis.com/. As you can read on his site, Steve has worked with all the top skiers in making adjustments not only to their fin, but boot position. I am sure Steve would love to make a trip to Australia for a day lesson. ha ha

Not sure how they'd handle the shipping, but Wileys has been around as long as I have been skiing, which is a few decades..but try these folks. https://www.wileyski.com/

Darrin is the owner, knows his product line, and is good buds with Denny Kidder, as Denny lives about a 1/2 hr south of his store.

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brad72

Can't thank you guys enough for the fantastic advice. I have learnt more in these 14 replies than a week of trolling through google.

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Falko

If you are looking for a free-ski, maybe look into the Radar Satori as well. I have a P-6 and a World Cup, the P-6 is sluggish (from the guys on my boat who have skied them both.)

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Andrew63

Where do you normally ski?

When you mentioned 1 1/2 to brisbane, sounds like you are on the Tweed.

Guessing by the. Roller comment, Moogera, could not agree more. Unless you camp there for a week to permit early morning or late afternoon skis, you rarly get glass.

Trialled the tweed from the Condong ramp, not bad, we went on a sat and we had another 6 boats on the river back in late august.

Have been up to Somerset a few times. The spit has been good, being a larger lake with quite a few reaches, you can find a reasonable patch.

But, you can't go past Big river ski lodge at Grafton. Camp there a week & once the weekenders head home you almost have the park & river to yourself.

We started again after almost a 20 year break, got busy with building a new house & starting a familly.

Started back on the old ski, tried a mates Connolly F1 ski & the difference was amazing how the skis & bindings change.

None of our group are course skiers, just weekend hackers out for a bit of fun.

Good luck

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brad72

Where do you normally ski?

When you mentioned 1 1/2 to brisbane, sounds like you are on the Tweed.

Guessing by the. Roller comment, Moogera, could not agree more. Unless you camp there for a week to permit early morning or late afternoon skis, you rarly get glass.

Trialled the tweed from the Condong ramp, not bad, we went on a sat and we had another 6 boats on the river back in late august.

Have been up to Somerset a few times. The spit has been good, being a larger lake with quite a few reaches, you can find a reasonable patch.

But, you can't go past Big river ski lodge at Grafton. Camp there a week & once the weekenders head home you almost have the park & river to yourself.

We started again after almost a 20 year break, got busy with building a new house & starting a familly.

Started back on the old ski, tried a mates Connolly F1 ski & the difference was amazing how the skis & bindings change.

None of our group are course skiers, just weekend hackers out for a bit of fun.

Good luck

I'm up in Toowoomba so Atkinson or Dyer at the moment just because they are close. Ski shop said Leslie is meant to be good and not that busy and I have heard that Moogera can get pretty rough. I saw some adds for the Grafton ski lodge so will definitely have to give that a go some time.

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Andrew63

If you have tried Atkinson, Somerset is close.

Went to Atkinson on the Australia Day weekend last season, 1st time. Found it open & similar the Moogerah with regard to both wind chop & rollers.

Should give Somerset a go from the spit, no camping at the spit, just a day area. You can camp below the wall at Somerset village.

The top end of the dam at Kirkleigh gets busy with the camp ground on the lake.

We have been camping at Grafton for the annual holidays a few seasons now. go the 1st week of the school holidays at Xmas mid December, shoulder season & quiet. Would be about a 4.5 hour trip each way rom Toowoomba. Takes us 3 hr 15 from Ormeau.

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Sixball

:plus1: On Wiley's Excellent people. If you are looking for a very good hi wrap rubber binding look at Wiley's Hi wrap. Very comfy and a very good binding. I also agree with Woodski on have a look at D3 not as well known but make some outstanding skies.

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Timmo

:plus1: On Wiley's Excellent people. If you are looking for a very good hi wrap rubber binding look at Wiley's Hi wrap. Very comfy and a very good binding. I also agree with Woodski on have a look at D3 not as well known but make some outstanding skies.

Agree with you re: Wiley's. Wife and I did a 9 week road trip around the US 2 years ago, I stopped at every Malibu dealer and ski shop that I could and Wiley's was one of the best, a real ski shop. The guys there were great even though all I bought was a T shirt (I'd pushed our baggage allowance to the limit the day before at Bakes).

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