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Getting back into Slalom Skiing, is the new gear really any different?


Smokedvw

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Hi,

So I rarely skied much as a kid, I mainly just did it for fun a handful of times.  I then got a 2001 VLX Sunsetter this summer and wanted to get back into skiing.  I have gone about 12 times this summer on 4 different skis.

I am 6'2 185 lbs, I would consider myself fairly athletic and do various water sports.  I have had a great time picking the sport up and enjoying riding.  I find I am getting quite the workout on the water skiing to say the least ;). We do not have a course on my lake so I will only ever be cruising behind the boat.   I usually try to get out early morning so there is not any other waves on the lake but sometimes I'm stuck with a little chop (ideally I would just go first thing in the morning but getting a driver is not always the easiest :P )I have noticed a massive difference on the Comp World Tour and Attack vs the HO Freeride.  I could carve a lot harder on those 2.  I found the Connelly had more spray back to me but that was really because I wasn't committing to my cuts and taking on too aggressive cuts compared to me actually flying across the wake ;).   Little too fast on some of them.

  • Brand new HO freeride dual boot 69"
  • Old Connelly that was way to short 
  • Obrien Comp World Tour single boot and slip in 72" (30 years old)
  • Connelly Attack dual boots 68.5", Ceramic Graphite, lots of adjustments and a wing on the rear fin (20 years old)

My plan is to buy the Connelly Attack ($125) after using it but I do really wonder would I notice much of a difference if I was to go buy a new Radar, OBrien or Connelly vs the older ones? 

At this point I am really needing to work on my technique and cant wait to check out some videos on progression and how to improve my skiing, my learning is all based on what I can remember and trying things out.  I can for sure see that on the Attack I could really carve hard (usually too hard) for the speed I could control to fly over the wake ;)

I figured if I go with the older one for the rest of the season and next season I should be able to then decide about getting a new ski if needed.  My question is though would getting a newer ski help in that progression or is it really time on the water?  I find in a lot of sports the equipment is part of the different in progressing from a intermediate to expert level but a lot of the time you can still get most of the way on half decent gear.

I know wake boards have drastically changed over time (weight, rockers etc) but water ski's have also been around way longer.  

Here are some photos of the ski, it looks fairly decent in design vs some of the newer ones.

s-l1600.jpgs-l1600.jpgs-l1600.jpg

Thank you

Edited by Smokedvw
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Step up to a newer radar senate, You'll notice the difference.  A lot of things have changed in 20 years.

I'd recommend a 67 at your size

Something like this

https://www.ski-it-again.com/php/skiitagain.php?endless=summer&topic=Search&category=Slalom&postid=56762

or this

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2020-Radar-Alloy-Senate-Ski-w-Vector-BOA-RTP-SM-or-STD/174393800833?hash=item289aae3881:g:7XMAAOSw0qFfNti0

Edited by oldjeep
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Bear  in mind the OP is in Canada.  And even the cheapest decent slalom with bindings will run well over a grand CAD.  New D3 with T-factors is $2500 CAD.  I would search out options on blems from wileyski.com (Darren is great)5

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So you r question was, "is new gear really any different?"

YES!! I went from a mid 1990's HO VTX to a 2017 HO Superlite CX - Like switching from a station wagon to a sports car. Mot only so much more fun to ski on, but also worlds easier on the body (I am 62, ski the course 2-3 days a week). If you have a water sports shop in your area, see if there's anything to demo. HO has a good demo program, don't know if available in Canada

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2 hours ago, oldjeep said:

Step up to a newer radar senate, You'll notice the difference.  A lot of things have changed in 20 years.

I'd recommend a 67 at your size

Something like this

https://www.ski-it-again.com/php/skiitagain.php?endless=summer&topic=Search&category=Slalom&postid=56762

or this

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2020-Radar-Alloy-Senate-Ski-w-Vector-BOA-RTP-SM-or-STD/174393800833?hash=item289aae3881:g:7XMAAOSw0qFfNti0

Yes after posting I did read another post on here about various recommendations and the Radar Senate seems like a good one to go with.   Seems like a good mix of behind the boat out of course and also into a course if I get to a lake with one ;). Looking at their weight chart it shows both 67 or 69.  I think I would go 69 in case friends want to use it as well since they are all closer to 200 lbs.

I am in Canada so probably all of these skis will be over $1000 CAD.

My thought is since I will only have 2 more weekends at the lake to maybe go with the used Connelly for this season and then over winter find a Radar Senate and pick it up for hopefully a discount during that time.  Does look like a great ski. 

I wore 2 double boots before but debating if I should go with a full boot in the front and one of these half boots in the rear.  HRT looks like you can come out if needed vs the others I was super locked in.  Then again not sure whats better in a wipe out.

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Definitely go with the new tech skis. They ski easier and faster. Any practice with older skis will be building bad habits that will have to be undone.

everyone I ski with swears by the radar senate. I have an HO Cx super life and love it.

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Radar and HO both have great skis for whatever speed you want to ski at. Something like the Union is the same shape as the Senate just a bit bigger, so you can ski a bit slower.  HO make similar skis that are awesome.  The 2021 models are just out, so you might find a deal on a nice one at Wileys or Skiitagain. 

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As others have noted, new equipment has improved a lot.  The ski companies have improved the design (shapes), adjustable fin boxes (which makes a big difference), materials (carbon fiber, lightweight cores) and have introduced more comfortable bindings.  You should be able to find a really nice ski / set of bindings on clearance or even used (ski-it-again or others) at an attractive price.  Don't forget to replace your rope and handle if older.  Happy shopping.

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It seems the HO's are slightly cheaper or at least you can find better deals on them.  What would be their equivalent to the Radar Senate?

And when we say the Union can be skied at a slower speed ~30MPH what is the real difference between 30 and 32-33?  Is it just the wake is smaller and your cutting quicker to get over it?  I notice at 30 mph the wake is for sure higher vs when we went faster just to see the difference.

Looks like you can find HO Omni's for pretty cheap.

Edited by Smokedvw
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2 minutes ago, Rednucleus said:

The carbon omni is a great all around ski, and fine in the 30 to 34 mph range.

The carbon's seem to be about the same as the Senate, normal Omni I can find cheaper then again I'm only planning on buying one ski ;)

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I went from a 2007 HO Triumph to a used 2016 Radar Senate Alloy this summer. I was worried that the Senate being narrower than the Triumph would make it less stable or more of a nervous of a ski, however I find the Senate much easier to ski on and it is incredible stable. It responds well and my offside turn has improved simply because I've changed skis. I was debating between going with the normal Omni or the Senate, and think either ski would be a great choice for your needs. I highly recommend the Senate Alloy. Apparently they made some significant changes for the 2017 and newer models. The Senate will definitely grow with you as you progress your skiing.  

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16 minutes ago, Smokedvw said:

The carbon's seem to be about the same as the Senate, normal Omni I can find cheaper then again I'm only planning on buying one ski ;)

Same as which senate? - there are 4 versions - prices are blanks, no bindings

Alloy - $600 MSRP

Graphite - $700 MSRP

Lithium - $1000 MSRP

Pro - $1600 MSRP

That being said, if you find leftovers you can pay maybe half that.  

Problem is that it seems like Covid impacted the supplies which are mostly made in China, so it isn't a great year to be looking for deals.

Edited by oldjeep
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23 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

Same as which senate? - there are 4 versions - prices are blanks, no bindings

Alloy - $600 MSRP

Graphite - $700 MSRP

Lithium - $1000 MSRP

Pro - $1600 MSRP

That being said, if you find leftovers you can pay maybe half that.  

Problem is that it seems like Covid impacted the supplies which are mostly made in China, so it isn't a great year to be looking for deals.

I was looking at the Senate Alloy.  I don't really see many great deals on them seeing as there is only really another month or so left of summer... at least up here in Canada ;)

The 2019's I'm finding are only about $100 off that price.  The HO's on the other hand I can find a HO Omni for $200 on the house but no bindings.  At this point I think ill look around for some deals as the winter approaches as I wont be able to ski after labour day much anyways and getting them shipped, cross boarder etc is going to be tight for a long weekend ski vs waiting into winter to see what everyone does with their 2020 stock but if its any resemblance of 2019 stuff there is no real discount from what I'm seeing.  Unlike snowboard gear I have bought out of season.

I really do think Covid is impacting prices, less inventory, more people spending time at the lakes etc.  

I really don't mind buying a used ski either since everything I'm finding after shipping, duty, taxes etc will for sure be well over $1000 CAD in the Radar's.  I will keep my eye on ski again as well not sure if there are other sites that would be worthwhile monitoring along with ebay?

@pmm009 Thanks for the info :)

Edited by Smokedvw
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6 minutes ago, Smokedvw said:

I was looking at the Senate Alloy.  I don't really see many great deals on them seeing as there is only really another month or so left of summer... at least up here in Canada ;)

The 2019's I'm finding are only about $100 off that price.  The HO's on the other hand I can find a HO Omni for $200 on the house but no bindings.  At this point I think ill look around for some deals as the winter approaches as I wont be able to ski after labour day much anyways and getting them shipped, cross boarder etc is going to be tight for a long weekend ski vs waiting into winter to see what everyone does with their 2020 stock but if its any resemblance of 2019 stuff there is no real discount from what I'm seeing.  Unlike snowboard gear I have bought out of season.

I really do think Covid is impacting prices, less inventory, more people spending time at the lakes etc.  

I really don't mind buying a used ski either since everything I'm finding after shipping, duty, taxes etc will for sure be well over $1000 CAD in the Radar's.  I will keep my eye on ski again as well not sure if there are other sites that would be worthwhile monitoring along with ebay?

@pmm009 Thanks for the info :)

After the LWE, there will be some deals, but choices are limited.  ShuswapSkiandBoard has deals all winter long with the boat show prices pretty good - maybe 20% more off the current pricing.  Bindings are not gonna be cheap though.  (I can't beleive how much new ones are!) I have some kicking around I'd let go for cheap.  Just gotta find them.

If you are waiting call Darren at Wileyski.com and see if they are getting/have blems.  I got one a couple years back and you have to look really hard to see the issue.  Is a super nice slalom for less than half local pricing, even after shipping and cross-border crap.   Also, lots of places in Ontario are dumping skis now; Google is your friend.

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25 minutes ago, Eagleboy99 said:

After the LWE, there will be some deals, but choices are limited.  ShuswapSkiandBoard has deals all winter long with the boat show prices pretty good - maybe 20% more off the current pricing.  Bindings are not gonna be cheap though.  (I can't beleive how much new ones are!) I have some kicking around I'd let go for cheap.  Just gotta find them.

If you are waiting call Darren at Wileyski.com and see if they are getting/have blems.  I got one a couple years back and you have to look really hard to see the issue.  Is a super nice slalom for less than half local pricing, even after shipping and cross-border crap.   Also, lots of places in Ontario are dumping skis now; Google is your friend.

Yeah I'm going to call Mike tomorrow they have a 2019.  

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On 8/19/2020 at 10:52 AM, Eagleboy99 said:

If you are waiting call Darren at Wileyski.com and see if they are getting/have blems.

This is worth repeating.  Darren will hook you up.  

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I picked up a 67 Senate Alloy 2020, excited to try it out this weekend.   I'll report back and thanks for the suggestions.  

Shout out to Propaganda in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan for giving me a end of season deal, ended up being the cheapest place in the US or Canada.  Seems like everyone else has super low inventory and not moving on prices.  There were apparently 0 Senate's left in the Canadian warehouse as of last week... looks like covid ended up pushing out the inventory and people staying at home were hitting their cabins ;)

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Smokedvw said:

I picked up a 67 Senate Alloy 2020, excited to try it out this weekend.   I'll report back and thanks for the suggestions.  

Congrats! You are going to notice a huge difference between this and the old stuff you were using. Enjoy it!

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