Is there ANY advantage to hiring anything but economy skis?

Is there ANY advantage to hiring anything but economy skis?
Started by Kowal.Ski in Ski Hardware - 31 Replies
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J2Ski
Jan-2017
Far Queue
Nice post KLS, and I think this demonstrates exactly why it is good to try different skis.

To me the Head is an OK ski, but for piste perfection I prefer the Volkl Racetiger GS.

Now the only way either of us can know what ski we prefer, is to get on to different skis and ski the heck out of them until we arrive at our own preference.

It may be that you prefer the type of ski you currently use, but I seriously suspect that you will find a whole new world once you start to try new skis.
Jan-2017
Felthorpe
I bought my skis after hiring a pair and finding they really suited me. I had struggled with hire skis up until then but went for a more expensive category and the difference was amazing. Perhaps I just got lucky? Having skied on them for a few years now I realise that technology has moved on and perhaps I should consider trying new skis again. I will definitely hire though until I find a pair that suit me again. Buying without trying is not sensible IMO.
I can see my house from here...
Feb-2017
Kowal.Ski
Thank you all for your responses.

I returned 2 weeks ago from an intensive 7 days of skiing in Les Deux Alpes (easily the most skiing I have done in a week) and after so many years of not paying any attention at all to my (cheap) hire skis (other then their length and binding settings) I finally noted down what skis I was given and they were:

Atomic Variofiber 171cm 120 73 105 radius 15m

When I asked the hire ship about these skis they were classed as "economique" and 3-4 years old and here's the interesting thing: despite there being a total of 5 different priced categories to choose from when booking, there were just two categories to select from in the hire shop with a similar number of skis in each range. Unfortunately, I don't know at which price category you get bumped into the non-economique range.

I asked about the "other" range and they were younger and/or stiffer skis (and I was given the distinct impression that younger equated to stiffer as he suggested that they got softer with use).

I mentioned that I had never skied on anything but the cheapest and wondered what the difference felt like. I asked if there was any chance of trialling them for a day later on in the week but was told that there was a totally unreasonable upgrade cost for doing this.

In case I just got the wrong member of staff, I asked again on my penultimate day and was told the same - I even asked to borrow them for just one run down from the top but there was no budging them.

Whatever you may think of the skis I was given, as far as I was concerned, they were absolutely spot on and coped very well for just under 350 miles of skiing on a variety of slopes (every one that was open). Most were well-groomed, wide slopes, others were very icy but manageable. The only slope that was really tricky was the main blue run back down to the resort - but only at the end of the day when it was very busy and the snow had been pushed around to reveal the underlying solid ice bed. My skis had good edges that coped well on all other icy slopes but they slid on this slope which wasn't good when there were so many people around (most of who were also not coping well). Luckily I found an alternate way down later on in the week (an icy black that was so much easier and much less crowded).

Even though my cheap "bottom end" skis have always been excellent in my view, I am nevertheless determined to try out some "better" skis in the future. My cautious plan for my next trip is to again rent the cheap ones for the week but also include a pair of "second best" skis for one day towards the end. As I will no doubt be going to a new resort, this allows me to get used to the slopes and snow conditions in order to fairly compare the "better" skis against what I am used to. If I like them more then that is the way forward for future trips - otherwise, if they are worse for me or no different, then I'll be happy to stay with the bottom end skis knowing that they are well suited to me.
Edited 1 time. Last update at 13-Feb-2017
Feb-2017
Bedrock barney
I remain somewhat baffled with this particular topic. You state that the skis were from the budget range, that they were spot on and that all your previous budget skis have been excellent.

I'm not sure what enhancements you are expecting over and above 'spot on' and 'excellent'?

If you are happy with budget skis, stick with them!
slippy slidey snow......me likey!
Edited 1 time. Last update at 13-Feb-2017
Feb-2017
Furthy34
Kowal.ski
I am training towards ISIA ski teaching qualification.
In answer to your original question I would say if you played tennis for 1 week a year would playing with the same tennis racket as Roger Federer as opposed to a well maintained 'middle of the road' racket make you play any better? And the answer is almost certainly "no" and the same applies to skiing and skis.
Of course ski hire shops want people to believe that expensive hire skis will somehow magically transform your skiing and hence get more money out of you but the truth is they won't improve your skiing.
The money would be far better spent on having some lessons.
As long as the skis have been serviced then you are right to hire the cheapest in the shop.
I say well done to you for not getting sucked in.
PS Some people believe that spending £1000 plus on the same clubs as Rory McIlroy will make them play like him. If only it were that easy!
Edited 1 time. Last update at 13-Feb-2017
Feb-2017
Ranchero_1979
Okay F34 how about this scenario. Skier 10 plus weeks and trying to master powder. Completely agree lessons should be step one , however is difficult to dismiss fact that hiring fatter skis would give them the confidence to stay centered on the skis?
Yes if you are a confident powder skier and willing to go at reasonable speed you can cope with all but deepest powder even on piste skis but renting the right equipment for the job can be a stepping stone.
Feb-2017
Agysler
F34, you are correct that lessons will help an inordinate amount, but do you seriously believe what you wrote to be 100% true? If you do, then please tell me that you are still skiing on the same skis you were in the 80's. I bet not! Why? Because technology DOES improve how a ski behaves for a given ability. Whilst not always the case by a long shot, typically a £400 ski will have MUCH BETTER manners than a £200 ski.

Skis will NEVER replace or mend deficiencies in technique, BUT they can make the job of learning easier. After all they are tools, and better tools can often be easier to use, helping to accelerate the learning curve.

Take one or two simple characteristics like vibration damping and edge hold; there are a multitude of solutions offered by as many manufacturers, some more effective than others. One thing is unanimously agreed upon though and that is solving or reducing the 'bad' characteristics WILL make the ski easier to use and thus make it a whole lot more pleasurable for the user.
Feb-2017
Billip2
This was quite interesting, I thought:

http://www.paullorenzclinics.com/which-skis-are-the-best-for-you

Topic last updated on 02-November-2018 at 12:16

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