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Ski advice - new 34 mph skier

I'm trying to narrow down my options for a new ski. I just recently started skiing 34 mph and feel like a new ski might help me be more consistent and shorten the rope some. I currently ski a Radar Theory, 67 in with RS-1 double boots. I'm 49, weight 150 lbs, and am 5'8". I'm almost done for the season here in Colo but travel a fair amount for work and can probably demo some stuff in FL later this year.


  • HighAltitudeHighAltitude Posts: 88 Baller
    My default starting position would be the Radar Senate. I ski best when I'm early and can make larger controlled turns, so I guess I need a ski that is smooth. I'm only now starting to understand a slow versus a fast ski but not sure which one really applies for my skiing style.
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,319 Mega Baller
    At your level a senate would be fine but you may also find your money is better spend on coaching than equipment. Better technique will get you moving down the line much sooner than a new ski
  • Mike GileMike Gile Posts: 269 Solid Baller
    Senate and coaching
  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 536 Crazy Baller
    Seems like a 67" Theory is too big of a ski for your weight at 34mph. You might try the 65" versions of the Senate, Connelly V or HO mid-range skis (CX, TX, Omni) and see if they work better for you.
  • ColeGiacopuzziColeGiacopuzzi Posts: 377 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    edited September 2017
    I second @Mike Gile Radar Senate, and go with the Graphite. I'd recommend a 65". The lithium is a great choice as well.
    Cole Giacopuzzi • Radar Skis
  • HighAltitudeHighAltitude Posts: 88 Baller
    I've read a few posts here on the various Senates as well as Horton's review of the Lithium Senate. Has anybody done a head to head comparison with the HO Omni?

    I agree that the Theory is a bit too big. The range was 28-32 mph, 135-180 lbs. At the time I was skiing 28-30 mph, so it seemed like the perfect fit.
  • GaryWilkinsonGaryWilkinson Posts: 289 Baller
    Radar Senate for sure.
    And the SIXAM 2.0. Most forgiving ski ever, great for starting the course thru -28 off Although many have gone to 39.5!
    I need to ski back to the handle obviously.
  • WindsurfnutWindsurfnut Posts: 34 Baller
    edited September 2017
    @HighAltitude - I was in a similar position as you, having skied a Theory for a number of years, upgraded to a Senate Alloy. No comparison against the Theory. The theory felt like a tug boat across the wakes, the Senate sliced through them, so much nicer and was far easier to roll on edge. I'm 42yrs old, 5'11, 170 lbs. I free ski at 32 mph and running the course at 15'off 30-32mph. I was looking to upgrade to the Senate Graphite, but also considered the Vapor as I already had the Senate Alloy as a backup and my wifes ski. I posted the question on the forum and to my friends at Radar, and on their recommendation I got bought a Vapor Graphite.
    I'll have to admit, the first few runs on the Vapor scared me. It was lighting fast compared to my Alloy Senate, and I was really nervous about skiing it. I liked the added reaction time of the graphite version, but the ski was just too fast for me. After about 5 sets, and some better water conditions, I absolutely love the Vapor. My offside pull through the wake has improved so much with the Vapor and I find myself looking for more boat speed now and stronger pulls.
    I also liked the Graphite build so much better then the Alloy that I sold the Senate Alloy and bought the Senate Graphite for my wife and my back up ski :smile:

    My point - Senate will be awesome, but perhaps consider a Vapor as well
  • HighAltitudeHighAltitude Posts: 88 Baller
    What does your wife think about the Graphite versus her old Alloy? I thought the Vapor was a 36 mph ski so I wasn't considering it. Interesting that Radar recommended it. Did you ski any of the other brands?
  • bigskieridahobigskieridaho Posts: 853 Crazy Baller
    The Senate is a 32 MPH ski. It will do 34, but I would definitely look at the Vapor if that is what you are looking to do. Also agree with the new HO Omni, looks like a great ski, just don't know much about it yet. The D3 arc would be great option as well.
  • HighAltitudeHighAltitude Posts: 88 Baller
    Now I'm confused...I thought the Senate, the new Carbon V, and the Omni were all in the same category?
  • WindsurfnutWindsurfnut Posts: 34 Baller
    edited September 2017
    Neither my wife or I have skied the Graphite Senate yet, I just ordered it and will have it for next week. I did not try any other brands, we are a Radar loyal family. My son has a TRA as well.
    I thought the same thing, Vapor =36mph.. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Senate at 30-34 mph, but I too was shocked that the Vapor at 32 mph was every bit as stable as the Senate and gained in performance. I'm on a 67, that may help with some flotation as at 36 mph I would have probably bought a 66 for my weight.

    I also found I wanted to be running 33/34mph now with the Vapor versus the 30-32 I was running on the Senate, but I feel every bit as comfortable at that speed as I did previously
  • wilecoyotewilecoyote Posts: 163 Baller
    I'll throw my .02 in for a 2018 Vapor. I'm in the same boat as you, ski nearly every day, rarely get a full 6 a 34MPH 15 off. I took a 2018 Vapor for a demo ride mid season, and got further down my 34MPH pass than I had all season. That was on the 5th pass I'd ever run on the ski. The off side turn was money. I'm currently on a D3 Quest which I like and will continue to ski on, as I just can't justify the money for a new ski right now. I'm stressing the 2018 Vapor as it's not the same ski as the 2017, and it seems to work really well for the 34/15 off crowd.
  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 536 Crazy Baller
    @HighAltitude Yes, the Senate, Carbon V and Omni are in the same category most people seem to call "mid-range" skis. They are a little wider than the top-level skis and designed to be more forgiving and targeted at the skier who freeskiing up to maxing out at around 28off in the course.

    In contrast to what was said earlier, the Senate is a solid 34mph ski, and this whole category is generally designed to have a max speed of 34mph. According to reviews, they work great at 34mph at longer line lengths. I've skied the Senate Alloy and standard Connelly V at 34mph many times -- they work great at that speed.

    I've also skied a modern top-of-the-line ski and found it to be much more nimble, but at my level I found the mid-range skis to be much better suited to me due to the added stability and forgiveness. I usually ski a pass at 30mph/-15, then 32mph/-15, then 34mph/-15. I run about 30%-40% of my 34mph passes. My PB is [email protected]/34mph. All of this on a 2015 Senate Alloy.
  • HighAltitudeHighAltitude Posts: 88 Baller
    Great info. Thanks for all the comments. Luckily my local pro shop has a demo program so I'll try the Senate and the Vapor next year. They also said they will have an Omni I can try as well. I need to find a way to try the Carbon V, but maybe I will do that when on the road.. I tend to believe that an athlete does better in the gear suited for their ability, but like many things, personal preference doesn't always follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Thus, all the comments on the Vapor. While I have been a loyal Radar fan these last three years, I'm trying to go into this with no opinion which is the front runner, and really just select the ski that I can ski the best on. If I can make the same progress I made this year I would be super stoked.
  • SivotaSivota Posts: 108 Baller
    @DaveLemons I commented on another thread
  • HighAltitudeHighAltitude Posts: 88 Baller
    Tried a 2017 Vapor yesterday down at Lapoint Ski Park. It was definitely a bit squirrelly coming from a Theory. I skied two sets and after I got used to the setup ran about 50% of my 32 mph runs. Usually, I'm about 90% behind my boat, at my lake with my Theory. Definitely want to try the Senate, and will also test an Omni and Carbon V before I buy anything. I know the Vapor would be the last ski I would ever need to buy but it ight just be too much ski for me. y goal next year is to get 22 off at 34 mph before the end of the season.
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,452 Mega Baller
    What Vapor? I tried a 2017 probuild. I thought it was less stable than my 16 lithium. I actually didn't get up the first try it felt so different. H2o pro shop has some good deals on Connelly gts on ski it again.
  • Buoyhead69Buoyhead69 Posts: 73 Baller
    I was in a similar situation last year Skiing 32mph 22’ off with a goal of skiing 34mph, I’m 48. Bottom line IMO; get a tournament Ski. D3 Quest 45 worked awesome for me, extremely stable I’d recommend 100%. It replaced my Radar Senate, the Senate is not a true course Ski. A guy I ski with is your size and he skis a 65” I believe 67” is much too big for you. I ski a 67” and I’m 6’1”, 175lbs. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, work on technique. I ran a few last year at 34mph & saw one on video & I looked terrible. 2 guys I ski with are tournament skiers & skied nationals many times & they told me I looked terrible. They said slow it down & learn how to ski properly. It was hard to hear but they were right. They told me how to get my hips & handle in proper position, finish my turns & pull through both wakes properly. I also took a couple lessons at Eden in Ft Myers. And I’m basically addicted to this ridiculously addictive sport & have learned so much & realize Still I know very little. But now I start the boat at 34.2mph, run -22 as my opening pass, I have a half loop (from Brenda at IN TOW, awesome lady) and run that a few times before going to -28 and now into -32 but I haven’t run it yet. 34.2mph is dramatically different than 32, and short line only gets harder so, as said above; Coaching. I’d never be doing this if I didn’t get body position corrected & I’m still light years away from elite skiers.
  • HighAltitudeHighAltitude Posts: 88 Baller
    Great advise. I know I need lessons and luckily, due to my job I travel to places I can get some. Kris Lapoint and Eric (co-owner) gave me a few things to work on when I was at their ski park on Thurs.

    Interesting that the Vapor's are so different based on year and model. I skied a Pro Build and in my extremely humble's not the ski for me. I'll add the D3 ski to my list that I need to try. I'm going to start a new thread on ski construction because I think I have overlooked that aspect of ski design and I really want to know more about it. I wish I had the time and money to ski every different ski, but I don't. This site has to be the single greatest body of knowledge on bouy chasing so I'm counting on the collective knowledge of this site to help me downselect to 3-4 skis to try.
  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 536 Crazy Baller
    My opinion is only one and you and I do not have the same exact athletic abilities or access to water, but I have been in a very similar situation as you. I started off with a mid-level ski, but so many people on this forum made the high-level skis sound so attractive I made the switch. I regretted it and went back to a mid-level ski.

    Frankly, it's a little frustrating to me how many people on this site push skiers at our level to high-end skis. At our level you just don't need a high-end ski and they are harder to ski on (because they are more nimble, less stable, less forgiving than mid-level skis). At your level you still have room to "grow into" a mid-level ski. If in a few years you feel you need to move up to a high-level ski, then do it then. If you are skiing that much you'll want a new ski in a few years anyway.
  • HighAltitudeHighAltitude Posts: 88 Baller
    I agree that the top end equipment is not necessarily the best for skiers who are clearly mid-level skiers. I equate it to golf equipment...just because every single great player hits blades doesn't mean a blade will make me a great player. In fact, just the opposite is true. My handicap will probably rise because the clubs are just too unforgiving for me. In this case, Radar says the Theory is a 28-32 mph ski. I'm trying to ski 34 mph so it makes sense to get a new ski...but I surely don't need the same ski that the pro's are shredding 41 off at 36 mph.
  • mopowpowmopowpow Posts: 317 Baller
    @HighAltitude, I am about your height and weight, a little older and female. My max speed is 32. I bought a 66" Vapor Graphite last summer and thought it was every bit as forgiving as my old D3 Z7 ST. I was told the Graphite would be more forgiving than the Lithium or Pro Build. Some people were telling me to get a Senate, but I was in between sizes. I didn't want to go up to a 67" since I always had to do a lot of fin tweeking on a 67". I thought going down in length we negate the extra width. You should demo a D3, they are very forgiving skies without giving up any performance. In fact 2 of my old D3 skis still live at our lake. Both people instantly started skiing better on them.
    Where do you ski in Colorado? We were looking to move there about 4 years ago, and might start looking again.
  • david_quaildavid_quail Posts: 129 Baller
    What exactly do people mean when they say a ski is "more forgiving?"
    This seems to be the go-to line when talking about more mid level skis vs. high end ones. I actually used it the other day when asked what the difference between my Senate and Vapor was ... and then was pressed with what exactly I meant ... and then realized I didn't really have a good answer.
  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 536 Crazy Baller
    I'm not an authority on this, but my impression of "more forgiving" is that the ski is less responsive to your movements so when you screw up the ski gives you a little time to get back on track. In contrast, a less forgiving ski -- let's say the LEAST forgiving ski -- would require you to be perfectly in position at all times because if you are out of position the ski won't work right or will push you even further out of position. High-end skis are generally more nimble and responsive, but if you are not consistent with your technique and don't consistently point the ski in the direction it needs to go with the proper amount of weight fore and aft it will be harder to keep the ski under you in the right place. That is what I found in my personal experience.
  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 536 Crazy Baller
    I just watched the latest FlowPoint podcast with Sam from HO Skis. He said something quite relevant to this thread. He said he has been skiing on the Syndicate Omni since May and has been getting more -32 passes (34mph) than ever before. He was previously on the HO VTX (one of their high-end skis). He is loving the Omni because he is able to be more consistent on it. He pointed out that it is a great ski if you are getting into -28, -32 or -35. Note that he has access to any HO ski but is choosing to ride their mid-level ski.

    This further supports my understanding that "mid-level" skis can certainly be a great choice for a skier who has a max speed of 34mph or less and is freeskiing OR running buoys up through -32 or so. These mid-level skis are true course skis but designed to be more forgiving so you can be more consistent in the course while you are developing your technique.
  • HighAltitudeHighAltitude Posts: 88 Baller
    I'll check out an Omni Syndicate via HO's demo program next year but will also need to try the Carbon Omni as well. Not sure I need to pay extra for capability I won't use.
  • SivotaSivota Posts: 108 Baller
    I have cut and pasted my post from another thread about the Omni as it seems to fit better here:
    "I am back from Spain and warmer waters.
    The ski performed as I described above.
    Marcus was mildly chastised for being off topic when he responded to an different posting, but thought that an improvement of 4-6 buoys was possible on this ski. He was right.
    In Spain I ran 34mph [55kph] @ 15 off for the first time - so a PB.
    In my last set I ran 34 and then got 3 @ 22 off twice - another PB.
    My previous PB before this ski was 3 1/2 @34, 15 off and I had only been into 34 a few times.
    Since my return to colder water I have skied twice, the first time I got 4 @ 34, 15 off - a PB on that lake and I got into 34 again today.
    I can't comment re other skis in any meaningful way, and clearly the coaching I have received at home and abroad is the most vital part - but this ski certainly has helped me progress. I am told I am in a better position and look as though I am skiing better on it. I am more confident on the Omni and am enjoying myself enormously :) . "
  • HighAltitudeHighAltitude Posts: 88 Baller
    I read this yesterday on the other thread and was excited to read about your progress. I can't wait to try an Omni!
  • FraserFraser Posts: 31 Baller
    @HighAltitude Here is a response I received from the coach I use @twhisper. I ski on a Senate Alloy, 15 off trying to get regularly through 32mph. I asked about the right ski for me considering I will likely get to 34mph in the coming season.

    "I would say your fine on the ski, and in reality it’s usually not the ski holding most people back. The ski you have will definitely do the job for now. As you start getting into the faster speeds and feel that the ski is not as stable as maybe it should be then you might want to go with something a little narrower.
    What you’ll want to be aware of is how well does the tail of the ski hold in the water at the finish of the turns. At some point it will begin to slide and eventually blow out of the water. When this begins to happen more frequently then you like then it’s time for a ski built specifically for the faster speeds and shorter line lengths."

    This comment gave me some good perspective, but if you need a ski now vs wanting one the forum has provided some nice options.
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