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3 decades—what’s new?

This will be my first post here.

Basically, I skied a fair bit in the 80s, but moved and lost access to a boat and have only skied occasionally since. All my gear is 80s vintage.

Just bought a boat (also 80s vintage, a MC S&S just like the ones I drooled over in my 20s), and I’m thinking maybe go to a newfangled ski. Back in the day, I skied a 63” EP Comp X2; I’m only 5’4” and weighed 123lb back then. I’m still the same height, but weigh in around 165 these days; I was recently given another Comp X2, this one 67” (I think) and I do find it much easer to ski on.

So anyway, what’s out there these days? Have skis changed much, or is it only the bindings? For an older guy of my height/weight, what length ski should I be looking at? I used to ski 28’ off (I think) at around 33 mph, but I expect I’ll be slowing down somewhat these days.

Comments

  • boarditupboarditup Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    Loads of development in materials and design since back then - about the same as automotive design. Get a new ski, rope, gloves, etc. and don't look back on the earlier gear. Personally, I like the Radar Senate, but there are a lot of good skis out there that are easy to ride, easy on the older body, and make chasing buoys fun.
    Karl DeLooff - Powered by the wind
  • TELTEL Posts: 296 Crazy Baller
    Just like cars your going to have sticker shock. Try everything you can, but start by buying new bindings first and move them ski to ski. Do not rush into a dissension and take advice with a grain of salt we all like different brands and skies within a brand. Not sure were you live but if there is a ski shop drive to it and try vests and gloves on for your self they should both be tight or very snug they will loosen up a lot when your in the water. Welcome back let the obsession begin
  • SpitfireSpitfire Posts: 10
    Thanks, guys.

    I live in the boonies—no ski specialty shops nearby. I did find a 2019 Radar Senate Pro, 67”, without bindings on SIA—not sure if this would be too big a ski for me (although I understand they only make/made these in 67” and 69”). I could certainly move my old rubber bindings over, but of course I’ll be wanting to upgrade these too—I will definitely get myself to a specialty shop to see in person (might be a while before I get anywhere there is one, though).
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,442 Administrator
    @Spitfire your old bindings will not work on a new ski. All of the new skis are super light and have machine screw inserts. The hole pattern on old bindings will not match and you do NOT want to use a sheet metal screw like your old ski. You will need new bindings and a new ski.

    You likely want a 66" inch ski. A Senate is .1" wider than most skis so the 67 would be huge for you.

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    slow
  • SpitfireSpitfire Posts: 10
    Thanks, Horton.

    That’s the info I want. Note, I’d definitely drill my own binding plates to match the ski inserts before drilling any holes into the ski (but yeah, m/c screws is definitely what we did).

    I’ll keep looking. I’m a free water skier (no courses around here), but I don’t necessarily want an “easy” ski—I’ve always been able to get up on one (learned that on my first ever day skiing, I was 16 or so, and after skiing behind OBs and I/Os all these years my new IB pulls me up soooo easily!).

    Is the term “suicide boots” still in vogue for front & rear boots on a ski? :)
  • KRoundyKRoundy Posts: 272 Solid Baller
    edited August 28
    @Spitfire My story started out similar to yours. When I reconnected back into skiing about 5 years ago I brought my trusty Kidder Redline to the lake. After a few skis a good friend said, "You need a new ski." I came here, looked around, and got a Radar Senate. That was the start. (Side note - I free ski at 32 or 34 MPH. Have you said how fast you plan to ski now? An answer will help with the ski length question)

    Here's a few other things that will really help you - trust me:
    1. Put Perfect Pass on that Stars and Stripes. You can find them used or you can buy a new one direct from Perfect Pass. It makes a world of difference, even when "just free skiing".
    2. Get a new rope, new handle and some good gloves. I like the MasterLine Clincher gloves. I've gone through three pairs, and I really believe they save my old arms something fierce. Get a brand name rope and handle. Don't go cheap here.
    3. Get a new vest. The new ones are much lighter and better made that what we used to use. They don't hold water and allow a lot more freedom of movement.
    4. Get a new ski. My old Kidder was amazing in 1987. But my new, bigger, Radar is about half or less heavy just blank. It has completely new constructions and materials that make the ski a lot more responsive and just plain fun. I use a double-boot setup with Radar bindings that are probably 20% of the weight of the old rubber bindings. If you pick up my Kidder and pick up my Radar you would laugh at how heavy the old ski is. The Kidder is like riding an old 80's luxury car. Heavy, soft and slow. The Radar is like a sport car. Light, quick and responsive.

    Let us all help you! You don't need a brand-new ski. If you have not already, check out the web site Ski-It-Again.
    Spitfire
  • dvskierdvskier Posts: 487 Crazy Baller
    @Horton The Senate is .2 inch wider than the Vapor not .1 inch. FYI
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,442 Administrator
    @dvskier yeah I think it sounds right

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  • SpitfireSpitfire Posts: 10
    Thanks, KRoundy!

    Yes, I’ve been on SIA. And right now looking at a blemished 65” Radar Senate Carbon (2016) noted in another thread on this forum—just not sure if 65” is too short, but I’m sore tempted!
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,629 Mega Baller
    @Spitfire not suicide boots.... Dual was sort of the norm for awhile but now most would go RTP again
    Horton
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,442 Administrator
    The argument can be made that double boots are actually safer.

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

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    lpskier
  • 503Kento503Kento Posts: 6 New Baller
    @Spitfire I’ve got the same story as you just getting back into skiing at 60. I’ve still got my 1985 Ski Centurion and been skiing on my 1982 Jobe Open class. I decided to try some newer stuff and really like the 65” Senate Alloy I ended up with. On my demo sets I ran 22 off 34 mph for the first time in 30 years. I’m about the same size as you so it should fit you well. While I’m exclusively skiing the course, we have had lots of wind this year and it goes great so should be a great open water ski.

    Just my .02

    Kent
    KRoundy
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,442 Administrator

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Barts ★ Connelly ★  DBSkis ★ Goode ★ Hobe Lake ★ HO Syndicate 

    MasterCraft ★ Masterline ★ MOB ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Stokes

    ALPJrB_Sballsohard
  • LOTWLOTW Posts: 112 Baller
    Nope, nothing new. That EP should be just fine, same as what the pros use now they just have stickers on theirs.
    Spitfire
  • lakeside7455lakeside7455 Posts: 44 Baller
    Try out the new Radar Boa bindings with aluminum plate, super comfortable, stiffer new sides, and you come out of them in any hard falls, feels like slippers but still get good performance. You don't need expensive hard shells for free skiing.
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 250 Baller
    Consider D3 bindings. Tfactors are amazing - freeskiing or deep in a course
    Drago
  • fu_manfu_man Posts: 408 Crazy Baller
    @MarcusBrown "I've been running that since '01, bitches". Hilarious.
    allycatballsohard
  • DragoDrago Posts: 1,531 Mega Baller
    First thing I said to MB when we caught up with a couple sets this summer, "New boot?"
    SR SL Judge & Driver (“a driver who is super late on the wheel and is out of sync”)
  • skibrainskibrain Posts: 69 Baller


    @Spitfire If you need to split the difference between a 63 and 67” I could set you up with a 65”.... seriously because I LOVED the Comp X2 so much when I bought it (cough, 40 years ago) I’ve kept it, and every 5 yrs or so get it out and ski on it JUST to remind myself of how much BETTER all of the skis I’ve owned since then really are. Comp X2 now just feels scary-bad. 🙂
    thagerALPJrKRoundyballsohard
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,076 Mega Baller
    I have a couple HO 68” Extremes in Black and Shocker Green in the basement somewhere if you find the new equipment not to your liking.
  • DragoDrago Posts: 1,531 Mega Baller
    Only the grey bottom Extreme worked. I rolled a car with the green extreme on the roof rack and it didn't change the way it skiid
    SR SL Judge & Driver (“a driver who is super late on the wheel and is out of sync”)
    BMG73Deanoskiballsohard
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