Looking to buy my first ski

I recently started working on slaloms about two months ago. At this point I'm still using an 18m rope and going at about 42 km/h.
I'm still way behind most of the people on here but I'm making progress quite quickly. At this point I have no trouble clearing a mini slalom and can go around 4/6 buoys (3 on my good side) on a regular slalom course. I've been meaning to invest in a ski, and at this point, budget isn't really stopping me. I have been told that buying a ski that is too advanced for me could be bad for me to continue making progress on. To be specific, I am looking into the Radar Vapor Lithium / Graphite / Alloy and would like to know if it would be a bad decision for me to buy such an advanced ski and if so what I should opt for?


  • Youd270Youd270 Posts: 29 Baller
    Hey @Karlbach. If your looking at Radar Skis, the speed and level you are skiing at I would suggest getting a Theory which would allow you to continue to progress quickly. It's wider and designed to keep your high in the water at slower speeds (46-52). The Vapors are designed for faster speeds. 55-58 and 52 at the lower end. At 42 your going to feel like your up to your knees in water and its really not going to be that pleasant to ski on or do the things you see the pros doing on them. At a push you may get away with a senate if your looking to buy one ski. One of my mates skied the course at 42 on one but it wasn't ideal. Each level of ski are designed for their particular speed range because the width gives you the best support in the water to allow the ski to work efficiently.
  • KarlbachKarlbach Posts: 18 Baller
    @Youd270 thanks, I read a lot about the Theory and it seemed like a good ski for my level. I know this is a hard question to answer, but considering that I'm serious about the sport, 24 years old, and skiing once to twice a week on average, would I be better off waiting a few months more and going for a Vapor? A month ago I could barely go around 2 buoys on the mini slalom. At this stage I can clear 4 buoys, and am hoping to clear a full course in the next 2-3 weeks at which point I suppose I'll start increasing the speed
  • JJVDMZNJJVDMZN Posts: 128 Baller
    @Karlbach what ski are using currently?
  • Youd270Youd270 Posts: 29 Baller
    I personally think that there is a lot of middle ground to cover before you will need a vapor. Like I said if you were looking to jump a step in skis then id suggest a Senate. @Horton skied one fairly deep short line at 55. He has a review on it somewhere. It's the same as the vapor but 0.2 inches wider making it more stable, easier to ski and suited to lower speeds. Unless your some kind of super freak it will be a while before you would be needing to upgrade to the vapor
  • KarlbachKarlbach Posts: 18 Baller
    @Youd270 Gotcha. Yeah that's what I was scared of actually, so I'll wait it out at this point or look into the Senate. @JJVDMZN I'll get back to you on that on Thursday when I go back to Ski, can't remember exactly which ski it is.
  • gsm_petergsm_peter Posts: 827 Crazy Baller
    My two cents as a 'beginer' on this forum.
    I have been on the Theory four seasons. From not always get up in the starts until I made 4 bois at 55kmph.
    Have just upgraded to a Senate.

    Plus on the Theory or even the P6.
    You will progress much faster on a less advanced ski.
    They are cheap and you can then upgrade when needed
    They can be used outside of the specs.
    Johan Efverström runs 12m at 55kmp on the Theory and 11m at 58 on the Senate.
    Life is too short not to enjoy every day!
  • KarlbachKarlbach Posts: 18 Baller
    @gsm_peter Thanks. I'll stick to the current ski or look into the Senate. @Youd270 any take on reflex bindings or is that something I should also stay away from at my level too?
  • Youd270Youd270 Posts: 29 Baller
    Sorry mate. No comment on reflex binding. There are plenty of guys here that know about them and quite a few threads to read. My current ski is the theory with double vectors which as a setup I can't speak highly enough of. It's also taken me from getting out of the water to finding my feet at 52. It couldn't help myself and have ordered a Senate Lithium with double vapor bindings which I can't wait to get hold of. Releasable bindings are as much a safety thing as performance. The vectors are a super comfortable binding and from what I've read if your after more performance you want go wrong with profiles or vapors. Just depends what your looking for.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,986 Mega Baller
    I have never skied on one, but I have HEARD many folks say that the Vapor is pretty friendly to slalom course beginners.

    As far as "expert" bindings, there was a good discussion about that near the end of the Supershells thread: http://www.ballofspray.com/forum#/discussion/13839/reflex-supershells. The short version is that releasable hardshells have the potential to be safer, but must be set up and maintained correctly.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • JJVDMZNJJVDMZN Posts: 128 Baller
    Also look at OB4 systems
  • KarlbachKarlbach Posts: 18 Baller
    @JJVDMZN Went skiing this morning. Using a Radar P-6. Thoughts?
  • JJVDMZNJJVDMZN Posts: 128 Baller
    @Karlbach I personally would stay with the P-6, nothing wrong with it.
    Once you get to 52km/h+ you will find that you will be in Vapor territory.
  • KarlbachKarlbach Posts: 18 Baller
    @JJVDMZN At this point I'm looking to buy my own ski, just a question of owning one to have more freedom when traveling etc.
    So It looks like I'm going for the Radar Senate (alloy) instead of Graphite (Thoughts on the difference)?
    With a Radar 2015 MEN'S ARTP (Aluminum vs Feather frame?) and the 2016 Reflex SuperShell Bindings. Thoughts?
  • coxjoncoxjon Posts: 43 Baller
    edited August 2015
    @Karlbach I ski on a SenateC and preferred it to the original, it just ran smoother for me.

    I bought mine a couple of years ago.....I tried the P-6, Theory, Freeride and the Senate alloy and graphite.

    For me the Senate C was a great intermediate ski and will last a while.

    If you can afford the extra 100-200$ to get the C, I think you would prefer it.

  • JJVDMZNJJVDMZN Posts: 128 Baller
    @Karlbach, as @coxjon said if you can afford the extra $s go for the Senate C
  • pregompregom Posts: 355 Solid Baller
    What's the difference between Radar Vector bindings with Feather frame vs with Aluminum frame? More rigidity? Better durability?
  • KarlbachKarlbach Posts: 18 Baller
    @coxjon sorry to ask, but which one is the C? I can't find it on the radar website, I see the alloy and graphite, is it one of these two? Also, another question, do they usually release new skis every year? around what time of the year?
  • BRYBRY Posts: 593 Crazy Baller
    @Karlbach The Senate C in now the Senate Graphite. They do release new ski's every year. They just released the new Vapor at Nationals a few weeks ago. They don't have all the sizes cut for that yet, was told it will be "a while" for the others.
    If you really are serious about progressing quickly and budget is not an issue, get a Theory. The Theory is a step up from P6 and ideal for your speed up to 55K. Senate kinda best fits those in the 52K to -28 range. Once you are running 52K over 80% of the time dump it and get a Vapor (or whatever is best for you at that time). That will then give you a platform to go to 58K and cutting line. The Theory is ideal for building the fundamentals of stack and handle control. Learn that at lower speeds and you will be far ahead in this game.
  • wtrskiorwtrskior Posts: 704 Crazy Baller
    edited August 2015

    Most skis have at least a few years lifespan. The flagship skis from various oems are often released after nationals. Full product lines are released at surf expo in the fall for the following season.

    The "c" models from radar were from a few years ago and depict the more advanced carbon layup.

    You should be on a theory at most as others have said. It will help you get to where you want to go and not break the bank.

    Once you start running th full course at faster speeds you will benefit from a lithium vapor or senate but at slow speeds and mini course a wider body ski will benefit you and shorten the learning curve.

    Simply forget about a reflex boot. Massive overkill for you and if not setup properly could be dangerous. It is an expert level binding.

    Vector or good still is the prime boot and an RTP. Feather frame is lighter and sits lower to the ski but either will be fine.

  • TustinTomTustinTom Posts: 106 Baller
    The Senate C is now called the Senate Graphite. The "C" was for "Carbon" Graphite and ran until 13'. In 14" the Senate was offered in/as Graphite or Alloy. In 15' the Senate was offered in Lithium, Graphite and Alloy.
    The manufacturers are releasing their new skis now. Expect the entire line up and websites to be updated around December.
    I have the Profiles on my Senate Graphite and am very happy. The Vapor bindings would be overkill for my ability/needs.
  • KarlbachKarlbach Posts: 18 Baller
    Thanks a lot everyone! @wtrskior last question, my reasoning behind the reflex binding was because I've had a knee injury (ACL) in the past so I do fear my knee would twist if I fall and the binding doesn't come off. However, if you say that it would be too much for my level and then I'll get started with the Vector. Cheers
  • wtrskiorwtrskior Posts: 704 Crazy Baller
    @Karlbach. Get the prime. It is cut lower so better on the knees than vector.

    There is no safe binding and the issue with a reflex is if you set it low it will pre release. Comsider Wearing a knee brace!
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