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Good tweener ski?

ajgearajgear Posts: 24 Baller
Hey all. I'm looking for some advice on ski size. It seems as though I'm a tweener in some aspects, being at the top of one scale and the bottom of the other in weight, skiing ability, etc. I'm getting a lot of differing opinions from places (mostly those that have a closeout special ski to sell). In any case, I'll pose it to you to see if I can get some independent thought on the matter.

I'm 6'4" and weigh-in between 200 and 210 lbs depending on the current ratio of beer consumption to physical exertion. I've slalom skied for 25+ years, but I've never been in a course (though my buddies have sworn to change that). I've been on an HO Mach TRX 9.5 (67") with double boots since the mid 90's. I have no complaints about that ski, but then again, it's pretty much the only ski I've ridden with a hand full of runs on buddies' skis over the years. I ski at 31-32 mph at 15 or 21 off, and I usually run about 20 or 30 turns per set, with a little straight-line break somewhere in the middle.

So that's me, but here's the question: If I'm finally going to get a new ski, should I buy a 67" or 69"? I'm primarily looking at the HO TX Superlite (possibly the CX Superlite). I also considered the Senate C. I'm open to others as well, but these are my current prospects. My thought was that the Senate and the TX are wider skis, so being on the high end of the weight recommendation would be less problematic. I've read nothing but good about the CX as well, but it sacrifices some width, and thus, the length might be more of a concern. If I just go by the weight charts, I'd be in the 69" on all, but I'm afraid I'll come off of my current 67", and a 69" will feel like a aircraft carrier. 99% of my skiing will be open water (but aggressive, at least in my mind), with a possibility of hitting a course once in a blue moon.

There's some great deals out there right now, but demoing is tough because most of the places don't have multiple sizes this time of year, and it's getting pretty dang cold up here in the Northwoods. So I'm likely going to try to make a rock-bottom deal on a ski, and if I hate it when I get to actually put some time on it, I'll sell it. That said, I'd rather give myself the best chance of liking it. Hence the question.

Whatever input you have would be appreciated.



  • Ed_ObermeierEd_Obermeier Posts: 1,339 Crazy Baller
    Something along the lines of a Senate C or similar IMO would be appropriate for your stated ability level, but I'd go for a 68" at your size rather than a 69. Especially if you intend to start skiing the course. One opinion for whatever it's worth to you.
    Ed Obermeier - owner, EZ-Slalom Course Systems
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,511 Crazy Baller
    At your height and the fact that you ski below the max speed of both of those ski's, go with the bigger ski if you're in even close to being between ski sizes. You won't notice the difference in size just free skiing but the larger ski will provide more surface area if you ever attempt the course and it might even promote better technique while free skiing.

    I've been where you are within the last few years. A shorter ski felt fine in open water but in the course, it killed me. Even a couple years later when I started gaining some weight and I was moving towards the upper weight limit of the ski range at full speed, that ski started to ruin my sets in the course.

    You can tune a big ski to make it feel shorter. If you're too tall and too heavy, you can't tune a little ski to give you more surface area and support to keep you up.
  • Bill22Bill22 Posts: 1,682 Mega Baller
    edited October 2015
    @ajgear a friend of mine Ray (200-205 lb) got on @Nautibynature 's ski 69' CX superlite. Ray said it was incredible how easy it turned.
    Nautibynature may have some advice.

    @Ed_Obermeier I think the Senate doesn't come in 68' (67 or 69).
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,631 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    For where you are at at 31-32mph, bigger is better. 68 is doable, but a bigger ski will give you more room for mistakes and be more forgiving. Call Eddie Roberts if you want advice on a Radar.
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,989 Mega Baller
    What about a 69" Vapor or CX? Those skis don't have extra width but the added length would be good. I weigh about 230 right now and skied a 68" Vapor at 32 mph some this fall at 22 off and shorter and it was fine. If I skied slower I would have wanted more ski though.
    Mark Shaffer
  • BRYBRY Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    Your height gives you more leverage than most so that's kinda like being heavier. Your weight is right in the middle of the chart for the current Senate Graphite 69" (current version of Senate C) and just over max for 67". So with your height the 69" would be the choice. 69 will also work better at slower speeds than 67, if you go into the course most likely you will slow down a bit from current speed. New 2015 Senate Graphite's available for $520 from
  • ajgearajgear Posts: 24 Baller
    Sounds like the CX Superlite 69" might be the way to go. I'm not as well versed in the physics of waterskiing as I am in downhill, so I wasn't sure how surface area and length played together. Intuitively, more surface area is going to get me up and keep me up with less effort (and lower speeds), but I wasn't sure how the width/length ratio would affect handling. My initial thought was that the added width of the TX 67" would compensate for a bit of length, and feel somewhat like the CX 69", but it sounds like either ski would be better suited to me in the longer length.

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. Truly appreciated. It's tough to get unbiased advice when people are peddling closeouts. So much of the info out there is geared toward way better skiers than me. I fully understand that at 41, and with my experience thus far, I'm never going to be a top tournament skier, but I always want to improve and try to push myself. It's refreshing to get information based on that. So thanks again.
  • Bill22Bill22 Posts: 1,682 Mega Baller
    @ajgear let us know what you get and how it goes once you get on the water. If you see a deal on the CX non-superlite I would go for it. The specs say it has a carbon/glass layup so it would still rock for freeskiing.
  • NautibynatureNautibynature Posts: 149 Baller
    I'm 6'3" 200lbs and promise you the 69" CX Superlite will not feel like an aircraft carrier. My previous ski was a 69" Connelly F1X.
  • ajgearajgear Posts: 24 Baller
    edited October 2015
    I got a chance to ski the TX Superlight 67" tonight. Getting up on that was a cakewalk compared to my Mach TRX. Once I got the feel of it, it felt pretty darn good at 32 mph, except that the turn-in was a little snappier than I like when I started to get more aggressive. I tried bumping up to 33/34, to see if that would make a difference. It did. I ate sh**. Back to 32. Can I assume the 69" would take some of that away and make the turn-in smoother/more controllable?
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,511 Crazy Baller
    Maybe but hard to say. You have to remember you've been on the same ski for nearly 20 years. That ski will be very worn out and arthritic plus will also have very old technology. Now you're jumping on ski's that are much newer and much more alive and have the technology to help you ski better. You've also learned subconsciously what has to be muscled and what doesn't so if the new ski turns in easy and your old ski didn't, you're forcing something beyond your ability.

    You also need to measure where your bindings are going. Most people have their front binding within about 1/4" of what is recommended from the factory and if you put your bindings in the middle hole on the ski, it could feel like a wild animal because there is no telling where that binding really is.
  • skihardskihard Posts: 560 Crazy Baller
    Get yourself into the Radar family and a 68" ski. Get yourself some new bindings at the same time. For everything you're doing a set of one or two year old new Stradas is perfect. Comfortable and safe as the liners will release from the ski should you have a terrible wreck?
    As @Waternut said above you are going to be amazed at the new technology of any new ski you buy vs what you are going to screw on your garage wall for nostalgia sake.
    Have fun and good luck.
    Life's about working hard and then having fun on the water!
    I am - are you?
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,511 Crazy Baller
    68" skis only come in the high end skis because they have a smaller window to work in. For a mostly open water skier working on different speeds, the 69 will be a great ski.
  • ajgearajgear Posts: 24 Baller
    Found a SMOKIN' deal on a CX SuperLite 69" with double x-Max boots. It's on its way. I'm looking forward to riding it. Not looking forward to 50 degree water without a wetsuit/drysuit. @Waternut, the bindings on the TX were set to the factory spec. When I compared that to my Mach TRX (same length @ 67), the TX bindings were about 1/2 inch farther forward. I haven't adjusted a binding since my brother and I set up the Mach two decades ago. I assume that shortening the length in front of the boot would slow down the turn-in. Is that a valid assumption?
  • Fast351Fast351 Posts: 207 Baller
    I'm 6'2" 200 (again like you depending on beer/exercise ratio, I've been as low as 195 and as high as 205 recently) and ski at 34 MPH on a Graphite Radar Senate. It definitely does not feel like an aircraft carrier.

    I think based on two factors you should go 69 if you go Senate:

    1) You ski slower than the max rated MPH for that ski, so the ski will feel smaller than if you were at 34.
    2) You're coming off a mid 90's design, the new profiles will feel MUCH more nimble underfoot.

    I love mine. Some days I'd be curious to try a 67 (I think my ski partner is on a 67" Vapor) but the 69 just works for me.
    Mike van Meeteren
  • WayneWayne Posts: 487 Solid Baller
    @ajgear did your old ski have an adjustable fin? Your new CX super light will so if you have never set up a fin before do some home work and pick up a good caliper. I'm not encouraging you to play with fin settings, just to make sure the fin is at factory recommended setting. A few skis ago I assumed the factory would have the fin in the right spot. Not even close and I though I bought a lemon. Just turned out the fin was way out of spec.
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,511 Crazy Baller
    Honestly I think you should ski it at least 3-4 times at factory settings before you start trying to adjust anything. It's a much newer and more dynamic ski and will take a little getting used to. Just ride it out a few weeks and if it's still not doing what you want, then let us know.
  • ajgearajgear Posts: 24 Baller
    edited October 2015
    @Fast351, that all makes perfect sense. Kind of like being on 90s downhill skis. WAY different than today's shape skis. Only difference is that where I used to ski on 205cm skis, modern design allows me to ski on 180s. I also started on my old ski when I weighed 175, and skied it all the way through getting a lot of muscle (and some fat to go with it), so I never really felt it getting too small. I think @Waternut nailed it, in that I subconsciously learned how to 'manage' the shorter ski, and now I need to retrain to get on the right size ski so I can improve. @Wayne, my old ski does, in fact, have an adjustable fin, and if memory serves, we spent an entire weekend taking a run, adjusting, taking another, etc. Same with binding possition. Difference then was that I was 18 yrs old and could ski all day and never get tired. Not so much theses days. In any case, I will absolutely check that. Not everyone that puts skis together is as meticulous as they should be when it comes to 'tunable' items. Should have my CX SuperLite mid-next week. If weather cooperates, I'll take it for a spin and report back. Thanks for all the help.
  • ajgearajgear Posts: 24 Baller
    FINALLY got on my CX 69". Pure stock settings and I like it a lot. I did notice that I had to run a bit faster. I was running 15 off at 32 on my old ski. I started 22 off this time at 32, and found out quickly that the boat (not mine) put the rooster tail right at 22 off. Went back to 15 off at 32, and needed more speed to make the ski react. At 34 it hooked up for me and ran great. Very stable while I was waiting for good water, and had a great progressive turn-in and hooked up hard when I laid into it. Never felt skiddish. It was my first couple runs of the year, so it's hard to tell exactly what was just early season rustiness, and what was getting used to the new ski, but after 8 or nine cuts I was starting to understand the ski. Coincidentally, I was starting to feel the burn, took a hard cut, and folded like a cheap lawn chair. Next run felt pretty solid, but again, fatigue became a factor after 10-12 turns. I'll run it again Saturday morning. That will be a better test. At the end of tonight's session, my feeling is that I'm going to love the ski as I learn how to handle it. We'll see.
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