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Buying new slalom ski

megsi99megsi99 Posts: 15 Baller
I’ve been skiing on my dad’s old Jobe honeycomb world record breaker ski (65 inch) for the last couple of years but am thinking it's time for a modern ski. I’m 5’4 and a beginner/intermediate slalom skier, not skiing a course.

I don’t feel like I need a women’s specific ski, as it would be nice for my brother and guests to use it too. Right now the ski has a RTP but I’m thinking a rear boot might be a good idea? If you could point me in the right direction, I’d very much appreciate it. Thanks!


  • Kwoody51Kwoody51 Posts: 57 Baller
    edited August 10
    Not a specific ski recommendation but if you haven’t yet check out ski it again. Great place to find lightly used gear like skis and bindings.

    Doing the lightly used route can allow you to get something at a pretty deep discount and then resell for little loss if you don’t like it.

    Radar has a pretty good line of skis for various ranges and there seem to be plenty on ski it again. Check out Radar’s page for their recommendations on speed, weight, etc.

    Others will chime in with some specific skis to check out.

    I remember going from using the slalom side of combo ski set to a ‘proper’ slalom ski and asking myself why I waited so long to make the switch?!?!
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 720 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited August 10
    Couple of things.

    1. Post video of you skiing. The recommendations here will then be WAY better. Also, as and added bonus, if you can find any, post video of what you want to look like so we can see both where you are and where you want to be.

    2. That's very nice of you to share with your careful. Hopefully he's close to your size and close to your ability. If so, sharing is great. But if he's significantly different from you in size or ability, then he should really really just start saving up for his own ski. I would hate to see you buy a ski that fits him better than you and they you're sad.

    After all that, based on the limited amount that I hear so far, I would say start your search with a 65" Radar Union or, if looking used, Radar Theory. Bindings you could go prime or vector, double boot or rtp - totally preference there. You can definitely check out other brands as well and stuff, but that's where I would begin.
  • megsi99megsi99 Posts: 15 Baller
    Below is a link to me skiing, as well as my brother. We’re both using the Jobe now. I’d be pretty happy if I could ski like him (minus having the slack in the rope at the end of his turn, any advice there would be appreciated!).

    Excuse my bobble at the start, and as you can see, I’m still a bit intimidated by the wake and cutting across. Eeek, got some work to do!

  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 720 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    How fast are you going in those videos? 28-30 mph? Seems a bit fast at your current skill level. I mean, it's FREE skiing, so you can go however fast you want. Just make sure you try some different speeds and go a certain speed on purpose - not just cause that's where your dad happens to put the throttle.

    So with that being said, here goes. If it were just you, I would think you might enjoy slowing down to something more like 24-26 mph and ride a Katana, probably a 65", maybe 67" with a prime front boot and a prime rear or an rtp according to your preference. If you have no preference I would recommend rtp.

    However, with your brother in mind, maybe we compromise up a little bit and move up from Katana to Union. Again, hard to decide 65 or 67 - probably dependent on the answer to the speed question above as well as dependent on exact weights of both of you, which I won't ask here. At this point, maybe we even go up to a vector boot instead of prime. I would still get the women's version though, which is available in union, but not in Katana. He can deal with a little softer flex, especially with the rollers you're hitting occasionally. And you can typically find the women's versions for less money too.

    And then while youguys share that ski, tell him to save his money and eventually buy his own 67" senate. If you keep improving, you'll probably eventually like it more and you can use his or get your own lyric.

    P.S. Looks like an awesome lake setup youguys have there and a sweet classic mastercraft. Keep lovin it and havin fun. Looks awesome.
  • aupatkingaupatking Posts: 1,289 Mega Baller
    edited August 10
    @megsi99 it’s great seeing more skiers on the lakes! Keep it up! Don’t take this as I’m saying something mean, I’m really not, but you are on a 40 year old ski. Whether it’s a new or recent Radar, HO, Connelly, or any other ski, the tremendous leaps in design and construction in that time has made the skis sooooo much easier to ride. When they feel good underneath you, you can see it from the outside. Even if you were to keep that ski, you really can’t set it up just for you. The bindings are where they are, no changing them or moving them without drilling more holes in a 40 year old ski. I just don’t trust that. Honestly, the older skis are hard to ski.
    The Radar Union is a great ski, I rode one today. At your level, that ski with the Radar Prime boot and ARTP (adjustable rear toe plate) come in at a really reasonable price. I’m not as familiar with the HO and Connelly equivalent, but I believe, the HO would be the Evo, and their entry level boots would be fine. And the Connelly is possibly the Aspect.
    At this point, I’d stick with the rear toe. I wish I had never moved to double boots. It’s just easier. The performance advantage is totally debatable and no clear winner on either side.
    Your main focus at this level is developing a level of comfort. A good ski will help that. Then you’ll move on to some basic drills. A guy named Gordon Rathbun put out a dvd several years back where he gives some solid fundamental drills, like a lean against the boat outside of the wake drill, to get a comfort level with getting the ski on edge. Simple drills like that will be a great start
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 720 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    One more thing: I would expect that all the skis considered so far are going to feel really significantly different than that old Jobe. In the long run, that's a really good thing. In the short run you might feel uncomfortable and have buyer's remorse. I know when I went to my senate in 2012 from an old 99 KD6500, I really had some question marks the first few rides. For me I think it was after about 3 rides that I started to figure out how this new ski wanted me to behave.

    So make sure to give the new ski 10, maybe even 20 sets just to get used to it because it's going to feel really different.
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 396 Baller
    i can highly recommend an HO CX or HO Omni - they are just so smooth
  • Kwoody51Kwoody51 Posts: 57 Baller
    edited August 10
    $200 with bindings for a Radar butterknife.... seems like a pretty good deal!

    Binding sizes are pretty small so likely would only work for you.

  • skimtbskimtb Posts: 268 Baller
    I’ve got a basically new 65” 2014 HO TX that would likely be a good choice. Similar to Katana I believe.
    Had bindings mounted and skied a few times. Sticker is still on the ski.
    Been meaning to list to sell but hadn’t done yet, this may be easier... I’m close to you, no shipping...
    Was thinking 150-175, but BOS special price of $125 seem ok?
    Pm me if interested.

  • skimtbskimtb Posts: 268 Baller
    edited August 10

  • megsi99megsi99 Posts: 15 Baller
    @escmanaze thanks! Just got the boat this summer and we’re loving it.

    Went to Action Water Sports today and they didn’t have the 65 Union in stock, but he thought the 65 Senate Alloy would be a good fit. Do you think it’s too aggressive for me?
  • aupatkingaupatking Posts: 1,289 Mega Baller
    That Senate is a great ski, possibly more than you need but, if they have it in stock, Action is normally pretty good about demoing skis. The best way to know about any ski is to ride it. That said, make certain they put the boots in the right place. All ski shop employees are not created equally. Most of them are wakeboarders who don’t really get skis. If you can, measure from the seam at the heel of the boot to the back edge of the ski. A 1/4” off can totally change the way a ski rides. It should measure 29 1/2 for the 65.
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 720 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @megsi99 Totally honestly, yes. Typically your level of skiing doesn't get matched up with a Senate. To be fair, however, the Senate will probably feel the most like your ski you are on right now. And your brother will really like it!!

    It won't be the worst thing in the world. It's still a great ski. I ski a Senate Lithium and love it. Maybe if you did get a senate, that might be an excuse to get a 67 instead of 65. If you are going to keep going as fast as you are in that video, those seem more like Senate speeds than they do like Katana speeds. Shoot, if you're going to go for a senate shape - I would rather see you get a lyric with the softer flex - and it would save money.

    It may be the best fit for you that they have in stock, but I wouldn't call it the best fit for you. You would probably still really like it.

    Maybe they could order a women's union for you?
    Maybe you look to the HO EVO?
    Maybe you look to the Connelly aspect?

    If you really want to buy from them and you really want to buy right now, then it sounds like the options are limited.

    Like @aupatking says maybe they have some good demo stuff for you to try a few or something. I definitely agree that you want to make sure that the guy there sets it up correctly. If and when you buy, try to make sure to be getting your help from their most knowledgeable waterski guy and not just some surfer dude.

    This is kind of a tough one right?
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 720 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Wakehouse is action right?

    Not sure what he's trying to charge you for a senate alloy, but it looks like at least one of their shops somewhere has this lyric from last year on a great sale. Again, I would still rather see you on a Union, but this sale price ($400 with prime and rtp) and immediate availability is certainly tempting.
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 720 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★

    Here is a 65 women's union that they have somewhere at one of their stores. I wonder if they have a way of transferring from one store to another? It's a double boot but that's not terrible. If you don't like it you can probably sell the back boot for more than the cost of an rtp. Call them on the phone and they might even swap it for you before shipping it.
  • escmanazeescmanaze Posts: 720 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I don't have a clear read on this EVO, but here is a women's evo they have in a 65". I wanna say the evo is kind of like halfway between a katana and a union? But I'm not real sure if that's true. Sometimes HO makes their marketing a little harder to understand.
  • megsi99megsi99 Posts: 15 Baller
    edited August 10
    I'm not totally set on buying from Action, but if that works out, great. They actually had a clearance 2018 65-inch Katana for $ I'm still considering that, too.

    Thanks for sending all of those links, @escmanaze! I'll check them out tonight and think about it. I'm anxious to get the ski so I can start using it before summer is over!:
  • TELTEL Posts: 306 Crazy Baller
    @skimtb has a great ski, bought one for my GF after skiing on combo's I put her on a 65 TX easy for her to get up on. In one year she is up to 28.7 mph and skies 28 off through the mini courses. She now working on the red buoys
  • DaveDDaveD Posts: 808 Crazy Baller
    To build off @Than_Bogan comments, good form will make all of the newer skis feel more stable. Take some time to get a lesson or at least watch video instruction on line. A couple pros offer online video analysis that is really good too.
  • quinnequinne Posts: 48 Baller
    I'm not a pro and certainly have my own bad habits I'm always working on. I free ski on weekends and it's my favorite thing to do... With that disclaimer...

    -Your speed looked a little fast.
    -Sharing a ski with your brother might be tough, unless you are similar in weight. My sister and I share a ski but we weigh the same.
    -Rear toe plate
    -Whatever you buy, give it time. Two years ago I went from my college '93 Connelly Concept to a Radar Lyric. Flat out hated it the first five times I used it (which in my world means 3 wknds burned being frustrated), then it started coming together and it wasn't long til I absolutely loved it.
    -Find somewhere to do a half day of coaching. I've been slalom skiing for 30 years and 2 years ago my sisters and I packed up our vintage skis and headed to a ski school. It was so useful to learn a few basic things we were doing wrong and also a few basic things we can work on. It transformed our enjoyment of the sport and two years later our skiing has improved dramatically. We don't have the benefit of a course on our lake and yesterday a neighbor put in a temporary for the morning. Both my sister and I skied it and had a blast!
  • JoelhJoelh Posts: 22 Baller
    What's your budget?
  • georgea0731georgea0731 Posts: 29 Baller
    My wife and I laughed at the knots in the rope because I got a newer boat a few years ago and kept using an old rope with a knot. We still get a few laughs thinking, a lot of money for a boat, but couldn't afford a new rope (ha). Good luck with finding a ski and improving you ride.
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