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When to get a new ski?

HortonHorton Posts: 31,040 Administrator
edited December 2007 in Skis Fins Bindings
<p class="MsoNormal">
<font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">I was thinking today about how long I should keep a ski and realized that it is easy for me to round about 10,000 balls a year. Is 10,000 flex cycles fair a life of a ski? I know a lot of you cringe at the thought of a new ski every year but considering how much effort we put into this sport I think a new ski every X number of balls might be prudent.</font>
</p>
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<p class="MsoNormal">
<font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">My Math Very Roughly:</font>  <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">8 passes per ride</font> / <font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">2.5 rides per trip to the lake</font> /<font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">4 days a week</font> /<font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">6 months per year</font>
</p>
<font face="Times New Roman" size="3" color="#000000">I think I go around at least this many balls but not exactly the way I lay it out above.</font>

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Comments

  • skibugskibug Posts: 2,146
    <p>
    I have heard from some pretty credible sources that you should only stay with a ski for 2 seasons.  So now I have to figure in about $500.00 a year into my ski budget so I can be on a new stick every 2.  Do you think that the manufactures actually cycle test skis to failure; or, do they just computer model the postulated failure?  Maybe they do niether.
    </p>
    Bob Grizzi
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,040 Administrator
    edited December 2007
    <p>
    Why stay on a ski for two years? I am not against it but what is the logic?
    </p>
    <p>
    The issue is not failure; the issue is gradual break down. I do not know of any real data that shows what the useful life of a ski is. I have been on a ski when it gave up and it was a bummer. One day I was skiing pretty good and the next day I was down a ball and then the a week later I lost another ball and so on.  
    </p>
    <p>
    I have heard that at one time D3 had a machine that flexed the tar out of a ski until it broke. I understood that Denny was trying to see how many times he could <strong><em>way over flex</em></strong> a ski before it gave up. This test is cool but it only tests catastrophic failure. I give Denny a lot if credit for doing this. His skis seem to hold up very well over time.
    </p>
    <p>
    The question that no one ever seems to have an answer to is, how may cycles is slalom ski good for? When does performance <strong><em>start</em></strong> to languish?
    </p>

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  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,040 Administrator
    I just noticed that this exact conversation is going on at Kent's board. Ooops.

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  • skibugskibug Posts: 2,146
    I can agree that skis do breakdown and that the time it takes is not a definite science; but, for the average joe I can't see a frequency greater than 2 years.  That is based on the fact that most of us are not given skis for free; so, a new ski every year hardly seems realistic at $1000 a pop.  Also, why couldn't you measure the flex after each year and determine how much has been lost?  If the machine flexes it the same after two years, why change?
    Bob Grizzi
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,989 Infinite Pandas
    <p>
    Even if the ski doesn't break down at all, your skiing style can get stale on the same ski forever. Switching skis - especially a radical change - will advance your style. Maybe you will end up back on your old ski or a similar ski but it is good for your buoy count to change things. Considering how much it costs to ski in lake fees, gas, boats et cetera - the ski is not a budget breaker. And if you gain buoys it is money well spent.
    </p>
    <p>
    Eric
    </p>
  • I got 11 years out of a MasterCraft LaPoint Pro, 2 Years out of an O'Brien G-3, 1 1/2 Years out of a Goode 9100 (I loved) It was replaced by another 9100 which I hated and skied for 1 year before I gave it away. H.O Phantom 70" lasted 5 years. 2004 67" early edition Monza 3 years to the day. (It went fast, so did 2 others that got them 2 weeks later). I now have a D3 Nomad RC with 1/2 season on it (67"). Seems to be well constructed, I plan on switching more often. Probably next summer (after Nationals). Maybe sooner if I happen on a stiffer D3 or something newer, better built and more technologically advanced. Merry Christmas.
    Am I a jumper that wants to be a slalom skier? Or a slalom skier that wants to be a jumper?
  • DWDW Posts: 2,369 Mega Baller
    <p>
    Just to add that other element to switching skis, mentioned by Ham, is ski to ski variability.  You can certainly be on one ski and switch to the identical ski and not do well at all.  So, how does one factor that in to the equation of when to buy a ski.  Similar thing happens in other industries, many racers have their "favorite" car or motorcycle and they are actually all a little different.  It becomes a real bummer when that favorite is destroyed in some manner and can't be reproduced.  That gets to the quality control aspect of building skis. 
    </p>
    <p>
    I also agree with Ham, my experience is that when a ski goes (the definition being when I notice a difference or think I notice a difference) it seems to deteriorate pretty quickly.
    </p>
  • Ed_ObermeierEd_Obermeier Posts: 1,345 Crazy Baller
    <p>
    Brent,
    </p>
    <p>
    We're roughly the same size and capability (I'm a little lighter...), last spring I went from a 69.5" Monza to a 68" MPD and from the standpoint of stability and how well the ski supposts me, to say nothing of how the ski works for me, I'd never have known I'm on a shorter ski.  I recently got to try a couple on new Nomad RC's and to my amazement the 67" worked better for me than the 68" did.  Who knows?  I think it's how the ski is designed that makes the difference.  I'd say give a 68" a try and see how you feel on it - if it feels plenty supportive you're good to go.  If not, I don't necessarily agree that the longer skis don't turn as well as the shorter ones.  Depends on the ski IMO.
    </p>
    <p>
    Ed
    </p>
    Ed Obermeier - owner, EZ-Slalom Course Systems
    www.ez-slalom.com
  • <p>
    Ed,
    </p>
    <p>
    Were they 08 Nomads you tried. If so any comments or feedback on the skis
    </p>
    <p>
    Thanks
    </p>
  • Ed_ObermeierEd_Obermeier Posts: 1,345 Crazy Baller
    <p>
    Sorry man, I can't comment further until the ski tests come out.  I'm probably facing excommunication as is just saying this much.  Once the tests are released I'll be more than happy to expound on my impressions of the various skis I got to ride at the tests.  Right now I gotta keep it on the down low...
    </p>
    <p>
    Ed 
    </p>
    Ed Obermeier - owner, EZ-Slalom Course Systems
    www.ez-slalom.com
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,040 Administrator
    <p>
    : - )
    </p>
    <p>
     
    </p>

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  • DaveDDaveD Posts: 1,009 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    <p>
    John,
    </p>
    <p>
    Instead of life cycles, what you really should be talking about is fatigue.  What little I can remember, fatigue failure is dependant on load.  Some lighter skiers will be able to get 10 years out of a ski and some brute skiers will go through a couple skis a season.  I've been out of the classroom too long to quote test procedures and formulas so someone that has an background in mechanics and materials will have to chime in with the proper way to run a test on these skis.  If you want to run a fatigue test on a ski, I'm thinking you will need to run it at various load levels.  For a skier to use the information from the test, they will need to know how much load they typically put on the ski.  Sounds like a good project for an engineering student working on his masters.  Dave
    </p>
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,040 Administrator
    I totally agree. I have been looking for that darn Mech Eng student for years.

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  • joeythirdjoeythird Posts: 17
    I usually get 8-9months out of the ski.  I am 200lbs and wear my ski out in 8-9 months and my handle in 1 month.  I broke 5 handle last year.  My daughters on the other hand are on their 3rd season on their ski.  I think that skier weight greatly influences the breakdown of the skis.  My daughters are 70-80 lbs and will out grow the ski before it wears out. 
  • skidawgskidawg Posts: 3,438 Mega Baller
    get a new ski as often as possible
    NWA....Heaven on earth!
  • SMSM Posts: 529 Crazy Baller
    How do you know when your old ski is dead?
    Time spent on the water is time well spent.
  • ktm300ktm300 Posts: 438 Solid Baller
    <p>
    How much weight would you give to the flex numbers.  If the ski flexes out the same after two years, is it still as good as the day it was born?  As I understand it, the flex testers that would be available for me to purchase do not allow for me to test the torsional flex.  Is this not a critical measurement with regard to the ski getting across the course?   With the cost of skis and the crap shoot approach to getting a good one, I want a flex tester.  I'd appreciate being educated about the torsional flex issue before spending the money though.
    </p>
    <p>
    I was convinced that a Monza I was on had worn out.  I hunted for and got another one with the same flex numbers.  Felt exactly like the first ski to me.  No difference.  There seems to be two equally accepted competing views.  One is that the ski and setup are critically important to skiing well.  The other is the tendency for everybody to say it is the skier not the ski.  The flex tester would be worth the money to me just to always be able to objectively answer this question when I hit a slump.   My mind literally tortures me when I am in a slump.
    </p>
    <p>
    Thanks.
    </p>
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,293 Mega Baller
    Interesting topic - Today I watched a 180 lb ski buddy of mine run 2 @ 41 off/ 34 mph on a Goode 9100.  I originally bought the ski around 2000 and sold it to him in 2004.  He commented that it is still as stiff as the day it was made. 
    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas
  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,095 Baller
    <p>
    Since I ski in Pennsylvania my season is 6-7 months. My first ski was a the slalom off a pair of combos(age 14). I was able to get through the course at long line up to 32 miles per hour.  When I started doing 34 miles per hour long line at age 16 on the combo ski slalom I knew I would have to upgrade. I was pretty much self taught until I was 23. I have been skied on a 1986 O'Brien TRC, 1993 O'Brien Synergy Z, 2000 O'Brien Mapple Signature, and a 2008 D3 Nomad RCX. I liked the tunnel concave skis because they ride deep, and are easy to slow down(especially at 36). I was worried I was not going to find a new ski that would work when my 2000 Obrien Mapple started to delaminate after 8 years of very hard use. I ski on them until they are completely shot. I can't afford a new ski every season or two. I tried an HO Syndicate A1, but I almost killed myself on it. I could not control it. The animal bindings hurt my feet too. I liked the speed it generated, but it gave be trouble when it came time to finish a turn, and start pulling across the wakes. It slipped out from under me like a banana peel. I skied on it for two weeks. It was just not compatible with my skiing style. The D3 Nomad RCX worked nearly perfect for me right out of the box. The only adjustment I made was pivoting the rear binding for left foot forward, and moving the fin back .02''. Can't wait to get back on it. I only skied on it for a few weeks at the end of last year.
    </p>
    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
  • Ed_ObermeierEd_Obermeier Posts: 1,345 Crazy Baller
    <p>
    You just gotta find one that works for you.  Five people on identical skis will likely get 5 different results.
    </p>
    <p>
    I've always been of the feeling that if it feels good right out of the box it's gonna work real well for you, if not it may well end up being problematic.  I had an '05 Monza that I screwed with and screwed with trying to get it to work for me.  Mostly it did but I still had that haunting suspicion in the back of my mind, and when I couldn't get the offside to work well for me (30 - 40% of the time) it really messed me up mentally, no confidence.  I know plenty of folks tht the Monza rocks for but for me I just never got 100% confidence in it.  After two years of that I switched to the MPD and it was great immediately.  I'm now going into my 3rd season on an early issue MPD (#0028) with no intentions of switching skis anytime soon.  It works so why fix it?  If it feels good right from the get go I'd go with it.
    </p>
    <p>
    Ed
    </p>
    Ed Obermeier - owner, EZ-Slalom Course Systems
    www.ez-slalom.com
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