Combo Skis

wilecoyotewilecoyote Posts: 216 Baller
While reading another post I was reminded of something I did last summer that really freaked me out. I was recovering from a torn hamstring and wanted to do just a really gentle ski to feel it out so I grabbed one of the slalom skis I had from a combo set (can't tell you which ones) instead of my normal Senate and asked my wife to pull me at 26mph. I swear, that was the most unstable and scary time I've ever had on a ski. I couldn't turn it worth a damn, and I felt like I had no control over the thing at all. I took it because I figured it would be like sitting on the couch and kind of just for a lark. Anybody have any insight? 26 way too fast for the ski maybe? Or are these things just meant to be skied flat and are terrible when you put them on edge? I'd like to get a feel for how it should be skied just because I bought them for any inexperienced visitors that might want to give it a go.


  • marknmarkn Posts: 529 Mega Baller
    Combi skis are meant to be stable....and go in a straight line. In addition, your Senate design is light years ahead of any combi ski used for slalom. An inexperienced skier might be ok on the combi initially for slalom having never used a high end ski, but we have older high-end slalom skis for our family and friends. Love the fact my nephew LOVES the Mapple T-1 he uses when he visits. Still a darn good ski!
    No way will you be able to enjoy a combi ski after a Senate. Get on your Senate and just go easy. Best wishes for a rapid recovery.
  • ReallyGottaSkiReallyGottaSki Posts: 316 Crazy Baller
    edited March 11
    I think you are accurate, few years ago tried progressing my gf from late 90's combos to slalom, and failing, would flop right over after kick off.
    got her a Girls omni, first kickoff was steady as a rock, like riding a bike, and ever since.

    Upon seeing that, and trying a combo myself , I'd be wary of any guest trying to slalom a combo.

    Upon thinking about it, combos even suck at being combos. we've had more success and fun with refurbishing old wooden craigslist jumpers then adding modern bindings.
  • wilecoyotewilecoyote Posts: 216 Baller
    It's kind of funny how we would perceive a beginner ski to be easier to ski yet it isn't. I'm still wondering if maybe 26mph was way too fast for the ski, and expecting to do what I would consider a really lazy turn is still way more aggressive than the ski was intended to do. Just for shits and giggles I might take it out again this summer but try it out around 20 mph instead. The injury is well healed, I'm snow skiing weekly these days and looking forward to getting back into the course as soon as the boats are in.
  • swbcaswbca Posts: 737 Crazy Baller
    edited March 11
    A NO VOTE for using combos for someone who skis on 1 ski, even for the first time.

    All 4 of my kids learned to ski on 1 ski using a competition ski with no problem. The drop ski was whatever was available, sometimes another slalom ski with a loose binding.

    In contrast, I pulled a 17 year old kid who was a good recreational slalom skier on a combo slalom last summer. He wanted to look good for 2 of his friends in the boat, so he tried to ski like he normally skis at home. He fell 4 or 5 times as you would expect. Some competition skis are stable going in a straight line and some aren't. I have found that a competition ski is best for guests as long as it big enough, has suitable binding and doesn't hunt when trying to go straight. I setup a retired LaPoint Radius ski for the same kid who was staying another day. It went much better.
    Home of the world's first submersible slalom course
  • wilecoyotewilecoyote Posts: 216 Baller
    I guess I need to rethink the guest quiver then. The last thing you want to do is make it harder. I was a hack open water skier and when I decided to try it for real, my first set at McClintock's many years ago was on some kind of comp ski they had in the shed, and when I skied on it for the first time I remember it being a bit squirrely, but I did ok on it. So I guess a retired comp ski would be the best option.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,134 Mega Baller
    I just put people on the hovercraft now. I have better success with people skiing in the first 2 or 3 pulls usually.
    Vernon Reeve
  • WishWish Posts: 8,546 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited March 11
    You just need the right combos. With better boots, and a real metal fin on the slalom ski, these are the best. Can’t get more stable or easy to get up on as a pair or slalom. As a slalom, I can run 28off with ease (pretty sure 32 ..maybe 35?) at 24mph. Kind of a blast actually as it turns on a dime.

    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • 2Valve2Valve Posts: 475 Crazy Baller
    @wilecoyote I pulled some ligaments in my right ankle last summer after a bad fall and once healed, went out on doubles. When you're used to turning on a high end slalom ski, you sort of have to re-learn how to turn on a pair of combo's again. Like you, it felt really weird, but it was sort of an evaluation that I was healed.
  • wilecoyotewilecoyote Posts: 216 Baller
    @Wish Those kind of look like what I was on, but I'm not sure exactly which ones, they're at the cottage and I'm not. 10 year old Obriens maybe? I do remember they were double to single concave and wide in the front. Interesting that you can turn them well enough to run the course at any speed. @2Valve I was only on the slalom and it scared me enough I went right back to my Senate so never tried to adapt.
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,840 Mega Baller
    HO Blast combos worked really well for us. Our kids and many friends learned and had lots of fun on them. Daughter used the Blast slalom all the way from getting up on one through running the mini course and a couple buoys in the regular course at ~24 mph.
  • GarnGarn Posts: 600 Crazy Baller
    We have totally ditched our combo skis and put new skiers directly on an HO Hovercraft. The Hovercraft is that easy to get up on. Seriously.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,134 Mega Baller
    @Garn yes... at this point our average guest at the lake if you just leave it in gear if you just sort of watch them to make sure they have their hands on the handle just find themselves to be up if you leave it in gear and then bump up the throttle as the rope goes tight. I don't even wait for them to say hit it.

  • wilecoyotewilecoyote Posts: 216 Baller
    Well, nothing against the fine folks at HO or my guests. But at nearly 600 bucks, um, my guests will be sticking with the good old combos LOL.
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