What ski to choose?
Here’s my story…. My name is Pierre. I’m 6’3’’, 220 pounds and 49 years old !!
I've been skiing for ever, always on open water, no teacher, so I never learned to ski on the course… I was able once, many years ago, to do 4 buoys on the course. For the last 6-7 years, I have been skiing on a HO System 8. This ski is probably to “much” for me, because I ski at 32 mph. I’ve been told that the Radar Theory, Radar Senate or HO Triumph would be the ski that should fit my needs. I’m afraid of downgrading on a ski, since I’m used to be on an aggressive ski. I don’t want to loose on performance, but I also want to make it easier on my (not getting any younger !!!). I’m very tired after my ride….but I to be honest, I’m not in the best shape also !!
What would be your recommendation?
I'm about your weight - a little shorter and a good bit older - I've been skiing since 1954 and slaloming since 1957 - I ski at 32 mph. I use the Connelly Outlaw 69"
Last year I upgraded from my Kidder Redline Graphite which I had forever to a 69" Radar Vice and I really enjoy the ski. The ski technology has improved a lot over the years. I find the Vice to be a quick ski which easily accelerates out of the turn. I am 51, 5'11" 220 lbs and like you mostly open water ski. I have tried the Senate and found that I had to persuade the ski to turn but once it did it performed nicely, I just find the Vice to be more responsive. If you can try a demo day or narrow it down and rent one for a weekend, most shops have rent to own deals. Good Luck!
A few years back, I purchased a HO Monza (same shape as your S8). It was very responsive and "too much" as well. I also purchased a HO Nitro (may be called NOS now), which was HO's shaped 34mph ski. It seems perfect for me.
A lot of companies are making 34 mph skis (I don't know the names of each one), but I highly recommend them.
I had also purchased a Connelly FX, which is a shaped ski and does well at even slower speeds. I did not like the way it "fell" into turns, but it is easy to ski on. While I'm not good in the course, I could run the FX through also. My wife loves the FX and skis well on it.
Lots of options. I think either a 34 mph or shaped ski will meet all of your needs and help you improve.
I'm partial to the Connelly Concept...I ride a 66" but thinking 68 or 69 based upon ur height/weight. I've skied Radar Senate some as well. The Concept is really forgiving and I can course ski in rough conditions better than anything else I've ever ridden. The Concept is definitely a ski you can progress with into shortline. For me at least I've found the 34mph specific skis like the Senate dont feel as good.
I don't think you need a different or new ski at all? I think what you really need to spend some money on is some good coaching!!!
I used to ski on a System 8 myself and I still own it! I didn't go backwards with my ski I went forward and upgraded.
The System 8 is a GREAT ski for many levels of skiers and should meet every demand you want of it at your age and for the skiing you are doing? You mention NOTHING of your line length (15 off I would assume?), LFF or RFF?, Double boots or Front binding with RTP?, Trouble with crossing wakes or riding the cut through the wake?, offside turns, etc
Proper body mechanics, stacked positioning crossing wakes, and good focus go a long long way to really start turning your skiing into something you will see rewards with and from.
I'm not young like a lot of dudes out there but I do constantly strive to get better and better all the time. And I have slowly but surely. What gave me the best results on my ski(s) was good coaching. Don't be afraid to spend some money and find out what you're doing wrong and how you can fix it? Simple drills at home can also help make you a better skier.
I don't know where you live or where you ski? I am Canadain and spend time in Texas for work. My waterski stays down there all winter long and whenever I can I get my ass to San Marcos and spend time with Trent Finlayson. He is by far the best coach I have ever had the chance of working with. My skiing improved with the very first lesson. He is an amazing guy and it doesn't matter if you are just learning to slalom, never ran a course before, or ski at 35 off? He can and will help you!
When you find you adjust YOU and YOURSELF - you might actually find you ski that System 8 a whole lot better than you might think you can?
The System 8 also wasn't made for going back and forth across the wakes in open water for 50 - 60 cuts. It is an aggressive ski that needs to be ski'd hard and pushed for best results. You can ski it in open water - just not the 50-60 cuts I just mentioned.
And well - if coaching doesn't work then by all means source out a new ski or yourself.
Good luck man! Let us know what you ended up doing?
Sorry for this looonngggg delay! Ŕ few years ago, I went to a ski school in Florida. I did improved my skiing a little, but I thing my bad habit are too strong into me! Si I don't think a coach Will do it for me.
But I décided to keep my ski for this summer. I was able to ski only 5-6 times and then I hurt my back playing hockey.
Ski is over for this summer.....