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Thread: Atomic GS 11 length 186 radius 19.5m

  1. #1
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    Atomic GS 11 length 186 radius 19.5m

    Does anyone else own a pair of 2004-2005 atomic gs 11 with a 19.5m turning radius?

    I owned a pair of GS 9's (turning radius of 16.5 m)before I purchased the gs 11 and absolutely loved them.

    My first day on the new GS 11's was a little frustrating. I couldn't get the ski to initiate the turn as quick as I would have liked. I am 6ft2, 210lbs and I am a 9 handicap on the NASTAR system.

    Does anyone else think that the shovel of this ski is just way to stiff? I am trying to get used to skiing this ski and I am coming to the conclusion that it just might be too stiff or too something for me. Anyone with any thoughts regarding this ski?

    This is the first pair of skiis that I did not absolutely fall in love with.

  2. #2
    Senior Member jclose8's Avatar
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    A ski with a 16 meter radius, which I'm also assuming was shorter than 186, allows you to "cheat" real race technique a bit. I suspect that you simply got used to going too straight, starting your turns late and pulling it off no problem because the radius of the skis could bail you out.

    With a longer ski and larger radius, you may need to round out your line a bit, take a higher line, and probably most importantly, pressure your ski early in the turn. You should ideally have the most pressure while the ski is in the fall line, above the gate. As you pass the gate, your turn should be largely finished.

    Once you get the feel for them, the larger radius skis will faster in the course.

    Do you work as a pacesetter at a ski area? If so, where?
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  3. #3
    Once you get the feel for them, the larger radius skis will faster in the course.
    Can you expound on this thought. The inner scientist in me has a hard time believing this concept.

    Thanks

    Bogie

  4. #4
    Senior Member jclose8's Avatar
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    A more experienced, more skilled racer can bend a ski into a tighter radius than the one marked on the ski. By doing so, energy is built up in the ski and the racer accelerates into the next turn. If a ski is too "straight", or too long, or both, you will compromise carving and will skid. This will cause you to scrub speed and won't allow you to accelerate (since the acceleration comes from the energy built while carving).

    If a ski is too "turny", you can't press on it and build up any energy at all. In fact you have to straighten your line, wait, and turn late just to avoid overturning (which is very slow). If I ski a Nastar course on my SL skis, and ski a good line like I would on GS's, I would be so slow it would be ridiculous. Even "cheating" the line, like I talked about before, I am still one full second slower (by actual test) on my SL's (165/14m radius) than on my GS's (185/23m radius).

    Obviously, there is a happy medium for everyone.

    If the turniest ski was best, you would see world cup men on 21 meter skis (the minimum radius) in a 180 cm length (the minimum length). You won't.

    They ski on 193's with a 25 meter radius. In fact, Hermann Maier was on 198's for GS last I heard.

    Basically, you will probably be fastest on the longest, largest radius ski that you are skilled enough to carve cleanly through a course.

    I hope that makes sense.

    The reason I gave the answer I did to "pacesetter" was because he said he was a 9 handicap. At that handicap level, it is reasonable to assume that he has the skill level to use a 186 with a 20m radius. He may need to adjust his line, tactics and technique a bit to do so, but when he gets it dialed in, he will be faster.
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  5. #5
    Administrator patmoore's Avatar
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    That's very helpful, Jamie

    Thanks for a clear and concise explanation, Jamie.

    In our Monday night series, the fastest guy is on longer, stiffer boards them the rest of us. Clearly there is a skill distinction.

    I raced GS one season on Atomic 9:11 slalom skis in a 160 length and had a pretty decent year. Instinctively I knew they weren't the proper boards for the course and last year I switched back to 180 cm Atomic 9:20s. My times were pretty much the same. As the season ended, I purchased a pair of new Atomic GS11m in a 176 race stock. I know the radius is longer than what I'm used to and I was a little fearful that I had bought too much ski.

    From your expanation it's pretty clear that I need to work on technique to get optimum use out these skis.

    I spent much of last season trying to put into effect the great ideas I've picked up from Gary, Bob Harwood, and you and I've come to the conclusion that bad habits are every bit as hard to unlearn as a poor golf swing. Having said that, I think I finally erradicated a couple of major swing flaws and I'm looking forward to getting the right moves incorporated into my ski racing.

    Now if someone can help me with my snowboard racing.....
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  6. #6
    Jclose and Gary,

    Thank you for your logical explanation and answer. I will now definately test real race skis versus the recreation race skis that I use.

    In the Nastar, I've been as low as a 1 hcp, and last year skied to a 3 hcp. But in USSA races, I am getting my behind whupped badly.

    It had always been my feeling that if a 20 meter radius for GS was good, then obviously a 16 meter radius would be better - not the case.

    I've been on atomic for about 5 or 6 years. I originally skied the 11 series production race skis (not race stock), but then switched to the 9 series recreational race skis, thinking that the tighter radius would be MO-BETTER.

    Quite clearly that has not worked.

    Thanks for giving me HOPE that I can once again close the huge gap that has developed between me and my fellow class 6 wanabe's.

    Bogie

  7. #7
    Senior Member jclose8's Avatar
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    Yeah, give it a try. If you have low handicaps like that, you certainly should be able to figure them out. You might be slower at first, but it should pay off eventually. Class 6.... you must be talking about USSA Masters. Where do you race?
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  8. #8
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    jclose and others that have responded, thanks for your thoughts. I am one of several pacesetters for the night race league at Mt Wachusett in Massachusetts (we have about 500+ people who race, mon, tues, wed and thurs nights)

    My gs 9's were 181cm to answer jclose's question. And yes, I understand that a longer ski with less of a sidecut cannot carve a turn as quick as a shorter ski with more of a sidecut.

    It is almost guaranteed that my form/technique needs work. However, I am 210lbs and have some ability....I should be able to bend just about any ski and I was asking if anyone else who has skied on this specific ski has noticed the same thing.

    At the regional pacesetting time trials last year I noticed that AJ kit was skiing on a blue GS11(I think). He told me that it was a softer ski than the gs11 that I was skiing. In further support of my thought that maybe last years gs11 is too stiff is that Atomic has come out with a LT 11. My guess is that this is a little bit softer flexing and probably is easier to initiate the turn.

    I would love to hear people's thoughts on this issue.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jclose8's Avatar
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    I can't comment on that particular model, but I know it is a stiff ski. Those blue skis AJ was on were world cup stock womens skis.... I doubt they were too damn soft. I talked to him about those as well. The construction seemed like quite a departure from the beta profile. They looked pretty much like a laminate ski with wrap around sidewalls.

    Maybe that GS 11 isn't the ski for you. I don't think that going to a 16 M radius is the answer either, though. Try the consumer version of the GS model for a few other manufacturers. Volkl, Fischer, Nordica and Elan have some pretty darn good offerings.

    You might also try the race stock versions, but it sounds like you like them to be a bit turnier. Your courses and terrain may make a tighter radius ski more appropriate.
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  10. #10
    Class 6.... you must be talking about USSA Masters. Where do you race?
    I race occasionally in the Intermountain area, but unfortunately I live in Austin, Tx.

    Again, I somehow convinced myself in the last 3-4 years, that I am not strong enough to bend a production race ski or a race stock ski (5' 11", 180lbs), and have opted to ski on recreation race skis Atomic GS-9, Atomic SL-9, Fischer RC-4 (big tip, smaller radius). I look forward to giving either production race or race stock skis a serious test this year.

    Bogie

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