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Fischer RC4 Progressor Shoot Out


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#1 Gary Dranow

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 05:34 PM

Today I ran a test of my 175cm Progressors against my
new pair of 180cm Progressors.

One would think, 5cm, what's the difference?

Well I'll tell ya folks, the difference is nothing less
than astounding!

As reviewed by myself and another member, the RC4
Progressor 9 gets the highest marks as a very aggressive
"Cheater" Ski.  

Recently I had my team, Andy "Octane" Baillargeon,
Jeff Butz of Podium Ski Service, and Dasha Kudlova,
one of our top IMD Women Masters, go up to WWSRA
Test day at Snow Basin.

All of them came out with massive respect for this ski,
not as a cheater ski, but a full blown Master level GS
ski.  Andy Baillargeon said said to him, he saw very
little difference for the 175cm 9 he demoed to his FIS
race ski (last year's sidecut).

Yesterday I was out running the 180 and my new 188
Fischer RC4 WC r=27m GS boards.  The now was too soft
to get a real good read on the 188s but I like them and
was a little surprised how well they rolled into the turn.
More on the 188s after I can get them on harder snow
and in gates on CBs (Next week).

Then I stepped on the 180s and just felt the binding
placement was off, but man, they skied like my 190
Rossignols, 30m turns on Silver Queen, no problem
for the ski.  Again, I felt like was stuck too mid-foot
on the ski, that the binding needed to be moved forward.

Fortunately, yesterday's NASTAR course (at PCMR) was
a bit straighter than there recent sets and the ski worked
very well for taking it down the fall line.  Scotty Veenis
and I had a fun head-to-head duel and I was pleased with
the outcome but knew I left a fair amount on the Hill due to
both, fresh slow bases and the binding mount.

I called Brent, I called Butz, consensus, move the bindings
forward one hole set.  Larry popped over and in 10
minutes moved up, function tested and I got to laying
the wax in to bring the bases up to speed.  Again, my
175s are extremely fast and considerably faster in wax
test than the 180s.  After pouring in Beta, scraping,
steel brushing and waxing again the 180s picked up a
lot of speed today but still not quite up with 175s in straight
run test.

Today's test was two fold.  I skied both pair on Payday face
and Heckler at speed, approximately 25m turns and pulled
the radius down a bit after 6 or so turns going for inside hand
on the snow edge angles.  Moving the binding forward on the
180 paid huge dividends changing its personality closer to
the 175, but they are still slower edge to edge and require
a bit more mid-foot stance to really come alive.  What
was fixed, however, was my inability to do flexed transitions
without getting popped with the "stock" binding placement
(as marked on the plates, I believe its 300 -316.  I'm in
a 307 boot and have moved them to the 320-326 holes).

Then it was off to the NASTAR course.  Today's course was
a bit more offset, perfect for my "Flat Hill" test.

Here's the results.  The two courses today, unusually, skied
very different.  The yellow course I could feel a huge difference
in being able to cut off my line (take it more downhill) on the
175s, while on the green course a rounder line was in order
and the radius difference between the two skis wasn't that
noticeable.



So flat course, the 175cm won out as "The Ski" averaging about
a 1/10th of a second faster.  Again, this is a bit skewed as I know
the 175 bases are more "run in".  While the skis have similar
"Personality" and both are very stable at speed, the 180s just don't
like going under 18m where the 175 are comfortable down to 15m, a
bit surprising.

Today was blazing hot at 45 degrees F and the snow finally got a
little moisture to the top.  I believe tomorrow AM will be some of
the firmest snow we've had all season and a perfect day to take
the skis onto some pitch.  I suspect the 180s are going to come
alive at 20-25m turns on firm snow with decent pitch, what I'm
expecting at NASTAR Nationals on "See Ya".  Either way, hard
or soft, turny or straight, I've got the tool for the job.

Ssshhhh!  Don't tell anyone, let the other guys bring out their
21m skis, their retail cheater skis from Atomic, whoever, if
I'm on my game (ankle willing) - good luck wink.gif

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#2 BitterSweetRacer

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:01 AM

Hi Gary,
It's been a crazy season so far. I was just up at Boyne Mountain doing test fest and I skied the progressor and man nice ski but doesn't suit my style of skiing. I hold on to my turns to long putting more energy into the ski than needed. When I change direction the ski is still releasing the energy in the old direction.  I almost pancaked myself a few times not keeping up with the ski. I found you ( meaning I have to) have to be easy on the ski and stay ahead of the ski. If I got late and try to change to my new direction with out finishing the turn the ski jumps out from under me in the old direction. I may not be explaining this correct. However, I think it's the Fisher brand of ski's because all of their skis did that to me. So I'm banking it's my style of skiing and not being use to how a WC race stock ski handles. Simply put it kept gripping when I didn't want it to.

However, the more interesting thing about your post is the change in length of ski and your times. I'm on a 180 Volkl production model GS ski now and I'm banking it's to long for me. I'm looking at going to the new Blizzard 174 cm GSR MAGNESIUM IQ. I had such a crappy time at the pacesetter trials my whole season was off. I need to gain the confidence I can turn my skis on the steeps. The 180 cm with a 19.1 m turn didn't give that to me. I did a experiment ( yes I'm a engineer) at Boyne Highlands. I jumped in one of the Thursday night adult race league races (steep black diamond runs about 3/4 way to FIS) first on my GS ski. I then switched to a All mountain 161 Volkl Tiger shark 10 ft. I thought more about my form and completing my turns clean on the shorter ski and guess what. Yes I was faster. I think that says two things one I'm not able to turn the 180 fast enough and hold the correct form. I was late at almost every gate and it was a struggle to get on line. Then the obvious that skill and technique are more important. So to hear you say and see your comparison tells me a lot. I'm on the wrong ski. I know you are a bit talker than me and maybe 2 pounds heavier with muscle.  I am and have been looking for a half to a whole second on a sprint/drag race course. I'm banking if I switch to that 17.5 m ski with a Sandwich Compound Sidewall. I'll get what I'm looking for all around. And I bet you thought no one reads these post.  borg smilie.gif

Edited by BitterSweetRacer, 05 March 2008 - 11:10 AM.

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#3 JBOU

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:04 AM

QUOTE (Gary Dranow @ Feb 28 2008, 05:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Today I ran a test of my 175cm Progressors against my
new pair of 180cm Progressors.

One would think, 5cm, what's the difference?

Well I'll tell ya folks, the difference is nothing less
than astounding!

As reviewed by myself and another member, the RC4
Progressor 9 gets the highest marks as a very aggressive
"Cheater" Ski.  

Recently I had my team, Andy "Octane" Baillargeon,
Jeff Butz of Podium Ski Service, and Dasha Kudlova,
one of our top IMD Women Masters, go up to WWSRA
Test day at Snow Basin.

All of them came out with massive respect for this ski,
not as a cheater ski, but a full blown Master level GS
ski.  Andy Baillargeon said said to him, he saw very
little difference for the 175cm 9 he demoed to his FIS
race ski (last year's sidecut).

Yesterday I was out running the 180 and my new 188
Fischer RC4 WC r=27m GS boards.  The now was too soft
to get a real good read on the 188s but I like them and
was a little surprised how well they rolled into the turn.
More on the 188s after I can get them on harder snow
and in gates on CBs (Next week).

Then I stepped on the 180s and just felt the binding
placement was off, but man, they skied like my 190
Rossignols, 30m turns on Silver Queen, no problem
for the ski.  Again, I felt like was stuck too mid-foot
on the ski, that the binding needed to be moved forward.

Fortunately, yesterday's NASTAR course (at PCMR) was
a bit straighter than there recent sets and the ski worked
very well for taking it down the fall line.  Scotty Veenis
and I had a fun head-to-head duel and I was pleased with
the outcome but knew I left a fair amount on the Hill due to
both, fresh slow bases and the binding mount.

I called Brent, I called Butz, consensus, move the bindings
forward one hole set.  Larry popped over and in 10
minutes moved up, function tested and I got to laying
the wax in to bring the bases up to speed.  Again, my
175s are extremely fast and considerably faster in wax
test than the 180s.  After pouring in Beta, scraping,
steel brushing and waxing again the 180s picked up a
lot of speed today but still not quite up with 175s in straight
run test.

Today's test was two fold.  I skied both pair on Payday face
and Heckler at speed, approximately 25m turns and pulled
the radius down a bit after 6 or so turns going for inside hand
on the snow edge angles.  Moving the binding forward on the
180 paid huge dividends changing its personality closer to
the 175, but they are still slower edge to edge and require
a bit more mid-foot stance to really come alive.  What
was fixed, however, was my inability to do flexed transitions
without getting popped with the "stock" binding placement
(as marked on the plates, I believe its 300 -316.  I'm in
a 307 boot and have moved them to the 320-326 holes).

Then it was off to the NASTAR course.  Today's course was
a bit more offset, perfect for my "Flat Hill" test.

Here's the results.  The two courses today, unusually, skied
very different.  The yellow course I could feel a huge difference
in being able to cut off my line (take it more downhill) on the
175s, while on the green course a rounder line was in order
and the radius difference between the two skis wasn't that
noticeable.



So flat course, the 175cm won out as "The Ski" averaging about
a 1/10th of a second faster.  Again, this is a bit skewed as I know
the 175 bases are more "run in".  While the skis have similar
"Personality" and both are very stable at speed, the 180s just don't
like going under 18m where the 175 are comfortable down to 15m, a
bit surprising.

Today was blazing hot at 45 degrees F and the snow finally got a
little moisture to the top.  I believe tomorrow AM will be some of
the firmest snow we've had all season and a perfect day to take
the skis onto some pitch.  I suspect the 180s are going to come
alive at 20-25m turns on firm snow with decent pitch, what I'm
expecting at NASTAR Nationals on "See Ya".  Either way, hard
or soft, turny or straight, I've got the tool for the job.

Ssshhhh!  Don't tell anyone, let the other guys bring out their
21m skis, their retail cheater skis from Atomic, whoever, if
I'm on my game (ankle willing) - good luck wink.gif


Loading the 21Meter

The Progressor sounds like a great addition to a Sprint racerís quiver.  Although, Iím concerned that itís quickness in the tight sections wonít catch up to the mechanical advantage of Loading up a fresh 21Meter Race Stock GS.

Iím a little old recreational racer:  5í6Ē, 175lbs, 55 year old.  My focus is upon fun races, 30 seconds or less.  NASTAR courses are fun to work on a bunch of different techniques.  I average around a 9.0 handicap, with coat.

Iíve been working on Loading up my 183cm Fischers (WC RC4 >21M) and finishing my turns with a little forward motion to capture the mechanical advantage at each turn.  I have abandoned the ďcheaterĒ 15-17M RC4ís, because they hook up so easily, I stay on them too long.  The quicker tails on the 21Mís give me all I need to run well in my age class.

The 27Meter Race Stock has me confused.  I donít want to give up the great bounce Iím getting from my 21Mís.

Will the longer radius of the 27Mís force me to pivot my turns in my fun, 30 second courses?  
Should I buy another pair of last yearís 21Mís ?  I think I need another season to get more out of the design.

If  the 180cm  Progressor can load up like my183cm World Cup GS, maybe thatís my better move to current technology.





#4 BitterSweetRacer

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:39 AM

QUOTE (JBOU @ Mar 5 2008, 01:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Loading the 21Meter



I’m a little old recreational racer:  5’6”, 175lbs, 55 year old.  My focus is upon fun races, 30 seconds or less.  NASTAR courses are fun to work on a bunch of different techniques.  I average around a 9.0 handicap, with coat.

I’ve been working on Loading up my 183cm Fischers (WC RC4 >21M) and finishing my turns with a little forward motion to capture the mechanical advantage at each turn.  I have abandoned the “cheater” 15-17M RC4’s, because they hook up so easily, I stay on them too long.  The quicker tails on the 21M’s give me all I need to run well in my age class.


Ok Jerry
Let the truth be told. After reading your post it all comes back to my skiing. I'm 5'9" 170 and I'd rather try and carve my skis then load them up and turn them. Even though loading them up to turn them looks and feels cool for me because when I do them I'm way late and it's all I can do to get around the gate. It always looks like a saved crash when I do it. You've got me it would interesting to see what Gary thinks about both cases.

Edited by BitterSweetRacer, 05 March 2008 - 11:42 AM.

Sometimes the Dragon wins, So Be the Dragon.
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#5 Alaska Mike

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 01:50 PM

I find I use very different technique/tactics on cheaters vs what I use on >21M skis. Cheaters will often disguise technical flaws that result in diverging skis when present when I'm skiing on race-stock GS skis. I don't move as far inside the turn, I take a straighter line, and I'm on edge less of the time.

I'm faster on a cheater in a lot of courses, and at one time I had 4 pairs in the quiver from various manufacturers. I'm down to one pair now, and I haven't skied them this season now that I'm not racing a NASTAR-type set anymore. A shorter 21M GS ski is overall the better choice for me for Masters racing, though.

I didn't like the Progressor (175cm) when I tried it, and mounting position could have played a role there. Tune may have also been a factor, since I didn't do it myself. Since I have a pair of good race-carvers already, I didn't see the need to buy a ski I didn't like. Having skied Fischers for years (recreational/GS/SL/racecarvers), I'm very familiar with the "feel" of them. Different lengths within the same model ski can feel completely different underfoot, given the construction methods Fischer employs. Careful testing is really the only way to see if a particular ski is suited to your needs.

By the way, Gary was the one who lured me to Rossignol from Fischer and Atomic. Now I'm mixing in Elan as I explore the various offerings available today. Perhaps Nordica and Head will get the nod next year, and then... back to Fischer?

#6 Gary Dranow

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 03:30 PM

QUOTE (Alaska Mike @ Mar 5 2008, 01:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I find I use very different technique/tactics on cheaters vs what I use on >21M skis. Cheaters will often disguise technical flaws that result in diverging skis when present when I'm skiing on race-stock GS skis. I don't move as far inside the turn, I take a straighter line, and I'm on edge less of the time.

I'm faster on a cheater in a lot of courses, and at one time I had 4 pairs in the quiver from various manufacturers. I'm down to one pair now, and I haven't skied them this season now that I'm not racing a NASTAR-type set anymore. A shorter 21M GS ski is overall the better choice for me for Masters racing, though.

I didn't like the Progressor (175cm) when I tried it, and mounting position could have played a role there. Tune may have also been a factor, since I didn't do it myself. Since I have a pair of good race-carvers already, I didn't see the need to buy a ski I didn't like. Having skied Fischers for years (recreational/GS/SL/racecarvers), I'm very familiar with the "feel" of them. Different lengths within the same model ski can feel completely different underfoot, given the construction methods Fischer employs. Careful testing is really the only way to see if a particular ski is suited to your needs.

By the way, Gary was the one who lured me to Rossignol from Fischer and Atomic. Now I'm mixing in Elan as I explore the various offerings available today. Perhaps Nordica and Head will get the nod next year, and then... back to Fischer?


See what I do, get folks over to Rossi then WHAM,
I'm a Fischer head.  Slave to my sponsors,
eh  stinkyfishsmallcf3.gif

Interestingly I trained on CBs today with Master
for the first time this year.  I was on my 180cm
Progressor.

I wasn't the only one that was going "Gulp" as
I pushed off for my first run on a "Real Hill" on
these skis.

To my shock and most certainly to the other Masters
I was on line, high and early and getting more
energy out of my transitions than most of the other
guys.

Gotcha face?  No problem.  The elbow over the
rollers onto the screaming flats (and I mean we
were FLYING), no problem.  

Here's the weird deal.  Other than I can stay with
this ski a little longer, the release is just as
explosive as my 191s and they take about as long
to transition.  I can just modulate my line with a
little bit more finesse.  

Thunder Jalili came down to me and asked me,
"How on earth are you getting those things to hook
up here?", truly looking baffled.

The truth is folks, I don't think the Progressor skis like
a cheater ski.  I believe it skis like a race ski with a
bit more sidecut, that's it.

I am constantly shocked how stable the 175 is and
now I've had the 180s the big hill.  

As Andy "Octane" Baillargeon said when he got
back from testing at WWSRA Snowbasin, "its just a
full blow GS ski, I really don't see the difference".

He's right.  This ski is a FREAK.

Mike, my guess is the pair you were on was set up
plain wrong.  I know I use the term "Cheater" with the
Fischer but I'm not being serious.  There is nothing
cheater about it.  I swear.  And to be able to pull full
tilt 26m turns on CBs is proof in the pudding, and
as the guys will testify, nothing was hidden in my
skiing today, I was all over it (though the ankle was
not happy in the ruts after it was over).  Interesting.

That's all I can say, interesting.

Tomorrow I'm taking out my 188 r=27m for sh*ts and
giggles.  I'm sure I'll end up 2 feet shorter after the
session.  Gs baby, Gs!

I've got to get my review up on the Fischer Slalom by
the way.  Very different ski from my Rossis (I have all
three of my Rossi race stock going).  Does not initiate near
as fast as the Rossi, requires a wider stance, but holy heck
are they stable.

Love 'em both but different as night and day.



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#7 Alaska Mike

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 04:12 PM

Have you tried the Fischer World Cup RC in a similar length? Very beefy ski. In fact, it was stiffer than my Fischer World Cup GSs, with a lot more camber. Certainly stable at speed and a lot of people have commented that they were "unforgiving" for a cheater race ski. Unlike the Rossignol Oversize, Atomic GS9, or other common race carvers, they weren't a comprimise at all- they were a race ski with a smaller sidecut. Their biggest downfall were the "hooky" tails and the somewhat planky feel that put off less accomplished skiers.

I actually liked the RC more than the Progressor, and found them similar in many respects. Something was off when I tried the Progressor, and I may revisit them again just to eliminate a couple variables (snow conditions, tune...). It wasn't a bad ski for me, but it wasn't exactly my cup of tea that day. The initiation and release seemed "artificial" and somewhat predetermined to me. A hanging burr could have certainly caused that.

#8 Gary Dranow

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 04:18 PM

QUOTE (JBOU @ Mar 5 2008, 11:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Loading the 21Meter

The Progressor sounds like a great addition to a Sprint racerís quiver.  Although, Iím concerned that itís quickness in the tight sections wonít catch up to the mechanical advantage of Loading up a fresh 21Meter Race Stock GS.

Iím a little old recreational racer:  5í6Ē, 175lbs, 55 year old.  My focus is upon fun races, 30 seconds or less.  NASTAR courses are fun to work on a bunch of different techniques.  I average around a 9.0 handicap, with coat.

Iíve been working on Loading up my 183cm Fischers (WC RC4 >21M) and finishing my turns with a little forward motion to capture the mechanical advantage at each turn.  I have abandoned the ďcheaterĒ 15-17M RC4ís, because they hook up so easily, I stay on them too long.  The quicker tails on the 21Mís give me all I need to run well in my age class.

The 27Meter Race Stock has me confused.  I donít want to give up the great bounce Iím getting from my 21Mís.

Will the longer radius of the 27Mís force me to pivot my turns in my fun, 30 second courses?  
Should I buy another pair of last yearís 21Mís ?  I think I need another season to get more out of the design.

If  the 180cm  Progressor can load up like my183cm World Cup GS, maybe thatís my better move to current technology.


JBOU and I had a PM disscussion about this and J was nice
enough to bring it out for the forum's benefit.  Here's my
side of the convo, off topic as usual but some merit here
and there.  I am just popping in my actual response to
save me time with a whole new post, it will wander  offtopic.gif
as I am known to do.

My response:

QUOTE
"JBOU

I will tell you that I have run extensive testing now
anddiscussion my races against Scotty Veenis (who is running
last years ski for NCAAs, NOT the r=27m) its a huge
equalizer. Obviously Scotty can wax me but not on
Sprint course on any FIS ski, the Progressor will be
bad news at the Champs for my comp on See Ya if
my ankle can handle the hill, snow, course.

To answer your question, NO. I've been skiing my
188 27m and in the free environment you don't notice
much difference, but there you make the turn anywhere
you like (in reality). Once I take them out on CBs I'm
pulling way more Gs than last years ski and have to
pivot turns I could ordinarily arc. A bad combination
as far as I'm concerned.

That said, anything 185 and down, as you know, is
23M but the shorter you go, either the men's 27 at
186 or even down to the women's 23 at 185/184
these things turn into really short SuperG skis. I
guess the proof in the pudding is that all the guys
from NCAA at the NDS Series at Park City were on
last year's ski -- why?

Because if you arc them you are going really fast
and pulling huge Gs. If you've got to jam, you are
likely to get popped.

Now that said, in a straight NASTAR course, what the
hell. If you can bend it and move the release down
hill you'll go fast on the 23M as you will on the 21M,
really doesn't matter and none of these skis can
deliver the fall line punch of the Progressor.

The difference is you can ski a condensed radius on
the Progressor, get the same action but much more
direct. An unbeatable combination for Sprint Racing.
A slalom ski can't do it either, too hooky, won't stay
in the fall line long enough.

FWIW

Gary"


Again folks, if it sounds like I'm selling out to the
highest bidder and hyping a ski I don't use, all I can
say is I won't be bringing any of my racestock skis
to Steamboat to run on See Me.  Had I run last
weekend at Wolf, full length GS with tons of terrain
changes I would have run my 180s for sure.  Why?
Because I can do what I need on my Progressors
without undue extra stresses on my body (not that
I can't stress my body on them, I can and do, or at
least really did today - OUCH!  I'm a foot
shorter from the Gs we were pulling, hard snow, very
good grip and fast open course).

I'm saying all of this with extreme sincerity and am
really using this ski, everyday, all season.  

I'm putting Liz back out for Masters next season on
the 175 Progressor 9 as well as Larry Stithem.  I see
no benefit in them trying to deal with even last year's
21m ski when they can simply go faster, ski better and
work on more with the Progressor.  When they crack
the top 20, we'll talk again and see where it leads.

Keep in mind, as of now, for Slalom and SuperG we
are all on the real deal ski though for more relaxed
Masters or new Masters the Progressor 8 is an interesting
option for Slalom.

SuperG, there simply isn't a better way than a full blown
SuperG ski (at least out west, back east, not so sure, sounds
like some of the hills you can get away with a GS ski, ask AJ).

I have encouraged AJ to use a real 198 to 201 SuperG ski for
Mammoth, however, her 175cm GS ski will not cut it (IMHO).

That was a bit of a tangent - eh?  sherlock2sh4.gif

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#9 Gary Dranow

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 04:25 PM

QUOTE (Alaska Mike @ Mar 5 2008, 04:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Have you tried the Fischer World Cup RC in a similar length? Very beefy ski. In fact, it was stiffer than my Fischer World Cup GSs, with a lot more camber. Certainly stable at speed and a lot of people have commented that they were "unforgiving" for a cheater race ski. Unlike the Rossignol Oversize, Atomic GS9, or other common race carvers, they weren't a comprimise at all- they were a race ski with a smaller sidecut. Their biggest downfall were the "hooky" tails and the somewhat planky feel that put off less accomplished skiers.

I actually liked the RC more than the Progressor, and found them similar in many respects. Something was off when I tried the Progressor, and I may revisit them again just to eliminate a couple variables (snow conditions, tune...). It wasn't a bad ski for me, but it wasn't exactly my cup of tea that day. The initiation and release seemed "artificial" and somewhat predetermined to me. A hanging burr could have certainly caused that.


I have not yet, will do as I know we've had them at camp
in our Demo Fleet.  

Back to the Progressor (I know, broken record).  I am so
pleased with this ski for what I'm doing that I'm delirious
but the substantial mounting issue (moving the bindings
forward to the 320 holes with my 307mm boot) makes
me think that mounting is critical to the performance, feel
and sweet spot of the ski.  I've also noticed that I need to
run the skis at a very sharp (and I mean very sharp, not
a hanging burr mind you, but very sharp) .7 bottom and
a .93 (or .87 for the really anal) side bevel.  On the 175 I am
in the 301-310 hole set but we have found that from ski to
ski the plates are mounted with some variance.  We are
in the process of measuring up about 5 pair to see if my
early pair were just a bit off (meaning my 180s) or if this
is a ski model issue.

I will jump on the RC as soon as I can and hopefully
before I get cut a week from Tuesday.

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#10 Gary Dranow

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 04:42 PM

QUOTE (BitterSweetRacer @ Mar 5 2008, 11:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ok Jerry
Let the truth be told. After reading your post it all comes back to my skiing. I'm 5'9" 170 and I'd rather try and carve my skis then load them up and turn them. Even though loading them up to turn them looks and feels cool for me because when I do them I'm way late and it's all I can do to get around the gate. It always looks like a saved crash when I do it. You've got me it would interesting to see what Gary thinks about both cases.


Here's my 0.02.

If you want to go faster you've got to load the ski
above the apex and release that energy with a
flexed transition (if at all possible) through the
transition into the next turn.  

The good guys always strive for this, it is simply
using the design of the ski.  

One can carve a turn, camber the ski, but then
that's where real speed differences start developing
from racer to racer.  The guy or gal who can camber
then de-camber the ski and be soft at the release is
getting more mechanical advantage out of both their
bodies and their equipment.  You can see the release
of energy into the new turn.  

While on CBs today there were some US Team guys
running slalom on Picaboos.  It is astounding the
snap they get out of their skis and how level (flexed)
their transitions are.  Then you look back over to the
Masters and see a lot of energy moving up and out
of the line, wasted energy.  

Then I watched a run by Bobby Skinner (we were
running GS).  He had absolutely no extension through
his transitions, it was poetry in motion and I would dare
say on par with how the kids run GS today.  Total
directed energy and all of it "marshaled" into the
next turn.  We call him Gumby for a reason.

That brings up timing, the holy grail of ski technique.

One can have all the moves but if it happens in the
wrong place at the wrong time, the effect simply isn't
as great, its slower to much, much slower.

So as far as loading a ski goes, yes, always look to
create, store and then release the energy in your
equipment (and body) but get the timing right first
or you will likely end up out of the course or on your
head (especially in Slalom).

One more thing.  Terrain, set, conditions and equipment,
even down to the personality of the ski and ski/boot
interface, doesn't always make it possible to get the
maximum out of the equipment.  Again, that is what sets
the best apart from each level down.

We've got another thread going, Zero Projection (which
I haven't been able to catch up with today).  I know
there is some uncertainty about being "on the front"
of the boots and "Pressuring" (which is a term I don't
use, its a resultant force, load is the actual force.  One
cannot sustain pressure, it fires back, one can sustain
load and weighting through stacking and movement).

That thread has relevance to how we use our equipment
to find speed, more speed.  Just thought I'd mention
it and I should be chiming in there in a bit when I catch
up with the discussion.  Brent's post from this AM was
MONEY.

As long as one is "Driving" their skis, fast is relative to
the timing and feel of the racer.  Flex 'em where you
can and release it downhill, be soft through the
exit and you will all be faster for it.


"Developing Faster Racers is MY Passion"



ModernSkiRacing



NASTAR Race Record / MASTERS Race Record


#11 BitterSweetRacer

BitterSweetRacer
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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:23 AM

QUOTE (Gary Dranow @ Mar 5 2008, 06:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here's my 0.02.

If you want to go faster you've got to load the ski
above the apex and release that energy with a
flexed transition (if at all possible) through the
transition into the next turn.



Gary, I agree. We have a racer ( another instructor http://www.nastar.com/index.jsp?pagename=r...s&year=2008 ) on my hill that I've struggled to beat for the past couple of years. I watched him go through the course with out tucking a single gate. I went through in a tuck from top to bottom and he still beat me. Loading the ski and projecting that energy is the key. Course set is critical to learn this when setting a practice course. I'm all about learning how to do this more often. The key for me is if I can teach it then I understand it best. Being able to understand it will help me incorporate it in my own skiing. At least I think it will. Another ski racer (John Medicine Boyne Highlands pace setter) told me the same thing about my 180's, I need to load the tips up more. I'm all ears on how to do that. I need more work. Thanks Gary

Edited by BitterSweetRacer, 06 March 2008 - 06:55 AM.

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