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sierra jim Name Jim F
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10/12/2007 8:27:25 PM What's my size? About sizing: It used to be that good skiers skied on much longer skis than average skiers. There is still a difference, but not nearly to the extent it used to be. Often an expert may be on a fairly similar size as an intermediate, just a very different model. Many skiers seem very excited by the prospect of skiing on shorter skis. While it is absolutely true that today’s skis should be sized shorter than 10 years ago, you should be careful not to overdo it. In general, longer skis will offer the skier more stability and more speed capability. Note that we said capability. Longer skis don’t automatically go faster, they just allow higher speeds if that’s what you are looking for. Longer skis are often preferred in off trail conditions and for rough or deep snow. A shorter ski can be chosen for groomed conditions. Like terrain choices, length choices are not about hard and fast rules. It is instead more about factoring all the compromises. Ski lengths can be dithered about and agonized over until the cows come home. The fact is that each skier is usually only going to have to choose between two sizes instead of the four or five that we used to have to think about.  Don’t get all focused in on a specific size as all the brands vary in what they make.  In the “Joe Average” sizes, one company might make a 167 and 174 while another makes a 172 and a 178 and somebody else makes a 170 and a 177. Just select the longer or shorter within your range based upon the following general recommendations.   Joe Average: 5’9”- 6’0”  175-200 lbs. int. to adv/ez expert skier selects 165 cm -178 cm   Select in the shorter area of this range if you are…… A cautious, lower intermediate skier Lighter in weight or shorter. In the lower ability range Choosing a fairly stiff ski

10/12/2007 8:16:37 PM Step 3.....Fine tuning the choice: About ski shapes: Generally, the most dramatic shapes offer the tightest turn radius. In varying degrees these shapes will tend to make short to medium turns best, are best when they are edge, and are a little resistant to skidding. With the narrowest waist widths, they are going to excell on harder snow but they can be a little hooky in softer conditions. If you combine a somewhat wider waist with an aggressive shape, you can improve the soft snow performance a little. Many of our 70/30 category models take this approach. More moderate shapes will favor medium to long radius turns and offer more stability in off trail situations especially when the snow gets deeper and rougher. They also are more readily skidded in difficult situations. To give the terms in the following section some perspective, remember that your old skis from “the day” had a natural turning radius of about 40-50 meters. Today, it’s hard to find a ski with much more than about a 20 meter turn radius, and most are in the 12-18m range. As a side note, most skis in longer sizes will have slightly longer turn radius than the same model in a shorter size. This can add a factor that is useful in fine tuning a choice.        Ski shape vs. skiing style:             Most skiers will adapt to most ski shapes very easily. Occasionally, we hear from a customer who says something like “these new skis are no good, they are too squirrely” This comment often comes from someone who skis with their skis fairly flat on the snow and usually makes very skidded turns. Sometimes this skier also has a tendency to ski pretty straight legged and with their weight on their heels. Once in a while, a very classically trained “old school” expert (feet and legs very close together) will say something similar.
10/12/2007 7:54:23 PM Step #2…..qualifying the skier   How we define our categories.   Expert-Expert plus:  This is a skilled skier looking for maximum edge grip and stability (and/or) top notch performance in off trail conditions. This may be an experienced skier with polished skills or a strong confident skier that is long on aggressiveness but a tad short on polish. Skis in this category include primarily groomer zoomers, as well as models for someone who will aggressively tackle almost any off trail terrain and snow conditions. This skier may often have a “quiver” of skis for different conditions. Skis in this category will usually be fairly stiff and may not be the most forgiving. This category will have the very best constructions and technology. The expert plus designation is for a very few exceptional skiers. These skiers may have a racing or ski teaching background, or simply years and years of experience. A model with this skier rating will require that the skier “be on his game”   Advanced-EZ expert:  This is a very broad category. The skier will have good skills and skis fairly fast sometimes. The skier may also often ski at a more relaxed pace. We expect that this skier will be able to confidently ski any groomed run anywhere, anytime. They (may) also tackle some off trail conditions fairly well. Skis here may be almost the top technology and performance but are a little more forgiving. Some in this category will be a step below the top models in both technology and price. A fairly aggressive intermediate skier can handle many of the lower priced models in this category.   Intermediate: <
10/12/2007 7:47:59 PM   Step #1…..qualifying the ski   How we define our categories. We group our ski models into three basic categories plus specialty skis . The most obvious differences between the categories are in the widths of the ski but there are other differences as well. The primary qualifier in choosing a ski category is terrain choice. That is, the percentage of the typical day that is spent on groomed runs vs. skiing off the groomers. A secondary consideration is the skiers’ appetite for deeper snow conditions. Remember that some skiers will ski the off trial conditions quite often but may not have much appetite for deeper powder. Skis with wider waist widths will offer better performance in deeper snow, while the narrower models will be quicker edge to edge and usually offer better edge grip. One should keep in mind that these are not night and day differences. Skiers will make some compromises in one type of condition in order to get better performance in another. Some skiers may pick a wider category because they want to improve in a paticular area or just to have a little better soft snow capability even if they don't ski it too often.   These general categories pertain equally to unisex and women's specific models.     90% groomed, 10% off trail…..(powder= 4-6”) These skis will be approx 68mm – 73mm wide at the waist. They are the quickest turning and offer the best performance on hard packed snow. These will ski moguls and packed out bowls and steeps very well. Although they don’t excel in snow with a lot of depth, they’ll ski a few inches of powder and crud just fine. Almost all intermediate skis are in this category, and there are many models that make great choices for advanced to expert skiers as well. The highest level skis in this category will have the best technologies that each company has to offer. Most expert skiers will own one of these classic “groomer zoomers”. This is the type of ski that I personally like the best when it hasn’t snowed in a while.   70% groomed, 30% off trail……..(powder up to 12” or so) These are wider skis of approx 74m
10/12/2007 7:27:32 PM Introduction: What is an all mountain ski?? Every skier likes the sound of an “all mouuntain” ski. They want one ski that will be the best in all conditions. Heck! what’s not to like with that? Unfortunately, there is not one single style of ski that completely accomplishes this. Why not? There are just too many types of terrain and snow conditions for one type of ski to excel at them all. Most skis are useful in many conditions but each has its areas of superiority and also its weaknesses. We want to help you clarify your priorities     How we help you choose a pair of skis:             At Sierra, we carry over 70 models of all mountain skis. Every type of skier will have several good choices, but it can be a little intimidating to figure out what they are. We test very extensively in the late winter and spring and sometimes into the summer to make sure that we buy the best models in each category. We also pay close attention to identify the skier that is the best fit for the models we carry. (See the info page about “how and why we test skis”)             When we are helping you make a choice, we ask a lot of questions in order to eliminate unsuitable models. For example; assume we have a male customer to winnow down his choices from 50 models down to one or two. We can’t possibly discuss the characteristics of 40-50 different skis and we try to avoid discussing unsuitable models. Our general process is as follows. Step #1: Qualify the ski category by terrain preference. This gets us down to about 15-20 models. Step #2: Qualify the SKIER by ability/aggressiveness. This usually gets us down to 4-8 choices. Step #3: Consider skiers stature. (A big guy usually won’t get a soft ski, etc.) Probably 2-3 left. Step #4: Discuss characteristics of the last few choices and choose the length.   
11/15/2006 10:28:00 AM   Water-proof........No. That is generally not done on down jackets as they are more designed for maxium insulation than as rain gear. Also in order to maintain it's loft, a down jacket has to breathe more than a typical W/B fabric will usually allow.   Water-resistant........Yes. This jacket has what is called a DWR or (durable water repellent) coating. This allows it to shed snow or light mist for a few minutes.   There are down jackets in fuly W/B fabrics but they are generally expedition gear that is too heavy and too hot to ride in. Even then, they are not what I would call truly waterproof.   SJ

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