How Many Pairs of Skis Do you Need?

A couple weeks ago, I built this nifty ski holder over my staircase.  It was amazingly easy.  All I did was put a 1 X 1 inch frame on three sides, and then I drilled a 1 X 12 inch board on top of it.  I stuck a little bit of pipe insulation on top to hold the skis in place and PRESTO!  Instant ski holder!  It only took me like 4 hours...but that's because I'm no good at things like this (I'm not one of those dudes who throws up a barn over the weekend just for fun).  It's already been there for a week, so I figure it's stable.  Most of the time when I build something I'm kind of skeptical of it in case it falls down within a few hours.

Anyway, when I was done, I took this picture and it occurred to me that I should explain my woefully inadequate collection of skis.  To be fair, I do have two more pairs than are shown here.  One is my pair of Rossignol Axiom skis (my best skis), and the other is an old pair of Fischers that are currently in the hands of Jeff "The Mountain" I believe.

Now, there maybe be some of you out there with only...GASP...ONE pair of skis.  Well, that's a good start, but hopefully at the end of this article you'll be inspired to rush over to CyclovaXC and buy at least two or three more pairs.  Let me explain what each pair in the above quiver is for, and why it's an inadequate collection of skis.  The skis are all numbered above, here are the explanations:

1. Alpina Back Country Ski--This is a great ski.  It's a waxless tank that's designed for those days you just want to slam some boards on your feet and go.  They don't go very fast, and the waxless kick pocket goes "VRRRRRROOOOMMMM" as you ski along, but they give you a workout and you don't have to take care of them.  In fact, you can abuse these skis!  You can slam them in the car door, drive over asphalt, jump over downed trees, you name it (look, we don't recommend that you do all that, and honestly you can break the skis, I'm just exaggerating for comic effect).  You can't really race on these skis though because you have to pretty much ski down hill with them as well as up hill.

2.  Fischer 1st generation skate ski--These babies are RELICS!  I should really hang them up at the shop just so people can look at them.  Back when Fischer first came out with skate skis, they still had a super long classical tip.  Those of us who skied on these skis all cut the tip down with a jigsaw or something (hence the oddly rounded top).  These skis have a blue base and a metal edge.  I use them for rock skis, and I've traditionally skied my first ski of the year on them going back about two decades.

3.  Rossignol Evos--I believe we still have some of these skis up at the shop.  These are pretty much the same thing as the Alpina Back Country ski, but this particular pair belongs to my wife.

4.  Fischer 1st generation RCS Cap Classical ski--I bought these up in Canada for a song.  It's a great classical ski.  However, I bought pretty much all these skis back when I was at the peak of my racing days and only weighed about 165 lbs.  Therefore, this ski is totally wrong for me today, I flatten it like a pancake (actually that's not true since I always bought my skis super stiff, but the fit on these skis still isn't ideal).

5.  Fischer 1st generation RCS Cap Skating skis--These are my all time favorite pair of skis, all of my best races ever came on this pair of skis.  They were super stiff when I bought them back in the day and they worked GREAT on a hard packed track.  I used to ski on them in every single race I could...and in many of those races I should have gone with a softer ski...but when these skis were on they were fast!  I actually haven't even tried them out since I've been back from Peru.  I guess I'm waiting to regain some kind of form. I won't ever sell them though, I don't even like it when people look at them too long.  On to ski 6.

6.  Madshus Cap Classical ski--A good ski but nothing I ever got all that excited about.  I believe every classical race I've ever done was on this ski.

7.  Madshus 195 CM Cap skate ski (soft pack)--I tried for a little longer skate ski here (normally I prefer 190s).  One of two pairs of skis I own with pilot bindings.

8.  Madshus 190 CM Cap skate ski (hard pack)--I switched the bindings out so I can use them with my new Rossignol boots.  These are pretty much my new rock skis now.  They were a hard pack ski when I was 165 lbs, now they're effectively soft pack.

9.  Fischer Skis I bought from Allan because he drilled holes in the tips.  You can't really see the holes in the tips here, but if you catch me out skiing on them someday, I'll show you.  Also pilot bindings.

10.  Alpina Velocity skate ski--Hey, look at that, I bookended with Alpina!  These were a shorter ski that came out with the Fischer Revolutions were all the craze.  Not a bad ski, but nothing special.  I use them for showing people how to ski these days.

So there you have it!  The reason this quiver is ineffective is that everything is flexed for a guy 50 lbs lighter than I am.  Still, I between these ten pairs, I can usually find something that works.  Actually, this is a pretty modest collection compared to some I've seen.  When you've been skiing for decades there's bound to be a turnover in equipment.  It's just hard to part company with a pair of skis after you've done a Birkie on them!  Also, in the back of your mind you keep thinking, maybe...just maybe...I'll race at 165 lbs again someday!

Oh...I also have a grenade up there in the picture.  Don't worry, it's a dud!

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