Getting ready for ski season with Skier's Edge

cantunamunch

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Does anyone remember Tony Little and the Gazelle machine? They look cool in videos but nobody I know who got one could do it as demoed on TV. It’s basically like putting your feet into two swings and then trying to run. Not graceful.
Pretty much every gym around here has a version of that - the Cybex arc trainer. No one really has a problem with it.

The only machine people have a problem with is the arcuate treadmill - because they don't get that it's supposed to simulate sled pushing, and isn't the Tony Little/Gazelle/arc trainer motion at all.

The Skiers edge reminded me of this, since there is no force to hold up your banking I think you’d end up jerking your legs side to side and holding yourself up with your arms, at least until you gain a lot of core control. Maybe that’s the point, it focuses on your abs so you can stay upright while you swing your legs back and forth.
Nah, there is much less banking than you think there is; the height difference between your feet at either end of the travel range keeps your shoulders close to level even if you're a complete noob. If you have enough flexibility in the ankles and lateral flexibility in the hips, it's actually really hard to get a core workout.
 

nesneros

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Pretty much every gym around here has a version of that - the Cybex arc trainer. No one really has a problem with it.

The only machine people have a problem with is the arcuate treadmill - because they don't get that it's supposed to simulate sled pushing, and isn't the Tony Little/Gazelle/arc trainer motion at all.
Some people have trouble balancing or moving legs independently on those things. Many people can get the hang of it fairly easily but there’s no built in resistance so it just feels like flailing your legs around unless you get that you’re supposed to exert control over the machine and be your own resistance.

Nah, there is much less banking than you think there is; the height difference between your feet at either end of the travel range keeps your shoulders close to level even if you're a complete noob. If you have enough flexibility in the ankles and lateral flexibility in the hips, it's actually really hard to get a core workout.
I think my impression is mainly from videos of using it without poles. That’s apparently pretty tough to do and requires discipline in your core to keep your upper body still while swinging your legs. If you are using poles, you’re holding yourself steady and pushing your legs from the stability of the upper body. Is it that much different from hopping side to side, that’s kind of what it looks like.

I don’t mean to derail the thread though and hope others do chime in with their experiences. I spent a lot of time looking at these about three months ago, I may still get one if they work, I was just left skeptical after digging and digging. Wishing I could try one. The ski team endorsement didn’t do much for me as there isn’t a lot of evidence around how much it’s actually used or if there’s any affiliation or kickback for the endorsement.
 

cantunamunch

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. If you are using poles, you’re holding yourself steady and pushing your legs from the stability of the upper body. Is it that much different from hopping side to side, that’s kind of what it looks like.
I find that the poles are really just there to help mount and dismount; they do provide a cue for centered-ness but the physical support is vanishingly small. The action is closer to lateral stepping than hopping because there is distinct - and if you do it right, continuous - pressure transfer between feet.

Back in the straight ski days I used to do a lot of lateral hopping over things like basketballs and the Skiers Edge isn't that - it's more like doing crossunder turns than hopping from edge set to edge set.
One thing it won't help you with? Counter.

I don’t mean to derail the thread though and hope others do chime in with their experiences.
I think we're still generally on track. FWIW, I ran into the same belt frustration as posters have expressed above.
 

Wannabeskibum

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I have a S4 that I upgraded to a T5 with the mogul platform and the slope simulator. I used mine for over many years and it was great for building technique and conditioning for the ski season. Since I started cycling 4000 miles per year on the road, gravel, and indoors along with core exercises and regular stretching, I find that I am ready for the ski season without the skier’s edge, so now it sits unused next to my Wahoo Kickr cycling trainer. Agree with the comments about retraction and extension and keeping a quiet upper body - basically try to reproduce what you want to do on snow.
 
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dovski

dovski

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I have a S4 that I upgraded to a T5 with the mogul platform and the slope simulator. I used mine for over many years and it was great for building technique and conditioning for the ski season. Since I started cycling 4000 miles per year on the road, gravel, and indoors along with core exercises and regular stretching, I find that I am ready for the ski season without the skier’s edge, so now it sits unused next to my Wahoo Kickr cycling trainer. Agree with the comments about retraction and extension and keeping a quiet upper body - basically try to reproduce what you want to do on snow.
So I have an S4 that was upgraded to the QS5 with RPM platform and slope simulator. Just started using it but have not played around with the slope simulator, does it make a big difference? Curious how you used yours.

I do not have the mogul platform but would gladly buy yours if you want to get rid of it :cool:
 
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dovski

dovski

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I find that the poles are really just there to help mount and dismount; they do provide a cue for centered-ness but the physical support is vanishingly small. The action is closer to lateral stepping than hopping because there is distinct - and if you do it right, continuous - pressure transfer between feet.

Back in the straight ski days I used to do a lot of lateral hopping over things like basketballs and the Skiers Edge isn't that - it's more like doing crossunder turns than hopping from edge set to edge set.
One thing it won't help you with? Counter.



I think we're still generally on track. FWIW, I ran into the same belt frustration as posters have expressed above.
Similar to skiing it is more how you hinge your body that keeps your upper part stable and less core strength. You do not ski with your core muscles clinched tight :)
After 4 days of using the skiers edge I have not felt it in my core or upper body in any significant way, primarily lower body. Poles are just there for a little balance and stability.
 

wyowindrunner

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Have a T5- 7? years now. Last time I looked at the site these are no longer made. The new machines seem to be over twice what I paid for the unit. Looks like some good improvements as far a suspension and band adjustments- the roller and pin system is kinda PITA when you get the tension high. Got it on sale think for 1800? Start using it in August every year- add it in with recumbant and treadmill work. Use poles to simulate pole plants. the thing seems to work for me. As others have said keeping the upper body quiet is the key. The bands have shown little oxidation-in a cooler room with pretty constant temp and little direct sunlight.
 
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dovski

dovski

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Have a T5- 7? years now. Last time I looked at the site these are no longer made. The new machines seem to be over twice what I paid for the unit. Looks like some good improvements as far a suspension and band adjustments- the roller and pin system is kinda PITA when you get the tension high. Got it on sale think for 1800? Start using it in August every year- add it in with recumbant and treadmill work. Use poles to simulate pole plants. the thing seems to work for me. As others have said keeping the upper body quiet is the key. The bands have shown little oxidation-in a cooler room with pretty constant temp and little direct sunlight.
When you say oxidization, are you referring to a brown discoloration on the bands? I have that on my bands but they seem to work fine. Have found a site that sells tension bands in what appears to be the same dimensions as the skier's edge, but will need to be cut to the same length. Not clear if these are the same or different but for $19 a band I thought it might be worth the experiment.
 

wyowindrunner

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The rubber just gets a chalky color- this is actually wax bloom. from the manufacturing process. I have no idea what SE's spec is but rubber isn't just rubber- there is a lot of other stuff in it and it can actually be affected by galvanic corrosion too. Don't know if I would trust a 19 buck band when I'm cranking on the thing and it lets go! I don't know if rubber suffers from fatigue failure-metals can go thru many stress cycles before cracks develop- then cracks develop and you drop a string of pipe or the fuselage of an airliner flies off! Fatigue is not detectable until the cracks develop by any NDT process that I am aware of, but I would assume it does. Why there is a born on date for tires and used tire dealers won't put tires over five (?) years old on car rims, though they will buy them for use on trailers. Now that it's brought up should see about getting new bands for mine-SE recommends every years?
 

TheArchitect

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When you say oxidization, are you referring to a brown discoloration on the bands? I have that on my bands but they seem to work fine. Have found a site that sells tension bands in what appears to be the same dimensions as the skier's edge, but will need to be cut to the same length. Not clear if these are the same or different but for $19 a band I thought it might be worth the experiment.
It might be the same dimensions but who knows if it has the same strengthen and elasticity. I hope it works but be careful and check the band for tears for signs of stress.
 

Prosper

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I think it depends on the amount of use it sees. When I bought my used machine the bands were pretty old and still gave me a couple years. I replaced them in 2017 and they're still in good shape.

Rant coming....

Skier's Edge really annoys me with their requirements for purchasing bands. I tried a couple months ago and was told my machine was too old. Here's the text:

With the launch of the new T7 and QS7 machines, we have retired the S4
machines as the parts are not being made anymore and the S4 machines are up
to 15+ years old.

You can upgrade your S4 to the T5 model and continue to receive service and
parts.

The T5 Upgrade Kit is $440.
New power bands $340.



The T5 upgrade kit is a new platform and wheels that roll along the rails. It doesn't have any impact on the bands. The band is the same so they clearly still make it and yet I can't buy it. This is just a forced upgrade, which I decided to hold off on.

When my current bands give out I'm going to have to decide whether to keep the machine and give them money or buy a used but more recent model for less money. I bought my entire machine, powder platform, poles and training bar for less than the $780 Skier's Edge wants. Plus shipping!
I bought a S4 machine a couple of years ago at a neighborhood garage sale for $70. I contacted Skier’s Edge recently and received the same reply as @TheArchitect. Not sure I want to invest the almost $800 but if the band breaks the machine is scrap metal.
 
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dovski

dovski

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It might be the same dimensions but who knows if it has the same strengthen and elasticity. I hope it works but be careful and check the band for tears for signs of stress.
Agreed, that is the challenge. That said if I can find something of the same dimensions and durability for $20 it is a worthy experiment. Worst case scenario I cough up the $340 and buy a new one from them. I can almost guarantee you that these bands are not custom made for skiers edge, rather just cut to size. If you can figure out the specs for the band it would be easy to buy something comparable for a fraction the cost. Real shame they are taking this approach and charging so much for a what is likely a $10 part. If they were really concerned about safety they would have a service that professionally installed the bands. I could see a poorly installed band being a bigger safety issue for them.
 

TheArchitect

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Agreed, that is the challenge. That said if I can find something of the same dimensions and durability for $20 it is a worthy experiment. Worst case scenario I cough up the $340 and buy a new one from them. I can almost guarantee you that these bands are not custom made for skiers edge, rather just cut to size. If you can figure out the specs for the band it would be easy to buy something comparable for a fraction the cost. Real shame they are taking this approach and charging so much for a what is likely a $10 part. If they were really concerned about safety they would have a service that professionally installed the bands. I could see a poorly installed band being a bigger safety issue for them.
You're right that it's definitely worth trying to find the right one. I wonder if there's a testing lab that could tell you what type of rubber it is for a cheap fee. I would so love to find a way to buy my own bands and not give Skier's Edge more money. Normally I wouldn't mind paying a company for it's product if I was happy with it but they are gouging customers and effectively forcing upgrades to otherwise perfectly good equipment. My S4 is in fantastic shape but I'm forced to spend $800 to keep it running? Really?
 
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dovski

dovski

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You're right that it's definitely worth trying to find the right one. I wonder if there's a testing lab that could tell you what type of rubber it is for a cheap fee. I would so love to find a way to buy my own bands and not give Skier's Edge more money. Normally I wouldn't mind paying a company for it's product if I was happy with it but they are gouging customers and effectively forcing upgrades to otherwise perfectly good equipment. My S4 is in fantastic shape but I'm forced to spend $800 to keep it running? Really?
Completely agree, this is not a customer friendly approach. I have a lifefitness treadmill and can buy the parts for it quite cheaply, I however am willing to pay a premium to have their technicians come out and service it for me. In this case they are flipping it around, charging a premium for parts and providing no service. That said we are clearly not their target market.
 

skibum4ever

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I have an older model Skier's Edge and it is part of my pre-season workout. Of course like everyone I prefer the workout that actual skiing provides.

I think it does some good as I started the season pretty strong.
 
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dovski

dovski

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Completely agree, this is not a customer friendly approach. I have a lifefitness treadmill and can buy the parts for it quite cheaply, I however am willing to pay a premium to have their technicians come out and service it for me. In this case they are flipping it around, charging a premium for parts and providing no service. That said we are clearly not their target market.
So I finally snapped the rubber band on my Skiers Edge and had to cave and buy a new band from them for $361. Sounds like the band I had was the original that came with unit and was over 10 years old. Will be curious to see how the new band preforms. With the early end to our ski season I have been putting on ski films and hoping on the Skiers Edge … decided to get an early start on next season :)
 

mikes781

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@dovski Good timing this coming up. I was looking at these but willing to shell out the full,price. I’ve come across a T5 Big Mountain that looks like it has a few add on’s not too far from me for an asking price of 550. I use an rowing machine (concept 2) regularly but wouldn’t mind having a more ski specific workout. Now that you’ve had it for a few months how are you liking it?
 
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dovski

dovski

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@dovski Good timing this coming up. I was looking at these but willing to shell out the full,price. I’ve come across a T5 Big Mountain that looks like it has a few add on’s not too far from me for an asking price of 550. I use an rowing machine (concept 2) regularly but wouldn’t mind having a more ski specific workout. Now that you’ve had it for a few months how are you liking it?
I really like my Skiers Edge. Due to a mountain bike injury I had a late start to my ski fit efforts this past season. I used the skiers edge to get to play catch up and it worked quite well. The trick is ensuring you maintain good form similar to when you ski. If you do that it gives you an excellent workout and hits all the same muscles and motions that you use when skiing.

I have a QS5 Big Mountain which is similar to the model you are looking at. Mine has the natural slope upgrade that allows you to set the forward angle of the foot stands. I like to let mine pivot so I work additional muscles to maintain that forward stance.

The only downside to buying a used one is that you do not know how old the bands are. My bands lasted about 8-9 months and then snapped. Replacement bands run $361, mind you if you are only paying $550 that is still a fraction of the price a new machine costs.
 
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