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Ski To Learn Off Piste

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Can anyone recommend a ski to learn off piste?

 

I am  45 yrs, 5'10" 185 lbs solid intermediate skier.  I ski in Northern California on a smaller local hill (Mt. Shasta) and at Tahoe.  I have never really pushed myself in the past to learn to ski off piste, but now I am wanting to learn so that I can try to keep up with my buddies when they leave the groomers.  I have skied that last few years on Volkl Supersports.  I like to ski fast on piste, but struggle in the deeper snow.

 

I just got fitted for a pair of high performance boots and now I want to get some new skis to either replace or supplement the Supersports.  I have demoed the following skis so far:

 

Rossignol S80

Rossignol S86

K2 Aftershock

Nordica Firearrow 80

Volkl Kendo

 

Of these, I liked the Kendos the best,and maybe the Aftershocks second, but because of terrible snow conditions that day, did not go off-piste on either one.  I did take the S86's off-piste and they did much better than my Supersports, but I wasn't crazy about them on the groomers.

 

I had a blast on the Kendos, but would the Kendos be good for learning to ski off piste?   Or should I look at a ski that is wider, softer, rockered, etc?

 

I can also demo the Salomon Shogun from my local ski shop if that might be a good possibility.

 

Thanks for your help!

post #2 of 11


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcross View Post

Can anyone recommend a ski to learn off piste?

 

I am  45 yrs, 5'10" 185 lbs solid intermediate skier.  I ski in Northern California on a smaller local hill (Mt. Shasta) and at Tahoe.  I have never really pushed myself in the past to learn to ski off piste, but now I am wanting to learn so that I can try to keep up with my buddies when they leave the groomers.  I have skied that last few years on Volkl Supersports.  I like to ski fast on piste, but struggle in the deeper snow.

 

I just got fitted for a pair of high performance boots and now I want to get some new skis to either replace or supplement the Supersports.  I have demoed the following skis so far:

 

Rossignol S80

Rossignol S86

K2 Aftershock

Nordica Firearrow 80

Volkl Kendo

 

Of these, I liked the Kendos the best,and maybe the Aftershocks second, but because of terrible snow conditions that day, did not go off-piste on either one.  I did take the S86's off-piste and they did much better than my Supersports, but I wasn't crazy about them on the groomers.

 

I had a blast on the Kendos, but would the Kendos be good for learning to ski off piste?   Or should I look at a ski that is wider, softer, rockered, etc?

 

I can also demo the Salomon Shogun from my local ski shop if that might be a good possibility.

 

Thanks for your help!



the thing is spending that much time on skinny ski is going to make any off piste ski feel weird and ungainly when in reality its is not the ski but its how you are skiing them.

 

Quite honestly living in northern Cali everything you listed is suppose to be a quiver of one or someone's hardsnow ski out west.  I simply would not bother with your list and I would jump up to the 98 mm skis that have slight amounts of rocker in them. the Blizzard "the one", Dynstar Slicer, Volkl Bridge, and Rossi S3 are really the type of skis you should be looking at. Keep you supersports around to develop you skills but learning to ski the above 98mm ski everywhere will grow you as a skier. They are truly easier off trail than  anything you mentioned while being good on groomers once you get use to them.

 

the thing is the more you like something off piste the more its probably going to suck on groomer. Simple fact of life. In the end its skill that turns the ski and as a skilled skier you can compensate for the skis to a certain extent.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice. I assume that the Salomon Shogun would fit into that same category as far a slight rocker and 101 under waist.

post #4 of 11

I can heartily recommend the Icelantic Shaman.  This has replaced my Supersport Allstars as my main ski.  It has handled everything I've thrown at it:  trees, crud, powder and bumps.  Plus it carves really well.  Sure, it isn't as quick edge to edge as the Supersports, but I don't use them for racing so it really doesn't matter. 

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

I can heartily recommend the Icelantic Shaman.  This has replaced my Supersport Allstars as my main ski.  It has handled everything I've thrown at it:  trees, crud, powder and bumps.  Plus it carves really well.  Sure, it isn't as quick edge to edge as the Supersports, but I don't use them for racing so it really doesn't matter. 



I know a couple people that swear by the shamans in powder, if that seems to wide why not try the nomad or nomad sft?

post #6 of 11

To learn to ski off-piste, I suggest using a ski that is very forgiving, as this will increase your learning curve dramatically.  If you buy a ski that you will "grow into", you might get frustrated, and tend to migrate solely to the groomers.  I have skied off-piste for years (and tried to push around the wrong skis...ugh), but I really learned to do it properly in the Rossi Bandits.  Very forgiving ski, doesn't kick your butt when you make a mistake.  I know they don't make the Bandit anymore, but maybe you can find a good used pair, or possibly a shop that has old stock.  Depending on how wide you want underfoot, you can try the B2 (74mm), B3 (83mm) or B4 (94mm) model.  Your skills will likely get built quite fast with a forgiving ski, and you may then want to "upgrade" to a more serious off-piste ski, but you probably won't want to sell your Bandits!  ;-)  Good luck. 

post #7 of 11

I would look for something about 100mm under foot and forgiving with a medium to softer flex. I learned to ski off trail on Scott P4s a few years ago and its a very easy going fat ski, I think they are still around. Bushies list seems like an obvious place to start.

post #8 of 11

To be honest, I don't like any of the skis you list for learning how to ski pow/soft snow. IMO, you'd thrive on a modern version of the Pocket Rocket; a relatively soft, relatively wide ski with some front rocker, but a traditional tail, whether flip or twin. The Elan Spire or Olympus come to mind, there are several excellent K2's such as the Obsethed or Hardside, the Rossi S3 is really nice if you want something that will also do decently on groomed (at least non-icy groomed), especially on bumps, and in trees. The skis you list are too narrow, so you're gonna be doing a lot of up and down, and several, especially the Kendo and the Firearrow, are way too stiff to be much fun learning on. Keep in mind that some skis experts like BWPA find "flexy," like a Blizzard The One, aren't. They're moderately stiff. Which is why they do well on hardpack. When you've really got soft snow under control, and also have your carving down cold, then you may (or may not) prefer something moderate to stiff that you can rip on. But for now, soft is the path...

post #9 of 11

First off, the snow on Mt. Shasta is much denser than most western snow so a ski with a waist 110mm is overkill. (I grew 100 miles north of Mt. Shasta and skied there off and on for 30 years.)  If you're looking for a ski for Mt. Shasta powder, crud, slush, spring corn, frozen crud, etc. I recommend sticking with something around a 90mm waist.

 

 

I'd recommend looking at the following threads for ideas on skis in that range:

 

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/96369/the-crazy-88s-revisited-2011-mini-reviews

 

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/98203/2011-mid-fat-ski-reviews-80-100mm-waist-skis

post #10 of 11

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Edited by slider - 1/30/11 at 4:00pm
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

Agree with Rio. Shasta can throw a lot of different conditions at a skier. Member the old resort Rio?


The worst white-out conditions I ever encountered were in the bowls to the east of the old chair.  Some of the deepest powder I've skied was in the same area.  The old resort was a hoot.

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