before I introduce myself, please excuse any rule violates - I'm a noob
I'm a 30 year old and 180 cm tall skier from Europe and have skied a lot of place in Europe including Austria, France, Germany and Italy. I've skied since I was little and only had a few gaps within my skiing career (longest was approx. 5 years). My on-piste skills are (according to ski instructors) very good. Depending on the conditions off-piste my style can get quite sloppy (I start making some stupid mistakes).
My situation & Requirements
Currently I'm looking to buy my first pair of skis from a previous season, as I don't believe in shelling out large amounts of cash to get the latest and greatest of the season, because the small improvements aren't really worth it to me. To date I've always rented my skis - mostly premium or VIP category. As I'm venturing more and more into off-piste and "all-condition" skiing, I'm looking for a ski that does well in the following:
- Handles off-piste well
- good handling in deep powder snow
- good speeds on-piste, no a race carver speeds (I'm never the fastest on-piste, nor do I try to be, but I do want to "push it" if necessary)
- good stability and control on-piste including grip on ice patches
- good at short and middle turns, also I sometimes ski more aggressive - so it should handle that as well
- good reaction times when turning
- don't care to much about it's carving capability
As a rough guide the on-piste/off-piste % would be between 50% / 50% -- 60% / 40% and sometimes 30% / 70%. That proably doesn't help, huh?
I was able to single out 3-4 skis for me: K2 Rictor, K2 Xplorer, K2 Crossfire, Head Monster iM 82
My research and knowledge so far
Rictor (2010): 80mm underfoot, All terrain rocker.
Xplorer: 84mm underfoot, traditional camber.
Crossfire: 74mm underfoot, traditional camber
So, from what I understand the main differences in them is the width of the skis. Thus:
- Crossfire is a trail specific ski for carving on groomed terrain.
- The Rictor is more of an all mountain mix of groomed and ungroomed terrain. The Rictor does have some early rise or slight rocker to the tip to help with turn initiation and float in soft snow.
- The Xplorer even more for soft and variable snow conditions but still will work on groomed terrain as well. Traditional camber.
- Haven't had any experience with the Head Monster iM 82, but I'll definitely consider, if someone has had experience with them or could even compare them to the three ski from above.
Those are the "facts".
Expierience with some of these models:
I've skied the current Rictor model in St. Anton (Arlberg), Austria, which is world-renowed for it's off-piste skiing and hard slopes. Unfortunately I don't remember which size I rented (stupid me!). So I would take my experience with these skis with a grain of salt as I wasn't skiing for the past 2 year and had to warm up my skiing skills again the first 2 days. Plus, I was skiing quite some hard ski routes (which were very! challenging. Anybody that has been to St. Anton knows what I'm talking about ) and off-piste and the snow wasn't the best either.
In Damüls, Austria I tried out the 2009 Crossfire (size: 176/177 cm) and really liked the skis, though I wished they would have had a little more grip on ice, but no biggy. I found the slopes in Damüls too easy for my liking so that could! explain why the skis handled so well. Here I was mostly on-piste because this resort didn't have much off-piste skiing, but good snow over all.
So what's your experience with these skis? Any comparisons or suggestions for me? I've read some threads on these forums comparing the Crossfire with the Explorer, but still couldn't make my mind up I need to buy a pair before I go skiing in Les 3 Vallées