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good ski for southern california?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I haven't been skiing often for about the past 4 or 5 seasons, mainly because I didn't want to make the drive from San Diego to Mammoth (I'm in the Navy and got stationed out where there's no snow). Finally I decided to take the trek up to Mountain High this past weekend, and remembered the motto "any skiing is better than no skiing." From what I've heard their conditions are pretty much crud and soft man made snow all year long, and it was definitely that way this past Sunday.


A little about my ski background. 6', 205 lbs. I am a strong skier, not the best on any real mountain, but probably the best at Mountain High. I am from the East and am used to skiing Sunday River and Wildcat. I've got a pair of Dalbello Avanti V12's, but I need to figure out what ski I should be looking at. Given that the snow is pretty soft year round up there I'm already looking at getting a new pair of boots (the V12's are way to stiff for snow that soft), and a softer ski than usual (I'd typically be on a GS ski back east). I had been looking at the Prophet 90's or 100's cause they have that metal plate and are stiffer than a lot of the other All Mountain ski's out there. I also plan on making a few trips up to Mammoth every year, so I would definitely want something that can handle more varied terrain.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


- Ben

post #2 of 5
Greetings and welcome to Epic Ski. Did you look at the member reviews forum? Lots of good info you should spend some time looking at. Going through it quickly I saw this thread: http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/92748/western-daily-drivers-in-the-90-100mm-range
Take the time to read through it. I am about you size and ski at Mammoth ever other weekend. If I was a decent skier buying my first pair of skis in awhile, I would go with the Dynastar Sultan 94 in the 184 length. I did a quick search on www.the find.com and saw a pair for $410. You would need to buy bindings for them, buy look px12 bindings will run you maybe $120. Have fun shopping and doing your research.
post #3 of 5

Hi - Welcome to Epic. I live in the northeast, but grew up in LA, used to ski all the local places, get to Mammoth once or twice a season for a weekend. So sounds like your situation. Mammoth is easy: A 90-100-ish mm all mountain ski with some grip will take care of you just fine 90% of the time. Problem is that a ski that width is overkill for the local LA resorts, and probably not real happy on their manmade ice. So I'd go down a touch, these are skis that I think would handle both areas/conditions well for a guy your size: Blizzard 8.7 Magnum, Dynastar Sultan 85, Atomic Crimson Ti, Kastle MX88, Stockli VXL, Elan Apex, Nordica Jet Fuel.  Of all them, the best deals soon will be on the Sultan or Elan, while the Blizzard, Stockli, or Kastle will be hard to find, let alone find on sale. There are great reviews in Gear Review forum of all these, do a search there. Then, suggest you PM Dawgcatching if you're intrigued by the Elan or Sultan, he may also have some Blizzards still around. Sierra Jim may have the Atomics, maybe some Blizzards or Nordies. He'll be knowledgeable about Mammoth, too, not so sure about places like Snow Summit or Holiday Hill. biggrin.gif

post #4 of 5

skiing is fun wherever you get to do it. However, the SoCal ski areas, even though at High Altitude, are limited in run length and variety.

I've spent quite a bit of time at Mt High over the past 2 yrs, and Mt Baldy this yr.

Mainly to get my ski legs back under me after a 10 yr hiatus. So a major objective of my ski days at the local spots was to work on technique, feel for snow, and everything which contributes to the overall process. Hence I didn;t go breezin around just to slide down the hill. Every ski day there had clear objectives and goals related to recovering my skills.

Mt High and Mt Baldy are good for that, for sure.

Along with that was the needed catch-up on the huge change in skis in the past 10 yrs. So a lot of experimenting and testing.


There's really not much need to be particular in what you decide to ski at these areas, anything will do - even old long straights. Most of the trails are heavily groomed to cater to the predominance of snowboarders. The east area of Mtn High does have a few trails which are left untouched and so might develop some smallish bumps. Otherwise most everything is groomed flat.

So GS cruisers are an easy choice. Actually anything will do.

I do recommend skis which are Hard surface capable. Half the time the terrain will be Eastern Hardpack hard, and a strong edging/carving ski would be the preferred tool.

Outside of that, the grooming assures you'll have pretty good coverage with rare bare spots.

If you're gonna buy and it's only for a 1 ski quiver , I'd focus on a ski that will be what you want for Mammoth, and then just use it local.

Don;t be afraid to go reasonably wide - like mid 80s to mid 90's, with a good edging ski.

Really hard to go wrong these days, as long as you get the suitable size in the model you decide on.

Lotz of good reviews here on Epic, especially from the Tahoe, Oregon and Washington crowd.

read as much as you can...

a lot of good older skis (5 to 8 yr old stuff) can be had for less than a Mammoth lift ticket on Craigslist or local used equipment retailers like Play It Again Sports, but you gotta be discerning and know what you;re looking at...


have fun - see ya on the hill...

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

thanks for the help. appreciate it!

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