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Help with my demo list

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
After a few years on the same boards, I'm looking forward to buying a new pair this season. Based on all the reviews/info I could find, I've narrowed my demo list down to three skis.

Here's my quick personal profile and the ski attributes I'm looking for. Any oppinions or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

I'm a level 8-9 skier who has been skiing for nearly 30 years, but recently only get about 10-12 days/year. I mostly ski So. Cal. areas and Mammoth Mtn. 80% on the groomed, depending on my luck in hitting days after a snowfall. Being in my 40s and having kids, other obligations are keeping me from buying more than one pair. So I'm looking for that mythical ski that can do everything well - any-size turns, highspeed runs on wide open groomed, hardpack, a layer of fresh pow, steeps, chutes, or bumps. Looking for relatively high-end performance without having to work them too hard. Oh, and while I can use newer technique, I still like a ski that will let me skid a turn when desired.

My top three choices, for now, are the new Bandit X, the Atomic 11.20, and the Dynastar Autodrive Cross. The Cross is a bit more of a groomer, but sounds versatile enough for other conditions. The G3 caught my attention, but sounds like it would take a lot of work in bumps or during slower family skiing. The Axis X sounds a bit weak in bumps and harder snow.

One more related question... I'm 5'8", 150 lbs and unsure about the new lengths (in case not all are available to demo). I've been mainly skiing on a pair of 198 Salomon Prolink Super Force skis - except in fresh powder where I ride 184 Rosi Bandits (not the X). (The low-end Bandits were a door prize at a Warren Miller film and one of the excuses my wife gives for me not needing a new pair of skis sooner). I'm thinking probably 180cm for the Atomics and 178 for the Cross, and either 177 or 184 for the Rosis.

Whoa...Sorry for being so long winded.
Thanks for your input.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 16, 2001 11:03 AM: Message edited 1 time, by G.Law ]</font>
post #2 of 16
Well iam 5'8" and 155lbs and i have Mod X in 181 length ski same as Axis X, i think you are reading to much into Axis X ski's not being able to handle hardpack, and its just not true. Only people i think have trouble with the X ski are the heavy weights here. Iam talking over 180lbs. If you can demo the ski's you mention before hand , do it. Any one of those ski's am sure you would like so it comes down to personal prefernce, but all i can say is i wouldnt dismiss the Axis X ski.
post #3 of 16
I'm 5'9" and 200lbs and ski on the Atomics in the 170cm length.
post #4 of 16
The Rossi Bandit X is not even close to the 11.20 , not a good comparison. The dynastar I can't say .
post #5 of 16
G....the Dynastar Autodrive Cross is fun, but their Speed SX is a knockout as far as a ski
for the steeps...and it's damper this season....thus will handle much more solid crud than the Cross (just my opinion)...but I still have yet to make up the mind on a NewEngland mid-fat.
..so many skis...jeez....
post #6 of 16

I think that I might have some relevant info, since I am a frequent SoCal skier at Snow Scummit, Barren Mtn, Mt. Why, and Baldy. I also hit Mammoth as much as I can. So as far as terrain and snow, I think that I can relate. Here is my spin:

1) Bandit X (2002 Model) - 184-cm - Great Choice. It basically has the same shape as an Axis X or AX Pro, but falls somewhere in between the two in terms of performance. Would be a great ski for what you are thinking about. The turned-up tail reduces the amount of effective edge on the snow, so a 184 X has less edge on the snow than other 184's.

2) Atomic 11.20 - More ski than most would want. With the new shape, not a good skidder. Rockets out of turns. Don't go above the 180, unless you are Hermann Maier. Definitely demo before you but these. Otherwsie, there is still a lot of 10.20's from last year to be had for good prices.

3) Ski Cross 66 - 178-cm - Best X-Scream Series wannabe around. A bit heavy, but forgiving of errors. A sure thing.

4) Axis X - 181-cm - For your weight, this stick would do fine. Very versatile. Probably the most fun of these sticks in crud and powder. Good in bumps and trees as well.

For your reference, I am a 8/9 skier, 5'8", 175 lbs. who skis a K2 Axis X Pro (188), Dynastar 4x4 Big (188) and Concept (180).

See you on the hill!
post #7 of 16
Glaw, don't know about the Rossi or the Dynastar, but I can give you my two cents worth on the Atomics. I rode the 10.20 last season. Just ordered my 11.20s. The difference is the topskin and power channels. '00-'01 10.20 has a titanium top, this year's 10.20 and 11.20 have a Texalium (aluminum impregnated, fiberglass weave) tops. Titanium tubes in the 11.20 and carbon tubes in the 10.20. The point of the 11.20 was to get a bit beefier ski. I'm an eastern skier, 5'9", and 220 lbs., and I ski them both at 180. Plenty of hold on the ice/hardpack, plenty of all mountain appeal out west. I might have gone with the 190 if I skied a big western mountain all the time. If you can only own one pair of skis, I don't think you could choose any better. At your weight, you may want to stay with the 10.20 (last years or this years). Depends on how hard you attack the hill....
post #8 of 16
IMO the Head SuperCross Ti is a great ski - incredibly damp and stable, great edge grip, sidecut is 110-72-100. Lengths are 170, 180, 190, and 195. This ski will handle it all....(for the record I'm 6'0", 155lbs, am an expert skier and I ski on the 190 - have no idea what level, don't have em in Canada as far as I know).

One other thing, this ski works best for aggresive and fast skiing, feels kinda dead at slow speeds (but ultra stable and powerful at high speeds).

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 12, 2001 05:40 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Mike B ]</font>
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all for your input. Most comments agree that I'm generally on the right track. I will also try to demo the Axis X and maybe a couple of others at the local demo day.

Girthman, Thanks for the comments on the Atomics. Can you give any additional insite or comparison of the performance characteristics of the 11.20 and this year's 10.20?

Does anyone else have some first-hand knowledge about this year's Atomic 10.20? (I'm going to ask this in a seperate post with the ski name in the title.) Not too much info in the mag/web reviews.

Bandit Man, The viewpoint of a knowledgeable SoCal local is appreciated. Another way to describe what I'm looking for is something that will handle close hardpack bumps on The Wall on a cold Spring morning as well as windblown powder on Cornice or Dave's Run after a major storm.

Have fun!


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 15, 2001 10:48 AM: Message edited 2 times, by G.Law ]</font>
post #10 of 16
G-Law - I'm ther with Banditman, the Axis X will work reall well for what you want. I ski Mammoth everyday, and have a pair of Mod Xs that did all that. If you want to save a little money, and get more floataion up top, the Axis is also very worth considering. It is a very underpromoted ski, that is more vresatile for most people than it's big bros. The updated Bandit X is also a sweet Mammoth ski. I did about 2 laps in good snow on the new 11.20, and it was really fun also. I skied it in a 170, and my Mods are 174. Really, it is pretty hard to go wrong with one of those 107-70-97ish skis. They all seem to work pretty well everywhere. Personally, I prefer a bit wider ski for Mammoth, but if you are spending lots of time crusing the groomers, no big. Hey, when was the last time you skied tight bumps on the Wall? West Bowl or Lincoln maybe, the Wall? Windbuff on Cornice Bowl? Gotta love it, too bad the Mountain is obsessed with grooming the crap out of it. They never should have blasted the top, oh well.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Good points on suitable skis for conditions at Mammoth. Thanks. My comment on close hardpack bumps on The Wall, for Bandit Man, was referring to the run at Snow Summit down here in Big Bear. (Forgot there is also one at Mammoth). Unfortunately, I only get 5-6 days a year up there, and the rest down south. Got to work on that.
post #12 of 16
Well G Law,

It seems you have a lot of good demo suggestions. When it comes time to demo, try to limit yourself to three ski manufacturers, and no more than two skis from each manufaturer.

If you don't, you will be overwhelmed with the choices.

If there is one particular ski, that you have a very strong desire to demo, i.e. it is at the top of the list, then go for that one first. If you like it, use it as a standard of comparison. Find a ski that you like better, that becomes your new standard of comparison. Try different lengths as well, that can make a big difference.
post #13 of 16
Don't dismiss the Axis X! I fancy myself a bump skier and demo'd 8 different skis last season. 10 turns on the Axis X and I bought a pair. They're THAT good. They're definately worth the price/time of a demo.
post #14 of 16
G.Law I cannot help you with the various brands as I am not familiar them all. However I did demo three skis last year when in Western Canada. I found that I preferred the shorter lengths. With the greater sidecuts of the new skis you do not need the length to get performance. I am also 5'8" and 155 lbs. I ended up buying the Solomon Pilot 10 in a 170 length last year. I could definately feel an improvement in my skiing. Other instructors at my area also commented on the immprovement. I went from the Solomon Extendo Series, power 6 (186cm). I don't know if it was the ski or the shorter length. Possibly the combo helped. Definately demo shortest ski you can find.
post #15 of 16
If you ski at Mammoth you may want to ckeck out Footloose Sports. On their website they do a good job of comparing the models they sell and also have a demo program.Their site is www.footloosesports.com

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 20, 2001 09:13 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Lostboy ]</font>
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
I agree. Footloose is one of the best for expert advise or boot fitting. I purchased boots from them in the past. Still waiting for them to post this year's ski review. Maybe their web-hosting service is having some problems. They've been saying it's almost done for a couple of weeks. :
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