I'm an east coast skier who averages 30 days of skiing each season, including 6-9 days in the west. I'm looking for an all-mountain ski that really excels in the bumps, since I spend about 60% of my time there. I've read Dawgatchers reviews of the Salomon XT 850, the Elan Apex, the Fischer Motive 84, and the Dynastar Legend Sultan 85. He seems to like them all, and I'm considering buying the Salomon XT 850 but I'd like to know which of these (or another ski) is best suited to bump skiing. I would describe myself as an advanced skier who skis everything except extreme terrain, but I don't yet consider myself an expert. When skiing out of the bumps I have a slight preference for slalom vs gs-type turns, and I'm not a speed skier. I guess I should mention that I'm 5'9", 155 lbs and very fit. Currently I ski on Elan Speedwave 12, 160cm.
Best All-Mountain Skis For Bumps
- 807 Posts. Joined 2/2011
- Location: San Diego
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For firm bumps, a pure slalom race ski might suit you well. Maybe lose the race bindings and get something lighter. When it is firm I ride Volkl Race Tiger SL 165 and they are quite fun in the bumps. Plus they don't scare me on the slick groomers.
As a west coast skier (Squaw mostly), I don't have to suffer ice too often. On softer days, I ride Goodes (74 underfoot and 175 long). They are light and quick in the bumps - sweet! They are OK in powder and crud, a little slow in the coin op gates but I can survive icy patches and really easy to carry on and off the hill. Plus they have lasted me several seasons of banging moguls.
Thanks eleeski, really helpful. The first skis I ever owned were Volkl. The Tiger SL 165 looks very appealing and would probably meet most of my needs. I do wonder if it would work for trips out west, but since bumps are my priority maybe I shouldn't be expecting it to suffice on all surfaces. (However I WOULD like to just be able to use one ski for everything.) I've noticed that some also like the Volkl AC30 in bumps.
I wasn't aware of Goode skis but I've just visited their website. Interesting technology, and I can certainly see why they'd be easy to carry on and off the mountain!
I really like my Fischer Progressor 8s in the bumps. Definitely a hard snow carving ski, but much more forgiving than an all out race ski. Not the best choice for the West or Eastern powder days as its narrow. But I have a pair of Dynastars for that. Note I am very close to your size and perhaps a little stronger skier, but probably older (I'm in my 60s).
Note that Fischer is changing the Progressor line this year. Not sure what the changes are. A pair of leftover P8s (or the higher end P10s) should be a great deal.
- 33,764 Posts. Joined 9/2000
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how do you ski bumps? Pure zipper lines, or nice rounded turns? Speed? Moderate, fast or super fast? East boiler plate bumps on Outer Limits? Soft less steep moderate bumps on Sel's Choice or running laps on Mary Jane? With all that asked, a good bump clinic will make more of a difference than (almost) any ski. With that said, the Exduro 850 is very stiff, the Motive has a lot of lift and the Apex is kinda wide for your size. Out of the skis that you mentioned I think the Sultan 85 would be the best choice. You can mount it flat, it is light and a good flex for your 155lb frame.
Philpug, I would say I tend to ski rounded turns at a moderate speed. However I sometimes like zipper lines on slightly less steep runs with relatively even bumps. I'm constantly looking to improve my skills and I do take lessons every two weeks during the season. Killington has become my favorite mountain over the last couple of years. I've only gone down Outer Limits once, because the cover has frequently been thin on Bear Mtn when I've been there. But I like Cascade and similar runs when they're bumped up. Thanks for your recommendation.
I find the Progressor 8s the most versatile and forgiving ski I have ever owned, at least for typical eastern conditions. Here's a review of the Progressor 10 by dawgcatching who is highly regarded around here. It pretty much tracks my opinion of the P8.
Fischer Progressor 10+: new ski for 2011, has similar construction to the Motive 84; wood core, laminate layer of carbon, 73mm waist, shorter turn radius than the 9+, which is a bit detuned version of the WC RC. Also features the new adjustable flowflex plate. Tested in 170cm.
Review: sweet ski, very responsive, much quicker than the 9+. It rips, and is definitely a fall-line machine. Somewhat due to the radius, but also due to the bit softer flex, higher energy, and lighter weight of the ski. Plenty of stability, likes smaller to medium radius arcs. Like the Motive, it is moderate in flex, but skis with plenty of energy, rebound, and aggressiveness, all without being overly stiff, demanding, or GS-y. Good in bumps, mixed conditions: pretty much anything you can throw at it, that doesn't require a ski with a lot of float. The 170cm is the fun length, the 175cm the barn burner length. This is one of the most versatile frontside skis around, and a great compliment to anyone's quiver. Very unique in feel, in that it is light on the snow, yet has plenty of edge hold and hooks up powerfully.
- 338 Posts. Joined 8/2008
- Location: Albany, NY
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Second the Fischer Progressor 8+ (I have Fischer RX8s and love 'em in the bumps). K2 Extreme/Public Enemy, Dynastar Troublemaker, Dynastar 6th Sense Distorter are all good options if you want skis that provide solid all-mountain performance, but are also better than average in bumps. Most of these skis can be found on the internet at past-season prices. Only the progressor will come with bindings, the rest are sold flat.
One of my friends, who is a solid mogul skier did a lot of demoing last year. He liked the Sultan 85s for "softer" eastern bumps, and the Bliz. 8.1 for "stiffer" eastern bumps.
how do you ski bumps? Pure zipper lines, or nice rounded turns? Speed? Moderate, fast or super fast? East boiler plate bumps on Outer Limits? Soft less steep moderate bumps on Sel's Choice or running laps on Mary Jane? With all that asked, a good bump clinic will make more of a difference than (almost) any ski.
You can't buy a turn in the bumps.
- 977 Posts. Joined 10/2010
- Location: NE Ohio
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I also live and ski mostly in the east. I have 2 different skis that I like in the bumps. One is my current all mountain ski the AC30 in the bumps both here and the 2 trips out west I have had with them, but they are by no means a dedicated bump ski, but can be quite vesatile if they match your ski style. I am 190lbs and ski them in a 170 and don't find them too stiff but others do. But last season I picked up a pair of Blizzard SL Mag IQ's in a 160 to use as my slalom race ski in the adult program I race in and I have been taking them into the bumps after my slaloms races and have been having a hoot on them. They work really well in the firm and icy bumps we get around here, but don't work nearly as well when there is alot of new snow and the bumps are softer and mushier, then the wider AC30's work better for me.
Question 1) With your current Speedwave 12's, what do you like / dislike re mogul performance?
Question 2) Would this ski replace the 12's or augment the quiver?
from a PM from Dawgcatching April 2011:
The new (Head) Peaks are extremely versatile, softer, yet still retain the wicked edge grip. Very kastle-like, but without the price tag. I loved them. The 78 and 84's were probably the best bump skis I tried in 4 days of testing. The flex was perfect for me. They definitely weren't too stiff, as the Blizzard 8.1's can feel in bumps (more work than fun at times).
For me, I find that as you move to SL/Race skis, the shovels are too stiff for stuffing due to ski construction, and the tails want to hook up due to ski geometry (ie 10-15 M turn radius). Even my Blizz Magnum 7.6 start to fit this description, especially the tail. (echoing Dawg's comment on the Blizz 8.1 above) . I previously owned the Elan Speedwave 12 and for me the shovel rose up to my face faster than i wanted it to :) My previous RX8's, being softer, were more mogul friendly but gave up top end performance on-piste.
This may apply more to zipperlining than to a kinder gentler path.
Additionally, I do have a pair of mogul specific skis (rossi moguls) and its tough to beat a ski designed for the task:
skinny / lightweight / flex in the shovel to absorb frontside / tails dont hook on the backside.
Good luck - get a mogul ski :)
Thanks for your input rickg.
It sounds like several of you like the Fischer Progressor 8s (and motive 80s) in the bumps. I hadn't caught Dawgcatching's review of the Progressor 8, so thanks for that. Docbrad66, in answer to your questions: Re. my speedwave 12s, I generally like them in the bumps. The only complaints I have are that the wider tips knock together a bit, and sometimes the tail can catch. The new ski would be a replacement for the speedwaves, not an addition to the quiver. However...you might have convinced me to choose an all-mountain ski that does well enough in the bumps now, and next year to buy a mogul-specific ski. Can you ski satisfactorily on groomed runs with the mogul-specific skis? I so, I might be able to just use a mogul ski when spending most of the day in bumps, with occasional detours to groomed areas.
On groomers, yes mogul skis will be fine. They keep you on your game being so narrow.
And they are more easily deflected in heavy / crud.
They probably wont lay trenches like your SW12s though.
You can also do tons of flatland drills when the bumps stop or before they start.
Where are you located / where do you ski?
That's good to know :-)
I'm in New England. I ski mostly in Vermont and New York. Favorite mountains in Vermont are Killington and Sugarbush. I'd like to give Jay Peak a return visit too. In New York I like Whiteface, and Belleayre for short excursions. For western skiing its mostly Utah and BC.