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Birthday skis for the hubby

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I'm new to Epic ski and looking for advice.  I would like to buy a new pair of skis for my husband for his 50th birthday.  He is 6 foot tall and about 190 lbs.  We ski about 15-20 days a year out west, seeking out the groomed and powder areas avoiding moguls.  Doing some research I've come across the Fischer Watea 88 thinking it might be a good ski for him.  I've also seen last years Volkl AC50 for a great deal but then found out that Volkl discontinued that ski for the new season.  Any advice about these skis or maybe a ski that would suit?  Thanks in advance!!!

post #2 of 17

You are a brave woman! If your husband is a gearhead like me (although I own nothing, I would be afraid to have my wife figure out what I really wanted without my input), then you are entering dangerous waters!! You could buy him a week at Tahoe with demos from StartHaus (for example), and let him choose what he likes best. Other than that type of gift, you should let us know a little bit more about what type of skier and how advanced a skier he is, where you mostly ski or if it varies each trip, and what kind of budget you are dealing with. Then we (meaning people like me who don't really know squat and others unlike me who know way more...) will try to give you a hand. Can we assume you own boots based on the amount you ski? If not, then good fitting boots will be a more valuable gift than skis.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

LOL!!!  If I didn't do the buying in this family, nothing would ever get bought.  My husband is a wonderful man but hates shopping and that includes gear, cloths and even cars.  I've thought about the demo thing and tried to get him to demo some skis on our last trip last year but he said it was a waste of time and would rather just ski.  Last year we did 3 seperate ski weeks: Breckenridge, Beaver Creek and Crested Butte.  This up coming season we will be doing a 5 day clinic at Steamboat to begin with and then a week in Breckenridge, Northstar, and Vail.  If possible I'd like to throw in a couple extra days since this year we bought Epic local passes.  I don't really know what is considered advanced but he likes to ski mostly blacks especially the wide open ones.  He's not a big tree skier and avoids the moguls.   He does have boots and they are Atomic B Tech seris 90.  His old skis are Atomic Metron 7, 172, 122:72:106=14.5m   As for budget, I would like to keep it under $1000.  That is one reason I was looking at the Volkl C50.  A buddy of ours bought a pair last year and they were $1200 and the pair I found was under $700 new with binding.  I would like a good deal but most important I want the best and most advanced ski for my husband.

post #4 of 17

I have not skied a lot of skis but I don't own any so I go through this exercise on an almost daily basis. I'm a little heavier than your husband. My understanding of the Volkls is that the AC50 is a pretty stiff ski that wants to be skied hard and fast. At 6', 190, I'm not sure that most people would recommend the Watea, especially if he is mostly skiing black groomers, though I can't say for sure. The Kastle line, either the MX or the LX, is worth a serious look. They are a little over your desired budget but they are fantastic and versatile. The Blizzard Magnum line is sweet and less expensive if I am not mistaken and would certainly fit the wide-open black groomer bill with a little versatility thrown in as well. The Elan skis are also worth a look in a nice price point. Those are usually the first name options that come into my fantasy world. And there are plenty of others if I keep typing. Dynastar, Atomic, Stockli... You see the problem right? Bottom line is that at the level of skier your husband is, how you guys seem to ski, and the price point you are eyeing, there are tons of options. There are a lot of summary reviews in the forums here and when the season starts up there are sure to be a lot more, if you have some time to explore. Almost every manufacturer makes a ski that your husband would probably really like and would make a nice gift, although I don't know that I would think of the AC50 or the Watea for myself. 

post #5 of 17

Wow, your husband is a lucky guy.  The AC50 is a pretty extreme example of a front side ski. If you use the Search Function in this forum or the Gear Review forum you will likely find a lot of input for the AC50.  IMO, it is for groomers, period.  If you want more of an all mountain ski and like Volkl's, then look at the Kendo or the Bridge. If used for more on piste, the Kendo.  http://www.volkl.com/ski/skifinder.php?class=freeskiing

From looking at the Gear Reviews, there has been huge props for the new Blizzard Bonafide and it is available through one of this sites sponsors. (Starthuas in Truckee CA) Check in with Phil or Sierra Jim if those interest you.  http://shop.starthaus.com/store/pc/home.asp  They could likely help you with the Volkl's too, so give them a call.

post #6 of 17

What a wonderful gift idea.  Your husband is a lucky guy.  The problem is, skis are very personal things.  One of my friends loves the AC50, and I think it's a plank (we're much the same size and were on the same ski).  It really is a ski that polarises opinion.  Having tried to get him to demo last year I suspect you understand what we're on about.

 

Under the circumstances I think picking up the phone and calling the starthaus team is really your best bet.  They have a wealth of experience, will talk you through all the decision points and will no doubt be invaluable help.   Then, Phil will sell you either a pair of MX88 or the Bonafides and all will be well  rolleyes.gif

 

Good luck.

post #7 of 17

If the Blizzard Bonafide seems too expensive, or too wide (98mm) coming from a 72mm ski, you might consider the Blizzard Magnum 7.6 (76mm) or 8.7 (87mm). I think they have a good reputation, the price is right, and they come with bindings so you don't have to make that choice as well. If your husband is not the type of guy who obsesses over internet discussions of all the latest skis (the technical term for this being "strategic market research"), then the newfangled flipcore thing from Blizzard (i.e., Bonafide, Bushwacker, etc) might be wasted on him.

 

At 6ft, 190Lbs (same as me) he might benefit from a slightly longer ski than the 172cm he's on now, especially if he likes groomers and powder rather than moguls.

 

That being said, skis are very personal so buy them unmounted and be prepared to return them if he balks. You can have them mounted with his boots at a local ski shop.

 

P.S. I have the Volkl AC30 in 177cm, and spent a week on the AC50s, and think they are both great skis. The Volkl RTM line has replaced them.

 

 

post #8 of 17

Flygirl74

 

If you think he would like the Volkl Kendo, I just put some up in gear swap for about half price.

 

I might even have some PX15 binding to go with them.

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by flygirl74 View Post

Hi all,

 

I'm new to Epic ski and looking for advice.  I would like to buy a new pair of skis for my husband for his 50th birthday.  He is 6 foot tall and about 190 lbs.  We ski about 15-20 days a year out west, seeking out the groomed and powder areas avoiding moguls.  Doing some research I've come across the Fischer Watea 88 thinking it might be a good ski for him.  I've also seen last years Volkl AC50 for a great deal but then found out that Volkl discontinued that ski for the new season.  Any advice about these skis or maybe a ski that would suit?  Thanks in advance!!!

I haven't skied either of those skis.  However from what I have read and heard, folks who love to ski fast and spend most of their time doing so like the AC50, while folks folks who like to ski at other speeds aren't so fond of it.  The watea 88 has no problems responding while moving slowly.
 

 

post #10 of 17
Quote:

Originally Posted by sinbad7 View Post

 

 Then, Phil will sell you either a pair of MX88 or the Bonafides and all will be well  rolleyes.gif

 


 

Yup.  It IS only fair to warn her...

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the input.  From this I think I should rule out the Watea since I know he likes to go fast.  I'll do some research into the Blizzard's.  Any opinions on the Atomic Crimson TI?  I'm thinking about staying around 90 cm on the waist because even though it seems everything is going wider I don't know how he will feel about it.

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

I should also add that we live in South Carolina and not anywhere close to a ski shop.  Since we travel with our equipment these skis will have to be a all mountain ski.

post #13 of 17

Seems you might be zeroing in on the ~88mm bracket.  Lots of great skis to choose from in that space; Kastle MX88, Blizzard Magnum 8.7, Volkl Kendo (or the new RTM 84), Elan Apex, just to name a few ... even the K2 Aftershock is getting great reviews.  Hard to go wrong with any of them.

 

edit: or maybe the Blizzard Bushwacker for a more freeride taste?

 

Again, good luck. 

post #14 of 17

I'm a little bigger than the OP's husband. Last year I skied the MX88s and the Blizzard (8.1 not 8.7), and also skied the Aftershocks. If he is really an advanced skier who likes to go fast, I wouldn't look at the Aftershocks before the other two, unless they have changed for this year. I liked the Aftershocks when I skied them. Then I skied the MX88 and the Blizz 8.1 and reconsidered my level of like... 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sinbad7 View Post

Seems you might be zeroing in on the ~88mm bracket.  Lots of great skis to choose from in that space; Kastle MX88, Blizzard Magnum 8.7, Volkl Kendo (or the new RTM 84), Elan Apex, just to name a few ... even the K2 Aftershock is getting great reviews.  Hard to go wrong with any of them.

 

edit: or maybe the Blizzard Bushwacker for a more freeride taste?

 

Again, good luck. 



 

post #15 of 17

I have demoed a ton of ski's including the blizzards, aftershocks, volkl ac30 and the 50 (all of which are great ski's).   The ac50's are great and you really don't need the aftershocks if you are not hitting the bumps all day, AC50's will tear up everything you described and then some.  Volkl gave them early rise next year and changed the name..  However i will throw a wrench into your selection process and tell you that without a doubt the Salomon Enduro F-in out right JAMS.  It has a bit of early rise, but still cuts up the mountain like nobody's business.  Floats great in powder (unless your one of those people who can't ski powder except on fats)   Seriously, I have demoed a bunch of Volkl (which I am partial too) and the Enduro really surprised me.   I do like to bomb runs and hit the whole mtn, My friend who in my opinion is a weak intermediate also demoed them for 4 days and loved them, (much to my surprise).  They actually made him a way better skier all over the mtn.   I am 190 and 5.8 been skiing for over 25 years, 15 of which in the BC (on old school skinny ski's)    Hope this helps

PS, I skied the blizzards 8.1 and 8.7, and in my opinion Volkl ac 30 and 50 were just better and of course the Enduro was just bad ass.  

P

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by flygirl74 View Post

He is 6 foot tall and about 190 lbs.  We ski about 15-20 days a year out west, seeking out the groomed and powder areas avoiding moguls.

 

It wasn't too long ago that the Dynastar Legend Sultan 85 was getting all the rave reviews. This may fit your husband's needs very well (probably in the 178cm length). You should read the short reviews posted in this thread to get a pretty good idea of some top skis in the 85-90 width range:

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

 

Starthaus.com has the Sultan 85 for $419 right now. You could order them with bindings and a "new ski" tune for well under $1k.
 

 

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TallSkinnyGuy View Post



 

It wasn't too long ago that the Dynastar Legend Sultan 85 was getting all the rave reviews. This may fit your husband's needs very well (probably in the 178cm length). You should read the short reviews posted in this thread to get a pretty good idea of some top skis in the 85-90 width range:

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

 

I use to be a Volkl guy, but then I moved on to Dynastar and do think they make great skis. I have the Sultan 85 Fluid and it is my everyday ski. Because I have 4 pairs of skis, the Sultans are used when it hasn't snowed for awhile. On piste or off, they are great skis for firm conditions and work pretty good in bumps.

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