Long time lurker; first time poster. Thanks in advance for your help!
Long time lurker; first time poster. Thanks in advance for your help!
If you are narrowly focused on hard groomed, I would look at citizen racers like Atomic Race D2, Fischer RC 4 or Progressor, Head Supershapes, Elan GSX or Waveflex 10, Nordica Dobermans. All of these will be better on the groomed and worse of the new snow or moguls. You can use your old skis for those days. None really has any rocker and all are narrow waisted and fairly stiff.
i second the fisher rc4 rec, make sure you get reasonable radiuses unless you like you travel fast and not turn not.
These rec racing GS skis can be had inthe 175-185 range pretty easily. I loved some elan speedwave 14s for stability at 178 as well
I'll give the Rossi's some luv. Skied & owned the 80ti's the past 2 seasons & test drove the 82ti's a few times in the Spring. Great skis for carving on hard snow & versatile enough to work well on packed off piste conditions. The only drawback to me was the low profile tip in soft snow. I was always apprehensive that it might just spear itself into a bump, probably more of a mental thing than anything else. In the right length it should be plenty stable at speed. Another ski I also got to try & may be an option might be the Rossi Experience 88 for even more versatility.
I agree with vsrin's suggestions for some, however, you need to think it through if that is what you think you might want to choose.
I’ve used a variety of true race skis or slightly tuned down races skis (Atomic LT for example) for groomed skiing and skiing gates. The Fischer RC4 was particularly fun for me. Any of these skis will give you great groomer performance.
If you go with a more race-oriented ski as suggested by vsrin you will need to decide on turn radius. A SL oriented ski (turn radius of about 12 metres) can be strenous because of the forces involved when pushing the ski, and you are always turning. Skiing hard with these skis and carving every turn can be a workout, but this is good if that is what you want. You can go really fast on a SL ski, but have to be on it or they will throw you about, especially if you get in the back seat. I personally find these skis are delightfully fun but not as fast as a GS ski. I’m using a pair of 165 Atomic SL12s now (a few years old), and gave my old pair of Atomic SL11s to my wife. She doesn’t really know how to ski them properly, but she also finds the edge hold outstanding on icy days (the only time she uses them).
A GS race ski (21 to 27 metre radius) is uber fast. I'm using 183 Rossi Radical Worldcup GS skis for groomer days. They are really fun for the times when the hill is not very crowded and you can open them up (early mornings). I hold back on GS race skis when there are crowds because the speeds that can be produced on these is very fast that presents a danger to others. True GS skis hold an edge like nothing else, and the harder you ski them, the more they give back, but the speed and this level of performance might not be what you really want either.
Most stores do not sell true race skis, but provide a consumer version. If you want to go this route, you might consider the Fischer RC4 Worldcup RC Pro or the RC4 Superrace, both of which are great skis, but are a little more versatile with a 17 metre radius. These give a little of both the SL and GS worlds, but are still much fun and fast. In this category of ski, I believe that turn radius does make a difference, and from how you described your skiing ability, you would probably have fun with a carving ski with a turn radius of 14 to 19ish. Buy shorter if you like turning a lot and longer if you want big arcs and a faster ski.
I’ve skied the Rossi Avenger 82 TI and really liked the ski. It would give you most of the edge hold of the above skis and a little more versatility for the times you venture into the bumps of if there is some new snow. These are stable front side skis that really rip, and sound like what you are looking for. I have not tried the Volkl RTM.
Don’t worry about a little rocker on a cruising ski. My daughter’s new Rossi GS race skis have a little early rise (this change was a surprise to many racers this year). Interestingly, many of the top level 16 to 18 year old racers in my area preferred the early rise GS skis over their non-rockered counterparts during ski testing this spring. I’m not convinced that a rocker will add to the performance of a front side or race ski, yet many of the athletes liked the Rossi skis. The rise/rocker makes turn initiation a bit easier.
Good stuff so far; keep it coming!
I figured someone would suggest the consumer version of a race ski, and I think it's a valid suggestion. I don't think I'd like an SL-based ski because I really don't want to work that hard. In fact, that's my main concern about the "citizen racers" of all stripes. I mostly ski medium to long radius turns, letting the ski do the work while staying relaxed. I can ski all day every day for a week without getting overly tired because my current skis don't demand a lot of me. Can I get that in the recreational racers or am I going to need to put more energy into staying on top of them?
On the all-mountain skis with a front side emphasis like the Rossi Avenger 82 TI or the Volkl RTM 84, the question really comes down to stability at high speeds. From what I've read, I'm pretty sure these two (among others) would probably allow me to continue letting the ski do the work and not be overly demanding. But am I likely to pick up the added stability I'm looking for at high speeds where my K2 Apache Crossfire 174s start to get a bit sketchy? If so, how long should I go? I'm thinking the 177, but should I consider going up to the 182 just to make sure I get the stability I'm looking for?
I myself live in the Midwest, I'm of similar size, skill and ski the same conditions. My current quiver consists of Blizzard Supersonic (174cm), Notrica Spitfire Pro (170), Dynastar Contact 4x4 (172cm), Dynastar Speed Course Ti (172) and the much talked about 2011 Fischer Worldcup RC (175cm), all would be great choices for your needs. If you're interested, due to severe quiver overlap, I would make you a good deal on the Fischers. I just bought them brand new last march, they were skied once for a couple of hours and are basically brand new. If you're interested send me a PM.
I think people suggested rec race skis because it is kind of what you said (speed on groomers a preference). The thing about rec race skis or true race skis is that they give back what you put into them. I can ski a race ski relaxed, but if I drive it, it responds as much as I push it (or if I screw up it lets me know) this would not be the same for your Crossfire. I'm 53 and weigh 175, am 5'10" and use a 183 GS ski, which is the same ski as my 125pound 5'6" 16 year old daughter races on. If you are looking for stability at speed, my hit is that the longer version (182) would be more appropriate given your weight and your hope for more stability at speed. I think in terms of trade-offs rather than what would be best - longer often = stiffer and more stability at speed, slighlty shorter often = earier to use, but perhaps a little more speed limit.
I have both race stock and recreational race skis. I am 115# and 5'5" and my GS skis (4 pair) are between 170 and low 180s and include rec race skis, junior FIS, and race stock. I would think you would want something in the 17 meter turn radius range and definitely not a race stock - no need to spend the money, they have gigantic turn radius (27m) and you can't ski them fast enough to need the FIS skis unless the trails are closed. The regular rec. racers/carvers do a good job of holding and absorbing the chatter at normal speeds if you load up the downhill ski. The technology has has not changed dramatically in rec. race skis so you could get a leftover pair from a year or 2 ago at a bargain and be in good shape.
Although all the skis mentioned here will do a better job at what you want than your current K2's, you might want to give a little consideration to brand if high-speed stability is important. FWIW, I have found that Dynastars tend to feel damper, and hence smoother and more stable, to me than Fischers, for example. This is MY experience, and your reaction may differ, but I personally would test-drive some if I could, or get some thoughts on this aspect of the skis also.
Here's my list of recommendations in no particular order.
Fischer RC4 Worldcup RC Pro in 180 (or 185) - turn radius is listed at 17 m for the 175 cm ski.
Atomive D2 Race GS in 179 or 184 - turn radius is listed at 18.4m for 179
Kästle RX12 in 176 or 184 - turn radius is 16.5 for the 176
Völkl Race Tiger GS in 180 = turn radius is 18.6 at that length
All should perform adequately for your needs, but will give you a different "feel". Previous years of same might be cheaper, but don't get the ski one level down from the above; the above are all easy to ski if you have a clue about what to do and perform noticeably better than the models below them. I also would not hesitate to buy older race skis (one level up from above, e.g.(Atomic/Fischer GS race ski) from previous years when radii were shorter than 27 m. Warning: used race skis may have little edge left. I would avoid current full-on race skis; at about 23m skis start to become a little ungainly for most ski areas except on very rare uncrowded days.
It is easy and not too physically demanding to ski a GS or even SG race ski in a relaxed mode, so long as you are making gs turns at a decent clip on hard snow and aren't forcing them to make SL turns. Forcing them to make tight turns in big bumps or tight trees is a PITA, and there are much better skis for deep soft snow.
Forgive me if I am misreading your post, but you say you want a stable ski for skiing out west for a whole week. That's great, but almost inevitably that experience will include some amount of fresh snow, which brings on crud and variable snow conditions. Alot of the "race" skis mentioned here are indeed great for smooth/hard/groomed terrain, but as soon as the snow surface gets variable something a little wider than 70mm at the waist would be beneficial.
Therefore, I'd look into things maybe more in the 80mm waist range.
If you do choose to get race skis, my recommendation would be to steer clear o Fischer RC Pros, as they are not very "stable" feeling on the snow (I own a pair).
Thanks to everyone for their input and assistance.
At this point I'm leaning towards a "carving all mountain" ski. I do think a "recreational race ski" is an appropriate answer to the question I posed in the subject of this thread. However, as Bored pointed out, I do have the other 20% of my skiing where I'm dealing with fresh, crud or small moguls. I don't see myself taking multiple pairs of skis on a western trip, so whatever I buy is going to be a 1-ski quiver. Thus, I think the carving all mountain ski is probably a better bet.
I also have to say that despite some reassurances here, I still have some concerns about the demands a rec racer might put on me. I'm not worried about my ability to ski it, just my ability to ski it all day every day without getting too tired. The K2s I'm skiing now are the first skis I've ever had that provide good performance without being too demanding, and I really value that characteristic. While I'm looking for better stability at higher speeds, I don't want to compromise on the "ease of use" factor.
As it turns out, there are a pair of used Rossi Avenger 82 TIs on eBay in a 177, and I've put in an offer on them. If I were ordering them new, I'd probably get the 182s, but I'm not sure I need that length. If it turns out I don't like them for some reason, I may try to find a used pair of citizen racers to give them a try. While my situation doesn't allow me much opportunity to try demos, I have no problem buying used skis. I figure I can always turn around and sell them and probably only be out the cost of shipping.
Never skid the Rossi 82 Ti but know a guy that has this ski and loves it on the groomed. Last year there were some really great deals on this ski and binding earlier in the year on ebay. If I remember correctly $500 with binding! Can't beat taht if those price points are still out there.
I own the Head SS Speed and Titan and really like both on the groomed.