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Please recommend me an All-Mountain Ski

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I'm on the hunt for some ski's to replace my old Bandit XX's after one of them ended up with some non-factory developed rocker being added to it, just in front of the toe piece.

 

Here's some pertinent facts that might help you give me some advice:

 

Personal:

Male, 24 yrs old.

~187-188cm

Generally in the 85-90kg weight range.

 

Skiing:

* Advanced and aggressive to use the marketing jargon (I suppose). I happily ski anything in the resorts that I've been to in North America and Canada (Jackson, Aspen, Snowbird, Fernie, Whistler)

* On average I probably ski 14 days a year and have done so since I was about 5.

* I like skiing off the groomers and love getting into deep snow (anywhere really) but particularly amongst the tree's and drops.

* I do very little hiking/back country skiing (though I would love to do more of it as it's the kind of skiing I enjoy), but the reality is I spend most of my time skiing inbounds with friends/family, and will occasionally steam down a groomer.

* I do almost no park skiing, but I like playing around with what the hillside naturally offers and enjoy skiing/landing fakie (occasionally it's even successful).

* I do ski in Australia on occasion, the ski needs to be survivable, at least, on crud and ice.

 

Really though, I'm after a suitable ski take with me and enjoy overseas next year to Kicking Horse or Revelstoke.

I know, I know, I should demo everything before buying, but the reality of my situation here in Australia is that it's not an option and I really do not want to waste precious skiing time stuffing around in shops trying to book demo's when I'm over there. Plus it's about 30% cheaper to buy them online anyway.

 

My old Bandit XX's where 184's, 110-74-100 with a PhysicMans estimated radius of 21.1m.

I liked these ski's, though being a fat bastard I tended to sink a lot in the soft stuff, so I wouldn't mind something with a bit more float. Other than that I'm open to all options.

 

One question in particular is given that the ski's need to handle a pretty diverse range of conditions, what is the widest I should go for under the boot? (I ask because almost all the all-mountian ski's seem to be substantally fatter than my old bandits, let alone the freeride/freeskit type ones).

 

Cheers

post #2 of 22

(FYI, 85-90kg is 190-200 lbs.)

 

General statement:  98mm under foot is pretty much the new one-ski-quiver in the western part of North America.  Something like the Blizzard Bonafide would probably be an excellent choice.  At your weight and the number of days you ski, I'd stick with something in the low 180s for a conventionally cambered ski, or high 180s for rockered.

 

As far as demoing, I'm guessing that with your winter ending, you're not going to be skiing locally before heading to Kicking Horse or Revy?  In which case, why not demo?

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

My experience with trying to book demo skis in the past has not been good, on multiple occasions I've turned up on the day of the booking only to be told that they had already gone out the door for the day.

 

If I can't get new ski's to take over with me, I'll be completely reliant on demo's until I can buy some over there. Given past experience, it's not a position I want to be in. I could potentially get some rentals as well, so that I'm covered if the demo's aren't avaliable, but it's just more money for something that may or may not be used....

 

In terms of length, I was quite happy with the 184's so I''l probably be trying to stick in that range, maybe up to 190cm or so.

 

I'll look into the Blizzards, haven't had anything to do with them before, cheers!

post #4 of 22

They are not cheap, but as a brand, Movement makes some of the best skis I have ever been on. http://movementskis.ch/products  Check out the Source, Sluff or the Trust.  If I had the $$$, I would have all 3 in my quiver.

post #5 of 22

I'm in the same boat trying to get a pair of skis set up.  I've gotten two recommendations so far from Vancouver stores.  Still having lots of trouble trying to decide.  The two I'm deciding between are Dynastar 6th Sense Slicer and Volkl Mantra.  If others have any thoughts between the two let me know.  5'8" & 160 lbs.  Like the trees and steep & deep, but ski 70% on groomed runs due to being unlucky for the past few years (just don't go as much as I used to when I was in my 20's).

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by seujun View Post

The two I'm deciding between are Dynastar 6th Sense Slicer and Volkl Mantra..

I like Dynastar skis, but have never heard rave reviews on the 6th Sense. I have spoke to people that loved their Mantras.  I would also look at the Dynastar Legend Pro 105 that is new for this season if I was buying another pair of Dstars.  Oops, but you said 70% on piste, so in that case I would just go with more of a craving ski. The Source from Movement would be awesome.
 

 

post #7 of 22
post #8 of 22

Problem with on-piste for me is that I don't necessarily like it.  It's only the case because of the condition.  I am very tempted by Mantras due to all the great reviews.  Only problem is that there seems to be some concerns about how stiff it is for bumps.  I would say that I tend to go steep runs with moguls if it's not icy.  Just wondering if all the great reviews are from eastern ice skaters.  Given the Whistler and BC interior snow, the worst I have to contend with is cruddy snow.

 

6th sense was the one from a store that carried both, but I just don't know how I feel about twin tip skis given that you'll never find me in a park.

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by seujun View Post
 ...but I just don't know how I feel about twin tip skis given that you'll never find me in a park.

 

Twin tips aren't just for the park. You'll never find me in a park either, but I've used twin tips exclusively for the last few seasons. There's no going back now. I find them to be so much more fun!
 

 

post #10 of 22

Agreed that tapered or pintailed twins (i.e., where the tip is wider than the tail, as opposed to symmetrical twins that have equal width tips and tail) definitely have use outside the park, disagreed that there's no going back.

 

At this point, my quiver has swung back to the point that only one ski of the three main options (DPS Wailer 112RPs) can be classified as twins.  The other two (Stockli Stormrider XLs and Kastle MX88s) are flat tails, with perhaps a slight rise.

 

The primary advantage of twins -- other than the ability to ski backwards -- is a more gentle release from turns.  The downside is that you have a fair amount of ski that never touches the snow, which makes for added weight and a ski that skis shorter than its nominal length.


Edited by TheDad - 9/22/11 at 2:37pm
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post
The primary advantage of twins -- other than the ability to ski backwards -- is a more gentle release from turns.  The downside is that you have a fair amount of ski that never touches the snow, which makes for added weight and a ski that skis shorter than its nominal length.


Oh yeah. Good points. My powder skis are HEAVY and can be pretty exhausting to drive around all day or haul up long treks to the peaks. But to me, the predictability I get out of them has been worth the compromise. I've found myself almost never falling ever since I made the switch. That being said, I'll probably try out some non-twins this season to see what they're like again. I've almost forgotten, and am sure they'll be much easier to rip up groomers than my skis. Than again, I don't spend much time on groomed trails any more. Still, it'd be a whole lot of fun to have a bigger variety in my mini-quiver.

post #12 of 22

No-Style,

If you can live without the latest rocker design, you should consider the Dynastar Sixth Sense Big. Check out evo.com. They have the 2010 model of the Big listed at about US $486.00. I have the older Big Trouble (176 cm) with the lime green and black graphics. It's a medium-stiff fat twin-tip that makes a great all mountain ski. The Big has a wood core, traditional camber, vertical sidewalls, and Dynastar's Spring Blade technology in the tail, which makes it lively. The fatty 92 mm waist will seem huge at first compared to the Bandit XX, but once you get the feel of it, you don't notice the width. The Big feels lighter than you would expect for a wide ski and carves nicely on the groomers. It is steady and predictable in the deep stuff or when the snow is wet or cut up. Epic has lots of positive reviews on the Big (newer) and Big Trouble (older). Don't be too concerned about demoing before buying, the Bigs are not demanding or unforgiving. I bought mine without demoing and I love 'em! I have a lot of skis, but the Big Trouble is my first choice if I'm not sure what type of conditions I'm heading into. It's a great all-rounder and a good value as well.   By the wayBbbbbb

post #13 of 22

didn't read the whole post but 486 is not a great price for that year of that ski. just saying. and evo's pricing, to my way of thinking, is often misleading if not downright misrepresentational

 

his typo, he meant that the tails are narrower than the tip certainly and the tails may be narrower than the waist (pontoon)

post #14 of 22

davluri,

 

What do you mean Evo misrepresents pricing?  I was looking to buy from Evo.com thinking that the pricing was the best I've seen from all the on-line sites or in Vancouver (BC).

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

his typo, he meant that the tails are narrower than the tip certainly and the tails may be narrower than the waist (pontoon)


Thanks -- fixed it.

post #16 of 22

Another ski that would make a nice all-mountain ski is the Dynastar Sixth Sense Distorter. It's a twin-tip, but is not "park specific" by any means. I demoed it last season and really enjoyed it. It's not as beefy as the Dynastar Big (87mm underfoot) but it has the same "Spring Blade" construction which is what I like about the Big. The Distorter isn't beefy enough to serve as a big mountain machine, but I liked it just fine carving up the groomed runs at Grouse Mountain. It feels like a 70% groomed ski, okay for occasional forays off-piste. It's easy-going manners and forgiving handling should make it a good choice for an experienced skier considering getting into twin-tip skis.

post #17 of 22

Try a Rossi s3 or an Atomic coax, or access. they are playful skis that can go fast. Mantra's seem to be for old guys, they are a good ski but nothing like some of the newer shapes out there. Armada TST is pretty cool with no rockered tails, just tip. All of these skis are around 95-105mm waists. K2 Kung fujas are killer do it all skis. What sort of skis can you get the best deals on? 14 days a year is not a lot of skiing. I would think you want a playful ski that will still handle speed. If the mtn is your playground buy a playful ski, if you rip groomers top to bottom and dont deviate much from that except the occasional pow day, go Mantra or something bland. The Mantra to me is like a schwinn, you cant go wrong but you could definately go better.

post #18 of 22

Get yourself over there and demo some skis.  The upside outweighs the effort involved.

post #19 of 22

No-style,

If you are planning a visit to Kicking Horse, it may be better to book some rental skis through the resort's web site instead of buying new skis. That avoids having to drag your skis through various airports on your way to the resort, and you will get to try some of the new high-end boards while you are there. From a quick peek at the web site, it looks like Kicking Horse is bringing in the new Experience line from Rossignol and some other goodies from Volkl and Nordica. Lots of fun stuff to try! 

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

Righto thanks for the suggestions people. Going to do some price hunting and see if there are any bargains online and if so I'll snaffle them, if not, I'll just bide my time and if it comes to it, I'll organise rentals over there.

post #21 of 22

Don't be an elitist, just get a Mantra.

post #22 of 22
NO style,
I live in Brisbane so obviosly have to travel to ski. My do it all setup is a pair of Mantras with tyrolia railflex bindings. This setup is good for travelling. The bindings slide off which makes the packing easier and allows for efficient distribution of weight amongst luggage. Particularly important with baggage limits being so strict nowadays.
As well, the bindings can be mounted for and aft. +\- 1.5. I bought the Mantras for Japan but already had the tyrolias on my Monsters. I mounted the +1.5 on the BSL which allows me to move the binding back 3cm. For Oz I have them fully forward, in Furano I moved them back 1.5 as it is predominately on piste with fresh powder and the occasional ducking under the ropes, in Niseko I rarely hang around on piste so I move them back the 3cm. when it really spews down I will rent something big ( love he Volkl Kuros).
have skiied a fair bit in Canada including KH and I think this setup would be good.
proabably going to Snowmass this year and will be taking them and demo some stuff for fun.
i may buy something wider as I have some 115mm brakes for the tyrolias. So many good skis available but I won't be retiring the bindings. they are just so versatile for a travelling skiier
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