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Bonafide or Experience 98, that is the question?

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 

So I think I am going to finally go big, at least big for a mostly eastern skier who also takes 1 or 2 trips out west a year. Right now the two skis that I am considering are the Blizzard Bonafide and the Rossignal Experience 98.  Both skis seem to be similar in size and intended use.  Both got great reviews in the mags.  Both are being sold in the ski shop I work P/T at.  So which way do I go?

 

As for my skiing, I am a solid level 8/9 skier who will ski all over the mountain.  Everything from high speed rippers to bumps, trees and of course Pow!  I also race in an adult race program and got bumped up to A Vet last year so I am fairly technical in my skiing.

 

For my all mountain ski (non race weekends), which this ski would become replacing my AC30's, I want a ski that will hold an edge, be playful yet forgiving and won't give up the ship when things get rough.

 

At the end of last season I had the opportunity to try the Bushwacker and Experience 88 and liked them both fairly evenly, but theyare only 8mm wider under foot than my AC30's so my thinking is, if I want a ski to take out west, might as well go bigger to the 95-100 range.  We do have a demo day coming up in December and will attempt to demo then, but I would be very interested in those who have had the time to ski both and tell me what you think.  What are the pro's and con's of each.

 

Many thanks!

 

Rick G

post #2 of 47
Rick,
When you skied the e88 and bushwacker, which did you like better? The bone and e98 are those two skis beefed up. the e98 has a hard snow bias and If you are skiing east primarily the e98 might be your slightly better option. But that is ever so slight. You can't go wrong either way.


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I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=39.352120,-120.233810
post #3 of 47
Thread Starter 

I got maybe 4 or 5 runs on each at Holiday Valley last March.  I took the same runs on each including some semi frozen bumps.  I think I was the most surprised that they both did so well in the bumps.  Swivel turns on top of a bump or even in the trough were a breeze with the rocker.  They were also fairly quick turning, and felt more stable on hard pack than expected.  But honestly I couldn't tell you which one I liked better, though the Rossi probably surprised me more as I haven't liked a Rossi in years.  I already have a Blizzard, the SLR IQ that I use for slalom and love it, so I had a pro Blizzard bias going in. 

 

I like the idea of the Rossi's being a slightly better eastern ski as I am sure I will ski it locally when conditions warrant.

 

I didn't mention in my first post but I am 5'9" and about 190.  I ski maybe 25 days total each season and this will be my 40th consecutive ski season.

 

Phil, thanks for your insight.  BTW I love your sig line, Click, Point, Chute. Says it all.   I wish I had thought of it.

 

Rick G

post #4 of 47

If you already have a ski that will make tiny hills in OH / NY seem more like medium ones, then your inclination to go away from the AC 30 toward something bigger and more off-piste oriented, as a 2nd ski, is definitely well-founded. (If not, not.) I don't have meaningful input on the two skis you name, but wanted to validate your general line of thinking.

post #5 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

If you already have a ski that will make tiny hills in OH / NY seem more like medium ones, then your inclination to go away from the AC 30 toward something bigger and more off-piste oriented, as a 2nd ski, is definitely well-founded. (If not, not.) I don't have meaningful input on the two skis you name, but wanted to validate your general line of thinking.


The other skis in my quiver right now are my Blizzard SLR Race IQ and a Volkl Racetiger RC, those are my race skis and I tend to just free ski those after my races on race weekends.  When I am not racing, the AC30 has been my all mountain ski.  As much as I love it in any conditions we see around OH,NY,PA I found it lacking when skiing off piste out west.  At least lacking in the sense that I was skiing with some guys who were on 95+ skiis.  When did 80mm under foot become a skinny ski?  So yes the Bonafide or Experience would replace that ski in my quiver as I would probably sell my AC30 while it still has some value.

 

Do you think an eastern skier skiing mostly smaller resorts along with 1 or 2 trips out west a season can be happy on a 98 mm ski?  Finally which length?  173 or 180?

 

Decisions, decisions...  Now don't get me started on boots which I actually need more than another pair of skis. 

 

Boy do I miss talking about skis!  It has been a long summer, but the white stuff will be coming soon.

 

Rick G

 

post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg View Post

Do you think an eastern skier skiing mostly smaller resorts along with 1 or 2 trips out west a season can be happy on a 98 mm ski?  


Well, if you limit yourself to either groomers on race skis or the trees and off-piste, sure. But if your local hill doesn't get much soft snow, or the trees aren't really operative, then you might be happier with something in the high 80's, like a Bushwacker or Apex or Experience 88 (or Kastle MX88 if you have the $$), that you can use both east and west, sell the 30's. It ain't just the width, y'know, it's the camber and flex and sidecut and all that other stuff. The skis I named will do a lot better in soft snow than their difference from your AC30's indicates. But they can still rock hard snow. Above 90 mm, that quality gets rare, even in the much lauded 98 group. (Sorry all, but there's no 98 out there that will slice ice like at least three of the four skis I just named. Truth.)

 

post #7 of 47
Thread Starter 

Of course I could always keep my AC30's for local free skiing,  I just figured if I was going to buy into this big ski theory, I might as well dive into the deep end of the pool and get some 98's, which are about the widest I would consider for skiing locally when conditions warrant.  Even if I sell my AC30's I would still have my two race skis which are fun skis in their own right for some free skiing and save the big boy for the rare local pow day and for trips out west.

 

But first I really need to do boots.  Been looking at the Lange RS130.  Felt pretty good trying them on in the store.

 

Rick G

post #8 of 47
Thread Starter 

Well at least my boot diliema is over (I hope).  I have a pair of Lange RX130's on order.  Those felt really great in the shop, hopefully they will feel the same way on the snow, expecially after I get new custom footbeds made. 

 

Now I have to make my ski decision.  I have decided for this season at least, I am going to keep my Volkl AC30's.  I love skiing them too much to get rid of them, plus they really are a near perfect all mountain eastern ski, at least for me.

 

Right now I am leaning towards the Experience 98.  Why?  Purely silly reasons.  I like the way they look better with more subdued graphics for this aging skier.  Plus they will match my new lime green boots.  OK, I am comfortable with my feminine side LOL.  Plus with the slightly more hard snow bias, I can still ski them locally if I want, and if Mother Nature doesn't cooperate and dump a couple feet of snow at the western resorts I am headed to this year (Mammoth and Big Sky) the Experience may handle the firmer groomed and crud a little bit better.

 

So now I have to decide 172 or 180?  Rossi catalog has a size chart that goes strictly by weight so if I use their reccomendation, at 190lbs I would buy the 180.  They reccomend the 187 for 200+.  So I am leaning towards the 180.

 

I have also read that some folks have moved the binding back 1-2cm with positive results.  Does anyone here reccomend that?  It has been a while since I had a non system ski,

 

I won't get a chance to demo before buying so if you have some insight I would appreciate it.

 

Thanks,

 

Rick G

post #9 of 47
Thread Starter 

I made my decision.  I have a pair of Experience 98's in a 180 on order along with a pair of Marker Griffon Schizo Bindings so I can play around with binding placement.  This will be my first non-system ski in over a decade.  From what I am reading the bigger skis are sensitve to binding placement and the ability to adjust to either hard snow or soft snow conditions might be nice.  They should compliment my new RX130's nicely. 

 

I have two western trips planned plus new gear.  Shaping up to be a great ski season.

 

Rick G

post #10 of 47

I can't say I have skied the Bliz, but I have the 98 and it is a very versatile ski.  I live in Tahoe and see many different conditions, the experience 98 has the construction to hold well on ice, slice through the chop and float in powder.  I am 5'10" and weigh 170 I am skiing the 180cm.  Great ski and my go to weapon on any given day.   

post #11 of 47
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the positive comments.  Which binding are you using and where did you have it mounted?  As this is my first bigger mountain ski, I decided to go with that Marker Schizo system so I can play around a little bit with binding placement and then probably just leave it there, unless I discover I like one setting for firm and another for pow.  I am so looking forward to this season!

 

Ski on!

 

Rick G

post #12 of 47

Rick, I went through the same dilemma with length. After speaking to a couple of folks who are great skiers (both examiners/clinicians) who've been skiing the 98's since last March and over the summer, they strongly recommended the 180 for folks our size. Both said it was a lot of ski. Both said it skied great at boot center.

post #13 of 47

Looking forward to getting out on my 180's

 

Rossi E98 2012a.JPG

post #14 of 47

I had the Rossi smash too, do you still have a pair?

 

post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Fellows View Post

I had the Rossi smash too, do you still have a pair?



A couple....

 

Smash tips.jpg   Smash tails.jpg

 

post #16 of 47

are you selling? I had the second in from the left.  175cm

post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Fellows View Post
are you selling? I had the second in from the left.  175cm



nonono2.gif  nonono2.gif  nonono2.gif

 

post #18 of 47

Rick, I demod the E98 at Boston Mills yesterday and liked them more than the Bonafide (too stiff for me).  Can you send me PM with your impressions once you ski out west??? 

post #19 of 47
post #20 of 47

Quick question. I'm 6'3", 200lbs. Probably about an 8 out of 10 in terms of experience. What length would you recommend I get for the Experience 98s. 180 or 188?

 

Thanks!

post #21 of 47

188

post #22 of 47
That's what I thought. Thanks. Any advice on bindings?
post #23 of 47
Ip, don't know if you bought your skis yet, but the 180 certainly won't ski short for a 200# 'er. I'm 205 nek'id and 6'... For our venue, the 180 rocks.
post #24 of 47
I'm going to be skiing Mammoth mostly. So more packed. Should I go with the longer 188 or the 180 in those conditions?
post #25 of 47
If you"re a ver technically sound and physically strong skier (level 8-9 in all conditions, all the time) the 188 will work, but you won't over power the 180 by any means.
post #26 of 47
Mark is right, the 180 is a seriously strong ski and skis it's full length. I will only put the biggest strongest skiers on the 188. With our ability and confidence level being 8/10 you will be fine with the 180 for where you are and what you need.
post #27 of 47

Phil, would you say the same holds true for the Bonafides?  I'm 6'2", 190lbs, live out east (Sunday River is home resort), but take a trip our west 1 or 2 times a year.  Trying to decide between 180 and 187.  Love to play in trees when I can, but let's be honest, it's east coast and those days have been few and far between last couple years.

post #28 of 47
Not Phil here, but I've skied the 187 and thought it lost some of it's versatility /maneuverability for steep bumps and narrow places. Taking a stab in the dark, I think the 180 would be a better choice for tight trees. It also depends on your ability as well of course, but I don't think you'll lose that much top end by skiing the 180. What you say, Phil?
post #29 of 47

Thanks Mark, was thinking right along those lines.  I demo'd the 180's last day of the year last year in some pretty crappy conditions (soft, warm, snow), loved them, unfortunately didn't have 187's to compare. I'm on a pair of 181cm K2 Hardside's now and they have treated me well (still about 2-2.5" longer than the 180 Bones).

post #30 of 47

Fitz, I'm kind of in the 'if you try it and really dig it, don't over think things; you've found what you need.' Seems like you're there. smile.gif

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