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Possibly thinning the herd

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

 

Looking into (gasp!) thinning the herd a bit and possibly taking a ski out of the quiver.  Sacrilege to all you Bears, I know, but skiing at a resort and staying 99% in-bounds means that the powder days are usually only powder mornings and choppy afternoons.  It’s a pretty rare day at Copper when I’m still getting untracked pow after 11:00.

 

I am hearing and reading some great reviews on the newer ‘all-mountain’ designs, so, I’m thinking about letting my on-piste skis (76 underfoot) go along with my deep snow skis (97 underfoot) and going back to a 1-ski quiver approach.  Before my current three ski set-up (will be keeping the GS race skis), I used both the Nordica Jet Fuel and Volkl AC40 as my do-everything ski.  Was planning to perhaps splurge a bit on a pair of Kastle MX88.  Have read quite a bit about how incredible these skis are, especially in the softer snow, (“great in all but the deepest” is the usual comment), but have missed seeing many or any comments about how these skis handle when your day is spent on the hard pack and ice like you see on Andy’s Encore when it hasn’t snowed for a week.  The other thought is to go with the MX78 as the bulk of my time will be spent on the hard stuff.  However, I’m concerned that the 78 won’t have enough float for those days when I really want a powder ski.  Again, seen lots of great comments about the 78, but not much specifically about how it handles in 10 - 12 inches of new stuff.  So, any specific thoughts on these two aspects of these skis would be appreciated as I don't have much opportunity to demo.

 

Thinking that the mid-170’s length would work best, but also wondering about recommendations for lengths.  Me: 5’11” - 195 lbs. Upper level skier.

 

Of course, I could go with the Kastle MX88 and maybe add in a pair of Blizzard Cochise just to keep a little street cred with my Bear posse! wink.gif

post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tag View Post

Looking into (gasp!) thinning the herd a bit and possibly taking a ski out of the quiver.  Sacrilege to all you Bears, I know, but skiing at a resort and staying 99% in-bounds means that the powder days are usually only powder mornings and choppy afternoons.  It’s a pretty rare day at Copper when I’m still getting untracked pow after 11:00.

 

I am hearing and reading some great reviews on the newer ‘all-mountain’ designs, so, I’m thinking about letting my on-piste skis (76 underfoot) go along with my deep snow skis (97 underfoot) and going back to a 1-ski quiver approach.  Before my current three ski set-up (will be keeping the GS race skis), I used both the Nordica Jet Fuel and Volkl AC40 as my do-everything ski.  Was planning to perhaps splurge a bit on a pair of Kastle MX88.  Have read quite a bit about how incredible these skis are, especially in the softer snow, (“great in all but the deepest” is the usual comment), but have missed seeing many or any comments about how these skis handle when your day is spent on the hard pack and ice like you see on Andy’s Encore when it hasn’t snowed for a week.  The other thought is to go with the MX78 as the bulk of my time will be spent on the hard stuff.  However, I’m concerned that the 78 won’t have enough float for those days when I really want a powder ski.  Again, seen lots of great comments about the 78, but not much specifically about how it handles in 10 - 12 inches of new stuff.  So, any specific thoughts on these two aspects of these skis would be appreciated as I don't have much opportunity to demo.

 

Thinking that the mid-170’s length would work best, but also wondering about recommendations for lengths.  Me: 5’11” - 195 lbs. Upper level skier.

 

Of course, I could go with the Kastle MX88 and maybe add in a pair of Blizzard Cochise just to keep a little street cred with my Bear posse! wink.gif



you're doing it wrong.....

 

no thinning, ADD another pair or two, you know you want to   devil.gif

 

 

post #3 of 15

I owned the MX78 for a while. I thought it skied well in small (<12") powder. In fact I thought that was one of it's better points. I wasn't happy with its groomer performance and sold it. Think I was in the minority there, though my two friends who tried it agreed.

post #4 of 15

The problem here is that you don't truly own a deep snow ski that has the capabilities to float the fresh, and bust the crud. Ski's like this DO exist. I would say add a ski that has those capabilities.

post #5 of 15

never, ever sell skis that you can enjoy skiing on. what do they bring as private party used skis for sale?  hardly anything, and they are worth more than that to you. If you keep a 76 and a 97, you can buy something at one of the extremes (powder ski) for real fun (kinda' a blend of what has already been said on the matter^^^) for all the talk of the MX88, not everyone likes them, and it might not be the do all for you that three good pairs may be.

post #6 of 15

If I were buying from scratch I'd plan to own a broad-spectrum carver (MX78) and a funshape ski around 98mm (S3 maybe).  I'd prefer the MX88 to cover all bases when travelling overseas, so I'm afraid I can't see any way to restrict myself to two skis biggrin.gif.  Your self control is impressive. 


Edited by sinbad7 - 11/22/11 at 1:14am
post #7 of 15

Among 88mm skis, the Kastle MX 88 is superb on hard snow but slightly below average in soft and especially deep snow. Here are some skis that are not as good on hard but better in soft.

 

Blizz Mag 8.7 (slightly better in soft than the Kastle not quite as good on hard)

Rossi Experience 88 (Better in soft giving up somewhat more on the hardest days)

Nordica Steadfast: (Better yet in soft than the Rossi, gives up a touch more yet on really hard days)

 

But.....................

 

If you were to have two skis, I'd suggest you dump them all including the GS skis (unless you need them to race on). Then I'd suggest a great hard snow ski like the MX 78 or Blizzi Mag 8.1 and then a mixed snow biased ski in the 95-98mm range. (there are bucketsfull)

 

SJ

post #8 of 15

I'm a huge fan of the Blizzard Magnum 8.7

 

Tons of fun in everything. Rip on icy groomers and are playful in 2ish feet of new snow. Never surprise you either, they are very consistent. Just do their job and never complain. AND you can get a good deal on them (I got a pair end of season for $350).

Not great on those 3+ feet days... But they get the job done (it's just more work).

If you drop anything tho, these are not the ski for you. They really want to be on edge which is not fabulous in a rutted out landing.

 

I'm 6'1" and 175lb and the 174cm is a good size. Good luck!

 

post #9 of 15

I got to ski a few runs on a pair of Magnum 8.7 on Avanti. Condtions that day would have made Blue Knob PA proud, you could still see the courdoroy on the groomers at 2:00pm. These things ate it up. I'm 5'8 170#, skis were 174.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Among 88mm skis, the Kastle MX 88 is superb on hard snow but slightly below average in soft and especially deep snow. Here are some skis that are not as good on hard but better in soft.

 

 


Would you attribute that to the MX88 being a full camber ski while most of the competition has gone to an early rise or full rocker?  I did see some comments from Phil and others in the MX 88 thread about getting both the 88 and the 108.  Now that could be an intereresting combination.

 

The ski that feels most redundant in my current quiver is the all-mountain on-piste bias ski, the 76mm underfoot model.  I find it a poor performer on anything softer than corduroy.  And I can get the same feel and more enjoyment out of skiing my Fischer race skis which are their "cheater" GS skis, so both skis feel like they fit the same type of skiing.  My 'deep' snow ski, the Rossi Phantom SC97, is a good in-bounds back bowl ski.  However, I find it a bit slow when getting into tight situations like trees or narrower chutes.  On the other hand, it works surprisingly well when the snow is packed out and you're back on the groomed stuff heading for home.  If I really had my druthers, I'd look to find a more versitile "mid-fat", a la my old Volkl's or Nordica's and would step up to a true(r) deep snow ski in the 105-115mm range.  It's just hard to justify putting a 'deep' snow ski in the quiver when I just don't see that many deep snow days.  I've never tried a rocker type of ski, so I'd like to demo a few of these, if for no other reason, just to see how they ski and because it seems that every manufacturer's big snow ski has some kind of rocker in it.

 

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Among 88mm skis, the Kastle MX 88 is superb on hard snow but slightly below average in soft and especially deep snow. Here are some skis that are not as good on hard but better in soft.

 

Blizz Mag 8.7 (slightly better in soft than the Kastle not quite as good on hard)

Rossi Experience 88 (Better in soft giving up somewhat more on the hardest days)

Nordica Steadfast: (Better yet in soft than the Rossi, gives up a touch more yet on really hard days)

 

But.....................

 

If you were to have two skis, I'd suggest you dump them all including the GS skis (unless you need them to race on). Then I'd suggest a great hard snow ski like the MX 78 or Blizzi Mag 8.1 and then a mixed snow biased ski in the 95-98mm range. (there are bucketsfull)

 

SJ


Cannot speak to the Steadfast or E88, but disagree a bit about the MX88 vs. 8.7. Own the MX88 in 178, have skied coupla previous 8.7's in 174, all conditions. Weigh 165. This season's 8.7 has an early rise, 88 will not until next season. So apples and oranges. But current 88 had a smoother, more predictable flex in soft, and cutaway helps the tip come up fairly easily. Definitely a softer front, better in forming bumps. Tail not as auto to release as 8.7. New 8.7 may well plane a bit easier, but unless they've softened it, it's a beefier ski, especially in front, with more of a smash-through proclivity. Better in crud and slush, not as good in fresh pow up to boot tops. Above that and you shouldn't be on a 88 mm ski anyway.

 

OTOH, agree that a better plan is what SJ said. a 70-80 mm is a lot more fun on groomers, and a 98-105 is a lot more fun in soft. 

 

post #12 of 15

The width of your current quiver sounds pretty reasonable (and mostly agrees with what SJ says), sounds like you might have the wrong skis, not wrong widths.  If you really want to go to 2 skis and have to keep the GS skis for racing, then look to add the correct 88-105 mm ski that will let you enjoy the softer stuff while using the cheaters for the hard snow days.  Maybe a few demos are in order.  

 

As an aside, so you only ski Copper on the weekends and holidays?  If you can't find some reasonably untracked there after 11 am during the week, you are doing something wrong. 

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tag View Post


Would you attribute that to the MX88 being a full camber ski while most of the competition has gone to an early rise or full rocker?  I did see some comments from Phil and others in the MX 88 thread about getting both the 88 and the 108.  Now that could be an intereresting combination.

 

The ski that feels most redundant in my current quiver is the all-mountain on-piste bias ski, the 76mm underfoot model.  I find it a poor performer on anything softer than corduroy.  And I can get the same feel and more enjoyment out of skiing my Fischer race skis which are their "cheater" GS skis, so both skis feel like they fit the same type of skiing.  My 'deep' snow ski, the Rossi Phantom SC97, is a good in-bounds back bowl ski.  However, I find it a bit slow when getting into tight situations like trees or narrower chutes.  On the other hand, it works surprisingly well when the snow is packed out and you're back on the groomed stuff heading for home.  If I really had my druthers, I'd look to find a more versitile "mid-fat", a la my old Volkl's or Nordica's and would step up to a true(r) deep snow ski in the 105-115mm range.  It's just hard to justify putting a 'deep' snow ski in the quiver when I just don't see that many deep snow days.  I've never tried a rocker type of ski, so I'd like to demo a few of these, if for no other reason, just to see how they ski and because it seems that every manufacturer's big snow ski has some kind of rocker in it.

 



It's partially about the rocker but also just your basic flex differences. In these cases, the small amounts of rocker are not the big deal that they are on the bigger skis with more dramatic rocker. It matters of course, but I think the flex and other factors contribute more than the rocker does. It also depends upon which of the myriads of 88mm you are comparing the Kastle to. For example the Blizzi Bushwhacker, Nordica Steadfast and Rossi Experience 88 are all somewhat softer overall than the Kastle (and) all have a bit of tip rise. Hence they are notably better in deepish snow but obviously not as good on really hard stuff. With the Blizzi 8.7, it is a closer call but again the 8.7 is slightly softer than the Kastle (especially in the forebody) and has a little tip rise to boot so it is a touch more tractable and turnable in mixed conditions. The Mag 8.7 has always been a really good hard snow ski but IME the Kastle is slightly better. FWIW... I would say that the M-Power version of the 8.7 has every bit the grip that the Kastle does.

 

I think you are the right track in getting a versatile 88 as a daily driver. How much versatility vs. hard snow bias is of course up to you but the good news is that you can get practically any mix you want. That Phantom 97 skis like a truck at least for my taste so it's no surprise to me that you think it's cumbersome in tight spots. That ski just doesn't want to bend much shy of about 30 mph or so and that's a lot faster than I want to ski in deep snow and tight spots.

 

I hear you on the "deep snow" ski. In your situation, it might be a case of buying the "E" ticket to all the fantasyland rides but never getting to go. If you have a hard snow biased 88 as your driver then a medium flexed 98-105 or so would make a sensible addition. There are several that have small enough amounts of rocker that they really ski almost completely normally outside of the deeps. The Legend 105, Atomic Coax and Line Influence 105 come immediately to mind among the 105's and of course the great 98's are legion.

 

SJ

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post

As an aside, so you only ski Copper on the weekends and holidays?  If you can't find some reasonably untracked there after 11 am during the week, you are doing something wrong. 


Well, almost.  Coming from MN, it's mostly the usual school holiday schedule, meaning Christmas, President's Day, Spring Break, etc. and, of course, it would depend on what you define as "reasonably untracked".  It just seems to be my luck that when we do get up there for a week of skiing, the only really good snowfall will happen on Friday night. rolleyes.gif  Now I have had some great powder days at Copper when my timing was right and I managed to find untracked snow until well into the afternoon.  And I realize that is probably not what most would call "reasonably untracked", but that's what I'm looking for: untracked snow.

 

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Am thinking now, after continuing to research the reviews, comments, etc, that I need to chuck the 76ers and will keep the Rossi 97's for another season (as I said at the beginning, will be keeping the GS skis).  Will do some demo's on the current crop of 98 mm or so along with a few of the 100+ skis with the thought that maybe next year, I can swap out the Rossi's too.  Would look to step up a bit from the 76ers to something in the same neighborhood to a bit wider.  This would be a groomed bias front side oriented ski that would make great GS turns on the hard pack, plow through cut-up crud and wouldn't submarine when there is boot top powder to ski.  Maybe returning to something with a similar feel to my old Volkl AC40 (84 underfoot) or Hot Rod Jet Fuel (also 84's).  Of course when I got those skis they were going to be my "fat" powder skis biggrin.gif to augment my GS skis.

 

There are just soooo many good looking (or sounding) skis in this range.  About the only company that I think I can rule out right now is Volkl because the RTM line is all rockered, and I don't think a rockered ski is the way to go for the type of skiing I intend to do with it.  On the fence about the early rise design.  Expect that the early rise tip will help improve the range of use for the ski, but how much hard snow performance is one giving up?  It looks like most of the 80+ models are all incorporating some early rise in their designs with just a few exceptions.  I do see that Nordica still makes the Hot Rod Jet Fuel as a full camber ski.  Anyone have some experience with the Stockli Rotor 84?  Just a lot of options......

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