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Choosing new skis: live in northeast, end up skiing more in the west

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,

 

In the hours since I found out that the bindings on my 160cm Atomic Beta Ride 9.22's are off of "the list" and cannot be adjusted to my new boots (Nordica Speedmachine 130), I've been lurking up a storm on this forum in search of some direction, as I don't see a reason to throw money at ~8 year old skis ("borrowed" from a family member who didn't like them and decided to rent). As I said in the topic, I live in the northeast within day trip distance of Hunter and Windham and weekend-trip distance of VT. I ski much less than I'd like to - it tends to fall under 10 days per year, with about 5 of those days out west and a few in NY/VT. (I'm also looking forward to a week in France this year, but that isn't the norm.)

 

I consider myself capable of handling most (but not all) terrain in NY/VT and most of what I've encountered in the west (steep, moguls, or powder have been fine), but I haven't spent much time in the trees or backcountry. 

 

My plan had been to keep the Atomics around for skiing in the east and demo any time I'm separated from a mountain by a flight.  Those skis were fine, but they did take a bit too much work when I first started using them (I got used to this and had no problem with time).

 

Last winter, at Vail, I demoed Volkl Mantras and had a great time on them, but my understanding is that they wouldn't do too well on the local ice rock moguls.  Can anyone recommend a ski that would work well in some powder (if I faced several feet I would demo a real powder ski for a day, I suppose) but mostly anything else, including some speed/carving down smoother steep runs, and provide room for me to grow as a skier? I'm open to the idea of a wider ski as I certainly enjoyed the Mantras, and if I actually do buy skis I would want to feel comfortable traveling with them. If you need any more info from me to give a better answer to my question, please let me know - I've never *actually* shopped for new skis, and as you can see from the age of my previous pair, I wouldn't mind if they stay around for a while.

 

I'm 5'9" and 150lbs - is 175-180cm the right ball park for me for a wider ski and 170cm for a skinnier ski, or should I go longer?

 

And most importantly: is it worth spending much money on skis at all, given how little I go? Should I pick up a less expensive ski to kick around here and continue renting/demoing when I fly?

 

Thank you very much!

post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 

Wait a second... I see a pair of 2011 Mantras available with bindings for $636 from SkiEssentials... that's the kind of price that makes me want to click the buy button and be happy with them for the next few years.  Any reasons not to?  I don't mind a bit of extra effort on the slopes around here if it means more fun out west. 170cm or 177cm for 5'9" 150lb?

 

Thanks again!

post #3 of 18

The 170 would probably be the better choice if you were an intermediate skier and staying in the East 90% of the time.  You will almost certainly want the extra length out West and it sounds like your skill level is towards the advanced level, so the 177 is probably going to be the better option.

 

It sounds like you found the package on the website, but here is a link to it as well:

 

 
Please do not hesitate to give us a call if you have any other questions or would like to discuss things in further detail.
post #4 of 18

I feel like your the perfect person for an 88 waist ski, you would need a wider ski for the true dump days out west but EC you would be set for everything. Volkl Kendo, Blizzard Bushwacker, possibly the magnum 8.7, Kastle MX88/BMX88, dynastar legend 85 all come to mind. 

post #5 of 18

Um....178 in a Mantra for a guy 150 lbs strikes ME as too much ski, especially if you're skiing where you say in the east.   Be aware that the Mantra is stiff, esp in the tail -- which you may actually like, coming off the Atomics.  But it'll throw you around in the bumps -- esp. at the longer length.  I think Bielz may be trying to steer you towards a more versatile ski, one that is also a bit more forgiving. 

Certainly the Mantra will be better than the 9.22, but it may be possible to find something that's even better.  But your taste may vary.

 

I would agree that a mid-80 - 90 wide carver might well fit most of what you want.

post #6 of 18

Check out the Blizzard Bushwackers in a 173.

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by aindfan View Post

Wait a second... I see a pair of 2011 Mantras available with bindings for $636 from SkiEssentials... that's the kind of price that makes me want to click the buy button and be happy with them for the next few years.  Any reasons not to?  I don't mind a bit of extra effort on the slopes around here if it means more fun out west. 170cm or 177cm for 5'9" 150lb?

 

Thanks again!



Slowly step away from the "Buy it" button. Good. Now breath. 

 

There are many nice skis for your size and what you want to do with them.

 

As mentioned...

Blizzard Bushwacker (and it's brother the Bodafide)

Line Prophet 98

Nordica Enforcer

Nordica Steadfast (and Helen Bach)

 

would all be great choices for you. 

 

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post



Slowly step away from the "Buy it" button. Good. Now breath.



But I... it... um...

 

Thank you VERY much to everyone for giving me a few more models to read up on and look for at the local shop (and/or online).  With the models that you've all suggested in the 88mm waist range, is a milder snow day (6" overnight, for example) still covered? I understand that feet of powder will put me in a different category.

 

Come to think of it, I survived four days at Snowbird on the 9.22s in March 2010 (I too am asking myself why I didn't demo), so I get the feeling I'd be able to adapt to a new pair of skis with no problem.  I wasn't in much of a hiking group in search of tons of powder though, so the conditions there were mostly broken up powder after the locals cleaned the fresh stuff off by 10am smile.gif

 

Thanks again!

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks again for the great suggestions. Here's what I'm thinking:

 

- 2011 Volkl Kendo 170cm - sounds like a great meeting of east/west performance and price at $700 including bindings

- 2012 Blizzard Bonafide 173cm - everyone seems to love this ski, but is it $200 more ski than the Kendo?

- 2012 Blizzard Bushwacker 173cm - skinnier waist - more turny for the east?

- 2012 Line Prophet 98 - Meh? People don't sound as excited about these as the above

 

As for bindings - is there any difference between them? Do I just go with the Marker Griffon 13's, or is there anything else to consider? Why would I choose one binding over another?

 

As I said in the bullet points above, I think the 2011 Kendo is coming out ahead for me at this point.

 

Thank you!

post #10 of 18
Bielz is right ... Stick with the 88-ish skis. There are plenty of them that ski very well in soft snow and you can demo on deep days as you said. I wouldn't go to a 98 like the Bonafide given how much of your skiing is back east. You want more of a mid-fat with good soft snow characteristics.

The bushwhacker seems just right. Atomic crimson is also a good choice for someone at your level and needs.

2 diff Kastles could fit the bill -- BMX88 and LX92. I think the MX88 is too much of a sports car for you.

As others have send, Kendo, although I didn't love it in soft snow.

Anyway, the category is loaded ... There are TONS of mid-80s to low 90s waisted 50-50 skis with good soft snow characteristics. But I would not buy a mantra, especially the 2011 (2012 has some early rise and a softer flex foreword). And I would not go with the high 90s waited western daily driver types cause I think you're giving up too much carving performance and edge to edge quickness for no good reason.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I'm basically down to the 2011 Kendo or the 2012 Bushwacker. I guess I should be favoring the softer Bushwacker given the east usage... it's probably worth the extra $100!

post #12 of 18
I would favor the bushwacker, but for the west usage not the east. Kendo is a bit more frontside/carve oriented. Bush will be better in softer/deeper snow, has some early rise etc.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

I just ordered the 173cm 2012 Bushwacker with Marker Griffon 13 bindings... thank you very much for the help and I'll try to update the thread once the northeast cools off a bit and some snow appears on the ground.  Anyone know where these skis are manufactured?

post #14 of 18
I probably would have gone 180, so if not too late to modify the order, think about it. You'll like the extra length for stability and float.

Made in Austria.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thank you - would the extra length on 180cm add float at the expense of mogul capability?

post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by aindfan View Post

Thank you - would the extra length on 180cm add float at the expense of mogul capability?



Yes.

 

SJ

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by aindfan View Post

Thank you - would the extra length on 180cm add float at the expense of mogul capability?


I know some very good skiers, heavier than you by 20-30 lbs, who enjoy the 173 for exactly what you're using it for. Because of its design, it adds running length effortlessly on edge, so really doubt you'll have stability issues, and float is primarily a mathematical function of width, not length. Tip pressure is more affected by length (see stability), and your own height, but rocker changes that too. You ordered the right length. Relax and enjoy. 

 

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,

 

Here comes a follow up to this thread after I've actually tried the skis.  I purchased the 2012 Blizzard Bushwacker in 173cm from SkiEssentials (whom I thank for speedy delivery, properly mounted bindings, and a few great clarifying phone calls to help compare these skis to others in the category).

 

I have a few first impressions after skiing one day at Hunter on 100% machine made snow, which I was VERY impressed with - though only two top-to-bottom trails were open with a third opening halfway through the day, there was plenty of snow to go around, and the open black diamond run started as fluffy powder and ended the day as decent sized and snowy bumps.  In summary: considering that there has been about an inch of natural snow this season, the conditions were fantastic, and the lines were non-existent.

 

Back on topic: what a fun ski!  When the trail started as powder they flowed right through, and when the bumps grew I had no trouble bouncing through them.  I need to work on my form/technique, and I'm getting used to the feeling of this very soft, flexible ski, especially when they thwap a bit in varying conditions.  I also need to work on moving my weight forward - I felt like I was riding the tails a bit too much, and it definitely wasn't the ski's fault. The early rise was an interesting addition as well.  In snowmaking whiteout conditions (for short sections), the skis just popped their way up and over any unexpected contours in the snow surface. They carve effortlessly (to me) without too much speed.

 

Thank you again for the help.  I'm looking forward to taking these skis to Les Arcs in a few weeks.

 

 

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