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Advice needed: a 1-quiver replacement for my Atomic R.11s

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Sadly, I need to replace my '04 Atomic R.11s due to an irreparable Atomic binding. I am looking to pick up a pair of last year's demo models (< $500), as I ski at most ten days per year. Primarily Tahoe (Squaw, Alpine).

 

Weight: 154

Height: 5'8"

Age: 46 (34 years skiing)

Level: 7 - 8

 

I split my time between groomers and bumps. On groomed surfaces, I go for speed, using both GS and slalom turns. The ski needs to be able to hold an edge on ice, as many of the peak runs get wind blown and scraped. Once the sun softens up the bump runs, I'll spend the rest of the day there until I start making too many mistakes.

 

I only ski crud by accident or when I need to traverse it to get to where I want to go. So, I'll just muddle through it with a narrow waist. Powder: I'll rent a pair of pontoons.

 

So, in sum, I need a good high speed carver that can hold an edge on ice but has enough flex left to enhance my mogul skiing. I'm still learning and improving my skills in the moguls (steeper, bigger) whereas I feel that I have the high speed carving nailed. So if I have to compromise, I'll compromise in favor of slightly softer to support my mogul aspirations.

 

I am used to carvers and mogul skis having very narrow waists (~70mm). If modern skis can deliver the same abilities with a slightly wider waist (~78 - 82) that would offer a little more float in the crud, I would consider that. 

 

In the end, I think I'm looking for a soft slalom ski but I'm not sure where the line crosses over to a firm mogul ski. The one ski I've seen that looks like it may be a good fit is the Head iSuperShaper Magnum (71 mm waist).

 

I would appreciate any and all suggestions (and clarifying questions), including possible sources for used skis. Thank you!

 

Mark

 

P.S. The Atomics bindings include thick plate on which the boot rests (can't remember the generic term for this). It clearly enhances the carving ability of the ski but it also makes them very heavy. Is this type of geometry still used or recommended?

post #2 of 19

Mark,

 

If you are willing to step up to the $600.00 range for NEW, I have two choices for you...

 

11' Blizzard Mag 8.7 w/ bindings 174cm

11 Nordica HR Burner's w/ bindings 170 or 178cm. 

 

Both are going to be a ton more fun that what you had on both soft and hard snow in the Tahoe region. 

 

post #3 of 19

what bindings did u have on your r11?

 

heel plastic snap?

 

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

Philpug,

 

Thanks for the response. I gather that these are skis you have for sale at you shop?

 

84 under foot for the Nordicas and 87 under foot for the Blizzards strikes me as a bit too wide for the moguls. Why the 87s instead of any of the four narrower waisted Magnums?

 

Mark

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure, Shoal, as they are at the shop. They are not covered by the recall as the skis were released later than the recall range. So all I can say is that they are Atomic bindings of the same style that were affected by the recall. Not sure about the plastic heel.

post #6 of 19
Sounds like a device binding, not a neox.

Any carving ski is going to be as good in the bumps as any other carving ski.
post #7 of 19
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

Jim, thank you! this is EXACTLY what I needed. Based on Dawg's write-up, the Blizzard Supersonics and Kastle MX78s look like they best fit the bill. mark

 

post #9 of 19

84 under foot is not too wide unless you plan on becoming a zipper liner.  PhilPug's recommendations are dead on.  I had the HR Burner's predecessor and it was the best all around ski I had ever been on...until I got Sultan 85's on my feet.  Loving those and skied a bunch of bumps yesterday at Killington with them.  They plow through crud, hold a decent edge, and I found them to be pretty great in the bumps.  Based on my limited experience in Tahoe (only about 15 days), the HR Burner is the perfect ski for what you're seeking.

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

bjo - I appreciate your comments and it makes me realize that I was making an assumption that anything more than about 78 under foot was just not suitable as a strong carver. I imagine that is because I have only ever skiied narrow-waisted skis. It is also because on the day I lost my Atomics, I demo'd a pair of K2s with 98 under foot and they felt like clunky pigs. Just terrible for me. But, really, I have no idea what 80 - 90 under foot feels like. Obviously, I should ski some and find out.

 

But maybe you can summarize for me based on your experience: what do you gain and what do you lose when you go from, say, a Kastle MX78 that rises to the top of Dawg's recommendation list to an HR Burner or Sultan 85? Obviously there's a lot more at play here than what's underfoot but in the spirit of "less than 80" vs. "80 to 90," I'd welcome your (or anyone's) thoughts.

 

After you get back from Killington today, of course.

 

Mark

post #11 of 19

I think you may have been at the Start Haus a couple of days ago? Had a kid or two in tow and a guy who works there was telling you that he thought they'd been recalled?

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSDavis View Post

I demo'd a pair of K2s with 98 under foot and they felt like clunky pigs. Just terrible for me. But, really, I have no idea what 80 - 90 under foot feels like.


Honestly, you have no idea what other 98 underfoot skis feel like either.  A K2 Hardside (which is what I assume you tried) is going to feel a lot different than a Kastle MX98, a Blizzard Bonafide, a DPS Wailer 99RP, a PM Gear Bro Model... I could go on.

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSDavis View Post

bjo - I appreciate your comments and it makes me realize that I was making an assumption that anything more than about 78 under foot was just not suitable as a strong carver. I imagine that is because I have only ever skiied narrow-waisted skis. It is also because on the day I lost my Atomics, I demo'd a pair of K2s with 98 under foot and they felt like clunky pigs. Just terrible for me. But, really, I have no idea what 80 - 90 under foot feels like. Obviously, I should ski some and find out.

 

But maybe you can summarize for me based on your experience: what do you gain and what do you lose when you go from, say, a Kastle MX78 that rises to the top of Dawg's recommendation list to an HR Burner or Sultan 85? Obviously there's a lot more at play here than what's underfoot but in the spirit of "less than 80" vs. "80 to 90," I'd welcome your (or anyone's) thoughts.

 

After you get back from Killington today, of course.

 

Mark


I was skiing on Fischer RC4 WC RC GS Cheaters prior to skiing the Afterburners.  Was also on BetaRide 11.20's (the same ski you have, different name).  Can't beat the carving ability of the Race Carvers but they were unusable on anything but groomers - I regularly booted out on the GS skis and could easily drag my inside hand on the snow when carving.  That was a lot of fun but too one-dimensional.  The 11.20's had a few seasons on them and, yes, the bindings failed.  I had bought them in Europe and Atomic USA didn't want to talk to me about replacements.  I also felt they were a bit stiff for moguls.  I made the big jump from the 11.20's (which I think were 70mm underfoot) directly to 84.  It took me exactly one run to forget they were different.

 

SierraJim put me on Afterburner demos for a day at Squaw and I was infatuated.  I bought a pair and have skied them in 12" of Utah fresh (thanks Bushwacker!), Whiteface bulletproof, Tahoe mank, and everything in between and fell in love.  I didn't find any type of snow or condition that these skis did not shine in.  Unfortunately, the system bindings that came with them kept prematurely ejecting me.  The Sultan 85's might be a tiny bit better at busting crud but everything else is very similar but with Look bindings (yay!).  I also felt that the AB's hit the perfect balance between responsive/precise/poppy and damp.  Once again, the Sultans (now Legends) are everything the Nordicas were in this regard and maybe (MAYBE) a little more.  The K2s have a rep for being extremely damp and that may have been why you didn't like them.  Never had any experience with any of the Kastle skis so can't comment on how they stack up to what I have.

 

Yesterday I skied some big bumps, icy groomers, manky crud, and some real thin cover trails.  The Dynastars were bomber in the mank, carved almost as well as my buddy's Volkl Tigershark SLs, made me look better than my skills in the bumps, and were very nimble when having to change directions quickly to avoid rocks and grass.  Only one small mark on them but that was the Indian's fault, not the arrow's.
 

 

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

twasn't me -no kids! Yes, earlier versions were recalled but mine were too recent. And you are right, I really have no idea about any of these skis and should just be going demo crazy. Problem is time. There may or may not be adequate demos availablee when I go and I'll have limited time and I may be stuck n another pair of rental clunkers. So why not spend $300 on a pair of used something (or two) and take a risk.

 

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post




I was skiing on Fischer RC4 WC RC GS Cheaters prior to skiing the Afterburners.  Was also on BetaRide 11.20's (the same ski you have, different name).  Can't beat the carving ability of the Race Carvers but they were unusable on anything but groomers - I regularly booted out on the GS skis and could easily drag my inside hand on the snow when carving.  That was a lot of fun but too one-dimensional.  The 11.20's had a few seasons on them and, yes, the bindings failed.  I had bought them in Europe and Atomic USA didn't want to talk to me about replacements.  I also felt they were a bit stiff for moguls.  I made the big jump from the 11.20's (which I think were 70mm underfoot) directly to 84.  It took me exactly one run to forget they were different.

 

SierraJim put me on Afterburner demos for a day at Squaw and I was infatuated.  I bought a pair and have skied them in 12" of Utah fresh (thanks Bushwacker!), Whiteface bulletproof, Tahoe mank, and everything in between and fell in love.  I didn't find any type of snow or condition that these skis did not shine in.  Unfortunately, the system bindings that came with them kept prematurely ejecting me.  The Sultan 85's might be a tiny bit better at busting crud but everything else is very similar but with Look bindings (yay!).  I also felt that the AB's hit the perfect balance between responsive/precise/poppy and damp.  Once again, the Sultans (now Legends) are everything the Nordicas were in this regard and maybe (MAYBE) a little more.  The K2s have a rep for being extremely damp and that may have been why you didn't like them.  Never had any experience with any of the Kastle skis so can't comment on how they stack up to what I have.

 

Yesterday I skied some big bumps, icy groomers, manky crud, and some real thin cover trails.  The Dynastars were bomber in the mank, carved almost as well as my buddy's Volkl Tigershark SLs, made me look better than my skills in the bumps, and were very nimble when having to change directions quickly to avoid rocks and grass.  Only one small mark on them but that was the Indian's fault, not the arrow's.
 

 


 

Bjo, thanks for the great new information. Reading yours and other posts convinced me that, yes, it is OK to move into the 80s underfoot without giving up the carving ability. Of course, my list of candidates has now grown to include Atomic Blackeye, Volkl Tigershark, Blizzard Magnum 8.1 and Élan Apex to name a few. 

 

post #15 of 19

 

Also, you should consider Salomon XT 850 Enduros.  They're 84mm wide, powerful carvers, quick-turning, and they have much better edge grip than the R11's, which I also owned.  Overall, I think you'll like them better than Supershape Magnums (which I also own).

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/102886/demo-day-briefs-50-50-skis-84-to-88mm-wide#post_1327079

 

http://www.epicski.com/products/salomon-xt-850-enduro-ski/reviews/2099

 

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

How well you are able to ski is related to how hard you are willing to fall.

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all of your help and links, I narrowed it down to the Head IM/Peak 78 and the Sultan 85s. I'm looking to buy used and the Heads available are either too expensive or too long. I'm looking for low 170s since I'll be in the moguls whenever conditions allow.

 

So that leaves me with this decision to make: which binding on the Sultans? Options are: 

1) Head RFD11 Alpine

2) Tyrolia SP100

3) Look PX12 Fluid

 

The Looks are going to me more expensive and heavier, as I understand it, bit will improve the geometry for better carving (again, as I understand it). Worth it?

 

Thanks for your thoughts.

 

Mark

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSDavis View Post

 

P.S. The Atomics bindings include thick plate on which the boot rests (can't remember the generic term for this). It clearly enhances the carving ability of the ski but it also makes them very heavy. Is this type of geometry still used or recommended?



Many of my favorite skis are heavy with heavy bindings.  When I've mounted lighter bindings performance drops.  That weight is good.

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSDavis View Post

Thanks to all of your help and links, I narrowed it down to the Head IM/Peak 78 and the Sultan 85s. I'm looking to buy used and the Heads available are either too expensive or too long. I'm looking for low 170s since I'll be in the moguls whenever conditions allow.

 

So that leaves me with this decision to make: which binding on the Sultans? Options are: 

1) Head RFD11 Alpine

2) Tyrolia SP100

3) Look PX12 Fluid

 

The Looks are going to me more expensive and heavier, as I understand it, bit will improve the geometry for better carving (again, as I understand it). Worth it?

 

Thanks for your thoughts.

 

Mark


Look Fluid bindings work only with Fluid-equipped skis.  And vice-versa.

post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSDavis View Post

Sadly, I need to replace my '04 Atomic R.11s due to an irreparable Atomic binding. I am looking to pick up a pair of last year's demo models (< $500), as I ski at most ten days per year. Primarily Tahoe (Squaw, Alpine).

 

Weight: 154

Height: 5'8"

Age: 46 (34 years skiing)

Level: 7 - 8

 

I split my time between groomers and bumps. On groomed surfaces, I go for speed, using both GS and slalom turns. The ski needs to be able to hold an edge on ice, as many of the peak runs get wind blown and scraped. Once the sun softens up the bump runs, I'll spend the rest of the day there until I start making too many mistakes.

 

I only ski crud by accident or when I need to traverse it to get to where I want to go. So, I'll just muddle through it with a narrow waist. Powder: I'll rent a pair of pontoons.

 

So, in sum, I need a good high speed carver that can hold an edge on ice but has enough flex left to enhance my mogul skiing. I'm still learning and improving my skills in the moguls (steeper, bigger) whereas I feel that I have the high speed carving nailed. So if I have to compromise, I'll compromise in favor of slightly softer to support my mogul aspirations.

 

I am used to carvers and mogul skis having very narrow waists (~70mm). If modern skis can deliver the same abilities with a slightly wider waist (~78 - 82) that would offer a little more float in the crud, I would consider that. 

 

In the end, I think I'm looking for a soft slalom ski but I'm not sure where the line crosses over to a firm mogul ski. The one ski I've seen that looks like it may be a good fit is the Head iSuperShaper Magnum (71 mm waist).

 

I would appreciate any and all suggestions (and clarifying questions), including possible sources for used skis. Thank you!

 

Mark

 

P.S. The Atomics bindings include thick plate on which the boot rests (can't remember the generic term for this). It clearly enhances the carving ability of the ski but it also makes them very heavy. Is this type of geometry still used or recommended?

Those R11s are very stiff.  I had a pair.  Almost anything you get is going to make skiing bumps more fun, because carving skis now come with the same torsional stiffness without being so darn stiff longitudinally.  I remember those things getting hooked up in the bumps all the time.  

 

Just adding another ski to think about.. look at the Salomon X-Wings from the last two years.  Underfoot they are relatively narrow, but tip and tail are much wider than your R11s, so you get more float in soft snow.  They are quite torsionally stiff, so they hold on ice at speed, and relatively narrow underfoot so your carving moves will work in a similar way as they do with the R11s.  

 

If you go to a much wider-under-foot ski, you'll find that you need to work harder to get the skis up on edge since the ski hangs out to the side of your boot, so for the same carve it will take a noticeably longer time to initiate it.  YMMV, of course, and I'm sure others will disagree.  Demo demo demo, if you can. 
 

 

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