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Struggling with a decision I made (Blizzard Bonafide)

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

 

I've turned to here successfully for advice in the past and I've been an avid reader who has been swept up in the momentum related to the Bonafides, but I'm seriously second guessing my decision and wanted to gather opinions before i get these things mounted

 

About me:

 

East Coast 5'9" 185 pounds

I wouldn't rate myself as an 8 or 9 -- even 7 is a stretch but i'm pretty self critical.  I ski 20-30 days a season here on the east coast primarily at sunday river or sugarbush.  Take a trip out west every year to Colorado, Utah, Tahoe, etc

 

I'm currently on a pair of Volkl AC30s with a length of 170.  I really enjoy them, but when I go out west I always rent skis, and as myself and my friends are getting more experienced, we're finding ourselves in bumps and trees much more, which is a task I've always found brutal.  To be clear, I am 100% sure that my form is the lion's share of the problem, and I'll take lessons to make myself a better skier, but I'm also pretty certain that the AC30s aren't really the tool for the job for me, so I started looking to increase my quiver.  My primary problems being bumps, crud, powder, and trees.  Basically, I can rip my AC30s on any groomer you can find, but I'm really struggling in nearly any other scenario.

 

So the ski I'm looking for is one to complement the AC30 on East Coast "better days" where there might be snow or the snow is good enough that I'd consider a few runs through the trees.  Essentially looking to expand on and a bit off the mountain, plus pick up a ski I could take with me out west so that I'm not running around to rental/demo shops and dealing with all of that.  That said, it wouldn't shock me if the ski I'm purchasing now becomes more of my "daily driver" and my AC30s become more relegated to the days when it's just plain hard out (which is often here in the EC anyway)

 

This is where the bonafide came in, and reading the reviews of the ski it seemed to fit my profile, although I agonized over whether the Bushwacker would be a better choice for me.  This is problem #1.  

 

Problem #2 is the length.  I was able to find a pair of Bonafides here in 180cm, which is much longer than any ski I've been on.  Given my height and weight, it seems like this is the ski most here would recommend I get on, but I'm having serious concerns that increasing this dramatically in both width and length will leave me unimpressed with what seems to be by all accounts a very impressive ski.  Should I consider returning the 180s and seeking out the 173 in either the bones or the bushwhacker? 

 

Honestly I'm just confusing the hell out of myself.  Of course, the best option here would be to run a few demos, but this ski is in such incredibly short supply that I'm not sure that's much of an option.  Nonetheless, I agree, I'm much less likely to waste my money if i run that risk and simply wait.  This, however, is a risk I'm willing to run, so assuming I MUST purchase (and I know that's a bit of a fallacy), what would be the line of thinking you all would subscribe to?

post #2 of 25

As far as the length goes: it skis short, so I think you could probably handle it.  Not having skied with you, it is impossible to say whether the 173 or 180 is more suitable.  The Bushwacker is a bit more forgiving and easier to handle: I have no doubt that you could easily manage the 180 in that ski.

 

Yeah, that is the trouble when you don't get a demo in.  You are more or less rolling the dice.  Buying a well-reviewed ski helps your odds, but with everyone being different heights-weights-skiing style-skill level-strength-skiing speed-terrain, there a lot of factors that are tough to account for if you are reading other reviews. 

 

With regards to the Bonafide: it is a great ski, one of the best in it's class, but I can think about 5 others that are up there as well that I would consider the equivalent in performance.  So, it isn't like it is a "buy this ski or you are screwed" situation.  Since you already have the ski, just go ahead and mount them and hope that it is what you are looking for.  If you were looking for a recommendation before purchasing, it would be to demo several pair and get more of a feel of what you really wanted.  I am not a big fan of purchasing without a demo, unless you have a solid background in knowing the kind of feel you are looking for, and a history with a certain brand. Even that can change over time, though; if you loved the old Atlas/Argos feel, you might not like the new Flipcore skis; they are nothing alike, and, if you were like me, and found them to be too stout, then the Flipcore stuff really is a huge improvement.  Then again, others want to buy a ski and forget about it. For them, it is better to just get something and go ski.

 

Hope this helps.  Good luck with your dilemma.

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks...I've read a lot of your stuff on this ski and appreciate your honesty.  I get what you're saying on there being other skis in the class...I am undoubtedly making a leap of faith here and it could be argued with very little reasoning.  I guess my "back of the head" reasoning is that I can get on this ski now and if it really isn't for me sell it to someone else barely used.  In essence, a reverse ski demo :)  Ultimately, it's not a matter of money, per se, as I can afford to be wrong and tie up my money for a bit.  The worst part is just that I'm between two skis and two lengths, so there's that ever elusive "would x have been better" nagging feeling.   Ultimately, I chose the most extreme choice (longer and fatter ski) of all of my options as I was looking for something I could definitely bring West with me.  Thinking about the Bushwacker in particular, I get the sense that it's a ski I would definitely be able to ski here, but would probably still want to swap out on my Western trips, which seemed to defeat the purpose of adding  a ski to my arsenal.  Nonetheless, when I was in Colorado last year, I did a day on the Kendo when it was a bit choppy....didn't love or hate the ski or anything, either, so 88 is absolutely skiable out there, I just feel like the 98 is more versatile.

 

I'm also not against buying something to grow into.  I really do plan to take a few lessons this season and try to improve my skiing quite a bit.  This was one of the final factors in saying "yes" to a longer ski....it seems like the 180 would be ideal for me if I were an ideal skier, especially to help in some of the chopped up conditions i've really come to loathe.  

post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by teddykgb View Post

Thinking about the Bushwacker in particular, I get the sense that it's a ski I would definitely be able to ski here, but would probably still want to swap out on my Western trips, which seemed to defeat the purpose of adding  a ski to my arsenal.  

 

...it seems like the 180 would be ideal for me if I were an ideal skier, especially to help in some of the chopped up conditions i've really come to loathe.  


My experience on the Bushwacker indicates it would be great in trees and bumps, but maybe not the ski for crushing crud out west that you seek. And yes, lot of overlap with AC30's in width, though not in feel or mission. But if you got a Bush, no real need to still own an AC30. Maybe a Racetiger... 

 

Dawg' right about the Bonafide. Seems to fit your needs, and your size is appropriate to a 180, particularly if you see this as a western trip ski also for soft days back east. Have not skied them, but all the feedback indicates they are a lot easier to handle than two already nice Blizzards, the Atlas, which I own, or the Argos, which I've skied. So enjoy! 

 

post #5 of 25

The thing is although both a great skis they are far from the best for east coast powder days or for general east coast skiing. 99 percent of east coast powder skiing take place in trees and the tighter the tree you can find...and ski the better chance you have.

 

Bushwacker is to narrow and has no twin tip which limits billy goating.

bonafide is to stiff, and lacks a twin as well.

 

niether is a bad choice, just for milking a east coast mountain out of its powder there are way better choices.

 

"the one", schimitar, S3, Moment PB&J, Volkl Bridge and pretty much any 95-100 mm semi rockered twin tip are going to be better skis for more people skiing east coast trees. Some of these skis still kill it on groomers as well. I also think Ac30 are crappy tree skis nearly all the all time but a nice expert ski for firmer bumps.

 

the new flipcore twin tips from Blizzard are going to kill it when they get here, its pretty much the most exciting thing for me to try this year.

 

 

 

 

post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

The thing is although both a great skis they are far from the best for east coast powder days or for general east coast skiing. 99 percent of east coast powder skiing take place in trees and the tighter the tree you can find...and ski the better chance you have.

 

Bushwacker is to narrow and has no twin tip which limits billy goating.

bonafide is to stiff, and lacks a twin as well.

 

niether is a bad choice, just for milking a east coast mountain out of its powder there are way better choices.

 

"the one", schimitar, S3, Moment PB&J, Volkl Bridge and pretty much any 95-100 mm semi rockered twin tip are going to be better skis for more people skiing east coast trees. Some of these skis still kill it on groomers as well. I also think Ac30 are crappy tree skis nearly all the all time but a nice expert ski for firmer bumps.

 

the new flipcore twin tips from Blizzard are going to kill it when they get here, its pretty much the most exciting thing for me to try this year.

 

 

 

 


Did you get a chance to ski the Rock n' Roll from Head?  I purchased a pair, liked it alot up on demo last year, but now that you mention it, it seems alot like what you are describing here. Twin tip, low rise rocker tip and tail, no metal, not a park ski.  I am thinking it will be quick, along the lines of The One and the Slicer.  My demo wasn't really in tight trees, so I will make a note of it when I ski it tomorrow.  I like the length too: 180cm seems just about right for a ski like that. 

 

post #7 of 25

Teddy,

 

Despite the popularity of putting heavier people on longer skis, the skill of the person will absolutely decide how that ski will feel. If you don't have the skill to handle 180, get 173. You give up very little in flotation or stability, but gain a ton in confidence, ability to handle the ski and overall fun.

 

As for growing into a ski, I understand the concept, but it does not really work in practice. I would rather outgrow a ski than try to grow into a beast of a ski that will give me 2-3 seasons of misery and probably contribute to a lifetime of acquired bad habits.

post #8 of 25

Duuuude. Step away from the keyboard. The lack of snow has you way over thinking. You make a very good choice in model and length. Go. ski..enjoy. You will love them. 

post #9 of 25

Philpug has the right of it.

 

Just go ski!

post #10 of 25

It's gonna turn way better that the AC 30.  You will be happy!

 

post #11 of 25

I got to demo the Bonafide in the 180 length a couple of weeks ago at Sunday River. It was a warm day, and they had got a foot of snow a couple of days earlier, so I had the full compliment of conditions to try it in. Slush, ice, crud and bumps, and it handled them all well. This ski does have some rocker in the tip and tail, so the 180 length shouldn't be a problem, especially out west. And the ski felt like it had some camber under foot, it handled the icy spots well, and it felt like it had the balls to stand up to eastern conditions. I did feel that the ski was a little bit of work from time to time, but it was towards the end of the day, and my legs were toast at that point. To be honest, I haven't skied enough skis in that category to say it was better or worse than anything else out there, but I definitely didn't hate them. And I would have to agree with just about all the advice you've received here. Including the advice that unless you really know your stuff, it's always better to demo. But I also agree that if you really don't like them, you won't have any trouble selling them, either. So go have some fun on them.

post #12 of 25

I'm with Phil.  You have the ski...its a great ski.  The 180 should be fine for the application you are seeking.  You will love it and be fine on it.  This is analysis by paralysis.  Could there be something out there that is slightly more perfect and slightly more the perfect size?  Yes...of course...but it will be negligibly better and not worth all the anxiety this is creating for you.  Now that you have a great ski to complement your AC 30s..you have 2 great tools and can focus on your technique which will go a lot further then what skis are on your feet.  Just sayin'

post #13 of 25

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post #14 of 25

Mac:  We have conversed before.  I think we like the same type skis as we are both Eastern skiers.  How good was the Bonafide on ice?  I am interested in the ski as my 1 week out West and Eastern storm ski.  The largest waist ski  I currently own is 75mm. Just wondering how much I could use it in the East?

post #15 of 25

It works on ice but you have to stay on it. As mentioned in previous posts the Bonafide is a bit stiffer than the Bushwacker therefore will stabilize on ice and higher speeds for a more advanced skier. I have tested all these skis extensively.

post #16 of 25

It should be no problem staying on them.  Where have you done your testing East or West?

post #17 of 25

For those of you who are recommending the 180 over the 173, what's your reasoning?  If teddy is a level 7, what does the longer length do FOR him?  It seems like any added "float" would be pretty minimal and I'm almost certain that any added "stability" is almost nonexistent.  It seems to me like he could benefit from quicker response, easier turning, and easier handling while he's building skills and becoming a better skier.  The likelihood is that he'll have yet another pair of skis in a couple of years, so THAT pair could be longer.

 

If he can easily return the 180's and switch out to the 173's, I think that's a better length for where he is as a skier.  If he can't easily switch, then I'm sure he'd be fine on the 180 but it's going to be a little more of a learning process.

 

 

post #18 of 25

185 lbs, 173 would be too small.  If the 180 is no good then switch skis.  He skis 20 - 30 days he ought to be ok.  The ski turns easily and it will offer him the opportunity to improve.  I still like the 180 and I don't know that much about it!

 

post #19 of 25

I'm in a similar boat, waffling between 180s and 173s, but leaning towards the former. I'm 5'7", 140 lbs, advanced west coast skier. There's quite a bit of rise in the tip so I think it will ski a bit short (say -4cm) but not crazy short (-10cm) like an S7. For that reason I'm 90% sure I'm going with 180s and will mount them in a couple days.

 

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post

185 lbs, 173 would be too small.  If the 180 is no good then switch skis.  He skis 20 - 30 days he ought to be ok.  The ski turns easily and it will offer him the opportunity to improve.  I still like the 180 and I don't know that much about it!

 


But why do you feel the 173 is too small?  Do you feel he would overpower it, I guess?

 

I just don't know.  That's a moderately stout ski and I think that developing skiers can benefit from a ski that bends well when you weight it and put it on edge.

 

If teddy was a level 8 or 9, I think the discussion would be different.  

post #21 of 25

Hmmmmmm.....just got my 'puter fixed and ......surprise!!!.......in a few days offline, nothing has changed.

 

By post # 5 or so, everybody has forgotten the OP's self description. This guy says he's maybe a L-7. Folks of this ability/confidence level do not charge. Rather, they handle intimidating conditions fairly cautiously. For a skier of this description, the length is not a forgone conclusion rather it is a personal comfort level thing. There are a lot of good points mentioned here and among them are that eastern trees are tight, western snow is not always powder, and the longest ski that a particular skier is comfortable with is the best choice. If a skier is concerned about the length however, it is not a bad call to size down.

 

Ingore the length of the current AC-30. Any level 5 or better skier can take something like that and slide around on groomers and flail in the powder. This does not dictate the length choice of the next ski. The Bonafide is not difficult to ski but if you are more comfortable/confident on the shorter length then there is no reason not to make the change. You will not pay a tangilble price in any performance situation that you are likely to encounter and......................you will not miss the phone call from the TGR films production manager either way.  

 

SJ

post #22 of 25

I think Jim and Bob make fair points about whether he should be on the 180 or the 173 and they are worth considering.  De-coupling that issue from whether the Bonafide is the right ski is probably a good step.  Assuming that its fairly close to the right ski and that he doesn't want to start over again, I believe he really is a "tweener".  Obviously, none of us can judge his skiing ability and its a very personal decision what length he is comfortable with and how he skis.  However, at 185 lbs...this is a fairly big guy who is a decent skier (self proclaimed L-7).  IMHO a 180 for his Western ski, AND the fact that he skis a solid 20-30 days a year doesn't seem like a huge stretch ski.  However, he does mention Eastern tree performance which implies tight spaces.  If that is a really important spec than that would drive me to recommend 173.  In the end, it just comes down to what performance attributes he is prioritizing in his decision matrix.  We are all interpreting but only Teddy really knows. 

post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Duuuude. Step away from the keyboard. The lack of snow has you way over thinking. You make a very good choice in model and length. Go. ski..enjoy. You will love them. 


Now that is GREAT advice.  "let it snow, let it snow, let it snowwww"...like, NOW! (not a single hill even has a base here in Ontario -- total accumulation = 1.5cm this year so farhopmad.gif)

 

As for the actual topic of this discussion, I'm going to have to give my opinion, however biased it is, that a level 7, 5'9 185 not used to that kind of length would be better off with the 173.  I also agree that the 'extra float' would be quite minimal, and I would think that maneuverability would be more important off-piste.  I've been skiing pretty hard for 21 years now, am 5'7, and would not feel comfortable deviating from the 160 frontsides I ski...I COULD do the 170ish length without difficulty, but the itty bitty better edge hold and stability would likely be irrelevant compared to the loss of low-speed maneuverability.

 

With that being said, is the 180 WRONG?  No.  Would you be happy with it if you just stopped thinking about it? Most likely.  Would you find it easy to ski right away?  With flipcore, probably...but would you be more comfortable on the 173s to START?  Absolutely.

 

I think it comes down to opportunity and ease.  Skis aren't a tiny investment, so think to longer term (maybe 180 would be better next season, maybe they'd give you bad habits, who knows until you try)...but if you can swap 'em out without difficulty, (like, free return...) I would.  If you'd have to take a loss, get a different pair, etc, I probably would say "great purchase with those 180s, ski ON!"

post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all of you, really enjoyed the discussion.  At least I know I'm not crazy, as the discussion wasn't entirely one sided.

 

Ultimately, I tried to find the 173s in stock anywhere near me, and they were non existent.  I got the 180s mounted on a pair of look lifters I had, so I'll do my best to report back after I've worked them a few times.  My personal history was to consider myself short and ski shorter skis, and every time I've gone up in size I've felt more confident on the ski, so  assuming the rocker makes this ski go even two or three cm shorter, I'll be on a slightly longer ski that I'll probably be able to handle.  

 

To address some of the questions: I'm not a regular or avid tree skier, but 3-5 runs a day will likely end up in bumps or trees, as I've got one asshole/masochist friend who is just really into that stuff.  Having a ski that can handle this better than my AC30 is pretty important to me.  To lend credence to the later advice pointing me toward the 173, I definitely do not charge at bumps or more difficult conditions, that's precisely when I start to really approach cautiously and work very hard.

 

I think the 173 would have been a comfortable length for me, and the 180 is a bit of an aggressive choice but I will learn a bit about myself here.  I'm not fundamentally worried about the money, so if I made the wrong choice I'll learn the lesson and move on.  In that regard, it was probably better to take the risk and potentially reap some rewards.

 

Really appreciate all the feedback, and seriously echo the call for snow, this is absolutely brutal here in the EC right now.

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by teddykgb View Post

Thanks to all of you, really enjoyed the discussion.  At least I know I'm not crazy, as the discussion wasn't entirely one sided.

 

Ultimately, I tried to find the 173s in stock anywhere near me, and they were non existent.  I got the 180s mounted on a pair of look lifters I had, so I'll do my best to report back after I've worked them a few times.  My personal history was to consider myself short and ski shorter skis, and every time I've gone up in size I've felt more confident on the ski, so  assuming the rocker makes this ski go even two or three cm shorter, I'll be on a slightly longer ski that I'll probably be able to handle.  

 

To address some of the questions: I'm not a regular or avid tree skier, but 3-5 runs a day will likely end up in bumps or trees, as I've got one asshole/masochist friend who is just really into that stuff.  Having a ski that can handle this better than my AC30 is pretty important to me.  To lend credence to the later advice pointing me toward the 173, I definitely do not charge at bumps or more difficult conditions, that's precisely when I start to really approach cautiously and work very hard.

 

I think the 173 would have been a comfortable length for me, and the 180 is a bit of an aggressive choice but I will learn a bit about myself here.  I'm not fundamentally worried about the money, so if I made the wrong choice I'll learn the lesson and move on.  In that regard, it was probably better to take the risk and potentially reap some rewards.

 

Really appreciate all the feedback, and seriously echo the call for snow, this is absolutely brutal here in the EC right now.


I'm sure you'll be fine on the 180. I just skied the Bonafide again this morning - hadn't been on it since last spring. I outweigh you by 5# and I skied the 180. The fairly substantial early rise does indeed make it ski "short" for it's length.

You're going to have fun.
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