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Rossi E88 or Blizzard Bushwacker or Elan Apex?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I have a pair of Volkl Supersport Allstars, 70mm underfoot, and a pair of Icelantic Shamans, 110mm underfoot and have decided I need something around 90mm underfoot, with early rise and camber.  I'm basically looking for something that will be used most of the time and something that is fun to ski.  I made a couple of runs on Bushwackers last year and was fairly impressed.  I've also read good reviews about the E88 and Apex.  I know I can demo the Bushwackers again and may be able to demo the E88s or at least the SC87 which was the predecessor.  Finding the Elans to demo will be a lot harder, if not impossible.  Any thoughts on these or possibly other similar skis?

post #2 of 23

Come try the nordica steadfast!  Everybody who has demoed this ski from me has bought it!

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

OK, next time it looks like we'll have some fresh snow I'll give you a call.

post #4 of 23

I skied those all recently:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/108443/88mm-skis-blizzard-bushwacker-magnum-8-7-elan-apex-head-peak-90-kastle-mx88-rossi-exp-88-volkl-kendo

 

They were all fun.  If I were leaning more toward soft snow, probably the Apex and the Bushwacker would be the pics.  More toward firm snow: E88.  It has more of a bit more powerful, aggressive feel.

 

all are very fun skis.

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

I read your review of those skis and that was what led me to add the Elan to my list as I got the impression you liked it quite a bit.  IIRC you called it a true all mountain ski or something similar.  Have skied the Nordica Steadfast?

 

I should probably add that I'm 5'8", 150 pounds, 67 years old and can ski pretty much anything at Red Lodge Mountain.  I prefer skiing powder, trees and bumps.  Groomers are for getting back to the lift or at the end of the day.

post #6 of 23

The E88 and bushwacker are so different I could see owning both....

 

The E88 reminds me of a friendly rossi verison of the 8.7

 

The bushwacker is a toy that dances over the mountain with tons of pop and IMO great edge grip in off trail situation. In tight steered edge turns it has some of the best edge grip ever, but in carved turns its probably one of the worst in this class but still pretty good.

 

The steadfast splits the difference.

 

 

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks, that's useful information.

post #8 of 23

I just bought the Blizzard 8.7 for my teaching/exam ski. Haven't skied it yet, due to lack of new snow, so have no idea how it compares to the older version (the one sans tip rocker).

 

I have, however, skied both the Bushwacker and the Steadfast and loved both of 'em.

 

I managed to keep the Bushwacker for a couple of weeks and skied the heck out of 'em in November when we had fresh blown manmade. They railed on cord and were fun and  nimble as a teaching ski (I teach kids). I'd buy 'em for an every day ski here in Tahoe (my previous every day/all-mountain ride was the Blizzard Titan 9).

 

I also managed to ride the Steadfast for a few days on similar conditions (taught on 'em, too) and loved the heck outta them, as well. Super lightweight, but steady (a fellow instructor buddy of mine was surprised at how solid they were considering the light weight). They railed on the groomers and were nimble and efficient elsewhere (granted we don't have enough variable snow to have actually put them through a solid test, but I immediately like 'em out the gate).

 

I am currently going back and forth between purchasing the Bushwacker or the Steadfast for my every day, non-work, freeride ski. I am slightly leaning toward the Bush as the tip/tail rocker may make it a wee bit more versatile here (should we ever get any snow, that is!)

post #9 of 23

I have spent much time on the BW's, E88's and Steadfasts. I like them all and could be very happy any of the three. I own the E88 because where it fit my my quiver as a (Tahoe) groomer snow ski, what I was looking for. I owned the predecessor to the Apex, the 888 and felt it was a great GSish feel ski. I would have considered the  BW but I wanted a more hard snow biased ski and both the Experience 88 and Steadfast would be more so..again what I wanted and what I felt in these skis. Soooo. hard to soft rankings of these 4 skis...

 

Apex 80/20

Expereince 88 75/25

Steadfast 63/33

Bushwacker 45/55

 

All four are fine skis..it is what you want in a bias...and any of these percentages can vary due to skiing style, ability and even tune. 

 

 

post #10 of 23

Don't listen to Phil.

He owns the 88 because of the Basalt...

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post

Don't listen to Phil.

He owns the 88 because of the Basalt...


True..these skis ROCK!

 

 

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post

Don't listen to Phil.

He owns the 88 because of the Basalt...


True..these skis ROCK!

 

 

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 

I think there's an echo in here.rolleyes.gif

 

Thanks for comments and the percentages Phil.  From your numbers it looks like I should be looking really hard at the BW and Steadfast.  Now if I can someone who has some Line Prophet 90 or Flite 90 to demo.

post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

I have spent much time on the BW's, E88's and Steadfasts. I like them all and could be very happy any of the three. I own the E88 because where it fit my my quiver as a (Tahoe) groomer snow ski, what I was looking for. I owned the predecessor to the Apex, the 888 and felt it was a great GSish feel ski. I would have considered the  BW but I wanted a more hard snow biased ski and both the Experience 88 and Steadfast would be more so..again what I wanted and what I felt in these skis. Soooo. hard to soft rankings of these 4 skis...

 

Apex 80/20

Expereince 88 75/25

Steadfast 63/33

Bushwacker 45/55

 

All four are fine skis..it is what you want in a bias...and any of these percentages can vary due to skiing style, ability and even tune. 

 

 



Hey Phil,

 

I certainly understand that variety is the spice of life...but why the Experience 88 in that position when you have MX88's?

 

post #15 of 23

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by allan o'neil View Post



Hey Phil,

 

I certainly understand that variety is the spice of life...but why the Experience 88 in that position when you have MX88's?

 



Because I currently do not have a MX88. It was a very difficult decision not to add a MX88 back into the quiver this year but it was tough to justify two $1200 (I have a DPS Wailer 112 Pure) skis for the two 15% spots in my quiver when the Bonafide takes the 70% spot here in Tahoe. 

post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Because I currently do not have a MX88. It was a very difficult decision not to add a MX88 back into the quiver this year but it was tough to justify two $1200 (I have a DPS Wailer 112 Pure) skis for the two 15% spots in my quiver when the Bonafide takes the 70% spot here in Tahoe. 



That may well be retail BUT when was the last time you PAID retail???  th_dunno-1[1].gif  198_?  wink.gif  rolleyes.gif

post #17 of 23

From what I've been told there aren't many insider deals on the Kastles...I had the good fortune of skiing a buddy of Phil's old 94s and that ski is Full-On Vince Vaughn (money for the dookey slang challenged), but the price tag is steep.

 

@MTCYCLIST: I'd leave the Lines outta your quest. Make your life easier and make a decision between the Bushwacker and the Steadfast. I only say this because I once spent 2 full seasons demoing skis because I kept adding models to the list and then spending all of my free time tracking down places where I could demo 'em. At the end of those 2 seasons I wasn't any closer to choosing a new ski; if anything I was more confused and torn between what to get. I say narrow the choices and pick from those you have already ridden. This season, even though I still have a number of skis I'd love to try, I pretty much made the decision to go with a full Blizzard line-up, mostly based on how much I've loved my Titan 9's the past 3 seasons. I added Nordica to the mix since they are crafted in the same factory and have similar characteristics, but that's about the scope of my demoing (with the exception of the aforementioned Kastles). Don't get me wrong, I love demoing skis, but after awhile I'd rather just have my own and figure those out, plus get in some more skiing rather than spending all my time swapping skis.

 

 

 

post #18 of 23

The worst thing about bushwacker is it is not a twin tip.

 

really curious how the Dynstar 6th sense disorder skis as it has pretty close Dims to a bushwacker but with a twin tip.

post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

I read your review of those skis and that was what led me to add the Elan to my list as I got the impression you liked it quite a bit.  IIRC you called it a true all mountain ski or something similar.  Have skied the Nordica Steadfast?

 

I should probably add that I'm 5'8", 150 pounds, 67 years old and can ski pretty much anything at Red Lodge Mountain.  I prefer skiing powder, trees and bumps.  Groomers are for getting back to the lift or at the end of the day.



Haven't skied the Steadfast.  Having skied the Apex and E88 together, I would take the Apex in off-piste situations, and the E88 as more of a poppy carver frontside feel.  The Apex was much more like the Kendo, just softer in the tip and more manageable in tough conditions. Not quite as stable though, roughly equivalent to the E88, but one has more aggressive initiation, one is more nuanced.  The old 888 was much stiffer; the current Apex is probably 20% softer in the tip, and has a milled out core, so it skis much differently.  The other ski I like in that category is the Salomon Sentinel. It is stiffer, more in line with the Kendo, but a bit wider and more damp.  Then there is the FX94.  That ski is probably the top of the class in that width.    

post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

I think there's an echo in here.rolleyes.gif

 

Thanks for comments and the percentages Phil.  From your numbers it looks like I should be looking really hard at the BW and Steadfast.  Now if I can someone who has some Line Prophet 90 or Flite 90 to demo.


I didn't ski the Prophet 90, so can't comment on that one either.  The BW is more relaxed, the Apex likes to be pushed but has the right flex in the tip for crappy snow and bumps.  I prefer the latter for the way I ski (disclosure, I sell both).  I would say my breakdown would be Apex 50/50, Bushwacker 30/70, E88 60/40.  The only thing the Apex doesn't do as well as have that vroom... feel on groomers like the E88. It feels better if you are skiing aggressively in crud, as a trade-off, which is why I liked the E88 more as a carver and the Apex more as an off-piste ski.  Really though, they are pretty similar in performance.  The Apex is a good ski for someone my weight; every time I get on the shop's demo pair, it seems to click under my feet better than most of the skis we have.  

post #21 of 23

Re your two-season-long demo quest, as someone who has had the good fortune to be a paid ski tester for nearly 25 years I feel your pain. Proper ski testing, which the demo experience hopes to emulate, is not the same as freeskiing anymore than gate training is. I don't care to mix testing and free skiing, as the former requires an active mind scanning all bio-feedback for nuances of behavior and the latter benefits greatly from turning one's active, critical mind off. To spend a season in "demo mode" would be a dreary season indeed. At the end of the day, a good pilot can have a ball on any of the top 10 skis in any genre, which makes parsing the lot with a pedant's precision sort of silly. But there is such a thing as matching a ski to one's personality, something one can discover in a run or two. If anyone spends more than three days on snow trying to pick a ski from a given genre he or she is over-complicating the process. 

post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post

From what I've been told there aren't many insider deals on the Kastles...I had the good fortune of skiing a buddy of Phil's old 94s and that ski is Full-On Vince Vaughn (money for the dookey slang challenged), but the price tag is steep.

 

@MTCYCLIST: I'd leave the Lines outta your quest. Make your life easier and make a decision between the Bushwacker and the Steadfast. I only say this because I once spent 2 full seasons demoing skis because I kept adding models to the list and then spending all of my free time tracking down places where I could demo 'em. At the end of those 2 seasons I wasn't any closer to choosing a new ski; if anything I was more confused and torn between what to get. I say narrow the choices and pick from those you have already ridden. This season, even though I still have a number of skis I'd love to try, I pretty much made the decision to go with a full Blizzard line-up, mostly based on how much I've loved my Titan 9's the past 3 seasons. I added Nordica to the mix since they are crafted in the same factory and have similar characteristics, but that's about the scope of my demoing (with the exception of the aforementioned Kastles). Don't get me wrong, I love demoing skis, but after awhile I'd rather just have my own and figure those out, plus get in some more skiing rather than spending all my time swapping skis.

 

 

 



I know what you mean!That resume this season for me...

 

post #23 of 23

Having owned a few of these, demoed another, I'll rank them like this: FX94, best if you stay focused and like precision, adaptability. Apex, best if you want something that can handle everything gracefully, and with a bit less focus, for half the $$ of the FX94, BW, best if you're a finesse skier who particularly favors trees and bumps. Cannot speak to the E88. 

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