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Need Ski Buying advice - East Coast skier coming back to the sport

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

After skiing off and on for the past few years, I'm looking to start skiing regularly again.  I bought my last pair of skis in 2000, the Rossignol Bandit X.  I feel it's time for an upgrade, but a lot has changed in 11 years, and I'm completely out of touch with where skis stand at the moment, so I would love your advice.

 

I'm 5'11", 150lbs, and my current Bandit Xs are 191 length (yeah!).  90+% of my skiing is going to be in the Poconos in PA, such as Camelback, with maybe an occasional trip up to the North East (Gore in NY, Killington in VT).  I ski blacks and double blacks, preferring to stick to whichever trail has moguls, or, failing that, whichever black has the most powder (however little there is here).  I tend to ski aggressively and fast.

 

The dealer at the local ski shop recommended the following skis for me, with the following descriptions:

Nordica Firearrow 74 - recommended as best for the Poconos and moguls - dealer's first choice for me, figuring that it's the best on hard pack and I can always rent a powder ski should I need one

Head Peak 78 - slightly wider for better stability in powder, but not as quite quick in the moguls or as good on the hardpack - dealer's second choice

Nordica Firearrow 80 - wider still, possibly too wide for the local conditions

Blizzard Magnum 7.6 - inbetween the Firearrow and Peak

Blizzard G-Force Ultrasonic - narrowest at 73, similar to Firearrow

Goode Plunge - lightest, most unforgiving, and with a very different feel to the others

 

I've done as much online research as I could, but I want to feel sure that I'm making the right choice, and I haven't gotten closer to that.  I'll try to demo some this weekend, but I feel like everything is going to be such a change from my current skis that I won't be able to trust my opinion.  Do these seem like good choices for me?  Would some be better for me than others?  Any other skis that might be a better fit for me?

 

Thanks for any advice you can give me.

post #2 of 10

Well, I grew up skiing the poconos and the northeast and your headed in the right direction with ski choice.  Avoid any  flat out powder ski's, its just a waste in the northeast.  I don't care what anyone says, east coast powder is nothing like west, 99% of the time its heavy and dense.  The majority of Pa snow, as you know is man made, it's hardpack and icey.  For skiing in the east, I don't bring out my all mountain ski's or my fat powder skis.  I have a pair of Atomic GS race ski's in a 171, about 5 years old and they do everything I need for the east.  So, you need a ski you can edge on like a mad man for Pa hardpack ice.  I've never skied the Nordica's but they look like a great ski for east coast. 

post #3 of 10

Looks like a decent list.  I would add the Fischer Progessors (900, 1000, 8+ and 10+) to your list.  Here's a thread that will give you some info on the current line.  I am about your weight and a bit shorter and ski Killington about 40 day a season.  I had a pair of Bandit X and have been on Progressor 8+ for the last three seasons.  The Fischers are MUCH better than the Rossi's.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/109062/philpug-review-of-progressor-series

post #4 of 10

I ski Pa. all the time and agree that anything wider than 80 is not a great choice for our snow conditions. Another ski that I've demo'd and would recommend is the Elan Anphibio Waveflex 14. Personal preference is just so important. I prefer narrower (near 70) waist skis and their ability to change edges quickly. The 78's, or so, just cruise better, and, perhaps less tiring for a full day on the slopes.

 

Philpug included the Blizzard G Force in his "steals and deals" review of '12 equipment.... great carver at a great price. Nordica's can be pricey.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the advice so far!

 

Jim - Did you go through a transition period going from the Bandit X to the Progressor 8+?  I basically learned how to ski on the '99 ('98?) 191 length Bandits, and have skied them so long that they've probably shaped the way I ski (lots of quick turns on steep headwalls, large cruising turns down the rest).  I'm concerned that demoing any new ski is going to feel so different, that I won't be able to tell if a ski is a good fit for me without an adjustment and re-learning period.

 

Mike - I'll just found, and will read, that review.  I'm glad it's for the Ultrasonic model.  I never realized just how much ski branding and shortcuts when writing can lead to confusion.  Head having two models of Fire Arrow 74 and two models of FA 80?  Trying to keep it all straight makes my head spin.  :)

 

For length, online guides estimate something around 170-175.  Does that sound about right?

 

Is 80 width too wide for PA, or is it fine so long as I don't go wider than that?

 

Are some of the above skis better or worse in moguls?  Are they about the same?

 

Do I need to worry about making the wrong choice, or would all the skis be good choices and it just comes down to personal taste?


Edited by Timobkg - 1/18/12 at 2:09pm
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timobkg View Post

 

Jim - Did you go through a transition period going from the Bandit X to the Progressor 8+?  I basically learned how to ski on the '99 ('98?) 191 length Bandits, and have skied them so long that they've probably shaped the way I ski (lots of quick turns on steep headwalls, large cruising turns down the rest).  I'm concerned that demoing any new ski is going to feel so different, that I won't be able to tell if a ski is a good fit for me without an adjustment and re-learning period.

 

 

 

I had a pair of Fischer RX8's after the Rossi Bandits.  They were an easy move from the Bandits and a big step up in hard snow grip.  Not as much fun in any anount of new snow however.  The P8+ is another step up in performance from the RX8 but even more versatile.  Forgiving of less than perfect technique, able to skid or carve, nice bump ski, and not bad at all in some powder or crud.  The new Progressors sound even better, but I've not been on them.  A 170 is about the right length for this type of ski.  Longer if you like higher speeds and shorter if you ski slower and want a bit more maneuverability.  I'm on a 165 and don't find them short for how I ski. 

post #7 of 10

I definitely would demo if at all possible.  Something in the range of 70-80mm waist works well in PA.  Camelback actually has a demo day this Friday.  If you can't make Friday, the Loft allows you to demo and use the cost towards purchase of new skis.

post #8 of 10

While I haven't skied the Noridca Firearrow or Head Peak skis, I have logged at least 60 days on the Blizzard Magnum 7.6's (here in New England).

 

I'm not an awesome bump skier or anything but I think I'm pretty good at them.  I think the 7.6's are pretty easy-going in bumpy terrain.  They don't have race-ski edge hold, but they'll hold well enough on "firm" snow.  I've skied them in fresh snow of varying depths -- they start to be quite a workout in anything over a few inches, as they have all the floatation of a depth charge.

 

Basically, the 7.6's are my goto ski here in New England.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post

I'm not an awesome bump skier or anything but I think I'm pretty good at them.  I think the 7.6's are pretty easy-going in bumpy terrain.  They don't have race-ski edge hold, but they'll hold well enough on "firm" snow.  I've skied them in fresh snow of varying depths -- they start to be quite a workout in anything over a few inches, as they have all the floatation of a depth charge.

Heh, I'm not an awesome bump skier either.  I wouldn't even characterize myself as a good bump skier, which is why it's all I ski whenever they're available.  I love the challenge, and figure that through watching enough good bump skiers and trying enough times I'll eventually improve.  ;)  Btw, I love your description of the Mag 7.6's flotation.  Good to know that they're another solid choice.
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ONedge View Post

I definitely would demo if at all possible.  Something in the range of 70-80mm waist works well in PA.  Camelback actually has a demo day this Friday.  If you can't make Friday, the Loft allows you to demo and use the cost towards purchase of new skis.

 

That's a shame.  If only it was a day later.  Or if I didn't have to work on Friday.  Retirement is wasted on the elderly.  ;)  Oh well, at least there's the Salomon demo day on Saturday, will have to take advantage of that, even if that's not one of the brands mentioned above.

 

So the Loft right at Camelback lets you demo?  Or do you need to stop by the bigger Loft store on the way to the mountain?  Forgive my newb questions, but I've never demoed a ski, so that part is new to me (back when I skied regularly, I was too poor, too foolish, and too busy skiing to ever think about it).

 

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

On another note, I realize that my boots are also pretty old.  I have Salomon X-Wave 6.0 boots, the ones pictured here, from '02.  Flex rating of 80, for whatever that's worth.  I didn't get them from a bootfitter, just grabbed them off the shelf because they available and on sale (I had no money at the time, and was coming from an old used pair).  That said, they're pretty comfortable, and while my shins may get rubbed raw or slightly beat up, that's about my only complaint, and only bothers me on the next day.  Do I need to (or should I) replace my boots, going to an actual boot fitter?

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