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Mixed/hard conditions in Tahoe - Ski recommendations?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Last year, on the advice of many helpful members here at Epic Ski, I demoed a number of skis and ended up purchasing Line Prophet 100s in a 186cm length.  I ski at Squaw Valley 95% of the time, and have been for the last 24 years.  As we all know, Tahoe this year is about as far from last year as possible.  I'm looking to expand my quiver to include something that is better suited for hard and mixed snow conditions - ice, crud, etc.  The key here I think is edge hold.

 

I'm 5'10" and weigh about 195 pounds.  I guess I would describe myself as a level 9 skier, although I don't really think in those terms.

 

I'm probably going to demo the Kendo as my first test.  What other skis would you gear experts recommend?

 

As always, thanks for the superb advice and help!

post #2 of 14

Try the Blizzard Magnum 8.7.

This has become my go-to ski in the conditions we have been getting.

BTW, I'm close to your size and I'm skiing it in a 174.

 

post #3 of 14

I've been skiing Squaw all week.  Yesterday I hung up my Bonafides and went back to my Legend 8000s.  Much better for current conditions.  Not sure what the current equivalent would be.  I know one of my favorite instructors here is on 8.7s these days.  He's a Blizzard rep, I think.

post #4 of 14

There are many skis in the low to mid 80's underfoot that are great hard/mix snow skis for this region. At the top of the list would be the Kastle MX88, a ski that belies it's dimension and skis great in a multitude of conditions. As previously mentioned, the Blizzard 8.7 too.

 

Other skis to consider:

Salomon Sentinal

Salomon Enduro 800/850

Nordica Steadfast

Volkl Kendo

Blizzard 8.1

 

post #5 of 14

I work at a ski demo shop and I would have to say that just about any Blizzard has better edge hold than the competition in any category.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone, I'll have to check out the Blizzards!

post #7 of 14

Rossignol Experience 78 or 88;  soon, Dynastar Outland 87. and there's a Rossi Ti something model. these new carvers have the extended tip edge, lengthening the contact area of the front of the ski, so are recognizable by that shape.

 

When Squaw has hard snow it is generally very uneven, frozen tracks, cut up, chattery. A ski with strong dampening is designed to reduce the chatter effect by absorbing vibration in special layers. years ago there was a divide in the philosophy of edge hold that continues today. a stiff sharp ski will do you no good at all if it won't ride on the snow but vibrates off it.

post #8 of 14

Blizzard 8.1

Dynastar Outland Pro 80

Dynastar Outland 87 (next year)

Kastle FX84 or FX94

Kastle MX78 MX88 MX83 (next year)

Dynastar Sultan 85

Rossignol Experience 88

Elan Apex or 888 (next year's name for the Apex)

 

I have personally skied all of these in the conditions you are looking at: hardpack, groomers, bumps, steeps.  All are good at what they do, and quite comparable.  I think I could own any (or every) ski on this list and be very happy.  

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post

I work at a ski demo shop and I would have to say that just about any Blizzard has better edge hold than the competition in any category.



They are indeed ONE of the better brands for edge hold, but not the end all in EVERY category.

post #10 of 14
I had fun yesterday on refrozen and hardpack on my Bonafides at Squaw. Still have good sharp edges on factory tune (3/1?).
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

As always, thanks everyone for the fast and thought out responses.  I hit the slopes yesterday on a surgical demo strike.  I ended up demoing the Blizzard 8.1 (179cm), Volkl Kendo (177cm), and Blizzard 8.7 (174cm).  I was skiing with some family so I tried to do loops on runs relatively close to the demo area, using Siberia moguls and groomers as one of the primary testing grounds, as well as some icy spots and crusty/frozen crud spots I found on Gold Coast.

 

I was extremely impressed with the Blizzard 8.1, which seemed to hold its edge at almost any speed on just about anything other than sheer ice.  I had a blast ripping turns and feeling confident that I wasn't going to slip.  I took this ski into Sun Bowl (oops, not enough sun or temperature for that one) and found it wasn't the best ski for those frozen crud moguls, but was acceptable.

 

I knew the Kendo wasn't for me within about one turn where the edge immediately slipped out on some hard snow.  I don't know if it needed a tune, but this ski seemed to have no better edge hold than my Prophet 100s.  Overall, after a few runs, I just didn't like this ski at all (and I thought to myself, "Thank god for demoing and for Epicski recommending I try Blizzard!").

 

The conditions were worsening throughout the day so I actually took the 8.1s out again to make sure the slipping I was experience was in fact the Kendo and not the conditions just getting icier.  It was the ski.

 

I tried the Blizzard 8.7 next in a 174cm length (the 181cm was out all day).  This ski had pretty good edge hold, though not as good as the 8.1.  I liked this ski pretty well, but it didn't feel nearly as "at home" as the 8.1.  This may have been in part because of the length, as I'm accustomed to a longer ski (my Prophets being 186cm). I was also able to find a speed limit (though it's possible this was due to even poorer conditions and tired legs).  I thought this ski was supposed to be a lot damper than the 8.1 on the frozen crud, but when I tested it I found the vibrations just as uncomfortable as any ski.

 

In the end, I liked the 8.1 and had the most fun on it (and wanted to keep taking it out) so I bought it.  The price was right, too, as it was a few hundred bucks cheaper than the 8.7.  When I think about my quiver as a whole, I already have the Prophet 100s which are a super versatile ski, so I realized that what I was really looking for here was something that could perform well in hard conditions.  If there was any soft snow, I would be on my Prophets, so any ski with those tendencies would have wasted abilities.  So while I think the 8.1 by itself is a less versatile ski, it makes my overall quiver more versatile.  And for just a bit more than half of what I paid for my Prophets, it was a pretty easy decision.

 

Cheers!

Kyle

post #12 of 14


Regarding the Outland 87...I believe it was Phil who said that he found the recommended mounting point some 2-3 cm. too far forward. Has anyone else (Scott, Jim) found the same thing? Was it an anomaly on that pair? I may have a line on a pair and would like to know.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

Blizzard 8.1

Dynastar Outland Pro 80

Dynastar Outland 87 (next year)

Kastle FX84 or FX94

Kastle MX78 MX88 MX83 (next year)

Dynastar Sultan 85

Rossignol Experience 88

Elan Apex or 888 (next year's name for the Apex)

 

I have personally skied all of these in the conditions you are looking at: hardpack, groomers, bumps, steeps.  All are good at what they do, and quite comparable.  I think I could own any (or every) ski on this list and be very happy.  



 

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by allan o'neil View Post


Regarding the Outland 87...I believe it was Phil who said that he found the recommended mounting point some 2-3 cm. too far forward. Has anyone else (Scott, Jim) found the same thing? Was it an anomaly on that pair? I may have a line on a pair and would like to know.

 

Thanks in advance!

 



 


In my case no. The ski felt well balanced for me so I left it alone. FWIW.....it is a system ski and the toe and heel can be moved independently, so if it feels weird to you.....move it.

 

SJ

 

post #14 of 14

Thanks!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post


In my case no. The ski felt well balanced for me so I left it alone. FWIW.....it is a system ski and the toe and heel can be moved independently, so if it feels weird to you.....move it.

 

SJ

 



 

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