New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ski question

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I am a primarily east coast intermediate/advanced skier, who has improved greatly over the last several years.  I'm a 43 year old male, 5'11", 175 pounds.  I am not an especially fast or aggressive skier, but the fastest and most aggressive of my friends.  I just don't like the idea of falling while going super fast at my age.  I will ski just about anything in the east, and have been working on my form.  Any steep, groomed run, icy or not, and I try moguls.  I have limited western experience,  but in the west I will ski most anything if there is good snow coverage (e.g., at Crystal Mountain last year I skied steep runs like Powder Bowl and Campbell Basin.)  My short turns are not quite quick enough to make anyone impressed watching me ski a mogul run, but I don't feel intimidated and can get down anything without fear and am making progress. 

 

I have been skiing on Rossi B1's in a 168, which I bought several years ago on sale without really knowing much about skis.  They have served me well, but I was thinking of trying something new this year, particularly since there seem to be good sales around here given the lack of winter on the east coast.  I'm not sure if it's the skis or me, but I don't feel super stable when skiing very fast.  I also can't seem to go as fast as other comparable skiers, even when I really try to let the skis run. 

 

I just got back from 4 days in Winter Park, where I skied the Bandits three days, including two lessons with some fine instructors.  The terrain varied on the four days from frozen groomers to 7 inches of powder, skied up powder, crud, and wind-blown ice.  All in all, I was somewhat surprised at how well the Bandits handled all the conditions.  I was able to release and skid, and carve with the edges.  I didn't think they (or I) would be good in powder and crud, but I felt remarkably confident. 

 

The last day I demoed skis (only for half a day since most of the lifts were shut down due to wind).  I was able to try a K2 Rictor in a 174, and then a Rossi E88 in (I believe) a 170.

 

The conditions, particularly in the morning were very hard.  Vasquez Ridge was very windblown and icy.  I did not feel confident at all on the Rictors in those conditions.  I felt somewhat out of control on the firm snow and ice.  I just didn't feel like the edges would hook up as I expected on the frozen stuff, and I just didn't feel right skidding the turns either.  I escaped Vasquez Ridge by the black Gambler mogul run, and the skis felt somewhat better in the moguls and soft snow. 

 

I then tried the E88, which felt much more solid on the hard snow, and equally good in the soft snow/bumps, but I wasn't able to ski it long enough to decide whether it was noticeably better than my Bandits. 

 

My question is whether today's skis offer anything appreciably new that I can grow into and help me become a better skier, or if I should leave well enough alone.  (Of course I love new gear as much as the next guy.)  Aside from the Rictor and E88, are there other skis you would recommend that would fit my style and ability better? 

 

Thanks very much.

EIS

post #2 of 26
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks very much for pointing me to those posts, Ray.  Good information.

post #4 of 26

I've skied the Rossi B1s.  They are a nice easy-going, fairly capable ski, but they do have a speed limt.  Going longer won't help with the speed limit.  I haven't skied the other skis you mentioned, but have skied close, and judging from my extrapolation, they would only seem good in comparison because you can't compare them to skis which actually are good skis for the conditions you ski.

 

You are not a fast or aggressive skier, but I'm not so sure I would be if I had to live with Bandit B1s.  You need to explore the world of opportunities with some capable skis. 

 

Try out the Rossi 82 Tis, Atomic D2 race GS, Fischer WC RCs, and if you get to see deep snow, some Watea 101s.  That should broaden you perspective.

 

 

post #5 of 26

 

+1 to the Rossi 82-ti....Awesome ski.  Rock-solid stability any speed.

post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks; I hadn't looked at more carving skis like the 82-ti.  How do they compare to something like the E88 or the Kendo?  Am I talking apples & oranges?

post #7 of 26

I didn't ski the 82ti, but I skied the 82 Carbon and the E88 pretty much back to back.  82 Carbon, as imagined, is a slightly better carver (the ti is supposed to be stiffer, stronger, perhaps less user-friendly for advanced less-than-experts); the E88 is slightly better all-around ski, with (for me) a bit more "fun" to it.  Either way, I'd be happy if I were buying. 

 

I suspect 88 would be an easy, but ultimately more powerful and rewarding transition from your Bandits.  Probably not so different at first as to call attention to themselves. 
82 would seem immediately more different, more carver oriented. 
I would think it depends: more geared to hard-snow and speed carving?  82.
More oriented towards all-around with a solid, albeit somewhat muted carve?  E88.

 

My $0.02

post #8 of 26

Add the Nordica Steadfast, 90mm waist and early rise, to your list of skis to consider.

post #9 of 26

Hi ADKS, welcome to the forum. Your description sounds a bit like mine. I have the K2 Hardsides in 181cm for my all around skis. They blast through all the crud, float in the powder and can go anywhere. I love them. They are wide enough to go through the powder yet stable and fun in chopped up slopes and groomers to get you back to base. I got them after my pairs of Volkl AC-30's and AC-50's got torn up. They ski much better than the Volkls, in my opinion. For true powder days I go a bit wider, but the Hardsides are fantastic in my book.

post #10 of 26

ADKS,

 

First, I'm ten years older, so please drop the talk about your advanced age! wink.gif

I'm somewhat similar to you but more experienced and perhaps more comfortable skiing all conditions and at speed.

Eastern skier for 25 years, plus 1-2 Western trips a year for the last 15 or so

Ski every condition and slope including genuine (ie, Western, big mountain) double blacks, provided there's no more than 5' of air required and it's not an "if you fall, you die" zone

58yo, 5' 10", 140 lbs (skinny)

Level 8ish

 

Agree with others about the Rossi B1s. They aren't designed for speed and that will play a significant role in making you feel uncomfortable/unstable at higher speeds. Until you've been on race skis (or similar) it's difficult to imagine what real stability at speed feels like. Once you have that sensation and the related skills in your quiver it's possible to take a less capable ski to high speed without panicking, but they'll always require constant attention. They'll never feel "right". By contrast, a race ski will feel naturally comfortable at such speeds... that's what they're made for. Many race skis are actually difficult to ski at slow speeds. They don't perform as designed until you're going fast enough to put some real energy into them.

 

I'll also confirm your impressions of the K2 Rictor. I've rented them several times out West and for soft snow (short of deep powder) they're fun, easy to ski and forgiving. Lots of fun in soft bumps and such. But on hard snow they also have a speed limit, higher than the B1s but it's there. I'm just a light weight Level 8 but I can easily overpower the Rictors if I get going fast enough. I can carve many skis on very firm snow but the Rictors wash out if pushed too hard. They're a good all-around Western ski but they wouldn't be my choice for East coast skis.

 

I've no experience with the other skis mentioned but I suggest trying the Atomic Nomad line (the Ti versions). For Eastern skiing I chose the Blackeye Ti's in a 167cm (you'd probably go for 174's, as you're heavier). They're notably better than the Rictors at speed and on hard snow. Put them on edge and they carve stable, predictable and controllable arcs at any speed I dare ski. At speed on hardpack they hold, turn and go exactly where I expect them to with no fuss. They don't quite match a full-on race ski because they aren't unflappably stable when ridden flat, but they're easier to ski and adaptable to all mountain conditions. I take them through bumps and trees with no problems at all. Took them out West two weeks ago and had no trouble keeping up with buddies and an instructor on fatter skis in 8-11" of powder and the crud that followed. They'd be manageable if not great in deep powder but that's not what I bought them for.

 

As always, demo before you buy if possible. As you experienced with the Rictors, you can learn a great deal about a ski in just a few runs.

 

 


Edited by DouglySkiRight - 3/27/12 at 7:24am
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 

Well that helps narrow it down--not!  It's been a frustrating "winter" here, so has been difficult to get out enough to just enjoy skiing, let alone demo different classes of skis.  I'd love to try out a more carving/racing type ski, though I think I'll probably ultimately be more satisfied overall with a more versatile one, but who knows.  Hopefully I can swing one more short trip west this spring. I'd definitely like to try the Blackeye and the 82ti, etc. 

 

Any final thoughts from someone who has skied the E88, Blackeye, 82ti, Kendo, RTM, etc.?  Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments and suggestions!

post #12 of 26

You may notice in that group of skis that the RTM will be different since it is a full-rockered ski, so there's no camber underfoot.  So you can wiggle/hotdog/pivotturn the tips and tails much easier then the others in your testgroup.  

 

post #13 of 26

Have you thought about going longer? I'm an east coast skier, 6'2 a solid 195 so I'm a little bigger than you but I honestly think anything below 180 feels tiny to me... I've been skiing on 185 DPS Wailer 95s for the past season and a half as well as the Volkl kendo in 184. Both rip even on ice. I am definitely a type 3 skier but I think you should really consider trying a longer ski. Don't be intimidated by the length and atleast demo something longer. A longer ski has more stability and better edge grip due to having more edge. If you are really looking to up your game try a mid 180s ski, you might just find you like it. I raced for 13 years (I'm 20...) and my GS skis used to be 196 and very comfortable. You will go faster on a longer ski in general but the extra edge grip will add to your confidence and allow you to control that speed a little better.

post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 

Yes thanks, I have thought about trying longer skis.  Unfortunately, there were no longer skis to demo at Winter Park.  In terms of ski length, I understand it is some combination of weight, height, ability, and preference.  As a general matter, when looking at weight for skis, are you supposed to consider the weight we tell everyone we are (i.e., naked at home first thing in the morning), or the real weight with winter clothes, ski boots, a hearty breakfast, etc.?  Does anyone know what ski manufacturers consider?

 

My naked weight is around 175, probably quite a bit heavier all geared up.  I'm 5'11".  Any thoughts on baseline ski length?

post #15 of 26
I am about your weight, but 3" taller. Sounds like you are more advanced than me, but I am perhaps more comfortable at speed. WP is my home mountain.

I am feeling late this season that low 170's are too short. I like them fine in the bumps, but they are short in transitional conditions where I can feel the handlebars (as in 'going over') and out in the open at speed.

I personally think your height is more in play at speed and in transitional conditions, so the more you are in and out of on/off piste and the more you want to ski fast, the more you need to match length to height and flex to weight.
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADKS View Post

Yes thanks, I have thought about trying longer skis.  Unfortunately, there were no longer skis to demo at Winter Park.  In terms of ski length, I understand it is some combination of weight, height, ability, and preference.  As a general matter, when looking at weight for skis, are you supposed to consider the weight we tell everyone we are (i.e., naked at home first thing in the morning), or the real weight with winter clothes, ski boots, a hearty breakfast, etc.?  Does anyone know what ski manufacturers consider?

 

My naked weight is around 175, probably quite a bit heavier all geared up.  I'm 5'11".  Any thoughts on baseline ski length?


Here's a place to start regarding ski length.  Note that there is a pretty wide range suggested for a given height.  Weight is usually without ski gear, essentially the weight they get at a doctor's office.

 

http://www.evo.com/how-to-choose-skis-size-chart-and-guide.aspx

 

post #17 of 26

Lot of sound advice here. I'd only add two things; 

 

1) Owned a B-1, assuming you mean the wood core version, white and dark red topsheet. Pretty capable all around, excellent in bumps, but dated design and never great on ice. If you're an eastern skier, think about brands and models that have reputations for grip. IMHO some brands as a whole just don't cut it for grip, and K2 is one of them. Others give up worrying too much after they hit 72-75 mm; currently Dynastar, Head, and Fischer come to mind. Agree that the Rossi 82Ti would be a nice all around that you could also take west. For more moderate speeds, or bumps, the basalt version will be more fun. IMO, an 88 waist is getting a touch wide for eastern frontside skiing day in and day out. Lot of other nice skis in the 78-82 range, as a lighter skier, I especially like the current Blizzard Magnum 8.1, and the Solomon Enduros. Atomic Blackeye Ti's are a nice all mountain ski that goes everything well if not anything wonderfully, very versatile. 

 

2) Your 168 B-1's are too short. I'm roughly same height but 10 lbs lighter than you and owned the 176's. I'd suggest that you stick to the 170-175 range when you look for something new. Longer end of that range will make you happier out west and at speed anywhere, shorter end will make you happier in bumps or tight spaces. 

post #18 of 26

I am 5' 11" and 185. I use 188CM K2 Pontoons in the powder and 181CM K2 Hardsides in everything else. I have strong legs from a nervous condition and also bike in the off season. So the length is fine form me. The Pontoons are rockered and I would suggest an early rise tip on ANY ski you are looking at. Camber is dead! It is amazing how different the rocker is. I gave up on my cambered skis last year. I fell so much. This year I may fall once or twice a day, and I haul ass down the slope with my friends. My buddy calls me crash... cause I used to have some doozies... Not so much this year. Try rocker. you wont regret it, unless you have to pony up more cash!

post #19 of 26


Quote:

Originally Posted by str8d0wn View Post

I would suggest an early rise tip on ANY ski you are looking at. Camber is dead! It is amazing how different the rocker is. I gave up on my cambered skis last year. I fell so much. This year I may fall once or twice a day, and I haul ass down the slope with my friends. My buddy calls me crash... cause I used to have some doozies... Not so much this year. Try rocker. you wont regret it, unless you have to pony up more cash!

 

Glad you're crashing less but if you're falling "because of camber" you don't need rocker - you need ski lessons. Look around you. Millions of people ski on cambered skis without crashing. If they can do it so can you. You just need to replace some (apparently) ineffective movements with more effective ones.

 

Next time you're ponying up cash, give some to an instructor. Just sayin'... wink.gif

 

post #20 of 26

As to length, I  at 150 lbs (naked, but not soaking wet), like 165 in a slalom turn sized ski, and 180 to 190 in a giant slalom turn sized ski.

 

For an 82 Ti in between SL and GS, I would probably go with 175 cm.  You, weighing more than me, but not liking speed so much, would probably enjoy either length in most conditi0ns, but the 175 more in crud or deeper snow.

post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much everyone. I'm always impressed by the thoughtful and informed advice here. I think I've been convinced that an 88-90mm waist is on the very upper end of what I should get. I checked my current skis and they are only a 74 waist. I won't be able to demo and, as much as I'd like to support a real ski shop, there isnt anything great near me (NYC) and I'd like to take advantage of the REI 20% off coupon with free shipping, so, here are my options :

Atomic Blackeye ti
Line prophet 90
Nordica Fire Arrow 80 ti
Nordica Steadfast
Rossi E83
Rossi E88
Salomon Enduro RX750
Volkl Kendo
Volkl RTM 73, 75, 77, 80, 84

Any completely inappropriate? Unfortunately, they don't seem to have the Rossi 82ti or some of the others suggested above. I'd ideally like something that will not be hard to noodle around in, but I can also take it to the next level andimprove into.
post #22 of 26

just fyi, i believe the current rei 20% members coupon code is not valid for skis, but most skis are on sale from MSRP at any retailer now anyway.

post #23 of 26

Ok, lets say your an advanced mortorcyle sport rider.  imagine you can rent a race track for a week with a group of fellow motorcycle enthusiasts, and it will cost you each $15, 000.  You would like to rent a track bike too,  you really want to rent a 600 cc in-line 4 cylinder sport bike, or maybe a bigger  V-twin race bike, but you can save $500 by renting a Harley FXRS, Honda Goldwing, or Honda CB250.  Would it make any sense?

 

Not into bikes?  Ok let's say you and a bunch of friends rent a race track, and it costs you $15000.  Does it make any sense to take your corolla to the track instead of your camaro, so you can save $1000 on gasoline?

 

Lets say you are going to spend $15,000 on lift tickets and travel expenses over the life of the ski.  Does it make any sense to choose a ski based on saving $500?

 

You live on the east coast.  You ski boiler plate a lot of the time.  Get a ski that works well in the conditions you ski often.   If I were you I would eliminate all of the above from your list, except for the Nordica Fire Arrow 80 ti and the Kendo.  The kendo is more than a little wide for hardpack and is a too long in turn radius for short turns.  The Fire Arrow, is a little wide for my taste for eastern conditions and has a radius that is a little short for higher speeds, but if you don't care about that, it's the best one on your list.

post #24 of 26

Hi ADKS,

 

I'm a few pounds lighter, an inch taller and 2 years older, ability similar.  I have a preference for all out race skis, however, if you've never skied them consider GS Ti skis from any manufacturer.  De tuned enough to take the edginess off, but still provide near race performance.  They usually have one sheet of metal not 2 and are skied a little shorter than FIS skis.  Generally they look almost the same as the race skis.  Good deals to be had.

 

Also check out eBay for good pricing.

 

Enjoy

post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Right you are, Ray. In the words of Emily Litella, "never mind!"
Point taken, Ghost, even though I'm not a motorcycle guy.
post #26 of 26
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion