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Advice on a pair of all-mountain skis, please

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

After spending this season on a pair of Fischer Progressor 9+ I have a love/hate relationship with them and am looking to add another set of skis to my quiver.  I love the P9's on groomers, hardpack and ice that we find so often on the east coast.  That said, after spending a few days skiing loose snow and mixed conditions at Stowe and Smugglers Notch I find them to be a LOT of work.  I knew they were meant for on-piste but I didn't realize how much harder I'd have to work when the snow is falling and piling up only a few inches.  At first I thought it was probably a technique issue but I feel pretty confident it's the carvers.

 

So, I'm keeping the Fischers for the groomers but I'd like to get something that meets the following criteria:

 

- good in mixed snow conditions (a few inches of loose snow on-piste to the occasional glades)

- easy to turn, shorter radius ideal

- not too wide as I've heard wider skis are harder on the knees (under 90mm?)

- respectable edge grip on groomers (not expecting the great edge grip of the Progressors)

 

 

42 y.o. advanced skier on the east coast

5'-4", 190 lbs and dropping

 

Please help!

post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArchitect View Post

So, I'm keeping the Fischers for the groomers but I'd like to get something that meets the following criteria:

 

- good in mixed snow conditions (a few inches of loose snow on-piste to the occasional glades)

- easy to turn, shorter radius ideal

- not too wide as I've heard wider skis are harder on the knees (under 90mm?)

- respectable edge grip on groomers (not expecting the great edge grip of the Progressors)


There are SO many great skis that fit these needs, the thing is, do you value 'on-trail performance' or 'of trail performance' more.

 

There are skis like the Blizzard Bushwacker which would be an excellent choice. There are also skis like the Volkl RTM 84, which behaves very different. Let us know what type of terrain you will spend the most time on.

 

post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArchitect View Post

After spending this season on a pair of Fischer Progressor 9+ I have a love/hate relationship with them and am looking to add another set of skis to my quiver.  I love the P9's on groomers, hardpack and ice that we find so often on the east coast.  That said, after spending a few days skiing loose snow and mixed conditions at Stowe and Smugglers Notch I find them to be a LOT of work.  I knew they were meant for on-piste but I didn't realize how much harder I'd have to work when the snow is falling and piling up only a few inches.  At first I thought it was probably a technique issue but I feel pretty confident it's the carvers.

 

So, I'm keeping the Fischers for the groomers but I'd like to get something that meets the following criteria:

 

- good in mixed snow conditions (a few inches of loose snow on-piste to the occasional glades)

- easy to turn, shorter radius ideal

- not too wide as I've heard wider skis are harder on the knees (under 90mm?)

- respectable edge grip on groomers (not expecting the great edge grip of the Progressors)

 

 

42 y.o. advanced skier on the east coast

5'-4", 190 lbs and dropping

 

Please help!


The ski I ski in those conditions is the Kastle FX94. Depends on what you want from the ski though, if I wanted to "charge" more, I'd use a ski like the MX88. If I wanted to noodle around and play more, maybe something like the Nordica Soul Rider. I'd look for a ski in the low to mid-90's and not worry about the knees to much. It's when you are on hard snow that they hurt, and you'll be on the Progressors then.

 

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post


There are SO many great skis that fit these needs, the thing is, do you value 'on-trail performance' or 'of trail performance' more.

 

There are skis like the Blizzard Bushwacker which would be an excellent choice. There are also skis like the Volkl RTM 84, which behaves very different. Let us know what type of terrain you will spend the most time on.

 



I would say I value on-trail performance more, with the idea that on-trail has loose snow a few inches deep.  I go into the glades occasionally but not enough for it to be a primary factor.  I never go backcountry.  I just want a ski that can handle loose snow and not make me feel like I'm working for every turn.

 

I'm interested in what you said about the RTM 84 as it was one of the skis I started looking at.  How does it behave 'very differently'?  The RTM replaced the AC series, correct?  I demo'd the AC-3 last year and wasn't a fan.



Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post


The ski I ski in those conditions is the Kastle FX94. Depends on what you want from the ski though, if I wanted to "charge" more, I'd use a ski like the MX88. If I wanted to noodle around and play more, maybe something like the Nordica Soul Rider. I'd look for a ski in the low to mid-90's and not worry about the knees to much. It's when you are on hard snow that they hurt, and you'll be on the Progressors then.

 

 

Can't say I'm a charger unless I'm on a groomer or hardpack and I'd be skiing the Progressors then.  Good to know about the knees thing with regard to the hard snow.  My left knee has been giving me problems for years.  I don't know much about Kastle but I'll check those out.
 

 

post #5 of 14

OK cool, this really helps. I'd filter out any advice that suggests heavily rockered skis wider than 98mm, and I'd probably look most closely at skis like the Rossi Experience 88, next seasons Blizzard Magnum 8.5, maybe the Kastle MX88, Volkl RTM 84, etc. (notice the mid-eighties widths?)

 

There are skis like next season's Icelantic Nomad RKR which is an absolute HOOT, great grip, light feel, short turn radius and surprisingly nimble for the width.. but it's a bit wide for where you would spend most of your time. Many other skis fit this bill also, they are great, but focus on skis that provide 'all-mountain' versatility with a bit of a carving bias.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'll check out those skis as well.  Thanks for the info.  Any comments on whether something like the Fischer Motive or Watea line would be a good choice?  Volkl Kendo?  Are these more geared for off-piste?  My knowledge base is with carvers so I apologize for the uninformed questions.

 

With luck I'll be able to demo some of these to help with the decision but any information is helpful.

post #7 of 14

im in the same boat I'm looking at the Volkl Mantra. 

 

I'm moving to Park City, Utah and I'm trying to be prepared for that powder and the piste.

 

If you hear some ideas let me know please,

 

I used to live in Stowe, but skied Jay Peak mostly.

 

Tim

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pingi3 View Post

im in the same boat I'm looking at the Volkl Mantra. 

 

I'm moving to Park City, Utah and I'm trying to be prepared for that powder and the piste.

 

If you hear some ideas let me know please,

 

I used to live in Stowe, but skied Jay Peak mostly.

 

Tim



 

After doing some more reading today I'm going to try to demo the Line Prophet 90, Kastle MX88 and Kastle FX94.  I've heard that Wachusett here in MA demo's Kastle and also has the Prophet.  I'm also going to throw the Kendo and Rossi E88 into the mix if I can demo those.  After what I learned demo'g skis last year I'm really hesitant to buy anything without trying them first.

 

Haven't been to Jay in years but it's probably my favorite place to ski.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

I took the day off and went to Wachusett to demo the skis.  I ended up trying the MX88, Volkl RTM 84 and Volkl Kendo.  Thoughts on each below.

 

Conditions:

Groomed frozen granular which softened up nicely and created at least some piles of snow

 

 

Kastle MX88, 168cm

 

Pros:

Very light and easy to turn

Handled every size turn I threw at it

Never felt like it wanted speed to turn well

Held its edge very well at low to medium speeds

Confidence building ski

 

Cons:

At high speed the tip chattered just a bit.  The conditions in the A.M. hadn't softened up so I don't know how much that played a role.

 

 

Volkl RTM 84, 171cm

 

Pros:

Skied very similar to my Progressor 9+

Great edge hold at any speed and superior to the MX88 at high speed

Handled every size turn I threw at it

 

Cons:

Skied very similar to my Progressor 9+ (see below)

It felt like it wanted speed to come alive

Noticeably heavier swing weight, which made the short radius turns a bit more work than I'd like

 

 

The RTM felt like a wider version of my P9's and while that's a good thing for some conditions I felt like it was not a clear enough difference from them to justify a purchase

 

 

Volkl Kendo, 170cm

 

Pros:

Plowed through the soft pushed around snow like it wasn't there

Held its edge at high speeds

Light and easy to turn

 

Cons:

Edge hold on short turns was not very good and was the only one of the three where I consciously wondered if the ski was going to slip during the turn

Edge hold on medium turns felt better but still not a locked-in feeling

 

 

 

At the end of the day I felt that if I buy the RTM 84 I might as well sell my Progressor 9+.  The RTM's are almost as good at speed and the wider width helps with the loose snow so why would I ever select the P9's over them?  That said, I couldn't get over the nagging feeling that even though they're wider I'd still have a similar experience with them in loose snow as I currently do with the P9's.  Better, but not what I really want.

 

 

I wasn't expecting to actually buy them today but sitting next to me are a new pair of MX88's.  Their end of season sale got me 30% off plus they took off the cost of the demo day.  I'm heading up to NH tomorrow with them smile.gif

 

 

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArchitect View Post

 

Cons:

At high speed the tip chattered just a bit.  The conditions in the A.M. hadn't softened up so I don't know how much that played a role.

 


Did you get the 168cm?  I have the 178cm and that's never happened to me and haven't found the speed limit on this ski.   According to my "phone app" I peaked at 50-55mph over several groomed runs at Whistler, I don't remember what I averaged.  Although, I'm not sure what you mean by high speed, I am exactly your weight, 5'11' and wonder if it's the length ski you tried.
 

 

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bronch View Post


Did you get the 168cm?  I have the 178cm and that's never happened to me and haven't found the speed limit on this ski.   According to my "phone app" I peaked at 50-55mph over several groomed runs at Whistler, I don't remember what I averaged.  Although, I'm not sure what you mean by high speed, I am exactly your weight, 5'11' and wonder if it's the length ski you tried.
 

 



 

 

Yes, I got the 168.  The chatter wasn't much but it was there.  I've gone faster on my P9's and they're rock solid but that's not surprising as the P9 is a detuned race ski.  Like I said, it may have been partly because of the snow but in any case it wasn't enough to keep me from buying them.  I think tomorrow I'll try to push them to high speeds and see if the chatter happens again.

post #12 of 14

Rossi S3.  It's the most bizarrely versatile ski I've encountered yet.  Seriously, Ignore it's somewhat radical design and just ski it, you'll go to the P9's a lot less than you ever thought.

post #13 of 14

^^^^ Not sure that'd be my first call for a guy OP's weight who mainly wants something for soft days on groomers. If he were a tree freak, then definitely. OP: You'd love a MX88 made in the low-mid 170's. Which doesn't exist this year but will next year, and will be called the MX83. In 173 for your height, if not for your weight. 

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

After buying the MX88's I doubt I'll be looking for another ski for quite some time.

 

I got to ski a full day with the Kastle's Saturday at Gunstock.  Temps were somewhat warm and the snow was really soft and pushed around into piles.  The MX88's handled it like it wasn't there.  I'll have to wait until next year to see how they handle 4-6" of snow but based on other user comments I'm not worried at all.

 

I did blast down one run to see if the 'chatter' I noticed during the demo was still there.  It's hard to decribe; the tip moves up and down more than my P9's but there isn't any sensation that the MX88's are going to lose their edge or stability.  I skied the run as fast as I could in soft and somehat chopped up snow without a concern, which is definitely not how I feel with the P9's in the same conditions.  Hardpack, OTOH, the P9's are like ice skates.

 

In any case, I'm thrilled with the MX88's and if I had to guess I'd bet on a 70/30 split with the Progressors next season.

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