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need ideas for very versatile/well rounded mid-high 80's (even low 90s) ski for powder, carving, crud?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

i have my atomic access (100 mm waist) and the atomic blackeye ti (82mm waist)....looking to possibly give up my atomic for something a bit more robust...they're great in softer snow, relatively light, nimble and wonderful racehorses, but imo don't have the edge grip of, say, some alleged volkls or blizzards are known for on those boilerplate days (and i love to carve too)

 

about me:

just got back into skiing 3 yrs ago after a long hiatus...age 49, currently weigh a chunky 185lb and stand 5'6" (my weight does go up and down often)...i do weights, running, cycling and ski workouts.

i'm out skiing 30-50x/yr...am considered only an intermediate to advanced intermediate (at whistler's summit series  i'm in blue advanced/black light classes)

 

i live in vancouver and mostly ski cypress and/or whistler on the wkends

 

seeking:

a very versatile ski that is a great allrounder:

capable and not too heavy for our wetter PNW stuff and crud but also, on the other hand, equally good in lighter, drier powder should i visit other resorts in colorado or utah etc next yr....while i also love to carve on piste, i am also getting more into off piste (currently i'm 65% piste and 35% off piste but hope to balance these more as my skill sets improve)....getting more into trees and bumps don't really do it for me at this point (yet, that is...)

 

it seems that a true allrounder doesn't really exist (or does it?)

ie you get the more burly crudbusters of volkl or blizzard but from what i've read they're not the best for deeper lighter powder...and vice versa for other skis that are great in powder but not the greatest in crud or carving...and i want it to do all equally, if possible.

 

technique wise, i'm more on the cautious side as a skier (again i love to carve and feel it control) but of course on easier blue grades i can let her rip fully too (atomic blackeyes are great racehorses for such too)

 

i did have the mythic riders last yr, and while initially i enjoyed them, i found them too planky and not greatest for deeper snow (hence why i bought the atomic access).

 

so skis i am considering: 

-nordica jetfuel 84mm waist 170length

-he newer nordica sidecountry series: either icore burner (84 waist) or steadfast (90 waist) 170 length

-kastle fx84 168

also considering kastle mx88 in168 (can get demo for $700) but am not sure that this kick ass ski of showing it's best only when going very fast is what i want)...some days i'm more aggressive and other days am more into finesse as i try to refine technique.

volkl bridge 171

 

(might unload atomic access too but it is a very fun and nimble ski for deeper days)

 

other suggestions or ideas/imput is welcomed, thank you.

 

post #2 of 20

Those are all solid skis.  Here is another ski that really impressed me: Head Rev 85. Super versatile ride, good at pretty much everything. 

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/111604/2013-head-rev-85-great-crud-ski

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

thanks, Dawg...i think i'll also toss in the 'softer' Kastle lx92 into the mix for consideration

esp given i'm not plus 200lb...and not an expert...but also not a beginner nor too light, too.

.

unsure of which length, however...


Edited by canali - 3/27/12 at 11:37am
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by canali View Post

i have my atomic access (100 mm waist) and the atomic blackeye ti (82mm waist)....looking to possibly give up my atomic for something a bit more robust...they're great in softer snow, relatively light, nimble and wonderful racehorses, but imo don't have the edge grip of, say, some alleged volkls or blizzards are known for on those boilerplate days (and i love to carve too)

 

...

 

technique wise, i'm more on the cautious side as a skier (again i love to carve and feel it control) but of course on easier blue grades i can let her rip fully too (atomic blackeyes are great racehorses for such too)

 

-nordica jetfuel 84mm waist 170length

-he newer nordica sidecountry series: either icore burner (84 waist) or steadfast (90 waist) 170 length

-kastle fx84 168

also considering kastle mx88 in168 (can get demo for $700) but am not sure that this kick ass ski of showing it's best only when going very fast is what i want)...some days i'm more aggressive and other days am more into finesse as i try to refine technique.

volkl bridge 171

 

(might unload atomic access too but it is a very fun and nimble ski for deeper days)

 

other suggestions or ideas/imput is welcomed, thank you.

 


A lot of those skis that you are suggesting seem pretty short for your weight, especially if they are rockered.  What length Blackeyes are you on?  For reference, I'm advanced (nowhere near expert) and found the 174 length Blackeye Ti (82) to be a perfect fit for my 170 lbs.  Are you skiing a shorter Blackeye too?

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

167 blackeye

haven't ever ridden a longer one, so really don't know how it'd ride differently from what i'm on.

 

i am always under impression of going from

1/  chin to-nose (for beginner) 

or 2/ to-eyebrows (intermediate/advanced which i am)

or 3 /to top of head or more, for very advanced or expert (which i'm not)

as properly measuring mostly on piste skis (sure i understand

go longer for more floaty/wider skis, as well if you're heavier, as am I)

 

...but i'm always worried about not being

 able to better control it if too long...)

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

wow am i lucky

 

was scouring local craigslist ads and came across some brand new (still in wrap) 2010 kastle mx78 (168) with look px12 bindings (also new, still in box)

 

the seller and i when meeting in person, and after a touch of very brief haggling, agreed on $540....can't beat that smile.gif....... like all others here, heard so many good things on the kastle that i couldn't pass this by...so we'll see how i like them.

 

...apparently the seller's girlfriend had some 'in' with a photographer associated with kastle, so he scored her this gig...but she's a snowboarder and decided

not to 'cross over' so everything was still unwrapped, undrilled etc.

 

will try to unload my atomic blackeye ti (167) and drop 30 lb over summer to get in better ski shape to enjoy/appreciate the kastles next yr

while i always love the blackeyes in somewhat firm and softer snow, for carving hardpack/ice and crud they're not the best imo...this was their only downside...and i love to 

'lock and load' and carve, when called upon.

 

now considering also the kastle lx92 or the nordica steadfast 90 in a 170 (have been offered also nearly new pair/bindings) for only $560, for those deeper days

 

.....


Edited by canali - 3/28/12 at 9:22pm
post #7 of 20

I like the Rossi Avenger Ti. 76 or 82 mm waist. Great carver and skied the soft snow surprisingly well. Did not find a speed limit on them yet.

post #8 of 20

The 78's will have a lot of energy and focus compared to your Blackeyes, nice upgrade at a ridiculous price. They're on the short side for your current weight, but fine for your height, and in any case are strong enough to handle whatever you throw at them. They'll will be a kind of SL/GS mix at 168 like the old iM78's were at 171. Incidentally, anyone that told you the MX series needs high speeds to be happy either has never skied them or has skied them wrong. They're surprisingly maneuverable at moderate speeds, tend to be very quick to initiate, stiff but still nice in bumps, not planks at all. They just stay planted and purr as the pace picks up, unlike many skis that get high maintenance. Just keep out of the backseat and you'll love them.

 

As far as fatter skis, if I had the MX78 I wouldn't be going for a 92 mm, but maybe something in the 105-115 range. Too much overlap. 


Edited by beyond - 3/28/12 at 8:24pm
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 


thanks, beyond

 

re: my weight and the 168 size i have now:

upon reading kastle's website based, and imputting my data, not only on weight but height

(i'm chunky right now but only 5'6" too) and mostly level 2 across the filters

they calculated the size of 168  http://www.kaestle-ski.com/en/product-line/hardgoods/ski/product-finder/

...had my weight been sub 174 then the 163 size was suggested instead (I did play around with the variables).

 

slider: yes read many great things on the rossi ti avenger; had i not had the blackeyes i might have sprang for those originally

 

question: up to how many inches of snow would you ski these mx78?

  6-8" perhaps? despite being 'light' i can't imagine that much float given their narrow shovel (121)

and waist (78)...of course i could be wrong so hope to hear from kastle skiers

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

The 78's will have a lot of energy and focus compared to your Blackeyes, nice upgrade at a ridiculous price. They're on the short side for your current weight, are strong enough to handle it but will be a kind of SL/GS mix at 168 like the old iM78's. Incidentally, anyone that told you the MX series needs high speeds to be happy either has never skied them or has skied them wrong. They're surprisingly maneuverable at moderate speeds, tend to be very quick to initiate, nice in bumps, not planks at all. Just keep out of the backseat and you'll love them.

 

As far as fatter skis, if I had the MX78 I wouldn't be going for a 92 mm, but maybe something in the 105-115 range. Too much overlap. 



 

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by canali View Post

i have my atomic access (100 mm waist) and the atomic blackeye ti (82mm waist)....looking to possibly give up my atomic for something a bit more robust...they're great in softer snow, relatively light, nimble and wonderful racehorses, but imo don't have the edge grip of, say, some alleged volkls or blizzards are known for on those boilerplate days (and i love to carve too)

 


seeking:

a very versatile ski that is a great allrounder:

capable and not too heavy for our wetter PNW stuff and crud but also, on the other hand, equally good in lighter, drier powder should i visit other resorts in colorado or utah etc next yr....while i also love to carve on piste, i am also getting more into off piste (currently i'm 65% piste and 35% off piste but hope to balance these more as my skill sets improve)....getting more into trees and bumps don't really do it for me at this point (yet, that is...)

 



Wow....this is sooooo all over the map I'm not sure where you should go.

 

Honestly the ski you already have is one of the better choices for what you are asking. For every increment of improved grip/stability, you need more torsional stiffness and generally more longitudinal stiffness. Each of those increments that improves the hard snow capability of the ski will detract from the off trail utility of the ski. The ski you just bought will undoubtedly improve your hard snow performance assuming you are skilled enough to handle it. However, your Blackeye will be better at literally everything else that is soft snow related. You said you wanted an all-rounder and what you just got was a rather hard snow biased ski that is admittedly superb at it's specified task. That is not what you said you wanted but that is what you now have.

 

I'd suggest that you keep the Blackeye as it is much more versatile than the Kastle. Ski the Kastle when it is rock hard and the Blackeye the rest of the time.

 

SJ

 

 

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by canali View Post

question: up to how many inches of snow would you ski these mx78?

  6-8" perhaps? despite being 'light' i can't imagine that much float given their narrow shovel (121)

and waist (78)...of course i could be wrong so hope to hear from kastle skiers


I have found the narrower Kastles, say 70-83 mm, do just fine in up to 3" of pow, are decent in 3-6," a bit overmatched after that. They're float is deceptive because the tip is so light; they come up easier than any other non-rocker I know. But still not a 90 mm.

 

Agree with SJ on one point - about keeping the Blackeyes - don't agree with his other - about the MX's being so focused on hardpack. In your length they're really easy in bumps, and are fine in light pow/crud/chop. Just slice right through. OTOH, the Blackeyes will fill a slot - piles of heavier crud, soft mushy bumps, trees when there hasn't been a storm in a while - better than the MX's. Also, if I were facing rocks, or junk in trees, I'd rather be on a less expensive ski. 

post #12 of 20

atomic nomad savage...

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 


hey there, sierra jim

 

yes i was digressing a bit....and i apologize for any confusion caused.

 

but hey, when you get a smokin' deal offered to you as I received, you become a bit more adaptable to trying new tools, even if the use of that tool is more limited.

 

as noted one thing I found lacking in the blackeyes were it's lacking abilties on really firm/hardpack snow and crud; and based on the research i'd done on the kastle it's both a great carver on hardpack but also a pretty good in soft snow too for those less than snowy more on piste groomer days.

i've had a number of hardpack days out on cypress (local mtn i visit the most wknights) when it'd have been more wise to have ice skates instead of skis....sure people will pipe in 'well don't ski on those days, it's not fun'...but skiing hardpack is a challenge i like to take on (they're the ultimate BS detector for your balance/edging skills imo)...when i'm on stiffer groomers, I don't like to get swished out by the kevlar/boilerplate gods: instead I like to lock and load my carving turns, even if i have to find varying degrees of 'finesse'
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post



Wow....this is sooooo all over the map I'm not sure where you should go.

 

Honestly the ski you already have is one of the better choices for what you are asking. For every increment of improved grip/stability, you need more torsional stiffness and generally more longitudinal stiffness. Each of those increments that improves the hard snow capability of the ski will detract from the off trail utility of the ski. The ski you just bought will undoubtedly improve your hard snow performance assuming you are skilled enough to handle it. However, your Blackeye will be better at literally everything else that is soft snow related. You said you wanted an all-rounder and what you just got was a rather hard snow biased ski that is admittedly superb at it's specified task. That is not what you said you wanted but that is what you now have.

 

I'd suggest that you keep the Blackeye as it is much more versatile than the Kastle. Ski the Kastle when it is rock hard and the Blackeye the rest of the time.

 

SJ

 

 



 

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by canali View Post


hey there, sierra jim

 

yes i was digressing a bit....and i apologize for any confusion caused.

 

but hey, when you get a smokin' deal offered to you as I received, you become a bit more adaptable to trying new tools, even if the use of that tool is more limited.

 

as noted one thing I found lacking in the blackeyes were it's lacking abilties on really firm/hardpack snow and crud; and based on the research i'd done on the kastle it's both a great carver on hardpack but also a pretty good in soft snow too for those less than snowy more on piste groomer days.

i've had a number of hardpack days out on cypress (local mtn i visit the most wknights) when it'd have been more wise to have ice skates instead of skis....sure people will pipe in 'well don't ski on those days, it's not fun'...but skiing hardpack is a challenge i like to take on (they're the ultimate BS detector for your balance/edging skills imo)...when i'm on stiffer groomers, I don't like to get swished out by the kevlar/boilerplate gods: instead I like to lock and load my carving turns, even if i have to find varying degrees of 'finesse'
 



 




Actually, you digressed a lot and I'm not the one confused. This happens all the time on the 'net. Folks ask for one thing, then get distracted by something else. The Kastle is about as good as most any other 78mm hard snow ski when it comes to softer snow. IAC, you bought a fine ski, but it's just not the one that you said you wanted. Obviously, you now want something else.

 

SJ

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by canali View Post


thanks, beyond

 

re: my weight and the 168 size i have now:

upon reading kastle's website based, and imputting my data, not only on weight but height

(i'm chunky right now but only 5'6" too) and mostly level 2 across the filters

they calculated the size of 168  http://www.kaestle-ski.com/en/product-line/hardgoods/ski/product-finder/

...had my weight been sub 174 then the 163 size was suggested instead (I did play around with the variables).

 

slider: yes read many great things on the rossi ti avenger; had i not had the blackeyes i might have sprang for those originally

 

question: up to how many inches of snow would you ski these mx78?

  6-8" perhaps? despite being 'light' i can't imagine that much float given their narrow shovel (121)

and waist (78)...of course i could be wrong so hope to hear from kastle skiers

 



 


Having owned the MX78 in 176cm, I took it on a road trip to Tahoe (my only ski) and was skiing up to 10" of new snow on it, over a period of a couple of days.  It totally ripped, no speed limit, really quite easy to ski in heavier snow.  Wider would have been easier, but it wasn't bad at all, and in crud, there are few skis better. 

 

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 



i get you..SJ

 

yes guilty...dazed and confused by the kastle koolaid i couldn't pass up sippingeek.gif

 

yet, as i ref'd the blackeyes not having hardpack ability as much as i'd like to...sure i would have preferred a wider ski with equally good edge grip of the mx78 (hence ref'ing nordica jet fuel or steadfast or kastle lx)...but again, the mx78 fell into my hands, so I felt that I couldn't pass it up, even if only to 'experience Kastle' ...you know I had the monster im77 as my first ski and I loved how that locked and loaded on groomers...

 

no the kastle mx78 will be used not as much as a midfat, for sure..esp when i hit whistler and do some more off piste...but then again there have been a number of days this season with low snow, skied out and hardpacked days  and/or early in the season at both cypress and whistler, so the mx78 would have prob found equal or more usage than the blackeyes, esp at cypress.

 

i do have the atomic (100 mm waisted) access; and maybe that'll just fill in the quiver just fine ....or maybe i'll dump it for something low/mid 90s and then dump the access for something wider still.....perhaps the nordica steadfast icore 90mm for whistler as a 1 quiver for those not big dump days.

 

hey that' the gig on skiing; many of us are often changing our minds as new ideas/technologies/shapes etc come our way....few of us, imo, are are set in our ways as new products/variations on waist widths, materials (etc etc)  flood in.

 

dawg:

good to hear that on the mx78 for being adaptable to deeper snow too...though not ideal (what ski truly is for all conditions) it'll work for a bit' til i pull out the wider boards

 

 

cheers

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post




Actually, you digressed a lot and I'm not the one confused. This happens all the time on the 'net. Folks ask for one thing, then get distracted by something else. The Kastle is about as good as most any other 78mm hard snow ski when it comes to softer snow. IAC, you bought a fine ski, but it's just not the one that you said you wanted. Obviously, you now want something else.

 

SJ



 


Edited by canali - 3/29/12 at 12:59pm
post #17 of 20

canali,

 

I echo Sierra Jim's opinion but with a couple of asterisks.

 

I'm 58yo and I've skied New England for 25 years, so I'm familiar with edgehold on hard surfaces. On my feet the Blackeyes hold almost as well as my old, straight, 205cm Volkl GS skis. Those beasts would slice a clean arc at 50mph on a bowling ball. You couldn't knock them off a carving edge with artillery. The Blackeyes come impressively close to that (and of course they're much easier to ski). The Blackeye Ti's are quite good on hard snow if you ski them in the right length and if your technique is clean.

 

SKI LENGTH

I weigh just 137 lbs yet I also ski the 167cm Blackeye Ti's. Despite being a featherweight, I'd actually go up to 174s if I skied only on groomers. If 167cm is a tad short for me then it's way short for you. You have almost 50 pounds on me. That's a major reason your skis don't have good edge grip, you're overpowering them because there's just not enough ski there.

 

TECHNIQUE

The Blackeye's hold almost as well as those Volkl GS skis, except that unlike race skis you can't work the tails at the end of a fast turn to milk them for the last bit of energy. The instant you let your weight fall behind the center of your heel they will indeed wash out (especially since you're on skis that are too short to begin with). But that's their only limit on hard snow. If you keep the skis moving forward and your weight ahead of your heel, these skis will carve on anything.

 

So, try the Blackeye's @ 174 or the next length up and pay attention to your fore-aft weight distribution. They carve like champs, promise.

 

P.S. Agree with monax that a wider-waisted Nomad ski like the Savage Ti would give you a bit more flexibility in soft/deep snow (although the Blackeye's worked great for me at Taos a few weeks ago, in snow up to 11" or so anyway). You'd want the wider ones in 174 or longer too of course.

 

 

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by DouglySkiRight View Post

canali,

 

I echo Sierra Jim's opinion but with a couple of asterisks.

 

I'm 58yo and I've skied New England for 25 years, so I'm familiar with edgehold on hard surfaces. On my feet the Blackeyes hold almost as well as my old, straight, 205cm Volkl GS skis. Those beasts would slice a clean arc at 50mph on a bowling ball. You couldn't knock them off a carving edge with artillery. The Blackeyes come impressively close to that (and of course they're much easier to ski). The Blackeye Ti's are quite good on hard snow if you ski them in the right length and if your technique is clean.

 

SKI LENGTH

I weigh just 137 lbs yet I also ski the 167cm Blackeye Ti's. Despite being a featherweight, I'd actually go up to 174s if I skied only on groomers. If 167cm is a tad short for me then it's way short for you. You have almost 50 pounds on me. That's a major reason your skis don't have good edge grip, you're overpowering them because there's just not enough ski there.

 

TECHNIQUE

The Blackeye's hold almost as well as those Volkl GS skis, except that unlike race skis you can't work the tails at the end of a fast turn to milk them for the last bit of energy. The instant you let your weight fall behind the center of your heel they will indeed wash out (especially since you're on skis that are too short to begin with). But that's their only limit on hard snow. If you keep the skis moving forward and your weight ahead of your heel, these skis will carve on anything.

 

So, try the Blackeye's @ 174 or the next length up and pay attention to your fore-aft weight distribution. They carve like champs, promise.

 

P.S. Agree with monax that a wider-waisted Nomad ski like the Savage Ti would give you a bit more flexibility in soft/deep snow (although the Blackeye's worked great for me at Taos a few weeks ago, in snow up to 11" or so anyway). You'd want the wider ones in 174 or longer too of course.

 

 



Totally agree.  I bought my Blackeye 174s (new version, rockered) based on a verr-rrry windy northeastern demo day, where the wind had blown the snow off the trail leaving mostly glare ice.  I felt like I was on skates!

 

I vacillated on the purchase at first, because my prior skis were only 2 years old (my ski shop gives a free demo day for the season tune holders but I really didn't need new skis...).  They let me take the skis out on the following day when Killington was desperately blowing snow to cover the trails, and I found that the Blackeyes also rocked in powder (albeit man made at the time).  That hooked me.  I think that Atomic made an grievous strategic error in not renaming the Nomad lineup when they modified the design from foam core non-rockered to wood core rocker version.  It's a totally different ski.

 

The original poster is on a Blackeye that is too short for his weight, thus robbing him of bigger and more forgiving sweet spot.  Couple that with a ski that's somewhat unforgiving of tail weighting, and you have a less favorable experience than someone who's forward of center.  A while ago on this forum (maybe a year or more) there was a great discussion on the impact of binding position relative to a skier's weight distribution - i.e. for people that tend to "get back", perhaps a more forward binding position might be more appropriate on a given ski. Perhaps that might be worth a try for the OP here.

 

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by khjr View Post

...based on a verr-rrry windy northeastern demo day, where the wind had blown the snow off the trail leaving mostly glare ice.  I felt like I was on skates!

 

I think that Atomic made an grievous strategic error in not renaming the Nomad lineup when they modified the design from foam core non-rockered to wood core rocker version.  It's a totally different ski.

 

 


Ah, windblown hardpack! I once flew over the dropoff below the old midstation on Cascade at Killington the day after a storm, expecting more powder. Unfortunately the wind was howling in typical post-Nor'easter fashion. When the steepness and aspect changed the trail went from 20" of fresh to glare ice in mid-turn. YIKES!!! I crashed and slid 200 feet into the nets... broke three buckles and a pole (they were crap poles anyway, lol). At least I didn't have to climb back up for my gear. Everything just slid ride along with me.

 

Another time I was skiing Birds of Prey at Beaver Creek after multiple major dumps. It had been steep and fluffy for two days so I raced onto it again, on rented powder boards of course. YIKES!!! They'd groomed the &^^%! trail overnight and a howling wind had carried off every loose flake. Race prepped ice at 30+ degrees on floppy, edgeless noodles? Priceless.

 

***

So, Atomic made a foam core "Nomad"? Ewww... I didn't know that. I haven't skied a foam core in 12+ years because I never found one that lit my fire. I once had a pair of Rossi 7SK's that I got cheap at a swap and they were decent, kinda squirrely though. Most other foam cores I tried were... uninteresting. wink.gif

 

  

***

Glad to hear a confirmation of the Blackeye's response to tail-weighting. Having learned this in my first few turns at speed I have no problem just skiing them centered, where they behave admirably. I recently chased an instructor for a week at Taos. He loved breaking the sound barrier on groomers and the Blackeye's kept up very well. GS or even SG skis would have been a hoot - for that - but we also spent a lot of time in powder, trees, steeps and bumps. The instructor actually commented to the class on how well my skis were coping with so many different conditions. Some of them were on wider, softer, "western" skis and didn't feel comfortable arcing early morning frozen corduroy at 50mph. These are pretty good sticks.

 

post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 

well had the kastle mx78 out...

 

wow, great carvers and yes i can feel them wanting me to be more assertive and requesting that I stay on top of them, to bend them...otherwise they can feel like they're running out from under me  (do wonder if i should have gone 160 vs 168)...

 

since i'm not an aggressive speed hound  maybe they're not the best choice;

but for those hardpack groomer days may find a spot to fill in my quiver.

 

so I will take it easy and find the sweet spot and up my skill level on them..

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › need ideas for very versatile/well rounded mid-high 80's (even low 90s) ski for powder, carving, crud?