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Suggest some on-piste hard-packed groomer carvers for me

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I'd appreciate suggestions for on-piste carving skis that have good dampening.

 

I volunteer one day/week at the resort, and on those days when I'm in uniform I'm supposed to stay on-piste only.  I'd like to buy some high quality carvers that would especially be good on hard packed snow (perhaps Kastle or Stockli, although I'm certainly open to other quality skis)

 

Me:

  • 55 years old male,
  • 5'10", 180 lbs,
  • I ski about 80 days/year (probably a third of those are not full days)
  • I only ski Utah
  • Level 7 skier but I aspire to level 9
     

Current quiver:  

  • S7s for powder days in the bowls
  • S3s (demos - a good deal)
  • BBRs (new in shrink-wrap; I wasn't looking to buy BBRs, but they came up on Craigslist and $225 was too good a deal to pass up)
  • K2 Apache Recons (7 years old; will become my rock skis)

 

 

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thanks

post #2 of 26

OK, given what you already own/like, where you ski (Sorry, but Utah's version of ice is what we call "firm," and your groomers are what we call "soft"), and what you'll be doing (ambassador?) I'd say a Kastle or Stockli would be overkill. These are both brands that tend to sing at speed, like a pilot who's going to be on them, have remarkable grip for all-mountain/mid-fat skis (what I assume you're after). Not they they can't do moderate speed noodling, but why spend those kind of $$? If you really want to, and the "quality" word = build quality, I'd think something like the LX82 or FX83, or the Stockli 78 would be what you'd prefer. Beautifully made, precise. IMO the FX83 is the world's best all mountain ski for groomers + stands of trees alongside. 

 

OTOH, it's also a ski that only does what you ask, nothing more, nothing less. Not a push button, not what I'd call "easy going." Ditto for the other two. I'd be more inclined to go for something like an Elan Waveflex 78 Ti or Amphibio 82, Blizzard Magnum 7.6,  Rossi Avenger 82 Basalt, that are calm skis that can wake up and handle stress and speed if you ask for it. If bumps and trees alongside the groomers are also high in your agenda, than I'd aim more toward skis like the Blizzard Bushwacker, Rossi Experience 88, Fischer Watea 88. They'll give up a touch on, ah, firm groomers, but be more supple in steep bumps and weaving through trees. 

 

And incidentally, IMO your S3's are not too shabby for what you seek. No, they won't shine at speed on hardpack, but they're very versatile, lovely in trees and bumps, perfectly happy to carve at walking speed. The BBR's, from what I hear, may also be great if you want to let the ski do the work, enjoy the scenery while you talk with the tourists. 

post #3 of 26

Here are some nice carvers I have up for sale:

http://www.epicski.com/t/110671/fs-ft-2011-dynastar-speed-course-ti-172cm-px-12-bindings-used-one-day#post_1453650

 

These are definitely not as versatile as the skis Beyond mentioned, but they fit the description in your title.

post #4 of 26

can you make friends with the rental demo shop people and maybe try out everything cool and then decide?  

 

I would agree, depends what they have you doing.  

Are you part of safety patrol? Then you really can't be tearing up the slopes and hard carving anyway while in uniform... 

post #5 of 26

Damper than your Recons?

post #6 of 26

+1 on the Dynastar Course TI as a great firm snow carver.  Easy to ski, with no upper speed limit that I could determine,  Damp, powers through crud very well, and has exceptional edge grip.

 

The Course Ti is pretty much what you're asking for, although likely overkill for the soft snow you have in Utah.  Why not just get something like the Legend 85 and be done with it?  They'll carve up a storm in all but the most firm stuff.

post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post

+1 on the Dynastar Course TI as a great firm snow carver.  Easy to ski, with no upper speed limit that I could determine,  Damp, powers through crud very well, and has exceptional edge grip.

 

The Course Ti is pretty much what you're asking for, although likely overkill for the soft snow you have in Utah.  Why not just get something like the Legend 85 and be done with it?  They'll carve up a storm in all but the most firm stuff.

He already has some more versatile skis, so I would go with something like the Course Ti over the 85.  I have both the 09 Dynastar Contact 10 in a 172 (likely similar, but softer than the Course Ti) and some Watea 84 in a 184 (likely similar to a Legend 85) and while the Watea`s are decent on piste, I think the narrower, turnier C 10s are better for someone looking to improve from Level 7 as they are better for shorter turns.  A good carver makes on piste skiing much more fun. 

post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

can you make friends with the rental demo shop people and maybe try out everything cool and then decide?  

 

I would agree, depends what they have you doing.  

Are you part of safety patrol? Then you really can't be tearing up the slopes and hard carving anyway while in uniform... 

 

Great idea to make friends with the demo shop guys.  I'll see if I can do that next year - wish I had done so this past year.

 

I'm not ski patrol -- I'm an Ambassador, which basically means getting on a chair & being nice & providing advice on the mountain, then skiing down groomers to a chairlift & repeating.  While skiing down groomers, of course, I look for safety issues or injuries & radio them in.  If I see people stopped on the side & looking at their ski map, I'll stop & offer advice.

 

So, I'm pretty much skiing the whole day. 

post #9 of 26

I've not skied the LX82 or FX83, but highly recommend the Kastle brand overall.  I've owned the FX84, FX94 and currently ski the RX and MX88.  All were/are great skis with unbelievable build quality, I found the FX84 and 94 a bit soft to ski regularly here in the east, but they may well be perfect for softer western conditions.

 

I'd not rule out the MX88 as an everyday ski for out west.  One of your requests was for a damp ski, and I absolutely love how both the MX88 and the RX hug the snow and just eat up terrain changes.

 

Mike

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

If you really want to, and the "quality" word = build quality, I'd think something like the LX82 or FX83, or the Stockli 78 would be what you'd prefer. Beautifully made, precise. IMO the FX83 is the world's best all mountain ski for groomers + stands of trees alongside. 

 

post #10 of 26

In Stockli, one of the easier carving skis (with great performance) is the Spirit OTwo Ltd. or Spirit Globe.  The problem is finding a pair.  I skied Utah this December with an older model Laser SC and had a blast on the hard man-made snow.  The new model is a "fat" 72mm in the waist, and would be a fine addition for those super hardpack days.  The Laser SC is relatively easy to carve and is not at all like skiing a FIS model Laser.  Regardless, if your carving skills aren't there yet, go with something else.

 

I haven't skied the (78mm) XL model in a long while, but assume it is similar to the VXL.  The VXL offers a lot more versitility than the ones mentioned above, but you already have the BBR for those all condition days.   Most Stocklis are harder to appreciate if you don't carve well.  They are monster great skis if you can carve them.


Edited by quant2325 - 5/11/12 at 10:44am
post #11 of 26

Even consider the Dynastar Speed Course FIS ski, I personally love it (though I've never tried the Ti version I would suspect its just as good).  About the same wt and ht I'm sking the 2010 176cm FIS version.

 

EVO.com and Ebay have some great deals.

post #12 of 26

Not sure if you want to go for race or almost-race skis if you're going to be on them all day.  Can be punishing if you're not on your game.

 

If you're thinking Kastle, maybe something like an MX78 would fit the bill.

 

Something like a Head Supershape 'magnum' (72?) or 'titan' (78?) could work.  They like to go fast, but not hard to use at low speeds.

 

I own the Blizzard Magnum 8.7 from a couple years ago, and it rips pretty good on groomers.  I imagine the 7.6 or 8.0/8.1 must be a beast.

 

I do love my Fischer Progressor 9+s (70 or 71?), but probably overkill unless you expect to actually be dealing with ice on a regular basis.  Incredible technical ski.

 

Before I had the Progressors I was on the Dynastar Contact Limited (72mm).  I still teach on them.  Great ski.  The replacement is the Speed Cross -- haven't tried them.  Should be similar to the Speed Course Ti, but somewhat softer and easier to use.

 

I heard good things about the new Nordica FireArrow (80) from other instructors.

 

If you liked your Recons, the newer Rictor or Charger will probably have a similar feel.

post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

Not sure if you want to go for race or almost-race skis if you're going to be on them all day.  Can be punishing if you're not on your game.

 

 

Must say not as punishing as one would suspect.  Love it the course and speed and ability to carve is amazing.  Can't speak for other brands, but the Dynastar is a pleasure even in a race ski.  I read that the Ti is a bit more forgiving and suposed to be a good combination between a SL and GS ski (sort of a do all).

 

What little Ice I've skied this year has been a breeze (like on railway tracks), with most being a soft hardpack and crud (more weather related this year) and just a blast.  Being a true race ski possibly a slight shorter length might be little better (unless racing of course).

 

I only get 3 to 10 days a year on average, but well worth the little effort required.

post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post

Must say not as punishing as one would suspect.  Love it the course and speed and ability to carve is amazing.  Can't speak for other brands, but the Dynastar is a pleasure even in a race ski.  I read that the Ti is a bit more forgiving and suposed to be a good combination between a SL and GS ski (sort of a do all).

 

What little Ice I've skied this year has been a breeze (like on railway tracks), with most being a soft hardpack and crud (more weather related this year) and just a blast.  Being a true race ski possibly a slight shorter length might be little better (unless racing of course).

 

I haven't been on the Speed Course, and it is a GS rather than SL (which means it isn't as grabby).  Just more of a general warning about race skis... some people love 'em even out of the gates, and the performance is great, but they can be a lot of work.

post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

I own the Blizzard Magnum 8.7 from a couple years ago, and it rips pretty good on groomers.  I imagine the 7.6 or 8.0/8.1 must be a beast.

 

 

I skied the 8.7 on some really hard groomers at Vail last year and it ripped those up too; if you're looking for the latest greatest take a look at next years Magnum 8.0ti. I only got to ski two runs on these, 80mm under, 15m turn radius. Smoooth. I've got a pair coming.

post #16 of 26

I think keeping those edges nice and sharp can make all the difference on the hard groom.  


As far as the rental shop goes, I just brought it up because i know I've seen lifties take out a pair of rental skis (maybe just the int. skis, not demos) near the end of the day past 3pm (they were snowboarder lifties).  Might be just a spring April end of season thing.  So depending on how friendly the shop is, seems like there can be access to free rentals to try things out.

 

I don't have exp. with a huge range of skis, but yea, i think any "allmountain" labelled ski around 80width, maybe with some tip rocker if you want to get a little lazy with your skiing will be loads of fun.  (yes i know  the ave allmountain ski is now probably mid-90s, but there's another thread on that)

Used rictors can be had pretty cheap, even new they don't break the bank. Personally, the Atomics nomad line blackeyes worked for me.

 


Why not just take out the BBRs?  They look weird enough so it will be something you can talk to the guests about if they so ask.


Edited by raytseng - 5/11/12 at 5:05pm
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone .... a few comments below

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

Damper than your Recons?

 

Actually, I don't find my Recons to be particularly damp compared to some skis I demo'd this past season.  They are a good ski for their age but I'd prefer something more damp.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post

+1 on the Dynastar Course TI as a great firm snow carver.  Easy to ski, with no upper speed limit that I could determine,  Damp, powers through crud very well, and has exceptional edge grip.

 

The Course Ti is pretty much what you're asking for, although likely overkill for the soft snow you have in Utah.  Why not just get something like the Legend 85 and be done with it?  They'll carve up a storm in all but the most firm stuff.

 

Thanks for the suggestions... While Utah snow can be wonderful, it certainly is not always wonderful.  We can go long stretches without snowfall during which it can warm up so the snow gets soft & then freeze hard overnight so the following morning can be quite hard.  And there are a few groomed runs that always seem to be over-packed for my taste, and some that at the final hour or so of a day are perpetually icy.   

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post

He already has some more versatile skis, so I would go with something like the Course Ti over the 85.  I have both the 09 Dynastar Contact 10 in a 172 (likely similar, but softer than the Course Ti) and some Watea 84 in a 184 (likely similar to a Legend 85) and while the Watea`s are decent on piste, I think the narrower, turnier C 10s are better for someone looking to improve from Level 7 as they are better for shorter turns.  A good carver makes on piste skiing much more fun. 

 

Thanks for suggestions -- yes, I'm looking to improve

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

Not sure if you want to go for race or almost-race skis if you're going to be on them all day.  Can be punishing if you're not on your game.

 

If you're thinking Kastle, maybe something like an MX78 would fit the bill.

 

Something like a Head Supershape 'magnum' (72?) or 'titan' (78?) could work.  They like to go fast, but not hard to use at low speeds.

 

I own the Blizzard Magnum 8.7 from a couple years ago, and it rips pretty good on groomers.  I imagine the 7.6 or 8.0/8.1 must be a beast.

 

I do love my Fischer Progressor 9+s (70 or 71?), but probably overkill unless you expect to actually be dealing with ice on a regular basis.  Incredible technical ski.

 

Before I had the Progressors I was on the Dynastar Contact Limited (72mm).  I still teach on them.  Great ski.  The replacement is the Speed Cross -- haven't tried them.  Should be similar to the Speed Course Ti, but somewhat softer and easier to use.

 

I heard good things about the new Nordica FireArrow (80) from other instructors.

 

If you liked your Recons, the newer Rictor or Charger will probably have a similar feel.

 

Thanks for suggestions.  I don't think I want a race or almost-race ski.  I don't expect to be on ice on a regular basis, so it sounds like the Progressors are probably overkill as you say.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

 

I haven't been on the Speed Course, and it is a GS rather than SL (which means it isn't as grabby).  Just more of a general warning about race skis... some people love 'em even out of the gates, and the performance is great, but they can be a lot of work...

 

Thanks for advice -- I think I'll pass on race skis

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

I think keeping those edges nice and sharp can make all the difference on the hard groom.  


As far as the rental shop goes, I just brought it up because i know I've seen lifties take out a pair of rental skis (maybe just the int. skis, not demos) near the end of the day past 3pm (they were snowboarder lifties).  Might be just a spring April end of season thing.  So depending on how friendly the shop is, seems like there can be access to free rentals to try things out.

 

I don't have exp. with a huge range of skis, but yea, i think any "allmountain" labelled ski around 80width, maybe with some tip rocker if you want to get a little lazy with your skiing will be loads of fun.  (yes i know  the ave allmountain ski is now probably mid-90s, but there's another thread on that)

Used rictors can be had pretty cheap, even new they don't break the bank. Personally, the Atomics nomad line blackeyes worked for me.

 


Why not just take out the BBRs?  They look weird enough so it will be something you can talk to the guests about if they so ask.

 

I think the BBRs will be fun & I'll definitely ski them, but I was thinking of adding something a bit more special purpose. 

 

Thanks to everyone for suggestions -- it looks like there are several good possibilities for me.

post #18 of 26

Anything in the Blossom linebiggrin.gif

post #19 of 26

I bought a new pair of the Head Supershape Magnums with the KERS system this year that I really like a lot.  Solid on ice (I ski them in New England, so I know ice), high performance yet easy to ski at slower speeds. Just a fun, versatile ski that's agreeable to just about anything you want it to do. As I said, I like these a lot.

post #20 of 26

SportyandMisty, after thinking about your post for a few days...

 

Given: You want a ski for days when you are stuck on groomed trails (either when working for the resort, or days when the off-piste conditions are un-skiable)

 

With that in mind, a dedicated carver makes a lot of sense.  There's no point in buying a 80mm to 90mm ski that offers a lot of versatility when you are sticking to groomed terrain for whatever reason.  The vote here is for a 68mm to 73mm waist ski which offers better edge to edge quickness, and has a smaller turn radius then the 80mm to 90mm skis.

 

I own a couple of carvers, and am currently fighting the urge to buy a third one.  Part of the reason I own two is because I enjoy groomed snow skiing as much as off-piste skiing, and also because I teach skiing.  Since skiing really fast is no longer a big thrill for me, I tend to choose shorter skis for my carvers.  I'm 49 years old, 5'9.5" and 180#, and my carvers are 168cm & 170cm long.  With a shorter ski, carving smaller radius turns is a lot easier and a lot of fun.

 

Since I no longer ski really fast, I have found that I don't like really stiff skis as the more moderate flexed ones are easier to work into in a smaller radius turn.  Moderate flexed skis are also more fun in the bumps, too.

 

I have also found that as my skiing improves, skiing off-piste with a carver becomes easier.  Case in point: a few weeks ago I skied my 73mm waist 168cm long Volkl Tigersharks off-piste in about 6 inches of fresh, wet and heavy spring snow and had fun.

 

A couple of posters in this thread have suggested the Head Supershape carvers.  That might be a nice choice for you as Head skis tend to be a bit on the damp side, which I believe you indicated was of interest to you.  I don't know Head's carvers well enough to suggest a particular model, but unless you like to ski really fast, 170cm might be a good length for you.

 

Good luck and have fun!

 

Dave


Edited by Dave86 - 5/13/12 at 4:13pm
post #21 of 26

I'll jump back in with a comment on the "damp" idea. ^^^^^ Heads are famous for their dampness, as are Stocklis. Kastles maybe not so much, although still very smooth. But if you want damper than a Recon, then the new Head REV 85 might be perfect for you. All mountain, apparently very smooth and damp, (has the i-tech in the tip), has some metal/heft to it for busting crud. Dawg had a very approving review of them here. The Head Titan might also work nicely, if you want something a bit quicker edge to edge, more kick in the tail (where the i-tech is). Both have deep sidecuts, which makes them very nice for carving hardpack. And the Stockli 78 I mentioned earlier will definitely do the trick, more of a classic silky feel, progressive tails.

post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by iriponsnow View Post

Anything in the Blossom linebiggrin.gif

I just looked through some of the Blossom skis and there are some really fun looking carvers in that line up. 

post #23 of 26

What about a pair of Elan Waveflex?

post #24 of 26

I would pick that Blizzard 8.5 TI for that purpose. 

post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

What about a pair of Elan Waveflex?

I've skied my  Elan Waveflex 82 ti as my daily driver in nearly every condition and love them. I am similar size, age, and seem to have similar ski interests as you. I'm specializing my quiver and am looking at new carvers. Based upon my experience with Elan I'm very likely to go with the Waveflex 12--74mm underfoot, very quick, very carvy, surprisingly forgiving, 14m radius Great ski! The Waveflex 14 is also a terrific ski but with 2 sheets of metal, is a little stiffe, perhaps damper and therefore for to your liking.

post #26 of 26

Volkl Racetiger Speedwall SL, 165 cm.  

 

I've skied several carvers and then I demoed a few consumer race skis.  These "cheater race skis" blew away the carvers, and the Volkls were the most user friendly.

 

Like you I did't think I wanted an almost-race ski... until I actually tried them.  I do use them exclusively in the East.  But not just on ice; in fact on everything but new snow and crud.

 

Not as versatile as some of the skis listed here, but that's why you have a big quiver.

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