Hi guys, I am 29 and used to ski a lot when I was younger and spent a few seasons in Fernie BC in my early 20s. Since my time in Fernie I spent about 5 years getting a degree, house, wife, business going and only got in a few weeks of skiing every year.
Last year my wife and I moved to Revelstoke BC for the winter and I got in 50+ days on the mountain with probably a 3rd of them being pow days. (Revy is awesome!)
Last season I skied my old Seth Pistols with Look alpine bindings cerca 2004. Right near the end of the season part of my tail cracked and got super soft and was actually flapping on skiouts on my last day. Since we are going back to Revy for the winter I need new skis!
At the resort I like to ski everything from trees to chutes to bowls to bombing groomers when the snow is bad. I also hit 10-20' cliffs and kickers on occasion.
Revy has no park and Im getting old so I dont get too crazy on jumps. I am also planning on getting into touring and doing some shorter trips with friends next season.
I will take an avy coarse since I havent had any avy training since I was an 18 year old volunteer ski patroller.
Basically I wan't 1 set up that does it all (I think). I will likely be skiing 85-90% of days on the mountain and 10-15% of days touring. I have been doing quite a bit of research on skis and bindings and have narrowed down my options and would love to hear what you guys think.
For bindings I see 3 options.
1 - Marker Dukes - Avantages - The tried and true bulkier AT binding that has been allowing skier to go on short tours without compromising to much stability when doing resort days. A lot of people love this binding and it looks like you know what you get. - Disadvantages - The boot is farther off the ski then my other two options, there are issues with it icing up after an assent and you have to unclip to get your skins off
2- Salomon Guardian 16 - I read the entire article and discussion about these bindings at this site and found it very informative. You guys really know your stuff! Advantages - A brand new design much like the dukes with similar weight but with more metal components that gets your book closer to the ski than the dukes. Its toughted as being even more stable for resort skiing than the duke. You also dont have to take your skis off to get your skins off and it looks to be more user friendly in touring mode then the dukes. -Disadvantages - It is unproven and slightly more expensive then the dukes. I would like to wait a year to see some real reviews for this ski but need skis this year!
3- MFD - Advantages - This plate system gets the boot even 1/4" closer to the ski than the salomans and I could use a real apline binding on it.
If I could use my old Look bindings off of my busted skis then I could save $200.
-Disadvantages - I am spending $200 and still have to use my old bindings. Im not sure if I could even mount my old look bindings on the MFD plate. Does anyone know any more about this?
Another thing that I want to consider is how easily I can come out of any of these given set ups. I ski with about a 10 din and last season came out of my bindings about once a week, but they came off when they were supposed to. Last year I also managed to come out of my bindings toe first 2 seperate times. Both times the binding toe peice actually rotated to a verticle position when landing backwards and Im sure that my bindings helped me avoid knee injury on each occasion. It takes a lot of force to come out this way but I want similar performance out of my next set of bindings.
Will the Dukes or guardians allow a skier to eject in this way? Are ther any other issues that I am not considering in my binding comparison?
For skis I see my 3 options as being:
1- K2 Sideseths - Advantages - I like and trust K2 construction more than any other brand of skis that I have ridden. The new Sideseths are firm and hard charging and apparently easy to get the custom skins on and off of for touring. The skis shape looks to me to be better for touring than either of my other 2 options (but my touring knowledge is very limited so I may be way off). the 181 lenght is a good size considering I was comfortable on my 179 pistols. -Disadvantages - It doesnt have as much camber underfoot as the other options and might not be a quick at turning in the trees. Also does the added ski rigidity this year make it a heavier ski for touring?
2- K2 Pettitors - Advantages - Comes in a 179 which is perfect for me. Not as rigid as the sideseths but quicker to turn in the resort. More camber underfoot and nicest all around shape out of the 3. Sturdy K2 construction which I trust. If I were to buy a ski strictly for alpine use this is what I would get. -Disadvantages - I didn't read anything about custom skins for this ski. Is this ski even meant to be used to tour with on occasion? The shape of the ski seems less optimal for touring with the flared tail and big twin tips. Lastly I know its a bit silly but I always land back on my skis and busted my last skis at the tail so I might want a sturdier back end then what this ski offers. Im sure that if Pettit cant break it then I cant either!
3 - Line Mr. Pollards Opus - Advantages - This ski seems to get the best reviews out of any of the 3 skis on my list and has been on the market in various forms for years so it looks like it may be the most pollished out of the 3. By the line mode of construction it also looks like it would be the lightest for touring. the shape of this ski looks to also have good rise at tip and tail with underfoot camber to shoot through turns. -Disadvantages - This ski seems less indistructable than the K2's. The available lengths of 178 and 185 are kind of in the middle of where I would like to be at 181 or 182. Do skis with this type of rise and shape ski longer or shorter than my old school 179 pistols?
I have no idea about how easily skins are to use with this sk or any lines for that matter. If ayone actually read this whole thing then thank you very much and I appreciate any feedback that anyone out there wants to give!
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