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Seeking ski advice/opinions please

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi All, I'm looking to get some expert advice and skier opinions to select our, wife and I, next all mountain ski for the upcoming season. I apologize in advance for the long winded post, alright, here it goes...

 

I'm 6' 3", 230 lbs and a solid intermediate skier in Utah. I started skiing 2 seasons ago and have slowly progressed to feeling comfortable on double blue runs, I've skied a few single black runs but only felt comfortable on one of them. I've almost exclusively skied groomers with my wife, partly because I'm with her most of the time and that's what I I've been most comfortable on too. I've been skiing on 2010-11 Volkl AC30 in 184 for the past 2 seasons and I've really enjoyed these skis for what I've been doing, primarily groomers. There are times though when my legs get tired after skiing on them all day but I'm currently working on my conditioning for the upcoming season too. I'm not a hard charger by any means but I definitely do enjoy some speed.

 

The wife is 6' 0", 175 lbs and would kill me if she knew I included her weight in this post! She also began skiing 2 years ago and has progressed to an intermediate level. From what I can tell her form is very good but she is more on the cautious side. She's very comfortable on blue runs so long as they're groomed. She's been skiing on a pair of Rossi Attraxion Echo III in 163.

 

We have tried to ski in light powder (4-6") and crud with our current skis and it never has gone well for us; having said that we understand that what we currently own is not meant for those type of conditions. Which leads me to the type of ski we would like to demo and eventually purchase this upcoming season given our abilities and goals. Both of us want to continue to progress and become stronger skiers and are looking for a ski to help us do that. A big part of that progression for us is to venture off piste more and ski the famed Utah powder (with in reason of the ski), along with the crud that gets left behind while being able to rip on groomers as we've become accustomed too. It would be nice to experience some tree skiing too but western groomer performance is of more importance to us. In all honesty, the ratio will probably be 80-20 in favor of groomed at the beginning of the season but we aspire to eventually split the time 50-50 by seasons end if not sooner. I fully understand there may not be a ski that can deliver on all of this but I'm hoping you can guide me through the decision making process.

 

Please let me know if I'm leaving something out and you need more info.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 11

Welcome to EpicSki!

 

Which resort are you skiing at?  What were your favorite runs there?  Have you two had any lessons?  How did you buy boots?

 

Don't know enough to give advice about skis.  But 163 seems pretty short for your wife.  I have the Rossi Attraxion 8 at 154 and I'm a foot shorter.

 

When you demo, don't just try the "best" skis.  Can learn a lot from a run of two on skis that turn out to be wrong for you because of length or stiffness or shape or whatever.  I would think there are early season Demo Days in the SLC area.  That's when a variety of vendors set up tents for a day.  Usually it's free.  Alta has a Demo Day towards the end of the season.

post #3 of 11

Given your size, the ski that you have is a good everyday ski for groomers and/or skied out off trail conditions. However, you wife is most likely a bit undergunned. I would consider a replacement for her Rossis with something more substantial and possibly a bit longer. These days, whatever you find in that range will be (by default) a little wider than what she has.

 

Keep in mind that off trail skiing is not just about the skis and how wide they are but is largely dependent on the necessary skill set to stay balanced in variable conditions.

 

OK then......................wider skis.  Here is how we break it down in our Tahoe ski shop.

 

80/20 Groomed/soft snow: We tend to suggest something in the width range of 80-90mm (give or take) with an even bias between hard/soft snow. We call these versatile frontsiders (for lack of a better term). Your skis are close enough to be passable here but your wife's probably are not.

 

50/50 Groomed/soft snow: Here we suggest something in the 95-100mm range (give or take) By their nature most of these are an even bias between hard and soft conditions. These are daily drivers for a lot of folks in Tahoe (with the proper skills for off trail skiing) 

 

Soft snow specific: The differences in this group are not just width but flex and rocker profiles as well. These will start at approx the 102-105mm range and go up into the mid teens (meaning 112-115mm or so) These can still be (and often are) skied as everyday skis but in general, I'd guess that your skill set may not be quite ready for this big of a ski. Once the snow is deeper than say your boot top or mid-calf, these will outperform the 98mm models but up to that approximate point, the roughly 98mm models will be generally more versatile.

 

So: for you........Keep what you have and then go for either the (~~98mm) category or the (~~105mm) category as a second ski. If the budget can handle it, you could consider replacing you AC30 with a versatile 85-90mm ski.

 

Your wife: Replace what she has with a versatile frontsider, then the same general category choices as above for her second pair.

 

SJ

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

marznc, great questions! We ski PCMR, Deer Valley and Alta. In regard to runs, we've confidently done just about every blue and double blue run there is at each of these resorts. We took lessons our first year here at PCMR and they helped out a lot, we are planning on taking another lesson or two this season to help us with off piste skiing. We were fitted by a boot fitter at Sports Den in SLC, after trying on about 3-4 pairs each we settled on our current boots.

 

I agree with the 163 being too short for her but at the time she didn't feel confident enough to grab the 170. She's looking to demo multiple skis in different lengths to find what works best for her.
 

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks SJ, that's some solid advice!

 

She's never skied on something wider than 74 so going with 80-90 in the waist seems like the next logical move. Is there anything in particular she should definitely demo?

 

Given my size and the fact that sometimes the AC30's tire me out what 98 ski would you suggest for demoing with a softer flex (medium to medium-firm?) than the AC30?

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRD21 View Post

marznc, great questions! We ski PCMR, Deer Valley and Alta. In regard to runs, we've confidently done just about every blue and double blue run there is at each of these resorts. We took lessons our first year here at PCMR and they helped out a lot, we are planning on taking another lesson or two this season to help us with off piste skiing. We were fitted by a boot fitter at Sports Den in SLC, after trying on about 3-4 pairs each we settled on our current boots.

Are you talking about the groomed blues at Alta?  How much did you wander onto the ungroomed sidelines when there was powder?  A big jump from blue to "off-piste" depending on what you mean by that.  When you are ready for that, the afternoon adult Alta Workshops are a great deal.  More like having a guide to appropriate level off-piste skiing than a lesson.  But can get a few tips along the way.

 

Since you are in SLC, go check out Snowbasin some weekend.  The blues there go on and on and on.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRD21 View Post

Thanks SJ, that's some solid advice!

 

She's never skied on something wider than 74 so going with 80-90 in the waist seems like the next logical move. Is there anything in particular she should definitely demo?

 

Given my size and the fact that sometimes the AC30's tire me out what 98 ski would you suggest for demoing with a softer flex (medium to medium-firm?) than the AC30?

 

For her: Don't worry too much about "womens" b/c at least some of this is baloney anyway. She would be well suited by (among many others) a Nordica Steadfast, Head peak 90, Salomon Rockette 90, or Volkl Kenja. For yourself I'd be looking at Nordica Hell & Back, Blizzard Bonafide, K2 Hardside, Line Prophet 98, Dynastar Cham 97, or Nordica Enforcer.

 

SJ

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

marznc, I should've made it clearer, yes, we've regularly skied almost all of the groomed blue runs at Alta, Deer Valley and PCMR. We've wandered into stashes between/separating runs a few times and after some fresh snow but it's been rough going for us on all accounts. We're planning on taking lessons to help us with off piste lessons but I'll definitely look into the afternoon adult Alta Workshops too. Thanks for the heads up!
 

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks SJ! I'm planning on demoing the Bonafide, Prophet 98 and Hardside and she's looking to demo the Salomon Rockette 90, Volkl Kenja and Black Pearl.

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRD21 View Post

marznc, I should've made it clearer, yes, we've regularly skied almost all of the groomed blue runs at Alta, Deer Valley and PCMR. We've wandered into stashes between/separating runs a few times and after some fresh snow but it's been rough going for us on all accounts. We're planning on taking lessons to help us with off piste lessons but I'll definitely look into the afternoon adult Alta Workshops too. Thanks for the heads up!
 

I'm jealous.  I only get a week or so at Alta during late season when my daughter is on spring break.

 

When you want to be a bit more adventurous, the short black runs off Supreme between the blue groomers are good.  That's where they take the ski school kids who are Level 7 or high Level 6, depending on the conditions.

 

For what it's worth, I really liked the Black Pearl.  For me, Volkls are too stiff and anything that Rossi or Blizzard makes for women feels good.  Not making any recommendations, just pointing out that there are lots of options but once your wife figures out which brand appeals to her then it gets easier to choose.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRD21 View Post

Thanks SJ, that's some solid advice!

 

She's never skied on something wider than 74 so going with 80-90 in the waist seems like the next logical move. Is there anything in particular she should definitely demo?

 

Given my size and the fact that sometimes the AC30's tire me out what 98 ski would you suggest for demoing with a softer flex (medium to medium-firm?) than the AC30?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

 

For her: Don't worry too much about "womens" b/c at least some of this is baloney anyway. She would be well suited by (among many others) a Nordica Steadfast, Head peak 90, Salomon Rockette 90, or Volkl Kenja. For yourself I'd be looking at Nordica Hell & Back, Blizzard Bonafide, K2 Hardside, Line Prophet 98, Dynastar Cham 97, or Nordica Enforcer.

 

SJ

 

What Sierra Jim said.

 

FWIW, my girfriend experience and skill sounds similar to your wife.  She was skiing on a pair of 74 wide Volants, and on the days we demoed she wasn't looking for anything wider than 85 to 88, but her favorite ski, the one where she felt the most stable and confident was the Nordica Nemesis (98 wide), so that's what she ended up buying.  "Men's" version would be the Enforcer.  

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