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Ski-purchasing advice - all mountain ski

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone.


I've been primarily an East Coast skier my whole life, but this season I'm heading out to Colorado to be a ski instructor at Winter Park. Right now I have some 2008 Salomon X-Wing Tornadoes length 162, which are pretty beat up, but still usable. But I'd like to upgrade to something a bit wider for out there. I love my Salomons, but at 5'11" and 240 lbs, I'm not going to float much on them if I find some deep snow. But, I think most of the time I'll be in the trees, or on the bumps at Mary Jane. And occasionally some groomed runs. But I can only afford one pair, so I want it to do it all. I think I can call myself an expert, I ski the whole mountain, but maybe not as fast as some. I've never really skied any wider skies, so I probably don't want to go crazy on my first pair. From what I've heard they're really versatile now, but do you know how much "getting used to" there is when switching?


Also, I'm not sure whether I should try to buy some now to take advantage of deals on what's left of last year's gear, or whether I should wait till I get out there, and contact the reps to get the "pro deal." Does anyone know how much of a discount this will likely get me? The advantage of waiting is that I may be able to demo some skis.


I've been to a couple local ski shops, and I've found a few promising things. I think my best options are either Blizzard Bushwacker for $450, or Line Influence 105 for $380. I was reluctant to go over 100 mm wide, but the guy said they still can do well in the groomers and bumps. He also recommended I get the 186 size, but I thought the 179s might be better for me, for shorter turns, since I am used to shorter skis. They also had Line Blend for $367.50, but I am not that interested in the park, so I thought the Influence would be better. There were some other options like the Volkl Bridge, Line Prophet 90, K2 AMP Aftershock, or Nordica Burner, but I believe the prices weren't as good.


So, any thoughts on these skis I mentioned, what other models would be good for me, or when is the best time / best way to buy would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

post #2 of 9

I reckon you should head out there, see what your fellow instructors ride/recommend, demo a few pairs then use your pro deal to get the ones you like best.

FWIW, western snow is softer so wider skis are more versatile. OTOH, I've found they aren't quite as damp (less of the ski is in contact with the snow) so on harder stuff they can still work fine but you'll get more vibration in your legs. I've been able to negotiate powder on my 78s but at 200lbs they don't float on their own at speed so I have to be balanced and technique is critical. My 110s OTOH just do what i want when i want and are much easier - and more fun.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice. I think for me, ignorance is bliss, because I've never demoed before and I've never really had any complaints about the skis I've owned so far. Tennis racquets on the other hand I tried like every model before buying. So now that I have the opportunity maybe I'll try a few different things when I get out there

post #4 of 9

Yes demo first, buy from a local shop that you will continue to do business with.


FWIW, of the models you mentioned, the Bushwacker gets positive reviews, might be a better all-mountain ski for the East Coast.   LP 90 is good, but maybe the LP 98 better for more of the conditions you may see at Winter Park.  Line Influence 105 would actually be pretty good, although you would want to demo first to see if you'd feel comfortable teaching with them.   Definitely take a look at Nordica (maybe the Steadast or Enforcer if they have it).    I think the salesperson was right, for your size and weight go with the 186.  



post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Yeah, it seems they have the steadfast for $450 as well. I'm torn between those and the Influence 105. I'd be paying about 100 more for the Nordica's (including bindings cost), but they got noticeably better reviews all-around. I wish they had the Hell and Backs at that price, because I don't think I'll be able to get another powder ski, but those are sold out

post #6 of 9

wait till you get out there. Your skiing level and perference will play a big roll in what is best for you.


If you're going ot be an instructor ski choice is quite a bit different than what the rest of us ride when hard charging. my skis hate to go slow imho.

post #7 of 9

I was on here to post a similar question and found your post.  Fact is, I'm struggling with a similar problem: trying to replace my  2008 Salomon X-Wing Tornadoes. I absolutely love them!   I only ski at Colorado resorts and have found them to be a good all-mountain ski that can carve like crazy on our soft, Colorado groomers!  I'm very reluctant to try one of these new, wider, rockered skis.  I don't' want something that turns easier, I want something that turns faster and harder!  As far as length, I'd stick with your thoughts....shorter is better.  As I've started looking for skis, all the shops want to put me on a longer board than what I want.  I've skied hundreds of days in my life and instructed.  I ski my Tornadoes in a 168 and 174 and they're definitely all the ski I need.   Good luck in your search!   (Should mention: I'm 6' tall and 165 lbs.)

Edited by ishaw333 - 9/18/12 at 3:12pm
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Well I do love my tornadoes, and I don't think I'm ready to replace them just yet. Besides some scratches and that the tips fell off (I'm fixing that), they're fine. So I'll probably be adding another ski to my quiver. I wouldn't mind trying something new and seeing how it goes, but keeping the tornadoes around for days when the snow is not quite as soft or I feel like skiing bumps all day

post #9 of 9

http://www.o2gearshop.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=1&products_id=16576  great ski for anything except the deepest pow at a smokin price.  Similar to the old Apache Recon. 

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