Originally Posted by twochordcool
Thanks LewyM -
either you have a photogenic memory for message board threads or you stalked me!
Neither. Simple research. Everyone's entire posting history on this board is one mouse click away.
But I'm OK with either!
One, I was seriously thinking about buying the Experience 88 last year, but I couldn't come up with the funds before the season came to a premature 70 degree faranheit screeching halt in March in New England. It was some of the "pros" in the shops who were trying put me in something wider.
You were on the right track last spring. Never skied the E88 so I wouldn't want to comment on that ski in particular. I have skied the BMX88 and thought that it was awesome and would make a great soft snow oriented ski for an eastern skier. But I don't know about either of those for an intermediate skier on day 11. Might be too much ski. I think that the shop guy is off the mark in this case. Either (a) he wasn't listening to you, (b) he was selling you on what he likes and rides or (c) he was being BS'd by the customer as to the customer's experience and ability. All of those things have been known to happen in the history of ski retail.
Two, skiing has come quite naturally to me. I am by no means an expert but I was very comfortable going very fast on most blue trails at Killington, Stowe and Sugarbush last year. An instructor said she would place me in the advanced intermediate category after observing me. Other skiers were impressed with my progression.
OK. That's awesome. Sounds like you have really taken to it and have the bug. I don't know what an "advanced intermediate" group or skier is. I also have never seen you ski. All I know is what you have told us - which is that you probably have about 10 days under your belt, skiing mostly greens and low angle blues at some well known east coast resorts (some of which I have skied, others I have not). You avoid bumps and prefer wide open groomers. In your favored terrain you perceive that you ski "fast" and "hard" (which I interpret as you are a reasonably athletic guy, in decent shape, and in your preferred milieu on the mountain you are unafraid and somewhat aggressive). Like most of us with some experience, I can infer from that information what the likely range of your ability is - for the sake of argument, I'll assume that you are at the top end of that range. My recommendations account for that.
Three, as a total beginner I deliberately purchased the Salomon XW Storm skis, an intermediate to advanced ski, because my hunch told me that I'd want to grow into something rather than be ready to replace them after one or two seasons. My hunch was right - I was very comfortable on those skis last year.
I think that the storms are probably a good choice for another season (your next 20 days). There is nothing to fix yet. They are a good choice for where you are at and will help you get more confident on bumps and in pushing off piste. Unless you are planning a trip out west, I'd save the money. Or better yet, spend the money on a plane ticket out west.
I skied about 10 times last year - would have went more if I didn't have a second job - REI - that used up some of my weekends but also gave me access to gear and lift tickets at significantly reduced prices.
I respect and will consider your advice...but I would like a wider ski for those days in the future that I am lucky and time my skiing with snow dumps...
Where do you plan on taking the P98s post dump? There is absolutely no advantage to a 100ish ski over a 88ish ski if you are hitting up the magical corduroy post storm. Unless you are venturing beyond the groomed track and into the new snow (snow above your ankle at a minimum) there is no advantage to the width. Are you missing something in your tool kit? I think that you might be a bit early in your ski career to build out a quiver.
and if I'm not mistaken they make wider skis for the advanced intermediate through expert range.
That's a pretty huge range that seems to encompass virtually every skier north of a rank beginner. For example, that range would include both me and my wife. I love my wife dearly, but there is almost nothing that our skiing has in common (other than the fact that it is taking place on the same mountain on the days that she comes out). She rides a great ski for her, but adjusted for size, I'd hate them. Equally, she'd hate all of my skis.
I might struggle on them initially, but I'll figure it out!
Sure. But there are no style points being handed out for how sweet you look putting your skis on the rack in front of the lodge, nor does purchasing something that made the most "top 10" lists this fall improve your on-mountain experience by default. Get something that you can actually ski, that is appropriate for where you ski that you can grow with and improve on. And then sell that pair and move on to the next when you are ready for it. As an intermediate looking to improve quickly, there is no reason to become attached to any of your equipment at this point.
I'm not totally against getting the E88, Salomon Rocker 2 90, Bushwhacker or Line Prophet 90 but I'd be bummed to make my Storm skis obsolete so soon.
As an intermediate looking to progress, your goal should be to make the Storms obsolete as quickly as possible. That would be a good outcome.
I think I'll take Sierra Jim's advice and buy the Line Prophet 98 skis in the next few months and then get an 88mm ski at the end of the season...or if income tax is more than I expect it to be!
SJ suggested the reverse sequence. I think that he is right. At least demo the P98s first and see what you think. You might perceive that you like stability of the wider platform, but at your skill level, on groomers, your favored terrain, you'd be increasing the degree of difficulty of doing it well and possibly retarding your skill progression unnecessarily without a ton of benefit unless you are pushing off piste.
I can see your point...
but am I totally out off the mark?
Only you know that. You came to this board looking for advice. I lurk around here for leisure and don't contribute much to the community. But I thought that I'd contribute here because the thread was drifting so far off point and you seem sincerely stoked for the sport. I am only trying to give you the kind of advice that you should want. Unlike bikes, where any fat roadie would instantly appreciate the relative awesomeness of a S-Works, Dogma or Pegoretti, etc. . . , high end skis are not necessarily the best experience for a non-expert. The question that you should be asking is "given my level and plan for the next season, how do I sort through the bluster and BS on this board and the ski rags." That's what you want to know. Not whether I liked a particular ski for me, bought it, rode it 40 times last season, etc. . . . Those kinds of reviews provide interesting data - if you know what to do with it and how to apply it. But in the abstract, simply confirming that "the Bonafide rips" or "I loved it" is unhelpful toward answering your real question:
"Based on where I am, should I upgrade the Storms?"
Short Answer (from a non-retailer): No. Not yet. Demo some skis this season, and replace the Storms this spring when the '13 stock is on sale and you are a different skier. Your favorite ski next March might differ from what you like this December.
Hope that helps. Have an awesome season. Maybe you 'll make it out to Crystal for our spring season.