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Looking to upgrade/switch skis

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

It looks like this will be the year for me to swap out my beloved 2005/2006 Apache Crossfires (160cm). I'm primarily an East Coast skier and am looking for a one ski quiver that can take me through a bit of powder and trees but will probably see more hardpack and crud than not. I am not an extremely hard-charging skier, but I ski the Crossfires happily and comfortably. However, I did blow my ACL a couple years back and while rehab went well, I'm feeling the need for a slightly softer, lighter and more maneuverable ski, particularly since I'm not spending a ton of time on the mountain.

 

I'll probably be demoing this winter, but am open to just picking up a pair of skis if I can find a good price on a 'can't miss' kind of ski like my Crossfires were when I bought them. The Volkl Kenjas have been highly recommended to me and I'm just about ready to pick up a pair since it looks like I might be able to find a 2011 pair for not much more than just demoing for a week. Before I pull the trigger, I have a few questions though:

 

-Any other skis I should take a serious look at?

-What length? I'm 5'4", 130-135lb. Will a 156 feel too 'spinny' or will it be the right way to go to keep my knees happier? Should I just stick with the 163?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 10

I'm not real clear on what you want a ski to do better than the one you have. FWIW, the Kenja is wider than your current ski but also stiffer and less forgiving. If you are looking for an easygoing type ski that is a little better in softer snow, then something like a K2 Rictor or Superstitious might be a better call. Another superb women's ski that may not be on your radar is the Atomic Affinity Storm.

 

IAC.....the conditions or circumstances where you are looking for improvement would be good to know.

 

SJ

post #3 of 10

 Hi Ladi,

  I tend to ski a little shorter so I can turn easier however I am not a very aggressive skier. Volkl seem to be a marmite type brand, you either love them or hate them, a lot of people find them quite stiff. I really think demoing them first would be a good idea if you can.

 

 If you loved the Apaches you might try the K2 superburnin as your going to be on hard snow most of the time (you might find the older burnin luv model for a good price) or look at the superglide if your looking for something that will equally happily take you through the soft stuff and bust up the crud too. (I'm drooling over the superglide a little bit!)

 

 I expect TrekChick will have a few ideas for you too.

post #4 of 10

Hi Ladi, 156 sounds about right for your height and weight; if a ski has a lot of rocker then go 163.  I personally love Volkl skis but you might find the Kenja a little stiffer than what you are looking for. That said ... it may be the ski you fall in love with.    I agree with SJ this particular ski may be less forgiving than what you are skiing now.  Do you dislike the Crossfires or are you looking to add to the quiver?  If so, consider demoing the Volkl Aura also.  It really is a great all mountain ski and nice and light.  Another good possibility for a playful, fun all mountain ski is the Blizzard Black Pearl.  I have friends who love, love, love that ski.  Neither the Aura or BP are solid on Eastern Ice though so I am thinking as a supplement not as a replacement ski.  Since you have the crossfires, demo this winter and find what "brand" you like; it's much better than buyer's remorse.   If you are looking for a carver replacement, I would also try Blizzard Viva 8.0.  They are definitely on this year's demo list for me. Just my  opinion.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input everyone!

 

I really like the Crossfires, but am looking to mostly replace them with something just a tad lighter and more forgiving. Looks like no easy answers this year, so hopefully Sugarbush has good demos.

 

Based on your recommendations, looks like I should be looking at the:

Volkl Kenja/Aura

Atomic Affinity Storm

K2 Super-something (stitious, burnin, glide)

Blizzard Black Pearl / Viva 8.0

 

I've also been hearing good things about the Salomon Bamboo?

post #6 of 10

Have fun checking out your list!  For basic info about 2013 models available on EpicSki, I added Tags to your thread.  Look in the right column next to Post #1.

post #7 of 10

You might also want to consider the Nordica Wild Belle, 84mm waist, early rise, camber and no metal so it's light.  Comes in 154, 162 and 170 lengths.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladi View Post

Thanks for the input everyone!

 

I really like the Crossfires, but am looking to mostly replace them with something just a tad lighter and more forgiving. Looks like no easy answers this year, so hopefully Sugarbush has good demos.

 

Based on your recommendations, looks like I should be looking at the:

Volkl Kenja/Aura

Atomic Affinity Storm

K2 Super-something (stitious, burnin, glide)

Blizzard Black Pearl / Viva 8.0

 

I've also been hearing good things about the Salomon Bamboo?

 

Since you want lighter and more forgiving, here are some thoughts.

 

Volkls...........Not more forgiving

Atomic.........This goes on the short list.

K2................Short list (not lighter by much but more forgiving)

Blizzard........Pearl (yes) Viva 8.0 (maybe)

Nordica........Great ski, very light, forgiving? well.....you'll have to pay attention.

 

SJ

post #9 of 10
Kenjas are what I call a Teutonic kind of ski; they overwhelmed me when I demoed them a few months after starting to ski, but I fell hard for them after demoing last spring, and was thrilled to find them last month for $360 online (o2gear.com, a great site). The Kenjas will ski you if you don't ski them, so try before buying.

The Aura is a more forgiving and versatile ski, and both the Aura and the Black Pearl are well-loved at theskidiva.com, where you'll find a lot of women's ski reviews on the gear review forum. I haven't tried them, but Black Pearls ski short, so try the 163 first. You'll also find many other creative ways to spend your hard-earned cash there. Don't say I didn't warn you. cool.gif
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the additional thoughts, which I have been keeping in mind even though I've disappeared a bit.

 

I finally got out on the mountain and demoed a pair of Kenjas in 156 yesterday - found them very forgiving and easy to turn compared to my Crossfires, which I skied today on similar conditions. The Kenjas were fun and I liked them quite a bit, but didn't fall in love. Not a lot of options here, but the Aura is also here, as well as a pair of S3 Women's, and I think a Viva 7.3. Hopefully it doesn't warm up too much tomorrow (or rain, ugh) so I can try something else.

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