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Buying new skis...HELP!!!

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I am an advanced skier (23 yrs worth) in the ny/ne area. I like and can ski just about everything. I was advised to get into the Elan line. The past 4-5 yrs I have skied on K2 4's at a 195 length with a Marker binding. More specifically the Elan Fusion M12's were suggested. As I have done some web research the Elan Fusion S12's seem like they may fit the bill as well. Other manufacturers such as Rossi were also suggested. I am a little apprehensive about length as well. I am 5'10" tall. I definately want a shorter ski. I realize this topic has been covered numerous times. Most times it is great knowledge to read and carry along....but now I am ready for a possible purchase and it really matters so I have to ask. Very much appreciated. Thanks much and enjoy the snow!!!

post #2 of 33
How much do you weigh?
post #3 of 33

You will end up with a list that includes nearly every ski on the market, but in order to get to all those recommendations, tell us a little more specifically HOW and WHERE you like to ski. For example, do you prefer ripping down the slopes with long radius GS-style turns, or do you prefer more slalom like turns? Do you like to ski in the woods? Off piste? What about moguls? How many days are you able to get out per year?

Elan makes some dynamite skis. But then there are a bunch a great little ski craftsmen out there. Don't overlook Volkl, Atomic or Head.

post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
Hi Mike...once again thanks for your response. When I mentioned I like a little of everything...I meant everything you mentioned regarding style and terrain. I will be traveling quite a bit in NY and NE more specifically VT, NH, ME, NY (your neck of the woods). I am not sure how many times I will get out but the more the better. I was considering Volkl's last year, of course at the salespersons discression...she didn't like and steered me away. There is the Supersport 6 Star available. As I previously mentioned, I currently ski 195cm and want to go shorter. As I remembered from last season....some of the posts mentioned the Volkl's getting bent?? Is that still a problem?? Thank you for your time everyone. I will look for your responses. Have a great day.
post #5 of 33
Originally posted by AtFlagStick:
As I remembered from last season....some of the posts mentioned the Volkl's getting bent?? Is that still a problem??
Not with the 6 Star.

It has alot less metal than last years 4 and 5 Star.
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
Are the Volkl Supersport 6 Stars recommended? Will they work for short and long turns? Thanks-

post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 
210lbs. Thanks for your reply.

post #8 of 33
i don't mean to piss in anyone's coffee, but i think a pair of 174 volkl 5 stars would be the ticket on the snow if the east. it is alot like the mid west,( when the snow is real and not blown). these skis hold up in the fresh Idaho powder and will shred the wisconsin blue ice. they are extreamly snappy and if you get the selective control bindings you can set them to your desired skiing. i am 5'11" and 190lbs. i also ski quite often, ( i am a patroller) when i am not sitting in this god forsaken desert in the middle east. oh by the way, the best way to find your ski is to demo them. good luck my friend and remember that skiing is heavenly, even on the bad days.
Mitch~aka skiweiser
post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the insight Mitch. What is the difference between the Volkl 5-Star and 6-Star?? There is a demo day next week at the local mountain....I may take advantage of. Thanks again.

post #10 of 33
I caution you about forming opinions based soley on Demo's. I demo'd a pair of 5 stars and SX-11's last year and fell in love with the Atomic SX-11's, however I really don't like Atomic Bindings so they were out. The 5 stars were interesting but not very versital. Besides many conditions change in Demo's and how can you make a $600 decison on a couple of runs?

Since I'm a huge Volkl fan I gambled on 6 Stars based on the ratings and the hype ( I really should know better.) For the first week I felt I just blew $650. But once I got my feet back under me, oh my.............

I wouldn't trade them for the world. What surprised me, is not only do they turn quickly but I can rail some huge large radius turns. Amazing fun, especially since I've just learned to initiate my turn with the inside ski. What a blast!!!!
post #11 of 33

take more time, research it yourself. we can't tell you what to get if you don't tell us more about what kinds of skiing you like to do, including turn shapes, terrain types, speed, snow conditions... and you also have to learn a LOT more about the new skis, because they have changed quite radically since the K2 Four was a current model.

you also have to know whether you intend to keep using traditional technique with controlled skids, or modern technique with a much larger carving component. the Four can skid all day long, and can carve, but it's not the best carving tool among modern skis.

but if you're just plain lazy or "too busy," I'll make it easy on ya.

Get a pair of Atomic R:9 in/around 180cm
post #12 of 33
All three of us bought Atomic skis last year and are in love with them. I have the 9.20 Beta Race and the R:11, my wife has the 9.18L and my friend has the 9.18 for men.

I way 200 lbs. and can ski just about anything so I need a stiff ski. I like to cruise, do moguls, ski fast, trees, etc. The 9.20 Beta Carves are awesome. I've skied them in the East on ice with an incredible grip but more suprising they were good in the moguls and very good in powder out west. We did Steamboat lat year and we lived in powder. I really thought that the side cut would cause problems with powder skiing but this ski just blasts through everything. Turns in the trees could have been easier. This year I bought the r:11 all mountian ski in a 170. I was a little worried about going down in size for my weight but the R:11 is a stiff ski so it works for me. This skis holds an edge on ice, is lively and I can turn it easier then my 9.20 in 180's. I really think the size has the most to do with this. I haven't skied the R:11 in every condition yet but for the one day I used them I was happy. Bottom line there are many good skis on the market. For your weight and ability you don't want to buy a soft ski or they will be turning on you all day and you will lose stability at higher speeds. I once rented soft skis and hated them. Anyway, you might want to conside the R:11 Atomic this ski is all mountain and highly rated. And I love the Atomic bindings. They are so easy to mount you can do them yourself if you wanted. The riser on the R:11 is predrilled so an idiot could mount them. You can also slide the binding up a little on the ski for easy turning or back on the ski for powder. It really does make a huge difference too.

[ January 11, 2004, 08:23 AM: Message edited by: FJP ]
post #13 of 33
Thread Starter 
I guess I better elaborate on the type of skiing and terrain. I live in NY so the conditions are mostly groomed and ice. I love fresh power but who doesn't. I will be traveling extensively in the NY/New England area so there will be an array of conditions. I ski moguls, grooms, and off including trees. I am not so much a speed nut as being in control. I like to make turns and enjoy the work-out. This kinda includes everything as I initially mentioned. Hope this will clearify. Once again I appreicate all your insight...it was much easier when I picked my K2 4's. I guess this elaboration is to the skiers advantage. Cheers-

-Eric W

[ January 11, 2004, 10:20 AM: Message edited by: AtFlagStick ]
post #14 of 33
Originally posted by Bryan:

Since I'm a huge Volkl fan I gambled on 6 Stars based on the ratings and the hype ( I really should know better.) For the first week I felt I just blew $650. But once I got my feet back under me, oh my.............
Bryan, I do agree with you. There seems to be an extra top gear in those 6 stars. Took me a week or so before I discovered it. Once I know it's there.... like you said, oh my!

To AtFlatStick, it is really hard to tell you if one brand is better than another brand. Each brand has its loyal followers and its detractors. I personally favour Volkl and Atomics, but some of my peers tend toward other makes. It's personal taste. The best advice is to demo.

As for what level skis to look at. This depends really on your skiing style. Having skied 23 years is little indication on how hard you drive your skis and what kind of terrain you like to ski. As for style, are you a fall-line skier or are you are medium radius cruiser? Do you like to launch yourself off bumps and turn on every other bump, zipper line type of guy, or do you fine finesse your bumps? Your personal style and ability will determine what skis what best for you.
post #15 of 33
The six star would be a good choice for the East. I chose the 724 Pro. Great ski in crud, woods, ice and for wide range of turns. I am very pleased - 210lbs, 177 age 50. Mine have the 1200 piston. Also skied well in the bumps but not a bump ski.
post #16 of 33
Thread Starter 
I have to say, the Volkl Supersport 6 Star has my attention. Thanks again-

-Eric W
post #17 of 33
without knowing more about how well you ski and what kinds of turns you make, I must say that the Supersport 6 Star could be a horrendous mistake for you.

It's far too demanding to be skied by someone who doesn't have a good sense of modern crossunder technique.

If you plan to keep skiing controlled skids (the way most Eastern skiers manage hardpack and ice), the 6 Star will be a waste of your money.

You really haven't told us anything at all about your skiing ability. Frankly, I think you're asking for trouble if you buy the 6 Star. But then, that probably is what will encourage you to buy them.

post #18 of 33

I have the 6* in 168 and M12 (non-Fusion) in 176. I am about 1" taller and 30+# heavier than you. The 6* is more powerful and and has better edge grip than the M12 but not by much. The M12 is quite a bit more versatile in softer snow. I prefer the 6* in bumps and it turns more quickly. I believe they compliment each other well.

The M12 competes more directly with the Volkl 7 24 AX3. As you can tell from my purchase I prefer the M12 to the AX3 but just barely. I believe you may find that the S12 compares more directly to the 6* but I haven't skied the S12.

In the Elans if you want the skis to be smooter and more subtle look towards the Fusion system. If you prefer a more powerful ski with more precise edge grip and explosion from turns look to the non-Fusion version of the ski. Mounting it with a Marker Piston Control or Salomon PowerAxe binding will really accentuate the explosion from turns.

post #19 of 33
Here are a few for your demo list:

Liked Gonzo's recommendation of the Atomic R:9.
Try the R:11 in a 170cm too.
Might also give the Atomic SX:9 a ride (170cm) - it's a beautiful Eastern ski.
Volkl 7 24 AX 3 177cm
Volkl 5 Star 168, 175cm
K2 Axis XT 174cm
Head Monster i.M 70 or 75 ('Chip') 177cm
Head Cyber i.C 180 or 160 (170cm)

Don't know much about Elan, but other folks here can let you know about those.

Have fun.

post #20 of 33
Originally posted by Mitch:
174 volkl 5 stars would be the ticket in the fresh Idaho powder
These things really suck in powder ( I may have done some fancy editing....) they sink right to the bottom in anything over 5 inches. But they are the best Icy/groomer skis out there (with exception of the 6 star) They might be good for you. Just make sure to rent other skis if you ever come out west!

post #21 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys!!! I thought I clearified my ski ability and preferences above? How is the 6-Star in powder?

-Eric W

[ January 12, 2004, 04:19 AM: Message edited by: AtFlagStick ]
post #22 of 33
Powder and crud: I say 724 Pro and is not too demanding a ski as I have heard many report. This is an extreamly broad range ski: great on ice - yet not a GS ski, great in powder - yet not a powder ski, wide turns and tight turns.

This has been a great ski for skiing the woods in the East. Sometimes we call powder what others would call nasty. They perform well in the bumps because they change turns easily - not a bump ski. If you ski groomed runs this is not the ski.
post #23 of 33
One thing to keep in mind about the very 'top-of-the-line' model of the various ski brands (i.e. Atomic SX:11, Volkl 6 Star, etc.): they demand high energy input all the time - you need to be working those skis constantly, fast and hard; they are, for most of us, less versatile than the 'next model down.' For most of us, they are going to be a lot of work in tight, gnarly spots (they can beat you up in the bumps and in trees).

You know how you ski and these models may be just the ticket, but I would take my time testing before making my decision. Nothing worse than ending up on a pair of skis that you have to work too hard all day long.

On another note, when I asked above if you like to ski off piste at all - trees - and get out on those days when we've had a dump, I was thinking about the width of the ski at the waist. Those 'top-end' models mentioned above typically have waists under 70mm and aren't the tools of choice for deeper conditions (again, they are less versatile...).

If I were looking for one ski to do it all in the Northeast, I would look for a midfat with some stiffness to it. My list would include the Atomic R:11, the R:9, the Head Monsters 75 and 70, and the Volkl AX 3. Being an Eastern skier, I would get the shortest length possible without giving up stability (generally between 170cm - 175cm for guys our size). There are other skis too that fit this description.

Getting to the right ski for you is fun work. Happy hunting.

[ January 12, 2004, 06:12 AM: Message edited by: Bearberry ]
post #24 of 33

what type of turn do you make?

how far apart are your feet when you ski?

how do you handle ice? hardpack? moguls? what strategy, what line, what types of turns?

when you ski, what do you feel when you think you made a good turn?

The Volkl 5Star and 6Star are very demanding skis. If you are NOT adept at modern crossunder, you will get hammered.

If you want to buy an "impress my friends and the other skiers" ski that looks flashy but doesn't kick your butt, I have plenty of recommendations.

You haven't told us anything about your skiing ability. 23 years means nothing. I know people who have been rank low intermediates for longer periods of time.

Get with the program, golfhead.

And to the rest of you who keep ASSUMING that he's a Level 8 or 9 Skier, cut it out. I am not going to let some bunch of yahoos and yoyos tell this guy to get the wrong ski.
post #25 of 33
I have to agree with Gonzostrike, everybody is baseing their input on their experience. I am impressed with the general knowledge in Epic Ski but they don't know you. There is nothing worse than getting a ski that requires more skill than the skier has. In my own experience having a high tech ski with a low tech ability will set you back a bit.

Take your time, talk to shops read mags and other periodicals and enjoy the research. But what ever you do, don't buy a ski thinking your going to grow into it. Nasty things happen.
post #26 of 33
Originally posted by AtFlagStick:
Thanks guys!!! I thought I clearified my ski ability and preferences above? How is the 6-Star in powder?
Eric, powder is not the 6-star's forte. They are too stiff and tend to go right to the bottom, which is perfectly okay for what passes for most powder conditions in the East - a few inches of fresh snow on top of a firm hard pack. Last week with a rare 36" dump, I could manage them with a lot of finesse, but just barely. Not a heck of a lot of fun with them in those conditions; I went in and got my old Vertigo's out after a few runs. I imagine the 5-stars should be better, but the 7/24 series, which are the Vertigo replacements, should be a much more versatile overall performer.

The other posters are right on the other point, however. You didn't really clarify your skiing ability when all you stated was that you have been skiing 23 years and that you can ski the whole mountain. 6-star is a demanding ski. It is not that you can't ski it; anyone who can ski can ski on a 6-star. It is just that many may have a lot more fun on a less demanding ski.

In other words, if I only have one arrow in my quiver, it won't be a 6-star. If I go on a week long vacation, and unless I know it is in Ice Face (Whiteface - Lake Placid) or something like that, I certainly would opt to leave the 6-star home.
post #27 of 33

1) Atomic R10 - Good on hard packed and soft stuff - 180cm length
2) Rossi B1 or B2 same as above - 175cm length
3) Salomon Crossmas 9 or 10 175 cm length
4) Head Monster Mi 70 (?) 180cm
5) Atomic C11 - Great curver 180cm lenght
6) Head C180 - Great curver 180cm lenght
7) Rossi Viper or Corba 173 cm length (longest size?)

I weight approx 215lbs and aggressive skier, also from the East and typically do a trip a year out west, so I like a ski that will ski well in POW.

The skis listed above are in no order of like or dislike or recommendation. I do not know much about Volki, Elan, Fisher, or other lines. The store I work at only carries the above lines.

With all the options out there, I would attempt to get out to a demo day at your local hill. Ensure that you get out there early enough to ensure that you get onto the skis you want to demo. Talk to the rep's they can give you the tech info, if you really want it, but my personal experience is just getting on them and trying them out.

Good luck
post #28 of 33
Well, AtFlagStick,

As promised, you've gotten plenty of feedback (and gotten poor Gonzo nearly apoplectic in the process). If nothing else, you can see how much thought all us yahoos and yoyos give to our skis (Gonzo really loves us all, but doesn't like to show it publicly). The fact that you're here - and haven't gone out already and spent $8,354.95 on the Hoopedinger Wadhopper Pros 835 XX - tells me that you're gathering information with some seriousness and that we aren't your only source.

Several of us have expressed our doubts about the 'top-of-the-line' models as the best choice, particularly if it is your only pair of skis. Also, size matters (for most of us bigger isn't better): try skis that you think might be good candidates in a couple of lengths.

Let us know what you finally purchase - and why you made that choice.

Best. - Yoyo
post #29 of 33
Thread Starter 
One thing is for sure you guys are GREAT!!! Funny you mention Bear...I was on my way to make my purchase and decided I needed to hear what you "yahoos" & "yoyos" had to say.

Let me elab on my skiing. Boy it sure has gotten technical. I like to ski hard. I am out there for a reason. I can make any radius turn but do enjoy an agressive work out with quick tight short turns depending on vert. Feet are close together. Grew up on ice and hardpack...doesn't scare me. My strategy on moguls is rhythm and balance. When I make a great turn I feel the rush of adreneline making me want to attack the next turn...WOW!!! I consider myself at least a level 8 skier.

Thanks to everyone for your input...I am taking all the info to heart. I would rather spend the $ wisely now rather than later. I realize each his own and will come down to personal preference. Cheers-

-Eric W
post #30 of 33

If you really ski with your feet together, you may find the top carving skis difficult to manage. Skis like the AX3 might be a better choice.

If you are willing to make changes to your technique, including allowing your stance to be at hip-width, using both skis, inside leg steering, working on your alignment, etc., then the high-end carvers would be a better choice.

You may have read my reviews and that may give you some insight. As I improved my technique (and got new boots), the RX8 got "better".

Demoing makes a difference, as does getting insight from highly skilled instructors. As I found, equipment alignment makes a big difference, too.

Heck, I think it's fun just trying a bunch of skis. Some people (hi, Rusty!) think I'm insane! [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
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