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confused gear buyer needs epic insight!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I have been going through a ton of old threads and even more reviews and I'm more confused than ever!! I love the dedication and concern the users of this site provide for newbies like me, so here it goes.

 

I am a 33 year old male, 6'2" 205 lb. I have been skiing for 27 years although in all honesty i have only been skiing maybe 30 times (due to mostly to a gap of almost 10 yrs when younger) with no "professional" training (although my dad was a picture perfect old school 215 hexcell carver). :-)  I have been skiing a pair of sticks i bought in 02 that i used to "like" but thoroughly despise now (k2 extreme 181s).  I ski in Oregon Willamette, Ashland, timberline and bachelor. Every time i get on my skis i feel like i am better than the last time i got off them (possibly due to ski dreams and watching videos?) I feel they are holding me back, I have always been adventurous, I try to ski the trees but any slow down and i sink, I Love the STEEP bumps, I guess its the challenge but my tails are SO short and seem stiff launching me with the slightest lean back. I have tried a couple small trips out of bounds but i start sinking.

 

I am humbly requesting your combined infinite wisdom to steer me in the right direction for some new sticks to go with my Lang fluid 80s. I'm middle class family guy so Helli/cat pow specific trips probably aren't in my future. I want a ski that i can work with to satisfy my adventuresome side, not so wide i am clunking and fighting my skis down the steep sometimes hard bumps but wide enough to float some through the trees and out of the park a bit. Racing down the groomers isn't as thrilling as it used to be a sacrifice anywhere i would rather it be there.

 

right now my day breaks down like this

20% groomers 9(out of necessity)

50% steep bumps(steep is all we have here)

30% anywhere theres the fewest tracks

 

where i would like to be

50% steep bumps

30% trees and trails

20% Oregon powder

0% groomers

0% lift time :-)

 

LOVE This Site!! thanks in advance

post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 

Sorry I forgot to add that i still think i need "somewhat" forgiving ski that won't make me pay for every mistake i make, cuz I still make some! My weak spots are definatly in the bumps I'm working on porpising, always keeping my tips planted and reaching for my next plant. The steepness of our black runs make these thing very tough to practice, but im determined and any pointers would be well received.
 

post #3 of 21

A couple of thoughts.  First of all, you say when you get off trail in deeper snow you start sinking.  You'd probably need to provide a little more information on what you mean.  Unless it's *really* dense snow (which granted we do get in the PNW sometimes), you are gonna sink in deep snow.  Despite the "float" misnomer, and contrary to what some people on here would have you believe, fat skis do not simply skim across the powder like water skis.  So, that said, is there something else besides sinking going wrong?  Or are you just unfamiliar with the feeling.  Which is very reasonable.  30 days skiing over your whole career isn't a ton of experience to fall back on.  Anyway, my point there is that there's likely something else going wrong besides your gear, that you may want to consider there.

 

That said, you asked about skis...

 

Given what you say you want to ski, I think the sweet spot for you is going to be something in the 90's with a little bit of tip and tail rocker.  Any fatter than that an you're going to be giving up mogul performance, any skinnier and you're going to be giving up tree and powder performance.  I think that type of ski works very well for a PNW skier who prefers ungroomed terrain.

 

I'm not going to bother much to list options because there are a *ton*.  The last year or two 95-98mm has been one of the hot widths, and consequently pretty much every manufacturer makes something that falls into that bucket.  There are countless threads on here reviewing skis just like that, read through some to start to get an idea of what's out there.  Then the question becomes what type of ski you like?  Stiff or Soft, Damp or Lively, etc. and so on.  Having skied as little as you have, you might not know the answer to that.  Any chance you'll be able to do any demo'ing?

post #4 of 21

Welcome to EpicSki.  You mention Bachelor as one of the places you ski but also places that are a fair distance from there.  If you live near Bend, the guy to contact is Dawgcatching, an active member here and a purveyor of fine skis who iives in or near Bend.  He has skis that you can demo and that will make a world of difference.  Just being able to try different skis will give you a much better idea of what you really want.  But I agree with jaobrien6 that we need a bit more definition on the "sinking" business.  I always sink some when I head into the trees or fresh powder but that is just the nature of the game and it isn't a big deal nce you understand that and are confident that you know how to steer your skis in those conditions.

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 

Well you are right i don't have much experience in power to fall back on. The sinking im speaking of seems to happen when i get into tight spots and start to slow, i have always felt a little far back on my 68mm stiff tailed skis and the tails seem to just fall right in without warning. the snow here in the trees seems to usually be (at least for a weekender like me) a hard shell on top of a bottomless pit. :-). if someone else has blazed a trail for me i can do alright. 

 

i live in roseburg (about an hour south of eugene)

 

I realize im asking for a "have my cake and eat it too ski".  Im a bigger guy so im reluctant to go too soft, but i don't want an unforgiving ski. I want a light and agile ski for the bumps. I don't want to go too narrow cuz i want explore.

 

a few that caught my eye were

atomic theory

exp 88 98

nordica steadfast

line prophet 98

blah blah blah

 

i guess i just really want a forgiving mid fat, hoping 98mm won't set me back for too long.

post #6 of 21

Alright, based on that, here's a good overview of a handful of 98's: http://starthaus.com/wordpress/2012/12/20/all-mountain-ski-showdown-the-big-comparisson/

 

My one thought based on what you've said so far and your list.  The Rossi Exp skis aren't terribly forgiving or light feeling, I'm not sure they are what you're looking for.  A couple others to consider that aren't in the link I sent you would be the Fischer Big Stix 98 (a light and lively ski with enough stability to handle crud), the Elan 999 (not light and lively, but a damp, forgiving ski at home in soft snow), and the Nordica Soul Rider (haven't skied this one myself but fits the bill for what you're asking for, from what I've read, have read a lot of very good things on this one), Nordica Hell N Back (similar construction to the steadfast but 98 instead of 90).  There are more, but this will help you down the path.

 

And if you find yourself at Bachelor, I second mtcyclist's suggestions to look up dawgcatching.  His name is Scott, and he's at Village Bike and Ski in Sunriver.  Great source of information.

 

Edit: Oh, and I'm a bigger guy too, pretty close to your size, and I don't like real stiff skis.  A lot of it is a personal preference thing, the feel you like and enjoy.  Stiff skis have their pros, but so do softer skis.  They do different things well.  So much of picking skis is deciding what *you* like.  This is why demoing is so helpful, even getting to demo a couple of pairs will teach you stuff.  FWIW, my everyday ski these days is the Elan Spire (last year's version of the 999).  It's not stiff, but it is damp, a combo I love for a mixture of crud, bumps and trees.  Not telling you this to try to encourage you in a direction, just you let you understand where my preferences lie so you can take what I say appropriately.

post #7 of 21

OK, I think I know what is happening.  See if this sounds right.  You ski into the trees and after a bit you think you can't avoid a particular tree so you slow to a stop or nearly a stop and your skis sink which they will do since they are narrow and you're not moving.  Does that sound right?  Assuming that it does and I am pretty sure it is, what you doing is skiing only the next tree.  In racing, you don't ski the next gate, you ski 2-3 gates beyond the next gate.  If you only ski the next gate, you are not prepared for the gate that follows and suddenly your line is all wrong for the following gate and you either miss it entirely or have to slow down to the point that you might as well just forget it.  The same thing is true of skiing in the trees.  You have to pick a line and then ski it, always looking ahead, not just at the next tree you need to avoid hitting but several trees beyond that.  Approaching it this way will make your tree skiing more fluid and less stressful.  This is very similar to the approach you should use in the bumps, you can't just concentrate on the next bump.

 

As for the skis, you have skis that range from 88mm to 98mm.  We can't really recommend what width you should get.  We can really only recommend skis to try.  Personally I am a huge fan of the Nordica Hell and Back series.  The Steadfast is my daily driver and I ski it in all conditions, in the trees, the bumps, the powder and on the groomers.  You outweigh me by 55 pounds so I think you might find the Nordica Hell and Back, 98mm, a better choice than the Steadfast.  I demoed the Line Prophet 90 and found it heavy and sluggish, but it is a stiffer ski than the Steadfast so the P98 might be OK for you.  You should probably also add the Blizzard Bonafide to your list.  The most important thing is to try some of these skis because that is the only way you will know what works best for you.

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 

thanks for the tips and recommendations. mt you are right about my foresight on my tree and probably my bump runs as well. I have headed into the trees several times encountering a dead end of trash and smaller trees only to trek over to a more passable run and trying to put my skis back on while sinking *how frustrating*!  I guess it comes with exploring rolleyes.gif

 

since i plan to do the majority of my skiing attempting to master bump skiing i guess I'm a little worried a 98mm ski might hinder me. i need a ski that is easy to make tight turns for steep bumps, soft in the rear IE forgiving if i get a little too far back on them they don't take off straight down the hill (i realize any ski will do this but it seems a stiff tail is less forgiving).

 

I have never been into demoing skis for a few reasons. extra cost of renting along with taking my family out and renting their gear (not gettin any cheaper). we don't have a ski shop in my town. and I'm mainly a weekend warrior and i want to spend the max time on the mountain not in the rental shop.

 

i guess I'm lookin for some of the infinite wisdom stemming from the experiences of the thousands of members with far more experience than i. i have heard good things about the hell and back any others you think might fit my size and abilities with room to improve?

post #9 of 21

I think this is one case where you really need to demo.  Try a 88-90mm ski and a 98mm ski.  Depending on where you ski, you can probably try both in the same day at the area where you ski.  That is the only way you will know for sure if you can handle a 98 in the bumps.

post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicmikey View Post

I have been going through a ton of old threads and even more reviews and I'm more confused than ever!! I love the dedication and concern the users of this site provide for newbies like me, so here it goes.

 

I am a 33 year old male, 6'2" 205 lb. I have been skiing for 27 years although in all honesty i have only been skiing maybe 30 times (due to mostly to a gap of almost 10 yrs when younger) with no "professional" training (although my dad was a picture perfect old school 215 hexcell carver). :-)  I have been skiing a pair of sticks i bought in 02 that i used to "like" but thoroughly despise now (k2 extreme 181s).  I ski in Oregon Willamette, Ashland, timberline and bachelor. Every time i get on my skis i feel like i am better than the last time i got off them (possibly due to ski dreams and watching videos?) I feel they are holding me back, I have always been adventurous, I try to ski the trees but any slow down and i sink, I Love the STEEP bumps, I guess its the challenge but my tails are SO short and seem stiff launching me with the slightest lean back. I have tried a couple small trips out of bounds but i start sinking.

 

I am humbly requesting your combined infinite wisdom to steer me in the right direction for some new sticks to go with my Lang fluid 80s. I'm middle class family guy so Helli/cat pow specific trips probably aren't in my future. I want a ski that i can work with to satisfy my adventuresome side, not so wide i am clunking and fighting my skis down the steep sometimes hard bumps but wide enough to float some through the trees and out of the park a bit. Racing down the groomers isn't as thrilling as it used to be a sacrifice anywhere i would rather it be there.

 

right now my day breaks down like this

20% groomers 9(out of necessity)

50% steep bumps(steep is all we have here)

30% anywhere theres the fewest tracks

50% steep bumps

30% trees and trails

20% Oregon powder

0% groomers

0% lift time :-)

200%....!!!!!!

 

 

LOVE This Site!! thanks in advance

If my math is correct, 200% affords you TWO pair of skis! beercheer.gif

 

I hate to say it, not really. Blizzard Bonafide will do all that you are looking for.

 

if you can't find them, wouldn't be surprised, Atomic Alibi, Line Prophet98 or even the Atomic Theory. 

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

i will realistically only have the cash/time/selection to demo a few of the skis im interested in. lookin to try (if i can get them) the watea 88, steadfast, p98, theory, hell &back, bones, wish i could afford/demo some bmx 98's, really lookin forward to tryin some rossi s 3's. i'll have to see what i can get a hold of to demo.

 

thanks for the tips guys! keep the cool mountain air in your chest!

post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

If my math is correct, 200% affords you TWO pair of skis! beercheer.gif

 

I hate to say it, not really. Blizzard Bonafide will do all that you are looking for.

 

if you can't find them, wouldn't be surprised, Atomic Alibi, Line Prophet98 or even the Atomic Theory. 

 

Philpug I respect your opion and so I'm curious about you recommending Bones to a guy with 30 days of skiing in his life (I think I read that right). I agree the Bones will do all that magicmikey says he wants to do, I wonder if he'll be able to make them do it. They're great skis, but you gotta be able to ski pretty well to make them work well. I wonder if some of the other skis you (and others) recommend aren't a better fit for this situation.

 

Magicmikey says he really likes STEEP bumps--bumps are one of the situations where I would say the Bones require some pretty refined technique. Seems like they might punish--even an athletic, fast-improving learner like Magicmikey seems to be--more than he'd like.

 

Again, I'm just curious. Maybe I over estimate the demands of the Bones, but from my own experience I'd say the Bones  require some pretty strong skills and need to be skied at higher speeds than your average learner can handle while really improving technique. It doesn't seem like a great learning tool.  Maybe I underestimate what a talented learner can accomplish in relatively few days on skis.

 

I'd be interested in what you (Philpug) and others think.

post #13 of 21

50% steep bumps points towards something sub 80mm, even sub 70mm under foot. 

20% + 30% trees and powder points towards something over 100mm under foot..

 

I think Phil is correct.  Your math adds up to two pair of skis, different ones entirely..

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 

i think it would be more productive to master bumps through a smooth transition from smaller, flatter bumps to steep big bumps. it just so happens steep is just about all i can find here in Oregon. i like the challenge and all but i think a ski with a softer tail than my old k2's would be more forgiving. i was hoping i could find a nice balance between all the conflicting terrain i prefer. i don't need to look like a mogul racer, i am more of a finesse skier.

 

would it be true that a "lively, poppy, powerful" ski would be stiffer generally speaking and may not be what I'm looking for?

since i really cant afford 2 pairs of skis, nor do i want to waste time changing them just to ski some trees do you think a ski around 90 underfoot would be a good balance for me?

watea 88, rocker 2 90, dyna cham 87 good demo choices?

i want to try some rossi s 3's just to see if i can get them down the bumps instead of the skis takin me down the bumps.biggrin.gif

 

any other recommendations?

post #15 of 21

Blizzard Brahma?  10mm narrower than Bonafide, for the bumps.  Still has metal for a big guy.

 

I've skied the 180cm Bonafide for about a season now.  I can't decide if it's demanding or forgiving.  I'd say it's both at various times.  I do find it's not the best ski for taking lessons on, as it doesn't demand classical technique.  I'm 5'9" and 150, perhaps not the sweet spot for this ski.

post #16 of 21
Talk to dawgcatching. Seriously. He is local to you and that is much better than fitting skis over the Internet. At your weight you may need metal in the skis, so Bone, Brahma, and skis in that mold would be good. The new Enforcer feels like an outstanding ski too, but like any Nordica/Blizzard it would require good technique. ON3p skis are also semi-local to you Portland and I heard they are good about getting demos to people. That brand seems to get good buzz. But I'd talk to Dawg before I talk to ON3p.
post #17 of 21
I'm real familiar with both Willamette Pass and Ashland. If you can tell me what the steep bump runs and trees you are skiing I can get a better idea of what you might be looking for.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 

at Willamette usually i try cuttin through the trees between runs usually on the backside. i have also tried going out of bounds at the intersection of perseverance and rosary run (if i remember correctly). I like good time charlie, high lead, and destiny. Ive tried em all except RTS, haven't got the testicular fortitude for that yet.biggrin.gif  haven't been to ashland since 2010. i dropped into the bowl (not too much fun, it was pretty icy) didn't drop off the cliff. didn't do any tree skiing there, hit the top runs on the ridge juliet i think (cant really remember the names up there). i tend to take the longest runs at ashland possible, slow lifts! 

 

Nice to talk to someone from Oregon!beercheer.gif

post #19 of 21

Hi there,

 

Most of the skis here have their pros and cons.  I agree that a ski probably 88-100mm makes the most sense. If you ski at Willamette, you are skiing steeps and bumps, and at Bachelor, more open cruisers, lower angle terrain.  Willamette can get some heavy snow, Bachelor a little lighter.  

 

If you have only skied 30 days, you probably have some improving skill wise to do, even if you are a good athlete and ski pretty fast. So, something not too aggressive is likely a good option. 

 

Here are some skis mentioned in the thread, and my personal take:

 

Elan 999: sweet ski for all around skiing, one of the best skis on the hill for Oregon conditions (little of everything).  Good flex if you need something a little more forgiving.

Rossi Experience 88: very powerful, a bit more carving oriented than some, high level skills bring out the best, super fun in bumps too.

Rossi Experience 98: same as the 88, feels a bit stiffer and less forgiving though, high level ski

Blizzard Bonafide: pretty stout, the least forgiving of this bunch. The one ski here that feels like it is skiing me, rather than the other way around. 

Nordica Steadfast: very high performance, a little more high strung than the 88, rips if you are on it, little too much of a stiff tip for mogul skiing

Nordica Enforcer: smooth, relatively easy, can make a wide variety of turns

Nordica Soul Rider: haven't skied it: from what others say, it is more forgiving and likely more like a 999 than a Bonafide. 

 

 

In demo, I have the following that would be a good option:

 

Elan 999, mentioned above

Head Rock n' Roll 95: not mentioned, but similar to the Enforcer in feel, very smooth and capable without being too stiff

Dynastar Outland 87: really well balanced ski, nice in bumps, tip design handles junk snow better than you would think for a narrower ski

Kastle BMX98: one of my favorites, surfy tip combined with stiffness underfoot

Fischer Watea 88: another great local choice for those skiing off-piste.  High level performance but not a super stiff ski

Elan 888: similar to the 999, a touch stiffer and with more pop.  Similar to the Exp. 88, but with a bit bigger radius and more damp feel

Blizzard Kabookie: Bonafide w/o metal, less work, more forgiveness, no loss in performance except on really firm snow. 

post #20 of 21
First I agree you should try to demo first, but if that's not going to happen I think the Line Prophet 98 would be a safe bet. Probably should downsize for the bumps. You really should try to demo some skis though.
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 

when might i be able to get a hold of some blizzard brahmas either to demo or buy? the few reviews i have found sound a lot like what im lookin for. too bad skis aren't like cars, you can already buy a 2014 lexus.wink.gif
 

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