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Yet another middle aged skier, seeking advice on a 1 quiver....

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

I am a 43 year old skier (6' and 205lbs), that has been skiing since he was 14. I am a self-taught skier, and although everyone around me comments on how well I ski, I am fully aware that I probably have many bad habits or improper form that I overcome with my athletic ability. While skiing in my 20s, I was often fatigued while skiing (from bad technique most likely), but I can honestly say I am not fatiqued at all anymore after a day of skiing (hopefully due to more refined effortless technique)....Probably too much information, but I really value outside opinions, so I will try to provide as much info as possible. For the last 8-10 years, I have been skiing on Hart F17 SLC skies in a 193cm length. I believe they are actually mogul skis, but considering I have had 3 knee surgeries on the same knee, I have reduced my amount mogul skiing considerably. I have only skied in New England, all my life, but that is not to say I will not venture out west some time in my remaining years. I have always skied as fast as I could (while still maintaining control), but I do have a 4 year old daughter that will tame me until her skill level improves over the years. I do love powder skiing, but have only had the opportunity to do so a dozen days or so in my lifetime. When possible, I travel to Stratton mtn, Gunstock mtn, Loon mtn, Sunday River, Mtn Sunapee, but at times, I can only make it as far as tiny hills like Nashoba Valley, and Wachusett Mtn. 

 

Ok, now that I got that over with, I am looking to replace the big old school dinosaur Harts with something more current. There are so many different types now that it is exhausting to try and keep up. So far, Ive favored the specs and reviews on the Volkl Mantra, Volkl Kendo, Armada Triumph (for some reason I keep returning to these but dont know why), Atomic Theory etc.....I never ski in the (park), but not to say that I wont eventually. I am drawn to some of the wide waisted skis, but mostly for a different experience over the narrow waist Im used to. My only reservations are how the wider body handles the icy conditions that the NorthEast is known for. 

 

I am up for any/all suggestions, especially binding choices for said skis, and help chosing length of skis for rocker/rise/waist details that I dont know how to calculate with my skill level and weight etc.

 

Thank you in advance for any suggestions. Forums like these are invaluable for people like myself. 

post #2 of 15
Quote:
I am up for any/all suggestions, especially binding choices for said skis, and help chosing length of skis for rocker/rise/waist details that I dont know how to calculate with my skill level and weight etc.

 

I wouldn't go crazy on bindings.  Unless you're into crazy AT setups you're mostly okay as long as they hold the boots onto the skis, and unless you're racing or very very tall/heavy/have tiny feet almost nobody needs a DIN above 9 or 10.  smile.gif

 

Ski length depends a bit on the type of ski (rockered models ski 'shorter', since there is less edge actually contacting the snow most of the time).  Good starting point is between chin and top of head for on-piste (175-183 if you're 6'0"), about as tall as you are for all-mountain (~183), maybe a bit longer for powder (185-190?).  Generally speaking, shorter is easier to turn and longer is more stable when going fast.

 

Since you mentioned going there, Wachusett has an on-mountain shop with a pretty good selection of demos.  For $40 you can swap out all day (or evening) to try different things.  There are also plenty of rental/demo shops in in NH, but not all of the resorts have good on-mountain demo centers.  You may also be able to catch a free manufacturer demo day, although most of those are earlier in the season to promote their new stuff.

 

If you're looking for a "one ski quiver" for the NE, and look to get off-piste sometimes, I'd look at things in the 78-88mm waist widths.  Narrower will be harder to handle in fresh snow, wider will be noticeably worse on groomers/ice.  There are a LOT of these, so maybe try searching around for reviews here to narrow it down.  Or you could just go over to Wachusett and try a bunch of them, if research sounds boring.  smile.gif

 

If you're looking to improve your form, stop by the ski school...


Edited by Matthias99 - 2/6/13 at 1:57pm
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice Matthias.....I agree, nothing would be better than to demo each model I was interested in, but with an 11 month old, a 4 year old, demanding job/wife blahblahblah, I am lucky enough to be able to ski at all. I tend to do my research by reading forums from 9pm to 2am (after kids have gone to sleep), and THEN make my barely educated overly biased opinion as what to purchase. At least I am fully aware of my shortcomings :-)

 

Ive always skied a long ski, but I think the trend was the longer ski when I was 30 years younger. I am above average weight at 205lbs for my 6 foot frame, and although I do not need to set any downhill speed records, I do not want the (length) of whatever style ski I end up with, be the factor that slows me down, (meaning I would rather govern my top speed with my skiing, than a short ski that I max out on speed)....still dont like the way I worded that.

 

That being said, from your advice, the Mantra's, Bonafides, Theories etc would be a poor choice for conditions that I ski within New England. Possibly the Armada Triumphs with an 80cm waist in 178 or 185cm, although I do not hear anyone talk about them, and no Armada dealers in my area have ever carried them.

 

I cant thank you enough for taking the time to give me your advice.

 

Bradford

post #4 of 15
Similar background: older, raced in college, have kid, ski the east, etc..........Matthias99 has some sound advice. Most important thing to do is to gos visit a reputable shop and explain your scenario to them. Let them help you pick the right ski. And if you have time do the demo. You know it will be invaluable.

The Kendo is a great product but you could probably benefit from a RTM 80 as it should be a more appropriate match. Narrower waist, great on hardpack, and you will be able to grow woth the ski as your daughter and ski time progress. I suggest volkls because i've always had a great experience. From college racing to sales to being a weekend warrior with a 5 yo. Just one person's opinion. Why would you consider the Armada if no local dealers carry the ski? To me that would be a flag.

Go to the section and watch the videos about how to chose a ski. They are well done and help explain a lot of the questions on rocker and other ski constructions you may have.

These forums can be a great asset but more often than not the advice is superficial. Go to a local store with a good reputation and start asking questions. Don't say that some guy on the Internet recommends ski X. Have a sales guy help you find the right ski for you.
post #5 of 15

I'm in the same boat as you.  Have a pair of 20 yr old 200cm Kastle TCX skis and 25 yr old rear entry Salomon boots.  Kids starting skiing so have been looking at new equipment.  There is so much information out there, it's tough to know what to do.  On the advice of some people here, I went to a local shop and got fitted for some new boots and got some advice on skis.  I like skiing expert trails, fast, with short turns but since I'll be spending most of my time with the kids on the beginner/intermediate slopes, he recommended Atomic Smoke TI skis.  It's a mid-priced ski $599 w/bindings. Said I will be able to do both with the ski and it's good for New England conditions.  Mentioned if I wanted to ditch the kids I could move up to the Atomic Blackeye TI.

Hoping to get up to Wachusett next weekend and was going to try to demo some skis while there.

post #6 of 15

Demo if you can.  If you're coming off equipment that's a 1/4 century old, anything will be better, but some will be more better for you than others.  I like the 80 -- 90 mm underfoot range for all around  eastern skiing.  Your favorite demo ski will be the best ski for you.  Don't worry about the brand name.  Same goes for boots.  Best fit/feel = best boots.  Just make sure to go to a good boot fitter and make sure they aren't too big.

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wallyk View Post

The Kendo is a great product but you could probably benefit from a RTM 80 as it should be a more appropriate match. 
 Why would you consider the Armada if no local dealers carry the ski? To me that would be a flag.

 

Yes, I agree that with my experience of skiing mostly fast icy New England conditions, automatically puts me in a certain category of ski. But I hear how much fun others are having in a newer styled wider footprint multipurpose ski. I visited a few local shops, and rather than saving money by trying to by skis this late into the season, I am having a difficult time locating appropriate equipment. Ski boots in my size are few and far between. The few shops I did visit, were the ones that mentioned the (Kendo, and Mantra).  Described to me as a ski I would "have more fun on", and that with my level of skiing, I would have no problem controlling them if they did not behave. Most of the shops were willing to sell, and if I didnt like, they would apply the ski towards a different selection, although I'd hate to be that person.

 

WallyK, to answer your question about the Triumphs, (in my mind), they specs on the skis appeared to be similar enough to something Ive already used, but different enough that it would be a welcomed change for me. One of the dealers wasnt aware of the ski, but was going to order a pair for his personal use when I showed him the write ups on them. But you do pose a good question. Could just be a matter of poor marketing on a ski, but I guess I won't really know unless I could demo a pair, but there arent any locations I have found that demo them.

 

Thanks again for everyone's input!

post #8 of 15
Good luck with the boots. That's a tough position. Once you find the right boot the rest is gravy. Remember this.....skiing is supposed to be fun. Skiing with your daughter while she's young will be some of the best times. The skis today compared to your old ones will be fantastic. Just so much fun is ahead. I just bought new Volkl Racetiger SL's. Great product. BUT while teaching my daughter to ski I ditched the older Volkls, bought an entry level Rossi Avenger and this ski is just fantastic. To see what manufactures have done to make skies that are more user friendly and that easier to both ride and enjoy will blow your mind.

Good luck with the search and have fun.......
post #9 of 15

Given your self described skiing tendencies and terrain choices there is no need to be looking at 95-98mm skis regardless of brand or model. You will probably be best served with something in the mid 80mm range. There are couple of sub groups within that width range that have slight differences that you should be aware of. There are plenty of examples of each but I'll mention a couple.

 

Stiffer skis: These will have somewhat better grip but are not extra forgiving or playful feeling. Examples = Volkl Kendo, Blizzi Mag 8.5.

A little softer: These will not have quite as much grip but will be more forgiving at the edges of the trails and/or in softer snow. Examples = Dynastar Outland 87, K2 Aftershock.

 

Re the Armada Triumph: Armadas are mostly built by Atomic and are good skis but Armada is not known for narrower on trail type skis. Hence, dealers generally don't carry that model due to Armada's relative lack of credibility in that category.

 

SJ

post #10 of 15

Just because you can't find a local shop that sells Armada is meaningless.  Small shops are more likely to carry the big names because everyone has heard of them.  I live in the biggest city in Montana, about 90,000 people, but I can't buy ON3P or Ski Logik or a lot of other indie brands locally but that doesn't mean I wouldn't want to buy a pair.  I own 3 pairs of skis, two were purchased after demoing and the other was purchased direct from Icelantic based on the spec.  I used that ski almost exclusively for an entire season including teaching several days a week. It is a great ski.  Armada makes very good skis, in fact some of the best skis around are being made by the indie companies like Armada, Icelantic, ON3P and others.  I'll be testing skis at Snow Basin in a couple weeks and can't wait to get on a pair of Icelantic Nomad RKRs, ON3P skis as well as the Nordica El Capo/Vagabond.  The Volkl RTM series is a ski that seems to get reviews that are one end of the spectrum or the other, you either love them or hate them.  They are not on my list of skis to try.  I've skied other full rocker skis and hated them.  I like tip rocker and maybe some tail rocker but I want camber underfoot and the RTMs have none.  But, as choucas stated, demoing is really important if you can.  If you can't demo a certain ski, but you're convinced it is for you, go ahead and order it, as long as you understand that you might not like it.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wallyk View Post

Good luck with the boots. That's a tough position. Once you find the right boot the rest is gravy. Remember this.....skiing is supposed to be fun. Skiing with your daughter while she's young will be some of the best times. The skis today compared to your old ones will be fantastic. Just so much fun is ahead. I just bought new Volkl Racetiger SL's. Great product. BUT while teaching my daughter to ski I ditched the older Volkls, bought an entry level Rossi Avenger and this ski is just fantastic. To see what manufactures have done to make skies that are more user friendly and that easier to both ride and enjoy will blow your mind.

Good luck with the search and have fun.......

Thanks Wallyk.....For as long as I have skied, I only now realize that all of my boots have been 1 to 1.5 sizes too large. Foot fatigue has always been an issue, but after 30 years of skiing, I attempted to purchase another pair, and a young local boot fitter (only 21 but very knowledgeable, just not as experienced) attemtped to fit me in several different pair. Although he could not find the perfect pair in the dwindling stock, he did educate me, and I was shocked at how 20 minutes of him heat treating boot/boot liner, and using custom orthodic soles gave me a very close to perfect fit in a 26 boot vs the 27.5 Ive been hurting in all these years. If it werent for me having 2 different sized feet, I would have grabbed that pair.

 

On a sidenote, the feeling of riding in a chair lift up a ski mountain with my 4 year old is a new experience for me as well.  I get teared up each time, as it is a beautiful feeling that Ive never been to experience before having kids.  

post #12 of 15

For the past two years I've demo'd skis at Wachusett.  They have a very good selection and last year they had Kastle demos available.  Do the 3 pairs for a day demo and try the Kastle MX88, the RTM 84 and another.  I skiied those two as well as the Kendos last year  The RTM's were good but too close to the Fischer Progressor 9+ I was trying to replace.  The Kendos were a lot of fun but didn't have the edge hold I was looking for.  The MX88's lived up to the hype and what I bought.  Great in all conditions but deep powder.  Getting them for 30% off at the end of the season made it a lot easier on the wallet.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVInstaller View Post

On a sidenote, the feeling of riding in a chair lift up a ski mountain with my 4 year old is a new experience for me as well.  I get teared up each time, as it is a beautiful feeling that Ive never been to experience before having kids.  

I know exactly where you are coming from.  I fondly remember the days of chair lift talks I had with my daughter.  Treasure every one, because by the time the kid is 8 or so, they will out ski you.  

 

post #14 of 15

The Kendo will be perfect. Several skis would be perfect. Get a highly regarded ski that is suited to your mission and adapt to it. Done and out skiing. My approach.

 

Pass on the RTM model series. It's not the Kendo.

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I know exactly where you are coming from.  I fondly remember the days of chair lift talks I had with my daughter.  Treasure every one, because by the time the kid is 8 or so, they will out ski you.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

SibHusky, are you sure our daughters have not met in another life. Spitting image right there, although this photo is from 1 week ago.

 

 

All great advice, I actually pulled the trigger on the boots. I bought a pair of Saloman X Max 100, with the option of adding another bolt to bring it closer to a 120 flex if needed. I had them custom fit with heated shell, liner, and custom made cork orthodics......what a difference. I wanted to drive home in them they are so snug, yet comfortable.

 

In talking to the boot tech, he recommended I sign up for the 2014 demo program at Loon at the end of March, that way I can demo next years models, just in case anything new comes out. In the meantime, as a playful easier to ski allover while teaching my daughter, I came across a pair of Stockli Rotor 84s for cheap (for that ski), as well as a used demo pair of the Stockli Rotor 74s.....for the price w/bindings, it seems like a nice compromise to have a multipurpose backup ski with the new boots, and maybe concentrate on demoing 2014 lineup towards the end of March......I have found just a few threads commenting on the Stockli Rotor series, but for the most part, they are very supportive of them, and impressed. Anyone in this thread have an opinion on either of those skis if the price were right?

 

Thanks again......

 

And SibHusky, I will fill in the other two photos of my daughters progression, once she reaches your daughters progress!

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