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Need opinions on new skis to demo, desperately need an upgrade

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Looking for some advice on what to demo, and since I'm on the east coast I'll throw a few out to make sure I might be able to find one of them.


For starters, I'm 6'3" 185 lbs, and ski K2 Apache Raiders... I really like how easy they are to ski, I feel like I start to overpower them at high speeds but the turns are really easy.  I am an intermediate skier, working on carving and handling steeper terrain.  On the east, I can handle most expert slopes, but do need to work on handling them quicker.  I recently updated my boots and started to talk skis.  The bootfitter suggested all options that were over 80mm in waist, and said that even on hard pack the newer skis can carve just fine.  The added waist will handle chopped up snow he also said, something that the K2's softness seem to accomplish too  I demo'd some blizzard Magnum 8.1's, and just pretty much got overpowered by the ski.  Turns were hard, and steep terrain was frightening.  With that in mind, I know its technique, but I only ski so many days per year so I definitely want a friendly ski


Of my possible suggestions I was hoping you guys could weigh in on what be the best, and then I hope I can find them when I am skiing Wisp next weekend.  Since demos are hard to come by, I'm gonna cast a wide net and see what is recommended. 


K2 Rictors

Salomon BBR

Atomic Blackeye

Blizzard Bushwacker

Dynastar CHam 87



Of those skis which would you think would be friendly, but stiffer than my Raiders which through research are pretty entry level.  I was wary of the wide waist, but the shop is assuring me that on edge they grip better than my old K2's.  He insists I will even find new versatility.  

post #2 of 5

I am not an expert level but a step below. I am on blizzard Magnum 8.7's and love them but they are lot of ski and take some relearning to use them fully. My son is on the 8.1's and I have skied them a bit more forgiving. I would look at the 2013 8.0 it has more rocker and is replacing the 8.1.  The 8.0 and 8.1 have slightly shorter turn radius than the 8.7 or the new 8.5 The 8.7 and 8.5 is fatter under foot and at tip and rises better in the lose stuff. 


Like you I am east coast skier, a big fat ski does not turn me on. All the top all mnt ski's from a MFG will do what your looking for. Looking forward in the east I bet you see the wider underfoot trend backing off to the 80's like you were told. More rocker, yes and  a bit longer but not getting wider underfoot. Yes you see lots ski's getting wider as that is follow the leader trend,  but not the best choice for around here.


I get out west once in a blue moon,  but ski 1-2 times a week on the East. Was at Whiteface and Gore twice this year. It makes me chuckle to see how many complain about hard pack as if it is boiler plate. You need a good carver that is sharp and know how to ski them. When I go west next time I will demo a nice pair of powder ski's and not compromise my everyday skiing here for that far off trip. My  all mnt Blizzards do that for me and when I get some fresh stuff still make for a fun day.


I skied some Atomic I think they were blackeye the other day a bit different but also very nice. I know if you look at the Volkl RTM 80 or 84's.you find many of the same traits.  Your near the end of the year in a month or so you can pick some great demo deals. All the these top skis you will find in the $500 range if you wait and look.


Good luck

post #3 of 5

As a added note I was on Apache raiders also before going to the 8.7s last year. 

post #4 of 5

You did a nice job with that cast of the net. Those are all good skis and will serve your purposes but there are some significant differences in that group. BTW.....the Mag 8.1 experience that you had is no surprise and not a knock on that particular ski. Many intermediate skiers will buy a top of the line ski more or less b/c they can......but then find some skis to be over their head. Congrats that you figured it out and resisted the ego-buy.



Salomon BBR Dynastar CHam 87

These two are very different than most other skis on the market. The wide tip/narrow tail makes them both enormously versatile in turn shape and also very easy to turn and very useful in mixed snow. Neither excel on truly hard snow but both outperform their width range in soft. The Dynastar in particular is very quick and nimble. Avoid short sizes in these and stick around the 178 mark.


Atomic Blackeye

An excellent hard snow ski and much higher stability than what you have without being as overbearing as the Mag 8.1


Blizzard Bushwacker

Very versatile and nimble feeling. Good at all turn shapes and snow conditions. This is the only one of the batch with any notable tail rocker which might feel a little odd at your level but then again might not. Avoid shorter sizes.


K2 Rictors

This ski is a couple of levels above what you have and will add stability without adding much effort. Smooth, damp and very easy going, this ski will feel very familiar.


Good luck in your testing.




post #5 of 5

I'm in the same boat as you DrScott; Wisp is my home mountain (last weekend was probably the best in a long time actually) and am looking for a good replacement to my '06 Rossi Z3; I was trying to find something in the directional twin category (Wisp does have some decent side hits and parks are in good shape this year) and was suggested to check out the Nordica El Paco (apparently the little brother of the soul rider?) 


I have never tried the el paco or anything similar (K2 Sight, Atomic Panic or the Line Prophet 85) but I have been told they carve rather well even on the east coast; but hope to demo at least one of the 4 to pick up over the summer.


Again not sure if twins interest you, but maybe someone more knowledgeable can provide some insight?


Edit: SJ is just too quick... Also, sounds like the Atomic Blackeye would be a good choice to try for Wisp-esque terrain (as you well know, the morning are great, the afternoons are mushy/lumpy and the nights are sand covered ice)

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