I have been reading this forum for the past couple of months, and while there have been many similar questions asked (and answered), I wanted to get your take on mine specifically. I am heading up to Jay Peak this Friday, and will have four days to demo, and hopefully come away with the answer to my question of “what skis to buy?”.
A little about me… 39 yrs. old, 6’, 170lbs. I currently live in New England, and the majority of my skiing will be around here, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, with a one week a year trip out west. I used to live in the Bay Area, and skied Tahoe extensively (favorite spot is the back bowl at Alpine, is the Ice Bar still there?). I currently own a pair of 2001 Salomon Super Axe 2v’s, size 184 (pretty stiff GS like ski, 62 underfoot, 103/62/93). I am looking for something that will be more versatile all over the mountain (anything will be better than 62 underfoot!). I am certainly no expert, but consider myself advanced, and enjoy pretty much everything on the mountain, and feel comfortable on any slope (others have said I look pretty good doing it, but…). In terms of where I spend my time on the mountain, 50% frontside on piste (spend most of that time on the side of the trail trying to find any powdery snow I can), 20% trees (would like to spend more time there, but have never felt that comfortable with the big stiff boards I have now), 20% bumps (similar to trees, but of less interest), and 10% backcountry (hiking within the resort mostly). I enjoy all turn radii, it really depends on the trail, mountain, conditions, etc. I would describe myself as enjoying medium speed. I enjoy making turns, and don’t just charge down the mountain at full speed. There will be no jumps, cliffs, or park for this old guy! One thing I am concerned about is being honest with myself. While I would love to get a pair of skis that would be great for the deep powder I dream about while dreaming of my once a year west coast trip, I know I need to be realistic in the fact that I live in the northeast (ice coast), and will be lucky to get six inches of fresh around here. And if I’m lucky enough to get deep snow out west, I’ll just rent some fat powder skis.
After reading a ton on the web (probably every thread on epicski having to do with my question), and chatting with some friends and a couple of local ski shops, I have narrowed things down to two categories, All Mountain Freeride or All Mountain Carving, and probably something in the 80-90 range, but am not opposed to up to 100 if it makes sense. Here is the current list:
Blizzard Brahma (I understand it is not available yet, and I’d have to wait until next year)
Blizzard Magnum (8.0 or 8.5, Ti or CA)
Volkl RTM 80
Line Prophet (90 or 98)
Rossignol Experience (88 or 98)
DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid
Dynastar Outland 87
Dynastar Cham (87 or 97)
Feel free to add additional options if you think I’ve missed anything. I focused on brands that I know are available for demo around Jay.
Some questions I’d love to get input on are what width should I be focusing on (80, 90, 100)? What about the metal vs. no metal thing? It seems that I (at 170 lbs.) am kind of in the middle of where people make the divide between recommending metal vs. not.
Also, in terms of length, I was leaning towards the 180 range, depending on what’s offered. Any thoughts on length for me?
Bindings? Marker Griffon?
I am hoping to cull this list down to a few that I can demo, and hopefully pick the best one for me. Thanks in advance for your input and guidance!!!