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Intermediate-Advanced all mountain ski advice

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I started skiing about 3 years ago now and have advanced pretty quickly.  I started skiing when i started dating my current boyfriend, and I've enjoyed it since the first day he took me out on the mountain.  Since I started skiing I've been skiing with him & his friends that all raced in college so I've been pushed pretty well to keep up and I love it. I'm at a point now where I'm going down blacks no problem but really want to get into moguls & tree skiing. I've tried both but can't do it very smoothly yet.


Right now I'm on K2 burnin luvs @169 cm, I'm 6 feet tall and weigh around 170-175. I'm looking for a ski that will go with me to the next level of advanced/expert and will be good on & off powder (went to Jackson Hole last year and getting ready for Snowbird/Alta next week). The K2s were great last season but now I feel like I'm growing out of the ski and they're just too heavy to move to the next level. Does anyone have any recommendations? So far I've been looking at: Fischer Koa 98s, Blizzard Sambas, & Blizzard Black Pearls but have also poked around at some of the Kastle skis.


Most of those I really started to look at because of the lengths they have, I think I need at least 175 cm and a lot of the women's all mountains only go up to 169 cm. We typically go out west once a year for a week of skiing but usually ski in the New England area (Stowe, Sugarbush, Hunter, Killington, Attitash, etc).


If anyone has any suggestions please let me know!!



post #2 of 7
Don't rule out men's skis. You have the size, and from your description, you seem athletic enough to ski them.

Here are a few to look at:
Blizzard Kabookie or Bonafide (180)
Salomon Shogun (182)
Line Prophet 98 (179)
Armada TST

I'm sure others have recommendations.

post #3 of 7

Welcome to EpicSki!  Sounds like you've been having a lot of fun.


Have you demo'd the skis you mentioned?  Or just read about them?  For your build, nothing wrong with getting a unisex or men's ski.  K2 are generally heavier.  Have you considered anything from Volkl like the Kenja?


Can help much since I'm on the other end of the spectrum as an older petite woman.  My most recent purchase are Black Pearls.  I prefer to demo before buying.  Usually do a personal demo day when I'm out west in addition to catching free demo days.  I learn as much from the skis that I don't like as the ones that I add to the wish list.


By the way, the Bushwacker is the same as the Black Pearl except for graphics.


Have fun choosing!

post #4 of 7


Question, are you looking at new skis to ski the bumps better? It would be easier to ski the bumps on shorter skis like you have, maybe a bumps lesson or clinic would be a good idea and then a new ski, your demo experience will be different if your skiing improves and skis that felt wrong before may just be great if some changes and improvements are made in your skiing.


Just a thought to consider from someone who teaches and in the past spent thousands on the wrong equipment.




post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks Everyone!


@Denny1969-thanks for the advice, I'm going to start look at mens or unisex skis.


@marznc-I haven't demod anything yet, but will probably demo out in Utah next week at least one of the days. I really wanted to get something before then but will probably end up getting something out there or during the off season. I had no idea the bushwacker skis were the same as the black pearl-thats a good tip! I'm leaning more & more towards the blizzards. I'll let you know how the demo goes in Utah smile.gif Thanks so much for the input!


@marooned-I've taken a few lessons before but nothing specifically on bumps.  I was looking at doing a women's ski clinic at Sugarbush a few weeks back but found out you had to register at the beginning of the season.  Where did you teach? Any clinic recommendations in the New England area? Thanks!!

post #6 of 7

You may want to look at the Wild Betty too from Nordica.


Not sure what the waist is on those back a friend has them she's skied will over 50 day's so far this season and is very happy with them.

post #7 of 7

Although you can test some skis in Utah, I would encourage you to wait until you are back in Vermont.  If this is where you ski most, you are best to experience the skis on the firm, fast, and confined snow of the east rather than in the soft, dry, and open snow of Utah.  Northern Ski Works in Killington has a great demo selection of men's and women's models in most available lengths.  If you demo on hill, you are likely to only find mens skis in your size since you are on the longer side of the women's models.  Although you can ski men's, I would try both men's and women's.  Also, women's skis are often a few dollars cheaper for similar designs.


Skills you master on groomed terrain move with you to bumps and off-piste terrain.  It is important to practice and learn these skills in known terrain and then take them to the more difficult terrain.  Once you have the base skills, you can then focus on the tactics needed for varied bump and off-piste conditions.  You are going to learn most quickly on a responsive and communicative ski. This is likely an "all-mountain" ski with about 80mm underfoot and a tight turning radius... this is not a pure carver and is likely quite a bit wider and softer than your Burnin Luv (depending on the model year).  You can still ski this off-piste and in the bumps, but it will be "less easy" than a softer ski optimized for such terrain.  That being said, you will learn a whole lot more quickly. 


Some skis to consider...

Blizzard Magnum 8.0/Viva 8.0 (men's/women's)... I have recommended and seen this ski skied very well in the same environment you describe

Volkl Kenja (women's)... This ski is plenty strong in the women's model.  It is a bit wider underfoot than I optimally described above but can thus serve well in deeper snow.  Despite its width, it should be considered a mostly frontside ski.  I actually have the first year model and used it successfully as my everyday/backcountry ski in Vermont and now in its older age for Backcountry here in Tahoe.  

Blizzard Black Pearl (women's)... This is a rocker/camber ski and is similar in width to the Kenja above; however, it does not have metal and is thus softer.  Edge grip is good, and the ski will perform well in the bumps.  I would want to demo it in Vermont on a cold snow day to ensure it has enough edge grip for everyday use.  

Nordica Belle to Belle... Nordica traditionally makes a very good hard snow ski.  That being said, they completely changed the line this season so I do not have personal experience with these new CamRock designs.   Still, they may be worth a try.


Happy skiing!

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