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Snow Ranger offspring?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hi all.  First post here.

 

5'9" 175.  46 yrs old. Been skiing for 30 years. Been all over the American SW but  ski mostly in the east. I'm currently using my 180 cm Snow Ranger Lites that I got off E-bay.  Typical day is teaching my 4 year old on then my 8 yr old then go ski some bumps with my 18 year old or sneak into in the trees by myself.

 

I was skiing on Rossi 198 cm 5SV's which I loved.  Then I started on these Snow Rangers which are just as awesome except better in powder and bumps.  I can't find Snow Rangers on E-bay anymore so was trying to figure out what Volkl replaced the Snow Ranger with and what it has evolved into today. Vertigo, G3, G4, AC4, AC40?

 

thanks 

post #2 of 28

I owned several pairs of Snow Rangers that I used both tele and alpine.  The Snow Ranger light is not really the same ski, it is much less aggresive.  In any case the Snow Ranger was a ground breaking ski in it's time that is now almost two decades behind the curve.  If you really want a pair, I have a pair of 185? with G2 tele bindings and skins that I would take a case of good beer for.  Of course you would have to pick them up in Jackson Hole.  I get them tuned for youbiggrin.gif

 

Probably the best replacement ski for the niche a Snow Ranger filled in it's day would be something like a Bodacious, E98, Enforcer, or something along those lines.  I realize that the 98mm skis are much wider than the Snow Ranger, but they are their logical "offspring" at least in my mind.  

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

I owned several pairs of Snow Rangers that I used both tele and alpine.  The Snow Ranger light is not really the same ski, it is much less aggresive.

Thanks for the reply. Yeah that lack of agressiveness, combined with the width and lack of sidecut was what I liked about it....I was a few pounds lighter back then and was skiing alot of trees and picking my way through rocky steeps etc.  I figured I needed all the help I could get. :)

post #4 of 28

Hi - I owned some Snow Rangers, changed my entire worldview of soft snow. IMO, Volkl no longer makes skis that are analogous, just like it doesn't make anything analogous to the original Gotama. I'd suggest you try out a Blizzard Bushwacker, which has the lightness, moderate flex, and glassy feel of the Rangers, although different handling (easier, actually) due to the rocker and a bit livelier. Another candidate would be the Kastle BMX88, which has a slightly damper, smoother feel, but the all wood build gives it that life the Ranger had, also easy going flex, decent grip. IMO the 98's are in general too beefy to replicate the feel of the Rangers, although I agree they've replaced its mission.  

post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Hi - I owned some Snow Rangers, changed my entire worldview of soft snow. IMO, Volkl no longer makes skis that are analogous, just like it doesn't make anything analogous to the original Gotama. I'd suggest you try out a Blizzard Bushwacker, which has the lightness, moderate flex, and glassy feel of the Rangers, although different handling (easier, actually) due to the rocker and a bit livelier. Another candidate would be the Kastle BMX88, which has a slightly damper, smoother feel, but the all wood build gives it that life the Ranger had, also easy going flex, decent grip. IMO the 98's are in general too beefy to replicate the feel of the Rangers, although I agree they've replaced its mission.

Those two have a lot of tail compared to my Ranger Lites.

post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

.  In any case the Snow Ranger was a ground breaking ski in it's time that is now almost two decades behind the curve.  If you really want a pair, I have a pair of 185?

 

I thought they only came in 10cm increments,  The 190 was the first ski under 200 that I'd been on in decades.

 I remember skiing with Juni in Jackson and he told me his shop sold more Snow Rangers than any other shop in the US.

post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rank View Post

Those two have a lot of tail compared to my Ranger Lites.

Not sure what you mean; IME the actual length of the rear is less relevant than the flex pattern and to some extend the width. If you mean flex, both the Bushwacker and the BMX88 have fairly soft tails, relative to the other skis mentioned, and will be more forgiving in bumps than your Rangers but with better grip. If you mean width, dims of the SR were 105-79-98, which is less taper than either the BMX (12 mm) or the BW (15 mm). Another good choice would be the Nordica Burner (126-84-112), which will be light and energetic, but still smooth, great all around. All three of these can be had right now at great prices, BTW.

 

Put another way, there are several skis that roughly replicate the feel of your SR's, but give you more performance bang for the buck, and are easier to ski. A lot has happened since the Rangers passed on...

post #8 of 28
It's really hard to find a large turn radius skinny ski these days - a bummer IMO. The PM Gear Bro is probably your closest bet. Though there's talk of a skinnier Bro in the works, which would be awesome.
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 

.post edited below.  sorry still learning this message board lol


Edited by rank - 3/5/13 at 9:57am
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 

Sorry Beyond...yeah I meant tail width.

 

Those skis you mentioned all have quite alot more width at the tail than my SR's.  Whenever I've demo'd shapy skis, they always seem to have a mind of their own and they've been intent on carving me into the trees.  When I'm not skiing with my kids, I like a forgiving ski that helps me survive pretty much anything.  I find I don't often get to choose where I turn.  I need to change the length of my turn quite often without much planning...big icy bumps in the trees, picking my way around rocks on steeps etc.  I view my ski as something that works for me instead of me working for it.  Don't really want to worry about what's happening down by my feet. I really have never looked for excitement from a ski.  Quite the opposite actually LOL.  Skiing on my beloved SR's have become almost like walking.

 

Hope that makes sense.


Edited by rank - 3/5/13 at 9:55am
post #11 of 28

Salomon Czar is one of the straightest skis currently made. Dynastar Legend 94 or Sultan 85 (or current version) are pretty moderate sidecut. Volkl Kendo would probably ski real well for you. If you look at dimensions, you will find skis that are not designed strictly to carve and grip at the tip and tail. Know what you mean. annoying. try to find skis that have the tail at least 14mm narrower than the tip. 10mm or less is for different things. Kaestle MX, there are several out there like that from the more classic oriented makers. I have some 180cm snow rangers, by the way, my 2nd tier rock skis, for sale of course, for the right pricebiggrin.gif.

post #12 of 28
Quote:

Originally Posted by rank View Post

 

 trying to figure out what Volkl replaced the Snow Ranger with and what it has evolved into today. Vertigo, G3, G4, AC4, AC40?

 

 

 

They basically split the Snow ranger market into two lines.  Cross Ranger, G40-41, G4 ,AX4, 724, AC4  for the skinnier turnnier ski and then the classic Explosive was the fatter ski.

post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

 

I thought they only came in 10cm increments,  The 190 was the first ski under 200 that I'd been on in decades.

 I remember skiing with Juni in Jackson and he told me his shop sold more Snow Rangers than any other shop in the US.

 

You're right.  I just looked, my skis are 190s.  I had about 3 pairs of 200cm that I used for alpine then the 190s that I used for tele.  Then I had some G4s that may have been 185 and a pair of 185 Bandit XXX that were tele.  That's where the confusion came in.  The skis, bindings, and skins are still available for the first taker with a case of good beer.

post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

Volkl Kendo would probably ski real well for you. 

Well, perhaps, but if you notice, he likes softer skis that skid the narrower tails smoothly, so he won't carve into the woods. Not sure the Kendo, which never saw railroad tracks it didn't like, would encourage that. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

 

They basically split the Snow ranger market into two lines.  Cross Ranger, G40-41, G4 ,AX4, 724, AC4  for the skinnier turnnier ski and then the classic Explosive was the fatter ski.

Not sure I agree, having owned both. The SR was marketed as opening up off-piste, kind of a moderate flex, all wood touring ski without the touring rig. Ski Mag gave it a #1 rating for powder, but found it spooky on groomers at speed. The Explosive, which came along later, was marketed as the original big mountain charger. Lots of metal, heavy, stiff as a board; made the current Mantra seem wussy by comparison. IMO, in the early 2000's, Volkl developed a fascination with more burly metal skis, which changed its glassy, smooth Zebra/Snow Ranger trajectory substantially. The Goat, in this sense, was a fortuitous aberration. The Exploder was the better harbinger of things to come, for better or worse.

 

For reasons I've never understood - maybe market niche, maybe national self-fulfilling stereotypes - German and Austrian manufacturers seem to need to reassure themselves over how stiff and unforgiving their, ah, skis can be. (Recall the Vanity Fair cover with Arnold bursting out of a T, on his Atomics?) If they start to worry about being unmanly men, achtung!! - 15% increase in stiffness the following year. The French are left to play around with those silly finesse skis, even if they win WC's, and of course the Americans have always had the AARP on their cash radar, even when they made decent racing skis. wink.gif

 

All of which is to say, OP, if you buy a Volkl thinking it'll be your beloved Snow Ranger, you'll regret it. Maybe one or two Blizzies, since they have a small secret factory for malcontent designers that seems to mess around with Frenchies late at night. How else to explain the Bushwacker? No right thinking Austrian would get near those things....

post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 

One pair in Jackson and another in Tahoe.  Maybe if I look a little harder I can find a pair even farther away LOL. :)
 

post #16 of 28

Beyond...  Did you ever actually own or ski a Snow Ranger?  I know for a fact that there was metal in the build and that it was not ever intended as an all wood touring ski.

post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rank View Post

One pair in Jackson and another in Tahoe.  Maybe if I look a little harder I can find a pair even farther away LOL. :)
 

 

You are welcome to them, although I don't know if you would like the real Snow Ranger in a 190 if you like the lite version in a 180.

post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

 

You are welcome to them, although I don't know if you would like the real Snow Ranger in a 190 if you like the lite version in a 180.


Yep that's what I was thinking also.  Too much ski for what I want to do.  But thanks anyway.  It's nice of you to offer.

post #19 of 28

I skied on the Snow Ranger model that is blue-grey and pale yellow, a sky motif. There was a very early Explosiv model of the same top sheet I believe. There is a whole boatload of titanol in the ski and it definitely rips groomers with a high speed limit. Been there.

post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

I skied on the Snow Ranger model that is blue-grey and pale yellow, a sky motif. There was a very early Explosiv model of the same top sheet I believe. There is a whole boatload of titanol in the ski and it definitely rips groomers with a high speed limit. Been there.

Sounds like my SR lites.

post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rank View Post

Sounds like my SR lites.

I think that lite version was more blue and white.  My girlfriend at the time had a pair and then got the regular version.  She liked the regular version better.  I had several pairs of the original dark graphic.  The ones I still have are a bit different in construction and are white and black.

post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

Beyond...  Did you ever actually own or ski a Snow Ranger?  I know for a fact that there was metal in the build and that it was not ever intended as an all wood touring ski.

 

Given that I already said I owned them, kinda snarky question, huh? So one more time: Yep, owned a pair, first skis I ever had over 70 mm. Only recall that they were bluish, I think medium or dark blue, with white spaces here and there. (Snow drifts?) No big deal about me owning classic skis; pretty sure I’m old enough to be your father - maybe your grandfather - and always have been an early adopter, always have turned over a lot of skis, so have owned a whole bunch of significant sticks over the years, from Head Standards through Stratos and VR17's to Rossi 4S's, Explosiv’s, the first Goats, and so on. Also some real duds, like the Head Killy. Didn't recall there was metal in the SR, felt like all wood. But will take your word for it, mainly recall the glassy classic Volkl feel and how "wide" they were. Was not a metallic beast like the Exploders. 

 

As far as my "touring" comment, I use the term to indicate mission, not 1700 g skis with tech bindings. When the SR's were introduced, don't recall there was much interest in ungroomed snow, let alone leaving lift served. (Which is ironic, because 40 years earlier, we all were on cables, and went everywhere, using different waxes instead of skins.) SR's were marketed as a totally new thing, an "all terrain" ski. Recall many of us poling/hiking with them to sidebounds, which was a novel place back then. And patrol guys loved them. It's hard to realize these days just how "different" some skis were were in opening up people’s minds to trying new kinds of skiing or new terrain. Eg, touring. Sorry if my usage offended you. Will try to operationalize everything from now on. 

 

Meanwhile I’ll stand by my comments in the thread. Snow Rangers had a feel that is not replicated by any current Volkl. And they may be classics, but they’d be left for dead by most modern all-mountains, Volkl or not. I keep a pair of Rossi 7S’s around just for a reality check on nostalgia. They’re not seeming better with age. Doubt that the SR's are, either. 

post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 

Given that I already said I owned them, kinda snarky question, huh? So one more time: Yep, owned a pair, first skis I ever had over 70 mm. Only recall that they were bluish, I think medium or dark blue, with white spaces here and there. (Snow drifts?) No big deal about me owning classic skis; pretty sure I’m old enough to be your father - maybe your grandfather - and always have been an early adopter, always have turned over a lot of skis, so have owned a whole bunch of significant sticks over the years, from Head Standards through Stratos and VR17's to Rossi 4S's, Explosiv’s, the first Goats, and so on. Also some real duds, like the Head Killy. Didn't recall there was metal in the SR, felt like all wood. But will take your word for it, mainly recall the glassy classic Volkl feel and how "wide" they were. Was not a metallic beast like the Exploders. 

 

As far as my "touring" comment, I use the term to indicate mission, not 1700 g skis with tech bindings. When the SR's were introduced, don't recall there was much interest in ungroomed snow, let alone leaving lift served. (Which is ironic, because 40 years earlier, we all were on cables, and went everywhere, using different waxes instead of skins.) SR's were marketed as a totally new thing, an "all terrain" ski. Recall many of us poling/hiking with them to sidebounds, which was a novel place back then. And patrol guys loved them. It's hard to realize these days just how "different" some skis were were in opening up people’s minds to trying new kinds of skiing or new terrain. Eg, touring. Sorry if my usage offended you. Will try to operationalize everything from now on. 

 

Meanwhile I’ll stand by my comments in the thread. Snow Rangers had a feel that is not replicated by any current Volkl. And they may be classics, but they’d be left for dead by most modern all-mountains, Volkl or not. I keep a pair of Rossi 7S’s around just for a reality check on nostalgia. They’re not seeming better with age. Doubt that the SR's are, either. 

 

Sorry dude.....  You must be high.  

 

You could have had the lites like the OP.  That might explain some of your confusion, or it could be senility. If your old enough to be my father, or my grandfather, you're doing great.

 

I have also owned a few classic skis and have been a serious skier for a long time.  When the snow ranger came out, I can't think of one person I ever saw using it for touring.  Most touring, at least around here was being done on tele skis.  That's the reason I started to tele in the first place.  The guys that used them were patrollers and serious 100 day skiers who mostly always skied off piste.  At first the really hard core wouldn't touch them.  That slowly changed.  OB or side country was strictly off-limits at the time.  That didn't mean that it wasn't getting done, it just wasn't anything like it is now.  I don't own a lightweight ski with tech bindings.  That's not the kind of touring I would do.  I did wind up using the SR for touring as a tele set-up, but it wasn't right away and I was one of the first guys to use such a "fat" ski.  It seems funny now because they seem skinny by todays standards, but I took some shit for using a fat ski.

 

Another poster mentioned that one of our local shops sold more SR than any other in the country.  I had heard that before and don't doubt it.  I also heard that outside of here, Snowbird, and a few other big western mountains, that ski never really took off like it should have.  I remember getting insanely cheap deals on the 200cm lengths at Gart Sports here in town.  Regardless of how it was received in other places, it was a huge hit here once the crusty old timers accepted the "fat" ski concept.  In my mind it was one of the most influential skis of the last 20 years, even though it is way behind the curve now

post #24 of 28

top sheet Snow Ranger, from my personal collection.  I remember the first run on these, on a powder day, I was: "Oh man, you guys have been holding out on me...this is way too easy. I can't do anything wrong on these."

post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

 

Sorry dude.....  You must be high... That might explain some of your confusion, or it could be senility. If your old enough to be my father, or my grandfather, you're doing great.

 

ROTF.gif Yeah, must have gotten the sugar and oxycotin confused again this morning. Happens a lot. And if you say "dude" with a straight face, prolly more like granddad's age. So I'll just keep doddering along toward my nursing home, appreciate the thought. wink.gif

post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 

All of which is to say, OP, if you buy a Volkl thinking it'll be your beloved Snow Ranger, you'll regret it.

 

I don't think we are disagreeing.  The OP asked what skis followed the Snowranger and my point is,  there wasn't one ski.   Volkl came out with the Crossranger which had a slightly narrower waist with some side cut and the Explosive. The Explosive was a fatter snowranger, mostly marketed to heli ops. Almost all of the first years production of Explosives went to CMH.

post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

If your old enough to be my father, or my grandfather, you're doing great.

 

roflmao.gif No offense to TPJ, but he's right!!

post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

top sheet Snow Ranger, from my personal collection.  I remember the first run on these, on a powder day, I was: "Oh man, you guys have been holding out on me...this is way too easy. I can't do anything wrong on these."

 

Dave , I'll see your Snow Rangers (with mine) and raise you my Explosiv 3's  biggrin.gif

 

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