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Help me choose a ski for my needs (moving from a late 1990's ski)

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I stumbled upon this site while researching skis and it has been a great resource.  Some background on myself.  I am a strong athletic guy at 6' 230lb that is getting back into skiing after about an 8 year layoff.  I would rate myself as advanced prior to my layoff as I could tackle just about everything on the mountain comfortably....not a fan of the bumps though.

 

With my family, life and work obligations I am limited to 1 or 2 trips a month now as it is at least 100mi to the nearest ski mountain.  I live in the Pacific NW and ski from Tahoe to Bachelor but mostly ski the smaller resorts in between like Shasta, Ashland and Willamette Pass.  The snow is usually typical PNW wet heavy show and can be sticky and slow at times.  I currently am skiing on some late 90's K2 Xplorer skis in 183 length and really like them but feel it is time for an upgrade.  

 

A typical day on the mountain goes something like this, warm with some varied turns on a blue run then off to whatever run we choose.  I spend about half my time on psite and the other half playing in the trees, ungroomed runs, finding fun stuff to jump and mess around on...basically out to have a good time.  

 

What I am looking for in a ski is it has to be playful and fun for a mix of terrain, speeds and conditions.  I may take one run picking through the trees then the next turning on a little speed on and carving a wide blue run.  Through my research I am looking at the following in a 177-186 ish length.

 

Atomic Theory

Blizzard Bonified/Kabookie

Rosignol S3

Rosignol E88

 

Are there other skies I should be considering?  Demoing skies is difficult and expensive for me due to my location, a demo day for me would be almost half the price of a set of skies so it is tough to swallow.  I have not found anybody that rents higher end skies for the day either so any input would be appreciated.

 

Any comparisons between the skis listed and my K2 Xplorer would be GREATLY appreciated.

post #2 of 20

Welcome to EpicSki!  A few questions come to mind.  Are your boots as old as your current skis?  Have you checked out any skis from recent years, as in 2011 or later?

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the reply.

 

My boots are a few years newer and they are a high end Nordica Grand Prix boot that was fitted to me and has an orthotic bed in the right boot due to my right leg being a little shorter(broken femur and dislocated knee in high school)  They fit and feel very good.

 

I have not had an opportunity to try any newer skis yet.  I did find yesterday a shop near one of the mountains that will rent higher end skies for the day, I may have to rent some different models and try them out(also talk my buddy who is the same size, weight and boot size into the same so we can swap back and forth)  

 

I am also thinking about the Head Rev90 ski....any thoughts would be appreciated, epically in the off chance anybody has experience with the Xplorer or Merlin IV and can compare directly to the modern skis.

post #4 of 20

Sounds like a plan.  I edited your thread title.  Hopefully you'll get some responses.

 

Have fun checking out potential skis!

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the help.

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

I would like to update my potential list of candidates.

 

Dynastar 6th Sense Slicer

Head Rev90

Atomic Theory

Blizzard Bonified/Kabookie

Rosignol S3

Rosignol E88

 

Any advice or comparisons to my current gear would be appreciated as would any other recommendations for a PNW one ski quiver.  

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

I would appreciate any comparisons you folks have to offer or possibly a link discussing late 1990's gear compared to how today's skis perform.  I have beaten the search function to death and have not gotten answers.  I know there are folks on here that have been skiing sense the 1990's :)

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACLakey View Post

I would appreciate any comparisons you folks have to offer or possibly a link discussing late 1990's gear compared to how today's skis perform.  I have beaten the search function to death and have not gotten answers.  I know there are folks on here that have been skiing sense the 1990's :)

Have you tried a directed Google search?  For example "Blizzard Bonafide: epicski".  While the EpicSki Search is much improved, it's still not that useful for certain topics.

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

Ok, one last attempt to bump this thread up...any info would be greatly appreciated.  From watching hours of video and reading what little I could find I am leaning more toward the following.

 

 

 

Atomic Theory

Atomic Alibi

Blizzard Bonified/Kabookie

Rosignol S3

 

 

post #10 of 20

OK, here's my opinion and it's worth just what you paid for it.  I think the S3  and Atomic Theory are poor choices as your first "modern" ski, too much rocker for someone coming a K2 Xplorer.  I've skied the Atomic Alibi and while it is a good ski, I never got any "wow" out of it.  I haven't skied the Bones or Kabookie but based on your weight I would recommend the Bones.  There you go.  Someone will almost surely disagree.

post #11 of 20
I've been researching new skis for my son, who aside from the age difference (he's 20), is your height and only slightly lighter than you. He's moving on from his park skis, which he's had for about 5 years, and which are obviously now too short and soft for him. Much like you, he needs one ski to do it all, though not park -- it doesn't interest him now. I can share what I found and leave it up to you to decide if it's relevant or not.

We were also limited by local selection, and needing to take advantage of off-season sales, so he wasn't able to demo anything. Thus it's been a case of researching carefully and taking a bit of a leap of faith.

We narrowed the list down to Line Prophet 98, Moment PB&J, Salomon Rocker2 108, Volkl Gotama, Atomic Theory, Élan 999, and Black Diamond Verdict. I think we decided he might be a bit heavy for the Atomic and price locally ruled out the Salomon and Volkl. A deal came up online for both the Élan and Moment, and he went for the Moment in a 188 length. I think he would have liked any of them, maybe for different reasons, and I'm sure we, (or at least I smile.gif ) overthought the process. But the Moment PB&J certainly sounds like a versatile and fun ski -- sadly he won't have any feedback for you for a few months yet, when our season gets going. At any rate, reviews and comments both here and at blistergearreview.com were very helpful.
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the replies.

 

@mtcyclist I ski balanced over my skies if that as any help, thank you for your thoughts.  Per your opinion that an aggressive tail rocker would not suit me well would you suggest something like the Mantra(still looking for other options but keep getting steered toward the Blizzard skis)?

 

@turtle, I am kind of in the same boat as I likely won't be able to try any of these before taking advantage of the off season clearance sales.  Thanks for the ideas.

 

It is difficult where I live to try skies out, the only brands available to me locally are Atomic and Rossignol but even with them I would have to have them order what I am looking for.  The local shop only keeps rental caliber skies as they are easier for him to move.  It was also suggested to me to look at the Head Mojo 94 from a few years ago....thoughts on that?  Any skies from say 2009 to present that may be a better fit?  

post #13 of 20

The Mantra seems to get good reviews from users.  You may also want to consider the Nordica Steadfast(90mm) or Hell and Back(98mm).  Both have early rise tip, camber and no tail rocker.  The Steadfast is my daily driver and I like it a lot, great edge grip, light, very responsive.  I've used it in up to around 20-24" of powder and it works nicely for me.

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thank you, I was actually researching those last night, your descriptions are appreciated.

 

What range of length would you suggest?  I learned(way back when) on traditional skis from 185 to 210 in length.  When I purchased the Xplorer and Merlin IV that I have now I was told that due to the shape I should be on a 183...I think they are a tad short for me but they are maneuverable and fun.  I am thinking I should look at something in the mid 180's according to what I read, what are your recommendations.  I have no trouble turning longer skies but really want something as a do-all, fun ski that is maneuverable but when I decide to carve a groomer can handle that.

post #15 of 20

I'd agree that the S3 and Theory aren't great choices for a first "modern" ski because of the rocker.  They are also likely not stiff enough for someone 230 lbs.

 

I'd look for a modern wider traditional camber carving type ski.  Rossi E88 or E98 might work, Kastle MX88 (188cm), Dynastar Sultan 94, Bonifide/Kabookie.

 

Have you demoed at all?  I wouldn't buy a ski based on only online recommendations, especially if it was my first modern ski.

 

Mike

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

OK, here's my opinion and it's worth just what you paid for it.  I think the S3  and Atomic Theory are poor choices as your first "modern" ski, too much rocker for someone coming a K2 Xplorer.  I've skied the Atomic Alibi and while it is a good ski, I never got any "wow" out of it.  I haven't skied the Bones or Kabookie but based on your weight I would recommend the Bones.  There you go.  Someone will almost surely disagree.

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately I have not demoed any and have a hard time doing so due to where I live.  I did find a shop near one of the mountains that will rent upper end skis so I may go that route but the season is ending there in a few weeks.  I would really like to take advantage of off season sales and clearance items but if it comes down to it I will keep the Xplorers and Merlin IV another season and try to demo next year.  All the information on this thread has been helpful.

post #17 of 20

I think you would be fine on a 185-186cm Steadfast or H&B.  I would urge you to head for Mt Bachelor for a weekend.  There you can hook up with Dawgcatching who has plenty of demo skis and I'm pretty sure he's got stuff on sale right now.  This is probably the best advice you'll get on here.  Your're only about 3 hours away and it will be worth the trip.

post #18 of 20

I second what mtcyclist said.  Go to Mt. Bachelor and look up Dawgcatching.  He's bound to have a bunch of demos for sale since the season is winding down and you should have no problem finding something you like with his help.

 

Plus you'll get to ski Mt. Bachelor!

 

Mike

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

I think you would be fine on a 185-186cm Steadfast or H&B.  I would urge you to head for Mt Bachelor for a weekend.  There you can hook up with Dawgcatching who has plenty of demo skis and I'm pretty sure he's got stuff on sale right now.  This is probably the best advice you'll get on here.  Your're only about 3 hours away and it will be worth the trip.

post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 

I am resurrecting this post from last year.  I did not purchase anything new for this upcoming season(no snow around here yet and not likely to open until January) I have decided to upgrade my boots in early February, then get some new skies in March.  I am still very much undecided on skies but am planning on a multi-day trip with my daughter to either Tahoe or Bachelor  over spring break where I can demo some skies.  My ski buddies all have young kids( and my daughter is learning) so over the next few years we will be skiing with them quite a bit so I need a ski that is playful and easy going but can handle a little speed from time to time.  I have a pair of 200+ Rossignol EXs skies to fill my need for speed but they are not going to be my daily driver.  My short list is as follows and I would appreciate any feedback.

 

Rossignol S3 or Sin 7  - I keep hearing how easy and fun these are to ski and keep coming back to them.

 

Rossignol E88 - These look like they would be a good fit as well.

 

Atomic Alibi or Theory - Again, keep reading how fun and easy these are to ski.

 

Blizzard Bonified/Kabookie - I still have not read anything bad regarding these skies and feel they are a strong front runner for me.

 

Nordica Hell and Back - With a more traditional tail, these really intrigue me.

 

Any comparisons to how these ski compared to 2000 ish skies would be appreciated.

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
 

The Mantra seems to get good reviews from users.  You may also want to consider the Nordica Steadfast(90mm) or Hell and Back(98mm).  Both have early rise tip, camber and no tail rocker.  The Steadfast is my daily driver and I like it a lot, great edge grip, light, very responsive.  I've used it in up to around 20-24" of powder and it works nicely for me.

 

 

winna' winna'  easy transition into modern ski's. the HB would be a fantastic choice. I just put a guy on those who was skiing on sultan's and he absolutely loved them. Its a great ski. 

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