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One ski to span East to West

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hi folks! This looks like a great place to get gear advice, and I hope it's ok to ask for gear help with my first post.


A bit about my skiing: I'm 6'0, 170 lbs. I know calling myself "advanced" or "expert" has too wide a range of meanings, so maybe more informative is that I just recently passed my CSIA level 2 test, which probably means that technique-wise, I ski something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLQHpmnShOI


I think more relevant is what kind of terrain I like to ski -- I live in Boston and ski VT, NH, or ME about one weekend day a week, so don't have a lot of choices in terms of snow conditions -- I ski whatever snow is there. I also usually go for the most "difficult" runs on any mountain I'm on. Around here that means I end up in the trees and bumps the vast majority of the time, but if it's not bulletproof, fast turns through the steep groomers as well. The main thing for me is that I also go to big mountains out west once or twice a year, and would love to be able to bring a familiar pair of skis that will handle the hardest (mostly inbounds) stuff at places like Alta, Taos, Whistler, etc. For me that means better, (sometimes) deeper snow, steeper chutes and trees than the EC.


I've been skiing a highly... ahem... imperfect ski for all of these functions -- the old K2 Public Enemies, a bit of a relic from the time when I had vague ambitions of being at least a part-time park rat. They've been good to me, but at only 178 and with zero rocker, they can feel too long in the bumps and trees and get really punched around if I'm going through chop or crud of any significant depth at all. They have moderate hold on east coast ice or a carved groomer and are pretty stable at speed (though there is a definite speed limit if I try to really rip it... which I almost never do because of the aforementioned moderate hold).


The other two pairs in my quiver are:

1. a pair of old but very usable Head i.c.160s. A skinny 65-waisted carving ski. I hardly ever use them now, but would actually like to start using them more, maybe to switch out mid-day for the times I specifically want to let groomers rip.

2. a pair of last year's K2 Waybacks, mounted with dynafit TLTs. This is a dedicated backcountry setup, though I haven't been loving it as much as I hoped I would. The Waybacks are so insanely light compared to what I'm used to that I'm having a hard time adjusting to the swing weight and resulting super-quickness of the turn and the way they get thrown around in chop.


So basically, I'm looking for a ski that will do everything that quiver skis 1 and 2 won't. Something to use mostly on trees and bumps and only the occassional groomer, and something to take out west to use on the gnarliest resort stuff I can find there.


I've been doing some research and so far the leading candidate has seemed to be the Armada TSTs. Reviews paint them to be great for bumps and trees, very competent on powder, and even able to lay down a carve on a groomer if you buy them dinner and ask nicely. However, I'm wondering whether there are other great skis I might be missing or should look at. The Worth Magics sound great from the couple of reviews I've read, but I don't feel I've heard enough about them. I lucked out and got to demo a pair of RAMP skis a few weeks ago, and although it was their park ski, center-mounted and very soft, I loved the rocker in the trees and the overall responsiveness and bouncy fun factor. RAMP makes both a dedicated EC and a dedicated WC ski and I wonder if anyone has skied them and thinks they might be the right choice. I've heard great things about the Bonafides too, but also a lot of talk of them being "a lot of ski". I'm not a heavy guy, and I worry that while they'd be great for cutting through chop at speed, they wouldn't be the right choice for tight chutes and trees out west, or bumps over in New England.


This post ended up being very long. Forgive me! Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 2
I'd check out the Line Prophets, either 90 or 98's. I am same as you in height, weight, location, ability, interests, etc. I ended up getting the LP 90's in 179, and absolutely love them. I spent 3 days at Sugarloaf last week, and the skis were awesome. Spent about 80% of the time in the trees and bumps, and they couldn't have handled things better. My buddy who is also similar plus 20lbs borrowed them for a couple of runs and also loved him. He said they were so "easy" and almost felt like it was cheating (all in a good way). They were even able to hold a great edge on the steepest, hard pack conditions the mountain offered. If you were mainly focused on a ski for the east, no doubt go with the 90's, but if you want more versatility for the west coast, the 98's would be great too. The 98's have a slightly longer turn radius and are not as quick in tight spaces, but still great, and based on your description of your ability, shouldn't be a problem. I also demoed the Volkl Kendo's, which were also fun, but a little stiffer than I wanted, especially in the tail. Another one you may want to consider would be the Blizzard Kabookie or the new Brahma coming out next season. Have fun with your process!
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