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Ex-racer demos modern skis (Titan/Rev85/RTM84/Kendo/Proph98); finds himself delighted and confused - Page 7

post #181 of 199
Thread Starter 

SKIS TRIED, 2013-14 SEASON (23 models, 25 skis total)

[N.B.: this list is comprehensive -- these are the only skis I tried this season; these, plus the six I demoed last year (Volkl RTM84 & Kendo, Head Titan & Rev 85, Line Prophet, K2 Bolt), are the only skis I've been on in the past decade -- other than my old Atomic SL & GS boards.] 

 

Skis are listed in order of waist width, and arbitrarily divided into four groups.  Those I bought for or during this season are listed in blue. Testing was mostly done at Mammoth. Opinions subject to change, as I get more time on these and other skis, and emerge more fully from under my cabbage leaf :D.

 

< 80 MM 

170 cm 2014 Head Mya 7 (66 mm, 14.3 m).  This is a woman's version of the iSupershape Speed -- same sidecut, same two sheets of metal -- but with a somewhat softer flex, which is supposed to make it a more versatile for all-mountain use by lighter men (I've not been on the Speed).  I risked buying it without demoing, based on strong recommendations found elsewhere, but fortunately I like the ski. Damned if it wasn't a hard ski to find -- I'd be surprised if Head imported more than a dozen in this length into the entire country, and it's been discontinued.  Rarer than owning a pair of Stocklis! :)

 

Interestingly, compared to my Laser SC, the Mya's more even flex pattern (discussed last post) didn't seem to cause a difference in overall behavior -- they both drove about the same on freshly groomed snow (didn't get a chance to compare them on hard snow or ice).  Both carve very well in medium- to short-radius turns (though the Mya perhaps favors a slightly shorter radius than the SCs).  However, at the same time (and I think is where the difference in flex has its effect for me), my preliminary reaction was that the Mya 7 felt somewhat easier and less exacting than the SCs -- I noticed that I felt less worn out than I would have after pushing equivalently hard on the latter -- and also somewhat more stable at speed.  I say preliminary because I only had a half-day on the Myas.  Plus I need to get them onto ice and moguls.  

 

On freshly groomed snow (soft, after a storm), The Myas did appear to have two downsides vs. the SCs. First, the Myas sometimes felt like they were close to breaking loose, a sensation I didn't experience on the SCs. I attribute this to the difference in width -- I was likely closer to over-skiing the soft conditions on the 66 mm Myas than on the 72 mm SCs. Second, I (for the first time in my life) had tip dive on a groomer. I was transitioning from soft packed powder to very soft packed powder, and the forebody of my outside ski dove under the snow, causing a hard fall when the ski stopped short. Don't know why this happened -- I've certainly been on skis narrower than the Mya. Maybe it was the binding delta (4 mm for skis + bindings, which tipped me further forward than I like -- I prefer 2 mm or less), maybe I was charging too hard for the conditions, or maybe it was a freak accident. I should mention I also had another one of these freak accidents on the 116 mm Volkl One, where the tip suddenly dove when crossing a snowfield, sending me spearing helmet-first into snow.

 

170 cm 2012 Head X-Shape STX (68 mm, 12.1 m).  My initial impression was very favorable, but I only had two short runs on them (I was borrowing them from another skier, who had to wait at the bottom of the hill while I was on them).  I got the sense they would work well in soft snow (like my old slalom skis), but didn't get a chance to test in those conditions.   OTOH, they might be a bit too soft for me -- I didn't get enough time on them to reach a comfort level where I could really lay them over.

 

170 cm 2012 Stockli Laser SC (72 mm, 14.9 m). Discussed above

 

 

80-90 MM

I like skis with specialized skills.  Consequently, I'm coming to realize that skis in this range are generally lower-performing for me, because they lack the firm-snow performance of the narrower skis, yet don't have enough width to give me any particular benefit in powder.  I suspect I would only prefer them in conditions for which they were specialized, say spring corn, but didn't have a chance to try them in that.

177 cm 2014 Head Rev 80 (81 mm, 14.8 m).  Disappointing groomer performance for a relatively narrow ski.

168 cm 2013 Kastle MX88 (88 mm, 17.5 m) Good groomer performance relative to its width, but too stiff to work well for someone my weight in powder.  Sold them after the season. Full review here: http://www.epicski.com/t/81158/kastle-mx88-review/180#post_1724651

177 cm 2014 Salomon Q90 (89 mm, 17.4 m).  A fun and easy ski, but performance on the groomers is of course not up to carving (< 75 mm) ski standards, and it's likely not the right width to work well for me in challenging off-piste conditions (as I explained in the previous post, it seems I need either a quick, soft slalom ski or a true powder ski).

178 cm 2014 Nordica Steadfast (90 mm, 18 m).  I liked this ski (notwithstanding the groomer performance issues mentioned above).  Similar in behavior to the Q90, though I think I somewhat preferred this ski to the Q90, since IIRC it felt somewhat stronger.  Some have described this ski as too stiff and thus a handful, but I didn't have that reaction at all.  I've seen demo versions of these for cheap on Ebay, and I might pick up a pair for use as a rock ski at Baldy, where they might work well in the the corn-like late- (and early-) season conditions. 

 

 

91 - 110 MM

Some of these I've reviewed earlier.  Unfortunately the only ones from this group I was able to evaluate in deep snow were the Rock n Rolls, Sick Day 95, and Vagabond.  The Sick Days were evaluated in a foot of fresh Sierra cement, on an intermediate trail only (for reasons apparent from the capsule review below).  Both RnRs were evaluated in 2 feet of fresh Sierra snow in Avalanche No. 2  The Vagabond was evaluated in about 3' of fresh in the tree runs in Dragon's Tail, 2' of fresh in the trees off chair 12, and a foot of fresh in the trees off chair 8.  See pics below for terrain and conditions.  Note that I missed the critical 99 mm - 103 mm segment :p:

173 cm 2013 Head Rock n Roll (93 mm, 17.9 m). As mentioned above, borderline short for me.  Mounted at -0.5 cm, with 3 mm of delta, I had horrible tip dive in 2' of fresh Sierra Cement.  Moving the mount point back to  -1.3 cm, and reducing the delta to 1.5 mm, helped, but tip dive was still far too much to be a good powder ski for me .... so I bought a used pair of the 180s. Strong, above-average groomer performance for its width.  Might make a good corn ski. 

180 cm 2013 Head Rock n Roll (94 mm, 19.5 m). Less tip dive than the 173, but still too much.  The 3 mm delta may be the problem (or maybe not). Strong, above-average groomer performance for its width.  Might make a good corn ski. I didn't get to do a direct comparison -- skied these a week or two or three apart -- but if forced to guesstimate I'd rank the groomer performance of those from 89 mm - 95 mm as: Sick Day 95 << Watea 96 << Q90 < Steadfast < Rock n Roll < Stormrider 95. 

174 cm 2014 Stockli Stormrider 95 (95 mm, 19.7 m).  Impressive groomer performance relative to its width (though cranking turns on a 95 is not something I'd want to do all day -- it's fatiguing).  Didn't get to try in deep snow, but my guess is that it would be a bit too stiff to work well for me in those conditions.

179 cm 2014 Line Sick Day 95 (95 mm, 18 m).   Tried these in a foot of fresh Sierra cement. Skiing Magazine's Ski Of The Year, but I have to say I hated them -- they were absolutely wrong for my skiing style.  I like to have my hips ahead of my feet, but as soon as I did this with the Sick Day it felt like entire forebody just folded on me, in one case sending me head-over-heels.  There's just not enough ski (flex pattern is way too soft) in front of the bindings to support me.  I swapped these out quickly, rather than risking myself on them in more serious terrain.

178 cm 2014 Fischer Watea 96 (96 mm, 22 m).  Reviewed earlier this thread.

172 cm 2014 Dynastar Cham 97 (97 mm, ~16 m). Reviewed earlier this thread.

170 cm 2014 Volkl Mantra (98 mm, 22 m). Too stiff.

173 cm 2014 Blizzard Bonafide (98 mm, ~20 m). Reviewed earlier this thread.

180 cm 2014 Blizzard Bonafide (98 mm, 21 m). Reviewed earlier this thread.

179 cm 2014 Blizzard Peacemaker (104 mm, ~20 m). Reviewed earlier; unskiable because of extreme forward binding position

180 cm 2014 Rossi Soul 7 (106 mm, 17 m). Reviewed earlier this thread.

177 cm 2014 Nordica Vagabond (107 mm, 23 m).  I liked this ski, felt right on it from the start, and had one of my best days of the year on it, skiing the trees under chair 12 during a midweek storm.  Because I had the trees nearly to myself (midweek + windy storm + less-frequented corner of the mountain + trees), the storm was able to substantially refresh the snow for each run.  Nevertheless, after trying the Volkl One I decided to buy the latter instead.  Yes, the Vagabond is better on the groomers than the Volkl One.  But to my mind that doesn't make it more versatile, since that's just the difference between mediocre (Vagabond) and cafeteria tray (Volkl One) -- with either ski I'm just making my way to the next off-piste run.  The difference that *is* important to me is that the Vagabond is good in 3D snow, while the Volkl One is great.  This goes back to my theme of liking more specialized skis. Physically, the Vagabond is longer than its listed size (measures out at 180+) (I liked it at this size).

 

>110 MM

The only skis from this group I got to try in fresh soft snow were the Volkl One (Dragon's Tail, Hangman's) and Aramada JJ (intermediate run only, for reasons apparent from the capsule below).   All the others, including the Volk One, I tried in cut-up and wind-blown pow, soft moguls, and breakable crust two days after a 2-foot storm.  In particular, I spent a focused day directly comparing the Volkl One, Volkl Two, Q115, and Super 7 -- taking all four on the same series of off-piste runs at Mammoth, a couple of days after a heavy storm, to facilitate a direct comparison: (1) the chute that's skier's left off Climax (2) Monument to Paranoid 2; (3) the trees under 12. Pictures of most of the runs and conditions used for evaluation are attached below.

 

178 cm 2014 Salomon Q115 (113 mm, 16.4 m). A nice wood-core ski with a good feel, but it was not quick-turning enough for me in the moguls and tight chutes (though a bit better than the Super 7).  Decent but not great solidity when going fast through broken snow.

175 cm 2014 Armada JJ (115 mm, 14 m).  A popular ski, but not the right ski for me -- as soon as I got on it I felt uncomfortable, like there wasn't enough ski there (felt too short and unstable).  Accordingly, I didn't take it into any serious terrain and swapped it out immediately.

176 cm 2014 Volkl One (116 mm, 23.5 m). I bought this ski.  It felt right as soon as I got on it (in soft snow).  It felt solid, but at the same time highly maneuverable, which gave me a lot of confidence.  And it encourages playfulness -- I found myself looking for terrain features to bounce off of, which was a lot of fun.  It also worked quite well in the large but soft moguls that were just beginning to form out of the recent storm.  For me, their only downside in 3D snow is that they aren't great at handling rough, cut-up snow at high speed.  In fact, none of the skis I tried were good at this.  It would be interesting to find a pair that is -- something that allows me to really charge in those conditions.  It would be fun to try a competition ski.

180 cm 2014 Rossi Super 7 (116 mm, ~20 m).  This is a popular ski, but I didn't care for it -- it felt brittle and glassy to me, which was a problem when trying to make fast GS turns through broken snow -- it didn't absorb surface irregularities well, and didn't feel solid.  At the same time, it was hard to make short, fast turns with this ski.  So, at least for me, it was both slow-turning and lacking in solidity.

183 cm 2014 Atomic Bent Chetler (123 mm, 19 m). As mentioned above, I found it unskiable because of the crazy-forward binding position.

176 cm 2014 Volkl Two (124 mm, 24.2 m).  Volkl One on steriods.  I didn't need the extra width vs. the One (at least in Sierra powder), and it made the ski literally painful when on edge on the groomers, because of how hard they made my boot top press into the medial side of my outside leg (because of the substantial moment arm created by the width of the ski).  Also stiffer than the One, which for me actually made the ski a bit rougher on rough snow. And they're slower-turning than the One, principally because of the added width.  They may work better with a heavier skier.   [I read somewhere than their added beefiness makes them a better charger than the Volkl One, but it didn't work quite that way for me -- I think for a charger I'd want something comparable in flex to the One, but longer and damper.]

 

 

PROVING GROUNDS FOR SOFT SNOW TESTING AT MAMMOTH (conditions accurately pictured for Chair 12 trees, Dragon's Tail, and Avalanche Chute No. 2; snow was deeper than that shown in all other photos):

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Should be "Avalanche," not worth correcting photo :). ]


Edited by chemist - 10/12/14 at 9:01pm
post #182 of 199
Can't wait any longer, got to say something. "Leapin' Lizards!" in the words of Little Orphan Annie. :) 

 

Nice demo lines on that mountain!

 

Practically speaking, next season I'm going to try the Volkl Ones in several lengths for powder (steep and otherwise), some shorter radius steep mogul skis for firmer days, and maybe I'll take more wacks at steep mogul and drop off ridges, with or without Powder. :D

 

Your Odyssey with new skis has been, for me, similar to my own, albeit you more often on sl-type skis, me more often on sl/gs-type skis; and your reports have added to my own cabbage leaf learning curve this season. 

 

On similarities: 

 

Quote: (Chemist)

  I like to drive the front of the ski...

I can enjoy skiing without doing this if the ski favors something different, but I prefer to drive the front also, when appropriate. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist View Post

 

1) I'm very ski- (and tune-) sensitive, and only get a feeling of "rightness" from a small percentage of skis....  When I hear people use the cliché "It's the archer, not the arrow," my reaction is always: "Not for me, bud -- this archer needs the right arrow."

I've been the same way. To me, this is perhaps one definition of a finesse skier. You gotta have the right ski. Me too.  

 

So far, it's almost as if a light bulb goes off, with a small percentage of skis. 

 

By contrast, perhaps a strong or power skier can often make a wider range of skis do what he wants them to, no sweat. 

 

For an ultimate example of a power skier, a friend I skied with in high school and after was a great racer, grew up at a ski area, and was built like a barrel, thick legs, very agile. He was the captain of his college racing team, nationally ranked. At one time (mid sixties), he and I were skiing the Mary Jane trail at Winter Park, CO (before there was a Mary Jane ski area on the same slope). He was on unshaped Northland wood downhill race skis, 220cm. I was on Northland wood GS race skis, 210cm. or so. That trail was always a traverse off into untouched powder, spruce tree glades, and that day the powder was 2.5 to 3+ feet deep. I was having trouble on my stiff, skinny skis, but not my friend. He was skiing through tight tree lines in that much powder as if he were skiing a slalom course on piste, very fast, easy, laughing with delight. It was hard work for me, but not for him.  

Me, I needed the right ski, at least. :rolleyes

 

Quote: (Chemist)
 What I found is that extra width doesn't really help me in deep snow until I get really wide -- about 115 mm seems to be the sweet spot for me -- and that, at such wide width, skis aren't quick enough in deep snow unless they've also got full rocker and early taper. 

 

This season I too experienced a breakthrough at about 115mm waist for skis on powder, with float, stability and overall feel; 

though I'm not as good at generalizing about full rocker and early taper as you, as yet. (Not sure if partial rocker, less in tail, or less pronounced rocker on some skis might work also.)  For one thing, I just haven't tried enough skis! More skis! :) 

Also, I haven't had a chance to try many skis in the 108 to 114 range to tell if there isn't a "sleeper" ski there, perhaps one not as quite as good in powder but more oriented toward rougher crud/powder conditions (e.g., Gotama 108? Katana 112, Kastle West 110, Movement Source 106?)--and thus a complement to a 115cm. ski? 

 

Quote: (Chemist)
 

 

 

Well done pics and routes!

Can't really tell, and I've never been to Mammoth, but me, I'd probably have avoided that

orange arrow route (too troughy, slalomy, tracked and gnarly?), unless it was the only fresh tracks left.

I'd have gone for a line farther to the skier's right, just to the right of the gondola in the pic (but avoiding the cliffs!), on my

powder or gs/sl type skis!  

post #183 of 199
Thread Starter 

I really wanted to try the Gotamas, but they weren't available for demo.  

What makes that chute off Climax interesting is a large rock that's dead center in the chute, just above the exit (it's faintly visible in the pic, at the same level as the point at which the rock wall, at looker's right, extends maximally into the chute).  That's the crux, and typically I liked to time things so I initiated a turn off the top of it, got a little air, and then finished just below it. On a couple of occasions my timing was off, thus providing entertainment for anyone that happened to be watching from the gondola.

 

Looking back at my history of ski use, my preference has indeed typically leaned toward SL or SL-like boards for free-skiing (Atomic ARC Bionic SL, Atomic 533 (?), Salomon 3S, Atomic Beta Race 9.16, etc.; IIRC, my old Hart Kings were also SL-like) -- though I do recall a few two-year periods when my daily drivers were GS or GS-like:  The K2 Velocity (early 90's), Dynastar Course GS, and Volkl P30 RC, respectively.  I may have also owned the Volkl Explosiv RS, but I can't remember!


Edited by chemist - 5/15/14 at 7:55pm
post #184 of 199
chemist, have you been on the Volkl Shiro ? I'm 5'11" 195lbs, got the Shiro for more float then my full camber Gotama's. I haven't had them in deep snow yet, but I really enjoyed them in the spring crud blasting through the cut up soft heavy snow in VT. My Shiros are the 2011/2012 model. But the current reviews ready pretty much the same.
post #185 of 199
Thread Starter 

No, but it would have been interesting to try the Shiro as well.  This was my first season on skis >= 100 mm, so the only powder skis I've tried are those listed above.

post #186 of 199
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski otter View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist View Post
1) I'm very ski- (and tune-) sensitive, and only get a feeling of "rightness" from a small percentage of skis.  Give me ten models to try, and on one or two I'll feel like a hero (whether I actually am is another story :rolleyes), while on the others I'll feel hobbled (and a few I'll find simply unskiable).  When I hear people use the cliché "It's the archer, not the arrow," my reaction is always: "Not for me, bud -- this archer needs the right arrow."

I've been the same way. To me, this is perhaps one definition of a finesse skier. You gotta have the right ski. Me too.  

 

So far, it's almost as if a light bulb goes off, with a small percentage of skis. 

 

By contrast, perhaps a strong or power skier can often make a wider range of skis do what he wants them to, no sweat. 

An interesting observation, but and I don't think that quite explains what's going on. Note that the skis I didn't like are roughly evenly divided between those that felt too stiff or non-responsive, and those that didn't give me enough solidity/stability/performance -- which would seem to make me half finesse and half power (plus I'm not really even sure if those terms are useful to describe my skiing -- I guess I don't understand what they mean -- is it technique vs. athleticism?).    

 

Also, my reaction to the ones I found overly stiff may be more a matter of weight than skiing style -- if you increased my size to 6' & 200 lbs., but kept my style the same, I might love the Bonafide or Mantra, and likewise no longer like some of my current favorites.


Edited by chemist - 5/16/14 at 5:45pm
post #187 of 199

Chemist,

What did you end up getting?  Did you try any recreational GS skis?  When I demoed Head skis this past season, a recreational GS was the only one they had that I liked.  I absolutely hated the all mountain skis and the full rocker.  Note, I was on hard pack in the Midwest.  But, although I am not a racer, I have always skied racing skis.  Just converted to the modern shaped skis 3 years ago; so, my perspective may be a bit different than others.  Prior to that I was using early to mid 1980s Fisher SL and an Elan GS skis, both at 205cm.  The Fisher SL was actually my mogul ski back in the day, wonderful ski in the bumps, and at that length it also did well in powder.  I am now on a 183cm 2008 Volkl Race Tiger GS (bought new on clearance) and love them in all conditions.  Note I am about 5'10 and 160lbs.  So, when I say I only liked the recreational GS ski, you can see where I am coming from.  It was not quite as responsive as my Volkls, but it felt like it would make a great all mountain ski. 

post #188 of 199
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhernon View Post
 

Chemist,

What did you end up getting?  Did you try any recreational GS skis?  

As mentioned in the post at the top of this page, the skis I bought for or during this season were marked with an asterisk. But it's probably useful to add that the only ski I bought this season as a result of a full demo was the Volkl One. I bought the MX88 and Laser SC just before the season, with no demo.  The Mya 7 was bought during the season, also without a demo.  The Rock n Roll I did get to demo, but wasn't able to try it in the conditions for which I'd purchased it -- deeper snow -- until after I bought it.  My current quiver is the Volkl One, Laser SC, Mya 7, and the two lengths of Rock n Roll (one of which I'll likely sell). I sold the MX88's.

 

The list of skis demoed is comprehensive for this season. So if it's not there, I didn't try it this year. I'll edit the post to make that explicit.  The only GS skis I've been on in the past decade are my 183 cm Atomic Beta Race 10.22's, from ~2000.  I'd like to try some modern GS and SL skis, but that was not my demo focus this year.  Maybe next.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jhernon View Post
 

 When I demoed Head skis this past season, a recreational GS was the only one they had that I liked. I absolutely hated the all mountain skis and the full rocker.  Note, I was on hard pack in the Midwest.  

If I were on Midwestern hard pack I'd feel the same way -- in my experience all-mountain skis and fully rockered skis are suboptimal and terrible, respectively, in those conditions.  If all I were skiing was hard snow, I'd probably want an SL or GS racing ski.  Moving from hard pack to deep snow completely transforms the feel of a wide, fully rockered ski -- they're really designed for snow deep enough that the engagement with the snow is with the entire base, not just the edge. Hence you can't properly evaluate these from their behavior on the groomers.
Generally, for all-mountain use in 3D snow, I've had good success with soft slalom skis.   GS skis, not so much.

Edited by chemist - 5/17/14 at 4:45pm
post #189 of 199

I'm slightly surprised you didn't try the ON3P Billy Goats! :) (114/116cm) http://www.on3pskis.com/skis/billy-goat/

(Actually, I think this ski is more of a tight tree charger than a tight turner, not sure, but the name surrr fits.) 

 

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by chemist View Post
 
 If all I were skiing was hard snow, I'd probably want an SL or GS racing ski.  Moving from hard pack to deep snow completely transforms the feel of a wide, fully rockered ski -- they're really designed for snow deep enough that the engagement with the snow is with the entire base, not just the edge. Hence you can't properly evaluate these from their behavior on the groomers.
Generally, for all-mountain use in 3D snow, I've had good success with soft slalom skis.   GS skis, not so much.

 

You've inspired me to re-explore soft SL skis off piste.  Do you ski the same or similar steep mogul lines as in your demo pics once the snow gets more skied off, or wait for softer days? :rolleyes

 

And if you do ski those harder snow lines, on what skis, your SCs and/or Mya 7s, or your Head Rock n' Rolls? 

 

I wonder how your SCs and Mya 7s handle such firmer mogul and steep conditions, since I lack a ski that is really good on firmer bumps (not necessarily icy, please). 

post #190 of 199
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ski otter View Post

I'm slightly surprised you didn't try the ON3P Billy Goats! :) (114/116cm) http://www.on3pskis.com/skis/billy-goat/

(Actually, I think this ski is more of a tight tree charger than a tight turner, not sure, but the name surrr fits.) 

 

You've inspired me to re-explore soft SL skis off piste.  Do you ski the same or similar steep mogul lines as in your demo pics once the snow gets more skied off, or wait for softer days? :rolleyes

 

And if you do ski those harder snow lines, on what skis, your SCs and/or Mya 7s, or your Head Rock n' Rolls? 

 

I wonder how your SCs and Mya 7s handle such firmer mogul and steep conditions, since I lack a ski that is really good on firmer bumps (not necessarily icy, please). 

Didn't try the ON3P's (and many others) for the simple reason that they weren't available for demo at Mammoth (where most of my skiing, and all my deep-snow skiing, was done this year).   Do you know how many dealers ON3P has in the entire continental US?  Only thirteen! :)  And of those, only two are located at a ski resort or resort town (one at Breck, one at Big Sky), which I generally find necessary if I want to try a lot of skis.

 

Yes, I'll ski moguls in all conditions, though I enjoy big, soft bumps more than hard ones. I didn't get a chance to take the Mya 7's into moguls.  I did ski the Rock n Rolls in large, moderately soft bumps (the section of Flippers just under the top of the Pierre's Knob lift at Bridger Bowl), and they worked fairly well there, but most of my bump skiing this year was on the SC's, which were pretty decent for me, but perhaps not ideal, because of their flex pattern. Below are a couple of pics of me taking the SC's through the moguls in Mammoth's West Bowl. [Just edited the post to add a new pic posted by @Matchstix; the first one was taken by him as well.] The best bump skis I recall being on, from back when I spent most of my free-skiing time in the bumps, were a pair of old, straight Atomic slaloms (I forget the model no., I think it was either 533 or 733) -- not that I want to go back to that style of ski; besides, that was a long time ago, and my style of skiing is probably quite different now, so I have no idea what I would think of those old Atomics today.  I think the current Hart mogul ski also has a relatively straight sidecut.

 

Also, I believe philpug mentioned that the all-mountain ski with the best mogul performance is, for him, Scott's The Ski.  Though note that Phil's bigger than we are -- 5'10", 190 lbs. -- so either you or I might have a very different reaction just based on the weight difference.

 

 


Edited by chemist - 9/13/14 at 1:55pm
post #191 of 199

Nice pics.  Almost a new ski season again, can't wait.  Looking forward to hearing about your new '14/15 demo evaluations, if any. And demoing some skis myself. I do intend to try the Volkl Ones on a pow day.  Maybe more Stocklis, if I can fine em.  

 

And skiing glades like the ones in your Mammoth pics.  fun. 

post #192 of 199
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski otter View Post
 

Nice pics.  Almost a new ski season again, can't wait.  Looking forward to hearing about your new '14/15 demo evaluations, if any. And demoing some skis myself. I do intend to try the Volkl Ones on a pow day.  Maybe more Stocklis, if I can fine em.  

 

And skiing glades like the ones in your Mammoth pics.  fun. 

Last season was unusual for me, both in the number of days I got in, and in my need to rebuild my quiver (which hadn't been updated in over a decade).  Now that my quiver is mostly dialed-in, I probably won't repeat last season's "carnival of skis," but instead will focus more on certain subgroups I wasn't able to cover last year --slalom and GS skis come to mind.  

 

 I also like this other pic from Matchstix of me using the Stocklis — my form's a bit off, but I like how the ski is bending, and what the tracks say about turn initiation:

 

post #193 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist View Post
 

Last season was unusual for me, both in the number of days I got in, and in my need to rebuild my quiver (which hadn't been updated in over a decade).  Now that my quiver is mostly dialed-in, I probably won't repeat last season's "carnival of skis," but instead will focus more on certain subgroups I wasn't able to cover last year --slalom and GS skis come to mind.  

 

 I also like this other pic from Matchstix of me using the Stocklis — my form's a bit off, but I like how the ski is bending, and what the tracks say about turn initiation:

 


@chemist what does your quiver look like now? I remember we were talking about the MX-88s on one of our chair rides up at the Mammoth gathering.  My own quiver is a bit of a mish-mash and I'm interested in your findings given that we are similar in size ..

post #194 of 199
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GettingThere View Post
 

@chemist what does your quiver look like now? I remember we were talking about the MX-88s on one of our chair rides up at the Mammoth gathering.  My own quiver is a bit of a mish-mash and I'm interested in your findings given that we are similar in size ..

Hi GettingThere!  Nice to hear from you.    I ended up selling my MX88's, for the following reasons:  http://www.epicski.com/t/81158/kastle-mx88-review/180#post_1724651.  

 

My complete current quiver is listed in my profile, which I've copied here:

170 cm 2014 Head Mya 7, 66m, 14.3m, Mya 12
170 cm 2012 Stockli Laser SC, 72mm, 14.9m, KB Carbon
173 cm 2013 Head Rock n Roll, 93mm, 17.9m, Tyrolia Sympro 120
180 cm 2013 Head Rock n Roll, 94mm, 19.5m, KB Carbon
176 cm 2014 Volkl One, 116mm, 23.5m, Marker Griffon Demo
 

Among these, I'll probably use the Mya in place of the Stockli as my principal front-side ski, both because the Stockli is on its last legs (bought it used; was in great shape, but base was stone ground so thin that it probably can't be ground again) and because the Mya seems to give the same performance with a bit less work (see review of Mya at top of this page).  I'll keep the Stockli for softer flat snow, because of its added width.

 

For 3D snow, the Volkl One seems to be all I need.  See my reviews above of skis >110 mm.  Definitely worth your demoing on a powder day, should you get the chance. 

 

Regarding the Rock n Rolls, I haven't quite figured out what they're good for -- I find, like many mid-width skis, they're too narrow for good soft snow performance (tip dive), but too wide for good groomer performance.  Also, I may be between sizes on these (that's how I ended up with two pairs of them).  

 

If I were to add one other ski to my quiver pre-season, it would be a used 178 cm Nordica Steadfast (90mm), which I think would make a good versatile rock ski for the corn-like early- and late-season conditions at Mount Baldy (the closest ski area to LA, and the one with the best terrain in So Cal, and thus a personal favorite for day trips).

post #195 of 199

:duel:


So Chemist, I'll tell you what the Rock n Rolls are good for: soft new snow that accumulates less than 6", or spring crud that forms, on top of hardpack.  The bumps that form in these conditions.  The scraped-off that comes in these conditions.  The variable crud that results from these conditions.

 

These conditions would result after a "storm"  -- and potentially any day after late February -- in the east.  They carve well enough to handle the hardpack underneath, float above or on the new 4-5", and push the spring crud out of the way.  They are calm, predictable, and strong...and if it's not already clear, I like 'em.  I'd offer to buy your 180's except I already have a pair.  

 

Each to their own. :)

post #196 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist View Post
 

 

 

If I were to add one other ski to my quiver pre-season, it would be a used 178 cm Nordica Steadfast (90mm), which I think would make a good versatile rock ski for the corn-like early- and late-season conditions at Mount Baldy (the closest ski area to LA, and the one with the best terrain in So Cal, and thus a personal favorite for day trips).

http://www.epicski.com/t/129001/fs-skis-2012-steadfast-flat-in-178-cm :D

post #197 of 199
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post
 

:duel:


So Chemist, I'll tell you what the Rock n Rolls are good for: soft new snow that accumulates less than 6", or spring crud that forms, on top of hardpack.  The bumps that form in these conditions.  The scraped-off that comes in these conditions.  The variable crud that results from these conditions.

 

These conditions would result after a "storm"  -- and potentially any day after late February -- in the east.  They carve well enough to handle the hardpack underneath, float above or on the new 4-5", and push the spring crud out of the way.  They are calm, predictable, and strong...and if it's not already clear, I like 'em.  I'd offer to buy your 180's except I already have a pair.  

 

Each to their own. :)

Easy there, tch!  I wasn't dissing the RnR's. When I said "I haven't quite figured out what they're good for," I meant that literally, not as a put-down -- I know they're a good ski, but I still need to find conditions in which they work optimally for me.  If I felt otherwise, I would have already put them up for sale at the end of last season ;).  

Indeed, if you read my other comments on them, you'll see I speculate that the conditions you mention might be the very ones in which they'd work well for me  -- the closest I got to these conditions were when I tried them at the beginning of the season at Bridger in "dust over crust."  There they worked better than the other skis in about this width I demoed at the time, but they weren't great -- consistent with what you've found, and what I suspect, I would need to find a few more inches of fresh for them to shine.  Plus there's also the size issue.  At 5'7", 150#, I feel like I'm between sizes on this ski -- a hypothetical 177 would probably be ideal.


Edited by chemist - 9/19/14 at 8:33pm
post #198 of 199

Just messin' w/you, Chemist!  I love my RnR's and figure I need to let that out every once in awhile.  The graphics were so bad that I think the ski got unfairly overlooked.

 

And while we're being serious, I suspect you are right about the sizing.  I'm 170 and stocky/muscular so I got some more poundage on you.  180 seems fine with me.  I can see how a lighter, more finesse skier might find himself neither/nor.  

Everyone has his/her own love.

post #199 of 199
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post
 

Just messin' w/you, Chemist!  I love my RnR's and figure I need to let that out every once in awhile.  The graphics were so bad that I think the ski got unfairly overlooked.

 

And while we're being serious, I suspect you are right about the sizing.  I'm 170 and stocky/muscular so I got some more poundage on you.  180 seems fine with me.  I can see how a lighter, more finesse skier might find himself neither/nor.  

Everyone has his/her own love.

No problem tch :)!   As you know, it's not what ski is best, but what ski is best for you, the conditions, and the intended use.   And as we discussed, both skier weight, and whether the skier falls between sizes, can be a large factor in this.

 

As an aside, some folks (not you) can sometimes go off the deep end when you say their favorite skis don't work for you — when I mentioned on these boards that I sold my pair of  MX88's, one character said that meant there must be something wrong with my skiing :rolleyes.  I came *this* close to posting a side-by-side photo montage (using pics he'd posted on the instruction forum) of his skiing vs. mine:devil:.


Edited by chemist - 9/20/14 at 2:29pm
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