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Hard Snow/Resort Ski Suggestions

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

 

Looking for something to add to the quiver for those hard snow/groomed days inbounds at the resort.  Race background, hard charger, and like to arc GS turns at speed.

 

I currently ride the 174 K2 Charger for my hard snow ski, and have several other wider and/or rockered skis for other conditions, so I'm not concerned with softer/3D snow performance.  Looking to go a bit longer, low 180s, and to try something new (not K2).  Two obvious choices are the RTM 84 and Magnum Ti 8.5, which are both interesting in that they have a bit of tail rocker.

 

Am I correct in that the RTMs only come as a system, with no option for flat without bindings?  I've never skied a system binding, and not sure I want to foray into that arena.  How is the Blizzard flipcore technology as a hard snow-only ski?  Again, not looking for a one ski quiver, so not concerned with other snow conditions.  Between these two, any thoughts?  Ideas on other skis that may fit this bill?

 

Thanks for your input!

post #2 of 15

For the conditions your describing, I just purchased some Elan Amphibio Waveflex 88 XTi's.  They do have a binding system, which I actually really prefer, for a few reasons, but you can buy them flat too.  From all the reviews I read, it seemed like this ski or the Kastle MX88 were the 2 to own and being I can never demo the skis that interest me, I preferred the reviews on the Elan.  For this type of ski, I want a flat tail, no tail rocker for sure, but that is just me.

post #3 of 15

The Elan mentioned is a good choice as would be the Nordica Fire Arrow 84 EDT.  The FA only comes with a system binding but it is an exceptionally good combo for what you want.  Either 176 or 184cm.  For what you want I don't think the RTM is a good choice, at least I certainly wouldn't choose it as my hard snow ski.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions so far.  I am familiar with the MX88, but sorta wrote them off due to the full camber profile.  While I realize rocker can be overhyped, I do think a little rise in the tip does serve a useful purpose.  That said, the MX88's success probably discounts that idea, at least to a degree.

 

Am not familiar with the Amphibios, so I'll check those out.  Is that right/left-specific ski technology mostly marketing hype or does it noticeably improve the quickness/grip?  I'll be sure to read the reviews out on these.  Should I check out the Amphibio 82s as well, or is that a softer ski?

 

When getting my Chargers a few years ago, the FA was a leading candidate then too, but for same reasons as MX above, I went with the Charger for the slight early rise in the tip.  (Plus, I felt wierd about having a boot and ski with the same name biggrin.gif )

 

Mtcyclist, what don't you like about the RTM for hard snow, just too all-mountain oriented?


Lastly, any thoughts on the Blizzard Magnum Ti's compared with the Amphibios?  I'm with liv2ski that tail rocker doesn't seem to make sense on a hard snow-specific ski, but supposedly the Magnums are rated highly for hard snow grip above all.

 

At first glance, I'd probably be looking at the 178 Amphibio 88s or the 182 82s, and 181 for the Mag Ti's.  At 5'8" 175lbs, the 174 Charger skis a tad short, and most of my mid-fats are in the low to mid 180s range with my pow skis around 190ish, which all ski fine for me.


Sorry for the novel!  Thanks again liv2ski and mtcyclist for your comments and appreciate any additional thoughts from the collective.

post #5 of 15

The RTM will not have the hard snow performance of either the FA or the MX because it doesn't have the edge grip.  For what you said you want the RTM is not a good choice.  If you can demo it do so and you will see.  For what you say you want, you need a ski with camber.

post #6 of 15

Because I can rarely demo skis I end up buying, I read pretty much every review on Epic.  The reviews on the Amphibio 88s were 1) really what I was looking for in a hard snow/carving type ski and 2) the technology in the ski was like nothing else I own, so I wanted to give them a go.  The Mag Ti's also had great reviews for this type of ski, so really, it is just a matter of what features push your buy button.  All of my other skis have varying degrees of tip or tip and tail rocker.  For my carving ski I just wanted an old school, cambered carver, but the Amphibio did bring a little tip rocker to the ski.  And I mean a little.  The Amphibios are a beautiful pair of skis.  The build quality looks top notch and I know I will rip on them.wink.gif

post #7 of 15
What resort? The skis you're mentioning are not ones I would call hard snow specialists, for skiing where I live. If you live in Salt Lake or something, that might be different.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

What resort? The skis you're mentioning are not ones I would call hard snow specialists, for skiing where I live. If you live in Salt Lake or something, that might be different.


Good point.  What I call hard snow at Mammoth or Tahoe is a lot different than what an Ice Coast guy calls a Hard Snow Ski.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

What resort? The skis you're mentioning are not ones I would call hard snow specialists, for skiing where I live. If you live in Salt Lake or something, that might be different.

Yeah "hard snow" is pretty relative.  I'll be using these mainly at my local Mid-Atlantic resort, Seven Springs.  So I'm talking anywhere from ice to groomed manmade to wind-blown hardpack, to at softest laying trenches an inch or two deep or so.  Hope that clarifies.  FWIW, I'm more than satisifed with my current "hard snow" ski (K2 Chargers) I ride now, but since I'm going to go a bit longer I figure why not try something new. 

 

What's interesting is that the first full camber ski I've skied in a few years was a 108 underfoot twintip with a 28m radius this season, and surprisingly I really had fun carving with it.  So maybe that's a sign I should go back and try out a traditional camber ski again after all...

post #10 of 15

Surprised with your stated race background you have not considered a Cheater GS for hard snow groomer inbounds skiing making GS higher speed turns. So many great GS Cheater Skis available.

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMD View Post

Surprised with your stated race background you have not considered a Cheater GS for hard snow groomer inbounds skiing making GS higher speed turns. So many great GS Cheater Skis available.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking when I asked my question. Or at least a sub 80mm carving specialist of some kind.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MR11 View Post

Hey all,

 

Looking for something to add to the quiver for those hard snow/groomed days inbounds at the resort.  Race background, hard charger, and like to arc GS turns at speed.

 

I currently ride the 174 K2 Charger for my hard snow ski, and have several other wider and/or rockered skis for other conditions, so I'm not concerned with softer/3D snow performance.  Looking to go a bit longer, low 180s, and to try something new (not K2).  Two obvious choices are the RTM 84 and Magnum Ti 8.5, which are both interesting in that they have a bit of tail rocker.

 

Am I correct in that the RTMs only come as a system, with no option for flat without bindings?  I've never skied a system binding, and not sure I want to foray into that arena.  How is the Blizzard flipcore technology as a hard snow-only ski?  Again, not looking for a one ski quiver, so not concerned with other snow conditions.  Between these two, any thoughts?  Ideas on other skis that may fit this bill?

 

Thanks for your input!

The RTM 84 is full rocker. No camber underfoot. But I'm not certain about the "no edge hold" claim tho. Once you lay them over they have plenty of edge hold in my experience. Spoken with a few ski shop owners and some instructors who have tried them confirmed that. However I would not recommended those if you use them on hard surface only (I mean not even slushy or big dump on piste type of hard surface. Just hard hard pack and ice) because those full rocker can get a bit unstable when they are not on edge (perfect stability on edge tho. So you do not want to get lazy on those). So some trade off here, stability vs versatility. I chose the later. The RTM is a bit quicker when compares with the tip rockered skis I tried. But OTOH, maybe your experience may differ so probably you should try them before judging. 

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Since I plan on continuing to ski my Chargers, I still have that sub 80 ski in the quiver.  Not looking to go less versatile, so that's why I wasn't looking at the cheater skis.  Plus, a ski in the mid 80s fills a gap underfoot between my Chargers and Mantras.  Technically, there would be a place for both a sub 70 cheater and something in the mid 80s.  (My wife might disagree!)

 

I'm surprised to read that the RTM is flat underfoot, I find that hard to believe.  I do wish the larger manufacturers would take a page from some of the freeride-oriented indys and start posting rocker/camber profiles of all skis, which makes some of these discussions easily resolved when the skis aren't all readily available to see in person.

 

Thanks for all the comments, I have some good ideas to think about over the next few months.

post #14 of 15
What about the blizzard m-power? It is the 8.5 on steroids kinda the cross between that and the Firearrow84.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MR11 View Post

Since I plan on continuing to ski my Chargers, I still have that sub 80 ski in the quiver.  Not looking to go less versatile, so that's why I wasn't looking at the cheater skis.  Plus, a ski in the mid 80s fills a gap underfoot between my Chargers and Mantras.  Technically, there would be a place for both a sub 70 cheater and something in the mid 80s.  (My wife might disagree!)

I'm surprised to read that the RTM is flat underfoot, I find that hard to believe.  I do wish the larger manufacturers would take a page from some of the freeride-oriented indys and start posting rocker/camber profiles of all skis, which makes some of these discussions easily resolved when the skis aren't all readily available to see in person.

Thanks for all the comments, I have some good ideas to think about over the next few months.

The RTM 84 is the 'weirdo' in the front side all mountain ski category. Most of them are still tip rocker with camber underfoot. In my experience the design has its advantages since it made the skis more versatile and easier to use in thicker stuff. Yet it still has as much edge hold as the cambered ones (even better than a lot of them). The tip rockered front side all mountain skis still have the tendency to dip the tips in the deep stuff when the snow is thick due to the camber profile and not so much rise in the tips IMO.

You should demo them when you can. All the tip rocker profiles still will perform differently due to the different construction, sidecut, amount of rise, and how the rocker and camber are distributed tho~so it probably doesn't matter if all the skis in the world are tip rockers. They may still differ by day and night.

And I agree it is pain in the ass to look for skis to demo. A demo day event at resorts may be the best choice. You can compare the skis side by side. Otherwise try the resorts with a wide range of performance rentals. Although the price may be steeper, they normally allow you to switch gear at any time you like.
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