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Looking for an All-Mountain ski that's decent on moguls

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

I'm looking to buy an all-mountain ski that would hold up well in backcountry, in the trees, and would be decent on moguls too. I'm 6"1 190, an advanced to expert skier with 20 years experience and spend most of my ski days in and around whistler. I'd be looking for something in the 90-100 cm waist range, quick edge to edge. So far the skis that I've been looking at are the Mantras, Cham 97, Atomic Theory and the Nordica Enforcer. How would you rank those skis in terms of backcountry, tree and bump performance? Are there any other skis that you'd recommend that would work well in those 3 areas? Thanks for the help!

post #2 of 27

Welcome to EpicSki. 

I'm betting that someone is going to add the Blizzard Kabookie to the mix considering its 98mm designed for touring and holds up as an all mountain ski in the category with the skis you listed. 

 

The Cham 97 HM may be a better consideration than the Cham 97, if you're looking for something that has a strong(er) BC Bias. 

 

I'll let the others take it from here. biggrin.gif

post #3 of 27

I got a Rossi S3 for basically that mix of purposes and have been happy so far (ie most of my 20 or so days this year in VT and Whistler)

post #4 of 27

i love the nordica soulrider for everything you describe.

post #5 of 27

A few clarifying questions:  how do you like to ski bumps?   Do you see firm bumps very often at Whistler?  What's the backcountry like?  Is this going to be your one ski?

 

When I was at Whistler I never went backcountry and most bumps were on the lower half and very soft.  Not sure if that's the norm.  Skiing slush bumps in the rain was pretty fun, though, and something I've never done since smile.gif

post #6 of 27

Bonafide is the first ski that comes to my mind. A little bit of early rise in the tip and tail and still cambered underfoot has the design that would be good but length (187) for your height might be long for tighter bump. Second choice would be the Scott The Ski which is the best all mountain type ski that I have skied in bumps. So if you are looking for a bump biased ski, The Ski is at the top of my suggestion list in the 185, which skis short for  it' length, it is on the narrower side of the dimension range you stated at 93mm underfoot (in the 185).

post #7 of 27

+1 for The Ski.  Depending on your priorities, you could do either 175 or 185.  I'm 5'11", 190#, both sizes were nice for me, 175 was more nimble, 185 a little more planted in variable, still pretty nimble.  Not that you mentioned it as a factor, but both had a high top end on groomed as well.  If bumps and ease of uphill travel are at the top of your list, then the 175.

 

Are you going to mount them with alpine bindings and carry them, Duke/Guardian, or use AT bindings?

 

Tball is a good resource for slushy bumps, he skied them great at A-basin a couple of weeks ago.  icon14.gif

post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobsir View Post

Hey guys,

 I'd be looking for something in the 90-100 cm waist range, quick edge to edge.

 

The wider a ski is, the slower it will be edge to edge.  

post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post

A few clarifying questions:  how do you like to ski bumps?   Do you see firm bumps very often at Whistler?  What's the backcountry like?  Is this going to be your one ski?

 

When I was at Whistler I never went backcountry and most bumps were on the lower half and very soft.  Not sure if that's the norm.  Skiing slush bumps in the rain was pretty fun, though, and something I've never done since smile.gif

 

There are a few runs that tend to have more crafted firm bumps that I'll go on a couple times a day, but the majority of the runs have bumps on the soft side. This would be the one ski that I'd use and I'd mount them with AT bindings. I've only gone in the backcountry twice so far, so I can't say for sure what the backcountry's usually like based on my experience, but from what I've ski'd and from talking to other people who've skied in similar areas what I'll be going on tends to have soft snow, ranging from ankle to knee deep untracked, gradual to medium steepness (I'd say equivalent to the steepness of a typical whistler blue or black run), and would generally be wide descents, about 60% of which would be bowl skiing. 

post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairToMiddlin View Post

+1 for The Ski.  Depending on your priorities, you could do either 175 or 185.  I'm 5'11", 190#, both sizes were nice for me, 175 was more nimble, 185 a little more planted in variable, still pretty nimble.  Not that you mentioned it as a factor, but both had a high top end on groomed as well.  If bumps and ease of uphill travel are at the top of your list, then the 175.

 

Are you going to mount them with alpine bindings and carry them, Duke/Guardian, or use AT bindings?

 

Tball is a good resource for slushy bumps, he skied them great at A-basin a couple of weeks ago.  icon14.gif

 

Thanks FTM!   Slush bumps are bumps with training wheels!

 

I really want to try The Ski too (guess who's to blame for that).  That might be the ticket for the OP, especially if he can get the 185's to work in the bumps.  Bumps, backcounty and Whistler makes for a challenging order to fill!  Thus my questions above...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

 

The wider a ski is, the slower it will be edge to edge.  

 

Yes!  You really start to notice with width above 90 in the bumps.   I've found a 100ish ski is OK in softer bumps (pow and slush), but is too slow edge to edge in firm bumps and miserable in icy bumps.

 

I've been mostly skiing the Kendo, Mantra, S3 and AC30 that last few years.  I'd suggest the OP stay away from the Mantra.  It's too stiff for pow and bumps, and a bit wide for bumps.  It would be a great Whistler no-new-snow day ski if not for the bump preference.  AC30 is too narrow.  

 

Kendo and S3 might work for the OP... depending... maybe even Soul 7.  

 

I really want to try the Soul 7 for exactly what the OP needs.  I keep hoping (dreaming) there will be a wider ski that can ski bumps.   Bumpfreq also has me wanting to try the Bluehouse Maestros (at 118!) he suggests in this thread that's worth a read:

http://www.epicski.com/t/119833/best-bump-to-powder-to-bump-ski

post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the posts! I've also been hearing a fair bit about the Rossi Experience 98. Would you say that's one I should check out too, or better to just stick with the bonafides, kabookie, S3, and The Ski? 

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobsir View Post

Thanks for the posts! I've also been hearing a fair bit about the Rossi Experience 98. Would you say that's one I should check out too, or better to just stick with the bonafides, kabookie, S3, and The Ski? 

Define backcountry. Are you going to skin out of the area? How fast do you ski? What's a typical day for you on the hill? The 5 skis you've mentioned in your three sentences are all VERY different from each other even if they share similar waist dimensions. What do you ski currently, and what do you like or dislike about them?
post #13 of 27

The Experience 98 is a stiffer ski that's more ideal for an all-mountain groomer-biased ski than for bumps and backcountry. I'd definitely check out the Kabookie, S3, and The Ski before the E98.

post #14 of 27

Hmmm....

 

Bumps + 190lbs + AT bindings =  Asking for trouble?

 

I've always gone for beefier bindings on my bump skis and still broken a few.   I've never had AT bindings, but it makes me wonder.  Maybe somebody can chime in...

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobsir View Post

Thanks for the posts! I've also been hearing a fair bit about the Rossi Experience 98. Would you say that's one I should check out too, or better to just stick with the bonafides, kabookie, S3, and The Ski? 

Maybe you should add the Nordica Hell & Back to your list. Haven't skied it, but I read and hear everywhere that it's very nimble and manoeuverable for its width (98mm), and with quickness edge to edge and proper edge grip as well. Or else the Enforcer (basically the Hell & Back with metal - won't be coming back in 2014 though, hope you can find a pair).

post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post

Hmmm....

 

Bumps + 190lbs + AT bindings =  Asking for trouble?

 

I've always gone for beefier bindings on my bump skis and still broken a few.   I've never had AT bindings, but it makes me wonder.  Maybe somebody can chime in...

I agree, a big NO to an A/T binding for the bumps, and even just for an everyday ski. Not only, the weight but also the height and movement that an A/T binding has will put you one turn behind for every turn you try you make in the bumps. If you must have back country access, put the binding on a ski that you will be using there and set yourself up with a set up that is good in the bumps and frontside. Oh and take the E98 off your list and the S3 has been replaced by the better Sin7. 

post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

I agree, a big NO to an A/T binding for the bumps, and even just for an everyday ski.

 

Oh good, this just got a whole lot easier... the OP needs two skis smile.gif

 

Whistler all-mountain bump ski:  I highly recommend you shop in the 88 department and ignore all the suggestions for 98's.   I've skied a few 88's and my favorite is the Kendo.  The Kendo is the ski I would take on an airplane to Whistler not knowing conditions, and I happen to really like it in the bumps too.  The question is if you will like it in the bumps.  There is no doubt it will be great on the rest of the mountain, but folks have different preferences for stiffness in a bump ski.  The Kendo has a stiffer tail, which I like but some don't.  177 is probably the right size given your bump preference (184 if you avoided bumps).

 

There are lots of good 88-90 skis.  You just need to find the right one for you.  I really like the idea of The Ski because it sounds like they really thought about bumps when designing it, but I haven't been on it yet.

 

Backcountry ski:  I'd suggest you buy something used, or even (gasp) rent until you know if you'll stick with it.   The relativly unused tele gear in my basement says why.  I'm not a backcountry expert, but the S3 could be a good, cheap way to go.   It's been the same for a number of years, is pretty light, and is amazing in powder for a 98.  The softness and rocker that makes it great in powder would make it a crummy ski inbounds at Whistler on firm snow, so it's not a one-ski option.   Get the 186 for sure if you go with the S3.  

 

Of course, consider wider skis for the backcounty too.  Good luck!

post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I've rented both times I've gone backcountry for that reason. I'm pretty sold on it but I think I'd still spend 60-70% of my days skiing frontcountry. I like the idea of having two seperate skis or continuing to rent for when I go backcountry but moneywise I doubt I'd be able to afford it. If I had to get one ski, would you still suggest looking closer to the 90 range if I'd be using them for backcountry 1/3rd of the time?  In terms of AT bindings, would having them make a notable difference skiing in non bump conditions inbounds? I skied a pair of rented backcountry skis with AT bindings inbounds for a day at Whistler in February and didn't notice much of a difference outside of the skis being wider than what I was used to (105+). But that might've just been because conditions weren't as chewed up on the mountain that day.

post #19 of 27

If you have to get one ski I'd still say a 90 given your bump preference.  The Kendo at 89 is my default ski at Copper skiing a variety of bumps, steeps, bowls, trees and fast groomers.  There are lots of good 90ish skis to choose from, and good deals should be easy to find.

 

I'd look at having swappable bindings on my one ski if I were in your shoes.  Here's a thread that discusses some options:

http://www.epicski.com/t/107205/binding-swapping-option

 

The fact folks go to those lengths to swap bindings speaks volumes about not using AT bindings inbounds, as Phil has already suggested.

post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobsir View Post

Thanks! I've rented both times I've gone backcountry for that reason. I'm pretty sold on it but I think I'd still spend 60-70% of my days skiing frontcountry. I like the idea of having two seperate skis or continuing to rent for when I go backcountry but moneywise I doubt I'd be able to afford it. If I had to get one ski, would you still suggest looking closer to the 90 range if I'd be using them for backcountry 1/3rd of the time?  In terms of AT bindings, would having them make a notable difference skiing in non bump conditions inbounds? I skied a pair of rented backcountry skis with AT bindings inbounds for a day at Whistler in February and didn't notice much of a difference outside of the skis being wider than what I was used to (105+). But that might've just been because conditions weren't as chewed up on the mountain that day.

 

Without knowing how generally fast you ski, if I had to pick a one ski Whistler + touring capable ski, I'd look hard at the Nordica Hell and Back. I've skied most of the popular 98's. Of the skis mentioned in the thread, speaking only for myself, the most fun in bumps are the H&B and the E-98 so long as you ski the latter in a 180. That said, of those two IMHO, the H&B would be a better touring ski. I'd also think long and hard about spending the extra $$ on something like a Kastle FX 94. The touring thing... depending how much you're going to do and vertical you're planning to cover on a typical trip, there's a LOT of used gear mounted with Fritschi's out there for cheap if you can live without a tech binding. Is it the lightest and best performing? Not these days, but I've seen a lot of terrific skiing done on them by different BC partners over the years. It's probably the best route to a financially practical two ski quiver solution to your problem. 

post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobsir View Post

 

There are a few runs that tend to have more crafted firm bumps that I'll go on a couple times a day, but the majority of the runs have bumps on the soft side. This would be the one ski that I'd use and I'd mount them with AT bindings. I've only gone in the backcountry twice so far, so I can't say for sure what the backcountry's usually like based on my experience, but from what I've ski'd and from talking to other people who've skied in similar areas what I'll be going on tends to have soft snow, ranging from ankle to knee deep untracked, gradual to medium steepness (I'd say equivalent to the steepness of a typical whistler blue or black run), and would generally be wide descents, about 60% of which would be bowl skiing. 

Hi - Based on what you've bolded, your next post with the 60-70% frontcountry figure, and my experience with the back bowls etc. at Whistler, I'd say you'd want something that's on the light side but not a dedicated touring ski, and something that is stiff enough to hold up to Whistler's heavy snow. Think your original 100-something idea is spot on.

 

Partly agree with Phil and others about AT and bumps, with the caveat that it depends on the bumps and your motives. Plenty of good skiers on AT or tech hit major air, work through soft bumps, and do just fine. Worst case scenario is that the binding will wear out in three to four years. OTOH, most of the lift served runs at Whistler only have bumps in places, or sporadically. If you're actually looking for bumps, then you just have to arrange for two skis, get the front side all mountain first. Sorry but is what it is.

 

Anyway. Allowing for your budget, I like several of the ideas already out that mention lighter, all wood or wood and carbon skis: Hell n' Back, Kabookie, Theory, in particular. I'd also check out some of Prior's skis down the road at Function Junction; the Husume is well regarded as a crossover AT ski, and they're having a sale these days. It's a bit wide (109 I think) but deepish sidecut and locals like it for what you seek. Finally, Praxis is having a sale, and they make some great backcountry skis. Check out the Yeti. 

post #22 of 27

I have a pair of AK King Salmons in good shape that would fit the bill perfectly, and you can have them for $65 + shipping.  1 mount for 315 Salomons. Recently tuned.

 

Length: 180
Tip width: 125
Waist: 94
Tail: 115

 

Review (not mine): 

 

http://telemarktalk.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=40822&sid=fef73791d33dae7aac2168bc79509a49

post #23 of 27
Quote:

Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 

Think your original 100-something idea is spot on....

 

...OTOH, most of the lift served runs at Whistler only have bumps in places, or sporadically. If you're actually looking for bumps, then you just have to arrange for two skis, get the front side all mountain first. Sorry but is what it is.

 

That's key: are you looking for bumps?  Also, how do you ski bumps?   If you are seeking out bumps and skiing the zipperline, then you need a 90-something max IMO.  If not, then a 100-something is a fantastic Whistler OSQ.

post #24 of 27

6';210 pounds:

I have a pair of Hell and Back (178) mounted with Marker F-12 and they are really fun for backcountry, trees, bumps ( for a 98mm) and on-piste in general... Very light and manoeuvrable! Bindings are very lights and I can't see the difference with a regular binding.

Also have a pair of Steadfast (178) mounted with Marker Baron. I prefer the Steadfast on harder bumps (really nice) and for icier conditions but I find them really stiff and the baron is heavier that I would have tought...

post #25 of 27

Is the Steadfast 'stiffer' (absolute, or in general feel of the ski) than the Hell and Back? How would you compare the two in terms of manoeuverability and ease of use?

post #26 of 27
Hi all, my .02 regarding a backcountry ski. I do a fair bit of touring, camping etc, and the following considerations might be worthwhile apart from downhill performance:
1) weight. 1kg underfoot = 2-3 on your back. Save your legs for those bumps!
2) camber. You need a bit. Too much rocker means not enough edge grip when skinning across an icy traverse. OTOH a bit of early rise makes breaking trail in soft snow a joy.
3) tails. Not too long (PITA on the kick turn) and not a TT if jamming them into the snow outside at night as a tent pole or simply to find them the next morning is a consideration. A squarer tail accepts skins more easily, but this can be McGyvered with a bit of fiddling.
4) flex pattern; agree with all the above posters. Match your boots and bindings to your ski. A heavy duty boot/binding combo can drive a softer ski. The other way around less good.
All the best. Nothing beats dawn sun glowing on the snow.
Alex.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheizz View Post

Is the Steadfast 'stiffer' (absolute, or in general feel of the ski) than the Hell and Back? How would you compare the two in terms of manoeuverability and ease of use?

Even if the Steadfast is a no-metal ski, it is one of the stiffest I know... The hell and Back is definitly more manoeuvrable and easy to use...even if the Steadfast is narrower...

But would still prefer the Steadfast on icy conditions... The H & B for all the rest!

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