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Playful East Coast Carving Ski for a Lightweight?

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

Hi Epicski!

I'm looking for a short turning, playful, lively, carving ski with great edge hold and stability at speed. I'd say I'm a solid advanced skier. I ski all around the northeast, Gore, WF, Stowe, Stratton, Jiminy etc and i'll ski any trail. I'm in NJ, so I also frequent local areas around here and in the poconos. Hardpack and icy conditions are ever-present so the ski needs to have east-coast-worthy edge hold. 

 

I currently ski the Rossignol E83 and Volkl Kendo. The E83 is a great, turny, playful, carving ski but on the hardpack, the grip just goes. The Kendo has all the grip in the world, but trying to do short, snappy turns with it is physically impossible for me (i weigh 130lbs). So is there a ski oriented around frontside carving with lots of liveliness like the E83 but with Kendo-esque edge hold and stability at speed? (I have the kendo because I'm also a speed hound/mountain charger, and I've paid the physical price (injury) for it)

 

I've been looking at the Rossignol Pursuit 16 and Fischer Progressor 900. Please if you can guide me in the right direction, I greatly appreciate the help.

 

Thanks again!

post #2 of 45

....OK, Just kidding.

 

My short snappy skis are an older pair of...

http://www.fischersports.com/en/Alpine/Products/Skis/Race/2390-RC4-Worldcup-SC-PRO

...in 13m, 165.

You might like the 155's or 160's at your weigtht.

 

If you know how to drive them they are certainly snappy like only a Slalom ski can be.

Man up!


Edited by dakine - 8/27/13 at 8:08pm
post #3 of 45

Hello jl19; I have the P16 and it is the most versitile and fun front side ski i have ever skied ( 51 years old 6'1 178 ) .It doesn't have any metal so your weight is perfect for it but i ski at mammoth in ca,we don't get ice.When i do ski the top our first few turns can be really slippery and they will slide more than my real slalom ski so they aren't as good at those type's of turns but the way they are built; bumps , wind-buff ,uneven terrain 6'' of fresh short turns ,medium turns they really can do it all but you can't confuse them with a real slalom or g.s. ski in ice type conditions. Good luck and happy hunting!
 

post #4 of 45
Thread Starter 

thanks dakine and viking9. Is the RC4 World Cup a full-on race ski or a sort of race-based, "road going" version of one? and on that note, should i be looking at race skis too or keep with the likes of the P16 and 900?

post #5 of 45

Hmmm. there are some great options, the Progressors are  precise ski for lightweights on hard snow. How big of a guy are you? 

post #6 of 45
Thread Starter 

I'm 130lbs,5ft 10in

post #7 of 45

The Fischer SC is one-step-down from race ski.  I own the older model and it works great, but I weigh 150 lbs.  If I weighed130 lbs I would want something a little less stiff, like the Progressor; even at my weight it is noticeably too stiff for moguls, tight trees and soft snow, but spot on for everything else.

post #8 of 45
Thread Starter 
Thanks Ghost.
I won't be using these in anything but groomed (or relatively groomed) trails so that's fine if they don't perform well in trees or bumps.
post #9 of 45

Progressor. You won't be happy on race skis, even detuned like the SC, at your weight unless you really plan to charge, and spend a lot of time swerving to avoid trails with bumps.  

post #10 of 45
Thread Starter 
Thanks beyond,
thats the exact reason why the progressor appeals to me. I just want to be sure that the progressor (900 I suspect) would suit my needs and my characteristics.
post #11 of 45
Thread Starter 
Should I get the 170?
post #12 of 45
Quote:
 The E83 is a great, turny, playful, carving ski but on the hardpack, the grip just goes. The Kendo has all the grip in the world, but trying to do short, snappy turns with it is physically impossible for me (i weigh 130lbs). So is there a ski oriented around frontside carving with lots of liveliness like the E83 but with Kendo-esque edge hold and stability at speed?

 

Quote:
 Should I get the 170?

 

 

The question about the 170 depends on which Progressor you get. If you get the 900 (which has more of your "stability at speed"), then maybe. If you get the 800 (which has more of your "short, snappy turns"), then no. The 170 is on the long end of the 800's size range. I am your size. Tried a pair of the 8+ (predecessor to the 800) in 170, when that was the longest length, and hated them. Pretty sure it was 'cause I was on the wrong size. Suspect they're meant to be skied short, like most short-turn skis.

 

The Fischer that gets overlooked is the one that was once called the Race SC, and later called the Superrace SC, and now is apparently reborn slightly wider - like the Progressors - as the Superior SC :rolleyes.  (And they have REALLY confused things now with the introduction of a Superior RC and a Superior Pro, the last of which appears maybe to have a different plate system and looks like an interesting ski ... possibly even like a pre-width-creep Progressor. But I digress! Maybe some Fischer retailer can come along and explain this, along with why Fischer insists on keeping an iron grip on the Most Inscrutable Model Line award year after year.) Anyway, the Superrace SC was / is a sleeper for lightweights, IMHO. I tried it a few years ago and liked it a whole lot (and in hindsight kind of wish I'd bought that demo pair because they were cheap and essentially new). Very crisp and precise, with excellent hold, but also very easy to bend; you didn't need to be going a buck ten to get it into a proper arc. Factoring in the title of your post ("playful east coast carving ski for a lightweight") with your comment that you want "short, snappy turns," I would say you should give this one a try if you can, especially given that you spend some time at smaller hills. Of course it will NOT have stability of a longer ski at really high speed, and you need to be a bit careful with a ski like this when going super-fast, because you can get launched or worse. Everything is a compromise. Good luck!

 

Meanwhile how is the tune on your E83s? If edge hold is the only issue, are you sure it's not partly an edge maintenance problem?

post #13 of 45
Thread Starter 
Hey qcanoe thanks for the post!
As for the progressors, I was looking at the 900 and found a decent deal on them in several lengths on eBay. They were used for one season as demos. As for speed, I'm no racer but according to my phone I like to get around 30-50mph where 50 is tops. I wiped out trying to hit 55 and it put me out of last season (all better now). You can't hit that speed at places in NJ or PA anyway (at least I won't) so what kind of really high speed is the limit for the superrace sc? If this is more of a quick, snappy and turny ski with a lot of pop out of the turn, then I most definitely will consider it. As for the e83, I bring them to my local ski shop for standard tunes at the start of every season. They feel good but not enough to grip on a high edge angle going around 35-40mph on hard pack or hard man made. They carve best on flatter terrain with packed pow but I suppose any ski can manage in that. Superrace SC still fit the bill? Should I focus on the e83's edge tuning?
post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by jL19 View Post

I bring them to my local ski shop for standard tunes at the start of every season

 

You're serious enough about edge grip to be complaining about lack of it. You ski groomers in the east. You are looking at high performance carving skis. There is a big disconnenct between these facts and the quote I've highlighted above. (You're not alone, by the way. Lots of people in my race league have exactly the same approach as you have, and they spend a good part of the season shaking their heads in discouragement and wondering why they are sliding out on every turn. Doh.)

 

In order to get the most out of skis like this in conditions like the ones you're bound to be on a lot of the time, you need to be touching up those edges every two or three ski days, give or take. You can take care of some of this yourself, between shop tunes, at relatively little expense, with a side edge guide, a medium grit diamond stone, a rubber band, and a plant mister with alcohol and water in it. Visit the tuning forum for more info if you're interested. And when you do get a shop tune make sure that they don't dull back the tips and tails, as most shops still seem to do. 

 

Now, of course you don't need to focus on the state of your edges, but then you have no real foundation for saying that ski A has better grip than ski B; It may just be that ski A has a fresher / better tune. You wouldn't test drive a car in the snow when it has bald tires, and then complain about the car, would you?

 

(Also note that a good tune is necessary but not sufficient to hold a clean carve on really hard snow. You also have to have the technique to capitalize on the sharp edges.)

post #15 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by jL19 View Post
 

The Kendo has all the grip in the world, but trying to do short, snappy turns with it is physically impossible for me (i weigh 130lbs). So is there a ski oriented around frontside carving with lots of liveliness like the E83 but with Kendo-esque edge hold and stability at speed?

 

Kendo fanboy chiming in here :)   I'm curious what length Kendo you are currently skiing?

 

For what you want, I've just gone with a shorter Kendo.   I know there are better skis for the application, but switching between the 170 and 177 Kendo has worked nicely for me at 180lbs (albeit in Colorado).   If you are on the 170, give the 163 a spin to see if it works for you.   If you are already on the 163, then obviously look elsewhere.

post #16 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

 

Kendo fanboy chiming in here :)   I'm curious what length Kendo you are currently skiing?

I have the 170cm and am a total fanboy too

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

In order to get the most out of skis like this in conditions like the ones you're bound to be on a lot of the time, you need to be touching up those edges every two or three ski days, give or take. You can take care of some of this yourself, between shop tunes, at relatively little expense, with a side edge guide, a medium grit diamond stone, a rubber band, and a plant mister with alcohol and water in it. Visit the tuning forum for more info if you're interested. And when you do get a shop tune make sure that they don't dull back the tips and tails, as most shops still seem to do. 

 

Thanks for that, qcanoe, I most certainly will. I suppose the decision will be better made after this. Geez, I just never considered doing this myself...

post #17 of 45

I think that at our size a 170cm Kendo and a shorter, turnier, narrower SL-type carver (something in the 160cm by 70mm range) would be a really nice two-ski quiver for an easterner who is not a powder-and-trees hound. You can use the little ski on little hills and/or when you're just feeling like a Mini Cooper. Then you can bust out the Kendo if you've got 3D snow to work with or you just want to spread your wings and soar a little bit. And either one will work on hard snow, in its own way.

post #18 of 45

OP: Despite Dakine's joke, the Head Titan in 163 might have your name on it. Seems to hit all the marks you mention, from deeper sidecut to strong carver to crudmeister. And speaking as a multiple Head owner who's also on the lighter side, their reputation as a plank that slides doesn't reflect reality for many models. Skis like the Titan are made for better skiers, which you say you are, but they're pretty easy going at lower speeds, not sure I'd say playful but kinda between Kendo and E83 in difficulty, only they get more serious as the velocity picks up, as you'd want them to. Even the 163's will be stable at serious speeds. As an east coast general purpose carver that can handle crud and bumps, smoothly, hard to go wrong with them. 

post #19 of 45

jL-19, if you're not in a hurry to buy and you ski ELK Mt., http://www.idlewildskishop.com has the Fischer Progressors and Head Titan's available to demo.

post #20 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

OP: Despite Dakine's joke, the Head Titan in 163 might have your name on it. Seems to hit all the marks you mention, from deeper sidecut to strong carver to crudmeister. And speaking as a multiple Head owner who's also on the lighter side, their reputation as a plank that slides doesn't reflect reality for many models. Skis like the Titan are made for better skiers, which you say you are, but they're pretty easy going at lower speeds, not sure I'd say playful but kinda between Kendo and E83 in difficulty, only they get more serious as the velocity picks up, as you'd want them to. Even the 163's will be stable at serious speeds. As an east coast general purpose carver that can handle crud and bumps, smoothly, hard to go wrong with them. 

 

Okay. But if he's already got the Kendos, why not something narrower like the Magnum (also 163) rather than the Titan? Not arguing, just musing.

post #21 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by neonorchid View Post
 

jL-19, if you're not in a hurry to buy and you ski ELK Mt., http://www.idlewildskishop.com has the Fischer Progressors and Head Titan's available to demo.

Never been to Elk but it's sure is on my hit list now.:) I'm about 1.5h away

 

Speaking of demos, by any chance, does anyone know if there is a shop to demo the progressors, and i.supershapes (or either or) in or around Okemo/Ludlow VT?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

OP: Despite Dakine's joke, the Head Titan in 163 might have your name on it. Seems to hit all the marks you mention, from deeper sidecut to strong carver to crudmeister. And speaking as a multiple Head owner who's also on the lighter side, their reputation as a plank that slides doesn't reflect reality for many models. Skis like the Titan are made for better skiers, which you say you are, but they're pretty easy going at lower speeds, not sure I'd say playful but kinda between Kendo and E83 in difficulty, only they get more serious as the velocity picks up, as you'd want them to. Even the 163's will be stable at serious speeds. As an east coast general purpose carver that can handle crud and bumps, smoothly, hard to go wrong with them. 

Sounds great. Howabout the Magnum in 163? is it comparable or does the width make a huge difference?

post #22 of 45

Well, I have not skied the Titan, although I am increasingly intrigued by it as an everyday replacement for my old iM78's. So I am reporting on what others have said. I did ski a Magnum several years ago, assume a familial similarity, since both have the same construction. I have noticed that while the Titan seems to have won as many or more awards in its first few years, the reviews seem to emphasize its fun factor more than I recall with the Magnum. Which personally I liked a lot but felt was a bit too narrow to really be a crud buster, a bit too wide to compete with the ISpeed, and a bit too serious to be as nice in the bumps as my iM78's. Since the Titan is 80mm, and has been called the real replacement for the old iM78's, I'd predict it should be a little better in crud than the Magnum, prolly similar edge hold, prolly better in bumps, but obviously a touch slower edge to edge and prolly not as super planted at silly speed. Again, someone like Bob P or Sierra Jim, who's skied both, can give you a better answer. I seem to recall that SJ particularly favors the Rally, which apparently sort of splits the difference.

post #23 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by jL19 View Post
 

Hi Epicski!

I'm looking for a short turning, playful, lively, carving ski with great edge hold and stability at speed. I'd say I'm a solid advanced skier. I ski all around the northeast, Gore, WF, Stowe, Stratton, Jiminy etc and i'll ski any trail. I'm in NJ, so I also frequent local areas around here and in the poconos. Hardpack and icy conditions are ever-present so the ski needs to have east-coast-worthy edge hold. 

 

I currently ski the Rossignol E83 and Volkl Kendo. The E83 is a great, turny, playful, carving ski but on the hardpack, the grip just goes. The Kendo has all the grip in the world, but trying to do short, snappy turns with it is physically impossible for me (i weigh 130lbs). So is there a ski oriented around frontside carving with lots of liveliness like the E83 but with Kendo-esque edge hold and stability at speed? (I have the kendo because I'm also a speed hound/mountain charger, and I've paid the physical price (injury) for it)

 

I've been looking at the Rossignol Pursuit 16 and Fischer Progressor 900. Please if you can guide me in the right direction, I greatly appreciate the help.

 

Thanks again!

 

OK, one potential problem here is that you can get all the stuff in your first sentence easily enough except maybe for the "playful" part. The very things (stiffish flex and esp torsional stiffness) that will give you all that other stuff will detract somewhat from the playful thing. The rest of it is easy enough and you can get grip, stability and dampening in varying concentrations in about any good frontside specialty ski. Note that I didn't say "all mountain" ski (like the two you already have). When you start comparing them against the true frontsiders, they are not in the same class as far as hard snow attributes.

 

Most all of the major brands have really good offerings in this category. Over the years, I have been partial to the Heads and the Dynastar Course Ti (now called the Course Pro). Head has revamped their collection and the frontside grouping from them is a little toned down from the past (esp the Magnum). Their offering is a little crowded with models but they really do a great job in this category. The Dynastar has been given a touch more horsepower than in the past and although it's a great ski, it may actually be a little past the threshold of playful. A surprising option might be the Salomon X-Race if you could find one. It is light and energetic but not overpowering. This ski comes in a variable sidecut with the shorter sizes having a Slalom feel while the longer sizes have a longer turn radius. One possible drawback is that it requires a fairly pricey binding (Atomic X-12 or higher).

 

There are some premium skis from Stockli and Kastle that would offer all the hard snow chops you could possibly want but IMO, most would really not qualify as playful with the possible exception of the Stockli AR. Those are pricey skis however. Now......If you decided that that playful deal was not all that important then your choices are legion.

 

SJ

post #24 of 45
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks Jim
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

OK, one potential problem here is that you can get all the stuff in your first sentence easily enough except maybe for the "playful" part. The very things (stiffish flex and esp torsional stiffness) that will give you all that other stuff will detract somewhat from the playful thing. The rest of it is easy enough and you can get grip, stability and dampening in varying concentrations in about any good frontside specialty ski. Note that I didn't say "all mountain" ski (like the two you already have). When you start comparing them against the true frontsiders, they are not in the same class as far as hard snow attributes.

I was under the assumption that playful meant energy out of the turn. Sorry bout the confusion I guess that's on my part.

So I think I'm down to the progressor 900 in 165 or the head magnum in 163. The head KERS does sound very appealing.
post #25 of 45
Thread Starter 

Can anyone comment on these skis' pop or rebound energy coming out of the turn? 

post #26 of 45

I recently bought Progressor 950s and I can tell you that they have plenty of pop coming out of a turn.  I weigh 180.

post #27 of 45

I've always found Volkls very playful.  Give a Volkl SL Speedwall ski a try, or if you want something more "all-mountain" and not quite so much carving try Volkl RTM (75 and below has tip rocker beyond that has full rocker - not exactly what I would call a carving ski).

 

Fischer WC SC is a little less playful, but still lots of fun and pop.

post #28 of 45

What is the tune on your Rossi e83? Still factory?

 

Get a good .75/3 tune from someone who knows what they are doing and you'll be surprised. I weigh a lot more than you and they rail just fine on firm NE snowpack.

 

My favorite playful hard snow ski is the Blizzard Supersonic.

 

I find the Progressor (9+) very capable but not playful at all. More of a detuned race ski.

post #29 of 45
^^^

+1 on all points
post #30 of 45

I have the Rossignol Pursuit 18.  Good grip on man-made ice; edges set to 0/2 degrees.   Check it out. 

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