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Recommend a one ski quiver for intermediate level skier - 160lb male in Colorado

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I'm looking to get back into skiing after moving back to Colorado after a 2 year stint in NYC.

 

I'm a 160lb male, 5'11" and I only ski a few times a year.  I ski mostly blues with a few blacks and I'm happy to stay there.  Mostly groomed runs and some light powder on powder days.

 

Lots of labor day sales coming up this weekend (sniagrab, etc), so I figured I might pick up a pair.  I'm a fairly lightweight skier, so I need something that won't overpower me - something that I can get up on edge.  From the looks of it, skis have changed a LOT over the last few years - they're much wider now!  I'm also guessing I should be looking at something around 170cm in length, but I'm open to any suggestions.

 

Any opinions are appreciated!

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 19

Blizzard Magnum 85

Fischer Motive 86

Head Rev 85

Volkl Kendo

 

As far as I know all of the above are unchanged from 2012/2013 models.

post #3 of 19

I'm 1 inch taller, 5 lbs heavier, so call it a wash. Something in the low 80's to low 90's, prolly. Some good candidates IMO for lighter intermediate guys who ski central Rockies a bit: Blizzard Bushwacker, Rossi E83 or Avenger 82 Basalt, Fischer Motive 80, Solomon Enduro XT 850.

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys.  Do you think I might be OK with something around 160cm at 5'11 and 160lbs as an intermediate/advanced level skier who does blue & black runs?  Or do I need to go up closer to 168cm?  I've been reading that many people go longer in length than they really should, but I've also read that with today's rocker style skis that you don't want to go too short since the tip length is extended and leaves less of the ski in contact with the snow.


Edited by jkozlow3 - 8/28/13 at 10:14am
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post

Thanks guys.  Do you think I might be OK with something around 160cm at 5'11 and 160lbs as an intermediate/advanced level skier who does blue & black runs?  Or do I need to go up closer to 168cm?  I've been reading that many people go longer in length than they really should, but I've also read that with today's rocker style skis that you don't want to go too short since the tip length is extended and leaves less of the ski in contact with the snow.

If you go with one of the suggestions in the ~88ish range, bit of early rise, at 5'11", 160#, 160 length is way too short - by one, maybe two clicks in the size range. At your size and level you probably would be happiest on one of those skis in the low 170s size (for comparison, one click in the size range lower than what I'd choose at 5'11", 185# and "pretty good" level).  The reason to go a click longer (high 170s-180 in this class) is for stability at speed and float in loose, soft snow, but those might not be key criteria for you.  And if you are looking to optimize for maneuverability, ease at moderate speeds, and far better soft snow performance than you current get from your old skis, you'll probably appreciate the low 170 length which probably hits the sweet spot when you consider the tradeoffs in aggregate.

 

The suggestions in the thread above seem generally on point for what you are looking for (aside from the Magnum 8.5 and the Kendo which both seem like a bit much for a lightweight intermediate cruz'in the blues).  I wouldn't go above 90 underfoot (mid 80s to 90 so you get some of the soft snow, "light powder" performance you are looking for) and I'd keep it to the softer, lighter side in terms of layup. 

 

I'm going to refrain from any specific model suggestions because, honestly, I haven't skied any of the models in this class that would be likely good fits for you. . . and the ones that I have skied in the 80-90 range would be suboptimal for a lightweight intermediate.  A good shop should steer you in the right direction on both the model and length because you gave a good, honest self-description.

 

Good luck and have a fun season.

post #6 of 19

^^^^ What he said. At least 168, but you'll go further on a 170-something. The skis mentioned are forgiving, with the exception of the Kendo, tend to have some rocker, which makes turns easier on groomers.  

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I'll go with something around 170 or low 170s then since I'm looking at skis with a slight rocker.

 

So would something with an 88-90mm waist be a good fit as a 1-ski quiver for an intermediate/advanced skier in Colorado?

 

Would both the Blizzard Bushwacker and Nordica Steadfast be a good fit at my weight of around 160lbs?  I want to stay away from skis that are too stiff for my weight.  I've read that the Bushwacker is fairly soft - what about the Steadfast though?  I was also looking at the Rossi Experience 88 but I think I read somewhere that it's a bit more aggressive.  I want something that I don't have to bring my "A" game all the time and which won't punish me when I'm not riding it hard!  I want a fairly forgiving ski!  I'm hoping that whatever I buy will suit this purpose for the next several years, as there's just no need for me to upgrade very often with the frequency that I ski (a few times a season).

 

What else should I be looking at?  Ideally, I'd like to pick something up during all the Sniagrab and Ski-Rex Labor Day sales in Colorado this weekend!

 

Thanks again!


Edited by jkozlow3 - 8/29/13 at 9:47am
post #8 of 19
post #9 of 19

Fact is, there are a LOT of good skis in your range.  As tempting as it is to flip a coin and buy a pair on sale now, why not wait til your home state has snow and demo several of these?

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by near nyquist View Post

Maybe look at some of Dawgcatching's reviews

 

His weight/height range is similar

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/108443/88mm-skis-blizzard-bushwacker-magnum-8-7-elan-apex-head-peak-90-kastle-mx88-rossi-exp-88-volkl-kendo

 

 

I very much like the 88-90 class of skis for a CO one ski quiver.  Many good skis to choose from.  Dawgcatching reviews above are great, and you should be able to find most of those cheap since the review is a couple years old.  The skis in this class haven't changed much since then.  

 

I do think Dawgcatching skis them long for his weight.  I'm 5'11 180 and ski the same sizes he does (after experimenting a lot).   I really like the Kendo in a 177, and enjoyed the E88 in a 178.   Either in the next size down would be a nice ski for you.   If you go too long you'll be miserable most everywhere.   Too short and they won't be as good off-piste.   Better too short than too long. I even had a blast cruising and in the bumps on a 163 Kendo - it was just scary in powder/crud for my weight.

 

Here's a deal to consider that will beat the pants off sniagrab prices:

http://starthaus.com/2013-nordica-steadfast-flat-ski-blem.html

 

I just bought those in a 178 as my Kendo replacement without skiing them first.  Think about them in a 170 for your Colorado one ski quiver.  Amazing deal.

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

Fact is, there are a LOT of good skis in your range.  As tempting as it is to flip a coin and buy a pair on sale now, why not wait til your home state has snow and demo several of these?

 

His Home state is Now Colorado, he is gonna need some ski's biggrin.gif

post #12 of 19

The Steadfast is a fairly stiff ski that's light. It'll be more demanding than the Bushwacker, bit more planted on harder surfaces or in crud. Both are excellent skis, but if you only ski a few times a year, the Bushwacker in 173 will make you happier. It can be had at good prices right now (Google). If you want a more groomer oriented ski, I'd go for something like the Sollie Enduro over the Steadfast, given your plans. Atomic makes some nice skis that are fairly Sollie-like (same company now), the Blackeye Ti is a possibility for you.

 

Advice: Don't freak and get all urgent about saving $50 at a specific ski sale and end up with a lame ski the guy there says is just for you. Do your homework, make some decision trees, and stick with them. The ski(s) you want will be around for a while, won't magically vaporize after the Labor Day sales. 

post #13 of 19
JKozlow3--welcome back to Colorado!

There are many skis that you'd surely learn to love for your needs. I don't know what your budget is, and it's hard to predict what sorts of things you'll find available at the Big City sales like Sniagrab. But if you don't find something there, I'd strongly encourage you to try a pair of Hart Pulses, in the 170 cm length. You are not likely to find them at the bargains sales (even when you spell BARGAINS backwards), and they are not that easy to find in general, but you can demo a pair from Pioneer Sports in Frisco, among other places.

At 77mm underfoot, the Pulse is narrower than what most of today's marketing hype (and those swayed by it) would suggest for you, although still considerably wider and more versatile than, for example, a race ski. But for what you've described--mostly blues and a few blacks, groomed and some light powder, they are the perfect ticket. With sound technique, you'll find that skis in this range have few limitations indeed, and will perform very well across the spectrum from recreational racing and cruising on groomers to bumps and even deep powder and crud. In the category, the Pulse, handmade in Italy by the renowned Blossom shop, is one of the best-built, nicest-riding, most versatile and user-friendly skis I've experienced.

Disclaimer--yes, I am affiliated with Hart Skis, and have been for several years. But I chose that affiliation based on how much I liked their skis--and the Pulse, in particular, has been a long-time favorite of mine. Whether you choose the Pulse in particular or not, I strongly encourage you to explore skis in this size and shape range for the needs you've described.

I hope to see you on the slopes!

Best regards,
Bob
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post

 

I very much like the 88-90 class of skis for a CO one ski quiver.  Many good skis to choose from.  Dawgcatching reviews above are great, and you should be able to find most of those cheap since the review is a couple years old.  The skis in this class haven't changed much since then.  

 

I do think Dawgcatching skis them long for his weight.  I'm 5'11 180 and ski the same sizes he does (after experimenting a lot).   I really like the Kendo in a 177, and enjoyed the E88 in a 178.   Either in the next size down would be a nice ski for you.   If you go too long you'll be miserable most everywhere.   Too short and they won't be as good off-piste.   Better too short than too long. I even had a blast cruising and in the bumps on a 163 Kendo - it was just scary in powder/crud for my weight.

 

Here's a deal to consider that will beat the pants off sniagrab prices:

http://starthaus.com/2013-nordica-steadfast-flat-ski-blem.html

 

I just bought those in a 178 as my Kendo replacement without skiing them first.  Think about them in a 170 for your Colorado one ski quiver.  Amazing deal.

 

Those Steadfasts are a great deal indeed.  I'm worried that they might be a tad more punishing and require more strength/effort than I can comfortably put into them at 160lbs however.  I only ski a few times a year, and I want to be happy with my selection even when I only bring my "B" game.  This is based on a comment or two that I've read about them elsewhere.  I would love to hear other people's opinions on this vs. other options like the Bushwacker, E88, etc.

 

Edit: I see that "beyond" already confirmed my fear regarding the Steadfast while I was typing this reply.

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 

Beyond (or others), what do you think of the Elan Apex for someone like me?  Dawgcatching has written great things about them, as have others.  I was thinking they might be a good fit for me in a 168 length.

 

Thanks!

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkozlow3 View Post

Beyond (or others), what do you think of the Elan Apex for someone like me?  Dawgcatching has written great things about them, as have others.  I was thinking they might be a good fit for me in a 168 length.

 

Thanks!

Hey Jkozlow3.  I haven't skied the Elans so I'd have to let others with real experience on that ski comment. 

 

The best advice I think you can get now, however, is not to lock in on any specific model, especially based on a comment here or there from strangers on an internet board with widely varying agendas . . . if you aren't planning to demo and decide for yourself, there is no need to seek out your holy grail ski.  Just aim for something sensible, in the ballpark.  Also, as an intermediate skiing a few days a year on mostly blues, I am not sure that you'd even appreciate narrow performance differences between models.  Perceive differences in feel, maybe. . . but that might have as much to do with the snow conditions as anything else.

 

In general, there is some pretty good directional guidance in this thread (of course, at the margin, you need to decide which guidance speaks to you as being most on-point, most targeted toward the input you provided).  I'd take that guidance and head to a quality shop in CO.  See if it holds up.  Find an employee who looks like they've been there for a while, give good honest data like you did here and see what they recommend.  And if you find a deal, you are golden.  A long-term employee at a good shop has two built in incentives, both of which work to your advantage: (a) he/she wants to sell you something they believe in and (b) he/she does not want you coming back angry and disappointed.  A good shop will stand by its recommendations (model and length). 

 

The other thing that I've learned after demo'ing quite a few skis over the past couple of seasons is that while I have preferences and gravitate toward certain kinds of skis and I ultimately buy what I like best for me, I have found that there are a ton of great skis out there and I could be happy on most of them.  If you hit the right category and general performance band that you are looking for, you almost can't go wrong.  So if you find a great deal on something that makes sense at a Labor Day sale, and whomever is helping you confirms that it makes sense for your size, level and aspirations, go for it - the risk is pretty low and if you land somewhere in the general consensus you've heard here you'll probably end up liking it a lot.

 

Have fun and now that you live in CO, you might want to consider bumping up the "few times a year" thing.  smile.gif

post #17 of 19

Jkozlow3,

 

I ski the Apex in 177 as my daily driver in Tahoe for the last few years based on Dawgcatchings recommendations

 

5-10, 165

 

It works well in bumps / crud / steeps / powder up to 6 in or so with good edge hold

 

If you can get a pair for a low price or maybe a demo pair for a reasonable price

 

I would go for it.

 

For your height 168 will be SHORT, I would look for 177

 

And since you are in Colorado, Get a pass you will ski more

post #18 of 19

Looks like the Hart Pulse is on ebay for $399.   I'd give Bob's recommendation some strong consideration.  77 is a great width for your level, preferred terrain and snow conditions.

post #19 of 19
170 or 177 Salomon Rocker 2 90 (really 88) from REI for $299, but 5% cash back with Active Junky.
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