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I could use some help deciding what skis to buy this year...

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

I am 37 years old, 5'10", 205 lbs now but hoping to get back down to 190 by December.  I only ski in New England, mainly Vermont and Sugarloaf in Maine.  I only get to ski @5-10 days a year.  I grew up skiing but stopped after high school until I was about 30.  When I got back into it I picked up a slightly used pair of Volkl Six Stars.  They were incredible at high speed and carving on groomers.  Unfortunately I found them too stiff in the bumps and trees.  I eventually ripped the bindings out so I had to replace them.  I picked up another used pair, this time Head Mojo 90s.  They are much lighter, less demanding, and more fun in the woods and bumps.  I like them but I am not in love with them.  They can't hold a candle to the six stars on groomers at high speed.  I didn't expect them to but the tip chatter is unnerving.  I would like something a bit better at speed on the groomers but still be playful in the woods and bumps like the Mojo's.  Also, a less demanding ski is my preference. The Six Stars were very demanding and exhausting by the end of the day.  

 

I have narrowed it down to the Volkl Kendo's or the Blizzard Bonafides.  Unfortunately the odds of me making it to a demo day are highly unlikely.  So I need to buy based on reviews and recommendations. I can't seem to find a bad review about the Bonafides.  I also can't seem to find that many used pairs for sale.  Which is usually a sign that people like them a lot and don't sell them quickly after they've bought them,  

 

I am an intermediate skier.  Not an expert but any means.  I still can't ski the bumps well and that is where I would like to improve the most.  Any recommendations you guys may have I appreciate.  

post #2 of 31

I think you are track with the Kendo not so much with the Bonafide which is a more demanding ski. Other good choices are the Blizzard Brahma or even the Bushwacker which is great in the bumps and trees and good on the groomers as well but without the metal it gives up a little to the others mentioned above on the groomers.

post #3 of 31
Eric has it right with the Brahma, I am a Pro Rep with Blizzard and have skied this new ski at Stratton Demo day in February. I have a pair of Bushwackers from last year and like the added metal to the ski. I am only 5 5 170lbs and have no problem bending this ski and short radii turnsin the bumps. You wil be able to find some reviews in EPICSKI review section. To improve in the bumps you will need to improve in short turns. A suggestion is to move to the 8.5 or 8.0 Ti ski is also a very good choice. Peronally I have skied the 8.0Ti in Park City in a few inches of new snow and had no issues.
Good Luck
post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 

It sounds like I have to do a lot more research.  I don't know anything about the Mojo 90's I have now.  How do they compare, to say, the Kendo?  It sounds like the Bones are above my ability level and I shouldn't consider them.  

post #5 of 31

Hi - I may be the only person on Epic, other than you, who owned 6* and still owns a pair of Mojo 90's. Truth. Mojos are in Hawaii, but that's another story. Anyway, you aren't gonna find something that supple and easy in bumps and trees that still rocks along at 6* speeds. If you want something shaded more toward that mission, than agree about the Brahmas, which apparently are an excellent all around. And will work well with someone your size (I'm 6', 165). I've never enjoyed Kendos as much as Mantras, but that's prolly just me. I know many who like them a lot. You might also take a look at the Nordica Steadfast, which will be lighter and more flingable that the Brahmas but just as stiff for your weight. 

 

OTOH, if you really are wanting that ability of the Mojos to wiggle through tight places, then I'd recommend something more like the Dynastar Outland 87, or the Stockli Rotor 84 if you have the $$, or the Armada AR7 if you don't. But they won't hold up to ice like you seem to want

 

So my hunch is that with your background and where you ski, the Brahma or Steadfast will be a better fit. 

post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

Hi - I may be the only person on Epic, other than you, who owned 6* and still owns a pair of Mojo 90's. Truth. Mojos are in Hawaii, but that's another story. Anyway, you aren't gonna find something that supple and easy in bumps and trees that still rocks along at 6* speeds. If you want something shaded more toward that mission, than agree about the Brahmas, which apparently are an excellent all around. And will work well with someone your size (I'm 6', 165). I've never enjoyed Kendos as much as Mantras, but that's prolly just me. I know many who like them a lot. You might also take a look at the Nordica Steadfast, which will be lighter and more flingable that the Brahmas but just as stiff for your weight. 

 

OTOH, if you really are wanting that ability of the Mojos to wiggle through tight places, then I'd recommend something more like the Dynastar Outland 87, or the Stockli Rotor 84 if you have the $$, or the Armada AR7 if you don't. But they won't hold up to ice like you seem to want

 

So my hunch is that with your background and where you ski, the Brahma or Steadfast will be a better fit. 

 

Wow!  Awesome response.  Thank you!  

 

I've done a lot of reading about the Brahma's and they do sound like an ideal east coast ski for me.  I hardly ever get to ski fresh powder.  Maybe once or twice a year.  The rest of the time it is typical east coast hard pack, ice, bumps and woods.  The more I research the more it seems like a 90mm or so under foot is ideal for those conditions.  The Brahma sounds like an ideal fit.     

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

If I do decide to go with the Brahma, what length should I get? Again I am 37 years old, 5'10", currently around 205 lbs but hope to be down to 190 by ski season, intermediate, and ski on the east coast.  I am leaning towards 173s but maybe I am better off with 180s??? 

post #8 of 31
I'm thinking that 90mm underfoot is doable but wider than you really need for what you describe. blizzard magnum 8.0 or 8.5 ti is what I'd be looking for in that line.
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 

I've read reviews on the 8.0 and 8.5 and they appear to be suited for groomers more than anything else.  At least that is what I took away from reading the reviews.  I am not on groomers often.  I am looking for a more versatile all mountain east coast ski than the reviews I've read about the 8.0/8.5 appear to be.  I would like the ski I get to be stable and fast on groomers when I'm on them but that is not my top priority.  I would be willing to give up some top speed for a more playful/controllable ski in the bumps and woods.   

 

I don't know if I am making any sense. :o  My skiing vocabulary is limited.  

 

I appreciate all the responses though.  Keep em coming!   

post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 

BTW, I don't have to have the newest and greatest.  I would rather pick up a used pair that will work well for me and save a few bucks.  With that said I am also willing to pay more for something that I will be happier with in the long run.  Whatever ski I get I will probably keep for 5 years at least since I ski less than 10 days a year.  

post #11 of 31
I will also suggest the Brahma. It sounds like just what you are looking for. I think the 180 will be the optimum length for your size.
post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
I am leaning towards the Brahma 180 at this point. Thanks everyone. Any binder recommendations to go with them?
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by beekermartin View Post

I am leaning towards the Brahma 180 at this point. Thanks everyone. Any binder recommendations to go with them?
Sth2 13 in green or pivot14 in green.

post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 
Cool. Those will match my bright yellowish green nordica boots fairly well.
post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
I talked to my friends that are much better skiers than me and they all said I should get 173s. I also stopped by my local shop and described what I was looking for in a ski and he immediately pulled out the Brahma. He also recommended a 173.
post #16 of 31
Thread Starter 
I found a pair of 2011/2012 Bushwackers 173s in about 85-90% new condition. The guy selling them works as a tech in a ski shop and he is gonna remount the marker griffin 12 bindings to fit my 315 mm boots. They have only been mounted once so far. He is also gonna give them a full tune. He is selling them for $350. Seems like a good deal for me. He is also local to me.

From all the reviews I've read the Bushwackers should be a good ski for what I am looking for. If I find it lacking on the groomers I'll try the Brahmas next year. My uncle, who is much better skier than me, got the Bushwackers last year and he loves them. He did say they aren't as powerful as he would like on fast groomers but they are great at everything else. That is basically what I am looking for.
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by beekermartin View Post

I found a pair of 2011/2012 Bushwackers 173s in about 85-90% new condition. The guy selling them works as a tech in a ski shop and he is gonna remount the marker griffin 12 bindings to fit my 315 mm boots. They have only been mounted once so far. He is also gonna give them a full tune. He is selling them for $350. Seems like a good deal for me. He is also local to me.

From all the reviews I've read the Bushwackers should be a good ski for what I am looking for. If I find it lacking on the groomers I'll try the Brahmas next year. My uncle, who is much better skier than me, got the Bushwackers last year and he loves them. He did say they aren't as powerful as he would like on fast groomers but they are great at everything else. That is basically what I am looking for.

 

Sounds like you got a great deal. Good luck with them. 

post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by beekermartin View Post

I found a pair of 2011/2012 Bushwackers 173s in about 85-90% new condition. The guy selling them works as a tech in a ski shop and he is gonna remount the marker griffin 12 bindings to fit my 315 mm boots. They have only been mounted once so far. He is also gonna give them a full tune. He is selling them for $350. Seems like a good deal for me. He is also local to me.

From all the reviews I've read the Bushwackers should be a good ski for what I am looking for. If I find it lacking on the groomers I'll try the Brahmas next year. My uncle, who is much better skier than me, got the Bushwackers last year and he loves them. He did say they aren't as powerful as he would like on fast groomers but they are great at everything else. That is basically what I am looking for.

 

Are you sure you don't wanna get the right size that were suggested 180cm? You can have a brand new setup Bushwacker+griffon for about $460, of course you would have to pay for mounting and tuning, but at least it's what is supposed to be ideal length... you will pay ~30% less for a non ideal length used setup compared to a brand new!

 

Not sure if this is a good move! The price is good if it includes the bindings, but looks like you are getting a short ski for you!

post #19 of 31
Thread Starter 

My six stars were 168 and the Mojo 90s are 176.  I don't think a 173 is too short for me.  Everyone I've talked to has told me that I shouldn't go longer than that.  If I was a more advanced/expert skier than I would go longer.  I am an intermediate skier that is trying to get better in the bumps.  A feel a shorter ski is better for that.   

post #20 of 31

Hi - For the record, so were my 6* and Mojos. :eek

 

Couple of things: 1) The 6* don't belong in the same conversation as the Bushwackers as a comparo. Former are a heavy, stiff classic cross ski, latter are a fairly flexy all mountain with rocker. 2) Also tough to compare to Mojos, which are a previous generation design, true twin with no rocker, bit heavier and softer, not really aimed at same audience. 3) $350 is an OK, not great, price for a pair of used skis that'll have to be redrilled. You could have found Bushwackers new a few months ago for that, and right now they're still only $80-90 more. 4) Bushwackers are a great learning ski, versatile for anyone, and well, they're a great ski to bushwhack on. So I'm not saying it's a bad idea. But they ski short because of their weight and rocker. I'm 40 lbs lighter than you, 2 inches taller, and prefer the 180. It still is a bit nervous in crud or on hardpack. So I'm concerned that a 173 will be kind of a noodle for you, especially coming from a 6*. You might find yourself pressuring the front and having it squirm.

 

The answer IMO may not be to go for a 180, but to move back to some of the skis you were thinking about earlier. Which are beefy enough that you can ski them short. Check these out: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Volkl-Kendo-skis-New-170-cm-11-12-/200963779392?pt=Skiing&hash=item2eca5feb40  They're new, and well less than your gonna pay for your Bushwackers. Or these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Volkl-Kendo-170cm-New-2012-/121188235963?pt=Skiing&hash=item1c3761babb Also new, and under 3 benjamins if you snipe them. Or these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2013-Nordica-Steadfast-170cm-/171143331909?pt=Skiing&hash=item27d8f00045 Which are used, same price. 

 

Just sayin'....

post #21 of 31
Thread Starter 
I know I am not getting am incredible deal but a fair one. Mainly because the guy who is selling them is gonna remount them and tune them up. He also lives locally so I don't have to deal with shipping or having to return them if they aren't was represented. It comes with good bindings as well.

For the few times I get to ski a year I think I will be fine on these. Worst case scenario is I don't like them and I have to resell them for a small lost. At least I will have had a current model ski to compare to what I try next.

What is the main advantage to a longer ski? I assume the advantage is stability and speed on groomers. I am willing to sacrifice some performance there to make skiing in the bumps and trees easier for my ability level.
post #22 of 31

The reason I would buy Bushwackers is to use them in the ungroomed deeper snow, making turns in between tight trees, so I assume you will be skiing them there primarily, and not so much on hard packed snow or ice.  And since you have 6*s, 6*s is what you should be using for groomer zooming (if you still have them).

 

With that in mind, you can see that float would not be a problem on groomers, but at 205 lbs, float could be a concern in ungroomed deeper snow; you want to float over buried branches and fallen timber, when you go off piste; the more you sink in, the more you risk hooking into a "snow snake" (BTW that term has two meanings:1 -  snow-buried root or branch that you didn't see that snagged your ski and caused you to fall and 2 - creature that some believe to be mythical that snags my ski and then dissappears completely without a trace, thereby causing me to fall for no apparent and then reason :D).  Also the more on top and the less in the snow you are the easier it is to smear/butter turns.  At 205 lbs, you could use the extra float.

 

An other reason for extra length is a longer snow platform under the ski that can deliver more force to turn your 205 lbs without breaking loose.  Hardpack and ice is solid enough to do it at a shorter length.  In fact for very hard conditions, shorter is better in that it lets the edges dig in more due to more pressure by spreading out the force on a smaller area.

 

An other reason for extra length is more forgiveness in fore-aft balance.

 

It's a good enough deal, but if it's not the ski you should be on, it's a waste of your money, and more importantly your precious ski time.

post #23 of 31
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately most east coast skiing is on hardpack on the groomed trails. I am lucky to see real powder only once or twice a year. The woods is the only place I usually get to find any true fresh powder most days. I love the snow snake definition. I think I've ran into the second one many times. Sneaky bastards!

Well I have already given my word on the bushwackers so I am committed. I will post some pics once I pick them up. Suppose to get them Friday.

I don't own the six stars anymore. I ripped the built in bindings out of the rail of the ski. I will miss them on fast groomers but that was the only place I really enjoyed them.

I will bring the mojos with me and swap back and forth between them and the bushwackers so I can get a good feel for the differences. That should give me a good idea of what I like about both. If I find the bushwackers are lacking severely in one area I will know what to get next. My gut feeling is the Brahmas in 180 length will probably be my ideal ski and length. For now I'll give the bushwacker 173s a try.
post #24 of 31

"Unfortunately most east coast skiing is on hardpack on the groomed trails. I am lucky to see real powder only once or twice a year. The woods is the only place I usually get to find any true fresh powder most days."  Too true.  Another place to look on a storm day is in the terrain park; the park rats go straight from feature to feature and there's lots of snow in between. :)

post #25 of 31

Hey Ghost your right-on with the park thing;At mammoth when it's snowing on the weekends they shut down most of the mountain and you can find some real fun turns between those jumps!

post #26 of 31
Thread Starter 

I picked them up tonight.  They are in excellent condition, my boots fit perfectly and they are all tuned up!  Giddy up!!!

post #27 of 31

Enjoy them! I basically wore out a pair of Mojo 90s and Bushwackers (or Brahmas) were one of the skis I seriously considered to replace them.

post #28 of 31

Now you just have to wait for the snow and go enjoy it!

post #29 of 31
Thread Starter 

Not only wait for the snow but lose 20 lbs or so too! 

 

BTW, are the 2011/2012 Bushwackers the same ski as the 2012/2013 Bushwackers?  Not the graphics of course but the rest of the ski.  

post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by beekermartin View Post
 

Not only wait for the snow but lose 20 lbs or so too! 

 

BTW, are the 2011/2012 Bushwackers the same ski as the 2012/2013 Bushwackers?  Not the graphics of course but the rest of the ski.  


My understanding was that they are.

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