EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Another "One Ski Quiver" thread - but please help!
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Another "One Ski Quiver" thread - but please help!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Next year I will ski in Colorado for 2 weeks, in Europe for 1 week and in Chile for another week, and I figured that it probably makes sense to buy a pair of skis now… (I have boots already – Lange XT 120, properly fitted)


I am an advanced-intermediate skier (I got back to ski 2 years ago, after a 12 year-break), 6’1, 190lbs: quite comfortable in groomed blacks, can ski non-groomed blacks and still struggle in double blacks. I think that I spend half my time on groomers and half on moguls, trees, and crud (and I expect to spend a little less on groomers as my technique to tackle moguls, trees and steeps improves). I expect to ski 2-3 weeks per year: one in South America and 1 or 2 in Europe/US (Rockies). I am looking for a ski that will cover most of my needs (groomers, moguls, trees, crud) and also cope with some fresh snow (I have not seen more than 5-6 inches in one day in quite a while).


I am planning to demo some skis in Snowmass next January and I would like your help to narrow the list of skis I should try. I do not know much about skis (my knowledge is based on what I read in this forum and a few other websites in the last couple of months), but I think that I need something between low 80’s and high 90’s underfoot (still too large of an universe). Not sure if I should focus on a front-side carver or on an all-mountain type of ski (nor how different they will feel)…

Anyway, I think that the skis (between 81 and 99) I might be able to demo are:

Blizzard Bushwacker, Bonafide and Brahma, K2 Rictor 82 and Rictor 90, Kastle LX82, LX92 and MX88, Nordica FA84, Steadfast and H&B, Rossignol E83, E88 and E98, Volkl RTM 84, Kendo and Mantra


Can you help me select which ones I should really try to demo (and in which size) and which ones will not really suit my needs?

post #2 of 13

Welcome to EpicSki.  I've skied a few of those but will only comment on the ones I've spent significant time on.  The Nordica Steadfast has been my daily driver for the past two seasons and will be again this year.  I've skied some other skis in the 88-90mm category and this was the one that really stood out and made me say "Wow!"  I spend the majority of my time off piste and I've even taken the Steadfast into 20+" of powder.  It worked but there are better options.  It holds an edge really well and is serious fun carving railroad tracks down a groomer to a lift.  The H&B is just a wider version and felt like it when I demoed it last year.  I've spent quite a bit of time on the Fire Arrow 84 EDT and fell in love with it.  It is a great ski, no speed limit, turns on a dime, busts through crud, even handled well in the trees a few times, BUT, it is a ski that demands you bring your "A" game to the table every time you get on it.  I'm not sure it's really a ski you can grow into.  If you can handle it, it is terrific fun.  The RTM 84 is a pretty remarkable ski.  I made several runs on it at Snow Basin last year and was prepared to hate it because of the full rocker.  I was really surprised at how well it handled on hard snow.  Unfortunately there wasn't any fresh snow but I suspect it worked quite nicely in anything up to 8-10" and maybe more.


If you are really going to try to get by with just one pair, I think you should be looking at skis in the 88-94mm range.  I think low 80's is too narrow for what you want.  Eliminate the 82/83's and the 98's and try to demo everything else.  That's my advise and it's worth just what you paid for it.  ;) 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks mtcyclist - great advice (and the list is down to almost half  :)). 

post #4 of 13

My 2$ would be MX88, Brahma, Rosi E88, and RTM 84. I am bigger than you and really liked the Brahma. The MX88 might be a lot of ski, but its very good. The rossi and RTM seem to be forgiving skis you can relax on. The Brahma is not a demanding ski either. Take a look at the Real Skiers website, worth the $20 cost for sure.

post #5 of 13

Were it me in the same position I would be selecting a ski from the following list, which is roughly in order of preference, although I'd be happy on any of them:


Kastle MX88

Blizzard Magnum 8.5ti

Volkl Kendo

Volkl RTM84

Rossi Experience 88


If you can try the Steadfast and the Hell and Back (which is wider) they'll provide a counterpoint, being lighter, snappier, more lively feeling skis than all of the above.  That may be your thing, but only a demo will tell.


90mm plus is not too wide as an all mountain ski, as long as it's good enough (and enough fun) on piste.  The two Nordicas mentioned above are both very good (and fun) on piste, so they qualify.


If you decide you're up for a 90mm plus ski the list would expand again.


Best of luck.

post #6 of 13
I recommend the Volkl Kendo as an excellent ski for your level and type of skiing you are doing at the moment. My husband skis them and calls them his magic skis, he does have blizzard Bushwhackers but now only skis the Kendo.- he feels more confident on them. I also ski the women's Kenja and love them. We ski in New Zealand on mostly hard pack, heavy lumpy snow and the occasional soft fluffy powder about 20cms. We ski off piste about 70%. I skied mine in Utah this March and they were good.
Kendo has an 87 waist, a great width for spending time on groomers but still good off piste. They are stiff enough to feel like a hero in crud and narrow enough with enough tip rocker to handle bumps. They can also carve beautifully when skied correctly. I keep demoing other skis and like lots of them but I keep coming back to my Kenja's as they are so versatile.
I feel that if you go too wide at this stage, you may not develop good turning technique. And too narrow will affect your confidence in fresh snow. We have developed from intermediate to advanced skiers in the last few years so understand the desire to improve. The Mantra is also awesome but I think too wide for a single quiver ski at your level.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your suggestions - really helpful!

So I will try to demo the MX88, Kendo, Brahma, Steadfast, E88 and RTM84 (and maybe one ski around 98mm - the wider brother of the 88-ish I like the most). I imagine that in terms of size they should all be around 175-180 (I am 6'1, 190 lbs), right?

post #8 of 13

In Snowmass,  I'd would demo at either Aspen Sports or Gene Taylors.  both are really good shops.  The managers are Keith and PJ.  Both good guys, that will take care of you.

I think any of these skis will work well.   The better you are, the wider you can go for a 1 ski quiver.

post #9 of 13
Originally Posted by tropicalskier View Post

Thanks for your suggestions - really helpful!

So I will try to demo the MX88, Kendo, Brahma, Steadfast, E88 and RTM84 (and maybe one ski around 98mm - the wider brother of the 88-ish I like the most). I imagine that in terms of size they should all be around 175-180 (I am 6'1, 190 lbs), right?


I'd recommend 175-185 range, depending on how much rocker there is.  Of the skis on your list the RTM 84 should be 180-185.

post #10 of 13

I own the Volk RTM 84. I love the ski.

Its great on groomers. Its got that great

Volkl feel in a lighter package because of the titanium mix.

Its expensive! Its a good looking ski. 


I use it more as a groomer ski, but it was

great in the one 4 inch storm I got last year.

The Kendo sounds good too. I have not tried it.  I have the old 

Mantra which is wider but similar. 

post #11 of 13

Another thumbs up for RTM 84. I also bought a pair of the Vwerks version and used in 1 foot deep soft and they work just fine. They do not float on top but very manageable. If you do not have heavy duty soft snow applications then they are fine. A lot more carving than the other ones. They are light. and the V-werks version that I bought are even lighter. Much less effort on the legs to work them and when sitting on chairlifts. I'm about your height and size and I do not recommend the 176s. Just like mtcyclist said, they are too short due to the full rocker configuration. 181s are more reasonable. 

post #12 of 13
Another consideration that might narrow the list is where do you want the ski to shine and which will it do but not as well. Ie hard snow bias or soft snow bias

For me, the losses are not symmetrical: A hard snow skinny ski is more frustrating in powder while a fat ski still "works" on groomer, it's just doesn't excite

In my opinion this is part of the reason for increasing widths

Mid 80s is very versatile. For deep days I prefer wider

If you have dough for the Kastle, you might be able to do a two ski quiver for not much more (logistics n transport notwithstanding)
post #13 of 13

That is a great reply. I feel the same way about my Kendos!

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