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Time for a Second Pair of Skis?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I have only ever owned one pair of skis at a time.  I had a pair of Elan 195s back in college then stopped skiing for about 20 years and have recently (the last five years) gotten back into it.  The last three seasons I have been skiing on 10-11 Blizzard Magnum 8.1 TIs in 172 (no rocker) with demo Marker bindings.  My boots ar Atomic Hawx 100 flex.

 

I consider myself an intermediate skier.  I can ski blues comfortably and most groomed blacks...I have done a few bumped up double blacks like Stein's Run at Sugarbush multiple times (I also almost bit the dust in Castlerock...certainly didnt do that comfortably but it was a blast).  I am looking to start doing more bumps and trees...I have been having a great time trying to learn how to ski that type of terrain.

 

Based on this, I am thinking of purchasing another ski for use on bumps and in the trees.  I understand that tree runs are similar to bump runs from a terrain perspective and thus I am thinking one ski for bumps and trees.  I have also never taken a ski lesson so I am thinking of taking a bump run lesson this season.

 

Can you recommend a good second ski for me for these purposes?  Also, do you think my current skis are good enough for this and thus I dont need a second pair (especially considering my ability level)?

 

My specs.  6' 185lb male.  45 years old and in pretty good shape.  I ski mostly the Poconos with several trips to Vermont each year (Sugarbush, Jay, Okemo...may also do Stowe this year).  I will always be spending at least part of the day on the mountain chasing my daughters ages 11 and 7.  I would not be switching skis on the same day and thus the ski recommendation should take that into account.

 

 

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 15

First, the prevalent attitude around here is that you can always justify another pair of skis.  :cool  Let's just get that out of the way.

 

I demoed the 8.0 ti's for a day last year.  I thought they were decent bump skis, but only if you fit into the "I know what I'm doing" category -- i.e., they force you to ski bumps with decent technique.  On one hand, that's a good thing -- immediate feedback; on the other hand, it's not exactly confidence inspiring.

 

The easiest skiing bump ski I've been on is the Blizzard Bushwacker, which been discussed endlessly on these forums.  It has a bigger brother, the Brahma, and a whole bunch of even bigger brothers.  Bushwacker's handle Vermont bump runs really well; the only downside to them is that the tip is pretty vague -- i.e., it's not going to "pull" you through a turn the way your 8.0's will.

 

What you're going to find is that skis that are money in the bumps aren't great groomer skis -- i.e., they can work remarkably well on groomed terrain, but they will always be lacking that extra "something" on groomers.  In the same vein, great groomer skis tend to be poor bump skis.  You can't have both.

post #3 of 15

I've been on the two-pair quiver bandwagon for several years now.  I like ripping groomers with a race ski, but skis like that aren't much good in trees, powder, bumps, etc so I have a second pair of 'all mountain' skis for that.

 

But  the magnum 8.1 is more of a 50-50 ski, so I don't know that a second pair of something else will do much for you.  A dedicated powder ski or a dedicated race ski would cover conditions where the Magnum is sub-optimal, but it doesn't sound like that's what you're looking for.  I'd say lessons will probably do more for you than different hardware.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks Kevin and Walt.

 

Kevin, interestingly the Buskwacker was on the short list of skis I was considering.  Do you think its sufficiently different from the Magnum 8.1 for my purposes?  I was also thinking Atomic Theory although perhaps thats too wide for my purposes?

 

Walt, I think based on your comment that you would consider my current skis to be close enough to bump/tree skis and thus there wouldnt be much benefit to a second pair of skis, especially considering I am in the East (for example, if I had narrow stiff carvers the purchase may make sense or if I lived out West the purchase of 100+ wide POW skis may make sense).  Thanks for making that comment as its always fun to buy more equipment although I wouldnt want to waste money purchasing redundant equipment.

post #5 of 15

Like yourself, I took at least 20 years off to raise a not interested in the cold family.  Came back to skiing 10 years ago and have to admit I am a ski quiver junkie.  So yes, I could justify 3-4 pairs of skis for you very easily.  For myself, I found mogul lessons to have a greater impact than the skis. YRMV.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks Liv2ski.  I do plan on taking the mogul lessons regardless of whether I purchase the second skis.

 

Regarding the second pair of skis, I am now reading more about the Blizzard Brahma in comparison to the Bushwacker.  Does anyone think either of those skis make a good second pair when combined with my 2010-11 Magnum 8.1 TIs?  Again, I would be using them for hard and soft bumps, intermediate level forays into the trees and also using them on groomers when chasing my two young girls (I dont see myself switching skis on the same day).

 

I guess my biggest concern is that my exisiting 8.1s would be too similar to the Brahmas or BWs.  I have only owned a few pair of skis in my life so I am not good at evaluating skis from a construction perspective.  That said, my 8.1 TIs seem pretty stiff and heavy (also I have Marker demo bindings so maybe that makes them heavier?).  Also, no rocker on my 8.1s.

 

Thanks again.

post #7 of 15

Ahh, the Poconos, me olde stomping grounds. The 8.1 you have is a great foundation who for the "packed powder" (see:ice) that the Poconos get. The fore mentioned Bushwacker is indeed a fine choice for you to get you more comfortable in the bumps, Scott's The Ski is the other one in that range that I think is a stellar 90ish waisted ski that is great in the bumps. With some time and a little coaching, you should be able to gain the skills to get you down Castlerock. If you are to take some lessons, I would suggest doing it in Vermont, ideally from one of the Epic members here such as @epic or @Josh Matta who are at Stowe or @Tog  who is at Okemo. 

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks Philpug!  My kids elemetary school has a ski club that meets at Camelback once a week.  We have a blast.  Its funny because people on this forum poke fun at the Poconos (good naturedly of course!) but growing up in Michigan the Poconos are in my view pretty good skiing (definitely a step up from MI just like VT is a step (or two or three) up from the Poconos and the Catskills).

 

Regarding the Bushwackers...173 or 180s?  The 180s seem really long to me considering my first season rentals from 4 years ago were 167s and my Magnum 8.1s are 172.  However, reading this forum I think most of you in the know would be recommending the 180s for my height and weight.  Any reason to go shorter since I am focused on bumps i.e. Castlerock:) (I will consider myself a competent skier after I can get down Castlerock with no falls at moderate speed:)

 

Thanks again

post #9 of 15

You're my height, but a good 10, 15 pounds heavier.  Buchwacker's have a good amount of early-rise on the tip (i.e., so it skis pretty short), and at my height / weight, the 173 is on the verge of being overpowered., especially if you have to start plowing through crud piles.  You might want to look more at the 173cm Brahma if you're going to be skiing bumps a fair amount.

 

I haven't been on  the Brahma yet, but I'm interested in seeing how it compares.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks Kevin.  Interestingly the 173 Brahma is about .2lbs heavier than the 180 Bushwacker..I guess its the additional metal since the specs are otherwise the same.

post #11 of 15

Another argument (justification ?) for a second pair is just the variety it offers, especially if you ski one resort almost exclusively.  The Bushwakers might give you enough of a "different" experience that it keeps the sport interesting.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyles View Post
 

Thanks Philpug!  My kids elemetary school has a ski club that meets at Camelback once a week.  We have a blast.  Its funny because people on this forum poke fun at the Poconos (good naturedly of course!) but growing up in Michigan the Poconos are in my view pretty good skiing (definitely a step up from MI just like VT is a step (or two or three) up from the Poconos and the Catskills).

 

Regarding the Bushwackers...173 or 180s?  The 180s seem really long to me considering my first season rentals from 4 years ago were 167s and my Magnum 8.1s are 172.  However, reading this forum I think most of you in the know would be recommending the 180s for my height and weight.  Any reason to go shorter since I am focused on bumps i.e. Castlerock:) (I will consider myself a competent skier after I can get down Castlerock with no falls at moderate speed:)

 

Thanks again

Sounds like you are in the Pocono Mountain East School District. 

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

So I have narrowed my search to a 173 or 180 Bushwacker, preferably with demo bindings.  There seems to be more 173s available at good prices (esp 2012 models).  Will I even notice the difference between the skis if I get a 173 rather than a 180?  We are talking 2.75" here (less than an inch and a half on each end).

post #14 of 15

Yes, there will be a difference. But its impact depends on your mission. At your size, you'd be happier with the 180's for all-around, or at speed, but the 173's will be be fine for your stated interest in bumps. The Bushwacker is a touch narrow for a guy your size in the trees when there's any amount of powder. If it's bumped up, then the 173's will rock there too. 

post #15 of 15

IMO 180 Bushwacker is the way to go. I am a 5'9" 185 level 7+ and love to ski bumps and trees. I have 180 BWs and they are great in the bumps and trees. I do NOT wish I had a shorter ski for bumps and tight spaces and I am glad I have the longer length for choppy conditions.

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