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Newbie - Brahma, Kendo or E88?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I’ve enjoyed the EpicSki site and forums for a couple years and finally signed up to post a question of my own. I’m about to pull the trigger on some new boards don’t have too many opportunities to demo. The skis I’ve narrowed it down to have been talked about before but I’ve have a couple of specific questions about length and flex you guys might be able to help with.


Me: 43 yrs. old, 5’7” 165 lbs. Advanced level, living in Midwest. One or two big mountain ski trips with backcountry excursions each winter but lucky if I get in 20 days a season. Love skiing off piste when available but really it’s groomers in the Midwest.  I’ve been skiing the Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous since 07 and looking for similar speed and carving ability but with a little more playfulness. Particularly lighter and a little more “flex” for occasional bump day. I do have three children that I’m often coaching so have my day might be very slow speeds, sliding, Jumping, skiing backwards etc.


Considering the Brahma, Kendo and Rossi E88 in that order. I’m under the impression there’s not much difference torsionally between these skis but what’s the opinion of the flex and playfulness off the groomers. Lastly what about length? I’m worried under 175 with Rocker will feel too short even for a guy of my stature.


Thanks for any feedback everyone.:) 

post #2 of 5

Among the skis you mention, the Rossi Ex88 is the more groomer centric ski. This is not because of it having better grip necessarily but rather it is b/c the 88 has a very pronounced sidecut with an especially wide, flared tail. This makes the sidecut of this ski pretty controlling in slow to moderate speeds and lower edge angles. That is a very good ski for midwest conditions and for making lots of carvey turns on a small hill. Both of the others however are a bit easier in soft snow with any depth to speak of. Both offer good edge grip and the differences are largely in feel. The Brahma has a slightly "looser" feel due to more tip rocker and having some tail rocker which the Kendo doesn't. The Kendo has a stiffer tail than the Brahma and is generally stiffer overall although not overbearingly so.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks SJ. Your comment regarding the "loser feel" of the Blizzard is interesting. I demo'd a flip core Magnum 8.0 on a soft snow day last year and experienced a similar sensation. Assumed I needed more time on the ski to "figure it out" but quietly wondered the rockered tail was a contributing factor. I'll likely be happy with any one of these skis but why not get as much skier intel as I can.
post #4 of 5

Hey Snowslappy,


It's definitely obvious you've done your research if those are the three skis you're considering. All three sound ideal for what you're looking for, and are really similar in terms of construction, width, etc.


What caught my attention from your description is that you're looking for a ski with "playfulness". From the three options you listed, I immediately went to the Blizzard Brahma. I had the opportunity to demo the Blizzard lineup last spring, and the overall take away for me was just how playful every one of their skis are. Call me a bandwagoner, but I honestly think there's something to be said about Flip Core and how it affects the ski's performance. I remember the Brahma's in particular because I didn't expect an 88mm ski to handle off piste as well as they did. Given I was only dipping off the side of the trail and hoping back on, but they still handled the variable conditions incredibly well. I was easily able to drop off trail into some loose powder, and then pop back onto the groomers from a little side jump. The next turn was a hard carve.


I know it probably sounds like I'm trying to push the Brahma's pretty hard... but it's because I'm positive that you'll love these skis from the first time you click in. While the Kendo and E88's are also really great skis, I'm not as positive that they'll be as playful as you'd like. With the Brahma's, I am sure you'll have a blast. They're just super easy to ski, fun, and capable of every terrain you'll need to handle.


Hope this helps!

Matt @ Skiessentials.com

post #5 of 5

Your size and weight seem about right for a ski in the mid 170's with mild rocker. Your location and mission argues for a ski that has grip, likes to make plenty of turns, can handle moderate speeds for coaching, and can also handle bumps. Which the midwest has. But still be up for the occasional trip out west where you open 'em up. Yes? 


Of the three you mention, IMO that's the E88. Especially factoring in bumps. The Kendo will do the same things, with even better grip, but at your size, would like higher speeds to do it, and won't be as user-friendly to a lighter guy in bumps or soft snow. And it's definitely not a easy-going switch ski for coaching. The Brahma apparently is a wonderful ski, and might work really well as your trip ski if you like to charge - it's also beefier than the E88 - but if you ski firm groomers 2/3 the time, the strength and design potential might be kinda wasted. (There's a pun in there somewhere but won't try to dig it out.) Still and yet, it would be my close second choice, well ahead of the Kendo. 


If you were to expand your shopping list a touch, there are a few other skis that would fit the bill. IMO the Blizzard 8.5 Ti might be a better fit for your location, and duties, while still handling soft snow out west, and the Nordica Steadfast would be a nice update to your Nitrous. If you're on a budget, the Nordica Burner is a great value for what it gives back. And the Kastle LX92 would have decent grip on hardpack while being light n' easy in soft snow and bumps, great at moderate speeds, the smoothest and second most forgiving of the bunch.


Good luck.

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