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post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to add a ski that will provide more float in deeper snow, and better stability when dealing with variable snow and crud.

 
After much research, here are the things currently on my list:
  • FX94 (174)
  • Stormrider 95 (173)
  • Kabookie (173)
  • Bonafide (173)
  • Soul 7 (180)
 
 
So - what say you Epic? Other skis to look at? Places to demo? Questions I'm not asking?

 

 

 
It will be the second ski in my quiver, to compliment my Blizzard 8.0 Ca's.
In order of preference - what I demo'd before buying last time:
  1. 158 Blizzard 8.0 Ca - Sang to me.  They just felt "right" (still do).
  2. 161 Vokl RTM 80 - Not quite as responsive as the Ca, felt good.
  3. 158 Dynastar 80 - Felt chatter in more variable conditions, not bad overall.
  4. 160 K2 Rictor - Didn't like, I remember it as meh.
  5. 160 Rossi Exp 83 - Hated, just did not like the feel at all.

 

 

My details:

  • I currently ski 60/40 East/West.  No home mountain, but I spent or plan to spend significant time at:
  • East coast: Magic (terrain), Killington (bumps!), Mt. Snow (groomers), Windham (fun!)
  • Western: Vail resorts, Mary Jane, Whistler, Bachelor
  • Trees, Moguls, Steeps, Exploring, and Fast Groomers are my favorite things on the mountain.
  • Skied 28 days last year, and have over 50 planned for this year.
  • Advanced skier.  Comfortable just about anywhere, graceful down most of it.
  • 169cm, 145lbs

Edited by Magi - 11/15/13 at 5:42pm
post #2 of 26

Magi,

Magic Mt. might have a Worth skis demo day some time this year, check out  worthskis.com. Dowork from epic ski knows about the area and the ski company. My daughter has the Blizzard CA 8.0 in 158 she's 5' 3' 115lbs 18 y.o. and has the Blizzard Samba in the 166cm. The CA is for ripping up the groomed as she did today at Kton but she works them in the bumps real well. She has had them since last year. She has been out on her Sambas a few times last year in pow and soft moguls and was killing it with them. I think not having metal in skis for  soft snow, bumps, trees is important to get that feel of the ski/snow interaction in the 3d snow.

In the Worth skis line I have the Humbacks which is 109mm  underfoot and love them for anything soft, deep, spring snow, bumps etc.Not so for hard groomers.I have other skis for that stuff. They also have a new ski called the Magic that was getting rave reviews by people who have been on them , again Dowork would know a lot more on that. I have not been on any of the skis on your list or seen anyone ski them so I can't comment on them. Good luck

post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback.  I really do love my 8.0 CA's (to the point that I'm considering picking up a pair of 168s left over from last year...)

 

The Worth "Daily Bread" and "Magic" are on my radar - I like the idea that they're locally made, use carbon like my CAs, and the width seems right.  Unfortunately I'm not seeing any way to demo them before the end of December - when I head out west - so they aren't on my list (I could be convinced).

post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magi View Post
 

I'm looking to add a ski that will provide more float in deeper snow, and better stability when dealing with variable snow and crud.

 
After much research, here are the things currently on my list:
  • FX94 (174)
  • Stormrider 95 (173)
  • Kabookie (173)
  • Bonafide (173)
  • Soul 7 (180)
 
 
It will be the second ski in my quiver, to compliment my Blizzard 8.0 Ca's.
In order of preference - what I demo'd before buying last time:
  1. 158 Blizzard 8.0 Ca - Sang to me.  They just felt "right" (still do).
  2. 161 Vokl RTM 80 - Not quite as responsive as the Ca, felt good.
  3. 158 Dynastar 80 - Felt chatter in more variable conditions, not bad overall.
  4. 160 K2 Rictor - Didn't like, I remember it as meh.
  5. 160 Rossi Exp 83 - Hated, just did not like the feel at all.

 

 

My details:

  • 169cm, 145lbs

 

To me there is something here that does not compute. The skis in your "hard snow" list (including your daily driver) are all pretty easy-skiing, not very burly skis to begin with, and they are all on the short side, given what little I know about you from your post. The skis in your "soft snow" list are mostly (with the possible exception of the Soul) skis that are known to prefer a certain level of chops to ski well. You have listed lengths that normally might be considered very slightly on the long side for your size, but they are VERY long compared with your hard-snow choices. Why wouldn't you be looking at the 172cm Soul, for example, instead of the 180? In short, I fear that you are going to find any of those skis a handful, if you really feel like those hard snow skis are enough for you. I am very slightly taller and 10 lbs lighter than you, level 8 all-around very confident skier. I find the 173cm Kabookie - not one of the more demanding skis on that list by repuation - to be quite a lot of ski for me. Very fun, but requires commitment. At the same time, my main hard-snow ski is a 167cm race-carver, not a 157cm recreational carver. I would find a 158cm ski way too small for me unless it was a slalom race ski or otherwise a ski specifically designed to be skied at a very short length, which the skis in your list are not. See my point? Did you try the Blizzard 8.0 (or any of those other skis) in the mid-160s length? If so, how did that feel to you? Not being critical; just trying to understand your thought process and your skiing preferences.

post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

 

To me there is something here that does not compute. The skis in your "hard snow" list (including your daily driver) are all pretty easy-skiing, not very burly skis to begin with, and they are all on the short side, given what little I know about you from your post. The skis in your "soft snow" list are mostly (with the possible exception of the Soul) skis that are known to prefer a certain level of chops to ski well. You have listed lengths that normally might be considered very slightly on the long side for your size, but they are VERY long compared with your hard-snow choices. Why wouldn't you be looking at the 172cm Soul, for example, instead of the 180? In short, I fear that you are going to find any of those skis a handful, if you really feel like those hard snow skis are enough for you. I am very slightly taller and 10 lbs lighter than you, level 8 all-around very confident skier. I find the 173cm Kabookie - not one of the more demanding skis on that list by reputation - to be quite a lot of ski for me. Very fun, but requires commitment. At the same time, my main hard-snow ski is a 167cm race-carver, not a 157cm recreational carver. I would find a 158cm ski way too small for me unless it was a slalom race ski or otherwise a ski specifically designed to be skied at a very short length, which the skis in your list are not. See my point? Did you try the Blizzard 8.0 (or any of those other skis) in the mid-160s length? If so, how did that feel to you? Not being critical; just trying to understand your thought process and your skiing preferences.

 

Thanks for the questions @qcanoe - they're good ones.

 

I think my current 8.0 is too short, is the bottom line (I debated listing the length at all, you can check out my "outgrowing gear" post for more background). They're the first pair of ski's I've owned, and at the time I bought them (skiing at a level 6ish), it was what was recommended to me, and there were no 165ish options.  The bottom line is I don't know what length will be "too much" for me, and as for a ski that requires skills - I'd rather something to grow into than something I quickly replace.

 

In the intervening time, I've gotten significantly better, so I'm looking longer.  The lengths I'm looking at are based on the "what length should I buy" post which puts me at 170-175, except for the Soul 7 - which I understand to ski shorter (hence 180 over 172).

 

edit - I don't have enough experience demoing skis to say more than "This one was amazing to me", so I listed the other things I demo'd (knowing full well it might have been the snow or the tune) to try and add data for more experienced folks to draw from about what I like (and hopefully why I like it).  It may turn out to be just a distraction.

post #6 of 26

A couple of other thoughts...

 

Be careful with DoWork's reviews...he's an incredible skier and for his relatively compact size, skis very powerfully.  I bought a pair of skis from him that he thought were awesome and I couldn't make them work for me because I ski so differently.  That being said, there's another Magic skier that is much more laid back and loves his Worth Magics...but he's a pretty big guy (over 6', over 200# I'm guessing).  Not sure if he's an Epic member, his TGR handle is Smartyiak.

 

Another Magic regular skis on the Worth Daily Breads and loves them...he's about the same size as DoWork and skis very well but less aggresively.  Again, not positive if he's an Epic poster but his TGR name is GetAmped.

 

I hear a lot about the Worth skis but haven't been able to demo any...yet.  Have yet to hear anyone say they're sorry they bought them and I have never seen a used pair for sale.  That's saying something.

post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magi View Post
 

Thanks for the feedback.  I really do love my 8.0 CA's (to the point that I'm considering picking up a pair of 168s left over from last year...)

 

The Worth "Daily Bread" and "Magic" are on my radar - I like the idea that they're locally made, use carbon like my CAs, and the width seems right.  Unfortunately I'm not seeing any way to demo them before the end of December - when I head out west - so they aren't on my list (I could be convinced).


I've skied on the Daily Breads and thought they are an excellent ski. I already have  Blizzard Ones and they were too close in comparison so I didn't buy that ski. The Ones are fantastic. Here is another thought if you can find a Blizzard Crush that is a great ski. It is the womens version of the One 98mm underfoot. There are some still around I think I saw some new ones for sale at sierra trading post or maybe dawgcatching but not sure. The Samba is the replacement to the Crush but if you can get Crush you won't regret it.

post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magi View Post
 

I'm looking to add a ski that will provide more float in deeper snow, and better stability when dealing with variable snow and crud.

 
 
 

I read this line and immediately thought Cochise or Dakota because that is precisely what they do. Then I read the rest of the post and wasn't so sure.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowbowler View Post
 

Magi, I think not having metal in skis for  soft snow, bumps, trees is important to get that feel of the ski/snow interaction in the 3d snow.

In the Worth skis line I have the Humbacks which is 109mm  underfoot and love them for anything soft, deep, spring snow, bumps etc.Not so for hard groomers.

 

The Dakota has metal and that means stability and crud busting capability. It also means, as Treckchick says 'you have to show up' when you ski them'. My wife is 5' 5"/110 lbs and skis the 177 Cochise and loves them but her skills are at the 99th percentile man or woman. I guess I'm suggesting you add the Dakota to your 'maybe' list. Here is Treckchick's review as a starter.

 

http://www.epicski.com/products/2013-blizzard-dakota#review

 

UPDATE on my post

After posting the above, I looked at the new 2014 Dakota and was very surprised to see Blizzard has removed the metal from the ski. FWIW I think that's a bad move but might make the ski exactly what you want.


Edited by Castle Dave - 11/16/13 at 6:40am
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magi View Post
 

Thanks for the questions @qcanoe - they're good ones.

 

I think my current 8.0 is too short, is the bottom line (I debated listing the length at all, you can check out my "outgrowing gear" post for more background). They're the first pair of ski's I've owned, and at the time I bought them (skiing at a level 6ish), it was what was recommended to me, and there were no 165ish options.  The bottom line is I don't know what length will be "too much" for me, and as for a ski that requires skills - I'd rather something to grow into than something I quickly replace.

 

In the intervening time, I've gotten significantly better, so I'm looking longer.  The lengths I'm looking at are based on the "what length should I buy" post which puts me at 170-175, except for the Soul 7 - which I understand to ski shorter (hence 180 over 172).

 

edit - I don't have enough experience demoing skis to say more than "This one was amazing to me", so I listed the other things I demo'd (knowing full well it might have been the snow or the tune) to try and add data for more experienced folks to draw from about what I like (and hopefully why I like it).  It may turn out to be just a distraction.

 

Okay, I went back and skimmed your "outgrowing gear" post and have a bit more context now. I'm kind of with sibhusky on the eyebrow-raising "wow, that was fast" reaction to your skills progression, but I do know people who are natural athletes who have acquired some high-level skiing skills much faster than I would have thought possible, so I'll assume that's you for the moment, without evidence one way or the other.

 

What you are saying makes rough sense. I would just suggest not buying any of those softer snow skis in those lengths until and unless you've demoed a few at those sizes and also their shorter siblings. I would be surprised, for example, if you were to step out of your 158s and ski the Soul 180 and the Soul 172 back to back, and honestly prefer the 180, never mind what certain bigger Bears might say about that model "skiing short". (And actually I'm not sure that's quite exactly what I remember them saying anyway.)

 

(There is a certain EpicSki smell to your list. That's fine, but it's important to understand that many of the posters who opine about skis here regularly are exceptionally strong and experienced skiers and athletes, and generally speaking they have a tendency to prefer skis that are on the longer and more powerful side than many of us civilians would. Same exact thing goes for the magazine tests, for that matter. The fact that Dawgcatching, for example, weighs only 10lbs more than you and likes to drive a beefy all-mountain ski @178cm, should not lead you to believe that you should, too, unless you have watched a bunch of his videos and videos of yourself side-by-side and can honestly say, "Yeah, I ski a lot like that." Once you get out on the hill, what other people think suddenly matters not a whit, and you will be alone with your ski choice. It's just not that fun to be on too much ski, and this is all about fun.)

 

BTW, I think it's GREAT that you specified lengths for the skis you demo'd earlier. That is very helpful to people who don't know you. More people should do that on this board.

post #10 of 26

You might consider the Atomic Access. I have them in 171 (could have went with the 181 too) and love them for the conditions you describe......5'7", 130 lbs

 

Philpug has them on his 2012 and  2013 Steals & Winners lists:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/113533/philpugs-2013-steals-deals-winners

post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

What you are saying makes rough sense. I would just suggest not buying any of those softer snow skis in those lengths until and unless you've demoed a few at those sizes and also their shorter siblings. I would be surprised, for example, if you were to step out of your 158s and ski the Soul 180 and the Soul 172 back to back, and honestly prefer the 180, never mind what certain bigger Bears might say about that model "skiing short". (And actually I'm not sure that's quite exactly what I remember them saying anyway.)

 

(There is a certain EpicSki smell to your list. That's fine, but it's important to understand that many of the posters who opine about skis here regularly are exceptionally strong and experienced skiers and athletes, and generally speaking they have a tendency to prefer skis that are on the longer and more powerful side than many of us civilians would. ... Once you get out on the hill, what other people think suddenly matters not a whit, and you will be alone with your ski choice. It's just not that fun to be on too much ski, and this is all about fun.)

 

BTW, I think it's GREAT that you specified lengths for the skis you demo'd earlier. That is very helpful to people who don't know you. More people should do that on this board.

 

"There is a certain EpicSki smell to your list."  <--- There's definitely an EpicSki smell to that list. ;)  


I'm also acutely aware that buying the wrong tool will at the least, decrease my fun - and could lead to injuring myself.

 

The baseline is/was the Bonafide - both because I love my current Flipcore ski, and lots of people recommend them.  I want to be able to ski the Bonafide (Metal means you're a better skier right? ;)).  I think the Kabookie is more likely to be right for me, for my weight, strength, and skiing style/priorities (dawgcatching's reviews make me think he approaches skiing like I do - despite not skiing at his level).

 

The Stormrider and the Kastle are there because they're spoken of so highly, and (if I'm perfectly honest) because of ego/gear lust.  I want a conversation around value and performance - not price - they also help anchor that conversation.  (That said - they're almost two pairs of ski's pricey - so they'd better be amazing).

 

The Soul 7 is on the list because the same guys who pegged me for the 8.0 said "Check this out" when I came back in to the shop. I love the ideas embedded in the ski  (Short 17m radius, sidecut, hex tip/tail, light, camber under foot, basalt).  I pause about it because it seems crazy wide (while acknowledging that I don't have any experience evaluating that!) Edit - the 180 was because the tip and tail literally don't have edge on them - seemed like it'd have to ski short on harder snow.

 

 

I also picked the widths I did to try and get perspective on the 95/98/10X debate.

 

 

 

Quote:
 Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

 

Okay, I went back and skimmed your "outgrowing gear" post and have a bit more context now. I'm kind of with sibhusky on the eyebrow-raising "wow, that was fast" reaction to your skills progression, but I do know people who are natural athletes who have acquired some high-level skiing skills much faster than I would have thought possible, so I'll assume that's you for the moment, without evidence one way or the other.

Your skepticism about my skill level is completely fair - but I think this level 8 description from keystone is accurate:

 

"You ski or ride with confidence and flair, with offensive tactics and techniques on most terrain. You can carve arc-to-arc turns on easier groomed runs, and you handle moderate mogul runs with consistent speed and rhythm. You are competent, if not always confident, in moderate ungroomed conditions, and you can handle all but the most extreme in-bounds terrain. You may lack the needed confidence or particular technical or tactical options for true virtuosity in all terrain and conditions."

 

I came into my lessons at Keystone pegging myself as a weak 7 (instructor agreed), and left with the instructor putting me at a solid 8.  I also haven't had difficulty keeping up in any of the other "advanced" lessons or camps I've participated in.  Expert Skiers can definitely leave me in the dust - but I keep up just fine with advanced ones.

 

I attribute a lot of the quick progression to a) not starting with bad habits, b) seeking out lessons early and often.  I spent about a quarter of my ski days last year in lessons - and I think that made all the difference.  Hopefully doing something similar this year will continue that progression.

 

Is there a better way to communicate my ability level?

post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magi View Post
 

 

"There is a certain EpicSki smell to your list."  <--- There's definitely an EpicSki smell to that list. ;)  

 

The baseline is/was the Bonafide. . .

 

Your skepticism about my skill level is completely fair - but I think this level 8 description from keystone is accurate:

 

 

 

Magi, I think that there is some wisdom and reality in qcanoe's post above. Your target list reads more like a 2013 greatest hits of EpicSki and the large magazine reviews more than a rational selection for an ambitious, advancing skier at your size. The tell is the inclusion of the Soul 7 with a bunch of skis that either have metal or ski pretty solid and stiff and require strong skier input. Even if we take your word for it that you are killing it all over the mountain after 28 days, that lineup doesn't compute for a guy your size, unless there is some demo beta to back it up.

 

If I worked in a ski shop (I don't), based on what you have said in this post and the "outgrowing gear" post, the only ski on your list that I'd sell to you with confidence that you wouldn't come back and yell at me is the Soul 7 (173). I do think that the Soul 7 skis short, and the 180 could work if you really have the skills you report and if you were planning to use it more as a powder ski, or in open big mountain environments (Whistler/BC; Snowbird, Jackson). But if you are looking to use this on softer snow days on in the east, or at places like ABasin and Mary Jane in the soft bumps, at your size I would recommend 173 for sure. At 173, you are still a few cms above head height and I am willing to be that the ski will hold up just fine for you at speed. It is a totally awesome ski, it appeals broadly across the spectrum of preference, experience, size and style. Rossi hit a home run with this ski. You could buy now with confidence.   The guy at your shop knows what he is doing.

 

The other skis on your list are skis that you might like, but at your size I wouldn't assume that.   I don't think that the Bonafide (or the Kabookie for that matter) should be the baseline from what you have said.  And remember, there are no style points awarded by the "EpicSki panel of judges" at the ski rack. Q is right, once you get out there on top of your favorite bump field at MJ you have to make it work. So before you buy a Bonafide or a FX94, I'd be pretty sure that is what you really want. The Bonafide, for example, won't help you ski "all of Pallavinci when it's mega bumped." It won't improve your game in the bumps and will more likely make you worse if you are still working on it. Same for the FX94. Neither is a game improvement tool in the bumps for a skier of any size. The ultimate take away here is that reviewers' preferences, my preferences, Phil's preferences, Markojp's preferences, even Dawg's preferences (who is pretty close to you in size), are largely irrelevant because they are not tuned necessarily tuned to your size, style, geo, experience level, etc. . . . Gear suggestions need to be skier-specific to be directly relevant toward a purchasing decision. In the abstract, generalized reviews are interesting and fun, but largely irrelevant.

 

Assuming that you are looking for a ski for soft days in the east and most days out west except super hard groomer days (where your Blizzies will be great), a couple of suggestions that you might not have considered:

 

Line Prophet 98 - 172. Similar program to the Bonafide but with a slighter tighter turn radius and slightly easier flex. it will be better than the bonafide in the bumps and more compliant;

 

Atomic Access - 171. I've demo'd it at both 171 and 181 and although I'd ride it 181 (5'11", 185#), it actually held up well in fairly deep heavy snow at 171 - and it is way more solid on soft groomers than you'd expect. You could pick this up right now at the Evo outlet for $294 and although it might not be as "cool" as a Kastle or Stockli, I bet you'd like it way more and that it would do far more to launch you to the next level than some of the more macho, more heralded skis that you are eyeing;

 

Rossi Sin 7 or S3 - low 170s length (you are pretty much the target skier for this ski and S3 wasn't the biggest seller at Whistler by mistake);

 

Nordica Soul Rider - not the type of ski that I typically go for, but I thought that it was awesome, easy to ski and it would be a great all-mountain bumper for Abasin and MJ. And you can probably find a pair from last season cheap.

 

Line Sick Day 95 - this isn't a ski that I loved personally, but I could see a lighter skier really going for this. While it wasn't my favorite (which isn't surprising because I don't particularly like the SFB either), your self description and intended purpose hit the bulls eye for what I think Line was going for. Given that so many reviewers liked this - and the fact that one of my main ski partners, who is a super strong skier about your size, went crazy for the Sick Day 110 (he decided to purchase it on the spot) - you should add the 95 to your list. it might be exactly what you are looking for. this is one where you could probably get away with skiing it 179 but 172 might be fine also - I found it to feel uber short for me at 179.

 

And there are others: Scott "the ski" (the one ski of the demos last spring that I loved and my buddy 40#s lighter loved), the Sollie Q98, Nordica H&B or Vagabond or even a K2 like the Rictor 90 or Shreditor 102. Sight unseen, based solely on what you have written here, those all make more sense for you than the burly-metal-laminate-EpicSki-favorites (Bonafide, Kastle, Stockli, etc. . . ).

 

If you are getting in 50 days this season, you should really demo and decide for yourself. But I'd encourage you to be open-minded and step out of the praxis of the hot reviews. If after a few demos you decide that in fact you love something like the Bonafide in 173, then by all means purchase it.

 

Good luck. And get something that will be great for you now, for your next 50 days this season. Ski them into the ground and come back next year for more.

post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewyM View Post
 

 

Magi, I think that there is some wisdom and reality in qcanoe's post above. Your target list reads more like a 2013 greatest hits of EpicSki and the large magazine reviews more than a rational selection for an ambitious, advancing skier at your size. The tell is the inclusion of the Soul 7 with a bunch of skis that either have metal or ski pretty solid and stiff and require strong skier input. Even if we take your word for it that you are killing it all over the mountain after 28 days, that lineup doesn't compute for a guy your size, unless there is some demo beta to back it up.

 

...

 

Good luck. And get something that will be great for you now, for your next 50 days this season. Ski them into the ground and come back next year for more.

 

Stellar response - thanks for taking the time to write it.

 

I think its time to go back to the drawing board, and recognize that I probably can't buy blind at this point.  I don't know enough about what I want or what I need, so I'll have to take some time to Demo.

 

So lets try again:

  • How do I tell the difference between "you don't have enough experience in that condition" and the less hyperbolic version of "you're tying to push a 68mm race carver through 18 inches of fresh powder".
    • My default is to blame myself - and apply principles I already know, or ask an instructor what to change, so it works.  Other than getting my boots tuned up - that's worked well.
  • I don't know what I need a new ski for, other than lots of different sources suggesting that a wider ski will do good stuff for certain conditions.
  • I have lots of fun skiing bumps (hard, soft, or slush) in my 8.0s - I'm don't know what a "better" bump ski would let me do.
    • I don't think I need a new ski to drop Pallavinci, I just need to be better at flowing moguls on truly steep pitches for long periods.  Skiing down it last time just looked like stopping every 6-10 bumps.
    • Drunken Frenchman at MJ also didn't make me feel like my ski was holding me back.
    • Am I skiing "around" my equipment?  (Is that bad?)
    • What would it feel like?
  • The thing I have trouble in is chopped up snow, most recently experienced at Loveland up near chair 4/8 (not hard terrain) and at A-Basin's Zuma Bowl.
    • Loveland was the day after a 17" dump on May 1st, A-Basin was day 2, 3, and 4 after that dump.
    • I feel pushed around by the snow, and I don't feel like I can trust my ski's to power through things.
    • It's a *really* rough ride, even if I can hold it most of the time.
    • The above makes me think that more float (and possibly a stiffer ski) might be helpful.
  • I've never really felt "3D" in snow.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
  • The thing I have trouble in is chopped up snow, most recently experienced at Loveland up near chair 4/8 (not hard terrain) and at A-Basin's Zuma Bowl.
    • Loveland was the day after a 17" dump on May 1st, A-Basin was day 2, 3, and 4 after that dump.
    • I feel pushed around by the snow, and I don't feel like I can trust my ski's to power through things.
    • It's a *really* rough ride, even if I can hold it most of the time.
    • The above makes me think that more float (and possibly a stiffer ski) might be helpful.
  • I've never really felt "3D" in snow.

 

Sorry to nag but sounds like Dakota to me. You have the 8.0 for bumps, groomers and really hard snow conditions so a versatile, solid 105 to 112 powderish ski is the next logical step with the key being 'versatile'. 

As an aside really wide pure powder skis remove 3D from the ski experience due to skiing on top of the snow rather than through the snow. Check my avatar to see 3D snow. I weight 185 lbs and am on 185 Prophet 100's not on top of the snow but floating up and down within the 4 feet of fresh. More float would be easier but ruin the fun!

post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post
 

More float would be easier but ruin the fun!

 

. . . or not.:beercheer:

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magi View Post
 

 

Stellar response - thanks for taking the time to write it.

 

I think its time to go back to the drawing board, and recognize that I probably can't buy blind at this point.  I don't know enough about what I want or what I need, so I'll have to take some time to Demo.

 

So lets try again:

  • How do I tell the difference between "you don't have enough experience in that condition" and the less hyperbolic version of "you're tying to push a 68mm race carver through 18 inches of fresh powder".
    • My default is to blame myself - and apply principles I already know, or ask an instructor what to change, so it works.  Other than getting my boots tuned up - that's worked well.
  • I don't know what I need a new ski for, other than lots of different sources suggesting that a wider ski will do good stuff for certain conditions.
  • I have lots of fun skiing bumps (hard, soft, or slush) in my 8.0s - I'm don't know what a "better" bump ski would let me do.
    • I don't think I need a new ski to drop Pallavinci, I just need to be better at flowing moguls on truly steep pitches for long periods.  Skiing down it last time just looked like stopping every 6-10 bumps.
    • Drunken Frenchman at MJ also didn't make me feel like my ski was holding me back.
    • Am I skiing "around" my equipment?  (Is that bad?)
    • What would it feel like?
  • The thing I have trouble in is chopped up snow, most recently experienced at Loveland up near chair 4/8 (not hard terrain) and at A-Basin's Zuma Bowl.
    • Loveland was the day after a 17" dump on May 1st, A-Basin was day 2, 3, and 4 after that dump.
    • I feel pushed around by the snow, and I don't feel like I can trust my ski's to power through things.
    • It's a *really* rough ride, even if I can hold it most of the time.
    • The above makes me think that more float (and possibly a stiffer ski) might be helpful.
  • I've never really felt "3D" in snow.

I think part of this can be attributed to only weighing 145 lbs, That is not a lot of weight to power thru chopped up, tracked out snow. Also a more slicing thru technique might be in order versus trying to float or turn in that stuff. I don't know how you ski it but I'm making a guess a bit here. A stiffer ski with metal might power thru this condition but in other conditions it won't work as well . The other thing is this type of snow really is always a rough ride , better skiers are feeling it just as much but they are moving thru it with more efficient movements but they are working it. Lots of balancing fore/aft and side to side going on. A lot of it will come thru mileage seeking out this stuff and just playing around with it.

post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magi View Post
 

So lets try again:

  • How do I tell the difference between "you don't have enough experience in that condition" and the less hyperbolic version of "you're tying to push a 68mm race carver through 18 inches of fresh powder".
    • My default is to blame myself - and apply principles I already know, or ask an instructor what to change, so it works.  Other than getting my boots tuned up - that's worked well.
  • I don't know what I need a new ski for, other than lots of different sources suggesting that a wider ski will do good stuff for certain conditions.
  • I have lots of fun skiing bumps (hard, soft, or slush) in my 8.0s - I'm don't know what a "better" bump ski would let me do.
    • I don't think I need a new ski to drop Pallavinci, I just need to be better at flowing moguls on truly steep pitches for long periods.  Skiing down it last time just looked like stopping every 6-10 bumps.
    • Drunken Frenchman at MJ also didn't make me feel like my ski was holding me back.
    • Am I skiing "around" my equipment?  (Is that bad?)
    • What would it feel like?
  • The thing I have trouble in is chopped up snow, most recently experienced at Loveland up near chair 4/8 (not hard terrain) and at A-Basin's Zuma Bowl.
    • Loveland was the day after a 17" dump on May 1st, A-Basin was day 2, 3, and 4 after that dump.
    • I feel pushed around by the snow, and I don't feel like I can trust my ski's to power through things.
    • It's a *really* rough ride, even if I can hold it most of the time.
    • The above makes me think that more float (and possibly a stiffer ski) might be helpful.
  • I've never really felt "3D" in snow.

 

Hi Magi.  I'm glad that my post was useful.  Looking at your response above and your other thread, I think that you are basically asking two related but different questions: (i) how do I improve my game in the terrain I typically ski and (ii) will new/different skis open up new terrain and conditions that I currently struggle with.

 

You already know the answer to the first question - mileage and coaching.  But the second question is legit and the honest answer is "yes, although there are tradeoffs, a ski that is wider and more designed for soft snow will substantially improve your game off-piste, in variable conditions and in deeper tracked up snow like you describe above."  And it will make it more fun, easier, etc. . . .

 

I like to think about skis more in terms of "ski days" than ski attributes.  When I think about a ski that I want to buy, or which ski I am going to pull out of my garage in the morning, the questions I consider are: where am I going skiing (which mountain, terrain)? and what are the general conditions?  Rather than think about it as "this ski is great for bumps, this ski is great for groomers, this ski is great for soft snow" I tend to think more along the lines of "I am going to be skiing at X mountain, conditions are likely to be Y, so the terrain I am likely to seek out is Z."  It is a subtle difference, but the point that I am trying to make is that ultimately, you should think about every ski as a OSQ for the day that you are skiing it.  You don't ski around with a caddy behind you and swapping skis in and out over the course of the day isn't practical at larger resorts.  And even if the car is near the lifts, it drives your friends crazy (who are perfectly fine making it work with a quiver of one).  Maybe this is different at small hills where you return to the base every run, but even out here at a place like Alpental, where the car can be pretty close in or easily accessible, at most, when you are skiing with friends you get one swap per day - at lunch, if it is convenient and doesn't waste anyone else's time, or early a.m. if you are near the base and you got it wrong.  More than that and you are just being annoying.

 

The first half of your question is "have I outskied the 8.0s."  Like Phil said near the top of the other thread, the answer is likely no - for the environment to which they are tuned.  I haven't ridden it, but from what I gather, there is a top end to the performance band on that ski that you haven't yet surpassed (nor are likely to).  There is a question on the table about ski length (158 for a height of 169cm), but 10 cms below the top of the head seems within reason for a front side, firm snow carver your second real season back on skis.  But you already know the answer to this question - if you are bombing down a groomer do the skis feel stable at speed and planted through the full radius of the turn?  If yes, the length is fine.  So the Blizzis have their place - the go to ski for eastern conditions when there hasn't been any new snow and the secondary ski in the west when it is firm, hasn't snowed for weeks and you are likely to be spending all day on-piste, groomers and named bump runs (when reality of that day is more like 80-20, 90-10 than a more aspirational 50-50).  If the length is right for firm snow, on-piste and firm bumps, the answer to your question isn't new gear.

 

Assuming that the 8.0s are appropriate in length, I translate your actionable gear question as: What should I add to the mix for powder days in the east and softer daily conditions in the west that could also perform well on a powder day?

 

Given what you have said about your skiing, the number of days that you planned for this season, and the geos in which you plan to ski, I think that you definitely should consider supplementing the Blizzis with a soft snow biased, all mountain ski.  Although a softer ~88 like the Bushwacker is probably the perfect one ski quiver for you, because you already have a dedicated hard snow carver, I'd go wider and more soft snow biased for the second pair.  So I think you have two practical decision points when you build your list out: 

 

(i) Width - do you go ~98 or mid-100s; and

(ii) feel - do you go stiff, powerful, damp or light, crisp, snappy.

 

As for width, I think that you could go either way.  It really depends on where you ski (do you want to get some eastern use out of the ski?  are you spending more time in Summit County or Whistler?).  Based on what you have said, I'd probably steer you to a ~98ish ski for now, just because I think that you'd get more practical use out of it - 80% of days out west, a few days out east (unless you ski mid-week in Northern Vermont).  The right ~98 will make the 8.0s a specialty ski out west (that would be a goal of mine - but that is a preference based on the terrain that I like to ski).  That said, I could see the Soul 7 in 173 working the same way for you.  It carves very nicely for a wider ski and on packed snow it behaves more like a ~100 than a ~110.  Bump the length up, however, and it might become a more narrowly aimed, "at least a couple of inches of loose stuff the ground" ski.

 

As for feel, that is something you need to decide, but given your weight and experience, I'd start at snappy, quick, light as the baseline assumption (not the opposite end of the spectrum, i.e., Bonafide/FX94/E98/Mantra).  The truth is that it is a feel preference, not an indication of relative "expertness."  If you only read EpicSki, TGR, Blistergear and the major magazines you'd think that the more "expert" the skier, the more burly the ski preference.  But in the real world, that isn't exactly so.  At least in my experience, looking at the guys I ski with regularly (most of whom are pretty good), the preference is closer to half and half - maybe tilted a bit more toward light, quick, snappy.  Some of it relates to size, some of it relates to style.  I do think that it is somewhat true that unless you are a bigger dude, there are some baseline qualifications required for getting the most out of some of the stiffer skis - only because it takes some level of power (which could be supplied by either beef or chops) to bend them and ride them confidently in tougher, tighter conditions.  But a quick, crisp ski can get away from you if you don't know what you are doing also.  It is just that the lighter skis are likely to be a bit more compliant and tolerant of vague input because they are easier to push or force into a recovery.  But assuming it is a performance oriented ski, a high level skier will undoubtedly get more out of a quick/light ski than an intermediate, and many experts live for that "snap" and "pop" underfoot. Unfortunately, that get re-interpreted in places like Epic as "stiffness, burliness = expertness."  But the truth is more nuanced.

 

So demos can help you sort out your preferences along the width/shape axis and the powerful/quick axis if you have time and you aren't in lust with any particular idea.  As for recommendations, I still stand behind my list above - which are skis I have some demo experience with.  If you are willing to just take a plunge, and if you are not going to be able to resist your lust for something "cool" and the sex factor of the major reviews, go ahead and buy the Soul 7 now, and guarantee that you get a pair.  Lean on your shop guy for the length recommendation - he seems pretty solid and based on your boot credit experience, he deserves your business.  If you are going with the 173 you'll probably be OK waiting until after xmas - but I wouldn't wait on the 180s (although I'd be shocked if Rossi weren't already pressing the 14/15s for mid-season release/re-order). 

 

Or, if you are feeling more value oriented, and don't want to wait, go for that deal from EVO that I found on the Atomic Access (full disclosure:  I have zero economic or 'bro interest here - it is just a great deal, imo).  I honestly think that for your purposes, the Access is about perfect (in terms of flex, shape, compliance).  A great all around ski for the front range, you'd love it if it is even remotely soft and in deeper conditions (like you described at Loveland) your game will improve more than you can imagine.  It would also be a great every day ski at Whistler/BC (unless you want to cruise front side groomers at BC, but for that, you'd go with the 8.0).  I recommended the Access to a friend of almost the exact same profile - coming back to the sport, good athlete, fit, smaller, strong guy and he loves it as an all around PNW daily driver.  Anyway, the Access is cheap, risk is low and it will be way better on groomers than you think it will, especially if you just ignore the tip flap at speed (you shouldn't be looking at your skis anyway).  And you have firm snow covered, so I would be biased the soft snow direction anyway. In powder the Access rides loose and slarvy, like a baby Bent Chetler.  And best of all, although it is kind of unsexy, it isn't a Bilzzard/Nordica product, and perhaps it lacks the level of "refinement" necessary to justify a tariff double that of comparable skis, the Access is "EpicSki Approved!" - it made one of Phil's recent "steals and deals" lists.

 

That may be more than you were asking for, but I hope this helps break it down a bit and gives you a frame of reference to think about the questions.  New gear isn't the answer to every question - but in this case, where you want to raise your game off-piste and in variable conditions, there are better equipment options than the 8.0. 

 

Have fun this season.


Edited by LewyM - 11/17/13 at 11:20am
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 

Quote:

 Originally Posted by LewyM View Post

 

So demos can help you sort out your preferences along the width/shape axis and the powerful/quick axis if you have time and you aren't in lust with any particular idea. ...

...

That may be more than you were asking for, but I hope this helps break it down a bit and gives you a frame of reference to think about the questions.  New gear isn't the answer to every question - but in this case, where you want to raise your game off-piste and in variable conditions, there are better equipment options than the 8.0. 

 

Have fun this season.

 

What you've laid out is what I was trying to get at. Thanks for framing the question so clearly.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by LewyM View Post

 

... ultimately, you should think about every ski as a OSQ for the day that you are skiing it. ...

 

Assuming that the 8.0s are appropriate in length, I translate your actionable gear question as: What should I add to the mix for powder days in the east and softer daily conditions in the west that could also perform well on a powder day?

 

... So I think you have two practical decision points when you build your list out: 

 

(i) Width - do you go ~98 or mid-100s; and

(ii) feel - do you go stiff, powerful, damp or light, crisp, snappy.

 

 

(i) 98mm is mostly where I'm looking - the Soul 7 is the only (so far) thing that's tempting me higher.  Describing what I'm looking for as western "daily driver" / eastern "powder ski" is a good summary, and I'm hearing that ~98mm is a good size for that.

 

(ii) Which of those adjectives applies to the 8.0 Ca (or where does it fall relative to the stuff I didn't like)?  I think it was the stiffest, dampest, and crispest of all the ski's I demoed.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Castle Dave View Post

 

Sorry to nag but sounds like Dakota to me. You have the 8.0 for bumps, groomers and really hard snow conditions so a versatile, solid 105 to 112 powderish ski is the next logical step with the key being 'versatile'. 

As an aside really wide pure powder skis remove 3D from the ski experience due to skiing on top of the snow rather than through the snow. Check my avatar to see 3D snow. I weight 185 lbs and am on 185 Prophet 100's not on top of the snow but floating up and down within the 4 feet of fresh. More float would be easier but ruin the fun!

 

Why the Dakota over the Cochise?  Why step over the ~98mm category?

post #19 of 26
Quote:

 

 

Why the Dakota over the Cochise?  

Good question. The Dakota is available in shorter lengths than the Cochise. Also up until this year it had a very slightly softer/lighter core but still metal. For this year's Dakota Blizzard removed the metal from the Dakota which will make it lighter than the previous version and, based on you posts, a better fit with your skills and desires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magi View Post
 

 

Why step over the ~98mm category?

 

We know you like Blizzard and the Flip Core already. In spite of being wider, new or old versions of the Dakota will let you carve groomers and power through crud whereas softer, more rockered skis like the Access or S3 won't even if they are narrower. Ski construction is the real difference. Plus 108 is cooler in the lift line than 98 

 

The primary disadvantages of the Dakota

- cost because the Access or S3 are available a lot cheaper and would definitely cover the powder/soft snow end of the spectrum. You are just less likely to use them in the East but they offer more 'bang for the buck'.

- regardless of old or new versions, I expect the Dakota requires stronger ski skills and more energy than the Access or S3 which are pretty much guaranteed easy skis.

 

Good luck with your search.


Edited by Castle Dave - 11/18/13 at 10:15am
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 

I seem to have forgotten how to ski over the summer - so I'll wait to get onto proper snow (and find my technique) before buying, but...

 

First day of the season turned out to be a demo day (mostly hardpack) at Stowe.  The FX94 (166 and 176), BMX 98 (178), and SR95 (174) are my lead contenders (also tried the Worth "Magic" 171, SR100 [174], Bonafide [173], and my skis).  Ran out of time to test other models, but it was a fun experience.

 

The most interesting take away for me was trying the FX94 in 166 and 176 and the completely different feel of the two lengths.  In 176 I felt like I had something very stable and damp, point it, let it run, fear nothing.  In the 166 the ski felt more "alive", not quite as damp/fearless, but still trustworthy.   How much of that is the 2.5m difference in turn radius, and how much is the length itself?

post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magi View Post
 

I seem to have forgotten how to ski over the summer - so I'll wait to get onto proper snow (and find my technique) before buying, but...

 

First day of the season turned out to be a demo day (mostly hardpack) at Stowe.  The FX94 (166 and 176), BMX 98 (178), and SR95 (174) are my lead contenders (also tried the Worth "Magic" 171, SR100 [174], Bonafide [173], and my skis).  Ran out of time to test other models, but it was a fun experience.

 

The most interesting take away for me was trying the FX94 in 166 and 176 and the completely different feel of the two lengths.  In 176 I felt like I had something very stable and damp, point it, let it run, fear nothing.  In the 166 the ski felt more "alive", not quite as damp/fearless, but still trustworthy.   How much of that is the 2.5m difference in turn radius, and how much is the length itself?

 

 

both really.

 

My GF and I share the same boot sole length and jumping on her 166cm Bushwacker was like jumping on a soft SL ski compared to my 180cm I use to have. She was also surprised how easy my 180cm Brahmas were to turn.

 

Out of everything you tested or wanted to test I would say the Kabookie is dead center where you want to be. With sharp edges they do quite well on groomer but will be joy in trees.

 

in vermont I look at waist width like this....

 

78-80 ish groomer ski, will be good in bumps and skied out trees for skill skiers

88ish bump ski mostly, does best in skied out trees and pretty good on groomers.

98ish great all alround tree ski width, even better in powder and still pretty managable in bumps

108ish great powder ski, the modern ones will ski skied out trees fine and this IMO is where skis start to get slow in bumps

120ish great powder ski for everyday skier in northern vermont or for people earning turn in northern vermont, gets really slow edge to edge in bumps and skied out trees

post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 

If I could find somewhere to demo the Kabookie...

 

Hated the Bonafides when I tried them out, not sure if it was conditions, tune, or just tired legs at the end of my first day out.  I'll try them again though.  The Bones were just heavy and slow on the snow right from the start.

post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magi View Post
 
  • I have lots of fun skiing bumps (hard, soft, or slush) in my 8.0s - I'm don't know what a "better" bump ski would let me do.
    • I don't think I need a new ski to drop Pallavinci, I just need to be better at flowing moguls on truly steep pitches for long periods.  Skiing down it last time just looked like stopping every 6-10 bumps.
    • Drunken Frenchman at MJ also didn't make me feel like my ski was holding me back.
    • Am I skiing "around" my equipment?  (Is that bad?)
    • What would it feel like?
  • The thing I have trouble in is chopped up snow, most recently experienced at Loveland up near chair 4/8 (not hard terrain) and at A-Basin's Zuma Bowl.
    • Loveland was the day after a 17" dump on May 1st, A-Basin was day 2, 3, and 4 after that dump.
    • I feel pushed around by the snow, and I don't feel like I can trust my ski's to power through things.
    • It's a *really* rough ride, even if I can hold it most of the time.
    • The above makes me think that more float (and possibly a stiffer ski) might be helpful.

 

Hey, those are my playgrounds, so I'll chime in.  It sounds like your 158 Blizzard 8.0 is great for you all over the mountain in firm conditions, including bumps.   The only substantially "better" bump ski would probably be a comp mogul ski, which is just too limiting IMO.

 

For softer now, you want a wider, softer and longer ski to give you float.   A softer ski floats better than a stiffer ski.   Since you like to ski bumps, I agree with Josh a 98 is manageable in the bumps where a 108 is too slow edge to edge.   And that's for soft bumps.  For firm bumps, 90 is about as wide as I like.

 

So, that leads to a little longer, softer, 98 ski, IMO.   That's a pretty small selection, as many (most?) 98's are stiffer OSQ skis and not soft snow skis (Bonafide, Mantra, E98, etc).   

 

From the limited skis in the soft 98 department I've been on, the S3 is an easy choice.   I skied it a bunch last year in exactly the conditions you describe.   It was my soft snow bump ski to compliment my Kendo daily driver.  It was rather lacking in edge hold on groomers though.  They say the Sin 7 is better.   I'm skeptical the Soul 7 isn't too wide for a MJ soft bump ski, we'll see.

 

If you have a trip to Mary Jane planned, they have demos of Sin, Soul and Super 7 skis at the base.  Trying those at the Jane on a day with 6+ new should answer your question.  

post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

 

Hey, those are my playgrounds, so I'll chime in.  It sounds like your 158 Blizzard 8.0 is great for you all over the mountain in firm conditions, including bumps.   The only substantially "better" bump ski would probably be a comp mogul ski, which is just too limiting IMO.

 

For softer now, you want a wider, softer and longer ski to give you float.   A softer ski floats better than a stiffer ski.   Since you like to ski bumps, I agree with Josh a 98 is manageable in the bumps where a 108 is too slow edge to edge.   And that's for soft bumps.  For firm bumps, 90 is about as wide as I like.

 

So, that leads to a little longer, softer, 98 ski, IMO.   That's a pretty small selection, as many (most?) 98's are stiffer OSQ skis and not soft snow skis (Bonafide, Mantra, E98, etc).   

 

From the limited skis in the soft 98 department I've been on, the S3 is an easy choice.   I skied it a bunch last year in exactly the conditions you describe.   It was my soft snow bump ski to compliment my Kendo daily driver.  It was rather lacking in edge hold on groomers though.  They say the Sin 7 is better.   I'm skeptical the Soul 7 isn't too wide for a MJ soft bump ski, we'll see.

 

If you have a trip to Mary Jane planned, they have demos of Sin, Soul and Super 7 skis at the base.  Trying those at the Jane on a day with 6+ new should answer your question.  

 

Thanks for the input @tball.  Of what I've tried, the BMX98 might fit that bill, and trying the Sin7 and Soul7  are high up on my list.  I definitely felt the "this is stupid" factor when I tried a 109 underfoot in bumps, but that ski was heavier than the Soul7.

 

94-98mm is where I'm focusing.  I doubt I'll hit proper powder days often enough this year to require owning a wider ski (like the Super7).

post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowbowler View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magi View Post

 
Thanks for the feedback.  I really do love my 8.0 CA's (to the point that I'm considering picking up a pair of 168s left over from last year...)

The Worth "Daily Bread" and "Magic" are on my radar - I like the idea that they're locally made, use carbon like my CAs, and the width seems right.  Unfortunately I'm not seeing any way to demo them before the end of December - when I head out west - so they aren't on my list (I could be convinced).


I've skied on the Daily Breads and thought they are an excellent ski. I already have  Blizzard Ones and they were too close in comparison so I didn't buy that ski. The Ones are fantastic. Here is another thought if you can find a Blizzard Crush that is a great ski. It is the womens version of the One 98mm underfoot. There are some still around I think I saw some new ones for sale at sierra trading post or maybe dawgcatching but not sure. The Samba is the replacement to the Crush but if you can get Crush you won't regret it.

Fyi, saw a pair of new old stock Crushes at 170cm for $400 with bindings at Sport Thoma in Bethel, ME. Good deal, imo.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post


Fyi, saw a pair of new old stock Crushes at 170cm for $400 with bindings at Sport Thoma in Bethel, ME. Good deal, imo.


Oh that could be a very good choice for Magi. Good price for brand new with binding.

 

For what its worth I'm 6' 205lbs and love the Ones I have ( ok share with my son) they are the 177cm. I spent a week last year out in Copper and hit everything they had , groomers, bumps, trees, open bowls conditions ranged from packed powder to 10-12" powder one morning in Resolution bowl, it was too good I just kept lapping there. If I was going to spend serious time out west a longer ski for the wide open bowls might have been better but I like being in the trees and bumps just as much and don't want to give up the performance of a slightly shorter ski. These are great groomer zoomer skis in the east too but I'd find something else for boilerplate. I think Blizzard made a mistake discontinuing the Ones/Crushes.

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