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All Mountain Ski (Tahoe): 1 Ski Quiver

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi everybody,

 

I've skied my whole life on the east coast (Vermont, New Hampshire) and am now living out west. I usually hit the slopes 15-20 times a winter, and hit whatever. Groomers, powder, crud, trees, moguls- I'm pretty indifferent, but probably would say I'll be 60% on-trail and 40% off. So something with some float to it, but mobile enough to carve through the occasional mogul set. I don't know anything about west coast skis to buy, and was wondering if you guys could help me out. I am 21 year old, 6'1" and 185 lbs and will be skiing at Tahoe primarily and maybe a trip to Colorado/Utah/BC.

 

Thanks all!

post #2 of 21

Welcome to Tahoe. Are you North or South Shore? Well, if I am going to have ONE pair of skis for Tahoe....

 

Click for the secret ski, the answer awaits you...

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
BLIZZARD BONAFIDE 180cm
post #3 of 21

My buddy Wade literally skied his Kastle MX98's to death; no lateral grip left in them after 4 seasons.  He purchased an Elan Apex last year and really liked it, and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets another MX98 when they become available.  He skis mostly Squaw and Northstar.  

 

When I have been down there, I figure I would want something quick enough for steeps, solid in bumps, great at speed and in choppy crud, and fun for the occasional groomer.  I would probably choose something like a Kastle FX94, new MX98, Kastle MX88, Stockli Stormrider 95, Blizzard Kabookie, Rossi Exp 88 or 98, Dynastar Outland 87.  There really isn't a "best choice" but all of these will handle basically everything but the deepest days.  I guess it depends on whether you can pick your ski days, or if your ski days pick you.  Are you only going up during storm cycles?  Or, on the other 80% of the time that it is firmer?  Do you seek out bumps and ski off piste, where the fun is, when it hasn't snowed in awhile?  That is what I really like about Tahoe: it is fun all of the time; skiing steeps never gets old. I find something in that mid-width, not too aggressive laterally at the tip, not too wide, to be the best ski for your typical off-piste conditions.  

 

GLWS! 

post #4 of 21

Welcome to Epic, brices. Phil is very enthusiastic about Bonafides, sells them in fact, and they're a fine do-all for better skiers from all reports. There are some other fine skis out there too, and part of the way we can help you decide is learning a bit more about what kind of a skier you are. For instance, you say you're indifferent, seem to want a ski that is good everywhere, groomers to backside, ice to bumps to powder. You also about split frontside and backside. OK, all good, but in reality, every ski will have some stuff it does well and some stuff it just does decently. So if you had to make a priority list, what would it look like? Would you put lift served ahead of backside? Bumps and trees ahead of grip on ice? 

 

Second, what do you ski on right now? How do you feel about it, pro and con? This helps us get a handle on you as a skier, and what you look for in a ski. Along these lines, have you had any feedback from instructors or other knowledgable types about what level you are, what strengths and weaknesses you have technically? Some skis demand more than others, and every ski seems to have a particular terrain it loves best. For instance, you may not want a ski that can be a handfull in bumps if that's precisely where you know you have some issues as a skier. Or if you aren't a great powder skier, you may want a ski that comes up easily in pow and allows for a lot of different styles.

 

Third, what qualities do you value in a ski? Some skis are damp, some are lively. Weight varies a lot. If you really value a damp, smooth ride at speed in crud, you probably won't love a light n' lively ski with a mild flex. But that same ability to crush crud may make it more work in the trees. 

 

Fourth, have you thought about demoing for a while before you buy? You may find that the new terrain, different snow, etc. will teach you more than you can get from educated guesses before you hit the snow. 

post #5 of 21

I would have a go on the Volkl mantra 98 or Line prophet 98 or Rossi 88 all good ones, take your pick...

post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daza152 View Post

I would have a go on the Volkl mantra 98 or Line prophet 98 or Rossi 88 all good ones, take your pick...

And all three very very different.
post #7 of 21
I've owned 180 Bonafides and have 186 Sickles. I prefer the Sickles as a OSQ. Ski mostly Squaw/Alpine. Probably 40/60 piste/off piste. YMMV...

Actually, I preferred Dynastar Legend 94s to Bonafides as well.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Welcome to Epic, brices. Phil is very enthusiastic about Bonafides, sells them in fact, and they're a fine do-all for better skiers from all reports.
Yes, I work in a shop, oh my. Well working in a shop IN TAHOE, affords me the ability to ski all the skis that I recommend based on experience and not just specs or what others say about them. For what you are looking for,the. Bonafide is about the best balance of all the attributes for the terrain you will be on. While no ski will do everything, the Bonafide does most things where you will be skiing as well a s or better than any ski. I don't think there is a 98 with more versatility than the Bonafide and since you asked for a one ski quiver I haven't seen a better ONE for Tahoe. I can ski everything or anything I want and if there is one ski that I can take, not knowing what the conditions will be..in Tahoe..it will be the Bonafide. Sorry, to be so biased and straight forward but you can spend half the season demoing (that's a topic for a whole other thread) or get out on a ski that you start learning and it starts learning you and enjoying your Tahoe experience.

*sorry for the few little typos, an iPad can be a pita to go back and edit.
post #9 of 21

1. Wait for the storms to cover Squaw.

2. Take Funitel to Gold Coast.

3. Walk to Gold Coast Demo Center.

4. Identify yourself and give them $65.

5. Take your pick of the candidates your product research has suggested, such as the recommendations here.

6. Go outside and try 'em.

7. Go back as often as you like and try a different pair.

8. Repeat as needed.

9. Decide.

10. Buy.

 

There, wasn't that easy?  Seriously, an in-and-out demo center right on the upper mountain of a skiing supermarket like Squaw has to be the best way to choose new skis ever. Just pick days with some diversity of snow conditions.

 

Even better: buy a Squaw pass and do this M-Th for half price.  Maybe even make a whole season of demo days, given the out-the-door price of today's skis.

 

As for the advice here, I loved the Bonafides and the Line Prophets, but I really fell for the E98 Rossi in 180.  This year I gotta try the Soul 7 and some other 100+ models.

 

Born and raised skiing California conditions.  No commercial connections to industry.

post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


And all three very very different.

But all with one same type 'All Mountain" skis, just need to go out there and demo as many as you can,  so you an feel the subtle differences?

post #11 of 21
All mountain is a term that is very broad. The skis you listed are VERY different. Bonafide needs a strong driver, Mantra needs an even more technical driver, Prophet98 is usually disliked by strong technical drivers, and Rossi88 should be a much more "hard snow" ski than the rest.

+1 to what Phil said (if you are a good skier).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daza152 View Post

But all with one same type 'All Mountain" skis, just need to go out there and demo as many as you can,  so you an feel the subtle differences?
post #12 of 21
Ok sorry my mistake.
post #13 of 21

Moment Tahoe.  Done.

 

All you need is tip rocker.  Skinny enough for the ice, fat enough for soft conditions.

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daza152 View Post

But all with one same type 'All Mountain" skis, just need to go out there and demo as many as you can,  so you an feel the subtle differences?

Wat alexzn sed. smile.gif. (Although the Mantra, Hell & Back, and Rossi E98 all hold better than the E88)
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


Wat alexzn sed. smile.gif. (Although the Mantra, Hell & Back, and Rossi E98 all hold better than the E88)

Yeah i don't have any Mileage yet so only really repeating what others have recommended to me, and they are good skis just depends on your circumstances of course eh?

post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking the best thing is to pop in and try them out for myself. thanks for the info, much appreciated.
post #17 of 21

If I could only have one ski in Tahoe it would be the Bonafide for sure.  It really is the most versatile ski I've been on.  On the other hand, it's so much more fun to have a narrower all mountain ski and then a powder ski, so before you absolutely limit yourself to one I'd recommend demoing some powder skis on a good day and it might change your outlook / priorities.  You might decide you're willing to sacrifice some hard snow performance for soft snow fun and go a bit wider with your one ski quiver.

post #18 of 21
To my limited experience Tahoe one-ski-quivers fall into two groups. One are the "widebody" skis which are 88-105 skis with stiffish flex, tip rocker and a strong powerful tail that is either flat or has very minimal shallow rocker. Skis in that category are MX88, old Mantra, Enforcer, etc. Second category are the powder shapes with 95-110 width, softer but still sturdy flex and tip and tail rocker (but not nearly as much as in a true powder ski). The shining example these days is probably Soul7, but other examples, are Gotama, and countless indies from Praxis to Moment. I'd put the Cochise in that category but barely so.
The trade off is simple, the first category maximizes the control and rebound at the expense of playfulness and ease of skiing, but the skier who enjoys the rebound usually has no problem driving a stiffer ski in soft snow. The second category is playful, forgiving,measy to smear, but would kick your ass at higher speeds and won't be as much fun on hard snow. Bonafide is a unique ski because it manages to somewhat straddle the categories. It's a first category ski that has a number of the key traits from the second category, that's why it manages to appeal to so many people. Whis is just a long way to say that it manages to nail the compromise inherent in an all mountain ski better than the most competitors.
Ok, it's Sunday and I am not skiing. So, how about some sweeping baseless generalizations (you have been warned)

Solid technical skiers after 30 usually prefer and ski the first category, 25 and under ski the second, smart intermediate and older smart folks also ski the second. Bad skiers under 30 should really be skiing the second category, but tend to buy the first because this is what the "good" skiers ski.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by brices View Post but probably would say I'll be 60% on-trail and 40% off. So something with some float to it, but mobile enough to carve through the occasional mogul set.

 

In your shoes I went with the Amphibio 88 xti  http://www.epicski.com/t/109901/amphibio-another-innovative-design-from-elan-skis

post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by liv2 ski View Post
 

 

In your shoes I went with the Amphibio 88 xti  http://www.epicski.com/t/109901/amphibio-another-innovative-design-from-elan-skis

That Amphibio is a great choice, forgotten about that one!  The 88 has a really nice flex to it.  I skied it down there a couple of seasons ago, really good in the bumps too. 

 

You would also probably be a good candidate for the Bonafide, definitely check out the Kabookie as well.  I am a smaller guy, fairly high level technical skills and like to ski fast, and find the Bonafide way too stiffish for bumps. Same goes for the Mantra.  I have a pair of Bonafides, but it is mostly a ski I keep in bigger turns at our local hill when I don't need to worry about the speed limit, above the treeline.  I ski my Kabookies (also the shop demo pair) in trees, bumps, and find it a more versatile ski (with a bit lower speed limit) than the Bonafide.

 

Don't overlook the skis from Fischer.  Wateas are excellent off-piste tools.  I have a Watea 101 as my AT ski, and it is super capable in questionable snow.  Motives are great too, a bit more hard snow oriented, but a great bump ski choice.  

post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by liv2 ski View Post

In your shoes I went with the Amphibio 88 xti  http://www.epicski.com/t/109901/amphibio-another-innovative-design-from-elan-skis

Have the Amphibio 88! to as well in 170. Probably he ski that I use most when I ski. If you want to demo it, talk to Bud at Snowind. I think he has a 178 for demo. Elan is not easy to find around here. I think hat Heavenly had some demos as well.
The 88 can be found for a decent price if you look for the 2013 model. 2014 has a new design, but that's it.
Moment skis will let you try any of their skis too.
I tried the Tahoe and like the Elan better. I didn't think that the tips were engaging well on Tahoe. Maybe due to the rocker. PB &J by Moment has been recommended to me a couple of times. Haven't tried that one yet.
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