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From Head iM88 to a wider 1 ski quiver

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

From Head iM88 to a wider 1 ski quiver.

 
Hi!
 
I’m looking out for a wider 1 ski quiver coming from my trusted Head iM88 (186 cm). I’m out for something in the range of 100-110 under foot for a few weeks in the Alps this winter/spring.
 
I am 6’0 , 181 lbs, 42 year’s & pretty athletic with strong legs. Been skiing since the late 80's.
 
Skill level: Advanced level on the frontside with good carving technique on groomers, crud, hard/soft chops & the icy stuff. I do prefer faster arcing GS to SG type turns, so my preference is more of the stiffer/stable type of skis which gives back what I put in, skis that don’t get pushed around so to speak.
 
My abilities out on the backside/off piste is not yet up there at the skill level on the frontside but still pretty decent I would say.
 
I’ve been out off-piste on heavy spring snow, hard pack, the windblown snow with that a bit deceiving hard crust on top of it or with fresh snow on top of it & only European Alps conditions (mostly Feb-March). Not as much in the deeper snow/powder. But when it has been deeper my skis don’t get that float I would like.
 
So therefore I’m looking for something wider under foot that still has those similarities and feel of the iM88, meaning stable & still works on the groomed, chopped stuff but with more float on those deeper days.
 
One ski of my interest right now is the Blizzard Cochise, but what other skis might fit the bill for me or to look for as my new Big Mountain ski coming from iM88’s, and how they would compare & making me progress more in the deeper stuff.

Edited by Mikey70 - 12/7/13 at 7:02pm
post #2 of 27
I'd probably be looking at the Cham 107HM and the Soul 7 as well.
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thank's for your reply SHREAD HEAD!

 

I will look in to those skis aswell, they certainly look like they might be something for me, of coarse with the Soul 7 with it's slightly shorter turn radius than I'm used to, but on the other hand on off-piste I tend to have shorter turn radius anyhow and not as aggressive style or technique. What about the flex of the Soul 7 compared to my iM88 which are stiff, semi stiff like are they gonna take some charging down the slopes in mixed spring conditions.

 

The Cham 107HM seems like slightly stiffer of the two you mentioned, and that brand most certainly is good in Alp type conditions in mixed snow to deeper stuff.

 

How would someone compare Soul 7, Cham 107HM & the Cochise in this category?

post #4 of 27
The Cochise is the stiffest and closest to your IM 's, followed by the Cham.
The Soul's won't be as good on hard pack, but have a reputation of being really easy off piste.
post #5 of 27

I'd say look long and hard at the Nordica El Capo.

post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 

Ok thank's & good to hear I will certainly add those Nordica's in my list too. I will have time to test some of these skis before deciding what I'm the most happy with and will be the most balanced ski for me and my style on but more and more of the piste. And with skis at this widths it always comes up some compromises with stability, float, edge hold, feel, turn initiation, playfullness, dampness etc. But I'm pretty sure one of these suggested skis will be my new perfect tool for improving my skills in the mixed and deeper snow backside skiing up to the level of my frontside ability.

 

Thank's for your suggestions of possible skis to look at and try out for this winter guys!

post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey70 View Post
 

From Head iM88 to a wider 1 ski quiver.

 
Hi!
 
I’m looking out for a wider 1 ski quiver coming from my trusted Head iM88 (186 cm). I’m out for something in the range of 100-110 under foot for a few weeks in the Alps this winter/spring.
 
I am 6’0 , 181 lbs, 42 year’s & pretty athletic with strong legs. Been skiing since the late 80's.
 
Skill level: Advanced level on the frontside with good carving technique on groomers, crud, hard/soft chops & the icy stuff. I do prefer faster arcing GS to SG type turns, so my preference is more of the stiffer/stable type of skis which gives back what I put in, skis that don’t get pushed around so to speak.
 
My abilities out on the backside/off piste is not yet up there at the skill level on the frontside but still pretty decent I would say.
 
I’ve been out off-piste on heavy spring snow, hard pack, the windblown snow with that a bit deceiving hard crust on top of it or with fresh snow on top of it & only European Alps conditions (mostly Feb-March). Not as much in the deeper snow/powder. But when it has been deeper my skis don’t get that float I would like.
 
So therefore I’m looking for something wider under foot that still has those similarities and feel of the iM88, meaning stable & still works on the groomed, chopped stuff but with more float on those deeper days.
 
One ski of my interest right now is the Blizzard Cochise, but what other skis might fit the bill for me or to look for as my new Big Mountain ski coming from iM88’s, and how they would compare & making me progress more in the deeper stuff.

 

The sentence that I highlighted would be the downfall of the Soul 7 and Cham HM. While both are light and nimble in off piste conditions and certainly better in soft snow, odd conditions, and tight spots than the Cochise and the El Capo, neither has the traditional, damp, stable feel of the older iM88 on firm snow.

 

Between the Cochise and the El Capo, those two have some similarities but a glaring difference in the cambered center section of the Nordica vs. the flat cambered Blizzi. Neither is a better or worse deal just different and a matter of preferences.

 

SJ

post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 

Yes, I have been checking around the threads & the web and would imagine that the Cochise or the El Capo comes the closest to the skis I now have, like you said SierraJim. And when I get to the point of testing some skis out this two you mentioned will probably be my first picks to try out because of this. Just interesting how those flat cambered Blizzi's will feel under my feet compared to the slightly more traditional Nordica's.

 

And I guess I would be far more satisfied with more stability of the skis being able to trust & bust on them in that difficult terrain & mixed conditions which I most probable will encounter much more than those perfect powder days, but still have enough float when those days comes along, than the other way around.

post #9 of 27

Ah, the iM88: one of my favorite skis of all time.  A real skier's ski. 2 sheets of metal, wood core, laminate construction. 

 

If you like the Head damp/smooth/powerful feel, the wider Heads aren't really quite that these days.  The REV 105 tends to be more light nimble.

 

For a Head-like feel, check out the Kastle BMX108. Definitely one of my favorites in that range. Comes in a 188cm, would be perfect for your size; no speed limit, damp, powerful, turns quicker than you would think (I think listed TR is 27m).  

 

I am surprised that nobody mentioned Kastle, being that they are made in the same factory, share design input, and have many of the same characteristics of the classic Head monster feel.  Probably why I like them so much. The old iM78/im82/iM88 were some of the best skis for their time. 

 

Other skis that would feel like the classic Head feel: Stockli Stormrider 107 for sure.  ON3P Vicik: has that powerful, damp, nothing gets in the way feel.  Definitely worth checking out.   

 

Some others that I have tried:

 

Rossi Soul 7: light and lively, not like the IM88 at all.

Blizzard Gunsmoke: also pretty lively

Dynastar Cham 107: has a damp feel, with a reactive tip and tail.  Definitely demo first

Blizzard Cochise: these feel stiffer on the snow to me than the old IM88's did, less damp

Blizzard Scout: similar feel to the Cochise, not as stiff though, not as damp as the iM88.  

Nordica Vagabond: seemed like a wider version of the Soul Rider: definitely worth a look. Might not hold up as well at speed.

 

 

Fischer Big Stix 110: a bit stronger ski than the Watea 106: bit higher speed limit, more damp.  May fall in your targeted area-worth a look! 

Fischer Watea 106: again, on the light and lively side. A different ski than the Soul 7, same result

 

Out of skis in this list that would be most along the lines of the old iM88, I would say (in no particular order): the BMX108, the Vicik, the Big Stix 110.  Not that those are my favorites (I do like them) but the feel seems similar to my old Heads (having owned all 3 monster series 1st gen skis). 

post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 

Yes the iM88 is a great ski for sure with that special feel to it which makes you trust in it in tricky mixed terrain as well as it performs almost like a GS ski on the groomed slopes with great edge grip.

 

As you mentioned Dawgcatching the Stockli should be a ski for me to consider too. You said that the Cochise felt stiffer on the snow than the iM88, stiff in the way they might get to burly in the softer snow and not that friendly when it tightens up a bit you mean? And how would the Stockli Stormrider compare in this department against the Cochise.

 

Your mentioning of the Blizzard Scout is also interesting as I have read that some skiers who normally using Cochise have or will change to this ski instead (still having that same feel, a bit lighter, same dimensions, still stiff enough making it a bit easier with lower swing weight and not as burly). I'm not as hard charger in the deeper stuff and would probably like the skis to be manageable making turns in tighter spaces or when in threes etc, still have enough stiffness busting through chopped up and wind crusted snow without the skis failing in stability.

 

Would you say that the Scout could be a contender too for me to try except for the others you mentioned and I still also will include the Nordica El Capo, which seems from reading many forums and reviews slightly less burly & slightly quicker than the Cochise but still very stable.

post #11 of 27

Cochise is what you want without a doubt.

Read this

http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/2011-2012-blizzard-cochise

I have 100+ days on mine skiing Fernie and Castle and the review is dead on. Best ski I have ever owned.

Regarding the 'burly' factor - If 'burly' means solid and stable at speed and able to cut through crud then I guess the Cochise is burly. If it means difficult to turn in tight spaces like chutes and trees and awkward in bumps then it is most assuredly not burly. It took me a while to figure it out but the ski will pivot, slarve, sideslip - basically do whatever you want if you

stay centered and 'do the twist' from the knees down. Zero camber and slightly raised tip and tail let you turn on a dime. 

Negatives on the Cochise - Not good on genuine ice but on everything else from hard pack to blower it's great.

 

FYI 6'2"/185lbs on 185. I also just turned 65 so not exactly in my prime like the OP. 


Edited by Castle Dave - 12/9/13 at 5:39am
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey70 View Post
 

From Head iM88 to a wider 1 ski quiver.

 
Hi!
 
I’m looking out for a wider 1 ski quiver coming from my trusted Head iM88 (186 cm). I’m out for something in the range of 100-110 under foot for a few weeks in the Alps this winter/spring.
 
I am 6’0 , 181 lbs, 42 year’s & pretty athletic with strong legs. Been skiing since the late 80's.
 

I owned both the iM88 and the Cochise. I'd say that the Cochise will fill the bill nicely for a wider ski, although it won't feel much like the 88's. But what I would worry about is the taking-it-to-the-alps bit. Depending on where, you stand a decent chance of being on snow that's a lot like the eastern U.S. The alps get a more snow in a dump than back here, but there are equally big gaps between dumps, as well as mid-winter thaws or rains. Thus, a decent chance for lots of bumps, fair amount of ice, and off-piste isn't that great; crusty or mushy depending. Keep in mind that they don't groom over there with the meticulousness we do here. All of which is one reason most Europeans ski on narrower skis than we do. So IMHO, something in the 88 to 98 range is about perfect for a trip to Yrp that can't be timed to the snowfall. If the Cochise, which most really like as a soft snow ski, has a weakness, it's stuff like bumps or firm. Just sayin'...

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey70 View Post
 

Yes the iM88 is a great ski for sure with that special feel to it which makes you trust in it in tricky mixed terrain as well as it performs almost like a GS ski on the groomed slopes with great edge grip.

 

As you mentioned Dawgcatching the Stockli should be a ski for me to consider too. You said that the Cochise felt stiffer on the snow than the iM88, stiff in the way they might get to burly in the softer snow and not that friendly when it tightens up a bit you mean? And how would the Stockli Stormrider compare in this department against the Cochise.

 

Your mentioning of the Blizzard Scout is also interesting as I have read that some skiers who normally using Cochise have or will change to this ski instead (still having that same feel, a bit lighter, same dimensions, still stiff enough making it a bit easier with lower swing weight and not as burly). I'm not as hard charger in the deeper stuff and would probably like the skis to be manageable making turns in tighter spaces or when in threes etc, still have enough stiffness busting through chopped up and wind crusted snow without the skis failing in stability.

 

Would you say that the Scout could be a contender too for me to try except for the others you mentioned and I still also will include the Nordica El Capo, which seems from reading many forums and reviews slightly less burly & slightly quicker than the Cochise but still very stable.

 

Hi there,

 

I feel that the Cochise, at least if you are my weight, is one of the more demanding skis around.  I ski it at Bachelor (mostly open terrain) but find if I need to squeeze it through trees and bring it around in a hurry, it can fight back. The tail is very stiff and can shrink down the sweet spot quickly.  It has been one of my go-to skis in wide open crud: just very stable and secure, but if I am down-unweighting and can't get my feet pulled back quickly enough, I can go for a ride on it.  A friend who is my size but a better skier borrowed it and experienced the same thing. The Scout has a similar feel, but I can work the ski tip to tail more effectively, due to the softer (only slightly) flex.  It just works better for my weight.  A good example of skier weight having a huge determination on the correct ski for that skier.  I found that Stockli 107 to be a much more forgiving flex, but just as stable, which is why I mentioned it.  The tail is not as punishing: not that you ever want to hang out on the tail of a ski, but when I get back there, I can recover much more easily.  So yeah, the Cochise, for me, is more limited to wide open GS turns, not trees and bumps. There are some 110mm skis I can ski OK with in tight bumps, but this isn't one of them. 

 

Stability wise, all 3 of these are about the same.  The only ones I listed that maybe are a bit down on stability are the Soul 7 and Watea, and even they aren't bad. Just not quite as haul-ass unflappable in cut-up snow. 

 

I don't have much time on the El Capo; can't really talk about that ski either way, sorry!   Would recommend a demo: use the board to narrow it down, then go try some skis! It is the only way you will really know what works best for you. 

 

GLWS.   

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 

By the way I forgot to mention that I am from Europe (Sweden) :D Sorry about that! So I am pretty into the snow conditions we have in the Alps, when it dumps it can dump a lot, and then be like you said gaps and very mixed snow conditions in between with some tricky mix of semi deep snow, crust, chopped, ice even on the same run to be frank. This is why the skis I like and want besides being wider has to be stable and reliable.

 

The iM88 has served me well in the French/Swiss/Italian Alps for some years now, and while being more and more off-piste I felt these skis had some limits holding me back in deeper snow not having the float I wanted so I was struggling a bit when it got more than knee deep pow. Many areas in the Alps are pretty crowded during the ski season, so the groomed runs don't stay that groomed for long during the day, it gets bumpy & chopped quite quick, which make me wonder why so many in the Alps still are on those quite narrow skis to be honest, and not as fast busting down the groomed slopes either ;)

 

I'm still intrigued by the Cochise with all the great test reviews it has gotten (flip core technique etc.) since it was released a few years ago, so it will stay in my list and maybe with the slightly less stiff and lighter ski-cousin Scout too. I need to find out what all the rave is about for sure :)

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
 

 

Hi there,

 

I feel that the Cochise, at least if you are my weight, is one of the more demanding skis around.  I ski it at Bachelor (mostly open terrain) but find if I need to squeeze it through trees and bring it around in a hurry, it can fight back. The tail is very stiff and can shrink down the sweet spot quickly.  It has been one of my go-to skis in wide open crud: just very stable and secure, but if I am down-unweighting and can't get my feet pulled back quickly enough, I can go for a ride on it.  A friend who is my size but a better skier borrowed it and experienced the same thing. The Scout has a similar feel, but I can work the ski tip to tail more effectively, due to the softer (only slightly) flex.  It just works better for my weight.  A good example of skier weight having a huge determination on the correct ski for that skier.  I found that Stockli 107 to be a much more forgiving flex, but just as stable, which is why I mentioned it.  The tail is not as punishing: not that you ever want to hang out on the tail of a ski, but when I get back there, I can recover much more easily.  So yeah, the Cochise, for me, is more limited to wide open GS turns, not trees and bumps. There are some 110mm skis I can ski OK with in tight bumps, but this isn't one of them. 

 

Stability wise, all 3 of these are about the same.  The only ones I listed that maybe are a bit down on stability are the Soul 7 and Watea, and even they aren't bad. Just not quite as haul-ass unflappable in cut-up snow. 

 

I don't have much time on the El Capo; can't really talk about that ski either way, sorry!   Would recommend a demo: use the board to narrow it down, then go try some skis! It is the only way you will really know what works best for you. 

 

GLWS.   

It seems to me if I test out the Cochise I would start of with the 185 cm in length, from what you are telling me about it's characteristics, flex and handling under foot. The 193 might be to much ski for me. The Stockli 107 seems to be quite nice from your description and not a ski that I had thought of earlier as does the Scout if the Cochise comes a bit to demanding it could be just the right balanced ski for me. Thank's for the input, greatly appreciated!

post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 

I might also add that the Soul 7 even though it's seems quite revolutionary in therm of build and and well thought of ski for sure (everybody talks about these skis), might not be in my in my list to try yet. The stiffness/flex of these skis seems a bit not enough for my taste as does the shorter turn radius. If they only would have the same ski in 193 cm length!

 

So these Soul 7's will be just outside my list for now, but in first place to step in if I cannot test some of the others I'm interested in. I will try to keep it up to 4 skis in my first tryouts/tests for this winter. But I'm pretty sure of what I'm looking for in a wider1 ski quiver in terms of feel, flex/stiffness, stability, turn radius/initiation, ability in mixed terrain, crud, chopped, as well as in the deeper snow conditions.

 

And thank's again for all your answers, suggestions/tips of which skis could fit the bill for me and how the all these skis differ from each other as well how they would feel/compare to my iM88's.

post #17 of 27

I'm surprised no one suggested the Volkl Mantra or Katana.  They have a similar feel to Monsters, too.

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

How well you are able to ski is related to how hard you are willing to fall.

post #18 of 27
nm
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by crudmaster View Post
 

I'm surprised no one suggested the Volkl Mantra or Katana.  They have a similar feel to Monsters, too.

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

How well you are able to ski is related to how hard you are willing to fall.


I was thinking the same thing although I would have said Gotama or Katana. :dunno Maybe not quite damp enough?

post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crudmaster View Post
 

I'm surprised no one suggested the Volkl Mantra or Katana.  They have a similar feel to Monsters, too.

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

How well you are able to ski is related to how hard you are willing to fall.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by volklgirl View Post
 


I was thinking the same thing although I would have said Gotama or Katana. :dunno Maybe not quite damp enough?

 

Well these Völkl skis might, but I just say might be on the slightly on the stiff side of what I want in my preferred characteristics of the wider skis I'm looking for, and a few years ago I was more for a testrun trying out the Mantra which to me yes was quite similar, slightly stiffer than my skis, and very stable at speeds with great edge grip, but I somehow didn't like that metal feel from them then. That feel was a bit different, or I don't know a bit akward and not to my liking compared to my iM88's.

 

Bare in mind this was only a test-drive with like 4 runs on cut up groomers, some chopped up terrain on the side nothing more, but enough for me not to consider them then. If I would have had more time on them and dialed in more/getting used to that "Völkl" characteristic feel in more mixed conditions etc, it might have been another story!

 

Either Gotama or the Katana could perhaps be worth a tryout, cause they are for sure respectable skis for sure being around for quite some time just with minor tweaks over the years. I don't rule any contenders in my wish list to test but need to narrow it down to like 4 skis to have enough test time on each in different conditions. 

 

Now the hard part seems to be finding the right one's to test out, but I'm getting closer!

 

 

Thank's

post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklgirl View Post
 


I was thinking the same thing although I would have said Gotama or Katana. :dunno Maybe not quite damp enough?

 

I'd disqualify the Gotama for excessive rocker.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

How well you are able to ski is related to how hard you are willing to fall.

post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crudmaster View Post
 

 

I'd disqualify the Gotama for excessive rocker.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

How well you are able to ski is related to how hard you are willing to fall.

Excessive in compared to the other skis I'm considering to test out you mean, like Cochise, El Capo and Stockli 107 etc, or just in terms of what I described and what I'm looking out for in a ski characteristic, in what terrain and so on, lesser edge to work on on hardpack etc given overall length of that ski!?

post #23 of 27
I think the Vicik would feel more similar than the Cochise. The Cochise is a pretty loose/vague ski (though has a similar damp feel). Also check out the Salomon Q98 - very similar quiet damp feel to it (Q105 maybe as well). You'll get less energy out of the Salomons though. The Blizzards never gave me that tip-to-tail locked-in feel.
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 

I'm not that familiar with any skis from ON3P like the Vicik, but it seems similar to the Blizzard Scout I guess with no metal, similar mid stiffness ,float on soft snow, little on the lighter side.

 

With the Salomon's I wouldn't be interested in 98 width or 98 width of any ski, I'm out for skis wider under foot (105-110), so the Q105 would be the one I would opt for in this case.

It looks like it's closer to Soul 7 in it's description/reviews than the likes of Cochise, El Capo or Stockli.

 

But on the other hand maybe it would be stupid of me to not include a ski that is in mid stiff range, little more responsive, more float but stable enough in my ski tryout like the Soul 7, Scout, Vicik or Q105. I'm always pretty meticulous when I'm getting something new, so I sure don't want to miss out on a ski because I at first wouldn't think it would suit me and leave it out.

 

I’m in the run for best ski matching my preference/abilities/technique, my new one ski quiver platform for at least a few year’s to come as well as a ski that can challenge/push me to get better in all mountain/big mountain type/mixed terrain. And for me it’s not about what brand or what graphics the ski has that matter’s, it's ultimately down to how they feel & perform under my feet that matter’s in the end!

 

Thank's for the inputs, cheers / M


Edited by Mikey70 - 12/12/13 at 5:58pm
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yesterday went to some stores checking out all of the skis I’ve sorted out plus some other possible contender skis and got some feel of their stiffness (bending the front-/backend & whole ski) and feeling their weight.
 
I must say that I now disgard the medium stiff ones (Soul 7, Scout, Vagabond 107 and Q105) that we discussed here earlier, I feel that they won’t make my quiver & just to soft for my liking (quite a bit softer than my iM88) and even though I have not skied them I just know they won’t cut it for me.
 
But the other ones that I was starting to sort with some good help/suggestions from you guys in this forum (stiffer flex, more stable skis) are most certainly in the game being my new one ski quiver. The 4 skis I have decided to test out will  be:
 
  • Nordica El Capo
  • Bizzard Cochise
  • Stöckli SR 107
  • Kästle FX 104 (last one into my list)
 
I believe that one of these 4 skis will give me that perfectly balanced All mountain/mixed terrain feel & feedback I’m seeking for.
 
 
Cheers / M
post #26 of 27

Great finalist list. Please post a follow up report. Should be very interesting.

post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 

It will still be a while until I can test this out these skis, some time in mid january I believe. And I will surely get back here with my initial impressions/reports from my testing days on these skis!

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