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Solomon XFree9/XScreams - time to upgrade!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm sure you guys can help me out here.  By the way, I just read a great thread on rear entry boots and their virtues.  Cracked me up!
  In any case, it's about time for me to upgrade and I could use some advice.

 

I'm a 36 year old male skier 5'9" 155lbs from the dreaded Midwest where the ski resorts here are sledding hills that they put a chair lift on.  As a result, demo'ing skis is pretty tough for me.

 

I ski about 4-5 days each year (such a shame) when I head out west on a trip.  On a good year, maybe I'll manage 2 trips and get a few more days in.  I suspect that any skis I pick I'll end up keeping for at least 10 years.  That's my track record anyway. 

 

First skiis I owned: 1990s Dynastar straight skis with length of 190.

Second skiis I owned: 2000s Salomon XFree9 at a length of 185.  These are what I'm still skiing on.

 

I'm definitely beyond the intermediate level, but I wouldn't call myself an expert.  Maybe more of an "advanced" skiier.  I can handle any type of terrain and end up going down just about everything on a mountain.  I typically end up on one of the mountains in Summit County (Vail, Breck, BC, Copper, A-Basic, whatever, they're all great). 

 

I love to ski very fast on groomers and want a ski that doesn't chatter at high speed. The Ski Tracks app on my phone regularly logs me at 40-55mph. (This is actually the one thing I like about my XFree9 skis although it might just be because they are long.)

 

At the same time, I'd like a ski that can manage through moguls better.

 

While I do love powder skiing, I see no reason to select a ski based on its powder merits, as I don't get enough powder days and I can manage on whatever ski.

 

I don't expect you'll see me in a terrain park much and I think my days of getting air are over.

 

I'm coming from a pretty basic ski as the XFree9 skiis are just cheap intermediate skis, but I do like them, although they are probably 10cm too long for me.

 

 

I'm looking for budget minded skis that will perform well and last me a long time.  Have no clue where to begin.

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhumbo View Post

 

I ski about 4-5 days each year (such a shame) when I head out west on a trip.  On a good year, maybe I'll manage 2 trips and get a few more days in.  I suspect that any skis I pick I'll end up keeping for at least 10 years.  That's my track record anyway. 

 

If you are only going to be skiing 4-5 days for the foreseeable future, I'd recommend that you rent (performance rentals/demos) rather than buy. 

 

Two reasons:  (i) you are talking about a technology jump measured in decades, not years - you have no baseline for comparison with current gear, so reviews and recommendations are basically meaningless at this point and (ii) cost - at, say $35 a day (Vail Tech), you are only spending $175 per year and you get to figure out what you like.  Plus assuming that a "value ski" + binding is still going to push $650, you could demo 4-5 days per year for the next 4 years and break even.  And every day you'd be on modern, top notch equipment - not 4 year old equipment, not 10 year old equipment.

 

There are dozens of skis that would be great for you to checkout.  Get suggestions from the shop of your choice, but I'd probably start with something ~88 and go from there.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestion and that is something I had thought about.  However, I still feel like I'd like to have my own set of skis for a couple reasons:

 

1) I also ski several days each season here in the Midwest with my kids.  Renting skis in the Midwest is a terrible experience.  You wait in a giant line at the resort and then pay $30 to get some terrible skis that are beat to death and they won't let you use your own boots.  I love my Lange boots and they fit so well.  Having to use rental boots is not something I'm interested in. 

 

2) Not to mention the wasted time.  I don't want to have to spend the time going through the whole rental process every time I ski.  My kids have cheap used skis that we bought from Play It Again and my wife has her own set of skis; same with the guys I go out West with.  We typically just show up at the mountain, quickly buy tix and get on the lift. 

 

I think what I am shooting for is a "value ski" that will suit me well.  Or maybe a used set of skis from within the past couple years.  I was hoping I might be able to find a pair of skis with bindings for something like $500. 

 

Oh and by ~88, I'm assuming you mean a ski with an 88mm width?  Is that right?

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Okay, I found a pair of Volkl Kendo skis on clearance that seem like they could be a good pick for me.  They are supposedly an all-mountain ski that can handle mixed snow from hard-pack to powder with dimensions of 126-89-110.  Just curious if people have any thoughts on these. 

post #5 of 9

At 155 lbs and "advanced" level skier, the Kendo's are not going to be your friend in the moguls.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickO661 View Post

At 155 lbs and "advanced" level skier, the Kendo's are not going to be your friend in the moguls.


 



Thanks for the feedback. I assume because they are stiff? Do you have another $500 suggestion that you think might work well for me?
Edited by jhumbo - 1/6/14 at 11:14am
post #7 of 9

We must be related.  I started this thread (http://www.epicski.com/t/124271/need-help-choosing-the-right-skis-midwest-returning-after-10-year-break) last week.  I'm skiing on 2001 181cm XScream's. It sounds like you're a better skier than me (I'm a 7 on the skill level scale), but we're looking for about the same thing.  I didn't get many responses, but I did a lot of reading and research and ended up going with the Fischer Motive 80's.  The Head Rev 80's were high on my list also, but I got a great deal on a 2013 pair of Fischers, which tipped the scale.  Most of my skiing is in the Midwest (Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands) so I didn't want to go over 80cm. If I was a better skier, I think I would have gone with the K2 Rictor (http://www.the-house.com/8967k2arimm1213zz-k2-ski-packages.html).  They are sub $500 in that link with the 20% off.

 

Take my opinion for what its worth, which isn't much since I'm just getting back into skiing, but I did do a lot of research and that is where I landed.  

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhumbo View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickO661 View Post
 

At 155 lbs and "advanced" level skier, the Kendo's are not going to be your friend in the moguls.

 



Thanks for the feedback. I assume because they are stiff? Do you have another $500 suggestion that you think might work well for me?


Because this is a full-service online community, some personal shopping gratis. . .

 

Here's a pretty nice value play for a OSQ that you could use in the Midwest at your local hill and on a western vacation.  Solid on the groomers, pretty good off-piste, worlds better than your sollies for everything. 

 

http://www.evo.com/outlet/ski-packages/atomic-crimson-ti-skis-xto-12-demo-bindings-used.aspx#image=72396/327089/atomic-crimson-ti-skis-xto-12-demo-bindings-used-2012.jpg

 

171 at your size.  An underrated ski, so no EpicSki-style-points for this one, unfortunately.  But this is a heck of a deal on a good ski.  I liked it and thought that it was well tuned for its mission as an all mountain groomer zoomer and way better than I expected in deep, heavy powder (1 foot+ at Alpental).

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys! Those suggestions help much. I don't feel quite so blind anymore as I'm researching and shopping. Much appreciated.
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