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Need Suggestions for Mid Fat Demo

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thinking of picking up new skis either at the end of the season or during the summer. I am 5 foot 9, 145 pound, advanced/expert skiing mainly in Europe (live in London) 15-20 days per winter and have skied for 34 years. Ski off piste whenever I can but need a jack-of-all trades which will not be too useless on the groomed. Have had for the last four seasons a pair of Atomic Beta Ride 9.22 in 180 cm which I found very versatile if perhaps a touch long (175 would have probably been perfect but sadly not available). Although I like to ski steep stuff and difficult terrain I am a fairly relaxed skier and seldom ski very fast.

Anyway, as I have a couple of late season weekends coming up I thought I would try and demo some of the 03/04 season skis and see what works. This is my current shortlist, any comments would be most appreciated:

Rossignol B2 (170? 176?) Already tried them and found them very user friendly off piste (too friendly perhaps?) but would like second go to check how they perform on groomed
Fischer 7.6 big stix
Elan Mantis 662 (if I can find them)
Dynastar Intuitiv 74

Anything else anyone cares to recommend? What lengths should I focus on?

post #2 of 14
Also try the Atomic R10/R11 in a 160 or 170.

If you can, demo some of next season's Atomics as they are more user friendly then some older R series skis.
post #3 of 14
I'll endorse your choice of the Intuitiv 74. I ski mostly in the east and seek out the ungroomed. These perform very well in the soft snow, but also manage just fine on the groomed. You should probably try the 168 and the 175. I'm 170 pounds, and I have the 175.
post #4 of 14
I also reccomend the int74. I love this ski. It holds surprisingly well on hard groomers, and despite its width, it is reasonably quick edge to edge. I feel it has a very light, almost dance-like feel yet it handles crud and floats well. I think this is one of the most versatile skis around. I weigh 160 lbs and ski the 167. There is no need for you to go longer than that. Demo a pair if you can. I think you will be surprised.
post #5 of 14
Rossi B2 in 170. Expensive, but a great ski.

Elan would be my choice. You can go one size smaller than the 176 (168?). I skied it this year and it was awesome.
post #6 of 14
Good thread. Just came in to do some "searches" to determine what I'd like to demo in Fernie next week, with similar intent. A couple on my short list (and I can't find the Elan to save my life) not on your's are the Volkl 724 AX3 and the 724 Pro.

What'd really be helpful is to hear some feedback from folks who've tried several of the skis in comparison.

I second the note that the R11s and R10s are worth a look in their current generation. I tried this year's R11s at an eastern mountain and found they were a little friendler than last year's R11s I demoed at Steamboat. Unfortunately, in Fernie, anyway, I can't find a shop that offers the R10s to demo (a ski I've liked every version of).
post #7 of 14
Having just worked in a demo shop for three months at Kirkwood, I can say that all the skis you have listed are great skis, and that my pick of those you mentioned would be the B2 in a 170/176. One of the most popular skis in our fleet definitely, and I can count on one hand the number of people who said they did not like them. I actually owned these skis for a little while, and thought they were great in all manner of conditions and terrain. The are exceptional crud and tree skis - extremely nimble and eager to turn, and still manage to perform excellently on the groomers.

I haven't skied the 662, however I have skied the 777 (it's wider cousin) and found it to be an extremely versatile ski considering it's width (87mm) underfoot. This ski was able to chew through anything thrown at it and whilst not quite as speedy edge to edge as a narrower ski was extremely stable (more so than the B2) on groomed slopes.

Also, some other skis I would definitely recommend you attempt to demo as well would be the Salomon Scream 10 Hot/Xtra Hot 165/175 and the K2 Axis XP 167/174. The XP is probably my favourite mid fat out there - it's wood core as opposed to the foam construction of the rossis lends it far superior stability IMHO. However this same stability that gives the XP a significant edge over some other skis in terms of speed also means that at times it can feel overly lifeless and slow to turn. It definitely prefers long sweeping turns at mach 3 more so than the B2 and Intuitiv 74. I personally prefer the XP but from what you have said you may prefer the more lively turning ability of the B@ at not so quick speeds.

The Salomons are also good skis that are worth a look. Again, not as stable as the K2's, but definitely more manueverable. Out of all of these skis - the Hots would have to be the best bump skis, their relatively softer flex allows them slink through the bumps more easily.

I haven't skied the Fischer 7.6, so unfortunately I am unable to comment there, but the Atomic R:11 was one ski that I did not find favour with. I feel it is too narrow amd quick edge to edge. Although it carves a great GS turn, IMHO it proved unable to handle more short-radius turns, especially when pushed hard in the trees or tight chutes etc.

Hope that I have been some assistance, and just as I always tell customers - choosing a ski ultimately comes down to personal preference and nothing more.

Cheers Julian

[ March 09, 2004, 02:07 AM: Message edited by: Juulz85 ]
post #8 of 14
Matteo, give the Nordica Beast 74 a try, too, if you get a chance. I cannot compare them to the others you listed since I haven't skied those, but these Nordicas are my do-it-all skis and, apart from maybe less-than-ideal grip on ice, I have been very pleasantly surprised by them.

PS: I think this year's model is still called the Beast but with some other figure at the end. Still a 74 or 75mm waist.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Would just like to thank everyone for the great feedback. I'll let you know how I get on.
post #10 of 14
We demoed a lot of midfats dueing our recent trip to Snowbird & Jackson Hole including a number on your list. My suggestions:
K2 XP Wide for a midfat at 78mm but very responsive on the groomed and a great off-piste ski. The one I would have bought if the factory had any 174cm left in stock. I think it skies better short than some others.

Dynastar 74. Nice well-behaved ski with good off-piste performance but I thought a little bland (soft?) on piste.

Blizzard 75. Apparently the manufacturer has removed some metal to soften this ski in comparison with its predecessor, the FR18 which I ski on. The change is not for the better IMHO. Soft and well-mannered but won't knock your socks off.

Rossi B2. I didn't ski these but Helen (strong L8-9) did and thought they were too soft and bland for her preference.

Enjoy the search!
post #11 of 14
I have heard great things about the Dynastar 74. From what I can tell it is a great ski for lighter skiers but can be overpowered by heavier stronger skiers.

I like a nimble quick turning ski but would love to try a mid fat. The two are usually conflicting traits with the acception of the 74 from what I hear. I am 6"4" 170 and leaning twards the 74 for the east coast (US). Can't decide on a length. Any thoughts? I have skied a 195 Xscream for the last 4 years.
post #12 of 14
Brent,I am 160lbs. and ski the int74 in 167. You really wouldn't have to go over 175...max182 if you are really stuck on length, but I say 175 would be fine.
post #13 of 14
Why not the R9 again?
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by aschir01:
Why not the R9 again?
Good question. The R9 is definitely on the list but I feel I have a good idea of how it performs, unless it has radically changed since my 9.22's, so it is less of a priority in terms of demoing. I am quite pleased with my 9.22's, just fancy checking out what else is out there in the same category.
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