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demos and decision

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Just had five skis days up in Sugarloaf with my 13 year old daughter (Rossi Slayer 168). We are now holed up at a hotel in Portland until the snowstorm abates and we can get a flight back to DC. I demo'ed seven different skis and, believe it or not, chose one.

Me: hefty (150 lbs), 5'8", and at the height of my power and vigor (60 years old). Years skiing: 7. My kids and I mostly like to ski bumps, trees and steeps (my daughter likes terrain parks, so I'm trying jumps).

Sugarloaf skiing conditions: below freezing half the time, high winds, dusts of snow on glare ice and hard pack snow. Some bumps and "jumps" on the sides of slopes. No glades open.

Skis demo'ed: Blizzard Bushwacker, Blizzard Brahma, Fischer Watea 88, Rossi Sin 7, Volkl Bridge, Volkl Kendo, Atomic Alibi.

My demo criteria: I came with a list of possible skis to try, but kept an open mind to what was available and what was recommended by the demo guys (thanks John and Eric at Downhill Ski Co,). While skiing a ski, I tried to ignore what I'd read or heard about it -- hype, dis, flavor of the month, etc. In other words, I tried to be like the Ghostbusters team when they had to keep their minds completely blank. My sweet spot going into the demo-ing was 85-95 waist and 170-174 length.

Observations (many will find this amusing, since I don't really have the vocabulary to properly describe my demo results):

Blizzard Bushwacker: I tried this first. I loved it. It held on the hard pack, and was fun doing the side trail stuff with my daughter.

Blizzard Brahma: bomber proof, but I felt like I had to work at it. Not as much fun as the Bushwacker.

Fischer Watea: I wanted to like this skis -- the graphics were cool (but then I remembered the Ghostbusters). Truth is, I liked this the least. It didn't hold up on the ice and hard pack and was not as quick on the bumps and jumps.

Rossi Sin 7: too stiff. Skiing is supposed to be recreation, not a job. OK, they were good over crud, but so was the Brahma.

Volkl Bridge: I had demo'ed this 3 years ago at Stowe, when it had circus graphics. Very forgiving skis. I caught an edge twice, and the Bridge forgave me -- it gave me that split second I needed to work it out and stay up. It seemed fine on the hardback: not grippy, but no problem on some of the worst I've seen. But it seemed a little ponderous at times -- I couldn't whip through some of the stuff as quickly.

Volkl Kendo: this was very familiar for me; I've demo'ed it three times before. It was very reassuring on the ice, but not as forgiving in the bumps. I caught an edge on it, and went down. I like the Kendo; if I hadn't demo'ed other skis I'd own this now.

Atomic Alibi: I had wanted to demo the Theory, but the demo guys told me it doesn't come in a length in my sweet spot (168 and 177, but not in between), so they suggested I try the Alibi. It was wider (98) than I was looking for, but I actually liked it. It didn't grip the hardback like the Kendo, but was light and flexible enough for me to get through/over ice.

Decision: I got the Bushwacker. I tried it three times during the five days. It was simply the most fun. It was no problem for me on hard pack, and the easiest to ski on everything else.
Edited by Jimski - 1/5/14 at 9:38am
post #2 of 11

Good choice. Should be perfect for what you like to do.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Still stuck in Portland. Second flight we were on was also cancelled....

Another mental decision I had made going into this round of demo-ing was: to make a decision. I'm done playing Hamlet. If, after demo-ing a bunch of skis, I felt I had reached critical mass of demo information, then I resolved not to hold out even if there were more skis that I wanted to test but which were unavailable. Three more that I had wanted to try were: Nordica Steadfast (not available in my length as a demo), Line Chronic (the store doesn't carry Line), and the Fischer Motive 86 (they only had the 80 as a demo). But my new attitude is: there no perfect ski out there for each person -- you can narrow it down to 2-3 that feel right for you -- for the type of skiing you want to do -- and then you should just choose one and go for it.
post #4 of 11
Wise man!

Snow is looking very good right now here (until Monday's rain). If you are still around on Sunday (recommended), PM me and I'll pick you up at the airport and take you skiing at Mt Abram.
post #5 of 11
Meanwhile, might as well enjoy the foodie capital of new England and go out to dinner.
post #6 of 11

That's they way you demo to find the right ski!  Congrats Jimski.   


There are lots of great skis out there... this is a great is a great tidbit:



Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

But my new attitude is: there no perfect ski out there for each person -- you can narrow it down to 2-3 that feel right for you -- for the type of skiing you want to do -- and then you should just choose one and go for it.
post #7 of 11
Plus learning what it takes to make a given ski perform is good for your skiing.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Qcanoe -- thanks, we have been eating well since we got to Portland! We've got a confirmed flight to DC tomorrow morning -- third time's the charm....
post #9 of 11

Thanks for your insight on the different skis.  All of them are top notch skis, so it's good to hear your impressions of each.  I ski the Atomic Ritual out here in Utah and love them, and it's great to read your reviews from your demos.



T. -

post #10 of 11

Hi Jimski -- Congrats on your purchase of the BWs.  What length did you get?  I am 6' 185 and I have new BW in 180 with Marker Griffon bindings.  I purchased the BW as my "Vermont" skis as I ski weekly in the Poconos with my kids (Camelback) and then head to Vermont several times during the winter.  For the Poconos I use Blizzard 8.1 Magnums although this weekend I plan on breaking out the BW as I am excited to try them on Pocono hardpack.



post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

amyles -- I got the 173 length, also with Marker Griffon bindings.  For now, I think this is all I'll need here in the East.  The conditions last week at Sugarloaf were a great test for me of extreme East hard pack / ice, and I had no problem with the BWs.  I don't know this for sure, but I would guess that a 173 BW with early rise probably has about as much camber in the center section as a 170 cambered ski (like my previous ski, a 170 Dynastar Legend Sultan 85, or like the 170 Kendo).


I'll get my first chance to try my new BWs here in the mid-Atlantic in a couple weeks:  I've been drafted to be one of the chaperones / adult supervision for a busload of 13-14 years olds heading up to Whitetail for the day.  :eek

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