Hi All, I have just returned from 2 weeks skiing 2 of the 3 Valleys (Val Thorens and Meribel) and Verbier. Lots of piste skiing but also a fairly decent selection of powder days after about 6 days of 6-8 inches overnight snow.
Height 172cm (5'7 2/3"), Weight 80.5kg (177.5 pounds).
Age 40. Been skiing for 32 years. Probably a 8.5/10 level. Bindings set to 7.
I have traditionally skied 90% on/off piste but I am moving to skiing about 60/40 on off piste in the last year.
Over the last 2 weeks I have hired quite a few skis to try.
I have a Kastle MX78 however I am looking to build up a 3 ski quiver:
1. For onpiste when theres not a lot of snow. This is quite common in France where I normally ski. I will either keep the MX78 or chop it in for the RX12 which I am hearing good things about here.
2. An All purpose/everyday ski when I can only take 1 ski away for the weekend. (as living in London I have to take it to work on the Underground (Subway) and then onto the Airport. This is what I was primarily trying to get out of this trip.
3. A wider ski (approx 87-92) for when its snows but I can also ski a bit on piste. I'm not really into the 100mm wide skis
The below reviews concern parts 2 and 3 above of my desired Quiver.
What I tried to do is compare the skis dimensions and I was particularly interested in weight.
As a side note I have a Vist plate (with movable Vist 311 bindings) on the MX78 and was considering doing the same on the other 2 skis.
Part 2 of proposed Quiver:
a) Kastle MX83. 168cm 125/83/109 R17 1890 grams per ski
- Felt a lot longer than it was. Very good on groomers flat out. Able to make big sweeping GS type turns. Very stiff. But I had trouble making quick/short turns on it on steep slopes, maybe due to my weight. I also didnt like it in the powder as it was too heavy for me.
- On a side note a mate who is 5'9.5" and about 190# (20pounds heavier than me) really liked it and was working it well. I suspect as he had the weight to get more out of it
b) Kastle MX88. 168cm 128/88/113 R17.5 1920g.
- Gets rave reviews here and I was secretly hoping this would be the one I'd go for..
- However again I found it very heavy and similar to the MX83. Great on groomers for moving fast but not that great/float on powder. Out of interest I was talking to the skishop guy and he said he would use these as a piste ski
- I was tho wondering if the weight was due to because it had a heavy rental binding. I think I am going to have a hunt for last seasons ski on ebay and maybe try a lightweight binding (any recommendations?) on them
c) Head Rev Pro 85 170cm 131/85/113 R14.7
- Only got 1/2 a day on these but again felt heavy. It would be interesting to find out their weight but the Head website is just awful. Great on piste but heavy/no float in powder. Will try them again longer next time
d) Kastle FX84. 168cm 122/84/110 R16 1820g.
- Another well regarded ski here on Epicski. (the phrase light and stiff gets mentioned) And I'm pleased to say they didnt disappoint. Not quite as good/stiff onpiste as the mx83 or mx88 but still 90% as good. I could still rip groomers on them quite quickly. But what really pleased me is I could ski knee height powder quite easily as they were so light/had good float. I also took them into the snowboard park and was pulling some decent jumps on them due to their lightness.
- All in all an awesome ski, pricey but I think worth it. So I'm going to treat myself to a pair of these (woohoo!). Again I just need to decide if I put the a Vist plate on them so I can share bindings (or will that make them too heavy) or put a decent quality/high end binding on them
So in conclusion I will have a hunt for some last season MX88's and will compare them to the to be purchased FX84's.
Part 3 of proposed Quiver:
This was a little trickier to determine..
a) Salomon Q90 169cm 130/88/116 1776 or 1510g (see below)
- A very very light ski. On their website it says the 177cm weighs 1860g. So to determine the approx weight of the 169cm I went (169/177) x 1860 to give an approx weight of 1776g. I then emailed the Salomon rep on the US website and she replied back saying the 169cm actually weighed only 1510g (!). I'm not sure if this is right but no wonder they felt light
- On powder they were ok but on the piste just hopeless, I couldnt get them on edge and they felt so unstable. I might be being a bit harsh but I cannot see the point of these skis. Maybe for someone quite light who wants a powder ski?
b) K2 Rictor 90 170cm 132/90/115 R16
- Again another light ski. I have emailed K2 but havent heard anything back from them.
- Good in powder but again almost identical to the Q90 above, not great on piste at all and again I'm not sure of the point of this ski. It may just be me being set in my ways and being used to stiffer skis but this was all over the show on piste.
c) Dynastar Outland 87 172cm 132/87/114 2261g (!!)
- I bought this based on its rave reviews here. I got it cheap from Itailan ebay brand new from a shop going out of business ($280 for the skis and bindings). I printed out Dawg's email re getting them ground/tuned properly and took it to the skishop. I gave them to the guy there, he picked them up and went "boy thats a heavy ski". Anyway he read Scotts article and ended up grinding them 3 times to get them level
- Anyway how did it ski, this thing weighed a tonne. Good on piste but I really couldnt get it to work off piste. Maybe a heavier/better skier could but for me it was just way too heavy. I will be selling them
- So nothing decided in this category yet. One of the things I have worked out is I dont really like skis over 170cm. So if I can find something around that length thats light (but still works a bit onpiste) I will be happy.
- Actually speaking of length, now I know its sad but as an accountant I'm into details so I spent a lot of the time looking at peoples skis over the last 2 weeks, and very few had skis over head height.
Yes I noticed a distinct preference for wider skis being more prevalent than they used to be, but these were only the 80-90mm width.
I believe its a European thing here, most people have traditionally skied onpiste and therefore had slalom skis or all mountain skis.
As this is mostly an American forum it appears you US guys just seem to prefer longer skis.
A mate even hired a guide one day and we hired some Seth/approx 115mm wide skis to try. Really didnt like them even on powder (seemed heavy) but the thing I noticed is our guide was skiing thigh deep powder beautifully on only some appox 95 wide skis (I didnt get a chance to look at make/model) so were really wide skis necessary.
Others I will be trying out next trip:
a) Volkl Kendo 170cm 127/88/109 R20.5 (big radius?)
b) Elan 88 xti 170cm 136/88/116 R15.5
c) Head Rev 90 170cm 136/91/117 (just came out top in a ski mag review here)
d) Blizzard Brahma and Bushwacker 125/88/110 R18 1925g.
(both models seem to be exactly the same dimensions?). But at 173cm might be too long. Also at 1925 they seem to be on the heavy side
e) Cham 87 172cm (along with the 97 getting a bigger following here)
Would be grateful for any thoughts/recommendations