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Recommendations for NorthEast Intermediate Skier

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone,


I'm a fairly new skier and am looking to purchase a set of skis with your help. I having recently come back from a trip to a nearby mountain where I confirmed that I really do enjoy skiing tremendously, and my instructor is very happy with the progress that I've made. He and I would both like me to get in as much practice as I can before the year ends so I can solidify what we worked on and continue to progress. I spent a great deal of time roller-blading in my childhood and early teenage years, which helped me pick up skiing. I have also been fortunate to have taken 5 private lessons with a truly wonderful instructor so far in my short skiing career. I am planning on visiting Heino's Bootfitting in Pequannock NJ to be properly fitted for boots. Now that I've taken care of investing in proper boots and lessons (which I will continue in the future), I felt I should invest in my first set of skis, and would appreciate any suggestions and advice you all could offer.



Where in the world are you skiing? 

The northeast almost exclusively for some time. This is my second year skiing, and I have only gone to the Catskills, and expect this to continue for the foreseeable future. I am located in NYC, and am hoping to make a few day trips on weekends to the smaller mountains that are nearby (e.g., Mount Peter, Tuxedo Ridge, Campgaw, Thunder Ridge), and if time permits, trips to the mountains in the Catskills if I get a chance. At most, I might make a several day midweek trip to Killington or Stowe if I am fortunate in March, but my expectation is to be skiing at the small mountains near NYC and Belleayre/Hunter/Wyndham/Butternut (in MA) if I get lucky. Thus, my focus is on acquiring skis that are appropriate for this environment.


I would love to eventually go ski out west in Utah or Wyoming or Colorado or California, and might make a trip as soon as next year with a close friend, but would be happy with renting equipment that is better suited for the snow out west during that trip, and buying equipment that is better suited for northeastern skiing.



What kinds of terrain do you prefer (groomed runs, moguls, race course, park'n'pipe, trees, steeps, backcountry/sidecountry)

I'm really only interested in skiing groomed runs. My day job provides me with more excitement than I would like, and I find my time skiing to be a chance to step back and relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. I'm an extremely cautious person by nature and don't anticipate myself ever having an interest in Park, Trees, Racing, Moguls, or anything outside of official boundaries. If I'm ever able to ski a double black diamond, I will be thrilled, but if I stay on blues or blacks, I won't be disappointed by any stretch. 



How many days a year do you ski?

This year I anticipate up to 10 more days of skiing. In a typical year in the future I would like to get 10-20 days annually. I routinely work weekends and holidays right now, but this will change starting next year, which should make it easier to ski more frequently.



How advanced are you as a skier?

Based on http://skiing.about.com/od/downhillskiing/a/abilitylevels.htm, I am a level 6. 

"Level Six
Level Six skiers confidently make parallel turns on blue runs but do not ski many advanced trails. Level Six skiers use their poles to time turns. A Level Six skier is interested in learning to ski better on more challenging terrain."


Based on Aspen's website, this describes me best: 

"I am skiing mostly parallel in a couple different size and shape turns, I am beginning to use my poles and can hockey stop in both directions", although I do not feel extremely confident with my hockey stops.


Based on Whistler-Blackcomb, I am an intermediate:

"Level 4: Intermediate
Able to ski parallel turns with pole plant. Can ski most blue runs, more advanced blues remain a challenge. Would like to explore more varied terrain"



What's your height and weight? 

I am 5'5 (165 cm) and 160 pounds (72.6 kg), which I expect to drop to about 150 pounds (68 kg) gradually.



During my latest trip, I used rental skis from Rossignol, specifically the Rossignol Experience RTL in 150 cm length, with a sidecut of 123-78-112. I enjoyed using them, but regret not trying a longer sized ski. I have done some research on the rest of the Rossignol Experience line and am trying to decide between the Experience 74 (156 or 166 cm), Experience 76 (156 or 166 cm), Experience 78 (166 cm), and Experience 83 (168 cm) (the lengths in parentheses are what Rossignol recommends on their website for my weight). Again, this ski purchase is specifically for northeastern skiing with a focus on leisurely skiing on groomed runs. I would rate myself as Intermediate at present, but would love to advance to Advanced or Expert over time. I would appreciate any specific recommendations regarding these skis, any alternatives, or any general information you wish you had known at this stage in your careers. Thanks a lot!

post #2 of 10

Go with the Experience 83 since it will be a good carver on the front side and still allow you to dabble in the other stuff once you get a few more days under your belt.

post #3 of 10

Welcome. I'd say if you liked the Rossis, the E83, or you might also consider the Blizzard 8.0 CA or Fischer Motive 80 if you want a livelier feel. And if, despite your disclaimer, you're planning to take more lessons, which will lead you to carve, which will lead to somewhat higher speeds naturally - honoring your injunction against bumps, trees, etc - the Salomon Enduro 800 XT would be hard to beat for firm surfaces in the northeast. It will have a bigger envelope should you become advanced and decide you want to zoom the groomers a little. The Blizzard would next in terms of upside, incidentally. 


BTW, do you put out forest fires or do circus acrobatics for a living? :D 

post #4 of 10

Are you a helicopter pilot?


I would recommend the Blizzard Magnum 7.6. (or 7.7 for 2014). It's an "intermediate" ski but performs like an expert ski, while being forgiving. So it will grow with you but not beat you up now. I have been "somewhere above intermediate" for 30+ years now. It's a lot less demanding than most skis I own(ed). I am 5'4" and weigh about 145. Mine are 163cm length.


You can get the 2013 version for a really nice price. These are system skis and come with bindings. For example here are some 163 cm for $400 www.alpinesportinggoods.com/blizzard-magnum-7-6-iq-skis-with-bindings-2013.html

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you guys for your replies! I (unfortunately) don't work in any of the above professions, and don't think I could either given how much excitement they have to deal with as well :)


I've already purchased a subscription to RealSkiers.com, and will try to look through reviews of the models that were mentioned in your replies in greater depth tonight. I have unintentionally carved turns (when attempting to make parallel turns), and my instructor felt that I had the mechanics to do it properly when I advance my skills further, so I will definitely look into the Salomon skis that user beyond. mentioned.



Originally Posted by beyond View Post

And if, despite your disclaimer, you're planning to take more lessons, which will lead you to carve, which will lead to somewhat higher speeds naturally - honoring your injunction against bumps, trees, etc - the Salomon Enduro 800 XT would be hard to beat for firm surfaces in the northeast.


I'm curious if there would be any benefit for me to look into the Pursuit series by Rossignol. They are apparently focused on There does not seem to be much in the way of reviews of the lower end models of the Pursuit line (Pursuit 11-Pursuit 14), but I would appreciate any feedback anyone might have.


I quickly looked at the reviews for the Blizzard Magnum 7.6 on RealSkiers, and they are fantastic, so thank you user MattL! I will definitely try to do some more research into them.


If I could just ask a general question or two:

1. Is there an ideal waist that I would want for the northeast mountains? The rentals that I used were a 78 waist, and although I struggled when I first put them on, I felt very good about my ability to turn and safely control my speed with them once I got to spend more time in them. The Pursuit line seems to start at a waist of 70, while the E83s have a waist of 83, and the remaining skis we have discussed fall between 77 and 81. From what I have read, a narrow waist makes it easier to make small turns, but a wider waist provides greater stability in a variety of conditions. Does anyone have any input on this?

2. How should I determine my ideal length? My rentals were only 150 cm, despite my height being 165 cm. The E83 has a rocker in the front and back, and should theoretically ski shorter than it is. Does this mean I should size up and go ahead and get a 168 cm ski, or can I settle for 160 cm? From what I have read, increasing ski length's main benefit is that it increases stability at higher speeds, at the sacrifice of ease of smaller turns. Is there anything else that I should know?


Thank you all for your help so far. I appreciate the advice and recommendations.

post #6 of 10

1) I think you'll want to be between 75-85 on the waist considering you will be skiing harder snow.


2) I use the chin to forehead test for ski length.  For you I'd go with a ski that reaches your chin and definitely below your forehead.  The 150-160 sounds about right for you considering your height.  

post #7 of 10

In order:


1) Real Skiers is a solid source for reviews of the sort you'd want. They went to a silly single letter grade system this year, but if you look at 2013 and backwards, they have more useful numerical scores and icons for a variety of attributes. I think they're going back to the numerical scores, so maybe the letter thing was a blip for non-skiing reasons.


2) The Pursuit line has gotten strong reviews, but they're apparently skis designed to GS groomers. Not sure they're meant to learn to carve. The Magnum 7.6 is a nice idea, incidentally. 


3) No "ideal" waist." The 75-85 mm figure is reasonable, keeping in mind that skis in the middle 70's will feel quicker edge to edge than skis in the middle 80's, and will bite into hardpack easier, but won't have quite as much proficiency in softer snow. At your size, I'd err on the side of narrower rather than wider.


4) I'd go for something in the low 160's as your length. Don't go below you eyebrows or above your hairline. 


5) Don't overthink this. There are a lot of good skis that will work. Lessons and good boots will help you advance - and have fun - more than finding the perfect ski. I'd pay attention to price for a first ski; better to get a well-regarded "new" model from a season or two ago - and there should be these available in your length - than pay top dollar for this year's latest and greatest. Alternatively, you might shop around for a good condition demo, often great bargains, since you'll have your new pair looking like them fairly soon anyway. 

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all of you guys for your help. I'm pretty set on the 2012/2013 Magnum 7.6 at $399. These should last me quite some time and hopefully help me progress in a safe fashion.


I'm going to go ahead and order them in the 163 cm length, as opposed to the 156 cm length unless anyone feels strongly that I should get the shorter length. I measured both lengths out relative to myself - 163 cm reaches just slightly above my (receding) hairline, while 156 cm reaches just above the tip of my nose.

post #9 of 10

Nice choice, excellent ski to grow with, definitely the 163. 

post #10 of 10
I agree that 75 to 85 is a good waist for normal piste skiing in the north east. You may find sticking closer to 80 is easier to get on and stay edge, at the expense of not being as "quick" edge to edge. But i think it will make improving a little more fun. When you get aggressive, waist will go down, but let that work itself out.

As far as length, you are very correct. If it's rockered, it's going to ski shorter. I don't like rockered skis for the north east, but I don't get off the trail much- but they do serve a purpose. My wife skis rockered and full cambered skis, and her first set of rockered skis she was very disappointed with only because she went a size too short.

Demo. Demo. Demo. Find a mountain that offers demos, not rentals. Pay the 30-40 bucks if they have skis you may be interested in, and ask if they will let you exchange size and models throughout the day - most all do. I wouldn't buy skis anymore without demoing. You may find something you love that you never considered. Specs can only say so much. Skis really do all ski differently these days. It's great.

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