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Nordica Hell & Back / Line Sick Day 95 / Blizzard Bonafide

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello,

1st time poster but have been following site for a while. Will keep it simple - looking for my 1st pair of skis (time to stop renting)

- almost exclusively ski out west
- kind of ski everything, with a favor towards trees, steep groomers, and like to get off the beaten path. Also like to mix in moguls to keep improving my technique.
- usually ski around 20-25 days a year, but like to ski a lot during those days and take advantage of the time I am out west (26 y.o. so full skiing days)
- 7/10 level
- 6'3" 185-190 lbs

Looking for an "all-mountain" ski as all my skiing is done while traveling. After riding different skis this season so far and researching I have slimmed down my list to these, but am open to suggestions:

Nordica Hell & Back - 177 or 185
Line Sick Day 95 - 179 or 186
Blizzard Bonafide - 180

I skied some Volkl Mantras for a solid week this month in Colorado at 184cm. I liked how they charged through choppy conditions and we're decent with 5-6" of new snow, and seemed to match up a bit with my aggressive skiing style. However, frankly they just felt too long. Doing some moguls and working in with tighter trees didn't feel the greatest.

That said, I know the length might be a thing that will come with more experience, but I feel myself liking skis in the 170 high range, which has me leaning the 177, 179, and 180 lengths of the skis above.

So I was hoping for insight/suggestions on the skis above, and hopefully I can get my hand on any to perhaps demo next trip out in a week.

Mark
post #2 of 11

since you can demo, you should. but don't forget to get your boots dialed in first.  .

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yeah I have had boots for a couple seasons now. Just never bought skis because I always travel out there, but for the amount I go it just doesn't make sense to keep renting. Was hoping for any experience people have had with those skis.
post #4 of 11
If you liked the feel and power of the mantra and didn't mind the weight of the ski then the 180cm Bonafide will be a great choice. I own a SD95 in a 186cm and a Bonafide in the 180cm, trying to decide which one to keep as my one ski quiver type ski that sits in between my akjj and my Kendos. I describe the bonafide as a surfier mantra. It is unreal in mogul fields, a perfect medium flex pattern and awesome rocker profile that makes bumps easy. I ski a ton of bumps on anything from big akjj, to my kids regular JJ's, to Kendos and I love the bonafide in them.

It carves extremely well but not quite like a mantra. Mantra will have a more edge on the snow and feel little more planted, not as much rocker. But in tight trees, powder, moguls there is no comparison to the Bones. Busted up crud the mantra plows and bombs right through, Bonafide bombs over top of it. Different feels but both great. My only complaint with the Bonafide and it is a big one is the heavy swing weight in my opinion. Tails feel light but the front half of the ski is where all the weight is. No weight reducing technology in this boy. If they did just something to reduce some of the tip wait I would pay double for this ski. Long and slow chair rides I can feel for sure. That's my only complaint on the ski, otherwise it's flawless. Even floats awesome in snow over a foot. I'm 6'1" and about 176-180lbs, 42 year old expert. If you didn't mind the 184 Mantra you will think he shorter Bone is fine.

SD95 is a great option also. I honestly like the 180 bonafide better than the 186 sick day in the bumps. No matter what a 186cm ski in the bumps is long, no matter how light it is. I find the Bonafides flex pattern smoother and more even, there fore easier to control. In the longer sick day length I find the tail can jet you more when loaded in the bumps. I'm sure in the 179 it is just a kick in the pants though. SD95 is a lot lighter, even in the longer length. But it is no slacker. The sick day rips and carves like you can't believe. I find no speed limit and to me it holds lines as good as the bonafide or even my Kendos, just a different feel. I skied them all three today on firm, icy groomers.

Sick day initiates the turn a little quicker and easier than the bonafide, and you can feel a tighter turn radius even in the longer length. They both finish the turn awesome, both have good rebound when loaded. I find the sick day 186cm a little long for me, I wish it was a 182cm. But the 179cm seemed very short. I'm still not sure I picked the correct length. Bonafide 180cm is perfect for me, again it's just the weight that my knee doesn't like after awhile. Sick day has more life to it when bouncing around and trying to pop off jumps, little more jibby. Bonafide likes to stay on the ground!!

Sorry for the long review but it's difficult choosing skis this day and age, I always appreciate any help I can get.
post #5 of 11

If you go for the Hell & Back, go for the 185. I'm about your weight and ability, bur 3" shorter and I love them. They won't be too much ski for you.

post #6 of 11

I'm 5'10" 200 pounds very athletic and I own the 185 Hell&Back. It's amazing, quick and powerful. Lots of pop and edge grip. Make a mistake in bumps and you pay for it, trust me. Having said that if you don't it's a pretty decent bump ski considering how stiff it is. It's just not forgiving.

It's more an on-piste ski so if you like off-piste skiing more look to the Line Sick Day or Volkl Bridge or 177 H&B.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdman87 View Post

Hello,



1st time poster but have been following site for a while. Will keep it simple - looking for my 1st pair of skis (time to stop renting)



- almost exclusively ski out west

- kind of ski everything, with a favor towards trees, steep groomers, and like to get off the beaten path. Also like to mix in moguls to keep improving my technique.

- usually ski around 20-25 days a year, but like to ski a lot during those days and take advantage of the time I am out west (26 y.o. so full skiing days)

- 7/10 level

- 6'3" 185-190 lbs



Looking for an "all-mountain" ski as all my skiing is done while traveling. After riding different skis this season so far and researching I have slimmed down my list to these, but am open to suggestions:



Nordica Hell & Back - 177 or 185

Line Sick Day 95 - 179 or 186

Blizzard Bonafide - 180



I skied some Volkl Mantras for a solid week this month in Colorado at 184cm. I liked how they charged through choppy conditions and we're decent with 5-6" of new snow, and seemed to match up a bit with my aggressive skiing style. However, frankly they just felt too long. Doing some moguls and working in with tighter trees didn't feel the greatest.



That said, I know the length might be a thing that will come with more experience, but I feel myself liking skis in the 170 high range, which has me leaning the 177, 179, and 180 lengths of the skis above.



So I was hoping for insight/suggestions on the skis above, and hopefully I can get my hand on any to perhaps demo next trip out in a week.



Mark

 



You have found the ski, you were on it for that week, get it in 177cm and you'll be happy.

I like to have a ski with metal in it. It handles the cut up snow better, doesn't get deflected. Some of the newer skis use carbon fiber to get that torsional stiffness.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies everyone. I will use this great info and hopefully try and demo some of these in the near future before I pull the trigger. Will try and post back eventually on how things ended up.

post #9 of 11

Do demo, the internet is no substitute.   At your dimensions and weight, if you are a L7-10 skier, you should have little problem handling the Mantra in 184, so probably there is a little disconnect there (hey, everyone is a L8 skier on the Internet... IIRC, L10 is confident dynamic skiing in extreme terrain, which is sometimes a very tall order in the West).  Back to the skis.  The Bone in 180 will ski shorter, than 184 Mantra, and won't give up much stability.  if you don't wan to bother with demoing, here is you're one-shot deal.  that ski has such a large sweet port that you are almost guaranteed to be happy with it.   Hell and Back is supposed to be a more lively ski with more "pop" since it has no metal.  At your dimensions and weight you may still go for a metal in your ski, but be aware that Nordica without metal feel unusually solid.  Hell and Back has more tail than the Bonafide (which has some tail rocker), so you may feel the difference there. Skis with more tail usually are more demanding, but more rewarding in dynamic carved turns, less so in the trees sand bumps.  I am not familiar with the Lines. 

post #10 of 11

In terms of on-snow performance, the H&B is probably closest to the Mantra: it skis more like a wide power carver than the Bonafide.  The Bonafide seems like a better choice off-piste and in soft, cut-up snow.  I would say the H&B skis more like a true 50/50 ski with excellent (for a 98mm) groomer performance, the Bonafide is better off-piste than on, really crushes it in the trees and soft snow, but can feel one-dimensional and lacking life on the groomers.  Maybe the Bonafide is more of a 65/35 ski? I am sure there are people out there who would disagree with me. The Nordica Steadfast/H&B have always felt more "traditional" than the Blizzard designs for me; they tend to be more powerful, both in terms of energy and turn initiation. In fact, the 90mm Steadfast is an excellent carver.  Really exciting and powerful, yet practical for all conditions, like driving a BMW 335i M-sport.  

 

184cm Mantra? Get the 187cm Bone/186cm H&B.  I ski the 180cm Bone, and 177cm Mantra. Bonafide skis short, mostly because the tip is pretty long and tall, but with little snow contact outside of soft, relatively deep snow.  I would say the 177cm feels longer than the 180cm actually.   For comparison, the Blizz Brahma (same profile as the Bone, just narrower) in 180cm, and the Magnum 8.5ti in 174cm, share EXACTLY the same running length.  The difference in measured length is simply in the tip and tail on the Brahma, which don't come into contact with the snow unless you are in the soft stuff. Throw in the tapered sidecut, and you find the entire free mountain line skis on the short side. I skied the 187cm Bonafide the first spring it came out, and even for me, it felt super quick and easy to handle in softer snow conditions.  I would personally buy a 180cm for everyday skiing though, just because the 187cm is going to be a lot to handle in bumps

 

No experience on the Line.  

post #11 of 11
If looking at Hell and Back and Sick day just to complicate things more don't forget the Kabookie. I'm demoing one this weekend in the 180cm to see if I love it as much as my Bonafide without the added weight. I scored such an unreal deal on my Bonafide that if I choose to sell it I won't lose much money.
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