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Ski recommendation for heavy skier

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

Great forum, been learning a lot here. Looking for some advice on buying a new pair of skis. Here's what we're looking at:

Just getting back into skiing after a layoff of 30+ years. Last pair of skis were 203cm Elans, Pink and purple I think. All the rage in the80s. Just awful.

I'm an athletic but heavy guy: 6'1" and 265. Ski primarily east coast but likely making some trips out west on occasion. I'm ski blues with confidence and blacks once in a while. I'm skiing with my kids now, so not looking to rip it up as much as cruise groomers and have fun with them.

Been doing a lot of research on what might be best but I'm admittedly a bit confused. I want to get skis that are soft enough to turn easily at "mellower" speeds, but something that's stiff enough and has enough torsional rigidity to handle my weight ( if that exists).

My "research" has allowed me to come up with a few prospects, but I sure would appreciate any opinions from the learned folks on this forum. Here are a few I am considering:

Blizzard Bonafide
Blizzard Brahmin
Volkl Mantra
Volkl Kendo
Rossi E88
Rossi S7
Kastle mx78

Any thoughts on these are greatly appreciated. Also, if there are others I should consider, I would sure like to hear about those as well

Thanks
post #2 of 13
look for @Philpug review of the blizzard brahma, might be just what you are looking for as an east coast all around ski!

s7 will be too soft for someone your size, and it doesn't look like you want a 115mm underfoot ski

any chance to have some demo time? it would be good since you have been away for quite some time
Edited by mfa81 - 1/30/14 at 10:28pm
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks MFA81,

I did check out the PhilPug review and agree that the Brahma might be just the ticket. Looks like a ski designed to perform will in east coast conditions, but wide enough underfoot that I can take them out west and they can handle a little bit of powder.

Agree that the Rossi S7 is likly too soft and too wide. What I start to wonder is, for a guy who skis mostly east, when does wide become too wide? Seems like having width can help support my bigger size (read somewhere in these forums that adding width is similar to adding length as regards support for size).

Also, how stiff a ski should I look to get? The Volkl Mantra is a good example. Reviews of the ski say it is stiff and needs to be pushed to get the best out of it. Does that stiffness benefit me as a heavier skier?

Would love to demo some skis. Realize that this is the best way to compare, but not sure that's going to happen (which is why I posted). So far, the opportunity has not presented itself.

Thanks again fro the reply! Appreciated.
post #4 of 13

You said skiing with kids and crusing grommers... I think a ski with a good body will help you doing that as well as give you a chance to venture on more challenging terrain from time to time... 

 

I wouldn't go too wide for your goals. Never skied Volkl so can't comment on that... but they have the reputation for not being a forgiving ski.

 

I would work my way on a stronger ski instead of a longer/wider ski! I think you have a good selection there... I'd probably look into MX88 a little wide more body, stronger ski instead of the 78 and would probably discard the S7.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks MFA81, that makes sense to me. I will check out the MX88s. Appreciate the advice!
post #6 of 13
Volkl Kendo gets my vote.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks markojp. Kendo was one of the skis I've been looking into, and my shop stocks Volkl, so that would be a plus. In your opinion would the Kendos be stiff and strong enough to support my size? How forgiving is it? I know the Mantra is stiff, but wider underfoot and many say it is unforgiving of mistakes. Kendo looks like a better ski for the east. Easier to turn and better on hard snow. Thoughts?
post #8 of 13
Hard to go wrong with the Mantra. Most of my skiing friends use them as daily drivers. When traveling by air and take just one pair of skis, it's usually their Mantras. I'm 215 and use 184s. The new ones are rockered some and I haven't tried them yet. I've heard pro and con on the rocker. They do make a 191 Mantra (though rare) and I'm sure you wouldn't have any trouble bending them.

I also have Kendos and use them often on groomers. I describe the Kendos as "skinny" Mantras. Quicker edge to edge. My 2 cents......
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks MNTNTOM. I think the Kendo and Mantra both have some tip rocker. I've read the rocker doesn't have much if a negative effect on stability at speed (not much tip chatter) Curious where u ski most of the time? Are you mostly on groomers or mixed/powder?

Also, would be great to know whether you consider the Mantras to be unforgiving as some have said. Do you find you have to "work" to get them to ski their best, or is that an exaggeration?
post #10 of 13
Primarily ski Mammoth and usually a trip or two to Salt Lake City area resorts, Sun Valley, Jackson/Grand Targee, etc. Never found them unforgiving or hard to ski. Quite the opposite. If I'm tired and just want to relax I generally go to the Kendos/Mantras. Some say they are stiff in the tails, which may be true, but apparently it agrees with me.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Great, thanks for your input. Very helpful!. As markojp mentioned in an earlier post, I would benefit by having a "stronger" ski. Looks like the Mantra would definitely fit the bill. Gonna look into them for sure.
Thanks again-
post #12 of 13

As another big guy (6'6", ~275), I have some experience in this area.

 

I wouldn't say any of your original choices are great East Coast skis, unless you're trying to seek out soft snow on a fairly regular basis.  If you're going to be on groomers most of the time I'd think narrower and with metal reinforcement.  Of that initial list the MX78 would be the best choice IMO.

 

My current hard snow ski is a Fischer Progressor 9+.  For 90-100% groomer skiing I would definitely want something in the 70-75mm width range, maybe up to 78 if it's beefy enough.

 

The 80-90mm range is good for most conditions, but you give up some hard snow performance.  For softer/mixed EC days or firmer ones out West I have a Head Rev 85 Pro.  Carves like a boss as long as it's not a sheet of ice.  The Rossi E88 is okay, but I liked the Head better.  Wasn't crazy about the Brahma, felt like I could overpower it.  The Blizzard Magnum range is more hard-snow oriented and also worth a look.  If you're looking at Kastle, the MX83 and 88 are very popular.

 

Personally I would not go wider than that for a single pair of skis on the EC.  The Bonafide (98mm) is outstanding, but would be very wide for most Eastern conditions and it's nothing special on piste (it's good on piste for a 98mm ski, but my Progressors are way less work and much more fun.)  Haven't been on anything in the "S" series from Rossi.

 

I have generally hated Volkls, so those wouldn't be my recommendation... a lot of people swear by them, though.  Just don't seem to work well for me.  More a fan of Head/Dynastar/Fischer/Blizzard.

 

If you want a ski you can use out West, I'd say something in that 80-90mm range with an adequate amount of stiffness.  If you go out West and are blessed with a huge dump, go rent something wider.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks Matthias,

Great points since I will be skiing east coast groomers most of the time. Probably get out west once, maybe twice a year. I may be better off getting a narrower waist ski for here in the east and rent when traveling, as you suggest. Or eventually buy a second pair of skis in the 80-90 range for out west or when it's softer here.

Glad you mentioned you didn't like the Brahma as much because it gets a lot of press as the "east coast Bonafide". My goal from the outset was getting something I can't overpower, so I will cross that one off the list. My shop in NJ stocks Fischer, Volkl, and Atomic (special orders Blizzard, Saloman, K2, Nordica and Dynastar), so I will check out the Fischer Progressor 9+.

Good stuff, Thanks
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