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Looking to upgrade the wife's skis

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Looking to update my wife's second pair of skis.  She is a low-level advanced skier on the hard pack & groomers (her favorite terrain) and a high level intermediate when she gets on the steeps or the powder and to a lesser extent, the cut-up crud after the powder is chopped up.  Her current #1 ski is the Fischer Vision 50 (160cm) which is a women's specific de-tuned slalom ski.  Her second ski is the Volkl Attiva Aurora (156cm)  which, when I got them, were an all-mountain ski, but would probably be considered a front-side technical ski today.  82mm underfoot, full camber, etc.  While she likes the way they hold on the hard-pack, she doesn't like to ski them because they are too heavy.  Especially in contrast to her carbon/glass Fischer's!  And I can vouch for the weight issue as these skis weigh more than my 178cm Blizzard Magnum 7.8's.  These skis would be used for deeper snow days, in-bound resort skiing out west.  Which means to me - on a good powder day, several runs of good powder skiing, a lot more runs of broken powder, a few runs of really cut-up snow and a couple of packed snow runs back to the base.  Lastly, she is 5'-1", @135lbs.

 

So, would like to step her up to a wider ski that might help make getting through the powder a bit easier for her, but would still carve on the groomed, probably in the in the upper 80's to upper 90's range underfoot . Have demo'd several of the male counterparts of the following skis and am wondering what people here thought of them, recommendations of other models to consider, etc.

 

- Nordica Hell's Belles

- Nordica Nemesis

- Blizzard Black Pearl

- Atomic Elysian

- Fischer Koa 88

 

I have also skied the Rossi Soul 7 and have debated putting the Savory 7 on the list, but I'm thinking small steps here.  I need to get her confident on skiing most of the mountain before I try to get her to spend the entire day skiing the bowls and dropping in the trees.

 

Any thoughts, experiences, would be welcome.

 

Thanks!


Edited by Tag - 2/10/14 at 5:17pm
post #2 of 20

I'm sure @Trekchick would have comments, but may want to know a bit more.  Such as your wife's height and weight.  Personally I have fun with my Black Pearls in a variety of conditions, out west and in the northeast.  With Z10 bindings, the combination is very light weight.  However, I also know that Nordica and Volkl don't do much for me but I know women who love them.

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Added height & weight above. So, marznc, how would you rate your Black Pearls for carving on the groomers?

post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tag View Post
 

Added height & weight above. So, marznc, how would you rate your Black Pearls for carving on the groomers?

Umm, well if I was only looking for skis for carving on groomers then I probably wouldn't pick the BPs as my first choice.  Worked okay for me at Whiteface and Gore last week when there hadn't been new snow for a while.  But they were a lot more fun during the snowstorm at Whiteface that was bringing down fluffy powder on Wed deep enough to not bottom out on the hard stuff underneath.  I was taking it easy since I was skiing solo and staying on the runs that had been groomed the day before.  Before the snowstorm, I would've used my other skis, Rossi Attraxion 8s that are 75 underfoot and 154cm long if I'd brought them.  By the way, I'm 5'0", 120 pounds, and my BPs are 159cm.  When I demo, I'll check out anything between 150-162 depending on construction.

 

I liked the Rossi Temptation 88s and 82s.  The demo was at Massanutten, a little ski area in northern Virginia.  If I were in the market for an all-mountain for trips out west, they would be high on my list.  I also tried the Nordica Wild Belle but it didn't do much for me.  Same for the Volkl Yumi.  Felt like too much work.

 

For what it's worth, I didn't like the Koa at the Alta Demo Day last April.  The Dynastar Cham 87 was pretty fun.  Note that in general I like anything from Rossi or Blizzard, and Dynastar is okay too.

 

Per usual, it's a lot easier to buy a ski after doing some demos.

post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tag View Post
 

Looking to update my wife's second pair of skis.  She is a low-level advanced skier on the hard pack & groomers (her favorite terrain) and a high level intermediate when she gets on the steeps or the powder and to a lesser extent, the cut-up crud after the powder is chopped up.  Her current #1 ski is the Fischer Vision 50 (160cm) which is a women's specific de-tuned slalom ski.  Her second ski is the Volkl Attiva Aurora (156cm)  which, when I got them, were an all-mountain ski, but would probably be considered a front-side technical ski today.  82mm underfoot, full camber, etc.  While she likes the way they hold on the hard-pack, she doesn't like to ski them because they are too heavy.  Especially in contrast to her carbon/glass Fischer's!  And I can vouch for the weight issue as these skis weigh more than my 178cm Blizzard Magnum 7.8's.  These skis would be used for deeper snow days, in-bound resort skiing out west.  Which means to me - on a good powder day, several runs of good powder skiing, a lot more runs of broken powder, a few runs of really cut-up snow and a couple of packed snow runs back to the base.  Lastly, she is 5'-1", @135lbs.

 

So, would like to step her up to a wider ski that might help make getting through the powder a bit easier for her, but would still carve on the groomed, probably in the in the upper 80's to upper 90's range underfoot . Have demo'd several of the male counterparts of the following skis and am wondering what people here thought of them, recommendations of other models to consider, etc.

 

- Nordica Hell's Belles

- Nordica Nemesis

- Blizzard Black Pearl

- Atomic Elysian

- Fischer Koa 88

 

I have also skied the Rossi Soul 7 and have debated putting the Savory 7 on the list, but I'm thinking small steps here.  I need to get her confident on skiing most of the mountain before I try to get her to spend the entire day skiing the bowls and dropping in the trees.

 

Any thoughts, experiences, would be welcome.

 

Thanks!

Hi Tag, Its good to see you around these parts. 

Taking from your list, I think the Nemesis and Hells Belles will be a better transition for her coming off the Vision and/or Aurora if she's looking for strength as all mountain.  But, if she's looking for playful and fun in powder and off piste, I'd lean toward the Black Pearl, or Elysian.   

If you want to get something that has a big powder bias with the tip profile, try the Savory 7 is a good bet, but its not going to be as technical as an all mountain ski.  

Have I confused you enough?  :D

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Umm, well if I was only looking for skis for carving on groomers then I probably wouldn't pick the BPs as my first choice...

 

Per usual, it's a lot easier to buy a ski after doing some demos.

I wasn't thinking of these as a full-time carving ski, just my experience skiing powder days at a resort (and we spend most of our time at Copper Mountain), especially with Mrs. Tag in tow, means a few runs where the powder is relatively fresh and then the rest of the day is going to be back on the blue groomers where the snow may be soft, or depending on the depth, heavier cut-up crud.  So, I'm looking to find a ski that will not whine loudly about having to carve a turn on packed powder to hard pack.  The Aurora's are basically tanks and will carve wonderfully, but like a tank, don't have this whole concept of 'float' done that well.  They weigh close to 15 lbs after all.  I agree with demoing, but frankly, it ain't easy to find the a good day to demo.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

Hi Tag, Its good to see you around these parts. 

Taking from your list, I think the Nemesis and Hells Belles will be a better transition for her coming off the Vision and/or Aurora if she's looking for strength as all mountain.  But, if she's looking for playful and fun in powder and off piste, I'd lean toward the Black Pearl, or Elysian.   

If you want to get something that has a big powder bias with the tip profile, try the Savory 7 is a good bet, but its not going to be as technical as an all mountain ski.  

Have I confused you enough?  :D

I was leaning a bit toward the Nordica's with the Black Pearl a close second.  While I like the look of the Nemesis, I'm concerned that it's going to be too much of a jump to go from her narrow Fischer's to to something that wide under foot. The HB's have good write-ups for their edge grip and I would hope that the early rise tip and the 90mm width would give her enough float to make those few days we see of 8"+ powder more enjoyable.  I really like my Blizzard 7.8's, but that ski is a totally different construction than the BP, although both have a similar early rise tip.  I have skied the Bonafide and liked it, but that would be closer to the Samba than the Black Pearl.  I haven't ever skied Atomic's, so I don't have anything to compare to the Elysian. 

 

Yeah, it's a little odd that I'm probably spending more time on this site talking hockey than talking skiing lately.

post #7 of 20

The Black Pearls will give her more versatility in powder......

Think like this,  The Hells Belles is more powerful, the Black Pearl is more nimble. 

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tag View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

Umm, well if I was only looking for skis for carving on groomers then I probably wouldn't pick the BPs as my first choice...

 

Per usual, it's a lot easier to buy a ski after doing some demos.

I wasn't thinking of these as a full-time carving ski, just my experience skiing powder days at a resort (and we spend most of our time at Copper Mountain), especially with Mrs. Tag in tow, means a few runs where the powder is relatively fresh and then the rest of the day is going to be back on the blue groomers where the snow may be soft, or depending on the depth, heavier cut-up crud.  So, I'm looking to find a ski that will not whine loudly about having to carve a turn on packed powder to hard pack.  The Aurora's are basically tanks and will carve wonderfully, but like a tank, don't have this whole concept of 'float' done that well.  They weigh close to 15 lbs after all.  I agree with demoing, but frankly, it ain't easy to find the a good day to demo.

The BPs are fine on groomers out west.  Helps to know where they would be used the most.  Did fine for me last April at Alta in chopped up powder on top of frozen bumps.  Where I found them less than optimal was at Whiteface when it was not just a matter of skiing on hardback, but also some ice patches.

post #9 of 20
I'd put the Rossi Temptations (female version of Experience) on your list.
post #10 of 20
Your wife sounds a tad more advanced than my wife who now skis Temptation 88s. She likes them quite a bit.
Edited by SportyandMisty - 2/14/14 at 6:40am
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 

Should add that one of the things she likes most about her Fischer's is they are a fairly forgiving ski and when she gets nervous, like in powder, steeps and bumps, she falls back on skidding her turns.  So, for those with some experience with the skis mentioned, how do they do when asked to relax and skid rather than arc and carve?

post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tag View Post
 

Should add that one of the things she likes most about her Fischer's is they are a fairly forgiving ski and when she gets nervous, like in powder, steeps and bumps, she falls back on skidding her turns.  So, for those with some experience with the skis mentioned, how do they do when asked to relax and skid rather than arc and carve?


Black Pearls will allow her to relax and ski to her heart's content! (I know first-hand :D) They are VERY forgiving but also confidence-inspiring.

post #13 of 20

Between the Black Pearls and the Hells Belles, the Black Pearls are more forgiving. 

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

Between the Black Pearls and the Hells Belles, the Black Pearls are more forgiving. 

 

Do the Black Pearl's ski short?  Looking at the size charts, by weight, she should be on the 159, but by height, the 152 wold be closer to the right size. My experience with early rise tips is to ski them longer and also thinking as she becomes more comfortable in 'adverse' conditions, she would handle and appreciate the longer length.

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tag View Post
 

 

Do the Black Pearl's ski short?  Looking at the size charts, by weight, she should be on the 159, but by height, the 152 wold be closer to the right size. My experience with early rise tips is to ski them longer and also thinking as she becomes more comfortable in 'adverse' conditions, she would handle and appreciate the longer length.

Not really.  The way flip core feels, you can ski it in the length you would normally ski something and its fine.   I'd lean toward the 159 based on weight. 

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

Not really.  The way flip core feels, you can ski it in the length you would normally ski something and its fine.   I'd lean toward the 159 based on weight. 


I would, too. I am 5'5" 125 and I bought them in a 159 two seasons ago, and have already outgrown them. They inspired TOO MUCH confidence, I guess :rotflmao:

Mine will most likely be up for sale soon ;)

post #17 of 20

Not to confuse your choices further .... but ... I have always been a Volkl lover but also struggled with the older, heavier model (my frontside was the AC3).  They were great on the groomers but heavy to maneuver in crud or heavier loose snow.  I ski the Aura now as my daily driver.  It is super light, easy to maneuver, and truthfully holds an edge really well.  I wouldn't take it on boilerplate (actually, I wouldn't go on boilerplate!) but I have taken it across icy patches, dust on crust, windblown & scraped, and it has held it's edge well in all that.  It does skid turns nicely (sometimes I am lazy and like that!) and at 98 underfoot, it works well in powder and busts right through crud.   I bring it up because if your wife like the way the Aurora handles, she might love the Aura.  It is extremely versatile. I am 5'2", 140lbs, and I ski the 163.  My carver is 156.

post #18 of 20

If you'd like to dump those Volkl Aurora's, lets talk.  I'm interested.  

post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 

Well, after much debate between the Hell's Belles and the Black Pearls, finally pulled the trigger on the Nordica's, mostly due to a much better price on the Nordica's.  Of course, this winter, I got a chance, during a local demo day, to try out a number of women's skis (sidebar: the Head Joy series was quite an eye-opener) and skied the Black Pearl.  Very impressive, so started having a bit of buyer's remorse on the Nordica's waiting at home.  With Christmas break, Mrs. Tag and I finally got out to do some skiing and she got on her new skis....  SUCCESS!  She loves them.  Had a nice bit of new snow just as we arrived at Copper, so her first two days of skiing were light powder to soft packed powder conditions and she was very happy with the way the skis responded.  The bigger surprise came after several days had passed and the fresh snow was now quite packed out, and instead of going back to her beloved Fischer's, she wanted to stay on the HB's.  Hadn't thought that these would become her do-it-all ski, but they seem to be taking on that role.  Was hoping to make a good addition to her ski quiver, and it turned out better than I hoped.  Call me :D

post #20 of 20

I picked up a pair of HB's in the blem sale last spring and just skied  them for the first time over the holidays.  All I can say is ... YES!  We had extremely variable temps on man made snow.  It was a melt/freeze cycle the first couple of days which translated into rock hard, seriously rutted, corduroy which then melted into mashed potatoes by noon.  The HB's held and edge on the hard stuff, and were easy to drive through the ruts, then plowed right over the heavy piles with no issues.  When the weather improved, they certainly excelled on the groomers.  Overall, I am a pretty happy lady. Any ski that get me through a crappy SoCal day without revealing a serious "shortcoming" is a pretty darn good all mountain ski.  As for powder - well, I will pull out a different ski on those days so I don't intend to find out!

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