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After demos... Now I'm lost.

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I took some recommendations based on how I like to ski, what some folks on here and at two shops had to say and went and rode some skis over the last two weeks.

 

Skis that were recommended:

- Volkl RTM 80 

 

- Rossi Experience 88 

 

- Blizzard Brahma 

 

- there were a couple others that don't exist in demo land (Fischer Motive86 was one)

 

These all have descriptions indicating they are right in my wheelhouse. All-mountain, eastern, single quiver skis that other people love.

 

Me? Not so much. The RTM was a carver but choppy at anything where a skid was wanted. It wanted me to be more precise than I wanted to be. I think it was tolerating me and wishing it was somewhere else. The Rossis were "okay". They didn't seem to want to do anything but they did whatever I forced them to with pretty good results. They were competent and forgiving of my laziness but the "fun" never came. The Blizzard, I only got to ride it in too short a size on wet snow so it's hard to directly compare it to the others... but I didn't walk away saying "Man.... this is awesome, I just wish it was a little longer".

 

So. I didn't fall in love with anything my research or advice said I would.  Now what do I do? Maybe I should pick one and keep skiing it until I conform to it?

post #2 of 23

The Nordica Steadfast or Fischer Watea 88 might be your ticket then. Where I found the Rossi E88 to feel quite dead (i.e. the oposite of lively) and the Brahma too heavy (both in weight and in feel), both the Nordica and the Fischer really surprised me. Responsive, lively, stable, fun. The Watea is a bit softer in flex than the Steadfast, a bit less of a charger in that sense. 

 

I haven't skied the RTM, can't comment on that.

post #3 of 23
They must have more demos. Yah, it costs, but I've spent three days occasionally demoing. Did you give feedback to the guy about each one so he could figure out what you were liking?
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

They must have more demos. Yah, it costs, but I've spent three days occasionally demoing. Did you give feedback to the guy about each one so he could figure out what you were liking?


They were sourced from two different shops but I did give the guy(s) my impression when I returned them.

 

I know some of this has to do with me - I am coming from a hiatus, and an era where boards were long and thin. I'm still getting used to the idea that I'm wearing two miniature water skis on my feet and in all likelyhood my whole technique (if you could call it that) needs an adjustment.

 

This weekend I signed up for a lesson AND a demo. Maybe... when the ski isn't broke... fix the skier?  

post #5 of 23
I know K2 doesn't get a lot of love here and I am definitely not familiar with the current line up, but a lot of people like them here. Whether they are an East coast ski, I don't know. Maybe start looking at skis on the lift and see if there is a favorite. Personally, I've never been fond of Volkl because to me, lively equals chattery. Racers love them and seem to hate K2s, so maybe if you didn't like the Volkl snap, you'll like the dead/forgiving feel of K2?

I like demoing right on the mountain so I can ski a lot of different ones back to back. Of course, that's just to winnow things down. A longer demo is definitely worth it.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by walterj View Post

.

 The RTM was a carver but choppy at anything where a skid was wanted. It wanted me to be more precise than I wanted to be.

 

I've skied the RTM84 and, although I expected to hate it, I enjoyed it a lot.  Based on what you're saying, the Nordica Steadfast is not for you.  It's been my daily driver since the 2011-12 season and is a great all-around ski.  I ski it everywhere on the mountain and in snow even up to 20+".  But it is not a ski that will let you snooze while you cruise.  Ski it in the bumps and get your weight back just a little and it will spank you.  It pretty much demands that you stay centered over the skis and as long as you are you get rewarded with a great ride.

post #7 of 23

You just skied some fairly different skis with more or less indifferent results. None of these are bad skis and although the RTM is a bit of a hit or miss with folks, the other two are generally satisfying for most. Also the Rossi and the Brahma are different enough and the RTM is quite different that you might should oughta have some specifics but you don't seem to. Your descriptions don't really say what it is you didn't like or what it was you were looking for.

 

I think you have a few things conspiring against you. One is you long hiatus from skiing and two is your inexperience with current skis. Adjusting to those two factors simulataniously might be what's holding you back. Actually, the suggestion for a K2 is a pretty good one. They do not in fact get a ton of admiration from expert ski testers but they are quite competent and won't demand much of anything from you. A model like the AMP 82 XTI is good enough for anything at your level and region and I think would serve you well for quite a while. Once you have your feet under you and some good mileage, then I think you would have a better understanding of what you want. I guess the other alternative would be to continue the throw $$$ at the demo wall in the hopes of finding an epiphany.

 

SJ

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

 

I think you have a few things conspiring against you. One is you long hiatus from skiing and two is your inexperience with current skis. Adjusting to those two factors simulataniously might be what's holding you back.

 

...

 

I guess the other alternative would be to continue the throw $$$ at the demo wall in the hopes of finding an epiphany.

 

SJ

 

I think I'm coming around to that as the epiphany. I signed up for a lesson this weekend and I'm going walk into the shop on the way to the mountain and ask for a forgiving ski that can let me do what an advanced lesson would ask of them and not much more. Keep it simple... set a base line... work from there. I haven't taken a legitimate ski lesson in 38 years. I've certainly poached technique from friends/enemies ... but never really had anyone dedicate a couple hours to fix all the bad habits I've picked up. Just like my golf swing. And fly fishing casts. I try not to make recreating too much work.

post #9 of 23

Yeh, but learning can be fun - really.  Ask for a good instructor who likes to have fun teaching.  I'm guessing the ski school will know who to throw at you, their reputation precedes them.  Maybe he can even help you with your golf swing.

 

And when you talk to the person at the shop, be as specific about what you want as you can be.  Hopefully, he will ask you a lot of the right questions and have a good idea of what to put under your feet.  And a lot of shops do a day rental of the ski and binding at a decent price, where you can apply the cost of the rental to the purchase of that model ski if it seems a good fit.  It will be in the shop's interest to put you on a ski that you will like because they want that sale.

 

Surfdog  

post #10 of 23
Lets take a step back. What do you have for boots ? Were they fitted by a good no great boot fitter ?

For skis, I like something with a 88-90mm waist.

After you make sure the boots fit right, demo a Volkl Kendo and take a lesson with them. I ski mine in just about every condition and enjoy them as close to a one ski quiver as possible. Yes I do have a 106 waist ski too.

The current crop of 88-92, may be even 98mm skis is pretty great.

IMO if your boots don't fit well, your loosing a lot of performance that these skis have.
post #11 of 23

Quick question:  are you still skiing old school, with your feet so close you couldn't get a piece of paper between them?  If that is the case, none of the modern skis are going to love you, you are just not their type. 

 

If your stance is closed, try skiing with your feet a comfortable shoulder width part.  You will then find the skis more agreeable, as the modern skis want you to be on edge more, and the wider stance will allow that. 

 

Surfdog

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfdog View Post
 

Quick question:  are you still skiing old school, with your feet so close you couldn't get a piece of paper between them?  If that is the case, none of the modern skis are going to love you, you are just not their type. 

 

If your stance is closed, try skiing with your feet a comfortable shoulder width part.  You will then find the skis more agreeable, as the modern skis want you to be on edge more, and the wider stance will allow that. 

 

Surfdog


Yeah. I'm the guy who tries to stagger one foot slightly ahead of the other to keep the skis together.  It used to be the thing to do when skiing on toothpicks. 

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

Lets take a step back. What do you have for boots ? Were they fitted by a good no great boot fitter ?

For skis, I like something with a 88-90mm waist.

After you make sure the boots fit right, demo a Volkl Kendo and take a lesson with them. I ski mine in just about every condition and enjoy them as close to a one ski quiver as possible. Yes I do have a 106 waist ski too.

The current crop of 88-92, may be even 98mm skis is pretty great.

IMO if your boots don't fit well, your loosing a lot of performance that these skis have.


Solomon Impact 120 CS purchased very recently and talk about an epiphany... what a step up that was! They were not fitted professionally but are completely adjustable for rake, offset, last, etc so I followed the pictograms and made them fit like a glove. The shell is a perfect 1 finger fit. I didn't need any melting to make them comfortable (I have a wide foot) as the liner sortof adjusts some for your foot and stays there - and the last was pretty great right out of the box. Best money I ever spent on ski gear.

 

I think they have the Kendo for demo right at the mountain shop so... will do. I'll report back after Saturday for posterity.

post #14 of 23

I used to ski the toothpicks too.  When the shape skis came in, my instructor trainers told me to open my stance. I said, "Whaddya mean, keep my feet further apart?  It took me 20 years to get'em together!!"

 

Work with the instructor on opening your stance.  I think you will find the shaped skis you are on starting to smile at you.  

 

Surfdog

post #15 of 23
Good Point ^. OP how wide is your stance ? shoulder width or about there is where it feels right. Are you driving the tips of the skis or are you in the backseat ?

It's really difficult to get ahead of your skis, but that's where you want to be.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 

OK, so... just for posterity I figured I'd update in case others are thinking too much about this sort of thing and not having enough martinis during the critical decision phase.

 

I went and rode some skis last weekend. Again. I'm no noob... but things have changed. I a took a lesson to make sure I was actually using these water skis properly because they do ski a little different than my old long, narrow mounts ( a bit of an understatement). Turns out... just open the stance was spot on. Everything else is the same except these things make the work easier if you trust the edges to do things you didn't think they could.

 

So... stuff I tried in the last couple weeks:

- Rossi E88, liked 'em didn't love them. A bit too ... uninspired in any one way but a Camry of skis. They do whatever you want and I would learn to love them for that.

- Volkl RTM 80, loved the carving... couldn't make them do much else. They are darty. They do not want any lazy old men skidding them late in the afternoon.

- Atomic IT Blackeye LOVED them in mashed potatos. Loved them unequivocally... until it froze again late in the day. Then they turned on me. What they gave up in crushing hard lumpy stuff they made up for in doing what I was just thinking. so close.... but a one night stand anyway.

- Solomon 850 enduro (beat to shit old demos with huge demo bindings... but still actually liked 'em) These rocked. I could have been happy on them but the seller pissed me off with their firm "new" pricing on the used Rossis and ... er... yeah. Not going to to business with them. Great, fun ski. Only dealer in town. 
 

I really wanted to demo the Kendo, Brahma & Motive86 but I also want the power of flight and they are all pretty close to the same percentage of possibility 'round here.

 

I tried what I tried. So. With 2 solid choices at hand... I talked too much at people who were pretty disinterested in having any further discussion when we left what they had in stock behind. I rode the lift with redcoats and asked irritating questions. I pestered my instructor for 90 minutes with a conversation he has heard 1000x. I tried to buy a set of Rossi E88s on nice light bindings already setup for my same size boot that someone else had returned after riding for a week for bargain but the shop thought they were a deal at $700 and got angry instead of trying to sell something. So all that was left was to go to another shop and pick the Atomic or Solomon after yet another boorish conversation about my likes and wants where they try to move whatever they have left.

 

So. I went home. I had a martini (and a second... not sure... maybe a third). I ran a few internet searches ... and promptly bought a set of brand spankin' new 2014 Brahmas with Marker Griffon 13s mounted on 'em from a vendor who posts here a lot, on sale, delivered sometime this week for free shipping at $626. Who doesn't love a sale? How bad can they be? Impatience thy name is <insert my name here>

 

Thanks for all the insightful help. I'm pretty sure my bargain impulse buy will turn out just fine given reviews, feedback from shop guys, the relative company these boards share, etc...  but if it doesn't work out ... see my ebay ad next week! I'll make ya a helluva deal :)

 

Bottoms up.


Edited by walterj - 2/24/14 at 5:37pm
post #17 of 23

Well first off why type of skier are you? Love to turn quickly and rip up groomers are you looking at more powder deep snow, or something like a all mountain ski? I bought the Rossignol 88 and they are great for out West, so so on the Midwest hard packed ice here, but they sure shined out at Copper in some deep snow and for a fatter ski, they sure turned quickly. There is a reason most reviews on that ski are good, if you ski them hard they preform and it was like having a Porsche with extra power steering. I bought mine last year, for $275 without binding and so far I am impressed, however I am looking for a good slalom ski that turns quick on a dime and isn't too short as well, hard to find these days as most skis of this nature are 165cm which seem to short for me. 6"3 and 240 the shorts skis just didn't do it. You might want to try the Dynastar Omeglass or Dynastar Speed course or even the Nordica Doberman, again depends on what your looking for.  Ex-USSA racer here, good luck on your quest, I just wish there were more demo days around here. 

post #18 of 23
He's bought his skis.
post #19 of 23

sibhusky: I know but I was giving him suggestions if they don't workout! ;) I have had impulse buys go wrong.  lol 

post #20 of 23
Well, he didn't like the Rossis before his lesson-so if he gets back into demos, he might want to try them again. I can't imagine how dead they'd feel with the feet that close together!
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

Good Point ^. OP how wide is your stance ? shoulder width or about there is where it feels right. Are you driving the tips of the skis or are you in the backseat ?

It's really difficult to get ahead of your skis, but that's where you want to be.

Femur head width apart. smile.gif
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post



Femur head width apart. smile.gif

 



That's the knee width, correct ? Yea that sounds right, or is it in line with the inside of your arm pits...?

For most people it should be a normal stance as if your standing on any flat floor. A comfortable position.
post #23 of 23

Head width apart?  Don't know about that.  Some of the people who frequent EpicSki have awfully big heads....   :duck:

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