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Quick review: high-80mm skis from K2, Rossi, Volkl and Blizzard

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Me:  Level 8.5 skier, 175 pounds, 6'2", based out of Stowe

Current ski:  174cm Blizzard 8.5ti.  Mine are on their last legs, and unfortunately, Blizzard isn't making it anymore.  :(

 

Spent the weekend at the Stowe Toys Demo Center trying a couple different things.  Stowe's gotten a foot or so in the past week, so things were fairly soft by New England standards, but you didn't have to look far to find ice lurking underneath.

 

  • Volkl Kendo, 177cm:  First ski I tried.  I liked it.  Good grip on groomers, easily adaptable to a variety of turn shapes, and it skied bumps pretty well.  I liked it; it seemed to handle tight spaces as well as wide-open spaces equally well.  I'd be happy on this.
  • Rossignol Experience 88, 178cm:  Despite all the great reviews this seems to get, I didn't really like it that much.  It felt very ponderous in bumps.  It felt like money cranking out medium radius turns on groomers, but any deviation from that felt like far too much work.  I had tried this on a demo day back in December in the 170cm length and liked it more then, but certainly didn't love it.  I thought that the longer length would be the ticket, but I guess not.
  • K2 Rictor 90, 178cm:  I don't think you can do anything wrong on this ski.  The sweet spot seems to extend from the tip to the tail.  It won't launch you out of a turn on the groomers, but there's still some energy there.  In moguls, it's simply amazing.  I could drive the tips down the backside and back up the next bump without worrying about getting too far back or forward and having the ski do something funky.  Very, very predictable.  I think I skied every bump run on Mt. Mansfield before the day was out.  I didn't want to give this back.
  • Blizzard Bushwacker, 180cm:  Tried this on Sunday (others were on Saturday).  Four or five inches of super dry fluff had fallen overnight.  It felt pretty magical on groomers, gripping really well on the hardpack underneath and easily changing turn shapes.  Not a bad bump ski, although very different from the Volkl and K2 above.  The tip is vague and a good deal softer; it felt like it was messing with my timing a bit in that the first hint of a push-back from the bump simply wasn't there.  I thought maybe my legs were still fried from Saturday, so I hopped back on the K2's after a few runs and found that my timing was back.
post #2 of 11

KevinF,

 

I am a big fan of the Rictor XTI line as well (I skied the 82xti and was blown away by it's envelope of use!).

 

Nice reviews.

post #3 of 11

What do the Rictor 90's give up on hard snow compared to the Mag 8.5?  I've been on the 8.5's this past season and "I think" I want something a little longer, wider and softer.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherPlayThanWork View Post
 

What do the Rictor 90's give up on hard snow compared to the Mag 8.5?  I've been on the 8.5's this past season and "I think" I want something a little longer, wider and softer.

 

I thought the 8.5's were a more 'exciting' groomer ski...  i.e., I can get more "pop" out of the turn on the 8.5 than I could on the Rictors.  In terms of edge grip though, I thought they were pretty comparable.

post #5 of 11
I just got last year's K2 Rictor (80mm underfoot). It doesn't seem to like to carve on impulse power - I have to get up to Warp Factor 1 before it comes alive. Edge grip isn't all that exciting - I wonder if this year's Rictor 82 and 90 are all that much different? I was checking the edge tune last night - seems OK. It might have come with a 1/1 tune, because I seemed to hit alot of sidewall going to 0.5/2.
post #6 of 11
I tried the Rictor 82 last month in a 177(?). Skied it back to back against the RTM 84s in a similar length and thought long and hard about which I liked better; enjoyed them both.

Something about the Rictor felt more safe and planted. Great edge grip, and I've been looking for that here in NH. Also agreeable in the ungroomed soft stuff. There's a decent chance I'll replace my Kendos with them when the time comes.
post #7 of 11

Wondering about the differences in feel between the 82 XTi and 90 XTi others have experienced.  I did a demo of each of these (only grromed hardpack available those 2 days) and came away with very different impressions.  Both skis are more than capable and compliant, but I was not a big fan of the feel of the 90, while having a GREAT time on the 82 Xti.  I just felt there was a heavier feel to the 90 and it required a bit more patience at turn initiation.  The 82 did not feel nearly as heavy to me, and felt like it had a little more liveliness.  It didn't seem to mind whether I went slow or fast, or what radius turn I tried.  Just gave me a fun ride all around.  Could have been a different tune on the 2 skis, but just wondering if anyone else had similar impressions.  To be clear, I like lighter and livelier skis ... could simply be a question of the extra heft and weight of the wider ski.

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbes429 View Post
 

Wondering about the differences in feel between the 82 XTi and 90 XTi others have experienced.  I did a demo of each of these (only grromed hardpack available those 2 days) and came away with very different impressions.  Both skis are more than capable and compliant, but I was not a big fan of the feel of the 90, while having a GREAT time on the 82 Xti.  I just felt there was a heavier feel to the 90 and it required a bit more patience at turn initiation.  The 82 did not feel nearly as heavy to me, and felt like it had a little more liveliness.  It didn't seem to mind whether I went slow or fast, or what radius turn I tried.  Just gave me a fun ride all around.  Could have been a different tune on the 2 skis, but just wondering if anyone else had similar impressions.  To be clear, I like lighter and livelier skis ... could simply be a question of the extra heft and weight of the wider ski.

The big difference between the 82Xti and the 90XTi is the weight and radius. The 82Xti is  more powerful and damp of the two and has a 17m radius in 177, the 90 has an 18m in 177. The tip taper is also more pronounced in the 90Xti....the radius on the 82Xti really extends clear up to the contact point. Both skis have AT Rocker, however, the Rocker on the 90 has a little more rise. This might be why you felt like the 82Xti is more lively and has a little more POP. I recently weighed the 177 90Xti and and it came up with a dead weight of 1799gms, which is pretty light. The 82Xti is one of the most fun Frontside skis ever made at K2. The 90Xti is designed to be better in the crud and soft snow, but still has excellent edge grip. 

post #9 of 11

Thanks for

Quote:
Originally Posted by K2NW View Post
 

The big difference between the 82Xti and the 90XTi is the weight and radius. The 82Xti is  more powerful and damp of the two and has a 17m radius in 177, the 90 has an 18m in 177. The tip taper is also more pronounced in the 90Xti....the radius on the 82Xti really extends clear up to the contact point. Both skis have AT Rocker, however, the Rocker on the 90 has a little more rise. This might be why you felt like the 82Xti is more lively and has a little more POP. I recently weighed the 177 90Xti and and it came up with a dead weight of 1799gms, which is pretty light. The 82Xti is one of the most fun Frontside skis ever made at K2. The 90Xti is designed to be better in the crud and soft snow, but still has excellent edge grip. 


Thanks for that clarification ... good info.  Since I have not been a fan of K2 in the past, I was surprised by how much I liked the 82Xti.  Just did not have the same impression of the 90Xti.  I think the 82Xti is on the short list!

post #10 of 11

Nice review Kevin.

 

I still love my Kendo's, they are 3 years old over 100 day's on them, still a great light weight ski that handles the whole hill in just about any condition.

 

Haven't seen you around Okemo much. I'm out of the base lodge by 7:25AM on weekend mornings. I still have a yellow helmet. 

post #11 of 11

I own the E88 and the Rictor 82 XTi. The E88 prefers medium radius turns and absolutely rips them on the groomers. The Rictor 82 is much more versatile with varying the turn width and is the more capable front side ski. The E88 performs much better in the crud and tricky snow. I feel much more comfortable with the E88 with the snow gets three-dimensional.

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