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Advanced female skier looking for a new pair of skis

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm an advanced female skier looking for a new pair of skis. 5'5", 130 pounds. Currently looking at the Nordica Hell's Belles, Blizzard Black Pearl, Volkl Kenja, Atomic Elysian, but would appreciate any additions/subtractions and advice on sorting through the selections.

 

I grew up skiing on the East Coast and only recently relocated to California. My favorite trails are the fast, steep groomers. I'm not great at moguls and don't have much experience in powder (the East Coast thing + lack of good powder recently). I'd like a ski that I can still enjoy on-piste (my husband is less experienced) but that can help me get more skilled in more challenging terrain. (FWIW, I'm comfortable venturing almost anywhere on the mountain, I just don't always get down with the best form.)

 

I'm currently on a really old pair (Salomon X Screams that are about 15 years old, 169cm). I know it's going to be an adjustment.

 

Thanks much.

post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by skisiempre View Post
 

I'm an advanced female skier looking for a new pair of skis. 5'5", 130 pounds. Currently looking at the Nordica Hell's Belles, Blizzard Black Pearl, Volkl Kenja, Atomic Elysian, but would appreciate any additions/subtractions and advice on sorting through the selections.

 

I grew up skiing on the East Coast and only recently relocated to California. My favorite trails are the fast, steep groomers. I'm not great at moguls and don't have much experience in powder (the East Coast thing + lack of good powder recently). I'd like a ski that I can still enjoy on-piste (my husband is less experienced) but that can help me get more skilled in more challenging terrain. (FWIW, I'm comfortable venturing almost anywhere on the mountain, I just don't always get down with the best form.)

 

I'm currently on a really old pair (Salomon X Screams that are about 15 years old, 169cm). I know it's going to be an adjustment.

 

Thanks much.

Welcome to EpicSki!  Where are you most likely to ski?  Northern or southern CA?  Where have you skied out west so far?

 

Paging @Trekchick for advice.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I'll likely be doing most of my skiing at Tahoe. Have a pass to Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar this year. Would love to get in a trip or two to the Rockies, but the the bulk of my skiing will be at Tahoe.

post #4 of 11
Yep, check your PM's.

Heh...I tried first typing PM's. And it typed "check your pjs". Then " check your pms". But let's see when we can get together.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by skisiempre View Post
 

I'm an advanced female skier looking for a new pair of skis. 5'5", 130 pounds. Currently looking at the Nordica Hell's Belles, Blizzard Black Pearl, Volkl Kenja, Atomic Elysian, but would appreciate any additions/subtractions and advice on sorting through the selections.

 

I grew up skiing on the East Coast and only recently relocated to California. My favorite trails are the fast, steep groomers. I'm not great at moguls and don't have much experience in powder (the East Coast thing + lack of good powder recently). I'd like a ski that I can still enjoy on-piste (my husband is less experienced) but that can help me get more skilled in more challenging terrain. (FWIW, I'm comfortable venturing almost anywhere on the mountain, I just don't always get down with the best form.)

 

I'm currently on a really old pair (Salomon X Screams that are about 15 years old, 169cm). I know it's going to be an adjustment.

 

Thanks much.

Hi, Welcome to EpicSki and Tahoe!

Are you looking for a ski that has a bias to be playful in the bumps or strong on groomers?  The Hells Belles and Kenja will be stronger on the groomers  and the Black Pearl and Elysian will be stronger in the bumps and trees. 

 

Black Pearl and Elysian = nimble and playful but still can get on edge when you hit groomers. 

Kenja and Hells Bellles = tad more powerful, will carve up the groomers and be okay when you want to venture off piste. 

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks, that's helpful. I had on the Black Pearls and Kenjas briefly a few weekends ago. I can't exactly put my finger on why, but I didn't enjoy the Black Pearls at all (though I didn't take them off-piste). I liked the Kenjas betters, though I'm curious to try something a little less stiff.

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

Thanks, that's helpful. I had on the Black Pearls and Kenjas briefly a few weekends ago. I can't exactly put my finger on why, but I didn't enjoy the Black Pearls at all (though I didn't take them off-piste). I liked the Kenjas betters, though I'm curious to try something a little less stiff.

Will you be getting up to the EpicSki Gathering at Mammoth, Squaw/Alpine?  You could have a chance to talk to me face to face and maybe try a few of my skis 

I have some other ideas for you but it may be good for you to try a few things out. :D

2014 Mammoth gathering March 24-28th

post #8 of 11

You may want to try the Volkl Yumi if you like the Kenja but want something softer.  I recently demo'd  both of them and was very relaxed on the Yumi but thought they handled great at speed on the groomers also.   I ended up going with the Kenja because I am used to a very stiff ski (ex racer) but to be honest I am not sure.......those Yumis were really fun!!!  Good luck.

post #9 of 11

My girlfriend is perhaps a slightly higher level than you.  She loves her Kenja's - we ski a lot of off piste, trees and such.  I personally think that she would enjoy a softer ski and would definitely ski better in the bumps on a softer ski.  In fact I think just about everyone except for uber experts and racers would enjoy softer skis better and would ski bumps and off piste better on them as well.  Stiffness buys you stability, especially at higher speeds.  Softer skis just turn easier but can be a bit unstable at high speeds.  That is the completely untechnical explanation with no nuance and a dose of truth.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm hoping to demo a few things this week.

post #11 of 11
After my demo this weekend, I'd suggest adding the Kastle BMX98 to your list of possibilities. Definitely softer than the Kenja, but holds up really well on groomers at high speeds. Super light and lively, too.
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