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Still looking for East Coast all mountain ski after a lot of demos…Stockli Stormchaser VXL inputs?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello, second thread I've posted and appreciate all of the good information on this forum.  A few months ago I posted and asked for inputs on new skis.  Here is the post:    Currently I am skiing on Dynastar 4X4 PowerTracs, probably 2000-2001 vintage.  The skis are 97-70-107 and a length of 186.  Five or six years ago, I demo'd a bunch of skis and ended up liking mine the best, with the Volkl Supersport 5 or 6 (think it was the 6) star a close second. It looks like a lot has changed since then in the ski designs.  I grew up skiing out West but have recently moved to the East Coast and will be staying out East primarily.  I am 6' and 185-190lbs, ski 15-20 days/year average, prefer to ski groomed cruisers going fast, both blacks and blues, don't like skiing moguls, probably a 7 to an 8 on the ability scale, and want to get one, all-purpose ski.  My boots are Dale Boots from 2000ish.  Thanks in advance.  


Since that post, I have demo'd a lot of skis in varying conditions: Gunstock, NH hard snow, Stowe VT both hard snow and 14-16" new snow, Snow Basin Utah with 9-10" new snow and Spring conditions, Alta Utah with frozen corn snow.  Piches ski shop had a demo days at Gunstock yesterday so I was able to a ski good number of skis in one day.I have found I like trees and bumps a little more than when I last posted. Since then my buddy in Utah drug me down a lot of off piste runs!!  The ski's I've tried and my very unscientific findings!:

Kastle MX88, Great on the groomers and really liked to go fast.  Towards the end of the day, seemed to push me a bit, felt like I needed to go fast when I wasn't really up for it (after my buddy had kicked my ass in the trees and off piste conditions at Snow Basin)

Kastle LX92, Conditions were frozen corn, didn't do much for me, felt a little light

Kastle MX83, Really liked this ski on the groomers, if that's all I ever wanted to do, probably would be my first choice

Rossi E88, did not like this ski, seemed rather boring, felt heavy, rather non-descript

Volkyl Kendo, Wanted to like it, but felt like a lot of work on the groomers

Nordica Steadfast, Tried this ski twice, in fresh snow and also hard pack.  Wanted to like this ski based on all of the good words on Epic and other reviews, but I did not care for it.  Hard to put a finger on it, but it just didn't do it for me.

Atomic Nomad Blackeye TI, Liked the ski, only skied on hard pack groomer.  Wanted to try the wider version, but was unavailable.

Blizzard Bushwacker, seemed to chatter a bit on the hard snow, but not a bad ski.  Wanted to take off piste but conditions sucked due to freezing rain the night before

Blizzard Brahma, Loved the ski.  Stable on the groomers and did one run in the bumps and I really liked it.  So far, my favorite and ready to pull the trigger, however…...


I'm going to Killington on Monday and will demo the Kastle FX94 and hopefully the BMX 88.  Now that I look at the list, it's kind of ridiculous the number of skis I've tried!!  I was ready to buy the Brahma last week until a buddy said to give the FX94 a try, he really loves it.  Also, there is a Stokli Stormrider VXL   that I can get for 599 in my size.  Won't be able to demo, but I'm tempted.  My only concern is that it might be a little too demanding, similar to MX88/Kendo.  Any inputs on the Stockli?  Not sure if it would be good for off piste or bumps.  Also, from what I've written, will the FX94  or the BMX88 be worth spending $50 to demo?  Thanks a lot.  Maybe someday I will be able to give a much more scientific and definitive slant to my experiences with all of these skis!!  Thanks again for the help with the initial suggestions.  Kastle's are hard to demo…FYI, Pinnacle in Stowe, Peruvian Hut in Alta, Blackdog Sports in Killington, VT all have Kastle's to demo.

post #2 of 4

You've tried a lot of skis, nine by my count and apparently at least two more to go. At $50/day, depending on the deal you cut with the demo shop, I'd guess you've spent over 1/3 the price of your new skis to try to find the perfect ski. So add that to the cost of whatever you buy; your $550-$700 deal will really cost you $750-$900, plus whatever a whole season of opportunity cost is worth. :eek


Executive summary: These are all fine skis. Not a loser in the bunch, just a lot of different feels and strengths. Many, especially the Kastles and the Blizzards, have been reviewed ad nauseam here. Doubt anyone can tell you anything new and fresh in a new thread. Suggest you read the existing threads; Dawgcatching has some very detailed comparisons of the MX88, the FX94, and others such as the Brahma and Bonafide. Lots of other skiers, many of whom have owned or skied several of your candidates, have chimed in. I've skied the VXL, BMX88, have owned the MX88, FX94, Bushwacker. The VXL is a more traditional feeling ski, no rocker, silky and strong, but not particularly forgiving. Not like the new Stormriders at all. If the MX88 wore you out, the VXL will eat you alive. That leaves the BMX88, which is a decently popular do-all that isn't going to fit with your interests in groomer zooming. It's best in trees and bumps, will fold under a guy your size at speed. And you really don't need to demo the FX94, just read the comparos.


So I've just saved you another $50 and a wasted day. Now take a deep breath and just pull the trigger on what you've liked the best, seemingly the Brahma, before you've spent more on demos than it'll cost you. It's $520 everywhere on the web, and I've seen it at local stores for $549; better deal to get it at the store since they'll mount and prep it at a discount, plus they'll stand behind it a lot better than an interwebz warehouse...

Edited by beyond - 3/15/14 at 6:15pm
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks, pretty much the conclusion I've come to.  I appreciate the comments on the VXL.  For the record, I've been able to hit a few free demo days, but agree I need to put a stop the madness!!  The reviews from Dawgcatching have been awesome.  

post #4 of 4

I'm a bit lighter than you at 166 lbs., but have tried some (not all) of the skis you mentioned and had some similar impressions.  I am also a non-expert getting 12-16 days in per year and a Level 7+/8- skier, so might have a similar perspective.  I do a little more off piste, glades and bumps than it seems you do currently, but plenty of groomers as well ... all in the East.  I have had similar impressions of the E88, MX88 and the Bushwacker.  I did, however, love the MX78 and skied it for a year or 2.  Did not tire me out at the end of the day, was truly capable beyond what I was, and did not punish me badly for mistakes.


I just recently demo'd the Brahma at Smugglers' Notch, and came away very impressed.  While not quite as perfect in glades and bumps as the Bushwacker, it was still great there and MUCH better on hardpack, icy sections, etc.  Definitely a great ski.


Not to create any confusion or dissension, but I skied the Stormrider VXL (2010 or 2011 version, no rocker) for about 6 days or so and did not come away with the impression that it was that difficult to ski at all.  I actually liked it quite a bit, and found it could be trusted to explore edge angles I might not try on other skis, while not really wearing me out at all.  Ultimately, I decided I would never push it to its true potential, but did not have any real issues with skiing it.


Don't think you can go wrong with the Brahma, so that decision would likely be a good one.  Another ski I was impressed with this year was the K2 Rictor 82 Xti.  I usually am not a K2 fan, but really thought this was a nice ski.


Best of luck with your decision.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Still looking for East Coast all mountain ski after a lot of demos…Stockli Stormchaser VXL inputs?