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Help me select an East Coast all-mountain ski for a friend's (surprise) birthday present

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

A friend's wife asked me to help her purchase a ski for him as a surprise for his birthday (great wife!).  I've only ever purchased racing skis, so my familiarity with all-mountain skis is almost non-existent.  I think she'll looking to keep the ski/binding package under $1k or so, but otherwise she has no idea what to get.

 

They're located here in the Boston area, so an east coast ski with a biased toward groomers and harder snow might be best.  But I know he'll also be motivated to hit the slopes during those rare powder days.  He's probably not very interested in hitting the bumps or tearing it up in the terrain park.

 

I've search around and noticed very high praise for the Head Rev 85, which I was tempted to recommend to her.  However, that's rated as an expert level ski and here's the hard part:  I've never skied with this guy. He just got back into skiing this year and apparently he skied regularly 10+ years ago, but I don't think he'd consider himself "expert".  He's probably somewhere in the intermediate range, even after getting most of his former skill-set back.

 

So I have a few questions:

1) Is the Head Rev 85 a poor choice for someone in the "intermediate" range of ability, or is it something that he could enjoy growing into?  This is less about saving money and more about finding a great ski for him.  I've never looked at the numerical "rating" for skiers, but I suppose I could guestimate his if necessary.

2) What other recommendations would you have for a ski that fits this criteria?

3) He's about 5'10" and a heavier fellow (maybe 220lb, hard to say for sure).  What length would be recommended here.  Again, my experience is with racing skis so I have no idea how they size all-mountains.

 

Thanks in advance for any guidance that you may have!

post #2 of 18

First, the wife's budget is way overkill for this time of year. She should be able to get something good for much much less than that right now.

 

Second: The Rev 85 is a good place to start the discussion. This is a ski for an advanced skier that is moderately priced to begin with and would now be on sale. The Rev 85 is good enough on hard snow for most anyone but also handles snow up to 6-8" very well.

 

Third: There are so many good skis in this width range that agonizing too much over the exact model she gets is unnecessary. A "comfortable" ski is probably a better choice for this guy than a real high end "ripper" of a ski.

 

So.......looking in the 177-78 range here are two sets of choices.........of course, there are many others. Rest assured, you'll get at least a dozen other suggestions from folks about the skis that they ski on..........personally, I would suggest not overthinking it.

 

Comfortable: (good enough for most any condition but won't require serious skill or attention from the skier)

  • Head Rev 85
  • K Amp 82 Xti

 

Ripper: (more grip but not as smooth or easy going as the above)

  • Nordica Steadfast
  • Volkl Kendo

 

 

SJ

post #3 of 18
At his size, I'd say 177cm

Ditto to what SJ say's. trust him, he's pretty good and knows his stuff.
post #4 of 18

Your friends wife and you totally ROCK as skier enablers go!  Sacred mission indeed.  I'm sure the birthday will be great.

post #5 of 18

Seems like the next logical step is to call SJ and get a package headed east toward Boston. 

post #6 of 18
Also FWIW, I love my Kendo's 3 yeas on them, over 100 day's, still ski great. Feels the same as the 2014 Kendo's I demoed.

I ski the whole mt and have not found there speed limit. I can tell you they have been close to 70mph.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

You guys are awesome, thanks!

 

SierraJim, thanks so much for the detailed info and recommendations.  Let me relay this to her and see if I can get her to place an order with you.  It sounds like the Rev 85 in a 177 might be a good choice after all.  I think you're right that the comfort/smooth/multipurpose ski would be the best for him.

 

Thanks so much again!  SJ, I'll PM you for stock/pricing/etc, or should I just go to the site.

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewyM View Post
 

Seems like the next logical step is to call SJ and get a package headed east toward Boston. 

 

Thanks for that but I actually don't have any of those models left in the proper size. I do have some other skis in that length but they are either probably not suitable for this skiers' weight or too much ski. I was just suggesting some things for him to start looking for.

 

SJ

post #9 of 18
Now that SJ can't help.

I just got a a new pair of 2012 skis from www.skiessentials.com if you know the boot sole lenght they can mount bindings on them too. They have 2014's too.

Or a better idea, have him demo a few skis, then buy him what he likes best. Take the guessing out it. She could make a weekend of it.

I know a few good shops in Ludlow VT, I'm sure others here could give you some shops in NH or ME.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
 

 

Thanks for that but I actually don't have any of those models left in the proper size. I do have some other skis in that length but they are either probably not suitable for this skiers' weight or too much ski. I was just suggesting some things for him to start looking for.

 

SJ

 

 

Thanks again then.  It's really quite helpful for me and I appreciate all of the info that you included.  I plan to follow accordingly!

post #11 of 18

Maybe try calling dawgcatching.  They are having a big sale also.  Not sure if they have the Head Rev 85's in the size you're looking for, but I think I saw that ski listed in what they had.

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
 

 

Thanks for that but I actually don't have any of those models left in the proper size. I do have some other skis in that length but they are either probably not suitable for this skiers' weight or too much ski. I was just suggesting some things for him to start looking for.

 

SJ

another reason to trust SJ's advice. . .

post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

Now that SJ can't help.

I just got a a new pair of 2012 skis from www.skiessentials.com if you know the boot sole lenght they can mount bindings on them too. They have 2014's too.

Or a better idea, have him demo a few skis, then buy him what he likes best. Take the guessing out it. She could make a weekend of it.

I know a few good shops in Ludlow VT, I'm sure others here could give you some shops in NH or ME.

 

Yes, the demo idea is something that I've recommended.  I think she as hopeful to have the skis in-hand for a more impactful "surprise", but logically it would make more sense to demo some skis and give him a set that he's really excited about.

 

Thanks for the tip on skiessentials.  They seem to have a good sale going right now.

 

Awesome stuff here guys.  Thanks for all the info.  This forum is wonderful.

post #14 of 18
That WOW facture only works if its the ski he really wants. If not, it could turn out to be, GEE thanks honey...but...

If somebody told me they would buy me whatever ski I wanted...but they would pay for the demo's first....now that's a BIG WOW, HONEY I LOVE YOU. and no but's about it.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

That WOW facture only works if its the ski he really wants. If not, it could turn out to be, GEE thanks honey...but...

If somebody told me they would buy me whatever ski I wanted...but they would pay for the demo's first....now that's a BIG WOW, HONEY I LOVE YOU. and no but's about it.

 

Those are wise words!

 

I have a lot to go on here.  I will likely encourage her to either follow this advice (demo), or purchase the Head Rev 85 in a 177.  Looks like these skis are most commonly paired with the Head PRD 12 bindings as well.

 

Wow, I see so many good things written about these skis that I want to try them myself.  I do have a trip in the works for Jackson Hole next year.....hmmmm.....  

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

One last question for anyone willing to help:  skiessentials has a very good deal on the ski, but they don't appear carry the Head PRD 12 which I see most commonly sold with this ski.  Can anyone recommend a different comparable binding?  It would be nice to buy both skis and bindings from these guys since they'll mount them if purchased together.  Unfortunately they just don't have any head bindings (except a couple of youth models).

 

Thanks again!

post #17 of 18

Tyrolia manufactures HEAD bindings if I'm not mistaken, so you may want to check availability of those.  I own the REV 85 and had Marker Griffons mounted since my shop did not carry the PRD either.  I have no experience with the PRD 12, but the Griffons work great also. Plus, the black/teal color of the 2014 version matches the ski perfectly.


Edited by spdskr - 3/21/14 at 2:21pm
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

Awesome, thanks spdskr!

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