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Return of the Crazy 88's (2015 version) - Page 3

post #61 of 87
1:3. Which I think is the factory tune.
post #62 of 87

Have to push this one, as all the skis that I've taken into consideration are rounded up in Jim's review (Brahma, Nrgy 90, Exp 88, X-Drive 8.8). Thank you Jim! :)

 

I ski the European Alps and have spent the last 4 years on the original Salomon Enduro X-Wing - a stiffer version compared to its successors (XT800/850), I think. What I enjoyed about this ski was its dampness both on the groomers and through cruddy and crusty snow, as we get it quite often above tree levels, especially in spring. They weren't the most agile and playful skis, but I didn't mind. If there was a ski that combined the edge-hold and overall power of the Enduro with a bit more playfulness and floating quality in fluffy, powdery conditions, I wouldn't mind though. I also don't want to compromise on the rocker tip, as the snow in the Alps can be quite heavy and sinky - that would probably kick the X-Drive 8.8 out of the competition(?).

 

Would the Brahma be a good replacement to the Enduro? Should I give the Nrgy 90 a try?

 

I'm 6"4', 175lbs.

 

Thank you!

post #63 of 87
If you have the opportunity, demo before you buy. I demoed at the end of last season and came away enamored with the new retooled Atomic Vantage line. I opted for the Vantage 90 CTI to mate with my Soul 7's. Majority of my skiing is moguls and trees at Sugarbush, VT. The Atomics do well in all types of varied conditions. And, you can opt for any width from 85 to 100 or higher, with or without metal. Remember, that Epic tends to have its favorite ski brands and skis and seems to exclude others. In part, this is because there are so many great skis out there, and in part, this is due to ski reviewers locations and differing ski conditions. Have a great 2015-16 season.
post #64 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by axisofjustice View Post
 

Have to push this one, as all the skis that I've taken into consideration are rounded up in Jim's review (Brahma, Nrgy 90, Exp 88, X-Drive 8.8). Thank you Jim! :)

 

I ski the European Alps and have spent the last 4 years on the original Salomon Enduro X-Wing - a stiffer version compared to its successors (XT800/850), I think. What I enjoyed about this ski was its dampness both on the groomers and through cruddy and crusty snow, as we get it quite often above tree levels, especially in spring. They weren't the most agile and playful skis, but I didn't mind. If there was a ski that combined the edge-hold and overall power of the Enduro with a bit more playfulness and floating quality in fluffy, powdery conditions, I wouldn't mind though. I also don't want to compromise on the rocker tip, as the snow in the Alps can be quite heavy and sinky - that would probably kick the X-Drive 8.8 out of the competition(?).

 

Would the Brahma be a good replacement to the Enduro? Should I give the Nrgy 90 a try?

 

I'm 6"4', 175lbs.

 

Thank you!

At your height and light weight you will want a ski that will bend for you in it's longest length, a mid 180-something. I can see why you didn't warm up to the Salomons, you didn't have the weight to bend them.  Scott's The Ski, Fischer Motive 95, K2's Pinnacle 95, Atomic Vantage are all skis that should be considerations, skis that are long and still compliant and torsionally rigid enough for you to bend. 

post #65 of 87

Phil and Gostan, thank you very much for the recommendations. I'm not sure whether I'd consider myself lightweight. I might be tall for my weight, but I never had issues bending stiffer skis (used to compete GS and SG in my teens). Or maybe that's just how I felt and I didn't actually bend them at all, hehe... ;)

 

Funnily enough, I demoed the Pinnacle 95 in April in Laax/SUI in very wet, fresh snow that was incredibly gluey. I had a blast surfing the mountain and love the poppy, joyful nature of the ski. But I really wouldn't want to have something that light in early and mid-winter. Most of the resorts I ski have >50% of their slopes/terrain above tree level. Fresh snow is sometimes wind-blown. Due to my job, I can't be as spontaneous with trips as I'd like to be. If there's really fluffy, dry powder, I usually rent anyway.

 

I really loved the Enduro and would be perfectly fine with an adequate replacement. I'm not sure, but fear that Pinnacle and Vantage would not cover for the >50% that I'm riding on hard groomers. I assumed that the Nrgy 90 might be a good compromise, though (as might the Experience 88). How do you see this?

post #66 of 87
If you want a more damp race ski feel, look at the Head Monster 88.
post #67 of 87


I, too, LOVED the original Salomon Enduro, and at 155lbs, have been even happier with the later, softer, XT 850 version.

 

I didn't like the NRGY 100 because of insufficient dampness.

 

And I agree that the Salomon 8.8 is too stiff for most of us.

 

You've gotta try the Fischer Motives.  The 95 isn't quite as damp as the Enduros, but somewhat similar:  round flex, slight tip rocker, flat tail, and even better edge grip while having a medium stiffness.    http://www.epicski.com/t/127277/demo-day-briefs-all-nineties-all-the-time

 

The Line Supernatural 100 is a little stiffer and also killer.

 

And, judging by your stated preferences, Heads should always be on your shortlist.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

How well you are able to ski is related to how hard you are willing to fall.

post #68 of 87

I was able to demo the Head Monster last weekend. Hardpack, a bit of ice, some slush in the afternoon. Felt really great (damp, stiff enough, tail was not too unforgiving), but I was really surprised to see what little rocker this thing has. It's essentially just a Racecarver with a wider waist(?). 

 

I might just stick with the Brahma, but go with the shorter 180 length. I'd really love to try the Motives, though. Thank you for the suggestion, crudmaster.

post #69 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by axisofjustice View Post

I was able to demo the Head Monster last weekend. Hardpack, a bit of ice, some slush in the afternoon. Felt really great (damp, stiff enough, tail was not too unforgiving), but I was really surprised to see what little rocker this thing has. It's essentially just a Racecarver with a wider waist(?). 

I might just stick with the Brahma, but go with the shorter 180 length. I'd really love to try the Motives, though. Thank you for the suggestion, crudmaster.

I have no stake in your choice, but if a ski feels really great as you say, does it matter if it has very little tip rise? Is the monster a race carver? No. It's much more versatile than most race carvers. Think all mountain cheater GS ski. Just to throw one out there, the Monster 88 and Kastle MX 88's are sort of kissing cousins in many ways. Would we dismiss the MX 88 by virtue of it's lack of 'modernity' as well, or are we swayed by the superiority/legitimacy as dictated by sticker price and a graphically distinct feature like hollow tip construction?

It's an interesting proposition that the market might be programming us to dismiss our own experience on a ski if it doesn't have a lot of early ride, rocker, je ne sais quoi, etc... Don't get me wrong, the Brahma is an excellent ski choice for many skiers. Skis are the sum of many considerations, some visibly distinct, others much less so. If a ski feels 'right' underfoot and does what we want it to do, it's absolutely an appropriate choice! smile.gif
post #70 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


I have no stake in your choice, but if a ski feels really great as you say, does it matter if it has very little tip rise? Is the monster a race carver? No. It's much more versatile than most race carvers. Think all mountain cheater GS ski. Just to throw one out there, the Monster 88 and Kastle MX 88's are sort of kissing cousins in many ways. Would we dismiss the MX 88 by virtue of it's lack of 'modernity' as well, or are we swayed by the superiority/legitimacy as dictated by sticker price and a graphically distinct feature like hollow tip construction?

It's an interesting proposition that the market might be programming us to dismiss our own experience on a ski if it doesn't have a lot of early ride, rocker, je ne sais quoi, etc... Don't get me wrong, the Brahma is an excellent ski choice for many skiers. Skis are the sum of many considerations, some visibly distinct, others much less so. If a ski feels 'right' underfoot and does what we want it to do, it's absolutely an appropriate choice! smile.gif

 

What I meant was that I assume that it is not as easy to ski off piste or in bumpy/slushy/powdery conditions as a similar ski with an earlier rise. Yesterday, it was hardpack groomers and a bit of slush only, so that's all I can judge the Monster 88 on.

 

The old Monster (I believe I demoed the 2009 version), for example, with its similarly small rocker, did ski noticeably different off piste than my old Salomon Enduro, sinking faster and being harder to steer.

 

I completely agree with you that marketing can mess with one's intuitions and experiences. I think Head still holds the title for most b***s*** PR with its "intelligence"-technology. :D

 

I simply don't want to compromise on off piste quality (not the deep stuff). Fresh snow in the Alps can be so heavy, so with only 88mm underfoot, I am searching for a ski that will stay on top or at least not sink in. I might be a silly concern given that people skied powder with much narrower skis 10, 20 years ago, I know.  

post #71 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by axisofjustice View Post

I was able to demo the Head Monster last weekend. Hardpack, a bit of ice, some slush in the afternoon. Felt really great (damp, stiff enough, tail was not too unforgiving), but I was really surprised to see what little rocker this thing has. It's essentially just a Racecarver with a wider waist(?). 

I might just stick with the Brahma, but go with the shorter 180 length. I'd really love to try the Motives, though. Thank you for the suggestion, crudmaster.

Was wondering which skied longer in length between the Brahma vs M88? I ski Brahma in 173 and haven't been able to hold the new M88 in person. Between lengths and trying to decide between 170 or 177 M88. Would like to hear more about your comparison between the two as far as running length and if I should go down or up.
post #72 of 87

The Monster 88 feels way bigger. If you like the 173 Brahma I would suggest the 170cm monster.

post #73 of 87

Just demoed some skis at Loveland, CO today including some you might be interested in - the Nordica Enforcer 100 185, the Atomic Vantage 90cti 184 (that Philpug mentioned) and the Vantage 100cti 180(?).  But I only got to try them on first week of season snow -  groomers, some midmorning ice/hardpack, afternoon slush and small bumps.  

 

The Enforcer was great, very smooth, edgeholding, fun, and I really hope to try it again in powder, chop and bumps. The 185 worked well, no need to try the 177.  Not too stiff or too soft flex, just right.  

 

But for this day, the Vantage 90cti was my favorite, wonderfully carvy among the national and local team racers, keeping up well (as did the Enforcer, with more smoothness, slightly less grip).   This ski would handle chop or slarv very well also.  It has rocker, in a good way.  It seemed to want a more forward stance than the Enforcer, at least in this length for me.  The 90cti felt a lot like an improved version of the most recent Crimson Ti, except with perhaps more soft snow/powder potential. For me, it worked better longer than did the Crimson.  

 

I think the Vantage 100cti might be another real winner for adding powder potential to a carver.   It carves perhaps better than the Atomic Ritual, almost as well as the 90cti, and with more grip than the Enforcer, for me.  And it has rocker, enough to see how it does in powder.   (For reference, I'm 5'10", ~150 lbs., raced years ago and enjoy race skis still.)  

 

Both the Vantages have a carvy feel, as opposed to a straight GS or wide race ski feel.  

 

All three skis have good dampness, at least for me.


Edited by ski otter - 11/2/15 at 5:13pm
post #74 of 87
Anybody have a comparison between the Atomic Vantage 90 and the Blizzard Brahma? Starting to read some really good things on this new Atomic and wanted to see how the 2 compare. Want a ski in the 88-95 class for western resort ski and wanted to see which was better for a 80% frontside Carver and crud ski with 20% in the back bowls at Vail.
post #75 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski otter View Post

Just demoed some skis at Loveland, CO today including some you might be interested in - the Nordica Enforcer 100 185, the Atomic Vantage 90cti 184 (that Philpug mentioned) and the Vantage 100cti 180(?).  But I only got to try them on first week of season snow -  groomers, some midmorning ice/hardpack, afternoon slush and small bumps.  

The Enforcer was great, very smooth, edgeholding, fun, and I really hope to try it again in powder, chop and bumps. The 185 worked well, no need to try the 177.  Not too stiff or too soft flex, just right.  

But for this day, the Vantage 90cti was my favorite, wonderfully carvy among the national and local team racers, keeping up well (as did the Enforcer, with more smoothness, slightly less grip).   This ski would handle chop or slarv very well also.  It has rocker, in a good way.  It seemed to want a more forward stance than the Enforcer, at least in this length for me.  The 90cti felt a lot like an improved version of the most recent Crimson Ti, except with perhaps more soft snow/powder potential. For me, it worked better longer than did the Crimson.  

I think the Vantage 100cti might be another real winner for adding powder potential to a carver.   It carves perhaps better than the Atomic Ritual, almost as well as the 90cti, and with more grip than the Enforcer, for me.  And it has rocker, enough to see how it does in powder.   (For reference, I'm 5'10", ~150 lbs., raced years ago and enjoy race skis still.)  

Both the Vantages have a carvy feel, as opposed to a straight GS or wide race ski feel.  

All three skis have good dampness, at least for me.

Otter
Can I get your height and weight
Have you also been on the Brahma / Bone ???
post #76 of 87
I'll go on record in saying that the Vantage 90 works better for me than the Brahma. With the latter, it's more of a length issue. I want the 180 to be as stable as the 187, and the 187 to be as fun as the 180. smile.gif
post #77 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by near nyquist View Post


Otter
Can I get your height and weight
Have you also been on the Brahma / Bone ???

 

My height and weight were in the above thread, but again, ~5'10" ~150 lbs.  I might add that the 184 Atomic Vantage 90cti felt slightly long for me ideally, though still very acceptable.  So someone a few inches taller or 20-40 lbs. heavier than me would probably find the 184 about right.  (I also have come to prefer a longer ski, except for bumps.)  

 

I've never been on the Brahma, only the Bushwacker in that width, which I found great as a slarver ski, not a carver; probably an intermediate ski, except for slarving dudes and bumpsters.  

 

I'm not a good one to comment on the Bone;  I tried it four and again three years back and decided it must work for heavier skiers than me, or ones who like a more soft set edge.  For me the edgehold was not good.  Might well have been the tune on those, though.  The Enforcer, on the other hand, is not lacking in edge set, even though not as grippy as the Vantages or Kastles, for example.  

 

I demoed so early, so that I'd be close to the first customer on those skis at Loveland.  And I was: perfect edges.  

post #78 of 87

I skied numerous skis in the 88-95mm range. I am 160# 5'11" 8-9 level. I really believe that height and weight, as well as skier level, are more critical with the modern skis(light weight in particular.) I'm also old!

I liked the Line Supernatural 92 in the 172cm very much; probably the best! very high top end on that ski. Extremely Versatile!! Am buying a pair!

Also have the Salomon Q96 in a 178cm which skis softer snow very,very well and also handles harder snow very well. However, quite a different feel than the Line SN92. Not as directional. Quite similar to the Line Sick Day 95 but I prefer the Salomons. Is now my primary BC ski.

Bought a pair of Fischer Motive 95's in 174cm(?)(based on reviews; hadn't skied) which I liked quite well but they delaminated. Didn't like as well as the Line SN92 but were similar skis.

The Brahma was also somewhat similar to the Line and Fischer but did not like them as well as the others. More "smeary."

Have not skied the Vantage 90cti.

Regarding the Bonafide, I skied it in a 180cm and did not like it at all. I did, however, really like and purchased the Blizzard Kabookie in a 180cm, which is the Bonafide without the metal.

post #79 of 87

Also remember too just because they are 88s they aren't the same widths everywhere else either. e.g The Brahma while being 88 @ 173 is under 130 at the front and only 110 at the back, so largish 19m radius. The 170 Monster is 87 @ 170, 133 at the front and 113 at the back with a 16m radius. So even with / without rise which gives you possibly the longer edge feel on the Head even though it is shorter, all the skis are still going to feel different just because of their numbers too.

It is so up to how you like to ski rather than one ski fits all as the best, even if you are the same weight as someone else I reckon. Based on the the two skis above I feel the Head just wants to get into its turns as the engagement is sooner with the tips touching the ground more and their width compared to the Blizzard. Still the Blizzard feels a stiffer overall ski to me and they both fall under the crazy 88s so choose your poison, just look at the numbers and then try them all if you can. 

post #80 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

It's an interesting proposition that the market might be programming us to dismiss our own experience on a ski if it doesn't have a lot of early ride, rocker, je ne sais quoi, etc..

This is truth. And I like the verb choice; we are constantly being trained to seek new attributes regardless of our experience. There are a lot of ways to get a ski tip to handle crud or soft snow well besides having early rise. 

post #81 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

There are a lot of ways to get a ski tip to handle crud or soft snow well besides having early rise. 

Care to mention some of them? A stiff and linear flex certainly helps (like the LX94). It isn't that stiff, but its very consistent all the way up to the cutout at least.

 

As far as skiing strategy, I generally seek a less disturbed area to make my transition. Then I try to blast through the worst of the soft bumps, trenches, piled up snow mashed potatoes, whatever in the middle of my arc where I am most stable.

 

But I am also 200# so I tend to go through crud more than over and around it. Still, I find that crud is something I'd like to be better with, both in technique and equipment.

post #82 of 87

Great review Jim, when are the reviews on the 2016 skis going to be out either here or on the Starthaus blog ?

post #83 of 87

Ahhh…….SJ's last post on Epic was May, 2014.  He has a wealth of knowledge, which many of us miss. I wouldn't be looking for any 2016 reviews from him, unless he has a new screen name!

post #84 of 87

I am clearly missing something.....what's happened to Sierra Jim ?

post #85 of 87
Like many former very active and prolific posters, he hasn't been active in some time. Have no guess as to why. Really enjoyed his insight.
post #86 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by axisofjustice View Post
 

Have to push this one, as all the skis that I've taken into consideration are rounded up in Jim's review (Brahma, Nrgy 90, Exp 88, X-Drive 8.8). Thank you Jim! :)

 

I ski the European Alps and have spent the last 4 years on the original Salomon Enduro X-Wing - a stiffer version compared to its successors (XT800/850), I think. What I enjoyed about this ski was its dampness both on the groomers and through cruddy and crusty snow, as we get it quite often above tree levels, especially in spring. They weren't the most agile and playful skis, but I didn't mind. If there was a ski that combined the edge-hold and overall power of the Enduro with a bit more playfulness and floating quality in fluffy, powdery conditions, I wouldn't mind though. I also don't want to compromise on the rocker tip, as the snow in the Alps can be quite heavy and sinky - that would probably kick the X-Drive 8.8 out of the competition(?).

 

Would the Brahma be a good replacement to the Enduro? Should I give the Nrgy 90 a try?

 

I'm 6"4', 175lbs.

 

Thank you!

 

Some input which may be of value to you. I'm in Europe too and ski a lot of crap. Went from a Tornado X-wing Powerline TI in 173 cm to an X-Drive 88 in 179 cm this season. Both are burly crud buster skies with close-to-race ski edge hold -- the X-Drive is how ever lighter and more agile than the Powerline. And a tad stiffer.

Never tried the old Enduro, but from what you say it sounds like the 8.8 X-drive could be your next ski. Damp, incredible at busting crud and it skis like a GS ski in piste (and in course!). Not sure what you mean by not compromising on the rocker tip? You want a lot? X-Drive has a little rocker, but not a lot. I find it to be a good amount for someone who spend most of the time on hard snow. I haven't really skied it off piste yet and def. not in lots of powder (a few runs in boot deep). Did great, but it excels on hard surfaces, crud and sh#t f%ck type of conditions. Would expect it to take some work in deeper snow, but still be very enjoyable. It doesn't ski as stiff as you might think when just hand flexing.

 

My data: 173 cm tall and 86ish kgs.

post #87 of 87
I ski in France this year.
You should try a bigger ski, for your conditions,a 105-110, cochise would work great.

I ski a metal katana, 112, and have a blast in most conditions, even icy groomers.
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