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New West Coast Skis

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hey there everyone, just came across this site and wondered if i could get some advice on my new selection.

I'm 5'11, 160 lbs, 18 yrs old and fairly athletic in my skiing style. I actually live in Australia where my home mountain is Thredbo but will be heading over to Kirkwood, CA to work for a season in a few weeks and want to buy myself my first pair of new skis. I am a fast aggressive skier and want to improve my performance on the ungroomed - trees, powder, crud etc whilst still beaing able to carve it on the groomers with my friends. I am leaning towards the Rossi B2s at the moment but also considering Scream pilot hot/xtra hots, volkl 724 pro, k2 axis xp and atomic r:ex or r:11 puls ti. I am a middle-high intermediate at the moment but am seriously committed to improving quickly during the next couple of seasons (am working at Whistler next season) I'm not sure whether I am looking at skis out of my ability range at the moment but don't want to have to buy a new pair in a year or so. (poverty stricken student here)Any advice would be much appreciated on the matter.

Thanks in advance
Juulz
post #2 of 27
I want to be upfront with my pics. The first time you get on these skis you probably will be overpowered. These are boards for experts and are built for plowing through sierra cement and cascade concrete. If I were in your position I would look at skis such as volkl ax4 or Atomic r:ex. You should also consider going even fatter 90-100 in the waist. Again something stiff would be best at kirkwood and whistler. Maybe something like a Volkl explosive or stockli SS Pro/DP. As far as length at your height and weight I would say your looking at something in the high 170's but no longer than low 180's. I can only speak for the g4's personally but they haul ass.
post #3 of 27
Pocket Rockets.
post #4 of 27
5'11" and 160 lbs? almost same as me, I'm an inch shorter but same weight.

I ski fast and aggressively, level 8. My snow generally is fairly light, but we do get some damp crud now and again.

Your choices should be guided by what feel you like in a ski. Volkl and Atomic skis will seem dead to some, but to others they are full of energy. If you prefer Austrian, Swiss or German skis, then you should lean toward them in this choice as well - Voelkl, Atomic, Fischer, Kaestle, Head, Stoeckli.

Then you have the French skis, which come in several flavors themselves, all of them a bit "livelier" feeling generally than the others I mentioned above. In my view, the most lively feeling are Salomon, then Dynastar, then Rossignol. Of the French skis, I think Rossi tend to feel the most Teutonic in their freeride skis - more damp.

Finally there's the American skis - K2, Volant, and a few smaller companies. I like K2 skis, they tend to be fairly user-friendly yet have good power when you give 'em good input. The Axis XP might be the most "friendly" of all the skis you listed. I don't have much to say about Volant, I skied only one of their models for a few runs several seasons ago, and it left a bad taste in my mouth.

As to size, I would go with somethin hovering around 180cm -- might be 178 or 182 or so, but stick with 180. Any more at your weight and ability, and you'll be wrestling with them more than you ought.
post #5 of 27
I'd take a look at the Volant Machetes, Volkl G4s, and the Public enemy if you are on a budget and plan to play in the park some. The G4s and Machetes require a strong skier, and if you are aggressive they will be good. If you are going to ski as much as you think, I think you will wear out the Pocket Rockets quickly, and you'll find them too soft and a bit unstable at speed.
post #6 of 27
Dynastar Inspired would also be worth checking into
post #7 of 27
You may want to check out www.footloosesports.com
They review all of the skis that their staff skied on at Mammoth and that Footloose decided to carry as a result.
post #8 of 27
Welcome to California, Juulz!

The AK No Ka Oi (see below) and the Stockli Stormrider are excellent all mountain skis. Your best bet is to try different skis once you get here.

http://www.akski-usa.com/products.htm
post #9 of 27
I have heard the No Ka Ois are great all mountain sticks. But they are STIFF. From what I have heard they are a stiffer g4. I know last year they only came in a 193 length. This year I think they have a length in the low 80's 183 maybe. Definetly check these out I have only heard great things about them. But like most great things the don't come cheap.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by CantDog:
I'd take a look at the Volant Machetes, Volkl G4s, and the Public enemy if you are on a budget and plan to play in the park some. The G4s and Machetes require a strong skier...
G4's in the park??? This is the very first time I have EVER heard that seriously suggested (and I assume this isn't a troll). :

Even tho the g4's have a bit of a turned up tail, "g4" and "park" don't belong in the same sentence. I own and use a pair, and they clearly are boards for high speed, large-radius turns even for 200 lb'ers.

Juulz, the original poster, made no mention of "playing in the park". If he happens to have an interest in this, I strongly suggest that he do a search on g4's in this forum and over on Powder before considering g4's for that use.

OTOH, g4's are excellent all-mtn skis, but to be honest, at his weight and ability "middle-high intermediate", I think he would be happier and progress faster on other boards. G4's are among the stiffest boards around.

Tom / PM

[ November 07, 2003, 09:42 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #11 of 27
Hmm...

A lot of talk about skis and not a lot of talk about K-wood. The Wood can get some of the deepest pow in the Tahoe area and then quickly go to nasty crud and packed/icy steeps due to warm days, winds, and lots of shadows (due to mtn. layout). The recommendations of G4's, 724's and the like are right on, although, as mentioned, this can be a lot of ski. When I am at the Wood, I like my 184 R:EX's. Something in the 80-mm (+/- a few mm) should do the job.
post #12 of 27
Welcome to the wood. I will be there all season. I am 5'11" 170 and going to be on Explosives in 190. I would advise something 85mm-95mm underfoot and 180-190cm. Kirkwoord gets lots of snow. You will thank me on the first dump. Go fat and long! Do it! You will be happier, trust me.
post #13 of 27
Welcome to the wood. I will be there all season. I am 5'11" 170 and going to be on Explosives in 190. I would advise something 85mm-95mm underfoot and 180-190cm. Kirkwoord gets lots of snow. You will thank me on the first dump. Go fat and long! Do it! You will be happier, trust me.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by PhysicsMan:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by CantDog:
I'd take a look at the Volant Machetes, Volkl G4s, and the Public enemy if you are on a budget and plan to play in the park some. The G4s and Machetes require a strong skier...
G4's in the park??? This is the very first time I have EVER heard that seriously suggested (and I assume this isn't a troll). :

Even tho the g4's have a bit of a turned up tail, "g4" and "park" don't belong in the same sentence. I own and use a pair, and they clearly are boards for high speed, large-radius turns even for 200 lb'ers.

Juulz, the original poster, made no mention of "playing in the park". If he happens to have an interest in this, I strongly suggest that he do a search on g4's in this forum and over on Powder before considering g4's for that use.

OTOH, g4's are excellent all-mtn skis, but to be honest, at his weight and ability "middle-high intermediate", I think he would be happier and progress faster on other boards. G4's are among the stiffest boards around.

Tom / PM
</font>[/quote]I dunno the Collins brothers used to do some pretty amazing stuff on G4's before the redesign of the "V" to the V-Pro, which by the way might make a good stick for Kirkwood because its a really underated all mountain ski(if you can find it) Basicaly the same dimentions as the G4 but a touch softer
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hey there everyone

Thanks heaps for the advice, it's good to hear what you guys think about the skis that you know. A couple of quick things i thought i'd mention...

Quote:
The first time you get on these skis you probably will be overpowered. These are boards for experts and are built for plowing through sierra cement and cascade concrete. Maybe something like a Volkl explosive or stockli SS Pro/DP
skiubum: I accept your point about possibly being overpowered by some of those skis i listed, i was a little worried about that myself. However when you mentioned the explosivs I was a little confused as I thought that these were a fairly high end expert ski themselves??

Also I think that when cantdog referred to playing in the park a little he had the enemies in mind more than G4's, i agree that they would probably not be your first choice for diving into the halfpipe with...

It's amusing that almost everyone is advising skis other than what i listed - maybe i was way off when i put that list together. given the opularity of the PR's, but the apparent drawback of their soft flex - I was wondering if anyone has an opinion on the Atomic Stomps?? They seem similiar in concept to the PR's but with a stiffer flex. Also in the same vein, Dynastar Little Big Fat?? Just a thought. Anyway thanks heaps everyone
post #16 of 27
These are definetly high end expert sticks no doubt about it. However, where your skiing and the amount you will be skiing I am sure you will be improving by leaps and bounds. I'm sure you would be able to grow into these skis very quickly. I think you will be much happier on a wider stiffer set of boards at kirkwood and whistler than if you went narrower than 80 underfoot. I think you mentioned the volkl 724 in your first post? It would probably be stiff enough to bust through crud and heavy snow but you wouldn't be sorry getting the extra float of the ax4(g4).
post #17 of 27
Nothign narrower than 90 mm underfoot.
post #18 of 27
As I have been skiing an old pair pre shaped olins for quite a while, I lack the credentials of the other posters on shaped skis. One small advantage I may have is that I weight about the same as you and recently demoed a few skis interested in Western performance. I think you are corrrect in chosing skis called flexible and forgiving in the reviews. The B2 meets that criteria, and perhaps for Kirkwood the B3 might be a candidate. The Volkls and Atomics are great skis for people with the weight to flex their stiffer shapes, but I think more flexible makes more sense for you based on your weight.

I skied the B2 and then changed with another skier who was improving but still not a strong expert skier. He didn't seem to have a problem enjoying the B2s also, so I would think you could handle them during your whole stay in the States. I, for one, think your own evaluation was spot on. I also skiied the Salomon hots and thought they were the second best skis in the test. However, I personally much preferred the B2s, not even taking into account that the B2s are sold at a much lower price point.
post #19 of 27
Sunday I demo'd the Axis XP in a 181 at MT Hood Meadows. Conditions ran from 4 to 12 inches of not-bad to pretty baked by mid-day depending on where you were. I skied the Volkl 724 Pro which I did not like at all and the Axis XP. That one is a really fun ski. I'll probably end up with that one but I want to ski the B2 and also the Xtra Hot to be sure. I suspect that it would be plenty wide enough for you at KW. As I recall it is something like 78 to 80 under foot.

If you are planning on skiing full seasons at KW and at Whistler, you'd best plan for the reality of multiple pairs... these things do break down and hey, there are stumps and rocks down there ...
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by PhysicsMan:
G4's in the park??? This is the very first time I have EVER heard that seriously suggested (and I assume this isn't a troll). :

Even tho the g4's have a bit of a turned up tail, "g4" and "park" don't belong in the same sentence. I own and use a pair, and they clearly are boards for high speed, large-radius turns even for 200 lb'ers.
I ran 168cm G4s, and spent plenty of time in the park on them, as well as finding them very turny (radius at that length is about 17m, I think) and very quick in firm to heavy chopped conditions. In the park, they were a bit rough on backseat landings, but they were pretty smooth and predictable on take-offs... the width made them nice and stable, and the short length made the weight bearable... all in all pretty easy to play on.

They only really suffered in soft conditions, where they were too stiff to flex into an arc, and too short to float.

But yes, the 178s (and certainly the 188s) would be a different story on the park. I would recommend the v-pro if you like the volkl feel... it gives up very little on groomed, and makes much more sense for the park or folks of moderate weight.

edit: sorry the above was more a response to PhysicsMan... to more directly answer the question, you need to demo a couple of pairs and figure out if you like turny skis, or straighter ones, stiffer or softer, and what kind of length you can handle at your current skill level.

For example - a dynastar big or LBF is a great choice for the type of stuff you'll see, but I personally like skis with shorter turning radii. Doesn't make them bad, it's just my preference. So don't count out anything above mid-80mm waist, and I'd look at skis all the way up to 95mm (like a Kneissl Tanker).

[ December 18, 2003, 12:56 PM: Message edited by: flip ]
post #21 of 27
I'd check into last years Volkl Explosives (small twin tips) in a 180. This way you will have the best of all worlds. Its actually less demanding of a ski than the G4 is, and can handle just as many conditions, but the G4 is a bit better in crud. The G4 is a great all mountain ski, my main ski for a little over two years and can handle all conditions. Powder included. It will float, just pick up the speed some, which will take you far out of your comfort zone for a little bit. Also I heard mention of the V-Pro, while I have not personally skied this ski, its on my to buy list. I'm about to retire my G4's soon as they are losing their camber and that is the ski that will be replacing them. Can you tell I'm a Volkl fan?

Hey Gonzo, what did you decide to tour on this year?
post #22 of 27
AS - I'm on 173 cm Black Diamond Havoc, reputedly made by Atomic from the TM:EX basic core. Naxo AT binders, Garmont MegaRide boots. HOOWAAAAAH!

180cm Big Stix 8.6 for most lift-served stuff

160cm World Cup Race SC for groomers and carving skills
post #23 of 27
G4 sounds like the right thing for you But its true, they have no business being in a park. Maybe by the G4 and add a cheap jib ski like the public enemy or scratch to the list
post #24 of 27
NO KA OI 193. Long ski but worth every cm. Just started riding this ski and I love them. Anyone with a racing backround that doesn't mind having a little snow go over their boot tops on a pow morning will love these. Stout, expensive but awesome. Check out the Stormrider and Super Nobis as well.
post #25 of 27
Just a thought, I'll assume your planning to buy skis here in the state's. May be for your first year try and find some of last years left over skis, improve on them and take what you have learned from skiing and talking with shop tech's as well as info from here and buy new skis next year.

I'm sure you could find some person here that has connections with a ski shop near KW that could help you start out on the cheap.

Any fellow Bears up to the challange?

Hope you have a good time in the state's.

I see buy the dates this may be to late.

[ December 19, 2003, 07:43 AM: Message edited by: Max Capacity ]
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by flip:
...But yes, the 178s (and certainly the 188s) would be a different story on the park.
True 'nuff. I should have mentioned that I'm on 188 g4's. There is indeed a big difference just going down 10 cm to the 178's, but I still think it would be too much ski for the guy who asked the original question since he described himself as 160 lbs and only a middle-high intermediate, fer Pete's sake.

Since I was going for less twitchy performance in crud and weigh 210, I never even bothered to demo the 168's.

The 168 will obviously be usable by the widest range of people, but, I see it as somewhat of an oddball of a ski, still too stiff for lighter weight people to bend in soft snow, but too short and stiff to float well, ie, pretty much exactly as you described it. It would work fine for him in firmer conditions, but then why should anyone go to a ski of this width in the first place if they are really looking for a hardpack ski? There are many better choices available.

IMHO, it's the same deal with park performance. Sure the 168 g4 can be used in the park, but there certainly are better choices available for this use as well.

Quote:
I would recommend the v-pro if you like the volkl feel... it gives up very little on groomed, and makes much more sense for the park or folks of moderate weight.

... to more directly answer the question, you need to demo a couple of pairs and figure out if you like turny skis, or straighter ones, stiffer or softer, and what kind of length you can handle at your current skill level.

For example - a dynastar big or LBF is a great choice for the type of stuff you'll see, but I personally like skis with shorter turning radii. Doesn't make them bad, it's just my preference. So don't count out anything above mid-80mm waist, and I'd look at skis all the way up to 95mm (like a Kneissl Tanker).
I think these are excellent recommendations for Juulz, as is the one from AltaSkier to think about a 180 Explosiv. I own a pr of 190 Explosivs, and they indeed are less demanding than my 188 g4's, and absolutely super in anything from powder to soft crud, and surprisingly maneagable on groomers.

Actually, what I'm getting a chuckle over is the side discussion that I inadvertently started up about using g4's in the park by responding to CantDog's initial comment. Poor Juulz didn't say a single thing about the park, yet here we are chatting away merrily on the topic. He's probably thinking to himself, "Ah, yes, this IS the internet".

Tom / PM

[ December 19, 2003, 07:58 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #27 of 27
Take this from a California skier....

If you're gonna be up at the Weed all winter, and you're looking for an all 'round ski, the G4, now AX4 (I think), is one of your best bets. Same for the Rex.

IMHO, Stay away from the PR...you're gonna get in the middle of plenty of chopped up "Sierra Cement" (trust me, you'll find out),which tends to deflect softer skis. Also. despite what our east coast friends seem to think, you do ski ice out here. What do you think happens when high moisture snow is exposed to 45+ degree during the day and sub 20 at night?

I'm not adverse to something even fatter than the G4 or Rex (both about 84), such as an explosiv, big stix, b3, sugar/big daddy, AK Launcher or kahuna etc., but unless you've got a quiver, you lose some versatility.

[ December 19, 2003, 10:24 AM: Message edited by: irul&ublo ]
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