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Head i.Supershape Rally vs Kastle MX78 (and sizing)

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I'm an East Coast skier looking to replace my groomer/hard snow ski.  Blizzard Magnum 8.1s (in 172) have filled this nitch for me the past couple years. I liked them but a lot but found they veered a bit closer to an Eastern "all mountain" ski than a carving/hard snow dedicated ski. At the time I bought them this was great as they were my only skis but in the intervening years I've picked up some other skis and now that they are showing their miles I looking to replace them with something a bit narrower and more specific.

 

I've narrowed it down to the Supershape Rally and the MX78 but am unsure on sizing for these and would be curious about others experiences with them as demoing was is not possible (specifically for the Kastle skis, as they have such limited distribution).

 

My instinct with a hard snow carving ski is to go shorter (which would be 170 and 168 respectively) but I was hoping to get some input. 

 

I'm 5'9", 175ish lbs.

 

Other skis I'm on are Fischer Watea 88 in 176 and Head Rev 105 in 181.

 

Thanks!

 

Edit: Would probably have helped if I had spelled "i.Supershape" correctly in the thread title.

 

Mod edit: fixed title :)

post #2 of 27

I think you are onto the right direction with the 170/168. Since you are looking more on the carver end of the personality, I would lean towards the Rally, check out my review HERE. If you mist have a Kastle..and why could anyone fault you, look at the RX70, it is a little more hard snow playful. 

post #3 of 27

I have not skied the Head skis, but I do own the MX78s and use them as my daily driver for ME/NH skiing.  I have been nothing but pleased with them; they are a great ski.  I'm 5'9", 165 lbs, and ski them in a 168.  Did not try for the 176, as I felt that a 168 in this ski would meet my needs and stay lighter and more nimble for me.  From my experience and others' reports of this ski, I am staying with the 168.

I also ski a pair of Watea 84s in a 176 length, and like that length for that ski.  We have similar specs and experiences here, so I offer my input on the Kastle skis. 

Cheers!

post #4 of 27

Both are great skis, hard to go wrong. If you're trying to get away from an all-mountain feel, though, why not go down a touch to a 70-72 mm carver? In this regard, I think Phil means the MX70. Owned it, very nice ski, but not as stable or grippy as a typical Kastle IME. I'm a big fan of the RX12's, they're a superb carver and are more versatile than some at this width, but also will be a little more demanding than the MX78 and decently more than the MX70. Another idea is the new Blizzard Power 800S, strong reviews, I owned its father, the G-Power, great all-around carver. Has a lighter, livelier feel than Kastles or Heads if that's your cuppa tea. And less $$. Have not skied the Rally, but see a lot of them around on the feet of good skiers. If I personally wanted an east coast firm snow Head, though, I'd go for the Magnum. Tried a pair several years back, very impressive, very good at typical cruddy bumps separated by scratch, likes to good fast. 

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

The Blizzard Power 800S, very interesting.  Another hard to find ski of course, haha.

 

I noticed the 800S has tip and tail rocker -- does this make the it ski shorter than its length at all?

post #6 of 27

I don't know if this is helpful but I demoed  a similar ski to the 8.1s, the Blizzard M-power (174) on hard snow and own the MX78 (176).  The biggest differences for me is the Kastle seems easier to vary the turn shape where the Blizzard which had a more "locked into the side-cut" feel.  I also feel that I "ski the flex" more on the Kastle, which is excellent, as oppose to just riding the side-cut on the Blizzi. 

 

Both skis are fun and like to be skied fast but I couldn't get the Blizzard to be much fun until about 30mph.  The MX is happier to relax and take it slow but comes alive with the speed.

 

I have not skied the Rally but own the i.Supershape Speed (170) and demoed the i.SL RD (165), both great (and versatile) hard snow skis IMHO so I would wager the Rally, being from the same bloodline, is a good one.

 

I'm 5'10", 170lbs btw.

post #7 of 27

^^^^ Agree about the flex issue. Only demoed a M-Power briefly, and it was a wonderful ride, but needed more weight or speed than I brought to the table, at least back when I tried it. Liked the non-piston 8.7 better.

 

OTOH, the G-Power was easier going than the M, never found it as beefy as some - but not all - reviewers did, in fact I sold the 167's because at 6', 165 lbs I was overpowering them at speed in bad snow. The 174's were a better length, although they gave up some ease in the bumps, natch. Liked both bit better as a frontside ski than the Supersonic (same ski without piston) because of the smoothness and grip that the piston added. Although I'd give the Supersonic the nod in bumps and soft snow. 

 

Bunch of our club's coaches ski the Rallys. So they must do the job at a typically schizo eastern mountain. 

 

About the 800S's: Dawcatching reviewed them here, liked them a lot. Sells them at his store. You could PM him for details if and when he ever gets off his bike. My hunch - since Blizzard really seems to get rocker in a way that few other companies do - is that the rocker will be subtle, not so much cost the ski anything as make it a bit easier to initiate and finish. 

post #8 of 27

I recently went through this same kind of debate.  Check comments here and with those who sell them: the Rally appears to be a softer, not-as-much-strength-at-the-high-end ski (at least that's what I got).  The more reasonable c/c might be the Head Magnum.  At least that was the ski I was steered towards.

 

Caveat:  I have not skied any of these skis; I simply decided based on others' opinions and availability and cost.  After the snow falls, I'll find out if I was right.  

FWIW, I went with the MX78's.  

post #9 of 27

I'm 5'9" 175 lbs and have MX78 in 176.

I am very happy with them and do not feel their length limits me.

I have not skied them in 168 so in essence my post is of little use !  :D

FWIW I have owned MX88 in 178 and felt they were a bit too long for me.

post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polar Dog View Post
 

The Blizzard Power 800S, very interesting.  Another hard to find ski of course, haha.

 

I noticed the 800S has tip and tail rocker -- does this make the it ski shorter than its length at all?

 

I own a pair of these, love them.  It skis a touch short, I went 174, feels like a 170.  My review is floating around here somewhere.  It is a hard to find ski; we brought 2 pair in last year, still have 2 pair for sale....which is why shops don't bring them in I guess. 

 

As far as a breakdown of all 3 of these (I have owned all 3):

 

Blizzard 800s: as noted, skis a touch short.  Medium to medium stiff.  Playful, feels more like a 15m ski than an 18m ski.  Nice SL-GS turn variable shape if you know what you are doing. Easy to load. Good edge grip.  Above average energy, average forgiveness, a bit softer than your typical Blizzard, which are often a handful for guys like me to bend.  Still a groomer ski, not really good in bumps, kind of a weird flex pattern there.

 

Kastle MX78: edge grip is just a little better, laterally stiffer.  In the longer length, 176, it feels like a legit 176.  Friendliness is around the same as the 800s, top end is even higher. Most people won't see a speed limit on the 800s, almost nobody will on the MX78.  Versatile for what it is, easy to ski, but yeah, the ultimate versatile but no compromise hard snow ski.  More versatile than the 800s. Not quite as lively, as a pure mid-turn carver, the 800s has the edge. 

 

i-supershape Rally: a great ski as well, more forgiving than the other 2, more of an 8/10ths ski.  I can find the top end on this ski more quickly than the others, but I ski fast.  This is definitely a go-to for the bit lower energy skier.  It isn't going to have the top end power of the other 2, but keeping it under 30mph, it will be a great choice. I like this ski a lot.  It has a lot of life, initiates well, smooth, easy to ski. 

 

Out of the 3, as a pure carver for performance; 800s.  For a wicked hard snow ski that is versatile, MX78.  Friendlier groomer and off-piste performance, Rally.

post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

^^^^ Agree about the flex issue. Only demoed a M-Power briefly, and it was a wonderful ride, but needed more weight or speed than I brought to the table, at least back when I tried it. Liked the non-piston 8.7 better.

 

OTOH, the G-Power was easier going than the M, never found it as beefy as some - but not all - reviewers did, in fact I sold the 167's because at 6', 165 lbs I was overpowering them at speed in bad snow. The 174's were a better length, although they gave up some ease in the bumps, natch. Liked both bit better as a frontside ski than the Supersonic (same ski without piston) because of the smoothness and grip that the piston added. Although I'd give the Supersonic the nod in bumps and soft snow. 

 

Bunch of our club's coaches ski the Rallys. So they must do the job at a typically schizo eastern mountain. 

 

About the 800S's: Dawcatching reviewed them here, liked them a lot. Sells them at his store. You could PM him for details if and when he ever gets off his bike. My hunch - since Blizzard really seems to get rocker in a way that few other companies do - is that the rocker will be subtle, not so much cost the ski anything as make it a bit easier to initiate and finish. 


 Not on my bike as much now.  Lots of celebrating after winning the USA Masters National Road Championship a few weeks back.  Then again, here comes my first cyclocross race of the season on Sunday!

post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 

Dawg,

Have you ridden the Magnum as well and how do you find that as someone else suggested it up thread.

Thanks for all your help. If I end up with the 800S.

 

The whole sub-80 category is kind of hard to find...just not what sells these days I guess. If you had told me ten years ago that the best selling Eastern "all purpose" skis would have waists around the 90s I would've laughed but here we are.

post #13 of 27

Realskiers has good reviews on all of these the most recent are for the 83 instead of the 78 Kastle.  They don't seem too enamored with the 800s but love most all Heads and the Kastle MXs.

 

The MX78 was reviewed a couple years ago with different scoring criteria but scored all 5/5's (rare). 

 

This year the Magnum scored a bit better than the Rally but both made their "recommended" list.  Neither scored as high as the MX83.  The Rally seems to be a bit more forgiving lower HP ski than the Magnum.

 

I was going to cut and paste but you should probably just pony up for a subscription, $20 isn't much compared to the cost of skis or even a day skiing.  Since reviews are all over the place, the more of them you read the better idea I think you can get. 

post #14 of 27
Quote:

Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post


 Not on my bike as much now.  Lots of celebrating after winning the USA Masters National Road Championship a few weeks back.  Then again, here comes my first cyclocross race of the season on Sunday!

Hey, hey, hey!  CONGRATULATIONS!   

 

:yahoo:

post #15 of 27

Hey Scott, Congrats!!!!!  @dawgcatching   OK, I plead ADHD, I went to the site and can't figure the results out!  Can ya' Bro me out?   :D

post #16 of 27
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

Hey Scott, Congrats!!!!!  @dawgcatching   OK, I plead ADHD, I went to the site and can't figure the results out!  Can ya' Bro me out?   :D

 

https://twitter.com/usacycling/status/507980161904410624/photo/1

 

Results, just click on the 35-39 age group:  http://www.usacycling.org/results/index.php?year=2014&id=13   

 

post #17 of 27

@dawgcatching AWESOME JOB ON THIS AND OTHER RACES

http://www.usacycling.org/results/index.php?year=2014&id=13

 

click on the bottom link, road race 9/5  

post #18 of 27

Dawg,

 

Are you going to race on Sunday in Gloucester, MA  ??

 

Bttocs

post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all your input everybody, I'll let you know what I decide and my results once winter finally strikes!

 

Funny, Gloucester is only a couple towns over from me.

post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polar Dog View Post
 

Thanks for all your input everybody, I'll let you know what I decide and my results once winter finally strikes!

 

Funny, Gloucester is only a couple towns over from me.

you can lose choosing either, its just a matter of a more turny playful, excellent carving ability vs awesome power, supreme smoothness and uber fast stability.  Hey, buy both!  If I lived on the EC, I would Thumbs Up

post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bttocs View Post
 

Dawg,

 

Are you going to race on Sunday in Gloucester, MA  ??

 

Bttocs

 That big cross race?  No, I did Battle of Barlow yesterday, just a local race with only 25 guys in the A field.  I dropped my chain like 5 times, not a pleasant race.....

post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
 


 Not on my bike as much now.  Lots of celebrating after winning the USA Masters National Road Championship a few weeks back.  Then again, here comes my first cyclocross race of the season on Sunday!

Just back from Slovenia (no, didn't score any Elans), still very jet lagged, realized I missed this earlier. :yahoo: 

post #23 of 27

Dawg,

 

 

My house abuts the city park where they have the "big" cross race. I would have stopped up and brought you a beer.  Sorry for highjack.

 

Scott B.

post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polar Dog View Post
 

I'm an East Coast skier looking to replace my groomer/hard snow ski.  Blizzard Magnum 8.1s (in 172) have filled this nitch for me the past couple years. I liked them but a lot but found they veered a bit closer to an Eastern "all mountain" ski than a carving/hard snow dedicated ski. At the time I bought them this was great as they were my only skis but in the intervening years I've picked up some other skis and now that they are showing their miles I looking to replace them with something a bit narrower and more specific.

 

I've narrowed it down to the Supershape Rally and the MX78 but am unsure on sizing for these and would be curious about others experiences with them as demoing was is not possible (specifically for the Kastle skis, as they have such limited distribution).

 

My instinct with a hard snow carving ski is to go shorter (which would be 170 and 168 respectively) but I was hoping to get some input. 

 

I'm 5'9", 175ish lbs.

 

Other skis I'm on are Fischer Watea 88 in 176 and Head Rev 105 in 181.

 

Thanks!

 

Edit: Would probably have helped if I had spelled "i.Supershape" correctly in the thread title.

 

Mod edit: fixed title :)

For east coasters, the mx78 has more than enough edge grip to be able to ski the east any time! It is a really nice ski. Very smooth in feel... For me, it is more of a finesse ski; it has  power but it will not give it back to you in 1 shot ( opposed to snappy skis)...

Why not also think about the head i.supershape speed ? Very nice and versatile carver...

http://www.head.com/ski/products/skis/performance/isupershape-speed/7949/?region=eu

Also the Fischer progressor 900 ( the 800 would also be nice at your weight I think)

http://www.fischersports.com/en/Alpine/Products/Skis/High-Performance/7027-Progressor-900-BLACK

or the Elan  ripstick

http://www.elanskis.com/us/product/RipStick-race.html

Never tried the blizz 800 but love the G-Power, the magnum and the Brahma...I think I'm beginning to be a Blizzard fan...:D

post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogsie View Post
 

or the Elan  ripstick

http://www.elanskis.com/us/product/RipStick-race.html

 

 

I am not at all anti-Elan, broadly speaking. But I REALLY wish they would stop with all the asymmetric stuff. Do not like. Tuning is challenging enough without always having the same edge inside (or else wearing the skis "against the grain," so to speak).

 

Thumbs Down

post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

 

I am not at all anti-Elan, broadly speaking. But I REALLY wish they would stop with all the asymmetric stuff. Do not like. Tuning is challenging enough without always having the same edge inside (or else wearing the skis "against the grain," so to speak).

 

Thumbs Down

 

I haven't tried one of Elan's asymmetric skis because when (not if...) you ding your inside edges...  seems like your day is going to be a bit worse, at least for New England skiers for whom edge grip can be a highly desirable quality.  And given the rocks, etc. that are always lurking just below the surface in New England, those "dings" don't take very long to occur.  With other skis, you just switch feet and carry on.

post #27 of 27

All the elan skis that I tried, I also skied them the other way around and they were as good...you can feel a difference but it is tiny... So, as for the rocks, with my amphibio 88, I did the same thing as with my Rossi Radical 9 sl, I switch side when I ski them and there is a risk for rocks...otherwise, I ski them the way they were meant to be...

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