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Decade old ski replacements? [mostly VT]

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to buy new skis for the first time in ten years. 
As I read the reviews I'm trying to relate them to what I know. Unfortunately my frame of reference is my 10 year old 170cm Atomic R11's purchased in 03/04?? (I believe they are 107/78/98). These skis have served me well and I like them every where except the bumps - though that's probably due to my lack of ability more than the ski.
My particulars:   I'm 49 yrs old, 5'11'' 165 lbs. I prefer steeps and trees but I do venture into bumps and the occasional groomer. I consider myself advanced, and I probably get about 10-15 days a year, 4-5 of these being out west. In the east its mostly VT. Jay being my favorite by far - love trees.
Other than my Atomics the only other ski I've used in the last 10 years was a set of 169 cm RAMP Woodpeckers I demoed at Jay last March for a few runs.  Being a lot wider then my Atomics I was very surprised at their edge hold and easy turn initiation on my first run (groomer). However, in the trees and bumps I was not as happy. They did not seem to turn as easily as my Atomics. These were skidding and/or pivoting turns, not carved turns. I think this was due to there stiff, flat tail not allowing the skidding I'm used to. But I also wonder how much their wider waist came into play. I think they were 90mm. Unfortunately, I did not have a lot of time with these skis to figure it out. Would I have adjusted to this ski given a few more runs? 
I was hoping someone might be able to tell me what to expect from something like the Brahma when compared to my current antiques (or even my brief Woodpecker encounter). Am I even in the right ball park with the Brahma for my circumstances. As I said, I like my Atomics, but I do wish they were better in the bumps. They also are not very forgiving and I don't ski quite as hard as I used too. Does this warrant looking at the Bushwacker? What about length? Do you go a little longer if a ski has rocker?
I'm not tied to a brand, I've just seen a lot of positive reviews on the Blizzards. Would love some suggestions.
post #2 of 16

At your general size and terrain skied, far north east with some west, but also needing good bump performance I'd be looking in the 85-95 mm underfoot and 180-190cm length options.  I haven't ridden anything really recent, but YES rocker does ski shorter.  Lots of options will be recommended by folks here.

post #3 of 16
How old are your boots ? The newer skis respond better to newer boots. I'm sure some of the shops may have last years still around that are lower cost.

Lot's of good skis out there.IMO start with newer boots and then demo skis.
post #4 of 16

Hi - Welcome to Epic. I'm about your size, give or take, and ski in the NE, although not at Jay, which gets more snow than most other areas. I'd say as a one-ski quiver aimed at trees, something in the 90 to 100 mm range. Which is wider than I usually recommend, but you need some float in places where sinking can get you snarled up with Bad Things, not to mention make quick turns into serious work.


Not sure about the Brahma, which is a fine ski for all-around use for average (185-190 lb) guys. Factor in your size, and the fact you will want some flex in the bumps and trees you're foregrounding, but not so much that hardpack will become scary, and I'd say something like a NRGY90, REV90, BMX98, Supernatural 92 or 100, Bushwacker, Experience 88. You can go down to the high 80's if the ski is light, which compensates the float. Otherwise, high 90's to 100 is best. 


Finally, hard to tell if your "these" referent about skidding refers to your Atomics or your demos. IME the best way to ski tight bumpy soft snow in trees is by pivoting or skidding. Or turning in the air, for that matter. If you insist on carving (which is technically impossible in soft snow anyway) or else, you'll end up becoming intimate with a tree. :eek So the ability to break the tails lose is something all the skis I've listed can do just fine. But that doesn't mean in 2014 that they can't also carve hardpack. Times, they have been a'changin. 

post #5 of 16
You may want to try www.skiessientals.com I bought my powder skis from them and recently a Marmont jacket.

No need to buy the lastest ski gear.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for responses.

Max Capacity - my boots are about 5 years old. Replacing both boots n skis not an option this year. I'm also not set on getting the latest gear - a year old model would be fine, however I do want to demo the exact (spec wise) ski I'm considering.

Beyond - I guess I was stating the obvious about skidding turns in the woods. I thought I would like the RAMPs more in the woods than on the groomer but that was not the case.
Their tail really bothered me. I always assumed my Atomics were geared more toward speed and frontside skiing than woods, which is why I was surprised they seem easier skidding than the RAMP.

I guess I'm looking for a ski that does what my Atomic do but better/easier in bumps and trees. Hoping 10 years of technology can deliver this.

I know I can find the Experience and Bushwacker to demo but I will have to look around for the others you mentioned. Would like to buy local if possible (eastern Long Island) but that would really limit my choices. While I didn't mention it I also spend my share of time on hard pack skiing with wife and others. I also have to deal with the variable east coast conditions. jay usually does not disappoint but I also can't justify the 7 hr drive to many times a season. Southern Vt and NY trips to Hunter are also about a 1/3 of my days. With this in mind Would the 88mm range be my target?

post #7 of 16

So new data point. Yes, if you also want a firm snow ski, then definitely something in the 80's. Forget my 100's, keep an eye on the Bushwacker and E88, if you're confident about your technical skills, also check out the Nordica NRGY90, Head REV85 Pro, Atomic Crimson Ti.  

post #8 of 16
When comparing how any two pair of skis perform, make sure to take the state of edges and bases into account. E.g., if the Ramps were freshly and lovingly tuned by the rep, and yours were given a shop tune "I think maybe at the beginning of last season" (or vice versa), that could account for huge differences in feel that have nothing to do with the skis' design.
post #9 of 16
Stockli stormriders are a good ski for skiing NY and southern Vermont. If your a proficient skier.
post #10 of 16

Cannot go wrong with Stormriders. Pricey but well worth it. They will excel at everything. The NRGY 90 is basically Stormrider lite and would be a great cheaper option. The Experience 88 went south from last year and I just think there are some superior options in that 88-90 width category imho. Icelantic makes some great stuff too, the Shaman SKNY slays in all conditions.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've been doing some reading on some of the suggestions (realskiers ...). I also visited some local shops and got some more opinions. I'm trying to put together a short list of skis to demo. Some of the brands posters have suggested are not available for demo (locally) will check out shops closer to the mountains as the season gets closer.

From the local shops I will be able to demo the Rev85 pro, experience 88, bushwacker (possibly a Brahma), Salomon Q90 and K2 Richtor 82 xti. The list is already longer than I wanted so I'm trying to narrow it down.
Before today I had not heard about the Q90 - Two of the shops mentioned them as something I might want to consider. They're quite a bit cheaper then the others. Does anyone have time on these? Are they worth a try.

I can possibly get last years Experience (did it change)?
Other than the Brahmas being possibly to stiff for me can anyone tell me if any of these would be a waste of time demoing for what I'm looking for?

Thanks again
post #12 of 16

A more tree-focused ski, but people (including a member who shall not be mentioned) have liked the Nordica Patron for Eastern trees.  With good skills, they're decent on groomers, too, apparently.

post #13 of 16
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post

A more tree-focused ski, but people (including a member who shall not be mentioned) have liked the Nordica Patron for Eastern trees.  With good skills, they're decent on groomers, too, apparently.

Already established he wants a one ski quiver, I think. Patron is way too wide for that, imho.
post #14 of 16
Reading between the lines a bit, I would definitely keep the Bushwackers on the demo list.
post #15 of 16
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

Already established he wants a one ski quiver, I think. Patron is way too wide for that, imho.



This is true. Considering the range of terrain, though, I'm contemplating on it.

post #16 of 16

I may have had a bad tune so please take this review with a grain of salt.  I just can't understand why there is so much love for the E88.  I demo'ed them at Killington and they were planky at best.  I tried skiing them in moguls and hated them.  They were sluggish, stiff, and slow edge to edge (my reference point was a pair of Watea 94s so it wasn't the width); they seemed to be locked into GS-style turns.  I would never take them into the trees after skiing them on Superstar.  I am no zipper-liner, but I actually like skiing moguls and feel like I'm competent but not on those skis.


If the OP is looking for a do-it-all ski, he'll want something that is a little more versatile.

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