Originally Posted by neonleonbst
If you're looking for a deal, yes go with the Vagabonds. The El Capo and Vagabond were sweet skis but the new NRGY 100 has remedied everything about that ski that you were talking about. It has a torsion bridge of metal that is widest tip and tail and tapers as you get closer to the binding so its not as burly as the El Capo but more stable than the Vagabond. Thing mashes all kinds of conditions. Totally agree with Phil and Dave with the Capo lengths. The 177 would be the way to go at any rate.
Yeah there's two things I can forsee throwing a monkey wrench into my new 2-ski quiver plan: the NRGY 100 and the new Mantra, both of which I am looking forward to demoing this season.
Right now I plan dropping my 98 Hell n back, and picking up an El Capo and a mid-eighties frontside 80/20 "all-mountain" ski for this season. That would cover 98% of my days. While I do get powder days, they're rarely over a 1-2 foot deep so I haven't needed a dedicated powder ski in years. Unless I'm visiting other resorts and get lucky of course.
I'm pretty confident about sizing the El Capo @ 177cm now and I'll be picking one up soon. I've read Philpug's review, the Blister reviews (thanks btw Canadianskier for the links), and every other review I could find. Worst case is I'm out $300-400 on a ski I already know I really like (there's some great deals on these right now) and my quiver is a little fatter.
And while I haven't chosen my new "frontside" ski, I've got another thread where I've got so many great suggestions that I have a really good list of skis to demo, some of which I would never have considered.
Now the NRGY 100 and Mantra both sound like skis I would enjoy. Been reading up on these two as well. The NRGY sounds like a much more "easy-going" ski than the Hell and back, Bonafide, and Mantra which tbh isn't a bad thing. Some days, especially after having skied four days straight, its nice to ski something less demanding.
While I like the bones, and its an exceptionally good ski, I always already had something to fill its spot. The old mantras were always just a bit too demanding for me, but the new ones have apparently been made more approachable. I also like Volkl's ELP full rocker design. All that said though the Helens have served me really well, so if I do consider another 98-class ski to replace it only seems right to look at its successor.