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Best New Ski for an Old Snow Dog

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I am 68 years old and have been sking for more than 40 years.  I taught for nearly 15 years (80's and 90's - centerline philosophy).  I've owned many skis -- usually whatever was the best pro-form deal at the time. My last skis were Volkl Carver Plus 191cm, Rossi Bandit XXX 184cm and currently Volkl AC-20 170cm.

I have always found that over time I adjusted to whatever ski I am using and that keeping it tuned and in good shape means more than however it was rated by the annual buying guides.  I'm at that point once again where I want to and will be buying new skis.  While I do understand that probably nothing will beat actual on-snow demo, I'd really appreciate some expert opinion as to what skis, lengths and other things that I ought to consider.  All the noise about "double rocker", "extra wide", "twin tip", etc., etc. is sort of confusing.  Here are my stats:

 

1.  Age 68

2.  180 lbs, 5 ft 10 inches

3.  Want an all purpose/any snow ski

4.  Ski about 30 to 40 days per year

5.  Ability is a solid 8

6.  Usually ski groomers or chopped up snow.

7.  Most skiing done at Sun Valley and Bogus Basin (Idaho)

8.  Boots are Soloman X-Wave 10 with orthotics

 

Really appreciate any wisdom that any of you can impart.

post #2 of 24
If you like you AC20's, IMO you'll enjoy the Volkl Kendo. I think it would be a great ski for you. Demo it in 177cm and may be 170cm. I'm 5 ft 11in 195lbs and ski it in 177cm, 60y/o level 9 with a 9.5 din.

I find all my Volkls, I do my own tunes, for over 14 years now, ski a like.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

I really liked my old Carver Series Volkls.  I am thinking of demoing the new RTM series which I am told are very similar to the AC50 ski.  I like the stability and hold on ice that I get from Volkls.  Thanks for your reply.  I'll try to find a pair of Kendos to demo.

post #4 of 24

The RTMs will ski quite a bit differently to the AC50 as they have no camber at all, in fact very slight negative camber and flat underfoot.  They still have the grip when they're on edge, but they're more playful and loose at lower edge angles and through the transition phase of the turn.  The AC50 was stiff and had a lot of camber ... in no way could it be called 'playful and loose'.

 

The Kendo is a great ski and it's well worth taking the time to demo a pair.

 

Best of luck.

post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

If you like you AC20's, IMO you'll enjoy the Volkl Kendo. I think it would be a great ski for you. Demo it in 177cm and may be 170cm. I'm 5 ft 11in 195lbs and ski it in 177cm, 60y/o level 9 with a 9.5 din.

I find all my Volkls, I do my own tunes, for over 14 years now, ski a like.

+1 on the Kendo

L7-8, 66 years old, 190 lbs

I can high speed carv it, short swing it and great in the crud.

post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsitzmark View Post
 

I really liked my old Carver Series Volkls.  I am thinking of demoing the new RTM series which I am told are very similar to the AC50 ski.  I like the stability and hold on ice that I get from Volkls.  Thanks for your reply.  I'll try to find a pair of Kendos to demo.

RTM I read great reviews. In my search I am going to demo the 81.

post #7 of 24

I met the long-time local Volkl rep (whose name escapes me, if I ever heard it) this season and he said his personal fave was the 81.  The RTM84 sells more units locally each year for a variety of reasons (my comment - probably related to sizeology) but, by his reckoning, the 81 is the better ski for Australian conditions: a bigger sweet spot, more forgiving, ever so slightly quicker from edge-to-edge, yet with the same ultimate level of performance.

 

Heck!  I'm a demo fan and they're both terrific skis.  Give them both a go and choose your own fave.

post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I really agree with you about the power of the demo.  Thing that worries me is changing snow conditions -- usually don't have powder, hard pack, crud, ice and seattle cement all on the same day.  I am definitely going to give the Kendo and the RTM series a try, though.

 

The other thing that I have noticed when skiing on demo skis is that length (sometimes just a few cm) can really make a difference in how a ski performs.  I have had demo opportunity to ski the exact same ski in different lengths (Rossi's) and had totally different experience.

post #9 of 24


...and how well or poorly they are tuned.

post #10 of 24

Welcome to Epic Ski.  I'm going to take a different approach to a recommendation.  Since you really liked the old Volkl Carvers, I heartily recommend you try to find a pair of Nordica Fire Arrow 84 EDT, probably in a 176 length, to demo.  It may or may not be easy to find, but if you do, I'm fairly confident you'll like them.  My favorite skis, until 3 or 4 seasons ago, were Volkl P30 Racecarvers.  I skied the 168cm FA 84 EDT during the industry demo days at Snow Basin two years ago and loved them.  Then a friend loaned me his 176cm Nordica FA84 EDTs for a weekend.at Bridger Bowl.  There wasn't a lot of fresh snow but I found plenty of soft snow in the trees and they skied extremely well, even though they were really too long for me.  The skis have a small amount of early rise in the tip, but beyond that they are really a pretty traditional GS sort of ski. They are really a hoot on the groomers.  They really have no speed limit but do require solid, positive input from the skier.  As long as you bring your "A" game with you when you get on them, they will reward you with an exhilarating ride. Even though I'm 70, I prefer skis that are fairly demanding because otherwise I will lapse into sloppy technique.  Given your ability and what kind of runs you ski, I think these would be about perfect.  I would own a pair but I don't spend enough time on groomers to justify buying them.

 

I have skied the RTM 84 and while I was impressed that it skied as well as it did, if you spend most of your time on groomers, I really don't think you'll like it.  It doesn't ski anything at all like the skis you're used to skiing.

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
 

Welcome to Epic Ski.  I'm going to take a different approach to a recommendation.  Since you really liked the old Volkl Carvers, I heartily recommend you try to find a pair of Nordica Fire Arrow 84 EDT, probably in a 176 length, to demo.  

 

FA84 ETD would be an awesome Sun Valley ski, especially if you mostly ski groomers.  Probably my personal first choice for that venue.  A rocket ship on groomers, perfectly dialed for mornings on Warm Springs, that is still usable in bumps and off-piste (workable, but much more suited to the corduroy carpet).

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewyM View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
 

Welcome to Epic Ski.  I'm going to take a different approach to a recommendation.  Since you really liked the old Volkl Carvers, I heartily recommend you try to find a pair of Nordica Fire Arrow 84 EDT, probably in a 176 length, to demo.  

 

FA84 ETD would be an awesome Sun Valley ski, especially if you mostly ski groomers.  Probably my personal first choice for that venue.  A rocket ship on groomers, perfectly dialed for mornings on Warm Springs, that is still usable in bumps and off-piste (workable, but much more suited to the corduroy carpet).

So, not your favorite pick for a eastern ski?

Very strong reviews for this stick.

post #13 of 24
Looks like he likes it on groomers, what are you saying? No mention of ice???
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by LewyM View Post

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

 
Welcome to Epic Ski.  I'm going to take a different approach to a recommendation.  Since you really liked the old Volkl Carvers, I heartily recommend you try to find a pair of Nordica Fire Arrow 84 EDT, probably in a 176 length, to demo.  

FA84 ETD would be an awesome Sun Valley ski, especially if you mostly ski groomers.  Probably my personal first choice for that venue.  A rocket ship on groomers, perfectly dialed for mornings on Warm Springs, that is still usable in bumps and off-piste (workable, but much more suited to the corduroy carpet).
So, not your favorite pick for a eastern ski?
Very strong reviews for this stick.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post
 

So, not your favorite pick for a eastern ski?

Very strong reviews for this stick.


I am saying that the FA84 ETA would be a great ski in Sun Valley where the main show is lovely, manicured, 3000 vertical foot groomers, consistent pitch, top to bottom. 

 

I am saying nothing about the east - although I'd note, like a GS-style ski, the FA84 ETD needs some room to run and speed to come alive, so it depends on the size of the hill (turn radius at 176 is 18m, so if a GS cheater works at your hill, this would work).  No issue with ice, this ski has tremendous grip and power - I rode it on a morning at Crystal where the lower mountain was very icy (by anyone's definition) and it was stellar.

 

I like the FA84 ETD as a Sun Valley ski because it has the ride of a GS race ski but although it is fairly stiff, it is still reasonably fun and skiable off-piste and in bumps (of which there are a lot in Sun Valley, if you choose to leave the manicured groomers).  So you could charge Warm Springs all morning, and then take a few bump runs off Seattle ridge in the afternoon after it has softened up without necessarily being sad or feeling the need to swap out skis.  Basically, it is an alternative to a race ski that is more versatile all-mountain.  Of course, there are better bump skis out there. . . pair this with Scott The Ski (even through they are close in width) and you have the ultimate 1-2 punch for 90% of the conditions on you regularly see Sun Valley. 

 

If you are principally a groomers skier at Sun Valley (which is how I read the OP), I'd be hard pressed to think of a better OSQ.  I think that this is good suggestion by @mtcyclist that is well-tuned to the OP's mission and location - provided that this is a demanding ski that requires some juice. 

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks!  I'll add the FA84 to my short list.  Interestingly, I did demo the Blizzard Bonifide last year (mainly because of all they hype) and really did not like it -- just didn't have the stability that I am used to with Volkls.  Maybe I'm just expecting too much out of do everthing ski?

post #16 of 24

If you liked the Bandit XXX you once had, you might consider one of the new Rossi Experience skis - either the E100 or E88.

post #17 of 24

Add the Kastle MX 83 and MX88 to your list. Read the reviews. Not a one-trick pony like the AC skis.

 

Not a tricked up shape, but rather traditional but using only the finest materials. For your size 178 should work well  Like Volkl's, only better.

post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 

Had a friend suggest that I try Kastle FX94?  May give the Kastle brand a try next demo opportunity.

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 

I was a real Rossi fan back in the day..............FP (loved that ski), 4SK, 7SK.  Did not like the Bandits as much -- seemed a little doggy?

post #20 of 24

oldsitzmark,

 

A suggestion,

 

Consider 2 pair of skis.  No one ski does everything well.  Generally, if its good on hardpack it is not in powder.  This way you will enjoy more of the mountain more often. 

 

I would suggest something 84 or under, with traditional camber, for a hardpack/old snow ski.  Something 98 or wider with some early rise in the tip for a fresh snow/powder/crud ski.  With your experience, even being away for awhile, you may soon grow tired of the limitations of just one pair.

 

There are amazing deals on the internet for new and used skis.  I would buy 2 pair used before I would buy 1 new pair if it fit my situation.

post #21 of 24

Any of the MX series is titties (technical term). You apparently like groomers, so 94 might be a bit wide. My hard snow ski is either the MX88, or the (sadly) discontinued MX108.

 

Don't get caught up in what brand you liked a decade or two ago. NOTHING is the same. I now have Kastle, Nordica (Patron) and Blizzard (Cochise) in two quivers. No one brand is necessarily the right one for every condition or skier. Back in teh day I loved my Rossi ST650's, and later my K2 Axispro's - history lesson but not relevant to today.

post #22 of 24
Hey fellow old dog,

68 yrs old been skiing since my teens. Patrol and teaching background. 5' 10" 200 lbs.

I am from Boise (BSU 72) and skied the valley quite often ( still get over there at least once a year.) Live in the land of cascade concrete now (Seattle). So I know what you are up against. Bogus can be rather firm to delightful soft as can the valley.

Sounds like you neeed a ski that can do it all. I have never found that ski. Maybe you can? Let me know!

Currentlly I have found it a requirment to have a two ski quiver.

Hard snow front side ski is a 174 Atomic Blackeye TI. Extreme edge hold and that ability to carve granite in short radius turns. Great technique ski.

Soft snow big mountain ski is a Fischer Watea 106 in 182. The ability of this ski to ski steep and crud is amazing. Be prepared to open up your radius. These things haul the mail through what ever you throw at them.

Buy used.

Hope this helps
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thank you sir!  I'm going to keep looking, but have a nagging feeling that you (and several others) are right about needing at least two sets of go-to boards.  Being a retired season pass holder at Bogus and also owning a place at SV, I can at least pick and choose the days and conditions that I ski (and how long I stay on the mountain) -- far different from the days when I divided the cost of the lift ticket by the number of runs I made in order to know whether I was getting my money's worth and having a good time!  

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsitzmark View Post
 

Had a friend suggest that I try Kastle FX94?  May give the Kastle brand a try next demo opportunity.

I would suggest the FX84 for the skiing you describe. 

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