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Help buying ski for east coast groomer [Intermediate in Poconos, Catskills]

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,

This is my first post so please overlook my mistakes. I have been reading the threads and discussions for a while, but I could not narrow down the skis and size just from the existing threads. Therefore, I could use some help from this excellent community.

I did follow the advice in this forum and already have my boots fitted with custom foot beds from an excellent boot fitter. I'm also following the advice in this forum and will be dedicating this season to taking lessons and improving. My would like to ski for many years (or as long as the knees would allow).

 

1. I ski primarily in the northeast: Poconos, and Catskills.

2. I ski primarily groomed runs. If I can avoid bumps, I will.

3. I plant to ski around 20 days this season.

4. I am an intermediate skier making progress. I've skied roughly 30 days. I still don't understand the level numbers in this forum so I'm guessing level 5 in a scale of 1 to 9. (This season will be dedicated to improving). I do not mind going fast, but do so in control and efficiently.

5. I'm 5'7" 150 lbs. 

 

The skis I had were 152 cm Elan 70 mm underfoot.

 

The local shops recommended: 

1. Atomic Blackeye Ti - (did not discuss length)

2. Dynastar Powertrack 84 - 169 cm

3. Blizzard X-Power 770 Ti  - (did not discuss length)

 

 

From my research, I found great deals on the following:

1. Blizzard Magnum 8.0 CA in 158 or 165 cm.

2. Atomic Blackeye Ti -  167 cm.

I was tempted to buy both but decided to ask here first.

 

I don't need/expect one ski to do it all. I only need this ski for northeast skiing. If there is power or I head west, I'll rent. When I'm ready to move off piste, I'll add a second ski. For now, I am looking for something that will "ideally" last me a few seasons but not something that I will not be able to ski.

I'm open to options. I was even considering seasonal rentals, but did not like the local offerings much. I could pick a Blizzard Magnum 7.4 online for the seasonal price and use it for drills and practice.

 

That was a long thread. Thank you for reading. Any help will be much appreciated.

post #2 of 16

...if you get a chance to demo, two you might wanna consider for demo:

 

Blizzard Bushwacker(88mm) ~166/173 (try both if possible)

HEAD Rev 85 Pro(~86mm), 163/170 <-(might be right?)

 

At first they do seem a little wide, but if possible give them a try...  They'll make it through cut-up stuff and crud...


Edited by HaveSkisWillClimb - 10/26/14 at 1:09pm
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by skibugged View Post
 

1. I ski primarily in the northeast: Poconos, and Catskills.

2. I ski primarily groomed runs. If I can avoid bumps, I will.

3. I plant to ski around 20 days this season.

4. I am an intermediate skier making progress. I've skied roughly 30 days. I still don't understand the level numbers in this forum so I'm guessing level 5 in a scale of 1 to 9. (This season will be dedicated to improving). I do not mind going fast, but do so in control and efficiently.

5. I'm 5'7" 150 lbs. 

 

The skis I had were 152 cm Elan 70 mm underfoot.

 

The local shops recommended: 

1. Atomic Blackeye Ti - (did not discuss length)

2. Dynastar Powertrack 84 - 169 cm

3. Blizzard X-Power 770 Ti  - (did not discuss length)

 

 

From my research, I found great deals on the following:

1. Blizzard Magnum 8.0 CA in 158 or 165 cm.

2. Atomic Blackeye Ti -  167 cm.

 

 

Strictly an engaged amateur, but I would say that if you have any ambition at all you want to be in the mid-160s at a minimum for length. 150s is too short for someone your size other than a real beginner. 

 

I have not personally skied on any of the models you mention, so I won't comment on those, except to say that, speaking very generally, anything with "Ti" indicates one or more metal laminates in the ski, which often correlate with better edge grip on hard snow but also with less forgiveness of pilot error. I'm guessing you are going to hear that the Powertrack 84 and the Magnum CA are considered more easy-going skis than the Blackeye Ti. I honestly haven't heard anyone report on the Blizzard 770 (the 800, yes), but would like to.

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by HaveSkisWillClimb View Post
 

...if you get a chance to demo, two you might wanna consider for demo:

 

Blizzard Bushwacker(88mm) ~166/173 (try both if possible)

 

 

This is a great idea - especially if you think you may want to start branching out into some ungroomed terrain. Lots of people who fit your self-description like this ski a lot. Since it has been around for several years now (with different graphics each year), you can usually find a good deal on one.

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by skibugged View Post
 

Hello everyone,

This is my first post so please overlook my mistakes. I have been reading the threads and discussions for a while, but I could not narrow down the skis and size just from the existing threads. Therefore, I could use some help from this excellent community.

I did follow the advice in this forum and already have my boots fitted with custom foot beds from an excellent boot fitter. I'm also following the advice in this forum and will be dedicating this season to taking lessons and improving. My would like to ski for many years (or as long as the knees would allow).

 

1. I ski primarily in the northeast: Poconos, and Catskills.

2. I ski primarily groomed runs. If I can avoid bumps, I will.

3. I plant to ski around 20 days this season.

4. I am an intermediate skier making progress. I've skied roughly 30 days. I still don't understand the level numbers in this forum so I'm guessing level 5 in a scale of 1 to 9. (This season will be dedicated to improving). I do not mind going fast, but do so in control and efficiently.

5. I'm 5'7" 150 lbs. 

 

The skis I had were 152 cm Elan 70 mm underfoot.

 

The local shops recommended: 

1. Atomic Blackeye Ti - (did not discuss length)

2. Dynastar Powertrack 84 - 169 cm

3. Blizzard X-Power 770 Ti  - (did not discuss length)

 

 

From my research, I found great deals on the following:

1. Blizzard Magnum 8.0 CA in 158 or 165 cm.

2. Atomic Blackeye Ti -  167 cm.

I was tempted to buy both but decided to ask here first.

 

I don't need/expect one ski to do it all. I only need this ski for northeast skiing. If there is power or I head west, I'll rent. When I'm ready to move off piste, I'll add a second ski. For now, I am looking for something that will "ideally" last me a few seasons but not something that I will not be able to ski.

I'm open to options. I was even considering seasonal rentals, but did not like the local offerings much. I could pick a Blizzard Magnum 7.4 online for the seasonal price and use it for drills and practice.

 

That was a long thread. Thank you for reading. Any help will be much appreciated.


Reading the above very carefully, and keeping in mind this is for groomed snow in the north east and that you are committed to improving your ability,  I say None of the above.  Get a subscription to Realskeirs.com for $20. bucks, and then use it to screen out candidates that do not have the following characteristics:

13 to 15 m radius;

66 to 77 m waist width;

Full traditional camber;

High points for carving ability, accuracy/precision and stability; and,

Includes BOTH intermediate AND expert skier levels, as well as ALLspeed ranges from SLOW to RACE  (legacy reviews only  unfortunate marks for these category are only given out for the 2012 and earlier reviews).

 

The reviews go back quite a few years, so you should be able to find at least a few good candidates.

A good deal on the wrong ski is not a good deal.

Good luck.

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone for quick response. The Bushwhacker has really good review. I will definitely demo them if I can. I was hoping to stay at or under 80 mm for this ski. I do plan to add a second ski for off piste in the future. I'll be back asking more questions then :-)

Ghost,

I really like your advice. I'll do some research at realskiers and be back with an updated list. I agree a good deal on the wrong ski is not a good deal. The only reason I considered online deals were because most of the skis I wanted were not available for demo in the local shops. I would have had to buy without trying. Second, there was no guarantee that the ski I liked would be available. I figured if the skis don't work out, it won't hurt as much as the retail price.

post #7 of 16

Bushwacker's...  I skied on mine for two or three seasons up in Vermont.  They are a fun ski; most of the reviews I've seen are accurate, etc.

 

But for a self-professed intermediate skier looking to improve groomer carving skills, I'd have reservations about putting you on Bushwackers.  They do have a decent -- not comical, but it's there-- amount of early rise.  All skis have some amount of early rise these days, but Bushwackers have more then most skis in their category.  That makes them ski shorter than their advertised length (i.e., the amount of ski on the ground when it's flat is less than you'd think).  It also makes the tips vague-feeling.  It takes a decent amount of edge angle to get the tip into the snow and have it start "pulling" you into the turn.  As an intermediate, I'm guessing you're still searching for that "ski tips pulling you into the turn" feeling, and I don't think that Bushwackers will help you find it.

 

I know people who think that -the Blizzard 8.0 CA is an awesome ski.  I demo'ed one when they first came out, but I couldn't stand it.  Whether that was the tune or just the wrong ski for me, well, who knows.  To me it felt vague and dead (i.e., no energy / pop coming out of the turns...).  I mention this not so that you cross it off your list, but more to highlight the importance of demo'ing (which I realize is not always practical).  i..e, different skis feel very different; not better or worse, just "different".  It can be hard for a reviewer to search for what a ski is "good" at when the ski itself isn't inspiring any confidence by doing well what the pilot does well.

 

My current favorite groomer-zoomer ski is the Head Rally.  It will help you find that "oh, that's what a carved turn feels like!" sensation, but unlike many groomer-orented skis out there, it's remarkably easy to ski in bumps and other "lighter" ungroomed terrain as well should you wish to take a venture into off-piste.

post #8 of 16

Volkl RTM 77 or 80 or K2 AMP 80 would be good skis for you to try. Bushwacker is a great ski  but not for what you are asking for.

post #9 of 16
Staying under 80 underfoot makes sense for the op. Tale a look at the LatiGo thread, that wound be a better option for him than the Bushwacker because if the width and construction. There is usually a demo day at Hunter in the beginning of December and one at Frost right before Christmas..at least there used to be.
Edited by Philpug - 10/27/14 at 8:03am
post #10 of 16

Elan Amphibio 78/78ti Fusion. Your sub 80mm bias is legit. The Elan Ripsitck is my corduroy tool and it is exceptional at its job. I think most skiers will enjoy the subtle outside edge positioned shovel rocker and long cambered profile. It's fun to read reviews, but even more fun to ski them yourself. 

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone. I spent some time reading the reviews in realskiers.com. I think I have a better understanding now. I noticed that all major manufacturers have similar offerings in each category. All your suggestions were excellent and were similar to my own list. I liked K2 AMP Rictor 82 and Kastle LX 82. Surprisingly, Elan was not in the list of reviewed skis. 

 

This may sound silly, but I'm leaning towards two pairs. I'll start with a dedicated frontside carving ski: Head iSupershap Rally (76mm, 13.6m radius) or Magnum (72mm, 13.1M radius). I liked the Latigo (78mm) as well, but its radius is 17m. I plan to complement this ski with a wider ski (Head Rev 90 or Blizzard Bushwacker) maybe later in the season.

 

Seems like the general consensus is to demo the skis. I will call around for demo opportunities at the local shops. Couple of shops I've been to had Volkl RTMs, Atomics Blackeyes/Smoke, Dynastar Powertrack, etc that I mentioned earlier. I'll find out demo dates at nearby mountains as well. At this point, I think I'll pick whatever ski in the list I can demo and like.

 

I don't have a decent pair of skis right now, that's why I was hoping to pick up something before the season. But, better to wait and get the right pair than rush into a wrong one.

post #12 of 16

Don't forget to look at consignment stores.  A lot of folks sell hardly used skis for a lot less than new.

post #13 of 16

Kästle might be hard to demo around here, I'd think, but if you can find some, jump on them.  Anybody know a Kästle dealer that demos over that way?  

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by skibugged View Post
 

Hello everyone,

This is my first post so please overlook my mistakes. I have been reading the threads and discussions for a while, but I could not narrow down the skis and size just from the existing threads. Therefore, I could use some help from this excellent community.

I did follow the advice in this forum and already have my boots fitted with custom foot beds from an excellent boot fitter. I'm also following the advice in this forum and will be dedicating this season to taking lessons and improving. My would like to ski for many years (or as long as the knees would allow).

 

1. I ski primarily in the northeast: Poconos, and Catskills.

2. I ski primarily groomed runs. If I can avoid bumps, I will.

3. I plant to ski around 20 days this season.

4. I am an intermediate skier making progress. I've skied roughly 30 days. I still don't understand the level numbers in this forum so I'm guessing level 5 in a scale of 1 to 9. (This season will be dedicated to improving). I do not mind going fast, but do so in control and efficiently.

5. I'm 5'7" 150 lbs. 

 

The skis I had were 152 cm Elan 70 mm underfoot.

 

The local shops recommended: 

1. Atomic Blackeye Ti - (did not discuss length)

2. Dynastar Powertrack 84 - 169 cm

3. Blizzard X-Power 770 Ti  - (did not discuss length)

 

 

From my research, I found great deals on the following:

1. Blizzard Magnum 8.0 CA in 158 or 165 cm.

2. Atomic Blackeye Ti -  167 cm.

I was tempted to buy both but decided to ask here first.

 

I don't need/expect one ski to do it all. I only need this ski for northeast skiing. If there is power or I head west, I'll rent. When I'm ready to move off piste, I'll add a second ski. For now, I am looking for something that will "ideally" last me a few seasons but not something that I will not be able to ski.

I'm open to options. I was even considering seasonal rentals, but did not like the local offerings much. I could pick a Blizzard Magnum 7.4 online for the seasonal price and use it for drills and practice.

 

That was a long thread. Thank you for reading. Any help will be much appreciated.


look in the gear for sale thread tch has a Dynastar Contact Cross Ti for sale it's 172cm  might be getting to a longer than optimal length but $250 with bindings might be worth it.

post #15 of 16

Shameless plug...

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/129506/fs-head-rev-78s

 

I'm selling these.

 

I think they'd suit you pretty well.  They seem to check all your boxes.  I bought these new and skied them on the East Coast last year.

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone.

Picked up Blizzard Magnum 7.6 (2012) @ 160 and Kastle MX78 @ 160 flats. Reviews from realskiers were really good. Found really good deals.

The skis I was interested in were not available for demos. The ones I currently owned sold in a ski swap. I was looking to rent but found the Magnums for the price of season rentals. 

Don't think I'll get to demo the MX78s so took a leap of faith there. Reading the reviews here, it was impossible to ignore. I'll take check with the local shop's owner if it is too much ski for me. I think I'm set for a few seasons.

All I have to do is find a good instructor to help me put these skis to good use.

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