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New Ski Search "Level"

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
So, after 10 years skiing Élan M12 Fusions (which I really liked skiing back east) i'm looking to buy some new skis, a little wider than the Fusions, and just one ski that would fit most of my needs.
I ski out west (Utah, Crested Butte, Taos mostly), I consider myself a strong intermediate, maybe advanced intermediate, more athletic than technically skilled. I ski 70% or so groomers, consider myself aggressive (6'3", 220 lbs).
I've read a lot of reviews, and plan on demo-ing some skis this Christmas, but trying to figure out the what level and width would be best for me. For example, one of the skis i'm hoping to demo are the Rossi Experience 88's or 84's. What would they be like frontside compared to the M12's (70 waist, 177cm length)? What's the difference between the 88's and the 84's? Besides waist, it seems that the 84's are softer. Is that true for most ski lines (Rictor 82 vs 90, Head 70 vs 75). Would I be better suited in the 84's or 88's?
Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks
post #2 of 24
Thread Starter 
Meant to say Head Rev 80 or 85, not 70.
Also, I ski about 10-12 days a year, comfortably carve on all blues, as blacks get steeper, carve starts to turn into skidding.
post #3 of 24
You're a big guy. I think a Volkl Kendo should be on your list, and a Kastle MX 88 if you have some coin to throw at the problem. smile.gif
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hell, I won't even read reviews on the MX88's because there is no way I'd spend that on a ski!
post #5 of 24

You are a smidge taller than me but we are pretty much the same size. Check out the Blizzard Brahma's. They are 88mm waisted so they fit in with the other ski's you are looking at, and have metal in them. They are my only skis and I love them. They are great at handling groomers, and I haven't found a speed limit on them yet. They handle deeper snow just fine on all but the deepest days of the season, especially if you spend 70% of your time on the groomers.

post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. Wondering if the Brahma is too much ski for me, does my weight allow me to ski on a stiffer ski, or does my ski level matter more.
One of the reasons I was looking at the Experience 84, plus the fact that I've been on a 70 width ski for 10 years.
post #7 of 24
Demo. You're bigger than me (but not as much as you should be, given my height) but otherwise sound very similar, ability-wise. I did not like many of the skis raved about here, as they were too much ski for me. I wound up with the E84 even though I was really hoping to like the E88. It is softer but will still carve for you.

The way I look at it, if I can only drive the ski like it wants to be driven for a couple of hours until my legs are too sore, I have too much ski for me. There's always more skis next year or in a few years when you're ready.

Another ski I bet you would like is the Head Rev Pro 85. Given that you're out west I would also try the Head Rev 90.

Bottom line to me is demo demo demo, no one else can tell you what you will feel best on.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doid23 View Post

Thanks for the input. Wondering if the Brahma is too much ski for me, does my weight allow me to ski on a stiffer ski, or does my ski level matter more.
One of the reasons I was looking at the Experience 84, plus the fact that I've been on a 70 width ski for 10 years.

Sorry, one more thing. I think you can adjust for your weight much more with getting the length that feels best. To my mind, too much ski is still going to be too much ski, regardless of weight.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks David,

I am going to demo, but do want to narrow it down some before I go. What were your thoughts on the differences between the E84 vs the E88? The thing that caught my eye on the E84 was that some people said that it definitely had a speed limit, moreso than the E88. Did you feel the E84 was a better/more forgiving carver? Thanks
post #10 of 24

Doid, there are a lot of skis built for people like you in the dimensional range that you are looking.  Based on where you ski (places that can get some good, light snow), and how often you are on the slopes, I would stay away from more metal laden skis unless you are very confident driving the ski aggressively.  But from you description it sounds that while you are comfortable with a strong carve on moderate blue terrain you may back off a bit on steeper black? Does this sound correct?

 

Just a few other ideas to throw out there, take a look at the Dynastar Powertrack series (84 and 89).  These skis perform very well on the piste, but with the tip taper you will get a nicer float and feel in soft snow compared with the Rossignol design where the sidecut starts right in the shovel.  Some links for your viewing pleasure:

 

Powertrack 84

Powertrack 89

 

(we have both of the above skis paired with Tyrolia Attack 13 bindings for $100 more than the flat ski alone!)

 

I can go on for a long time with other ideas and questions.  You should have no problem finding a ski that will work really well for you needs.  Enjoy the process and finding a great setup!  Let me know if you have any questions that I can help with.

 

-jake

post #11 of 24

and.... to answer you actual original question...

 

the 2015 Experience 84s have added Carbon reinforcement (making a somewhat lighter, snappy ski).  The Experience 88s use more of the Basalt reinforcement (a decent, more natural option when compared with the usual fiberglass).  If you really are into the carving on the groomed slopes I wouldn't go the carbon route, in my personal opinion.  They can get deflected easier and with how much energy the carbon conducts there can be more chatter.  The basalt will do well to keep the ski on the slopes as the material will damp out a lot of the vibration that comes from hard snow at speed.

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doid23 View Post

Thanks David,

I am going to demo, but do want to narrow it down some before I go. What were your thoughts on the differences between the E84 vs the E88? The thing that caught my eye on the E84 was that some people said that it definitely had a speed limit, moreso than the E88. Did you feel the E84 was a better/more forgiving carver? Thanks

For ME, the E84 was a better carver. I think that may have much to do with my own limitations as the ski, but, why get on a ski that I can't effectively use yet? Yes, I would definitely say it was a more forgiving carver, and better for me. It certainly would have a speed limit, but I think I'd generally not be reaching it. I'd rather focus on challenging myself with the snow and terrain than with absolute speed.

In the motorcycling world we say that it's more fun to ride a slow bike fast. I think at least for me the same is true of skis. I'd rather be on a ski I can use almost up to its potential rather than one I feel the need to be "on" all the time.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doid23 View Post

Thanks David,

I am going to demo, but do want to narrow it down some before I go. What were your thoughts on the differences between the E84 vs the E88? The thing that caught my eye on the E84 was that some people said that it definitely had a speed limit, moreso than the E88. Did you feel the E84 was a better/more forgiving carver? Thanks

 

I demoed the 2014 E88 and E83 last year.  If I hadn't been on the E88 first, I probably would have thought the E83 was the right ski for me.  For some reason, the E88 felt a lot better and had more edge grip and certainly the dampness that I like.  I never got the sense that the E83 was a better carver than the E88.  It may be, but to me it didn't feel remarkably different in that respect.  I'm 6', 190 lbs and bought the 178 cm E88.  No regrets.  No thoughts of going down to a E84/83.  If I were to add a ski to a quiver it would be a narrow-waisted piste-only ski.  

post #14 of 24

Hehe, I think I put in two full seasons on the M12 before going to the M666 and MO2.      


All of the skis mentioned in this thread so far are going to feel far livelier, far more edge-happy, far more rewarding of a front-back centered stance than the M12.    The M12 was designed to be super forgiving of straight-ski technique, for fastish skiers who didn't *really* want to upgrade their skillsets to tip-to-turn carving.

 

When you demo, be aware of this.    Your first few demos might come as a shocking surprise, with regards to how 'short' today's skis ski, with regards to where they expect you to balance, and with regard to what sort of tipping and steering inputs they expect.       But, hey, it should be fun.

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input guys.

cantunamunch, I guess you just made me realize how old I am. I thought my old Rossi 205 length skis were straight skis, now my 10 year old M12's are ! redface.gif

I've actually skied rentals from time to time on my shorter trips, and adjusted after a few runs. Now that I live in Texas and spend all of my ski time out West, I'm looking for new ski's for all of the reasons you mentioned.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtViking View Post

I demoed the 2014 E88 and E83 last year.  If I hadn't been on the E88 first, I probably would have thought the E83 was the right ski for me.  For some reason, the E88 felt a lot better and had more edge grip and certainly the dampness that I like.  I never got the sense that the E83 was a better carver than the E88.  It may be, but to me it didn't feel remarkably different in that respect.  I'm 6', 190 lbs and bought the 178 cm E88.  No regrets.  No thoughts of going down to a E84/83.  If I were to add a ski to a quiver it would be a narrow-waisted piste-only ski.  

I have no doubt that your observations are valid. Last year I tried the E88 and liked it quite a bit. I couldn't find one in the length I wanted, as it was the end of the season and that ski had disappeared. This year, I tried the 2015 model and it felt different to me. I think the upped the stiffness of dampness or something, I just felt like it wanted to be pushed more than last year's model.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doid23 View Post

Thanks for all the input guys.

cantunamunch, I guess you just made me realize how old I am. I thought my old Rossi 205 length skis were straight skis, now my 10 year old M12's are ! redface.gif

 

 

Sorry.    :o     I'm still impressed that you managed to ski that ski as an all-mountain out west; it wasn't particularly floaty even in comparison to its immediate successors like the M666 and Dynastar 4800.

I went digging through some of my old pic folders but I couldn't find the M12s - did find my buddy's M10s next to a set of Integras:
WANG

post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Forget the M12's, how in the hell did I ever ski on the long straight ones! Oh, wait, I remember, I was a 20 year old football player...biggrin.gif
post #19 of 24

31" waist, 25" thighs for the win!

post #20 of 24

The Experience 88 has a full sidewall layup, whereas the old Experience 83 has a blend of sidewall and cap.  The 84 has a "Maxicap Sandwich" construction (i.e. sidewall underfoot blending into a cap construction for tip/tail) but with carbon in the mix as stated above.  It's the full sidewall treatment that makes the 88 'more ski'.  It has a more solid feel, it's more stiff in torsion and so has a smidge more grip, it has a bit more heft for pushing through crud, more damp, just more ski.  I far and away prefer that solid feel of the 88 to the 83.  I haven't tried the 84 yet, but with carbon in the mix I suspect I'll still prefer the 88.  I'm 6'4" and 210 and I'd choose the 178 for my local hill, but would opt for the 186 in a larger, less crowded hill.  The 186 needs more speed before it comes alive, and I don't get the opportunity to really open them up very often on our crowded slopes.

 

I agree with everything mentioned above.  The Head Rev series is worth a demo - all the way up to the Rev 90.  The Powertrack series is designed to be a one ski quiver and does the job pretty well.  The Blister Gear guys wrote up a terrific review of the Powertrack 89 that comes to the same opinion (search it out).  If someone told me I could only have one single ski I'd opt for the MX88, but the Kendo wouldn't be far behind, and the Experience 88 / Rev 85 Pro would both be thereabouts as well.  The skis in Blizzard's flipcore series (like the Brahma) have a particular feel as a result of the rocker (negative camber) treatment.  I prefer a more cambered ski, but they're worth a demo if only to get a sense of that feel.

 

In answer to an earlier question, your weight will allow you to flex a stiffer ski more easily than someone who is smaller, but selecting the correct length is important if you go down that path (as mentioned above).

 

Best of luck.

post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

31" waist, 25" thighs for the win!
Ha! I played football with someone with those kind of measurements, called him the Human Thigh...
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
I've narrowed it down to the E88 and 84, and the K2 82xti (I know a different type of ski, but did want to try it). The Brahma and Dynastar 89 (which I hadn't even considered, but the reviews swayed me) still seem a little outside the edge of my abilities, but will try them if they have them as rentals.
Thanks for everyone's input.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doid23 View Post

I've narrowed it down to the E88 and 84, and the K2 82xti (I know a different type of ski, but did want to try it). The Brahma and Dynastar 89 (which I hadn't even considered, but the reviews swayed me) still seem a little outside the edge of my abilities, but will try them if they have them as rentals.
Thanks for everyone's input.


You should really re-consider testing the Brahma in a 180cm, it's a really fun ski and should be totally doable if you are a advancing intermediate.

post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trailtrimmer View Post


You should really re-consider testing the Brahma in a 180cm, it's a really fun ski and should be totally doable if you are a advancing intermediate.
Trust me, I love what I've read about the Brahma. I'm just trying to be honest about my skill level. And at 50, and with only 10-12 ski days in a good year, I think i'm done advancing. Hopefully, I can find them to rent over Christmas.
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