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Groomer Ski Candidates - PNW

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Ok... I've the bug.   I want to get a second pair of groomer specific skis at the end of this season.   I'd like to ski them first so I'm looking for a list of candidates based upon the following:

 

 

*I'm 5'7" 185 lbs.

 

* I mainly want to build my technique and practice good smooth turns.  I want to look good coming down the mountain but not necessarily fast.    I'm 47 years old and don't feel the need for speed.  

 

* I'd like a fairly short radius turning ski with good rebound turn to turn that is fun on the groomers.   They will go into the deep stuff 0% of the time.

 

 

Suggestions welcome! 

post #2 of 21

You'll likely get a lot of different opinions but what I'd suggest is, if you want to save yourself a few bucks, find yourself a nice set of used 165cm SL race skis.  If you want to go with new skis then get a set of 165cm cheater SL's.  They come with a nice integrated binding system that easily changes for different boot sole length.  Regardless of the ski you end up with, I'd have a .75/3 tune put on them, .75 being base edge bevel and 3 being side edge bevel.

post #3 of 21
... or a supershape Magnum. smile.gif
post #4 of 21

I'm 20 years older, 20 lbs lighter, same height. Like to go slow and turney. Martin at Pro Guide put me in the K2 Vector 90Ti when I told him I skied at Summit at Snoqualmie with it's soft snow where the "groomers" can be deepish and cut up. When the snow comes I'll get to see how they work.

post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by wooley12 View Post

I'm 20 years older, 20 lbs lighter, same height. Like to go slow and turney. Martin at Pro Guide put me in the K2 Vector 90Ti when I told him I skied at Summit at Snoqualmie with it's soft snow where the "groomers" can be deepish and cut up. When the snow comes I'll get to see how they work.

Nice ski, but too wide to qualify as a dedicated piste carver. smile.gif
post #6 of 21
In my opinion there is not enough said about good piste skis. They definitely help improve technique and let's face it, the majority of holiday makers never venture away from the pistes or groomers, as you guys call them over there. I always have a pair of piste skis in my quiver and recently I replaced my old Rossi WC SL oversize (radius 12.5) with some Salomon x race in a 170 length (radius 15). Before I bought I tested the Head rebel GS and SL which were both brilliant but geared to one thing. The Salomon is a highbrid shape so great at all sizes of turns and more stable than a slalom ski.
I would definitely go for a 'race ski' and not a piste performance ski. After all the race skis available in the shops are nothing like the planks Ligerty is riding. They are detuned versions of an FSI ski but give a feeling of what a race ski is like.
Regarding your desire not to go fast, you must remember several things here.
1) skis are designed to carve and not slip so going fast is really part of modern ski technique.
2) carve turns are the way to control speed so if you keep the radius of the ski to a minimum your carve shape will be tighter and your speed will naturally be slower.
3) carve turns definitely save destroying you knees.
I recon you should try the salomon x race in a 165 and 170. Plug yourself into some music which you enjoy listening to when your driving and commit to driving those new skis through the turns and enjoy being in control at speed.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevperro View Post

 I'm 47 years old and don't feel the need for speed.  

You lost us right there.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by effortless View Post

In my opinion there is not enough said about good piste skis. They definitely help improve technique and let's face it, the majority of holiday makers never venture away from the pistes or groomers, as you guys call them over there. I always have a pair of piste skis in my quiver and recently I replaced my old Rossi WC SL oversize (radius 12.5) with some Salomon x race in a 170 length (radius 15). Before I bought I tested the Head rebel GS and SL which were both brilliant but geared to one thing. The Salomon is a highbrid shape so great at all sizes of turns and more stable than a slalom ski.
I would definitely go for a 'race ski' and not a piste performance ski. After all the race skis available in the shops are nothing like the planks Ligerty is riding. They are detuned versions of an FSI ski but give a feeling of what a race ski is like.
Regarding your desire not to go fast, you must remember several things here.
1) skis are designed to carve and not slip so going fast is really part of modern ski technique.
2) carve turns are the way to control speed so if you keep the radius of the ski to a minimum your carve shape will be tighter and your speed will naturally be slower.
3) carve turns definitely save destroying you knees.
I recon you should try the salomon x race in a 165 and 170. Plug yourself into some music which you enjoy listening to when your driving and commit to driving those new skis through the turns and enjoy being in control at speed.

IMHO, sructurally well aligned/stacked turns save knees whether carved or not. Going fast is very fun. I'm with you. But, to sort out technique and the stacking I mentioned, we need to slow way down on occasion to sort things out before we speed up again. And I'm with you on the general turn radius for a great, versatile piste ski. That 15-17m is money, which puts a 'race' ski in the non FIS category. Again, IMHO, there are still a handful of piste 'carvers' that would work well for the OP's stated intend.
post #9 of 21

My only thought is to be a little wary of the recommendations some might give for an SL race ski.  They tend to be quite stiff which may or may not be your preference.  Having come from a fairly stiff non-race SL ski (Atomic VF-75) and moved over to the Head Supershape Rally, I've been extremely happy.  It's a softer, more forgiving ski that is loads of fun and has been great for me in building my technique this season.  Definately give the Rally some consideration.  At the very least, do your own comparisons.

post #10 of 21

Fischer Progressor 800 or 900.

 

I had a pair of the previous version (8+ I think) that I bought for skiing with my wife when she was coming back from a big accident.  They made slower, on-piste skiing a blast, because I could bend them into a tight, purely carved turn at a reasonable speed.

 

This is the ski where I learned that I could control speed by holding a carved turn until I was actually going slightly uphill (on an empty slope, only of course).

 

Don't get a real SL ski if you don't want to go fast.

 

Finally, @dawgcatching skis a lot of skis, and has a very good handle on their "carveability".  Maybe he will chime in on this. 

post #11 of 21

Dawgcatching has commented before that the Rallys and Progressor 900's are very similiar skis, so now perhaps you have two good options to try out.

post #12 of 21

I second HRPufNStr suggestion with the Progressor 800/900 also excellent and if you go a bit wider Kastle MX78. 

Or Kastle RX12? If you prefer slower shorter radius go with a 168cm. Brilliant flex pattern and very versatile. Has all the edge hold you will ever need in the PNW. I also find bit more snow depth and crud wont blow it off line as easily. 

Personally I don't like super shapes fat tails hook and make the ski less versatile in turn shape and hazardous in bumps. Prefer a narrower tail and something that lets you vary your turn radius more readily. Any of our coaches that have had them ditched them in favor of a proper SL or something more traditional. YEMV

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevperro View Post
 

Ok... I've the bug.   I want to get a second pair of groomer specific skis at the end of this season.   I'd like to ski them first so I'm looking for a list of candidates based upon the following:

 

 

*I'm 5'7" 185 lbs.

 

* I mainly want to build my technique and practice good smooth turns.  I want to look good coming down the mountain but not necessarily fast.    I'm 47 years old and don't feel the need for speed.  

 

* I'd like a fairly short radius turning ski with good rebound turn to turn that is fun on the groomers.   They will go into the deep stuff 0% of the time.

 

 

Suggestions welcome! 

 

I'm 5'8", 158 pounds -- 64 years old and a solid intermediate..  And, I too prefer smooth, predicatble turns to speed.

I ski 'Pittsburgh Powder' -- meaning the ski patrol needs a hammer to pound in a post to put a sign up in our 'powder'.  Unless it has turned to crud, it is hard, smooth and fast.

 

I got a pair of used Kastle RX (RaceCross) 168's with a 15meter turn radius for $269 and love them.  When I say 'turn' they turn -- IF I am paying attention.  They do what they are told, but only what they are told, so you can't daydream on your way down the hill.   They are meant to carve and they can go very fast while you do it - if you carve them.   But, I very much love how they let me cruise down over that smooth hard pack that I ski on -- under complete control and going as fast I want with complete confidence that those skis will do what I want, when I want.

 

I suspect that many SL, short radius skis would serve you well.   If I had to do it over again I would want to check out the Kastle LX (Light Cross) which have similar characteristics but are not quite as aggressive and demanding.   But, I admit that I am stuck on Kastle -- these are the third pair I have owned and have loved every one of them.

 

In any event, I would look first at SL skis with a turn radius of 16m or less and stay away from the more generalized 'all-mountain' skis...

post #14 of 21

Well, it has certainly been a groomer year!  Skiing concrete up at Bachelor the past 2 days.  

 

The plus of skiing firm groomers on the correct skis: you get good if you are committed to working on technique, using those days to really refine balance, CA skills, working on foot balance.  For that reason, I am a huge fan of owning groomer skis for when the conditions are not great.  Not only does it make skiing more fun, as skiing concrete on a pair of S7's just isn't as much fun, but it really allows you to have the feedback you need to improve on such conditions. And if you can ski concrete and ice, you can ski anything.  

 

Skis I really like 

 

Blizzard Power 800s (my current choice, skied those in 174cm the past 2 days as a hybrid SL/GS feel, skis a bit shorter due to early rise, 167cm rocks as more pure quick carver)

Kastle RX12 (went with a 168cm at the end of the last year, it ripped).  

Elan Waveflex SLX 170cm (the ultimate slalom carver)

Fischer Progressor 900 (a bit softer than some of the other dedicated carvers, super fun)

Head Supershape series (Magnum and Rally)

Stockli AX or SX are highly recommended (by me)

Kastle MX78 (more of an all-mountain carver, incredible edge grip, especially if you throw a slightly stiffer plate on there). 

 

 

Those are the skis I am most familiar with. I also really liked Dynastar's blue race carver offering a few years ago.   Hopefully I can test a few more this spring. Always looking for a good frontside ski.  The past few years has pretty much meant groomers or nothing for at least half the season around here.  Last season, my Power 800s had by far the most laps of any ski I owned. 

 

If you want a deal on a carver, we still have a couple of pairs of the Blizzard Power 800s.  A demo pair in 174cm for $520, and a new pair in 167cm for $589.  Both with bindings.  Truly outstanding ski.  We also have a pair of the Progressor 900's on sale in 170cm, and the Head Rally on sale for $ 685 w/binding, 170 and 177cm 

 

I am also a fan of detuned SL carvers, like the Elan SLX mentioned above.  I personally like the 170cm length, being on a larger hill. The skis can run a bit better than on a 165.  But still quick and powerful.  The skis mentioned above such as the P900 and MX78, power 800s, are more of an SL/GS hybrid, 15-16m radius.  Different feel than your typical 13m slalom carver; it depends on your preference. If I lived on a really small hill, I would opt for the former, but with 2k vertical on most runs here, wide open, I prefer something that I can bend into a tight arc, but isn't always turning on me. 


Edited by dawgcatching - 1/15/15 at 12:43pm
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRPufnStf View Post
 

Fischer Progressor 800 or 900.

 

I had a pair of the previous version (8+ I think) that I bought for skiing with my wife when she was coming back from a big accident.  They made slower, on-piste skiing a blast, because I could bend them into a tight, purely carved turn at a reasonable speed.

 

This is the ski where I learned that I could control speed by holding a carved turn until I was actually going slightly uphill (on an empty slope, only of course).

 

Don't get a real SL ski if you don't want to go fast.

 

Finally, @dawgcatching skis a lot of skis, and has a very good handle on their "carveability".  Maybe he will chime in on this. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by njdiver85 View Post
 

Dawgcatching has commented before that the Rallys and Progressor 900's are very similiar skis, so now perhaps you have two good options to try out.

 

 

Mentioned below!  Now I see the whole thread.  Yes, they are very similar. The Rally is slightly softer, more energy at the tail, I think the P900 has a bit more top end.  Really close in terms of performance.  As a softer snow groomer boards, I probably like the Rally better, it just has a bit more fun feel. Really hard snow like we have been skiing recently, it doesn't have quite the torsional rigidity that the P900 has.  

post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCrash View Post
 

I second HRPufNStr suggestion with the Progressor 800/900 also excellent and if you go a bit wider Kastle MX78. 

Or Kastle RX12? If you prefer slower shorter radius go with a 168cm. Brilliant flex pattern and very versatile. Has all the edge hold you will ever need in the PNW. I also find bit more snow depth and crud wont blow it off line as easily. 

Personally I don't like super shapes fat tails hook and make the ski less versatile in turn shape and hazardous in bumps. Prefer a narrower tail and something that lets you vary your turn radius more readily. Any of our coaches that have had them ditched them in favor of a proper SL or something more traditional. YEMV

 

MX78 and RX12 also great choices!  The MX78 has as much edge grip as any 70mm ski out there.  Phenomenal when on edge and tuned properly.  RX12 as well; it is basically a slightly narrower, stiffer MX78.  I like the MX78 a bit more than the RX12 at times, the tip is a bit softer, easier to get it bending early in the turn at typical speeds. The RX12 can be a little stiff for a 155lb guy like me unless you are really cooking and laying it over. 

post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
 

Well, it has certainly been a groomer year!  Skiing concrete up at Bachelor the past 2 days.  ...  as skiing concrete on a pair of S7's just isn't as much fun,...

\

The most painful skiing day I ever had was skiing very hard icy snow with ski tracks and ski debris hard frozen.  It was supposed to snow heavily overnight, so I brought my S7s.  But a freak of geography/topography had result in ice fog/freezing rain on the ski are overnight.  I made one 2000 vft run and I thought my knees were ruined for life; the wide skis with a short running surface made sure they got a pounding.  Oh, and given the conditions there was no groomed.

post #18 of 21

PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! Could someone buy the Elan amphibio 88 xti now before I give in!!!! Really nice ski, carve really well ( like a much narrower ski) and at that price...

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks all.... any experience with the Salomon X-Kart Sport?   It is 73 under foot and a fairly tight 12m radius.   


Edited by kevperro - 1/15/15 at 7:19pm
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 

No love for the Salomon X-Kart Sport?

post #21 of 21
Owned Kastle mx78 agree with Scott bit easier than the rx12 lots of edge hold for the width and also better in crud and mixed snow than something narrower
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