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Experience 88 Advanced Skier

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I have started skiing weekly again and I am looking to buy skis. I'm planning on going to REI this week and picking up some Rossi Experience 88's but I wanted some opinions first.

 

I am an expert skier (level 9), 6', and I weigh about 215 lbs. I ski extremely aggressively and really enjoy opening it up and going fast. I'm skiing mostly in southern california at snow summit but I plan to take these on all my trips to Vermont when i see my family and the occasional vacation in Utah or Colorado as well as a big drive to mammoth every now and then. I'm not entirely sure if it constitutes "off-piste" but I do enjoy playing in the trees a few times a year. I have been demoing K2 AMP Rictor 82XTI's the last few weeks (184). I was planning on buying the 188's with the recommended  90mm rossi bindings.

My weight is on the high side right now for the weight range I bounce around in and I was worried these skis might have too much flex for me.

 

I went to/called every rental shop at big bear mountain and the closest demo I could find was last year's E88 in a tiny size.

 

Any opinions are appreciated, Thanks.

 

Edit: I assume it shouldn't matter but, I have the alias sensor 120 boots.

post #2 of 19

Welcome to Epic.  Skiing in the trees is definitely considered "off-piste."  If you haven't skied the E88's I would recommend against buying them.  There are many skis in the 90-95mm category that are excellent for an expert skier and frankly, from my limited experience with the E88's, if you're really a level 9 skier, I think you might be disappointed in their performance.  Nordica NRG90 or 100, Elan Amphibio 88xti, are all better, IMO.  The new Nordica Enforcer might also be a good bet for you.  There are some shops in the Sierras that have some that you should be able to demo.  Head is also coming out with some new men's skis based on the current women's Joy series which should also be excellent.  Dynastar Powertrack 89 is another candidate for you to consider.  Try really hard to demo before buying, I found it makes a huge difference and it led me to a ski that I didn't even know about.

post #3 of 19

I skied the E88 for over 120 days over the last two seasons.  I really loved it as an all around ski for JH.  It is great in moguls and trees, carves well on the hard-pack, and is surprisingly good in powder and crud.  I am a pretty strong skier and liked the E88 a lot and plan on keeping it as a tele ski.  

 

I am on the Fischer Motive 95 this season.  I think it's the best OSQ ski that I have ever been on.  It does everything pretty well off-piste and is a powerful carver on hard pack with no speed limit.   

post #4 of 19

Slight thread drift here........@tetonpwdrjunkie, did you also run the E98s?  Can't remember.  If so, how would you say the the E98 compares to the Motive 95?

 

Back on track......to the OP.....if you're a big, strong expert, you might want to look at a couple other options in that width, or possibly even sizing up to the 90-100 width, given your location and intended use.

post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post
 

Slight thread drift here........@tetonpwdrjunkie, did you also run the E98s?  Can't remember.  If so, how would you say the the E98 compares to the Motive 95?

 

Back on track......to the OP.....if you're a big, strong expert, you might want to look at a couple other options in that width, or possibly even sizing up to the 90-100 width, given your location and intended use.

I did ski on the E98s for a season and loved them.  I found the E88s to be a better ski for me as a full time instructor because they were far easier to ski bumps with and would do better demos at slower speeds for me.  I also found the E88 to be a better ski in powder than the E98.  The E98 was the more powerful ski for high speed cruising on hardpack and a better crud buster than the E88 if you wanted to ski it fast.

 

I find the Motive 95 to be just as good as the E98 in the areas where the E98 excelled, power carving on hard pack and high speed crud busting.  It is far more compliant than the E98 in bumps and floats much better in powder.  For me it seems to have all the power and require less work.  That seems like a win/win. 

 

I know a few larger skiers who use the E88 and love it like I did.  I am 5'10", 175 lbs, and used the 178 E88.  I demoed the 186 E88 and could ski it pretty well, but it felt like work to me.  I think the OP would do well with the E88 in 186.  He might like the Motive 95 or the new E100 a bit more.

post #6 of 19

I've skied the E88s (180) and own the E100 (182).  I like the 100s much better than the 88s.  I prefer a ski with metal for damping (I'd even prefer if the 100s were more damp and am very much up in the air as to whether the "air tip" on the 100 is a good idea).  For reference, I'm 6'2" 185 and, like the OP, ski aggressively.

 

The 88s were a fun ski: nice edge grip on softer groomers (I thought they chattered out too much at the end of day when the shade had frozen everything up); very light and agile; a little too "springy" in the bumps for what I like (I felt as if I was getting thrown around some out of the turns, but I was only skiing on very hard moguls that day, so not ideal testing conditions).  My conclusion was they were definitely not the right ski for me.  

 

If I were the OP, I'd demo the 88s and something comparable but more damp to see what type of ski I'd prefer.

 

One comment on TPJ's opinion that the 88s are better in powder than the 98s: I didn't get to ski powder on either of these skis, but the E100 is awesome in pow!  A few weeks ago, I skied 18" of fresh switching off between the E100s and a no-camber 120mm ski and preferred the E100.  In fact, the only tip dive I did all day was on the 120mm!  I'd say that Rossi listened to people like TPJ and really worked hard to get better float out of the 100 than the 98.  Good job, Rossi!! 

 

Good luck to the OP in his hunt!  

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the feedback! Based on these comments and some more research I'm looking into the Dynastar Powertrack 89 (186). I was really hoping to buy my skis at REI since I have $120 off and 15% back and I like being able to return them if I don't like them after skiing them.

 

I don't really have a clear idea of how much I am really giving up by getting an all mountain ski vs a straight frontside ski.

 

Additionally, I usually ride with my DIN at ~10. REI doesn't carry the recommended binding (SPX 12 B90); Would the Rossi Axial3 120 B90 work fine or is there substantial reasons to go buy the SPX's elsewhere and pay to get them mounted? REI also has the Salomon Warden MNC 13 in 90mm.

 

Thanks a lot for the comments!

post #8 of 19

I see lots of E88s and E98s in Vermont.  Either would work for you with the E88 being better on the groomers and bumps and the E98 better in the fresh snow.  Yes you are giving up some groomer performance by not going with a frontside carver, but you pick up some versatility in exchange.  Tradeoffs.

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks Jim. Been reading more all morning and now I am very likely going to go with the Dynastar Powertrack 98 (186). Based on the other information I've read, the Rossi bindings should be fine, they even have the same elasticity ratings as the LOOK's that dynastar recommends. I'm likely going to go to REI tonight and buy everything unless I get any input that there may be a better solution.

 

Thanks a lot!

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by edevil View Post
 

Thanks for all the feedback! Based on these comments and some more research I'm looking into the Dynastar Powertrack 89 (186). I was really hoping to buy my skis at REI since I have $120 off and 15% back and I like being able to return them if I don't like them after skiing them.

 

I don't really have a clear idea of how much I am really giving up by getting an all mountain ski vs a straight frontside ski.

 

Additionally, I usually ride with my DIN at ~10. REI doesn't carry the recommended binding (SPX 12 B90); Would the Rossi Axial3 120 B90 work fine or is there substantial reasons to go buy the SPX's elsewhere and pay to get them mounted? REI also has the Salomon Warden MNC 13 in 90mm.

 

Thanks a lot for the comments!

These days, not much.  Modern 'all mountain' skis rip carves as well as dedicated frontside skis from a half a dozen years ago.

 

Consider your preferred style; if you love speed and finishing turns on your tails, the E88, or other full flat tails will fit the bill.  If you're more of a smeary surfer who keeps turning back into the fall line, a tapered tail with a bit of rise will make you smile as they release easily into the next turn.

 

I see the Blizzards fitting your parameters, The Bushwacker/Brahma models should be on your radar as well as the NRGy series too.

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks Buttinski

I've been reading more about specific bindings and I'm curious what people's opinions are.

I'm reading some that these lighter plastic bindings are notorious for becoming loose/having issues after being used for a while. I'd really rather not have to replace my bindings down the road. Is it worth it to get a heavier duty binding like the FKS? I saw quite a few mentions that the FKS and look pivot are the same binding but the look pivot 12 doesn't look anything like the FKS... Is the Pivot 12 in a better quality class than the axial3?

 

EDIT: Nevermind, I just realized they are exactly the same. The picture I was looking at made them look different.

In that case, are my fears unfounded for the axial3 or is it worth it for the extra $50 to get the look pivot (which are 95 mm instead of the axial3's 90)?

EDIT2: Is there any reason why the DIN max of 12 would not work for me on the pivots? I never ski that high (I usually ski around 10) and I'm wondering why I see such high DIN settings available on other bindings.

 

Thanks!

post #12 of 19

I feel like I should throw my two cents worth in because your situation sounds a lot like mine a couple of seasons ago.  Our profiles sound a lot alike - including this not being my "real weight" .  I had always skied Rossis and when the E88 came out I thought I had my answer.  I demoed them and liked them a lot and was pretty much ready to pull the trigger when I started seeing some pretty outlandish reviews - on Epic Ski and elsewhere for the Kastle MX88.  At least check out the reviews - many others have said it better than I ever could- but this is the most incredible ski ever made.  I know they're pricey (an understatement) but I've read that you can pick up some used or demos pretty cheap.

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks tgriff. I tried to go to REI last night but I forgot my boots so I'll be going back today. They had the look pivot 14's in 95mm which alleviates my concern about DIN settings.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by edevil View Post

Thanks Buttinski
I've been reading more about specific bindings and I'm curious what people's opinions are.
I'm reading some that these lighter plastic bindings are notorious for becoming loose/having issues after being used for a while. I'd really rather not have to replace my bindings down the road. Is it worth it to get a heavier duty binding like the FKS? I saw quite a few mentions that the FKS and look pivot are the same binding but the look pivot 12 doesn't look anything like the FKS... Is the Pivot 12 in a better quality class than the axial3?

EDIT: Nevermind, I just realized they are exactly the same. The picture I was looking at made them look different.
In that case, are my fears unfounded for the axial3 or is it worth it for the extra $50 to get the look pivot (which are 95 mm instead of the axial3's 90)?
EDIT2: Is there any reason why the DIN max of 12 would not work for me on the pivots? I never ski that high (I usually ski around 10) and I'm wondering why I see such high DIN settings available on other bindings.

Thanks!
I was going to suggest that you get the FKS so you don't need to run a high DIN. FWIW I'm 6'5, 215lbs and a fast skier and only run the normal III settings(which is an 8.5), because the FKS don't prerelease. With px14s I had more issues with retention. Not sure why, since they have the same toe.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 

I did go buy the look pivot 14's today (which is the same as the FKS). So you would suggest I go with 8.5 instead? I asked the tech at REI to set it 9.5 and he gave me a hard time about it and finally told me he would do it but I would need to sign a waiver when I pick them up.

post #16 of 19

For your DIN, I think you should go with the DIN on the chart first.  Then if you are really are pre-releasing out on the slopes you can decide to move it up yourself.

 

I think it has been mentioned elsewhere but people upping their DIN is often because their binding's forward pressure was never set right,or other slop in the binding, and it's not the DIN.  

 

If you were only on rental skis, they aren't re-testing the ski every time you rented, so an incorrectly setup forward pressure there might be throwing off the actual release torques.  With your own personal setup that gets tested before they hand it back to you  it maybe just fine.

post #17 of 19
^ what he said. Some bindings are known for prereleasing. The FKS is known for having a ton of elasticity and not having a toe that prereleases. If they are set up properly at a level II or III setting they should stay on fine for normal use.
I've seem too many spiral fractures and boottop fractures to think din cranking is a good idea.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by edevil View Post

Thanks Jim. Been reading more all morning and now I am very likely going to go with the Dynastar Powertrack 98 (186). Based on the other information I've read, the Rossi bindings should be fine, they even have the same elasticity ratings as the LOOK's that dynastar recommends. I'm likely going to go to REI tonight and buy everything unless I get any input that there may be a better solution.

Thanks a lot!

Great ski! The Rossi and Look bindings are exactly the same except for the paint job. Same company.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
It took me a little longer than expected, but I took these bad boys with me to my weekend vacation to Vermont. They had a day of heavier snowfall at mount snow and there were big piles of powder with icy granula under them. The skis did amazingly and I didn't feel like I was too far forward with the reference mount. Felt like I could carve hard when I hit the bottom layer and I felt great ripping through the big piles too
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