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Nordica El Capo, Vagabond or Unleashed Hell

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I'm looking at these 3 skis: 

 

El Capo 177

Vagabond 185

Unleashed 185

 

 

For a one ski, do it all for  CO. Aspen Highlands, Snowmass.  Front side and back side, Cat skiing. New snow, and old snow.

 

Me:

 

5' 11''

175 lbs naked

Very Athletic 50 something year old. 

Ski level - gee I don't know,  I ski everything when I'm out west- Chutes, Steeps, trees, bumps, pow when I can get it. I live in the east, so I ski mostly east coast, trees, bumps, anything with a challenge get's me through the day. I dabbled in racing, so I know how to carve em. I'm pretty advanced, but I hate rating myself so, I don't want to use the E word.

 

I like finesse skiing, but can charge some too.

 

Skis I currently have:

Kastle FX84 176 - daily driver

Nordica Top Fuel 170 - rock skis

Volkl Mantra 177  - 2009 version - stiff planks - I've used them on most western ski trips over the past few years, but would like something less stiff and planky. Even though they are stiff, I've successfully skied them in all conditions, except 24" of fresh, they were work.

Blizzard Bonafids 180 - New to me this year and I've only skied them a handful on time. Bought these to replace my Mantras. They're great, expect I find them a little less poppy than my old Mantras. 

 

Looking for something playful, but can hold up to some crud too. Light is good and don't know if I want metal, or if it has metel, it can't be too stiff.

 

Thanks in advance for any info.

post #2 of 12

Scruffy

 

I have a pair of 177 El Caps that reside at Platty - they even have Griffon demo bindings on them if you want to take them for a few runs!

 

Look up lemon Zest review

post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old fart carver View Post
 

Scruffy

 

I have a pair of 177 El Caps that reside at Platty - they even have Griffon demo bindings on them if you want to take them for a few runs!

 

Look up lemon Zest review


Are they turny enough for the trees at Platty. I was considering these to replace my Soul 7's which seem to get bounced around too much on a typical East Coast powder day (not they've been out this year).

post #4 of 12


Rather play - The Capo"s have been out, they are daily drivers at Platty with my bones - El Cap's love the block, the double - heck the whole east ! If your driving vs. riding you'll be ok in the trees, they like to charge. Then again the bones would be an good choice as well and a bit more mellow!

 

I believe Scruffy was looking west but its a great ski to have in the garage for east as well. They complimented the bones for me better than last years Cochise.

 

Leaving in a few hours for Big Sky and the Caps didn't make the cut. I'm going Bones and GPO's in case we get some!!

 

Wondering now if I made the right choice..... thanks Scruffy.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old fart carver View Post
 

Scruffy

 

I have a pair of 177 El Caps that reside at Platty - they even have Griffon demo bindings on them if you want to take them for a few runs!

 

Look up lemon Zest review

 

 Thanks for the offer OFC.  I see you're leaving for Big Sky, and then I'm off to CO. So prolly won't be able to demo at Platty for a while, by then I hope to have pulled the trigger on something. Thanks for the info on the El Caps.

post #6 of 12

In your shoes, of those 3 skis, I'd pick the Vagabond 185.

 

The El C would make the contest tough, but your stated length of 177 is too short for your stated torso length, IMO.

 

But honestly, in the "class" of skis you're looking at I'd get a pair of leftover Hell and Backs.  Covers a wider range, IMO.

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRPufnStf View Post
 

In your shoes, of those 3 skis, I'd pick the Vagabond 185.

 


I think so too, the El Cap is probably a little stiff for a guy that weighgs 175 and might not feel as floaty either, but dive since it won't bend as much. The Unleashed is fun, but won't be nearly as fun as the Vagabond on the frontside trails.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRPufnStf View Post
 

In your shoes, of those 3 skis, I'd pick the Vagabond 185.

 

The El C would make the contest tough, but your stated length of 177 is too short for your stated torso length, IMO.

 

But honestly, in the "class" of skis you're looking at I'd get a pair of leftover Hell and Backs.  Covers a wider range, IMO.

 

Thanks for the post. The Hell and Back looks like a nice ski. The thing is I have the 98mm covered with my Bonafides.

post #9 of 12

177 is the right size for you on the El Cap. I skied the 185 but bought the 177 and I am 6'2" 185lbs. The 177 is a tad shorter than I normally ski, but the 185 was just too much ski for me. I didn't measure, but philpug says the ski runs long.

 

The El Cap is really quite stiff underfoot, but softish in the tips and tails. It is a very fun, and good ski, but it does need some effort on your part to come alive. I like metal so I got the El Caps over the Vagabond. Even at 177 it has good float IMO. I just skied it the other day in about 4" of heavy cream type snow even though my daily driver has become the new Mantra, it was really fun ski it again. I found that the ski is much more in its element in heavier type powder than the really light blower stuff.

 

One other thing I'll mention is I also took it out in the moguls for five or six runs and for its width I found it to be a really friendly bump ski I believe due to its shape and flex pattern. The downside is that they are heavy so it will wear you out faster. And again, it really is quite stiff underfoot, you'll either really love that or hate that.

 

Hope that helps some, if you have any specific questions about the El Capo feel free to ask.

LZ

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Zest View Post
 

177 is the right size for you on the El Cap. I skied the 185 but bought the 177 and I am 6'2" 185lbs. The 177 is a tad shorter than I normally ski, but the 185 was just too much ski for me. I didn't measure, but philpug says the ski runs long.

 

The El Cap is really quite stiff underfoot, but softish in the tips and tails. It is a very fun, and good ski, but it does need some effort on your part to come alive. I like metal so I got the El Caps over the Vagabond. Even at 177 it has good float IMO. I just skied it the other day in about 4" of heavy cream type snow even though my daily driver has become the new Mantra, it was really fun ski it again. I found that the ski is much more in its element in heavier type powder than the really light blower stuff.

 

One other thing I'll mention is I also took it out in the moguls for five or six runs and for its width I found it to be a really friendly bump ski I believe due to its shape and flex pattern. The downside is that they are heavy so it will wear you out faster. And again, it really is quite stiff underfoot, you'll either really love that or hate that.

 

Hope that helps some, if you have any specific questions about the El Capo feel free to ask.

LZ

 

Thanks Lemon, how are they in the trees? 

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRUFFY View Post
 

 

Thanks Lemon, how are they in the trees? 


Really pretty good! Now I don't ski really thick trees, so bear that in mind.. but what I've found is that they are pretty nimble for a ski this thick and burly due to their shape.. early rise, hammerhead shovel, softish tips, friendly tapered tail, just a bit of rise back there.. and not because they are light, or have a small turning radius (they don't). You do need to work them.. they want to run, not just footle about. In other words they are nimble for what they are, but not necessarily a playful ski. Hope that makes sense.

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
 


I think so too, the El Cap is probably a little stiff for a guy that weighgs 175 and might not feel as floaty either, but dive since it won't bend as much. The Unleashed is fun, but won't be nearly as fun as the Vagabond on the frontside trails.

I have the Vagabond in 177.  I am 5'10", 170lbs.  Even though the 177 really is about 181 in true length, it skis short because of the rocker design, but that is ok with me because I'm older and like to ski slow and turny and it's great for that.  I have only used it on Eastern man-made so far, but it was very manageable and fun.  This is the widest ski I have ever owned.  Hope to get it in deeper snow soon.

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