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Sizing and buying skis undemoed, blizzard bushwacker?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi all, 

 

Any recommendations to me, I need (want) new skis.

 

I´m 5´8" and 150lbs in shape and probably upper intermediate(level 7?) skier, I truly don´t know, but I feel safe on skis.

 

I´ve skied since I was a kid but quit racing in my early teens, I´m now closing in on 40 and haven´t skied much the last ten years,  now  about 10 days a year. My current skiis are pair of  9 year old Salomon 165cm scrambler 8, they work but I don´t really like them. The scramblers are nice on a new (red/blue) groomer, decent on chopped up snow, but the don´t feel to support me on hard snow or ice, neither when pushed (steep red/normal black) but that could be me lacking in skills.

 

It´s almost impossible for me to demo skiis before purchase, also cost wise it´s easily two pairs and a weekend skiing for the cost of getting to a demo place and buying after a demo. I´ve read everything I could find and I have browsed the local skishops, so there is a shortlist.

 

1)I don´t want skiis above my ability to handle, a little challenge to keep learning and pushing myself is fine though.

2)I still spend most of my time on the hill playing around with my kids (and other beginners in the family) but I get more and more alone time to ski in my own pace. Learning snowboardning is a another way to combat boredom...

3)I want fun skis, that work well under most conditions, I rarely have the opportunity to venture off pist or enjoy powder.

 

I have had the following recommended by stores;

 

Salomon Q-85, 174cm

Dynastar Chamonix 87, 174cm

Scott the ski, ( to expensive)

Blizzard Brahma 173cm, since I enjoy beat up snow.

 

I´ve added the following to my shortlist

Blizzard Bushwacker, 173cm

Blizzard Brahma, 167

Blizzard Black Pearl, 166cm ( womens model but who cares? )

 

I lean heavily toward the 173cm bushwacker, I ski a little bit aggresive but I´m fairly light, short and a little bit rusty, so I fear it might be a tad long. All the skiis are priced equal around the equivalent of 400USD including bindings, one alternative is to wait to the end of the season or the next, the blizzard models are all from 2014 hence the price. 

 

All and any advice is highly appriciated =)

post #2 of 19

Welcome to Epic.  Where do you live that you can't demo skis?  Most shops will credit the cost of the demo if you end up purchasing the ski.  Many ski areas have demo days when a local shop or two will bring out their demo fleet for people to try and that is usually free.

 

Some thoughts:  How old are your boots?  Sometimes all someone has to do is get boots that fit properly and suddenly their skis are much better than they thought.  Properly fitted boots are the key to success at skiing.  As long as I have my boots I can ski on just about any ski and have a good time.  I can go to the industry demo days at Copper Mountain and actually be able to tell fairly subtle differences in performance from one ski to another.  I could not have done that 10 years ago when I was skiing in boots that were 2 sizes too big.  As for skis, reading reviews can be dangerous for your wallet.  Based on reviews I was sure I wanted a pair of Line Prophet 90s several years ago.  When I demoed them I thought I had 2x4s on my feet, they just didn't agree with how and what I ski.  During that same time I also demoed the Bushwacker and while it was OK, I wasn't impressed enough to buy it.  I bought a Nordica Steadfast and four years later it is still my daily driver, but there are plenty of people who don't like it for one reason or another.  I was excited to try the Rossi Super 7 several years ago and couldn't wait to get them off my feet after less than 100 yards.  What it boils down to is what works for me may not work for you.

 

The only ski on your list that I've tried is the Bushwacker.  I have skied the Salomon Q90 and thought it was a pretty easy ski and fairly responsive, but the Q85 may not be the same.

 

As for size, keep in mind that all the skis on your list, except maybe The Ski, have some amount of rocker or early rise so they will ski shorter than the stated length.  I'm only 5'7" and my Steadfasts are 170, my Atomic Rituals are 176 and I'm going to demo ON3P Billy Goats in 186 because they have substantially more rocker than either the Ritual or Steadfast.  For a more frontside biased ski, I'll demo 165-170 but they have very little if any early rise.

post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
 

 Where do you live that you can't demo skis?  

 

Here's my guess: England.  

post #4 of 19

PS --

 

Welcome to Epic, reboot.

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the welcomes and the advice, all is appreciated.

 

 

Not England =) I´m in Sweden, but closest good slopes and skishop is probably a 5 hour drive away, add hotell, lift ticket, skiis for resort price and the drive home. Fair amount of "decent" slopes much closer to home, but not with good shops.

 

Boots are new from last year, Salomon impact 8 I think with a custom footbed (the footbed is my best skiing investment ever), maybe not the best boot but they fit very well and I like them.

 

I´m torn between buying blind (fairly cheap) now and take a gamble that I can get a weekend late season, hope for nice skiing and sales.

Between end of season and now I´ve booked a weeks skiing and is planning a second, none at the big resorts however.

Itching for new gear now. There is a backup plan to snowboard this season, but I need to get way more training days if I´m going to survive a whole week, the season so far has been hard snowwith plenty off ice, that and keeping the kids under control with a handful of days on snowboard is taxing...

post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by reboot View Post
 

Hi all, 

 

Any recommendations to me, I need (want) new skis.

 

I´m 5´8" and 150lbs in shape and probably upper intermediate(level 7?) skier, I truly don´t know, but I feel safe on skis.

 

I´ve skied since I was a kid but quit racing in my early teens, I´m now closing in on 40 and haven´t skied much the last ten years,  now  about 10 days a year. My current skiis are pair of  9 year old Salomon 165cm scrambler 8, they work but I don´t really like them. The scramblers are nice on a new (red/blue) groomer, decent on chopped up snow, but the don´t feel to support me on hard snow or ice, neither when pushed (steep red/normal black) but that could be me lacking in skills.

 

It´s almost impossible for me to demo skiis before purchase, also cost wise it´s easily two pairs and a weekend skiing for the cost of getting to a demo place and buying after a demo. I´ve read everything I could find and I have browsed the local skishops, so there is a shortlist.

 

1)I don´t want skiis above my ability to handle, a little challenge to keep learning and pushing myself is fine though.

2)I still spend most of my time on the hill playing around with my kids (and other beginners in the family) but I get more and more alone time to ski in my own pace. Learning snowboardning is a another way to combat boredom...

3)I want fun skis, that work well under most conditions, I rarely have the opportunity to venture off pist or enjoy powder.

 

I have had the following recommended by stores;

 

Salomon Q-85, 174cm

Dynastar Chamonix 87, 174cm

Scott the ski, ( to expensive)

Blizzard Brahma 173cm, since I enjoy beat up snow.

 

I´ve added the following to my shortlist

Blizzard Bushwacker, 173cm

Blizzard Brahma, 167

Blizzard Black Pearl, 166cm ( womens model but who cares? )

 

I lean heavily toward the 173cm bushwacker, I ski a little bit aggresive but I´m fairly light, short and a little bit rusty, so I fear it might be a tad long. All the skiis are priced equal around the equivalent of 400USD including bindings, one alternative is to wait to the end of the season or the next, the blizzard models are all from 2014 hence the price. 

 

All and any advice is highly appriciated =)


reboot, Bushwacker and Black Pearl are the same ski just different top sheets. I believe and might be wrong but the Brahma is very similar to the Bushwacker in dimensions but it has metal in it and the Bushwacker doesn't. There is a lot of tip rocker in the Bushwacker ski line so the 173cm you are thinking about will ski quite a bit shorter than a 173cm ski with little to no rocker. I have never skied on the Bushwacker but I have friends who I have watched skiing in a lot of different conditions on the Bushwacker and Black Pearl and they were doing anything they wanted with the skis. Lacked nothing in tracked out and softer bumps, held well with firm groomers I won't say hardpack or boiler plate but some stiffness to the snow.  They won't be above your ability.

post #7 of 19

I am in my second year of skiing the Bushwacker. I am about the same size as you, maybe 10 pounds heavier. Advanced skier, but still learning.

 

Love my 173 Bushwacker. I initially thought they were too long but I am so glad I did not go shorter. Very light and lively, and for my weight they handle softer crud and bumps very well, but I ski Colorado and the snow is usually light


Their weakness is hardpack. We have had almost zero snow in a month and the Bushwackers are not working well in this snow. I would say the Brahmas, which are Bushwackers with metal, which helps edging, would handle this kind of snow much better. I am actually looking for second pair of skis that can hold and edge better in rock hard snow.

 

If you ski mostly power and softer snow: Bushwacker

If you ski harder snow too: Brahma

post #8 of 19
I'm 5'8"and 140#. Also second year on my Bushwackers. Probably an 8 skier. (though after viewing a video from last Sunday, I'm not so sure) 173 is perfect for me. In general, the sweet spot in length for me is either side of 170 cm. Love them.
post #9 of 19

Reboot -- I'm about the same size as you:  5' 9" and 148 lbs.  I bought the Bushwacker in 173 last year after demo-ing several skis, including the Brahma.  I love the Bushwacker for playing around in trees and bumps, and it's fine on groomed slopes.  I found the Brahma too stiff for me.  One other ski that you might want to consider is the Salomon X-Drive 8.8 in 172.  I demo'ed it two weeks ago.  On the spectrum between finesse and control, I found the X-Drive to be in between the BW and the Brahma.  Easier to ski than the Brahma and more secure feeling than the BW on steep, crud-laden slopes.  And it has a certain smoothness that neither of the Blizzards quite reach.  I didn't have a chance to try the Salomon in trees and serious moguls, so I can't vouch for them in those conditions.       

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

...One other ski that you might want to consider is the Salomon X-Drive 8.8 in 172.  I demo'ed it two weeks ago.  On the spectrum between finesse and control, I found the X-Drive to be in between the BW and the Brahma.  Easier to ski than the Brahma and more secure feeling than the BW on steep, crud-laden slopes.  And it has a certain smoothness that neither of the Blizzards quite reach.  I didn't have a chance to try the Salomon in trees and serious moguls, so I can't vouch for them in those conditions.       

What's the tip and tail rocker like on the Solly's vs. the BW/Brahma's?

post #11 of 19
Wow your story is pretty much mine. 5'6 150 took many years off until this yr. I bought 173 bushwackers and they feel like the perfect length and I really like them for everything but grip in hardpack. It's not like they're bad I just want that on rails carvy grip instead if a little skidding before they engage. As you say though some of it is less than perfect form. Definitely true in my case. No crime in wanting it to be easier though.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski-ra View Post
 

What's the tip and tail rocker like on the Solly's vs. the BW/Brahma's?

 

ski-ra --

 

I can only give you my best guess answer -- I didn't take my BWs to the Demo Day when I tried the Salomons, and I'm at work now so I can't even run down to the basement to look at my BWs.

 

I think the tail rise is about the same, maybe a touch more for the BWs.  I'm pretty sure the BWs have more tip rise than the X-Drives.  OTOH, the Solly's have reduced-weight tips -- they use some to the honey-comb material like in the Rossi Soul and Sin 7s -- not as much as the Rossii (plural of Rossi?); the X-Drives have a triangle of the stuff on each side of the tip.  I think the Solly's are heavier than the BWs (and maybe even heavier than the Brahmas) -- but they didn't ski like a heavy ski, just a smoother ski.

 

Hope this helps.  Maybe those Epic members who run/own or work in ski shops will be able to answer your question more accurately than I can.

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post
 

 

ski-ra --

 

I can only give you my best guess answer -- I didn't take my BWs to the Demo Day when I tried the Salomons, and I'm at work now so I can't even run down to the basement to look at my BWs.

 

I think the tail rise is about the same, maybe a touch more for the BWs.  I'm pretty sure the BWs have more tip rise than the X-Drives.  OTOH, the Solly's have reduced-weight tips -- they use some to the honey-comb material like in the Rossi Soul and Sin 7s -- not as much as the Rossii (plural of Rossi?); the X-Drives have a triangle of the stuff on each side of the tip.  I think the Solly's are heavier than the BWs (and maybe even heavier than the Brahmas) -- but they didn't ski like a heavy ski, just a smoother ski.

 

Hope this helps.  Maybe those Epic members who run/own or work in ski shops will be able to answer your question more accurately than I can.

No problem - I own the BW's and find that the fairly substantial tip/tail rocker makes the tip/tail fairly useless for turn initiation/finish in anything but 4"+ of fairly fresh snow.  I've had to modify my technique on packed runs (including moguls) to ski only from underfoot.  It works well though I sometimes miss the ability to pressure the tip/tail into/out of a turn.  Less rocker would help but then again they ski like Powder skis in a foot of snow, so It's just a matter of picking where on the packed vs. fresh snow spectrum you want your skis to be designed for.  Since I have pow skis I think a little less rocker would be better and will look at the Solly's next time (along with a few other similarly slightly less-rockered skis) 

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubesteak View Post

Wow your story is pretty much mine. 5'6 150 took many years off until this yr. I bought 173 bushwackers and they feel like the perfect length and I really like them for everything but grip in hardpack. It's not like they're bad I just want that on rails carvy grip instead if a little skidding before they engage. As you say though some of it is less than perfect form. Definitely true in my case. No crime in wanting it to be easier though.


I'm 5'5", 130# and have the 166cm BW's.  I find the edge grip to be plenty if I ski it mainly from underfoot - as long as I don't try to initiate a turn using the tip they don't skid any more for me than an unrockered ski.  Once the turn is initiated and the ski tipped well over they do feel close to being on rails, but the "rails carvy grip" does not occur throughout the turn.  Definitely requires a technique modification which is mostly worth it given how much better these ski in crud and fresh/deeper snow than an unrockered ski.  Nevertheless I would trade in a little less tip rocker (and pow-ability) for being able to use the tip a bit more for turn initiation.  Compromises...compromises:rolleyes 

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 

Tubesteak =) nice, let´s hope for a great season.

Everyone, all advice and experiences shared is most valued.

 

A small update

It might be possible to rent a pair of bushwackers over the weekend, unfortunatly I´ve just learned that fresh powder is great for skiing but, not so great for bicycles, so I´m uncertain if I´m in shape to push enough for a good evalutaion. The rent is also quite steep roughly 10-20% off the purchase price.

 

I´ve dug around  localy and found another skii that might fit, the Head rev 85 pro, it seems to be a better trail/pist ski than the bushwackers. I really enjoyed off trail "back in the days", but to be honest it will be light and scarce with usage outside the trail for the coming 3-5 years, so trail/pist performance is very important.

 

Powder is very rare and man made snow is common, so ski-ra your input is noted! Regarding the Salomon skiis The x-drive seems hard to get in widths above 80 here, the X-pros though are available everywhere in 70-73, custom order of the x-drive is always possible, but for that I could buy both the bushwackers and pure trail ski. Salomon Quest series are available everywhere.

 

The Heads and Quest can be bought localy(big plus), so that combined with all the input of this thread so far, puts the Head high on the list, the Quests are new and information is scarce.

post #16 of 19

Think of it this way.. The brahma is a BW or BP with a metal strip inside.. If you do a lot of bump skiing and tight trees go with the BW if you like speed and like to let it rip especially in harder conditions go with the Brahma.. Both should definitely sized larger than your current skis as they do ski shorter.. The brahmas are stiff enough that you have a lot of stability at speed but it also makes you work a lot harder in the bumps..

 

I'm 6', 210lbs and ski a 180, I was originally looking at a 173 but glad I sized up, if I didn't hit bumped up terrain as much as I do, I would be happy on a 187.. If you hit mostly powder conditions I would consider the bonifide @ 173

 

 

FYI I ski the following..

 

trees/park/serious bumps - Nordica soul riders at 169

every day conditions and ICE  Brahma @ 180

Powder days and hero Groomers Bonifide @ 187

 

I have demos just about every ski one can and owned some Salomon and Fischers as well..  I'm contemplating replacing the Bonifide with the Peacemaker

post #17 of 19
I demo'd the Peacemaker last year at Alta in boot top pow. Nice ride. I have both BW and Bones in 173. 5'8, 140#.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

ok it´s done, a have a pair of Head Rev 85 Pros´s (got a deal on them at a local shop).

I haven´t attached the bindings yet so they can still be returned, need to figure out if I should attach the power rail bindings and adjust them myself or let some semi pro do it. 

 

Will be back when they have been skiied.

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

Been on the snow now, very happy.

170cm is perfect, longer would probably work fine on good snow, but today was heavy new wet snow and the skiis where agile and fun.

 

Compared to my old Salomon scrambler 8s the Rev 85 Pros are so much more stable and responsive, simply the new skiis are so much more better on everything. What previosly would have been a "bad" day on bad snow became a good day on bad snow. Only regret I have is that I didn´t buy new skiis earlier =)

 

Case is closed, thanks for the help.

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