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Need a new All Mountain Front

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm 6'1 190lbs, and ski out west. I really need a new All mountain frontside ski. By All-mountain I really mean I will use it both on groomers and off-piste in up to about 6" of fresh, but usually on packed powder conditions. I also need a ski that performs really well on moguls. The moguls I ski are either on black rated runs or found off piste in the trees on steeper pitches. The better it can handle mixed conditions the better.

 

On the groomers I ski fast but not race fast. I recently learned how to properly carve so a ski that also carves well is important although it doesn't need to be a super technical type carver. I find a waist width of about 85mm to be ideal a little more or a little less is fine. I have a fatter ski for anything over 6" or for really cruddy conditions.

 

I do not want a super stiff ski, but no noodles either. A good medium-stiff flex seems ideal. I also like damp skis with metal and... not sure this is entirely possible, but I'd also like a ski on the lighter side- not super light though, just not super heavy. Edge grip is really important.

 

I recently demoed the Salomon X-Drive 80 FS and it seemed to fit almost all these characteristics to a T and I really liked it but I did not get a chance to take them into the moguls. Also the X-Drive 88 seems like it would be a little more ideal waist width.

 

Can anyone suggest some similar skis I should be looking at? I'm OK with a slightly older model ski as well. I also liked the RTM 84 but it may be too stiff for moguls? And the Experience 84 was nice just wasn't substantial enough for me.

 

Oh! One last very important thing... want a shorter radius ski... somewhere between 15-18m is ideal!

 

Rep to everyone who responds.

 

Thanks!

Erich

post #2 of 26
Thread Starter 

Just to bump and recap:

 

Looking for a new All mountain front ski around ~85mm waist, 15-18m radius, medium-stiff, damp and preferably with a sheet of metal but still relatively lightweight. Advanced skier, want to carve, and ski steeps and moguls (black rated, not double-black just yet) in mostly packed powder, groomed and variable conditions.

 

I am looking for more suggestions that fit these requirements. I have selected a couple more skis from this thread: http://www.epicski.com/t/127755/return-of-the-crazy-88s-2015-version

  • Salomon X-Drive 8.8 FS (checks all the boxes except it may be too stiff)
  • Stockli Stormrider 88 (damp. metal, lightweight, forgiving, expensive)
  • Nordica NRGY 90 (sort of metal, maybe too soft, too soft-snow biased)
  • Volkl RTM 84 (demoed this, was fun to ski, but was unsure of bump performance)

 

I can demo all of these. Any comments, additions and suggestions are appreciated. Thank you

 

Erich

post #3 of 26

If you haven't already, read the reviews in this thread. These are the type of skis that seem to fit your needs.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/125863/2015-skis-quick-reviews-and-overviews-frontside-models-from-nordica-rossignol-fischer-kastle-dynastar

post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the link JimH. I have added a couple more skis to the table:

 

  • Salomon X-Drive 8.8 FS
  • Stockli Stormrider 88
  • Nordica NRGY 90
  • Volkl RTM 84
  • Kastle MX88
  • Blizzard Brahma
  • Fischer Ranger 88

 

I've read reviews on all of these and I think I have a general idea of what they offer. But any specific comments, experiences, or suggestions are still welcome...

post #5 of 26
Head Supershape Titan of which I have a pair 177's for sale. smile.gif
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich View Post
 

Thank you for the link JimH. I have added a couple more skis to the table:

 

  • Salomon X-Drive 8.8 FS
  • Stockli Stormrider 88
  • Nordica NRGY 90
  • Volkl RTM 84
  • Kastle MX88
  • Blizzard Brahma
  • Fischer Ranger 88

 

I've read reviews on all of these and I think I have a general idea of what they offer. But any specific comments, experiences, or suggestions are still welcome...

 

Glad the link was helpful.  My ski in that range is the Fischer Motive 88 (predecessor to the Motive 86).  It works very well for me here in the east where grip on firm snow is important as well as on the annual trip out to Colorado.  I had hoped to demo the Ranger 88 last month, but the pair in my size were out when I visited the Fischer tent.  For the west, the Ranger might be a more versatile choice over a Motive 86 or 95.  Lots of good skis in your list.  It all comes down to what you like. 

post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 

Still on my quest to find a good All mountain front. I guess this isn't a very popular ski segment here on Epic. Just looking to spur a bit of discussion. I know SIA is going on so probably most of the excitement is on next year's skis, too.

 

I'm slowly demoing as many skis as I can and documenting my experiences with them. I might have trouble demoing the Kastle and Fischer however I should be able to demo the rest. Recently got on the Head Supershape Titan and it was a pretty fun ski. Very good carver however wasn't really able to take them off-piste.

 

So far I like the Salomon 8.8 FS just wish it was a bit softer, and the Stockli Stormrider 88 had the softer flex I was looking for, but its very expensive. And by softer, it was no noodle by any means for those who have ridden the SR88 you know what I mean.

 

Question then, are there any other skis in this category with a similar flex to the SR88 but maybe a tad less damp, and most importantly cheaper?

post #8 of 26
i tried many skis in the segment and i would strongly recommand the blizzard brahma. i find it firm, but not too stiff, damp, easy to carve, pivot, smear, pop...
at your height/weight you will hesitate between the 180 and 187, i would recommend 187. i have a few pairs of ski, if I had to ride only one for the rest of my life in all conditions it would be the 187 brahma.
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 

I have demoed many more skis and have narrowed down my focus a bit more. Also upon advice and suggestions from my instructor and some other professionals, I have decided I want a ~15m radius ski. So the 20m type skis are out.

 

My current skill level as evaluated by my instructor is an upper intermediate who is progressing into an advanced student. I'm currently working on engaging inside ski outside edge in all turn types both on and off piste. My goal by season's end is to be a solid advanced skier.

 

I have eliminated all of my original list:

 

  • Salomon X-Drive 8.8 FS (Demoed; Too stiff, Turn Radius too long)
  • Stockli Stormrider 88 (Demoed; Very nice ski, loved the flex but TR too long)
  • Nordica NRGY 90 (Demoed and did not like the 100, and TR too long)
  • Volkl RTM 84 (Demoed; Nice ski, I liked the rocker, but I've been advised to stick with traditional camber, TR too long)
  • Kastle MX88 (TR, too demanding a ski from what I've read)
  • Blizzard Brahma (Demoed and like the bonafide, and am intrigued by an 88m version, but the TR is too long)
  • Fischer Ranger 88 (TR too long)

 

In their place I have added:

 

  • Rossignol Experience 84
  • Rossignol Experience 88
  • Head Rev 85 Pro
  • Fischer Motive 86 Ti

 

I am unable to demo any of these except for the Experience 88. I like a little bit of metal in my skis and the Experience series doesn't have any but I am open to change. They have basalt or carbon I think in them? The Head and Fischer both have a sheet of metal. I just don't want to get a ski that is too stiff and not compliant especially in the bumps. I don't want an expert-level ski, I want something suitable for my skill level. Any additional advice or suggestions are appreciated, thank you.

Erich

post #10 of 26

Of the four you've got left, isn't the Rev the only ski with the short turning radius you're looking for?

post #11 of 26
Why are you so set on a 15m TR? You need a ski around 180cm and that eliminates most all mountain skis. For example, the Elan Amphibio 88xti has a 15.5m TR at 170cm, but 178 the TR is 17.2m and at 186 its 19m. Trying to decide on a ski based on specs and what others like is not a wise use of money.
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRPufnStf View Post
 

Of the four you've got left, isn't the Rev the only ski with the short turning radius you're looking for?

  •     Rossignol Experience 84    178cm 16r
  •     Rossignol Experience 88    180cm 17r
  •     Head Rev 85 Pro                 177cm 15,9r
  •     Fischer Motive 86 Ti            175cm 17r

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

Why are you so set on a 15m TR? You need a ski around 180cm and that eliminates most all mountain skis. For example, the Elan Amphibio 88xti has a 15.5m TR at 170cm, but 178 the TR is 17.2m and at 186 its 19m. Trying to decide on a ski based on specs and what others like is not a wise use of money.

mtcyclist, thank you for weighing in on my thread. I appreciate your thoughts and agree that specs and second hand advice alone are not enough to make a wise decision. I also agree it does eliminate most all-mountain skis. By all-mountain mostly I am looking for some gentle tip rocker, a friendly shovel shape for off-piste, and maybe just a tiny bit of tail rocker too. A nice not too stiff flex.. and no flat splayed racing tail. I have tried taking a fully cambered ski off piste and it wasn't much fun for me.

 

I am set on a roughly 15m radius ski because one of my goals this season is to get really proficient at carving and the shorter radius is conducive to that. It's also really fun to me making shorter turns. And this will serve also as my hard snow frontside ski. But if I have to go up a few meters, I will.

 

I have tried to demo as much as I can this season and I have gotten a much better feel and idea of whats out there and possible in ski construction so hopefully that will help me make a wise choice, too.

 

One reason the Head Rev Pro intrigues me is because it apparently has dual radius's... sharper in the tip and gentler in the tail.

 

Right now I am on a big fat 105mm (I think) board with a 23 or 24 radius and I really really want to size down especially this year with such low snow. I've never looked or researched this much into gear before so it's all a learning process for me.

 

I am open to suggestions, if you think ~15m boards are too turny for all mountain I'll listen. I *did* really like the SR88 (it's 19m @ 177cm) and my local shop is willing to wheel and deal me a new pair with the salomon bindings mounted for $800.. yes still pricey but it brings it down into attainable range. I can get the Head Rev 85 pro with bindings for $700. Everything else is still full retail.

 

Sorry for the novel,

Erich

post #13 of 26

I am 5'11" 195lbs and looking for an All Mountain (East Coast) and am considering the Dynastar Powertrack 89 or 84, probably the 89.  Seems to get good reviews,  friend of mine said they are light and nimble but rock steady at speed.  However the turning radius is maybe too high for you at 17. But do only have a gentle rocker

 

http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/preview-2014-2015-dynastar-powertrack-89

post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by padster View Post
 

I am 5'11" 195lbs and looking for an All Mountain (East Coast) and am considering the Dynastar Powertrack 89 or 84, probably the 89.  Seems to get good reviews,  friend of mine said they are light and nimble but rock steady at speed.  However the turning radius is maybe too high for you at 17. But do only have a gentle rocker

 

http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/preview-2014-2015-dynastar-powertrack-89

 

Good call.  I skied both of these at the demos this week and they're both nice, easy turn initiation and soft enough that I could bend them into any shape turn I wanted.

post #15 of 26
Thanks. How would they especially the Powertracks 89 be in the bumps/moguls & trees? The 89 has that sheet of metal which is good for charging down the steep cruddy groomers but not sure how it would be in the bumps etc. I was also looking at the Blizzard Bushwacker but they may have more rocker & maybe less edge hold on the ice.
post #16 of 26

The Powertrack 89 is fine, at least for me, in the bumps.  I skied both on a run that included groomers, trees and bumps.  I'm about 155 pounds in ski gear and it is not a terribly stiff ski, my Nordica Steadfast is stiffer and it had no metal.

post #17 of 26

Thanks, sounds like a ski I would like.  I am probably now more of an advanced intermediate, and my skills in the trees and bumps need to improve quite a bit!   However I can still charge down steep cruddy, choppy, black groomers.  The Powertrack 89 could be on for me, I am going to look at them today, maybe a Marker Griffon, Squire or Jester binding.  The Steadfast was another ski I was considering along with the Head Venturi.

post #18 of 26
The Steadfast was replaced last year by the NRGy90 and was a ski designed for advanced-expert skiers, much stiffer than the Powertrack.
post #19 of 26

Thanks again mtcyclist!  I think the Powertrack 89 will suit me as an advanced intermediate now but needs a ski that I can grow into again and improve!  Erich, have you put either of the Powertracks on your list?

post #20 of 26

Given your vector of improvement, I suggest you do not eliminate the Kastle MX88 from your list.  I do not think you would find it too demanding at all.  I think you might very well find it makes you a a better skier.

 

Elsewhere, knowledgeable people have pointed out that the MX88 and MX83 are extremely similar - the main difference is the available lengths of the skis.  The MX88 comes in 158, 168, 178, 188; the MX83 comes in 153, 163, 173, 183.  So, choose the appropriate length first.  

 

They are pricey - but I'm very happy with mine & they seem to fit your criteria.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Erich View Post
 

I have demoed many more skis and have narrowed down my focus a bit more. ...

 

I have eliminated all of my original list:

 

...

  • Kastle MX88 (TR, too demanding a ski from what I've read)

 

 

 

...

 

Any additional advice or suggestions are appreciated, thank you.

Erich

post #21 of 26
Think I am going with the powertrack 84 now!
post #22 of 26

mtcyclist:  What differences did you see between the 84 and 89 Powertracks? I have not demoed them but I looked at both in the store and liked the weight of the 84 as a playfull, nimble ski just concerned at the stability at speed? Thanks.  They had Fischer Ranger 88 there as well

post #23 of 26

PM sent

post #24 of 26

My op on the NRGY 90

 

2 planks

needs speed to work

not an all mountain ski as described but more frontside super g turn shape but not stable at speed go figure

not stable at speed

not turny in bumps

didn't feel slarvy for a rockered ski

post #25 of 26

176 Nordica Fire Arrow EDT's FTW Thumbs Up 

post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 

So just an update for those curious, and a thank you to all who helped. I ended up buying the Rossignol Experience 84. I could not demo any Kastles plus I got a great deal on the Rossi's. I like them pretty well so far. They do have a tendency to want to lock into a set turnshape. You can overcome it but the tendency is there. However, the subtle rocker, the overall flex and shape and turn radius are all great and boy do they like to carve. Taken them a bit off piste too and they perform well there. One day I'll move up to a more expert ski but this is a good fit in the meantime.

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