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All Mtn Western Ski Choices

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello! I'm new here but have been reading a lot of the gear discussion for a couple of months.
I live in Utah and have a pass to Powder Mountain. Wow, what a poor winter to return to skiing!
Return? Yep! I had two horrible leg injuries over the past 10 years. Could have got back to skiing 2 or 3 years ago but didn't for whatever reason.
So, after a hiatus I'm back and loving it. Already got new boots (Salomon X Max 110) and am looking for skis. About me: 45 yo male, 6'0" and 190 lbs. I am an advanced/expert skier and I love all terrain except for bumps. I would say I'm more of a finesse than powerful skier and I enjoy carving turns and moderate speeds.
I have demo'd the Nordica NRGy 90 & 100 both in 185cm and also rented a pair of Salomon Q 85. I Loved the NRGy 90 on groomers but I didn't get them off piste much as it was only my 6th day back after a decade absence and wasn't feeling up to the challenging conditions. Demo'd the NRGY 100 yesterday and came away really impressed with their ability to have fun in un-groomed spring-like snow as well as some really manky conditions (3 week old, wind packed, re-frozen garbage). I've always felt those conditions above my comfort level but the big Nordis were truly great! On the other hand, the hard groomers (hard for UT) were less than a great ride on these skis. After coming away impressed with the 90's on groomers I was very surprised to find the NRGy 100's to be difficult to handle and a ton of work. It was tough to find the sweet spot and I felt a bit behind the curve on them at times. Odd, I thought. Maybe I should try them in the 177cm, but I'm not sure how much of a difference there may be.
The Salomon's were just not enough ski and I quickly found their speed limit but still had a nice time. I rented them just to check out what the new ski technology had to offer.
Unfortunately, demo choices around here a bit slim. My local shop has the Bonafide, Cochise & Q-Lab but didn't mount them for demo due to the low tide winter.
I'm looking for all-mountain directional ski suggestions that will excel in crud and manky snow while still being able to have fun throwing down medium to large radius carves on the groomers. I'm not worried about powder performance. I'm not interested in anything that includes the primary descriptors "slurvy, playful, smeary or surfy."
post #2 of 14

I am about your size and ability (although not yet expert, I would say, but I haven't had a ten year break, so I think we can call it even at this point). I totally get what you're saying about the Nrgy 100. I think we are looking for the same thing in a ski and experience the same strengths and weaknesses. 

 

As my daily driver in Europe I have the Fischer Ranger 88 TI, as part of a two-ski quiver (for powder days I have the 2014 Atomic Automatic). If I was looking for a 'do it all' ski, I think the Fischer Ranger 96 TI, maybe the 106 even, or the Motive 95 TI might suit you very well. I love the Fischers, because they give confidence but they don't give you a hard time; they are stable on speed (I don't ski at mach speeds, though), they are friendly, but they can handle anything from icy groomers up to a foot of fresh, they even made me like skiing bumps. 

 

I haven't skied the wider versions (96 or 106), but if they are anything like the 88's they should be on your short list I think.

 

Many here will recommend the Blizzard Bonafide or Völkl Mantra, but I think they'll be too beefy (they were for my taste, and I think our tastes are quite similar). I also love the K2 AMP Rictor 90 XTI, but I'm not sure what the wider version of that ski might be. The Annex 98 maybe? That could be a vary nice ski as well for what you want. But others should comment on that (I haven't skied the Annex, just some hand flexing in a shop).

 

Hope this helps.

 

One more thought: maybe you should also have a look at all-mountain twintips. Nordica Soulrider is great, as is the Atomic Riual (103) and Alibi (98 mm underfoot, same construction as Ritual). You have to get used to the longer tail, but you can play with the mounting point, I guess. Great versitility. If that's what you want, it's certainly worth a look.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input, Cheizz.
I really thought the NRGy 100 would be "the one." Alas, back to the drawing board. There is a pair of lightly used Kastle MX 98 (2010 or 2011 models) that I found for sale locally but they are only 174cm and I have no idea how they would handle difficult snow conditions.
Im not too keen on buying skis without trying them but I think that is what is going to happen. There just aren't many ski shops where I live, which is odd.
post #4 of 14

Can't comment on the Kastles, haven't skied any. But judging from reviews on this and other websites, I'd say they are pretty demanding skis (and great if you're into that kind of thing). But others should comment on that.

post #5 of 14
See if you can find the new Nordica Enforcer to demo, 100mm waist but quite different from the NRGy100. Quite a few, if not all, Nordica dealers got a black "prototype" to use for demos so they are around. The one we got was 177 and I think they all were 177. And definitely try the NRGY 100 in a 177. We sold several of them to guys your size.

And welcome to EpicSki.
post #6 of 14

I have a pair of QLab 183s, and I like it quite well….although I think the mounting point is a bit too far forward. I've skied it in everything except powder (damn this winter!) and it handles it's business adequately. Yesterday I was gifted a pair of K2's new Pinnacle 95--Holy S@#$! This ski will cripple your cheeks because nothing will be able to wipe the smile off your face. Put any anti-K2 biases aside and give this ski some consideration. 

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

SG, I have read over on Blister that the Q Lab's do seem to have a short shovel.  And now you mention it.  That's the kind of odd thing that tends to shy me away from a ski. 

 

Mtcyclist, Man, I sure would like to try out the new Nordica Enforcer.  Phil's write up was great.  My local Nordica dealer did not receive the prototype version.  Phil mentions in his review that they will be released for retail consumption sometime this month.  I might just buy that ski and be done with this whole process if/when they go on sale.

 

I am going to try the NRGy 100 in 177cm.  The crud/lousy snow performance was just too good to totally pass on giving this ski a whirl in a different length.  I don't know if the difference between the 185/177 will be that discernible.  I just loved the tip rocker and what it, combined with 100mm underfoot did in the challenging snow.

 

So, with that being said, what Kastle skis have a bit of front rocker or early rise?

Other skis I'm interested in are the Blizzard Bonafide, Dynatar Powertrack 89, Salomon Q 98 & 105, Line Sick Day 95 and the Line Supernatural 100.  I'm obviously open to other considerations so I appreciate any input.

 

I also have the new Mantra's available to demo but I've read a lot of negative press on them.  Thoughts?

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

See if you can find the new Nordica Enforcer to demo, 100mm waist but quite different from the NRGy100.

@mtcyclist, wondering if you could elaborate?  

 

The new Enforcer (if available) and the NRGY 100 are on my demo shortlist when I head to Colorado next week.  Gonna be at Steamboat for a week and then Winter Park the following week.  I'm looking for something to either replace or complement my Rossi E98s......something a bit less demanding and more versatile.  Wondering if one of these might be it.  Trying to decide if I want a ski that I need to keep on the gas or not.  Likely not so much.

 

@Shawn W Satch what about the Rossi Experience 100?  I have the E98 and wow does it rip.  Traditional feel, damp, very powerful.  You gotta stay on it though.  I'm 6'2", 185lbs, but I got it when I was 220lbs and I'm now looking for something more compliant.  My wishlist, which sounds similar to yours is a broad range though: Fischer Motive 95, Fischer Ranger 98 and 108, Atomic Vantage 100/Ritual, Nordica NRGY 100, Nordica Enforcer, and Line Supernatural 100.  I demo'd the Bonafide and really liked it, but that was also when I weighed 35lbs more.  I'm basically looking for a more compliant Bones, which still has some metal and can handle the crud, etc and a range of conditions without having to stay on the gas to keep on it.  Lemme know what you find out, sounds like we might be in the market for something similar.


Edited by Gunnerbob - 2/17/15 at 4:42pm
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Gunner, Thanks!  I will see if I can demo the Rossi E 100.  Initially I was put off by the weird looking sidecut (the shovel width is what, 140-ish?).  It just looks like it would not perform in the crud or wind-pack.  It looks hooky.

 

Re the NRGy 100, give them a go.  It's not that I didn't like the ski it just felt a bit weird on the firm groomers.  It took a lot of energy for me to get the most out of it but at the same time was not exhilarating when I managed to find the elusive sweet spot.  Not bad, just not "wow."  I was really shocked as it was such a different feel from the NRGy 90 185cm that I tried earlier this year.  That ski was easy to arc on the groomers and the tapered tail allowed you to slip out of the end of the turn to check speed when you wanted. 

 

Since we have a similar looking list of wants I'm interested in hearing what you think about the NRGy 100.

post #10 of 14

Yes, the E98 can be a bit hooky in deeper chop, but it seems the E100 tip has been redesigned to be less so.  With my E98, I sorta just have to point them and bulldoze through and muscle them a bit.  That said, the E98/100 act like a really powerful, wide GS ski with a deep sidecut.  They're quite turny for their size, I can't complain; they kill the groomers.  There is a ton of tail back there, so if you work a ski tip to tail, WOW they have some punch.  Don't get in the back seat or they'll take you for a ride!  But I'm looking for something better in the softer snow and that doesn't need Mach Schnell speeds to make me smile.  So debating whether I should sell my E98s and go with a replacement all-mountain ski, or get something softer/wider to complement them.  Time will tell.

 

From one of the shops at Steamboat, I'm looking at demoing the Soul 7, Mantra, and NRGY 100, maybe the Super 7.  Another shop has the Atomic Ritual and Armada TST, for skis more soft-snow biased.  Kastle isn't in my budget range so I'm not gonna bother demoing those.  Winter Park shop has the Q-Lab and Rocker2 100.  That should cover most of my potential choices.  But I'm really trying to find the new Enforcer if possible.

post #11 of 14

Our shop has the new Nordica Enforcers in stock and we're sold, I think, 6 pairs already plus a pair of Santa Anas(women's version).  I can't tell you the difference between the Enforcer and NRGy100 because I haven't skied the NRGy100, only the 90.  My boss has skied both quite a bit and he says they're very different and he prefers the Enforcer.

 

Correction:  we only have one Enforcer left, 186cm.


Edited by mtcyclist - 2/17/15 at 7:45pm
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn W Satch View Post
 

SG, I have read over on Blister that the Q Lab's do seem to have a short shovel.  And now you mention it.  That's the kind of odd thing that tends to shy me away from a ski. 

I like the ski, but I model could have been executed a little better. The 183 with it's "progressive" mounting position skis a bit short. A 188cm length would be ideal….or a 190 that doesn't jump to a 109 waist with a rebar tail  

 

So, with that being said, what Kastle skis have a bit of front rocker or early rise?

Other skis I'm interested in are the Blizzard Bonafide, Dynatar Powertrack 89, Salomon Q 98 & 105, Line Sick Day 95 and the Line Supernatural 100.  I'm obviously open to other considerations so I appreciate any input.

Give that new K2 Pinnacle 95 a shot. 

 

I also have the new Mantra's available to demo but I've read a lot of negative press on them.  Thoughts?

Negative press? Come on, you must have learned along the way not to believe everything you read. :rolleyes

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Speaking of "negative press" the Kastle FX 94 might as well come with a warning label and a hold-harmless agreement. The skiing magazine reviews don't jive with the reviews here. It's almost like the magazine testers relied on brand reputation/stigma for their write-ups. I'm sure that happens a lot though.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post
 

@mtcyclist, wondering if you could elaborate?  

 

The NRGy100 has the skeletal metal sheet and the Enforcer has two sheets of metal so the NRGy is lighter but the Enforcer is burlier.  The tip shapes are different as are the tails.  Although they are both 100mm under foot the other dimensions are different.

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