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First Pair of Skis

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I grew up skiing for vacation, took a few years off in my teens, started snow boarding when I came back and now I am back to skis after almost 10 years off.  This week we skied Breck and had a blast.  I bought boots after the first day in rentals that I could swim in.  I ended up with the Atomic Hawx 2.0 100's because of my narrow feet.  I love the boots and now I am looking at skis.


I was looking at skis even before this last week and the front runners seemed to be Atomic Theory's and Salomon Rocker 2's.  My primary concern is to get a ski that I can enjoy anywhere we go.  I ski one week a year.  We get a lot of vertical on Blue runs, but we like to take as many single diamonds as possible.  I want something that  can run groomers in any condition, but still be a good tool on more difficult terrain and bumps.


I rented the Salomon Enduro XT 800's (175) for one day and didn't like them.  This happened to be the day that I was on rental boots so that was probably a big factor.  I ended up with Volkl Mantras (170).  I really liked these skis.  We had great snow this week and they cut the fresh snow well, cut the chop well and drive hard on groomed trails.  I got into some trees that had legit powder and I don't think that is their strong point.  I also took them through some moguls and I didn't feel like they were at home here either.  I need plenty of work in the bumps, but the skis weren't doing me any favors.


I'm 6'2" and 170 lbs.  I like to go fast (this is relative I guess) and challenge myself.  Will the Atomic Theory's give me the same great performance on the groomers but give me some more comfort in deeper snow and/or in bumps?  Is there something else that I need to look at?  If I like the 170 length is there a reason to go longer?  


Educate me please.  I don't want to drop a bunch of money on ski's that will end up being a disappointment.


Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 6

Welcome to EpicSki.  You are unfortunately asking for the proverbial "one ski that will do it all" that doesn't exist.  Good on groomers in any conditions?  Does that include ice?  By definition a ski that's great on ice will totally suck in the bumps and a ski that's good in the bumps will be useless on ice.  You need a very stiff ski to hold an edge on ice but you need a relatively soft ski or a least a soft tail in the bumps.  And what do you mean by difficult terrain?  You definition and my definition are likely not the same.  And where do you ski?  Northeast, mountain west, Pacific northwest, Sierras?  What might approach being a one ski quiver in the northeast won't be the same as for other geographic areas like the Rockies or the Sierras.

post #3 of 6

^^^^ All this. Make a priority list. Start with a ski that can grip firm snow at moderate to decent speed. Then work backwards in order of the probability of terrain and conditions you will actually encounter one week a year planned well ahead so you can't time storms. 


But in general, I'd be as dubious about a fatter, softer wide ski like the Theory or Rocker 2 as I would about a fatter stiffer ski like the Mantra. The low to high 80 mm width range, depending on your size and where you ski, is the sweet spot for One Week One Ski Quivers. A ski that's a B+ across the board will make you happier for one week a year than a ski that will rock in the powder you hope will show - but may not - or the trees you think you want to ski but bag because of conditions. 

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys.  I know that I am not going to get the perfect ski that does it all in every condition.  I am just trying to find the most diverse ski that will keep me as happy as possible for how and where we like to ski.  If we end up with adverse conditions where another ski is needed then I can always rent something.


1) I don't want to plan on skiing ice.  I know that we will run into it from time to time, but I don't want to buy a ski with that intention.

2) Difficult terrain is definitely relative and I am sure that my difficult is substantially easier than yours.  I am not venturing out of bounds anywhere.  There isn't a blue trail that will bother me.  Black trails usually don't bother me unless they are exceptionally steep and/or have very difficult bumps.  If it helps, in Breck the most difficult terrain we ran was (all single black diamonds) Peak 6 Intuition (with bumps) difficult but manageable, Peak 8 Rounders no problem,  Peak 8 Upper 4 o'clock no problems, off of Chair 6 we took several runs and I think we took Quandry, Lobo and Amen although they all kind of run together up there (two of the runs had bumps), Frosty's wasn't too bad and we used Wanderlust a couple of times to get from peak 7 to 6.  We stayed away from all double diamonds.

3) We have always skied Colorado.  As a kid it was Winter Park a lot.  As an adult it was been Telluride, Steamboat and now Breck.  We will probably mix in Snowmass in the next couple of years b/c I have a young son that would probably love their huge facility.  As a general area though, we always go to Colorado.


Again I am 6'2" and 170 lbs.  I am willing to hear any recommendations you have.  The Mantra's were great except for when the snow got really deep (in the trees and my poles could mostly disappear in the snow) or on bumps.  It could have been better in both areas.  If I had to prioritize my preferences:

1) will let me drive them pretty hard on groomed trails with reasonable snow (meaning I will deal with ice conditions separately).  It snowed the whole time we were in Breck and the Mantras cut the fresh stuff and the chop with ease.

2) won't be so stiff that they are a detriment on bumps

3) if deep enough powder presents itself then we can still take a run at it


Thanks again

post #5 of 6
I'm no expert but something in a 90-100 range would be good for what you describe. There are too many to list but what comes to mind would be Volkl Kendo, Kastle fx94, line supernatural. See what the true professionals here recommend. GL w your purchase
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  Since I threw a couple of options for ski's in here already, I will include the Nordica NRGy 90.  I didn't get to ski on this but we talked to a guide and it was the ski that he was on.  It was a very light ski and he side that he like it because it had plenty of flex, but the torsional rigidity was solid so edge hold wasn't an issue. 

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