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Best New England Tree Ski

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for suggestions on what to demo/seek out for a ski for New England glades.  I ski primarily at Sunday River.  6'4, 220 lbs.  Current quiver is Kastle FX84s in 184 (my do-it-all ski), Rossignol FIS slalom in 165 (my fun-when-it's-rock-hard/Nashoba beer league ski) and some older Rossignol women's FIS GS in 180-something (my rip on groomers early in the morning, or run a few gates ski).  Boots are Atomic Burner 130s.

 

The FX84 makes a great one-ski-quiver, all-mountain New England ski, but as I'm tending more and more toward the woods (especially this winter, since mid-January) I find it has a very grabby tail, and it makes it hard to pivot to make a quick turn.  It also skis pretty long for the tight trees I sometimes end up in.

 

I don't have a lot of experience skiing "play" skis.  Much of my demoing in the past was to find a good all-mountain east-coast ski (the FX84s).  I've skied a friend's older Rossignol S3's in 178 in a couple of tree runs, and they were a super playful ski.  I had a lot of fun with them.  Alas, they're discontinued, and I've been told the Sin7 (what I gather the S3 evolved into) has a different tail profile, so I'd want to try before I buy.  I also did a quick run on this year's Fisher Ranger 88's and played on the edges of a groomed run, but they were borrowed and nearly-new, so no woods.  Didn't get to ski them enough to get a good feel about them one way or the other. 

 

Any other recommendations for a good east coast play ski?  I'm not worried about edge hold on ice (what most east coast ski threads focus on)... all 3 of my other skis are good for that.  And I don't necessarily need a dedicated "powder" ski.  A little float is nice, but I ski on the east coast... by mid-day on a weekend dump everything's tracked out anyway.  

 

I just need something to play in the woods and the east coast bumps.

post #2 of 25

There have been various threads on here waxing poetic about Nordica Patron's in east coast trees. 

 

I picked up a pair over the summer -- they really are amazing, even in "firmer" conditions where you'd think they'd suck.  They are nowhere nearly as ponderous as a ski that big should be. 

 

My tree skiing could be described as "needing improvement" but even I've had a blast glade skiing on these.  Powder bumps are awesome no matter what, but Patron's make powder bumps even more awesome.  I'm not sure I'd call them "fun" on the groomer back to the lift, but you won't be left praying for edge hold either.

 

My $0.02.

post #3 of 25

Normally I'd suggest a Soul 7, slam dunk, but you're too big for them unless you go 188, which is too long for the terrain. The Patron is a nice idea, would be worth demoing. But I'd say something like a Peacemaker or Automatic 109 would be perfect; stay as short as you can and accept you won't be able to burn down the groomers on them.  

post #4 of 25

I'm 6' 230lbs.  Last year I demo'd a K2 Shreditor 112 at Copper in a 179, and I thought it would've made a great NE tree ski.  Lightweight, and very snappy to whip around, with obviously tons of float.

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
 

There have been various threads on here waxing poetic about Nordica Patron's in east coast trees. 

 

I picked up a pair over the summer -- they really are amazing, even in "firmer" conditions where you'd think they'd suck.  They are nowhere nearly as ponderous as a ski that big should be. 

 

My tree skiing could be described as "needing improvement" but even I've had a blast glade skiing on these.  Powder bumps are awesome no matter what, but Patron's make powder bumps even more awesome.  I'm not sure I'd call them "fun" on the groomer back to the lift, but you won't be left praying for edge hold either.

 

My $0.02.

Thanks - I'm by no means an "expert" tree skier, but I can certainly hold my own and keep up.  Same with bumps.  And I'm getting better every day - to the point where I now feel like I'm out-skiing my equipment.  I'll give them a try... not sure I need/want something so wide, though.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

Normally I'd suggest a Soul 7, slam dunk, but you're too big for them unless you go 188, which is too long for the terrain. The Patron is a nice idea, would be worth demoing. But I'd say something like a Peacemaker or Automatic 109 would be perfect; stay as short as you can and accept you won't be able to burn down the groomers on them.  

 

188 would definitely be too long in the woods... I get hung up on the 184 FX84s now.  I'm willing to accept that I won't be able to burn down the groomers... if I'm going to be on these skis, I expect the only time I'll be skiing groomers is to get back to the lift at the bottom of the woods or bumps.  I'd think the Peacemaker may be a bit harsh.. I'll put them and the Automatics on the list.

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by St Bear View Post
 

I'm 6' 230lbs.  Last year I demo'd a K2 Shreditor 112 at Copper in a 179, and I thought it would've made a great NE tree ski.  Lightweight, and very snappy to whip around, with obviously tons of float.

Not sure I need something quite so wide though.

post #7 of 25

It's always better to stay on top of the snow snakes that lurk beneath.

post #8 of 25

Also, at your size, don't be afraid to go wider.  Remember that ski reviews are targeted at someone who's easily 6" and 50lbs lighter than you are.  Their experience and yours will be very different on the same skis.

post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by St Bear View Post
 

Also, at your size, don't be afraid to go wider.  Remember that ski reviews are targeted at someone who's easily 6" and 50lbs lighter than you are.  Their experience and yours will be very different on the same skis.

 

Very true.  I base the "not sure I need so much width" thought on a pair of Olympus Mons in 110 under foot that I had.  At the time everything else I was skiing was narrow-waist. The Mons felt like dogs and I was never happy on them.  I'm a much better skier now than I was then, so maybe I should demo a more modern "fat" ski.  My wife just got the Vokyl Auroa (which I think are 100 under foot) and is loving them.  So I was thinking the 95-105ish range.

post #10 of 25

Patron is awesome in the trees.

 

Nordica Soul Rider is also great .For me, a little quicker. I ski it in a 185cm.

 

Great in the trees. Fun in the bumps and great carving fresh snow on groomers!

 

CJ

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeeede View Post
 

 

Very true.  I base the "not sure I need so much width" thought on a pair of Olympus Mons in 110 under foot that I had.  At the time everything else I was skiing was narrow-waist. The Mons felt like dogs and I was never happy on them.  I'm a much better skier now than I was then, so maybe I should demo a more modern "fat" ski.  My wife just got the Vokyl Auroa (which I think are 100 under foot) and is loving them.  So I was thinking the 95-105ish range.

 

Well, K2 makes the Shreditor in a 102, if the 112 scares you.  I wouldn't worry about it though, 7mm is a quarter of an inch difference, and at your size I'd say it's negligible at best.

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeeede View Post
188 would definitely be too long in the woods... I get hung up on the 184 FX84s now.  I'm willing to accept that I won't be able to burn down the groomers... if I'm going to be on these skis, I expect the only time I'll be skiing groomers is to get back to the lift at the bottom of the woods or bumps.  I'd think the Peacemaker may be a bit harsh.. I'll put them and the Automatics on the list.

 

I ski a 195cm Super 7 in Killington trees and it skis shorter and quicker in the woods that my 186cm Peacemakers.

 

Honestly, If I were in your shoes, with your current quiver (and apparent preference towards ski design - manufacturer) I'd be looking at the Super 7, Soul 7, JJ in a 185cm.  Honestly, I have NEVER personally known anyone that said they wished they went shorter on these skis, if anyone questionably got the size wrong, they all wished they went bigger (even my brother, 5'10" 160 lbs wished he got S7's in a 185 as the 175 was really too short for the truly good days) and these skis turn quick.

 

But if you're hesitant about a 5-point ski and prefer a more standard sidecut, I agree with Nordica, but I would say the Helldorado.  I've skied it and honestly, my ONLY gripe was that I wished it was a little bigger.

post #13 of 25

Hold out for next years K2 Pinnacle 105 and be done with your search. 113mm waist for east coast trees? No thanks. 

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShopGimp View Post
 

Hold out for next years K2 Pinnacle 105 and be done with your search. 113mm waist for east coast trees? No thanks. 

 

For someone who's 6'4" and 220lbs?  Absolutely.

post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShopGimp View Post
 

Hold out for next years K2 Pinnacle 105 and be done with your search. 113mm waist for east coast trees? No thanks. 

 

Because those 8mm will make all the difference in the world?

post #16 of 25

Yeah. Skiing bumps on 113 waisted skis is wicked fun. I suspect the OP will enjoy something a little less girthy. Ya'll had a good year out there, but 113 is kind of ridiculous for a typical east coast winter. 

post #17 of 25

Ummmm, yes. A big difference actually. 

post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShopGimp View Post

Yeah. Skiing bumps on 113 waisted skis is wicked fun. I suspect the OP will enjoy something a little less girthy. Ya'll had a good year out there, but 113 is kind of ridiculous for a typical east coast winter. 

Honestly, a 113 range waist with a reasonable turning radius is by no means out of the norm on the east. I take the Super 7 out in the woods with as little as 3" new snow. Do I want to use it as a front side carver, no, but there are no issues with the width and radius getting around on the groomers.
post #19 of 25

Seems like the 113 would be great in the morning, but if the woods are getting fairly tracked out late morning, like they do here, the 103 might provide more versatility in there throughout the whole day.

post #20 of 25

There are two very different types of east coast tree skiers. The appropriate equipment for them is very, very different. We seem to argue over who is right when in reality, we are just having different experiences.

 

Type 1- skis primarily on trail but will 'poke around' in easy to identify glades. Skis mostly on weekends and holidays and often samples multiple different ski areas instead of really exploring one mountain. Powder get's tracked out fast is their experience. Is looking for maximum versatility in a 'tree ski'.

 

Type 2- spends most of their time on snow skiing lines that do not appear on a trail map. Knows that in order to ski east coast powder you need to be on the hill first thing not at 10am, if it snowed on Wednesday you won't find fresh snow on Saturday. Spends years learning the ins and outs of their chosen mountain which means finding fresh snow is still possible long after the trail map designated runs are toast. Has learned to look for subtle tell tale signs of where people enter and exit stashes. Is looking for maximum soft snow/ tight lines performance from a ski.

 

Type 1 skiers talk about all-mountain skis as good choices foe east coast trees. They are correct... for their situation.

 

Type 2 skiers talk about skis that would seem much more appropriate for PNW skiers. They are often wrong, but for snow days? Yup, for them, absolutely.

 

Be honest with yourself and picking a great ski gets easier. 

post #21 of 25

It has been over a decade since I skied back east. I used to be a "Jay local" and have many east coast powder days under my belt. I used to get it done on the Salomon pocket rocket (90mm) and the Rossi B3 (the one that was 94mm). This was obviously before the advent of rocker profiles. I had some friends getting wider with some Maiden' AK board (what were they, 110mm?) and I was never envious. The snow hasn't changed, but the skis certainly have. A 95mm-105mm ski with some shovel and tail rocker will get it more than done in the New England trees. Anything wider just says that you wished you lived out west…..which this year I can assure you you're glad you don't.

 

Conversely, out here in the PNW I have friends and acquaintances that think anything less than 100mm waist has no place on the hill. This, of course, is BS. 

post #22 of 25

I have never owned a pair of skis wider than 105mm. Have demoed a few.  I agree with Whiteroom, yet am a cross between the type 1 and 2 eastern tree skiers.  When I am being a type 2 and searching for fresh snow off the beaten path I like to be as maneuverable as possible because I will be getting into tight spots and I just find it easier to have something not super wide strapped to my feet.  I am willing to sacrifice float, but then I used to do this stuff back when skis were both skinny and straight...although then the woods pretty much never got tracked out and stuff that is on the maps today wasn't.  Maybe I just need to get used to a fatter ski? Or maybe I have not demoed the right ones in the right conditions? Personal preference is huge always huge with ski choice. 

 

These days I am on a pair of 93mm waisted 177cm length light skis made for backcountry touring.(G3 Saints)  I find them to be decent all around skis and they work well enough for me at 6', 215lbs.

 

ShopGimp, I used to have a pair of 94mm Pocket Rockets and usually came out of the woods at Jay with a big grin on my face...unfortunately they were stolen from me at a different mountain.


Edited by crank - 3/12/15 at 11:41am
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
 

I have never owned a pair of skis wider than 105mm. Have demoed a few.  I agree with Whiteroom, yet am a cross between the type 1 and 2 eastern tree skiers.  When I am being a type 2 and searching for fresh snow off the beaten path I like to be as maneuverable as possible because I will be getting into tight spots and I just find it easier to have something not super wide strapped to my feet.  I am willing to sacrifice float, but then I used to do this stuff back when skis were both skinny and straight...although then the woods pretty much never got tracked out and stuff that is on the maps today wasn't.  Maybe I just need to get used to a fatter ski? Or maybe I have not demoed the right ones in the right conditions? Personal preference is huge always huge with ski choice. 

 

These days I am on a pair of 93mm waisted 177cm length light skis made for backcountry touring.(G3 Saintes)  I find them to be decent all around skis and they work well enough for me at 6', 215lbs.

 

ShopGimp, I used to have a pair of 93mm Pocket Rockets and usually came out of the woods at Jay with a big grin on my face...unfortunately they were stolen from me at a different mountain.

 

I'm also a Type 1.5.  Last weekend for example, at Magic Mountain.  I was in some real tight spots where I was glad I had my Palmer P01 (179cm, 89mm) on my feet, but then in some untracked I hit a stump and did a face plant that I think with my Sick Day 110 on my feet I would've gone over it.

 

If only I had sprung for a Ski Butler to follow me around with my second pair...

post #24 of 25

@Whiteroom gave some excellent advice.  I would classify myself as a "type 0.5" skier -- I suck, and the glades I'm aware of are the ones that every Stowe regular knows the location of, meaning they get tracked out and fast.

 

That said, I've learned to appreciate the virtues of fat skis in the woods -- they enable you to go really, really slowly and STILL stay (more or less) on top of the snow.  Fat(ter) skis don't get "trapped" under the snow and they don't require some "minimum speed" in order to maintain float and maneuverability.  Minimum speed for maneuverability with Patrons is 0.0mph.  Thumbs Up

 

In my glade skiing experiences, there are also vast differences in how carefully the earth underneath gets maintained.  I've seen pictures of some glades in the summer that rival golf course putting greens in their smoothness.  I've seen other glades in the summer that look like, well, uhhhhh - they look like what you'd expect the forest to look like -- rocks, bushes and tree stumps everywhere.  Staying up high means less chance of snagging a ski on what's underneath.  I like not hitting things buried just below the snow.

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post

 

In my glade skiing experiences, there are also vast differences in how carefully the earth underneath gets maintained.  I've seen pictures of some glades in the summer that rival golf course putting greens in their smoothness.  I've seen other glades in the summer that look like, well, uhhhhh - they look like what you'd expect the forest to look like -- rocks, bushes and tree stumps everywhere.  Staying up high means less chance of snagging a ski on what's underneath.  I like not hitting things buried just below the snow.

 

Glades vs Woods

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