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Ski + binding recommendation for intermediate level carving in NE

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hello forum, I've lurked in the past and I think this is my first post - thank you all for any thoughts you might have on my gear question!  Basically I'm looking for some skis and bindings - perhaps from a previous model year so I can get a good deal on them?  Here's the basic info:

 

  1. Where in the world are you skiing? 

    1. New Hampshire mostly (Loon, Attitash, Sunapee, Bretton Woods, Waterville etc), sometimes Vermont (Killington)
  2. What kinds of terrain do you prefer (groomed runs, moguls, race course, park'n'pipe, trees, steeps, backcountry/sidecountry)

    1. Groomers are my favorite, occasionally venture into the trees and steeps.  Hate moguls (bad knees)
  3. How many days a year do you ski?

    1. 5 - 7
  4. How advanced are you as a skier?

    1. Intermediate +, I've been skiing off and on for about 30 years but haven't taken many lessons (since I was a kid).  Haven't found a slope in the Northeast I can't handle (moguls excepted) but see below for my preferred style.
  5. What's your height and weight?

    1. I am a 5'11" and 170 lb man

 

I started skiing again in 2010 after a bit of a hiatus (doing other winter sports), and I picked up some slightly used Head Monster iM78s in 167 cm with Tyrolia SP100 bindings.  I had them setup by a shop at the mountain but I forget which mountain - maybe Waterville :)  I've really gotten to like carving groomers, and ski a bit on steeps and ice if I'm feeling particularly youthful that day.  I'm still learning to carve properly and sometimes I feel like the Heads I have are too heavy and too fast for my skill level, even though I went with a slightly shorter length on the Heads to lower the speed a bit.  Is there a ski with a more "mellow" ride, ie. slower and lighter, out there?  I really like how tight the turns on the Heads are though and would love to find something with as small a sidecut as possible to get more of that feeling of carving really tight turns.  Presumably with better technique I could get that feeling too.  

 

Thank you everyone for your thoughts, if any!

post #2 of 16

If you want to learn how to carve beautiful pure carved turns, you should get a ski with a short turn radius, width less than 70 mm and no rocker, not even marketing rocker, no piste rocker, no race rocker, and no early rise either.  These skis used to be very popular but are getting harder to find.

Some candidates:

World Cup Rebels i.SL (not really FIS World Cup with an 11.6 m radius at 165 cm)

Kaestle RX12 or RX SL

Stockli Lazer SX

Fischer RC4 WorldCup SC Pro

 

However the above are likely above your level, will require you to ski fast and are expensive.

 

Closer to your level would be used skis (or new in plastic) from a few years ago.  Something like an old (pre rocker craze)  i.supershape, or i.supershape speed, Fischer progressor 800, Volkl tigershark 10' (a little wide).  Get a subscription to realskiers, and you can check that any good deals you find on past years skis meet the specs ( narrow waist, full camber, short radius).

 

Another However:  Your best bet is to keep the skis you have an take a few lessons with the money you would spend.

post #3 of 16

With respect to my fellow Canuck, I wouldn't exactly call those skis "mellow".  They're likely too much ski for the OP at this point, given the description of his skill level.

 

However, I absolutely agree that your BEST bet is to sign up for some lessons and improve your skills and technique.  You'll quickly learn to how "control" your skis, vary turn shapes, and not let them run away from you.

 

If you are looking for skis a bit more suitable for you, particularly in the Head series, the Head Icon TT 50 or 60 will do you very nicely.  Like these:

 

http://www.levelninesports.com/Head-Icon-Tt-50.0-Skis-Ti-Whead-Pr-11-Bindings

 

More forgiving than the detuned race skis Ghost mentioned, and still carve wonderful turns (provided you have the technique!)

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post
 

With respect to my fellow Canuck, I wouldn't exactly call those skis "mellow".  They're likely too much ski for the OP at this point, given the description of his skill level.

 

However, I absolutely agree that your BEST bet is to sign up for some lessons and improve your skills and technique.  You'll quickly learn to how "control" your skis, vary turn shapes, and not let them run away from you.

 

If you are looking for skis a bit more suitable for you, particularly in the Head series, the Head Icon TT 50 or 60 will do you very nicely.  Like these:

 

http://www.levelninesports.com/Head-Icon-Tt-50.0-Skis-Ti-Whead-Pr-11-Bindings

 

More forgiving than the detuned race skis Ghost mentioned, and still carve wonderful turns (provided you have the technique!)


The TT50 would work (not as well as lessons though- combine 'em with lessons and you can't loose)

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 


The TT50 would work (not as well as lessons though- combine 'em with lessons and you can't loose)

+1 

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions guys!  Agreed about the lessons.

 

The Icon TT 50 sounds interesting, but seems hard to find -- does anything else compare well to it?

post #7 of 16

What about something like the Elan Amphibio 82 XTi?  Carves beautifully, stable, and does okay in crud and light off piste?

post #8 of 16

This site is hilarious. Guy says he skis 5-7 days a year as an intermediate skier and is looking for a deal....first response $1000+ World Cup race skis and other niche high end $1000+ set ups. My word. 

 

OP -- do yourself a favor and go demo some skis from a shop near one of the mountains you frequent. It's a great time of year to score deals on great skis, especially since most shops will be selling off their demos right now. There are a lot of great carving skis around right now in the 75-85mm wheelhouse that will also be fun when the slopes get soft or piled cup/cruddy.

 

I own/operate a shop in the heart of where you say you ski, PM me if you'd like. I'm more than happy to help. Some skis I might recommend:

 

K2 Amp 76

Blizzard LatiGo

Blizzard 770

Fischer Motive 86

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBos View Post
 

Thanks for the suggestions guys!  Agreed about the lessons.

 

The Icon TT 50 sounds interesting, but seems hard to find -- does anything else compare well to it?

Dozens of skis compare well, but none are in the 75 to 85 mm range  and none with tip rocker, and most of what stores will be trying to sell you are not what you are in need of if learning well how to carve clean turns on groomed slopes is your goal.  That's why I recommend you get a sub to realskiers.com; they list skis from the last dozen years or so and you can check what's available with what has the characteristics to be a good learning tool for you (suitable for beginning carver through intermediate or above, short turn radius, narrow waist, high score for carving ability). 

post #10 of 16

There are a couple of Nordica skis that may also be decent candidates, the Avenger 82 and Avenger 78.  Both have some early rise in the tip and camber underfoot.  Another possibility is the Head Rev Pro 85, although this might actually be a bit too much ski for the OP.  The Rev series has been discontinued by Head so you can find pretty good deals on remaining stock.  The Nordicas are not expensive skis and come with integrated bindings as does the Head.

post #11 of 16
post #12 of 16

Have a look at the Rossi Pursuit series - even the 12 will do in a lesson format -  and everyone posting above already knows how much I like the Head iRally  :D

 

If no lessons in immediate future, skis like the Dynastar Powertrack 79 are a possibility as an all arounder, particularly in very variable snow such as NH gets early/late season.

post #13 of 16
"Dozens of skis compare well, but none are in the 75 to 85 mm range and none with tip rocker, and most of what stores will be trying to sell you are not what you are in need of if learning well how to carve clean turns on groomed slopes is your goal."

This is just patently false. Yes, a sub 70mm ski with no rocker is probably the best tool for carving well-groomed slopes but to suggest that a person can't very easily learn how to carve on wider skies is quite frankly absurd. If you're building a quiver of skis? Sure, throw a "groomers only" narrow ski in there. Guys that have quivers tend to ski a lot more than 5 times per year and can pick and choose the correct ski for each day, or bag out on days all together if conditions are crappy.

A casual skier looking to buy one pair of skis should buy something more versatile. That way, on those days that he drives 3 hours to ski and the groomers aren't perfectly manicured he isn't completely miserable skiing through crud on stripped down race skis. He also said he occasionally skis trees...

There are plenty of new skis that fit the bill better than an overpriced, 7 year old, TigerShark 8.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

Have a look at the Rossi Pursuit series - even the 12 will do in a lesson format -  and everyone posting above already knows how much I like the Head iRally  biggrin.gif

If no lessons in immediate future, skis like the Dynastar Powertrack 79 are a possibility as an all arounder, particularly in very variable snow such as NH gets early/late season.

The Powertrack 79 is a hell of a ski and would be near perfect for what OP is describing -- 14m radius, $499 with bindings. I skied it at the Stratton demo last month and I was shocked by how versatile it was. Nice, easy carves on the groomed and the day we got some snow I found that it was the only ski under 90mm that was actually fun and not a bear to ski through the chop.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Type3SnoBlader View Post
The Powertrack 79 is a hell of a ski and would be near perfect for what OP is describing -- 14m radius, $499 with bindings. I skied it at the Stratton demo last month and I was shocked by how versatile it was. Nice, easy carves on the groomed and the day we got some snow I found that it was the only ski under 90mm that was actually fun and not a bear to ski through the chop.

 

Ayup :D

post #16 of 16

It seems frontside carvers are having a comeback in popularity.

 

This is a good thing for a buyer looking at last year's models.

 

I must advise lessons first.  Once you begin to feel how the Monsters work, you can then ski.  After grasping the movements effective to skiing you will then realize your personal style.  After you can rail carves and drift the edges when it is too steep for perfect rails you can begin to benefit from a "better" ski than the Monsters.  Then you will be more able to target what ski to demo because you will know what to look for.

 

Like golf clubs, skis are all great these days, they are engineered to the Nth degree and perform admirably; it's just a matter of learning what input they need.

 

Don't rule out the moguls.  They can and should be skied with slow tight turns and do not necessarily need young knees.

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