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Ski recos? Length?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Long story short, I've been skiing for over 20 years. Home base is southern New England. Was a solid advanced intermediate for the most part, skiing Vail, A-Basin, Alta. Nothing crazy, mostly blues and the occasional single diamond. Skied black diamonds in southern NE. Took a 5 year break due to a bad boot experience. Spent a lot of money on a boot that never fit in the first place, and tried fixing it, wasted a lot of days and money. Lost interest in the sport. 

 

This year, with all the snow we've been getting, I decided to try and get boots that actually fit. Found a pair that work, and I'm HOOKED again. I'm now very determined to get better and do more skiing overall. I'm not a huge fan of winter, and we've had one of the worst (best?) ever, but this is what is getting me through it. 

 

My current skis are some ancient Line 175cm Darkside Carbons. I got them about 10 years ago. I really don't know much about them, except they seem to be rather soft. I've had them for a long time, as I always figured technique was more important than the ski. Now I'm wondering if they are a hindrance. 

 

Recently, I skied Stowe. First day was great. Second day, they got some snow and the trails were pretty chewed up at the end of the day. I'm not sure if it's my lack of skill, lack of muscle endurance, or the skis - but I felt like I was REALLY fighting the snow getting down the mountain. To the point where my legs were absolutely killing me (burning/cramping) by the lower 1/3rd of the runs. 

 

I feel like these skis just bounce over "crud" and have very little stability, and were getting very "wobbly" (laterally) on me. 

 

I intend on heading up to Mt Snow next weekend to get a private lesson to see what I'm doing wrong. I feel like I'm working too hard, but I'm wondering how much is me and how much is the skis, or a combo of both? I think my technique is okay, I shift my weight to the front of my feet, ski with my upper body static and poles up, but I still struggle a lot turning in choppy/heavy snow. 

 

Since I'm really dedicated to improving and I don't think these Lines are helping, I'm looking at new skis. I'm thinking of getting some now, before my next trip, while prices are super low at the end of the season. 

 

After researching a bit, Volkl Kendo's are high on my list. I'm 5'11" and around ~195-200#. What length should I be looking at? 177 or 184?

 

Any other skis to recommend? It's definitely overwhelming the number of choices, but they seem to be a favorite as an all-rounder and won't limit my progression like some 'intermediate' skis. I also like they way they look (not a fan of the gaudy neon graphics on many skis). 

 

Any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated!

post #2 of 10

At your size, Kendos will work as a OSQ. They're not an intermediate ski, BTW, I see instructors on them. But there are a lot of other skis that would work as well or better IMO. Take a look at the Blizzard Brahma if you're committed to taking lessons, or the Rossi Experience 88 or Head REV85 if you're less likely. 

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

At your size, Kendos will work as a OSQ. They're not an intermediate ski, BTW, I see instructors on them. But there are a lot of other skis that would work as well or better IMO. Take a look at the Blizzard Brahma if you're committed to taking lessons, or the Rossi Experience 88 or Head REV85 if you're less likely. 

Thanks! Any thoughts on length?

post #4 of 10

Hmm. You could go either way. If you want this ski more for bumps, all-terrain, moderate speeds, the 177-ish length. If you like to blast the wide open blues, 184. But keep in mind that will be several cm's above your head. So not a perfect solution for tight spaces. Also, of the skis mentioned, the flexier ones (like the E88 and REV85) will be easier to handle.

 

While you're at it, you might look at a Fischer Motive 86 Ti. Enough guts for your size, right up there in terms of performance, and nice prices right now. 

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Any thoughts on the Lines that I have? Do you think they might be underperforming for me? I'm not sure if it's age (they are 12+ years old, although they probably only have about 50 days on them), that they're too flexy, or what - but they seem so unstable. 

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkiv808 View Post
 

my legs were absolutely killing me (burning/cramping) by the lower 1/3rd of the runs. 

 

What part of your legs?  Front of your legs above your knees?  If so, that is the classic punishment for being in the back seat, which would also explain why the skis seem kind of squirrelly in cut up snow.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
 

What part of your legs?  Front of your legs above your knees?  If so, that is the classic punishment for being in the back seat, which would also explain why the skis seem kind of squirrelly in cut up snow.

Actually back and sides of lower legs, ankles, achilles. 

post #8 of 10
.... Lesson. Then gear.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

So, I demo'd a few skis today in VT. 

 

Line Supernatural 92 - 172

Rossignol Experience 84 - 178

Rossignol Experience 88 - 172

 

I decided against the Kendo's and Blizzard's after speaking with a couple shops. I think they might be too stiff for me. 

 

ALL of the skis were like night and day compared to my old Line skis, making me think I've been wasting years of mediocre skiing with those things. I skied so much better on these newer skis, with more speed, confidence, and "feedback" where I could really start to dial in my technique. The difference was unbelievable. 

 

The Supernatural 92's came first. They seemed really lively, maybe even a bit skittish in comparison to the Rossi's. This might have something to do with the fact that they require a little more effort to ski (metal construction vs. no metal). That said, for whatever reason they felt more "fun" than the Rossignols. I think it has something to do with the fact that they are so much lighter. They are a lighter ski, and I also believe the bindings are a lot lighter. They had Marker Griffons, while the Rossi's had the matching Rossignol bindings which the demo guy said are generally heavier. Overall, a really fun ski. My only beef with this is their obnoxiously bright red color, which looks especially offensive with my blue Technica boots (which I love and are brand new and aren't going anywhere). 

 

The Experience 84 was definitely easy to turn, easy to hold an edge, and confidence inspiring. But something about it was just "meh". There's something just not as fun about it, and I can't put my finger on it. I would be perfectly happy with it at the end of the day, but it just didn't move me. It is made up of slightly different materials than the 88, so maybe that has something to do with it. 

 

The Experience 88 was a lot of fun. It felt slightly easier to hold an edge compared to the Supernatural. It also felt a lot heavier. Very confidence inspiring. Maybe it's because it was the end of the day, but I was getting pretty brave with speed on these. The only place it seemed to flounder was on steeper icy bits. It might just be me, but it seemed to even underperform my Darkside's on ice. Any idea why that might be, or was it just down to experiencing some particularly nasty ice on unfamiliar skis? 

 

So far, the Experience 88 is my preferred ski to buy, but I still was kind of wanting something that felt somewhere in-between the Experience 88 and Supernatural 92's. Mostly, something a bit lighter than the 88's with the same stability and edge hold, and a bit of that "fun" factor that the 92's seemed to have. 

 

At this point, I'm wondering if getting last year's Prophet 90's might be a good in-between? They seem to be universally loved, weight is between the Supernaturals and E88, similar characteristics, AND the graphics are reserved in a way I like. Plus I can get them for $399 shipped. 

 

Thoughts?

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Bump, any thoughts on the above? 

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