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East Coast complement to SL Race Ski

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

A little background info, I'm a 6'-0" 185 advanced skier with a racing background currently living near D.C.  "Home mountain" is in WV.  Past couple of years I've been riding my Fischer racestock slalom skis exclusively and now I'm looking for something to round out my quiver.

 

When I first started looking, I was initially drawn to the Bonafides and Mantras for their stiffness and ability to charge the whole mountain.  However, the more I think about it, I think something more playful might be a better complement to the SL's.  If it's going to be a day where there's nothing but ice or really solid hardpack and I'm not going to dip into the park at all, I've got the SL's for that.  

 

So what I'm looking for essentially is something that will be fun to ski anywhere on the mountain.  I want something stable enough for some wide arc-ing turns on groomers (since that's primarily what we have here),  It has to be playful enough that I can take it in the park occasionally.  It has to be quick enough that I could ski bumps and trees.  And I'd like it to have enough width underfoot that I can take it to the northeast or the occasional trip out west and it can still hold its own (on something other that a big pow day).  I definitely want traditional camber but am intrigued by the skis that combine this with slight tip/tail rocker.

 

Any thoughts on how the skis below would stack up for this?  Any others I should consider?  I also am wavering between the 177 and 184 lengths...

177/186  Atomic Theory 

177/185  Nordica Soul Rider 

177/184  K2 Shreditor 92 (or possibly 102?)

 

Or should I consider a stiff park ski like the Fischer Nightstick?

post #2 of 20

Welcome to EpicSki. 

What makes you think the Bonafide won't be playful enough for your liking? (still leaving out the Mantra because you said you want a cambered ski) 

post #3 of 20

The bonafide is  great(Especially the 2016 with the carbon flipcore) it charges and really grips well on hardpack, and when you want to loosen up it is pretty playful, id give it a shot.

post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

I haven't had a chance to demo any of these, so I'm just basing that off of the online reviews I've read.  So it's certainly possible I could be wrong.  However, everything I've read to this point has described the Bonafide as a pretty stiff, hard charging ski that wants you to stay on top of it constantly.  I also hadn't read anything about people taking it into the park, which is something else I'm looking for.

post #5 of 20

Once you mentioned park, you lost 98% of us on Epic.

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

Fair enough.  But I'm in the southeast... you have to do something to keep it interesting around here ;)

 

That said, does anybody have any experience with the Nordica Soul Riders?  I'm currently leaning this direction and I'm curious if anybody can speak to their all mountain versatility.  While I do want some playfulness, I don't want to give up too much performance elsewhere.  This review really intrigued me though:

http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/2012-2013-nordica-soul-rider

post #7 of 20
Problem as you know is the trade off in "performance" on mountain when going to a ski that is more orientated to park.....very different beasts.
Always a compromise. Riding a park ski on the mountain is garbage in my opinion when you are used to racestock type performance.

So you'd have to ask yourself how much time you'd really spend in the park, and then what features you are interested in. I personally don't hit any rails and gravitate primarily to the jumps/kickers. As such I find my Kendos quite suited to the task. They aren't as "forgiving" as dedicated park skis, but not detrimental for what I do either.

Because of this I still get the performance characteristics I'm looking for in an all mountain ski (especially for my skiing style) and can take it to the park (at least what I hit) just fine.

That being said, if you like rails and jib a lot....I don't think there is any ski that will cover the spectrum you are interested in. As skis that do that well, you will be highly disappointed in how they handle outside the park.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks hbear!  Sounds pretty much like what I'm looking for.  

 

I've never really gotten into rails as I've never really had a ski capable of tackling them.  But either way, I'm definitely more drawn to jumps/kickers anyways.  Have you found the Kendos to be decent enough at spinning or landing switch?  Or does their weight and lack of a real twin tip preclude them from that?

 

Just to clarify, I'm definitely looking for an all mountain ski capable of skiing in the park, not a park ski capable of skiing the rest of the mountain.  My ideal mix is probably in the 80/20 or 70/30 range, all mountain to park.  Again this is dictated by where I'm currently located.  If I was living somewhere with more varied terrain and some natural features I could launch off from time to time, the whole park thing probably wouldn't even be entering the discussion.

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Apoc View Post
 

Have you found the Kendos to be decent enough at spinning or landing switch? 

:rotflmao:

 

People here like to argue that their ski can do everything pretty well. And they try to convince you that whatever it is that you say, you're not really meaning it. OTOH, as a former racer, I'll assume you do mean what you say. And know what you want. 

 

My-ski-loyalty is a great thing, but given all the all-mountain skis out there that are aimed at bumps, trees, parks, Kendo's well, are aimed at a different mission. So if you honestly are planning to spend 20-30% of your time in the park - which seems reasonable given your location - and sincerely asked about skiing switch, rails, and jibbing, drop the Kendo idea slowly and step away. 

 

Seriously. 

 

1) You need something with twin tips, or at least real early rise at both ends.

2) You need something with some flex in the front and back 1/3 of the ski. 

2) You were on the right track at the beginning. Soul Rider, for sure. Theory, yep. Maybe take a look at The Ski. Find this year's Volkl Bridge (none being made next). The Line Supernatural 100 for a touch more beef.

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Apoc View Post
 

Have you found the Kendos to be decent enough at spinning or landing switch?  Or does their weight and lack of a real twin tip preclude them from that?

 

 

It's not ideal, but I can spin 3s and 540s without much problem (I can rotate fast enough for 7s, but honestly am just too chicken to throw it at my age)  Not as easy as a true center mount ski and doesn't like it when you don't stomp landings as the ski is much stiffer than a park ski would be.  But very doable....and as such with most all mountains you'd be looking at.  

 

That being said, "for me" it works and I don't give up the ability to rip long arcing high g turns (which is really important to me).  Compared to other skis it's not as nimble in the bumps, but I can manage just fine. There are other skis that handle bumps better, but they give up the edge hold the Kendos have (I have the pre-rocker version, the actual camber with early rise).  As I said, everything is a trade off, you just have to figure out what is your preference.

 

Jibs and rails are a no go for Kendos, but since I don't care about that (dislike anything that will mess up my edges/tune) I don't miss it.  

 

As for the "my-ski loyalty" thing, I didn't throw the Kendo out as a recommendation, just a reference to what I've used.  It's a different ski and not suited to all people or all types of skiing, it just works for me but others may find different.  Given all the various trade offs, it IS the ski that does the things I really enjoy well, and is more than adequate for other pursuits.  It's areas of weakness are not impactful to me given the prior.  

 

The OP is a former racer, and from my personal experience, when you are used to the power and edge hold of race stock/race room skis, ANYTHING that is park orientated is very disappointing to ski in. For a true all mountain ski, I wanted to give up as little power and edge hold as possible while still being able to do all the "fun" things I like to do outside of railing turns. 

 

My view is there is NO do it all ski, everything is a trade off.  I also believe that just because a ski isn't purpose built for a task doesn't mean a good skier can't perform decently with them (short skinny race ski in waist high powder aside).  I've stomped 3s in my race room FIS skis (landings are a bit firm) and skied pretty hard in the moguls with them as well.  Again not ideal, but doesn't mean it can't be done while still having fun.


Edited by hbear - 6/8/15 at 3:24pm
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbear View Post
 

The OP is a former racer, and from my personal experience, when you are used to the power and edge hold of race stock/race room skis, ANYTHING that is park orientated is very disappointing to ski in...

 

...I also believe that just because a ski isn't purpose built for a task doesn't mean a good skier can't perform decently with them (short skinny race ski in waist high powder aside).  I've stomped 3s in my race room FIS skis (landings are a bit firm) and skied pretty hard in the moguls with them as well.  Again not ideal, but doesn't mean it can't be done while still having fun.

 

First sentence represents interesting difference in how you and I react to racing. I'd amend it (as a current racer who's also used to the hold of race stock skis) to read that "ANYTHING that is park orientated is very disappointing to ski hard on firm or rubbly surfaces." I'm honestly curious how many former or current racers here expect all their skis to have strong hold on firm surfaces at speed. IME, I expect some of my skis to be that, just like the OP has a pair of SL's for firm days, and then again, I'm content to own and use skis that are optimized for trees or soft snow but frankly aren't ice skates or speed demons. Because to get that dampness and grip, I have to give up other stuff, like fluidity and suppleness at checked speed in tight places. Or effortless flex in powder. But I may be the minority who embraces several styles of skis and missions; honestly don't have a read. 

 

Second sentence is emblematic of something here at Epic that (again) I regard as a problem, most others may not. A good skier, whatever that is, could get a pair of 217 Northlands c. 1952 to perform decently in all conditions. And yep, I've skied my FIS skis pretty hard in bumps too. So yes, it can be done. I didn't find it super enjoyable, compared to a ski aimed at bumps, but some may even regard that kinda stuff as fun (I do it occasionally because I'm too lazy to switch boots and skis for the last run of the day and want to ski with friends or family).

 

But at what point did we so conflate the arrow with the archer? When a poster details what he wants to do with his skis, why do we reply with recs that are based on a ski that we personally can get to handle something for which it was not optimized? Not being snarky, just honest: In what universe is a Kendo a strong candidate for a ski that the OP says will spend 20-30% of its time in a park or doing aerials or switch,  especially when the OP already has a SL for firm days? What is wrong with saying, "Y'know what, I love the hell out of my sticks, I am capable of making them do well everywhere, but they are not what you are asking for." :dunno

 

Of course, my Kastles are really solid everywhere. ;) 

post #12 of 20
Again it depends on what the OP values more. I could be wrong but I read he is looking for something that will be used PRIMARILY for wide arcing carving turns on groomers, but can also be used for some fun in the park. Since it seems pretty much nobody here on epic actually hits the park, I thought I'd share MY personal experiences........which unfortunately for the OP seems to be the only post from somebody that also asks for his skis to do the same.

We are in agreement to the trade off, but you nor I can determine the OPs true preferences because as you know there is NO ski I know of (perhaps you do) that can do everything the OP is asking for. As given the OP is a former racer, my experience is they do no like I give up edge hold and power. Yes the OP has SL skis for firm days, but surely you can agree SL skis are ill suited to wide arcing high/higher speed carving turns. SL skies have a specific turn shape they like, tying to arc big GS turns is also not ideal now is it?

On a true powder day, no all mountain ski holds a candle to a dedicated powder ski. However the OP also posted while I would nice, it is apparent he will not get many of those days in....so perhaps not a big priority. Which then goes back o the countless discussions on here about how wide underfoot to go.....again back to the OP, primarily to ski wide arcing turns on groomers....does he really need an 98mm underfoot ski for that? Is that optimal?

Again I have no dog in this fight, I couldn't care less if the the OP buys volkl, Rossi, k2, blizzard or anything. I'm just providing my personal experience from somebody that does race, has race room skis, like to primarily ski at high speed arcing big turns, and also actually does hit the big kickers in the park doing more than a straight air. Perhaps you believe the Kendo I use is ill suited, I would disagree based on what my preference in the trade off is. I never said i was THE ski, I just shared how I ski with mine and how I ski.

Don't mistake my low post count for being ill informed or pushing a particular agenda. You may agree or disagree with what I say, but I can tell you they are based on my experiences and so far have yet to see anybody else come forward with their experiences and skis pretty similarly to what the OP has mentioned as important to them.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 

Appreciate the input guys.  Does anybody have any experience with the Faction Prodigy?  I know this is typical "this ski can do anything" copy, but if it's accurate, then this is pretty much exactly what I'm looking for.  From Backcountry's website:

If you're looking for one board to rail groomer turns, hammer soft snow, ride switch, and hold its own in the park, the Prodigy'll make you look like a genius.

 

http://www.backcountry.com/faction-skis-prodigy-ski?CMP_SKU=FSK000H&MER=0406&CMP_ID=SH_NXT001&mv_pc=r147&003=7163120&010=FSK000H&utm_source=Nextag&utm_medium=CSE&ntclickid=-4358736753134793678&mr:referralID=83b6e80f-0e6f-11e5-8fa7-001b2166c62d

post #14 of 20

Tough Call.  Couple thoughts...

 

#1 there is nothing really comparable to a SL race ski.  They are a bit of a one trick pony - fun for sure but best suited to hardpack and smaller radius turns.  

 

#2  Lengthwise - you are tall and good sized. I would go with the 184.  For new (NOT BOTTOMLESS) snow ,cambered with tip rocker is nice.  Floats but still hooks up in dust on crust conditions and "carves" OK.   (Nothing carves like a SL ski.  I repeat for all you non-racer experts - NO-THING)  How about a Beer league cheater?  Longer @180 with a 17-19m Radius.    Still sporty performance with more length and a bit more forgiving flex.\

 

I have not clue how this length would impact park. 

 

The reality of quivers is that - just as in golf - there is no "one" answer to variable conditions / terrain.  One more caveat - if you have not skied on wide rockered skis and are used to race skis, you really need to stay centered over the ski.  If you pressure your shins as you have been trained, they tend to want to pitch you over the handlebars.  My .02. 

 

Just a different "ride" than you may be used to.

 

CHECK SWAPS and Craigslist / Ebay.  You can build a huge quiver for what a retail outfit will charge for the latest. 

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks Pat!  Not looking to replace/replicate the feel of the SL's.  I'll keep those for the really firm days or the days I just feel like ripping groomers.

 

Really just looking for something that doesn't feel out of place on groomers and can lay over an edge when I want to (not expecting race ski performance, but still should be fun on groomed conditions), but also has the ability to drop into the park, hit a few jumps, the occasional box/rail.  And I'd also like it to be versatile enough to ski bumps/trees and the occasional light powder day (nothing very deep).

 

So far I think I've narrowed it down to the following, in no particular order:

Blizzard Regulator

Atomic Theory

4frnt Gaucho

Nordica Soul Rider

 

I'm also somewhat considering these but fear they may be geared more toward the soft snow that we don't always get here in the southeast:

Faction Prodigy

Volkl Bridge

Rossi Scmitar

Line Sick Day 95

 

Possibly the K2 Shreditor 92, though it seems more geared toward freestyle/park than all mountain.

post #16 of 20
I had the chance to spend a day demoing both the Bonafide @ 173 and the Soul Rider @ 177. I'm shorter and lighter than you are @ 5' 9" and 155 so you would size up for either of these.

I skied the Bonafide on a day where conditions were really variable. It is a very good all around ski in that it can hold a decent edge on the hard stuff yet still is somewhat easy to turn. I felt confident on it in a variety of conditions and terrain, from hard snow to soft snow and from steeps to bumps. I like the Bonafide a lot (so much so I may end up buying it this season). The Soul Rider in comparison is much more playful in that you actually want to start jumping off things with it (and I don't jump that much). It is very quick edge to edge for a ski that wide and handles soft snow really well. It was a lot of fun in the bumps, much easier then the Bonafide. I did not get a chance to ski it on hard or icy conditions but I would guess that it wouldn't hold up there as well as the Bonafide, but as you have stated, you have SL skis for those days. As much as I liked the Bonafide I also liked the Soul Rider but for different reasons.

Bottom line, again, just my opinion - Bonafide is a solid crud buster, that holds a decent edge, can turn fairly easy (especially for something that is 98 underfoot), and can handle a lot of conditions and terrain. If you could only have one pair of skis these would not be a bad choice. Soul Rider- very quick edge to edge (quicker than the Bonafide), lots of fun, very, very playful, but not as solid in crappy snow as the Bonafide. They are both very good skis but very different.

Hope that helps.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Apoc View Post
 

A little background info, I'm a 6'-0" 185 advanced skier with a racing background currently living near D.C.  "Home mountain" is in WV.  Past couple of years I've been riding my Fischer racestock slalom skis exclusively and now I'm looking for something to round out my quiver.

 

When I first started looking, I was initially drawn to the Bonafides and Mantras for their stiffness and ability to charge the whole mountain.  However, the more I think about it, I think something more playful might be a better complement to the SL's.  If it's going to be a day where there's nothing but ice or really solid hardpack and I'm not going to dip into the park at all, I've got the SL's for that.  

 

So what I'm looking for essentially is something that will be fun to ski anywhere on the mountain.  I want something stable enough for some wide arc-ing turns on groomers (since that's primarily what we have here),  It has to be playful enough that I can take it in the park occasionally.  It has to be quick enough that I could ski bumps and trees.  And I'd like it to have enough width underfoot that I can take it to the northeast or the occasional trip out west and it can still hold its own (on something other that a big pow day).  I definitely want traditional camber but am intrigued by the skis that combine this with slight tip/tail rocker.

 

Any thoughts on how the skis below would stack up for this?  Any others I should consider?  I also am wavering between the 177 and 184 lengths...

177/186  Atomic Theory 

177/185  Nordica Soul Rider 

177/184  K2 Shreditor 92 (or possibly 102?)

 

Or should I consider a stiff park ski like the Fischer Nightstick?

I've skied the Soulrider and Atomic Theory, but not the Shreditor 92.  (I have tried the Shreditor 112 and 120, but those are soft snow specialists, the first a soft flex jibby carver, playful and good at switch, the second a one ski quiver for softer, Western snow - much stiffer but very versatile.)

 

The Soulrider has a great edge, if the snow is not really hard.  It is playful, quick edge to edge; and if skied more upright, good at "some wide arc-ing turns on groomers."  Driven forward, it excels at fast, controlled edge to edge fall line turns on groomers, no speed limit, for me (again, probably not on boilerplate and the like).  It's good in bumps and trees, esp. in softer snow.  At 95 at the waist, it's probably pretty good in some powder (but didn't try it there).  A super ski, to me.  (I too used to race, have two pairs of gs race skis, for out West.  If I were back East, my go to ski would be an FIS slalom ski, probably a Volkl, Stockli, Atomic or Rossi.)  The Soulrider smears or edge drives at will, playful.  I'm a directional skier, but this ski makes me more playful; and I bet this ski would work for some park.  

 

For me the Theory is a great ski but more limited.  It is crazy good in Western bumps, good in trees, but has a speed limit, for me, otherwise.  When I want to do slow to medium speed, do more technical turns, family skiing or bumps, the Theory is a blast.  Not sure how it would do in the park, except fine at jumps.

 

Your desire for park use (meaning maybe "twin tip," to me) does probably eliminate many of the versatile all mountain skis I've enjoyed at 80 to 100 waist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Apoc View Post
 

Appreciate the input guys.  Does anybody have any experience with the Faction Prodigy?  I know this is typical "this ski can do anything" copy, but if it's accurate, then this is pretty much exactly what I'm looking for.  From Backcountry's website:

If you're looking for one board to rail groomer turns, hammer soft snow, ride switch, and hold its own in the park, the Prodigy'll make you look like a genius.

 

http://www.backcountry.com/faction-skis-prodigy-ski?CMP_SKU=FSK000H&MER=0406&CMP_ID=SH_NXT001&mv_pc=r147&003=7163120&010=FSK000H&utm_source=Nextag&utm_medium=CSE&ntclickid=-4358736753134793678&mr:referralID=83b6e80f-0e6f-11e5-8fa7-001b2166c62d

 

I too have heard great things about this ski, but haven't been on it.  From the description, it has a stiff tail and a gs type fast turn on groomers (but with versatile turn size too).  Not sure about it in the trees, or for more than occasional bumps, for me.  In bumps I turn a lot, not straightline through them.  

post #18 of 20

Haven't had any experience with the other skis on your list, but I've been pretty happy with the Soul Riders as an everyday Northern VT ski - OK at fast arcing on groomers but super fun in bumps and trees, which is pretty much where I usually head. Solid for little dropping little rocks and stuff, so imagine they would be good in the park, though I don't ski there. FWIW I pull out my Shiro (full rocker & 119 underfoot) for soft days, so that will tell you something about my taste in skis.

post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 

Anyone have any experience with the Blizzard Regulator.  Seems like a perfect ski for what I'm looking for, but I'm having trouble finding them in 186.  Must have been a popular length, because the 179's are available everywhere.  Given my height/weight (6'-0" 185), I'm worried the 179's might be too short (mostly based on this review: http://www.epicski.com/products/2015-blizzard-regulator-skis

 

Would mounting the ski at the factory recommended line (rather than +2) make the ski feel longer?  Would it be enough?  Or should I just get the current year's model in the 186?  Was really hoping to get a deal on last year's model but don't want to end up regretting it.

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Apoc View Post
 

Anyone have any experience with the Blizzard Regulator.  Seems like a perfect ski for what I'm looking for, but I'm having trouble finding them in 186.  Must have been a popular length, because the 179's are available everywhere.  Given my height/weight (6'-0" 185), I'm worried the 179's might be too short (mostly based on this review: http://www.epicski.com/products/2015-blizzard-regulator-skis

 

Would mounting the ski at the factory recommended line (rather than +2) make the ski feel longer?  Would it be enough?  Or should I just get the current year's model in the 186?  Was really hoping to get a deal on last year's model but don't want to end up regretting it.

 

Hold out for the 186.  This ski seems to fit your criteria well, but the 179 would be too short for me, and I'm 5'10", 145.

 

On the plus side, I'd guess the 179 would be slightly better in packed or hard bumps. But I'd probably experience overpowering the tip, and less stability elsewhere.  Set back 2 cm. would work, but I'd guess this might at least slightly mess up the optimal turn flex/feel, and the shorter ski would not feel as good in powder or even soft snow, no matter where the mounting: less fun.  

 

(My experience for these "guesses" is demoing different lengths and owning two stiff, playful charging twin tip skis with adjustable Schizo bindings on them to experiment with: last year's k2 Pettitor/Shreditor 120 and last year's ON3P Jeffrey 110.  I would have recommended the Jeffreys, but they are too wide for what you wanted. If you lived out West or in the Pacific Northwest where they're made, they'd be great.)

 

Another possibility might be the 14/15 Salomon Rocker2 100, the blue skis.  The reviews put them in the same category as the Regulator, maybe slightly less stiff, I'd guess, but a versatile, playful all mountain ski that holds an edge but also is good for occasional park.  I hadn't mentioned it because I know squat about it firsthand. On demo days back in Oct./Nov. lots of good skiers demoing around me really liked this ski and bought it.  

 

But I'd sure suggest demoing either of these skis before you bought them, unless you've had strong input from friends or other skiers during the year.  


Edited by ski otter - 6/12/15 at 4:28pm
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