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East coast mid fat alternative

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
6 ft 2
215 lbs dry weight

On the Blizzard Magnum 8.5 Ti 180 the past few years. Love them but they ski a little short, lack the energy/rebound of my 2004 Fischer RC4 WC 180 (which I still ride and love), and the rocker is a tad too much causing tip flap on runouts.

Buddy has a non rocker Kendo 177 which I almost bought in 184 but went with the Blizz because wanted a little more nimble in the trees/bumps ski

I'd love to get a touch more energy and carve out of a ski. 80 to 85mm is fine underfoot at sugarloaf and saddleback Maine.

Tried the MX83 183 in Europe this winter and didn't like it. No life at all. Not a noodle but gave nothing back when stepped on. The rental tune must have been way off, too, because they chattered like nothing else on hard skid. Was weird. Ski seemed very capable but sedate, like a Lexus not a BMW.

I like to carve fast GS, like really carve, minimal spray, roll the ankles gently, maximize compression into the hill, rebound off to the next turn, etc

But I also like to bounce moguls, blast crud, and hit some trees!

Not interested in the Brahma because think it would be exactly like to Magnum.

Other suggestions?
post #2 of 14

Check Blister Gear Reviews, they really like two skis somewhat similar to the Brahma's. I ski NE and really like the Brahmas, but Blister also liked the Salomon X-Drive 8.8FX and a Dynastar Powertrak 89. I just bought a used Kastle MX78 in 184cm this year. It is essentially for exactly what you describe. I didn't want to ski my 192 cm Blizzard racestock GS skis in the trees and bumps due to how stiff they are and how they needed some speed to turn well. The MX78 has a very similar feel as my Blizzard, but is softer, turns quicker especially at slow speeds, and is very stable. It is not a high rebound ski, but I like it a lot and works well for me in the trees. I am 6'4", 245lbs, so a little bigger than you. I would also suggest the the tune on your MX 83 was probably the cause of you not liking the ski. I have not tried them, but they are similar to the MX78. The MX's are not "lively" and bounce you into the next turn. Fischer has a new ski, called the power ranger or something like that that is in the same class and is getting good reviews. I don't know Fishcer's line very well.


For energy and carve, the Powertrak 89 and even the X-Drive 8.0 might give you what you want.  The MX's give you carve, at least mine do, but not as much energy, more damp. I find that OK though.

post #3 of 14

The Dynastar Powertrack 89 is a good ski, but you won't like it because it doesn't have the rebound you're looking for.  The Salomon X-Drive 8.8 is a very good ski and you might like it.  From your description of your skiing I think the ski you would really like is the Nordica Fire Arrow 84 EDT.  It has a very small amount of early rise in the tip and I do mean small.  It has no speed limit and has some very serious rebound.  It is basically a "fat" race ski as Nordica has put a fair amount of their race ski technology into it.  They make it in a 168, 176 and 184.  I'm 5'7", 150 pounds and ski the 168.  I've skied the 176 a fair amount and could handle it but it was just a bit more work than I wanted.  I would recommend you try to demo the 184 or the 176 if you can't find the 184.  This is a ski that rewards good technique, but it does require that you pay attention all the time, not for the cruise and snooze crowd.

post #4 of 14
Originally Posted by JonD999 View Post

Tried the MX83 183 in Europe this winter and didn't like it. No life at all. Not a noodle but gave nothing back when stepped on. The rental tune must have been way off, too, because they chattered like nothing else on hard skid. Was weird. Ski seemed very capable but sedate, like a Lexus not a BMW.


:beercheer:   You wouldn't believe some of the responses I got when I started a thread on this. 

Have you looked at any Stockli Stormriders?

post #5 of 14

OP: Some random thoughts about loading skis and sedateness. IME Kastles are very smooth, and have very progressive tails, meaning that the flex pattern doesn't include a markedly stiffer tail So they don't load energy in the flex and then counter flex at the end like some skis do. OTOH, neither do Stocklis. You may be experiencing a progressive tail as sedateness.


Also IME chattering may be about tune (especially burrs), but could also be about weighting. Kastles do not much like to be skied from the heels and they thrive on higher angles. So the combination of being slightly too neutral in stance and the progressive tails may produce a sort of deadness you describe. Hard to say for sure. You're a bigger guy, so unlikely you're just not bending the ski (which also can feel dead). 


It may just get down to the fact you like lively skis. Skis that tend to really load up the tail and give it back IMO include Heads (for sure top of the pop list but stiffish and very damp), then Salomons, Atomics, and Fischers (lively and less damp). Blizzards and Volkls a bit less so, call them in the middle. Dynastars and Rossis, definitely on the progressive/smooth release side. 

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

gotta check out that Salomon ski.  sounds interesting.  i came off of a Salomon Equipe 3s into the Fischer race skis 10 years ago.  i think the poster is right, i like a big energy/rebound ski.  love to sit on the tails and compress into the hill and then get thrown the other way into the next turn, trying to rail/keep the snow as quiet as possible.  


but also like to hit the bumps/trees!


alas, there is no perfect ski but do thing a touch less rocker, a touch more length, and maybe a bit more race-like energy/camber would be good.  in other words, should have gone with the Kendo!!! hahaha.


i actually really like the Magnum 8.5s.  they are pretty smooth and versatile.  feels nice to have the rocker in a tight bump/tree situation.  i just miss that rail/energy/compression feeling from the Fischers on occasion --- so i ride them, too!


on the Kastles, i know they are an EpicSki favorite.  they definitely surround you with confidence and stability.  all good.  enjoy life/skiing!

post #7 of 14

Look at Back Country's web site. They have the Salomon 8.8's on sale for $419 which is a pretty good buy. I was tempted but already bought the MX 78's. They might be out of the 184 cm length, though. If you have the opportunity, I suggest giving the Kastle's another try. I have had mixed experiences with them, myself, but since they get so much good press here, I really wanted to experience a pair. The used pair I bought need a base grind. They are hooking every time I engage the tip. I moved the mount point back 1.5 cm to counteract this. I have only skied them a couple of times and don't trust them yet. I am blaming the tune right now. Next season they will be base ground at SkiMD in Framingham and they will be perfect. Then it will be time to review them. For now they seem to have a lot of potential, but some issues.


I demo'd the Brahamas in 180 cm for about 1/2 a day and found them to have pretty good pop coming out of turns. They had two different personalities, you could pivot them easily and smear them or you could engage their edges on high angles and get some good energy out of them. If I  didn't get the Kastle, I was going to get a 188 Brahma. Just my two cents


Check out this thread


post #8 of 14

If you think the magnum 8.5 is lacking energy and if you think that their rocker is too pronounced...then I'm guessing you wont like any other skis in the 80-85 mm... You have to realized that taking a ski in this range is a mather of compromise...


The Fire arrow edt is really nice but not for bumps and trees... I really like the Motive 86 and 95... And maybe some could talk about the return of the monster???


I'm guessing that you would like the Nordica Steadfast if you can find some... really nice also in bumps and trees...


Or the g-power maybe ( don't consider them bumps and tree ski either)...


And yes... maybe the Brahma in 187 cm... They are very similar to the magnum but maybe a little more livier...

post #9 of 14
If he doesn't like the Kastle, he won't like the Monsters.
post #10 of 14

The Brahma would not be very similar at all to the Magnum... regardless it probably isn't the ski you're looking for. Try and find an old pair of Nordica Steadfests, they don't make them anymore but they were an awesome ski, good grip, snappy, and really good off trail as well.

post #11 of 14

Agree that if he doesn't like the Kastle, he won't love the Monster. I think the "challenge" is that there aren't may 80mm+ skis that have what the OP seems to be looking for in terms of pop, rebound, "giving something back when stepped on" in terms of feel and feedback. 


I'm a touch smaller than he is,and two years ago I was 25 pounds heavier. My home hill in the East is Sugarloaf. I think the first question is when, and in what conditions are you going to ski the new ski. Trees and some bumps are mentioned. My experience {50 years + at Sugarloaf, 60+ days a year, extensive background} is that the ski that works best on the hard pack and buffed middle of the mountain isn't going to be the ski for Brackett, the trees to the West side, etc. It's all about compromise. I split my time between SL and CO, and I have different skis in both spots.


At Sugarloaf, 80% of my days are spent on a GS cheater. 180 cm Head iSpeed, to 178cm Dynastar Course Pro {74mm waist}. When I'm skiing softer snow, and fresh snow, I'm on a 187cm 98mm Bonafide, almost always. I have a 184cm FirearrowEDT84 out west. My firm snow ski. It's a one trick pony. I also have a second set of Bonafides out there, and a pair of big skis.196cm Bodacious. Just added a pair of spurs to that group. 


I've skied, and owned a lot of Blizz Flipcore skis. I have a pair of 187cm Brahma's for sale on the gear forum. The only reason that I have them for sale is that there is a TON of overlap between those and the Bonafide, and I just find myself reaching more for the Bonafide. It is probably because I tend to ski the groomers most often with my wife and friends. So I'm on a cheater. When it's March, or if we get 6-8" of fresh, I'm on the Bonafide. I think the Brahma is a VERY versatile ski. It has some beef to it, and if you lay it over on edge on the firm, and pressure it, it will give you some pop. It has a strong tail. If you choose to pivot on it, and use less edge angle, It will skid, stivot, slarve, etc. In my experience, it's super ease to move around. It's not as good as a true bump ski. It's not a true soft snow ski, but it will also ski just fine on the the firmer snow. 


I've skied the new Monsters, and I really like the ski. It's absolutely no bump ski. I like the 88 a ton, but it's a very damp, wide cruiser. I might get a pair, and, gain, for the terrain I ski, and the days I ski, it might be a great ski for me in a 184cm. It's not as versatile as the Brahma. I'd rather have the Brahma in the trees and bumps that we ski at Sugarloaf…..on a day where I might spend a third of the day there, and two-thirds on the groomers. Or if it's softer, maybe 50/50. 


Don't know if that helps, or confuses. This is like flyfishing, trying to match the hatch. I have a lot of ski days at both Sugarloaf and Saddleback. That's where I'm coming from. I describe Sugarloaf to my CO ski friends as the only area where you can ski from sunup to sundown in January, and be done by 10AM. And Saddleback, similar but fewer people and 15 degrees colder. Love it though. The ski reviews, and a lot of well intended people don't factor in the where of this decision. 


I have not skied the Motive. My brother skis the 95, and is a big fan. Exceptional skier, spends winters in CO, and about 160 lbs. I'm not sure how that last part factors into things. I know a lot of bigger guys who are pleased with the Brahma. Athletic upper intermediates to former national team guys. Just have mote experience with it.


As others have said, there are so many great skis made these days, but as the options increase, so does the fact that there's compromise in all of them. The only exceptions that I've seem are the Head women's Joy series. Home run. My wife spends 85% of her days on the Super Joy. Really skiable in so many different circumstances.

post #12 of 14

I've seen a couple recommendations for Nordica Steadfast and saw that STP has a great deal on some 170's and 178's. You would probably be looking for the 186's..



Edited by kpbski - 6/12/15 at 12:38pm
post #13 of 14

he could be on the 178 no problem... the 186 could be nice too!

post #14 of 14

I see that link on STP has had the price go back up. The skis were on for about 75% off when I posted it but they have dropped to 26% off now. I suspect the price may drop again..

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