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Playful Two-Ski Quiver

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking about getting a new two-ski quiver this year. Why only two? Because almost all of my ski trips involve a flight followed by a train or bus ride and a walk through town, so I have to limit myself to what I can carry around airports, train stations, etc. (sometimes up and down stairs). Three- or four-ski quivers are out of the question.

 

I find myself preferring playful freestyle-oriented skis (either fully symmetric or nearly so) because I like a centered stance and relaxed style. I'm 5'9" and 175 lbs with a low center of gravity (big legs, small arms), so I don't need any 190+ long chargers reinforced with steel girders. I hop around on crud rather than charging through it. I cruise on groomers or work on short speed-control turns (practice for tight, steep off-piste terrain).

 

Most of my skiing is easy-access off-piste in the Alps, which means navigating groomers and traverses to get to the good stuff, and then more traverses and groomers to get back to the lifts. Some runs cover a large amount of vertical and can go from one extreme to another (icy groomer/bumps leading to sheltered bowl/chute with nice powder, nice powder turning into crust and then eventually slush, and so on). So, I need skis that are fairly versatile (no race skis, no fully-rockered 120+ wide pow skis, and I'm not a fan of large amounts of early taper in the tips and tails).

 

I'm thinking about a ~90-mm ski for when it hasn't snowed for a while but I'm occasionally finding small patches of shin- to knee-deep snow and a ~110-mm ski for when it has snowed recently and I'm finding a lot of good stuff but still maybe hitting sun/traffic-affected groomers and bumps on occasion. At the moment, I'm liking the look of the Kastle XX90 (175 cm) and XX110 (180 cm). Another interesting combination is the K2 Shreditor 92 (177 cm) and last year's version of the Line SFB (108 mm and 184 cm), which I can still find in ski shops around here.

 

Any comments on these or ideas for other demos?

 

Some skis I've tested/owned in the past are Line Elizabeths (too short to be my big ski, too wide to be my small ski, but easy and fun to ride in the right conditions), Blizzard Peacemakers (a little too narrow to be my big ski, could've been a bit more symmetric for my liking, but also fun to ride), original version Line SFB (a little wider than I need, too much early taper in the tip and tail, and no early rise in that version), Line Prophet 90 (more metal than I need, too directional for my liking, but the width felt good for the conditions I'd use a smaller ski in).

 

Here's a photo of me scrubbing speed on a snow day to give you an idea of my stance/style.

 

 

Here's a TR from a gathering in St. Anton to give you an idea of the conditions I can see in a fairly typical week http://www.epicski.com/t/128294/euro-gathering-tr-february-8-15-2014.

post #2 of 15
Nice blog. Something like a 178 Faction Prodigy would be a good Euro one ski quiver at 98mm. Quick, versatile. Link to last year's version. http://www.factionskis.com/gear/skis/ski-1415-prd

You might want it concentrate on your everyday ski and work in the powder ski after that.

If you like freestyle powder skis, you might look at a Line Opus or Sir Francis Bacon, or Faction Candide 3.0
post #3 of 15

In true EpicSki fashion I must start with, ....

What about boots?  Make sure you have your boots fitted by a proper bootfitter of our choosing and seal of approval. :D

 

Have you considered the Head Instinct 85 for your -90 ski?  I think its more playful and a bit more of what you're asking than the Shredditor.  Another ski you may consider is the Scott Black Magic, in that category.  

post #4 of 15

Worth considering  Whitedot

 

- one of the One models for your skinny parkish ski (trad camber)

 

- Director Carbonlite for the single most fun ski I've ever tried in the 105-110 bracket (but it is rockered and slightly bonkers).


They definitely have demos in Cham and Mayrhofen and will probably be demoing at Hemel and other fridges in the UK in the autumn.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

In true EpicSki fashion I must start with, ....

What about boots?  Make sure you have your boots fitted by a proper bootfitter of our choosing and seal of approval. :D

 

Have you considered the Head Instinct 85 for your -90 ski?  I think its more playful and a bit more of what you're asking than the Shredditor.  Another ski you may consider is the Scott Black Magic, in that category.  

 

Yes, I've got my boots sorted thank you very much. :p

 

It doesn't look like any shops around here have the Heads, but I might find some shops in resorts that have them. I can probably demo the Scotts in one of the indoor slopes here, so I'll have a look the next time I go for a refresher.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbob View Post
 

Worth considering  Whitedot

 

- one of the One models for your skinny parkish ski (trad camber)

 

- Director Carbonlite for the single most fun ski I've ever tried in the 105-110 bracket (but it is rockered and slightly bonkers).


They definitely have demos in Cham and Mayrhofen and will probably be demoing at Hemel and other fridges in the UK in the autumn.

 

Good call on the Whitedots. I often see people on the Preacher, but the Director is probably more suited to my needs. The Park One looks promising as well.

 

I'm sure I'll find shops on the mountain to do a demo.

post #6 of 15

Salomon Q85 174cm

Salomon Rocker2 100 178cm

 

Honestly, I see the Rocker2 100 as the answer to the question; what do you bring, if you can only bring one pair? The Q85 is for whey you're allowed to bring 2 pair, especially if the destination hasn't  been getting much snow.

post #7 of 15

For the 90 mm category, I would have a look at Nordica Nrgy 90 (directponal), Atomic Vantage Theory (all-mountain twin tip), the narrower Shreditors, the new Blizzard Regulator?

 

For the wider ski, I can really recommend Atomic Automatic 109.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Skull View Post
 

Salomon Q85 174cm

Salomon Rocker2 100 178cm

 

Honestly, I see the Rocker2 100 as the answer to the question; what do you bring, if you can only bring one pair? The Q85 is for whey you're allowed to bring 2 pair, especially if the destination hasn't  been getting much snow.

 

Unfortunately, the Q and Rocker2 series have too much taper for me. It's fine for open terrain, but it causes problems in tight spaces. For example, some traverses in the Alps cut across gulleys that are too steep to go straight through. So, you have to go across the fall line going down, make a tight turn at the bottom without losing much speed, and then back up across the fall line the other way. The tapered part of the ski is useless in that tight turn and can bump against the side of the traverse, especially if a lot of people have been through and the tracks are sitting deep.

 

Also, I have a habit of accidentally putting pressure on the tapered part of my old SFBs when turning on groomers, which causes some random tumbles. So, I'm looking for skis with only a short  taper.

 

But, the NFX Lab looks interesting. I'll have to check it out.

post #9 of 15

Nordica Soul Rider and Blizzard Gunsmoke. 

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by CerebralVortex View Post
 

 

But, the NFX Lab looks interesting. I'll have to check it out.

I was considering that as a traditional cambered alternative to the Q85. Most reviews I've read say it's pretty stiff, I guess since it's supposed to be a comp ski. FWIW, I'd be really happy if I could pick up an 04 or 05 1080 or thruster. 80mm waist, and nice soft flex for taking it straight to the zipper-line without getting bucked!

 

I would agree though that the Q85 probably has more going on than is really necessary for an AM twin. The Threat look kind of interdasting too. Ti laminate sounds sexeh.

post #11 of 15

several trips planned here this year with long car rides, flights, shuttles not to mention a two ski bag is generally all your getting on board without huge luggage fees and a Sherpa!

 

Daily east coaster with Revelstoke , vail and others planned already. this years set up is the New enforcer in a 177 and last years Praxis GPO in a 182. GPOs got the most days last year over blizz bones, El Capos and others but then again it was an epic year here in the east.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by CerebralVortex View Post

Also, I have a habit of accidentally putting pressure on the tapered part of my old SFBs when turning on groomers, which causes some random tumbles. So, I'm looking for skis with only a short  taper.

The Rocker2 100 is fine with being driven in a more forward stance. Not a carver, obviously, but it doesn't overly demand a neutral stance. Can't say it would be ok for your traverse situation, but you might demo a narrower waist powder oriented ski just to see. I think it is a great ski in tight spaces like trees, and it is easy to ski long.

I only note this because @MT Skull pointed you cleanly in the playful OSQ category, and there are not many skis here biased to "playful". So ideologically, could be worth challenging your concerns with a demo if you can. But you may already know re: traverses, so get that. But it can certainly be laid over on groomers...so....food for thought.
post #13 of 15

I demoed a whole pile of skis over the last couple of years, including the Shreditor 92 and 102.  I had a nice morning skiing powder at Targhee on the 102, and really enjoyed the playfulness of that ski in trees and tight spots, but didn't like it at all once things had chopped up in the afternoon.  I tried the 92 on a non-powder day at Park City, and gave it back after a single run such was my dislike for it. Just seemed way too soft.

 

The ski I eventually bought was the Atomic Vantage Theory, so I'll put another vote in for these.  I tried a bunch of other good skis (Brahma, Bonefide, Kendo, RTM84, Rictor 90, etc) that I liked to varying degrees, but the Theory was the one that felt the most natural and most consistently put a smile on my face.  I imagine you're a stronger skier than I am, so not sure how much my preferences translate.  My overall impression was that the Theory had better all around capabilities than something like the Shreditor, while being more playful (and more forgiving) than skis like the Kendo and Brahma (let alone the Bonefide, which was a great fun ski but not one I could handle as well on challenging terrain).

 

About me: I'm about 6ft, 185lbs, and I'd guess a level 7 on the Epic Ski scale.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Skull View Post
 

I was considering that as a traditional cambered alternative to the Q85. Most reviews I've read say it's pretty stiff, I guess since it's supposed to be a comp ski.

 

Thanks for the heads-up. I'll probably give it a miss or put it further down the demo list.

post #15 of 15

Nordica Soul Rider for the 'narrow' ski. Opus, Gunsmoke, Patron, or Jeffery 114 for the 'wide' ski. I don't think you can go wrong with any of those for the type of ski you're looking for.

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