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Rossignol E 88 for Intermediate? 70%/30% East/West

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Looking for advice on my first ski purchase.  Answers to these prerequisite questions  http://www.epicski.com/a/five-key-questions-when-buying-new-skis here:

 

  1. Where am I skiing?  about 70% Mid-Atlantic/East and 30% out West.  I went to CO last two years but plan to invest my ski vacation money into skis and more local mileage/lessons this season to get better.  Will likely do one week long trip out West every 1-2 years going forward.  
  2. Preferred terrain? As an intermediate, I'm most comfortable on groomed blue runs out West (Snowmass, Copper so far) and groomed single blacks in the East.  That said, at Snowmass last year I started to really get into and enjoy soft bumps, ungroomed blues and groomed single blacks;  this is the terrain I want to ski and want to be more comfortable on and is where I'm striving to spend more time on over the next few seasons.   I would also like to venture into the trees sooner than later.  
  3. How many days a year do you ski?  10-15, maybe 20 if I'm really lucky.
  4. How advanced are you as a skier? Intermediate.  I'll ski up to an ungroomed single black in CO but I'm really pushing myself to ski that and get exhausted when I do.  As noted above, I'm most comfortable on groomed western blues but striving to get better. 
  5. I'm 6'1", 175-180 lbs

 

I think I want an all mountain ski that will serve me well in east but would also be reasonable to take on my trips out West for non-powder days (I could demo powder skis for the days I'm lucky enough to need them).  Given the typical hardpack and ice around here, a carver would seem to make sense but I was thinking something more versatile.  I don't want to be doomed to only carving the groomers forever. 

 

Most importantly, I want something that will benefit me as I'm learning.  I anticipate the majority of my skiing this coming season to be spent locally practicing to get better and taking a lot of lessons.   By next season I would like to go back out west again with hopefully better skills.    

 

My local shop strongly suggested one of the following options - Rossi E 88, Blizzard Brahma or Vokl RTM 84.  Based on my research I'm worried that the Brahma and RTM both may be a little too stiff, but I don't know for sure.  Specifically, he suggested E88s in a 172 length with Salamon Warden bindings for $795.  I demo'd the E88s last year at Snowmass and liked them but only had them for a couple of hours. 

 

I also demo'd the Vokl Kendos, which were nice on the groomers but a little stiff for me I think, and the Kastle LX 82, which were fine on the groomers but seemed to be mostly just a carver?.  I also tried both the Nordica Soul Rider and Rossi Sin 7 on powder days;   liked the Soul Riders much better than the Sin 7s; the Soul Riders seemed much more forgiving to me.  Prior to that I had been on typical "high performance" rentals.  

 

So, I'm curious what the experts here think. 

 

  1. Am I trying to serve too many purposes with one ski for Eastern and Western skiing?
  2. Is it dumb to buy a ski without more time demoing it?
  3. Do you think E88 would be a good fit for an intermediate striving to improve a couple of levels over the next 3-4 seasons?
  4. Would the Brahma or RTM 84 be worth extra consideration? something else altogether?
  5. is low 170s the right length for my size and ability
  6. What should I be considering in bindings?
  7. What else should I be asking myself?  

 

And, yes, BTW I do already have my own boots.  Got Salomon X Pro 100s prior to last season, custom fitted by a good bootfitter recommend on EpiSki - Brian Eardly in DC.  

post #2 of 9

I am in no way qualified to recommend skis for you, but I do own the 2014/2015 Rossi E88's in 172 and can mention the following pros/cons for the ski from personal experience:

 

Pros:

 

1. Very lightweight ski. It was metal strings I think, but still very light.

2. Turning Radius is amazing. This is great for a low intermediate/ high beginner.

I ski Colorado and New Mexico, and have seen rental shops carrying these skis, and recommending them to advancing intermediates. 

3. Great in moguls, as long as they are soft. 

 

 

Cons:

 

1. Lightweight ski with little metal, so top speed and performance in chopped, crud, thawed/refrozen crud is not great. Ski chatters a lot at speed and when snow is frozen.

2. Topsheet is not the most durable. I have owned these skis for one year (skied about 40 times), and the skis look like they have been abused for 5 years. 

 

 

 

It is a great groomer ski, and does well in moguls as long as the snow is good.  I have outgrown this ski in one season though, since I like to ski mostly off-piste.

 

Summary:

 

It's a decent all-mountain cruiser, that is average at best off-piste. 

post #3 of 9

my $0.02....

Quote:

Originally Posted by hokienRIC View Post
 

Looking for advice on my first ski purchase.  Answers to these prerequisite questions  http://www.epicski.com/a/five-key-questions-when-buying-new-skis here:

 

  1. Where am I skiing?  about 70% Mid-Atlantic/East and 30% out West.  I went to CO last two years but plan to invest my ski vacation money into skis and more local mileage/lessons this season to get better.  Will likely do one week long trip out West every 1-2 years going forward.  
  2. Preferred terrain? As an intermediate, I'm most comfortable on groomed blue runs out West (Snowmass, Copper so far) and groomed single blacks in the East.  That said, at Snowmass last year I started to really get into and enjoy soft bumps, ungroomed blues and groomed single blacks;  this is the terrain I want to ski and want to be more comfortable on and is where I'm striving to spend more time on over the next few seasons.   I would also like to venture into the trees sooner than later.  
  3. How many days a year do you ski?  10-15, maybe 20 if I'm really lucky.
  4. How advanced are you as a skier? Intermediate.  I'll ski up to an ungroomed single black in CO but I'm really pushing myself to ski that and get exhausted when I do.  As noted above, I'm most comfortable on groomed western blues but striving to get better. 
  5. I'm 6'1", 175-180 lbs

 

I think I want an all mountain ski that will serve me well in east but would also be reasonable to take on my trips out West for non-powder days (I could demo powder skis for the days I'm lucky enough to need them).  Given the typical hardpack and ice around here, a carver would seem to make sense but I was thinking something more versatile.  I don't want to be doomed to only carving the groomers forever. 

 

Most importantly, I want something that will benefit me as I'm learning.  I anticipate the majority of my skiing this coming season to be spent locally practicing to get better and taking a lot of lessons.   By next season I would like to go back out west again with hopefully better skills.    

 

My local shop strongly suggested one of the following options - Rossi E 88, Blizzard Brahma or Vokl RTM 84.  Based on my research I'm worried that the Brahma and RTM both may be a little too stiff, but I don't know for sure.  Specifically, he suggested E88s in a 172 length with Salamon Warden bindings for $795.  I demo'd the E88s last year at Snowmass and liked them but only had them for a couple of hours. 

 

I also demo'd the Vokl Kendos, which were nice on the groomers but a little stiff for me I think, and the Kastle LX 82, which were fine on the groomers but seemed to be mostly just a carver?.  I also tried both the Nordica Soul Rider and Rossi Sin 7 on powder days;   liked the Soul Riders much better than the Sin 7s; the Soul Riders seemed much more forgiving to me.  Prior to that I had been on typical "high performance" rentals.  

 

So, I'm curious what the experts here think. 

 

  1. Am I trying to serve too many purposes with one ski for Eastern and Western skiing? In a perfect world...of course.  But in the real world... very reasonable.  If you only ski as much as you say, don't let anyone tell you you NEED two different skis.
  2. Is it dumb to buy a ski without more time demoing it? Again, in a perfect world, you would demo.  However, given the reality of how much you ski, and the vagaries of ski and snow conditions when you do demo, it's reasonable to buy w/o further demos.
  3. Do you think E88 would be a good fit for an intermediate striving to improve a couple of levels over the next 3-4 seasons? Yes.  I'm not sure about GIgglin's experience, but I'm not sure they are a ski that folks "grow out" of.  That said, they ARE more of a groomer-oriented ski.  My take is that they will be good on your usual terrain and very adequate at leading you to your aspirational terrain.  Are they the best soft-snow, bump ski?  No.  But they ride the compromise you seem to be looking for pretty well.
  4. Would the Brahma or RTM 84 be worth extra consideration? something else altogether? I can't suggest anything else, but Brahma may be pretty reasonable -- or possibly better at more all-round skiing. RTM 84 is much more hard-snow, groomer oriented, and will not encourage you into off-trail terrain as much.  
  5. is low 170s the right length for my size and ability GIven your height, I might go upper 170's. But 172 is reasonable for your weight.  Someone else will kick in.  
  6. What should I be considering in bindings?
  7. What else should I be asking myself?  Have you read all the reviews available?  SKI magazine, RealSKiers website?  I don't really trust reviews absolutely, but if you read carefully, you can get a bit of an insight into differences.  One difference you might want to think about: do you like to "drive" your skis?  or do you want the ski to do the work?  This is a PhilPug question, and I think it makes sense.  Some folks want to drive, and some want to ride.  How aggressive/stiff you go depends on this parameter as much as weight and height.

Good luck.

 

And, yes, BTW I do already have my own boots.  Got Salomon X Pro 100s prior to last season, custom fitted by a good bootfitter recommend on EpiSki - Brian Eardly in DC.  

post #4 of 9

Sounds like we're pretty similar in ability level. Last year I demo'd E88, Brahma, and Head Rev 85 before settling on Brahma. Managed to put 15 days or so on them and am really happy with my decision. The RTM 84s have reputation for being a much stiffer ski, more than one shop told me they recommend them to heavier skiers, but I don't think the Brahmas are noticeably stiffer than the E88s. 

 

As much as I like my Brahmas it's not my style to put on the hard sell. But if you're not 100% about the E88s, why not wait and demo Blizzards? At $795 you're not passing up some super deal, that was the going price for either E88s or Brahmas (both with bindings) when I bought my skis in January last season. Your research has helped you narrow your preferences to some good skis, time on the snow will tell you which one is best for you.

post #5 of 9

I'd not buy a E88 as my sole ski if I skied primarily in the east. Go take a gander at the Blizzard Latigo, Kastle LX82, Salomon X-Drive 8.0 Ti, Volkl RTM 81. If you're out west on the occasional day you need more than 80-ish mm waists, rent some fatties for the day. Seriously. Aim at what your most typical conditions will be, not a compromise that rarely hits the conditions perfectly. 

post #6 of 9

I had the E88s for a season and grew out of them as others have said.  They are one of the easiest turning skis I've been on to the point that they will have you looking back up the hill on a hard carve.  You may want to consider going the used demo route and pickup some skis off ebay or Powder7 that have the adjustable demo bindings.  If you don't enjoy them, they are pretty easy to re-sell.  You aren't as committed as paying big bucks for a new set and having shops drill the bindings. 

post #7 of 9

Since you have recommendations from your local shop that is pretty well respected, seems like going with one of those is perfectly reasonable.  Especially if you can find a decent price on a previous year model.

 

The first skis I bought when I started skiing more were based on a demo day in the Southeast when I was an intermediate starting to ski more days after a voluntary early retirement.  As it turned out, they weren't really the best fit.  But they were fine for 2-3 seasons locally.  I rented the first couple times I went out west.  That's when I really took the opportunity to demo to figure out what I would like.  Skiing for half a day is a much better way to get a feel for skis than a couple quick runs down a short groomer.

 

Even if you decide to buy skis, going to a demo day is worth it in my opinion.  You can learn as much, or more, from getting a little time on skis that you find difficult to deal with.  Don't need to know why.  But that will help narrow your shopping list.  Massanutten and Wintergreen will have demo days set up by Freestyle in Charlottesville in Dec and Jan.  They have a pretty good selection of all-mountain options because the people who buy skis tend to be either instructors or people who take at least one trip out west per season.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks to everyone for the feedback.  For the most part, it backs up what my local store was telling me as well as my interpretation of the reviews I've read on Epic and elsewhere online.  

 

I get that there is no "do it all" ski but I can't justify owning multiple skis at this point in my development.  And while a true carving ski would probably serve me better on the local groomers, I prefer something to help me transition into the terrain that interests me more; i.e. beyond just the groomers.  

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by hokienRIC View Post
 

Thanks to everyone for the feedback.  For the most part, it backs up what my local store was telling me as well as my interpretation of the reviews I've read on Epic and elsewhere online.  

 

I get that there is no "do it all" ski but I can't justify owning multiple skis at this point in my development.  And while a true carving ski would probably serve me better on the local groomers, I prefer something to help me transition into the terrain that interests me more; i.e. beyond just the groomers.  


For what it's worth, I've been using my all-mountain skis at Mnut half the time.  Bought them after demo'ing them out west five years ago.  Some days I used old Volkl carvers that were supposed to be for my daughter (bought from EpicSki father), but I liked being on the all-mountain skis because I was more interested in practicing technique on the wider skis in order to get ready for big mountain skiing out west.  I'll ski those in up to 6 inches of fresh powder.  More snow than that . . . time to rent demo skis.

 

Bought some narrow skis (2015 model) over the summer based on what I tried out during the Jan 2015 demo weekend at Mnut.  Easy decision because I have a friend who bought the Volkl skis.

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