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Favorite front side / carvers from 2008-2013?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Looking to mine some wisdom of those who skied lots of frontside / carving skis over the last few years. Looking to pick up a pair of frontside skis to drill technique and enjoy early season in Colorado. Given I'll only spend a handful of days on them (assuming a decent year in Colorado I expect to spend more time on my daily 1-0-something drivers, and powder skis), I'll be going the used route hence the suggested date range. Doubt I can yet handle/make perform FIS or cheater skis. 

 

Sizing recommendations would be helpful too as I only own more off-piste oriented skis. 

 

About me:

- 6'2" / 170lb. 

- Advanced intermediate / Advanced skier. Probably a mid-high 7? (Ski any and all terrain at Loveland except Rock Chutes, including all the steep bumps. But not with the grace and efficiency I'd like.)

- Ski 30-40 days a year. 80% of these at Loveland, rest at a smattering of CO mountains. 

 

Current quiver:

- 178 park skis (80mm) (for goofing around / slow cruising with SO/mom.)

- 176 Fischer Watea 84 (84mm) 

- 177 Nordica El Capos (107mm)

- 185 BD Megawatts (125mm)

 

Or maybe I'm overthinking this, am just fine working on this stuff with the 84mm Wateas, and am just looking for a reason to own another pair of skis? 

 

If not -- what lines/models/sizes should I keep my eye out for?

post #2 of 21

I don't see a true dedicated carver in your quiver.  You have many choices, but let me suggest one: my current front-side skis are Kastle MX78's.  I like them a LOT for front-side, hard-snow carvers.  For no good reason, I happened to be on Ebay yesterday.  There's are a couple pair of what-look-to-be pretty nice used MX78 demos for sale (with adjustable binders) for under $300.  If they are in the good condition they seem to be, this would be an excellent carving ski at an excellent price.  

post #3 of 21

My two favorites have been the Nordica Firearrow 84 EDT and the Kastle RX.

post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmeb View Post
 

 Doubt I can yet handle/make perform FIS or cheater skis. 

 

....

If not -- what lines/models/sizes should I keep my eye out for?

 

Yes, you can and I think you owe yourself a try.    

They are much easier to ski than you might think.   They are far more rewarding than you might think.     Early season is one time of year you plan to use them but they are also excellent for those springtime mornings when everything at the top of the lift is still hard ice.    Heck, get the right structure and they will even scream through the slush at bottom.  


Keep in mind that the older the gear the more it is likely to be played out - as in not completely lost its camber but unable to cleanly engage the edge particularly near the tips of the ski.       So, if you happen to see @ScotsSkier or one of the other Epic racers selling gear that doesn't quite meet current rules, it's probably a far better deal than someone's 2008 Salomons off Ebay.


Skis I'm willing to bet you could ski right now:

Fischer RC4 WC RC Pro
Atomic D2 Race GS

Rossi Radical 9 GS

 

EDIT:  The downside to skis like this is that they will almost immediately expose any flaws you might have in your boot fit or balance.    On the upside, shims and things are very readily available.


Edited by cantunamunch - 9/21/15 at 8:47am
post #5 of 21

Your experience, size (same weight but I'm 3 inches shorter) and a skill set that sounds similar to me c. 2009ish.  I went with the Head i.Supershape Speed in 170cm and don't regret the decision.  From there, with encouragement from a few here, I fearfully went with 165 FIS SL skis and loved every minute.  There are a lot of ways to skin this cat but I think the race/racy skis help you develop technique a lot better than more versatile skis like MX78s.   The racy ski can do a lot to get you in the right place by protesting when you are not.  My wife calls them "talking skis".  Most ski coaches free ski on SL skis because they are so fun.  I would error to shorter radius skis at first.

 

I think newer skis have some performance advantages but for what you want, I would worry less about the vintage, just get ones that are not too used.  You might want a subscription to realskiers for their archives, they are helpful when shopping for older skis.  There are a lot of old posts on epic ski too.  Keep the edges really sharp and bases waxed and enjoy the g forces and spring.

 

 

 

 


Edited by Utagonian - 9/21/15 at 5:05pm
post #6 of 21

Will second the RX12 if you can find it at a reasonable price (good luck). But my other fav, just a beat behind the Kastle, is whatever they're now calling the appropriate Blizzard carver (they change the name every year for unclear reasons). I think maybe the Power S8? It'll be livelier than the RX12, a lot cheaper because it comes with a binding, and has comparable grip and power, a touch less refined feeling. The Fischer Progressor line is also reliably excellent, a bit more lively still, a touch less power and a bit more of a ski that teaches the user to get better. 


Respect the group here that like rec racing skis for carvers, but not convinced that will work best for you. 

post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 

Super helpful all. Very appreciative. I'm taking notes of models and lengths. More likely I'll tend towards something with a shorter than longer turn radius. Seem like it'd be more fun on early season WROD conditions. 165-175cm sounds right depending on the turn radius.  I'd like to find the fuzzy line of a pair of skis that "talks" to me to keep me focused and improving, but not one which is so unforgiving as to reduce my progress. A nice recreational carver seems like it would fit the bill, but I won't shun FIS/cheaters if one pops up for a good deal. 

 

I could care less about the vintage of the skis, only that they are a) fun and b) are a suitable platform to become a better skier. Buying online (except new) is tricky because its hard to tell how much life has been sapped out. I'm lucky enough to have an active local CL and also some fall ski swaps in my area. Of course, if someone is sitting on something that they think fits the bill, PM me. 

 

EDIT: Maybe something like these: http://denver.craigslist.org/spo/5225840991.html

post #8 of 21

^^^^ Looks like a pretty good deal to me.  These are not full-on race skis, but somewhat detuned/less demanding.  I had the previous generation Fischer and found them solid, aggressive, and responsive.  

For my money, I agree with beyond; I respect the points of the race ski group, but I'm not sure you will be best suited by such precise equipment.

post #9 of 21

If the blem Nordica Fire Arrows are in your size at starthaus, that would be a great deal.

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbao26975 View Post
 

If the blem Nordica Fire Arrows are in your size at starthaus, that would be a great deal.

 

Sizing recommendations -- @SierraJim want to sell some skis? Which FireArrow...74, 76? At $299 the 74 in 168 is tempting. But i know some manufactures alter the layup quite a bit between waist sizes. 

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post
 

^^^^ Looks like a pretty good deal to me.  These are not full-on race skis, but somewhat detuned/less demanding.  I had the previous generation Fischer and found them solid, aggressive, and responsive.  

For my money, I agree with beyond; I respect the points of the race ski group, but I'm not sure you will be best suited by such precise equipment.

 

@ $175 are these a go assuming everything checks out? 

post #12 of 21
Something else to consider:

I might be off, but pay attention to radius, waist width, lay-up, and length; the brand might not be as relevant. There aren't many brands, if any at all, who are making bad skis.

Also, be mindful that even 66mm skis can actually perform quite well in ALL conditions. Especially in low density CO snow, with good technique, a narrow waisted ski is much easier to tip and create tighter turns. Narrower skis require less speed to reach the intended goal of nice, clean carved turns.

I have a pair of Head TT 80's in a 176; 15 m radius, 67 underfoot. I ski these everyday at Beaver Creek up to 6 inches or so. Mostly spend my time in bumps, soft or not. The performance from a narrower ski can be quite rewarding. YMMV.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 

@Townicus  -- agreed. I don't care about brand really, more using it / models as short-hand for when the radius/waist/lay-up/length all got dialed and produced a good ski. 

 

I'm leaning towards the Fischer Progressor 9+ posted above, but am worried that 170cm will be a bit too short for my 6'2" / 170lb self. Anyone with sizing advice or opinions on the ski would be appreciated. Keen as $200 is the sweet spot of extra cash I've made selling off some old gear recently so I don't need to feel like owning a 5th pair is insane :). 

post #14 of 21

Size is a debatable point. I am 5'8" and 175 lbs dressed for skiing.  I had a pair of RX8's in 170; I'm now skiing on 168 Kastle MX78's.  Generally, many folks ski hard-snow carvers a bit shorter than all-mountains.  I have a pair of 180 all-mountain skis.  World Cuppers have competed on 165's in slalom.  You are currently on mid/upper 170's in your others skis; I don't see a big issue or problem with 170's in the Fischers given your weight.  
Other folks give more consideration to height -- and I would concede that at 6'2" you seem tall for the skis.  

 

Really the only way you will know is by skiing different lengths, and I think you may find you have preferences.  But... I don't think 170 is so far out of the ballpark that you will find them "incorrect".  

post #15 of 21

Your weight is fine, so total flex all good. But you're awfully tall for a 170. My hunch is that it would be a blast in bumps, and extremely tractable at moderate speeds, so great in firm tight places. Grip won't be an issue at low to moderate speeds. OTOH, if you plan to rip, you may overpressure the tip and end up abruptly turning one way while your ACL's decide to go the other.

 

WC skiers hit 50 mph+ on 165 SL's, but 1) they're decent skiers who can react and correct when the ski gets perturbed, and 2) WC SL's are pretty stiff in front, not necessarily the best choice for low speed noodling. 

post #16 of 21

For science;).  I have been conducting a multi-year experiment on just this topic.  My results confirm @beyond 's statement.

Although not a FIS world cup racer, I have skied 13 m 165 skis at over 60 mph (for science); I have skied 220 cm GS skis and 215 cm SG skis at higher speeds (for science). I have varied my weight from 145 lbs to 180 lbs (for science).

 

You can ski the short skis at speed, but it is not easy.  The longer skis are much easier to ski fast.  The shorter skis give you more pressure at the edge for ice grip; the longer skis smooth out the ride and give you more platform to hold you on line at speed in less solid snow (and more float for similar width), and help with fore-aft balance recovery going over unseen bumps in flat light and in cut up post storm snow.   If you are in the top third of the speed range considering all the skiers on the hill, the 170 will be too short.  If your are in the lower third of that speed range, the short ski will be just fine.  If your in the middle third, it won't matter that much, but you will still wish you had the longer ski.


Edited by Ghost - 9/24/15 at 10:04am
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

But you're awfully tall for a 170.

 

Well, the 170 is actually 171/2 before gear. And that is summer biking weight, so maybe I'll be a bit thicker come Feb?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

For science;).  I have been conducting a multi-year experiment on just this topic.  My results confirm @beyond 's statement.

Although not a FIS world cup racer, I have skied 13 m 165 skis at over 60 mph (for science); I have skied 220 cm GS skis and 215 cm SG skis at higher speeds (for science). I have varied my weight from 145 lbs to 180 lbs (for science).

 

You can ski the short skis at speed, but it is not easy.  The longer skis are much easier to ski fast.  The shorter skis give you more pressure at the edge for ice grip; the longer skis smooth out the ride and give you more platform to hold you on line at speed in less solid snow (and more float for similar width), and help with fore-aft balance recovery going over unseen bumps in flat light and in cut up post storm snow.   If you are in the top third of the speed range considering all the skiers on the hill, the 170 will be too short.  If your are in the lower third of the short ski will be just fine.  If your in the middle third, it won't matter that much, but you will still wish you had the longer ski.

 

 

Super helpful. I don't aim to ski mach-schnell in huge GS turns down groomers on these -- more short-to-medium turns. These will be strictly low-snow / early / late season skis. If there's anything fresh on the ground or left over I have poor self control and will be skiing off-piste on the El Capos. 

 

 

EDIT: Thoughts on Volkl Unlimited AC50? Too beefy for what I'm looking for in 177cm? Minty pair on offer...


Edited by jmeb - 9/24/15 at 2:36pm
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmeb View Post
 

@Townicus  -- agreed. I don't care about brand really, more using it / models as short-hand for when the radius/waist/lay-up/length all got dialed and produced a good ski. 

 

I'm leaning towards the Fischer Progressor 9+ posted above, but am worried that 170cm will be a bit too short for my 6'2" / 170lb self. Anyone with sizing advice or opinions on the ski would be appreciated. Keen as $200 is the sweet spot of extra cash I've made selling off some old gear recently so I don't need to feel like owning a 5th pair is insane :). 

FWIW the Progressor 9+ is pretty much a detuned GS ski.  I think you might be happier with something closer to an SL or SL/GS hybrid.  The newer Progressor 900 is a better choice IMO, but I doubt you find a good pair for $200.

post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

Will second the RX12 if you can find it at a reasonable price (good luck). But my other fav, just a beat behind the Kastle, is whatever they're now calling the appropriate Blizzard carver (they change the name every year for unclear reasons). I think maybe the Power S8? It'll be livelier than the RX12, a lot cheaper because it comes with a binding, and has comparable grip and power, a touch less refined feeling. The Fischer Progressor line is also reliably excellent, a bit more lively still, a touch less power and a bit more of a ski that teaches the user to get better. 


Respect the group here that like rec racing skis for carvers, but not convinced that will work best for you. 


I will third that for the Kastle RX12...  On hardpack and ice they scream -- and bite like...  Well, if you edge them, just hang on!

 

And, for developing technique, I suspect they are excellent.  I and pretty much every reviewer has found them to be "demanding" -- meaning that they demand a lot of focus, technique and attention.  But, when they get it, they perform extraordinarily well.

 

I got mine from a major seller of ''demo' skis on EBay and were 3 years old with adjustable bindings for $269.  The tops were a bit beat up (but fixable with a bit of epoxy).  The bottoms and the edges were in excellent shape -- as was their liveliness on the snow.

 

For me, it was a great deal:  I got a top of the line carver for a price even I could afford. 

post #20 of 21

AC 50: Very burly ski.  You likely won't enjoy skiing it all day at 170 lbs.  Good recommendations above.  Head Supershapes and Rallys, narrower Kastles.  Also, if you can find  some Dynastar Speed Course Ti's, they are perfect skis for what you want.

 

Good luck!

post #21 of 21

I have a friend who likes AC50's but he is closer to 190 and is really strong, he also skis really fast all of the time.

 

I think they are planks.  I've switched with him (we have the same BSL) several times and I've always been anxious to get those planks off my feet.

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