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Bonafide: Too much ski for me?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hello All,  I am looking for advice on whether or not the Bonafide might be a good fit for me.  My story is as follows:  I am 44 years old living in Western WA.  My time is spent between Mt Baker and Mission Ridge.  I enjoy skiing both blues and blacks with a mix of groomed and un-groomed.(Mt Baker is not known for its grooming which is a good thing)  I took about a 15 year break and have been back on the mountain the last 4 years.  I am not an expert.  I would consider myself a strong intermediate.  Maybe a "7" if I interpret the chart correctly.  I am comfortable on groomed at speed and more cautious in the crud.  I am not a great powder skier but obviously enjoy it.  I do not seek out the bumps.  While confident, I am not a "hard charger" whatever that means.  I like to be in control and I have a speed limit.

 

At 6'2'' and 250 lbs, my gut is greater than my fitness level.  I accept this.  But, I do enjoy the 7-12 days a year I can get up on the mountain. 

 

Three years ago I purchased Lange Superblaster boots which seem to be fine.  I also purchased a demo pair of Dynastar Sultan 94  and have had plenty of fun. (they are 184 length)

 

I am thinking of buying a new pair of last year's Bonafide(180 or 187) as a replacement/upgrade.  I have read much about them and obviously they are well liked.  My concern is that they might be "too much ski" or I might be a "backseat driver".  Honestly I don't think I am good enough or ski enough to know if this is true.  I know the answer is to demo several skis and find what I like,  however, I am not sure I am perceptive enough to feel slight difference in a  skis performance.  With my limited annual outings, I would rather buy a pair that works for me and go ski.  Hopefully they fit my profile.

 

So, to the experts,  would a Bonafide seem to fit the bill?

post #2 of 15

I'd hazard that you'll be fine.  I have the bones in 180, but I'm a fair amount smaller than you.  I don't find them that demanding.  There's one thing.  You need to ski them centered fore-aft.  They will teach you.  It won't take long.  You don't need to be an expert.  There's a reason these have been so widely acclaimed.

post #3 of 15
I agree with Alex, go with the 187's and show the ski who is boss.
post #4 of 15

It seems that the Bonafide appeals to strong intermediates and up and is a good choice for heavier skiers as it is stiff, but not real stiff and has good torsional stiffness as well.

post #5 of 15
I'd be a little skeptical. For your style of skiing you may enjoy a different ski more. The Bonafide is an expert plank and needs to be driven and skied fast to show its full potential. Something more forgiving may be better. Nordica NRGy 100 in 185 could be a better choice (based on my impressions of both skis). Line Supernatural 100 seems to get good buzz in that niche segment of gentler but still very capable skis. Another out of the box choice could be the Head REV 105(?), which I personally didn't like that much, but which was ridiculously easy to ski. At the end of the day, you can try to "show the ski who is the boss" or you can relax and enjoy skiing. I'd go for the enjoy part. At 7-12 days a season you ski way fewer days than everyone who responded to this thread ( Phil and Dano are in the industry, and Alex and I get 40-50 days), so By the time you truly adjust to the ski, your season maybe winding down. Yes, the Bonafide has been a runaway hit and for a good reason, but you need to tailor your choice to your situation.

One word of caution- Bonafides tolerate backseat driving, NRGy does not, so it will be good for your technique:-)
Edited by alexzn - 9/28/15 at 4:50am
post #6 of 15

From your perspective, what is it you don't like about your Sultans and hope to improve upon?

post #7 of 15

I know we're talking about older model Bonafides here, but I thought I'd mention we have a review of the 2016 Bonafide coming out this week!

 

That being said, I think you'd be just fine on past model Bonafides.  I think you're kind of in between sizes given your size and ability level.  I'd actually probably steer you towards the 187cm for the extra stability over the 180.

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

From your perspective, what is it you don't like about your Sultans and hope to improve upon?

Really nothing I do not like about my Sultans.  Although they were demos before I purchased them and still have the demo binding.  They have performed fine for my needs.  My thought is the bonafide might help me a touch in powder compared to the Sultans.  Other than that, I really just want some new gear.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

I'd be a little skeptical. For your style of skiing you may enjoy a different ski more. The Bonafide is an expert plank and needs to be driven and skied fast to show its full potential. Something more forgiving may be better. Nordica NRGy 100 in 185 could be a better choice (based on my impressions of both skis). Line Supernatural 100 seems to get good buzz in that niche segment of gentler but still very capable skis. Another out of the box choice could be the Head REV 105(?), which I personally didn't like that much, but which was ridiculously easy to ski. At the end of the day, you can try to "show the ski who is the boss" or you can relax and enjoy skiing. I'd go for the enjoy part. At 7-12 days a season you ski way fewer days than everyone who responded to this thread ( Phil and Dano are in the industry, and Alex and I get 40-50 days), so By the time you truly adjust to the ski, your season maybe winding down. Yes, the Bonafide has been a runaway hit and for a good reason, but you need to tailor your choice to your situation.

One word of caution- Bonafides tolerate backseat driving, NRGy does not, so it will be good for your technique:-)

 

Thanks for the word of caution however I am unsure if I understand.  The Bonafide tolerates backseat driving yet above needs to be driven and skied fast?

 

Appreciate all the input.

post #9 of 15
At your weight 187 bonifide perfect!
Have fun and enjoy
post #10 of 15

I'm 210lb and the 187cm Bonafide has been the most whippy ski in my normal quiver for several years now.  Once it breaks in after a couple days, it's not that burly at all.

post #11 of 15

I would have been skeptical of the 'bones working for you as well, as I find them to be an advanced tool that take skilled input and do as they are told. However, my brother, an intermediate pushing 60, borrowed them last year and I had to sell them to him if I wanted to net anything from the demo, because he certainly wasn't going to give them back. What he likes is their stability, and I have to say that he does just fine on them. They maybe even have upped his game, but you wouldn't catch me telling him that. 

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sportsman16 View Post

 

At 6'2'' and 250 lbs, my gut is greater than my fitness level.  I accept this.  But, I do enjoy the 7-12 days a year I can get up on the mountain. 

 

Sportsman, at your size you can make most any ski work (well not noodles) so I would say give them a go in the 187.  What may start out as a handful always ends up fun once you get use to them.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sportsman16 View Post
 

Really nothing I do not like about my Sultans.  Although they were demos before I purchased them and still have the demo binding.  They have performed fine for my needs.  My thought is the bonafide might help me a touch in powder compared to the Sultans.  Other than that, I really just want some new gear.

 

 

 

Thanks for the word of caution however I am unsure if I understand.  The Bonafide tolerates backseat driving yet above needs to be driven and skied fast?

 

Appreciate all the input.

Let me explain. A lot of the time people love a ski for completely wrong reasons.  The classic example is the old Mantra, which was a darling of the terminal intermediates in no small amount because they had stiff tails that let people sit on them and have an illusion of being in control.  In reality, very few people could handle that ski stiffness properly, as they require very good technique, relentless forward pressure, and good physical strength to match.  Instead, most people used the Mantra as a crutch to get away with bad technique, and you could see Mantra tips dangling in the air all over the mountain.   Actually the main giveaway in those cases is when people say that they like the stability of the ski.  

 

The Bonafide has a lot of similar traits, despite being a much more used-friendly ski.  It is still easy to ski it while sitting on the tails, but that does not substitute for proper technique and there are situations when the backseat driving a rockered stiff ski will bite you (for example, going through refrozen cruddy snow). I am not an instructor, but for a ski to ski properly it needs to bend into a turn, and you can make it bend either by applying pressure through the boot, or by just weighting it in a turn and using the sidecut (which ultimately requires speed).  Often the second is used as a substitute for the first.    I think you will find with the Bonafide that it would get easier to turn the faster you go.  That's not necessarily a good thing.  I have a friend who is a diminutive East Coaster, barely above a beginner level, who at some point got suckered into buying the longest and the stiffest slalom race ski  that went up to the top of his head.  Of course he never could bend it even the slightest, that ski was riding him, but, predictably, he raved at how stable it was.  

 

 I'd still think you are going to enjoy a more mellow ski with a bit tighter sidecut more and it would actually work better for your technique.   180 Bonafide will be too short for you weight though, so if you go with the Bones, you need the 187.  But that's the biggest and burliest Bonafide, so all I said above applies. 

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by liv2 ski View Post
 

Sportsman, at your size you can make most any ski work (well not noodles) so I would say give them a go in the 187.  What may start out as a handful always ends up fun once you get use to them.


7 days a year is likely not enough to get used to a ski that is a handful.  Most people on this board get way more days in a season.  

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post
 

Let me explain. A lot of the time people love a ski for completely wrong reasons.  The classic example is the old Mantra, which was a darling of the terminal intermediates in no small amount because they had stiff tails that let people sit on them and have an illusion of being in control.  In reality, very few people could handle that ski stiffness properly, as they require very good technique, relentless forward pressure, and good physical strength to match.  Instead, most people used the Mantra as a crutch to get away with bad technique, and you could see Mantra tips dangling in the air all over the mountain.   Actually the main giveaway in those cases is when people say that they like the stability of the ski.  

 

The Bonafide has a lot of similar traits, despite being a much more used-friendly ski.  It is still easy to ski it while sitting on the tails, but that does not substitute for proper technique and there are situations when the backseat driving a rockered stiff ski will bite you (for example, going through refrozen cruddy snow). I am not an instructor, but for a ski to ski properly it needs to bend into a turn, and you can make it bend either by applying pressure through the boot, or by just weighting it in a turn and using the sidecut (which ultimately requires speed).  Often the second is used as a substitute for the first.    I think you will find with the Bonafide that it would get easier to turn the faster you go.  That's not necessarily a good thing.  I have a friend who is a diminutive East Coaster, barely above a beginner level, who at some point got suckered into buying the longest and the stiffest slalom race ski  that went up to the top of his head.  Of course he never could bend it even the slightest, that ski was riding him, but, predictably, he raved at how stable it was.  

 

 I'd still think you are going to enjoy a more mellow ski with a bit tighter sidecut more and it would actually work better for your technique.   180 Bonafide will be too short for you weight though, so if you go with the Bones, you need the 187.  But that's the biggest and burliest Bonafide, so all I said above applies. 

 

Thanks for that in-depth but concise analysis. Gotta rethink my brother liking my old 'bones, because he's definitely a back seat driver.

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