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Advice on Best All Mountain ski for me! [mostly Mammoth, Tahoe]

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I'm 47 and have been skiing off and on since I was a teenager, but with some long gaps where I didn't ski at all. But, good news is I've been back at it again for several years now and I'm looking to purchase some skis again, but a bit lost with all the choices in the All Mountain category.

 

I live in California and ski a couple weeks a year, mainly in Mammoth or Tahoe, and sometimes make it out to the Rockies. I would call myself Adv or Adv Int. That said, I wouldn't say I am super aggressive. I don't seek out the steepest face to conquer, or the most challenging chutes, or feel like I have to be the fastest on the mountain all the time. I guess I tend to be a bit more laid back these days, but I don't want a ski that limits me either. I mean, I can be aggressive at times, and I like to go fast…but I also don't want to get a ski that's so demanding that it will get tiresome when I just want to have fun skiing with my wife or daughter, or when I am just getting a little tired in the afternoon. By the way, I am 5'10" and 175lbs.

 

Out west, I feel like we see it all. Sure, I love a big powder days! But I feel like there are a ton of days where I deal with ice in the morning, hard pack, groomed runs mid day and slush in the afternoon (and plenty of days with ice on top, slush on the bottom). Speeding down long empty cruisers (black or blue) on soft or hard snow doing GS turns brings a huge smile to my face, especially when it's the backside of the mountain and you can cut between the trees for some fun exploration off trail and play in unspoiled powder. Don't pound a lot of mogus anymore, don't have the legs, and don't do parks or air either. I like the idea of something better suited for powder so I can go after it more and make turns easier and float more. But the reality also is, unless one gets lucky and times a storm perfectly, I still end up skiing groomed or hard pack part of the day. I still need something that can handle that well, so it's a balance.

 

Here's a list of things that I have been reading up on, would love to hear from anyone about your thoughts and recommends! Which are the most versatile, the most demanding, the most forgiving…what sounds like that right balance for someone like me?

 

Rossignol Sin 7

Rossignol Soul 7

Rossignol Experience 88

Rossignol Experience 100

Blizzard Peacemaker

Blizzard Bonafide

Blizzard Cochise

Volkl Kendal

Volkl RTM 84

Nordica Nrgy

Line Supernatural 100

Liberty Helix

Stockli Stormrider 95

 

A lot of great skis there, but trying to find that right balance of versatility, fun, and performance. Thanks for your help!

post #2 of 24
From your list, I like the Stockli Stormrider. Very smooth riding ski.

You might consider the Salamon XDrive 8.8, among the most versatile all mountain skis I've ever tried, fabulous for variable conditions from firm to slush.
post #3 of 24

It's not on your list but I would suggest the Kastle MX88 in the 178cm or the Kastle FX95HP/FX95 in the 181 cm.

 

All three are superb all round skis and suitable for pretty much all conditions except deep powder.

 

Pricey but fantastic skis.

post #4 of 24

FWIW: I ski in SoCal and Mammoth and have like having a ski for days when there is fresh snow and skis for days when there isn't fresh snow (which is most days).

 

I use Nordica Patron's on days when there's fresh snow and Kastle MX88's on days when there is no fresh snow.  

 

I don't have any experience on the skis you listed so I won't try analyzing any of them.

post #5 of 24

Welcome to Epic! I think you'd enjoy the E88 or Line 100 Supernatural, which combine good edge hold with dampness and suppleness. Neither have the highest high end, but they're fun, have some guts, and after all, you characterize yourself as not being super aggressive, and an advanced intermediate. The E88 will be more all-mountain, while the Supernatural will prefer softer snow. 

 

If you have the $$, and are a bit more interested in higher speed, then I'd recommend the FX94 or FX84 from last season. (Former if you prioritize softer snow, latter if the groomers are more the ticket, although each can handle all terrain gracefully.) The RTM84 might work if you plan to up your game a bit. You might also take a look at the Fischer Motive 86, which would be a great all-around for someone your level and size, and is a good price right now. All of this group will be a touch demanding at first, but you can grow into them. 

 

But IMO most of the other skis you mention are inappropriate. You really don't want a ski that's over 100 mm for a single do-all that will see significant time on firm groomers. The MX88 is thoroughbred of the bunch, but if you want to get much out of it you need to stay on it, no zoning out, and probably take some lessons to boot. The Blizzards are not skis for relaxing low speed cruising with the family. The Sin 7 and Soul 7 won't hold up very to heavy wet snow, or to ice. The Stormrider 95 is a lovely ski also, but again, as with the MX88, a lot of $$ for a ski that will have a higher envelope than you will ever likely need. 

post #6 of 24

I ski mostly at Mammoth and love my Elan Amphibio 88xti's (purchased as a MX 88 alternative).  Then a ski in the 95 waist range is a good call (maybe the Kastle's suggested) I ride Movement Sources.  Selling my TST's at 103 underfoot, as I like my Vagabonds more at 108 underfoot (but I only use those when there is fresh snow on the ground).  Over the last few seasons, the 88 waist Amphibo's have been the DD.  Here is hoping for a lot more days on the Vagabonds and Auto's.  O and ya, you need a 2-3 pair quiver for Mammoth ;)  Sorry I was useless on what your lookin at, as I like what I ride, but the Bones, NRGY and Stormriders are all solid choices.  Maybe Nordica Enforcers are the call?

post #7 of 24

Do yourself a favor and demo the Kastle FX94's or FX95's.   I own the 2015 FX94's in the 176mm and it's the best ski I've ever owned, hands down.

post #8 of 24

I've bought from these guys in slc www.levelninesports.com they will not charge the outrageous ca sales tax and the prices are at ebay levels

post #9 of 24

Perhaps have a look at the new Atomics, in either 90 or 95 under foot.  I haven't actually skied them, so the suggestion is based on the admittedly fragile line of reasoning that we are roughly similar skiers and that this year's models are similar to (but better than) last years (which I bought).  They seem to get good reviews, although aren't flavor of the month around here - perhaps they aren't "hard core" enough for uber serious skiers.

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbqu View Post
 

It's not on your list but I would suggest the Kastle MX88 in the 178cm or the Kastle FX95HP/FX95 in the 181 cm.

 

All three are superb all round skis and suitable for pretty much all conditions except deep powder.

 

Pricey but fantastic skis.

 

Agreed!

 

The Stormrider 95 is the best ski from your list.  Also, the most expensive.

 

Nordica Enforcer is getting rave reviews!

 

You need something that can handle bumps and steeps and hardpack and not get buried in most new snow conditions.  I really like the 88/95 width for that type of skiing. Much over 100 and it becomes vague when it hasn't snowed in awhile.  I have probably 20-25 days skiing Tahoe and at this point, probably have had 1 day where we saw more than 6" of new, so most of your days are going to be sunny and firmer, with a few deep days thrown in! 

post #11 of 24

The new Blizzard Bonafide is a great ski and cheaper than Kastle and Stockli

You can demo the Bonafide skis at Footloose Sports in Mammoth. I also saw a pair of

Stockli Stormrider 95s they had for rental. Footloose is also selling the new Kastle Mx 83 and 88.

Demo before you buy

post #12 of 24

One of the guys at Footloose whos been there for a long time is really,really big on the new Atomic,sorry not sure of the model but i'm pretty sure it's in the 90's,I think it was green and black.Remember that because mammoths hardpak is so good, you can get away with being a little wider on the hard pak days.Maybe a hard snow biased low 90 something.

post #13 of 24
I wouldn't count the supernatural 92 out either, you can ski 90% of your days on a ski of its dimensions.
post #14 of 24
That would be the Atomic Automatic 102, a very easy, intuitive ski, more soft snow biased, fun, playful, turns on a dime, good float but not a charger or a crud buster as it has a medium flex but stiff enough for 85% of skiers out there. The ease of use and versatility (it will handle everything except bulletproof ice) more than makes up for its lack of crud busting ability IMHO.

A great western soft snow biased daily driver for the lighter, finesse style skier.
post #15 of 24
Add to your CA popular list one more and if you demo them in comparison you'll never look back - 2015 or 2016 season Elan Amphibio - the stand alone innovative ski technology nobody else is making. For powder you can chose the largest wIst number, or go for the more versatile all mountain carvers like 78-88 mm waist Amphibio. And you can still find them for less than most of the brands on your list.
post #16 of 24
I see you promoting these Elan skis on no less than 4 separate threads. Are you a rep?

Any conflicts of interest you would like to disclose?
post #17 of 24

No I'm not a rep. I'm 68 yr old enthusiastic advanced-intermediate skier who got very excited about the opportunity this Amphibio technology offers. And would like to share my excitement for any innovation I'm used to. Since I'm retired scientist and only a smart innovation can excite me practically. 

post #18 of 24
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by babayetu View Post
 

What are your thoughts on used Kastle skis? Found a pretty decent discount on MX88s used for approximately 20 days: http://www.powder7.com/Kastle-MX88-Skis-158cm-Used-2015/for-sale/?utm_source=GoogleBase&utm_medium=paid&gclid=Cj0KEQiAkIWzBRDK1ayo-Yjt38wBEiQAi7NnPziTJqvwKwGmwksBBA42Zju6-dt8o4-HRs-bvizFvvUaAkVO8P8HAQ


I have bought many used pairs of higher end skis to keep the price down and with good luck.  Looks like Ebay has some good pricing too:  http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2053587.m570.l2632.R2.TR2.TRC1.A0.H0.TRS0&_nkw=kastle+mx88&_sacat=36259

post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristram View Post

I see you promoting these Elan skis on no less than 4 separate threads. Are you a rep?

Any conflicts of interest you would like to disclose?


They are very fun skis, so I can appreciate his enthusiasm about the Amphibio series of skis.  I love my 88 xti's and they are my daily driver for Mammoth, as we have a lot of firm days.

post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by babayetu View Post
 

What are your thoughts on used Kastle skis? Found a pretty decent discount on MX88s used for approximately 20 days: http://www.powder7.com/Kastle-MX88-Skis-158cm-Used-2015/for-sale/?utm_source=GoogleBase&utm_medium=paid&gclid=Cj0KEQiAkIWzBRDK1ayo-Yjt38wBEiQAi7NnPziTJqvwKwGmwksBBA42Zju6-dt8o4-HRs-bvizFvvUaAkVO8P8HAQ


I got MX88's a year ago from eBay in similar condition.  I actually prefer to get expensive skis used not just because of the price but also because I don't worry as much about them getting stolen or upset with myself if they get banged up.   And they still ski great.

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by babayetu View Post
 

What are your thoughts on used Kastle skis? Found a pretty decent discount on MX88s used for approximately 20 days: http://www.powder7.com/Kastle-MX88-Skis-158cm-Used-2015/for-sale/?utm_source=GoogleBase&utm_medium=paid&gclid=Cj0KEQiAkIWzBRDK1ayo-Yjt38wBEiQAi7NnPziTJqvwKwGmwksBBA42Zju6-dt8o4-HRs-bvizFvvUaAkVO8P8HAQ

 

I would endorse these guys and these skiis, both generally and specifically.  I have a couple of days on demo MX88s and they were fabulous skiis.  And, having very recently purchased a pair of new skiis (Enforcers) from Powder 7 and being in their shop a couple of times (odd mix of brick and mortar, and online, retailer) including in their warehouse, I think I might have seen the very 158cm pair of MX88s you're interested in.  If so, I can report they are in very good shape.

post #23 of 24

Pulled the trigger on the used MX88's. Thanks everyone for the reassurances. First pair of non-rentals. I'm intermediate like the OP, looking to grow into these over the season via Mammoth's 10-week lesson program. In the mean time, I hope these do not cause instant death for me on blue runs.

post #24 of 24
Try the Salomon x-drive fs 88. Easy-going but won't fold up when you push them. I've skied them for a few days now on piste and they are like very agreeable gs race-skis that are 88 mm under foot. You're the same weight as I am (I ski them in 179). You might be able to find 14/15 model for cheap -- same as 15/16.
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