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Need advice for All-Mountain ski! Would greatly appreciate help. I am stuck. [Telluride, prefer full camber]

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 



I am new to these forums and would greatly appreciate some help in buying an All-Mountain ski – a quest I have struggled with for years now.  First, please forgive me in I commit any forum faux pas.  Hopefully this post provides sufficient information and is in the right place. 


About me:


-       Ex-racer

-        5’7 ½ 175 lbs

-       I ski almost exclusively in Telluride for about 7-14 days per year.

-       My breakdown for skiing is as follows: 30% Trees, 30% railing SL turns on blue groomers, 30% moguls, 10% mixed/powder


I guess my struggle is that I am looking for a mythical ski.  I am looking for a full camber ski (I can stomach a rockered tip) with a short turn radius, but soft and forgiving enough to handle bumps/trees, which I do a majority of the time. 


I get incredible joy doing slalom turns as aggressively as possible, although I avoid aggressive race turns on steeper groomed pitches after several injuries over the years.  For this reason, stability is less a necessity at high speeds because I am not going to be doing high-speed GS turns on groomed blacks or double blacks.  I generally avoid that pitch unless it has bumps or powder on it. 


To summarize, I suppose these are the limits of what I am looking for:



full camber or tip rocker;

164-167 cm (up to 173cm with tip rocker)



For the past 7 or so years I have simply taken my punishingly stiff 2007 165 Nordica Dobermann WC SLR onto everything.  Foot of powder, trees, bumps.  But my legs hurt and I don’t think I am enough of the athlete I once was to slog those concrete blocks along. 


Last two years I demoed the Volkl RTM 84 and developed a like-hate relationship with them.  They were great in mixed conditions and solid in the bumps and trees, but the tail rocker was very noticeable to me and the sidecut obviously poor for my liking (although something I can come to terms with).  They pretty much killed my enjoyment on groomers – just not the “pop” I was used to.   


If it helps with establishing a baseline, in my life I have only loved one All-Mountain ski – the 2006 Fischer RX6.  Well, I think it was the RX6.  I demoed it during 2006-2008 and it was green or orange (my memory is terrible).  I don’t know if anyone remembers that ski, but I loved it.  Energetic ski with short-turn radius - was super fun on less steep groomers.  Was very soft and forgiving in the trees and moguls.  Had poor stability at high speeds, but that didn’t really affect what I was doing. 


The way I see it I have two routes to go down.  One is to look towards a full or almost full camber ski like the Kastle RX83 or Laser AX.  They don’t have the turn radius I want, but at least they can hold a edge and both seem quite versatile and can handle the trees and moguls. 


The other route is to get a more dedicated frontside carver with less underfoot and more sidecut.  Don’t know much about skis in this class, but Nordica Firearrow and some of the Head Super whatever line come to mind.  Probably won’t be as good in the moguls as the former two skis though, but the shorter turn radius is nice. 


Anyway, help me out here.  Is there a ski I am missing? Which route/ski seems best for what I am looking for?  I would GREATLY appreciate help, as I have struggled with this problem for a while and simply don’t have the time to thoroughly research and test skis.  Finally, sorry for the length of my post.  Cheers.  

post #2 of 11

The Volkl RTM 84 is totally redesigned and being raved about by testors for whatever that is worth. You might try to demo the new model. You cant go wrong with Kastle . I would think at least 173 or 175 at your weight. Demo skis at the Boot Dr they will steer you in the right direction. 

post #3 of 11

The all new Head Monster 83.  (The new Monster 88 is getting great reviews, but that's greater than your 85mm limit.)


Or, for only 7-14 days a year, rent the top-line ski to fit the day's snow conditions.

post #4 of 11

Kastle LX82

post #5 of 11

Since you ski mostly at Tellurice, you might want to check in with Wagner Skis (easy to find web site).  The skis are custom made with your input all the way.  Pete Wagner will talk you through the process and come up with a design that meets your needs.  My wife and I have Wagners and they are just what we wanted.  The skis are made just outside Telluride so you'd have good support if it  was necessary after the skis were delivered.


I don't have any connection with Wagner other than having purchased a pair.  Check'em out.

post #6 of 11
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the feedback so far - it's all very helpful and I appreciate any and all suggestions.  Quick reply to the suggestions so far:


RTM 84 - maybe I'll give them another try since they've been redesigned.  But as an ex-racer, they really never did it for me on the groomers. They're a damp and fairly powerful ski, but didn't have the energy I wanted linking turns.  Maybe that has to do with the tail rocker, although to my understanding it's pretty mild.  


Head Monster 83 - I'll definitely try these (if I can find them to demo).  


Kastle LX 82 - What would be the advantage of this over something like the RX83?  


Wagner Skis - Great idea, but $1750.00 +++ investment a bit of a gamble for me without being able to test and/or without significant reviews. Really cool concept though and maybe when I get time to ski 30+ days, I'd make that investment :). 


MX 98 - Appreciate the suggestion, but I'm ideally looking for less than 85mm.  Really want something a bit carvier and have a strong preference for narrower skis. 




Realizing now I made my original post way too long.  My apologies. My summary is that I am looking for a strong carving ski that has the versatility to succeed in trees and moguls.  Preference for ski that excels at short turns and is on the light/lively side, but I am flexible there because I'm not seeing too many skis with a lot of side cut...rockered tail is probably a deal breaker. 

post #8 of 11
I don't think you're going to find a narrower slalom ski that is good off piste. The market for that ski doesnt really exist. Either get a hard snow carver, or start demoing wider all mountain chargers until you find something you like. There are a ton of 88-90mm skis that will handle bumps and trees and still dig tenches, but you won't find that in a narrow ski.

Offhand, I'd suggest Line Supernatural 92, Blizzard bonafied, and kastle mx88.
Edited by clink83 - 12/3/15 at 10:06pm
post #9 of 11

In the Kastle line, which I can speak to pretty fully-


MX 83-  Supercross type ski, stiff, cheater GS radius, not for the faint of heart.


LX 82- Softer more versatile, from your description, a pretty good fit.


MX 88- Kastle's best seller, strong but smooth, might be your cup of tea.


FX 85 hp -  New this year with metal like the other Kastles, but with mild tip and tail rocker


I am already skiing the FX 95 hp on man made this year, very strong in the bottom of the turn, and 

very easy to make a variety of turn shapes with.


So maybe demo the FX 85  and MX 88 if you can?

post #10 of 11
Demo the stand-lone and unique Elan Amphibio skis, depends of the snow you ski the most. You can get Amphibio 78 waist that is quite versatile all mountain carver, or you get waist in 80s. Your choice and you will be never sorry to discover one of the less popular but hidden ski-gem
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Did some more research on the skis you guys so generously recommended and wanted a little more input.  As a reminder I do moguls/trees/groomers about evenly; as an ex-racer I ski aggressively on these terrain types, but I won't be pushing a ski's top speed and want something quicker/more lively/more versatile. The skis I am most interested in:


Elan Amphibio 78

Kastle FX 84 HP

Kastle LX82

Head iRally


Still not completely sold on the Kastle line because they seem to be more GSy in turn-radius and I want something closer to SL, but FX and LX seem more versatile in turn radius and off-piste performance.  Amphibio seems really cool, but the uniqueness means I would want to demo first and Elan isn't the easiest brand to find with my time and location constraints.  


I would be curious to see how these skis compared to the iRally.  On paper, this seems like a fabulous ski to me and very much like the Fischer RX6, a ski close to my heart.  What scares me are the length offerings.  At 5'7 175lbs, 163cm seems too short and I generally don't enjoy skis with this tr at 170.  Can anyone speak to the length and how they compare to the aforementioned skis?


Finally, anyone have an idea where I could demo the Heads in Telluride?  Preliminary research does not look promising...

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Need advice for All-Mountain ski! Would greatly appreciate help. I am stuck. [Telluride, prefer full camber]