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Difficult ski problem/opportunity - Page 2

post #31 of 54
Thread Starter 
I was really influenced by the link I posted earlier from the guy that invented shaped skis. His concept is to set the proportions of the ski, and even the length. He varies the stiffness of the ski based on the height/weight of the skier. On his chart, I was in the 2nd most flexible group. I have found that I personally don't enjoy the stiffer ski that needs to be driven all the time. This includes offerings from Atomic and Volkl, which I understand are two very popular skis skis. Whether I would have liked them more 10 years ago, is hard to figure out presently.

I don't understand the details of ski construction at the moment, particularly having been in time warp for the last 9 years in not having even looked for skis. I was told that the new B2 design did not use cap and that this affected the ability of the ski to keep its edge carving longer by cutting down on the rebound that the cap induced. So if you were influenced by energy, the double X would win. But apparently there are counterbalancing characteristics. Also I guess all of us appreciate some characteristics of skis more than other characteristics which will apparently influence which skis win certain consumers over. Now that I have added energy efficient to my list, this could make me a very atypical tester. I did enjoy the feel of those skis though. The B-2 is also 2 mm wider throughout.

Your point is extremely valid. Since I have indicated the importance of saving money because my skiing will be limited, the XX will clearly be the economical way to go. Can anyone else who has skiied the XX and B2 share their assessments as it will likely be hard for me to demo the XX Bandit.
post #32 of 54
Originally posted by rvwink:
Is Epicski up on this guy? http://www.odysseyskis.com/ The guy claims to have invented the shaped ski and has a patent and licenses to back it up. ...
Look at http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...=003366#000005 , particularly, the message posted May 11, 2002 12:03 AM in that thread.

Tom / PM
post #33 of 54
actually, I really enjoyed the END of the thread
post #34 of 54
Thread Starter 
Thanks Physicsman for the reference link. That was helpful to me.
post #35 of 54
I also thought the Volkl threw me around. Didn't try the B2 (ran out of time) Atomic did not have the ReX. Salomons were OK. Elan was not there. Tried Dynastar Intuitive 74 after my legs were shot so can't comment.

Overall the demoing would have worked better if it was not my first day on skis since early April. Took too long to get the hang of skiing again and my legs gave out early (sign of age I guess).
post #36 of 54
Pragmaticskier, saturday was my first day on ski's this year as well and the demo day would probably been better if that were not the case. None the less, info was still gathered. What was unfortunate, with all the snow up there, the only real fat(80+) ski's that I saw were in the Volkl tent. Actually, Salomon had the Extra Hot up there, but it was always out. I agree with rvwink, while the 724 AX4 plowed through the crud/powder, it demanded constant attention. Not the ski I'd want to spend all day on. The Volkl I wanted to ride was the 5* but it was always out(surprise, surprise). I went into this season thinking I wanted a real goo eastern hardpack ski(Volkl 5*/Fischer RX 6or8 Fti/or another cross type) that could get by in the powder. For the trips out west I could demo fat boards on those good powder days. But after demoing six different ski's, the B2 took the cake. Everything felt great about it. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] The B2 made me re-think the type of ski I should buy. I never even considered buying a ski over 70mm. Of course the question is how will it do on those hard/icy eastern days.

When I got home, I explained my new dilema to a freind of mine. They asked why I don't buy the B2's and enjoy them when it snows in the east(or at least when it's not real bad hardpack) and they'd be fantastic for trips out west. Then, when the conditions in the east are crappy/icy/hardpack, demo a ski with super edge grip. Hmm, never considered that scenario. Back to the drawing board to re-calculate. :
post #37 of 54
Thread Starter 
I thought I was the only one crazy enough to visit Hunter in the middle of the worst early December snow storm in NY history. But you two guys made it also. Just out of curiousity, did you both have 4 wheel drive vehicles or did someone have the guts to arrive in a 2 wheel drive vehicle? It was an adventure driving home on Saturday night.. .

I have decided to buy Rosignol, but I haven't decided which Rosignol ski to buy. If cost were not an issue, I would pull the trigger on the B2 in a heartbeat. I don't think there is anything else quite like it on the market. I specifically disagree with those that believe it is a commodity market in which graphics, price, and ski length are the 3 most important criteria. The B2 felt different than any other ski I tried. They somehow managed to create a feeling of the ski flexing in a uniform and linear fashion, while at the same time the skis managed to avoid getting kicked around as much as one would have expected in the rough conditions we experienced. Thats a difficult trick to accomplish. Unfortunately, it looks like the B2s will cost at least $700 w/ bindings and shipping, and the XX can probably be had for half that amount. Has anyone seen any used B2s surfacing anywhere? The extra $350 will probably push me in the direction of the XX, despite my conviction that Lars knows exactly what he is talking about.
post #38 of 54
yeah we had a big suv. so we took it slow and everything went well. in fact the ride home wasn't as bad as one would have expected.

rvwink i'm curious. you say that if economics weren't an issue that you would buy the B2's in a heartbeat. but they are, so instead of the B2 you are looking for some XX's. My guess is that you haven't demoed the XX's, right? well last thursday you were seriously considering ski's without having demoed them, you mentioned the Volkl 724 Pro's. after demoing the 724 Pro's you said they weren't for you. you also said you were interested in the Big Stix, but unfortunately couldn't ride them at hunter. now, the XX's are climbing to the top of your list. don't take this wrong way, because i am not criticizing you one bit, but it seems that you have seen the value in demoing ski's. wouldn't it then make sense to try the XX's before purchasing them? also, my guess is that the next pair of ski's you buy you'll have for a long time. if that's the case, wouldn't it be better to get the ski that fits you best. just trying to help. i'm curious to hear your thoughts
post #39 of 54
Thread Starter 
Many people have a different budget for how much they want to spend for a tie. Some think $14 is appropriate. Others are convinced $30 is necessary. Its personal. For me its nice to have the finest ski equipment, but not essential. These are just the normal tradeoffs between price and quality that most people make. If you found a pair of skis you loved but they cost $2,000, you might say, their great but they are not worth the extra money. For the limited use I will give them, the $700 price point might turn out to be too much to pay for the luxury of having the best possible skis instead of damn good ones. I will have to weight my alternatives, but I may prefer to pay $350 and devote the additional $350 to another use.

No real harm would have come to me if I had bought the Volkl's. I just would have worked a bit harder on each run and gotten a better workout while I was skiing. The demoing I did wasn't accurate anyway, because I couldn't try the 724 pros at 170. I might have loved that ski at that length. We will never know.

I skied over the last 7 years without optimum skiing equipment and did fine. I admit I might have had more fun, with better equipment, but it didn't really matter that much. I can ski anything at Killington with my 190s without much difficulty. In a way, the restrictions they place on me, make it easier to ski with my wife, on the same slopes at a similar pace, which is a good thing. If I had the B2's I probably would be wanting to go off on my own more, and cutting into the trees. We all place different values on things based on our budgets and priorities. Perhaps you are just surprised that I haven't chosen a mainstream budget, but I won't do it objectively. I will simply let my gut decide which ski to chose.
post #40 of 54
yes we all have different priorities and value sets. i just looked on ebay, and there are XX's in 170cm going for around $300-$350. good luck with whichever ski you choose. by the way, some of us like the $8 ties that have goofy themes on them, like math figures .
post #41 of 54
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Prosper:
I have skied the Bandit XX and B2 back to back and liked the XX better (170cm). It is a matter of preference though. I think the XX is more lively and quicker. The B2 is quieter, more damp and possibly more stable. If you like a more lively ski give some consideration to the XX. If you can find it (e-bay?) you can probably get it for much less than the B2.

Another suggestion that has been mentioned is the Atomic R:EX. This is the ski I ended up buying at the end of last season (168cm) after demoing a number mid-fat off-piste biased skis. I liked it more than the XX and B2 since it was much more stable than either ski, had no speed limit that I could find, was equally quick despite a wider waist (84cm), had as good if not the best edge hold on hardpack and was better in the crud and heavier snow. The only downside was that it is less forgiving than either the XX or B2. You have to stay centered or it's a handful. You may be able to find a pair of previous year's model for around $350. www.skinetsports.com had some a few months ago but I don't know if they still do. Happy hunting!
[There was so much to digest in the information shared by this excellent forum that I went back to reread some things. I spent some time researching your R ex suggestion. I believe everything you said about XX and the R ex is accurate. Based on evaluating the skis during normal condition days, the R ex and the XX are probably better skis than B2 if you like energy and rebound and snap. Unfortunately, the reason that most people believe two ski quivers are essential is that most of the wider skis that are acceptable on the hardpack are also relatively stiff. This means that while they are excellent in crud and heavier snow, they are too stiff to be really enjoyed in powder.

The reviews I read about the R ex indicated that they didn't float well and the tips turn down. So to me in a workable 1 ski solution, that the ski be flexible enough so that it is enjoyable in powder, while still having the ability to hold an edge during hardpack conditions, and it also must be damped enough do that it doesn't get bounced around too much in rough conditions. I have kept reviewing the list of skis that do this, and the only pair of skis that can do reasonable well in "eastern" conditions, still be enjoyable in powder, and with sufficient damping seems to me to be the B2. Even the XX seems less desirable in powder from the reviews I have read. I skied a 177 V pro which was the only length available. I thought it handled hard pack and powder well, and it communicated very well too, but it got bumped around a bit too much for my tastes in the rough conditions.

I believe your review of the XX versus the B2 was quite accurate the day you demoed them, but it probably didn't include which ski was better in powder, which for me was a critical part of the puzzle. I agree the B2 seems damp, with less rebound, but that same quality allows the ski to be more comfortable in powder and also perhaps hold an edge better in eastern hardback. I have looked for other flexible skis to compete with the B2 solution and come up empty so far. It seems the B2 is the most flexible mid fat out there now. I didn't get to ski the v pro in the right length, but it seemed to be able to ski both on hardpack and powder, but its flexibility caused it to get bumped around a bit in deep snow. Even the XX seemed to be less than ideal in powder. In short, the more I think about it, the more I think that the only ski that solves my problem presently is the B2. This is actually disappointing for me because it means I have zero flexibility to be able to buy efficiently, but I don't seen another ski that will do as well in skiing eastern conditions and western powder. Comments?
post #42 of 54
First, let me say that we are similar skier types except for age and where we ski (I'm 33yo, 5'7", 150lbs, ski about 10 days per year, level 8 skier, ski mostly out west on vacation). Also, don't forget what you so eloquently posted just yesterday about compromise. After reading it I wished more people were so laid back and well adjusted in regards to the things we try to accumlate for ourselves.

That being said, let's get back to your very important decision on what skis to buy. From the information I gathered in this thread I am under the impression that a for people who are on the lighter side, a ski's dimensions and length is a more important factor than stiffness in determining floatation. If that is correct, than for us, the wider the ski the better the floatation in powder, even for relatively stiff skis.

You are correct in that I did not demo the XX, B2 or R:EX in powder conditions. But, that's part of the point and part of the compromise. True deep powder conditions are pretty uncommon to come by for us vacation skiers. If you live close to a powder haven, a true powder ski would be ideal. But, since I rarely encounter deep, untouched powder, a ski that excels in those conditions would not make sense. A wanted a ski that was quick, could handle crud, could carve well on hardpack, stable at speed, good a bumps, and was decent in deep powder. The XX and R:EX were the best I could find that fit the bill. The XX was probably a bit better in the bumps since it is more forgiving but I liked the better stability at speed, better crud performance and the wider waist of the R:EX. I figured the deep powder performance of the R:EX couldn't be worse than the XX or B2 given the width so decided that issue was a wash. Eventhough I did like the B2, I didn't even consider it due to cost (I knew I could get either the XX or R:EX for around $350).

You have decide for yourself what's most important to you (including cost) and all things considered, what is the best ski for you. Seems like you've got all the info you need. Now it's time to pull the trigger. And like you said, "we all place different values on things based on our budgets and priorities." Let us know what you decide. Best of luck!
post #43 of 54
Thread Starter 
When I think back to my 2 best ski days, there was a 3 foot powder day at Alta where we spent the previous day unable to ski because of avalanche danger. The anticipation standing in line the following day waiting for the lift to open was amazing. I skied that day on XXX and couldn't believe how well they floated in the white stuff. The second precious day was in the back bowls of Vail. I had a ski vacation to Crested Butte and Telluride, and when conditions at Telluride were very mediocre, we were able to leave early and travel to Vail. There we hit a perfect powder day. I was on a fine pair of skis of late 1980s or 1990 vintage so I had to really work the down up down rhythms and also I needed to get up enough speed going straight before I could crank the necessary turns in the powder.

When I think of the "float", it is a sensual term. It seems stiffness and float are adversaries and optimum powder equipment requires both float (width) and flexibility. Interesting a chart that Tom provided says that 77mm waists are about optimal for someone in our weight range. It seems the the B2s are the most flexible mid fats out there, and so I think they were specifically crafted to fit my own range of needs perfectly. Frankly, I didn't expect to get tempted as much as I currently am to pay up for skis, because I really thought that I would find 2 or 3 workable solutions and that I would be able to buy at least one of them "right". The correct answer also depends on the value one places on money, and that relates to how passionate one is about his skiing. I haven't been very passionate recently, but that may very well be because of my archaic skis and staying in the east. A trip out west on a pair of B2, may be sufficient to change the priority I place on skiing dramatically. In that case, the price of a pair of B2s may end up being cheap.

I can solve the requirement for $350 and probably not affect my eastern skiing substantively. Apparently Rosignol has found ways of improving the Western Ski off piste experience in a flexible ski, so the real issue is how likely it is that I will be going out west to ski with greater frequency. The other aspect is that my income level is not fixed but variable because I am in a sales oriented position. So sometimes with money on hand, the trade off of more dollars for better skis seems more reasonable than other times. If I was going to buy the skis now, I would buy a used pair of XXs. What I think I will do is wait, and see if something wonderful happens financially which makes the extra money more expendable.

Have you demoed skis in shorter lengths? I think Rusty once told me that I belonged on 160s. I tried a pair of 165 pr hots, and they initially felt too short. That often that is simply what one's prior experience suggests. One probably needs to spend a while skiing the shorter skis before one can figure out the tradeoffs and what works best. However, I was amazed at how easy they were to handle through a mogul field at Hunter, usually not my favorite condition. While I didn't have any difficulty handling the B2 170s, perhaps having the 160s might make improve the eastern skiing quickness edge to edge, while still being more than satisfactory out west.
post #44 of 54
Damn dude, you must either work as a typist, or be retired from a job where you typed frequently.

I've never seen such long posts!

You kick PhysicsMan's a$$!

Heluvaskier could probably give you a run for your money, but he's not huge on the use of punctuation, thus, extremely hard to read.

Just buy the B2's and stop the madness, please!
post #45 of 54
Originally posted by rvwink:
...It seems stiffness and float are adversaries and optimum powder equipment requires both float (width) and flexibility. Interesting a chart that Tom provided says that 77mm waists are about optimal for someone in our weight range...
If you are referring to the "equivalent float" chart that I reposted a couple of weeks ago, what it really is trying to say is not that a particular width is optimal in any sense, but that for a skier who weighs X, they will have to be on skis of width W to get the same average float as the skier who weighs 170 and is on 85 mm skis (if I remember the numbers correctly).

What's "optimal" is quite a different question, and is something much less quantifiable and more in the eye of the beholder.

Originally posted by Xdog:
...I've never seen such long posts! You kick PhysicsMan's a$$! Heluvaskier could probably give you a run for your money, but he's not huge on the use of punctuation, thus, extremely hard to read. ...

Should I try harder? (... just kidding ...)

Tom / PM
post #46 of 54
Thread Starter 
Thanks for reposting it Physics Man, the chart was of great help in showing the relative effects of the skier's weight. Does it make any Physics sense to say that starting out with a more flexible ski like the B2 gives the skier extra floating credits as compared to starting out with 724 pro. Presumable going to a shorter length also deducts floating credits. Is it crazy to think that going with a more flexible, shorter ski ends up maintaining the 177 waist as proper for someone weighing to the 160 pounds. Finally do you think there would be any benefits in going with a 160 cm B2 ski length as a way of improving the quick turning ability of the B2 which might make the ski slightly more comfortable in eastern conditions?
post #47 of 54
I don't think you'd want to go that short on that ski.
post #48 of 54
Originally posted by rvwink:
...Does it make any Physics sense to say that starting out with a more flexible ski like the B2 gives the skier extra floating credits as compared to starting out with 724 pro...
In soft, deep snow, for a fixed total surface area, a flexible ski will let the center of the ski drop down more into the snow than a stiff ski. This has several effects.

First, it means that there is a strong upward curve to the forebody of the ski, so that as you go forward, your tip will tend to get pushed upwards, back towards the surface of the snow - ie, less tip dive. Some people tend to focus on this particular behavior and term it "more float". In any case, it certainly results in a more forgiving ski with respect to fore-aft weight changes.

On the negative side, having such a strong curve (decamber) when loaded means that your boots and legs will be deeply immersed in the snow. It also means that you will experience a very trampoline-like ride as you go over regions of snow of different density. Both of these phenomena can be quite disconcerting to skiers used to packed snow.

Increasing the reverse camber (at a fixed total surface area) also means much more friction, so you tend to get bogged down more easily. Some people think of *this* behavior as "less float". OTOH, such a large amount of reverse camber means that the ski will turn on a dime in soft snow. If you are skiing powdered tight glades, this might be just fine. If you are skiing fast on a trail through cut-up snow, this degree of responsiveness could easily be seen as too much of a good thing, ie, overly "twitchy".

Let me say that I agree totally with the other person who pointed out that pure soft, untracked powder never lasts long at any resort, so that if one is making trade-offs, I would always err on the side of better crud performance than better "powder" performance. In addition, skiing true powder feels wonderful, and is no big deal on *any* ski including old, long, straight skis. IMHO, what separates the men from the boys in the soft snow ski department (and what is the most benefit to the skier) is their crud performance.

In general, going (a bit) short and fat is a very good idea. Lots of people are doing it these days - just don't over do it. IMHO, you lose lots of fore-aft stability if you start dropping down much below 170 in crud even if you go really wide. Imagine trying to use lunch trays to ski cut-up crud that's tending to pitch you back and forth because of the varying densities and water content of snow that you encounter from second to second.


Tom / PM

[ December 11, 2003, 11:35 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #49 of 54
Originally posted by PhysicsMan:
If you are referring to the "equivalent float" chart that I reposted a couple of weeks ago, what it really is trying to say is not that a particular width is optimal in any sense, but that for a skier who weighs X, they will have to be on skis of width W to get the same average float as the skier who weighs 170 and is on 85 mm skis (if I remember the numbers correctly).[/QB]
Unfortunately I missed the post on the equivalent float chart. I tried to do a search but could not find it. Can someone provide the link? Thanks!
post #50 of 54
[quote]Originally posted by rvwink:
Originally posted by John J:
[qb]From what I read, the Vertigo G3 is a great eastern ski, particularly strong on ice but perhaps a bit heavy and stiff for western skiing.
There's nothing wrong with stiff for Western skiing. Sure, a softer tip may not submarine, but stiffness is great in crud, which happens often after powder. But then, everybody's got different tastes, and I like stiff long skis like my 188 cm G4. (Which would be too wide for your Eastern requirements maybe.) Dynastar also makes great skis, and you may want to check them out.

post #51 of 54
X Dog... what have you done?! Here i'm cruising along reading Physicsman's latest post... and Hey!... it is missing at least a paragraph and a half!
Hey, (Dr.) Ladede... how did I end up in that quote? Not my words. I think the G3 is a fun Western skis and is a decent crud bopper!
post #52 of 54
Good Post Tom, I couldn't agree more. In Powder over 6" Just about any ski will feel fantastic. I personally feel that to many skiers worry about float. Get a ski that works for you for what you normally ski If it has good float for those rare Powder days all the Better. I live in one of the Powder Capitals of The World. Still getting a Big Dump and haveing that day off is almost to good to be true. rvwink If you like the B2 pull the trigger. Don't settle for something less Then The ski of your choice. The few extra Dollors you spend will be worth it in The long run. In order to get the R11 plus That i wanted I choose to pack a Lunch rather then spend $3.00 to $6.00 a day on Lunch. If you do some shopping I'm sure that you will find a good deal on a pair of B2s.
post #53 of 54
Originally posted by Prosper:
...I tried to do a search but could not find it. Can someone provide the link? Thanks!
My "equivalent float" table was buried in a thread within the EpicSkiAcademy planning forum. Since a couple of other people also asked, I reposted it here: http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...c&f=1&t=004946

Tom / PM

[ December 11, 2003, 04:30 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #54 of 54
Thread Starter 
Thanks to the entire forum for "turning" me in the right direction.

B2 170s OR BUST!
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