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Atomic Redster Doubleback 3.0 SL or Head Supershape i.Speed for steep fall-line short turns

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am looking for a ski suitable for steeps, often on icy afternoons when the man-made shows through after the overnight grooming has been scraped off.   I ski Beaver Creek Co, and most of the time I need a ski that will hold on ice, the man-made snow variety. 


My preference is lots of short radius turns, right down the fall-line.  The problem is, my current regular ski, the Head Icon TT80 (2011), won't hold when I try to get aggressive when it's icy, so I end up losing edges, skidding down the steeps.  Infuriating. Maybe the TT80's are getting torsionally tired after 700,000 vertical. I want to be able to aggressively do slalom turns down the fall line on a steep run like the base of Centennial lift. In the morning when the grooming is new, the Heads hold (almost), but after the hill gets scraped, pretty much every afternoon (if it isn't snowing), I have to get really tentative.


I've been skiing forever, probably level 8-9, 5'-9", 165lbs, ski 30+days a year..  I have, in addition to the TT80's, Head Rock n' Roll for those rare times when there is enough new snow to warrant bringing them out (Beaver Creek does not have bowls, and grooms everything)..  Speed-wise, I prefer lots of technical short-radius turns, so I don't need a higher speed GS type ski. (I prefer to work on short-radius technique as opposed to high speed carving, which I no longer consider as technically challenging as short turns on the steeps).


I also manage to fit in some beside-the-groomer mogul runs, so I would use this ski for that too, although the TT80's work OK there if they don't get icy.  But at Beaver Creek, even the moguls get icy, so my TT80's skid all over the place there too.  In short, I want more dependable edge-hold, and tails that don't wash out, in a short-radius ski, with great rebound, suitable for those icy afternoons. Pretty hard to rebound when my edges are letting go all the time when it's hard (which is most of the time).


I've been considering the Atomic Redster Doubleback 3.0 SL, and the Head Supershape i.Speed.  I'm not a racer so I'm not interested in a full-blown FIS race ski (probably too stiff). I'm not sure whether to go 170 cm or 165cm.  My current skis are 170cm. 


I'd appreciate some advice from members here who have experienced these skis, and also can relate to what might work well for the kind of skiing I'm talking about.

post #2 of 7

Why no interested in a full blown FIS race ski?  It's a matter of finding the right length and setup so they aren't unwieldy.


Given your description, and preference to "lots of technical short-radius turns" on steep an icy terrain and "want to be able to aggressively do slalom turns down the fall line"....sounds like prime candidate for a SL race ski to me. 


Don't think any other tool will do the job any better.  They ARE one dimensional, but sounds like it's right up your alley.


Might want to consider a 157-158cm women's FIS SL ski. 


On another note, provided your tune is appropriate, losing edges on the ice is also a function of ski technique.  Something I personally found a wake up call when I started gate training which brought all my flaws out (not noticeable free skiing) to light in a hurry.  





post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hbear, what technique flaw are you referring to?

post #4 of 7

For me there was a number.  But most notable was how I engaged my edges in my turns.  When free skiing (and on anything that wasn't ice) I tend to like jumping on my edge when skiing aggressive and then modulate my turn shape with pressure that wasn't always smoothly applied. Imagine driving a sports car around a curve, can't just jam on the gas willy nilly right away, there is a time and place to apply throttle and application of power isn't instant...has to come on with some sort of control.  When free skiing not as noticeable as condition of snow is usually good enough to dig a trench to pressure against.....on ice not as much (similar to trying to race around a curve in a car when it's rainy vs. dry). So movements have to be more controlled and calculated.


Gate training forced me to concentrate more on my ankle roll and how smooth I was skiing through turns (hard to make direction changes mid turn without washing out or sliding).    Which also is effected by my line choices.  When free skiing I'm not forced into a certain turn shape at a specific time....I can make my turns however I want and whenever I want to for the most part.....not so much in the gates where I have a pretty narrow band of line choices in order to make the next gate.


When free skiing, I could carve on ice without much problem given I could go up on edge and hold on until the icy section was passed then move on to the next turn with no trouble.  In the gates, my transitions often had to occur on ice so it demonstrated a number of other things I wasn't doing as well from a body position and technically to allow that to happen more efficiently.  (e.g. quieter upper body, better separation, more patient in my turn, more relaxed, etc.)


So many things (never mind the fact that tall poles were in the way as well.  So early days were very humbling but also a great learning opportunity as well.  

post #5 of 7

Head Worldcup Rebels i.SL.


"Almost" and FIS ski, but not quite.  A smidge softer, with a bit more than legal sidecut.


Serious fun for the conditions you are describing.  I enjoy them immensely on trips to Sun Valley with my wife.  They beg for more turns, which helps keep me from getting to the bottom too far ahead of her.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Any idea how the Head World Cup Rebel i.SL compares to the Atomic Redster D2 3.0 SL?  And can any member here give any opinion regarding the pros and cons of these two skis as well as the Supershape i.Speed?  I have read some reviews on another site that rated the Atomics slightly higher for 1)low speed turning, 2)early to edge, 2)accurate cont. carve, 3) rebound 4)stability at speed, 5)forgiveness, and 6)short radius turns, all when compared to the Head World Cup Rebel.  In fact the Rebel scored highest, followed by the Supershape Speed, and the Rebels rated third of these three for the above characteristics.


As to your point Hbear, I understand about smooth consistent edge-set, as opposed to violent movements during the turn.  I still think the best analogy for me is I'd rather ride a slippery snowy road on knobby snow tires than have to throttle back using summer tires. I'm pretty sure you would find my TT80's less than preferable for what I want to do (because of their tendency for letting go on hard short radius carves, possibly because they are getting softer torsionally), regardless of how good the technique is.


The three skis mentioned so far are all  suited for this (I assumed this before), but I was hoping someone who had skied on all three could weigh in on relative performance, especially for their suitability for part-time moguls, and for conditions where we find sugar or push-piles interspersed with icy patches.  Would the slalom skis be more catchy than the SuperShape Speeds?.  Which of them might do better in these conditions and moguls?   


HRP. you are encouraging me to go full slalom skis for this limited use, and years ago I skied on slaloms and always loved the quick responsiveness and rebound, so I know what you mean about them being fun.  So I just want to ask the forum if there is some differentiating features that might lead to choosing one over the others.  Or all they all equally suitable?

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Sorry I meant to say the Atomics rated highest

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