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Convert from snowboarding - buying skis for European pisten

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello! I'm an ex-snowboarder, I skied from about 7 to 13, then snowboarded almost exclusively up until last year, when I got back into skiing. I'm not really planning to go back with modern skis being so much fun. I would like to buy a single pair of skis for Alps (mainly Austria and Italy). Roughly 75% piste, 20% off-piste, 5% park. I'll rent skis for specific conditions such as powder or park. I need help choosing skis to buy.


My abilities: intermediate/advanced (level 6-7 on the Epicski scale), I can ski down essentially any terrain, but I have limited skiing experience in powder (decent snowboarding experience though). 

Days on a mountain: 8-14 days per year

What I enjoy: mid to large carving turns at speed, fresh powder off-piste, trees, snowpark jumps (no rails).

My sizing: 178cm tall, 78kg, I'm thinking skis in 170-176cm in length. (?)

My boots: Salomon X-pro 120 - obviously fitted at a professional bootfitter ;).


I've demoed a number of skis over the last 1.5 years:

Head Supershape Magnum 170 - a blast on early morning groomed terrain, carving felt like being on rails, quite "serious" ski though, afternoon moguls were difficult as it the ski would smash through bumps rather than float over. I'd like something lighter and livelier for the occasional jumps.

Head Supershape iRally 163 - my GF's skis, quite similar to the magnum really.

Lusti Vertigo 178 - 100mm waist, the ski didn't really work on-piste for me, I think there was too much rocker, but good fun in fresh snow.  http://www.lusti.cz/eshop-vertigo-detail-64-en

Salomon X-drive 8.0, K2 Ikonic 80Ti - liked these a lot, though I could do with a better with off-piste performance.

Head Caddy 176 - surprisingly good for carving despite the relatively large radius, I had a lot of fun with the occasional 180 from the side of the piste.


Here's what I've looked at:

Atomic Vantage 90 CTI or 85CTI?

Atomic Nomad Blackeye/Crimson

Line Supernatural 92

Head Monster 88 or 

Head Strong Instinct (83)

Salomon X-drive 8.3


I'd like to obviously demo more skis, but it's quite difficult to rent/demo ski models outside of the traditional slalom/GS/race/all mountain models.

Any ideas are much appreciated!

post #2 of 5

Welcome to the forum.   

Just to translate your stats for the US readers, that's 5'8" and 172 lbs give or take.

I apologise for not having specific ski recommendations for you; I had quite a different impression of two of the skis you tested so my opinion isn't likely to be altogether appropriate to your needs. 

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you. What were you impressions of the skis I tested, if I can ask. Even though your thoughts were different, I'm still quite interested in opinions of others:).
post #4 of 5

Of the skis you've named, here's what I skied this year.   At my 98kg and 184cm,  using a 2012 177cm supershape iSpeed as a reference ski

- the Head Supershape Rally (177) was a very compliant ski, it did anything and everything and quickly, it held like a claw on ice whether I was centered or not, it had less flap and better contact with the snow surface than my iSpeeds.     For something that could hold the end of a turn as well as it did, I thought it was amazingly good in icy narrow-spaced bumps (not afternoon slush piles but early morning frozen shark teeth).    But, you didn't like this ski when you tested it, so.

- the Vantage 90 CTI (184cm) was nice, bouncy in soft snow and very versatile (in soft snow).     The very tip felt a bit soft and flappy but it could be controlled through the shark toothy moguls, albeit with less confidence than the Rally.    Definite speed limit on hard snow - I didn't dare take it over 50kph.   I wonder if this ski could be good for you?


- the Line Supernatural (179cm) actually felt heavier, sturdier and better planted than the Vantage at 184cm, which made me very confident in the ski at speed.    It was a bit slow to hook up at the front at lower speeds; I had to pressure the fronts _and_  tip the skis more firmly and more precisely than on the Vantage.  But if you thought the Rally was stiff-ish, this ski would need you to test it.


- the Head Monster 88 (184cm) didn't like  speeds under 30kph *at all*.    The first impression, both on edge and off edge, is "glassy smooth".    The second impression is that one needs to be precise and have authority in both setting the edges and in releasing the turn.   What you wrote above about the Magnum?   Double that, heck triple it and you would understand what I felt on the M88.    Yeh, OK, I loved it.  :D  Not a ski I would recommend given your above writing.


I've skied some of the others in previous seasons, not really relevant to giving you information on current skis.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for your comprehensive impressions :). It sounds like I should definitely test the Supernatural and the Vantage 90 CTI. On one hand I'm a bit worried that the Vantage doesn't like speed above 50kph, as I got the Magnums up to 88kph according to GPS, on the other hand, the high speeds I did were an early morning runs and that's not something I have space to do often on the quite crowded Austrian or Italian slopes.


I want to test some more skis this weekend, there's a Head test shop at my local hill, so I might give those Monster 88s a try, just to confirm what you wrote :).

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