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2016 DPS Cassiar 85 Hybrid T2 vs. 2017 Blizzard Brahma for North East Conditions?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 

I'm a fairly new skier (been skiing for about 5 years, 15-20 days per season, transitioning from level 7 to 8, 5'11" 175lbs).  I ski mostly at Elk Mountain in Union Dale, PA as I live in central NJ, and couple trips to NE during the season.

 

I've been skiing on 2010 Kastle LX82 180cm, which I love for the conditions I normally ski in.  Lately, been itching for a second pair with slightly wider waist for better (relative to me at least) conditions in NE.  Obviously powder performance is the least in my priority list, but someting that'll be solid for variable conditions on-piste for typical NE, and also something that I could use to get some more exposure to off-piste (which will be really glades in my case).

 

So looking at the '16 DPS Cassiar 85 Hybrid T2 in 178 or the 2017 Blizzard Brahma in 180.  Possibly two very different skis, but thought it'd be great to get some input from all the gearheads who get to try lot of different skis.

 

Any thoughts would be welcomed.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 

additional thoughts:

I was all gung-ho about the Brahma all season (and got really excited when I saw that 2017 version is available form some stores now).  But I read a little bit about the Cassiar 85, and the truth of the matter is 80% of my skiing are carving and 20% trying to improve on the bumps, so thought perhaps the Cassiar may be better. But then again, I do want skis that'll help me transition to some off-piste stuff, so perhaps Brahma will fill that gap better? 

post #3 of 13

How slight is slight?  I am not sure you would notice much difference between an 82 underfoot and 88 underfoot platform, unless you are pretty small.  I can't say I've ever backed to backed skis that close, but perhaps others who have will be able to offer a more definitive answer.

 

For reference, I'm a bigger guy (210-ish, 6 ft) and I go from an MX88 to 100+ waist width.  The reason for the wider skis for me are float in powder, which you say you don't care much about for this ski.

 

Reading your post you seem to want something that is more off trail friendly, so maybe what you really want is a different style of ski (not one that is wider per se)?  Does that seem fair or no?

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi thanks for the input.  I'm 5'11" and typically 168 to 175lbs (weight fluctuates throughout the year) yeah, it's fair to say I want something more off trail friendly but ideally will also be a decent carver on piste as well.  I realize that may be an oxymoron to certain purists, but having read some reviews, Brahma seemed like the ski that'll provide decent performance both on and off-piste in the east coast.  So in general, I'm leaning towards the Brahma, but also wanted to see if I can get some input from those who've used one or both.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

double post

post #6 of 13

Have you demoed a Brahma? They are a very good ski, but they are not for everyone. People tend to love them or hate them. The DPS might be a 'safer' choice if you are buying without demoing, it might actually be more of what you are looking for, a maneuverable EC mid-fat ski that can carve but will be fun in glades.

post #7 of 13

This is what confuses me - if I want something more maneuverable in tight spaces, I tend to look for a lighter, shorter and/or more heavily rockered ski.  Do those sound like good attributes to you for this ski to have?

 

Based on very limited testing I did once out of curiosity (literally an hour or two), I did not think that the Brahma was substantially lighter feeling than an MX (though the flipcore design does have a bit of rocker).  My understanding is that the LX82 is a relatively lighter ski compared to an MX, which is my benchmark.  So, if I wanted a more maneuverable ski than an LX, I probably wouldn't be looking at Brahma.  That said, I find my one size short (176) MX88s to be quite fun off trail in packed out snow and I think I might like the Brahma as much or more due to the rocker. 

 

No experience at all with the DPS.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks alot for the input Whiteroom, yeah, unfortunately, not sure I'll get a chance to demo either of them as the shops near the mountain I normally ski at don't seem to carry them (well, one shop might carry the blizzard, going to check it out this weekend).

 

I'm kind of leaning towards DPS as well. I realize 82 (in my LX) to 85 for DPS will seem negligible, but thinking going from a full camber in LX82 to a rockered DPS may help in transitioning me to do more off trail stuff.  

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi AngryBadger, I see what you're saying.  I guess my thinking was, my LX82 being a full camber skis, just by switching to a rockered ski (regardless of brahma or the DPS), that would help the cause in helping me transition to more off trail skiing.  The LX is definitely the lighter skis of the Kastle line, so to your point, the DPS may fit the mold better in that it's still fairly light from what I read (though can't seem to find the exact weight) and it's 2cm shorter than my LX PLUS it's rockered, so I'd imagine it'd ski lot shorter.  Brahma was just in the picture from the beginning for me as I read reviews/advertisements as a good east coast ski for both front and off piste (so its characteristics in comparison to my LX82, I never really thought of, but very good point indeed).

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by AngryBadger View Post
 

This is what confuses me - if I want something more maneuverable in tight spaces, I tend to look for a lighter, shorter and/or more heavily rockered ski.  Do those sound like good attributes to you for this ski to have?

 

Based on very limited testing I did once out of curiosity (literally an hour or two), I did not think that the Brahma was substantially lighter feeling than an MX (though the flipcore design does have a bit of rocker).  My understanding is that the LX82 is a relatively lighter ski compared to an MX, which is my benchmark.  So, if I wanted a more maneuverable ski than an LX, I probably wouldn't be looking at Brahma.  That said, I find my one size short (176) MX88s to be quite fun off trail in packed out snow and I think I might like the Brahma as much or more due to the rocker. 

 

No experience at all with the DPS.

post #10 of 13
Sorry, I keep saying lighter. I don't really mean weight on a scale (though that's part of it), I'm also thinking about overall stiffness. Rocker vs. camber profile does help the Brahma to be differentiated, but again I think that a Brahma and MX88 are similar enough skis in a lot of ways that I'm not sure the bit of tip and tail rocker you pick up on the Brahma will really provide a hugely different experience. I would agree that the Brahma will feel better off piste than an MX88 but I'm certainly not about to buy one for the difference.

For you, the touch point is an LX82. I would guess that the rocker profile will help your intended use case, but the stiffness will hurt it. I'm not sure what the net change will be.

In case you haven't seen it, try this thread: http://www.epicski.com/t/127755/return-of-the-crazy-88s-2015-version/60 or this one: http://www.epicski.com/t/126200/best-thin-all-mtn-freeride-ski-for-off-piste-conditions-blizzard-brahma-volkl-kendo-or-other
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks again for your input.  I'll check out those links, thanks!

 

I've gone ahead and orderd the DPS for now.  And I'm gonna try to demo a brahma during my last trip up to Vermont this season to see whether it'll stay in my wishlist.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by AngryBadger View Post

Sorry, I keep saying lighter. I don't really mean weight on a scale (though that's part of it), I'm also thinking about overall stiffness. Rocker vs. camber profile does help the Brahma to be differentiated, but again I think that a Brahma and MX88 are similar enough skis in a lot of ways that I'm not sure the bit of tip and tail rocker you pick up on the Brahma will really provide a hugely different experience. I would agree that the Brahma will feel better off piste than an MX88 but I'm certainly not about to buy one for the difference.

For you, the touch point is an LX82. I would guess that the rocker profile will help your intended use case, but the stiffness will hurt it. I'm not sure what the net change will be.

In case you haven't seen it, try this thread: http://www.epicski.com/t/127755/return-of-the-crazy-88s-2015-version/60 or this one: http://www.epicski.com/t/126200/best-thin-all-mtn-freeride-ski-for-off-piste-conditions-blizzard-brahma-volkl-kendo-or-other
post #12 of 13

@catalystman80 Not sure if you ordered the DPS Cassiars, but a number of my guy friends demoed those and did not like them. Described them as too noodly for what you are looking for  - a primarily front-side ski, with some off-piste capabilites. I like the Brahma as well - it's one of my favourite skis I tried last year. Have you considered the Kendo as well for what you want to do? 

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi albertanskigirl, yeah, I ordered the DPS (the hybrid version, not the pure), it's actually gonna get delivered this week.

 

I actually got to demo the 2016 Brahma in 180 this past weekend, and did like it a lot.  Found it to be both playful (and surprisingly light overall and in swing weight), stable under speed, and easy to engage and release the edges.  I didn't feel as locked in during front side carving compared to my Kastle LX82 of course which is a full camber, but I think it'll definitely be a good candidate in getting me to start skiing some more of the off piste and tree skiing.

 

Hmmm.....that's a little disappointing to hear about what your guy friends said....likely be a too much of a pain to return it, etc.  In a way it'd be ok since I still do primarily ski front side, but as I mentioned, looking for a ski that'll help me transition to the off piste.  Worst case, I guess it'll be an interesting alternate option on front side skiing days to my Kastle.

 

But yeah, did enjoy the Brahma, so it's still on my future wish list.  The guy at the shop said he tried the 2017 version, and prefers the 2016 (really 3-4 years before that as they were pretty much left unchanged except for the graphics) as he thought the carbon tips actually diminished some of the dampness and became chattery at times (of course this on the sub par snow conditions, which I still love, in the Northeast, specially in norther PA which is worse than in New England).  

 

Yeah, I had thought about Volkl in the past, and the impression I got was that it may actually be too stiff, so great for carving in the East and mixed conditions, but not necessarily for bumps and off-piste.  Of course at the end of the day, it's the skier and not the equipment, so best thing I'd imagine is to demo a bunch and see what suits me personally the best.  Unfortunately, very bad season in the Northeast, and I'll likely be done for the season in about a month :(

 

Thanks for the input!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by albertanskigirl View Post
 

@catalystman80 Not sure if you ordered the DPS Cassiars, but a number of my guy friends demoed those and did not like them. Described them as too noodly for what you are looking for  - a primarily front-side ski, with some off-piste capabilites. I like the Brahma as well - it's one of my favourite skis I tried last year. Have you considered the Kendo as well for what you want to do? 

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