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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › One ski to rule them all? I need some info before I pull the trigger... [last purchase 15 years ago, for Tahoe]
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One ski to rule them all? I need some info before I pull the trigger... [last purchase 15 years ago, for Tahoe]

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hey,

I need a little advice or some info before I purchase my first set of skis in about 15yrs.

 

About me: Grew up skiing (about 15 years) on the east coast and took an extended sabbatical once I went away to school and dealt with some knee injuries.  Flash-forward about 20 years later and I have been transplanted to the west coast (east bay) and this is my second season (mostly northstar)on the snow. I am 5’7”, anywhere from 160-170# and I have caught the fever again.  I have been mostly skiing groomers, will ski anything groomed, tend to gravitate towards intermediate terrain but more recently I have found that I am enjoying the steeper stuff more. I consider myself somewhere between intermediate and advanced, I got rated a 6-7 in the epic academy for what it is worth. I am not a fast skier, still working on my form (took two lessons this season), but pushing myself more to learn how to ski different terrain. I have been playing around in the bumps but recognize that I am not as limber as I was when I was 18…

 

I spent most of this season on demos and this is where I need some advice.

My top 3  (in order) are

 

Brahma- skied the 166 and it was ok but it felt like things woke up when I tried the 173. I really like the energy/rebound of this ski.

 

Pinnacle 95- I was able to spend a couple of hours in 170. I liked this ski pretty well; wonder if the 177 might have been a better choice. Turning was short and crisp but wish I had more time with them as I felt I didn’t really put them through their paces.

 

Enforcer 100- Another great ski in 169, weather wasn’t great and I was beat but if this was going to be on my list I think I would go with the 93.

 

Where do I go from here? I need to stop paying for demos, I wish I had more time with the pinnacle and could try out the enforcer 93 but I don’t think that will happen. A great piece of advice I got from an instructor was to “pick one ski and make it your bi**c”… I really just want an all mountain that will work on the east and west, handle most terrain well and survive some off piste adventures. If I wind up needing something for powder I would consider a wider ski in the future.

 

Do you guys have any insight on my top three? Good/bad experiences? Help me make a decision.

 

Regards,

 

Matthew

post #2 of 23
Welcome to Epic. I'm 5'7", 150 pounds, fairly advanced, ski pretty much any terrain but prefer off-piste. I've skied the Brahma in, IIRC, a 180 and liked it quite a bit. It was a really solid do most things pretty well ski. The 173 would be OK as long as you stay on groomers. If you think you'll eventually venture off-piste, get the next size up. I have skied the 169 Enforcer 100 and did not like it, and I am not alone. It is not the same as the other sizes of the Enforcer 100. I spent an entire day on the 177 and had a ball with it. I have also skied the Enforcer 93 in a 177 and while I spent an entire day on it, I never felt comfortable with it. It does not have the same feel as the 100. I haven't skied the K2 so can't say anything about it. I am a big fan of Nordica skis, own three pair and work in a shop that sells Nordica, but I recommend either the Brahma, 173 minimum or the Enforcer 100, but only if you get the 177.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
I spent some time with the bonafide in 180 and I did not love them. The felt, well, long to me...
post #4 of 23

Literally dozens and dozens of skis. But if you mostly stay on groomers, then why 95 - 100 ski's?   Why not try a pair of RTM 84's, or something similar.  Obviously the Kastle mx 88 would be the "one" for you as well, and most anyone here would tell you that you can just buy it.    And stay in the 171-178 range for you size.     

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for thw length recomendation.I was most comfortable on groomers but have been stepping outside my comfort zone and it has been enjouable. Ideally id like to feel comfortable on any terrain. While demo-ing i tried to stay under 100, funny how people push wider skis when 3-5" were in the forecast. I skied a couple in the 80s my list is just what i liked best.
post #6 of 23
Matthew:

IMHO, you tend to demo skis that are on the short side for your height and weight. You should pick the middle length in any particular ski.

I ski mostly on the East Coast and find an 88 mm ski to be ideal as an all around ski. If I skied mostly in Tahoe, my daily driver would be in the 95 to 100 mm range, in a good snow year. The climate being what it has been lately, 95 mm might be a safer bet. Since snow tends to be heavy at times in Tahoe, a ski with early rise, that helps you rise to the surface in heavy wet snow might be a good idea.

I have not skied any of the skis that you mention. But if I had to pick one from my own quiver, I would go with the Kastle BMX 98. That ski is no longer being made, but there are similar skis out there.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Here is where part of the problem lies. Back in 1994ish my last set of skis were 175s. I haven't kept up with ski gear but have been reading lots since last year. Whenever I go to a shop to talk about gear or demos I get odd advice. I have seen too many length charts or have been told 175 is too long for me in a modern ski...
What I have experienced is that 166 Brahma did not feel as good as the 173, the 180 bonafide felt too long and I wanted a little more out of the 170 pinnacle 95.
post #8 of 23

Well, ski length is a peculiar thing. For short turn race carvers, 175 would be too long. For a tip-rockered all-mountain ski, 170-175 would be my advice. Depending on the ski. Some brands actually change the thickness of the material layers for each length. Others don't. Then of course there are the differences between the skis. 

 

The Pinnacle and the Brahma are two very different skis IMO. The Brahma is a serious ski that shines on hard snow and blasts through anything else. The Pinnacle I found rather sketchy on hard snow and goes over anything else rather than through it. 

 

Other model you might want to consider: Fischer Motive 95, Nordica Nrgy 90 or 100 (the 100 is great in soft snow, a bit of a handfull on hard snow), the Völkl Kendo (2015-2016 model is a very nicely balanced ski that rips groomers and is powerful and fun anywhere else), and there is the perfect gentleman Fischer Motive 86 TI.

 

I revewed a few of these here: http://www.yellowgentian.com/ski-reviews/freeride/blizzard-brahma and here http://www.yellowgentian.com/the-team/gijs

post #9 of 23

Where do you ski the most and how often?

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Mostly lake Tahoe, about 20 days this season.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
One thing I wished was that the Brahma handled the thick/super heavy ungroomed snow @ northstar (Sunday/Monday) better but I attributed that to me not being used to those conditions. I gather that the pinnacle might do better with that but would I lose the performance on groomers/ typical conditions with the k2?
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavidh View Post

Mostly lake Tahoe, about 20 days this season.

 

 

Get a 88-100mm ski in the mid 170's.  If you liked the Brahma's, get them.  But I wouldn't get all hung up on the perfect ski.

Do you have good boots that fit?

20 days is enough to get your own for sure.

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
A trip to a boot fitter is on my list.
I guess I am stuck between the Brahma in 173 and the pinnacle 95 in 177. Different skis but I liked them both, wish I had more time on the pinnacle and am just not sure...
post #14 of 23

OP: Those are fairly different skis. Also keep in mind that for a lighter high intermediate, going short with a beefier ski decreases directional stability at speed in soft snow. So if you foresee Sierra Cement, longer and a touch softer is better. And yup, IMO that includes the Enforcer. Consider the source: Besides being lighter, generally shady, and a known Nordica lover, :D, mtcyclist is a strong skier. Have you thought about something like the Kastle FX94, currently on sale? 

post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Appointment with a boot fitter tomorrow and off to the slopes to "re-demo" my favorites...
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Spent sunday with a boot fitter (3+ hours) and he put me in a panterra 120. It was the best fit for me but we still have to deal with the extra space at the top of my calf. I spent monday with the pinnacle 95s in 177 at squaw and I am not sure why they wound up at the top of my list. They did well with the deepish ungroomed crud but were all over the place on anything hard packed. It looks like the brahmas in 173 are the one for me.
I wonder why I didnt like the bonafide more? They felt long and all over the place (not as bad as the pinnacle 95s) to me.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavidh View Post

They did well with the deepish ungroomed crud but were all over the place on anything hard packed. 

 

Exactly my experience with th Pinnacles.  

post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheizz View Post
 

 

Exactly my experience with th Pinnacles.  

I've found the Pinnacle 95 is very solid on the hard groomers. Just came back from Sun Valley, where you have lots of Hard Pack snow and my Pinnacle 95 work better than most other skis I've owned. If you get the Pinnacle 95 on edge they are just amazing skis! I think they are very nimble yet very powerful.  I've heard a few people on this site ripping the Pinnacle 95 for being all over the place, but I find they are very solid. 

post #19 of 23

I'm a Volkl guy so I'd tell you to try the Kendo in in 170cm at your weight, and the 100 eight in 175 or what ever that length is. That's two skis that will cover just about any snow you get short of a major dump.

 

I find the both those skis to be fun, lively, great edge hold and handle soft, heavy snow well. Skied the 2017 100 eight last Saturday at Okemo VT, scrapped ice to 4-6" of sugar snow. That ski held the ice with a death grip and hit the sugar snow like it was cream cheese. Very easy to ski.

 

 

IMO one ski will not do it all. If you only ski a few times a year, yea, one ski is fine. If your going to be skiing a lot, you'll need at least two pairs. IMO 20mm or so waist steps seems logical.


Edited by Max Capacity - 3/24/16 at 4:56pm
post #20 of 23

Have you skied the FX95 or FX85?  Might be worth considering.  I would also recommend trying both HP and non HP versions if possible. 

post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavidh View Post

...I spent monday with the pinnacle 95s in 177 at squaw and I am not sure why they wound up at the top of my list. They did well with the deepish ungroomed crud but were all over the place on anything hard packed. It looks like the brahmas in 173 are the one for me.
I wonder why I didnt like the bonafide more? They felt long and all over the place (not as bad as the pinnacle 95s) to me.

There's really no way anyone can extrapolate their 'likes' into what your likes are - as seen by the various takes on the Pinnacle 95. What you find likable and reassuring is gonna different from everyone else. Since you've demo'd, you should go from that point and select based on your likes criteria. And give some thought to where you want to take your skiing.

 

How you pressure the ski has a huge affect on how it skis and feels. Directional Stability is not just about ski design - ski technique has a great effect on directional stability, edge control, turn control.  Things which ski design has a major effect on are snow condition adaptation & terrain adaptation, ie moguls, steep pitches with variability, snow condition, etc.

All this, given that a ski is in a reasonable state of tune.

 

If you're not sure what characteristics will be important to help you progress beyond where you are now. Then you have to select based on your current ski technique. So pick a ski that better supports your personal weak points without sacrificing too much in areas you consider your strong suit. Longer is mostly better for stronger skiers. And a ski with strong directional stability may still give you a rough ride, since snow condition and terrain have a great effect on how the ride feels.

 

Good luck, let us know what you decide to do, and how it all comes out.

post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
I really liked the brahmas. I took a half day lesson on the 166 and after the lesson I changed them out for the 173 s and things felt even better.
I found a real good deal on a set of the brahmas so I pulled the trigger on them in 173.
It was time to buy. Demos were getting too expensive. They are now in the shop waiting on bindings, hoping they will be ready for a day trip on Monday.
I hope they feel the same/better with my new boots....

Thanks for all your help.
post #23 of 23
Fischer Motive 95s are $350 at skiessentials last time Iooked. Do eet!
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › One ski to rule them all? I need some info before I pull the trigger... [last purchase 15 years ago, for Tahoe]