Hey, I would love some help in deciding between the Monster 88 and other skis that I haven't even demoed (and i realize how dumb that is, haha). Apologies in advance for the rambling here.
Background: Whistler weekend warrior, average 15 days/year, 36 years old, 6’1, 175, expert/lifelong skier, (maybe wish I had ~10-15lbs. more muscle in the legs - working on that this summer!). Style is traditional/forward aggressive “racer” style, mixed in with some ski-instructor approved technique. I am old-school. I like steeps; powder of course, high-speed groomers, i can enjoy bumps ,but more a means to get to fresher snow, so I’m good enough at them; I have the technique, just no longer the desire to seek them out.
“Quiver”, if you can call it that, is 2 skis:
- 2015 Line Mr. Pollard’s opus 185cm (black top sheet) for the deep days
- For all other days, and in need of replacement: 2005 Dynastar Legend 8000 178cm. Everything is easy with this ski, except for higher speeds and crud-busting. I probably have 50-60 days on it, so it’s got maybe a bit of life left, but it needs replacing.
I’m not a speed-demon per se, but have come to really enjoy the feeling of a ski that has a higher speed limit than you do.
So i demoed a bunch of skis and shapes last weekend, and realized pretty quickly my sweet-spot for a Western frontside/all-mountain stick is a more traditionally cambered, fairly stiff, ~88mm ski in low 180 cm’s.
I tried the Volkl Mantra’s, Kendo’s, Salmon X-drive 88, and Head Monster 88’s, all in 184. Obviously not all of them direct competitors, but that’s what was available. I was super keen to try the Blizzard Brahma’s in a 180, but they were too popular and were always out.
So all that to say, I was amazed how much I loved the Monster 88’s. The Kendo was a pretty close 2nd, but I preferred how the Monster 88’s were quicker to engage into a carve, while still happy to rip in a straight line. I was nervous they’d be too much ski for me in the 184, but thanks to the fairly wide shovel and aggressive sidecut, they were easy to hook up and, of course, once they did, they did not let go. So much stability at speed. They definitely also feel heavy, which would take some getting used to after my comparatively noodly Dynastars, but there’s no free lunch of course, and I figure all that stability and sure-footedness has to come at a price.
So i’m pretty sold on the ski, you can probably surmise, and can get a good deal on a new pair for ~$400. So my two questions are: 1) do you think I would I regret not trying the Brahma’s (though pretty much impossible to do this late in the season), and 2) - and this is random - but the same shop that’s selling the Heads has a pair of leftover Kastle FX84’s in 184cm’s, for like $350. Crazy deal, but I’ve never skied Kastles, though I understand they’re just another very good, burly, hi-performance austrian ski, much like the Heads, and because it’s such an insane deal, I am tempted. Thoughts on those skis, and how they’d compare to the Monster 88’s?
Sorry for the length here, and if you’ve read this far, thanks for your time and any feedback you may have.