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What to demo in 16/17? [Big & burly, fast, old dude...Colorado...]

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

It's getting to be new ski time. Rather than ask around and hope for the best, I'm going to demo some skis this year, with an eye to buying at season's end (because I'm cheap).

 

Here're the details...

 

I'm 48 years old, 6'2", 280lbs with short legs. (Before some yahoo says something, yes, I know that sounds fat, but since I'm rocking 16% body fat and a 36" waist, it's not. EOC :eek )

 

I've been skiing for 30 years and I'd put myself somewhere between advanced and expert. I primarily ski groomers, but I ski them as fast as is safe for conditions (usually 35-55 mph, midweek).

 

You'll pretty much never see me in the bumps, but I'll duck into the trees occasionally. Last winter, I logged 20 ski days (thanks work!), but I'm hopeful that I'll hit double that this year. With both Epic and RMSP+, my primary mountains will be Breck, Eldora, WP, and Vail.

 

For the last three years, I've been skiing 2013 Volkl Kendo 184s, which I've enjoyed, but my challenges are in chop and crud. I recognize these are always a challenge, but I notice that no ski I've had in the last 15 years has been as good on these as the heavy old skis I used to have. My current skis want to float on top, where, say, my old Elan race skis from the 90s, would just bust through the top layer like a tank. Of course, my old Elans and Atomics weighed a lot more than my current skis, which could be a pain on the way back to the parking lot. ;)

 

So, is this something that I just need to get used to, and compensate better for, or are there some skis out there that'll be tank like crudbusters that I ought to try out?

 

Since I'm planning to demo skis over the course of the year, try and keep suggestions limited to skis I have a reasonable chance of being able to find demo examples of.

 

Anyway...thanks in advance for any advice, suggestions, counsel, y'all can provide. 

 

ps - In case anyone is curious, boots are Salomon Impact 120CS and current bindings are Look Pivot 14s.

post #2 of 24

I ski the Kendo (2013 version I think).  I think crud and chop (as well as groomers) is where the Kendo shines.  It is a stiff ski and not too wide underfoot, the two characteristics that I prefer for those conditions.  But I am only one opinion.  Maybe a wider ski is friendlier, but I have been going the opposite direction with my quiver for the past three years.   I am bucking the trend :)  Pete

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterk123 View Post
 

I ski the Kendo (2013 version I think).  I think crud and chop (as well as groomers) is where the Kendo shines.  It is a stiff ski and not too wide underfoot, the two characteristics that I prefer for those conditions.  But I am only one opinion.  Maybe a wider ski is friendlier, but I have been going the opposite direction with my quiver for the past three years.   I am bucking the trend :)  Pete

So, we're on the same ski then. I guess I'm looking for a unicorn.

post #4 of 24

I ski and highly recommend the Rossi Experience 100.  They are crud blasters supreme. But wait! There's more!! They are also great in powder, on ice, in spring slush,  have no speed limit and are surprisingly nimble once you get used to them. They have been described as GS skis on steroid's. For big and or powerful skiers only, lighter skiers do not find them friendly at all. It's predecessor, the E98 is even more stiff, but is not as much fun overall.

Give them a try if you can find them to demo. The more I ski them, the more fun and versatile I find them. Can't wait for the season to start!

post #5 of 24

Nordica Enforcer - great in chop and crud, can handle big burly people really well. I demoed Santa Anas last year (5'8" 200lbs, advanced skier) and my SO did Enforcers (6'0" 225-ish, expert skier) and we loved them in all conditions - especially chop and crud. We know a number of people who ski Breck/WP/Vail with Enforcers and Santa Anas as a primary ski. The Enforcer is really an outstanding ski...

 

I ski the Kenja 2013 (women's version of the Kendo) and I've always thought it was just ok in chop and crud and not outstanding. The Nordicas were a marked difference. 

post #6 of 24
Blizzard Bonafide 98 - 187
Blizzard Brahma 88 - 187

Head monster 88 - 184

Try one of these on a crud day, at your weight/ height these are what I would suggest
post #7 of 24

At 150 lbs., I'm literally about half your weight :eek.  Given this, I can't make any specific recommendations.   But as someone that is also outside the norm of male adult weights (albeit at the other end of the distribution), I can offer some general guidance:

 

1) You should ask anyone making a recommendation to tell you their weight and height, and to let you know if their recommendation is based on their personal experience, or upon the experience of someone that they know (and is near your weight).  A ski that feels fine for even a "routinely" big guy (say, 230 lbs.), could feel too soft to you.  50 lbs. makes a huge difference.  Basically, you want a ski that a 230 lb. guy thinks is too stiff!

 

2) Most skis, even at their longest length, simply aren't designed for someone your weight.  So you need to find the skis at the very tail end of the distribution -- those that most people find too beefy.  Something like the Mantra, before they softened it up (say, 2013/14) comes to mind (but obvious that version is no longer made).   The skis near nyquist recommended have a reputation for being beefy (and Blizzard in particular tends to make beefy skis; if I were to guess one brand for you, it would probably be Blizzard), so they'd be worth demoing.  Stockli used to make some stiff mixed-condition skis, not sure if they still do, and not sure how stiff they are vs. others that have been mentioned (likewise w/ the Head Titans -- they're stiff, but are they stiff enough?).   Indeed, that's the trick: it's generally known which skis fall into the "stiff/stable/beefy" category; what you want to know is which, among this group, are at the very end of the scale. Ideally you'd want to hear from another aggressive ~280 lb. skier at your skill level that's gone through this process.   

3) Alternately, since you liked your 90's-era Elans in crud, you're clearly someone that is comfortable with a narrower ski in mixed conditions.  Given this, I think it would be worth demoing a GS race ski (or a "cheater" GS ski, which is a GS ski with more sidecut).  If one of those works for you in crud, that would be awesome, because then you'd also have a ski whose groomer performance would blow 70+ mm recreational skis out of the water.   

 

4) The good news is that it should be easy for you to find something better for you than the Kendo.  Even at 150 lbs., I didn't find it to be a very substantial ski.


Edited by chemist - 9/14/16 at 10:58am
post #8 of 24
Fill out the forum note (sticky)
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post

Fill out the forum note (sticky)

He's provided the info:

Where in the world are you skiing? Breck, Eldora, WP, and Vail
What kinds of terrain do you prefer (groomed runs, moguls, race course, park'n'pipe, trees, steeps, backcountry/sidecountry) primarily ski groomers, but I ski them as fast as is safe for conditions (usually 35-55 mph, midweek). You'll pretty much never see me in the bumps, but I'll duck into the trees occasionally.
How many days a year do you ski? Last winter, I logged 20 ski days (thanks work!), but I'm hopeful that I'll hit double that this year.
How advanced are you as a skier?
I've been skiing for 30 years and I'd put myself somewhere between advanced and expert.
What's your height and weight? 48 years old, 6'2", 280lbs with short legs. (Before some yahoo says something, yes, I know that sounds fat, but since I'm rocking 16% body fat and a 36" waist, it's not. EOC eek.gif )

Why does he have to fill in a form for you?
post #10 of 24

I also ski the Kendo pre rocker, full camber. I agree with other posts but I am only 2/3 of your weight. I would think stiffer would be better in your case but I think we will need some big boys to weigh in here!

post #11 of 24

Just get an old pair of 194 Legend Pro's.

post #12 of 24

Well if your going that way of thinking I suggest an old pair of Volkl P9 GS. Yep, that will do your weight. 

post #13 of 24

You might want to PM this guy. Not your weight but, at 245, closer than most:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big J View Post
 

I have the Cochise, Bonafide and Bodacious.  I am an advanced/expert 59 year old 245 pound  5'9" ex ski patrol.  The order of my preference is Cochise, Bodacious, Bonafide.  I find that the Bonafide is too weak for me.  I can do everything better on the Cochise.  I like the Bodacious but have not skied it enough to truthfully evaluate it.  I have only skied the Bones 4 or 5 times which is enough to know I am not very big on them.  I am mainly a cruiser but can ski the whole mountain.  I feel the Cochise in 177 is best overall for me and my style.

post #14 of 24

I have a recommendation for you, at least from my point of view,  but I don't know if the length is right. Blizzard R Power in a 174cm. In excellent condition and recently tuned. I only bring that up because Mogsie, one of the ski reviewers and sells on this forum told me his 300lb buddy dances on the R Power. I thought he said he was on the 174 but it could be longer. It is very fast more of a high speed groomer  to me. You can PM and ask if you might be interested. Blizzard is definitely on the stiff side.

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post
 

Well if your going that way of thinking I suggest an old pair of Volkl P9 GS. Yep, that will do your weight. 


You do know that the proper answer on this forum is "Kastle RX National Team SG" , yes? :D

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist View Post

 

 

2) Most skis, even at their longest length, simply aren't designed for someone your weight.  So you need to find the skis at the very tail end of the distribution -- those that most people find too beefy.  Something like the Mantra, before they softened it up (say, 2013/14) comes to mind (but obvious that version is no longer made).   The skis near nyquist recommended have a reputation for being beefy (and Blizzard in particular tends to make beefy skis; if I were to guess one brand for you, it would probably be Blizzard), so they'd be worth demoing.  Stockli used to make some stiff mixed-condition skis, not sure if they still do, and not sure how stiff they are vs. others that have been mentioned (likewise w/ the Head Titans -- they're stiff, but are they stiff enough?).   Indeed, that's the trick: it's generally known which skis fall into the "stiff/stable/beefy" category; what you want to know is which, among this group, are at the very end of the scale. Ideally you'd want to hear from another aggressive ~280 lb. skier at your skill level that's gone through this process.   


Slight nuance here:  he's looking to demo, not buy without tryout, so he needs to specifically know which skis fall into the "stiff but not too floaty" category, that are likely to be at a demo near him, and that are likely to be available in a good-for-him demo size.     It's that last one that's the real killer.

In his case I wholeheartedly support "try before you buy" and wouldn't recommend he purchase anything untested.

 

 

post #16 of 24
Quote:

Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

 

Slight nuance here:  he's looking to demo, not buy without tryout, so he needs to specifically know which skis fall into the "stiff but not too floaty" category, that are likely to be at a demo near him, and that are likely to be available in a good-for-him demo size.     It's that last one that's the real killer.

 

 

Fortunately for him, he skis out of the Denver area, going to Breck, Eldora, WP, and Vail.  Thus he's probably in the single best area of the country for selection of demo skis.  I thus think his main challenge isn't going to be finding a shop that has a particular ski/length to demo, it's going to be narrowing down the plethora of possibilities to the few that are worth it for him to try.
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

 

In his case I wholeheartedly support "try before you buy" and wouldn't recommend he purchase anything untested.

 

Yes, definitely

post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post
 

I have a recommendation for you, at least from my point of view,  but I don't know if the length is right. Blizzard R Power in a 174cm. In excellent condition and recently tuned. I only bring that up because Mogsie, one of the ski reviewers and sells on this forum told me his 300lb buddy dances on the R Power. I thought he said he was on the 174 but it could be longer. It is very fast more of a high speed groomer  to me. You can PM and ask if you might be interested. Blizzard is definitely on the stiff side.

I'm hearing a lot of "Ya oughta try some Blizzards" feedback. I'll look into the R Power and might reach out. 

Thanks...

post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist View Post
 

3) Alternately, since you liked your 90's-era Elans in crud, you're clearly someone that is comfortable with a narrower ski in mixed conditions.  Given this, I think it would be worth demoing a GS race ski (or a "cheater" GS ski, which is a GS ski with more sidecut).  If one of those works for you in crud, that would be awesome, because then you'd also have a ski whose groomer performance would blow 70+ mm recreational skis out of the water.

 

Skis in this category are definitely going to get some looks. Would love to demo some Stockli in this category, but unless I happen to get lucky with meeting a rep, that seems unlikely.

post #19 of 24

Hi Mallthus, 

 

I'm about your size and build, just a little taller (played tight end back in the day if you get my drift).   I own Rossi squad 7 (powder), Head Rev 85 (groomers) and Nordica Soul Rider (park with the kids).   I also have retired Black diamond Verdicts.   For your skiing I'd look at the Head lineup too.  Honestly, at our size I find busting through crud the least of my problems.  

post #20 of 24
Salomon Xdrive 8.8 FS in 184 cm.
post #21 of 24

This just occurred to me: One way to add solidity and stiffness to any ski is to add a plate.   A plate can significantly change how a ski feels, and different plates, depending on their stiffness and shock-absorbing capabilities, will have different effects.  A dealer that sells race gear can advise you on specifics, and there are also forum members (like ScotsSkier) that have expertise in this area.  The conventional wisdom is that you don't want to go too high with an off-piste ski, so if you add a beefy plate you'd probably want to do it with a binding that doesn't have too much of its own lift to start.  It's an option you can keep in mind if nothing you demo seems quite strong enough, or if you buy something and later decide you want more oomph.   This mostly applies if you're buying a flat ski, though you can replace the integrated plate/binding systems on many system skis (but then you've wasted some money).

post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist View Post
 

This just occurred to me: One way to add solidity and stiffness to any ski is to add a plate.   A plate can significantly change how a ski feels, and different plates, depending on their stiffness and shock-absorbing capabilities, will have different effects.  A dealer that sells race gear can advise you on specifics, and there are also forum members (like ScotsSkier) that have expertise in this area.  The conventional wisdom is that you don't want to go too high with an off-piste ski, so if you add a beefy plate you'd probably want to do it with a binding that doesn't have too much of its own lift to start.  It's an option you can keep in mind if nothing you demo seems quite strong enough, or if you buy something and later decide you want more oomph.   This mostly applies if you're buying a flat ski, though you can replace the integrated plate/binding systems on many system skis (but then you've wasted some money).

 

I see where you're going with this. My feeling is that where I'm lacking stiffness now isn't underfoot, so much as in the tip. This is pointing me back towards looking at skis like the X-Drive 8.8 and the Laser AX. I could be wrong and will explore the plate idea too.

post #23 of 24
Don't know if you've found this review from Blister. The writers not as big as you (who are?) but he's 180 lbs and likes to charge hard. I agree with everything in this article (190 btw). I think that anyone who appreciate race skis, but want something more versatile will like the xdrive fs 8.8.

http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/2014-2015-salomon-x-drive-8-8-fs
Edited by Karlsson - 9/18/16 at 5:12am
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
I did check that review on Blister. It changed the 8.8 from a ski I'd not considered into a "must try".
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