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What skis are right for me??

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
5'5, 125lbs
Advanced Intermediate, ski Tahoe

I am currently looking for a new pair of freeriders and need help on what skis and which length.

I started skiing last season and progress fast - ski mostly black runs, not groomed, recently started going off-piste (crud).

Currently have K2 Three (1996)178cm, which I heard was pretty popular at that time. But never tried anything else, so dont know if I benefit much from the modern technology. I understand the only way to know this is to demo some, but currently there is almost nothing available for demo (most shops just sell them) and I want to get a new pair now for next season to save some bucks

Right now my choices are:
K2 Mod X (7/8)
Rossi Bandit X (L)
Salomon Pilot or XCream 7
Fischer alltrax 68

Length - 170(?) as I understand 178 is a bit long for me, and 170 should be much easier to handle.

Please help!
post #2 of 20
Hi NM.

I wouldn't normally try to recommend a ski to someone but I've skied three of the ones you are considering this year so I'll tell you what I think.

If you want a true all-mountain ski, I would highly recommend the Rossi. I've demo'd about 8 skis this season and thought the Bandit was the most versatile.

I'm more of a short turner so I am leaning towards a quicker ski (like the K2 or an Atomic) but the Rossi seemed to be able to do everything reasonably well with no signficant weaknesses.

I know a lot of people on this board have skied a lot more skis than I have this year so I'm interested to see what they recommend.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for sharing your experience. I have a chance to demo Rossi's this weekend, so I would certainly do this.

Any comments about Pilot 8? I heard it is more for groomed runs / non aggressive turns.
And also, is 170cm a right length for me?
post #4 of 20
I skied the Pilot 8's for a day at Squaw and didn't like them. However, DO NOT eliminate them from your list until you've skied them. There were several reasons I didn't like them and none of them may apply to you.

- First, I skied them on bulletproof ice at Squaw in the first week of April. I'm not a strong ice skier because I rarely have to do it.
- Second, I felt they had no "pop" in the tail but I'm much heavier than you (180 lbs.) and make mainly short turns. I may have just been too heavy for the Pilot 8. The Pilot 10 may have been a better choice for me.
- Next, I felt it had terrible edge grip on the hardpack. Others on this board warned me that the grip might have been due to a bad tune and not the ski itself. Indeed, this was a late season "shop demo" so the ski had been beat up pretty bad.
- Finally, after conditions improved to some nice corn later in the afternoon I had already made up my mind that I didn't like the ski and didn't give it a fair shake on the better snow.

So definately give them a try if you can and don't put too much weight in my "review." A good tune and better conditions might have made for a completely different ride.

One thing that bothered me about these skis regardless of how they skied was the value. I noticed no advantage of the Pilot system but it makes for an expensive ski/binding combo. In the Bay area, I can get a K2 Mod X with a pair of Marker 8.1's for around $850. The cheapest I've seen the Pilot 8 is a grand.

Maybe some others can comment on the prices they've seen. I haven't shopped around much.

I just noticed that you ski Tahoe. If you're heading up again and want to try the Pilot 8's, they have a couple of pairs at the Porters in Incline Village and the one in Tahoe City. They also have the Rossi Rebels and Bandit X and XX at both locations. Their demo price is pretty sweet, too: $13 mid week and $15 on weekends.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by KevinH (edited April 26, 2001).]</FONT>
post #5 of 20
Footloose Sports has a review by their own staff testers of the Fischer Freeride 68 as well as other brands and models they carry. Their website is www.footloosesports.com <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Lostboy (edited April 26, 2001).]</FONT>
post #6 of 20
All the skis in your list are fine choices. Now it's up to you. If you are progressing this well you might consider teh ModX instead of the 7/8. I love mine. I am 5'4", skiing a 174cm. You are 5'5". The shorter length is easier to handle, but when you start turning on the steam (speed) you might have wished for a bit longer ski. I'm shorter than you and my 174's handle beautifully. I'm confident you could too.

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #7 of 20
Considering your WEIGHT [more important than height] and the fact that you have been skiing on the K2 Three, a 170 cm in the K2 Mod 7/8 would be ideal for the places you ski. There is more shape and width to the 7/8 than the Mod X.[Compared to the K2 Three, they BOTH have a lot more width - hence, they ski better in a shorter length]. You do not need the Mod X, and the 7/8 is a kick ass ski, including at the highest speed I could go. The new models are the Axis [formerly Mod 7/8] and the Axis X [formerly Mod X]. Let us know what you end up getting. I have never regretted buying my 7/8 wonderboards, and I live and ski in the east - for the west. they'd be even better. Many top skiers have told me that the 7/8 has been highly undersold.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks oboe,
Unfortunately for me, the only 170cm skis available for demo at this time of season are Pilot 8 and Bandit XL. I tend to think that Bandit would be a better buy for me, so I would demo them this weekend. I couldnt find K2 Mod's anywhere in local stores (any mountain, rei, mel cottons), and basing on all info these are the most appropriate skis for me

Did anyone ski both K Mod 7/8 and Bandit XL? As I understand the more you ski off piste, the wider the ski waist should be. Rossi's Bandit XL has 67cm - would it be enough to support my weight on softer snow?
post #9 of 20
If you are near Truckee, I know the Ski Exchange on W. River Street had quite a few demo skis in 174 a couple of weeks back. I am only 5'2" and I ski a 174 k2 Mod X pro (granted I have been skiing for 20 years) but I think you'll regret going short, especially if you are progressing as fast as you say.

Unless you know what ski you want, it's not worth the savings to purchase now. My suggestion is to demo next year's skis in a variety of sizes and buy at the end of next season.

Every ski has a personality of it's own. Much like shoes. I may love my running sneakers, but would you buy them on my word without trying them first? Even if you could get them at a steep discount, would it be worth buying them with out trying them on first?? They might give you blisters

Back to skis...if you ski alot next season, you might want a more aggressive pair than you would buy now. Most shops will let you demo for a number of days and then apply what you've paid for the demos to the new skis. I demoed all season this year and what I bought was not was en mass recommended to me (except by the guys at the Ski Exchange). I loved the ride, because it worked with my style. After trying lots of others (about 20 different skis) I actually found that I did not care for most of the "most popular" skis out there.

Anyway, that's my $.02.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SkiMinker (edited April 27, 2001).]</FONT>
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

This sounds like the best advice for me.

I just started exploring off piste and probably a bit impatient at becoming good at it, and curious if I would benefit dramatically from the right gear.
post #11 of 20
Again, weight, rather than height, is the ticket. Also, while you are really getting into it, you still are not in skiminker's level. I have owned a bundle of skis over the years. I have noticed that sales persons have more often than not sold me on a model of ski one notch higher than my ability and weight, both in stiffness and in length. At long last, I have learned to take my own advice, and not that of the jocks who say "Go long!" Also, keep this in mind: The fatter a ski is, the shorter it should be skied. The K2 7/8 [next year's Axis] is a wide, shapely ski. In fact, although it has the same waist size [70 mm] as the Mod X [next year's Axis X], it has a wider tip and tail. PLEASE! Wait 'till next season. Demo the Axis [not the X or the Pro, just the Axis] in 170 and 174. Compare the performance of both of those lengths in that model. Then compare the best length in the Axis to any other ski. Then decide. I will be very, very surpised if the 170 cm Axis is not the one you like the most, and it will allow you to grow.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by oboe (edited April 27, 2001).]</FONT><FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by oboe (edited April 27, 2001).]</FONT>
post #12 of 20

I hope this helps but in the time that I spent is Squaw this year most of the best stuff is not groomed and most of the fun blues are definitely not groomed. That Sierre powder and crud can be wicked if you are not use to it. I really liked a FAT (Rossi XXX)ski for Squaw even though I own the Axis X. Don't get me wrong the Axis X was great and it is my all mountain ski. While in Tahoe I put a good portion of time on those skis and they performed great.

Anyway, a female skier in our group was on a pair of Rebel XX's and was having a blast in the powder, crud and a groomed. Its a wider ski with good float and softer which should make it an easier turner. Just though I give you an alternative.

Hey, Mrs. Skicrazy any thoughts?!


post #13 of 20
Hello NM !

5'5"=165 cm. I see no reason why you should be skiing a ski that is longer than you are tall.

Can you demo ? This is the best way to know for sure. For your level of skiing, I would like to suggest the Volant Vertex Powerkarve. It is a women specific ski design, that will allow you to advance beyond where you are now, and it is a free ride ski.Check out :volantsports.com

The other choices to demo are fine, but do demo,since you are the best person to determine what is best for you.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by wink (edited April 29, 2001).]</FONT>
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for their advice: I skied Whistler this long weekend and was lucky enough to demo Rossi's XX (170) and Salomon X-Cream Series (169).

I demo'd Series first, it was very spring condition, with very soft snow, and at first Series seemed to be too short and always wanting to turn when I was doing groomed runs. They also seemed to be less stable at speed, but I think it is because there are much shapier than my old K2's (178) and much shorter, so I just had to adjust my skiing and do more short quick turns and do not lean back.

On moguls, steeps and crud they were much better than my old skis: quick, light, and very flexible.

On my third day I demo'd Rossi's XX (170). The weather was drastically different - it was snowing like winter and there was powder. It was not deep (about an ankle high in average), but I never skied powder before. Rossi's were awesome in powder and heavy broken snow - very powerful and at the same time easy to turn. But they felt somewhat heavier and stiffer than Series. Unfortunately, I could not test them on anything other than powder, but I suspect Series are a way better there than Rossi's. So I've got a demo pair of Series (mostly I ski Tahoe, and we do not have a lot of good powder there) to ski bumps, chutes and non groomed.

Unfortunately I could not find K2 Mod of my size, and the price for demo Series was so tempting
post #15 of 20
I am a light-weight guy 5'5" 135 lbs, athletic build. I have a pair of 161cm Xscream series, which a bit shorter than what you got. They are a blast! The wide stiff tail does take a little getting used to, esp when skiing moguls, but the short length makes them highly manoeverable. As far as stability at speed goes, just get them on edge and they are rock stable.

I've tried my wife's Xscream 8's and they are more soft flexing, which allows me to really crank out the turns at a lower speed. On the Series, I find I need to go faster and apply more G force to get the same effect. I guess that's where body weight is a factor.

I probably would have been more suited to the Xscream 8's but the deal I got on the Series was too good to pass up as well
post #16 of 20
IMO, the K2 Mod 7/8 is the best of those skis for the Adv/Int. skier. Plus it is one ski that I really enjoyed, suprisingly cause I thought it would be a wuss.....
post #17 of 20
From one who sells skis- at least from my point of view, if I sell a ski which is perhaps a little higher up than one's ability(if I get the response that my customer is looking to advance his or her ability) it is so that the customer has a ski they can ski "into" rather than having to come back next year and buy another ski! This waists the customer's money. I never try to say "go long." ... just the correct length give or take a few cm's as per customer's prerogative. I am only 5'4" but overweight. If I went primarily by that all important weight factor I'd be skiing on 190's or 200's. Yes, weight is perhaps more important due to the weight of the skier decambering the ski easier or faster, but one can go overboard with this. Yes, the width of the ski compensates for length but all parameters need to be considered.
I thought the Mod X was a bit stiffer than the 7/8, perhaps not. Either of those skis I believe she would be happy with. If she is doing off piste the 7/8 might be a tad better.
I try my best to match the ski to the customer's ability and his/her wallet. I am more concerned with that than the store's bottom line, gross profit for the day. I offer choices. The decision is up to my customer. He/she knows how they ski and what they want from a ski. All of my customers have come to know that I don't hard sell a long ski or any particular brand of ski. I wouldn't want to sell a ski that only comes up to one's nose, nor would I like selling a ski which would take the skier 40 acres to turn them, but it's their decision, not mine. "Go long, go long." doesn't apply to me.

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply. As I said, I've already got Salomon Series for 169cm - they feel a bit short, but it probably because I used to ski 178cm not very shaped K2 and used to make long turns. Now have to adjust my skiing to short quick turns - and this is exactly what I want to improve on.
And Salomon webs site tells me that it is right lenght for me.
I couldnt find K2 to demo, and Series deal was very good to pass. So does anybody know how they compare? I do mostly off piste, and learning to sk bumps.
post #19 of 20
The skis you have are fine. The length isn't too short. I think you'd handle 174's just fine. The 169's will really turn on a dime for you. (and give you nine cents change back!)
For the bumps I have heard that too wide a tail can get caught in those little hills the size of a VW! A bump ski is usually a little narrower at the tail, and the tail is a bit stiffer than the tip.
Off piste calls for as much sq. cm's base area as you can get. Better floatation that way.
So, what do we do? Buy 3 different skis? We can if we are rich and famous! Some people on this website have just that! I envy them! However, ..... if you are like me... too much month at the end of the money, an all mountain ski is for you.
The Mod X has a 16mm side cut. The 7/8 has an 18 mm side cut. I don't know if those extra 2 cm's would interfere with bump skiing or not. Maybe not. If anyone else here knows, please let us know.
The Salomon X scream Series is also a very fine ski. Boy! All this tosses the ball back into your court, doesn't it?

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #20 of 20
Personally, I didn't find that the Xscream Series was all that great mogul/bump ski. As jyarddog said, the tail is bit wide. Also the tail is also quite stiff. Both factors tend to make it a bit of a challenge in tight moguls. I found my narrower and softer Rossi Salto a lot more fun and snaky in the moguls. This is not to say the Series is a bad bump ski, its just not it's strong point. On softer and wider space bumps, its no problem. On the harder narrower bumps, I can usually only manage to link 7-8 turns before the Series wants to take a straighter line rocketing over the tops. Expect to have your ass kicked a few times by that Xscream tail till you get used to it. I think most fat or midfats have the same problem with moguls. The Xscream is probably the most forgiving of the bunch.
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