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moving up to an SX11?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I've been skiing on 170 cm Atomic Carve 9:20's (I know, in the US these are 9:18's) - these are Euro '02 models and the diff is that they have a hyper carbon profile like the Race SL's. Anyway, I've got the 170s and I've really liked them the last two seasons except for one thing. When I got them, I was getting back into skiing now that my kids are old enough after about 15 years off. I'm now finding as my skiing comes back and I'm getting used to the new style skis that these are too soft. When I really get going on steep hardpack (even on some blues) they don't hold the line real well, even though I really like their quickness. I tried the SX11 170 last weekend. What a ski! Got thrown into the backseat once when I got too tentative early in the day in some choppy snow and did a less than graceful 360 with face plant! By the end of the day I was ripping linked long and short arcs at some pretty good speed all over the mountain. My question to all you experts out there who know Atomics is this: I really liked the SX11's - is there another model I should look at hard, and at what lengths? (BTW, I'm 6' and 170 lbs and still reasonably athletic - ex Div 1-level lax player not gone too much to seed). Thanks.
post #2 of 21
The SX11 is an absolute blast on groomers, you can lay out some hip-checking arcs with watery eyes on those boards. I personally found the the R10 and R11 to be a little better as an all mountain type board though. I would buy the SX11 in a heartbeat, but it would probably only come out on specific days, not my everyday ski.
post #3 of 21
The SX11 sounds ideal for you.

I have found my SX11 170s to be the frontside "hard groomer" equivalent of my R:EXs (184s); they are aimed at the eye-watering speed, GS turns crowd - stable, hold like glue, and carve a trench in boilerplate if you drive them. Like the R:EX, they are not really quick turners, however.

The SX11s do feel and ski "heavy", which I do not consider a bad thing, as some do. 180 would be a handfull, I think, so stick to the 170s. If the heavy feel bothers you, you might try the SX9 (which I haven't yet).
post #4 of 21
I did some gs gates with someone on the Sx11 in a 170. He was absolutely flying I'll tell you that. Conditions were quite hard and icy and they gripped quite well.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for their thoughts. So far, you all seem to reinforce what I felt in terms of stability and hold. I'll definitely have to try the SX9s for comparison. I have a feeling that with the 11s they would be tougher to control in short, quick turns and in the moguls. But they definitely have a great feel on hardpack at speed! Anyone have an opinion on the Atomic Carve 11.16s?
post #6 of 21
Let me throw another option out at you:

I have been free-skiing my 2003 Elan SLX T (vertical sidewall racestock) slalom ski in 155, and it would be a great choice. It the quickness of a slalom, but is absolutely stable at speed in super-G arcs. It has the stability of a 175cm racecarver, you wouldn't know you are on a 155cm unless you look down. I ski it fairly athletically in GS turns at speed, and you can really lay down some great arcs. The only drawback is that if you crank it up to slalom turns on a steep pitch of hard snow, you really have to stay on the ski-it accelerates from turn to turn and can run away from you if you aren't really on top of it-then it feels like a racestock ski. But then again, the SX11 doesn't really do rapid 11 meter slalom turns anyway. For GS turns, the SLX T it is totally forgiving and easy to ski. If I didn't need a GS ski for racing, I could probably use this as my sole groomer/crud/bump ski, it is that versatile. BTW, I have it mounted with a Salomon PoweAxeSL plate, but it can also come with a VIST plate, or next year it will have a Marker Piston WC plate.

[ March 20, 2003, 11:57 AM: Message edited by: sukotto ]
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Let me throw another option out at you:

I have been free-skiing my 2003 Elan SLX T (vertical sidewall racestock) slalom ski in 155, and it would be a great choice.


That's an interesting option. I'll see if I find them for demo when I'm out this weekend. I was planning on demo-ing the Atomic GS9 and SL9 if they have them. I'm still interested in anyone's thoughts on the SX9 or the C11 from Atomic! Thanks!!!!
post #8 of 21
As I understand, the SX9 is a more versatile, slightly softer version of the SX11. Think Fischer Sceneo 400 vs. 500-the 500 is a bit more powerful than the 400 on groomers, but it much heavier and not as good in varied conditions, IMO. Also, I think the C11 is more of a cruiser-carver, probably more damp and not as powerful as the Supercross line. Also, if you like the SX series, try next season's Elan Fusion S12 if you can-I found it to have the power of a race ski on the groomed, but is lighter and more versatile than the SX11 off-piste. I know others who have skied this spring who would concur. The S12 has a definite GS feel.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
sukotto - thanks for all the great info - you've captured it exactly. I'm looking for a GS feel on groomed with enough versatility to handle short radius turns in crud and be light enough to get through bumps. I'll definitely be on the lookout for all of these. I know that when I go out tomorrow I'll demo the Atomic GS9 at Pat's, at least, since I know that have that there. I still think that any ski will have to convince me that they're more stable than the SX11's!
post #10 of 21
Let me know how some of the skis are. I am in the process of finding one but I do not know which ones are the best. Also if anyone has some for sale in 155-168cm contact me.

Thanks
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by jck:
I've been skiing on 170 cm Atomic Carve 9:20's (I know, in the US these are 9:18's) - these are Euro '02 models and the diff is that they have a hyper carbon profile like the Race SL's. Anyway, I've got the 170s and I've really liked them the last two seasons except for one thing. When I got them, I was getting back into skiing now that my kids are old enough after about 15 years off. I'm now finding as my skiing comes back and I'm getting used to the new style skis that these are too soft. When I really get going on steep hardpack (even on some blues) they don't hold the line real well, even though I really like their quickness. I tried the SX11 170 last weekend. What a ski! Got thrown into the backseat once when I got too tentative early in the day in some choppy snow and did a less than graceful 360 with face plant! By the end of the day I was ripping linked long and short arcs at some pretty good speed all over the mountain. My question to all you experts out there who know Atomics is this: I really liked the SX11's - is there another model I should look at hard, and at what lengths? (BTW, I'm 6' and 170 lbs and still reasonably athletic - ex Div 1-level lax player not gone too much to seed). Thanks.
post #12 of 21
Sorry about the above...

I seem to be fairly unique in my opinion of the SX:11. I live in Burlington, VT but purchased this ski while on vacation in Vail,CO. Upon the suggestion of a friend who is an Atomic rep and probably the best skiier I know, I demoed this ski on a 8 inch powder day. This ski is a carving machine, as most reviews will tell you.

But what surprised me, and led to the purchase, is it's performance in the powder & crud. I am amazed that a ski with this skinny a waist performs so well in the powder. I also found it to be nimble in the bumps, so long as they were on the softer side and not rock hard. Part of the versatility probably comes from the 170cm length I opted for.I'm a level 9 skiier and weight 168 lbs.

My other ski is a 188cm Volkl G3 which I now realize is entirely too long.

I've seen very few comments about the SX:11's versatility which I find surprising. I've seen several excellent skiiers at Vail on the SX:11 in the powder, bumps, crud etc. I didn't get a chance to demo the SX:9 because it had just arrived and the demoes weren't set up. But the rep advised me to stick with the 11.

Squeak

[ March 24, 2003, 11:13 AM: Message edited by: The Squeaky Wheel ]
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Squeak - thanks for the input - I orginally tried the SX11's because a friend of mine has them and LOVES them - he's also a level 9 skier but even he finds them tough in the bumps. I love the way they feel on edge at speed, though.

So, here's what I tried this weekend:

Atomic GS9 (170) I was overall disappointed in this ski - I guess I expected better but this seems to be an in-between ski. Pretty good at speed (but not as good as the SX11) and pretty nimble, but not great at either.

edit: This ski may be better at speed in longer lengths but they didn't have them for demo yesterday!

Head I.SL (155) I was really impressed with this one. I understand that Head is changing this ski for next year. This ski was really responsive and quick, but held the arc at any radius at high speed. Very stable and quick - I'll have to see if I can find a pair to try in 163's, though they seemed stable enough for me at 155.

I also got a recommendation from a racer I rode up with on one run to try the Fischer WorldCup SC or the Race SL (?) - he loves them for quick, fall-line turns (but was also looking at the SX11's for better high-speed carving).

That's it for now - I don't know if I'm going to get back out again this year (tough with all the kids at the end of the season) so this search may jump into next season. Well, the search is half the fun!

[ March 24, 2003, 09:03 AM: Message edited by: jck ]
post #14 of 21
jck, why are you looking at race skis, Do you want to race? Look at all mountain skis if you want to ski the whole mountain. Thats why they make them. Both Atomic and Volkl as well as Elan and others are making great skis. See the 6 star post for my recent demo's last Saturday at Okemo.

I didn't like the SX11 in death cookies when I demoed it back in December.

[ March 24, 2003, 09:41 AM: Message edited by: smithby ]
post #15 of 21
The SX:11 aren't too bad in the bumps. They're a bit tricky when the moguls get big and hard. But not terrible and I find them to be easier than my G3's, although my G3's are 188 & the SX:11 are 170's. I've had no problems in the smaller/softer bumps.

Like I said, I thought they performed well in medium depth powder & crud. Haven't encountered any death cookies.

Smitby has a good point however. You may want to look at a more well rounded ski. My intent was to use the G3 as an "all mtn" ski and the SX:11 as my front side ripper, but I've fallen in love with the SX:11 and the G3, although in like-new condition, is being relegated to backup/rock status. I'm thinking about getting a R:EX or G4 for the bigger snow days, but it seems a bit impractical for Stowe. I'm heading back to Vail for 8 days this Friday and will get some quality spring days on the SX:11 and will post back. I expect to encounter a wide range of spring conditions including death cookies, corn, mashed potatoes and assorted other vegetable analogies.

One opinion I will share is my reluctance to join the fat ski craze for all mtn skiing. The SX:11 is fairly narrow waisted at 66cm, but the float is decent. There is a loss in carving ability at the thicker waisted skiis. I think optimal for all-mtn skiing is likely somewhere in the 65-75mm range for most people.

Squeak
post #16 of 21
I agree the 70cm waist is the way to go for a all mountain ski. My 10EX's I use only when we have powder or wet soft spring like snow that we have had for most of the past 9 days here in the east. If I plan to do spring bumps I'll use my G3's, if I plan to cruise in the heavy crud I'll ski the EX's.

I wonder if the new crop of 77cm waist skis can do what I use two skis to do now????
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by smithby:
Look at all mountain skis if you want to ski the whole mountain.
smithby - good point. I needed to think a bit before I answered (BTW, I saw your post on the 6 star, and the 5 star is on my getting shorter list right now). Anyway, here's my reasoning, as flawed as it may be. I've been away from skiing for a very long time (what was I thinking?). Now that my two older girls are getting into it, I'm definitely back to the sport. I got the Atomic Carv 9's thinking that it would be a good all-purpose middle of the road ski, and that's just what I got. Not at all a bad ski, but not enough of what I want. For right now, as I am doing a lot of chasing the girls on medium terrain, and I have two younger girls who are still many years away from getting really good as all around skiers (my 4 girls range from 9 yrs to 17 months). I want for now a high-level shorty carver that can handle some speed for when I can crank off a run on some steep groomed or some light moguls (after a knee, two shoulders, two elbows and a back under the knife I have to be careful about really charging the heavy moguls). I'm otherwise in pretty good shape, so I want a really good top notch shorty for the front side. Once my technique improves and I'm really back into the sport, and the girls are all much better, I plan on getting another set of skis more able to handle the back side.

Well, that's my thinking for now. Not that anyone really wanted to hear all this, but in many ways it was good for me to "think out loud" on this, so thanks for the question! As always, more thoughts on this are always appreciated.
jck
post #18 of 21
If you try the G3 in a short lenght you may find what you are looking for. If you put the Atomic Centrix binding on it it will be even more versatile. I'm 5'11" 190lbs and love my 177cm. It is great in the bumps and all over the hill, including the trees at Okemo. with the Atomic binding you could move the binding to the forward position and I'll bet it would turn as short as a SL ski.
I have three screws and a washer in my right knee I have skied 67 days so far this season and I'm finding that I like skis that give a soft ride but still have performance. The 5 star was close in ride but I feel there is not enough performace gain in the 5 star to want it. I'm also 48 y/o. I also took a 14 year break back in the late 70's and 80's.
I can't say enough about the G3 I have tried it back to back with a lot of skis. There are a few of us with the same size boot. The Elan M10 is real close.

I have heard that Volkl bought Elan. Maybe that is why the M10 feels like the G3 and 04' AX3.

Good Luck with your girls.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Since it looks like I'm done for this season, this quest will move into the beginning of next season. I may even be able get some deals on this year's skis that are left over then, if I can find any to demo.

I've been partial to Atomics lately, but I must confess that I haven't tried enough of the Volkls to have a good sense of their overall characteristics as a total product line - though I know that Peter Keelty has said recently that within the same line the skis these days all have unique characteristics! He does also go on to give his opinion of each brand's "flavor" which is very useful.

Lot's of things to think about and try!!!!!

Sounds like nirvana to a gear hound!
post #20 of 21
I have a pair of 170 SX11. Bought them as a serious pair of go fast hardpack chargers. They do this a treat. I have skied them in all conditions inc chutes with "hold ya breath" deep pow and lots of big steep bumps. They will go anywhere BUT hard bumps are a tough call, too much GO in the ski for hard bumps.

In deep pow they where too short in 170 and whilst they performed well they are much more fun on the frontside kicking ass. Getting plenty of air dropping in or just hitting rolls and cat tracks is a very stable proposition on these skis as well.

Like I say excellent ski BUT whilst they can do it all .... can YOU do it all on them is the question. For the backside I have a pair of Scream 10s, Total opposite ski as they are quite soft and 180.

Summary: SX11 in 170 is a serious pair of slice and dice, go fast skis. They cut the crud sweetly. Short turns require precise input, mid to long turns just HIT IT.

Me 5' 10" & 74kgs, Lev 9 skier ... most days

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ March 27, 2003, 04:36 AM: Message edited by: man from oz ]
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
man from oz - I hope that you're not about to float away on a great hot air balloon!! I appreciate your thoughts, and I'm definitely going to keep the SX11 in mind in the future (or its analog since I'm sure Atomic will make changes in the line over time).

For now, however, the conclusion to at least this quest:

I snuck away for the day last Friday and demo'd the Atomic SL9 in 160. I was sold on the overall qualities of this ski for what I need over probably the next few seasons. Granted, I was out on soft, wet hardpack with temps around 40. But the ski did everything I wanted it to do. I dug sweet trenches when I laid it over; I felt like I had complete control of the turn at any radius; the edge to edge transition was very quick - no problem even in some moderate bumps; the tails slid a bit when I wanted them to release; the wide tip definitely helped in heavy, soft snow (like at the top of a steep pitch where everyone slows down or stops). The only thing I couldn't test was the edge hold at speed on ice and whether the skis speed limit was lower than mine (highly unikely), but I'll have to take all the reviewers' feedback on faith on those points since everything else seems to be true to what I've read.

I also demo'd the Fischer RC4 Race SC in 160. Overall, a pretty good ski, but it didn't feel as quick as the SL9 (or the Head i.SL that I demo'd a few weeks ago). It also didn't seem to plow through the heavy, wet snow the way the Atomic's did.

So, at the price that the demos were on sale for, I pulled the trigger on the Atomics! Unfortunately, here in southern NE, I don't think I'll get a chance to ski them again this year -- well it'll just make next season something to really look forward to!!!!!
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