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Too much ski??

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm looking at new skis for my husband (I got new skis, and it only seems fair). Our ski shop has a pair of K2 Axis XPs (~180, I believe) that they are recommending for him, but I'm not too sure. They are half price, so I am looking pretty closely at them!!

Hubby is what I would call an advanced imtermediate skier, and in spite of a few lessons in the last few years, he doesn't seem to be progressing. His skis are at least 10 years old - he has never tried shaped skis. He is 6'4", and weighs about 220.

I'd like to get him skis that he can grow into, but from what I'm reading I wonder if the XPs are going to be too much ski for him at this point, or are they forgiving enough that he will be able to handle them (with additional instruction)?

We ski mostly in Minnesota, so powder isn't a concern. He skis mostly blue, some black, no bumps (yet). He is not an aggressive skier, but he isn't exactly tentative either.

Should I jump on this deal before someone else does, or do you wise folks think this ski would be a disaster, at any price?

I know you're going to tell me he should demo, but our options are pretty limited - we have ONE ski shop, and not all the places we ski carry decent rental equipment.
post #2 of 17
He's a big guy, that should not be too much ski for him if it's tuned properly.
post #3 of 17
I'm not an expert, but I would be inclined to say yes, this might be too much ski. As an intermediate, not expecting to ski powder, I might recommend the K2 Axis X , or even Axis XT instead of the XP. At his weight, something in the 180 range is probably the right length. I think the XP has 2 layers of metal in it to stiffen the ski - this helps at high speeds over uneven terrain, but that doesn't sound like a situation your husband is likely to find himself in. Note that these are all previous year's models - so you might not find them (and also explaining the price reduction on the XP's). Hope this helps.
post #4 of 17
Annkh- I have the precursor to those... the MOD X. This is a wonderful ski. The XP does have some metal in it but it is easy to flex and easy to turn. This will not be hard to manage at all. It will do what he tells it to do and be plenty of ski as he improves! Please remind him to keep his shoulders over his knees not the waist. These skis want to scoot. Excellent speed ability, easy turning, very smooth due to the MOD material which keeps vibrations down. They feel like riding a Cadilac with air shock suspension. This keeps the edges on the snow for even more turning ease and response. I would suggest a length right about hair line.

K2's are tuned at 1° & 1° which is a good start. You might want to leave them that way. Are these skis at a Gart store? Nothing wrong with a previous year model. The XT is a good choice too but the XR might be a bit narrow, comparatively, if he ventures into powder.

Bob - Mt Hood
post #5 of 17
AnnKH, what are your other choices (brands and/or models) at that shop? Also, remember that there are on-line shops from which you could purchase, as well.

One challenge at that level of skier is that most are just beginning to learn that different skis will feel different and help you perform differently, as well. The K2 will perform differently than other K2s and also than other brands. The XP seems to get varied reviews depending on the kind of skiing that the skier likes to do.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
The shop is getting out of K2; they carry Volkl and something else (I haven't been in since they switched from summer inventory to winter, so I'm not sure what else they have). The K2's are from a previous year, which is why they are half price, which is a major consideration for us (hubby is a grad student).

I know I could buy elsewhere, but I really do prefer to buy from our locally-owned shop. They are the ones who will do all the work on our skis, and they really have taken good care of us over the years. The owner is in the process of getting me a new pair of Atomic skis, even though he doesn't carry Atomics, because I liked it so much better than anything he had in stock last year. I feel strongly about rewarding that kind of customer service with my business!

He is holding these skis for me until I decide for sure. I do feel a little queasy about buying Hubby new skis that he's never tried, but I try to rationalize that they will be so much better than what he has been skiing on for the last 12 years that he will be delighted - even if they aren't the VERY best ski for him (and if he doesn't try anything else, he won't know the difference, right?)

I haven't tried enough different skis to find something that was too much for me, so I don't know what that feels like (I'm a better skier than Hubby), but I do know what it feels like to ride a ski that can't keep up with me - it was awful. Based on that experience, if I have to err, I'd rather err on the side of too much ski than not enough.

Thanks to all of you kind folks for your advice and wisdom! I have learned a LOT since I started lurking here!!
post #7 of 17
Volkl has a lot of really nice skis, so you might want to consider them, especially if they have them a year or two old. Note: I would be a little hesitant to buy a brand that my local shop wasn't selling any more. What if you need warrantee service? You'll probably be ok, I'm sure, but just something to consider.

While in general I would agree with your leaning, I have seen folks who have really gotten thrown around on skis (my intermediate-skiing buddy skiing an Atomic M:11 this weekend is an example). I don't know the XP well enough to comment on whether or not it may be like that.
post #8 of 17
A friend skied the XP all last season and loved it. He mostly sticks to the groomers and he said it was great there. In particular, he said it was best on hardpack days. Since he avoids most powder, he could not tell me about the ski in those conditions. Easy to turn and very versatile tool.
post #9 of 17
AnnKH, does Hubby turn parallel or tend to wedge? Would he consider a lesson? Feet close together or far apart?
post #10 of 17
I have to respectfully disagree again. I think this is too much ski - both in the stiffness, and in the dimensions. The XP is what I think of as an experts ski, designed to be skied off-trail more than on. The other skis in that line, the X, and the XT would be more appropriate. Look at the width of the ski under the boot - 78 mm. Most carving skis are about 68 mm, so we're talking significantly wider. Here's a review from Ski magazine:

167-188It's a noble concept: Make a Freerider ski that plows through Sierra crud, dances in Beaver Creek powder and dices Stowe corduroy-all with equal ease and enthusiasm. But it's been virtually impossible to execute. Until now. The XP ($795) not only manages the feat, it thrives where most skis are relegated to one-trick-pony status. A 78-mm waist gives it flotation in powder, while a metal-laminate construction and elastomer-filled dampening module yield tenacious edge-hold on the hard-pack. The XP is indeed master of all terrains: powerful enough for big bowls, agile enough for trees and glades. It's quite possibly the best-balanced Freerider ski in the world.

I have no question that this ski would be something your husband could grow into - I just worry that it might take 2 - 3 years...
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
He'll definitely be taking some lessons!

He skis mostly parallel, with just an occasional stem, with his feet apart (he started skiing too late to develop the "boots locked together" style that I learned as a kid).
post #12 of 17
I can tell you from knowing many people that skied the XP (I skied the Mod-X but not he XP), I did not hear a single complaint. People were amazed at how well the ski held and turned, even with a 78mm under foot. It might be a little much of a ski at first, but it will most likeyl be a good ski for him, and allow him to progress, also allowing a one ski quiver that is not affraid of bumps, trees, pow or crud and excels on groomers.

Just my $.02, take it for what its worth.
post #13 of 17
Originally Posted by AnnKH
He'll definitely be taking some lessons!

He skis mostly parallel, with just an occasional stem, with his feet apart (he started skiing too late to develop the "boots locked together" style that I learned as a kid).
Given that, I think he'll grow into it. But, it may be some work early on.

Is he in pretty good physical shape?
post #14 of 17
I tried the XP last year and I didn't like it because it did not feel lively for my tastes. Still, I've been skiing for about 34 years and I love skis with a lot of spring in their tails and energy to them. But some people hate that quality.

I don't think the K2 XP is a ski that I'd recommend for an intermediate; there are more forgiving, easier to turn skis on the market.

Just one of many opinions you'll get. Good luck.
post #15 of 17
Originally Posted by AnnKH
The shop is getting out of K2; they carry Volkl and something else ...

I love that quote! I wonder if they'll drop Volkl once they realize that they are now owned by K2 and it is only a matter of time before Volkl's are made in Red China?
  • K2 bought Pre skis - killed the brand
  • K2 bought Olin skis - killed the brand
  • K2 bought Volkl skis - ???

post #16 of 17
Hi AnnKH, if your husband skis mostly blues ect & does not venture off piste the axis xp would not be a good choice for him, at his height & weight it is not a question of the ski being to much for him but the fact that this ski is made for more off piste skiing & will make getting better not a lot of fun, the axis xp does well on groomers but is a lot more work than the 70ish underfoot midfats, I have the axis xp 174cm & a mach s 174cm for frontside playing, I've had the axis x 181cm & the axis x pro 181cm either of which would be a better choice for your husband, I have a friend that is about your husbands size & I got him a pair of scream 10 pilots in a 186cm, this ski is versatile enough that it helped him learn to carve & even ski some moguls, you would be better served to find a good allaround midfat that can help the fun factor, there are several in the 68- 70 underfoot & if your local ski shop is trying to help you & not just make a sale they should be telling you about the same as I am, I read some articles not long ago about why the 70 mm underfoot worked for such a large # of people & were a better choice than the narrower 65mm skis but can't remember where, does your local shop have any left over axis xt's I would like to find a pair. good luck in your search.
post #17 of 17
Really a tough call.

From a heft/stiffness perspective, I doubt he will have any issue with them. 220/6'4 is a pretty big guy, and if he was on a longer straight ski before, he would have no problem with their flex and swing weight. They should feel pretty manageable.

However, I think the waist width will be a bit of an issue for him. A 78 mm wide ski will be a little hard for an intermediate to get up on edge, especially on hard pack. It requires a decent amount of lateral force and atheticsm. I ski a 80mm and 82mm for all around freesking on the east coast, but I would think we have more sluffy packed powder than you guys do.

Good luck.
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