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Hardpack Addition To My Quiver

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am having trouble narrowing down what to demo/buy for a new ski to add to my quiver - I need a ski for skiing hardpack in the East.

I hate skiing on hardpack (partly due to a knee injury and partly because I am much better off-piste.) I spend most of my 50+ ski days a year on the backside, woods, bowls, anywhere but the groomers; I enjoy anyplace where I need to make short, controlled-speed turns in softer snow. BUT, living in Massachusetts at this time of year, I want to get out and ski, and current conditions are making me reconsider my lack of a ski that is better for packed powder, groomed slopes, and boilerplate ice than my midfat and powder ski alternatives that I use for out West.

I could use some recommendations on:

1. What skis to look at? I have been looking at the Atomic SX:9, Fisher RX8, and Head i.XRC800. I think that I need something in a mid 60's waist. What are my other options, besides the above? What would be a Volkl intermediate carver? I want something that doesn't have too large a turning radius. I just can't see myself zipping down a hill in only a few turns. Also, I need something that's not too stiff or heavy. My weight and my bum knee hold me back from flexing anything too stiff or turning a ski that's too heavy.

2. What length? See below for my current skis lengths. Do I go longer than my freeride choices or the same?

3. Do you know of any demo days for these skis? I can get anywhere in New England, but I am limited to weekends only. Most of the demo days I have seen have been mid-week.

Here's my stats:

Height: 5'8"
Weight: 155 lbs.
Ability: "Advanced" when it comes to glades, moguls, bowls, and
"Intermediate" when carving on hardpack.

My Current Skis:

Midfats - Rossignol B2 [170 cm. - 113/76/93] with alpine touring bindings (my primary ski, but I don't want to bang them around a lot on hardpack, because the heel lock-down can loosen up considerably), Atomic R9 [170 cm. - 106/72/98] too soft a flex/not the best edge hold on packed powder and ice.

Powder - Volkl Gotama [177 cm. - 130/105/122] (not this year's, but last year's softer flexing Gotama)

Telemark - Atomic R9 [170 cm. - 106/72/98] for resorts and Atomic R:EX [177 cm. - 116/84/108] for backcountry.

Sorry to be long-winded, but I wanted to give anyone who will take the time to answer enough information to help.

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 7
Well Senator, the Volkl Supersport 5 Star should definitely be on your list. 161 or 168 cm (the 161 might be better for you). Very stable at speed and slices hardpack and boilerplate conditions effortlessly. These will probably replace your B2s for fixed heel skiing, and will be a great complimentary ski to the Gotamas. Try em you'll like em.
post #3 of 7
Atomic SL9.

Great ski, you have some Atomics now, and this one rocks.

I would do a 160 at your size. Great prices right now on E-Bay and at the shops. I have the larger Gotama, the R9, and the SL9 (170) in my quiver and I am very happy.
post #4 of 7
Of the models you mentioned, the Atomic SX:9 (or the 2005 SX:10) is a great ski on hardpack and ice. I'd go with the 170cm length, as it is a GS-style ski.

You can find the 2004 SX:9 on a lot of eBay vendors for a good price, as well as at many local shops trying to unload old inventory.

Also: look at the Atomic GS:9 for a similar, if less shapely, ski. You can find this ski at even lower prices than the SX:9, and the grip on ice is equally tenacious.

(Disclaimer: I'm on the SX:11, which is a bit more hardcore than the SX:9, with more metal. But I tried the SX:9 and GS:9 last winter in multi-run demos on see-through, bulletproof ice, and they were great.)
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks Cirquerider and skion. I need to find a 5 Star and an SL9 to demo now. Anyone have info on Volkl or Atomic demo days in New England? I should probably start a new post for that. Also, I should have probably posted this in the "Gear General" section of the forum. Oh well. Thanks again.
post #6 of 7
Stockli Laser SC in a 168cm. Put a 10mm VIST plate on them and BAMMM!!

YOu want edge grip stockli is the way to go. They are still all hand made race stock skis.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Songfta, my buddy manages a ski shop, so I can get a below cost deal on any ski I want, so that isn't a problem - he just doesn't have anything to demo. If I buy it I own it. I think that I am leaning torwards the SX:9 - I have always skiied Atomics and the turning radius seems to be more in line with how I ski.
Thanks for all of the input!
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