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Bumper reco?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello all.
I just found this site and am pretty happy to see an active message board!

I'd like some help in picking some new skis for next season. I've been demoing several brands this year and can't decide.

What I'm looking for is an all mountain short-turn ski that excels in the bumps. I would normally pick a full-on bumper but I do spend a bit of time on the groomers with my wife and kids and in the steep chutes at Squaw and Kirkwood with my friends. I think a full bumper might be a little too specific for me since I don't spend 90% of my day in the bumps like I used to. Also, I like the way the parabolics ski all over the mountain and a bump ski has more of a traditional shape.

Let me tell you what I've demo'd and what I thought:

K2 Axis Mod X (2002) - Super short turning radius, quickest parabolic edge-to-edge. Good tail kick.
Salomon 1080 Mogul (pre-production, new for 2002) - Good in the bumps, light, but got really knocked around in the slush and corn.
Atomic Beta Carve 9.18 (maybe 9.22, can't remember) - Felt like the Mod X but slower and less kick from the tail.
Salomon X Scream Pilot 8 (2001) - hated it. Slow, sluggish, no tail pop, boring, awful edge hold.
Rossi Bandit XX (2001) - Great in slush and deep April powder (gotta love CA!). Nice long turns. Slow edge-to-edge, slow in the bumps. Overlapped the tips when skiing the zipper line. Great everywhere else.

So any recommendations? Should I try a dedicated bump ski? Are there any parabolic all-mountains that kick bump? Even the manufacturers seem reluctant to even recommend their parabolics for bump skiers.

Thanks in advance.

PS. I'm 5'6, 170 lbs.
post #2 of 9
First off KevinH
Welcome aboard. Glad you found us.
It sounds like you have had a chance to try what some of the people here consider the best of the all mountain skis.
I can only comment on a few since I have not demo'd alot this year.
The older ModX I found very quick but did not like them in soft snow. (not enough float)
I never got a chance to test the 2001 pilot of any series but the first had reports I got from my friends that tried them is they were great all mountain skis however they were not very fast edge to edge. This is understandable as the width is pretty wide under foot. The 2001 series were made to be all mountain skis not SL quick. As far as the edge hold, I am on the X Scream series 2001 and these have great edge hold. The people I skied with that tried the pilot tell me they have plenty of edge hold too. Is it possible you got a set of poorly tuned pilots? Also you may be pushing them harder than my friends did and maybe need to test the pilot 10. Also for 2002 the new Pilot will have a wood core as compared to the foam core of the blue pilot8 and copper pilot 10.
The bandit xx I did not like as I found it too squirrly for my tastes. My dad had the same experience of the tips overlapping until we fixed his "narrow stance" and got his feet a little farther apart. As you move to shaped skis you will find a wider stance may be the fix to this overlapping of skis problem. It also is a more powerful and nimble stance as many of us have learned over the last few years. the "feet together" skiing is slowly going away as skiers learn more about the mechanics of skiing.
Every one I have talked to just rave about the atomic betacarv 9.xx and 10.xx skis for free riding. I tried a 10.20 but the shop did not have one short enough for me to really get a good feel for what I wanted. It turned great at high speeds but was too long for me to really put it through the paces I wanted to.
If you want an all around ski, I would skip the bump specific ski for now. An all out parabolic ski may not be the best for bumps and since you mentioned that maybe 10% of your skiing is in bumps now, concentrate on getting an all mountain ski.

By the way, you didn't mention your skill level but I am assuming you consider your self an expert skier.
If this is the first time you have tried or demoed shaped skis, consider taking a lesson before you plunk down your money on new skis. There are many differences skiing on shaped skis compared to older straight skis that may change how you decide which skis are for you.

I am not an instructor or the best skier by far on this forum. (still learning a lot) I am a fairly conservative skier but move around the whole mountain well. I don't work for any specific ski company. I ski currently on Salomon X Scream series 187 Salomon Performa prolink equip boots with Custom foot beds and fitting.
5'8" 155 lbs.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited April 25, 2001).]</FONT>
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the welcome and the great info.

A bit more info...

Right now, I'm leaning towards the Mod X. Of all the skis I tried, the first 5 turns on the Mod X felt better than anything else I skied. I've heard that the longer you ski a demo ski, the more you adapt your style to the ski so it's your initial impression that is most important.

My extreme dislike of the Xscream 8 Pilot could be due to several things. First, I skied them on boilerplate ice all morning. Squaw was so icy the first week of April that all but a few groomed runs were closed and those were impenetrable by 10am. Second, all the 2002s I demoed were factory demos while the Xscream 8 was ski shop demo. You're probably right in that they did not have a fresh tune and had been beat up all season. Finally, the 8 just may not be the ski for me. I like a strong tail and the 8 is not designed for one so it's no surprise I didn't like it. I will have a chance to demo the 10 before the season ends so I'll see if that's better.

As far as the Rossi's, I demoed them under opposite conditions two weeks later: Perfect. I skied them last weekend on a warm sunny day after a 20" storm with surprisingly light snow. I could have probably skied 2x4's well under those conditions! As you also noticed, a quick adjustment to my stance solved the problem of my tips overlapping. I normally ski with a fairly tight stance but in the zipper line, I tighten it up even further to the point where my feet are together. Elsewhere on the mountain, I'm slightly narrower than shoulder width with about 8" between my feet on groomers.

As far as skill level, I definately consider myself an expert but what I actually ski differs from what I LIKE to ski. If I had my way, I would find a nice big bump run and do laps on it until my legs gave out. Unfortunately, few people I ski share my love of the bumps so I usually end up skiing the whole mountain. My strengths are short turns, bumps, and steep and narrow chutes. My weaknesses are heavy deep snow and, especially, heavy deep tracked-up snow. I don't do the terrain parks but I will often conservatively air off cornices to enter a chute. I've got some backcountry and heliski experience but most of my skiing is on the big Western mountains. I've competed in some amateur bump contests in California but don't do that any more.

This was my first time on shaped skis. I currently ski a pair of 200cm K2 SLC's (stiff and straight!) and have resisted the move to shaped skis. My first turns on the Mod X changed that though and now I'm sold. The only thing that's preventing me from buying the Mod X (I've ordered it but haven't paid for it yet) is that I've read a ton of reviews that say the opposite of what I felt: They say this ski excels in long turns but is not quick enough for short turns. Those same reviewers thought the Bandit was better for short turns than long which is also the exact opposite of what I thought.

You seem to agree that the Mod X was a quick board...any other thoughts?

Thanks again for the info!
post #4 of 9
If you are coming off straight skis, I would put more time on the hill and take a short lesson with a level 3 instructor before demoing any more skis. I know it's tempting to get those end of the season prices but a lot of what you are feeling on the skis may be more due to technique than the skis.
Learning to let your skis take their natural turn radius will make you realize a big difference in how they feel. I progressively went from straight (Rossi Stratos 102 GS 210CM-Dynamic VR17FM 205CM-Salomon e9000equipe 3s 205CM-Salomon Prolink Equip 3s 197CM- and now on Salomon X Scream series 187CM)
Going to a shorter with a more radical side cut will feel like a switch to a much tighter turning ski but I suspect if you let them run you will find they do good at GS turns too. The Bandit I found did turn very tight too with the correct technique but I just didn't like the way they felt under foot. The reason I'm on the X Scream is I was looking for an all mountain ski that I could ski in crud and deep powder and still ski the groomers well. I think I do pretty good in bumps but my old legs won't take the beating of zipper line skiing any more.

Also learning how tunes affect the skis will aid in selection. Even factory tunes vary from manufacturer and even how the ski was stored from the factory to the slope. I always check the tune before I ski a demo and then if my first impression is odd, I will often switch skis left and right to see if maybe it's a bad tune or something else. Yes first impression is most important but a bad tune will hurt the demo more than the ski I think...
post #5 of 9
KevinH, If you like stiffer skis you should demo the Salomon Crossmax 10 Pilot. Yes it is the Pilot system, but it does NOT ski like the Scream 10 or 8 Pilots. By the way the Pilot 8 is a very soft ski and I agree with you comment about edge hold on hard or icy snow. The Crossmax 10 is like a X-Scream Series on steroids. Much stiffer tail and quicker edge to edge. Comes in 150/160/170/180/190.
post #6 of 9

I am 5'8" , 200lbs male, on technica Explosion 8Tnt's.

Ski the Axis(ModX) in 181 with a Salomon 912TiPe binding. I also ski Atomic 9.20 Beta Race in 180.

The K2 ModX or Axis series (as it is called now) has been the topic of much conversation this year. I initially bought the ModX in 188 and liked them in all conditions and even in the bumps. However, I got in to a discussion with Oboe and began to wonder if I went to long. My shop let me trade in my ModX 188's for Axis 181 at no charge and I went for it.

I skied them at the Bears gathering in Squaw in late Feb. Four great powder days. Rode the powder in the morning on FATS and switched to the K2's in afternoon. On one particular day we skied Granite Chief after it got bumped up. The Axis's were great in the powder bumps. Quick edge to edge and enough shovel to move the lose snow. Good snap in the tails but don't get to far back or you will launch. I had a great time on my K2's in Tahoe. (Man it's been so long did I really go). I have given you some of the links on past discussions I hope this helps.


post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
dchan- thanks again for all the info. I never considered a technique change to match the new style of skis. I'll definately give the Xscream 10 a shot before I buy. Those Axis X's at NorSki aren't leaving the shop any time soon so I've got a few more days to try some more skis.

Lucky- There's a reco I hadn't heard of! I've never heard of the Crossmax 10 Pilot and will definately check them out. Thanks!

Powdigger - Can't thank you enough for the links. I had no idea there was this much discussion on the ski. It's nice to see that so many people agreed with my initial take on the Mod X.

Question for everyone- Powdigger mentioned a "Bears gathering" at Squaw. Did I stumble into a club's private message board here or is was this just an informal gathering. If it's the former, I apologize for the intrusion! I probably shouldn't have barged on in without so much as introduction. If it's the latter, when is the next one? Squaw and Alpine and my normal destinations from the Bay Area.

Thanks again, all.
post #8 of 9

You are by no means intruding. Not a formal club.. This is just a board where a whole bunch of cool people talk about our obsession.. skiing. They just get to know each other over this board, and some people get together once in a while. A group got together last year and I believe is planning another one next year.

I am also very interested where your thread goes. My next skis (late next year) will have the same 'requirements' you have stated.
post #9 of 9
Pierre eh,

Man you must be feeling no pain!!! You just had surgery bud. You are going to pay tomorrow.


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