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Axis X or Bandit X ??

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
i'm sure this topic has been covered earlier but i can't find a direct comparison of these two skis.

i've narrowed down my search to these all-mountain skis and wondering whether either would be a bad choice. i'm 5'9", 180 lbs. and a low expert skier (ski most terrain, don't always look pretty going down). these two seem to be generally well thought of. i currently ski salomon axendo 9's in 180 cm. thanks for the advice. :

richard cohen
post #2 of 35

the bandit x is a nice ski. I like it's ease of turning. it's light. It's good in bumps. But in my opinion it is not a great crud buster or deep snow ski. For tougher conditions I break out my Fischer big stix 74's. I think the Axis X is a beefier damper ski that would handle more adverse conditions better. But I skied it once two winters ago (as the mod x) so I can't speak with any authority about it now.

Both are good though. I can't compare them to what you have now cuz I'm not sure what it is.
post #3 of 35
I'm personaly biased toward Rossi but have skied the K2 line and like the Axis. With you being at the level skiier you are I would go with Bandit. I think it will force you to be a bit more on top of the skiis and be a ski you can advance on. It isn't great in crud but that's why smart economists developed "disposable income" for you to be able to by the XXX or Big Stix. For that matter spit the difference by the XX. That's what I ski and it rips.
post #4 of 35
There is just not enough of a difference between these two skis to matter. Get the one you like the graphics on. Seriously, there are tons of 107-70-97 skis out there, and they all work pretty well. There are different "feels" to them, but they all are super versatile, fun skis.
post #5 of 35
Axis X. Why would you want to ski foam cores?

some have complained that the Axis X feels "dead" or "overdamp." these folks either were on the wrong size, or do not know how to talk to the ski they are riding, and find out what the ski wants as input from its rider.

there's a good reason why Axis X got so much hype -- it's deserved!
post #6 of 35
The most versatile ski alive - not the Axis X. NOT the Bandit X. The Bandit XX! Try it in 177 cm length. Let me know what you think. Why give up the versatility? Please see my posts on this subject in Consumer Gear Reviews and elsewhere.
post #7 of 35
Another K2 vote. You're coming of a softy and you'll find the Axis to be more forgiving. The XX is impressive but takes a lot of work (Your Mileage May Vary), skiing is too much fun for work!
post #8 of 35
If the Bandit XX takes so much work, then how come it makes my skiing easier, and I am a very, truly mediocre skier?
post #9 of 35
Another K2 vote!
(although I'm on the Pro)

post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the input so far. it sounds like a tough call, sort of what i expected. what about ski length, the rossi likely would be 177 and the axis x 174 or 181. for my height and weight which would be better, or again not enough difference to matter? thanks, again i appreciate the insights.

richard cohen
post #11 of 35
I would suggest the shorter of the two, but many here would say go longer. (so no help there then!!!)

post #12 of 35
San Francisco Bay Area... I'd say you live in an area that still alows you to demo these two skis... oh wait, that topic has recently been beat to death.

So this is what I'll add. I ski the Axis X in a 181. I'm 6' 175 lbs. I have been skiing for 25 years and am a level 8+. If you don't demo and choose the K2, I'd say go with the 181 do to your weight and ability.

I demoed the 181 at Tahoe this year with the Marker demo bindings. One of my findings with this set up was that it did not like to carve short radius turns; the tails felt grabby. After reading several posts on here regarding ski length, many suggested that the 174 will be better suited for shorter turns. I found a pair of 181's for sale here by bteddy with the Marker 1200 Pistons. I'm glad I went with the 181. This binding/ski combo is perfect in that it allows the ski to fully flex and make those carved short radius turns. That piston thing works too by the way; it is definitely noticable on packed snow. The only place this ski will not go is on boilerplate and ice. A more aggressive tune may solve that (new topic).

The K2 Axis X is the best ski I have ever been on in my life. Period.
post #13 of 35
Hey Oboe - Your Mileage May Vary. The XX's might be easier that what you were skiing before, or you might have picked a shorter relative length than I did, or you might be a bit heavier relative to the ski length than I am hard to believe that tho or our styles might be completely different ... That's why the YMMV disclaimer that belongs with my ski reviews.
My regards!
post #14 of 35
Okay...one more opinion to contribute to the confusion. I agree with Spinheli that they are very similar. I also agree with Oboe that the XX is a more versatile ski than the X. I ski Mammoth as much as I can (not enough this year), and I enjoy the XX in a 184. It handles the ungroomed just fine, but tracks fine at speed on the corduroy, too.

At the risk of starting a whole new debate around length, a low-level expert at 5'9" and 180 lbs should not go too short. I would hesitate to go much shorter than the 181 or 177 in either the X or X. My XX's are 184's and I post numbers of 5'8" and 175 lbs. They feel like the easiest boards I have skied in sometime, but provide a nice balance between float and manueverability. Neither is changing much for 2003, so score the one that has a better price. I like both, but I also like the XX better than either of them.

BTW, I have an Axis X Pro in a 188, and I think that is better than either "X" as well. Hey...I'm a bit opinionated...oh well.
post #15 of 35
oboe loves the Bandit XX in 170 cm. oboe is 5'8" tall and weighs 145 pounds after dinner. He is a supremely mediocre skier. They say that everything is relative, so you take it from there and you're on your own.
post #16 of 35
I have done alot of research this year as I have had my hands in helping to purchase 6 new pairs of skis this season,for myself,friends,family.what I have found is the ski shops want to sell people shorter skis mostly doubting the buyers ability,what the manufactures say is if you can ski a 181cm buy it do not back up to a 174cm but if you cannot ski a 181cm then buy the 174cm,I just went thru this for a k2 mach s trying to decide between a 167cm or a 174cm.like they allways say demo demo demo.
happy skiing bteddy
post #17 of 35
I am a very similar skiier as the original poster-- 5'9" 175, liking all terrain but not graceful. I rented Bandit X 184's at Snowbird in April and loved them. They are light and may not be good in crud, but I was skiing in soft, heavy snow and ice, since it was warm there, and had no problems. I skiied a lot of moguls and had a great time.

I also skiied K2 X-15's a few years ago, and liked them more, but that may be another class altogether.
post #18 of 35
chrisg, if you liked the X-15 more, then you'd like the Bandit XX more than the X. In my own testing, I found that I gained float and crudbusting ith the XX over the X, but I did not lose maneuverability - odd as that may seem. I found that the Bandit X skis best for me in 177, while the XX does best for me in 170.

[ May 15, 2002, 09:43 AM: Message edited by: oboe ]
post #19 of 35
Bandit XX, don't even think of going anywhere else.
post #20 of 35
Originally posted by oboe:
chrisg, if you liked the X-15 more, then you'd like the Bandit XX more than the X. In my own testing, I found that I gained float and crudbusting ith the XX over the X, but I did not lose maneuverability - odd as that may seem. I found that the Bandit X skis best for me in 177, while the XX does best for me in 170.
Thanks for the input oboe. The XX's seem to be easier to find anyway, so I was wondering about them vs the X's.

Hmmm, maybe I'll get one set of X-15s and one set of XX's. Then, a bigger ski bag, then..

Time to buy a lottery ticket.
post #21 of 35
I'll suggest the K2, but I'm going to spin things a little.
At your height and weight, you may find that the Axis X will fold up on you in crud. What I mean is that the dense snow (I'm from Tahoe originally) will cause the ski to overflex just in front of the boot, and decelerate when loaded. What I would suggest, is a short(174-181) AXIS X PRO, or as next years ski will be called the AXIS XP. As of this season, it had exactly the same sidecut as the X, but included 2 layers of Titanal. Next year it will have a parallel sidecut to the AXIS X, but 8mm wider over it's length.(115/78/105) With the metal, you will blast through the crud more effortlessly! And you can still rip in the bumps with it!

Something to consider when determining appropriate length-. Eyeball the length of your legs from ankle to hip JOINT (not your tailor's hip). Then do the same from top of shoulder to hip JOINT. If the legs are significantly longer, go with the 181. If you are closer to 50/50, or long in the torso, go with the 174. The % of leg length is the most overlooked part of determining accurate ski length.

Now it's time for me to come clean-. I work for K2! So I have to admit a small amount of bias....

Whatever you decide, RIP!


PS- If you are looking for X-15's , you are on your own. The factory has none left. Without a doubt, one of my all time favorites!!!

edited for spelling...

[ May 21, 2002, 10:00 PM: Message edited by: vail snopro ]
post #22 of 35
cohenfive, With great respect for the professional expertise and knowledge of Vail Snopro, and speaking purely as an enthusiastic amateur with no ties to any ski manufacturer, I wish to express this opinion: The Rossignol Bandit XX does not fold in crud. It does contain a cleverly shaped sheet of metal. It is an extraordinarily versatile ski, in that it performs so well in crud, powder and loose snow while also gripping well on piste. It turns very easily with any choice of turn shape. At speed, it is smooth as a Cadillac and stable as a Mack truck on a paved highway. I weigh 145 and stand 5'8", and I am a truly mediocre skier. Although I can ski the XX in 177, bought it in 170, wich has turned out to be a great idea! At your height of 5'9" and weight of 180, depending upon your ability and the places where you ski, you would never regret owning the Bandit XX in 177 or 184.

[ May 22, 2002, 06:45 AM: Message edited by: oboe ]
post #23 of 35
Just to cloud the issue further, you should consider the Rossi RPM 24 instead of the XX. It comes out of the same mold, but is beefier. Both the RPM 24, and the K2 EXP (Axis XP? can't remember the name) are killer expert skis that can handle just about anything.
post #24 of 35
oops should have been RPM 21, not 24
post #25 of 35
Originally posted by oboe:
With great respect for the professional expertise and knowledge of Vail Snopro ... I wish to express this opinion: The Rossignol Bandit XX does not fold in crud. It does contain a cleverly shaped sheet of metal. ... I weigh 145 and stand 5'8", and I am a truly mediocre skier...
Hi oboe. I feel obliged to point out that while the XX may not fold for *you* at 145 lbs and possibly slower speeds, your observation really doesn't tell you much about how it will perform for a 180 lb person, let alone someone like me at 210.

For example, I tried this year's XXX in a mid-180 length and found it much too soft for me in crud / spring slop. It is extremely annoying to ski on a pair of sticks where the static deflection under just your weight is large and the resulting flexural resonant frequency is soooo low. It feels like you are bouncing down the hill on a pair of mattresses instead of skis. Because you are so light, I doubt you have ever experienced this problem.

You mentioned a "cleverly shaped piece of metal". I'm not familiar with the details of the XX design, but I would guess that this is to give the ski "progressive" flex, ie, it gets stiffer the more it is flexed. This is a nice way to broaden the performance envelope of the ski (ie, make it feel ok for a wider range of skier wts, wider range of speeds, etc.), but a heavier skier on soft snow will go right through the soft part of the range of flex and still be stuck with a large initial static deflection.

I think this is what Vail Snopro has in mind when he uses the term "folding". In addition, he obviously doesn't mean "folding" literally, he just means that most of the flex is occurring in the middle of the ski not at the ends or distributed over the length of the ski. The problem with this is that with the center of the ski plowing along down deep in the pow/slop/etc, it creates a large drag.

I like spinheli's suggestion to consider the beefier models, but obviously, demoing is the only real way a person can tell if they are going to enjoy a particular ski.


Tom "Lets put everyone on Stockli Asteroids" PM
post #26 of 35
That's exactly what I meant! I really like a ski which will flex somewhat evenly under my 215#(shooting for 195#), 6'2". (Very long legs!)
I spend most of my time on 188 PRO's, but even in GS, some times I'll ride a 181 if it's turny.
When I get on my AXIS X's on anything firm and decide to power up, the ski over flexes in front of the boot and causes huge deceleration, due to the increased arc in a specific part of the ski, rather than the arc being distributed over the entire length.

post #27 of 35
VailSP, we are on exactly the same wavelength!

> due to the increased arc in a specific part of the ski, rather than the arc being distributed over the entire length

Yes! This arises from how a specified amount of overall stiffness (the design value) is distributed over the length of the ski, and each mfgr seems to have their own ideas about this. As you probably know, Iggy even went so far as to offer a couple of different flex patterns (and see where it got them ).

Personally, for anything from ice to deep slop, I strongly prefer what seems to be Volkl's standard design (eg, p40's) where they put most of the flex in the tip and tail and leave the middle 2/3rd's of the ski relatively stiff. When you hand flex a ski like this and compare it to a "round" flexing ski (eg, 10ex), or, even worse, a ski that "folds" (ie, has a soft middle), the difference in shape is very obvious, sort of like the difference between a glacier-made valley and a river-made valley.

For powder skis, the standard approach has been to use a very round flex pattern. I don't have enough experience in deep powder on different flex patterns to speak with authority, but I know I love my Volkl Explosivs, and their flex pattern is a slightly rounded version of the p40 flex pattern I described above. When it gets too round, I feel like there almost too much fore-aft forgiveness, you can rock back and forth without finding an obviously optimal position, and lose snow feel (as well as experience increased drag).

Tom / PM

PS (in edit) - I forgot to mention that I have a pair of k2 7/8's ( = Axis) laying around, and on hardpack, my experience with them is exactly the same as yours on the Axis-X. In soft stuff, they are not so bad, but I have other skis that I prefer for such conditions. Again, preferences like this are strongly weight dependent. As I recall, Oboe also has a pair, and loved them (but he weighs 145).

[ May 23, 2002, 08:41 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #28 of 35
Well, golly, gee, I'm SORRY! The damn skis work for ME, but then I'm just a a paperweight. [img]tongue.gif[/img] Is it at all possible that the skis I love might work for you behemoths if skied in longer lengths? I'd love to hear from Lars on this one - he's a big guy, is said to be a kick-ass skier, and he skis the current Bandit XX one length SHORTER than he skied the old XX. "Folding" wasn't something he ever mentioned. By the way, the shape of the metal sheet to which I referred is wider at the forebody and narrower toward the tail - thus initiating turns well with the stiffer shovel and exiting them well with the relatively less tortionally rigid tail. It works for me - and for many, many others of more substantial corporial weight and dimensions. So there.
post #29 of 35

You like your ski selection.


Be happy with yourself.
We will not appreciate your comments more if someone else skis the XX because of your suggestion.

Your description of the "amazing folding ski" is very much how I felt on the G3. (184 cm @ 6' and 195#) (VSP I am on a "cut the fat program as well".) I like the P30 and the Explosiv feels good as well. To each our own!
Hmm.. G4s or P50s next???

post #30 of 35
Watch out, guys, I see a intergang rumble in the offing here - the RossiAxiGoths vs the Explosive Angels.

[img]tongue.gif[/img] [img]tongue.gif[/img] [img]tongue.gif[/img] [img]tongue.gif[/img] [img]tongue.gif[/img]

Tom / PM

PS - If nothing else, we'll outweigh them [img]smile.gif[/img]

PPS - Oboe: (1) Thanks for the info on the shape of that piece of metal in the XX; and (2), Next season, up in Vt, if I see some lightweight guy on XX's skiing towards us Goliaths carrying a sling and some rocks, I'm getting out of there! [img]smile.gif[/img]

PPPS - CalG: Thanks. That's interesting about the G3. I never skied one, but assumed that most of the Volkl skis would have a generally similar feeling to the skis previously mentioned.

PS#4 - Oboe: About maybe working in longer lengths, my old k2 7/8 (=Axis) is a 188. Its not so much a length thing as a stiffness and stiffnes distribution thing.

[ May 23, 2002, 03:33 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
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