Originally Posted by kev259
I don't know about the elans, but the b5's are sick! Heavy heavy ski, I tried them out for a couple days at whistler. They plow through anything and float on powder pretty well. Only problem is the longest they come in is 172
What would motivate you to want an M:B5 longer than 172? It is a massively powerful ski. It is way, way wide in the shovel and tail - the shovel is wider than a Pocket Rocket. It is designed to be skied short (although the Atomic chart kicks you up a bit if you tell it you want big wide turns). I'm 6'1", close to 220 and an "OK" skier (don't totally suck -- not good enough to be noteworthy). Reasonably fit. I can not come close to pushing this ski in a 162. I've had them out in a broad range of conditions - they've been great fun in all of them. They seem to live up to the "one ski quiver" hype.
The only reason I'd like to play with a B5 in 172 is to see if there is any noticable difference with float in powder (realizing it would be just that much more ski under other conditions). While the 162 M:B5 handles thigh to waist deep powder OK for me, it does not deliver quite the easy flying feeling my 185 Pocket Rockets do in soft deep snow (this not-too-surprising observation is based on hitting the same fluffy faces a bunch of times with both skis under similar conditions at Jackson last week). The B5s do fine in terms of getting me down the hill - they just want more speed and, at my ability level, need more attention under those conditions.
Despite having an officially short radius, I have found the 162 B5s very versatile in terms of turns. I spent some groomer time playing with them. Softly rolling both skis allows quite a bit of control in terms of turn size and speed. Now all I have to do is be as consistent as the B5s...
Originally Posted by werekong
Can anyone tell me if it is a better choice than the Elan 666's (considering my needs). Would it be a mistake to buy the M:11 rather tham the B5?
Both skis are getting rave reviews from folks skiing them. Both are powerful skis. If possible, demo both.
I have 10 days on my B5s and I love them. My kids just knocked off 8 straight days at JH - the ones on skis looked great on their M666s. They hit everything from groomers to waist deep powder without issue. They are loving their skis too.
If you are not especially worried about deep powder, I'd suggest trying the B5 at 162 and the M666 at 176. Try other lengths too, but don't let the "short" thing scare you away from these lengths.
Have not tried the M:11s...