or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › 724 EXP, Titan XXL, others for bUmPs?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

724 EXP, Titan XXL, others for bUmPs?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I'm relieved to have stumbled upon these forums this past weekend. I'm looking to replace my 10 year old Dynastar 200cm sticks and didn't have a clue about current skis until about three days ago.

This weekend was my first on shaped skis on a demo at Squaw. I let their guys develop a list of skis to try, based on this info:

I'm 6'1", 200 pounds, level 7-8 "aggressive" skier. Bumps have been my enemy, and I want a ski that will work with me to improve in this area. But I'm a one-ski guy who gets in 10 or so days per season, so I'll need my choice to be well-behaved on groomed runs, in amongst the trees, down the icy steeps, etc.

The list the guys at Squaw recommended:

Volant Genesis Gold 175: Didn't like 'em much, but Wow! Smooth, quiet (didn't know other skis were so noisy), and good in the bumps, but turned too quickly on groomed and felt a little "dead" underfoot.

Volkl 724 EXP 177: All-around a pretty good experience, but maybe a touch stiff in the moguls -- dunno. Wanted to try the 724 EXS for comparison, but wasn't available all day.

Solomon Scream HOT 175: Didn't like them. I haven't read anyone else with this comment, but they felt "too fast". I felt like an out-of-control skier on them, resistant to initiating turns.

Volkl Karma 177: Ehh. Why did they suggest these? Clumsy in bumps, didn't edge well at all, unsafe at speed. Must be great for sideways landings and rails.

Blizzard Titan XXL 181: OMG! Loved them, I'm pretty sure. Should have spent more time on them, and wanted to try the Titan XL 169 for comparison (but didn't get a chance to).

I spent all day in a mogul field on demos on Friday, and am vastly more confident from the experience. Of the five, the 724 EXP and Titan XXL were my favorites. This points me in the approximate direction of what I'm looking for.

Also suggested by the Squaw staff was the Apache Recon, Bandit B2 and the Atomic T:9 (?), none of which were available for me to try.

Based on this and a frenzy of online research, I've added the following possibilities to my list:

Atomic SX10m

'04 Blizzard Sigma Titan 9.2

'03 Rossignol Bandit XX

K2 Axis XP (similar to Apache Recon?)

'02 Rossi RPM 21 (similar to, stiffer than Bandit XX)

Volant Machete Sin

Atomic R:EX

ELAN 662 (similar to Bandit B2?)

Dynastar Intuitive 74

Dynastar Intuitive BIG

Obviously some of these skis are a few years old, and probably won't be available anywhere for demo. At the same time, I'm looking for a good deal, and would rather have a short list of skis from which to pick and choose on eBay, rather than chase after just one particular model.

Does the fact that the 724 EXP and Titan XXL stood out jive (should they be lumped together in a common category)? Based on this, are there any on my extended list which you'd nix, or give a definite "thumbs-up" to? Any others you would add?

Due to time and financial constraints, I'll demo one or possibly two more days to try to refine the process, but in the end I'll be searching through these forums for "similar to" comparisons/comments

to select a one- or two-year-old ski that's no longer available for demo.

Thanks for reading my ramblings. Believe me, even the smallest, most insignificant tid-bit of info you might have to share will be absorbed and greatly appreciated.



post #2 of 17
After demoing different skis I went with the B2 due to it's excellent behavior in the bumps. It's also a very fine off-piste ski where I spend 95% of my time.
Mind you, I don't care for really stiff skis.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Magnoe, what's your weight?

I'd like to step in to a pair of B2's but am concerned they may be a touch soft.
post #4 of 17
Lots of the shop guys and ski patrol guys at Squaw ride Blizzard Tital XXL's so there must be a reason for it

I'm going to demo them in afew weeks and will also write up a report

Freeride magazine's review said the 181 was easy to overpower and that the 188 was better, but for bumps, I'd say go shorter

I'm interested in your Volkl Karma commments because many people liked that ski and I'm demo'ing those the same day as the others

one more ski to try is the Rossi Switch BC, which many people love for Tahoe (a bit more stiff than Blizzard XXL but really light and easy to turn, plus it's twin tip)
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Would that be the Scratch BC? It sounds too fat for my needs, but then again, that's what I expected of the Titan until I tried it.

It may have been that the edges on the Karma I tried were beat, but I equated them to driving a car with bald tires on an icy street.
post #6 of 17
yes, I meant Scratch BC

it's supposed to tunr on a dime despite it's 90 cm waist

give it a try, they demo them at the Ski Shop at Squaw
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Roger that, I'll give the Scratch a try this weekend or next...

On a "comparison" note, today at REI I flexed the Volkl 724 EXP (which I demoed & liked) side-by-side to the Rossignol Bandit B2 (which is a similar cut to the RPM 21). The B2 was noticably -- but not significantly -- softer than the EXP.

With the RPM 21 being described as a stiffer 'GS' version of the B2, is it safe for me to assume that it will have similar characteristics to the EXP?
post #8 of 17
I'm a Volkl man. I have the AX3 and ski it everywhere. It is a good bumps ski for me, I ski 65+ days a season, 50y/o level 9 skier. The EXP is the same type of ski. Volkl knows they have this line figured out. I would tell you to get the EXP. I have not skied the Tital so I can't comment on them. I have skied the RPM21and B2. I felt the B2 to be close to the Volkl. I would also tell you to try the Dynastar Legend 8000, that's another ski I liked. It is also good in the bumps.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
Magnoe, what's your weight?

I'd like to step in to a pair of B2's but am concerned they may be a touch soft.
I'm 5'11 and weigh 177lbs. I tried the B2 at 182 cm and at 176 cm. I ended up going with the 176 length but it was a tough call.

The B2 is softer than the Volkl's indeed but that is what I was looking for (for an every day ski). In the ski shop I primarily use here in Montana, every guy in the shop there used the B2 as their all around ski except 1 person (he skis the Dynastar Inspired). But our mountains tend to have more consistant and softer snow than CA so it really comes down to what you're looking for. We usually don't have to deal with the crud and variable snow that the Sierra's are known for. The B2 didn't wear me down at the end of the day.

Ok, that's enough for now before people get sick of me writing the same thing about the B2's.
post #10 of 17
Speede, I am a similar size to you and probably just a fraction lower level. Last Oz winter I spent several days skiing the Volkl 724 EXPs in a 177. The conditions were typical spring skiing, ice -> hard pack -> slush -> crud -> ice bricks!!! I liked the ski a lot, It held an edge on ice very well, carved beautifully and could charge through anything thrown at it,..... but because of the waist, I found it difficult to initiate quick turns. Unless you are skiing powder on a regular basis, I just dont think you need a ski this wide. For this reason, my new skis for the next season will be the Volkl 724 EXS in a 177. I wil be another 4-5 months before I get a chance to use them, however, FWIW, I think you should try to demo a pair.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. Based on everyone's input, my list is looking a bit different now. As I mentioned, I'd prefer to get ahold of an old model in order to save a few bills, but I'll definitely try the B2's just because they're a basis for so many comparisons.

I've been looking in the 175-180 range, but with some skis I see better prices in the 184-185 cm lengths. Do the extra 1-2" of length added to each end of the ski make that HUGE a difference? (I know, I know, I've got to go demo some more and answer that question for myself!)
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
I've been looking in the 175-180 range, but with some skis I see better prices in the 184-185 cm lengths. Do the extra 1-2" of length added to each end of the ski make that HUGE a difference? (I know, I know, I've got to go demo some more and answer that question for myself!)
Yes!! 10cm makes a huge difference and can mean the difference between loving and hating the ski. Of course, everyone has different ideas of what is the optimal length (I'm 5'10" 145lbs and ski the B2 in a 170, but we had one thread where some insane 300lb guy was considering a 163!!!) Demo!
post #13 of 17
I'm 190lbs 5'11" ski the AX3 in 170cm, I have the G3 in 177cm but like the 170cm for my allround ski. I find it much easier in the bumps. It gives up a bit at the very top end speed. That is the difference between the 177cm and the 170cm both skis are flat with piston binding. I find the 177cm good for the clear day's when I want to raise my speed level. But if I want to ski the whole Mt, I want my 170cm's.

I believe the EXP Flat with the turbo piston binding is the way to go. You may want to talk to a good shop tech to see what they feel about the EXP Motion w/POCS binding in 170cm would do under your weight. Maybe the 177cm is better for you. Don't go to long in any ski. I sure any good tech will tell you to error on the short side. To long and the ski is slugish.

I even prefer the AX3's in the slop over the G3 or my Atomic 10EX's 177cm.

If and when I pick up the EXP or next years Unlimited AC3 I will get it in 170cm.
As I think I said earlier, don't rule out the Dynastar Legend 8000 in the 170 range. Not sure if it comes in a 175cm. I demoed it in 165cm and liked it.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity
I'm a Volkl man. I have the AX3 and ski it everywhere. It is a good bumps ski for me, I ski 65+ days a season, 50y/o level 9 skier. The EXP is the same type of ski. Volkl knows they have this line figured out. I would tell you to get the EXP. I have not skied the Tital so I can't comment on them. I have skied the RPM21and B2. I felt the B2 to be close to the Volkl. I would also tell you to try the Dynastar Legend 8000, that's another ski I liked. It is also good in the bumps.
Max, I forgot to ask, what was your impression of the RPM 21? I'm still really curious about this one but wonder if it's simply too much ski.

I spent the afternoon on the Rossignol Bandit B2 (176)this past Friday and really enjoyed it, although I feel it is a touch soft in the powder and it turns a bit short for my tastes. Again I'm back to the Volkl 724's.

I also had a chance to get three runs in on the Dynastar Legend 8000 (178). I expected more from this simple ski, and was disappointed. Lots of chatter, a little squrilly underfoot, and not great on edge.

So based on my criteria (looking at previous generations to save some dough), my short list is narrowed down to:
Rossignol Bandit XX or RPM 21
Elan 662
Volkl 724 AX3 or G3

The others on my list that I haven't gotten to -- K2 Apache Recon, Scratch BC's, Volkl EXS -- aren't necessarily out of the running, but I'm simply not going to get to everything, and I'm tettering in the state of analysis paralysis.

I'm seeing a marked improvement in my off-piste & bump confidence from this two-day batch of demos, and think I've got a pretty good feel for what I don't want.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ok, I came this close ('') to pulling the trigger on a set of Elan 662's , but in the end (and after a ton more web searching) went with a pair of RPM 21's in the 177 length.

Thanks for the help and the demo suggestions. Even though I didn't get to ski everything you guys recommended, I was able to make some conclusions based on writeups and comparisions of user reviews here, on other forums, and in talking to a few folks on the slopes and in the shops.

I hope these skis meet my expectations. I think the RPM's compromise (but not hinder) the bump performance I am looking for, but offer something more well-rounded for the entire mountain and are a ski I can grow in to.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Follow up with a happy ending...

Figured I'd follow up since this site was such a big help "cyber-demoing" the RPM 21s (177 cm) I finally ended up with.

Nursing an ankle injury, I finally took them out on Friday. My ankle was still bothering me, and it was before the fresh snow fell, so I spent my time on groomers and steep ice.

I can say with certainty that the RPMs did not display any of the negative traits that turned me off to the Scream, Karma, Volant and Legend 8000 I demoed in the previous weeks. My list of dislikes of those skis all stemmed from their performance on groomed terrain, not in the bumps or among the trees.

The RPMs did match the feel of the Volkl 724 EXP and the Titan XXL, which were tops on my list. Noticably stiffer and more stable than the Bandit B2, which I liked but concluded was a little soft for my weight.

The RPMs did let go on me twice on some wind blown, exposed base, leaving me a bit surprised. My 200 cm Dynastar ADV 4.1s have been pretty solid underfoot on stuff like that. But I studied up in the forums and saw some recommendations to put a 3° bevel on the Rossis square factory edge, so I might give that a go.

But it gets better. Rock solid at speed, with no wandering or chatter, even on the crap I got stuck skiing on. Paired up with the Rossignol Axial 110 Power bindings, I *think* I can feel a little vibration damping under my boot when the surface gets choppy -- kinda wierd, could be in my head. First time on lifters, I think I detected the difference in my first few pole plants, but quickly adapted.

Edge to edge they turn quick enough and easy enough. It's not automatic, but there's only a minimal transition across the flat. They actually turn a little tighter than I was hoping for. Perhaps that's due to the 177 length; maybe I should have went with the 184 to flatten it out. However, this is probably a good compromise that will keep me happy on narrower trails and off-piste. Also, due to the week-stale conditions, I was probably edging a lot stronger than if there were some fresh anything on the ground.

The bad news is that this could very well be my only day on them this season, given the pain in my ankle.

I should also note that, after a bunch of forum sniffing, I bought these RPM21s on ebay along with a set of Rossignol T-Plate lifter bindings. The shop I took them to didn't want to mount the T-Plate on top of the ski's lifter plate without a signed liability release. Seems that only the Axial Power bindings are the "approved" bindings for the Expulsion plate mounts, and double lifters are not recommended. (Thankfully, the ebay seller accepted a return, and the shop doing the mounting had the right bindings for not much more money -- live and learn!)

Thanks to everyone who offered input (including in other threads). I swear buying this pair of skis was more difficult than looking for a new car or a new bike. If it wasn't for this site, I'd either still be looking, or be at least $600 lighter in the wallet.

I'm itching to get these out into the bumps and powder, where my 200's have just been unwieldily. But the injury comes first, so it may be another 9 months...
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquawMan
Lots of the shop guys and ski patrol guys at Squaw ride Blizzard Tital XXL's so there must be a reason for it

I'm going to demo them in afew weeks and will also write up a report
I love 'em.

I will be a cynic though, and point out that one possible reason for your observation is the excellent shop/pro form from Blizzard.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › 724 EXP, Titan XXL, others for bUmPs?