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Intermediate ski reviews

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
By this title, I mean an intermediate (level 6) skier, not, "intermediate" skis.

About me: age 45, 6 ft., 205 lbs. Where/when: This past week, Park City (skied Deer Valley, PCMR, and The Canyons). Conditions: Fresh spring powder, deep crud, some packed/groomed, soft bumps, no real steeps (I need more technique). The lineup:

Rossi B2 176 cm, Rossi demo bindings:

Used these as my rental for 3 days. Had a blast on them, given the conditions. Nice float, good crud-busting, very forgiving. Surpisingly decent edge hold, though not really put to the test. Not the most stable at speed, but then I dont ski that fast most of the time. Not especially quick egde to edge, but that's not what they're designed for. Really good in the "soft" bumps, allowed me to experiment with fore/aft balance without punishing me. Excellent skis for a skier moving up in ability, in these conditions.

Atomic Metron (I think it's the Me, basic, blue and silver) 162cm, Atomic Neox 412 bindings:

My first demo at the Summit Demo Center at PCMR. The word "methamphetamine" comes to mind-holy cow these were speed machines! I spent the better part of 2 runs trying to stay on them, they wanted to rock and roll. Maybe an unfair comparison after the B2's, I wasn't quite ready for the stiff, energetic ride. I was punished several times for not paying attention and getting caught in the backseat. I can see the potential for these to be really fun, but they were just too much for me at this point.

Volkl Superspeed 4 star, 175 cm, not sure about the bindings (said "TT" on the toepiece):

My knees were still shaking a bit from the Metrons, but I enjoyed these skis. Excellent edge grip, very stable at speed, enjoyed GS truns. The tails seemed a bit stiff, and I had a harder time in the crud with them, but would love to get them on the hardpack.

K2 Apache Recon, 160 cm, Marker PC binding:

WOW! I was so shocked at how much fun I had on these. I've never skied anything this short, and was expecting less, but they were surprisingly stable, felt like the entire ski was a "sweet spot." Decent edge grip, and of course very quick edge to edge given the size. I made my first ever "RR track" turns with them! The Demo center didn't have the larger size to compare. Took some time to lose the grin after this ride!

Atomic R10, 170 cm, Centrix 412 bindings:

Tried these at the end of the day, when my legs were shot, so not sure I should even post this. They were predictably stable, with good edge grip (my Midwest skis are Atomic 9:18's). Nice long and medium turns, but felt like too much work to get the response I wanted (again, likely I need a "park and ride" at that point in the day).

K2 Axis X, 174 cm, Tyrolia P140 bindings:

2 days on these, after trading in the B2's. Enjoyed the stability and carving through crud, even more powerful than the B2. Had more trouble with bumps, possibly stiffer in the tail than the B2, but again, I'm just learning how to ski bumps. I ripped some nice long turns at speed with these, and they are not as stable as the Volkl or Atomic, but good enough for my usual speed. Overall, a nice, versatile ski.

The verdict: I like forgiving skis (B2, K2) at my currrent ability level, but can see the potential for the next phase (Volkl, Metron)
post #2 of 8
As a life-long skier I have problems relating to the needs of the intermediate skier sometimes. I think you did well on the B2, and K2 because of the lengths you skied, but you skied the Supersport 4 Star one length too long and that affected their performance for you. The B2 has the least side cut of the skis you tried and worked at a longer length. You probably skidded your turns more on these. The K2 skied in a 160 length has a good size platform and moderate sidecut. At 160 cm, you not doubt found this to be a very easy ski to manuver, but this is probably too short for your size assuming you plan to progress to higher speeds and technical ability. The 4 Star is a super-sidecut, and you definitely skied it too long at 175 cm to realize its potential compared to the K2. You should have been on a 168 cm on this ski.

Rossi B2 113-76-103
K2 Apache Recon 115/78/105
Supersport 4 Star 112-67-97

Metron has even more shape and a wider waist. Its lots stiffer, and targeted at experts. Your results are consistent with what that ski is targeted at..

Nicely done on the review. You explained what you liked and disliked about each ski and benefitted from the demos.
post #3 of 8
Nice reviews, IceMan! I think that Metron was probably the M:8, which should have been good for you, but likely would take some technique adjustment, as you found.
post #4 of 8
Nice review. A friend is shopping for his first "intermediate" skis; I can show this to him.

The blue and silver Metron could be the M:9, the M:8 are black and light yellow/orange color.
post #5 of 8
dupersc, you're right, of course.
post #6 of 8
Nice review! Being a similar size and ability, but far less choices to demo - this is mucho good info.
post #7 of 8
I have received 2 PMs today from Webslinger who has never posted on the board, requested help with this subject. I really don't know if I have the answer for Webslinger, but will try. The messages appear below and our Rossi specialists are invited to reply:

I came across your post replying to Iceman's reviews of several ski's (Rossi B2, Atomic Metron, Apache Recon, etc) last March, 2005 in Park City, UT. I was very interested in your comments about his perspective and his experiences on these skis. Specifically, I have been looking at purchasing the K2 Apache Recon here shortly. I've done some research into this ski and feel that it would be an excellent purchase. However, your comment to Iceman about the likelihood that he skied the Recon at a length that was too short grabbed my attention. I'm 6' 2", 210 lbs. and believe the 174 cm Recon is the ideal size. I have had some people (salespeople) tell me different - shorter as in 167 cm, others saying longer as in 181 cm. I still feel the 174 cm would be best, but I could be wrong. Any thoughts?

I am an intermediate skier predominately groomed runs, but wanting to get into some powder, and like Iceman, I ski the Park City area (primarily The Canyons) so I'm most interested in a good all-mountain ski. If you have further recommendations on products, I'd love to hear 'em.

My reply to this is: My original comment was intended to relate that the Supersport (as a short radius super-sidecut) is normally skied shorter the other skis in this review. Since the 160 cm Apache Recon (Specifications 115/78/105) was a favorite for the Iceman, and the Rossi B2 in a 176 also worked well, I would have expected the Supersport to be skied shorter.

Your question is whether a 174 is appropriate in the Recon for you. Obviously my advice has to be try before you buy. That said, the the Recon is not a "super sidecut" ski. It should work well in that length for your weight and ability level. I have no experience on the Recon, and can't add very much.

Can anyone else help Webslinger? He will be referred to this thread for further responses. As a side note to new members. Please do not hesitate to post your questions on the open board. That is what it is here for. Please use the PMs for talking behind Gonzo's back from now on!
post #8 of 8
Well, I'm a 53 year old woman, 5'8", 150 pounds and I came from 193 length straight skis, down to 186's, and was looking (I thought) for 176's in a shaped ski when I was brow-beaten into trying the 167 K2 Axis XP's (predecessor to the Recon). I was very resistant to the length, but found it to be more stable than I expected, probably due to the width of the ski counteracting the reduction in length. I don't know if there are any substantive differences between the XP and the latest Recon (anyone?), but if not, then I'd say the 176 would be about right for you.
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