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04-05 Quest for a stable crud buster, slop cutter that can grip New England hard pack

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
My quest this season was to find a very stable, crud busting, slop cutter that could hold an edge on New England hard pack. I also wanted the ski to be as quick and nimble as possible.

I am in between intermediate and expert. I tend to pass most people, even while doing short radius turns. I ski the full 8 hours every time. I tried every length available at the demos.

Most skis were tried at 3 different mountains.
Demos took place at Stowe VT, Okemo VT, Killington VT, Gunstock NH, Mount Sunapee NH, Wachusett Mountain MA, Ski Butternut MA, Mohawk Mountain CT, and Hunter Mountain NY.
I demoed all season. I went to all the free demo days. And did pay demos where you can try as many skis as you want all day long. Here are my results in order of best (these are all great skis for slop and crud):

158,165,172,178,184 - 114/75/102
1.) The Dynastar Legend 4800 - WOW! This ski does it all exceptionally well. My ability level improves on this ski. Very stable, even while plowing through end of day spring slop everywhere. I felt relaxed while plowing through junk. Nice hard pack grip. Exceptionally nimble for a 75 under foot. Skis nice hard or easy. Very fun to ski. One thing, I find that shorter sizes than you'd think work the best. For me 165. The whole ski feels like it is a sweet spot. I Like the 8000 too, but the 4800 was more nimble.

150,160,170,180 - 115/70/99
2.) Nortica SUV 12 - Surprise, surprise Nortica is starting to make some excellent skis. I didn’t want to demo this ski, but the guy at the demo center insisted. WOW! Handle's slop and crud very very well. Outstanding edge grip, like a hot knife [yes the tune felt fresh]. Turns easily, and stable at speed.
Nortica? Yes, yes, yes. Normal ski lengths.

155,165,175,185 - 110/75/100
3.) Salomon Hot. Lets you feel safe flying through crud and slop. Easy edge to edge. Very fun. You can be tired and still rip the slope. Skidding to a stop was its only weakness. I truly enjoyed this ski. It was my favorite until I tried the Dynastar 4800. Normal lengths. I like the Hot better (quicker edge to edge) than the Xtra Hot.

--------------------

156,163,170,177,184,191 - 114/74/102
4.) Volkl 7-24 Exp. Heavy ski. Cuts through slop and held on hard pack. A little slower edge to edge than the others. Rigid. Felt rough at speed, but very stable, (didn't have the piston binding on it.) Short to medium lengths.

160,170,176,182,190 - 113/76/103
5.) Rossignol B2. Light edge to edge. Nice grip. More of a floater than a plow. Fun. Easy to get used to. Short to medium lengths. Yes I tried the B1 too and I liked the B2 Better.

145,155,165,175,180 - 112/72/96
6.) : Fisher Big Stix 7.2 - Only a small sweet spot. Took a while to get used to. Once adapted to was stable and went through lite slop, but I never felt invincible. Ski can handle very high speed. Not as nimble as the others. Excellent edge. medium to longer lengths.

156,163,170,177,184 - 114/74/103 ~ 149,156,163,170,177 - 116/68/100
: [I didn’t like the Head skis 75 Chip or the 1100 Chip - seemed like a smaller sweet spot, but I didn't give them as mush time as the Fisher's]

: I wish I got to try the Atomic Metron B5, M:11 Puls-ti and M:10 Puls-ti

Now I went into this thinking that I like the Volkl 7-24 EXP or Rossignol B1 the best. Oddly nothing turned out as I expected. I had to get over several prejudices to admit what ski performed the best. For example, I thought the Dynastar 4800 was a boring looking ski, so it would be lame. I thought Nortica was out of their element making skis and that they should just stick to boots. I thought that Salomon can't be serious with a foam core. I also believed some of the hype of the Head ski. But the skis' spoke the truth. Performance was all that mattered in the end.
post #2 of 18
You didn't demo any 2005/2006 skis?
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Scalce,

Yes actually I did demo some of next years offerings in March. However, I don't want to confuse things with the 05-06 versions. One noteful improvment is the wood core in the Bandits, also the Z9 was a noteworthy addition to Rossignal's line.

Has anyone else found any significant inprovements in a 2005/2006 ski?
Want to add a crud buster, slop cutter to the thread?
post #4 of 18
Mantra: indestructible in the crud and slop, but maybe not the best choice for New England hardpack (we call that ice here).

AC4 will be tough to beat on the full range of conditions you mention. See review. Definitely worth a try.
post #5 of 18
The new Head Monster 77 actually did better on ice and hardpack then I expected. I didn't have a chance to take it out in crud or slush though.
post #6 of 18
nordica hot rod series!!!!!!
post #7 of 18
Atomic Metrons!!!!
post #8 of 18
If you can find an old Atomic Rex, Buy it they are hands down the best crud busting ski ever. i'm not sure about the replacment ski. I have a bias against Atomic binding. I don't like system skis. sadly every year more and more skis are sold that way.
post #9 of 18
You are missing the 724 pro. Ideal for what you requested!
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalce
The new Head Monster 77 actually did better on ice and hardpack then I expected. I didn't have a chance to take it out in crud or slush though.
Crud, cut-up powder and spring/slush is where the 77's realy shine. Best ski I have ever been on, stable and will plow through anything.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomic_918
Atomic Metrons!!!!
Yep. Especially the b5 for the stated purpose.
post #12 of 18
Great reviews/awesome write-ups!
If it's not too late try the Atomic B5 supercrosses or the Volkl superspeeds. They both sound like exactly what you were searching for. I liked both better than the Legend 4800's, the B2's and the Hot's. Didn't try any of the others.
If it's too late this year, make sure you try next year's models - hopefully they're similar or better.
post #13 of 18
The SX:b5 is a good ski, too, but not quite as beefy as the M:b5.
post #14 of 18
I have the Solly Hots and the are a good crud ski. But I also have the Volant FB's and they are a great crud ski (they just cruise through anything period). If I was looking for something for back east I would probably look at the Machete Sin. It carves a little better and should have a similar profile to the FB's. I further note that Ski Canada gave the Machete Sin its crudbuster award last year. And since these are discontinued, you can probably pick up a pair for cheap on eBay (like less than $ 200).
post #15 of 18
PS. These being Volants, the the sins will also carve like crazy on eastern hardpack.
post #16 of 18

B2 for exactly those conditions

You know, they are all good skis. I had the Rossi B2s in Squaw a few weeks ago in 6" of Sierra cement and boy were they good. Went through everything and floated nicely on the freshies. Same excellent performance in the crud later on.

My suggestion is that you first decide on the shape of the ski, with the under foot measurement being the most important. Virtually all 74-76mm under foot skis will ski similarly.

Once you decide on shape, then go on model/brand.

Bob
post #17 of 18
6 letters... m-e-t-r-o-n

My M9's a just fine in NE, which is where I ski. Had a blast at Loon with them in spring conditions moving from good snow to ice to whatever and back.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by WVSkier
My suggestion is that you first decide on the shape of the ski, with the under foot measurement being the most important. Virtually all 74-76mm under foot skis will ski similarly.

Once you decide on shape, then go on model/brand.
While not a bad idea in general, some of the skis on the market today defy the general characteristics of a given shape (the M:b5 is an obvious example, but there are likely others). These days, there are so many components to ski design, and the process of designing a ski has become so much more scientific than in the past, that the easy approaches to ski selection of the past (flex, tortion, shape) are insufficient. Basically, now, more than ever before, it takes either skiing on them yourself or being very specific about what you seek (ideally comparing it to other skis that you either like or don't like).
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