Originally Posted by Prosper
I know that the B5s are overall much more versatile but some have stated that they even prefer the B5s to the RX 8 for carving up the groomed and hard-pack. I thought the RX 8 was designed exactly for that purpose and, from many that post here, one of the best at doing so in SL radius turns. How can a super side-cut jack-of-all-trades master of none midfat beat out a ski designed pretty much for one purpose in that specific arena?
Prosper, you probably have read here that I ski on both (M:b5 in 162, RX8 in 165 last season... RX8 in 170 the season before). The RX8 is "light-n-lively" while the b5 has a more damp feel. However, the ability of both of them to carve is comparable, and the b5 actually carves a tighter turn (11m v. 13m). The 8mm difference in waist width is noticeable, but I didn't find that it reduced the edge-to-edge quickness.
There was a thread on this last year, with some debating that the increased tortion created by the wider waist actually caused greater "return-to-flat" force for a wider ski.
Over the course of the season, I leaned more towards the b5s, although I did ski both virtually to the end. The b5s take more of a cross-under, "new style" technique than do the RX8s. They both will carve like a rocket, and fire back underneath you.
You cannot go wrong with either. But, the b5 will surprise most people, and many folks pleasantly so.