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Skis for a "heavyweight" :-)

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Greetings from an Englishman living in Switzerland.

I'm a few months from 40 years old, 6' tall and 260lbs weight (yeah I know - I'm working on getting that down). I've been skiing for 9 years - would grade myself as level 7 on the 10 scale, and for the past 5 years or so I've been using K2 Merlin Vs in 183cm length with Tyrolia bindings and Dachstein boots.

Now the problems I always have with the K2s are (1) in conjunction with the also heavy Dachsteins they are really heavy and I can really feel them sap all my energy after less than a full day's skiing, and (2) whilst they are magic on-piste they are crap off-piste (at least for me) which is an area I want to improve this season. These skis were originally suggested to me based on my weight, height and them having wood core so alledgedly being better able to take the weight.

So I'm looking at new skis - I guess something in the all-mountain style...

After a few days looking at online reviews etc I'm currently leaning towards Atomic Metron M:EX in 185cm. Also on the "possibles" list are Atomic Metron B5 (172cm max), K2 Apache Recon (181cm max) or Corssfire (174cm max) or maybe the Head Monster i.M88 (186cm max).

Any thoughts on the suitability of any of the above ? any alternatives ?

Additionally is this true about wood core and weight or is it BS ?

Thanks in advance...

post #2 of 26
Your list seem excellent. You've done your homework. All the skis you mentioned are highly regarded and would serve you well for the intended purpose.

Both the Metron B:5's and M:EX's (I have both - and love 'em) are hefty skis. However, I suspect the reason your energy is sapped likely more from lack of control (straining) rather than ski weight. Most people here will tell you that even heavy skis - like the B:5's - don't feel heavy on the hill.

Skis with good stability and edge-hold will conserve energy and provide vastly greater control than you're now getting on the old Merlins. In my experience, that generation of K2's had miserable edge-hold, regardless of the wood core. The new ones are apparently very good.

Obviously, a wider ski will give you much more confidence and power off-piste.

I haven't skied the other skis you mentioned, but I can highly recommend either the Metron B:5, an extremely versatile, powerful and fun ski, or the Metron EX, an excellent solution for a one-ski quiver that spends a fair bit of time off-piste.
post #3 of 26
I demo'd some K2 Apache Recons, and found them to have poor edge hold on hardpacked snow. They did have some nice rebound after I got them to bend though. (215lbs here).
post #4 of 26
Originally Posted by gobucks
I demo'd some K2 Apache Recons, and found them to have poor edge hold on hardpacked snow. They did have some nice rebound after I got them to bend though. (215lbs here).
Interesting, I know a bunch of people who ski/have skied the Recons and I have never heard about lack of edge hold. However, I have demoed skis that were in desparate need of a good tune, giving me a falsly bad perception of the ski. Demoing is a great idea, but I don't find it to be the best way to judge which ski is better than another unless you get the identical setup (since binding angles, heel/toes lifts, as well as mount position can change the behavior of a ski completely). Don't get me wrong though, demo'ing gives a good idea, but there are a lot of variables to consider when assessing a demo ski.

Also, being a bigger skier as well (bout 250) the Crossfire may be narrower in the waist than you want. While it may be great on-piste, off-piste there is a good possiblity you will be disappointed.

Is there a max waist you are willing to ski? A great all-mountain choice could also be the PE (85 waist) or Volkl Karma (87 waist) if you don't mind a twin-tip ski.

I definately agree a wood core is probably your best bet as it will definately hold up better than a foam ski, although foam cores have come a long way in recent years, I just don't think they are even close to the quality of wood cores.
post #5 of 26
How about the Stockli Stormrider XL in a 194cm size?

This is a wood core, laminate ski with a 116-75-102 sidecut for all mountain use.


post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all of you for the feedback.

Whatever I buy will be based on demos anyway, but given how my GF has always raved about her Atomic BetaCarves (can't remember the model - might have been 9:18s ?) I'll certainly be giving the two Atomics a go first (hell - Miller and Maier can't both be wrong :-)).

I never had problems with edge-hold on the K2s, but I always got them serviced at least twice each season. Demo skis can be a bit of a lottery in this respect though.

I hear from the locals that skiing in Nov/Dev is bliss as most people don't ski until after xmas (escpecially the Swiss), so I have the opportunity to find some empty wide open local slopes and really give it some welly :-)

Happy huntin'


post #7 of 26
How are the Atomic "Daddies" for big guys?
post #8 of 26
I've got a pair of Salomon x-screams and have found them to be pretty good but I'm thinking of changing them. I'm leaning towards the Metrons as well as they have been recommended by a lot of people.

I'm an Englishman who wants to live Switzerland and would like to buy a place in Verbier. i've looked into it but the chalets in Verbier itself are quite pricey.

Nendaz looks good and is near Verbier.

Which in your opinion is the best one to go for?

I'd be interested to know what you think.


post #9 of 26
Some reviews on the Recon edge grip

Originally Posted by gobucks
I demo'd some K2 Apache Recons, and found them to have poor edge hold on hardpacked snow. They did have some nice rebound after I got them to bend though. (215lbs here).
Speaking of edgehold opinions here are a few others:

Ice / Hardpack: 7
Lots of rebound out of the turn, comparatively speaking. Ankle angulation is key to getting a grip on ice. Sierra chair has a steep icy short section. I attacked it very aggressively, putting lots of energy into the turn and the ski kept up with me. From a review on this forum.

Expect high-speed long turns and race-ski grip on hard snow From: http://www.footloosesports.com/reviews/

I have also seen a couple of reviews that didn't like the edge grip. One was from a magazine and one was an "amatuer" review.

Seems like everyone has an opinion.
post #10 of 26
Originally Posted by PitBull
find some empty wide open local slopes and really give it some welly :-)
This post is completely off of the subject, so ignore it if you don't want to bother with it.

Could you define "welly?" Is seems like an interesting term, but I am not familiar with it.

post #11 of 26
"Welly" = wellington boot? Peddle to the metal, fang it, mach schnell...
post #12 of 26
I'm 6'3, 225#, (in shape, but big and muscular I ordered a pair of Metron M:11's in a 172 because I found a heck of a deal. I'm coming off of Beta-ride 10:20 198's, which I know were too long, but I loved 'em all the same. I've been told the M:11's ski like a 184, but I'm still concerned about the length for a big guy like myself. When I put them next to my Beta-rides, they look tiny. I'm an expert skier and push them pretty hard. Are the 172's going to be long enough? Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to demo last year because I live in Seattle and we pretty much had no season last year. I'd be curious to hear from any big guys who've actually skied the M:11's or B:5's.
post #13 of 26
Atomic B5 in a 172 made me a happy man! I loved this ski but I couldn't give up Volkl my 6 stars. I never skied the M11 but I would imagine them to be a little softer then the B5's. Oh, BTW I am 6'0 275lbs.
post #14 of 26
I am 6'2", 250 to 280 lbs. over the past three seasons (lighter in later seasons). I have been skiing short skis with narrow waists in the eastern US, with no problems here, but with some huge problems when I tried the same skis at Snowbird in fresh snow, and crud. My main pair last season was Fischer RX-8's @ 165 cm. Previous season RX-6's @175, and before that Atomic C 9.18's @ 175. I couldn't really tell much difference between the 9.18's and the RX-6's. The RX-8's are great on hardpack and ice, but require a lot of attention in bumps. Icy bumps are relatively easier, but soft bumps are very difficult, as the RX-8's will take you right back up the hill if you even think about being in the back seat.

Out west, at Snowbird I demoed the Fischer AMC 76 and 79 (both in 176 cm), the Nordica Top Fuel (176, if I remember correctly, but very close to that size if I am mistaken) and a similar Elan ski (which I can't remember). They all skied very nicely, but were a lot more work to turn on piste than the RX-8's. I also skied one of the Fischer twin-tips, and did so on the first day of demoing. Going from an RX-8 to that wide a waist was not fun, and I hated the ski, but that should be in context of the switch, and my preference for slalom-like skis. The bottom line is that a length in the mid to high 170's and a waist of 76-80 mm's in any of the top-end Fischers, Elans or Nordicas should make you very happy unless you are skiing nothing but powder or nothing but ice. If you ski mostly ice, then I heartily endorse the RX-8's in a length of 165-170.
post #15 of 26

Heavyweight rider

I am in my early 40's, weigh 260 at 6' 3". I ski primarily in the Midwest but venture West when I can. I demoed lots of skis last year (04/05) and found a few that I would recommend.

I own a Volkl 5 Star (175) that I love for the small Midwest hills. I tried the 6 star and thought it was too stiff for the size mountains. On longer steeper runs I would recommend the 6 over the 5. The 5 Star shovel can really load up and kick back if you turn sharply at speed (quite a few flatlander tourists to avoid at my killer weight...). I would not go longer on the 5 or 6 Star. I tried the 182 and it was not as quick to turn which would be fine if you needed extra stability. The 175 6 Star turns as well as the 5 Star and is quite stable on bigger mountains. The downside of the 5 and 6 Star is they need to find the hardpack. They will plow, dive, and wander until they rest on the bottom. Only the steepest/deepest slopes and speed will allow some sort of float, but they will make you sweat doing so.

Midfat/all mountain:
I also liked the K2 Recon. It held an edge and turned quite well. I was leaning toward the 724 pro but that seemed to wander a bit more in the packed powder I was skiing. The K2s seemed heavier, more stable, and could turn just as well as the pros. Not quite as turney as the 6 Star but just as stable and able to float above the hardpack.

I tried every fat ski I could get. I really wanted to like the Karmas (177) but they were not as fun to ski on the packed powder as the other choices. I wanted better edge hold. It was the beginning of March at Steamboat so the Karmas may have been out of tune. I tried the Dynastar 8800 (178) and these were very stable but felt slow to turn. The edge grip was there but they didn't want to hook around. I tried the Rossignol B3s (last year's 95 waist, length 185) and loved them so much I bought them. They turned as well as my 5 Stars. I could do anything I wanted with these skis on the groomers. They were as fun to ski as the 5 star but could handle crud and (packed) powder much better. I have since skied them back in Minnesota and the UP (Michigan) and they perform great on everything but ice and tight trees. I was lucky enough to ski them on a rare fresh and tracked powder day and I loved them.

My 5 star is much better with ice obviously but the B3 can actually handle it safely. I found it difficult to release the tails in the tight trees (at Mt Bohemia). I would recommend the Pocket Rocket for that. I skied the PR (185) on a cat trip and found they performed very well in powder (but have awful edge hold on any sort of packed powder or hardpack). The PRs are very easy to skid around bumps and trees. I would actually prefer a shorter length in the tight trees but the 185 floated well.

Get last years B3 or maybe the new B4. I would also try the Volkl AC4 while you are at it. Maybe the Mantra or Gotoma for powder days. The Atomics seem heavy and they rail a bit too much for me.

Good luck. Hope this helps.
post #16 of 26

Heavy skis

Look at last seasons 6 or 5 star by vokyl if you look at 168/6 or 17? for the five. The Dynastar Legend 8000 or 8800 can support you but lok for 176 at least.
post #17 of 26

Skis for real guys

There are lots of skis - having skied a few - my opinion:

K2 generally has the worst edge hold - the Axis series XP/XP Pro were the scariest I have tried. Apache Chief - Better - only because of the stiffness - Apache Recon - Worse

( Pretty light on content here, but as a 240 pounder, there are things you like and don't like - simply put.)

Salomon appears to have better edge hold - for the first 10-12 days. Foam cores, while lively, break down torsionally more quickly than longitudinally.

Gotta run.

post #18 of 26
At your weight consider an Voelkl AC4 in a 180+ length as a versatile all-mountain ski to grow on.
post #19 of 26
I've never head anybody state that the K2 XP delivered scary edge hold. i don't see this ski washing out. Granted you are 65 lbs. biger than me. Your comment surprises me. What length were you skiing out of curiosity?
post #20 of 26
What ho Pitbull! Another Brit in CH here. Where are you? If you find anywhere in CH that has these sort of skis in stock to demo would you let me know? I spent a very disheartening afternoon looking in Manor, Ochsner and an Intersport affiliate yesterday only to find a) no all mountain skis whatsoever and b) nothing over intermediate level unless you're Didier Cuche et al
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 

As the originator for this thread, it's time for an update (albeit a few months later than originally intended)...

Just come back from a week at Obertauern - great skiing (for my intermediate level) and no walking to do because everything is linked :-)

Took my K2s with me and skied them a few days before going rental...

No Atomic Metron M:Ex available that I could find :-(

So started with Atomic Metron B5 (think they were 172cm) with the Neox bindings - could not deal with these at all as they were too short and way too stiff making my normal medium turns very hard work. They were also very heavy (I actually weighed them - they were about 2kg/pair heavier than everything else I tried).

Swapped them after two runs for Rossignol 8X Oversize (174cm - no 181cm available) - they were okay but too soft and chattered/flapped like crazy at moderate speed even in good snow. Longer version would probably have been a little better given my size/weight. Kept them for the rest of the day though but was never greatly impressed.

Following day swapped them for Rossignol 9X World Cup (174cm - no 181cm available) - these were too hard, again probably too short, and were narrower so didn't give me the "float" I was looking for off-piste. 9X Oversize might have been the better choice had there been any available. I actually returned these after only 1 run they were so awful for me.

In the afternoon these were swapped for Salomon Equipe GC (178cm) with the S912Ti bindings - based on them being nicely wide, long enough and apparantly between the 8X Oversize and 9X WC in hardness. These were bliss - I ran faster then ever before, tackled more off-piste with more confidence than ever before, and was carving magically through everything on the hill. This was the most fun I've every had skiing. Kept them for 3 days.

Going back to my own skis on the last day was not fun - it was a real retrograde step and I had no confidence in them when going fast or off piste.

Sadly the rental shop didn't have any for sale so will be scouring the shops of Zurich and surrounding area this week before the next trip at the weekend !

BTW It seems Salomon have a bad reputation with many people here - but my testing this week really shows that everybody has different needs/preferences. I know many people rate the Atomic B5s, but they were just not right for me, where as the Salomon GC were spot on. Each to his own !!!


post #22 of 26
Nordica Top Fule - 177. A guy your size, if you can ski, will love them.
post #23 of 26
there are some M10 in 178's on Ebay for 299 + shipping right now.
post #24 of 26
Hello Englishman! Checked out your list...It's pretty good. I would recommand you try a pair of Atomic Metron. I say that because they are stiffer then other option you might consider and it would go well with your "format". Weight and height are major factor on the way you ski. A heavier skier will have more feedback and response then a lighter skier of same level and same skis.. I thing the Atomic would be a great ski..the metrons are stiff. Beware they also are heavy..but regarding the ski sapping your energy I think it as more to do with your physical condition and technique. Also try the Head monster, great ski really...you might enjoy it also.I have not skied K2 in a while so I don't know about them....Try Volkl also...great stiff ski....and a bit lighter than some atomic....Mostly I thing their Neox binding is very heavy. Great ski overall...Hope it helps...
post #25 of 26
Originally Posted by PitBull
...BTW It seems Salomon have a bad reputation with many people here - but my testing this week really shows that everybody has different needs/preferences. I know many people rate the Atomic B5s, but they were just not right for me, where as the Salomon GC were spot on. Each to his own !!!


Hi PB,

Salomon lost some ground from 2003 to 2005. The products offered just were not keeping ground with the German & Austrian brands & Dynastar too...

However the Salomon GC is a great ski and a good fit for your requirements in a 178cm length.


post #26 of 26
just something to mention that many people do not always realize, with heavier people, others assume that the right ski is a longer, wider, stiffer ski, however this is not always the case. Personally, I tend to ski softer skis even though I'm heavier. It is possible for heavier people to have a very light touch on the snow.

What I liked seeing in this thread was the exploration of stiffer and softer skis as wel as exploring length, more than anything people need to realize (explore different skis, styles of skis, brands, etc) what their preferences are. Afterall, the best ski for someone is the one that works well for the way that each skier skis.
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