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What skiis for the Sierra midget?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Lurking around for awhile, and time to lose my virginity with a post. Contribute to the delinquency of a sex starved (oh sorry wrong message board J) uh….so here I am sagely scratching my chin on what to do with the upcoming season. First let me give some background stats so you wizards can let the grey matter fly.

Dimensions: I’m a girly 140 pounds, 5’6”, 40 year old male, skied for 20 years

Ability: Wow this is a shot in the dark, but judging by other threads a level 7-8 or so.

Where I ski: Sierras, usually Mammoth about 40 days per year

What I like to ski: Chutes and bowls off the top mainly, trees and some groomers. Moguls are not my favorite but I have to when they are there. Lets say 75% black and double blacks and 25% groomers.

Conditions: The typical sierra sludge, crud, wet powder, and hardpack with a generous portion of windbuff icy stuff.

Current skiis are an older K2 Mod X-Pro 174 and aK2 Axis XP 167. I break out the Mod-X Pro only when conditions warrant cuz it’s a big mutha for my 140 pounds. But nothing beats it for high speed, pass pullin, GS turns through the muck. It also has better edge holding ability in the bulletproof stuff than the XP, but not sure if this is solely due to the additional length and/or just shape/construction difference.

I have tried the Volkl 6*, nice and light but never felt as locked in compared to the XP. Nor was it damp enough through the choppy stuff for me. Also demoed at the same time the Head Monster IM75 (if I am calling it by name correctly) and this was wonderful on the groomers but did not seem to release the turns as good as the XP and got hung up a lot in the junky snow. The Rossi B3 I tried was refreshing and light but did not have the stability and composure in tough sierra conditions of the XP. Hence I bought the XP’s.

Question is do I replace my trusty K2 Axis XP (167) w/ another all- mountain ride hoping it addresses the XP's weaknesses or do I keep the XP and add another ski to make up where the XP lacks? Where the XP lacks for me is in on ice, and very hard windblown bulletproof conditions. I would also like more energy and snap but I fear giving up its’ excellent dampening capabilities.

So my trusty Bear comrades do I fall for the siren calling of the one ski do it all Atomic M5’s? Maybe something else I am overlooking? Or do I add something like Dynastar RX-8 to the K2’s?? Auuggghhh!!! The brow wrinkles with such pondering. Let the games begin. Thanks in advance for your help.
post #2 of 9
So many choices, so little time.

In no particular order......

Nordica Nitrous or Top Fuel in 162
Fischer AMC 76 or 79 in 170 (maybe 164 in the 76)
Dynastar Legend 8000 in 165
Volkl AC-4 in 163 or 170

Among others.........there, problem solved.........

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Sierra Jim,

Thank you for the reply. A curve if I may. Since the original question may be too general. If possible, is there a way anyone can compare your recommendations to my current ride (XP's) in terms of pro's and cons. For example I fear the Dynastars may not damp as well as my K2's and may be akin to the Rossi B3's that I tried.

In other words is it possible that people can compare my current ride to the 05 models with some feedback. Other than just stating that they do everything better? Or maybe am I asking too much for a first time post. I apologize in advance if I am. I am just trying to get valid comparisons to skiis I have reference to. Thanks again for your time.
post #4 of 9
Team ftb,
since you mainly ski at Mammoth, you are lucky enough to enjoy the best snow in Ca., especially where you ski, off the top. I suggest you try the Fischer RX8's since you liked the 6 stars. The fischers don't have a speed limit, rock solid on ice. If it's a bit turny for you, the Fischer RX9's give you all the stability you would ever need plus that solid edge. Both skis tons of fun with great energy and I have found them perfect for mammoth or most places for that matter. . The only downside is price, they are expensive. I have never tried your K2's but
For pow, you need to keep shopping
post #5 of 9
Try the volkl 5 star. Less stiff and more forgiving, but still a great performing ski for the expert skier. Demo a pair, I think you will love it. I use mine from alta powder to Taos chutes to eastcoast ice.
post #6 of 9

It has been a few years since I've been on an XP. I ski about 50-60 (or more) mens skis in the spring, and each year's new crop of skis dulls the memories of some of the older models.

As you have already mentioned, the K2 mid-fats are certainly known for dampness but are not especially famous for edge grip and energy. The Rossi B3 (new '06 version) is a pretty damp ski and it is certainly more ski than the rather intermediate friendly B2. For a big ski I thought that it had adequate edge grip, somewhat more than the current Recon for exampe. The B series in general does not feel energetic to me.


The Legend 8000 is not as damp as either the current K2 or the Rossi but it is stable at speed when edged up and offers more energy than either the B3 or the Recon. The 8000 feels like it has better edge grip than either the Rossi or K2.

Both of the Fischers offer very good edge grip (esp. the 76) and are fairly damp for a light ski although possibly not as damp as the Recon. Both skis are reasonably energetic and are very capable at high speeds.

The Nordica Top fuel has more edge grip than any mid-fat that I skiied and it is also very damp. It is however, a heavy, powerful ski and you should have your game in order for best results. For your weight, a 162 is the Max I'd suggest.

If you are considering a narrower waisted ski, I made a pass down Daves last spring on some RX-9's in the typical wind pack that you find up there, I thought it was great up there for a mostly hard pack oriented ski. IMO, the RX-8 is a little turny for off trail skiing, but that can possibly be realated to my personal opinion that fewer turns is better.

post #7 of 9
Repeating an earlier suggestion, the Volkl AC4 would give you a fatter ski for soft snow conditions, while not giving up hardpack performance. Its a relatively stiff ski and will be much more stable at speed. The K2 Axis could also be replaced by something like the K2 Recon. Slightly wider, but the handling should be familiar.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks everybody for the replies.

I have been researching the choices given and am interested in the Volkl AC4 and the Nordica top fuel. Can anybody compare and contrast these skiis relative to the wet snow conditions in the sierras? Do the Nordicas force you into a particular turn and feel uncomfortable outside of a certain radius turn? How do they compare in the wet crud the sierras hold?

Are these skiis a concern for someone of my stature? Sierra Jim said I had to "have your game" to ski the Nordicas and It sounds as though the Volkls are a stiff board also. Sadly my only reference is the K2 Axis AP which I don't believe is stiff. The 174 K2 Mod-X Pro I have is definitely stiffer and I know I have to get that ski up to Mach 1 to get it turning comfortably. The two punches on my season pass last year from the high speed antics to get them turning is something I would like to avoid if possible. Is this a legitimate concern with either of these skiis?

Once again thanks for the help. Sierra Jim if you have a shop whereabouts are you?
post #9 of 9

Maybe I made the TF sound intimidating, if so, that wasn't my intention. It is however, a ski that needs to be skied with some authority. The TF is not as stiff overall as some might think but is very stiff torsionally and is fairly heavy. The TF is flexible in turn shape but takes some effort in quick fall line turns. It also skis very well in the short sizes.

The AC-4 is lighter, stiffer overall, but somewhat softer torsionally. To me, the AC-4 feels quicker and easier to ski than the TF. Both skis have great edge grip and I suppose the biggest difference comes in the nasty broken stuff where the Nordica has a little more power.

Yes, I am a retailer, and I talk to a customer quite a bit to qualify them before I suggest the TF. I'm new here and not sure about the politics of mentioning a store location here on the forum. You can find a link to our site if you look into my profiles.

(I hope this is PC, and I apologize out front if it's not)

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