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New Member here! Few ski questions for anyone willing to help...

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I can really only afford one ski and I need some help on which skis I should look into...

Here are my measurables:

6"1" 215 lbs Level 7-8

I only ski the tahoe basin, probably 80% at Heavenly, due to its proximity to my home.

I like everything except the bumps. I'm probably about 50/50 on/off. I'm also pretty aggressive. Ususally by the time I get up the hill the groomers are already demolished and its just loose stuff and crud, so I'll need crud-busters.

Skied Atomic r9's last year, and it wasn't enough ski for me-- not enough float in powder and a knocked around in the crud a lot.

here is a list of skis that have been reccommended to me:
Volkl AC4, Volkl Mantra, Atomic M:EX, Dynastar 8800, Head IM 77 and 88.

What do you think?! I would love to hear any comments... I've heard a lot of good things about the Mantra's, but would like to know if you can carve at all with them. I'm sure all the skis on the list are pretty good.

Thanks in advance...
post #2 of 21
Welcome to EpicSki, Hokiesnow!

You've got a great list of skis there. Will you be able to demo any?

The AC4 and EX are very similar, in my experience. I haven't skied the Mantra, yet, but it's getting raves. The 8800 will be lighter than the others, I think. The 88 got huge marks at RealSkiers...
post #3 of 21
Welcome to Epic!I agree that you've put a pretty good list together and are on the right track. From my standpoint I think the Mantra, 8800, and the im 88 are where I would start for demo comparisons. Personally, I own the 8800 and think it does a great job in most conditions. It's not fantastic on hardpack, but it still gets the job done pretty well for a ski of that width.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys.... I'm probably most interested in the 88 and the Mantra and hope to demo those skis... ssh, which ski did you like better, the EX or the AC4? Thanks for your comments Coach, virginia boy I see. Me too, grew up in VA...
post #5 of 21
hokie:

I'll throw a dissenting view toward the narrower skis. While 90+ mm ski (Mantra, 8800) can be used as an only ski, I think that it is too wide for normal Tahoe conditions. ('05 was NOT!!!! normal) Yes, you can ski a fat ski everyday, but on most days you will have more fun on a (wider) mid fat.

The M-EX and AC-4 have roughly similar capabilities but a pretty different feel. The M-EX is more of a long turn ski and it has a pretty damp feel for it's category. I'd say that the M-EX is more powerful in crud but not as quick or snappy in the fall line. The AC-4 has a distinctly lighter, quicker feel and actually is quite easy to ski for as wide as it is. If you are a powerhouse kind of skier, I'd suggest the M-EX, if not, the Volkl.

SJ
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Jim- Hopefully this winter will turn out like last year, though it is not starting out the same...

A few questions for you:

How do the AC4 and the EX perform in Powder? Have you tried them in deep stuff?
I've heard a lot about the b5, but is it a no go in powder?
What is your favorite mid-fat ski?

Thanks for your responses...
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach13
Welcome to Epic!I agree that you've put a pretty good list together and are on the right track. From my standpoint I think the Mantra, 8800, and the im 88 are where I would start for demo comparisons. Personally, I own the 8800 and think it does a great job in most conditions. It's not fantastic on hardpack, but it still gets the job done pretty well for a ski of that width.
I agree, the mantra #184 or the Dynastar @ 188 these will work just fine on the soft groomers @ heavenly, and will be there for the pow, heavy pow, choped up heavy pow, And they will rip in the Soft snow warm days.
post #8 of 21
hokie:

I'm a retailer and have a pretty good demo fleet at my disposal so I ski on a lot of different skis. In this category, I own an M-Ex and A Legend 8000. This year, I will probably add a Nordica and perhaps a Fischer to my personal quiver. The M-EX is great in deeper snow but I didn't ski the Volkl in anything more than maybe 8-10".

I have skiied the M-11 and B-5 just enough to have a theory about why they ski the way they do. In light fluffy snow, they are very good. In heavier cruudy snow, they seem good to a point then when it starts getting deeper, they start getting knocked around.

Here is my fat headed theory....................................:rolleye s:

In shallower crud, the ski is still skiing on the bottom or the firm surface beneath the soft stuff. In this situation, the Metrons are quite stable given that you accept the built in short turn radius that it prefers. At some point, as the snow gets deeper or heavier, the float starts to occasionally lift the sidecut free from the surface and the snow starts to push the tip around. Of course, this happens with other skis too, but the sensation is magnified in the case of the Metrons due to the exceptionally wide tip. This is somewhat less prevelant on the B5 and I attribute that to the increased stiffness relative to the M-11.

There...............thats what I think happens.

Duhhhhh, then again, mebbe I just suck.

SJ
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hokiesnow
I've heard a lot about the b5, but is it a no go in powder?
Powder is not consistent, so it's hard to say. Given that you're skiing in the Tahoe region, SJ probably has it nailed. In Colorado, where we get storms of both lower water content and lower volume, I have found no conditions in which the b5 did not excel. But, I may suck, too!
post #10 of 21
You have really picked out some front runner skis. Any would be a great choice, but I will caution you that going to a stiff ski to quickly in your development as a skier will hurt you more than it will help you. I realize you are over 200lbs, but at only a level 7 or 8, you may find some of those skis you have chosen to be a lot of work - especially in rough terrain. If I were you I would look toward something that has an 80mm waist and is made in France. Dynastars sound like they might be a good fit, but Rossi might also be worth a look. A stiff ski in rough snow when you don't have the skills to pilot it is not fun. Its nice to think you need the H2 Hummer of skis, but the fact of the matter is that few people really need the stiffness that they offer... kind of like the H2... but its just that few people need an H2... but everyone still drives them, go figure. Get a ski that suits how you ski, not a ski that suits how you want to ski or think you ski. Its much easier to ski on something that gives you a more forgiving ride, so you wont end up in the back seat and thrown around in rough terrain. Since youre skiing out west you dont really need to worry about edgehold and the stiffness that comes with it.
Later
GREG
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses...

Heluva skier-- Make no mistake, I'll demo some of these skis before I buy... I want to make sure I'm comfortable.. I just don't want to end up on a ski that is a little too soft for me again and have to buy again next year. I'm not in a position to really have more than one set of skis. Thanks for the advice. I guess I'll just have to demo a wide variety of skis to see what I'm really comfortable with.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hokiesnow
Thanks for all the responses...

Heluva skier-- Make no mistake, I'll demo some of these skis before I buy... I want to make sure I'm comfortable.. I just don't want to end up on a ski that is a little too soft for me again and have to buy again next year. I'm not in a position to really have more than one set of skis. Thanks for the advice. I guess I'll just have to demo a wide variety of skis to see what I'm really comfortable with.
If you are concerned about skis being too soft, and you want a crud buster with enough sidecut to accomodate carving, you might consider the Volant Machete Sin, it's an '04 model, but they have been available in 185 on ebay all fall and have been going for less than $300 new, in most cases. Definately a stiff, stable ski that eats crud for breakfast.
post #13 of 21
Hokie, you could ski the Mantra anywhere at Heavenly. I did. Even Gunbarrel ice. It favors Ridge, Ellie's, Milky Way Bowl, North Bowl trees, Motts Canyon and out of bounds that opened last year. A few days with ice are not too nice, but for the most part, guys our size can really make this ski work the whole mountain.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestion Volantaadict, I'll look into that

Cirquerider-- So you have no problems on groomers @ Heavnely.. Good to know.. How is the edge grip/hold on the mantras? I just worry that I'd have a hard time railin' a ski that wide on groomed stuff. Admitedly, the groomer up there are pretty soft, though. Thanks..
post #15 of 21
Well, the truth is the Mantra is not for railing. I assume by railing you are saying carved short radius turns that lay railroad tracks. It will do it, but the tail is relatively narrow which causes it to release easier. I found that in firm conditions the ski tended to slip out at the tail unless you really stayed focused on high edge angles. Also you are dealing with a pretty long radius ski. If you are truely looking for more versatility in the harder snow, capability for powder, and something that rails, take a look at the AC4.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
Well, the truth is the Mantra is not for railing. I assume by railing you are saying carved short radius turns that lay railroad tracks. It will do it, but the tail is relatively narrow which causes it to release easier. I found that in firm conditions the ski tended to slip out at the tail unless you really stayed focused on high edge angles. Also you are dealing with a pretty long radius ski. If you are truely looking for more versatility in the harder snow, capability for powder, and something that rails, take a look at the AC4.
I was under the impression (from flex testing along with some people's comments) that the AC4 is a fairly soft ski.
post #17 of 21
My thoughts...don't get a Squaw ski for Heavenly. Forget anything near or over 90-mm in the waist. The M:EX and AC4 are really good places to start. If you were skiing Squaw, then something like a Mantra.
post #18 of 21
A year ago all I had was the R9 too...you're on the right track getting on something big and modestly stiff (as heluva says, don't go too stiff)...the slower turning wider skis will be strange at first but when you get used to it...yee hah!! You'll never go back (and they'll make you better)!!!

I would steer you away from the 8800 - I had this one last year and the tip is too soft and the overall flex too uneven - at your size I think you'd overpower the tips (even the 188). If you go with it make sure you get the 188 and know the year - if it's last year's mount it back 1.5-2cm (they moved the line back this year). Also, this is the same ski as the '03-'04 Dynastar 'Intuitiv Big' and the 'Inspired' - deals on ebay all the time

http://cgi.ebay.com/Ski-NEW-Dynastar-Intuitive-Big-188-w-Axial-140-t-plate_W0QQitemZ8725528600QQcategoryZ26349QQrdZ1QQc mdZViewItem

I think the iM85 has the best flex (relatively easy in, power out, smooth & nice edge hold) of any ski I've ever been on - if they kept the iM88 similar it should def be on the demo list!!! Try the Mantra too. if you think you like heavier skis with a lot of shape (that will rail on groomers) try the M:ex & AC4.

To thoroughly confuse you, some others to consider - Rossi Scratch BC & B3 - Fischer Big Stix 8.6 - Head Mojo - K2 Apache Outlaw, Apache Chief & Seth Viscious - Blizzard Titan Nine - Nordica Beast (92 waist one - cheap on ebay) - Elan 777...

...enjoy the process!!
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help everyone!

X-EastCoaster--

I'm rapidly piling up my demo list, but I want to limit it somewhat because I want to try to get it done quickly. Right now, I'm looking hard at the AC4, M:ex, Mantra, and the b:5. Everyone and their brother raves about the b5, so I want to check it out. The downside is, its so expensive...

Anybody know a place to pick up b5's at a reasonable rate? In case I'm interested....

Anyway, this is a great forum and I certainly appreciate all the help....
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hokiesnow
Anybody know a place to pick up b5's at a reasonable rate? In case I'm interested....
After Christmas, I would expect them to come down in price (and be more available than they were last year). PM me if you'd like to find one sooner than that. No guarantees.
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
ssh-- Thanks for the offer! If we ever get any snow in the Sierras, maybe I'll demo some. Thanks
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