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To quiver or not to quiver?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So here’s the predicament. I have K2 XP’s that I use as my primary ski 90% of the time. They plow through the sierra crud, wet cement, soft groomers, and most snow conditions at my home mountain (Mammoth Mountain) just fine…not perfect everywhere but good enough. Except in one area…boilerplate and icy conditions really show its Achilles heel .

The standard answer would be for me to get another pair of boards that carve the hard stuff well( RX9, AC3, etc). The issue is that the mountain will have windblown icy conditions only on part of the run, then it changes to soft snow 100 yards farther on: . Its not like its icy in the morning and soft in the afternoon that much. Which if it did this it would be easy for me to ski hard snow boards in the mornings then break out the soft snow boards after lunch. So I run into multiple conditions on the same run, usually depending on the exposure, temp, wind, etc.

What I am asking those that have been round the block more than me is can I get a ski that mimics the things I like about the XP (damp, easy turn initiation, versatile in heavy wet crud) and improves on its main area of weakness, boilerplate??? I am aware of its lack of liveliness but I prefer trading liveliness for dampness. In the one board quiver I have been looking at to demo:

*Elan 777
*Nordica Top Fuel
*Volkl AC4

or I can just get a hard snow ski right now like the Fischer RX9 or Volkl AC3 and switch between my XP and one of the above.

Two concerns I have if I start a 2 ski quiver are:
  • The hard snow boards would give up more in the soft snow than the single all mountain boards would give up on the hard stuff (for Sierra resort skiing i.e. hard snow here is not the same as back east). Am I incorrect with this assumption?
  • The hassle of figuring out which boards to ride/judging conditions, and having to switch back and forth between the boards. This seems like a major hassle I’m not convinced is worth it, unless you can offer viewpoints to counter. To me, even breaking for lunch is a pain.
So do I take another shot at an all-mountain board or start building a quiver: ?????

Background info: 5’6” 140 pounds, ski 70% off piste, 30% groomed. Advanced skier mostly enjoying steeps and trees and only bumps when I have to. Sadly I like tight chutes as well as wide open GS skiing through the bowls. A pain for ski choice I know, sorry. A long rambling post also so a hearty thanks in advance .
post #2 of 13
I've never skied it but from what I've read, maybe the Head IM75 Chip (or current version, I think it's IM77) could be worth a try as the one ski / variable condition solution. The chip is supposed to help it adapt to varying conditions, and I understand it's on the damp side of the spectrum.
post #3 of 13
Team - your demo list is perfect in my view. What you want from a ski matches what you have in your list. If you lean more toward longer turns and higher speeds then go with the M777 (it's less of an all-mountain ski than the other two). If you want a better "ice machine" that can still float then go with the AC4. If you want a "hero" ski that will help balance your flaws and handle a wide range of conditions then go with the Top Fuel (it has a huge sweet spot).

BTW - I don't think you should try to build a 2 ski quiver with what you have now. Avoid the hassle and get a great all-mountain ski.
post #4 of 13
Add the Head IM77 Chip to your list. Its a great ski.
post #5 of 13
Two pairs of skis .... not a "quiver' .... it's a start though!
post #6 of 13
Actually an economics question: Is the cost of owning a quiver worth the benefit? (fun, bragging rights, OCD delights over what to buy next, avoidance of reality) Not to mention the opportunity cost (you could spend the bucks on something else like food, shelter, or even, ahem, ski lessons.)

But speaking as someone who owns four or five pairs at any time and gets off on studying which he should update, keep in mind that many of the really accomplished skiers on these threads own two pair of skis max, tend to favor one. And it's never been easier to find one ski that can do most things better than most of us can.
post #7 of 13
A ski like the RX-9 handles softer snow just fine as long as it is not really deep. The structure and reasonably straight shape makes it very stable in 6-8" of crud. The only drawback is deeper snow.

A TF will rip the hard pack as well as any narrow waisted ski and offer the benefit of increased width for deeper snow. It is not what I would call quick because it is fairly heavy, but it can be skied in remarkably short sizes.

My suggestion is sell one of your kids to the gypsies and go for one of each. Then you would be 2/3 of the way home in starting a true quiver.................

Failing that, I would have to make the tough choice between two skis that I really like, and would choose the TF..............(I think)

post #8 of 13
Obviously if you encounter these conditions at different spots of the same run you need one ski to do the run. I would definately try the RX9, just judging by how much better the rx8 feels on 8 inches of snow than it does on ice.
post #9 of 13
Up until my move to Seattle this past summer, my Mammoth Quiver consisted of the following:

(1) Atomix R:EX
(2) Volkl Explosiv
(3) Volkl Gotama

I never had any problems with Mammoth hardpack, but then againthe R:EX even at 84 in the waist is better in boiler plate than the XP. So, you might be onto something with your initial three picks.

My recommendation...sell the XP's and get something better on hard packed, and then get something fat. If you really ski the ungroomed of Mammy 70% of the time, you are really selling yourself short with an XP at 78-mm in the waist.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
First off…Awesome responses !!!

Interesting to note the varied responses regarding whether a quiver is worth it or not. What honesty from “Beyond” regarding the real need for a quiver. Being a featherweight at 140 pounds I thought would get me more float out of most boards than your averaged size male skier, therefore having better odds at finding a capable one quiver board. What day a think???

SierraJim: Your earlier reviews were a helpful note (we ski the same Sierra conditions and prefer longer turns to short) in pointing me towards the Top Fuel. However conditions dictate…can you (or anybody) address the Top Fuels capability of a lightwieght skier, swinging tight turns, down narrow chutes or when you are picking the good snow in a 10 foot wide section of a chute, as so often happens at Mammoth. I don't care what length it is as long as it does what I need. How short would you go for my wieght? This is one of the reasons I was including the Volkl AC4 in my search, light and supposedly easy to turn.

Bandit Man: Yea if I could be confident that we’d get another 625 inch snow year like we did last year then I would definitely pick up some WIDE planks. However I’ve skied enough 200 inch years here to know it doesn’t happen all the time. Sadly this year mother nature is being pretty prudish with lifting her skirt and giving us the goods. Given my weight would you still say get a 85+mm width underfoot for Mammoth? If you have any friends in Mammoth unloading some wide boards cheap PM me. Cheers.

Some people suggested the Head IM75, IM77. When I demoed the IM75 I fell in love with the way it plowed through the crud; stable, unruffled and damp(like a good girlfriend ). It ripped the hardpack and held an unreal edge. However I was wheezing like a 300 pound asthmatic girl in heat after she sprinted 100 yards: when I got to the bottom of Avy Chute 1 doing short radius turns all the way down the side of the chute. It felt way too heavy for my scrawny ass to be throwing around. I’ve heard the IM77 feels lighter but it would have to be a lot lighter for my bird legs to be happy.

A fellow Bear is selling some Volkl AC3’s in 163 I was looking at for some hard snow skiis and Sierra Jim has some last year Atomic M:ex’s going cheap. Hmmmm.

Please continue the banter and I would love to hear your thoughts on a skiers wieght effecting the variable of waist width. as always your guys input is greatly appreciated .
post #11 of 13

In the TF you could ski the 162 with no problem. You also have the ability to adjust binding position fore and aft which can help you to "tune" the ski. You are right, the AC-4 is lighter and quicker.

Ginger vs. Mary Ann..............sell the kids..................really!!!

BTW, those M-EX's are about gone (6-8 pr only I think).

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
I was hoping to demo some skiis by thanksgiving but the weather being what it is, it might be late December before I can have some fun: .

I sold the wife in a divorce but instead of receiving cash(for some skiis as SierraJim suggested) all I got was 1/2 my net worth liquidated: . I guess his wives were worth something .

The beta on the binding fore/aft adjustablity is good info thanks for that .

I have read great reviews on the Volkl AC4 and Nordica Top Fuel but not so much (other than SSH review) comparing and contrasting the two head to head. Anybody got some feedback?
post #13 of 13
As I am in the similar boat to you in that I am 5'10" and vary from 140 - 150# I know where you are coming from. Great skis for some are just tanks and dogs for lighter skiers. Ski that some say are not edgy enough, or get bounced around are great for light weights who can't over power the ski.

I spent a day on my new 8800's and had a varied amount of terrain and conditions. No real boiler plate but some stiff windblown hardpack.

# 1 nice and light, easy to move around easy on the lightweight.

#2 edge to edge was quick as I wanted didn't seem like a fat ski. I like a turny ski, but also like long drawn out turns. the 8800 did both very nicely. I tried to make turns as fast as I could and didn't get slugged by the width or turn radius.

#3 Edge hold was better than any other ski I have owned. But I have owned some crappy skis so that doesn't say alot but it had all I wanted. Ice not sure yet.

#4 the small amount of pow I hit I was confident it will do fine. I does like the speed upped a bit to get jiggy with it.

#5 Seemed pretty darn stable to me, but the hill I was at sucks eggs for speed runs. I "think" they will be good at higher speeds. I pushed it the available limit and it had some left.

My concerns given your criteria and conditons would be:

this "cement crud" everyone talks about. I ski Alberta and not sure if I have ever encountered this. Possible that it's too much for this light ski. Light may not equate to not strong torsionally.

Edge hold on ice and boiler plate.

at the least I would add it to the demo list. The Legend Pro may be better suited as it is much stiffer but also some 6-8 mm wider.
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