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Ski Rec - 8.5 level, 150lb male out West

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I'm not a unique skier for the board but have seen very few ski recs, reviews from lighter weight skiers, so here's my info! I'm a 23 year old 8.5 level 150 lb. male (hate bumps, need more technique for consistently strong double black skiing) and am ready to ditch my 170 '03 Atomic 9.17's. GREAT intermediate ski, and I've been thrilled with it.

Now that I'm back on the West Coast and ski Mammoth 20-25 days a year (no more Killington), I'm looking for a mid fat to do what West Coast snow demands. Depending on the snow levels, I'm usually 65 groomed/35 off piste. The 9.17's are scary in deeper snow and they're just hard to control since they sink. They're too soft now, too. Not by a ton, but I'd like to take a step up. But not Atomic B5 step - I've heard these take waaay too much work for an all day ski.

Having had friends who are racers (I know I'm not asking for a racing ski), I know something in the Vokyl 6 star category is definitely too stiff, old Atomic Race Carv's I can't flex worth a damn. I'm smart enough to buy within my performance range and not way over it.

Any recommendations? I passed on Fischer 7.6's on SteepandCheap to await a response - much appreciated!

Currently eyeing: Atomic Metron 10's, M:EX's, possiblya B2 (does B really stand for boring) or a Rossi Z9 once they get a bit more affordable, all in 165-170's.

James
post #2 of 17
I'd suggest trying out the Elan S12 or even S10. Great ski.
post #3 of 17

Skis 150lb out west

LAX Dartmoth, You answered your own question. Mammoth has their own demo program. Go into the Main Lodge rental shop with your list of ski's you'll get from Epic's people, go to shop and get some suggestions. You can then demo 3-4 pair of those ski's and take all day to do so - that way you can really try them out. Then you can make a really informed decision as to what you will buy. The last time I did this was several years ago so I'm sure the price has gone up but then it was about 28 dollars for all day. The really nice aspect of this is you can go right outside and get on the lift and try them on any of Mammoths run and/or that days snow conditions etc. Good skiing !
post #4 of 17
I am about your size - slightly heavier (160) - and your same age. Normally for out west I would say to go with something that is fat and has a long turning radius - but due to your skill level, I dont think that type of ski will help you advance your skiing ability. When I was in your same position I opted to go toward a ski that would allow me to grow (become a better skier) versus a ski that would hinder my growth and ultimately something that I would have to grow into. The demo list you have is great, but I would add a few skis to it.

Elan Magfire 10
Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous

The reason that I would suggest staying out of the top end rnage and staying one step below, is that first you are skiing out west - you dont need the extra stiffness for edgehold (its main immediate benefit) - and you will not get on a ski that immediately overpowers you. All of those skis can easily take you to an expert level, and it is doubtful that you would ever outgrow them in ability. Try to aim toward skis with a tighter radius (14m to 18m), as that will make life a lot easier to start with.

Later

GREG
post #5 of 17
It sounds to me like your more like a 8.415 Level skier if you hate bumps. Kidding...Ha!

Some of your choices sound good....Rossi Z9, Atomic M:EX. Personally I would stay in the "One ski quiver" category of wider skis with more sidecut.

I'll also add to your demo list:

K2 Apache Recon
Volkl Unlimited AC4
Fischer AMC 79
post #6 of 17
I'm also light for my height, have skied Mammoth off and on for 40 years. Mammoth's pow is lighter than Tahoe's, but still requires a ski with some guts, and you'll get bumps developing quickly off the top. I'd recommend demoing in no particular order: Fischer AMC 79, Volkl AC4, Salomon Scrambler Custom, Dynastar Legend 8000. If you think you'll focus on serious pow days, but still need something for groomed, think about a Salomon Gun or a Fischer Kehua. I'd avoid really beefy or stiff skis (Think Heads, Atomics, and Nordicas) given your profile.
post #7 of 17
I'd go wider than all the above suggestions. Given how soft mammoth groomers are you'll be just as happy carving with: Elan 777, Head i.M88, Head Mojo 90, Dynastar 8800, Volkl Karma or Mantra

and MUCH MUCH happier when there's fresh snow. If I had to guess, I'd bet the Mojo will be your favorite of the above. Easy to ski, super versatile, lots of fun.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you all!

for your help. I should consider all brands and am a bit narrow minded coming from the East Coast carving ski land. I will do the right thing and demo - I've never heard much about Elan but they look like they make some nice gear. I'm always more supportive of a smaller conglomerate and not having to pay for one's advertising budget (Hmmm, why are Salomon boots $600 and Dalbello's $450 - another conversation with lots of arguments).

Thanks again! Off to demo,

James
post #9 of 17
I think you would like the B2, but you should definitely demo a bunch and try not to think about what others say about them. The B2s are really great in the bumps, trees, crud and western hardpak. If you want to get better in bumps, these would be a good ski for you. They are good in powder too, but anything over 12" you would be better off with something else. (I'm 5-10/160) I ski these exclusively in the west.
post #10 of 17
I know you mentioned that you ski mostly on groomed runs and don't like bumps but one thing you have to consider is whether you want to be spending more time off piste in the future. If so, get a ski that will be good off piste as well as on. You'd probably be looking at something anywhere from a mid-70 to a mid-80 mm waist all mountain ski (M:Ex, B2 or B3, AC4, Legend 8000 or 8800, IM88). If you're really interested in staying mostly on groomed runs with an occasional jaunt off piste then consider something narrower ie 70ish waist or one of the newer mid-70mm carvers (Metrons, Rossi Z9, Nordica Hot Rods). Like others have said, definitely demo to find out what youlike.

IMHO, it'd be a shame to spend so much time at Mammoth on the groomers. There's so much more to be had. Kinda like going to a great Italian resaturant over and over and only ordering spaghetti. Also, not to split hairs, but if you really suck at bumps and off piste terrain, you're probably more of a high level 7 to 8 rather than 8.5. A level 8.5 should also be relatively comfortable on top of the line skis (B5, Allstars, etc.) and seek out the performance a top of the line ski can provide. You seem to be looking for something a bit softer and more forgiving. There's nothing wrong with this, but if you are going to be skiing a lot and are looking to improve significantly, consider getting a ski that's going to be able to keep up with your improvement. It'd suck to buy a ski this year and out grow it by the end of the season.

FYI, I'm also around 150lbs, a bit older (35yo) and seek off piste conditions. I ski on 168cm Atomic R:Ex and love them.
post #11 of 17
Elan Mantis 662 ('03-'04) or M666 ('04-05 onward). great western all-mtn ski for the under-190-lbs among us.
post #12 of 17
Head i.M 72 or the Dynastar Legend 4800, with the Head in particular.
post #13 of 17

Demo

I am 5' 10 and 185 lbs. I have demoed the metron M10 and found the shovel to be a bit soft for my taste. It was a great ski, but personally I would look higher up the Metron line. The Nitrous was also a great ski with good powder float. My favorite was the Elan 777. You really can't go wrong with demoing, as long as you demo the ski in a variety of conditions. IMHO crud is one of the most important conditions out west to check a ski in. Have fun!
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
Elan Mantis 662 ('03-'04) or M666 ('04-05 onward). great western all-mtn ski for the under-190-lbs among us.
I will have to agree with this suggestion. I have the Elan M662. I barely tolerate mid-fats on Eastern groomed slopes, but I love the feel of the M662. They are very lively (note that the M666 Fusion is not as lively) and they have a GS feel to them. They are not super stiff, but can hold a great edge due to their sidewall construction.

In 168cm they can also pump out short turns quite easily.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
Elan Mantis 662 ('03-'04) or M666 ('04-05 onward). great western all-mtn ski for the under-190-lbs among us.
I'll cast a 3rd stone in this direction.

There are some great skis in this category though:

M666
Legend 8000
K2 Recon
Hot Rod's

Toss a dart and you couldn't go wrong with any of them.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach13
I'll cast a 3rd stone in this direction.

There are some great skis in this category though:

M666
Legend 8000
K2 Recon
Hot Rod's

Toss a dart and you couldn't go wrong with any of them.
yup. it really distills to a matter of feel... what feel you prefer from the skier/ski/snow interaction.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks again, just got the last pair of M666's for an unheard-of $229 from backcountryoutlet.com.

Should be great for Mammoth!
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