I'm 31 5'11" 185. This season will be my 8th with about 10 trips each season to all of the major Lake Tahoe resorts. For the last 7 seasons, I have been skiing on Atomic beta 9.18 180 - a great groomer ski with only 64mm width. For the last couple seasons, I have been venturing more and more off piste, but having difficulties keeping up with my snowboard buddy with this very narrow ski. I sink in powder. I rate myself level 9 on groomed, and level 7/8 in bumps/powder. I love flying down the groomed runs, esp backside at Northstar, but I want to find a ski that can handle off piste/powder/trees as well as groomed runs. On Tuesday, I demoed multiple skis at Northstar. The conditions were groomed/small bumps most of the day with no powder. I tried the AC4 177 first. I really like this ski. I skied better on these than my old Atomics. I felt very relaxed in the bumps and could carve well on the groomed runs as well. Next I tried the Nordica Top Fuels 178. Too stiff on the bumps, but very smooth and fast on the groom runs. For a little variety, the last ski I tried was the Atomic M:11 162. They handled the bumps better than the TFs, but their short turn radius made me very tired after several runs. Anyways, I really like the Volkl AC4 as a 1 quiver all mountain ski, but having read all the threads on how amazing the Mantra is, I want to try this ski. Is the Mantra's width too wide for groomed runs? Northstar did not have a Mantra to demo and I do not know where I can demo it. Maybe a local Tahoe ski shop? Or would I be happy just purchasing the AC4s?
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12/29/05 at 11:51pm