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K2 Omni 5.5... What next?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm new to the forum and new to skiing (started skiing last year). First, thanks so much for the wonderful information that is here. I have already learned a lot. But here is where I am now. First the stats: 43 yrs old, male, 5'9" 167lbs athletic. Started skiing last year (mid-February) when my then 8 year old son started skiing. I skied over 25 times last year and have already skied 13 times this year. I live in the west but my closest resort, where I ski mostly, gets a lot of wind so I ski a lot on hard pack runs where the wind has blown all the snow. However, every once in a while I go to the larger resort where the snow is better.

Last year I demoed a bunch of skied and decided, with the help of my local shop "expert" that the Omni 5.5 167cm was the ski I needed for where I was and a few years to come. When I bought I was still mostly on greens and some blues. Well since then I have moved up. By the end of last year I was skiing blacks. This past Thursday we had some new snow and I ventured to a double diamond. It was very enjoyable. It did have some icy patches but it also had the fresh stuff (moguls). I skied it down with no problems like I had done that run many times before. Today I decided to do the same run. Well, by the time I got to it, there was no snow just a hard pack icy run. My skis started bouncing so much that eventually I lost it and tumbled down at high speed on my back and front (no injuries - Yeah). Me thinks that I've reached the limit of my skis. (Instead of years, I think I got about 28 times out of them before I outgrew them). Yes, I know that I can do this run with in the same conditions if I slow down a lot, but that's not going to take me to the next level in my skiing.

So I'm left with the ultimate question... What next? I know that I have to demo a lot, but where do I start.

This is my list so far...

Rossignol Zenith Z9
Volkl AC4
Volkl AC3
K2 Apache Recon

I will be skiing groomers (I enjoy speed) but will also want to ski bumps/steeps, especially if I want to keep up with my son.

I would also want to know if the 167cm length is the right length for me.

Thanks in advance. And please let me know what else you need from me to help me with my decision.
post #2 of 21
The Recon or AC4 would be at the top of my suggestion list. Try both and see what you like better. Either way, you can't go wrong.
post #3 of 21
Are you looking for another ski that is biased toward the groomed (70mm or less waist) or more of a crud-buster, 76mm ski? That would likely determine where you should start your ski search. If you like the dimensions and feel of the Omni but want something beefier, check out either the K2 Apache Crossfire or the Head iXRC 1100. They are both similiar in dimensions and feel, but much more powerful and can handle speed better. If you want wider, the Recon is a good choice, as is the Rossi B2, the AC4, the Head Monster 77, Elan 666/Magfire 12, Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous, Dynastar Legend 8000 ect. Most brands make a "recommended" midfat these days-it all depends on whether you want more or less powerful, heavy or light, demanding or easy, smooth or lively ect. out of the ski. I would demo one well-regarded mid-fat, one sub-70mm carver, and perhaps one all-mountain slalom (75mm waist) to see what type of ski you like. Then, once you have nailed down the category, demo more skis of that genre. There are alot of good skis out there, but make sure you are comparing apples to apples when you demo. Also, you will likely ski between a 165 and 175, depending on your preference and the ski.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you both.

dawgcatching, you do have a good point on deciding what kind of ski I want. Even though I love skiing, I don't see myself in the near future having multiple skis for different applications. So with that in mind, I'm thinking a mid-fat might be a better choice for me. What do you think? But your suggestion of trying a ski type and then deciding what I really want is a good idea.

Phil, you didn't say anything about the Z9. Is that b/c you don't like it or you haven't tried it. I'm curious since opinions on particular skis would help me.

Again, thank you both.
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by skilife
Thank you both.

Phil, you didn't say anything about the Z9. Is that b/c you don't like it or you haven't tried it. I'm curious since opinions on particular skis would help me.

Again, thank you both.
Actually, both. I am just not a Rossi fan. They make a fine ski, they just do nothing for me.
If you are looking for a ski to add to your 5.5's, teh AC4 is a great choice. If you are going to replace them, concider the AC3. The Recon splits the wo of these skis.
post #6 of 21
Not to be a spoilsport, but I would suggest that the issue you observed when you hit up the steep, icy terrain has a lot less to do with the equipment than the maintenance record and your skills. Don't get me wrong, you may find more confidence on something more expensive, damp, or beefy, but this will be a coverup, not a cure.

For instance, if I ask you when the last time you had them tuned by a professional that knew what he or she was doing was, and your answer is more than one or two skier days prior to the incident, the skis have absolved themselves of guilt.

On an icy well packed run, the skis aren't going to start bouncing and flapping around without the skier getting that ball rolling, so to speak.

The 5.5 is a perennial favorite of the ski testing crowd because it is so competent for the relatively nice price, and my fat ass would have no qualms about skiing it (well tuned) on any terrain. I say this as someone who routinely skis on fancy-schmancy crap.

As to the Z9, its mostly a real "meh" ski, as Phil can guess without even skiing it. Any fun it generates is solely due to the skier getting a lot of bend into it. Also, it's not particularly happy in anything less than a pure arc on real hard snow. I'd be much more comfortable on an Omni 5.5 on real hardpack.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman
Not to be a spoilsport, but I would suggest that the issue you observed when you hit up the steep, icy terrain has a lot less to do with the equipment than the maintenance record and your skills. Don't get me wrong, you may find more confidence on something more expensive, damp, or beefy, but this will be a coverup, not a cure.

For instance, if I ask you when the last time you had them tuned by a professional that knew what he or she was doing was, and your answer is more than one or two skier days prior to the incident, the skis have absolved themselves of guilt.

On an icy well packed run, the skis aren't going to start bouncing and flapping around without the skier getting that ball rolling, so to speak.

The 5.5 is a perennial favorite of the ski testing crowd because it is so competent for the relatively nice price, and my fat ass would have no qualms about skiing it (well tuned) on any terrain. I say this as someone who routinely skis on fancy-schmancy crap.

As to the Z9, its mostly a real "meh" ski, as Phil can guess without even skiing it. Any fun it generates is solely due to the skier getting a lot of bend into it. Also, it's not particularly happy in anything less than a pure arc on real hard snow. I'd be much more comfortable on an Omni 5.5 on real hardpack.
Skilife,
Everybody has their own idea of what "high speed" really means, and I take it you did not have a gps running in your pocket at the time of your mishap. If you really were going at "high speed", then it would have only made little difference if you were Bode Miller; the 5.5 was not designed for high speeds. If you take a ski that was designed for 0 to 30 mph and ski it on ice at 60 mph, you will likely regret it.
Yes, it's true that a good highly skilled skier will be able to get more out of an ordinary run-of-the-mill ski than an unskilled one, and a ski in good tune will perform better. However every ski has its limits. This year, Realskiers reviews includes (highly controversial) speed ratings on skis. I highly recommend Realskier's reviews; they seem to be on the money in my book. It's worth the 20 bucks.

BTW they agree with Phil too.
post #8 of 21
I found the iM77 to be a great all mtn ski. Only had it a week at Snowbird, but the first few days was a foot of new snow every night and last part of the week was groomed and moguls with heavy packed powder. My research narrowed it to the AC3, AC4, iM77 or iM88. The new iM82 sound intriguing. There are many great skis out there. The general consensus will be to demo as many as possible. Most places have a program where your cost to demo will go toward your purchase. Every OEM has their version of an all mtn ski. I enjoyed having the extra width, while not ideal for powder, it made it much easier to manage. Those kind of powder days are rare for the occasional skier so you might focus on the all mtn aspect and rent skis for those extraordinary pow days. The 8800 also gets alot of press as a versatile ski.

Good Luck.

Good luck
post #9 of 21
Have you considered the Dynastar 4800 or possibly 8000? These are great skis in the midfat category. They do very well in western conditions, and it's my opinion that they are a bit more forgiving and flexible over multiple types of terrain than a couple others you mentioned. Recon is a great ski, and I would suggest you try it, but I have found that it does like speed, and I am wondering how much controlled high speed you are using at just 1.5 seasons in.

Also, as mentioned by pp, I would examine other aspects of equipment failure and the possibility of operator error before you dump your skis. It might not hurt to add to your stable as you progress, but I am not entirely convinced that this incident was *just the equipment.*

I find that a lot of my friends, especially men, are quick to jump on *equipment failue* as an explanation when they run into trouble, whereas I have a tendency to hop too quickly on the *operator error* bandwagon. First thing I would do is check your tune--check the edges for sharpness and nicks, and make sure you're taking the skis somewhere good, fairly frequently if you're getting out a lot. Then consider that an *ice flail* scenario is something that can happen to most anyone. I have been skiing for almost 24 years and have been skiing in excess of 25 days a season for the past several seasons, even as a *grown-up* with a family. I consider myself a pretty solid athlete and a fairly decent skier, and I have been known to bobble when things get icy, especially now that I have been living and skiing in the west for 12 years and have gotten used to softer conditions than those of my youth.

Maybe it's time for a lesson focused on variable conditions? I still take a clinic or a tune-up one-on-one whenever I have the time and money. Ice is certainly something I could use a refresher in! And good for you for embracing skiing so wholeheartedly in adulthood!

Mollie
post #10 of 21
Oh, I think I forgot to mention while on my soapbox that Omni 5.5 isn't the most high-end of the skis, if you really are getting into skiing faster. So regardless of any euip/operator error issues, you may indeed be moving beyond them. As a pp mentioned, check the reviews on realskiers.com. Not only are they fairly thorough, but they include in their reviews designations based on speed and specific levels of skiing.

Think snow,
Mollie
post #11 of 21
some wise words have been posted here.

when people talk about high end equipment, i sometimes wonder who skies it or at least who makes any use of it. my K2 axis x skis (one or two levels above the omis5.5s) are capable enough for being among the fastest and most controled handful on any hill. they are said to have mediocre ice grip, but with a regular tune, they ski just finde on the hard stuff with proper technique.

i mean i have skied some of the best skis on earth (or of switzerland :-) ), and yes, they excell, but still imho ist first the skier, second the tune and THIRD the ski. given we are not talking about some grossly bad ski choice.

you might want to look for a pair of skis in the upper mid range of each manufacturer, see what dimensions fit your needs and look for a bargain.

if you like the omnis over all, it is not too far fetched that an K2 apache X may be a good choice. spend the saved money over more expensive skis into some tuning equipment and outperform the posers on the next icy day.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you all very much. As snowdan said some wise words have been posted. I'm not the kind of person who would blame the equipment before my own faults. I'm by no means a great skier, but one thing that I am is a careful skier who considers everything b4 moving on the next thing. As I said in my original post, at the end of last season I was skiing blues and some blacks. It took me a long time for me to move from the greens to blues simply because I wanted to feel confident. I'm not the person who says, OK, I did a green twice I can move up to a blue and so on. I work on my technique until I feel confortable. I also believe in lessons. The first day I put a pair of skis on was the day I took my first lesson. And that lesson started by doing some leg flexes/movements without any skis on and then moving on to one ski on the right foot and then one ski on the left foot b4 putting both of them on. My ego when it comes to things I don't know is pretty small. I've always believe that the wisest thing one can do is to know what one doesn't know.

As far as tuning. I mentioned above that I had done this run on Thursday and then on Staturday. I had picked up my skies from the shop on Thursday. My run on Thursday was right after the skies had been tuned. So the tuning I assume, since it is a professional shop and I asked people how they liked their work, was done right.


I will be keeping the omnis so the new skies would be an addition but I'm looking for something that I can use more than 50%. I would say 80% in the conditions that I mentioned above.

Today, I'm demoing the AC4s. I think my next one will be the AC3s. And I will follow that with the Recon and next the Crossfile. Not sure where I will go from there yet but I will look into what snowdan has said.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
2 thoughts just occured to me...

1) If after I demo a bunch of skies I don't see any difference on what I'm doing, I will say to myself. "Well, I think you need to improve a lot more before you move on the next ski."

2) I know that after 1.5 season I'm only a beginner when it comes to time skiing, but I ask the question. If someone my age (I think age makes a difference when I compare my son to myself in the amount of improvements we do) says to me. I've been skiing for 10 years. I take my vacation in Vail and ski 5 days. Is that person improving his skiing as much as someone who has been skiing 1.5 seasons and gets out there 2-3 times a week? I believe when it comes to sports, repetion will go a long way. I guess what I'm saying is that is not necessesarily the number of years skiing but the time you put into it. But again, I do have a long ways to go and if I didn't think that, I wouldn't had posted here and ask for your advice.
post #14 of 21
No offense intended, skilife, and I as I said, good for you for embracing skiing so wholeheartedly as an adult. As someone who gets out in excess of twenty days a year, you are certainly improving at a faster rate than people whose ten years of skiing consists only of yearly, 5-7 day ski vacations, and you will probably continue improving at an epic pace.

My primary intended point (although probably not very clear, as it was the end of a long day dealing with a two-year-old hopped up on birthday cake ) was just not to get into too much ski, as that could be worse than too little. The Omnis can only carry you so far, but don't be in too much of a hurry to hop on the best-reviewed skis, as they may be a bit too much, which could push your progress backwards, rather than forwards. I have done this, and it's an awful mistake.

Most of my skiing friends are ex-racers who have skied multiple days weekly for thirty years or so years and done things like coach ski camps in Europe. I didn't start skiing until I was nine and the first few years I only skied 1-2 days every other week or so and then a week in a row each year during family ski vacations. My ski days have increased steadily over the years, but it's only in the past six years or so that I have been able to regularly fit in as many as 25-40 days. Skiing with the folks I ski with, though, and skiing the sort of terrain I have been skiing, I was in a big hurry to get on some pretty aggressive skis of various sorts. Now, I am only 5'2" and about 110lbs, so guess what? I can't flex some of those skis very well, at least in the lengths in which they are available or at speeds below mach schnell. So my skiing suffered, because I wasn't skiing on the right skis.

Now I have embraced my small size, and I am actually skiing on womens' skis, which I never thought I would do, with my hardcore friends who would never be caught dead on skis with forward mounting positions and *gasp* flowers. Love my Lotta Luvs, though, and I have been skiing more difficult terrain well and hopping off more cornices with more grace than I was before.

I really would suggest you try Dynastar 4800 and 8000. (8800 might be a little much underfoot with amount of groomed you ski, and 4800 might be a little too damp--try the 8000, I guess.) They are very good skis (I almost bought 8000 and might still) with a great mix of attributes. I found the 8000 to be very at home off-piste, surprisingly good in the bumps, also suprisingly fun and stable carving big arcs on the front side. The also have the advantage of being pretty light, which is great for hiking and in moguls. Recon is a good ski, but much heavier and burlier, which is fun on the front side and when driving through crud, but could be a disadvantage if you get into the moguls.

Good luck with the skiing and the demo process. And watch where you demo--I thought I hated a couple skis because I first demo-ed them from places where they didn't care for them very well!

Mollie
post #15 of 21
Oh, and one other thought. . .

Once you've got the skis narrowed down to a couple of models you like, you might want to ski the demos with an instructor friend or in a lesson and see what the instructor has to say. I skied a bunch of demos while skiing in clinics and with instructor friends, and they were really able to pick up on some things about length and flex and how they impacted my skiing. Very helpful in making final selections. Little, nitpicky things that I might not have caught myself, but that made a big difference in the end.

And definitely read ski reviews on realskiers.com. I found their level/speed ratings to be very informative.

Mollie
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mollie. I didn't take offense, but I just wanted to point out fact.

I already subscribed to realskiers.com. Yes, the $20 is nothing when the ultimate decision will be hundreds.

I do understand what you mean about too much ski. That's the reason I bought the Omnis. I didn't want to get over my head. But I do feel that I'm beyond them for the most part. I would probably still use them as rock skis.

Today I tried the AC4s. I had a free voucher for them. I tried them in 163cm. Let me tell you, now I know that the Omnis were holding me back. I don't think I got much better since Saturday until today as a skier, but I felt so much more in control with the AC4s than the Omnis. I did the best carving that I have ever done. And I could ski faster (you guys are right, no GPS in my pocket.)

I will keep you updated as I keep testing. Next day skiing will be Thursday. I'll see what I can get from the shop. You idea of having someone watch me once I've narrowed my selection is a good idea.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by skilife
Today I tried the AC4s. I had a free voucher for them. I tried them in 163cm. Let me tell you, now I know that the Omnis were holding me back. I don't think I got much better since Saturday until today as a skier, but I felt so much more in control with the AC4s than the Omnis. I did the best carving that I have ever done. And I could ski faster (you guys are right, no GPS in my pocket.)
I have an old saying "once you hit oil...stop drilling", Go back to the shop and get the AC4's. The time you will save by making this decision roght away (time=money), you can spend on a private lesson.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
I have an old saying "once you hit oil...stop drilling", Go back to the shop and get the AC4's. The time you will save by making this decision roght away (time=money), you can spend on a private lesson.
Yes, I did feel that way Phil, but at my local shop I can demo 2 or 3 times (can't remember right now) and apply the money to the purchase of skis. So that leaves me with at least 2-3 more demos that are free in a sense. I was also thinking last night, but if this hole only has 2 million barrels and the next one has 10 million? :
post #19 of 21
I agree, as long as there's no cost, keep demo'ing. You MAY confuse yourself, but if it gets that confusing as to which ski you prefer, maybe buy the cheapest of the bunch. However, I want to caution you about selecting a pair of skis that were great because the day was great and remind you (probably needlessly) that it's better to demo all your skis on the same day on the same trails and the same conditions. Best case, find a trail long enough to have tons of variety in its conditions - bumps, ice, deep crud, etc. so that everything gets tested out well.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky
...However, I want to caution you about selecting a pair of skis that were great because the day was great and remind you (probably needlessly) that it's better to demo all your skis on the same day on the same trails and the same conditions...
sibhusky, how true that is and I had thought about that already. I'm making sure that I try to test for similar conditions as much as possible.
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Finally did it. I bought a pair of Nordica Eliminator. I felt that these will be great in the conditions I skied most often. I know I can ski anything from icy to knee deep powder with them. If I ever go where is more powder than that on a certain day, I will rent a pair until I can afford to buy me a pair that would be more suitable for those conditions.

Thank you all for your advice.

But wouldn't you know it... Thursday Feb 16th, the first day with my new skis, I took a fall and twisted my knee. Been out since then, I'm hopping to go up this weekend. My doctor said that it doesn't appear to be any tears, and that due to my strong legs (keep them in shape) my knee was saved.
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