EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Can't afford to demo. Help me pick one of these skis.
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Can't afford to demo. Help me pick one of these skis.

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Skier: 5'10" 155lbs. Level 8, mostly aggressive skier.

I'm looking for a ski that can handle the steeps, a small dose of the heavier powder and crud of the PNW, as well as speedy turns on the groomers and any of the trees and bumps that I decide to throw at it. Basically, the swiss army knife of skis that does 50/50 piste/off. After exhaustive research, I've narrowed it down to 4 similar skis:

Elan Magfire 12 (116/76/102 - 16.1@168)
Fischer AMC 76 (120/76/106 - 16@170)
Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous/Top Fuel (123/78/108 - 15.8@170)
Head Monster iM77 (119/77/104 - 16.5@170)

I know its going to be tough to really know unless I demo, especially with such similar skis, but being the starving college student that I am, I dont think I can afford it.

I havent read much at all on the AMC 76, but I gather that the Head is the stiffest of the bunch - just how stiff I dont know. I was leaning towards the Head but I'm wary about how it does in the bumps. Are they race planks or are they just "stiff"? I think I also read that the Magfire 12 was a very similar ski to the iM77 but a little more forgiving as well, I cant be sure about that though. I know the Top Fuel is a stiffer version of the Nitrous with more metal, but again, how does it compare with the Head?

I've been a loooong time renter and the only ski that I have skied that can compare with the above choices is the Volkl AC4 I tried at Breck which I found to be a lot of fun. Super easy to ski, stable at speed, cranked out all the turns I asked for, and surprisingly bump-able considering its width. I'm not including it because I have another ski on my mind for the powder and I'm looking for something with a waist just below 80mm.

Anyway, I anticipate your responses. :
post #2 of 19
what kind of line do you usually ski in the bumps?
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Not a zipper line, but working towards it with good progress.

It doesnt need to be a star in the bumps as long as it is serviceable and allows me to improve without too much teeth gnashing.
post #4 of 19
Is there any reason you didn't include the Legend 8000 in the list? It would be my first pick for the PNW.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Wanted a slightly shorter radius ski.
post #6 of 19
Of those, one of the Nordicas, hands down. Just choose metal (TF) or not (Nitrous).
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
Of those, one of the Nordicas, hands down.
Why the Nordica over the others?
post #8 of 19
the more time you spend working the z line in bumps, the less you want a metal sheet in your ski.
post #9 of 19
You might also consider the narrower-waisted (74 mm) Nordicas (Modified: metal; Eliminator: no metal). A bit turnier than the 78-waisted models and similar feel. From what you said you wanted, you might like them better.
post #10 of 19
I actually think the Head i.M 72 wouldn't be a bad choice since you are looking for a 50/50 ski and are a lighter weight skier. If you are looking more 70/30 off-piste then the 77 is probably a better pick.

They are also surprisingly cheap. Give dawgcatching a PM and ask for prices.
post #11 of 19
The AMC76 is a really versatile ski for the terrain and conditions you are skiing. It is not overly stiff, but not having skied the others on your list, I can't compare it to them. I've skied the AMC76 in a variety of conditions and terrain including bumps, steeps, powder, crud, and groomed, and so far have found nothing that they don't handle comfortably. I am 165 lb. I have them in 170cm length, but I probably would buy 165s if I had it to do over again. I favor a more rounded line in the bumps which the AMC does well. The wide tip might not be so good for zipper lining.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxjl
I actually think the Head i.M 72 wouldn't be a bad choice since you are looking for a 50/50 ski and are a lighter weight skier. If you are looking more 70/30 off-piste then the 77 is probably a better pick.

They are also surprisingly cheap. Give dawgcatching a PM and ask for prices.
i second that. the 170 iM 72 carried my 160lbs well in boot-deep. it has all the edge grip you will ever need. you need to like the wide, stiff shovel, though. i don't do so too much. it gives the the ski too much SL-ski feel. just my 2cts. but still a very good ski anyway! i guess it is especially good in heavy snow due to its stiffness.
post #13 of 19
Having skied 3 of the 4 (plus the iM72, but not the Nordica, but I know it on reputation) you have a good list going. All of these are top-notch, but do various things a bit better than others. As I haven't skied the TF (ask me again in 3 weeks) I can't speak for it, but,

Magfire 12: fairly stiff/aggressive, not the best in bumps, very stable and smooth through crud, powerful tail, GS feel

Monster 77: tighter turn radius, little better float in crud, heavier and more bulldozer feel, yet turnier in the bumps

Monster 72: a bit turnier yet, softer tips (ideal in the bumps), stable at most any speed, more nimble than the others listed (cheaper price too!), really forgiving for the performance

Fischer AMC 76: lighter, more nimble feeling ski with a GS radius (17m), not quite as stable.
post #14 of 19
Nordica Top Fuel(78mmwaist) or Modified(74mmwaist) are both great choices not only for the ski, but the plate as well. The xbalance plate system has a great feel and compliments the ski.
post #15 of 19
why not do the demo days at the mountains? The mfr's show up and it costs you nuttin' but your time. You'll have to buy a lift ticket, but you won't pay to rent demos. You will also need to go to a few diff. places to find the mfrs. you want. No money, got time, way to go...
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses guys! I'm factoring in the 72 as it sounds like a good bet though I was looking for something a little fatter in the waist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching
Monster 77: tighter turn radius, little better float in crud, heavier and more bulldozer feel, yet turnier in the bumps
By bulldozer feel, do you mean its beefy and must me muscled around?

I look forward to your impressions of the Top Fuel!
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dug
Thanks for all the responses guys! I'm factoring in the 72 as it sounds like a good bet though I was looking for something a little fatter in the waist.


By bulldozer feel, do you mean its beefy and must me muscled around?

I look forward to your impressions of the Top Fuel!
Not really muscled around, just stable and blows through anything. It doesn't feel appreciably heavy (unless you compare it to a lighter ski like the AMC's), but nothing seems to get in it's way. No bounce, just a real steady feel. Like this: I skied the 77, and the crud just seemed to part underneath the ski, not deflecting me at all. I got on another ski, and was using much more energy to stay on top of the ski-it was like the snow had suddenly become heavier and much less inclinded to move out of my way. The iM77 Chip, for me, was the best "crudbuster" I skied all day (that included about 8 or 9 skis). But, the varying opinions you will get on this subject really shows that, if at all possible, try and demo something first. Luckily, there is hardly a bad ski out there, but lots of skis that aren't good matches with skiers.
post #18 of 19
Dug - your PM box is all full so I'm posting the response to your binding plate question here.

The issue with landing jumps in the park isn't with the free flexing stuff. The issue is that a plate/riser/lifter adds additional height off the ski and snow surface. You really don't want to be higher because that makes landing jumps more difficult. Think of it in the extreme - 12" of stand height. Think about how hard it would be to land on your skis if your bindings were 12" off the top of them. Now you should understand the issue with plates/risers/lifters on park skis. This is why all the free mount jib style bindings are flat mount with hardly any lift. It has nothing to do with creating a flat spot under your boot - jibbers could care less about that.
post #19 of 19
FWIW I bought a pair of Im77 chips(fromdawg) and I love em' . Have skiied them on rockhard ice to shin deep powder but as mentioned, they are fantastic when it comes to chopped up snow. I was after an all mountain ski that could cruise through crud and that is definitely what I got. I'm goiing to try them tomorrow in the +15 position to see how they feel.
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