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The more I read..... The more confused I get :)

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
So some help would be greatly appreciated.

First off let me tell you a bit about myself. I'm a 23 year old level 8-9 skier whos 5'10", 150lbs, and I try to get in 30 days of skiing a year. I'm aggressive and strong for my weight, but fear skis that people claim you have to muscle around as I'm not certain I have the strength.

For those who know Vermont ski areas my favorite runs are basically anything at Mad River Glen, the Castlerock chair at Sugarbush, and the many glades up at Jay Peak. I guess I love bumps and trees the most. But of course given New England conditions I also need a ski that can comfortably get me between my favorite runs, and through the days the snow gods passed us by.

I've been a skier who's convinced himself (mostly because I had no money) that keeping up with equipment wasn't important, learning to ski well is. So I'm still on 6 year old 198cm straight skis. I've managed to scrape together a solid amount of cash and am excited to buy new skis (and join the shape ski revolution) this year.

I originally thought I needed to spend time demoing skis before I bought. In a perfect world that would be great, but I fear that by the time I'm ready to buy the prices will be at their highest. Then I read so many posts saying how any of the good skis are great at this point and as long as you pick out something appropriate you'll love whatever you buy. I like this idea because I might be able to pick something up for cheap in the next few weeks.

Either way, whether I take the plunge without trying them out, or wait and start demoing once we have some snow, I'm a confused person when it comes to what might be right for me and would love your opinions. I'm not even sure what category of skier I fit under. I'm guessing All-Mountain Expert given my desire to tackle it all, but in none of the categories have I found a mention of what works best for moguls since that's my main concentration.

I've read a ton and created a long list of skis that might be right: Atomic's 10.2, 11.2, and Tenex : K2's Mod X from last year and thus the Axis X from this year, even this year's Mach S : Rossignal's Bandit X, and their T Power Viper X got the only mention in "Ski" as being a great mogul ski.

Any way you can help me get some semblence of understanding in this crazy world would be much appreciated.

Thanks for putting up with my incredible ramblings.
post #2 of 19
A couple of points:
1) You openly admit to still skiing on straight skis (admitting that you have a problem is the first step). That is a good thing. However, there is a big difference switching from a 200-cm "old school" ski to 180-190-cm shaped ski. Just the size issue alone should prompt you to demo. Also concerning size, ski anything in about a 180 and tell me it isn't fun in the bumps! (inresponse to the Viper X comment) Especially coming off a 198 straight!

2) I really think that the marketing in the ski tests can be misleading to folks who spend most of their time on hard snow. IMHO, a 21-year old local who rips Snowbird on a 195 XXX is much different than a weekend warrior hitting Stowe every Saturday on a Volkl Carver. Both have very different needs. You might actually like a 195 XXX in the glades of MRG, but I bet that most would not. Just another reason to try before you buy.

3) Despite the hype, there actually is a bit of truth in the ski mag tests. Remember who the testers are - Pro skiers, certified instructors, etc. They spend more time on the snow than most of us, and so when a ski is called "sketchy at top speeds" or "for strong skiers only" one should consider the source. For instance, I demoed the Atomic 10.20 from last season. It was one of those "muscle skis" that the mags menioned. As it turns out, they were exactly right. For me, it ranked in my top three for the day, but compared to others which initiate turns easier, it was a lot of work. Again, only personal insight that can be gained from the demo process.

With that being said, there are many fine skis out there these days. The K2 Axis and Salomon X-Scream are a couple that come to mind, because they are great for a while range of skiers. If you toss all of my convincing arguments about the demo process aside and decide to cash in on the deals, check out those yellow K2's and Salomon's that everyone was on last season and oyu'll be fine. Just buy the right size. ;^)
post #3 of 19
My reaction to this issue is to buy two of last years offerings. If you are in a demo program, you will probably be paying close to top dollar for any 2002 gear.

At the end of last season, I bought Volkl P-40's in the size I needed for just slightly above the pro-form price of $229..... I think I paid $249. They also had some great deals on the G series......... so for $500 in skis and $250 in bindings I could have been set for most anything.

If you just have to have those new P-50's for about $950...... great, but I like my SL's somedays and GS cruisers others. A full quiver with all new "top line" goodies is a wonderful thing to dream about though.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by yuki (edited September 24, 2001).]</FONT>
post #4 of 19
First off, definitely go with last year's skis.. no need to every pay full shop cost for anything. I agree with Bandit Man - the Mod X and X-Scream are great all around skis - and if you can find these cheap they would be a steal. Given the changing conditions and terrain in the east these can be a versitile tool to have. Especially if you are only buying one pair and don't have the option to change gear based on the day's conditions.

Secondly, I ski the same terrain/areas and am of a similiar build (5'10 - 165) so I may be able to help on the length issue. I went from 198cm straight skis (Viper S) to 197 and 195 cm shaped skis (Dynastar ATV and Salomon X-Scream). I'm pretty strong and still have some problems with the X-Screams in that length - but the softer ATV I could do anything with. You may want to consider going 188cm instead. I skied a pair of Mod X's last year in this length and loved them.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
First off thank you all so much for your time in making some excellent replys to my question. (For some reason some of them didn't make it over to this new forum)

The only thing that I can be certain of after reading all your posts, is that everyone has a very different opinion of what works for them. [img]smile.gif[/img]

I still haven't decided exactly what to do, but my reaction at this point is to swallow the costs and demo. Both because I may end up with skis I enjoy more after trying them out (I sure wouldn't know what to buy without trying, too many skis are mentioned both as being great, or being poor for what I want to do with them), but also because I think I could learn a lot about my skiing and about skis in the process.

I'm still a bit confused on a couple of topics. First off skis seem to be recommended that come from very different categories. I'm still a little confused as to which style of ski best fits my type of skiing. (or are these groupings of skis into styles BS) And then what length would correspond with each type of ski for my size. I had been thinking I would end up in the 181-184 ski length range which has kind of split the middle on your recommendations.

One final question for those who aren't sick of me yet, if I were to scrap this whole idea and try to pick up two pairs of skis to cover all conditions, which two either skis or styles of skis would I be looking for, and what condition would each be for?

Thanks so much again, I checked out a bunch of forms on the net this year trying to get up to speed on equipment and quench my thirst for skiing, and this is by far the busiest and most intersting. I'm glad I found it.

post #6 of 19
Check out the Bandit X or XX in a 184 (i think they make it)Either ski is very versatile, and would be able to handle any condiditions in VT
post #7 of 19

Welcome aboard by the way.

Contact your local mountains and a few of the shops in your area or sales reps and see if they are going to sponsor a "Demo day" A lot of the resorts team up with a shop or ski mfg to have demo days where you can, either for a small fee or sometimes free, try as many skis as you want during the day. Other resorts sometimes have special days that they put together a demo/lesson/tour type day where they put you on shaped skis and give you pointers to help you adjust to shaped skis. I would say you did the right thing even if it was unintentional. And that is to learn to be a better skier first. Those skills will follow you to what ever equipment you decide on. The equipment can be replaced or may get discontinued and if it was the equipment that got you where you are ....

I have not yet experienced the east coast skiing so I will not make any judgements regarding skiing out there however I liked Atomics for hard pack. I'm skiing on the Salomon X-Scream Series in a 187. 160lbs. lvl 8-9 5'8" Medium agressive skier 41 yr old.

Good luck..
post #8 of 19
SkiMad, if you have limited resources I would buy last years skis now. I am not a big proponent of demoing.
For one thing, tune on a ski has a great deal to do with how you like a ski and the demos will be different from you own.
Second, you will most likely pick a ski that complements your mistakes rather than complements your good technique.
If you don't care about getting better and ski just for entertainment, then absolutely demo. If you want to get sudstantially better, then pick a ski that the experts say skis the way you want to ski, instead of the way you ski now and learn to ski them.
post #9 of 19

As someone who has always loved demoing skis, I'll thrown in my $.02.

I've bought skis both ways many times over the years - demo first to find what I liked versus buying first (usually because the deal was too good to pass up) and then finding out how they skied. Both have resulted in skis that I really liked.

In all honesty, I think demoing first (for me, anyway) results in the best fit. I like to find a shop that has three or four models/lengths I'm interested in and then ski all of them the same day, on the same runs and in similar conditions. Whenever I do that, there always seems to be that *one* special ski that just clicks with how I turn, where my weight is, etc. I can usually tell it in the first dozen turns.

On the downside of demoing - as Spinheli points out - is the horrible lack of consistency in how demo skis are tuned from shop to shop. I'm lucky enough to know the guys in the two shops I normally demo from, so I can pretty reliably get skis that are tuned well. If you don't have that resource, demoing may not tell you anything at all. You may hate a ski because of the tune (or lack thereof) rather than because of the ski itself.

So, that brings us to buying without trying. I think so many of today's skis are fantastic that it's hard to go wrong. I think we debate ever-smaller qualities that we *perceive* as comparative "deficiencies". Yet, I think almost any all-mountain ski today (you mentioned several) works *much* better across the spectrum of conditions than what we had five years ago. So, I think you could probably buy one of those models without demoing and be ecstatic with the result.

Finally, just to confuse you a little more, if *I* was making a ski choice and my primary skiing was Eastern snow and moguls, I'd probably go with a little less fat than a couple of your possibilities. I think things like the Bandit X, the Viper X, and the Mach S are just a bit quicker edge-edge and slighty better for the conditions you would normally be skiing. I demoed the Mach S last spring and thought it was a wonderful ski (although I didn't ski it in anything deep or soft).

post #10 of 19
I dont mean to contradict you gonzo, but honestly i would skip the midfat design alltogether if you want a deffinite eastern ski. I dont think that even the G3 will hold up to the bullet proof ice we get here. I know that there are only a few days that i dont have to work my Xscreams to get them to hold, granted they arent quite as much of a ski as the G3 but the same basic shape. If i were you i would buy a more race oriented ski, whether you get a race ski or a high end carving ski... Shorty slalom race skis are all hot skis, these skis obviously ski around a 160 - 170 for you and are absolutely a blast. They will ski anything you ask them to (some of them you have to ask nicer than others). While the G3 would be good for skiing in the trees you may find it less than enjoyable when you came out onto an icy double black. Another ski you may want to look at (if you can find any) are volkl p40 platimuns, i havent skied them but i hear they make an excellent eastern ski and have a 65mm (??) waist that will suffice on the few powder and crud days we get. Either way you go, chose a ski that likes ice, you wont ever be dissappointed. When i bought my Xscreams i thought that midfats were the greatest thing since sliced bread... now ive come to realize that they are more directed at the western crowd fo skiers because they are more at home on that type of snow. Try to find a slalom or racecarver that is not expensive, you will love the skis.
good luck and have fun on whatever you chose
(this was posted after a reply gonzo had made on the old forum, i was going to copy his post over and quote him but i did not have his permission do do so, but he said that he thought that the best ski to use in the east was the Volkl G3).
post #11 of 19

Forget the Mag categories! Why is a Dynastar Intuitiv 74 an AME and a Freerider Ski, while a K2 Axis X Pro is only for AME's and not Freerider's? Okay, just a silly example. Find a couple of skis that either you think you might like, or have been recommended. Then look at what they are claimed to do best. An Atomic 9.20 Race will out-perform a Rossi XX in some conditions, but get schooled by the XX in others. That being said, you might rule out really fat boards first. If you ever get out west, just demo those. Next, think whether you'll be on the groomers or in off-trail more. If you are still confused, and can find them, get a pair of Atomics, an X-Scream or a Mod. Your size range 181-184 sounds fine. I understand the desire to scoop up the bargains. It is a big temptation even those of use with full quivers fight this time of year, as well!
post #12 of 19
Lot of good advice in here and a lot of excellent skis recommended. Because you have been skiing on straight and long skis by the standards for the newer shaped skis, I recommend having a lesson first. This will get you carving on the shorter and more shaped skis and will get you feeling the change and understanding what works for you. Tell your instructor what you have in mind and you will get some good feedback.

Then go and demo armed with this information and your impressions of the skis used in your lesson. I agree that it makes sense to avoid buying the latest models, you should get good discounts on older models and won't really lose anything in performance. (And anyway the difference from your current old skis will still be huge!)

Good luck, have fun, and let us know what you decided on.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Again thank you all so much for your great responses. I've learned a lot from what you've said and promise to keep you posted over the next few months with what I end up with.

Who knows maybe I'll see some of you New Englanders out on the slopes.

post #14 of 19
Don't let xscream talk you out of the Volkl Vertigo line. I skied the G20 last year (since renamed G21, then G2) and it had plenty of edge hold for the (rare) blue ice eastern day last season. Even with telemark boots... The only problem with it was that I bought mine too short. 178cm to 183cm probably would have been ideal for me.

If anything, the G3 should be a little better on hard surfaces than the G2, as it is stiffer.
post #15 of 19
I have bought skis both ways, but I prefer to demo. I bought my current pair -- a mid-fat -- a couple of years ago when I lived in Colorado. I love 'em, but worried that when I moved to Boston it would be the wrong ski for eastern ice. Although last year's snow was apparently better than normal [please God, tell me its not true! [img]smile.gif[/img]], I thought a mid fat was the perfect ski here as well. Especially if you ski places like Jay with any regularity. If you have good technique, you should be able to hold an edge on nearly any mid fat - even around here.

If you decide you want to demo skis, there is a Demo Day sponsered by Bob Smith's WIlderness House on Tusday, December 4th at Loon Mountain. It should be a chance to try several different pairs. Good luck!
post #16 of 19
Don't be afraid to go shorter. I mean real short.
post #17 of 19
Atomics, K2. Rossi, Volkl all make fine products. Demo if you can since you already are an 8-9 level skier so you know your away around the sport. Try to figure where you ski most. If you don't compete, then a free rider should do it....an all around ski that skis all conditions well. Check the ski mags for thier recommendations only as a way to develop a list of skis you want to demo.

Good Luck and remember.....
post #18 of 19
I would demo. I'm not sure about the northern vermont ski areas near you, but if you can make it down to killington, they have a demo day where you can try out skis from most manufacturers for about 10 bucks. Check www.rsn.com or www.killington.com. If you can wait till after christmas, I think you'll find that the prices go down significantly. Given, this year's start to the ski season, waiting might not be a big deal. I have a pair of k2 mach s skis, I haven't used them yet, so I don't know how they'll be in the trees, but I've got the same dillema as you. I want something quick with edgehold that's gonna float too.
post #19 of 19
I was in the same boat your are in, but last year. Sking in 8 year old straight boards and decideded to see what all the fuss was over these funny looking skis. I was always of the school "its the indian not the arrow".The first run I was convinced....no competition. I was sold.

From there I spent most of last season demoing skis. I looked on the manufacuteres web sites and targeted the ski areas they would be demoing that weekend. I would suggest demoing from manufacuteres. I have had mixed expereiences demoing from "rental/demo" shops. (I demoed a pair of Bandits last year that were sharpened with a claw hammer.)

I an a "right coast" skier and ski the same conditions you are descibing. And after demoing many skis, I settled on two... Salomon 3v or the Rossi T-Power Viper. Both quick, fun and livley. Not great in deep (NE deep = 4-6") heavy snow, but I'm not off the beaten path that often. I settled on the 3v.

Anyway, DEMO DEMO DEMO, its the best way. The problem comes when you are trying to find those perfect skis at the end of the season. It was not easy finding a 3v the last week of February.
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