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Frustrated: Karma or B3 input sought

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Have searched searched searched and no one has put these two together in a thread so I thought I would. Was going to go buy the Gotamas but did a bunch more research on them, went and looked, reviewed specs and came down with my one-ski-quiver choice as the Rossi B3 or Volkl Karma instead.

Your input would be greatly appreciated...

I am 6'2", 190lbs and ski primarily in Tahoe. I'm a skilled, strong, fast skier (race background) that avoids bumps and the park like the plague. I spend 80% of my time off-piste, but fast GS turns on groomers still call to me now and then and as with almost all Tahoe-area resorts, I end up spending more time than I would like on get-backs. I can ride switch but see no reason to do so, ever. I currently ride a circa-99/00 Bandit XX in 195 (have been demoing as well).

I am looking for a one-ski-quiver. One ski that will handle the occasional pow but more likely will be regularly seeing day-old junked-up crud and spring conditions (fair-weather-commuter-to-Tahoe-and-all-that).

Both skis have done extremely well in Skiing, Ski and Powder reviews. Both are recomended here. Both have similar measurements. I suspect both have different feel (Rossi = damp / Karma = lively). Construction doesn't make a diff to me.

Your opinions?

Also, I'm lost on length and am of the impression that both skis feel and ski differently between their top-2 lengths. Given that I ski fast, am used to longer skis (for almost 20 years on nothing shorter than 205s), I am considering the longest length in both, but some reviews report that it's hard to get both of them to come around in the longest lengths...

Finding long-length B3s and Karmas to demo is a PITA. I'm pretty certain both would be a solid choice, but let me hear your thoughts, please.

post #2 of 11
Originally Posted by makakio
I am looking for a one-ski-quiver. One ski that will handle the occasional pow but more likely will be regularly seeing day-old junked-up crud and spring conditions
Blizzard Titan Nine 188 is the ski you want.
post #3 of 11
If you avoid the bumps and park like the plague, I see little reason for a twin tip as any twin will lack the feel of a conventional ski at the finish of the turn. I think the Karma while fun and playful won't have the more serious feel that you sound like you want. The B3 is an awsome crudbuster and does fairly well for gee-essy turns on groomers too. You could also consider the Atomic M-EX.


post #4 of 11
I ski Karmas in 185cm as the soft snow "arrow" in my three-ski quiver (other two skis are Elan M666 mid-fats in 184cm and Fischer RX-8 in 180cm). The Karmas are wonderful in powder and spring snow, and will certainly function as an all-mountain ski for soft snow conditions. If you get them on hardpack or corduroy, you'll probably be a little disappointed. They do carve very well considering the softer flex and the wide waist, but they are not as good as a mid-fat or carving ski, obviously. I though they were a little skittish on corduroy, but later in the day they were great on the skier-softened loose snow. Overall, I find them to be fun bombers you can use to attack all kinds of terrain.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the replies. Did some research on the Titan Nine's (mainly over at TGR where I could find it). It looks like a great ski. Scouting for it at reasonable prices has not been easy, tho. I likewise have researched a lot of the reviews on the VKs as well as the B3s (harder, as most search engines won't recognize any words < 3 characters long). I'm inclined to lean towards the B3s based on ratings, postive familiarity w/ Rossi (Volkl too, but that goes back a lot more years) and relative availability of the ski. Thank you.
post #6 of 11
for 3 character words put a * at the end. it will act as a filler.
post #7 of 11
Have owed Karmas, skied B-3's quite a bit this year. Nod clearly goes to B-3's, given you don't do bumps or park. Karmas are better on ice, float's a toss, but B-3's better in crud, cleaner finish on average groomed, quicker edge to edge, more friendly to various techniques. Can't speak to Titans.
post #8 of 11
Input from someone who just bought Karmas.... For the kind of terrain I ski, I think they were a great choice for me. But if you don't aspire to ski park or get in the bumps, I'm not sure they're for you.

I've heard good things about the B3. But at your size, are you worried about "packing out" a ski w/ a foam core? If you're looking at something w/ the width of the B3, have you considered the Head Monster iM88? An Elan ski? Might want to see if Dawgcatcher still has any good deals available. You'll also find a lot of raves about the Dynastar 8800.

Good luck!
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Great feedback guys - much appreciated. I've not had experience w/ Elans since about 1990 so would want to demo them. The iM88 gets a TON of good press - I've though about those and the Dynastars as well (again - would feel strongly about setting up a demo day as I don't remember Dynastars very positively (4x4 years) and Head is an unknown to me (well, since the mid-80s anyway).

As for the foam-core issue: I once killed a pair of Rossi 3Gs in one season where I logged about 90 days on-mountain, but they were Rossi's first-gen foam skis (circa 1988). My more recent experience is with my 99/00 Bandit XX, which after about 75 days still feel solid and crisp (if a little long, and plenty narrow).
post #10 of 11

I very much dislike the B3

Just my opinion of course. I skied the B3 in a 177? which was a bit short for me, but I ended up with monster 88's in a 175 that held up great to my forward pressure style. Not sure how modern your style is, but if you tend to pressure the front of your boot, I think you'll be dissappointed. I'm sure with time I would have adjusted to keeping more centered with a more modern technique. But my old blizzard 8.2(185) as well as the outlaw(181), monster(175), mantra(177), and snoop daddy(185) all responded well to my current technique. why change my style if it works and their are plenty of skis that work with it.

Yeah maybe I should modernize my style but in my experience forward pressure on a ski lets the ski absorb much of the impact of crud, bumps, etc.
post #11 of 11
I've skied B2s for the last couple of years and thought they were pretty versatile. They got me off the trail and into the steeps and trees. Now that I've progressed, I'm looking for something new. I demoed the new B3s on a pow day (knee deep) and was less than impressed. They could have a little more float in the deeper stuff. They were good in crud and surprised me in bumps.

I demoed the iM 88 with a bad tune and still thought they were great. They sucked on piste because they had no edge, but were great in the soft stuff. They were really stable at high speeds. I want to demo them again with a good tune. Only negative that I felt was that they were pretty heavy and I'm looking for the "one ski quiver" I can put some Fritschis on to do some backcountry stuff on, as well. My friend swears by Atomics, so I might try the Sugar Daddy next, although they seem a little wide for an "all-mountain" ski.
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