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Need Advice on ski selection

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hey all, I'm new to these forums (well first time posting, been lurking on and off for a year) and would love to get some advice. I'm looking to buy a new set of skis and am not positive what way I should go.

About me:
Male, 6 feet, 200 lbs, 33 y.o.
Ability: Level 7, been skiing for about a season and a half. I can ski just about anything that's groomed but have a really tough time in crud and chop. I don't ski through trees, rocks, or anything suicidal like that. I've still got a long way to go toward perfecting my technique, but I'm making progress fairly quickly.
Where I ski: I ski mostly at Bogus Basin and Brundage in Idaho. That's southwest Idaho pretty much in the foothills of the Rockys. I usually prefer to stick with either groomed or skier packed runs, but I've found that different skis have helped me get more off the beaten path, which is where I'd like to be able to go. We get ice and/or slush in early season and in the spring, but overall we have good conditions most of the time. I tend to ski on harder blues and most blacks and when I want to challenge myself, I practice on crud filled blacks. I ski'd about 25 days this season and plan to do about the same per season going forward.

The skis I'm on now are some cheap-o Rossignol Super Axiums that I got as a lease buy out. I demo'd some higher end skis this past weekend and have a new found hatred for my current skis (I hadn't ever been on anything else). I tried Head M82s (loved them), Nordica Afterburners (loved them, though 178 was too long for me), and another pair of Rossignols but I forget the model (didn't care for them at all, felt a lot like my current skis).

I found that on the M82s and the Afterburners, I could just ski straight through 90% of the crud on the hill, ended up skiing smoother than I've ever been, and felt very very comfortable mostly because I wasn't getting bounced around all over the place. Both pairs felt like I was on top of bull dozers.

After demo'ing those, I came home and did some research (mostly on these boards). I read dawgcatching's review that compared the M82s, M88s, and M77 chips head to head (no pun intended), and that got me thinking I would do even better on M77 chips mostly because of my skill level and because I still find myself recovering from getting my weight pushed too far back on the skis often (not leaning forward enough).

The problem is none of the shops around here have M77s or M77 chips that I can demo. I'm going to be on M82s again this weekend (we've got a forecast for another foot of snow!!) so I should get a full day experience with those instead of just a few runs. That'll definitely give me a good enough feel to know if I'd be willing to take the plunge on the M82s.

My questions boil down to this: Does anyone else think I'd be better off with the M77 chips? And, having thoroughly tested out the M82's, should I be willing to buy M77 chips with out demo'ing them first? i.e. are they similar enough skis that I shouldn't be worried? Or if I really like the M82s, should I just get those?

One other note, I definitely need these skis to be all-mountain as I'm not yet willing to invest in multiple sets of skis. I'd also prefer that I don't "outgrow" them too quickly, so I want them to be able to keep up with me as my skills improve.

Sorry for being so long winded, and thanks in advance for your opinions.
post #2 of 6
Hi Justin, Like you I have never posted here or anywhere else before so bear w/me. My advice would be to demo anything you are considering buying. It sounds like you and I are similiar in ability and ski the same type of terrain, although I ski a little further west (Squaw Valley).

I finally had the chance in February to demo some skis with the idea of trading in my old straight K2's. Based on my description of my abilities to the area shops the Volkl 5* was almost universally recommended for me. I ended up trying out:

Salomon Hot: First taste of a decently shaped ski.
Volkl AC4
Volkl 5*
Atomic Metron M:10 (in 164 of all sizes!)
Fischer AMC 76

It turned out that the Atomic and the Fischer were by far my favorites. I ended up buying the Fischer's at SierraJim's place on the way home. Both the demo shop guys and the store where I purchased both said that those 2 ski's were probably 1 level higher than they would normally put me in but who can argue with the results. Like you, I don't want to commit to multiple sets of skis yet and I think the Fischer will handle most of what I will face for a long time.

So whatever you decide upon, I would try them all out. Take care.....Steve
post #3 of 6

I am not a Head dealer so take this FWIW.

I tested Head pretty extensively this year as I was considering buying the line. They make some fantastic skis and the iM77 is one of them. However, IMO the 77 (esp in the 177 length that I teated) would be a real handful 'O ski for your ability level. It is a stiff big turn specialist that requires some effort and commitment in crud and chowdah.

Again IMO, the 77 is best left to folks that are true experts and agressive ones at that. There are better (eaiser) skis for someone who is developing off trail skiing skills.

post #4 of 6


Justin, I ski in No Idaho, let me know if you want to come up and ski some good snow. I ski mainly at Silver Mt in Kellog,which has great grooming, but also has some really great off piste skiing. Almost anywhere on the mt. you canjump off the runs into the trees, steeps, bumps/ungroomed, powder etc. To solve this all terrain opportunity I bought some Atomic Metron B5's, I've skied on them for two seasons and find they are an all terrain ski. I'm a good skier, havse skied and raced or 33 years, am over 50 and l97. The only shortcoming in the B5's is I did not feel comfortable at high speed cruising etc., got some Fischer RX9 for that. The B5 is relatively stiff but you are strong enogh at your weight. Demo Demo Demo I can't really say go out and buy a B5 or any other ski, we are all different and ski differently.
post #5 of 6


Im also fairly new here. I teach and have many many students in the exact same position you guys seem to be in. Level 7 with level 4 skis that often limit their abilitys. Do yourself a favor and try a volkl karma. Its a fat twin tip that seems to ski alot like a carving ski. It can take you off the beaten path anywhere on the mtn. It rips groomers and is a bulldozer in anything. It can ski pow trees and bumps too. It deffinently deserves a demo.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies and opinions. The main thing I took away from this was don't buy until I demo, which is what my wife was pushing on me as well.

I didn't have the chance to try out any Volkl's nor Atomics, but maybe I'll get a chance early next season. I also still wasn't able to get my hands on any M77s, so I scratched them from my short list. I did take another full day demo on the M82s and we were blessed with another 11 inches of powder. So I got to try them on fresh powder, packed powder, groomed, and ice (lots of ice sitting below the fresh snow). They did require some work for me to get through the unevenly packed powder, but I think that's just a matter of time and practice. Even though it was work, it was still way easier than on my old skis.

Anyway, I bit the bullet and just ordered the M82s from Scott and got a great deal on them. Now I just have to decide if I want to ski on ice or wait till November to try out my newest toys. haha
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