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Need some advice on skis

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello all. I'm new to this forum and I'm curious if anyone would have advice for me. I'm a relatively new skier (skied 4-5 years now) and can pretty much handle anything on the mountain except for steep and deep mogul runs. I live in the north east (New York) but I tend to go out west to Tahoe and Colorado at least once or twice every year.

My 2nd year skiing, I picked up a set of K2 Merlin IV skis, which are fantastic skis on fast groomed runs. Unfortunately, my skill level and/or the skis do not go well together when hitting the bumps. I'm looking for something a bit more versatile than the groomed-only aspect of the Merlin IV's and something that will help me go to the next level when hitting bumps and or glades.

Recently, I've demoed the Atomic SX-9, the K2 Axis X, and the Salomon Scream 10 Pilot Hot. I felt that the SX-9 was similar to the Merlin IV but a bit more predictable and more versatile on the bumps. The K2 Axis X felt very quick turning edge to edge, but it seemed to lose out on a lot of stability at speed. For some reason, I just did not like the Salomon. It did well at speed, even on the bumps, but I just never felt comfortable at it. Again, perhaps it is just me, but it didn't seem to be nimble/flexible enough to handle tight moguls runs.

Am I looking at the wrong skis? I guess I am looking for that holy grail of a ski that can handle the bumps/moguls well and still be fun to cruise down the groomers with. All 3 of the skis seemed to be better than my current K2s. I'm leaning towards the Atomic SX-9 as I felt like I skied significantly better with it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 7
I skied for 2 seasons on the Axis X, and the thing I liked most about it was its ease of adapting to variable conditions, especially moguls. The relatively soft longitudinal flex of the tip & tail make moguls very fun on the Axis X.

As to speed stability, I would agree that 40mph through deep crud isn't the Axis X's forte, but I happily skied groomers at 40mph on my Axis X. I'm 5'10", 160 lbs, Level 8 skier and was on the 181cm length.

You might want to look also at the Axis XR, which is a bit racier. Unfortunately that ski wasn't available when I bought my Axis X's or I'd have had them instead. From what I hear, they are like a punchier version of the Axis X, and the length of the ski has a direct relation to its preferred turn radius -- shorter lengths for SL performance, longer for GS.
post #3 of 7
I'll seacond what Gonzo said about the Axis X. It is one of the best all mountain skis for bumps out there. Vary stable forgiving and user friendly ski. However I'm not sure I would like the K2 for skiing in The East. K2 seems to be a better soft snow ski, then say Atomic or Volkl. I Like that damp yet livily combo of K2 skis. I just wish my Atomic R11 had a little of The mod core in them.
I ski with a friend who has the new XR in a 174. Tom rips on those skis. Tom is a vary fast vary smooth skier. Another ski to look at is the Volkl 5 star. Then again if The SX 9 felt right then just pull the old credit card out and buy them.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. It just gets more and more confusing the more research I put into it!

I've skied volkls in the past and have been impressed with them. I think I will try out the 5-star and make up my mind. Looking at the XR, it might be just a bit too 'groomer' orineted for me (judging from the website) vs the XP. Too many choices with too many subtle changes!

The SX-9 definitely felt 'right' for me and I always felt like I had good control of the ski (unlike the salomon's). The SX-9, however, felt most alive at high speeds bombing down steep diamond runs (relatively groomed). That being said, the Axis X felt like it was definitely a more nimble ski.
post #5 of 7
While you are demoing, try the atomic R10. Maybe more versatile than the 5 star or the sx 9. Skis are personal. Don't buy one model because your freind skis well on them, buy what feels right to you. Some will help us grow and some will forgive anything we do. You have to decide.

I know great skiers that that love K2's, but I've never been on a pair I liked. I like atomic's and heads, the Austrian feel. Doesn't mean onebrand is better than the other, just relates to our personal preference, body type and what we want to feel in our ski. Buy the one you connect with the best and feel you can grow with the best.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tip. I'll try out the R10 then as well. I"m starting to go nuts with the choices. I keep reading about the Volkl's (I've always enjoyed skiing Volkl skis) so I'll try and demo the 5 and 6 star as well. My local shop was pushing the 6star over the 5 saying I'd be better off with that and just ski it a bit shorter (I'm 6'2" and I do like to go fast down the mountain). All in all.. just too many good choices.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
To update those who offered some input, I finally bought a pair today. I ended up going with the Atomic SL9. The skis that I demoed were the k2 Axis X, k2 Axis XT, Rossignol B1, Salomon Hot, Atomic SX9 and the SL9. The K2's were amazing skis and offered little drama. They felt amazingly competent and stable but for some reason didn't do it for me. I really like the 'floating' and fast turning nature of the B1 but I felt it was a bit to chattery. The Sl9 seemed like it could do everything well except barrel down the mountain in a straight line (which my current Merlin IV's do very well). The sl9 was the last ski I tried (runs 16-24) and it just seemed to ski effortlessly with plenty of room to grow into. I hope I made the right choice, but so far I am psyched!

Thanks for the input. (i couldn't get a chance to demo the r10 or the Volkls)
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