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Rossis, Furys and Monsters, OH MY!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Head Monster 82 & 88, Nordica Hot Rod Jet Fuel & Afterburner, Rossignol B3, Salomon X-Wing Fury, Elan 777, Fischer AMC 79

At Sturtevant's Demo Days at Stevens Pass and Crystal Mountain in Washington.

I'm looking for a damp ski for 80% off-piste skiing with a waist between 78 and 88 mm. Generally I prefer a longer, softer ski rather than a shorter, stiffer ski because long and softer is better for smoothing out rough snow. (Thus I think that the hyped Atomic B5 is a lousy off-piste ski. Loved 'em on the groomers, though.) And of course I also want the impossible: wide and soft for powder, yet quick-turning on packed and with excellent edge grip.

High winds at Stevens closed one chair after another, ending the day at 10:30. My sampling of the Elans and Fischers were on an intermediate lift with a semi-steep section just four turns long.

Three days later high winds knocked out full power at Crystal (and the rest of the NW), so the lifts were running slow on diesel power, thus reducing the number runs and reducing the thoroughness of my testing there, too.

At Stevens Pass:

NORDICA HOT ROD AFTERBURNER, 178cm: Pleasant in the stiff wind-packed powder. They didn't feel damp, but I need more time on them and less idiosyncratic snow. They felt short, so I need to try the stiffer, damper Top Fuels. Or try the Afterburner in the longer 186cm version (not that it could do any good-- the rep said that that length is all gone in N. America).

FISCHER AMC 79, 176cm: Light, nimble, quick. I didn't get much of a run, but I doubt they'd be great in crud. I think they need more dampness.

ELAN M777, 176 cm: Stiffer than I like for off-piste, and they didn't turn much. During my 60-second run on a soft intermediate slope they felt like a GS racing ski. A plank, but I could probably steer them through soft snow.

HEAD MONSTER 82, 183cm: Yee Haw! Soft and damp for crud, yet felt like they'd hold a good edge if I had some hard snow. Turned easily and sharply when angled aggressively on both packed and heavy powder. Could they be like a wider version of my beloved 185mm Volant T3 Epics?

At Crystal Mountain:

NORDICA HOT ROD JET FUEL, 178cm: Interesting and demanding. They hold a major edge, but they're stiffer than I like in powder.

SALOMON X-WING FURY, 180cm: Whee! The perfect flex, but not as damp as I like. Had a helluva powder run down Right/Left. I'd like to try them again. I didn't run them on hard-snow, but if they have excellent edge grip they should be a favorite for lots of all-mountain skiers.

HEAD MONSTER 82, 183cm (again): Omigod! I can fly down steep, uneven snow. Damp and just the right amount of softness. They steer much like classic all-metal Volants (and they're not too soft like the Chubbs were). And they give good edge on the packed.

HEAD MONSTER 88, 186cm: Whoa. It's a big ski for my 150-lb. frame. I can steer them at high speed, but they're too big and burly for the steepness of Left Angle (my favorite gladed run). The 175cm's would probably be better than these 186's for me, but better still are still the longer 183cm Monster 82's. I think the 82's give more of a Cadillac ride through rough snow than the 175cm Monster 88's would. I sense that the 88's might be a little stiffer than the 82's.

ROSSIGNOL B3, 184cm: Very interesting. They're the other really damp ski that I've been on. But stiffer than the Monsters and Furys-- a little too stiff for that length for me. I'd probably prefer the 176's but I don't want to have to go that short for all-mountain use.

The elephant in the room: I didn't get a chance to ski on the latest K2's. They are famous for being damp and a bit softer than the other brands, and I've enjoyed my brother's Axis XP's, so I'd probably like their replacement, the Apache Recon at 181cm. If they're at all like the XP's, they're nice and quick turning, but I'd rather have a deeper flex in the powder.

Conclusion: RealSkiers.com is exactly right: Head Monster 82 is the ski of the year (but I don't know how they can be satisfied with the 172cm version!).
post #2 of 15
What exactly are your body specs (you mention being about 150 lbs.)? What would you consider your skiing level/ability to be?

Your take on some of these skis is surprising. How many runs did you get on each ski? Specifically I'm surprised that your take on the M777 is as a stiffer ski and the Head I.M 82 is a softer ski - could be the length difference. These two skis have very different flex patterns, with the M777 have a stiffer shovel/softer tail verus the Head with a softer shovel/stiffer tail. I'm surprised you couldn't get the M777 turning more, but the I.M 82 definitely has a lot more sidecut.

The X-Wing Fury seems to be a total noodle (hand flexing it). ssh rode it on a demo day and said it was snappy, but definitely had a speed limit. It's nothing like the other skis you rode.

So is the I.M 82 your winner for the demos?
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
150 lbs, 5'10", and on the average day at Crystal I don't see any skiers faster than me on the steeps. Dunno what kind of rating that merits.

As for your surprise at my evaluation of the M777, "During my 60-second run on a soft intermediate slope..." suggests how little chance I had to learn about them. At Stevens I skied on 5 pairs by 10:30 when the mountain closed, so there wasn't much time on any of them, as I wrote.

And the Monster 82s are due here next week.
post #4 of 15
I need to get on the Heads, I have heard so much about them.
post #5 of 15
To be clear, the Fury wasn't the Salomon with the speed limit; that was the Tornado. I'm not sure which one you hand-flexed, Noodler...
post #6 of 15
I own the Fury in a 180 and it is not a noodle. Hand flexing is not a good indicator for torsional stiffness.
post #7 of 15
I haven't skied every ski on your list, but have skied a few (I will be on the X-wing Fury Friday)

I really liked the Afterburner in crud, and found the Jet Fuel to be too much ski for my 150lbs (same result you had). It seems that the Nordica product is very weight-specific more than skill-specific. I would concur with your reflections on the iM82 and 777 (two skis that I know well!) that the 777 is "more" ski than the iM82. We see alot of demo customers around here, and I have had success putting anyone from a high-intermediate upward on the iM82. But, don't try that with the 777! I found that it doesn't turn until you tell it to turn (unlike some of the turnier all-mountain skis like the AC4). If you don't know how to bring it around, it pretty much wants to track straight. I have had a couple of customers come back with their tail between their legs with the 777. I found the stability of the iM82 to be above that of the AC4 and Afterburner by about 5-7%, and the 777 more stable yet by about 5%. For me, the 777 doesn't do much at slow speeds, but I ran a City League course on the 82's. Not a quick ski by any means, but manageable, and reasonable at slower speeds. The 777 just wanted to run by comparison-go fast or go home on that ski, at least it was for me!

It sounds like you found a ski that works well for you. Have fun on it!
post #8 of 15
Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
I own the Fury in a 180 and it is not a noodle. Hand flexing is not a good indicator for torsional stiffness.
Well no kidding - thanks for stating the obvious. Just cause I stated a ski was a noodle (and I actually meant the Tornado, not the Fury as ssh has already pointed out) didn't mean I was specifically referring to the torsional stiffness - in fact I was not. I believe that most people realize that the "noodle" statement refers to the longitudinal flex, not the torsional.

In regards to torsional stability - that's mostly described as the ability for a ski to hold an edge in tougher conditions. I didn't say anything about edge hold since I didn't ride it.

Not sure why you felt it was necessary to revive this relatively old thread just to make a crack about torsional flex.
post #9 of 15
You made the noodle statement not me, and you didn't ski it. Also a comment made by you 10 days ago isn't exactly ancient. You should ski it before you put your comments on a forum about gear reviews. You might be surprised what people on this forum don't know about flex and how it applys to a skis performance. What I said wasn't intended to be a "crack" about torsional flex.
post #10 of 15
Lucky, I see from your post record that you have lot more history here than I do. But I'll step in and say that you're seriously overreacting to minor semantics. If you kept track of the forums, or figured out the tag at the bottom of his posts, you'd know that Noodler has an unrequested leave of absence from skiing this season, so he can't very well try out the Fury's.

FWIW, I've heard from several friends that the Fury's are fairly flexy longitudinally, compared to Heads and Volkls and other 80-something mid-fats. They ski the 172's. This also seems to be the conclusion of reviews by respected sources here such as Sierra Jim.

Also FWIW, I have always found terms like "flexy" or "noodle" or "soft" to be used to describe longitudinal (sagittal) displacement associated with decambering. Twisting transverse (coronal) displacement is called torsion, it hasn't been well-correlated with flex since the days of wooden planks like the old Kneissel Red Stars or Dynamic VR-17's, and even Arnold can't twist a ski by hand. So when Noodler talked about "noodles," he was clearly talking about sagittal displacement. And apparently the Tornados at that.

Obviously bending a shovel in a store will not tell you about the total feel of a ski on the slopes. But if you're experienced - which obviously Noodler is - it'll give you a decent clue to how easily the ski will initiate a turn. Works for me, with everything from Stockli's and Heads to Rossi's and Dynastars. And has for the near half-century I've been skiing.

Be calm and enjoy the winter!
post #11 of 15
I skied the Fury the other day, and it isn't as beefy as the Head, Elan, Volkl or Nordica product of similiar dimensions. It was a bit softer, more forgiving, and quicker edge-to-edge in soft snow (must have been the softer flex). It was a little light underfoot as well-reminded me of the Legend 8000, but with a lighter feel. Or maybe the Fischer AMC79. The Fury is a nice ski that would be great for most all-mountain advanced-level skiers. I did find the speed limit a bit earlier in some really choppy, cruddy, challenging conditions than I did with the others I mentioned above.

I also skied the iM77, iM82, 777, AC4, Jet Fuel, Top Fuel, and Afterburner, and Nitrous on that day, and the Magfire 12 the day before. I had the same experiences as you: the 777 was the strongest crud ski, with the highest speed limit, but it doesn't have alot of sidecut, and will only turn when you tip it up onto edge, which, again, is perfect for crud. The iM82 is cut from a similiar mold, but a little quicker and not quite as beefy-feeling. It still has a damp, GS feel to it, but is a little easier to bring around. The others above I skied on that day (8" of dry snow over 2 feet of wet snow: it was about 18" deep in most spots) are more all-mountain and carvier to varying degrees, which makes them less of a GS-feel on hardpack and more "exciting" on frontside days, but not the crud equal to the 777 or the iM82. The 777 would be ideal for a no-speed-limit crud ski that can also carve GS arcs on hard snow, and is great under a skilled skier, with the iM82 being slightly more versatile and quicker, but with similiar crud perrformance and a GS feel. The AC4, iM77, Jet Fuel, Top Fuel, Fury, Afterburnber, and Nitrous all came across as definite all-mountain, 50/50 skis that can handle crud reasonably well, are spunky on hardpack, have alot of energy (a cross between a slalom and GS feel) and give up crudbusting performance (each of these is a bit hooky for high-speed crud busting). Mag12 was more stable in crud with a GS feel, and took more skill to ski (it skied like the 777, but the float wasn't as good, and the Mag12 was quicker and held better on frontside conditions). From other demos, the AC3 skis the same way. Which type you would choose would depend more on where you ski, how you want your ski to feel, your ability level, and what compromises you want to make, moreso than anything else. All of these skis are very, very good-the difference between the top skis in a similiar category are about feel, not performance.
post #12 of 15
I second what Dawg has to say above about The Salomons not being as beefy as the Head, Nordica or Elan lines.
I haven't skied the Fury but I did find the X-Wing Tornado to be a bit soft for my tastes and a bit too squirely in the chop that I demoed them in.
The Fury should be a bit more substantial than the Tornado but it won't be a Nordica Hot Rod or Elan Magfire.
post #13 of 15
Robscapes, the Fury is a very different ski from the Tornado, and much more powerful. dawg described it very well, though. Lighter, more lively edge-to-edge, and a bunch of fun. Not quite as much beef as the others, though, that's certain. But, for a Salomon, a much more lively, powerful ski than I am used to them designing.
post #14 of 15
Dawg, Was the mag12 you tested, the 07 or 08 model?
post #15 of 15
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Dawg, Was the mag12 you tested, the 07 or 08 model?
I was on the 2007 Mag 12. I haven't yet demoed the 2008 model, although I was going to call the rep and see what he has. I still haven't finished testing all of the 2007 stuff, so I am not worring about the 2008 stuff as of yet.
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