EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Confused Buyer - Fischer RX8, Dynastar Contact 11 or Elan Speedwave 12?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Confused Buyer - Fischer RX8, Dynastar Contact 11 or Elan Speedwave 12?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I’m 39 years old, 5’ 6” and weigh about 145 lbs. I’m a level 8 skier. I mainly ski at Mt. Hood in OR so the snow’s a bit heavy, but still make trips to UT and CO. Currently I’m skiing on some bump skis that are old skinny skis – Dynastar Assualt at 180cm. Previous ten years where spent on some slalom race skis – K2 KVC 195cm. I’ve heard some good things about the Fischer RX8, Dynastar Contact 11 & Elan Speedwave 12, but it’s been difficult to find demos to try.

I’ve just started bringing my toddler out on the mountain and consequently spend much more time on groomed runs than bumps – not to mention that my body just can’t take a day of the bumps like it once could, but bumps are still my favorite thing to ski.

I’m really looking for an all mountain ski that is great at short radius fall line turns. I want a fun, lively ski with lots of rebound and great in the bumps. I probably spend 50% of my time on steep blacks, 30% on bump runs and 20% doing some bowl skiing.

I’m generally not a fan of making GS turns, but it seems that’s all you can do on the flats so it would be nice to have a ski that is competent in that area. I know it’s tough to get it all, but ideally I’d love to have one ski that could also be used comfortably in crud and even on a few powder days. Am I asking for too much? I’m also OK with a ski that’s a year or two old.

Does anyone have any recommendations between these skis or maybe another that should be on my list. Also a recommendation on the appropriate size of ski would be helpful. Thanks!
post #2 of 26
I don't know a lot, I know a little. And you will get a variety of input here.

I say the Elan Magfire 10. All mountain ski with a big side-cut (125-75-109) that allows for a variety of turns and it is great in the bumps.

Beyond that, Fischer makes one heck of a ski.

Tons of info here @ Epic. Search and enjoy!!
post #3 of 26
You need to read some of dawgcatching's stuff on this site. He runs a shop in Bend, skis in Oregon and his profile is close to yours. The guy is an absolute encyclopedia of skis. Check the gear reviews forum...
post #4 of 26
Come on down to Bachelor: we have 2 of the three you are interested in, and no charge for the demo if you are an Epicski member!

They are all great choices, but offer very different persectives on how a hard snow ski should act. The RX8 is maybe the most forgiving of the three, skis fairly light, is easy and snappy IMO. Very easy for the performance offered. It can do small to medium arcs very well, and doesn't get squirrley in big arcs. The Speedwave 12 is more powerful, and the skier can have the binding over the center for maximum caving prowess or moved back slightly for better straight-run capability. It is a powerful carver and might take a bit more skill, but was more exciting for me as a ski. It has tons of energy and is great in short to mid-radius turns. The Contact 11 is a big-turn sweeper, more of a GS feel, while being more damp than the other two and wanting to turn a bit less, and with a bit better big-arc stability.

All three are great skis, but if you are leaning toward the Contact 11, you should check out the Head iXRC 1200 (2007 version) as well. It is every bit as good, with a slightly different feel, but same purpose and skier in mind. Ignore the RealSkiers review, as they said it was "unchanged" (it is a new ski for 2007) and they assumed it was about the same as the iSupershape Speed (it is a very different ski) w/o testing it.
post #5 of 26
Bumpfan,

If you are looking for a tight turning ski, you might want to look at the Contact 9, forget the 11. I demoed both the Contact 9, and the RX8 a month ago, and ended up buying the RX8. The skis have the same side cut, 12m, but the 9 is wider. If you ski with a modern technique, and are looking for something to ski the whole mountain with, you might prefer the 9 over the RX8. Crazy fast turns. Better floatation in powder. The RX8 fit my ski style, (knees together, mostly groomers), was a little more forgiving, and versitle in turn shape.

As far as size goes, we are the same height, I am a couple pounds heavier. 160 for the RX8, toss up for the Contact, 158 for stupid crazy fast tight turns on groomers, 165 for more versitility (powder, turn shape)

Gonzo
post #6 of 26
You and I are interested in the same type of ski. I'm the same age but 5' 10" and 170 lbs.

I've been research the Dynastar Contact 11 and the K2 Apache Recon.

What I read on the Contact 11 seemed to indicate the deep sidecuts made it very easy to initiate turns and the soft tail helped make it good in the bumps, while overall being pretty decent in crud, powder and groomed slopes.

Dawgcatching, I'm interested in your opinion, because what I read on the Head seemed to indicate it was a heavier ski with a premium placed on being dampening and stable and better suited for cruising than nimble turns.

By the way, I've read a lot of good things about the Volkl Allstars, but can't tell whether they are too demanding or suitably forgiving enough for me and, likewise, whether they are bad or competent in the bumps.

You have me researching the Fischer Rx8's now. They sound very good. It is hard to choose and judge the differences.

Any further thoughts for us?
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the great input. Dawgcatching - I'm going to try to get out to Bend to demo some of these.

On paper I'm leaning a bit toward the RX8's. They sound more lively and with a larger sweet spot. I probably ski 12 - 15 days/year, I'm not in the best of shape anymore & I do tend to ski with more of an old school style (knees/feet a bit closer). But who knows - maybe I should think about changing that a bit and I imagine that any new ski may help with adopting newer techniques. I'm wondering if the Speedwave 12 would wear me out if I'm not in better shape?

Sugaree is the second person that has mentioned the Magfire 10. Sounds like the Magfire 10 would be better off piste, but would it be better for slalom turns & bumps than the Speedway 12? How about the Speedway 10?

I've got the ability to demo the Contact 11's in the next week or two, but it's sounding like that ski is more of a cruiser than the RX8 or Speedway 12. Any more thoughts on the Contact 9?

Dawgcatching - any recommendations on sizes? I'm not used to the sizing for shaped skis. I was thinking 165 cm for the RX8, but was hearing a 160 recommendation from Gonzo? How about for the Speedway 12 or other recommendations?

Thanks for everyone's input - very, very helpful!
post #8 of 26
These reviews indicate the Contact 11 rip in bumps:

Ski Type: Level 3
Price: $1,275
Size Tested: 158, 165, 172, 178 ,184
Tip / Waist / Tail: 122/72/102
Average Score: 3.35

Pro Versatility and balance of skill sets may be the Holy Grail of an all-mountain expert ski, and while other skis put up higher scores in a few criteria, none scored so consistently high from the top of the test card to the bottom. The Contact 11 is the kind of ski that lets you forget about your skis, because it's game for whatever you ask of it. With that deep sidecut, short turns are its forte, but it makes long, lovely ones too. Skids or carves, high speeds or relaxed cruising, trees or groomers--almost nothing throws it off its game. And pay attention: It rips in bumps, where it outperformed everything else in the category. Said Lewis: What a combo: energy, quickness, stability--you don't need anything else. Con Tail lacks power; turn finishes lack conviction.

More versatile than the Speed Course (see review next page), the Contact 11 offers up big-turn stability and a vise-grip hold. Testers found it easy to square up to the fall line and put their faith in this damp but dynamic ripper. gripes: Need to rev 'em up before you can let 'em go. props: Great in all snow conditions, not just hardpack. tester's take: A smooth ride in short or long turns--awesome edge-to-edge. --Johnny Alamo
post #9 of 26
/bump

I'm really curious about how people compare the Dynastar Contact 11 to the Fischer RX8.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GP35 View Post
/bump

I'm really curious about how people compare the Dynastar Contact 11 to the Fischer RX8.
Me too. I ski the RX-8 in a 170 and I'd like to add a frontside ski which is slightly longer to the quiver this year. The Contact 11 is a possibility. A comparison of the two would be interesting.
post #11 of 26
I own both the Contact 11 and the RX8.

Go with the Contact 11 if you can. The ski is easy to use and quick feeling. The 72mm waist make it far better in softer snow IMO.

However the RX8 is a great ski and probably a better value since it can be found for $450 to 550 with bindings, and the Contact 11 will cost far more.

Michael
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
I own both the Contact 11 and the RX8.

Go with the Contact 11 if you can. The ski is easy to use and quick feeling. The 72mm waist make it far better in softer snow IMO.

However the RX8 is a great ski and probably a better value since it can be found for $450 to 550 with bindings, and the Contact 11 will cost far more.

Michael

Michael,

Thanks for the recommendation. Can you share a bit about your weight, ability level and what/how you like to ski? You're right in that the RX8 seems to be much cheaper, but I really want to make sure I'm getting the right ski. Ultimately I know I should try each of these, but it's been a bit difficult to find them in demos. I'm hoping to try the Contact 11's in next few weeks and then visit Dawgcatching to demo the RX8 & Speedwave 12.

In the meantime, can you compare/contrast the RX8 & Contact 11 on the steeps in tight fall line turns, bumps and also powder & crud. Which ski would be more fun and provide a light, snappy feel and rebound from turn to turn? Also any recommendations on size for a 39 year old guy, 145 lbs, level 8 skier that's in OK physical shape & gets about 15 days in each year

Thanks,

Bob
post #13 of 26
Bob,

Again, you and I are looking for the exact same ski, except I weigh around 175 lbs and am 5' 10"

Michael weighs 220 lbs based on another post.

I have been doing as much research as possible on the internet and I am convinced that the RX-8 is better than the Contact 11 for our weights and preferences. The RX-8 simply sounds more nimble, lighter and energetic than the Contact 11 unless a skier is much bigger.

I don't care about price either (compared to the right ski), but I have found the RX-8 online for $599 and am pretty sure that I what I'm getting.

My only reservation about the RX-8's is that the waist is only 66 mm and thus not as good in powder as a wider-waisted ski, but reviews don't indicate the RX-8 any worse in powder than the other skis I'm considering (although I expect some heavier, stiffer skis are better in crud) and, if I end up skiing more than 10 days a year and some seriously deep powder in the future, I think I'm better off buying a second pair mid-fats anyway.
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
GP35,

I think you're right. If I start spending more time in powder and off-piste then I'll probably want a second set of skis. The good news is that we probably couldn't make a bad decision on any of these skis we're considering. I had the same reservations about the narrow waste of the RX8's for crud/powder, but reviews still seem OK in that area. I'm not sure if I should be on a 160 cm or 165 cm for the RX8. 160 cm just sounds very short? I imagine you're debating between 165 & 170 cm?

Bob
post #15 of 26
I was planning on 165
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by agingbumpfan View Post
Michael,

Thanks for the recommendation. Can you share a bit about your weight, ability level and what/how you like to ski? You're right in that the RX8 seems to be much cheaper, but I really want to make sure I'm getting the right ski. Ultimately I know I should try each of these, but it's been a bit difficult to find them in demos. I'm hoping to try the Contact 11's in next few weeks and then visit Dawgcatching to demo the RX8 & Speedwave 12.

In the meantime, can you compare/contrast the RX8 & Contact 11 on the steeps in tight fall line turns, bumps and also powder & crud. Which ski would be more fun and provide a light, snappy feel and rebound from turn to turn? Also any recommendations on size for a 39 year old guy, 145 lbs, level 8 skier that's in OK physical shape & gets about 15 days in each year

Thanks,

Bob
The RX8 is light & lively and very quick. It is also stable if not skied to short a size.

The Contact 11 is more damp and stable feeling. It is easy to use, but does not "help" the skier make short turns the way the RX8 will.

The Contact 11 is the clear choise if soft snow and crud are often skied.

The RX8 is as good or better on hardpack, while still usefull on crud for a 66mm wide ski.

Michael
post #17 of 26
I owned the RX8 last two years, the Contact 11 this year. For the mission and place you describe, the 11 is the clear choice, IMO. It thrives in soft crud and pow because of the soft wide shovel, and the narrower tail lets you pivot and release fluidly in bumps. Fairly damp and smooth, for aging knees. very accurate review of it at Sierra Jim's online store.

By contrast, the RX8 is a dead sure carver, better grip on ice, lighter and quicker edge to edge. But it can get bounced around in crud, it's too narrow for much pow, and its tail is a bit stiff for really working bumps - it wants to throw you into the next carve. I see it more as a softish carver and the 11 as more of a cross design.

Only drawbacks to the 11 are that its soft shovel can get flexy - like the 8000 - at speed and get deviated by crud, even though it'll hang in there. You just have to learn to trust it. And it's a bit less forgiving of weight distribution than the RX8. Wants a very centered stance, rather than front pressure. It'll take more days out of the box before you're comfortable on it.

Hope this helped.
post #18 of 26
Now, I feel like I"m leaning towards the Contact 11 again!

I'm a naturally pretty quick turner, so when I say I want nimble skis, I really mean a ski that is good in bumps and steep runs through the trees. If the Contact 11 is better in the bumps and better in powder/crud (which will be what is in the trees), that might sound better to me.

I've been on Rossy 7S's and 4S for the last 20 years.

This is a tough call.
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
I owned the RX8 last two years, the Contact 11 this year. For the mission and place you describe, the 11 is the clear choice, IMO. It thrives in soft crud and pow because of the soft wide shovel, and the narrower tail lets you pivot and release fluidly in bumps. Fairly damp and smooth, for aging knees. very accurate review of it at Sierra Jim's online store.

By contrast, the RX8 is a dead sure carver, better grip on ice, lighter and quicker edge to edge. But it can get bounced around in crud, it's too narrow for much pow, and its tail is a bit stiff for really working bumps - it wants to throw you into the next carve. I see it more as a softish carver and the 11 as more of a cross design.

Only drawbacks to the 11 are that its soft shovel can get flexy - like the 8000 - at speed and get deviated by crud, even though it'll hang in there. You just have to learn to trust it. And it's a bit less forgiving of weight distribution than the RX8. Wants a very centered stance, rather than front pressure. It'll take more days out of the box before you're comfortable on it.

Hope this helped.
I agree with Beyond on all counts. I also added the Contact 11 to my RX8/WC RC quiver. The Contact 11 is much better in boot-top deep crud than the RX8 (which is a very good crud ski for a 66mm wide model). The RX8 is a natural short turn carver that "helps" the skier produce short turns. The Contact 11 is more of a GS/SL hybrid that needs a little extra effort before quick turns emerge.

My plan is to use the RX8 or WC RC on man-made snow and take the Contact 11 out west where some hardpack and some crud are skied in the same day.

I found the Contact 11 to be easy-to-use and stable-at-speed in the 178cm size. I'm 220 Lbs, so my results may not be typical. But the Contact 11 is suitable for any experienced skier.

Cheers,

Michael
post #20 of 26
Contact 11 is longer radius than Contact 9.
Dynastar = Schmooooth
Fischer = lively.
post #21 of 26
Contact 11 is longer radius than Contact 9.
Dynastar = Schmooooth
Fischer = lively.
post #22 of 26
Might want to try the Contact 10. Same ski as 11, but with a composite rather than aluminum plate. It's a little softer and costs less.
post #23 of 26
The Contact 11's are sold out by all internet retailers and Dynastar, but I just tracked down a pair of 165's at a DC store after trying about 15 places on the East Coast.

I realize they are a bit damper and not quite as lively of turner as the RX-8, but they sounded equal to or a little better in the bumps, a bit better in powder and crud due to the wider waist and being a heavier more stable ski and a better cruiser for trying to cruise down the groomed slopes with friends for lunch or the end of the days. Ultimately, this was just what I was looking for.

Thanks for the good advice on these boards! Invaluable for a guy who hasn't bought skis since Rossi 7S's in the mid 90's!
post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 

Love the Fischer RX8

Feedback on the RX8:
As stated at the beginning of this thread, I’m 39 years old, 5’ 6” and weigh about 145 lbs. I’m a level 8 skier. I mainly ski at Mt. Hood in OR so the snow’s a bit heavy, but still make trips to UT and CO.

I ended up getting the RX8 in a 160cm and while I'm sure I'd be having fun on all of the skis I was considering, it was difficult to find any to demo that were close to me and I took a leap of faith. I have to say that I love the RX8 and I find it hard to believe that I'd be any happier on one of the others. I'm skiing them with the bindings 1.5 cm forward of neutral.

I'm comparing the Fischers to my last ski which was a Dynastar Assualt 180cm which was purely a straight bump ski. The Fischers are much faster skis & they love to make short radius turns. I feel like I can make these skis do almost anything. I can get some really nice medium radius turns out of them and get cruising pretty fast which has been a lot of fun for me and something that my last few pairs of straight slalom skis never really allowed me to do. I've been skiing a lot with our little kids and that keeps me on some easier slopes than I'd normally be on and this ski makes them fun again. However, you can find the speed limit in this size so if you're going to do a lot of that then I'd go for a longer ski than the 160 cm.

So far I've only skied the RX8's in either softpack with a few inches of powder or pretty warm spring conditions. While I know that real hardpack is their forte, the RX8's have been doing great. They do a pretty good job of getting through the crud - much better than any other ski I've had. Fun in a few inches of powder and great in the bumps. I feel like I can get these skis in the air anytime I want to and turn them in any direction. Light, lively and good in tight spaces. They carve much better than any other ski I've been on and like I said, I really haven't even gotten them on true hardpack yet.

Eventually, I may add another ski that's a little wider underfoot that's better for medium to long radius turns and would be even better through the crud and in powder. We'll see, but right now this seems to be a great single ski for me.
post #25 of 26
Congrats Bumpfan,

It sounds like you made a great choice.

Cheers,

Michael
post #26 of 26

Contact 11 and Fischer AMC 73

How does the Contact 11 compare to the AMC 73 ski? I have skied the 73 and the reviews sound like a carbon copy of what the 73 can do.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Confused Buyer - Fischer RX8, Dynastar Contact 11 or Elan Speedwave 12?