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Some ski impressions from big guy.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
After using rentals for the last 5 years and finally buying my own boots last year I decided to buy ski too. I become regular visitor to Epic forums and learned that I need to demo before buying. Especially, if you are a big guy like me – 6’5” and 285!
It’s like putting 2 regular size skiers on one pair of ski. There are some reviews from heavy skiers on this forum, but not so many. That’s why I decided to share some of my impressions to help big guys like me. So, if you are intermediate skier in Clydesdale category – read on!

First tests were in December in Tremblant, Canada on thin cover of “man made snow” with 10,000 other skiers quickly converting it to ice and soft bumps on snow making trails. Rental place did not have long demos, so all skis were shorter than I wanted:

Rossignol Zenith 5 ( 170, 126/74/105) – stable in soft snow, nothing else is special , did not really feel the difference from average rental, except more stability on higher speeds. Easy to turn. Feel comfortable, but not too much fun.

Salomon Xwing Blast – 170, 124-75-107 – very comfortable ski for heavy guy. Carving was easy – almost no effort at all, just shift you knees and this ski will follow. However, edge hold on ice did not impress.

Atomic Metron 9 2006 (171, 126/74/110) - this one surprised me with very good behavior on icy trails. Great edge hold, relatively stable, but I did not feel comfortable to push this ski to higher speed. However, with crowded trails it was not a problem

Out of 3 pairs tested in Tremblant , Xwing Blast is probably the best.

Next trip – Park City. Sking 3 days in Deer Valley and Canyons. Here is what I could test there:

Dynastar Contact 11 ( 178 , 122/72/102) – Wow! If you are looking for stability – look no further! This ski slice through soft bumps and hold your weight with easy. However – this is expert ski category, so be prepared to work them , they are not forgiving ski. I enjoyed stability , bit would not buy Contact 11 as I am more recreational skier.

Nordica Nitrous ( 178, 123/78/108) – I read many good reports about Nitrous, but they are not for heavy guys! I felt like I have thin spaghettis attached to my feet. Leave them to normal people who enjoy them.

Nordica Speed Machine Mach 3 ( 178, 119/72/104) – fun and easy carver. They were great on blue groomers at Deer Valey. Not as stable as Contact 11, but much easier to ski. If I was looking for carver , this would be my choice after 3 tests.

Overall conclusion – yes, it is important to demo , but the ski you want may not be available. I wanted to try Elan Magfire 10 , but the longest available was 168, so I decided not to bother. So forum research is important too.
If you made it that far – thanks for reading!
post #2 of 9

Big Guy Slis

Wireless, welcome to Epic. I liked reading hyour post. Even though you didn't find your ski I will bet you now have a better idea of what you want and will recognize it by feel after a few turns. I demo'd 7 pair before I ffound th4e right ski.
post #3 of 9
From a fellow clydesdale (6'6", 235#) - I like my 190 cm Rossignol B3s.

I ran into the same situation re demoing. On the other hand, the shop seemed really eager to unload the year-old 190s.

One of my old Warren Miller DVDs has a segment with a 300+ pound skier...
post #4 of 9
I am not quite as big as you.I am 6 ft. 3in. and 235lbs. I have some Nordica Nitrous in 186 and they sure don't feel like noodles to me. I really like them.I can pretty much ski anywhere on the mountain with them. I also have a pair of Nordica Speed Machines 14 in 178, they are my go fast ski. Been skiing since I was a kid now 57. Used to ski 4 days a week. But now I am starting to get old slow and in the way.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
I think my weight is beyond Nitrous' threshold of solid behavior. And it’s kind of sad , because I saw some really good deals on Internet. Anyway , there are still other choices and I have some time before my next “big” ski trip in March.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Here are some more impressions from another 2 pairs I demoed on Saturday.
This time it was on Midwest hills (Cascade Mountain in Wisconsin) – not a real mountain, but enough terrain to understand ski behavior on hard snow under the pressure of 300 lbs:

1) Head Monster IM72 – (177 cm, 117/72/102) – great and confident ski. Easy to turn. Sometimes difficult to hold edge to icy slope. Overall conclusion – this ski passed “Clydesdale test”. If you are a big guy – keep them on your short list but demo it before you buy.

2) Nordica Hot Rod Modified ( 170, 119/74/104) – this is the third Nordica I tried over the last couple of weeks and I liked it better than Nitrous and Mach 3. Not sure what is the difference in construction between this ski and Nutrious, but Modified felt much more stable with good edge hold and easy behavior at higher speed despite being shorter ski than I needed (170 was the longest they had in rental shop). Not as easy to turn on hard snow as IM72. I would give this ski a strong “A” from Clydesdale prospective.

Overall conclusion from all my tests – I felt that wider skis (75cm+) make more sense for intermediate heavy skier compare to very stiff carvers like Contact 11. You get same good stability with midfats, and they are not that difficult for your level as expert carvers. Given all these results I ordered Elan Magfire 10 for myself from dawg and will post some observations here in a week or two.
Thanks for reading.
post #7 of 9
I know your only a inter in skill level but I am thinking most of those skis were demod way to short...

thanks for the reviews but next time try some 180+ skis, I bet you ll like them more.
post #8 of 9
Good post. It sounds like you had fun trying the different skis, even though none of them were just right for you. It illustrates why you need to demo instead of picking a ski by what the marketing and ski shops would lead you to think you need, especially if you are out of the ordinary weight range. Imagine how many skiers out there who don't go through the demo process are on boards that are not close to being the optimal skis for them.

I agree with Bushwacker, with your size there is no 175 out there that you will not easily overpower, except a full on race ski, which you do not want. Hope you find just what you are looking for.
post #9 of 9
I'm 6-3 285 and am currently skiing Top Fuels in 178. I have been on them 6 times and so far really like them. I was not able to demo. You might give them a try, beefier than the Nitrous.
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