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Need All-Mountain ski recommendation for Sierra Nevadas

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

Hello from the West Coast! I'm a 5'11", 210 pound man, who just turned 30 years old. I would consider myself a physically strong advanced/aspiring expert, or Level-8 skier by your standards. I'm looking for a versatile all mountain ski (groomers, steeps/bumps, trees, & powder). Something's that's fun too, if that's not a given. I favor neither long or short turns, I enjoy them both.

I'm think I'm ready for a Midfat. A ski better in the powder than the K2 Escape 5500's I'm on now. I also want to be able to continue to ski the groomers, bumps and trees (even though I still struggle in the moguls, ahem, out of shape!). I'm sure whatever I choose will have a waist between 75 and 84 but that's about all I'm sure about.

Here's what my research has pointed me to so far (in no particular order):

Volkl Unlimited AC3
Volkl Unlimited AC4
Dynastar 8000
K2 Recon
Fischer AMC 76
Fischer AMC 79
Stockli Stormrider AT
Salomon XW Tornado
Salomon XW Fury

I'm looking to narrow my list down to 3 choices, demo them all, and buy in spring. This list isn't exhaustive so I'm open to suggestions.

Thanks in advance for your replies!
post #2 of 21
Out of that list, I'd suggest either the Legend 8000 or AC4...The preference leaning towards the 8000.

You didn't list anything from Rossi so I assume your not a fan. If you don't mind Rossi, I'd suggest the 06/07 Bandit B3 (my personal ride).

My stats are almost identical to yours...I'm 5'10", 205lbs, 33 and level 7-8 and also struggle w/bumps although making rapid progress.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by memosteve View Post
Out of that list, I'd suggest either the Legend 8000 or AC4...The preference leaning towards the 8000.

You didn't list anything from Rossi so I assume your not a fan. If you don't mind Rossi, I'd suggest the 06/07 Bandit B3 (my personal ride).

My stats are almost identical to yours...I'm 5'10", 205lbs, 33 and level 7-8 and also struggle w/bumps although making rapid progress.
Thanks. I'm not partial to any make or Model. I know the Bandits have quite a following although I never got around to trying them.

NOTE: Rossignol Bandit B3 added to short list!
post #4 of 21
K2 Escape 5500 was my first skis as well.
My narrow down 3 choices from your list would be:

Volkl AC4 for midfat carver
Legend 8000 (mine is 178) for midfat softsnow
Salomon X-wings Fury also for midfat softsnow
post #5 of 21
I'd try out these 3:

06/07 AC4 - my personal ski
Legend 8000 - it gets a lot of praise around here
06/07 B3 or K2 Recon - both more forgiving skis that are decent all around
post #6 of 21
I would second demoing the K2 Recon. I'm about your size and found the Legend 8000 was a great short turner, but wasn't as stable at speed as the Recon. The Recon will make any turn size you want, which may be why some people say they are forgiving.
post #7 of 21
A little good Karma never hurt anyone

185
post #8 of 21
They are not mid-fats, but I just bought a pair of 165 Dynastar Contact 11's. Only a 72mm waist, but supposed to be very good in the conditions you describe. I wanted the same kind of ski you did, but my research led me to a narrower all-mountain ski.

There are only a few 172 left in North America, but there is a poster on these boards that has a (only used 2 days) pair for sale and I think there is a store in Richmond, VA, with a pair of 172's left.

Anyway, just a thought if you decide to go narrower.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GP35 View Post
They are not mid-fats, but I just bought a pair of 165 Dynastar Contact 11's. Only a 72mm waist, but supposed to be very good in the conditions you describe. I wanted the same kind of ski you did, but my research led me to a narrower all-mountain ski.

There are only a few 172 left in North America, but there is a poster on these boards that has a (only used 2 days) pair for sale and I think there is a store in Richmond, VA, with a pair of 172's left.

Anyway, just a thought if you decide to go narrower.
Much appreciated!
post #10 of 21
Sorry for the hijack, but I would like some feedback along the same lines. I'm 6'0, 180 ski mostly in the east, but take an occassional trip to Colo, Utah. My brother in law is a prof at UC-Davis and wants to get back into skiing, so Tahoe is also in my future. I have Fischer GS cheater skis for the east and took a chance on some Dynamic VR17 Slalom's in 173 for a tree ski. I'm looking for a mid-fat to round out my collection. A local shop is going out of business and has the AC4 unlimited with the system binding (some sort of marker/motion) for $599. Is this a good deal or just so-so? My last mid-fat was an Atomic BetaRide 11.20 which I liked a lot, but gave to my brother in law.
post #11 of 21
Good takes. Also, look at some fine dawgcatching work:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=50583
post #12 of 21
The skis you have listed have lots of different personalities, and somewhat differing sets of capabilities.

The Volkls are both relatively stiff, are the best carvers of the bunch, and have the best edge grip. They are so-so in softer snow and moguls and are (arguably) not terribly forgiving.

The Fischer AMC 76 is roughly similar to the Volkls but not quite as agressive.

I would drop the Tornado from your list due to your weight.

The Recon is not known for edge grip or energy, but is smooth as a Caddilac, very predictable, and easy going.

The Fury, Legend 8K, and AMC 79 are all great choices with adequate edge grip for any western conditions (and most eastern as well) and all have great all around manners. These would be my finalists for you.

SJ

The only ski that you might consider adding
post #13 of 21
Another thumbs up for the Legend 8000 - great all mountain ski which is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. I'm about 20 lbs lighter than you and ski the 178. Feels about perfect. Maybe not the best ski for ice but that gives you an excuse to own a quiver.
I haven't tried the newer Volkls but owned the 724 Pro in a 177 and while it was awesome on hard snow and stable as a Mack truck, I always felt that it was too much work = lower fun quotient!
My 2 cents worth
post #14 of 21
I demoed several of those on your list(Recon,Dyn 8000,AC3) and ended up prefering the Nordica Nitrous in a 178. Might want to give it a look as well.
post #15 of 21
I recently took a chance and bought a pair of Fischer AMC 79s - a decision based completely on Dawgcatching's review. After skiing on them twice - I give them a big thumbs up. The conditions have been hardpack to icy (no new snow in more than two weeks ) and the skis impressed me with their edge hold. I am 6'2" and 210 lbs. They definitely have a speed limit - they have a really light feel to them - but they inspire a lot of confidence in me. They are quick edge-to-edge for a wide ski. I felt like I could take them anywhere. I have the 182s. I tried the Head IM 88s and found them just too big for all around use. I think these Fischers will be great all-around skis. I have a hunch they will work well in soft snow.
Good luck in your hunt!!
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks pvilleskier. Here's to hoping the second half of the season is better than the first half!
post #17 of 21
Perhaps I wasn't clear earlier. You NEED to be looking a bit wider; like 84-90mm waists.

Volkl Karma & K2 Public Enemy rock at EVERYTHING including (perhaps especially) bumps and will give you sooooo much more ease and control off the trails (even now with our crap snow). Also look at skis like Elan 777, Head iM88 or Mojo 90, K2 outlaw, etc. and I think you would want to be at least 180 for length if not longer (especially w/ a twin tip ski). The B3 would probably do you well too.

For "groomers, steeps/bumps, trees, & powder. Something's that's fun" Karma or PE is the way to go though. Seriously.
post #18 of 21
Magnus

I was in the exact same possition as u. Was looking for a good almountain ski to replace my rossinal cuts (68 waist) had zero idea what to get. I demoed the rossinal B2 and B3... Both are good in powder and the B2 holds edge super easly... but i wanted something that i actualy had to ski not the ski does all the work for me (but not something that would make me work as hard as my cuts did... sheesh jump turns every where in the steeps/trees). I picked up a pair of atomic snoop daddies (waist 88mm) it was sort of a spur of the moment purchase... but their super light so you can dance all through the trees/steeps with ease...when your in deep pow they give you the lift you need and are also supper fun on groomers. Hold edge well and are stable at high speeds (considering their light wait). Not shure how they would prefform doing bumps... i'm no expert at that myself... i don't think it would matter what type of ski i was on in those circumstances. But the sweet daddy is reviewed to have accomplish mogul preformance (waist is 80mm)... I figured i just add an atomic all-mountain ski to your list worth cheking out.
post #19 of 21
post #20 of 21
I'll second the Karma. I just demod a pair last week and was very impressed. They can turn in a pinch, do the bumps and fly when the path is open. Find a pair and try them for yourself. A very versatile ski for one in the mid fat category. If I didn't have the 8800 I would buy these and would be tempted if I saw a good deal on some.
post #21 of 21
AK No Ka Oi, baby!

A bit stiff.
A bit demanding.
But once you locate the sweet spot it's a ripping ski.

Comes in a 180, too!

http://www.akski-usa.com/products.html

You can demo 'em at Kirkwood and they're cheap, as well (price, not construction).

I've been alternating between my No Ka Oi and Mantra all season (14 days so far in Tahoe and Colo).
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