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Yet another what ski to buy thread

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I know we do this a lot but here goes anyway:

Me: 5-11, 185, 53 yrs, level low 8, skiing for 30 years, go anywhere, can't bang bumps all day anymore, ski Keystone, Vail, BC, Abasin.

Past skis: I spent five years on a Volkl G3 as a one ski quiver until last year. Replaced with Dynastar 8000, then got a deal on used Karma's, then another deal on Elan 999. I bought the 8000s as a one ski quiver but prefered the Karmas in soft conditions and tried to force the 8000s into a hard snow only role. I wasn't happy with the results so I sold them and am now shopping for something to fill the hard snow spot.

How I'll use them: Anytime there's new (not powder days, that's the 999) or soft snow I'll be on the Karmas. I ski with my son who's 14. He pretty much just wants to ski fast GS turns on blue/black groomers. I will follow but I'm always looking for the junk at the side of the trail, shot in the trees, bump section, etc. I want something that makes good medium radius turns on hardpack and holds well, but will ski in tight spots and bumps as well.

So far I want to demo the RX8 that everyone here raves about. I have found them in a rental shop nearby. Please add to my list of things to look at.

Thanks all,
post #2 of 4
There are soooooo many great hard snow aces that it is hard to focus on just a few. Given that you have two pretty wide skis already, it might make sense to get something really narrow and super quick like the RX-8. However, it I were buying a hard snow ski for Colorado (or Tahoe FTM) I might be looking at something a little wider.

The RX9 is to me a better choice as a Western ski than the 8. Other superb choices are the Nordica Speedmachine Carbon, Nordica Modified, Dynastar Contact 11, Volkl All Star.

There are gazzillions of others too.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
I was thinking about the 9 instead of the 8 as well. Allstars never get good bump reviews. Don't know who carries Nordica, I'll start looking. Thanks.
post #4 of 4
Steve, I have/had some of the same skis as you. Have skied the 8000, 777, and 999 in the past. Karmas are my current soft snow aces, and I have some Atomic Sweet Daddys for fluffy powder and bumps. I have RX-8 skis for hardpack carving. The ski in the middle of my quiver is the Elan Magfire 12 or the Elan M666 (basically the same ski, one marketed as all mountain with integrated binding and the other marketed as free-ride and sold flat). This ski can pretty much do everything well, and overlaps the others in my quiver to some extent. It would be my go to ski if I was going to encounter variable conditions or had to take only one ski on a trip somewhere. They carve almost as well as the RX-8, but are a little slower edge to edge because of the wider waist. However, they carve much smoother and more stably than the RX-8 and are more composed. Where the RX-8 falls short and the Mag12/M666 shines is in crud, on the edges of trails, and in variable conditions.

While I heartily recommend the RX-8 as a dedicated hardpack carver (they are among the best in this regard) I find them out of their element in anything less than groomed snow. They can be skied OK in crud and powder, but other skis do it so much better and with less attention/babysitting from the skier.

Jim's suggestion to look at the RX-9 is good. I have skied that and it's a lot more versatile than the RX-8. But ultimately I decided I could get even more versatility, and not lose a whole lot of hardpack performance, with a mid fat like the Mag12/M666 or skis like the Head Monster 77. Generally, I think skis with a 75-77mm waist and 60/40 to 50/50 off-piste/on-piste are good do-it-all skis. They are not so wide that they are a penalty for carving, but they are wide enough to handle choppy snow well. I actually prefer mid-fats in tight spaces myself, as they are a lot more graceful underfoot than wider skis like the Karmas. Most mid-fats are stout enough that they can be skied shorter for more maneuverability, or skied longer for better crud-busting.

So I would recommend the Elan Mag 12 or M666, or the Head iM 77. If you like skiing the edges of trails and carving the middles, these skis will be great in my experience. Dawgcatching happens to have a great price on all of these skis at the moment.

Good luck!
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