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All-mountain intermediate+ ski selection

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to purchase my first pair of "real" skis. This is my first season skiing seriously, and so far I've been using a pair of 180cm Salomon X-scream 700s. These were purchased from rental stock for $49 and have served me well. I'll probably keep them for a while longer as rock skis. Now it's time to move up to a ski that lets me get all over the montain.

The vitals:
Male, 27, 6'7" tall, 235-240 lbs.

I am currently skiing at the 6-7 level. I am very comfortable on blue terrain. I'm able to carve on said blue terrain. Last weekend I took some video and it's clear that I'm still not keeping my upper body nearly calm enough, so that's an area I need to work on. I can link turns on packed or groomed black terrain, but this is a new area for me and I'm still building comfort. I still lack a combination of technique and equipment to really set an edge in hard pack on the blacks, so my turns suffer. Crud, moguls, powder present a good challenge for me right now. Given my progress so far this season I expect to be skiing black terrain aggressively by the end of this season. I want to make sure I have skis that will handle this.

I'm a west coast skier, mostly tahoe. I have season passes at Kirkwood and Heavenly. For those familiar with kirkwood I'm very comfortable on chair 4 and 11, beginning to explore chair 6. I won't be hucking any cliffs, but I do want to ski the whole mountain in whatever the conditions happen to be. I don't want to sacrifice too much performance on the packed snow (since that's been almost entirely what we've had so far) but am looking to get more in the powder. A modern all-mountain ski with a slight bias towards carving with a fairly short radius is probably where I need to go.

I'm very interested in what the proper length ski will be for me. I don't know many skiers of my size, so it's hard to simply draw on their experiences. I'm fairly fit and am capable of making very powerful movements... but I find that subtle movements get me a lot better result on skis. Do I need 180+cm of edge to hold? Do I want something much shorter so that I can carve those 10m turns? There's a lot of technology in new skis that I don't entirely grok yet. I think that outlines my dilema pretty well.

Advice, suggestions? I appreciate anything the expert bears have to say.

post #2 of 6

Skis for you

To "see" the whole mountain:

Rossignol B2 182 cm

To scream on groomed trails and peak at whole mountain:

Rossignol Z9 176
post #3 of 6
Volkl Supersport Allstar Titanium in a 175 =)
post #4 of 6
Given your location, I'd suggest trying to contact SierraJim at Sierra Snowboard in Sacramento?/Truckee? (he posts here regularly and he always seems to have great advice and well versed reviews of skis). Given your size, getting some good advice and demoing is a good idea. I wonder about the K2 Recons as a ski that fits the bill.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm strongly considering Atomic Metron M:11 or B:5 skis in 172, or possibly 178. The local shop has Metron M:9s that I can demo, so I might try those out on my next day trip. I'm not sure where I would be able to find the M:11 or B:5 to demo, especially in the longer lengths.

I did demo some K2 Comanche 5COMs in 174 length. This is the shortest ski I have ever skied, and is fatter than my Soloman X-Screams. I found the 5COMs to be really quite good in the crud. My technique was clearly lacking in the heavy powder, but I don't think this was due to any weakness in the ski. I did find that on the groomed slope and crud both I needed to be much more careful about how I tipped the skis. Tipping (especially the inside ski) required more effort and I was prone to excessively steer the ski and catch the shovel. Not so good. After focusing on this I was able to ski them a lot better. They did not seem to hold an edge as well as my current skis, though, so I don't think I'll be choosing them.

The suggestion for the Rossignol Z9 seems to match what I'm looking for as well. I will see if I can find a pair to demo. Has anyone skied both the Rossignol Z9 and Atomic Metron M:11 or B:5? A direct comparison would be great.

post #6 of 6
You can demo the B5's and M11's at the Stagecoach Lodge at Heavenly. $35/day for all the skis you want to test.
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