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Crossfire vs. Z9

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'm hoping to upgrade my current ski to something a little more stable for the eastern hardpack (ice). I demo'd both the Rossignol Z9 and the K2 Apache Crossfire this past weekend but first a little about me. I'm 5"11 230 lbs (yeah I know...) and currently skiing on 2003/2004 Head Monster 70's with a 177 cm length. I enjoy the ski and spend most of my time on piste and I would also like ski some steeper terrain with stability. The Monster is my first shaped ski.

I enjoyed both the Z9 and the Crossfire. During my demo's I thought that the Z9 was a really fun ski. Quick, snappy energetic and responsive. The Crossfire was an awesome ski, it gave me this feeling of total confidence, like driving a Lexus. I'd be looking at the Z9 in a 170 and the Crossfire in a 167.

I hardly ever (one run a year) spend any time in the woods, and seem only to see powder that covers my boots only once or twice a year (bad timing is my enemy).

Any suggestions on which ski would be more versatile and handle the ice pack better would be appreciated. I mostly spend one day a week in the Pocono's, spend a weekend at Windham and about 10 days at Killington a year. I'd hold on to the Monsters, for powder, softer snow and spring skiing. I'd like to purchase either the Crossfire or Z9 this weekend.

post #2 of 13
Try the RX8 in 175. I am your weight and height and they work well for me.
post #3 of 13

agree with fischermh

Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
Try the RX8 in 175. I am your weight and height and they work well for me.
absolutely huge agree

but you all know that
actually at 230 you might even hunt down the 180's (or 175's) both can be found cheap on ebay or our dawgcatching can hook you up(better choice)
post #4 of 13

Just bought the Z9

Had a chance to try it out back here in the east the other night. The conditions were groomed hardpack with patches of ice, the Rossi's edgehold was great, the harder I pushed the better they dug in. I'm 5'6" 155lbs Level 5-6 and ski on the 162. I've almost always skied on Atomic's, but these sticks are about to convert me to Rossignal for good. I even have a friend that's an ex-racer that uses the Z9 to race in the local beer league.

I'm sure there are some folks on here that ski on the Crossfire and can give you a good idea on how they do on the harder stuff. I'm just glad I tried the Z9 - best ski I've been on.
post #5 of 13
I've used both but own and use the crossfire.

I use the 167cm--but having sampled a friends 174 I'd say that's the way to go-especially at your weight.

The z9 is easy for a wider ski-but , IMHO, lacks the strength and power of te crossfire.

Personally-over the course of a season or two you'll appreciate the construction of the K2 over the Rossi-especially if running firm and rugged east coast conditions is the goal.

Two sheets of Perforated metal sandwiching a wood core just has more guts than foam and metal cap.

Crossfire is a great utility east coast ski-but do consider the longer version if you go that way.

Everyone will start chiming in soon with their favorites in this category (Rx8, etc)--honestly-the all purpose cross style ski is something every ski company does well-you won't miss with any companies offerings.

But between the two you've listed-I'd recommend the K2 Crossfire in a 174cm.

Oh-FWIW All skis handle ice---provided they have a sharp well-tuned edge and a proficient handler.

ANd-regarding using your old Head Monster 70's for soft-snow days-I don't think they'd be any more proficient at that then either the crossfire or the Z9 (and possibly not as good)-when you get new skis-you'll want the old ones for thin cover only-and to lend to buddies.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input. I demo'd the Crossfire in the 167 and felt really good on that size. They didn't have the 174 available. I was also planning to use the Head's for earily and late season runs.
post #7 of 13
I own both, The crossfire is a quick turning narrow waisted ski, the Z9 is more stable for me less wander in a straight line. The crossfire has better grip in icey conditions. The Z9 is just ok on icey days. If I was forced to have just one ski for all and I am an east coast skier it would be the Z9 for stability and overall fun. I ski the crossfire in 160 the Rossi in 162 I am 5'7'' @ 165 lps type 3 skier. The crossfires are 2005's the Z9's are 2006's I noticed on my buddies 2006 crossfires a slightly turned up tail compared to mine that may or maynot effect handling but both the K2 and the Rossi have good energy and rebound for me. Again one ski quiver it would be the Z9 but you could hardly go wrong with either.
post #8 of 13
I had a pair of Z9's (176cm - I'm 5'11", 185#) - they performed well everywhere doing anything except in heavy deeper snow, where they didn't float the best. They were bomber everywhere else though. Can't comment on the K2. Haven't skied any of those in years. I may have to demo a pair just for fun some time though.
post #9 of 13
I now own the pair referred to in the above post. I had them out today for the first time. Seem like a good place for a mini review:

Me: 6-0, 190, 53yr. Skiing for 30.

Ski: Z9 in 176

Place: Keystone. I skied some frontside groomers and then went to the Outback for a run in the trees.

Conditions: Temps in the high teens, about an inch of cold new on firm packed powder. Pretty good actually. Some older 4-6" powder in the trees that was somewhat heavy.

First impression: I bought these because they were a good deal and I thought they might fill my frontside no new snow quiver spot. I was concerned about the length. Worries were unfounded. These turn very easily, carve a nice clean line, and tolerate skidding when necessary. They will go moderately fast before starting to wander a bit. Not a race ski by any means. They seem to prefer to be on edge. As others have noted not the most lively ski but I wouldn't mark them down just for that. Kept on edge and carving and they respond nicely. I agree not a first choice as an ice skate either.

In light crud they didn't seem to get banged about and the quick turning and somewhat soft tips/tails made them work ok in bumps. They were not happy in the old pow as even the pretty wide shovel couldn't make up for the skinny waist. I have other wide skis that will come out on those days.

Overall I like them. Time will tell if they get permanent status in the quiver.
post #10 of 13
Follow up to above post:

Well, I've got two more days on the Z9s and they're starting to grow on me. First day was 6-8" pow day. Sure they don't float but they did nicely on the trees. On the afternoon soft pow bumps they ruled. Better than my old 8000s.
Second day pure spring conditions. A little chattery on the morning ice but once things softened they were perfect. When the temps exceed 45 I abandon the helmet/goggles for sunglasses/ball cap. These things were stable like a rock at eye watering speeds. How do you get a ski to turn this easy and yet hang in at speed? Having the 176s can't hurt in this area but they turn like 170s. Soft corn bumps were great again as expected.

They have achieved keeper status.
post #11 of 13
Good to hear! I'm glad you're happy with them!
post #12 of 13
Here's how the new Crossfires look. Note the circles with the logo inside formed by pairing up the tips and tails.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
To follow up my own post I went with the K2 Crossfire and I am totally happy with them. I may try to add the Z9 to my collection but I may get thrown out of the house if i do that too soon!

Thanks for the input
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