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Rossi Zenith 3 vrs Zenith 9 skis

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I know this has been beat around a lot and I have read the numerious other threads on these skis, but I have a question as to the best ski for me and it is definatley narrowed to 2 skis in the same Rossi last year line up: the Z3 or Z9.

Some info:
I'm male, 185 lbs, 6'1" and 56 yrs young
I would consider myself towards to top of intermediate to lower advanced on a beginner/intermediate/advanced/expert scale.
I ski the groomed and semi groomed blues and easier blacks with seemingly good form. I fall apart on the steeps, big moguls, and deep powder. The most fun is a run with small 1' moguls and 2-4" of new snow. The small 1' bumps seem to help me turn and I enjoy planning a course through them. The new snow seems to slow me down a bit as I generally just point the tips downhill and turn alot thefore I get going to fast for myself at some point if the hill is steep. I do many more slalom type smaller turns than wider GS turns.

What I want is to continue progressing and ski the blacks though I only ski 6-8 times a year in the Colorado resorts around Denver. Form and smooth turns means more than just getting down the hill so I try to work on it as I ski. I do not anticipate doing much deeper powder or back bowl runs.

I ski on Atomic 9.14's now at 190cm (7 yr old model). I definatley want to go shorter though the 190cm does not seem to bother me. After all the above information you may want to recommend another brand/model ski however, I am only interested in the Rossi Zenith 3 or 9 as it is a very unusual price opportunity and will afford me another ski. I have read the comments in previous posts on the Zenith 9 but not much is written on the Zenith 3. The Z9 seems to be more advanced but in many cases even newer skiers seem to be better on more advanced skis - then again, the Zenith line does not seem to be overly advanced or to specialized and I need all mountian type of equipment.

I will probably pick the Axial 2 binding and have it mounted on top of the plates (or should I mount directly to the ski?).

I greatly appreciate any comments that may affect my decision. Unfortunatley, I cannot demo anything and have a window of a few weeks to pick one.

Thank you!
post #2 of 13

Rossi Z3 or Z9

I have the Rossi Z5 and have been very happy with them. Our skiing ability seems similar as well as our size. I ski 170. I just cruise around and am not a speed demon.

You should probably think about where you want to take your skiing. If you are really looking to increase your speed and agressiveness...go Z9.

If you want to cruise around go Z3.

Best of luck.

post #3 of 13
AFAIK, there are 2 shapes in the Zenith line.
The Z1 / Z3, around 120/72/100, and the Z5 / Z9, around 125/74/105. The latter zeniths having a shorter radius.
The Z3 is rather similar in flex to the Z5, but more conservatively shaped.
The Z9 is the top of the line, shorter radius, stiffer flex. Basicaly Rossi's answer to atomic metrons, and a great ski by all accounts.
Neither skis will shine in powder, but the Z9 is very competent in soft snow, in its width class. I don't know about the Z3.

I would tend to recommend the Z9, as it's a more interesting design than the Z3. and a hi-perf short radius ski that can suit a good intermediate who likes SL turns, but I have no actual experience with the Z3.

Make that my 0.1$...
post #4 of 13
I'm about the same size as you but a more experienced skier. I have a pair of Z9s in 178. I really like it in spring corn and other soft snow. I've skied it on an 8" power day and it did fine. I find it not great in hard snow conditions. It's really easy to ski and not at all demanding. Makes all size turns well, just doesn't hold that great on hardpack.

post #5 of 13
Can you tell us where and how much these two skis are?

Do you have the option on the Z5? If so, probably the
better solution.
post #6 of 13
Going by the stats, I have to agree with Philippe. The Z9 and Z5 have the same radius, with the 9 designed with higher speeds in mind. With a 14.8-m sidecut radius these two should be ok for you in about 176. I would get the the 9, being designed for all conditions it should be soft and forgiving enoug for you; it's not like it's a brutally stiff race-stock ski.

The three is for making slightly longer turns (16.4 m at 170cm), but at even slower speeds. I don't quite see the point in that unless you've never skied before.
post #7 of 13
Z9 - no question.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your comments.
It would appear they predominatly echo what I have been able to turn up searching around. The Z9 would be better even for only the shorter turns I like to do, and in addition would allow for more advancement in my ski ability if I can get out more in the following years. If I got it right the Z3 is a softer flex version AND wider sidecut version of the Z9; and the 5 is a softer flex version of the Z9 to make it simple in understanding the most major thing about them.

As long the Z9 is not too stiff I they should be the best choice between the two. I wish I knew the relative flex/stiffness of my Atomic Beta Carv 9.18's to compare. Actually picking skis by all this reading and posing questions is interesting in that I've picked up some new information about the sports equipment, but if not for price and a freinds offer to put me into a new pair and get out there more I would wait to demo some.

I'm thinking the Z9. They were 170 cm which I think is about right for my 185-190 lb 6'1".

Thanks again! I know I will enjoy browsing in this very informational forum
to learn alot more.

Now on to boots and those postings on where to put the bindings on those Z9's. I might as well ask. Are Bandit 14's likely too stiff for me? The Interwest Outlet stores have them for $269. My style and ability is in the first post of this thread.
post #9 of 13


I recommend going to a ski shop and getting a good boot fitter. Makes a big difference.

A great ski with lousy boot fit defeats the great ski.

post #10 of 13
Yes. Go to a good bootfitter and get the boot that fits you.
Trust his advices and don't be cheap.
Boots are the most important piece of ski gear. Skis can be rented. Not boots.
post #11 of 13


I have been on the Z9 for 2 seasons now. I have several other skis but use the Z9 the most. I ski primarily on the east coast. It works well on the steeps and icey slopes. Holds an edge well on all but the most rock hard ice. Works decent in the moguls for me. Most would probably consider it good to excellent in bumps. Decent in the powder, can get a little unstable if not held firmly underfoot. Hard to relax on this ski on steep challenging terrain. Makes GS turns fairly well, although I have found myself leaning as hard forward over the tips as I could to try and push more speed out of it. It is not a very forgiving ski. If you are in the backseat frequently forget it. I consider this a good ski, for lack of a better term, old schoolers like me. It is good for people who like to turn a lot. I grew up, and was trained to ski that way. I feel that is why many people are labeled as old school, as we like to turn rather than bomp down the mountain on the tails of our skis. Overall a good ski with some compromises. It was the ski of the year.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
A boot tech visit. Yes, for sure. I found one in the forum list that is here in Denver. I was really inquiring more so about the level of stiffness I should consider, in that there are no standardized levels apparently betweem mfg's. The B14's were Rossi's and 70-80.

First things first ...but not necessarily in that order.
post #13 of 13
Just my 2 cents:
Well I'm 165 lbs and now have what I consider a fairly soft boot with a flex index of 100 or 110. I used to have a much stiffer boot, but I was a little crazy then and put very high forces and demands on my boots and was willing to put up with the compromised performance when skiing like a sane person. The soft one is really better for me under most conditions 99% of the time. You've got 20 lbs on me and from your description I'm guessing you're not as advanced, and not into high speeds. Your extra weight and your lower performance requirements probably cancel each other out, so I say go with a flex index of about 100 for a year or two and then you will be able get it spot on for your next boots. You would typically find this in a high-performance, but not race boot, maybe one or two levels down from the race boot.
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