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K2 or salomon all mountain skis?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I posted about this on here a little while ago, but have since collected more information. I'm also asking similar questions on a coupel of Australian forums but figure it can't hurt to get a wider opinion

Right, so I need new skis. I'm 180cm (5ft 11in) and 73 Kgs (160 lbs), male, 20, and an aggressivish high intermediate i suppose. Though everyone says that so I'm probably average aggressiveness really.

I ski Ruapehu NZ almost exclusively as it's not very often I can afford to go anywhere else, though I have saved up for a trip to Canada this summer. The snow at Ruapehu is generally referred to as concrete. Although I like to get off piste it's not very often the snow's good enough so in general I'm stuck on hard, icy runs. So I guess I need a pair of All Mountain skis with good grip on ice? I would also consider more racing-style skis if that was thought to be a good option for the ice.

At the moment I'm using my girlfriend's 5 year old rossi ex rentals, at 170cm. She's my height etc so they're alright, but they're starting to get rather soft heh. So, I've decided to get new sticks. It has also been suggested to me that i should be looking closer to 180cm.

I have access to cheap K2s and Salomons. Having checked out a few reviews it seems that the K2 Apache Crossfire may be the most suitable ski from their range. The equivalent Salomon ski would perhaps appear to be the X-wing 10 or x wing blast, as far as I can tell.

Any advice on the advantages/disadvantages of those skis? I've heard about the foam cores in Salomons, but apparently some of their new ones have wood... apart from that i really don't know what to look for.

Cheers in advance, guys

oh, and i plan on demoing as much as possible but it's hard to find out when the demo dates are at Ruapehu so dunno how easy that'll be.
post #2 of 18
Ignore the core...........

That is not a good criteria for a choice as there have been and are good skis made from all different types of cores. Having said that, the stronger skis in the Salomon line are wood or wood composites. The K2's while wood, are typically not really stout skis.

From K2.....The Crossfire is the best of the K2's on really hard snow, but K2's in general are not the best at that condition. If you are now on the '07-'08 product cycle, the Crossfire will be a new construction and it is an improvement over the '06-'07 version.

From Salomon.....The Wing 10 and the Blast are not your best choice for really hard snow. The Tornado will be a better call if you guys are on the '06-'07 cycle. If you are on the '08 product cycle, then the Tornado is still a good choice along with the new Cyclone which is quite good on hard stuff.

If you have a chance to look around for a Nordica SUV 12 from '05-'06 that is a superb hard snow ski and can be had at value pricing here in the states. (can't say about availability down under however)

post #3 of 18

The Short List

Here is the short list of skis for you (based on what we know so far)
Atomic Metron B5 any of the last three years makes on that ski have a supurb ice hold.
Volkl supersport s5 or the volkl tiger shark from this year
Atomic izor 9.7 carbon
elan magfire 8 or 10

Of course a better explination of your ability would be nice. agressiveness doesnt exactly tell us about the quality of your skiing. hopefully in your case your ability is being restricted by your equipment.
For example on a scale of 1 to 10 10 being the best where would you rate your skiing ability?
post #4 of 18
err, the OP said K2 or Salomon...
My 0.2$, (from a euro perspective where we get sometimes different skis than theUS market) :
If you're stuck on hard snow, buy a hard snow ski :
Salomon Crossmax W12 or Equipe GC (that's the same ski)
K2 MotoCross.
I would vote for the K2, based on my experience with previous Sollys Crossmax and the good reputation of the MotoCross. But I heard good things about the Equipe GC... So, if demos are not an option, go with the cheapest. And rent if, one day, you can hit pow !

If you want some versatility, the fabled "all moutain" ski, I would tend to go really wider. The Crossfire or the 10 are marginaly wider than Crosses : what the point ? Look at the Salomon Fury or the K2 Public Ennemy. That would be like driving a SUV on the freeway though : You need to honestly assess how many days you'll ski in soft or deep snow.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hmm yeah okay guys cheers for the help so far guys. I have since found out that I may also be able to get hold of Elans, though it may be a little more difficult.

We're on the 07/08 cycle down here. Since posting I've heard a report that the Crossfire is now more of a grippy advanced carver than an all mountain ski, and that it has replaced the motocross comp (which philippeR mentioned).

I'm not sure on the availability for me of the tornado and cyclone, but I'm hearing you about the X wing 10 and Blast. If I can't get either of the others that might mean forgetting about Salomon. If so, at least I'm narrowing down my options

hmm, my ability... well, it's hard to say really. I'd been skiing a fair few times when I was a kid but have only really got into it in the last 2 years or so, so haven't had a huge number of hours on skis. I haven't had any lessons so my technique is probably not that great (I plan on doing something about that this year), but when I got back on skis two years ago I pretty much automatically got into parallel turns so haven't really been through the whole wedge thing. In terms of the "levels" used on these boards, I'm probably around a 6 or 7 though I can ski pretty much everything black (not double black) on Ruapehu as long as it's not too icy.

If it's any indication, the description of the Magfire 10 I've got here as "not for the weak hearted" and "steer clear if you're only intermediate" does sound a little scary compared with my old rossi's heh, though I am reasonably (!) fit so could probably handle it with a bit of practice.

" If you're stuck on hard snow, buy a hard snow ski". Yeah that's what I'm kinda thinking, and I would probably be willing to sacrifice the off piste ability for better grip, with an eye on getting a pair of fats if I end up getting off piste a lot more.

Okay, so at the moment (unless i happen upon the older skis) it seems to kinda be down to Magfire 8s or 10s, the new K2 Crossfires, or Salomon Tornado/cyclone/crossmax if available. Any further ideas on any of these or others worth considering?

Thanks again guys
post #6 of 18
The '07-'08 Crossfire is arguably the best ski that K2 has built in years. The new vertical sidewall/laminate layup has given the ski more grip and a more solid feel without sacrificing the comfortable ride that has made K2 appealing to many skiers. The K2 would generally be described as smooooooth and damp with moderate energy.

The Solly Cyclone is a new model and is very solid and quite grippy. Despite the slurs that you occasionally hear, Salomon knows very well how to build strong agressive skis when they choose to do so. The Cyclone is grippier and more energetic than the Crossfire but not as damp nor quite as forgiving. The Tornado is light and energetic and despite the fact that it is somewhat wider than the other two, is probably the more nimble of the three (due to the light weight and somewhat softer flex) On really rough, hard snow, the Tornado will feel a little bouncy, but the tradeoff is that it will handle a bit of wet powder or snow cone snow with a little more ease.

I did not ski the Magfires this year and I know they are somewhat different than the ones that I have skiied in the past. In the past, I was impressed by the 12 but not so much by the 8.

post #7 of 18
SierraJim, what are the specs for the Salomon Cyclone ? How does it fit in the Salomon range, compared to the crossmaxes ? I'm asking this because it's not listed here. ie, maybe a US denomination.

I stand corrected re the new Crossfire design.
post #8 of 18
I think it is the Crossmax W-12. Although this is a pretty darned nice ski for it's category, I chose not to carry this model. The expert carver category in my market is not exceptionally strong. Most buyers in this range are asking for the more mass market oriented models from Volkl or K2. When I choose models, I have to include those due to demand. I also carry a few other options that are exceptional in performance and/or that offer something different. The Solly, while very good, is not exceptional enough nor different enough to make make it into a rather limited group of models.

Honestly, from a pure performance standpoint, the Cyclone is probably as good or better than the comparable K2 or Volkl models but Salomon has simply lost their following in this category here in the U.S. market. Their following in the range of the Fury, Tornado, 1080 gun etc. is still quite viable, and I carry all those models.

post #9 of 18
Gotta love Salomon marketing... One ski, three top sheets. (Crossmax, X-Wing, Equipe).
Thanks for the answer.
post #10 of 18
There are probably more than three.......don't forget the "Demo-Max-12" (or somesuch) that will likely be sold in the Aisian markets.....

post #11 of 18
Sierra Jim, What do you think of the new X-Wing Fury? I skied it in the spring (184) and found it an improvement in the current Fury, which I also like.
post #12 of 18
'08-Fury.....I like it a lot maybe even a whole lot. I'll elaborate with an anecdote.

In the Spring two employees and I hit Kirkwood on a Wednesday. As always, we had several skis with us. It was a thin snow year for us, but it happened that we caught about 6-8" of straight depth overnight. This translated to as much as 12" or a bit more in the pockets and the trees. The surface underneath was like a coral reef....uneven, rough, and rocklike.

All three of us really appreciated the new Fury. It was a little more nimble and easier going than the Mythic Rider which is the fave of two of the three of us. The Solly has more shape than the Mythic and so it is a little turnier and also a little more twitchy when it hit a coral head. Still, the grip, stability, and dampening is superior to the current model Fury (which I also like) We had two fat skis with us and we skiied them as we traded skis around. All of us enjoyed the Fury and the Mythic more than the "big-uns" on that day.

I seldom use the term "favorite" in any ski category because there are so many skis that I like. In this category, the Mythic is a favorite ski. If it were not for the Mythic, I might place the Fury as my favorite. Tyler, who is 6-4" about 210# and a L-7 skier now favors the Fury over the Mythic which was his previous fave. Jesse (5-10, 200, L-9 skier) still prefers the Mythic as I do, (but it's a close call)

post #13 of 18
i recently put a killington skier on the mag 8s and he loved it. when asked to describe his ability the response was almost identical to yours. if that helps.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ah right, yeah I think they use the crossmax topsheet over here, my mate has an older pair of crossmaxes.

Hmm I have to admit the extra forgiveness of the crossfires over the Salomons is a little tempting, as mentioned I'm not exactly technically perfect heh.

Having just spent the last week at Ruapehu (first ski of the season yay), I was reminded by how chopped up and sugary the snow can get later in the day on the main runs. Although I generally attempt to avoid this stuff, sometimes it's not possible...

Which out of the Salomons, the K2 Crossfires or the Elans would perhaps be best at dealing with this as well as the thicker snow on the occasional offpiste run? Although as mentioned I would consider getting a second pair of fatter skis for offpiste skiing, it would be nice to not feel that my main pair was entirely inadequate.

Cheers SJ, Rtop and Philipe
post #15 of 18
Demo these when they come around - http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=57086

There are lots of 70 - 76mm waisted skis that can do everything well. I will stop here as I am extremely prejeduced against Salomon.

K2 are very popular amongst strong intermediate/ advacend skiers who ski mainly groomed but like to dabble off piste - just not a very lively ski IMHO.

Hard snow - as long as it is torsionally strong and stable just get a 1/88 edge put on it and you will be surprised how much more edge grip you get over most skis 1/89 edge set up.
post #16 of 18
remember guys the factory line of K2 is not like the normal K2s...

My PE arent that damp at all but very lively and feel wuick depsite the 85mm waist.
post #17 of 18
Have never met a directional K2 that's all that special. Not bad, just vanilla. Which may be fine if you prefer vanilla. Their fatter twin tips are another story, really superior, but otherwise...SJ has it about right.

Realize that Atomic owns Salomon now. Rec Sollies have some guts, just like their race skis always did. Get a Tornado. Surprisingly solid, wood core under foam and metal, still has that Sollie scalpel feedback, will teach you to carve better, great bite on ice, forgiving but can haul, the best mid-fat soft snow bump/tree ski I've skied. Fury would be a very close second, but less secure on ice, better in pow. The tradeoff is that either one will get some tip deviation at speed in crud. So depends on your typical terrain, what speed you ski. If you want smoother and stronger at speed, forget either brand, think about Dynastar, Fischer, or Elan, shorter.

If you decide on Salomon, at your weight, you'd be fine on this year's models, some deals out there. Far as I can glean, 08's will be beefier, which is great for beefier skiers, less relevant to light folks who don't hit Mach 2.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
hmm yeah i have some thinking to do. *more* thinking. Sigh. at least it's about skiing
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