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Opinions requested. Really.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi, I suspect there won’t be any challenge getting opinions, and I’d appreciate some thoughts-

Me – 5:9, 175, 51 (yikes – how’d that happen?) level 8.5 +. Live on the Ice Coast but try to avoid it if at all possible. Vast majority of days (mid-high 30’s year) is at Whistler (14), but a fair amount at Utah (10) and some in CO (6). Ability – double diamonds at the Canyons aren’t a major challenge, and with good snow will go into terrain at Whistler not expected of my age, and do it reasonably well.

My “style” – OK, I learned 40 years ago, so there’s some of the vestiges of the dark ages, including an occasional skid here and there, but I think I’ve adjusted pretty well to contemporary skis and technique. Compared to many of those my age I see out there, I have my feet farther apart, don’t fall into the reverse weighting syndrome, although I can find myself in the back seat a bit too often.

My Skis – I like them on the short side, love snap, crackle and pop down the fall line and am a “finesse” skier. I have demoed lots of stuff and Dynastar’s work best for me, so I’ve got - Dynastar 8800 (168), Dynastar 8000 (165), Dynastar Skicross 10 (170), K2 Axispro (181) – can’t bear to let them go – lots of good memories.

The Question – I will be getting some new Dynastar’s, and only Dynastar’s so other brand suggestions aren’t necessary (long story). In any case, given my quiver, and skiing areas, I suspect the Contact series would make most sense for the occasional foray onto the Eastern vertically-challenged rink, as I think I have the West reasonably well covered in the 8k, and 8.8k.

Usually I’ve always gone top-of-the-line, just because it was the top-of-the line. I’ve heard really good things about the Contact 9’s however, a ski I haven’t been able to demo. It’s not as wide as the 11, but again, I have the 8k’s that I’ve used for the past 2 seasons in the East.

So – Contacts, or something else in the Dynastar line? Contact 11 or 9? Thoughts gratefully appreciated.
post #2 of 12
Contact 11 is great. You could also look at the inline Omeglass 64 if you want another option besides the Contact series.
post #3 of 12
I also agree about the Contact 11, The 165cm will be quick feeling, the 172cm more versatile.

I used Contact 11 in Vermont, Utah and in western Canada with great results. It will carve or skid without complaint and is very good in softer snow while holding an edge on firmer a snow.

This might be of interest: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...act+ stratton

Michael
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Contact 11 is great. You could also look at the inline Omeglass 64 if you want another option besides the Contact series.
I'll second this suggestion. The Contact 11 will be better if you want a bit more all mountain use while the Omeglass (I think its called the Speed now) will shine in short slalom turns on hardpack and ice.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks - I hadn't really thought about the Omeglass, but I think the Contact is more my kind of ski, particularly after reading in the CO report that:
"The ski will generate so much power out of the turn that I could project off the snow for 15 feet and transition into the next turn immediately. " That's my kind of tool.

Barrett - so it'll reasonably work in crud too? Impressive. It sounds like something my 16 year-old and I will enjoy swapping off. He also has his own 8k's and Skicross 9's plus my quiver. Lucky kid

I had seen (and can't find again) a SierraJim review on the Contact 9 where he said it was a "gem" and better than the 11 in some conditions. Any idea about it? Would it be a better east coast ski with a 66mm waist?

Thanks for your time and patience.
post #6 of 12
I don't think you can really go wrong with any of the Contacts 9, 10, or 11. The 10 is the same ski as the 11 but with a softer composite plate. Nobody talks about the 10, but it's a great ski too and there are probably deals on it.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
Thanks - I hadn't really thought about the Omeglass, but I think the Contact is more my kind of ski, particularly after reading in the CO report that:
"The ski will generate so much power out of the turn that I could project off the snow for 15 feet and transition into the next turn immediately. " That's my kind of tool.

Barrett - so it'll reasonably work in crud too? Impressive. It sounds like something my 16 year-old and I will enjoy swapping off. He also has his own 8k's and Skicross 9's plus my quiver. Lucky kid

I had seen (and can't find again) a SierraJim review on the Contact 9 where he said it was a "gem" and better than the 11 in some conditions. Any idea about it? Would it be a better east coast ski with a 66mm waist?

Thanks for your time and patience.
Hi SF,

While I have no problem developing energy out of the Contact 11, my comment about he skis "power" might require a little moderation. Let me explain;

I actually think that crud performance in the 178cm size is excellent, one of the best features of the Contact 11 is the way it manages crud & moguls. The tail is relatively narrow; it is 20mm more slender than the tip where most skis have a tail are 10 to 15mm more narrow than the tip. The tail is not as stiff as some all-mountain carving ski. This combination of the soft and narrow tail allows the ski to easily release from a carved turn as needed in crud and moguls. It also helps the tails sink and keeps the tips up in deeper snow.

I find that the vertical sidewalls under-foot provide very good grip and power compared to most skis. Does the ski provide the power of a sandwich-construction with vertical-sidewall ski? No, not quite. However the ski provides a level of performance and versatility that most skiers will find to be more than sufficient.

Last year I used the ski in Colorado, Utah, Vermont & Alberta. It was very capable in a wide range of conditions.

Hope that helped.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
Hi, I suspect there won’t be any challenge getting opinions, and I’d appreciate some thoughts-

Me – 5:9, 175, 51 (yikes – how’d that happen?) level 8.5 +. Live on the Ice Coast but try to avoid it if at all possible. Vast majority of days (mid-high 30’s year) is at Whistler (14), but a fair amount at Utah (10) and some in CO (6). Ability – double diamonds at the Canyons aren’t a major challenge, and with good snow will go into terrain at Whistler not expected of my age, and do it reasonably well.

My “style” – OK, I learned 40 years ago, so there’s some of the vestiges of the dark ages, including an occasional skid here and there, but I think I’ve adjusted pretty well to contemporary skis and technique. Compared to many of those my age I see out there, I have my feet farther apart, don’t fall into the reverse weighting syndrome, although I can find myself in the back seat a bit too often.

My Skis – I like them on the short side, love snap, crackle and pop down the fall line and am a “finesse” skier. I have demoed lots of stuff and Dynastar’s work best for me, so I’ve got - Dynastar 8800 (168), Dynastar 8000 (165), Dynastar Skicross 10 (170), K2 Axispro (181) – can’t bear to let them go – lots of good memories.

The Question – I will be getting some new Dynastar’s, and only Dynastar’s so other brand suggestions aren’t necessary (long story). In any case, given my quiver, and skiing areas, I suspect the Contact series would make most sense for the occasional foray onto the Eastern vertically-challenged rink, as I think I have the West reasonably well covered in the 8k, and 8.8k.

Usually I’ve always gone top-of-the-line, just because it was the top-of-the line. I’ve heard really good things about the Contact 9’s however, a ski I haven’t been able to demo. It’s not as wide as the 11, but again, I have the 8k’s that I’ve used for the past 2 seasons in the East.

So – Contacts, or something else in the Dynastar line? Contact 11 or 9? Thoughts gratefully appreciated.
The Contact 11 is replaced by the Contact Ltd. (exact same ski as LY 11 but new paint). Contact 11 will be more of a power ski for you somewhat like the Skicross 10 (with obvious differences) the Contact 10 is the ski I would bet on for you. Key thing you said was "finesse" the 10 comes out of thexact same mold as the 11 with the exact same lay up, the only difference is the Fluid plate 11 is titinal, 10 is composite. The 10 makes the best fall line short turns.

coup
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks very much for all the thoughts - much appreciated.

I spent an hour on the phone with Dynastar today (incredibly helpful), and the final decision was the Contact 9, which is recommended over the 11 for the East because while it is the identical skis, it has- composite vs. metal plate underfoot and does not require so much speed to get it working - better for narrow Eastern trails and tree skiing (as opposed to Western glade skiing).

Speed capability was indicated to be closely the same, but the 9 should have a better snap, crackle and pop quotient in the fall line because of the shape. Instructors/patrol in the East apparently favor the 9 by a very large margin. The narrower waist (66 vs 72) also has a benefit of gripping on the ummm, "packed powder" we get to scrape over on this coast.

The shorter turn radius (12m vs 14m) should also be fun, as I'll trade these off with the 8k's and 8.8's that are decidely longer.

The 10 was out of the picture early for other reasons (availablility). So now I have a quiver that should be reasonably comfortable for a while.

Thanks again for your comments. Hope to see some of you out west this coming season.
post #10 of 12
The guy I ski with most often has purchased probably a dozen high end skis since he purchased Axis Pros years back, and his only regret has been he wished he hadn't taken the Axis Pro to the tent sale. He loved those skis.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
I still have them, and one day I'm going to strap them on and let 'em rip. As I remember they were livelier than the typical K2, but you could wind up to stupid speed and they stayed quiet and stable. They were the last of my stupid fast skis after I got into the "if-you-screw-up-at-this-speed-many-things-will-hurt-for-a-very-long-time" 50-year-old reality. Probably just as well.

I was at a demo day at Stratton (through no fault of my own) about 4 years ago, and tried everything, not expecting anything to take me off the AxisPro's. Nothing did until the Skicross 10's went on my feet, then I just chuckled all the way down the run. Bought some (at full retail!) the following week as life is too short to not ski on what you love. Like my (really old) K2 4's with the red-white and blue bases - snakes!

I really wish I still had the old Merlin XI's though. A year ago there was a brand new pair in 174 that sold on sleezebay. I forgot about them, and when I remembered, I was an hour too late. $150 new in wrapper. Damn.
post #12 of 12
I bought a pair of Merlin VI 198 cm at a liquidation sale. I know I never got close to finding out what that ski's top end was. I don't know if I ever flexed them into reverse camber. The ski skied me for sure. I ended up selling them to a guy that was about 240-250 lbs. and he told he thought they were noodles! In my opinion, I thought the VI was one stout ski, and no doubt the 198 cm was at least 10 cm too long for me.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Opinions requested. Really.