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Recommendations for 06/07 all mountain skis?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi Bears,
I'm looking to get new skis and boots this year. I'm a grad student, so money is tight - but I've squirreled away some cash. I plan on spending the time and money necessary to get a pair of boots that fit right. Hopefully, I'll have enough money to get some skis too.
About me: 25 yo 5'11" 155 lbs about a level 8 skier I live in seattle so I'll be skiing steven's pass and crystal mostly this year, but will get to ski a few days in colorado when i go back home for christmas. I enjoy skiing steeper groomed runs, bumps and the more difficult off-piste stuff. I've been skiing atomic C-9s in 180cm for a few years, so I think an all-mountain ski will let me have a lot more fun with what i'm skiing. I want something that's much more stable in untracked snow, crud and powder.
I have two questions:
1) What are your ski and length recomendations? I was thinking of these 06/07 skis:

Dynastar 8000 170 cm
k2 apache recon 168 cm
Rossi bandit B3 170 cm
Volkl AC4 170

2) What is the best way and time of year to get a deal on these skis? I know I should demo skis, but by the time I demo a few pairs, will it be too late to find last years' stuff? It'd be great if I could get skis and bindings for $300-$400. Is this doable? Are the labor day tent sales worth the trouble?

Sorry for the long first post, and thanks in advance for your help!
post #2 of 22
Welcome! I'm gonig to bump this to solicit better advice than I can give (calling SJ!)...

There is quite a range of feel (and, I think, performance) in the skis that you list. The Recon is an "all rounder" that feels quite heavy and dead to me, but that is personal preference. Similarly, the B3 strongly prefers soft snow and I did not enjoy it in harder snow (or what would be close to "hardpack" for us out West). The AC4 is a LOT of ski - loves to go fast and I think needs a very talented skier to get the most out of it. Given its stiffness, I suspect that it would really throw you around in bumps. I have not skied the 8000 but have skied the 8800 and loved it. I found the flex pattern to be very smooth and predictible and loved its versatility.

There are lots of Dynastars from the last two years out there still. However, the sizes that you would want will, I suspect, be harder to find (even more so later in the fall).

Other skis to consider would be the Nordica Hot Rods (I am a comparable level of skier and actually loved the Modified best of the ones I tried), and perhaps the Line Prophet 90 (I know that it is a twin and is not in keeping with what you list, but I have found it to be an amazingly versatlie and rewarding ski that is often sold quite cheaply).

Hope this helps start things - now on to more advice from the wiser ones!

Edit: Have you checked REI or Evogear? You should check out advice from SierraJim (Sierra Ski and Snowboard online) - he is very good at articulating the different characteristics of skis and his comments have helped steer me to some skis I never would have tried.
post #3 of 22
If you find any Recons in that size, let me know. I think they are mostly sold out.
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
If you find any Recons in that size, let me know. I think they are mostly sold out.
I know where there are some. A pair of demo's and new. Demo's have 5 days on them.
post #5 of 22
None of these are on your list, but I must say that I have had some phenomenal success with www.levelninesports.com in terms of new gear for unbeatable prices.

Head is the main line of skis that they carry. If you're willing to consider Head the I would maybe recommend the Head Monster IM77 (180cm for $350), the IM75 (184cm for $299), the Mojo 80 (181cm for $280) based upon your above list and the type of stuff that they've got available right now. I've now ordered two sets of skis off that site and had excellent service and delivery (to Canada) in under 10 days. I wasn't a Head convert until I got the Sweet Fat's (the Mojo 90) on a leap of faith and have been extremely impressed by their performance.

Head's seem to be great at all around type stuff. There are skis that stick to ice better and skis that float better, however Heads seem to be the best at plowing through west coast crud (being a west coast skier myself this is of much importance), and while some skis specialize in some things better I have found Heads to be a great all around ski. I prefer the fat ones, but one of my best ski buddies skis on the IM72 and loves it for a one ski 'quiver'.

Good luck
post #6 of 22
Dynastar 8000 170 cm
k2 apache recon 168 cm
Rossi bandit B3 170 cm
Volkl AC4 170

2) What is the best way and time of year to get a deal on these skis? I know I should demo skis, but by the time I demo a few pairs, will it be too late to find last years' stuff?

I've been on all, and, of course, the obligatory "your mileage may vary" disclaimer.

I love my Dynastar 8000's. More fun than a barrel of monkeys. Snappy, great all terrain tool.
The Apache Recon is very damp (read - not as much fun). I still have my Axispro's from years ago, and it doesn't seem that K2's done anything new in the past 5 years. Try some and then get on the Dynastars or Volkl's and you'll see - everything seems to happen in slow motion on the K2.
Rossi Bandit - nice ski. It has that foam core lack of liviness that would be something I wouldn't want to live with everyday however.
Atomic AC4 - nice ski. Not as lively as the Dynastar, but smoother, without much (if any) chatter. It seems you give up some spunk for the smooth ride.

The Nordica suggestion is also a good one. I've been on the Jet Fuel, which was a fun ride, and the Top Fuel, which seemed very ponderous (like a Rossi B2)

Your later statement is something you might want to evaluate - If you demo a bunch of these this season, you'll be in great shape to buy next summer something you know you like.
post #7 of 22
The best way to get a great deal on the ski you want is probably the after season sales. Demo a bunch of skis this year. Come up with 3-4 that you like. After the season is over see what comes up. If you decide one ski is really top dog and much better than the rest then buy it as soon as possible to mke sure you get one. --Tim
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mog_a_rama View Post
None of these are on your list, but I must say that I have had some phenomenal success with www.levelninesports.com in terms of new gear for unbeatable prices.

Head is the main line of skis that they carry. If you're willing to consider Head the I would maybe recommend the Head Monster IM77 (180cm for $350), the IM75 (184cm for $299), the Mojo 80 (181cm for $280) based upon your above list and the type of stuff that they've got available right now. I've now ordered two sets of skis off that site and had excellent service and delivery (to Canada) in under 10 days. I wasn't a Head convert until I got the Sweet Fat's (the Mojo 90) on a leap of faith and have been extremely impressed by their performance.

Head's seem to be great at all around type stuff. There are skis that stick to ice better and skis that float better, however Heads seem to be the best at plowing through west coast crud (being a west coast skier myself this is of much importance), and while some skis specialize in some things better I have found Heads to be a great all around ski. I prefer the fat ones, but one of my best ski buddies skis on the IM72 and loves it for a one ski 'quiver'.

Good luck
I'll echo this. I recently bought some iM77s from Level 9, as well. I have skied Volkls pretty exclusively, but fell hard for some Heads when I was given rentals in Europe ... they were very short and very narrow underfoot (156 XRC 1100s), which was fine because there wasn't a lot of snow and we were on piste for three days. They were killer on the hard stuff!

But it snowed a foot on the fourth day, and they were surprisingly good in that much heavy-ish snow. Much better than my narrow Volkls. The only trouble I had was on the flat runouts through the chop, where I needed to keep up speed. I had to lean waaaaay back, but that was a function of length as much as anything.

Anyway, I really want the 78s, but I bought the 77s to use until my son grows into them. Maybe by then the 78s will be a little cheaper.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
well thanks for all your recommendations everybody. the dynastars, heads and nordicas seem like good options i hadn't really considered. I'll keep an eye out for these as it seems more likely I'll be able to find a good price on them. I've seen the B3's around town for a little under $500 with bindings in a couple of places, so maybe that will be my fall back option. I think I'll try to get new boots tomorrow and see how much cash is left over for skis... Most people here seem to either love or hate the bandits or apaches - "damp" can be a four letter word or high praise i guess.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
well turns out the local ski shop has very little selection in boots right now, so that will have to wait. seems like labor day weekend is the big ski sale weekend so i'll see if i can find anything.
a follow up question - apparently the head monsters are supposed to be pretty stiff. I'm wary of getting a ski that's too stiff since i'm on the lighter side. anybody have some input on this? I ski pretty fast when appropriate, but don't want to have to ski fast to get the ski to work, if that makes sense.
post #11 of 22
I skied the iM 77 in Whistler and found it a bit noodley. But I weigh 200 lbs. Lots of people like it but I found that it lacked the precision of the Volkl AC4 on harder surfaces and at higher speeds. I tried it in 170 cm and 177 cm just to see that I wasn't skiing too short or too long but I found the AC4 177cm better all round including bumps (AC4 not rated as a bump ski) than either length head.

Just so you have an idea of my ski progression/ likes: AC3 170cm/ AC3 177cm/ AC4 177cm / All Star 175cm / Blizzard Titan Nine 188cm/ Stockli Laser SC 170cm/ Rotor 179cm/ DP Pro 193cm/ Rotor 169cm.

I also hated the Recon - if it had been mine I would have thrown it off a cliff and walked home. I swapped at the demo tent for some Rossi Z9 (horrible as well but less horrible than the Recon) so I only had to ski it home at the end of the day.

I tried the Dynastar (a friend skis on them) and they were superb, more all round than the AC4 which can be pretty demanding, and performed well to excellent in all conditions and all terrain.

From your list I would rate the Dynastar the highest.
post #12 of 22
Hmm, I'm french, so my understanding of US geography and snow packs may be sketchy.
But if Washington and Colorado skiing = wet / heavy and abundant snow, and if you intend to avoid the groomers, you should go wider. (Of course, you intend to ski the bumps too...)
A fatter ski, on the soft side of the spectrum (for the bumps), but long ? Something like a Salomon Gun or SandStorm ?
Just a thought.
post #13 of 22
Best deal on a true all-mountain ski I found is on e-bay. Pick up a new pair of last year's Atomic M:EXs and Neox 412 binding for just under $400.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
phillipe,
I appreciate your point - after everyone's suggestions and reading a little more i think i'm leaning more towards a waist in the mid 80's. The solomon gun is 96mm at the waist, which seems pretty wide to me. Is it really going to be better in bumps than say an 85 mm waist? how much softer would it have to be? I have a good friend who's a mogul fanatic who has the solomons though...
Anyway, I'm going to check out the tent sale tomorrow. Based on everyone's suggestions and the reading I've done my most wanted list is something like this:
Dynastar legend 8800 or 8000
Nordica Afterburner
Rossi B3
Head monster 82 or 88 (too much of a handful for bumps?)
k2 - public enemy?
post #15 of 22
Wow... there is a lot of difference in the feel and characteristics of these skis. Despite width similarities, looks a lot like a bowl of apples and oranges to me...
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemSki View Post
phillipe,
I appreciate your point - after everyone's suggestions and reading a little more i think i'm leaning more towards a waist in the mid 80's. The solomon gun is 96mm at the waist, which seems pretty wide to me. Is it really going to be better in bumps than say an 85 mm waist? how much softer would it have to be? I have a good friend who's a mogul fanatic who has the solomons though...
Anyway, I'm going to check out the tent sale tomorrow. Based on everyone's suggestions and the reading I've done my most wanted list is something like this:
Dynastar legend 8800 or 8000
Nordica Afterburner
Rossi B3
Head monster 82 or 88 (too much of a handful for bumps?)
k2 - public enemy?
The Gun is definitely not a good bump ski ! But, for such a wide ski, it's better than most in the bumps.
You need priorities. My suggestion for something fatter implied that you intended to ski off the groomer as much as possible. If you're really on a more balanced program, I agree that you need a mid-fat.
I also agree with Alberto, apples and oranges in your last post...
I didn't ski all those ski, so I can't compare them first hand.
The 8800 and the B3 are competent in the bumps. I prefer the feel of the dynastar, but YMMV. The PE has also a good rep.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well sorry to be all over the place. I definitely want a mid-fat, and despite the different characteristics of all the these skis i still think I'd have fun skiing on them - they'd just feel a little different. The afterburner is a little weird i know (but dawgcatching liked them...), and the public enemy is appealing because i think they're a little less expensive and supposedly less damp than the recons. The 8800's and B3's are probably my top choices because they sound like they're forgiving and versatile, despite their different feels. And as you say phillipe, they'd be fine in moderate bumps too. The dynastars are hard to find though...
post #18 of 22
Contact Finndog, he has some unmounted PE's he might want to unload.
post #19 of 22
I am keeping the PE's! Can't have too many you know!

GET GOOD BOOTS AND HAVE THEM PROPERLY FIT FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I see you listed the IM82, this is a fantastic ski. Very good for most of what you described in what you are looking for. My friend who is 5'7 155 skis the 171 and has no problem with them. They are sandwich construction but it has a nice flex and rocks on any soft runs, very doable in bumps. I would suggest the mojo90 as well in a 176. Much softer ski but many consider it stiff for a pow ski. The reality it's not a pow skis but a great soft and crud busting board. Great in bumps and even doable on moderately hard groomed.

Unless you are hell-bent on buying a pair this season, I would aslo suggest you demo. Your selections are all over the board. Good luck and check outr Sierra Jims site as well as contact Dawgcatching for his leftovers. I kow they were just going through the inventory this week, so you may get some killer deals. Jim's stuff went quick a few weeks back.
post #20 of 22
http://www.levelninesports.com/head-...cm-p-2305.html

http://www.levelninesports.com/head-...cm-p-1004.html

Here are a couple of skis to look at. The im72 is a bit soft but at yor weight, I think you'd be fine. The trade off is float.
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
In case anyone's interested, I ended up with some 176 cm Rossi B3s with Demo Look pivot12 ti bindings. I got them at Play-it-again. They reportedly only had one day on them, as the seller (a shop employee) blew out his ACL the previous year on the first day! They were in great shape, and i paid $500 hoping, they weren't cursed. Heads and Dynastars seemed impossible to find at a discount in my length.
I've skied five days on them at steven's, crystal, loveland and a-basin. These skis combined with new, properly sized nordica supercharger enforcer boots have really transformed my skiing! The b3s are obviously a huge improvement in powder and crud over my c9s, but they feel more balanced and responsive on the groomed too. The atomic bindings are mounted pretty far back compared to the rossis, and i think this difference in binding placement and much less camber on the b3s makes them work much better for me. All my friends have commented on my improved skiing, and i skied and enjoyed "over the rainbow" at loveland the other day, which certainly couldn't have happened for me on the atomics. anyway, thanks for your help bears. go mid-fats!
post #22 of 22
8800 and B3. Thats what I would narrow it down to. I skied the B3 in 3ft fresh powder all day and found it a {great} Powder ski. also tried a bump run after some local bump boys took some powder off and the were responsive. Not sure how they would do in cleaned off hard packed bumps but one run that was groomed I zipped down cranking some good hard charging turns slolom style with some GS hear and there and was also surprised how well they held an edge. Im 6ft 220 expert I guess it sounds so unhumble saying that! tHE 8800,S I just know a guy who can ski with us who has them and he does well about the same size guy and level as us.
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