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Another eastern skier looking for recommendation

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone, first post here,

I'm currently looking for recommendation for "an all-day ski" for the eastern part of Canada (Quebec precisely). I took up skiing 3 years ago after a 15 years hiatus. I qualify myself as an intermediate-advance skier, prefering medium to short turns (mostly mediums) on groomed surfaces. I have little experience in powder (very few days with pow around here obviously) and moguls. I find that I cannot make turns with skis that have a 16m radius or more so I guess I'd be better off with a short or medium radius ski, just to make sure it is nimble in most situations. I ski the smaller hills around my town and also head for the mountains (Mt Ste-Anne, Le Massif in the Quebec City area).
Weight: 160lbs
Height: 5'10"

After demoing, I bought a pair of Volkl 4**** (168cm-15,3m radius) with which I quickly learned the joy of carving. But I got tired of getting tossed around when the groomed snow turned to cut up snow with icy patches or wet snow "moguls" with afore mentionned icy patches (I hope my description makes sense to you guys as my mother tongue is french..).

In hope of improving my skiing experience, I bought a pair of used Volkl AllStar in 161cm length (13,0m radius). Guessing that a stiffer ski in a shorther length (with short radius) would do the trick. Edgehold is pretty impressive compared to a bunch of other skis I've demoed but I still get tossed around (and maybe take too much speed).

So while I really appreciate the edgehold of my AllStars, I guess I'll have to settle for a compromise in the all-mountain category.

I've demoed a number of skis (in different categories):

Atomic M9: 2005 or 2006 model with "heavy binding": ok in the morning but couldn't make them turn in the afternoon mush.
Elan Speedwave12: not my cup of tea, couldn't make them turn.
Elan MagFire8: pretty easy to ski.
Fischer AMC xx: AMC73 IIRC, didn't like them at all, felt heavy and clumsy
Fischer RX8: very fun and lively but lacked a little in edgehold compared
to the Allstars (maybe I was just pushing too much...)
Head 800i: barely OK I guess...
Head 1200i: (or something like that): same as Speedwave12
Rossignol 9S Oversize: fast, grippy and turny. I doubted I could ski it all day without having with thighs turning to a blaze
Rossignol Z5: felt ok but lacked the liveliness of the AllStars, maybe demoed on a bigger slope it would come alive...?
Rossignol Z9: couldn't make a decent turn with those. (demoed on 3 different occasions)
Salomon 3V Race: loved them in spring sliing conditions.
Volkl RaceTiger SL: a little easier to ski than my AllStars, if that can make any sense...

And maybe some other models I cannot remember as Dynastar Contact ?? (felt too heavy underfoot), Nordica something, etc.

I've read a lot of reviews, manufacturer's website descriptions, etc. but haven't found my one trick pony yet. Might be interested in demoing: Volkl AC10 (maybe named AC3 in the US), Volkl Tiger20

Any recommendation? Hoping my (first) post isn't too long...


post #2 of 14
Templar, welcome to EpicSki!!!!!!

I'm surprised about that RX-8 comment. I think that they hold pretty well. Could have been the tune, too.

I ski Nordicas, and would suggest trying the Mach 3 Carbon.

It's also possible that your fore/aft balance is a bit off. If you're not getting enough pressure on the tips, the skis can feel like they are getting tossed around. That can be technique or boot set-up. Did you have your boots dialed in by a specialist?

Actually, I have a difficult time believing that the Allstars are getting tossed around because of the ski. I know a lot of exceptional skiers who ski them in all kinds of conditions, our own Weems Westfeldt among them.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks ssh for your quick reply!

Yes the tune of the RX8 could be responsible for my impressions. They were demo skis after all, even though they were supposedly freshly tuned...

From what I read on the Nordica website, the Mach 3 would be too much of a ski for me...

I guess a little improvement of my skiing techniques wouldn't hurt. As for my boots, I currently use Dalbello's Proton 8 an intermediate level boot. I did not get a boot set-up, the only "real" bootfitter that I know of in my area doesn't carry Dalbello products... But I think I'm ok on that front...

I presume that skiing a longer ski than my current AllStars would help a little. I was also recommended to go with a ski with a wider waist, to float over not so perfect surfaces. From my experience, wider waist usually translates to numb and clumsy skis...

I must admit that I'm partial to the RX8. The thinner waistline puzzles me a little and I'm not sure it's not as stiff as the AllStar... Maybe an RX6 or something in the RX Heat series would do the trick?

post #4 of 14
I'm a bit surprised as well by your comments on the RX-8 and the Allstar, but wondering if the problem isn't that you're skiing them too short.

I ski the RX-8 @ 170 and have skied the Allstar also @ 170. Both skis have phenomenal edge hold and can make the ideal on-piste ski in the east. The Allstar is a bit beefier than the RX-8 and I found it was more stable in crud than the RX-8.

In a prior review, a couple of us Bears swapped around on 165, 170 and 177 RX-8's. The feeling among us was that the extra length equated to a much more stable ski .. particularly at speed. In short, the shorter lengths skied much different than the longer skis. The 170s are still a fun, quick ski but a much more stable ride.

I'm about your size (5'10", 175 lbs) and wouldn't go shorter than 170s. If you've been skiiing short, you might want to demo longer and I think you'll find more of what you're looking for in a ski.

Good luck!
post #5 of 14
I think the RX8s were probably in need of some edge sharpening. That would be my recommendation, RX8s with freshly sharpened edges.

It also sounds like a lesson or two might be in order, specifically lessons on how to tip the skis to bigger edge angles to make them turn lessons.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys for your comments!

Since I cannot edit my original post (maybe because I just registered today...) I'll had a few informations FWIW:

- I'm 45 y.o.
- The Volkl RaceTiger model that I demoed was the SC and not the SL.
- The Dynastar model was the Contact 11 (the contact 9 or 10 of a few
years ago was the heavy one) and the Nordica was the Hot
Rod Top Fuel in 178cm.

Thanks all for your input! The RX8 in 170cm seems to be my best bet for now.

post #7 of 14
You only get about an hour if that to edit your posts. After that you have to live with your glaring typos and grammar mistakes.
Edit while I still can I don't mean you have made mistakes; I'm just speaking about mine.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Ghost for the info!

post #9 of 14
What about a slightly wider all mountain ski like the Salomon Fury or the Atomic Snoop Daddy? Both are pretty easy to ski for wider skis. They will give you a lot better float on snowy days.
post #10 of 14
My vote would be for the Volkl AC30...not sure if that's what they call it in QC. My brother is a bit heavier than you and a more advanced skier...he loves the AC4 (now known as the AC40). The AC30 is just a bit softer than the AC4/40 and will probably make your life a little easier. They hold a strong edge in the hardpack, but are less inclined to get deflected in the cut up manmade or natural snow that you describe. They are expensive and it is difficult to find deals on them.
post #11 of 14
You might also consider the Fischer AMC 76 or AMC 79. I know you said you wanted a shorter turn radius than 16 m, but I found the AMC79 to be a very nimble ski..just not right for the conditions when I skied it at Sugar Bowl in the Lake Tahoe area last year. I think the AMC73 is a pretty low-end ski.
post #12 of 14
>>>I find that I cannot make turns with skis that have a 16m radius or more so I guess I'd be better off with a short or medium radius ski, just to make sure it is nimble in most situations.<<<<

This kind of makes me think a couple of lessons ..........:?
post #13 of 14
Volkls do hold well, but so do Fischers IMO, especially the RX8. Have a feeling that ssh is right, you're in the backseat. Supersport Volkls will forgive that more than Fischers, I've found. Also, you may not be getting the edges over very far; on lighter skis like Fischers and Dynastars, the tips will get knocked around in crud if you're skidding more than carving. These two issues will also make skis with even moderate radii like the Z9 feel hard to turn. Lessons will help here more than looking for a ski that ignores your technique.

As far as your list, almost none of these count as all-mountain, except (marginally) the Z9. If you're really looking for an all mountain that is fairly short radius and can handle eastern hardpack, I'd recommend something like a shorter length Head iM78, Fischer AMC 76/79, or Atomic M11/M11B5. OTOH, if you really just want a versatile carver for a light skier, the RX8 rules the known universe, with the Rossi OS9 a close second; totally different feels.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone who has chipped in with some info!

Finally went with the Fischer RX6 in 170cm (got some '08 at a great price) as it may be considered a "tuned down" version of the RX8 to some extent. Great for medium-long radius turns and stability but still wondering whether or not they're keepers, as my 161cm Volkl AllStar are much better for short turns...

I experienced the forward position (+15mm) of the railflex binding system and cannot say I was totally pleased with it in icy conditions. I felt I was riding the backseat so many mentionned here. I must admit I was pretty tired at the end of the day, so that may also have been a factor.

Might be interested in demoing the Elan Magfire 10 as it looks on paper pretty close to what "I think" I'm looking for (I pretty much see me as a level 6-7 (between intermediate and advanced skier). I did like the Magfire 8 I demoed last winter.

Any more comments welcome!

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