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Feedback on possible skis

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Turned 50 last month and decided to solve my mid-life crisis by resuming on-again off-again pursuit of skiing:. Not sure of skier level, likely advanced intermediate or level 7 on 0 to 10 charts I've seen. Picked up Harb's material 4 years ago which simplified my whole effort and improved my skiing. 175 lbs, 5'-8" (170 cm) tall. Previous skis old and irrelavant.

Skiing will be mostly here in Michigan, locally on 300 ft. hills with 3 or 4 weekends a year to Boyne or Blue Mountain in Ontario, essentially mostly eastern skiing on hardpack. Prefer short and medium radius turns on groomers, will ski the whole hill, some bumps, nothing over 30 mph. Need a ski that challanges me to improve locally, versatile for all conditions in Michigan, and reasonably useable out west for front-side skiing.

Looking for a ski that (1) helps me move out of intermediate level over the next couple of years (2) good with short radius turns to enjoy on the small hills I'm stuck with locally (3) reasonably forgiving (4) at least useable for "front side" skiing out west-I'll demo for anything serious (5) I like the idea of fore/aft adjustment but not key point (6) Fun and enjoyable to ski all day.

I have spent a lot of time reading the reviews here, at expertskier.com, and talking with the local shops. My short list includes some well-discussed skis, in the 70-75 mm waist range, and was refined in part with a friend that sells at a local shop that knows my ski capabilities:

Elan Magfire 10: (125-75-109; 11.9 m.) versatile, good carving but also wide enough for all mountain, generally good reviews, though some mixed if I recall.

Dynaster Contact 9: (122-68-102; 11 m.) likely 158 cm (or 165?) Narrowest of skis, great reviews by expertskier, and others.

Elan Speedwave 12: (116-70-105; 10-16 m??) likely 160 cm. What's up with the range of radii?? Good carver and eastern ski, but maybe loose a little versatility vs. the magfire if out west?

Other skis that I've looked into include the Fischer RX Fire 8, AMC 73 and AMC 76; Atomic Metron B5i; and Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous. RX 8 is very tempting but hope for some out west trips and maybe more versatility. Eliminated AMC 73 and 76 due to longer turn radius. Contact 11 looks interesting but looks like no-go for 2008? Replaced by the Contact Limited?

Looking for feedback on selections above and to confirm my thinking on ski selections. Note: likely will not be able to demo before buying; would be nice if ski selected is generally liked by most that try it, as some skis seem more prone to "must demo" before buying due to idiosycrasies of that ski. Open to other suggestions.

Thanks, great forum.
post #2 of 25
Well, judging from my (limited) experience with different skis and brands and your desire for short radii I'd go with the Magfire.

I don't know about pricing in the US but over here I regard Elan as the best value for the best price on the market. I also find Elan ski's generally pretty forgiving.
post #3 of 25
I'd recommend a Volkl, something like the older 5 Star (AC2?), because of tenacious edge grip and easy turn initiation. The newer Volkls may not be as quick but they rip longer turns better.
post #4 of 25
Head Supershape Magnum 163cm. or XRC800. Both give you flexability to play with binding position, great grip, a damp smooth ski that has great edge grip. Sounds to me like all your criteria.

I'd keep my search to skis in the narrow 'front side' width range. A couple extra mm in width won't do anything but slow the ski edge to edge if you are on groomed snow most of the time.
post #5 of 25
If I only had 300 ft of hill, I'd want a Head Supershape.
post #6 of 25
Welcome to EpicSki!
Before you get too far along, you should look at this thread for the Mini Michigan/Midwes GTG at Boyne! See you there???

On to the skis. These guys have great suggestions and you can't go wrong with them, but you also can't go wrong with the Elan Magfire.
You can see my review of the Wave Spice in our review section, which is the Womens version of the Mag12. I had a couple guys on that ski, and they were impressed with it for Michigan Skiing.

If you come up to Crystal Mountain some time, we'll let you try some of our skis. Between ma and my husband we have almost 20 pair(not sure on the number these days).

BTW, Whiteroom is brilliant. Epic thinks he is

I may want to reconsider that since they'll both have an opportunity to implement pay backs in a few days.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the invite, trekchick. However, as a family we are going up the week after, and just wouldn't be able to do back-to-backs, or maybe more correctly put, my 4 y.o. wouldn't let me get away without her.

The Magifre is the ski that I am leaning towards, but will check out the others suggested so far; Interesting your experience with the ski; the most negative comments on the ski I read were on the skidiva website: http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1102 Not too concerned about one negative eval though.

Thanks for your generous offer to demo your personal skis Maybe I'll take you up on it someday.
post #8 of 25
The Mag 10 would be a great ski for you.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerry5757 View Post
Thanks for the invite, trekchick. However, as a family we are going up the week after, and just wouldn't be able to do back-to-backs, or maybe more correctly put, my 4 y.o. wouldn't let me get away without her.

The Magifre is the ski that I am leaning towards, but will check out the others suggested so far; Interesting your experience with the ski; the most negative comments on the ski I read were on the skidiva website: http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1102 Not too concerned about one negative eval though.

Thanks for your generous offer to demo your personal skis Maybe I'll take you up on it someday.
As said in the reviews. The Wave Spice is closest to the Mag 12. From what I hear from those who demoed both of the 08 Models, the 12 soars above the 10 in versatility! Consider the 12 if you can!

My all means, let us know when you're up this way. We have season pass' at Crystal and ski there every weekend, some week nights too. Happy to let you and your wife try out some of the current stuff we have.
Maybe even some "not so current" stuff.
post #10 of 25
Fisher RX Fire 8 TI or Rossy 9S Ti Oversize, or older models of same.
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses

epic and Whiteroom - Good sugestion. I somewhat overlooked the head line though I was looking at the Xenon 9.0 at some point. I've spent some time checking out the supershape - looks like an ideal ski for what I want, has a good rep, meets my criteria, and gets good reviews - problem is it's probably a little more than I was planning on spending; looks like it's hard to get onto the ski for less than $1000. Maybe it should be written $uper$hape?? Unless I could find left-overs from last year? Will have to think about it-another $300 bucks over the three that I mentioned.

trekchick - FWIW: I think the magfire 12 is getting a little wider (82) than what I want and a little longer turn radius. Interesting tidbit: not sure if how well regarded expertskier.com is but their raters liked the Wave Spice better than the Magfire 12 and rated it better in most categories and considered it a more versatile ski. The presumed that was because of deeper sidecut (80) and shorter radius. So . . . the women's version might be a better ski for here in MI than the men's.

This is still my dilema: going with a narrower ski around that would probably meet everything michigan offers which will be 90% of my skiing for at least the next 2 years, or go a little wider and not only gain a little for crappy conditions here, but also be a better ski for out west??
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerry5757 View Post

trekchick - FWIW: I think the magfire 12 is getting a little wider (82) than what I want and a little longer turn radius. Interesting tidbit: not sure if how well regarded expertskier.com is but their raters liked the Wave Spice better than the Magfire 12 and rated it better in most categories and considered it a more versatile ski. The presumed that was because of deeper sidecut (80) and shorter radius. So . . . the women's version might be a better ski for here in MI than the men's.

This is still my dilema: going with a narrower ski around that would probably meet everything michigan offers which will be 90% of my skiing for at least the next 2 years, or go a little wider and not only gain a little for crappy conditions here, but also be a better ski for out west??
Your observation of the difference between the wave spice and the Mag12 are thorough.
IIRC, Phil is bringing a few Magfires to ESA Friday. Maybe you'll see some demos/reviews posted after some Bears get on them.

Honestly, Epic, and Whiteroom are knowledgeable about a larger variety of gear than I am. They may be on track with their suggestions, but don't tell them I said that.....wouldn't want it to go to their head(s).

Bumpfreaq lives down your way, as well as altaskier and si. They may have a suggestion, if they pop in here.
post #13 of 25
SS Magnum is new this year, but SS has been out for 3 years now. If you don't mind the old topsheets, you can probably find some older ones for less $.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
SS Magnum is new this year, but SS has been out for 3 years now. If you don't mind the old topsheets, you can probably find some older ones for less $.
Good idea, and it looks like they are out there. Probably getting too obsessive about this or picky, but the Magnum would have a little more (5mm) in the waist than the SS.
post #15 of 25
Have you conferred with Mick at the Ski Co. in Rochester. He's a good guy and I think you can trust his advice as well.
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Okay, now that I have some feedback and done some more digging, it seems like 2 skis that I did not have on the list are the Head Supershape Magnum and the Volkl Tigershark 10, both with and without the switch. (Part of the reason for this was I was trying to keep a preference for Elan and Fischer skis because of preference for a local shop and salesperson- oh well!).

Not sure what credence people give to expertskier.com reviews (the paid reviews, not the freebies) but the Magnum and Tigershark 10 w/switch are both very highly rated and liked and pegged as very versatile with both rated for groomers, moguls, and ice. The skis I posted at the original link are not seen quite as versatile as these two by expertskier, fwiw.

The Tigershark 10 w/switch is their "Ski of the Year" for 08. I know dawgcatching and other reviewers really liked this ski.

Pricewise, of course, the Tigershark w/out switch would be much better and would probably suit my needs fine.

For the record:
Head iSupershape Magnum: 121-71-107 w/ 13.5m TR
Volkl Tigershark 10 w/powerswitch 121-73-105 w/ 12.9 TR in 161, 14.3 in 168 (same for w/out powerswitch, of course)

Seems like both skis would give me the versatility and TR I am looking for, along with a little more width than a true carver.
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Si View Post
Have you conferred with Mick at the Ski Co. in Rochester. He's a good guy and I think you can trust his advice as well.
No, when I walked in I started with Aaron, young guy, that probably skis a little wilder than me. I've also been to BV (okay. . .Boyne Country) and over to Skier's Peak in Keego. I really like EJ over there, as he also really seems to be up on boot fit and boot/binding mechanics.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
Bumpfreaq lives down your way, as well as altaskier and si. They may have a suggestion, if they pop in here.
Sorry, I've nothing to add but it looks like there is no lack of good advice here. All my ski purchases are made with off piste in the mountains in mind. I figure I'll just make 'em work best I can on the molehills
post #19 of 25
I can't add much either. All of my skis were purchased when I lived in Utah. With that being said, I don't really have much to make turns around here with. Something tells me my 190 Volkl Explosives mounted with AT binders are going to be a bit much here.

Only advice I would have is to buy a ski that meets the majority of your skiing needs. Rent or demo everywhere else.
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 

Comparison of Tigershark 10 and Head iSupershape Magnum

Okay, I've got it narrowed down to the 2 finalist; different skis than I started this thread with but I think these are the two:

Head iSupershape Magnum 121/71/107 13.5m @170; interested in 163 and 170

Volkl Tigershark 10 (without powerswitch) 123/73/105 14.3 @168; interested in 161 or 168 I would presume.

Questions: (1) Any idea how or if these skis would compare to each other?

(2) Which length for me? I'm 5'-8"/170cm; 175 lbs.; maybe advanced intermediate or level 7 skier.

(3) I'm under the impression neither of these bindings have any fore/aft adjustment. Volkl/marker Motion System iPT 12.0 Piston D Bindings, or the Head FF+14?
post #21 of 25
Steer toward the 163 in the SS Magnum. Probably 168 in the Tigershark. I still think if it were me I'd be looking at the SS, not the Magnum. It may be the flavor of the month, but I think I'd rather have a little bit turnier ski out where you are (SS Mag is plenty turny and will be a great ski though).
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AltaSkier View Post
I can't add much either. All of my skis were purchased when I lived in Utah. With that being said, I don't really have much to make turns around here with. Something tells me my 190 Volkl Explosives mounted with AT binders are going to be a bit much here.

Only advice I would have is to buy a ski that meets the majority of your skiing needs. Rent or demo everywhere else.
When you come to boyne, we'll fix you up wit sumthin!


Hey, anyone in the DTW area want to meet me for breakfast.
My flight to Stowe was canceled and I'm hangin out to wait for another flight.
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
Hey, anyone in the DTW area want to meet me for breakfast.
My flight to Stowe was canceled and I'm hangin out to wait for another flight.
I can feel your pain
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Okay, starting to have a conversation with myself as this thread starts to die::

Was geeked on the i supershape magnum until I came across this on realskier.com forum, written by "da man" HH himself:

"I caution skiers though, there are skis in the Head line that are very beefy and are meant for the heavy, strong, ex-racer, high speed skiers. Be advised, Head is really serious about those skis and when they say they are meant for real experts, they mean it. For example, the Head Magnum SS, this is a very serious ski for aggressive all mountain skiers. I would not use it to teach or free skiing groomers. The regular Super Shape does fine for all these conditions, for all level skier. The Magnum is an all mountain 40mph charger, a great ski from the racer design department."

The premise is that the magnum has little in common with the original supershape, and is not just the supershape with another 5mm as the Head literature suggests.

In the same post he raves about the Head Xenon 7.0, and says it will be his teaching ski this year as well as his free skiing. He states that the verdict was still out on the 9.0 as he only tested the pre-production version and it was yet to be tweaked by Head.

Yet, in the expertskier.com reviews the 7.0 seems unimpressive, the 9.0 is well rated, and magnum is well rated for all skier levels.

Dazed and Confused Any comments?
post #25 of 25
No demos available?

Perhaps there's another Michigan Bear that would be willing to meet up for a personal demo?

Choosing a ski without skiing it is tough unless you're willing to just throw down the loot and let the chips fall where they may.
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