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Recommendations for a "throw it in the car" ski

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yes, its another thread asking for suggestions for a "1 Ski Quiver". Well, kind of.

Me: Male, 36, 5'5", 165 lbs. Despite what you think, I'm not hugely out of shape. I used to play football (soccer), rugby, and (a long time ago) run middle distance and cross country. I'm just a strange shape. If you've ever played rugby, you'll know where I played. If not, the number on the back of my jersey was 2. If you have a look at some rugby union sites, you'll get a pretty good idea of the shape we're talking about. Let's just say that I ski in the same fashion as I played rugby. I'm not big enough to run over everything in my path, but I'm not afraid of taking on something that's bigger than I am.

Ability: Some people might say none. On the 1-9 scale that I found linked to the FAQ, I'd put myself somewhere around 7, unless we're talking about moguls. Then, we're talking negative numbers. I suck so badly in moguls that I probably cause that nasty, gusty wind that you feel on the slopes sometimes. I'm completely self-taught, except for a 1/2 day lesson when I was 9, and another one a couple of years ago. I don't remember too much about the first, except that I thought that it meant I was good enough to ski black runs. By the end of the 2nd, the instructor had me doing pivot slips down blue runs. I think that it was to help me in the moguls, but it didn't. I still suck.

Where do I ski: Colorado. Generally, I like to ski at the smaller resorts (Monarch, Loveland, A Basin and recently Eldora (once)). Generally, I end up throwing myself down blue runs. Not because that's what I want to do, but because I want to avoid the possibility of encountering those "bumps of death". Occasionally, I venture to the big boys (Breck, Copper, Vail), but not that often.

What I have, or have had (that are worth talking about):

Volkl T-50 Supersport 5 Stars (167): The first year of those. I liked them to a point. The point came when I decided that I liked arcing out bigger turns, and the 5 Stars didn't like that as much as I did. Short turns were great, but I got tired (literally) of making so many.

Salomon 1080 Guns (175): 04/05 (??). The purple/orange ones. I bought them to supplement the 5 Stars for softer snow conditions. Of course, I started skiing them all the time because they liked to make bigger turns. What they didn't like, however, was going fast. Well, they didn't like going as fast as I do. The tips start doing interesting things like trying to communicate with me in sign language. I think that's what they're doing. Either that, or they're just flopping around fish out of water. Whatever it was, it wasn't leaving me feeling confident. They are, however, still great in the knee (and beyond) deep soft stuff. I tend to cruise about in that (generally with a silly grin on my face), and not try to crush it under the wheels of my chariot.

Skis that I've demoed (all this year's models):

Head Monster i.M. 82 (161): I only tried this ski to prove to myself that I wouldn't like a "short" ski. Of course, I was working off my out of proportion weight, rather than height. Unfortunately, I went to Eldora on a day when the main lifts were "wind held". To be honest, it was a brutally cold and windy day (-14f at the top of the main lifts according to Ski Patrol). So, I got to ski the "family ski area" over and over again. It seemed to do well on short greens, and the single blue run. It didn't tell me much, though. So, the experiment was inconclusive, if not a failure. I might just like shorter length skis.

Volkl Mantra (170): OK, now I know what happened to the offspring of the WWII German tank designers. I thought that they started working in the German auto industry. No, they now design skis. I can honestly say that these were the first skis that completely, 100% owned me. They were going where they wanted to go, and I could go too if I wanted. I could control them, but it was a lot of work. I made the mistake of taking a wrong turn into (you guessed it) a mogul field. I wanted to cry shortly there after. No, seriously. I seriously considered taking the skis off, walking to the side of the run, sitting down and crying. It was that bad. Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), not the ski for me. Which is a shame because I thought that I would love it.

Dynastar Mythic Rider (165): After I managed to escape the mogul run of death (and take a couple more runs just to convince myself that the Mantra would own me anyway), I traded to the M.R. and it was a completely different ski. I liked it almost everywhere, but I don't know that I loved it anywhere. I think that I would use the term "predictable". I even tried it in a slightly easier mogul field, and proved one thing. I still suck badly at moguls. The ski was easier to escape with, though (no crying this time). I could live with this ski and be happy, but not ecstatic. If this turns out to be the best option, though, I wouldn't complain.

So, here's the rest of the story. Given family constraints and other conditions, my skiing will mainly take place on Thursdays. So, I'm looking for a ski that I can throw in the back of my car early on a Thursday and go. I don't want to check the weather, check the snow report and then check the available options in the ski locker. Sorry, but the coffee won't have kicked in by then. I'm not worried about "dump" days, as the Salomons will work for that for the moment. At the same time, I don't want to miss out on the fun of that "surprise" 4-6". Also, I want to be able to ski all over the mountain, including the dreaded bumps. I feel the need to conquer them, but that will come from lessons, not skis.

Just to add to the fun, I occassionally ski with other people. Most of those people ski worse than I do. Yes, even in moguls. In fact, they run screaming from them. Then again, that could be because they don't want to watch me flail about like a beached fish. Who knows? So, I need a ski that will work reasonably well at speeds less than "Mach Loony", but also copes with my occassional need to feel the wind rushing through my helmet.

I know that I should try and demo more, but I'm starting to run out of options. I really would like to stay in shorter lengths. They seem to work well, so long as they're stiff enough. I also seem to get on better with 82-90mm waist dims. Or maybe its the sidecut radius that comes around there.

So, if you've made it to the end of this thesis, what would you suggest? If you don't have any suggestions, I hope that I made you chuckle at least. Personally, I thought that both the description of the Salomon tip flap and the condition of being owned by the Mantras was quite funny. But that's just me, and I did write it.

Graeme
post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdgpeters View Post
The tips start doing interesting things like trying to communicate with me in sign language.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdgpeters View Post
If you don't have any suggestions, I hope that I made you chuckle at least. Personally, I thought that both the description of the Salomon tip flap
That was really funny, I actually laughed, not just chuckle.
Unfortunately you ruined it with your last comment.

Anyways, no real recommendations here...
post #3 of 19
graeme

very funny

and i know what you mean about bumps ...i hate them too and always do my best to keep away from them.....but they do have a habit of lurking round the corner waiting to beat you up when you least suspect.

Anyway - just spent 4 days in Vail on the K2 apache recons - nice big carve , solid , no tip flap at speed , good everyday all mountain ski

Would suggest Scott Aztec pros or Missions as i think these skis truly rip and are so so easy to use , but i think they are hard to find overthere.

Have a pair of the teneightys and agree with your tip flap , but wouldn't use them as an all mountain anyway as there is better out there for that.
post #4 of 19
Dynatar Big Trubs (similar to the old PRs but probably more stable. Worth a Demo)

K2 PE (Cheap and a pretty nice all mountain ski in this size range, might also be worth a demo. )

As far as a kicking your butt in moguls, if you don't have the skills just about any ski will kick your butt. Some harder than others. Once you get comfortable in there it will be much better.
post #5 of 19
Try the Nordica line up. Afterburners- 84 waist- skis pretty quick edge to edge. Can ski basically anything. Haven't tried in deep pow yet.

Public Enemies-85 waist- for softer snow. I'm not a big fan of these on harder snow. Very dependent on the tuning.

Demoed the Recon 3 days. Nice all around ski. Just boring as hell. Not a lot of snap. A lot of people really like them.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies so far, and the suggestions.

I will admit to trying to be a more than a little bit amusing. However, it was about 11:30 last night when I'd finally managed to get this posted, and it was my 2nd attempt. The first attempt disappeared when I tried to use the spell check function without having installed the plug-in. That combined with the tiredness from skiing, and the endorphins (I think) being released due to the aches in my legs seems to have made me a little bit sillier than normal.

As for the moguls, I know that it is a user problem, not a ski problem. I'm not looking for something that will instantly transform me into a contestant in moguls comps. I know that I need to take some lessons to improve in that area, which I want to do. I think that my biggest problem is that I completely lose my head when I look down into a mogul field. I really have no idea what the line is. I can make short radius turns (skidded, admittedly) on smoother terrain without problem, but I can't seem to do the same when there are bumps in the way. That is, of course, a post in a different section for a different day.

So far, there have been a couple of recommendations for K2 skis, which is a company that I haven't really considered. I don't know why, but their skis have never really "caught my eye." I guess that I need to get past that, and take some out for a spin. Who knows, they may be the real answer to my problem.

Please keep the suggestions coming. I'm building a list of options that I wouldn't necessarily consider. I'd like to try and demo some more, but I am running into some issues with availability. So far, I've limited myself to demos from Christy Sports. If anyone has some other suggestions for places to find a wide demo selection, please let me know. Slope side locations in Colorado are the best, as I can usually swap out skis to get a good comparison.

If/when I get another chance to demo, I'll try to add some more impressions. If nothing else, it might provide some more comedic value.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnys Zoo View Post
Try the Nordica line up. Afterburners- 84 waist- skis pretty quick edge to edge. Can ski basically anything. Haven't tried in deep pow yet.

Public Enemies-85 waist- for softer snow. I'm not a big fan of these on harder snow. Very dependent on the tuning.

Demoed the Recon 3 days. Nice all around ski. Just boring as hell. Not a lot of snap. A lot of people really like them.
So, I post one reply and get another message. This is great! I have had a look at the Nordica line up, but more towards the "freeskier" range, specifically the Enforcer. To be honest, that ski looks a little wide, and probably too stiff. I just looked at the specs of the Afterburners and I think that they make the list to try.

The only thing that concerns me a little is the integrated binding issue. My only experience with integrated binding was with the 5 Stars, which were heavy skis. By that, I mean that I could definitely feel the weight sitting on the chair on the way up. I don't know whether that's true for all the integrated systems. Then again, there was definitely some weight to the Mantras, so maybe its an issue of Volkl skis. Possibly something to do with that tank like design.

As for the K2 reputation, I've heard that as well. Damp, stable and a little boring. I'm looking for something with some pop to it, I have to say. I should still demo a pair, though, and judge for myself.

I know that I'm looking for the perfect ski for everything, which doesn't exist. If I thought that I could get it, I'd ask for a pair that put the coffee maker on and then throw themselves in the car. That would make everything so much easier. They don't exist, though, so I'm stuck with finding a compromise. I don't really know what is going to give, but I'm getting some good ideas for demoing.
post #8 of 19
I'd add my recommendation for the K2 PE. You would be able to use this as a one ski quiver out west in everything other than a huge dump. Just skied mine on Monday in Eastern Hardpack (read some ice) conditions and they did great. You probably want to go with the 174cm length. I have the 179cm (would buy longer if they made them) but I'm taller and heavier than you.

You should be able to find the 2007 174cm for under $300 if anyone has any left.

Good luck with your search!

Mike
post #9 of 19
snoop daddy
post #10 of 19
One more for teh PE. (I'm 5'6 and around 175 and my PE's are 169's) While I agree with Johnnys Zoo assessment of the ski on real hard snow, you are less likely to see that type of snow where you are typically. I have the PE and a 63 waisted SL ski and that covers my needs -- so far-- quite well.
post #11 of 19
I'd rename this post ...... for a "throw it under the car" ski .... :


Jus' remember ....

It's okie dokie to toss your skis under the car .... for your friends skis you need written permission.

You need some real skis man .... are you married or sumpin?
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
I'd rename this post ...... for a "throw it under the car" ski .... :


Jus' remember ....

It's okie dokie to toss your skis under the car .... for your friends skis you need written permission.

You need some real skis man .... are you married or sumpin?
OK, so I was starting to type up another polite response. Then, I see this and I started to laugh. I was wondering when someone was going to call me out. And, here it is! I love it.

Yep, I'm married. 2 kids, 2 dogs, the whole lot. Hey, I've even got an SUV and an Audi. I'm just living the American dream. Problem is, I'm not even American. My wife is. Oh well!

So, what are you thinking for "real skis"? I'm willing to try anything, even for the comedy value. I'm not too proud to post up demo results that show that I am a "big girl's, Laura Ashley, flowery print dress". If there's any doubt about that, look at my comments about the Mantras in my first post.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

Aside from needing "real skis"

OK, back to the other suggestions.

Looks like the PEs are something that I should look into. So far, the recommendations are 169 and 174. I'll probably start with the 169, and see how it goes.

I'm also interested in the Atomics, but I'm not sure where to find a demo pair. Does anyone know of a good Atomic dealer in south Denver, or at one of the closer mountains?

There is one pair of skis that keeps catching my eye, the Head Monster i.M 88s. I can't find a shorter pair to demo, though. Any thoughts on those?
post #14 of 19
Wanna go real fast on the hard pack with no chatter and floppin tips?

Go Stockli SC ....

lil bid wider ... ? :

Stockli Stormrider ... like an XL

post #15 of 19
You mentioned the Nordica Enforcers....
Great ski, a bit more forgiving (softer) in the tip and tail than a Mantra, yet really firm underfoot. Because of it's width and metal, not a great bump ski.

Shoot to try out the Afterburner, 84 waist, no metal, makes for a nice lively ski. One you could toss in the car and regardless of the conditions have fun with. Not a great pow ski, not a great groomer ski, right in the middle....

K2 Recon and AC40 are up the same alley........
post #16 of 19
I have PEs and like them as one pair in a four-ski quiver. But for a single set of throw in the car skis, I would probably buy the Head iM78, go nose height for length. Honestly, it's the best one-ski-quiver I have demoed (I don't own the iM78, but do own last year's iM77 which is similar).

The iM82 is also a fine ski, but not as graceful feeling underfoot as the iM78. Both of the Heads will be better than the PE on hard snow and in crud.

The Dynastar Legend 8000 is another ski worth checking out. That definitely has a throw in the car feel to it, and is very rewarding to ski. The 8000 has a nice personality as skis go.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for more suggestions

I just $logged in, and saw that there are more suggestions. I have to say thanks for going through this again. I think that I'm starting to get a list together to demo (if possible). So far, I have:

K2 PE (169, or 174)
Nordica Afterburner (170)
Head i.M78 (although I might try the 82 again instead)
Stockli Stormrider XL (XXL maybe)

Here's the thing that concerns me a little. 5'5" translates to 165cm. Yes, I am really that short. So, the Nordica is going to be long, as is the PE. From what I understand, K2 measures the length of their skis differently than most of the other manufacturers.

In the end, if I'm trying to keep the ski length within the general recommendations, I'd be looking at something between 160-165cm. That narrows the choices a little.

Also, I think that I want to stay wider than 80mm waist, but less than 90mm. Its very rare that Colorado sees true hard pack, let alone ice. I'm more likely to be dealing with a soft surface than something teeth chattering.

I'm going to throw something out, simply because it looked like a potential good deal. I was looking to see if I could find last year's PEs, to get an estimate of price. I came across a couple of pairs of last year's Salomon X-Wing Fury 164. The price was really good. From what I understand, they have a full wood core which makes them much different from my Guns (which are 05/06). Does anybody have any thoughts on those? The reviews that I read on here seemed to be pretty positive, but not along the lines of "you have to get these". Would that change if I could pick them up for ~$400+tax?
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdgpeters View Post
Here's the thing that concerns me a little. 5'5" translates to 165cm. Yes, I am really that short. So, the Nordica is going to be long, as is the PE. From what I understand, K2 measures the length of their skis differently than most of the other manufacturers.

In the end, if I'm trying to keep the ski length within the general recommendations, I'd be looking at something between 160-165cm. That narrows the choices a little.?
^Cart before horse^ Ski them first then decide on length. If you go too short you may need to go wider to get enough float for your weight, and then that impacts the hardpack performance and that means you need to get stiffer which impacts the float again and the bumps performance, it's a vicious circle.

Some skis might work better for you if they're longer than your idealized "optimal" length.
post #19 of 19
The PEs ski about 15cm shorter than the length suggests, so take that into consideration.
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