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Best Eastern Ice Ski?

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
I have a pair of Head Supershape Magnums (170) which I love in most snow conditions. We have been getting a lot of Eastern boilerplate this winter. I am a strong level 8 skier who loves to carve small, medium, and long turns. I am also heavy (225 lbs.). I would love a second pair of skis that absolutely excel on hardpack and even near ice. Any suggestions?:
post #2 of 48
Virtually any race ski. Pick your side cut first--do you prefer SL or GS?
post #3 of 48
What he said ^
and also if you like the magnums, you will probably like the SS speeds.

I have also been happy with Atomic SX11 (I assume 12 is just as good) and Fischer WC SC. I've had my Fischers out on what seemed like glass after several days of rain-freeze and a couple of days of freezing rain.

Also switching to a 0.5 degree base 3 side bevel, or at least a 3 side bevel will help a lot.
post #4 of 48
Steep & narrow .... short ... SL's Stockli 156.

A bit more wide open trails or less challenge .... 170 Stockli SC's.

Recommend race stock in any other brand .... citizen race crap .... demoed a few and never found one that liked ice .... they all got the jitters.
post #5 of 48
sidecut + edge grip = limited versatility. As you add extreme grip you lose the ability to 'feather' turns, so you lose some 'all around skiability' of the ski. If you want a race stock SL or GS, that shouldn't be a problem. If you want a fun ski that you can relax a little on... er, maybe not.

I would say the SS Magnum with a fresh turn should work really well on ice, try a 2* or 3* side edge (factory is 1*) and a .7* (or .5*) base bevel and see what that does for the ski on boilerplate. I'd try this before buying a new ski.
post #6 of 48
+1 on the 3* side bevel. I did that with my Crossmax and noticed a huge imprevement in "hardpack" performance. I'll have to try a 5*.
post #7 of 48
I have been extremely impressed by my Fischer RX-9 skis on ice. The other day I switched to them after lunch, when clouds kicked in, temps dropped, and the surface firmed up (it was already hard in the morning and just got worse). My other skis were doing OK on the hard snow and ice, but the RX-9s were really spectacular -- felt like they had a magnetic grip on the snow. Easily the best ice skis I have owned, by a long shot.

My previous pair of RX-8s were good on ice too, but the deeper sidecut and tighter turn radius limited the kind of turns you could make. The RX-9 are a lot more versatile.

So, if you can find a leftover pair of RX-9 (skidepot.com had some for $459) I would put this on your list for sure. And the replacement 2008 Fischer Progressor ought to be just as good.
post #8 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
sidecut + edge grip = limited versatility. As you add extreme grip you lose the ability to 'feather' turns, so you lose some 'all around skiability' of the ski. If you want a race stock SL or GS, that shouldn't be a problem. If you want a fun ski that you can relax a little on... er, maybe not.

I would say the SS Magnum with a fresh turn should work really well on ice, try a 2* or 3* side edge (factory is 1*) and a .7* (or .5*) base bevel and see what that does for the ski on boilerplate. I'd try this before buying a new ski.
As they come from the demo tent, both supposedly well tuned, the SS Speed blows away the Magnum in terms of grip on ice and hardpack performance. I can ski the SS speed while perfectly relaxed, but I also have a lot of time on snow with SG racing skis.

The WC SC is better on ice than the RX8. The RX8 would make a better bump ski and slow speed ski due to being softer, but at your weight that shouldn't be much of a problem.
post #9 of 48
Patprof,
I did a recent post in the reviews section about a pair of Blizzard Mag Sl' race stock skis that I bought from Philpug. I had the exact concerns that you have and my weight is close to yours. I have a pair of regular Shapes that tend to wash out on very hard snow. I was not willing to pay a lot of $$$ for a ski that would be reserved for icy conditions, so a good condition used SL specialty ski is an option.
I've only been on them one day, and it was very hard snow, but I'm impressed with the performance.
post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
What he said ^
and also if you like the magnums, you will probably like the SS speeds.

I have also been happy with Atomic SX11 (I assume 12 is just as good) and Fischer WC SC. I've had my Fischers out on what seemed like glass after several days of rain-freeze and a couple of days of freezing rain.

Also switching to a 0.5 degree base 3 side bevel, or at least a 3 side bevel will help a lot.
I would also advise the Atomic SX11 or 12's. I currently am skiing the new SX 12 and it truly is an amazing ice ski. Holds ice just as well as my Racetigers, but far more versatile. Its my everyday ski of choice for where I ski.
post #11 of 48
What, no one's chipped in to say fat skis rule on ice?
post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
What, no one's chipped in to say fat skis rule on ice?
Ummm, well..... I haven't found one that's a true ice weapon, as yet.

That said, the SX:11 an SX:12 are great ice skis. They tend toward long turns, and absolutely suck in moguls - but they are born and bred from GS skis, so what do you expect?

The Blizzard Mag SL and Sigma SL (older model) are also great on the boilerplate.

But if I were to pick one ski "to rule them all" on ice this year, failing a race stock ski, I'd go for the Fischer Progressor. It's a demon on ice, has a lot of versatility in terms of turn shape, and will do fine in the softer stuff when called upon to do so (I skied it in 9" of fresh back at Stowe in December, and it was very, very nice).
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
What, no one's chipped in to say fat skis rule on ice?
It's not about fat skis anymore, it's about reverse camber/ reverse sidecut skis... which RULE on ice. You can straight line while sideways, try that with a 'carving' ski! They turn the whole slope into a giant rail slide.

(or you could get some SG race skis... I here they ski well everywhere.)
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
It's not about fat skis anymore, it's about reverse camber/ reverse sidecut skis... which RULE on ice. You can straight line while sideways, try that with a 'carving' ski! They turn the whole slope into a giant rail slide.
I suspect winter is a great time to get a deal on last season water skis.

Edges? What edges?
post #15 of 48
Check the archives under ..... "Thigh Cheese Skiing" .... or ..... "Flat Boreing" ...
post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
What, no one's chipped in to say fat skis rule on ice?
Oh ya, reverse camber eh?
post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Steep & narrow .... short ... SL's Stockli 156.

A bit more wide open trails or less challenge .... 170 Stockli SC's.

Recommend race stock in any other brand .... citizen race crap .... demoed a few and never found one that liked ice .... they all got the jitters.
Never been on Fischer RC4 WC RCs I guess?

No jitters at any any speed on any tilted skating rink that I've been on.
post #18 of 48
Elan Stealth 87/45/87 ice skates.
post #19 of 48
Start with the bevels on the SS Mags.
post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Elan Stealth 87/45/87 ice skates.
I was thinking SuperTacks!:
post #21 of 48

hard pack

I read this forum often but never post. But skiing boilerplate is something I know all to well. 30 days a year at Wintergreen, VA. Either boiler plate ice or heavy slush past 10:30 am.

I have demoed atleast 20 different skis for this application. I can only offer what works best for me but this is what I've found. My main ski is the Head 1400 chip ski, Like others have said very close to a race ski, but you can relax a bit. I also really like the Elan Ripstick last year, held great but you had to be on the ski all the time. Keep the edges sharp and when in doubt faster is better.

I like to demo and was very shocked a couple of weeks back when I tried the Elan Mag-Fire 12's, 82mm underfoot, these skis rocked on hard snow and I have read good reviews of these ski here(Dawgcatching) for a good all around out west ski. Since you have the tight waist ski covered you may want to give them a try.

Good Luck!
post #22 of 48
I love my Fischer RX8s on the unavoidable "frozen granular" that the East gets after rain or a thaw/freeze cycle. Full race skis are great on ice, but too demanding for most of us normal recreational skiers. The RX8 is forgiving enough to be enjoyable when you aren't going all out and just having fun. I've heard good things about the new Fischer RC4 Progressor. Sort of a hybrid SL/GS recreational race ski.
post #23 of 48
Thread Starter 
Thanks all! I'll try a .05 base and 3 side first (I'm 1 & 2 now).
post #24 of 48
Just change the side bevel to 3 first. The 0.5 base bevel, though making the edge more acute, also makes the ski hook up sooner and less forgiving of errors.
post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Start with the bevels on the SS Mags.
Yes - good call there. The SS Magnum should have more than enough edge grip on eastern boilerplate.

And the 0.5º base/3º side is a classic eastern race bevel, and should work wonders with the Heads. You may need to have them ground flat to get the proper base bevel, as it sounds like your current bevel (likely 1.0º) is too slack for the side to really work.

Your best bet is to find a shop with a good tuning staff, rather than just the staffers who trust the machine to do it all. If there's nobody of that caliber in your area, there are shops that will do proper tunes by mail order. Edgewise in Stowe, VT, does this, and Graham is a great ski tech - and they're not the only shop that does tune-by-mail service.

Good luck - though I still give a hearty thumbs-up to the Fischer RC4 Progressor for boilerplate behavior.
post #26 of 48
Pat,
Let us know how the .5/3 bevel works out for you. I know what you have been skiing on recently, so I know where you're coming from. If you want something similar to the Magnum but with more tenacious grip I would try going toward a retail or even race stock slalom ski. I spend most of my time skiing where you do on stock SL and GS skis.
Later
Greg
post #27 of 48
Any good race sl or gs ski should work (actually, even the magnum should be ok). The tough part is dialing in technique for these conditions.
post #28 of 48
I think you just need to get your edges checked on the Magnums.
post #29 of 48
re: 0.5 and 3, you can always relax the tips and tails to 1 degree to stop the hookiness, instead of detuning.
post #30 of 48
Thread Starter 
Thanks again guys-took the skis to the shop this morning for a fresh stone grind. At his recommendation, I'm going to leave the base bevel alone (at 1) and increase the side bevel to 3 degrees. I'll give you a report when I ski again Thursday.
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