EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Some Forum Newbie's Observations on Some Midfats (Snoop, B83, Fury, MR) and Advice Needed
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Some Forum Newbie's Observations on Some Midfats (Snoop, B83, Fury, MR) and Advice Needed

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Warning: This is very very long and contains a number of ramblings on some skis I have demoed. Please be patient. Looking for some advice on which way to look.

Me - 49 yo, 6'2", 180-185 lbs pure body weight. Started skiing when I was 8, skied very infrequently. Stopped skiing for over a decade. When I started skiing again in the early 2000's, the new shaped skis and technique were all new to me. Probably have been skiing 3-7 days a year for the last 6 years or so. I do have my own boots, but always have used demo skis.

My skiing could best be described as aggressive but with a mix of old-style and new-style, usually not at the same time. I can do all blues, almost all blacks and some double-blacks that are wide-open. I have trouble with double blacks that are very steep and narrow - trouble with speed control and turns . I do like to ski steeps, moderate slopes with moderate moguls, powder and crud; but I don't do tight and big moguls very well, especially on steeps. If I get in trouble it is usually that I find myself in the back-seat. I tend to do this more often the steeper and more mogully (is that a word?) it is. When I am on steeps and or bumps, I tend to ski old style. On more moderate slopes and slower speeds, I will often ski more relaxed and use more of the newer style angling techniques, i.e playful waddle :-) I don't see myself ever going completely away from the old style and will use each style or mix thereof depending on conditions. I just like to play in the snow and do what feels good at the moment. But I do want to get better.

I am looking for the proverbial but all-elusive one-ski quiver. I currently live in Seattle so I plan on doing most of my skiing in the PNW, but I also go to SLC and Denver. I just want one ski that I could take with me wherever I go and be able to use it. I can pretty much ski all kinds of snow although I haven't done much blue ice since I lived in Michigan. I like to go off-piste (more than 50% of my time) and explore areas and am not afraid of crud or deep snow; but I also like to play in moguls so I don't want to lose that ability. Living out here, I know I will need a ski that deals well with heavy powder and crud, but I am willing to work a bit in the heavy snow so as not to lose the quickness and playfulness of a lighter and slightly softer in the tip ski. I would like to stay away from the really heavy skis since I will probably be doing some hiking and eventually may do more lift-assisted backcountry (but I might need to wait to get a different setup for that).

Over the last couple of years, I have tried alot of skis including an old Fury-type which were too long (high 180's) and heavy to be quick enough. The Recon and the B3 (now B83) were something I liked, but they always seemed to wash out a bit more than I liked at high speed and hardpack. Couple of years ago, I found out that the longer lengths of the Recon (>= 181) were acceptable in crud, but anything shorter got tossed around too much. The B3 would get tossed about in the crud a bit more, but I could handle them and I loved their relative quickness and they seemed better on real hardpack. But I also want something a bit more substantial but without sacrificing the playfulness. Ah yes.... I want perfection in an imperfect ski world.

FINALLY -

07/08 Snoop Daddy (185) and B83 (184)
My first time out this year on Christmas Day at Stevens Pass, I skied primarily on the more moderate slopes (blue and black) and on both the groomed and some shallower heavy powder and crud. I really wanted to try the 07/08 Snoop Daddy since I thought it would be the right ski for me. I skied the Snoop in the morning and the B83 in the afternoon. I liked the lightness of the Snoop but found that I had trouble initiating the turns in the crud. It was quite nice on the steep groomer sections and I didn't have much problems there. In the afternoon, I used the B83 and, surprisingly, found it to be more stable in the crud and also more responsive with quicker turning abilities. On the groomer, the B83 also seemed to be more controllable. Overall, I felt more connected with the snow on the B83, while I could never really find the sweet spot with the Snoops. I always seemed to be moving fore and aft with them trying to get the most control. This was all surprising for me BUT it was my first time out so that may have been the problem. Also, the deeper snow and crud was on moderate slopes - maybe the Snoops need more speed in the crud for turn initiation. At the demo shop I compared the mounting positions on the skis and they were virtually identical - so that wasn't the reason.
---Conclusion: Jury is still out on the Snoops, I think. One complication is that when I got home, I found that one of the pivot bolts at the side of my left boots cuff was gone - don't know for how long. I really need to try the two pairs again now that I have 6 days of skiing in this year.

Early January - Mythic Rider (184)
Day at Stevens Pass, WA with lots of deep crud. The ski was stable as a rock. It would either go through the crud or on top of it. It was pretty much like being on rails. Unfortunately, more often than not I also seemed to be working my turns as though I was trying to twist those same rails - not easy. I do have to consider that it was only my second day skiing this year. But I did like the ski. I thought that the shorter version of it may have been better for me.

Mid-January, 3 days of skiing in Denver area (Thursday through Saturday before MLK Day). Snowed alot during the previous week. Not much freshies left and most of that was less than boot high if it could be found.

Day 1 Breckenridge - Mythic Rider (184)
Very very cold. Too cold to go up high. Therefore, skied the lower sections of the area (skiing with a buddy), primarily on the groomed and slightly moguled sections of blue runs. GEEEEZZZ these blues were more like greens anywhere else. The 184 of the MRs were very very sluggish on these slow slopes. It was oh so cold. Not a good test of these skis. They do need speed when in this length. Didn't care much for Breckenridge - too many flat areas.

Day 2 Copper Mountain - B83 (185 and 176)
Started the morning warming up on some of the steeper blues with the 185s. Blues at Copper are much more serious than at Breckenridge. Kept popping out of one of my skis on the groomer at even a setting of 9.5. Took the ski back to demo shop. They found the rear binding tab that goes under the heel and allows you to push down and set the heel missing. Hmmm... I'm not too impressed with that binding. They gave me the demo for free but I had to ski the 176 the rest of the day. The buddy I skied with is a less aggressive skier than I am and I wasn't able to really test out the stability of the B83 on the really steep runs and serious blacks/double blacks. It was fun and quick in the moguls and some of the steeper sections, but there was no real deep snow left. In addition the snow at Copper was lighter than anything in the PNW so when I did find more broken crud (fake crud) at Copper, it was not a good test of the ski in conditions that would be more prevalent in the WA and OR areas. Comment - I liked Copper area much better than Breckenridge.

3rd Day Beaver Creek - Mythic Rider (178)
Skied all over the area - blues, blacks, some fresher snow on the sides near the trees. Had a lot of fun on these skis. Still not as quick turning as the B83s, but as the day got longer I seemed to get stronger and I was getting used to skiing these shorter MRs. I could ski them both old and new style. I still was having trouble in the moguls - I seemed to get banged up in the troughs - but that is probably my own technique. They seemed quite neutral. This could be my ski, BUT these shorter 178 MRs are awfully heavy compared with the B83s (even the longer 185s) and the long Snoops I tried in early December. I am surprised that the MRs are as quick under the feet considering how comparably heavy they are.

I really wonder if the MRs are the right ski for me, though, since they would be a lot of ski to carry or hike with for the lift assisted back-country stuff I would like to eventually do. I also have not had the chance to try these shorter ones in the deeper PNW heavier powder and crud.

So, I will probably need to try the 178 MRs out here in WA soon. But I would also like to try out any other recommendations that the Bears may suggest. It is always hard to try out the various skis on the same day, especially since if the demo shops at the mountain have the specific model they usually don't have the longer (>180 ) lengths available. I feel like I should also give the Snoops another chance and maybe the B83 and Recons for comparison.

Any additional suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

By the way, I tried the 181 Fury at Crystal last weekend. Although they were amazing in the crud and on the steeps - like a locomotive, I found them too hard to turn in narrow sections and they beat me up in the hard moguls. Although I could ski it, its not my type of ski - hard to find the sweet spot for me.
post #2 of 12
BigNick,
your getting there and only you will be able to decifer which skis are best for you. Your next demo's could be one of the following....
Head Monster 88 (maybe 82)
K2 Recon
Volkl AC40
Nordica Afterburner
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Argus!

Any recommendations on the length of the 82/88, ABs, or AC40 for me?
(I am 6'2", 180-185 lbs pure body weight, and ski with a mix of new and old style technique depending on the conditions).

BigNick
post #4 of 12
Go with the 178cm in the AB, 177cm for he AC.
Good luck, lot's of good skis out there. Sounds like the ones you have tried haven't hit the spot for you, keep trying.......
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Argus,
Thanks for the suggested lengths. I was at REI last night just to check on their clearance. They had alot of the Nordica Hot Fuel, Top Fuel, and various Nomads, but no Afterburners. I did notice that the Fuel series seemed very heavy (and fairly stiff), but those skis had the bindings on them.

Are the ABs a less stiff ski than the Fuel and/or Nomad series?. I wonder if the demo shop at Stevens Pass has the ABs available to test.

I'm also wondering if the differences I have felt on skis in the past have more to do with the mounting position rather than the skis themselves. I know demo skis have the sliding mounts, but that doesn't mean that they are always positioned at the optimal spot for me. In the long run, I guess I should try to get bindings that can be repositioned, ie. Railflex?; but I haven't seen those type of non-demo bindings anywhere.

Thanks again,
BigNick
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigNick View Post
...aggressive...
...mix of old-style and new-style...
...almost all blacks and some double-blacks...
...like to ski steeps...
...powder and crud...
...want to get better...
...skiing in the PNW...
...like to go off-piste...
...explore...
...crud or deep snow...
...heavy powder and crud...
...willing to work a bit...
...connected with the snow...
...hike...
You, my friend, need to try some Head skis.
Maybe an iM88 in a 186? New Mojo 94?

They might feel heavy with a demo binding, but put a Mojo15 on there and they'll hike just fine. Moguls will be work but quite do-able...but you won't care because where you will now want to ski there aren't any moguls.

grum
post #7 of 12
BigNick,
Afterburners and Jet Fuels are the same ski (84mm) with one big difference. The Jet Fuel has Metal in it and the AB uses carbon. The metal makes for a more damp and stable, but more demanding ski. The carbon makes for a slightly softer and more lively ski. Same goes for the Top Fuel and Nitrous (78mm), Top Fuel having the metal.
I will say that with most integrated systems they tend to be a bit heavier and the weight difference between a Jet and an AB would be nominal. However IMHO they do not ski heavy. There are a bunch of guys here on the forum that swear by the AB.

I have a Top Fuel (got it the year before the AB/Jet came out) and I know that no matter what the conditions are I will have a good time. It's a bomber ski. Super damp and can power through anything. But i was quite surprised at how easy it was for me to ski slow and slidey. I think it has something to do with Nordica's XBS plate. I'll try to explain it simple....

Two plates intersect in the middle. The plate that the toe piece mounts to is floating up front and hard mounted under the heel. The heel piece floats on the back and hard mounted under the toe. How it works is that if you go to the back seat you put more pressure on the heel piece which in turn sends pressure twords the front of the ski. Same goes if you are too far forward it sends pressure to the back of the ski. For the most part it gives the ski a bigger sweet spot. Also what it does is in the AM when you have your legs it delivers all the power to the ski. In the afternoon when your a bit tired it helps your balance and makes for a more forgiving ride. As Nordica would say it is the only system that actually improves skier balance.

Now all that is neither hear nor there if you do not like the ski, so you need to demo.

As far as position goes, hopefully most of the ski's you have tried have had your boot center on the manufactures recommended spot. that will give you a good indication of wheather or not you like the ski. Once you deciede which skis you want, then you can get a binding/system that allows you to adjust it and find your own sweet spot. Nordica XBS will allow you to do this.

As per my first message, and Grum's reply you should also check out the Head Monster 88.

Try calling Sturtevant's in Bellevue, they may have both of these ski's for you to try.

Hope this helps...........
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Argus and Grum!!!

All your suggestions and analyses are extremely welcome. If I get my mountain-load ;-) of work done today, I might head up to Stevens Pass tomorrow (Friday) and have a go with some of the skis that you suggested. I'm pretty sure they have all if not most of the skis suggested as demos there - I will call to make sure.

I'll let you know what happens.

Cheers,
Big Nick
post #9 of 12
Blizzard Titan Cronus.
post #10 of 12
BN:

You are starting to chase your tail a bit. It is time to settle back and examine what you have liked so far and why you liked them. Equally important is the probable reason why you didn't like some of the others. You have already demoed too many skis over too long a period to not have reached some conclusion. Yet, you are thinking about demoing some of the same skis yet again, plus trying completey different stuff. Unless you are getting the demos for free, you have probably come close to paying at least half or more of the price of a pair of skis.

You say that you have felt comfortable on the B83 and the Recon but felt them to be a bit unstable at speeds. The probable reason that you liked them is that they are soft, easy going skis. Why were they unstable??....b/c they are soft easy going skis. The MR is quite a bit stiffer and more agressive. You are simply overgunning yourself with this ski in this size. The same could be said for the Fury in 184. Despite your size, you don't have the skill/agressiveness to turn these models in tight spots.

The wide carvers mentioned (AC-40, AB, JF, etc) are great skis but they are more carvers than off trail tools. These types of skis are smooth stable and grippy on groomers and if that is your priority, they will be fine. OTH, it takes a well centered and balanced skier to really ski this type of ski effectively in tight spots with mixed conditions. I don't think that the wide carvers are the answer.


If we were standing in front of the ski rack in my shop and you were telling me all this I would suggest the following........

Given #1 you liked a couple of soft, easy skis
Given #2 you were overgunned by a couple of stiffer/longer ones

Conclusion #1....You will never find the magic bullet and will have to accept at least some compromise in stability in order to get something you can handle.
Conclusion #2....you should get something on the somewhat forgiving side of the scale and probably in a 178(ish) length rather than a 183(ish) length.

Here are two skis that are in similar shape ranges to the Recon and B83 but are a bit more ski to give you a touch more power without overdoing it. You probably could ski these in longer sizes, but you probably don't need to.

Dynastar Legend 8000/178
Fischer Watea 84/176


SJ
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
You say that you have felt comfortable on the B83 and the Recon but felt them to be a bit unstable at speeds. The probable reason that you liked them is that they are soft, easy going skis. Why were they unstable??....b/c they are soft easy going skis.

The wide carvers mentioned (AC-40, AB, JF, etc) are great skis but they are more carvers than off trail tools. These types of skis are smooth stable and grippy on groomers and if that is your priority, they will be fine. OTH, it takes a well centered and balanced skier to really ski this type of ski effectively in tight spots with mixed conditions. I don't think that the wide carvers are the answer.


If we were standing in front of the ski rack in my shop and you were telling me all this I would suggest the following........

Given #1 you liked a couple of soft, easy skis
Given #2 you were overgunned by a couple of stiffer/longer ones

Conclusion #1....You will never find the magic bullet and will have to accept at least some compromise in stability in order to get something you can handle.
Conclusion #2....you should get something on the somewhat forgiving side of the scale and probably in a 178(ish) length rather than a 183(ish) length.
Since I own a pair of Recons and have skied the AC4 (predecessor to the AC-40, I think?), I'll agree with SJ's assessment.

I'll add the following:

The Recons, like most modern skis, can be sensitive to how you balance on them, both fore/aft and laterally. If your balance is off, or the tune is off, they will indeed wash out, as will many others. My Recons are currently tuned flat, with 0 base bevel, which tends to make them a little finicky in some situations, but I have no trouble rolling them over far enough to lay railroad tracks while dragging my inside hand on the snow (and none o' that there back seat Eurocarving, neither! ). No sign of washout.

Although the Recons cannot claim the same stability at speed as many other skis, a small adjustment to stance can often settle them down significantly. Make sure your shins are at least touching the fronts of your boots, and move your hips just far enough forward so your quads aren't working too hard.

Better yet, instead of going in a straight line, put them on edge a little bit to carve a long arc.

I found the AC4 to be an awesome carver. I could ski them in tight trees, but it was a bit more work than the softer skis, and they were more sensitive to fore/aft stance inaccuracies. The sweet spot was smaller. This was all as one would expect, and as it should be. The AC4 was a lot of fun, but I found the soft skis to be both more versatile and more fun in bumps and trees.

FWIW, I weigh 165, I'm 55 years old, and I don't consider myself a particularly fast skier.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
First, thanks for all the input. It is much appreciated.

SJ-
Yes I agree, I am kind of "all over the place". You posted a good reminder. There are three issues that contribute to this:

1) Previous to this year when I settled in Seattle, I usually only managed to ski 3-5 days a year for the last 4 years. In previous years when I tried the Recons and the B83 (B3 back then) I was more often than not in very light deeper snow (think Utah champagne as a good example) or on hardpack. A lighter softer ski seemed really nice

2) Now that I have moved to the PNW and am skiing here more often than elsewhere, I have experienced the interesting combination of relatively heavier and often deep wet snow/crud (think Mt. Baker with some warming and light rain). Now a more sturdy ski, perhaps slower initiating, feels a bit more comfortable.

Yes, I can't have it both ways; and I might have more fun with a softer flex (Legend 8000) and just learn to "deal with its shortcomings" when the snow is deep and heavy and/or broken. My floundering has been augmented and compounded by a combination of infrequency of skiing and having difficulty being able to actually compare 2 or more different skis in one day under the same conditions. If I have been able to compare two skis under similar conditions (same or over 2 days) I might have ended up comparing two softer skis at one time and two stiffer skis at another. This is probably not a good way to judge which side of the flex scale would be the best compromise for me for a single all-mountain 1-ski quiver.

Perhaps a systematic approach would be best. I would like to try to compare two skis that might be similar in design and/or target audience (possibly same manufacturer) but differ in the flex. Granted they probably also have different widths underfoot. I would appreciate your recommendations:

-I'd try the Legend 8000 (178) and the Mythic (178)-
A) Try them on the same day when conditions would normally favor a stable crud ski.
B) Try them both on a day which might not need a stable heavy crud ski, ie my planned trip to Utah.

Any other pairs that members could suggest?

The only problem is that this whole approach entails having such skis in the right length available.

In the next month, I will be essentially doubling my ski days from 6 days to 12 days or more with trips in the PNW and Utah and/or Wyoming, so I will definitely run the gamut of conditions. Hopefully, I can resolve where on the softness/flex scale is the best compromise for my single all-mountain ski.

JHC-
I agree on the Recon. I also think the ski conditions/tune are very important on that ski. The times I have tried those they have been pretty beaten up demos (not cared for). It might still be "my ski" if I can try it in the right and proper tune.

Thanks again,
BN

PS. Weren't skis easier to pick when they were straight and not so specific? ;-) It seems that the shaped ski advances just added another variable layer of complications to consider. Ha Ha! It is interesting to note that the supposedly most versatile skis have less shape to them.....dare I say straight......Just wait until they start becoming skinnier too....
:-)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Some Forum Newbie's Observations on Some Midfats (Snoop, B83, Fury, MR) and Advice Needed