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Out-west skis for a college racer

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
First, thanks for any input to be offered.

I'm a college racer in Wisconsin so I ski groomers/ice/light crud a lot, but I'm fairly new to off-piste. I'm going to Jackson Hole for spring break and figure my race skis won't be so hot there. Considering the price of demo-ing/renting and what I've heard of end-of-year deals, I figure I'd be best off just straight off buying a pair of skis, since I'll undoubtedly be doing more big mountain skiing in my life.. I'm looking for a ski that can do well on moguls, powder, reasonably spaced trees, and I guess if it does okay on crud that'd be cool too--but not a priority. I really don't care about how well the ski performs on groomers, as I'm confident with my race training I can get down a groomer with anything and if it's a groomer day I'll use my GS skis. I also don't care about park skiing ability.

My stats:
Male, 6'1, 185 lbs, 20 years old

I currently own:
Atomic race stock SL-12, 165 cm, from 2 years ago
Volkl race stock GS Racetigers, 180 cm, from this year

I guess I'd like to keep costs down (<$400 would be great, <$300 would be amazing). Is it true that I can expect to find pretty good deals out west by mid-March? Or should I be searching online?

Skis I have a feeling are close to my needs:
Volkl Mantra
Elan 888
Fischer Watea
Head Monster, Mojo
[although I think these are all fairly expensive?]

I really am an idiot with regards to these types of skis though. Maybe no ski will really fit my goal.

Thanks again!
post #2 of 15

line

Line Phophet 100's look like a pretty good bang for the buck. I'm far from an expert though. But i'm the market as well and Line is a brand I'm looking at for best bang for buck. again I'm not an expert on the situation so take what i say with a grain of salt. I like the mantra's also.

Just my 2 cents
post #3 of 15
What are your points or roughly where do you finish in the pack? This will determine how much ski you will be able to handle.

I am a former college racer and much prefer race-like powder skis when I am in freeride conditions. This means, vertical sidewall, metal laminate, fairly stiff, even flex patterns, square tail, etc. Usually those kinds of skis react like a fat superG ski. They are fast and heavy, but will ski anything you put them on with speed and power. Maneuvering them in tight spots is no small task though.

My two top picks in that category are the Stockli Stormrider DP (184) and the Head IM103/SuperMojo 103 (183) (or whatever they are calling it this season).

I have also considered skis like Rossi Squads (189), the new Hart Fuelie Boss (195), the PM Gear SuperBro (195), the Legend Pro XXL (194), and the Movement Goliath (191), and Nordica Enforcer (185). I have also considered a few on the softer side like the Volkl Gotama (190), Fischer Watea 101 (192), the Rossi Squad (184), and the Nordica Blower (185).

I'm not sure I would have gone wrong with any of the skis above, but I am very happy with my Stocklis - and considering picking up a pair of the Heads. Like you, I don' thave much need for a twin tip and due to spending so much time on race skis, really like the feel of an aggressive tail and more rearward mounting point that race-like freeride/powder skis usually have.

All of the skis in this category have a pretty high demand (I have seen Movement Goliaths for a good price recently though (sub $500, which is good for those) - almost bought a pair), so prices may be steep, but finding a deal shouldn't be hard if you keep your eyes open and aren't set on one particular model. Most any of these skis will suit your needs.

Later

Greg
post #4 of 15
I agree with HeluvaSkier...Ive skied many on his list and you can't go wrong. I own both the Mantra and 2 pairs of Legend Pros (194 and 186). I probably would not recommend the Mantra as you may find that they are too light and relatively soft for high speed skiing. The LPs are simply incredible and great for high speed skiing...can't recommend them enough. You may also want to add the Elan 999 to you list. I was quite impressed with it:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=61915
post #5 of 15
The two posters above have very good points. Seeing the skis that you are on. You most likely will be bored out of your wit on a Line prophet. I like race stock skis as well. But, I will admit I am biased. I hate on K2, line, and solomon skis. I hated really big on the volkl bridge and I am a volkl fan. Id take the advice listed above. Stockli makes a great ski as does head.
post #6 of 15
Thanks a lot for the tips guys! Much appreciated. I'm thinking something like the Nordica Enforcer or Fischer Watea's would be pretty good skis for me, and having all these other recommendations will be really helpful as the available deals will steer my selection. The Goliaths or Elan 888/999 look like fine skis too. The Stockli Stormriders look awesome but I'm sure these will be out of my budget.

I'm curious though--while I'm sure some 185-190 cm ski with close to race-stiffness will be a blast to fly down wide open powder or crud with, how will this ski perform on moguls or trees? I understand that no ski is any good for all-mountain; maybe it's just not the case that something that floats in powder can do okay in moguls. If I got one of these style skis but in a shorter length would that help things at all, or would I just sink into powder?

Thanks again.

Oh, I never did USSA or FIS racing...but I finish about 2-4 seconds back on a 30 second GS course from a 40-50 point FIS racer that destroys everyone in our league. I'd guess this places me between 120-200 points but I've almost no dealing with FIS points.
post #7 of 15
If I were you, I'd keep my eyes on TGR's gear swap between now and then...

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=9
post #8 of 15
if cost is a really big issue, there are plenty of CMH explosivs out there in the $300 range.
post #9 of 15
Look around for used Stormriders. My race kid quit but loves his older DP's.
post #10 of 15
Head Monster 88, with your race background, you are going to love this ski everywhere. if tuned right you won't need your GS ski on the groomed!
But you need to retune it to a true 1 /2 or 1/3. they come 2 base and about 1.5 side edge from the factory. Way to much base beel and not enough side. retuning them transorms this ski.

Bust crud like it's groomed and I have skied it in 2+ feet of powder. Fabulous!!!!

I am about your size, i love the 175. No speed Limit, versatile and very quick edge to edge for an 88mm waist.

My ex-racer son is 6'1 and 230 lbs. skis the 186cm and absolutly loves the ski. And he did ski USSA & FIS all 4 events. He is now 22.

By the way we live way out west!!!!
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
What are your points or roughly where do you finish in the pack? This will determine how much ski you will be able to handle.

I am a former college racer and much prefer race-like powder skis when I am in freeride conditions. This means, vertical sidewall, metal laminate, fairly stiff, even flex patterns, square tail, etc. Usually those kinds of skis react like a fat superG ski. They are fast and heavy, but will ski anything you put them on with speed and power. Maneuvering them in tight spots is no small task though.

My two top picks in that category are the Stockli Stormrider DP (184) and the Head IM103/SuperMojo 103 (183) (or whatever they are calling it this season).

I have also considered skis like Rossi Squads (189), the new Hart Fuelie Boss (195), the PM Gear SuperBro (195), the Legend Pro XXL (194), and the Movement Goliath (191), and Nordica Enforcer (185). I have also considered a few on the softer side like the Volkl Gotama (190), Fischer Watea 101 (192), the Rossi Squad (184), and the Nordica Blower (185).
Most of the best options are in this post, but there also a lot of very different skis lumped together.

Squads, Legend Pros the Superbro are all going to be very stiff options and all with a big turning radius. They are for ripping big lines and skiing fast only.

It you want something on the complete other end that is more turny, then the Nordica Enforcers, the Line Prophet 100s and to a slightly lesser extent the Mantras will all be great.

Personally, as a former racer, I like the Mantra for all around powder/crud conditions, and even on ice. It is a vertical sidewall ski with metal in it so a racer is right at home on it. The one drawback is the float in deep stuff isn't nearly as good as some other options.

I also own the Prophet 100 and find that it floats MUCH better, is super playful in any kind of soft snow conditions and rails groomers like a slalom ski so long as you don't hit ice.

The Legends are also great, but don't expect them to do everything. The closest comparison I can think of is skiing your GS skis in bumps, trees, etc. But for straightlining and taking on bigger lines they are so solid.

The Gotama is also a great all around powder/ west coast ski. You can't really go wrong buy it. It is a little more solid at speed and less turny than the Line, but also more sluggish and less playful.

For an all around do everything west coast ski I think you can't go wrong with the Mantra, Got, or Line 100. The Line being the most turny, floaty and playful, and the Mantra being the most solid "race ski like" and versatile in anything other than deep powder.

By the way, surprised you are 6'1" and ski a 180 GS ski?? That sounds really short. Make sure you don't go short on whatever powder ski you buy. It will tip dive on you and you will be disappointed.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by smails View Post
By the way, surprised you are 6'1" and ski a 180 GS ski?? That sounds really short. Make sure you don't go short on whatever powder ski you buy. It will tip dive on you and you will be disappointed.
Probably because he is only about a 120 to 200 point racer. Not to knock the guy, but he probably can't ski a 185 to 190 GS ski in a course and be as competitive as he is on the 180's. That is just a hunch knowing the skill level of most 120 - 200 point racers.
post #13 of 15
Regarding the 180 GS skis...

I had a pair of 3 year old Fischer 188 race stock skis that I've used the past two years; radius 21. I didn't ski GS in high school so it took me a while to get used to them...but towards the middle/end of last year they really started working for me.

This season, I went free skiing a few days on them, and they broke. I wound up buying Elan GSX world cup 188s, but they had a radius of 27 m. This completely screwed up my skiing, as unless you're a beast or stivot every turn this radius just doesn't work well in the midwest. By the second race in them, it was pretty clear I wasn't going to get used to them and I returned them (Pierce skate and ski in Minneapolis is AMAZING), and I had to buy a pair of skis in a hurry. All the 183s were more or less sold out and I found the 180s for a very good price. They are working for me, but I still have a lot of bad habits form the Elans, which really sucks.

I think a lot of the guys with 188s get to ski out west a lot at FIS races and such (and I have yet to see a pair of 191s in our league).

In any case, I'll be keeping all these recommendations in mind when I go deal hunting. I can't wait for spring break now . It sounds like a pair of ~185 length, 90-100 width and 120ish tips/tails are probably best for my interests. I don't want anything that needs too high speeds, as the whole big mountain skiing thing is unfamiliar and I've never been to Jackson so I don't know the terrain all that well.

Thanks again guys.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
Probably because he is only about a 120 to 200 point racer. Not to knock the guy, but he probably can't ski a 185 to 190 GS ski in a course and be as competitive as he is on the 180's. That is just a hunch knowing the skill level of most 120 - 200 point racers.

Fair point on his points. Still seems short to me at 6'1" but either way I think the original poster should just be careful not to go to short in a pow ski even if he prefers a race ski on the short side. If you get deep snow, which is what these skis are made for in the first place, it isn't a good feeling to have your powder specific ski hold you back because it is too short, tip dives, and sucks in powder!
post #15 of 15
Hey, I believe I'm going on the same trip, and I'm looking to get some skis before I go too. On the topic of length, I was hoping to get something about 170cm. I'm 6' but only about 130lbs, however my biggest reason for sticking with something that short is that I've never been on anything longer or had any desire to be on something longer. I was just in Utah and had the Nordica Hot Rod Jet fuels at 170 for a day and they actually felt kind long and not particularly agile as a result. My question is am I fool to get something 170 or shorter? I'm thinking of getting the K2 PE or something along those lines. I guess my problem with going for a large, all out pow ski is that this will be my only (non-broken) pair of skis so I don't want them to be of limited application.

Also, is the Fischer RX8 a decent choice? I remember hearing great things about it a few years ago, but it's not really a powder ski at all. But who's to say we'll even have powder.
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