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Thinking about upgrading skis

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I'm currently skiing on a set of 188cm K2 El Caminos circa 1997/98. From what I remember, these are basically the old K2 Four with out the piezoelectric (I had to look up the spelling on that!) damper. Bindings are a set of Salomon 997 "Carbons" with a bit of a riser/plate on the bottom.

Pic of the ski I found online:


So, I've been out of things for awhile and I'm not sure where to start. I like this ski a lot, but I'm sure things have changed in the last 10 or so years.

I used to race back in Jr High and Highschool and I tend to prefer a more GS type of ski. I ski fairly agressively and still like to occationally hit a few jumps or go into the woods. (As much as that can be done here in the east) I'm about 5'-10" and weight 175lbs.

Any help would be appreciated.
post #2 of 24
Glenn

My father in Law had the El Camino (188) for a while aand at about same era I had K2 Four (188) and Merlin III. These were early in the "shaped ski" times. I replaced my K2 Four with Volkl P40 RC (183 cm).

About 4 weeks ago I went back to the Volkl and could hardly ski them. And these skis were much turnier than the K2. I find it just as awkward to ski the old Volkl as a pair of 1993 Atomic SL 203cm (Retro Day this Saturday!) which I ski one day a year just for kicks.

Skiing techniques have changed a LOT since the El Camino. Find a demo day and try a number of skis. Since you are used to a long and relatively straight ski you might even want to try some of the newer wider skis.

Since I know the Head lineup best i would suggest you try a Monster 78. Other skis to look at would be a Cross ski like the XRC 1200 in a 170. Look for a ski with a 14-16 meter turning radius for a start and see what you like.

Once you try a few you will get the idea what you want. Also remember that what one person likes may not appeal to another so try everything by every manufacturer you can. As the El Camino was a pretty high end ski at the time stick with an expert ski now as well.

For what it is worth I will list my transition over time as an illustration.
1980s-1990 200cm SL skis. Elan, Head, Blizzard, Pre. One pair Rossi Equipe SM? (210 GS)
1992 Atomic SL 203cm
1996 (approx) I tried Salomon Exendo 9 and just had to get a pair. Tried a coupleothers and ended up on 188cm K2 Four. My frst shaped ski.
1999/2000 (approx) - the K2 was now too long to do proper turns without a lot of rotation, etc... Picked up Volkl P40 RC 183cm (a fabulous ski btw)
2002-2004 - tried a lot of skis but the first one that bit me was the Head WorldCup iSL Chip ... that started a long association with Head starting 2004/05 - this was the ski that convinced me. It was 160CM


Have fun - trying skis is the best part!

Mike
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
LOL! Another adjustment! I used to ski on a 200cm Elan Comprex something or other. Looked a lot like this: http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=99512

The "jump" down to 188's was a bit odd. My wife just got new skis and their 155's. I'm still amazed at how short they are.

One thing about shorter skis: How do they hold up when you really open them up?

I'm going to take a look at those Heads you recomended. I'm going to have to start getting familiar with what's out there. I feel like a dolt. I used to work at the a ski shop in college on my Christmas breaks (mid/late 1990's) Now I walk into a ski shop and all the skis look the same.
post #4 of 24
Head iM78 would definitely be a great ski to try, probably in a 171cm for your height and weight, or maybe even 177cm if you wanted more soft snow capability. That particular ski type does well from nose to head height in my experience, depending on your needs. The iM78 is one of those skis I can recommend to a wide range of people.

Because of advancements in materials and construction, and deeper sidecuts, shorter skis can hold pretty well nowadays; certainly compared to older skis.

Good luck!
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys!

I think I may be SOL when it comes to demoing skis this time of year. So we'll see what I can do for next season.

Were K2 and Head the same company? Or am I thinking of Hart?
post #6 of 24
K2 has merged/acquired/combined with a bunch of companies over the years, but not Head (yet).

I'm going to go out on a limb and say the iM78 would be one ski that I could recommend without a demo. There aren't any real downsides to the ski, and it appeals to a wide range of people. However, it is a much smoother, damper ski than many other brands, so it would be important to be OK with that sort of ski feel.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn J View Post
Thanks guys!

I think I may be SOL when it comes to demoing skis this time of year. So we'll see what I can do for next season.

Were K2 and Head the same company? Or am I thinking of Hart?
Hart is being reborn as a company. If you want particulars on the line feel free to PM me. We are doing a 23rd hour revamping of the line..I will be posting the info on the 09 line...soon. :
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
I read some reviews on the iM78 and most were really positive. This is one ski I'm really going to have to look into.

Phil,
That's interesting news! Where are you based out of on the East Coast?
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
I think I'm going to hit the ski shop this weekend(Saturday) to see what's on sale. If anyone has any other recomendations, feel free to toss them out.
post #10 of 24
Glenn

Peter Keelty's $20 subscription site at realskiers.com has the best ski reviews I've seen anywhere. I subscribe and feel it is money very well spent when I'm in the market for new skis. You can look at the ski reviews with an eye out for the type of skier you are and the type of skiing you do.

For what you describe, I'd consider a ski probably 165 cm, and 12 to 14 meter radius sidecut. That's not a GS sidecut, but modern skis are so stable that these ski very well and turn on a dime. A bigger turning radius will give more stability at very high speeds, and that's your choice. I'm not a fan of wide waisted skis except when I want float in deep snow. I really like just about every ski Head puts out...I feel that they're two or three years ahead of what the other makers are putting on the retail racks...and Fischer is also very good. K2 (and Volkl and Marker) are owned by Jarden Corp. out of New York, who are also the proud owners of Seal-a-Meal, Mr. Coffee, Coleman camping equipment and other consumer brands.
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
SoftSnowGuy,
I wasn't aware of that site. Thanks so much for passing that along!

My wife texted me before I left work that she needed a prescript picked up. Just happens, that the local ski shop is in the same plaza as CVS....so after the gym and CVS, I hit the ski shop. A nice young lady helped me out and even gave me pad and pen to take notes.

She thought a 165cm would be good for me. I'm thinking that may be a bit short...but I need to do more research.

Her recommendations starting with what she thought would be the best:

Head Monster 78 w LD 12 Tyrolia's: $642

Vokl AC 20 w/ Marker Mod 11 $546

She said the Tigershark was a good ski, but more of a "groomer" type ski... MITD $609
PSM $827

K2 Striker w/Marker M12 $615

I'm going to hit another shop Saturday. I'll post more info after that trip.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn J View Post
I read some reviews on the iM78 and most were really positive. This is one ski I'm really going to have to look into.

Phil,
That's interesting news! Where are you based out of on the East Coast?
I am out of SE Pa. I will be in VT plenty though.
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Bump! I wasn't able to make it to the shop yesterday. Any thoughts on the prices I posted from Thursdays visit?
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
I hit another local shop this weekend. I wasn't reall impressed with the prices. They wanted $829 for the Apache Recon with M12 bindings. Just seemed a bit high for end of the season.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn J View Post
I hit another local shop this weekend. I wasn't reall impressed with the prices. They wanted $829 for the Apache Recon with M12 bindings. Just seemed a bit high for end of the season.
If you are interested in a Recon in 174 you might check this out. ($468 --but nothing shorter than a 174)


K2 Apache Recon System

SJ
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Wow! That's a bit cheaper than what the local shop was asking. Would you say that's a decent all mountain ski for the Northeast Jim?
post #17 of 24
Hi - I sorta agree about the im78's, but if you're on a real budget and will mostly stay in the east, I'd think more about solid cross or cheater carvers that can be had decently cheap right now online like Fischer RX9's, Head XRC 1200's, Elan Speedwave 12's, Volkl Racetiger RC's, Blizzard CMX Pro. These will tear up eastern ice and crud, go like stink, and get your carve into the 21st century. Then, in a coupla years, think about a second ski in the high 80's for powder or the occasional trip elsewhere.
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'll mostly be skiing in the East...so that's the type of ski that I probably should consider.

So....choices are:

Apache Recon
Elan Magfire 12
Fischer Cold Heat
post #19 of 24
Those are not exactly the same Elans I had. Mine were the Pink Comprex S in 1988. Loved that ski! Probably similar or same ski with newer graphics

I would suggest you stick with 170 length because you are coming from 188 and that is part of teh progression. Once you become comfortable and accustomed to what you see as short skis tehn in a couple of years your next ski for the East could indeed be 165 - but only if you ski small verticals. Is a lot of work on a 165 on a really big hill as that is a lot of turning!

Mike
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
LOL! I had a similar pair of Elan's with the pink tail when I was younger...same ski IIRC.

I agree. I think a 165 would be a bit short for me. I like to open it up and crank out some nice long turns from time to time.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
If you are interested in a Recon in 174 you might check this out. ($468 --but nothing shorter than a 174)
K2 Apache Recon System
SJ
Based on your size/weight that would be a great ski at a strong price and would allow you to use it for 2-3 seasons before you wanted to move on IMO.
What do you want to do off the bat. Ski mostly groomers, more off piste, what? That will help you narrow the search down.
When I came back to skiing 5 years ago, I was sold a 168 Volkl, now my go to ski is a 187 Movement Thunder. I am 5'10" 200lbs.
Get a 174-178 IMO as you will be able to use it longer. Also, I found a longer ski really pushed me to get on it or get bucked off. So you should improve your skills quicker if you ski a longer ski.
I would recommend the AC30, Nordica Jet Fuel (I want) or Rossi Zenith Z9.
Check Jim's site for some reviews of these and some good pricing too.
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
I've spent some time on Jim's site and it's very impressive. There's a lot of really good info.

I stay on mostly groomers for now. While we've had a great season here in the east, fresh powder isn't something we experience every weekend. The 70/30 split of the Recon seemed like a pretty good ballance. Plus, the price he's got it for is certainly motivation....

I appreciate the advice liv2 ski since you were out of the sport, but got back in; much like myself.
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Jim has been very helpful with all my questions over the last few days.

I think I'm ready to pull the trigger on these bad boys: http://www.sierrasnowboard.com/Nordi...stem-16507.asp

:
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Just pulled the trigger! :
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