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Newbie Tree Skier Needs Help Choosing Skis

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have been skiing for 35 years, but this is the first year I have ventured into the trees. I like it and want to do more, but I don't think I have the right skis for it. I ski about 30 days a season in the east at mountains such as Jay Peak, Killington, Stratton and Okemo on powder days. (I have a flexible work schedule so when it dumps, I head to the mountain.) I also spend one week out west every year.

I am a 5' 10" , 150 lbs., 39 year old male and have been skiing on 03/04 model year 178 cm Rossignol B2 Bandits. I love the B2s on open terrain, but I have trouble controlling them in heavy powder through tight trees. They get stuck in the snow and seem too long for me to turn quickly. My ski instructor at Jay Peak, who tears through the trees on her Pocket Rockets, suggested I get the PRs. She suggested I get skis shorter than my B2s.

What skis and in what length do folks here suggest I demo and buy, keeping in mind that I will use these skis solely for skiing the trees on powder days in the east and that I am a newbie tree skier that does not plan on skiing very fast? When I go out west, I will take the B2s and rent powder skis if I am lucky enough to get powder.
post #2 of 15
Try the K2 PEs. There has been a lot of discussion about them recently. To me, they work great in heavy snow, turn easily, and can float in powder. Topsheet gets marked up easily but they are otherwise durable. I think they would be great in eastern trees. PRs are quick-turning and float, but they bounce around in heavy snow.
post #3 of 15
I think mostly you just need more time to get used to trees. Your skis are a bit longer than you need at your weight, so you could use something shorter to speed up the process, but it is not strictly necessary. (Or you could eat more - I'm 50 pounds heavier and love 176 B3's in the trees.)
post #4 of 15
You want as short and fat as possible, IMO, and twin. Agree about the PE's, also think about Mojo 90's, Prophet 90's, if you will take the icy bits along with the pow, or if you're planning to go for bigger pow days, staying away from ice, a Sollie Gun (modern version of the PR).
post #5 of 15
Your B2's should be fine, though I agree a little shorter would be easier. Unfortunately, it's impossible to assess the match-up of your skills, gear, and the terrain that you are skiing in the context of this bulletin-board. There is a very big difference between firing tight trees out-of-bounds and cruising in-bounds glades. Basically, you just need to get better at turning on a dime in rapidly changing conditions. Regardless, do wear a helmet.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by raspritz View Post
Regardless, do wear a helmet.
And a quality google or other eye protection. It's no fun being poked in the eye by a stubby branch on the side of a tree.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
You want as short and fat as possible, IMO, and twin. Agree about the PE's, also think about Mojo 90's, Prophet 90's, if you will take the icy bits along with the pow, or if you're planning to go for bigger pow days, staying away from ice, a Sollie Gun (modern version of the PR).
I have a pair of 06/07 1080 Guns. They work great in the trees, bumps, & pow. The tips & tails are pretty soft. Ahhh....powder covered bumps in the trees. :

What do you considered short? Mine are 185's and I've never had any issues turning them in the woods.

On my last trip to Utah, I skied 7 straight days of pow. I could have skied longer and fatter skis. :

You should be able to find them pretty cheap, I did.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCWVA View Post
I have a pair of 06/07 1080 Guns. They work great in the trees, bumps, & pow. The tips & tails are pretty soft. Ahhh....powder covered bumps in the trees. :

What do you considered short? Mine are 185's and I've never had any issues turning them in the woods.

On my last trip to Utah, I skied 7 straight days of pow. I could have skied longer and fatter skis. :

You should be able to find them pretty cheap, I did.
I saw a pair of new 1080 Guns, without bindings, for $290, including shipping, on E-bay. They are 164 cm. Is this too short? Can I get the Guns, or some of the others recommended in this thread, for a better price? I have not spent much time looking.

I believe my 178 B2s are too long for me in the woods. Perhaps a fatter ski at 178 would be fine. I will probably not know what is best for me until I can demo different lengths back-to-back. Unfortunately, there is no powder in the forecast here in the east and the mountains will close in a few weeks, so I may have to wait until next season.
post #9 of 15
164 cM is too short for you. I choose narrow, midfat, or fat skis according to predominant conditions, to maximize the fun factor. I am no ueber-skier, but I can ski super-tight trees fast just fine on any of my skis, pretty much regardless of conditions. With all due respect, what you describe sounds much more like a skillset problem than an equipment problem.
post #10 of 15
ditto on the PE... great tree ski, and cheap too. Also the Mojo 90, I have 'em and they're the ultimate tree weapon IMHO, especially if you're going to take them out west. I demoed the bandits a while back and hated the snots out of them. Like you said, fine in the open, but felt really stupid, heavy and slow in the trees and such, where you want/need them to be responsive. Check out the PE, you can pretty much throw a rock and hit a demo shop that will have 'em to try out.
post #11 of 15
All good suggestions, let me add one more to the mix. Take a look at the Icelantic Shaman or Scout. They are shorter and have a wide waist to them.
I've been skiing the Shaman here in Utah for the past month and have really liked them. I even had an observer comment about how surprised he was to see me turn them as quickly in the trees as I was.
post #12 of 15
It may not be the skis. When I take students in to the trees they are generally apprehensive and the first thing they do is get in the back seat. Natural reaction, increase the distance between you and the immovable object. As you probably know, turning coordination and speed control are reduced without proper fore-aft balance.

You may want to ask yourself some questions. How did your balance feel? Did your theighs burn? Did you fall backwards? Did you find you were using a lot of upper body movement to initiate or complete your turns? If you are a centered skier on the slopes but shift backward in the trees then it's a confidence issue.

Find less tight glades and work on making turns at precise locations. I have students pick out small young trees and use them as gates. The less intimidating soft young trees, combined with irregular spacing and terrain helps them develop confidence and get recentered.

You may want to have an experienced eye check your stance before you invest in a second pair of skis only to find the problem isn't with the skis but with the skiier.
post #13 of 15
The B2 is a pretty nice ski for a light skier but I'd agree that yours are a bit long for the task at hand. Given the rather narrow focus for the ski you are asking about, it is hard to beat the PR. While not great on hard snow, is is just super easy and nimble in tight spots and the hard snow thing doesn't sound like much of a factor for you. The current 1080 gun is close too. It's a little stiffer and wider, but pretty high on the easy factor.

The PE would be quick and nimble too. It might not be a huge bit different in float but it would be somewhat better in that regard. It could be gotten cheaply enough, and in a shorter size which would help the manuverability factor but limit the float somewhat. Another ski that could be a consideration is the Atomic Snoop Daddy. It is almost as wide as the PR (88mm vs. 90) and is incredibly light and nimble. It's soft in the forebody which can help in bumps but pretty darned grippy underfoot for all it's ease of use.

SJ
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the tips. Killington is getting a big dump today so I will be skiing there on Saturday. The demo center has the K2 PEs (for $50 per day - kind of steep!), so I will try those and let folks know how I do.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
I demoed 168 cm Dynastar Trouble Makers today at Stratton, which had 10 inches of new powder. The TMs were the only twin tip demo I could find at the base of the mountain. I skied them in the trees in tracked and untracked powder back-to-back with my B2s. The TMs were much easier to turn than the B2s, and I felt a lot more confident skiing with some speed through the trees. The TMs did not float in the boot-deep powder as well as I thought they would, however. They were also disappointing on the groomers. They felt sluggish and did not glide as well as the B2s, probably due to the shorter length and softer sructure. Hopefully, I will get to demo the K2 PEs at Killington before the end of the season.
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