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2-ski quiver

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am 55 yrs old, 6'5'' tall, 195lbs. I've been skiing for over 30 years, but many of those years I got in only 10-15 days. I'm probably a low level 8. My pattern now seems to be 10 days/year in Colorado, and 15-20 days in Vermont. I ski pretty fast and aggressively (but not racing speeds) when I'm with the guys, but I sometimes just like to lay back and cruise (when I'm "social" family skiing, or when I just want to give my ACL-less right knee a break). I ski all terrain, but I don't go out of my way to find mogul fields.

I was planning to buy a new pair of all-mountain skis (e.g. Volkl AC40, Head i78, Dynastar Legend 8000) but now realize I can afford a 2-ski quiver (hard-pack carver and wider, soft snow/crud stick) if I buy at end-of-season prices. The drawback is that I won't be able to demo them, but I guess I'll risk it. (You should be able to adapt to any decent ski that has the basic characteristics you're looking for, right?)

Ideally, I would like the carver to be OK in a few inches of broken snow, and the wider ski to still be pretty good on the groomed as well. I rarely luck into knee-deep powder days, so I don't want to go too far toward that direction; crud performance is a lot more important.

1. How would a Head Monster 88 or a Dynastar Mythic Rider suit me for a Western ski? Probably a 178cm.
2. Head Supershape or Fischer RX Fire 8 or Progressor for the Eastern hardpack? Should I go shorter on these than the Western ski?
3. Am I right in assuming the 2-ski strategy will give me a significant performance improvement in most conditions over mid-fat (78-82mm) all-mountain boards?

I would be appreciative of any other recommendations from you guys who have demo'ed lots of skis.

post #2 of 12
Originally Posted by rgeba View Post
You should be able to adapt to any decent ski that has the basic characteristics you're looking for, right?)
You're right. It's not the horse, it's the jockey. :

My two ski quiver consists of Volk 6 stars (for the East) and AC4s for the occasional trip out West and local dumps. I would've gotten Mantras if I could find more powder but you take what you get...
post #3 of 12
Legend 8k to go easy on your bad knee and for fun cruising. Gotama for soft snow/crud. Done.
post #4 of 12
I have the 2007 RX8 and absolutely love it for eastern hardpack (ice). I'm 6'1" and 185 and similar skiing level and have the 170. I'd probably go 175 (the longest length) if I had it to do over again. You are definately going to want the 175.

I considered the Supershape last year when I got the RX8, but heard here that it's a pretty demanding ski, so I went with the Fischer based on all of the great reviews here.

Good luck with your search!

post #5 of 12
the rx8 is great for hardpack, but nothing else. the gotama is a great western ski, you'd definitely want at least the 183, maybe even the 190. it's better at pow than crud, but it will pretty much handle anything. i've even had mine out on the icy groomers around here, and they performed pretty well. they're probably be great in a pond skimming contest too. the mantra is stiffer and supposed to be a better crud ski, but i've never tried it, so i couldn't say.
post #6 of 12
IM 88
post #7 of 12
Bob, the only downside to having multiple skis is that sometimes you might not have the right one with you at the right time, but that's rare.

I think the RX-8 or Progressor are great choices for the hardpack ski. Also the older RX-9 if you happen to run across some. I would go chin to nose height on these skis.

For the wider ski, go head height or a bit longer (maybe not for a 6'5" guy). Here you have a lot of choices. I happen to like the Fischer Wateas (probably the 94 or 101 in your case). They are very nice soft snow skis that are great in powder and crud, and decent on groomers. They are a lot softer and lighter than something like an iM88 or Mantra (those two would be stronger on hard snow).

Good luck!
post #8 of 12
You seem to have a pretty good grasp of what you are looking for.

#1) You have chosen two very good and roughly similar skis. Both are on the aggressive side of that width range. You could also add an easier going ski or two to your current list of two. Possibly the Volkl Bridge, Fischer Watea 84 or 94 and the K2 Outlaw come to mind.

#2) You wouldn't go wrong with any of the skis you mention for #1. There are others but those are all great.

For length, your weight says one thing but you height says another. Generally weight is far more important and height is a lesser factor. I'd say 175 is good length for #1. For #2 178 would be a good length on the two stiffer skis. For the softer skis, don't be afraid to consider a 185 (ish) length.

post #9 of 12
Yes, two are significantly better than one, and many airlines still consider a double ski bag as one piece of luggage.

Agree with all the above suggestions except that your comment about your knee raised some flags for me. I'd think hard about using smooth skis that don't deflect a lot in crud or chop. Thus the iM88 and the MR are both good thinking, might give the nod the the 88 for smoothness under fire. OTOH, would guess the MR is a bit easier to cruise on. Would also look at a Blizzard Cronus, which is grippier than the MR and lighter than the iM88, but still fairly smooth. Their new 8.7 is also getting good buzz.

But having owned an RX8, (and really liked it), I don't think that or the Progressor will be your ticket. All Fischers tend to be lively, with comparatively high feedback from the snow, and they often have fairly stiff midsections and tails. For all their virtues, not the knee-friendliest skis made. I'd strongly recommend a Blizzard, if you like light and energetic but want smoother, or a Head Supershape (regular or speed, depending on your taste), which will have less energy, but be very smooth and damp. These will both will be a touch more demanding than the RX's, but IMO, will produce a happier knee after 6 hours of skiing. Other alternatives to think about would be an Elan SLX/GSX Pro or Stockli Laser SC's if you are harder core about your carving. Good luck!
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input. Now, of course, you've given me more to think about.

I'm sure I'd prefer a ski that doesn't get easily deflected in the chop, but isn't dead feeling either. Am I better off in a Watea 84 (or 94?) in a 185-ish or the iM88 or Mythic in a 178?

Also, I appreciate the comments about knee-friendliness, although I have had very few issues since tearing my ACL 9 years ago other than some achy twinges after a long, hard day (usually gone by the next morning). However, I just got into a pair of Salomon Falcon 10 boots this year (great fit for my narrow size 12's!), and the increased surface sensitivity is very noticable. I'd rather not couple it with a super-sensitive ski (although maybe in my younger days, I could have ridden such a combo to greatness.....).

I like a smooth carving ski (so you don't feel every vibration in a death cookie zone) , but I also don't want it so smooth that there is no zip in the kick at the end of the turn. The Blizzard suggestion is a good one, and I've been intrigued by the brand. But so far, Blizzard has limited distribution in my area, and seem hard to get any deals on anywhere.

Is it universally accepted that the Head Supershapes would transmit less vibrations than the Fischer RX8's (or RX9's from the past)?

post #11 of 12
My skis are pretty similar to what you are considering.

Me: 48, 190, repaired ACL, fairly strong skier, mostly ski in the PNW, but have at least one trip per year to Colorado, Utah etc.

Going into this season, I had 170 cm. RX9's and 180 cm Black Diamond Verdicts (with Fritchis) For skiing around home, I was satisfied with the setup because I just carried both pair of skis everywhere and chose based on the conditions of the day.

For travel, however, I get tired of carrying more than one pair of skis so I bought 178 cm MR's from Jim. I am very happy with them and they will be the skis that use for the majority of the time. When there is no new snow or thing have set up hard, I like the RX9's and for back country or deep snow days I'll use the Verdicts.

I really liked the MR's as my 'tweener ski, but could certainly ski them in powder:

See the March 16th ski day!

My goofy knee is more sore after skiing on the RX9's than the others, but I chalk that up to the conditions on with I use them.
post #12 of 12
rgeba, yes, whatever else you do or don't think about Heads, the Supershapes will be damper than the RX's. Just is what it is.
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