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Best SL Ski for Freeskiing?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking about picking up a slalomesque ski to try to make the 350 - 500 vertical feet of ice we call a ski hills in Michigan more entertaining. What are some of the better short turners out there that may also be called upon for the occasional long turn or maybe even a mogul run or two? Are race stock skis a good option or should I stick with the consumer grade offerings?

Unfortunately, my most recent demo sessions focused only on fatter skis (90 - 105mm waists) because I wasn't really planning on picking up a carver this year, however, an opportunity has recently presented itself so I'm suddenly in the market.

Me:
6', 160lbs. Racing background. Solid carving technique. Like to ski with large edge angles.

Things I don't like:
-Marker Bindings
-Cap Construction (with the exception of some Atomics, I've never demoed a cap ski I really loved)

Brands Available to Me:
Atomic
Blizzard
Dynastar
Head
Nordica
Rossignol
Volkl

Thanks!
post #2 of 25
wow, lots of options and I would think buckwild and UP racer can help here. There really are a lot that will fit this bill but 300', does it matter?
post #3 of 25
My home hill is just the same as yourse - 300' vertical consisting of ice, crashed ice, slushy ice and man made corn! Sometimes we occasionally get some slushy bumps mixed up with slush and some ice in between.
So I would highly recommend you the Atomic Metron:B5s because this ski which is really obnoxious on anything that looks like a mountain is still super entertaining on a small icy hill.
If you want you may try to push your tips as much as possible and then you`ll feel like you are going to make a front flip.... wooohooo...this ski does rebound energy!
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Has anyone spent any time on the new Rossi CS70? Looks pretty interesting.
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Sexington View Post
Has anyone spent any time on the new Rossi CS70? Looks pretty interesting.
That ski has caught my eye, as has the new Rossi RS Oversize, now built with laminate construction.

The only race stock I have skied that has been truly versatile is the 2006 Fischer RC4 WC SL 161/166 - the one with the tip deflector. But my '07 Racetiger WC SLs are wound so tight that they could turn a lump of coal into a diamond. I have also tried older Rossis and Atomics and all have different feels, but the common theme is a very direct feel that is unsuitable to anything rough. It's like driving a racing go-cart down a rutted dirt road. You can do it but it's pretty brutal. The ride is highly sensitive and very direct but it's gonna hurt!
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Sexington View Post
Has anyone spent any time on the new Rossi CS70? Looks pretty interesting.
I skied it on Sunday. Only one run, but it was pretty nice. I may very well have one next year.


As for slaloms, I have a pair of Blizzard Mag SLs and a pair of Dynastar Omeglass 64s (race stock). I ski the Blizzards all of the time. The Dynastars are a little more work. Great skis, but a little scary for bumps and the like. I've also skied the Head RD SL. Amazing ski. Maybe my fave of the three, but I don't think it would be too good for all-mountain use.

btw - the Mag SLs originally had a VIST plate. I remounted with Marker WC Piston plate and like it much better with the new plate.
post #7 of 25
the cs70 is awesome...i didnt get to try them on ice but they were fantastic on semi hardpack. really lively but still confidence inspiring and a bit more forgiving than the team skis ive skied on in the past. guaranteed theyre more than enough ski for 90% of the people out there looking for slalom skis..

why not try the supershape magnum? its got a slalom-lke shape, just a bit bigger all over. its turny as all hell and itll do several radii of turns well. feels nice and solid underfoot as well
post #8 of 25
the 05/06 Fischer wc slalom is very versatile. (not true race stock) I believe that one says "Air Carbon" on the tail along with RC4. It's not too stiff but has plenty of edgehold. Also does not have huge tips. You can probably find them for little $.

Quote:
Originally Posted by broad View Post
why not try the supershape magnum? its got a slalom-lke shape, just a bit bigger all over. its turny as all hell and itll do several radii of turns well. feels nice and solid underfoot as well
Yeah your light enough for that ski. (I own it in 170) I think the Head SuperShape Speed is more what you're looking for. That's narrower underfoot and radius is more like 14.something meters instead of 13.5 (170) of magnum. I find the magnum "slow". Of course on a 300' vert maybe that's not a bad thing.
Atomicman loves the supershape speed.
post #9 of 25
Hi, I have similar features, but I am 180 lbs. This year I bought a pair of Rossignol 9s oversize, 165 cm. They are so good that I always use them, and I do have a lot of other skis, also new. Try them: they are at the same time easy and forgiving but you could also race on them, as some strong juniors do here in Italy (very few would really enjoy a full race sl ski for freeskiing, in my opinion). Cheers
post #10 of 25
Here a few of my choices, living in the Mid-West.

The Rossignol 9S Oversize is a good choice, I've owned a couple of pair. They work very well in a varitiy of conditions and are fun and easy to ski. If the ski has a downside it would be edge hold on very hard ice. In my opinion they ski short, move up one size in length, I'm about 220 and skied the 173cm.

The Head Supershape is also a good choice, again I liked the longer 175cm. This ski works well in most conditions but is a little more demanding.

For a capped ski the Fischer RX8 works awesome on hard midwestern Ice, again I like the 175cm. Fun and easy and works in most conditions.

The Nordica Speedmachine Mach 3 (Non Power) works great in short turns on hard snow and ice, even at 170cm its plenty of ski. The Power version is also great but not as quick edge to edge (Marker Binding).

The Fischer Worldcup SC is a good choice but not very versatile. It likes ice and not much else and is somewhat unforgiving.
post #11 of 25
I skied the Volkl Racetiger a few times this year and was pretty impressed. It had nearly the same level of edge grip as my Rossignol Radical RX World Cups. I know it has a cap construction and Marker bindings but it may be worth checking out.
post #12 of 25
I think you should take a look at the Palmer P02 carving ski.
This could be quite the ticket and you'd be a bit of a celebrity. (Everyone would want to try them)

Palmer P02 Carving ski review by exotic
post #13 of 25
I skied the CS70's two weeks ago at Crystal Mt. Resort in the 165 size. Hard snow, soft snow, shrot turns and fairly long turns all were great. It topped out speed-wise a little earlier than I would like, but that's where the CX80 kicked in. Both skis have great edge grip with one a little quicker and one a little more stable.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snohobo View Post
I skied the CS70's two weeks ago at Crystal Mt. Resort in the 165 size. Hard snow, soft snow, shrot turns and fairly long turns all were great. It topped out speed-wise a little earlier than I would like, but that's where the CX80 kicked in. Both skis have great edge grip with one a little quicker and one a little more stable.
Snohobo,

Thanks for the input. If you don't mind me asking, what is your weight and height? Can you compare the CS70 to any other skis in it's class? What length CX80 did you try and what did you think of it's versatility?
post #15 of 25
I am a Fischer guy. Experienced league racer. 5'8" 170lbs. Athletic. I too ski a small Mt. (Wachusett in MA). I have some 165cm WC SLs. They are excellent but to be honest, they are exhausting. Turn turn turn turn turn........
post #16 of 25
Hard to imagine a more fun freesking SL than the Head iSL Chip. Plenty of grip, very smooth, fairly stable in long turns. Really great on ice. For my 230lb they're strictly a fool-around ski but for someone lighter they might have enough pop for racing too. I'd love to try the RD or the Blizzard mags, but it's Golf season now...
post #17 of 25
I weigh about 165 lbs, also like big angles and high-g forces.

I am very happy with my 13-m 165 cm WC SC skis. I don't find them unforgiving at all. They do no work quite as well when going slow as when you get the speed up however (Fisher RX8, Rosi 9S Oversize, Head SS, Salomon Equipe SC don't have that problem at my weight, and may be the better choice for small-hill-only use).

I haven't been on the latest 9S Oversize, but the older version was a great lightning quick ski, if a little too easy to overpower when you put the hammer down and not quite as stable as my WC at speeds well beyond their design range.

I do recall a few years back demoing a salomon equipe SC, that was VERY forgiving, but still very quick with good edge grip and a true joy to ski provided you weren't a speed freak.

I have tried the Head supershape and like it too. It feels a little damper than the Fischers, but still makes lovely turns.

Forget about the Supershape Magnums; they are not in the same league imho.


The SS Speed is a great ski, but the radius is a little bigger than SL.


Unfortunately I didn't get to demo the Atomic SL12, but it sounds like it could do the trick too.


Bottom line, you really can't go wrong with any of the above skis.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions so far guys!

I think I've narrowed it down to the following:

Fischer WC SC, 165cm
Rossignol CS70, 165cm
Head Supershape, ???cm

What would be the best pick out of these three?
I noticed that the Head SS has a really small turn radius even at 170cm. If I go with the Supershape, what length should I be looking at?
post #19 of 25
I'd get the CS70. I ony had one run on it, but it was down Stowe's Goat on a fairly burly day. I'd rate the Supershape 2nd and the WC SC 3rd. I rate them that way because you are asking about all-mountain performance from an SL type ski. If you just wanted to slay plastic, or rip groomers, maybe I'd reverse the order.
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
A few questions about binding interfaces on the skis I listed above.

The CS70 appears to be a rail-type system whereby the bindings are locked onto rail instead of being screwed into the ski - is this system pretty safe/reliable for aggressive skiing? Seeing things like this makes me leery about system bindings:
http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...inding+problem

Are the Fischer and/or Head bindings screwed directly into the flow-flex/carve plate? Do the Fischer or Head plates have mounting inserts or do they get drilled?

Also, still wondering what length Supershape people my size are skiing. Obviously 165cm is pretty standard for SL skis, but the SS is available in 170 and 175 - does this mean it is meant to be skied a little longer?
post #21 of 25
Wait a minute, we have another guy from Italy here? When did this happen?

Anyway, I echo earlier comment on Fischer RC4 WC SL. I skied that ski a lot on hard snow and in bumps and really enjoyed it. I also liked the Nordica Doberman SL a lot in the same conditions. Tuned the former to death, wrecked the latter on rocks. Hoping for good results with a pair of Elan SL Races next year (ski from a couple years back, good deal).
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Sexington View Post
Are the Fischer and/or Head bindings screwed directly into the flow-flex/carve plate? Do the Fischer or Head plates have mounting inserts or do they get drilled?

Also, still wondering what length Supershape people my size are skiing. Obviously 165cm is pretty standard for SL skis, but the SS is available in 170 and 175 - does this mean it is meant to be skied a little longer?
The Head (Tyrolia-name gone in US?) bindings are screwed into the plate on ss magnums. Holes are predrilled and tapped-all you need is a screwdriver. Head does make skis with the rail flex system though which is similar to that marker one.

I'm not sure about the Fischer plate but I believe it's the same. This is the plate that's flat on top and has a clear windo in the middle with springs underneath right? -There are no rails on that so I believe bindings are screwed in to top surface.

Quote:
Forget about the Supershape Magnums; they are not in the same league imho.-Ghost
I'd have to agree with that.
As for length, if the hill is only 350' vert - 160 for supershape? I still question if the regular ss is too soft for what you want. The speed might have too little sidecut for a small hill.

Of course then there's this from Buck who's in the midwest:
Quote:
The Head Supershape is also a good choice, again I liked the longer 175cm. This ski works well in most conditions but is a little more demanding. -BuckWild
So lengths can be all over the place.

I know Volkl made their race slalom (laminate const., not consumer) in 155 and 160 this year (for women). The ski was definitely thinner looking at the sidewall and thus probably softer than the 165 men's.

A 165 slalom makes a good all mountain ski in the east but those verticals are like 2000 -2500. That's way bigger.

One suggestion would be to find an older slalom model that's cheap and start with that. That 05/06 Fischer is great, the Elan slx from what 03/04? is great. Probably for 300$ you could have a whole set up.

Quote:
Wait a minute, we have another guy from Italy here? When did this happen?
The Italians should consider these Maxel skis. (actually Chad would like these too. They are smooth flexing slaloms very skiable all over. Have not tried, but know someone who has)

Maxel Twister SL
post #23 of 25
If you read my entire post you would see that I skied the Head Supershape in 175cm due to my weight! Even at 175cm the ski still makes beautifull short turns on our 400' of vertical! I would recommend this ski in general as a good SL ski for the mid-west, not to mention its also fairly versatile. :
post #24 of 25
Quote:
The Italians should consider these Maxel skis. (actually Chad would like these too. They are smooth flexing slaloms very skiable all over. Have not tried, but know someone who has)
And of course our very own (eg, from my valley) Blossoms. I haven't skied their newest SL, but the model from a couple years ago was great.
post #25 of 25
I ski a lot of small slopes in the NE, used to live in Ann Arbor. The Supershape makes little slopes a lot more entertaining and can even handle light powder. You could also get a Rossi OS, go for a shorter length than usual, it'll be really quick, good for crazy angles, and still hold up nicely at modest speeds. (I have a 158 that I play on). Not so good in slop or chop. The Volkl Racing Motion SL is a very nice ski with amazing grip and likes speed. In fact, I'd vote against anything other than a race trainer or "racing" (rather than RS) model, unless you have bumps on your hill, because of the grip issue. Michigan ice is more serious than Vermont ice, IMO.
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