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To twin or not to twin; best ski for a developing skier...

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
First off I'd like to say thanks for the great forum, I must have spent the last few weeks sifting through all the available advice and information. However, my limited brain capacity is almost full to the rafters and I'm probably not much closer to reaching a decision than I was when I started!

To my predicament: I moved to Vancouver from the UK last year with the express of aim of taking full advantage of what the winter season has to offer. I had snowboarded before but as my wife wasn't too keen on spending extended periods of time with a bruised behind and we "both" decided that we'd learn to ski together. With a lesson and my first season under my belt I have to say that I'm fully converted. We skied a mix of the north shore mountains and also had 8 days up in Whistler. My first ski has been a second hand 170 cm 2006 Head XRC 500, I'm 6' and 180 lbs. Despite finding the ski a bit of a handful initially (maybe this was just skiing in general) I quickly progressed and have enjoyed the feeling of the ski (although in skiing parlance I'm still not completely au fait with the terms - damp, chattery, lively, stiff, soft etc). In terms of ability I'm not sure what level I am now, maybe advanced intermediate; I find groomed black runs challenging but fun and really enjoy going off piste into some of the easier bowls and glades at Whistler-Blackcomb, although have yet had the fortune to experience a true powder day. I do realize that my technique is far from perfect and am planning to take some more lessons this season.

So, to get to my question. I'm planning on buying a new pair of skis which will hopefully allow me to further progress in ability this season. My budget will only stretch to one pair this year (ideally less than the $500 mark, with bindings) and, as with seemingly everyone else, I'm looking for something that is capable in a variety of conditions. I really enjoy off-piste skiing and would like something that is stable in the soft stuff but also would like something which isn't beyond my ability on groomers and ice. I'm also starting to hit a few jumps so something which isn't too heavy to get off the ground would be a bonus. I would also like a ski that isn't too demanding and is equally(ish) happy just cruising around. After extensive research and reading up I have arrived at a fairly short short-list...

1. Head Monster 77/78* (I demoed the 78 in Whislter one day and really liked it; the 77 can be had for quite a lot cheaper, is the 78 worth the extra money?)
2. Fischer Watea 84 (although I think I've missed out on the good price in my length)
3. Dynastar Legend 8000
4. Head Mojo 90
5. K2 PE*
6. Fischer Addict Pro

My stats: 6' and 180 lbs

As you can see they naturally divide into mid-fats and Twin-tips. The two with stars are my top choice in each category I think. After much deliberation I thought I had finally decided on the K2 PE yesterday but then read that twins in general may not be the best ski for someone still developing their ability. There also seems to be some contradiction on lengths of Twin-tips, I was going to opt for the 174 but was worried this would be too short. I appreciate the benefits of demoing but I'd like to get a new pair for this season and then have the option of demoing additional skis to perhaps expand next year.

Apologies for this umpteenth "Which ski for me" question but if anyone's got any advice on the matter I'd be really grateful to hear it, if only for the sanity of my better half who is reaching the end of her tether with me sitting at the computer every night

post #2 of 12

Just kidding. As for ability, 1 season + 1 lesson = advanced int.? No. But that doesn't really matter, you like skiing, you're adventurous and you want some new skis, cool.

How important is improving and developing 'proper' technique? How important is going out and having fun while challenging yourself on 'difficult' terrain?

If you want to get better at the sport and want good technique, stick with the XRC (a good ski) and put the money saved toward extra lift tickets and MORE LESSONS... but where's the fun in that?

If you want to have fun and push your limits, a twintip is a great choice. The K2 PE is a great all around ski that will allow you to do everything you mention and it's an exceptional value. The Head Mojo 90 is a truely great performing ski that should be easy to find at a great price due to a new model which will replace it this year.
post #3 of 12
K2 PE's won't disappoint you for sure..
post #4 of 12
For WB and the North Shore mountains, the Mojo 90 would be a great all purpose ski. Another great ski that will be both forgiving and allow high performance is the PE, although it is a bit narrow for some of the heavy snow at WB. You don't list it, but I would also recommend the Dynastar Big Trouble as a wonderful ski for what you are describing as your ability level and your desire to ski off piste and trees. Given that your current ski is a bit of a handful, the 174 PE sounds about right.

As for the "twin or no" issue - I think that Whiteroom has stated the issue well: technique or fun? I'd keep the XRC and I would add a ski (since that's what you're planning). I would be more inclined personally to go with the wider Mojo (once described to me as a WB "instructor's ski" because they can do most everything). In general, twins ski short, but the PE has a tip profile that allows it to float well in soft snow and crud. That being said, on a deep snow day (thigh deep +) you will likely benefit from a wider ski (and you can demo those, so why not do it then?). As for length, seems a bit on the short side, but you will gain maneuverability at the expense of speed limit.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
Guess I'm not down with the kids anymore as I had to google this to see what it mean Yeah, it was a bit of a brain fart so apologies for boring anyone. Maybe the estimate of my own ability was a little optimistic but I ski with someone who takes advanced level lessons and I saw someone here who was just progressing onto blues describe themselves as intermediate so hey

Thanks for the advice, I think I may opt to go with the Mojo 90 and keep my current ski for practicing technique etc. Whilst I said it was a bit of a handful initially, it's not anymore and I do enjoy skiing it, I just have no real experience on other skis to make comparisons. Levelnine have the 2006 Sweet Fat Thang in 176 for 299, barring my ego is there any reason not to get this instead of the Mojo 90 as they say it's the same ski? The design isn't uber feminine.
post #6 of 12
As whiteroom said "advanced intermediate unlikely" and I agree also agree that it doesn't matter except to say that if your goal is really to learn to ski better then I would stick with the narrower skis like the Head 78 as they will carve better and that is what you need to learn. Get a good carving 78 or so with short to medium radius (13-17m), take some lessons and leave the fatter skis for another year or so.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for throwing a spanner in the works Lou The replies reflect my daily change in decision, just when I've thought I'd decided then something changes my mind. Your advice reflects what I keep coming back to myself so thanks for reinforcing it. One quick question, do you think the Head monster 78 (~400) is worth the extra money than the 77 (~250)?

And please don't get me wrong, I'm not taking any issue with people questioning my ability, I just want to enjoy my skiing. Was hiking at Mt Seymour today (the smallest of the North Shore resorts) and even though it was one of the hottest days of the year in Vancouver I'm looking forward to the winter...
post #8 of 12
Whiteroom = 'kid'
post #9 of 12
I don't sell every Head so am not necessarily familiar with all. I'm looking at an 08/09 catalog and the 77 is not listed but a 76 is. The 78 has a 14.6m radius and the 76 has a 16.1. As I remember the the 76 and 77 have very similar sidecut but that the 77 is a chip ski.

You can learn carving effectively with either sidecut as neither is considered long. All skis in the Monster line hold and carve well. I've skied the 88, 82, and 78 and really like them all and we sell each. Other than the Chip the primary diff for you is the price and it is due to the 77 being one year older. I'd buy the 77 and use the saved money for something else.

A word of warning, the series is mounted somewhat rearward in my opinion. Play around with binding position to find the most forgiving position for you.

post #10 of 12
The Sweet Fat Thang is nothing more than a 'Women's Graphic' on a unisex ski, it is a Mojo 90 on the inside.

(and I'm still 'kid-like', some people would say 'childish')
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Cheers Lou and Whiteroom, sounds like the best advice is to go with im 77/78. Levelnine have the im 77 for $250 so might go with that. Maybe try demoing some fatter/twin-tips this season.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Just trying to get post # to 5 so can reply to a pm
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