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"All-Mountain" ski recommendations (moving on from 724 Pros)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have Volkl 724 Pros (177's) that I have absolutely loved - great performers in all conditions I have encountered. However, after a submerged rock incident substantially damaged an edge last year, it's time to retire them. Therefore, I'm looking for suggestions on a modern replacement in the same vein as the 724 Pros.

I'm 6-1, 175, ski 8/9. Favor the trees and steeps (all single/many double blacks) but also do some bumps and enjoy a groomer here and there to open up the throttle. Mostly ski Tahoe/Mammoth so conditions range from epic powder to Sierra Cement to chop to zamboni-smoothed ice. Utah, Colorado, and BC are in play as well. I have a randonee setup for OB treks so I'm really looking for the elusive 'all-mountain' ski for my lift-served adventures (though those 724's were pretty damn close).

Some have recommended the Volkl Grizzly while I've seen other comments that it's tough in tight turning situations. Insights? Other recommendations?

Thanks!!

Dan
post #2 of 16
I classify the ski that you have as a 90/10 ski meaning 90% groomers, 10% other with a sketch of shallow powder over a firm surface. What you have said so far is that you like what you have had and are looking for a direct replacement.

If direct replacement is your target, the the Volkl AC-30, The various Tigersharks, The Nordie Top Fuel, Fischer Cool heat and Dynastar Contact 4X4 are all good options.

If you want something different (wider) then there numerous options as well. There are a number of wider bodied skis (Grizzly, Nordie Helldiver) that will have a similar hard snow bias but on a wider chassis. These skis will have varying degrees of the grip and stability that you like but are wider so you gain some potential in softer snow. OTH, you will lose a few things that you really like about your current ski. particularly when it's really firm.

Then again, you might chose a wider ski but with more of a soft snow bias. Those can help you in the goop that passes for powder in Tahoe and be very stable when it is choppy or rough. A ski like this won't grip as well or be as damp when the conditions are rocklike, but they can be much more UF in the other mixed conditions days.

Lot of choices, but what is it you want?

SJ
post #3 of 16
I skied the 724 Pro in a 177 and I loved it too. Moved to the Nordica Top Fuel and this ski blows the 724 away. But they are different skis so that's not fair.

I would like to suggest the Jet Fuel or the Hellcat, neither of which have I ever skied. Nordicas are going to have a tighter radius relative to the 724. They tend not to skid as easily when you try to cut off the turn as in tight situations.

These skis will go like hell.

I can't say enough about the Top Fuel. I have heard many say they like this ski over Nordica's wider models. Nordica is good stuff and I would put these skis on the demo list. Transition from the 724 to say a Top Fuel would be a pleasant experience.

724 is better in the bumps, for the most part.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Tough call since over the course of a day I'll do a mix of stuff. In a nutshell, I want something that handles well with 'typical' Sierra snow conditions, with priorities being able to negotiate tight turning environments (trees, chutes) but also being able to do some of the more technical bump runs without feeling like I'm on a steel I- beam. Deep and/or untracked powder is a rare treat and smooth groomers are just gravy (they're a dime a dozen and just about every ski seems to do just fine with them, so this isn't a major issue for me)

Sierra Jim - Noting your location, hopefully this provides some clarity: Doing the Lincoln chairline and the '58 at Sugar Bowl; most everything off KT, Granite Chief, and Silverado at Squaw; and Sherwood Cliffs at Alpine are challenging but absolutely doable for me and the kind of stuff I thrive on.

Thanks,

Dan
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyNow415 View Post
Sierra Jim - Noting your location, hopefully this provides some clarity: Doing the Lincoln chairline and the '58 at Sugar Bowl; most everything off KT, Granite Chief, and Silverado at Squaw; and Sherwood Cliffs at Alpine are challenging but absolutely doable for me and the kind of stuff I thrive on.

Thanks,

Dan

OK very good..............here is what you'll look forward to.

A 50/50 ski to me is not a powder ski that's passable on groomed. Rather, it's an ~~85-95mm ski that does a fair job of everything in the sandbox on a given day. This is the #2 (middle) slot in the western quiver as I ski it.

For the record, I own all three spots. #1 (what you have) #2, the (50/50 ski) #3 (a 100+ mm ski that I take when it's snowing or dumped yesterday). If I had to keep one ski, it would be the #2.

So....assuming that the 50/50ski sounds right to you, there are two subdivisions within that category. Those are "hard snow bias" and "soft snow bias" The division is not so much about width but about flex, torsion and ski personality.

For example there are skis at the narrower (~~84mm) end of the spectrum that are more hard snow biased such as the Volkl AC-50, and there are also skis that are more soft snow biased like the Fischer Watea 84. Then at the other end of the spectrum, there are (~~95mm) skis like the Volkl Mantra and Nordie Helldiver that have a hard snow bias whereas there are skis in similar widths (Fischer Watea 94 or Atomic Snopp Daddy) That are better at the soft stuff.

Personally, I ski all the spots you mention regularly and I choose a 50/50 with a little bias toward soft snow. Last year, it was a Dynastar Mythic Rider, this year it might be the same b/c I really like that ski. Or....it might be something else like an Atomic SD, a Fischer 94 or a Rossi Phantom 95.

So....what do you want?

SJ
post #6 of 16
Dan, I am also a Sierra skier. My preference for an all-mountain ski for the last few years has been a "fattish" mid-fat ski. Right now it is the Mythic Rider (thanks SJ!). I have not tried it anywhere except Tahoe, but I really like how it skis: it is stiff enough to bust the crud, but still nimble to squeeze through just about everywhere. Have not tried it in real powder, but at 88mm it should do just fine. Most of the soft snow skis these days are totally competent on groomed slopes, so you are really choosing the soft snow performance.

SJ will have a much more extensive recommendation list.

Alex
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
OK very good..............here is what you'll look forward to.

A 50/50 ski to me is not a powder ski that's passable on groomed. Rather, it's an ~~85-95mm ski that does a fair job of everything in the sandbox on a given day. This is the #2 (middle) slot in the western quiver as I ski it.

For the record, I own all three spots. #1 (what you have) #2, the (50/50 ski) #3 (a 100+ mm ski that I take when it's snowing or dumped yesterday). If I had to keep one ski, it would be the #2.

So....assuming that the 50/50ski sounds right to you, there are two subdivisions within that category. Those are "hard snow bias" and "soft snow bias" The division is not so much about width but about flex, torsion and ski personality.

For example there are skis at the narrower (~~84mm) end of the spectrum that are more hard snow biased such as the Volkl AC-50, and there are also skis that are more soft snow biased like the Fischer Watea 84. Then at the other end of the spectrum, there are (~~95mm) skis like the Volkl Mantra and Nordie Helldiver that have a hard snow bias whereas there are skis in similar widths (Fischer Watea 94 or Atomic Snopp Daddy) That are better at the soft stuff.

Personally, I ski all the spots you mention regularly and I choose a 50/50 with a little bias toward soft snow. Last year, it was a Dynastar Mythic Rider, this year it might be the same b/c I really like that ski. Or....it might be something else like an Atomic SD, a Fischer 94 or a Rossi Phantom 95.

So....what do you want?

SJ
Jim I just wanted to say this was really good DEAD ON Advise.
You must be one of those professional Ski Gear dudes who happens to work in a Ski shop at the Foot Of the Sierra.

I was also thinking Mythic Rider or something similar only Fatter, longer and damp
I think it might give him a new view of what is fun on the same slopes he frequents today.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTT View Post
............
I was also thinking Mythic Rider or something similar only Fatter, longer and damp
I think it might give him a new view of what is fun on the same slopes he frequents today.
I think I have an Idea of what you are suggesting and I'd give that one a qualifier depending upon length. There are soooo many grreat skis in this width range that I'd be hard pressed to say what's best. Of course the Watea 94 is a little more damp than the MR and the Rossi P-95 is a really good and so far overlooked ski. The new twinny Snoop is an absolute hoot to ski off trail and I just got myself one of of last year's LP's in the short size.

This width category and range of skis is just a candy store for the Western skier.

SJ
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
Of course the Watea 94 is a little more damp than the MR
a fischer with carbon stringers (light and snappy) more damp than a dynastar with metal (heavy and smooth)? i've never actually skied either model, but i am a huge fan of the cadillac-type ride that dynastars deliver, so i am having a hard time believing this
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukc View Post
a fischer with carbon stringers (light and snappy) more damp than a dynastar with metal (heavy and smooth)? i've never actually skied either model, but i am a huge fan of the cadillac-type ride that dynastars deliver, so i am having a hard time believing this
(a) The MR is not metal.
(b) The Fischer is softer than the MR and = or possibly heavier
(c) The Fischer uses a soft topsheet material that contributes to dampening

SJ
post #11 of 16
I owned the 724 pro as well and loved them. Thought they were great skis at the time but they are so outclassed by anything produced in the past 5 years it isn't even funny! I'd vote Mantra which is the best all mountain ski I've ever tried by aa long shot.
In fact the only gripe I have and it's not a big one is it's a little too hooky in deep powder.

Bumps, crud, groomed, ice and up tp a foot of powder you can't go wrong. Long and short turns they rock!
post #12 of 16
I'm going to toss a vote in for the Head Monster 78. From the OP's description of what he skis it sounds like a very good fit. The 82 is another option that may be marginally better in power, but I think the 78 lends itself much better to bumps and tighter trees.

While I'm hesitant to toss around terms like "all-mountain" or "do everything" in a positive context, the 78 is as close as it comes to an all-mountain ski without making too many compromises.
post #13 of 16
I was thinking Head iM82 or iM88 as soon as I read this.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
(a) The MR is not metal.
see, i think that the MR has one of the most elusive constructrions of any ski. i was seriously considering these skis last spring, and after talking to multiple sources, i got a LOT of conflicting info. the threads on this topic were completely inconclusive, as was dynastar's own website. some shop guys think it is metal free, because of the 3.5 drill bit. but, fwiw, the most AUTHORITATIVE (i called the rossi/dynastar/look/lange mountain center in utah) answer that i got was that there IS in fact one layer of metal in the MR. to be perfectly honest, i don't know what this guy's position was over there. he might just be some low-level phone-jocky. but until someone splits an MR open and confirms that it is indeed metal-less, i am still leaning more towards the metal than non-metal side (though i am open to the alternative possibility)
post #15 of 16
I have drilled enough of them (including my own) to know that there is no metal in the top 10mm of the ski. It is possible that there is a layer of metal on the bottom but not the top. I say possible but consider this unlikely b/c this is....

(a) Something that Dynastar has (AFAIK) never done on a wood core ski
(b) IAC, not a great construction technique when using wood.
(c) The opposite of what I was told by the international PM in Vegas when the ski was introed.

Still....it is possible....just not what I've found by drilling 'em or been told.

SJ
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
I have drilled enough of them (including my own) to know that there is no metal in the top 10mm of the ski. It is possible that there is a layer of metal on the bottom but not the top. I say possible but consider this unlikely b/c this is....

(a) Something that Dynastar has (AFAIK) never done on a wood core ski
(b) IAC, not a great construction technique when using wood.
(c) The opposite of what I was told by the international PM in Vegas when the ski was introed.

Still....it is possible....just not what I've found by drilling 'em or been told.

SJ
i hear ya, and am not trying to give you any grief... your empirical evidence has started to sway me in the opposite direction, but in all fairness, this IS one of the more ambiguous ski constructions on the market
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