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Ski advice for a intermediate to advaned skier

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

I'm very happy to find this forum, I read alot of your threads and postings and find them quite interesting.

Now my question: I'm skiing around 24 days a year mostly on groomers (90% I think, green, blue and increasingly black).
My weight is 184 lbs, my age is 39 and I'm 6' tall. I think I'm in
shape (I'm two times a week in a gym, do skiking once a week and once a week jogging).
Currently I'm skiing on a Head SS Magnum (L177/122-71-108) and I like it very much in the most conditions. It's damp and stable, has more than enough edge grip (for me) and does medium to long turns very well.
Now I'm searching for something better in soft snow (soft groomers) or a little powder and for increasing my powder/soft snow abilities.
I skied in my youth (from 10 to 15) and started again when I was 32.
For my first years I was skiing mostly on Atomics (SX9, SX11, SX12, Metron B5) and Fischer Skis (RC4 RCs and SLs).
But now I prefer Ski from Head and Nordica.
I'm thinking about the Head Monster 82 or 88 (I think the Monster 78 is to close to the SS Magnum), maybe the Mojo 94.
Or something like the Hot Rod Afterburner (I tested the Hot Rod Hellcat last year and liked it much on soft groomers but I'm not sure about it's performance offtrail).
I think a length of 170 to 180 would be ok.

Any ideas to this?
post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ok, to be more specific: Would the skis I mentioned (Head Monster 82, 88, Mojo 94 or Nordica Hot Rod Afterburner) be adequate for an intermediate skier? Or are they to demanding? Would a length of 175cm to 180cm be applicable?
post #3 of 14
The iM82 would be OK for athletic motivated intermediate who knows a basic carve. Does that fit? OTOH, has a frontside bias, and not all that much wider than your Magnums. The iM88's are better in terms of your mission, but they could be a handful. Maneuverable, damp, but pretty stiff, kill chop, like three speeds: fast, faster, fastest. I'd think that the Afterburners would be a great choice, happier at low speeds or bumps, a bit more floaty. You might also think about last year's Mojo 90's, which are a better soft snow and tight spaces ski than the 88's, cheap right now. Or the Blizzard Cronus, a personal fav, one of those rare all mountain skis that's easy enough for an intermediate to ski but can ramp up to an expert's demands.
post #4 of 14
If you look for some of my posts from last season, you can see some of the things I tried.

I liked the SuperShapes on hardpack, but I also found them lacking in softer snow and at lower speeds.

The Monster 78 was a very solid all-around ski, but I found it overly skittish in icy conditions. Probably my technique as much as the skis; other reviews I read called them excellent on ice. I would strongly recommend a demo if possible. The iM82/88 didn't seem to be quite as highly recommended, but might be more appropriate if you wanted something more specific to powder. They also didn't seem to be as widely stocked for demos, at least in New England.

In softer conditions I really liked the Head Xenon 7.0s. Not sure how they would handle powder, but on a mushy groomer they were a lot of fun.

I actually ended up buying the Dynastar Contact Limited. Probably NOT what you want, but if you like the feel of the Head skis you might want to try some of the Dynastars.
post #5 of 14
I agree with beyond that the 88 is a little better suited to what you're looking to ski, and I think you could probably handle it given that you apparently like the Magnum, I think that you'd be better served by something a little softer and more forgiving.

In the Head lineup, the Mojo 94 would be my choice, or if you want to save a few dollars and get an awesome ski, look for a previous year's Mojo 90. I haven't skied the 94 yet, but the 90 was a great ski, pretty nimble for its size, not the best on hardpack, but you're not buying it for that. Really great ski for tree skiing, or any soft snow or powder days. Not a tough ski to ride, but it will keep up when you start to get more aggressive later on.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
I think you're right even the Monster 82 could be still to close to the Magnum.
One thing I wanted to add, regarding turns I like skis that can turn tightly but are able to make long turns without being squirrelly. The Metrons I tried were very turny, what's ok regarding their sidecut (the sidecut of the Metron, the Monster 78 and the Xenons seem very similar).
Other ski i tried last year was the Nordica Spitfire, I liked it much but when I skied it fast it started with a little chatter. That's the reason why I bought the SS Magnum. I found it more stable, but even in 177 still very agile (and more versatile than the Head Supershape which I tested too). I also tried the Atomic Nomad Crimson and the Atomic Snoop Daddy, both are great skis but the Nomad Crimson seems to dislike tight turns and the Snoop Daddy hadn't the edge grip of the Crimson, both weren't my cup of tea (I would like it a little more damp and stable, I like the feeling of woodcore sandwich skis). After this I tested the Nordica Hot Rod Hellcat for two days and it was great on soft groomers and in the ungroomed besides (not really deep snow). But I have to admit it's a lot of ski (I tested it in 170cm, what I found to short and 178cm, liked it for being more stable and floaty).
Regarding speed I would say most of the time I'm among the upper third of skiers on green and blue runs (not on black runs for now).
I was interested in the Mojo 90 but I hadn't a chance to test it (same for the Monster 88). The new Mojo 94 seems also to be a candidate (at least for testing). The Blizzard Cronus would be a new idea, but I would give it a try.
So could the Monster 88 (or the Mojo or the Cronus) be the right ski for me?
And would a length of about 175cm to 180cm be ok?
post #7 of 14
I weigh 163, ski the Mojo 90 at 176, iM88 at 175, and Cronus at 173. At your weight, I'd definitely go the next size up for a Mojo or Cronus, stay in the 170's for the 88 or 94, which are heavier and stiffer.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much, that are useful information.
So it would be reasonable to go for 186 Mojo 90, 180 Cronus, 175 Monster 88 or 173 Mojo 94.

What are you thinking about the Fischer Watea 84/94?
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ok, and one last to ask for: A colleague told me about his Mantra and he is always raving about its versatility.
But for what I read, it's more a ski for a really skilled pilot.
If I would test it, then most probably in a 177 length, but should I give it a try or would I be wasting my time?
post #10 of 14


LikeToSki2001. In answer to your question, here's my 2 cents worth based on about 37yrs on the snow.

Demo, what one person likes in a ski doesn't mean you will. Last year I demo'd the 78 and 88 and did not like at all. there were many rave reviews on these ski's here on Epic and I am sure they are great skis, but not for me. I tried the Nordica Afterburners for off piste and loved them, bought them. Everyone skis differently and has varying likes and dislikes, characteristics in ski performance. The only way for you to really tell what you want is to demo.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yes I know. Always test your skis. As I read it in countless threads in this forum. And I know this is right and important.
As I wrote I tested already the Atomic Nomad Crimson and the Atomic Snoop Daddy (2007 model) and they weren't the skis I'm searching for (though there are also many people raving about them).
And before I bought the Head Supershape Magnums I demoed Atomics SX10/12, Nordica Spitfires, Fischer Progressors, Head Supershapes, Head Supershape Chip, Fischer RC4 RC/SC, Stoeckli Spirits, Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous. Not only the different models, also the different lengths.
It's not the question to test or not to test, I only try to decrease the number of skis I will test/demo and if an experienced skier can tell me that certain skis are above my level or not useful for me, then I can narrow down the amount to test.
I know that reading and writing in this forum will not replace real testing in different conditions.
My aim is to get some ideas which ski models will make sense to test, due to the writings of the manufacturers aren't very useful and not all shop men are experts in what they sell (even not all instructors are).
That's all I anticipate - not a thread that tells me: Here is the miraculous pair of skis that make you ski like a hero.
If you can make me some recommendations I'll be content.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
So it's still the question, would the Voelkl Mantra (177) or the Fischer Watea 84 (176) or Watea 94 (178) fit in this lineup of skis (with the Head Monster 88, the Head Mojo 94, the Nordica Hot Rod Afterburner, the Blizzard Cronus)?
post #13 of 14
Given that you like the Magnum for its damp, stable qualities, and don't like the Atomics, would also rule out the Fischers. Great skis but lot of snow feel, combination of stiff + lite n' lively, like Atomics, both sort of anti-Head feel. Mantras IMO are easier to ski than most people suggest, damp, but OTOH not as stable as they should be and very specialized: They rule crud and tight places like trees. Period. Not that great on hardpack, in bumps, off-edge, or facing real pow.

Besides the Mojo 90's, other damp, stable and reasonably forgiving would include K2 Outlaw, 4Frnt MSP, K2 Public Enemy (although not very wide, but predisposed toward softer snow and very versatile). Midway between Head damp and Fischer lively, but also forgiving, would include Blizzard Cronus, Volkl Bridge, Dynastar Mythic Rider. Stockli is making a new 85 mm ski that I suspect would have the qualities you like and not be overwhelming like the models 88 and up; can't recall name. You would want the Stockli, Outlaw, MSP and MR's on the short side (low 170's), while the others can go next length up. Finally Nordicas come to mind for their ride qualities, but the relevant width models (84 and 90 mm) are oriented toward groomed or chop. Ditto for Volkl. If that's OK with you, definitely the Afterburner.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much! I think I got the picture, for planning what to test. This should be an interesting season!
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