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Mid-fat EC all-mountain ski recs?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I feel like this might overlap a bit with bsummit's recent thread on East Coast skis, but I've been scouring the review threads and I'm starting to get recommendation-intoxication. Basically, I'm looking for a versatile all-mountain ski that can handle tight MRG woods, hike-in backcountry like Big Jay and Teardrop, but not embarrass me when I'm skiing the inevitable East Coast boilerplate/ice while on my way to patches of good resort trees. (Also, I'll hit groomers every now and then depending on who I'm skiing with.) I've been on Volkl p40s almost exclusively the past 2 years, and can't handle another winter of tree/bc country with short, narrow-waisted GS ski--as you can imagine.

My stats: 5'9", 140-145lbs, and I have a hard time assessing my ability aside from saying I'm "scrappy". I ski everything on the hill (except parks), but tend to stay away from bumps where I can get overmatched. As mentioned, I like short turns in trees and exploring backcountry, but wouldn't call myself a top-level skier. I'm not a super-agressive skier--and it maybe because of the p40s, but I sometimes sit back on the tails in soft snow. What I'm trying to say is I can handle myself at MRG, but if you watch me for a while you'll see some flaws.

Okay, here's where I'm looking for some advice. I'm searching for a versatile ski at a good price (meaning used/online clearance), so my options aren't comprehensive, but I'd like something with an 80+ waist that won't exhaust me if I have to carry it up the hill on a backpack. It seems a forgiving ski that's (maybe) on the softer side would be appropriate because I'm a lightweight. But something that will challenge me as I knock the rough parts off my technique. Length is also something I could use some guidance with since I'm currently on [cough] 163s (I defend myself with the "short is nimble in trees" refrain).

My ideas so far:
A Barking Bear-friendly shop is offering the following 2 demo'd skis at a nice price--
(1) 2008 Fischer RX Cold Heat, 170 (leaning this way)
(2) 2008 Volkl Bridge, 169
Elsewhere, I've found the following--
(3) Nordica AfterBurner, 170
(4) 2006/07 Volkl Karma, 177
(5) Scott Santiago Mission, 168 or 178 (tough size call)
(6) Rossignol Bandit B3 or B83, 174
(7) Dynastar Legend 8000, 178 (too long? hardpack grip?)
(8) Stockli Stormrider AT, 174 (hard to find info here on this)

From what I've read here, the Line Prophet 90, Volkl Mantra, Fischer Watea 84, and Head Monster 88, would all be excellent--but they're extremely hard to find on a budget.

Alright, this post got really long, and if you've read this far, you're a hero. But I'd love to hear any insight from you guys who have much more experience on different skis than I do. Anyone want to share some wisdom?
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yossarian View Post
I've been on Volkl p40s almost exclusively the past 2 years, and can't handle another winter of tree/bc country with short, narrow-waisted GS ski--as you can imagine.

My stats: 5'9", 140-145lbs, and I have a hard time assessing my ability aside from saying I'm "scrappy". . . . I like short turns in trees and exploring backcountry, but wouldn't call myself a top-level skier. I'm not a super-agressive skier--and it maybe because of the p40s, but I sometimes sit back on the tails in soft snow.
I'm 5'8" and 155lbs. My P40 SL's @ 177cm are a bit too much work in the trees -- very little margin for error. They prefer more open spaces. I bought a pair of used Volkl 5-Star's (T50) @ 161cm a few years ago and they are great everywhere: they can do everything the P40's did plus they're quick through the trees and float better in powder.

Last year I added 2007 Salomon X-Wing Fury's @ 164cm. My worries that such a wide ski could float on powder but couldn't carve on boilerplate were unfounded. They can go anywhere. Because the binding is mounted a bit further forward, there's less shovel that has to clear the trees (and I've run them through some really tight bootleg trails). They're also quite light, nowhere near the weight of either pair of my Volkl's. I never feel that I wish I had more length. I may give up some top speed, but I'm usually in the trees or the bumps when they're open, so that doesn't matter.

A recent review on this site mentions that they stiffened the shovel with the 2008 model. That might make a difference at your weight.

If you can, hit some of the early season demo days (I'm dying to try the new Volkl AC50). If you can, try the Volkl AC30. You can always find good deals on last year's models online. As a fellow tree skier, I'd recommend against moving up in length without first trying out a new pair of skis.
post #3 of 10
I have the Rossi B3's in 176 from a couple of years ago (the orange-brown ones), and I love them. They just clicked for me -- I decided to buy them after one demo run. Good in powder, bumps, trees, hardpack, and even ice. I use them in the East and on Western trips.

Now the caveats: 1) I have found that certain other skis have a somewhat higher "steepest groomer you can carve" but the difference is not huge, and I wouldn't have noticed without a direct comparison. 2) I have never skied a "real powder" ski in powder, so I may not know what I'm missing.

I weigh quite a bit more than you do, and things I've read suggest longer for me, but honestly I've never felt I need more float or more stability. I usually ski only moderately fast, around 35 mph the times I've checked, on run-outs and groomers. That's slow for some speed demons around here, but faster than the bulk of the traffic.

I got shorter B2's (166 maybe) for my son, who was about your size (slightly under) at the time, and he has done very well on them. (He has since grown a lot and improved a lot, so I'm not sure what to do this year.)
post #4 of 10
I'm 5'11' and 155 and have the 06/07 B3's in 176cm (same as mdf) - I think they're good all-arounders and flex well for me which i was worried about at my weight. they're okay on firm (western) groomers, but still fun enough. I bought them about this time last year, and I remember having trouble finding them in reasonable lengths. There always seem to be lots of k2 public enemys around for cheap though, and they're suppossed to have a similar feel, though i've not skied them. good luck.
post #5 of 10
Hmm. I am 5' 9.5" and around 145 lbs. I have both the K2 PE (174cm)and the Rossy B3 (176cm). Both are pretty decent for what you are looking for but they have different strengths. The Rossy is stronger on piste and faster, but is OK off piste. The K2 PE is slightly quicker turning and a touch more versatile. It has a fatter shovel which helps it in powder. It also is a bit more solid which helps it in crud. In bumps, I prefer the K2 PE.

However, I must say my home hill is in the mid-west (Indiana), and there is little true off-piste skiing around. For the snow and the trails around here I prefer the Atomic Metron 11B5 to either of the above skis. It has more energy and a greater fun factor.

I am sure there are other skis too that would work too, but I don't have them.
post #6 of 10
Oh, I forgot you might be hiking with them. The Rossy B3 are the lightest of the 3. Both the Atomic and the PEs are heavier. I have heard good things about the Line 90 and the Watea 84s.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I like the B3s and actually just got a pair for my girlfriend a couple weeks ago (which is part of the reason I'm bargain-hunting for myself). My ski shop friend who's moving up to Volkl Mantras has been skiing all over the place on the B3 for the past few years with no complaints. I've heard some people say they felt a little "dead" compared to the other skis on my list--though I don't know what that means, really, and any of these would be an improvement over my p40s in the trees.

Spongeworthy, you've pointed me in an intriguing direction with that X-Wing Fury recommendation. Positive reviews all over the place for that one. I had been planning to bump up a bit in length, but you make a good case for sticking with the shorter planks. The Public Enemy suggestion has some appeal, too, though I've been hesitant to go with a true twin tip. And you're right about the PEs being an easy-to-find bargain.

I really appreciate the recommendations, guys. And if people want to quickly jump in and veto any of the skis I've listed, that's almost as productive. If I can cross all but one off the list, then the choice is clear. I try to make all my decisions as inefficiently as possible.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yossarian View Post
Yeah, I like the B3s and actually just got a pair for my girlfriend a couple weeks ago (which is part of the reason I'm bargain-hunting for myself).
Well then you can't buy the B3s! At least not the same color...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yossarian View Post
I try to make all my decisions as inefficiently as possible.
True yossarian style then. I don't want to oversell the Public Enemys because I haven't skied them, but I don't think there's a reason to avoid twin tips. 174 cm twin tips will ski a little shorter, but this may not help in trees. Can't help with other skis in your list, sorry.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemSki View Post
Well then you can't buy the B3s! At least not the same color...
To be honest--and to my shame--that has been considered. Matching skis is just a bit too precious.
post #10 of 10
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