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Help me choose my quiver of one

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm taking a three month ski holiday this year (Dec-Feb) and am spending it at Kicking Horse. I can really only afford to buy a single set of skis. I want something that will let me do everything (impossible I know!). I hear that Kicking horse has some good backcountry and slackcountry which I would love ski so I am looking at putting Fritschi or Marker Dukes on the skis. I also plan to do at least one short AT tour so I want something that I can skin with. I have been doing quite a bit of research but am still at a loss as to what would be the best ski.

First, a bit about me:
66 Kg (145 Pounds)
185cm tall (6" 1')
Male, 22
I would rate myself about a 7 but I have not skied since I was 17 (5 years ago). (I recall often carving blues with no problems at Whistler and handling some/most blacks)
I love skiing between the trees or on the powder alongside the runs.
I still want something that will also handle the groomers - if I take the skis back to Australia with me there is a lot of ice!
I doubt I will ski the park but like getting a little air off terrain features.
I suspect I will do at least one short backcountry tour with lots of skinning. My understanding is that a non backcountry specific ski will still work for this it will just take more effort.

I have never owned skis before, always rented. I have never been unhappy with the random pair they gave me though!

The other thing I am looking at is buying the skis here in Australia before I go. They are currently all on sale (since it is summer here!) but I cannot really tell if the prices are all that great as I am having a really hard time finding any Canadian prices!

I was looking at the Armada ARVs (about CAD$540 here) and the Salomon Foils (about CAD$450 here) however I am now thinking they may not be suitable skis (from what I can tell reading the backcountry skiing magazine I picked up). Now I am leaning more towards K2 Mt Bakers or K2 Shuksans. Are these a good choice?

And in answer to the next question that will come up: Nope, can't really demo skis first, because according to the Kicking horse calendar the Demo day is late January - that's half way through my vacation!

Thanks for your advice, it's very much appreciated!
post #2 of 10
While I am sure that there are others more qualified than I to recommend skis since my view is somewhat one-sided because I mostly stick to groomers.

However, for what you describe, I would recommend a mid-fat ski that is adept at both on-piste and off-piste conditions seeing how it seems you will do a bit of both.

Sorry, I can't speak for the skis you mentioned but they seem to greatly favor off-piste excursions.

Given your size I would recommend one of the Volkl Unlimited line or the Head Monster line. They are both adept at groomers(packed powder/hardpack/even ice) and can venture into some 3D terrain. Cheers!
post #3 of 10
Sounds like money is tight. Here's my advice:

Buy a used pair of Mantras. Ski the crap out of them for three months. Sell them before going home (or find a local to sell them for you) . You can probably do this for a net loss of about $200. Think of it as renting for about $20/week.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions, the Mantras do look nice!

Money is not that tight, I could quite easily afford a quiver of skis - but then I won't get to eat as much on my holiday!

I am starting to think that two sets of skis might be the go. If so would a good choice be a 80mm wide twin tip for fun in the resort and a 100mm wide power ski for the backcountry? Or could I get something like the Mantras as a start and then get a fatter powder ski if I find myself in the powder more often?
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hmmm, doing a bit more research with the amount of backcountry available so easily from Kicking Horse, and that fact that I will try to avoid the groomed areas the Gotamas are looking good too.

One of the reasons I am really interested in working it out before I leave is that the ski sale prices in Australia at the moment seem to fairly closely match the prices on backcountry.com and other online stores in the USA. Seeing as how the Aussie dollar is only worth about 60c US that makes them quite cheap!
post #6 of 10
I would go 2 pairs of skis especially at Kicking Horse.. eat a lot less, drink a bit more and buy an extra pair
post #7 of 10
Get the Mantras or Gotamas (although you are pretty light), once you decide how fat you want to go, or whatever else is a great price as you do not really know enough to know any different (just a fact not a criticism), and Barons (lighter than Dukes and there is no way you need DIN 16 at your weight) as it sounds as though you are going to be doing more skiing than skinning.

Get a decent edge on them (1/88) and they will grip well when it is hard packed, wax them every three days and tune them once a week and they will serve you well. Kicking Horse can be brutal when there has not been fresh snow but it is so sweet when there is fresh powder. It is f(*^&ng steep so be prepared for a leg burn.

Keep some money in reserve in case you destroy them as there are always last season's skis going cheap in ski towns (locals who paid local prices, ski instructors who paid pro prices, sponsored skiers who can sell their gear at the end of the season, desperate back packers who are out of funds etc etc).

Full retail is something that applies to tourists and city people who did not plan ahead (ie use end of season sales).
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice, I just purchased some new Line Prophet 100s 186cm and Market Dukes which I found cheap. I looked around and the prophets seemed to be getting reviews similar to the Gotamas.

Wasn't sure about the length, maybe I should have gone for the 179cm but I am sure I will survive. And I agree, I won't be able to tell the difference!
post #9 of 10
Originally Posted by m00j View Post
I just purchased some new Line Prophet 100s 186cm and Market Dukes which I found cheap.
Just curious: did you find the whole set-up cheap, or just the Dukes? If they came from a shop, I'd definitely like to know which shop and what "cheap" means. Maybe I can finally put a stop to my never-ending quest for Dukes (actually, I'm looking for Barons, but let's not get caught up in the details).

And I might as well add that the Prophet 100/Duke set-up you've got is awesome. I imagine you'll be very happy. Though, with a three month ski vacation, it'd probably be very difficult to make you unhappy.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well "cheap" is relative, I got the whole package at what I think is a good price (I don't really want to hear otherwise now though!) and got it all here in Australia where ski gear is for the most part on sale (since it's the middle of summer).

I ended up paying AUD$1360 for the skis and bindings shipped to my door. I will get 10% back when I go through customs making them AUD$1236. When I convert this, and due to the Aussie dollar taking a bomb dive it is about USD$800 or CAD$990.

Considering that the cheapest I have seen the prophet 100s on the net is about US$600 and the dukes is US$370 that is a saving of USD$170 plus any tax I would need to pay and currency exchange fees.

I realize that if I searched around when I arrived in Canada I could probably get a better deal, but I would rather spend my 5 days in Vancouver sight seeing rather than looking at skis. When I get to KH I want to just start skiing!

Best of all I get to help out a local ski shop.
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