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New England perspective needed - help me compare Head, Nordica, and Solomon skis

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I've been pretty bad about keeping up with the differences between skis, but it's long past time or me to upgrade my currently 7ish year old Rossy "Cuts" (I'm a pretty solid skiier, no superstar but I can handle most anything the mountain can throw at me), so I've started doing my research. I've gathered that some brands of skis tend to have their own character common among the entire lineup.

So I'll appeal to the general brain trust here to remove my ignorance. For example, Are Solomon's generally lighter and damper than, say, Head skis?

I've sort of narrowed down my choices to Solomon Tornado's, Head IM 78's or 82's, and Nordica Afterburners.

I've read a bunch of the reviews here, but a lot are comming from further west. My skiing is almost exclusively in New England (Northern Vermont, Northern NH, Sunday River sometimes) so my thinking is that I need a ski more oriented towards hardpack/ice than light fluffy powder. Any thoughts on the general characteristics I should be looking for? My thinking is a somewhat narrower ski with a moderate sidecut to handle quicker turns when I'm playing in the corners but still do OK on longer faster turns.

I'm also pretty light (6'1, 150ish) for my height, and I've been worried that I might be overpowered a bit by some of the beefier skis, especially if I go towards a longer length.

I like to play in what powder I can find, but obviously NE conditions don't always agree with that. I'm working on getting going in the bumps after avoiding them for years. That said my bread and butter is probably carving the normal harder packed stuff, so I need a ski that can dabble in powder, handle bumps, but still isn't to squirrely on faster hard runs.


thanks in advance for any help you can give. Unfortuately my demoing options are pretty limited for most of the rest of the winter, so anything you guys and gals can add will be even more valuable.
post #2 of 11
I think you will find the Heads to me the dampest of the bunch -- it's just their characteristic. That said, the 78 is a bit snappier than normal for Head, with a nice amount of pop. It's also a bit stiffer and has more snow feel than the 82. The 82 is quite versatile and can handle all but the hardest snow, but the 78 is notably better on hard snow. In my experience, the 82 skis true to size, while the 78 skis a bit short. You could do a 177cm length in the iM78 and probably satisfy both your height and weight specs.
post #3 of 11
Agree with this comment about the Heads. Damp and smooth. The Nordies second dampest, smoothest. But IMO, the best of the bunch you mention for NE is (drumroll) the Tornado! Why? Because I do not find the iM78 to be as good on ice as may other Heads, including the 82 or 88, and I found the AB to be more of a all mountain soft snow demon. Skied the Tornado on scratchy hardpack and glare ice, bumps, some soft, was amazed how grippy and smooth it was. Also light, quick, maybe too easy and reactive for some. If you really want damp, get a Magnum, or yeah, the 78, and pay attention to the edges: 1/3, keep them tuned. Also might look at the 78 Elans.
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
I think you will find the Heads to me the dampest of the bunch -- it's just their characteristic. That said, the 78 is a bit snappier than normal for Head, with a nice amount of pop. It's also a bit stiffer and has more snow feel than the 82. The 82 is quite versatile and can handle all but the hardest snow, but the 78 is notably better on hard snow. In my experience, the 82 skis true to size, while the 78 skis a bit short. You could do a 177cm length in the iM78 and probably satisfy both your height and weight specs.
Agree with you in all but a couple of comments. The 78 is not stiffer. The tail on the 82 is quite a bit stiffer than the 78. I own both. I also don't thing that the 78 skis short at all. For someone weighing in at 150, the im78 in a 171 would be perfect.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
Also might look at the 78 Elans.
I demoed the Elan Magfire 78Ti and found them to be way too stiff for me (I am 5'7", 165lbs). I felt like I needed to ski with a backpack full of bricks to bend them enough to turn them. They did hold an edge incredibly well even on glare ice which I found surprising. The Elan rep did say I was probably a bit too light for the Ti and suggested I try the standard Magfire 78, but they had none available to demo that day. I was bummed since I liked everything else about that ski, just not the stiffness.

Ended up buying IM78s in a 165...
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot guys - you guys are great.

Noofus, how are you liking the 78's?

Beyond - thanks a lot for your input. I was acutally leaning towards the solomon's, I'm not sure why, I guess i felt like the positive review they got described my (ideal) skiing a bit better.

Guess its time to start trying to try them. If not I may just flip a coin, sounds like I'd be happy with either...

Thanks again. Hopefully I'll find something of worth to add to the site in return.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikonfme View Post
Agree with you in all but a couple of comments. The 78 is not stiffer. The tail on the 82 is quite a bit stiffer than the 78. I own both. I also don't thing that the 78 skis short at all. For someone weighing in at 150, the im78 in a 171 would be perfect.
I ski the iM82 in the 183cm length, and it's soft and light enough to be a western ski (it's what I took to Utah last week). I like that it can cover everything from packed powder through soft snow and powder well. It chatters on super hard snow, but that's not a big problem -- technique can minimize that.

I ski the iM78 in the 177cm length, and it's quite a bit stiffer overall to me. You can also detect this stiffness with the tap test (sort of like a tuning fork), where the iM78 indicates a higher frequency than the 82. Both aspects could be due to the length, but I feel it's related to the construction too. I would like to weigh the skis, as I sort of feel like my shorter iM78s weigh as much or more than the longer iM82s! Don't quote me on this, but I seem to recall than the 78 has a thicker metal layer than the 82 -- I can check on that tomorrow (will be skiing both of them).

On hard snow, the iM78 bites and holds harder than the iM82 in my experience. The shorter length gives the 78 a bit more edge pressure than the 82, but that's offset by less edge (in the end, both skis have to support my weight either way). The 4mm waist difference could have some effect here, though the bindings on my 82s have about 5mm more lift than the 78s which ought to offset that (other than that the bindings are the same).

Whereas my older iM77 felt long and stable in the 177cm length, the same length in the iM78 skis a lot shorter (I skied them both back to back a few weeks ago). Part of this is due to the iM78's turned up tail, which knocks a few cm off the running length compared to the iM77. In variable snow, the same length in the iM77 was a lot more stable when running on the flats. The 78s feel borderline too short to me in that length.
post #8 of 11
I skied the iM78 in a 171, weigh 162-165, would not have wanted it any shorter. Think it skis appropriately for length, neither short nor long. Glad you're gonna give the Tornado a look. Think it and the Fury are two very underrated skis that really work for lighter skiers.

219, your comments make me wonder if increase in stiffness is linear over lengths or brands. Have often noticed some increments show a real serious change in perceived stiffness (say an AC 40 from 170 to 177 versus 163 to 170) while others show very little (AC 40 from 163 to 170; Fischer RX8 from 165 to 170; Goat from 176 to 183, etc) If it is linear, suspect a bump up in slope as you get toward the high end, since weight has no real end. Even linebackers ski. Or maybe just subjective experience of being between two increments vs being exactly right at one and way off at other.
post #9 of 11

I think there is something to that. There is no question that my 177 im78s are not as stiff as my 172 im82's. Maybe, just maybe the tip on the 82 is a bit softer but there is no question that the tails on my 82's are much stiffer than my im78's. They are both last years model and didn't buy the 82 in a 177 because they didn' offer it.

post #10 of 11

SAlomon Tornado Ti's  ,  all you need to know! 

post #11 of 11

Last week I tried a demo pair of the 2010 Solomon Tornado Ti's. They were awesome! I currently ski on AC3's and thought that they blew the Volkyl's away.I already order a pair.

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