EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Three 78 mm all-mountain skis
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Three 78 mm all-mountain skis

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Last week we were down at Bachelor during my son's mid-winter break. I'd been thinking about a new pair of skis, and I had been in contact with Dawg/Scott and he had recommended several that he thought I should try. 

 

Me: 5' 7", ~150 lbs, 55 year old male, level 6 skier looking to get better, ski around 15-20 days a year in the Northwest. For the last five years or so I've been skiing on a Atomic Beta Ride 9.22, 170 cm.

 

I was looking for an all-mountain ski that could help me ski off the groomed better but that also would be comfortable for cruising with the family - the mythical 50/50 ski.

 

Scott's crew hooked me up with three skis to demo - the Fischer Watea 78 in a 167, Head Monster im 78 in a 171, and the Elan Magfire 12 in a 168. Due to a recent hospital episode I was under doctor's advice to take it easy, but since I also was shepherding three eleven-year-old boys who are quite good skiers it didn't end up being all that easy.

 

Unlike up here in Washington, Bachelor had received a couple of feet of new snow in the week before we arrived. The first two days were mid-20s with a 3-4 inches of new each day. The last day there was no new, but it was a brilliant sunny day in the low 30s.

 

I started the first day on the Wateas, cruising some groomers and playing some in the softer snow around the edges. The skis felt good, quite stable underfoot. They seemed to like longer turns more than short ones, and the more I got off the corduroy into the softer stuff the more comfortable they felt.

 

After a few runs on those I switched over to the Heads. Wow! What a difference! While the Fischers had felt ok, the Monsters seemed positively eager. You know that kind of dog that's not nervous but is always up for the next adventure and gives you that look that seems to say "what are we doing today"? That's what these skis felt like to me. They were up for anything - long turns, short turns, groomed snow, soft snow, some moderate bumps even (that's about the extent of the bump skiing I tried). I stayed on the Heads for the rest of the day, following the boys through some tree runs, and then bombing the groomed black runs off the Outback chair. I was thinking 165 was the right length for me, but the 171s felt perfectly manageable. I really liked the way these skis seemed perfectly happy going slow if I wanted to take it easy, but were stable and secure up to any speed I felt comfortable moving.

 

The second morning I started on the Magfires. These were the plain Magfire - not the Ti version. The Magfires felt very comfortable and versatile - not too different from the Monsters. I spent most of the morning skiing the trees off of Boomerang with the boys (which I don't do very well) and we had a blast. The Elans might be a touch softer than the Heads - they didn't feel quite as comfortable at speed on the groomed, but were maybe a hair easier in the soft bumps we tried. Scott didn't have a pair of the Tis in my size to try, so I didn't get to try those out.

 

In the afternoon I decided I should give the Wateas another try - I had read such good reviews of them I thought it was worth skiing them when I was more warmed up. The second try confirmed my initial impressions - very comfortable and stable, especially in softer snow, but to my mind at least, not as fun as either the Heads or Elans.

 

The third day I went back to the Monsters. The Summit finally opened and we spent the morning playing around  in the soft cut-up snow off the east side of summit leading down to the top of the Rainbow chair. The Heads were far more capable in that snow than I was, but it sure was fun! That was the only conditions of the week that I was thinking a wider ride might have helped, but I think it's more lack of pilot skill than anything about the skis.

 

After some deliberation and discussion with Scott on the phone (we never actually did meet f2f) I bought the Monster 78s and am delighted with my purchase! The demos I was skiing were the only pair of 171s that Scott had in stock, so he gave me a very decent price on them. I can't say enough about how great it was to deal with Scott, Shane, Kevin, and Brance (who even sent me home with Sun River yo-yos for the boys). Mt. Bachelor is a great family resort, and the whole family looks forward to getting back there again.

 

post #2 of 9

Thanks, nice report.  I'm about the same height, weight, and age as you, and have just started thinking that I will upgrade my 1-ski quiver next ski season.  Sounds like I should give the Head and Elan a try. 

post #3 of 9

The Monster is a very nice ski, it would be my choice out of that three, I like the 777 over the Magfire series from Elan though.  

post #4 of 9

Philpug,

 

If you could pick any ski to be your ONE ski, what would it be?  

 

(Assume, for the sake of discussion, you were around a level 7 skier, East Coast 75% of your time, almost all of your skiing on piste but with hopes of going off, and with height and weight around the same as Oren and me).

 

Purely hypothetical of course....   

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

 

Philpug,

 

If you could pick any ski to be your ONE ski, what would it be?  

 

(Assume, for the sake of discussion, you were around a level 7 skier, East Coast 75% of your time, almost all of your skiing on piste but with hopes of going off, and with height and weight around the same as Oren and me).

 

Purely hypothetical of course....   

Level 7?

 

Blizzard Magnum 8.1. I just really like the way these Blizzards are skiing. 

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

The 8.1 was on my list of skis to try, as was the 777, but they weren't available in my size to demo. But I sure am happy with the Monsters!

 

 

post #7 of 9

Phil,

 

Thanks!  I'll add the Blizzards to my list.  This is not one I would have thought of, so I'm grateful for the tip. 

 

You put a question mark after "level 7"?   If it was a question whether I am actually at that level -- which would be well-founded given some of my posts here -- I picked level 7 because in another thread SkiMangoJazz said I was probably a 6 or 7.  I averaged the two and then rounded up ("new Math").  I do ski black diamonds frequently now (e.g., two weekends ago at Wintergreen), but of course these are mid-Atlantic slopes. 

 

My current skis, Volkl AC-20s, were great as I moved from beginner/greens to intermediate/blue-blacks, but I'm thinking I'll need something in the future -- maybe by next season -- that will help me move to the next level (using that term in the general sense).  The default would be AC-30s, which sound like they wouldn't be a bad choice.   But because my next skis will likely be ones that I keep for a while, I want to be thorough, try a lot of different skis, get views of others, etc., before I buy.  

 

Thanks again.  And Oren, thanks again for your initial post.

 

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

 

Level 7?

 

Blizzard Magnum 8.1. I just really like the way these Blizzards are skiing. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

 

Philpug,

 

If you could pick any ski to be your ONE ski, what would it be?  

 

(Assume, for the sake of discussion, you were around a level 7 skier, East Coast 75% of your time, almost all of your skiing on piste but with hopes of going off, and with height and weight around the same as Oren and me).

 

Purely hypothetical of course....   

I agree: the 8.1 is a great ski, and very solid up to an expert level.  I skied it hard and fast last year and found it to be a powerhouse.  Unlike Phil, I also really like Magfire series from Elan.  These have easily been our best sellers this year (rave reviews from everyone, it seems), and the 82ti is around the flex and lateral stiffness  you are looking for as a better level 7 or level 8.  If it were me, out of what we carry for that 1-ski quiver, it would be Elan 78ti, 82ti or Blizzard 8.1 for your needs.    

post #9 of 9

Dawg  --  Thanks.  I'll add the Elans you mentioned to my "must test" list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Member Gear Reviews
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Three 78 mm all-mountain skis