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Dstar 8k or Head IM78?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm 5'7" 155-160 lb advanced skier.  I ski almost exclusively East coast (Gore Mtn. and MRG are primary ski areas).  I like to ski bumps and trees, but need skis that can also hold an edge on ice 'cause it's a fact of life where I ski.  I hate groomers and will ski even near-bulletproof bumps to avoid making laps on the groomers.

 

Skis I own and like:  2007 Fischer RX8 160cm, 2007 K2 PE's 164 cm (mounted 4 cm forward of the rear mounting point/3 cm back from forward mounting point), 2008 Nomad Crimson 169 cm.

 

Skis I own and I'm lukewarm about:  2008 Fischer Watea 78 167 cm.  I find their grip on ice to be below average--I thought the tune could be an issue, but my local ski shop says not so.  Also, they're okay in bumps but don't perform as well for me as my RX8's or PEs (perhaps due to length/relative stiffness??).

 

Skis I have demoed or borrowed and liked:  2007 Dstar Troublemaker 165 +/- cm.  I liked them in relatively soft bumps. 

 

Characteristics I like in skis (in no particular order):  sharp/grippy edges, light weight (I consider my PE's relatively heavy), quick edge-to-edge, relatively tight turn radius.

 

I'm strongly considering picking up either the 8k or the IM78 in 165 cm at end-of-season prices as possible replacements for my Watea 78's.  Alternatively, I'm also considering, going to a high-end/race shop and getting a premium tune on the Wateas to see if it will make a difference in how they ski.

 

Which of the two (8k or IM78) do you think I'm more likely to find to be a noticable improvement over my Wateas?  If you think replacing the Wateas w/o a demo would be a waste of $, feel free to let me know (I might possibly be able to get my hands on a pair of IM78's, I have no way to demo the 8ks this season).

 

Thanks in advance for your advice.

 

STE

post #2 of 14

I demoed both skis last year and ended up with the IM78. Although I've been fortunate enough to get 4 or 5 days out West the past couple of years, most of my time, like you, is spent in the East (mainly NY and Southern VT). This year, I've skied all but one of those days on my IM78's; this is my new everyday ski.

 

There are many here who rave about the 8000, but I thought it had a very reachable speed limit; while I'm certainly no slowpoke, I'm not one of the fastest guys out there either.

 

Never skied the Wateas, so I can't give you any comparision.

post #3 of 14

The iM78 is an excellent all around, better than the 8K for what you describe. OTOH, it seems to me that you have a lot of skis bunched together. What will the Head give you that the PE or Crimson doesn't?  As far as the Watea, not an ice skate, but sounds like tune may be part of the issue. 

post #4 of 14

You will probably find the L8K skiing similiar to the narrower Watea; at least that was my experience. The L8K is a great ski (I have the 167cm) in just about every condition except for hard crust, ice and untracked deep powder. I have not ski the IM78 so I have nothing to contribute there.

 

One ski you may want to consider is the Mythic -- slightly wider than the L8K for float and better in ice biting. I had a chance to demo that this year. Although it was only on groomed hardpack, the experience was pretty amazing. After skiing that, you may even enjoy skiing groomers again. On variable crud/powder and in bumps and trees, I would expect it to ski about the same as or better than the L8K.

post #5 of 14

The 8K has a long turning radius for it's size, so keep that in mind, and it's not the most solid on ice.  The iM78 turns a lot shorter in comparable sizes and holds well on ice, but make sure you like the smooth, damped feel of Heads before diving in.  I think the iM78 has more spunk than other Heads, but it still will feel muted/dead compared to a Fischer or even the PE. 

 

The Wateas are soft snow skis, period.  They do not posses the material/construction qualities needed to add damping and give them decent performance on hard snow.  Among the Wateas, the 78 is the worst of the bunch, significantly less of a ski than the 84 or 94.  My opinion on the Wateas is to skip the 78 and 84 and go for the 94 if you're after that sort of light, forgiving, soft snow ski.

 

Having own(ed) the PE and the iM78, I do think there are significant differences between the two, and the iM78 will do a lot better on ice and on groomers.  I'd still keep the PE for bumps, spring snow, etc.

 

BTW, you could answer a lot of your questions with more attention paid to ski specs like turning radius, construction, etc, or even reading reviews here.  The Watea won't ever be a top hard snow ski, the 8K has a long turning radius, the iM78 is a beefy/heavy ski with metal layers, etc.  A lot of the details are right in front of you.

 

You may want to consider the Head iM82 as another option -- it's a bit lighter and softer than the 78, and is better in bumps, powder, and crud without giving up too much hardpack performance.  It falls somewhere between the Wateas and the iM78 on my scale.  That sort of sounds like the ski you're after.

 

Good luck!

post #6 of 14

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski the East View Post

 

Characteristics I like in skis (in no particular order):  sharp/grippy edges, light weight (I consider my PE's relatively heavy), quick edge-to-edge, relatively tight turn radius.

 

The 8K is a long turning ski. The Heads are heavy and feel that way. You already have 3 all mountain skis between 78 and 86mm wide. This would make it 4. Seems like more of the same to me...

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Gary, Beyond, Chanwmr and 219,

 

I've read and understand all your comments.  They were helpful and made me focus on what I'm really looking for.  I guess I'm after "the one ring to bind them all."  A true (for me) East coast one ski quiver. 

 

My theory over the past couple of years has been that I could meet all my East coast needs with three skis:

 

(1) the RX8, which is my go-to ski whenever the snow I'm skiing on is "packed" anything.  This year it has gotten, by far, the most use of any ski in my quiver.

 

(2) a mid-range ski that (I thought) didn't have to be able to handle bulletproof or tightly packed snow (because I have the RX8 for that).  This is the slot that the Watea 78 was intended to fill.  However, it turns out I was wrong about both the role of this ski (which is probably why I got the wrong ski to fill this slot).  It has to be able to handle all of the various mixed conditions we see in the East.  It needs to be able to handle the scraped, icy slope I have to ski across/down in order to get to the glade I want to ski, it needs to be able to handle powder up to boot deep, either fresh or all tracked out, and it needs to be able to skim over spring slush.  If I don't know what the conditions are going to be like, or if I know they're going to be a mixed bag, this is the ski I bring.

 

and, finally

 

(3) a ski for the really big (relatively speaking) East coast dumps--the Nomad Crimson.  I could probably go wider, but I don't really think I need to.  I find the Crimson floaty enough in powder for my needs, it's light, and it handles well in soft bumps.  The Crimson's edge hold also happens to be A+ (although I don't count on the Crimson for that, it only comes out when the snow is boot deep or deeper--say three to five times a season).

 

I have two of my three ski slots filled (with the RX8 and the Crimson), the problem has been the middle slot.  The middle ski needs to be able to perform over a broader range of conditions than I thought it did when I came up with my ideal quiver. 

 

So, what would my dream one ski quiver be like?  It would float and handle the bumps like the PE, but would be lighter, a bit quicker edge-to-edge and have slightly better edge hold.  I would also prefer a narrower ski than the PE for tight bumps.  If  the PE and the RX8 married and had a kid, this ski would be it.

 

Am I describing the IM78?

 

STE

post #8 of 14

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski the East View Post

 

If  the PE and the RX8 married and had a kid, this ski would be it.

 

Am I describing the IM78?

No. The 8K is closer. The contact 11 or 4X4 even closer. 

 

Why do you need a middle ski if you like the crimson that much when its scratchy?

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

 

 

 

The 8K is a long turning ski. The Heads are heavy and feel that way. You already have 3 all mountain skis between 78 and 86mm wide. This would make it 4. Seems like more of the same to me...


 

The RX8 is 67 mm in the waist, and I really don't think of the PE as part of my "quiver."  I originally got the PE to play around in the park (when we had season passes at Jiminy Peak--there are no real bump runs and I was bored).  Since we switched our season passes to Gore Mtn. the PE has been filling more or less the same role as the Watea 78's, but it gets out on the slopes a bit more because I like the PE's performance better.  Yep, you're right about the overlap, but the ski I'm looking for wouldn't (in my mind) overlap so closely with my PEs.

 

Did that explanation make any sense, or do I simply have too many skis that fall in the 78 mm to 86 mm category?  If I get another ski, I will probably look to offload the Wateas.

 

STE

post #10 of 14

I keep thinking you're describing the iM82.  IMO, it's a better one-ski quiver than the iM78. 

post #11 of 14

yo,

 

I would suggest getting the iM78 or 82 and get rid of the others...

 

Done and done....listen to Skier 219, beyond....they know!

 

Yaga...

post #12 of 14

 

 My advice is to get a good tune on the Watea 78's.  I put 30+ days on mine this year at Sugarbush in a variety of conditions and they were surprisingly good on hardpack and I would not consider them just a soft snow ski

 

post #13 of 14

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

 

Why do you need a middle ski if you like the crimson that much when its scratchy?


Ski the East I agree you are not spending enough time on the Crimsons. It took a few days to get comfortable on them but it's got to be pretty firm now for me to go to something else. Only condition that mine don't work well in is icy bumps the tips like to hook up but that could be as much me as the ski. I think they ARE the one ski quiver for an eastern skier who gets to ski powder on occasion. Only time i spend on my shorter skinnier ski is teaching beginners.
 

post #14 of 14

I am a 5"8" 155lb level 8/9 skier.  My "home" mountain is Killington and I send most of February each year in Colorado.  My current skis are Fischer RX8s and Dynastar 8000s.  I picked up the 8000s for the Colorado trips and the occasional eastern powder day.  The 8000s have better grip on eastern ice than I expected, but nowhere near as good as the RX8s.  They are light and easy to turn, even with a much larger turn radius compared to the Fischers.  Bottom line is that it is a rare eastern day that I pick the 8000s over the RX8s.  And it is a rare Colorado day that I don't think the 8000s are perfect.    

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