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California All Around

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello Everyone,
I am looking for people's advice on choosing a new ski for the upcoming 2009/2010 season. I can only get one pair.

  • 5' 8''
  • 130lbs
  • Athletic 
  • Improving level 6 
  • Ski California which includes: local crap in the south (Home), Mammoth in the middle, and occasionally Tahoe up top.
  • I spend most of my time local skiing 60/30 (OnPiste/OffPiste)
  • When I make it up north I ski around 50/50

What I'm looking for: (in order of importance)
  • A ski that I can improve my carving and onpiste skills on       (I can then apply those to the offpiste work)
  • A ski that can power through the variety of snow condition I get at home: Ice, Crud, Granular...
  • Can handle powder on the occasion we get it at home or I'm up north. 

My experience tells me I'm looking for a ski in the 75-82 under foot range and 162-169 length wise. I have put together a short list over the last year or so. Here they are in order of interest: 
  1. 2010 Atomic Nomad Blackeye Ti in a 164 (This Ti version is different then last years non Ti one. But the Ti was available in Europe last year)
  2. 2010 Volkl AC30 in a 163
  3. 2010 Blizzard 8.1 IQ MAX in a 165

Some experiences I've had in the last year with skis:
  • 2009 Head Monster iM78: decent all around, only skied it for a few runs though. Enjoyable. 
  • 2009 Volkl Tigershark 12ft Power Switch: too heavy, power switch is a little gimmicky but I did not have the chance to really push the ski. Maybe too heavy for my weight/power. 
  • 2009 Rossignol CX80: way to stiff for my weight and skill level, I demoed it on a day when my group wanted to ski offpiste. CX80 does not preform offpiste nearly well enough for my use. 
  • 2009 Nordica: I believe it was a Hot Rod of some version or something (bright red and purple). I don't really recall my experience with it except that I don't remember it. Which tells me it was not great or worth remembering. 

I think I have covered everything but let me know if you have any questions. Thank you very much for taking the time to post your educated opinions. 
post #2 of 7
First thing.....pretty darned good batch of info.

So................................Here are some thoughts from a Tahoe Ski Shop.

So, you liked the Head 78 (good info) and thought that the TS 12 and CS were too much ski (I agree) This is great b/c you've given us something that you like and something that you don't. Normally, I'd digest this info, factor in your weight, and stated ability, and goals and suggest something in the ballpark of the Heads.............SFSG........

Fly in the ointment.....the skis on your short list are more similar to the skis that you didn't like than the one that you did. The Nomad Ti models and the Volkl ACs are beefy skis and not ideally suited for your weight, skill, and goals. Given that you already have tried some stiff skis and didn't like them, I'd pass on the Volkl and Nomad Ti. The Blizzi is a maybe. It's pretty beefy too although not at the level of the others. From your list though, I'd say thats the best choice.

However..........if we were standing at the ski wall in the shop, I'd probably direct you toward something more similar to the Heads. Two that come to mind are the Dynastar Sultan 85 and the Nordica HR Pro. Both are medium flex and more versatile in various types of terrain than the skis you've been thinking about.

If you do decide on the Mag 8.1......you might wait a few days. I have a nice little stash of '09 Blizzard skis including some Mags coming in. Prices will be vewwwwy vewwwy good...........

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
@Sierra Jim

Thanks for all the good info. I have been worrying about picking one that was too stiff for my weight/skill. The only thing that keeps me from buying a lower level ski like the Nordica HR, or the Head "Peak" is the fear of out growing it (skill wise). I'm only 16 and neither done growing or progressing. Three questions:
  1. Will it be harder for me to learn, for example, on the Blackeye Ti than the Nordica HR-Pro?  (Stiffer vs Not as Stiff)
  2. Do you think the Blizzard 8.1 is too stiff for me? Would I be better off with a low level ski until I have progressed? 
  3. You suggested the Nordica HR-Pro. I looked at their line up and the Jet-Fuel is in my waist size range, 84. Nordica offers the Jet-Fuel in a Ti version and a CA version. I'm assuming you are suggesting the CA version because of the stiffness? 

I'll be looking for that Blizzard deal, maybe a link when it gets on the site? Thanks again 
post #4 of 7
Great questions....you be doin' good.

So........The most basic thing that makes a ski work and do it's job (which is to turn the guy attached to it)...........is flex.

The thing that flexes the ski is you....your weight, your muscle powder, and the speed at which you ski.

So, So.......If you get a stiffer ski, it will be harder to flex, hence harder to turn. It will however be generally grippier and more stable.

So, So, So,....You get a softer ski and it may flex too much and overturn be less grippy, or be less stable.

Sox4.......You are light and mid level for skills. I have suggested a couple of medium flex skis that in the proper length are fine for me @ 200# L-8 skier.

Sox5.......The HR pro "Burner" is 84mm wide and along with the Sultan 85 are among my favorite skis. Neither is soft nor an intermediate ski. Both are a great value.

The Mag 8.1 is the better choice of the skis you originally listed. They'll be in next week. Here's the link along with with review if you click more details.


post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
 Anyone have any good information on the IQ MAX setup Blizzard is now using on the 8.1 and 8.7 Magnums as apposed to the older IQ version?
post #6 of 7
Originally Posted by mthigh View Post

 Anyone have any good information on the IQ MAX setup Blizzard is now using on the 8.1 and 8.7 Magnums as apposed to the older IQ version?

Not sure exactly what kind of info you are looking for but.....
  • The new MAX track is wider. The marketing dept. says that this transmits energy and pressure to the edge better.
  • If you select the integrated binding, I doubt that it makes much difference between the '09 and '10.
  • However, if you choose the "slider" (available only on the '10) you have the opportunity to choose any binding you want and mount it on the slider plate. This can then be moved fore and aft to tune your stance on the ski.
  • The slider also can be removed completely, and replaced with another slider with a different binding such as an AT setup or somesuch.
  • I think that the slider is a big bennie on the wider skis but probably less so on the Magnums.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help guys. Despite the advice and after examining them in the ski shop I decided to buy the 2010 Volkl AC30 in a 170. I was worried it was going to be 'too much ski' for my weight but I absolutely love them. I have never been on a ski that could hold and edge so well. I have no problem getting them on edge or keeping them there. I would definitely recommend the ski to a friend, even if he was light weight. 
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