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Aging Eastern expert looking for budget ski recommendation

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
At 56 years old, I'm starting to get a bit long in the tooth but I keep myself in good shape & can still turn the boards pretty good. I really don't keep up much on ski equipment so I could use some help. I'm a former racer from the days of bamboo poles, mostly ski Mad River Glen in Vermont but also sometimes at Sugarbush or other areas when I'm traveling with my son, who is a J4 racer. I'm 5'9", 165 pounds, and now am doing 35-40 days a year, which is sweet since I did a lot less for many years.

My style has always gravitated more towards short turns and technical skiing. My traditional strong point has been the bumps, ice, and handling eastern 'dust on crust' -- light powder dumps on icy bumps.  I have to admit to skiing the groomers more these days, though, those bumps wear me out. I like to carve, and thanks to today's equipment that's one thing I can actually do better than when I was young, whereas I'll never match what I could do years ago in the bumps and woods. I ski reasonably but not super fast. When the snow is nice I will hit the MRG woods, which tend to be on the tight side. I'm not into getting air or hucking cliffs and as I get older that certainly isn't going to change, LOL. 

My equipment history: After many years on an ancient pair of turquoise 200 cm Rossi 4S's my first pair of semi-modern skis was a pair of 170cm red Stockli Laser SLs. They were very quick and easy turning, but I have to admit in the end they weren't the best choice. I demoed them on a soft snow day and they turned out to not be so hot on ice. (A slalom ski that's bad on ice????) Also, they wouldn't carve a long radius turn at all. I then ebayed some new silver Volants for almost nothing, figuring I'd use them for MRG mountain skiing and save the edges on the Stocklis. Turns out I liked the Volants better than the Stocklis! Although fairly quick, they also could actually handle a GS turn, and they were much better on ice. So the Stocklis became rock skis sooner than I anticipated. Eventually I noticed that they were bent a little bit, when held together the tails splay apart a little bit so they were retired.

2 years ago, anticipating the Volants would soon be moving to rock skis, picked up a pair of 170 Fischer AMC 76s for less than $400. These have a radius of 15M. I like them pretty well, they hold well on ice and are a good all around ski. They're not as quick as I would like on short turns, I've have had them in a slalom course and they felt like a bit of a chore to get around in time. They seemed fine on a GS course. 

Last year I noticed that the Volant's didn't seem to be doing it any more, even as a rock ski, and discovered that they, too had bent. Both tips and tails splay out a bit. So now I don't have any useful rock skis, which is not a good thing for a MRG skier that also likes sharp edges. MRG is really hard on skis, lots of rocks and not much snowmaking, so I hate to spend big bucks, and the equipment needs of my kids come first. I know the trend is to wider skis but we get little real powder skiing and I've always considered powder skiing to be easy skiing, and prefer to orient my equipment to what's hard to ski, i.e. ice.  I figure I'm looking for a front side carver, more on the slalom side of things.

So I'm not really sure what's a good budget choice, one ski that caught my eye was Fischer Progressor 8s at $425. Any other thoughts?

Damn, this turned out to be a long winded post. Must be getting ski fever!

Thanks for the advice from the gurus out there!
post #2 of 23
Welcome to epicski easterncarver!

The Progressor 8's were my choice as well, although I've only demo'd them and am waiting for the season to start.  I'm your height but about 20lbs heavier and got them in 170.  

They did short turns really well in my demo, longer turns just as well, and handled all kinds of flat ski maneuvers also.

I think they'd be a good choice for you, possibly 165 at your weight.
post #3 of 23
For MRG and the 'bush, I'd lean slightly more towards the Watea 78 than the Progressor-both great skis, but the Watea floats better, is a great 'easy skier' with a very wide (and high end) envelope of use.  I'm always shocked more don't sell here in the East. 

I work at a shop part-time that is selling last years' model with Rail Flex Bindings (in the 167 and 174) lengths for under $500 -I don't know if that's budget enough for you-here's the web-site:

www.bikes-unlimited.com/Blowout%20Page-Ski.htm

there's also a 78 with a heavy demo binding for 375.00.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
 I'll look at this one, although at 17m turning radius I was thinking this one might not be what I was looking for. Does seem they're available pretty cheap w/o bindings and I have a spare set that could be mounted.
post #5 of 23
 On eski for MRG? I'd look at something in the 80mm range, Head IM78 or 82, Volkl AC50 would be top of my list.
post #6 of 23
I am 54. I did mucho research. I work out M-F year round for skiing. 

I bought Watea 78s 174 new flat for $225 at RJ Bradleys ski shop in Westford, MA.I bought Tyrolia LD bindings for them from Level Nine Sports in Utah. I also bought Volkl Racetiger RCs in 177 (I think) with Marker pistons. I ski Sugarbush and Sunday River. I haven't skied either ski yet. Waiting.

 I also own Head XRC 1400 chip(163), Volkl Karmas (177) and Elan Magfire 12 (184.) The Heads and Elans are awesome on ice. The Volka Karmas are good on ice for a wider ski and more versatile.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
 Vinstant, thanks for the info, something more to chew on.
post #8 of 23
$ FOR $ FISCHER HAS ABOUT THE BEST PRICE CARVING SKIS OUT NOW. Progressor 8, or 7 or HEAT 76. A lot of Vinstant's skie are all mt, not carvers.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by backroom View Post

$ FOR $ FISCHER HAS ABOUT THE BEST PRICE CARVING SKIS OUT NOW. Progressor 8, or 7 or HEAT 76. A lot of Vinstant's skie are all mt, not carvers.

how is the hybrid h7?   Level 9 has a seemingly good deal on them http://www.levelninesports.com/fischer-2008-hybrid-skis-wfs-bindings-160cm-p-4171.html
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

 On eski for MRG? I'd look at something in the 80mm range, Head IM78 or 82, Volkl AC50 would be top of my list.

LOL, from the man who has never skied MRG 

I will agree on the Heads but not the AC50..because it is a system ski. As the saying goes..."Either you arrive at MRG with rock skis or you leave with them". With the Heads, you can replace the ski and keep the bindings, with the AC50, you blow out an edge or have to replace a ski, you are replacing the whole system. 
 
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
 Looks like they only have 160 in the hybrid 7, which sounds short? I've been using 170s but would consider 165s. 
post #12 of 23
 I did look into the Fisher Progressor 8. However, I bought Volkl Racetiger RCs because I got a really good price in the offseason from 
Pinnacle Ski and Sports in Vermont and on Ebay

Or you could just buy race stock from Alpine Race Technology (Artech) in Enfield, NH. Tell em' "Vinnie" sent you. 

Your MRG inclusion, preferences and age indicates to me that you would be better served with an all-mountain ski slanted toward on-piste carving. Plus, you can really find great buys, with the profile you need, within this category if you're willing to buy behind the curve.
post #13 of 23
I agree with Philpug (what is this world coming to?)

AC50 would be a dreadful ski for MRG - a bit too wide, waaay too stiff for all the bumps and stumps - just exactly the wrong thing.

Sultan 80 or 85 maybe?
post #14 of 23
I should also add-we have a number of Fischer Cool Heats (and one uber-burly Cold Heat) some mounted with railflex binding and one set up with the ]very burly Flowflex Binding.  These skis split the difference between the watea 78 and the Fischer Progressor 9-they're a little too macho for my skills, but, an ex-racer who likes a strong carver (Like the OP!) for eastern all-mountain skiing could really make these work-

Same shop site as above, selling for 465.00..again, I don't know if that's "budget" enough--and check out dawgcatching's shop as he really treats Epic members exceedingly well.
post #15 of 23
easterrncarver, except for a few years you have on me, our ski profile is pretty much the same. After going through a quiver of skis, my two go-to's now are the Blizzard Titan Cronus and the Blizzard Supersonic. I could wax rhapsodic about them but....I already have: http://www.epicski.com/products/blizzard-g-force-supersonic-iq
Hope this helps.
Happy trails,
David
post #16 of 23
Yeah, I would aggree about talking to Dawgcatching as well. He seems to have lots of deals all the time and . I haven't purchased anything from him but he has been kind enough to answer questions I had.  
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post




LOL, from the man who has never skied MRG 

I will agree on the Heads but not the AC50..because it is a system ski. As the saying goes..."Either you arrive at MRG with rock skis or you leave with them". With the Heads, you can replace the ski and keep the bindings, with the AC50, you blow out an edge or have to replace a ski, you are replacing the whole system. 
 

Actually, I have skied MRG. On those Blizzard 8.2s which wouldn't be abad choice either, but then they're a system ski so....
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

AC50 would be a dreadful ski for MRG - a bit too wide, waaay too stiff for all the bumps and stumps - just exactly the wrong thing.

Seconded. Things tend to be narrow and tight there; the AC 50 wants some elbow room.
post #19 of 23
 That wasn't my experience at all, but I guess that's why we have demos.
post #20 of 23
If you were to look at an all mt. ski, look at Fischer watea 78,or 84, Atomic blackeye,or crimson. The hot ski for you would be ATOMIC D2 VF, but it is about $800.00.
post #21 of 23
 Like Epic, I am not against the shape of the AC50, but more the design. No Rep in his right mind you would let anyone demo demo his skis at MRG. 
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

 Like Epic, I am not against the shape of the AC50, but more the design. No Rep in his right mind you would let anyone demo demo his skis at MRG. 

MRG can be a ski killer for sure. And that's a bit of a quandary for me as a skier that likes carving race-style turns with sharp edges but also likes the adventure of MRGs bumps & trees. I know the mountain pretty well and the spots to avoid if you're trying to keep your edges, at least on the trails; the woods are tougher to have fun with and still preserve your skis. Early season with soft snow and little base is pretty deadly for skis any way you look at it.

At MRG you often get icy conditions with a thin base, a tough combination as you need good edges but the rocks are waiting to snag those steel edges. I try to have rock skis I can use on the mountain and not worry about them, but it's also not much fun to use the rockers when there's any ice around. And neither of the old pairs I have lying around will even carve on the soft stuff because they're bent.

I'm seeing a couple different lines of thought in this thread, there's the stiffer, hard snow carver, and then something like the Watea 78 or Sultan 80 that's a bit softer for the bumps & trees but not as good on the hard stuff. I suppose ideally I'd pick up two pairs of skis; one pair of SL-style carvers that would have a bit more quickness than the Fischers; keep the AMCs in decent shape for general use; and one pair that would be suitable for the bumps & trees at MRG and accept that the second pair is going to have a hard and short life.

With a base grind the Fischer AMC 76s can still have sharp edges (except for about 3/4" thanks to a boulder on Paradise). So I've got to decide if I'm going to let them devolve into MRG mountain rock skis, or keep them in good shape and buy something for the mountain that won't last that long. They're an all mountain ski but probably more to the carver side than the softer bump/tree ski. 

On the hard snow carver side, I've found Progressor 8s for $299 w/ bindings which should be pretty quick; they would be closer to the AMC76, probably. On the all mountain side, I've found Watea 78s for $250 w/o bindings, they'd be more of a shift from the AMCs. I'd probably need to buy new bindings as I don't think the brakes on the spare bindings I have go wide enough. Definitely two different approaches.

Certainly appreciate the feedback and advice, I'm definitely learning a lot.
post #23 of 23
 For those prices, get a Fischer. You probably can't go wrong with either one.
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