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2-ski quiver for Tahoe: 78mm + 94mm?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I'm looking to narrow down a few models to demo.  Choice can be a terrible thing...

I'm a 5'9, 150-155 lb guy, advanced skier (but kinda tend towards "safe"), ski mostly in Tahoe.  Historically I haven't ventured much off-piste, but last year I demoed a some wider skis for the first time, ventured into some powder+trees at Northstar and had a blast.  Actually, the only really wide one was a K2 Coomba (I think 174cm).

I'm thinking of getting 2 skis:

A) 78mm "all mountain" with a groomer focus, maybe a little bumps, handle mild crud

Nordica Nitrous CA Xbi
Head Peak 78

I've never tried either of those.  I demoed Atomic Blackeyes and liked them last year.  They seemed versatile and liked speed.  But I think maybe the Nitrous or Peak would handle short turns easier (smaller radius). I've tried K2 Recons before and didn't have much feeling about them (boring).

B) 90+mm for soft snow days and pushing my boundaries
Something like Fischer Watea 94, or Atomic Snoop?  Not really sure here.  I'm thinking at my weight and experience these should be more versatile and usable than 100+ ski.  I figured I'd just skip the 80's as having too little focus.


Does my thinking make sense?  I'll probably get a narrower ski first, since I am currently ski-less and I have way more experience with that type of ski.

Thanks a lot.
post #2 of 23
Go visit SierraJim at Start Haus (Central Truckee), and he'll set you right.
post #3 of 23
I think the ideal two-ski quiver for Tahoe is a stiffer ski in the low to mid 80s and a softer or rockered ski in the 100-115 range.  The former will get you around anything groomed and bust crud when needed, while the latter will show you the fun when the snow is fresh.
post #4 of 23
read this:

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/89417/ski-quiver-for-tahoe

+1 on SJ & Start Haus.  they're my shop of choice and should be yours too.  :)
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks.  Lots of good info there.  I'm a little hesitant on the 80's skis because in past experiences (vaguely remember from past years) they were just clumsier feeling for the groomers, and yet not wide enough to provide big grins in powder.  But I'm open to trying them out... maybe that Sultan 85.  I just need to limit the options to avoid decision paralysis like I had last year.

I do want a ski that will serve me well for relaxed carving etc. with non-aggressive friends/family, or harder snow.  Not all the resorts have equal snow.  I skied 78-79mm skis last year and could still deal with some crud etc.  I guess when there is a lot of choppy mixed snow or "frozen powder" the 80's ski should be more fun, but I don't know if I want to optimize for that.
post #6 of 23
You have a good plan. Decide which ski and terrain category is most important to you and focus solely on that one first. The reason for this is that your choice in either category will affect the other.

It sounds as if your primary focus for #1 is groomers and settled snow in the off trail. If you want a 78 ish ski for this, then it's pretty hard to beat the Nitrous. (I have skied some Heads and find them generally not to be my cuppa, however YMMV) I would also encourage you to try the Sultan 85 and would suggest back to back on the same day. After that, you could safely put that search to bed and buy one.

If you choose the Nitrous for #1, then something mid 90's to 100 ish is a great call for #2. Most skis in this range are conventional but some have tip rocker and that's not a bad thing at all. You'd need to try a conventional and a tip rockered ski back to back to see what you like best.

If you choose the Sultan for #1, then I'd suggest you widen your sights a bit for #2 to the 100-110+ range. In this range there are conventional skis, flat cambered skis, tip rockered, tip and tail rockered, and full rockered. Again, I'd suggest testing a conventional or flat cambered ski vs. some version of rocker and you make the choice.

Stay organized and get #1 out of the way first as that's the most important one for you.

SJ
post #7 of 23
Good thread!  I have often encountered the same "what type of 2-ski quiver should I get" question in my own skiing.  Here is what I came up with, pros and cons of each.  Keep in mind that I have skied a ton of skis this year, pretty much every big name ski, and most, but not all, fall somewhere into one of these categories.  Below are generalizations, but tend to be true much of the time.

78mm ski vs. mid 80's ski for frontside use:

78mm ski Pros: great edge hold, more responsive on firm snow, closer to race-ski feel that is quite addicting if you are skiing hard snow and groomers.  A great width for people who need a responsive ski for bumps and don't need much float (a lot of East Coast skiers pick up 78mm skis, and so do West Coast skiers as part of a 2-ski quiver).
78mm ski cons: a little narrow for soft snow (not an issue if you have a wider ski), many are pretty stiff in bumps (the Peak 78 is an exception, as it is exceptional off-piste, provided you don't need much floatation)
85mm pros: sometimes more forgiving, as they seem to be built with off-piste skiing in mind (although there are exceptions on both sides), typically a bit better in soft snow, and typically a bigger turn radius, which could be a plus or minus depending on your outlook.
85mm cons: edgehold lacking compared to 78mm, slower on edge, typically not as powerful feeling

95mm vs. 105-115mm skis for new snow:

95mm Pros: still decent on firmer snow, most of these designs are typically "all-mountain" more than backside, still fairly responsive for mid-width ski. Probably a good width to own for just one ski.
95mm Cons: lack of float in softer, heavy snow can be a hinderance, depending on snow quality.  In light snow, 95mm can be more than plenty of width. In heavy snow, it can prevent you from skiing to your potential
105-115mm pros: much better float; you are getting to that point where float will pretty much handle any snow condition at most any pitch angle.  Bigger turn radius often perfect for big-turn Western skiing
105-115mm cons: starting to get away from all-day versatility, depending on the ski, the conditions, and the terrain.  Some of these are great in end-of-day, skied-out snow, and some aren't.  Also, they feel pretty wide, and don't work for everyone's skiing style.  Keeping parallel shins is really key for skiing bigger, stiff skis, unless you are skiing rockered stuff, which responds to both good and bad input.

With regard to cambered and rockered stuff; that is probably a question that you will have to answer on your own.  There isn't one "right" answer, as everyone has different expectations and different skiing styles.  No one ski can do it all, so ignore anyone who tells you that.  A ski purchase is always making some sort of compromise, unless you have 3 or 4 other skis in your quiver already.

Here is my current situation on a 2ski quiver:
Kastle MX78 176cm
Elan 1010 183cm

Kastle rips up groomers like a race ski, and is a true throughbred. You have to ski full-on to get the most out of this ski.  Not the best crud ski: it is pretty stuff.
Elan is superb in 6-8 inches or more of new, and softer bumps.  Lacking on firm snow, not very responsive, but pretty good for a ski of this width on groomers.  Very versatile for what it is, and plenty of width for any condition I will encounter for my weight. 

What is lacking out of those 2 skis is that softer, mid-width crud and bump ski for when the snow is soft, but we haven't had a whole lot of actual fresh snow.  That is where that mid 80's to mid 90's ski comes in handy.  It will rock the crud and be much easier to ski than the MX78, but much easier and more powerful on firmer snow than the 1010.   I can make do without that mid-width ski, but would rather have one.  OTOH, I don't want to give up the superb race-like performance of the MX78 when we don't have fresh snow and I want to rip big turns at speed, and the 1010 isn't going anywhere, unless a better wide ski comes along, which I have yet to find. Had I purchased the Peak 78, I would have lost that race-ski performance, but gained a more versatile ski, and probably covered the 2-ski quiver much better.  But, the Peak 78, as great as it is, is no MX78 at speed.

My thoughts?  Get the narrower ski you really want, and just assume you will ski the wider ski if much new snow is falling.  That Peak 78 is as good as any narrower ski, and if you are getting something wider anyways, the extra width of something 85-90mm will be mostly wasted.  The trick is finding a good 78mm ski that isn't basically a full-on carver, but that Peak 78 fits the bill as well as any ski around.  Once you have that figured out, demo some wider skis, and see what works.  Try something 95mm and 105-115mm underfoot, and see what you like the feel of.  Again, no "right" answer to this one.  For every customer I speak to who will not ski anything under 100mm, there is another who says "you know, I just can't warm up to really wide skis; I haven't found one I like over 90mm or so". Had a guy in today and thought the 1010 was "too wide, given we only had 10" overnight; great early in the day, but wishing I had a bit narrower ski in the PM" and purchased the 999 instead; it fit his skiing style better and was more of an everyday ski that made sense for him, as he owns a business, has a family, and only gets 15-20 days a year in.  We all like to think we are locals, and will get to ski every big dump of the year, but in all honesty, most people are limited to weekends and perhaps 2 trips a year, which puts a different emphasis on things than if you are skiing 5 days a week, all winter long.

I like your idea of a Peak 78 for a frontside ski: this is as good as versatile frontside skis gets.  If looking a bit wider, the Sultan 85 makes tons of sense, as does the Peak 88.  The Noridca HR (the one that replaced the Afterburner) also is worth checking out, if you are trying to stay away from skis that are really stiff, and instead great all-mountain tools.  With wide skis, there are so many choices, it is hard to know where to start, but some good ones: Watea 94, Elan 999 and 1010, Volkl Mantra, Blizzard Atlas, Dynastar Big or Huge, Blizzard Answer IQ, Blizzard Argos, Rossi S7, K2 Obsethed, Dynastar Legend Pro Rider, Kastle MX98....

A good analogy is bikes: some people ride singlespeeds, some ride fixies, some ride geared road bikes, some ride hardtails, some ride 5" trail mountain bikes, some like 29ers, some ride trails on cyclocross bikes, some like 7" freeride bikes, some like XC race bikes.....And some own a bike of each!    I have about 6 bikes in my garage, but honestly, the ones that get the most love are the hardtail 29er, my road bike (obviously) and my road fixie, especially this time of year, when I don't want to deal with cleaning dirty drivetrains and want to work on my spin and power.
post #8 of 23
Excellent input from Jim and Dawg, as usual.

I took a single run on my newly-mounted 194 Stockli Stormrider XLs (75mm waist, 2005-06 model) on Saturday.  I limited myself to one run because it was a holiday weekend and I really didn't want to hurt anyone.  Wow -- point and chute, just ride the rails of this freight train.  Gobs of edge hold, and they wanted to do just about anything but slow down.

Which is a long way of saying, yeah, there's a place for a mid-70s waisted ski in Tahoe.  But I get the impression that manufacturers have moved their 75-79mm waisted market position.  A few years ago, you found a bunch of powerful, grippy skis in that range, but these days, it seems to have become the dumping ground for skis made for stunted intermediates, slightly better than the generic rentals, but lacking in any real strength for a skier who gets at least a couple of weeks on the mountains each season.  Think K2 Recon -- but even more so, the other K2 skis made with the same footprint, like the Sabre and Raider.  Some of the euro models (Kastle, Stockli, maybe Fischer) are probably exceptions to this rule, but the exceptions seem to get fewer by the year.

Maybe I'm wrong.  After all, I don't try nearly the number of skis that Jim and Dawg do.  But I think of the skis in the mid to high 70s range as a shallow pool of mediocrity.
post #9 of 23

I'll be rockin' the XL's today also. Well, thanks to Stockli for keepin' it real in the mid-seventies category. Like I said, except for race skis,
 

Volkl is dead in that category.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post

Excellent input from Jim and Dawg, as usual.

I took a single run on my newly-mounted 194 Stockli Stormrider XLs (75mm waist, 2005-06 model) on Saturday.  I limited myself to one run because it was a holiday weekend and I really didn't want to hurt anyone.  Wow -- point and chute, just ride the rails of this freight train.  Gobs of edge hold, and they wanted to do just about anything but slow down.

Which is a long way of saying, yeah, there's a place for a mid-70s waisted ski in Tahoe.  But I get the impression that manufacturers have moved their 75-79mm waisted market position.  A few years ago, you found a bunch of powerful, grippy skis in that range, but these days, it seems to have become the dumping ground for skis made for stunted intermediates, slightly better than the generic rentals, but lacking in any real strength for a skier who gets at least a couple of weeks on the mountains each season.  Think K2 Recon -- but even more so, the other K2 skis made with the same footprint, like the Sabre and Raider.  Some of the euro models (Kastle, Stockli, maybe Fischer) are probably exceptions to this rule, but the exceptions seem to get fewer by the year.

Maybe I'm wrong.  After all, I don't try nearly the number of skis that Jim and Dawg do.  But I think of the skis in the mid to high 70s range as a shallow pool of mediocrity.
 
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post

Excellent input from Jim and Dawg, as usual.

I took a single run on my newly-mounted 194 Stockli Stormrider XLs (75mm waist, 2005-06 model) on Saturday.  I limited myself to one run because it was a holiday weekend and I really didn't want to hurt anyone.  Wow -- point and chute, just ride the rails of this freight train.  Gobs of edge hold, and they wanted to do just about anything but slow down.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I would like you to try my 194 Dynastar Legend Pro's and compare to the XL's.  I think you would feel the exact same sensations only easy to slow down some?  And probably would be traveling at even higher speeds but not FEEL like you were traveling that fast.

Mt point.  Why not go with the flow get the right 90+ MM ski that does what the skinny ski does but does it in many more snow conditions

 
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post


Maybe I'm wrong.  After all, I don't try nearly the number of skis that Jim and Dawg do.  But I think of the skis in the mid to high 70s range as a shallow pool of mediocrity.

I think you are a little off. For sure, there are mediocre skis in this width range and some of them sell for "Expert" prices. OTH there is still some really good stuff in this range. Contact 4X4, Nordica Nitrous Ti (top fuel), Rossi CX 80, etc.

I just saw the Atomic 2011 skis last night and skied some this morning and those guys haven't forgotten how to build solid grippy skis. OTOOH...they have broken the typical Teutonic mold to some extent with some super fun and playful stuff in the 100-110mm range that is just way different than what you'd expect from Austria and particularly from the brand that has owned racing for as long as they have.

SJ
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post




I think you are a little off. For sure, there are mediocre skis in this width range and some of them sell for "Expert" prices. OTH there is still some really good stuff in this range. Contact 4X4, Nordica Nitrous Ti (top fuel), Rossi CX 80, etc.

I just saw the Atomic 2011 skis last night and skied some this morning and those guys haven't forgotten how to build solid grippy skis. OTOOH...they have broken the typical Teutonic mold to some extent with some super fun and playful stuff in the 100-110mm range that is just way different than what you'd expect from Austria and particularly from the brand that has owned racing for as long as they have.

SJ

 


Interested to hear more about that. 
 I have been hearing allot of positive things about Atomic offerings.  I have skied with two different people who just rave about the Thug.  Atomic has really been out front most years with the type ski that I like and advocate.

Hellidog > BIG DADDY . THUG > what next. 

But I am stuck set thinking the LP is the greatest thing EVER for Tahoe all mountain
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Interesting stuff. I'm definitely planning to demo the Nitrous and Sultan on the same day sometime soon (hopefully) like SJ suggested. If the wider skis work well enough on the groomers then I can get behind that.

Like i mentioned before, I thought the Atomic Blackeye (Ti? I really need to take better notes) I demoed last year was a nice ski at 78mm, which didn't seem particularly "intermediate". It seemed stiff enough to make me consciously "ski" the ski, and I could easily go faster than my comfort zone even on non-perfectly-smooth goomers. Not ultra-stiff though. And to be honest I skied less than 10 days last year.

That ski liked more GS style turns though. It seems that one of the trends is that almost all the skis, both at this width and in the 80's+ have sidecut for "GS" style turns. I kind of missed the quick tight slalom turn sensation on groomers. But then again, I think if I get out and ski more as I hope to do then I might just get bored with carving groomers anyway. So at that point having a wider ski that can provide both speed and rougher-snow versatility makes more sense.

I don't even know what ski now would be good for tighter turns. That Nitrous should be more than some. My friend has an older Atomic Metron something that has a ton of sidecut in the mid-70mm. But most of the tighter turning skis I see now are either in the 60's widths or are meant for intermediate/learning.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Actually, now that I think of it, I need to hit the gym more.  I think the main reason I end up wanting shorter turns is when my thighs start burning up after doing the high-G type stuff.  But the thrills come from speed and challenging terrain, not making easy esses with my old man
post #15 of 23
MTT, I'd love to try the LPs.  What's your BSL?  (Maybe swap for 190 Rubies for a couple runs?)  Regardless, though, the Stocklis cost me only shipping and a mount, and were well worth it.

Jim, I think we're on the same page.  I know there are good skis in that range, but I think they're rarer than they were four years ago, and they have only a limited spot in my quiver.  My two current skis with 70-something waists are the Stocklis (my new speed skis) and my 176 Fischer AMC 79s, which are my early season easy riders.  Most days that would make sense for something else in the high 70s, I'd rather take my chances with the Big Stix 84s.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTT View Post

But I am stuck set thinking the LP is the greatest thing EVER for Tahoe all mountain

Can't argue with that although that is clearly a preference thing. Knowing your preferences, I'd say the only Atomic offering that you'd be interested in would be the Atlas and that is too wide to be a sub for the LP. The rest of the (wider) new stuff is on the light, nimble, no metal side of things. Much of the new collection has some version or another of rocker (in the 100+ range anyway) They are really good skis but fit a different set of preferences than yours.

SJ
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Anybody feel like doing a quick compare/contrast between the Sultan 85 and the Nordica Pro Burner?  I need more fodder to obsess over since I can't actually go and ski just yet...
post #18 of 23

post #19 of 23
 
post #20 of 23
 
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post

And I'd cool it on building a quiver unless you're skiing 40+ days a year. If you're just a weekend warrior clocking less than 40 days, do you really need a quiver?

Well, nobody needs to ski either.  But we all want to, don't we?

Some people just like having a selection of tools, some more optimal than others for the given job.  Or, they just like shiny new things, which is not a bad thing for the oft-beleaguered ski industry.  People enjoy things in different ways, and what may seem like a bad value to one (like a quiver that doesn't get skied enough) may be great to somebody else (like a collection of attractive, shiny skis).
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yeah, for me having a quiver is pretty much a "why does a dog lick itself" deal.  And like I said, now that I've experienced a wider ski I know I want that, but I also know I don't want a 100+ ski as my only ski.  So, yeah.  Picking up a second pair if I find a good deal wouldn't be too expensive.  And also, I plan to go more often than I've been going.  I think I can work part time from Tahoe this year in which case having powder ski starts to make more sense.
post #23 of 23
Yo Snoflinga,

I am about the same weight, 1" shorter, and use an 08 LP (97mm waist), 176, as a one quiver ski at Tahoe....Sugar Bowl, Alpine, Homewood, and I rarely feel a need for another ski......lots of reviews here and on TGR..

The LP with sharp edges will do almost everything my previous Blizzard 8.7 Magnum and previous previous Head iM78 (now Peak78) did, and it is a lot better in crud, day-after cut-up powder, and mank....and no speed limit that I can find...
I don't do a lot of virgin deep powder, so I can't attest to its performance there....by time I get there it's cut-up and crud...it does well in boot-top powder, floating BELOW the surface like an old school ski but easier to handle...

I lust over the new Kastle MX88, but at its price I could buy a 2nd home....and I can't afford the $$s....

My $.02
Edited by nfp158 - 1/15/10 at 9:56am
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