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Head Xenon Xi 9.0 skis for intermediate/advanced female skier?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I've been looking for some ski equipment for myself, specifically all-mountain skis, and I was recommended the Head Xenon Xi 9.0 156 cm model on an online ski shop.  I'm 19 years old, 5'7", about 133 lbs, and I've been skiing for about 10 years now.  I suppose I'm considered an advanced skier, since I can ski blacks no problem, though I tend to plough through mogul runs; I ski at high speeds, and I tend to turn more short-radius turns.
Apparently even though these skis are I assume for men, they apparently are very light, so shouldn't be much of a problem for women.

Does anybody have any thoughts on these skis? Should I get them (they're going for $249)?

Thanks!
post #2 of 13
As a big, heavy guy (6'6", ~260 lbs.), they were way too soft for me.  Wouldn't hold well on ice at all (at least for me).

Fun, though, especially in softer snow, and great on 'normal' groomed trails that aren't covered in ice.  Probably not great a super-high speeds -- they're not nearly as stiff as something like the SuperShape Magnum.

For a lighter skier, they'd probably be a good all-mountain ski, and very versatile.  If you want to rip short-radius turns on groomed terrain at high speed, try the SuperShapes.
post #3 of 13
Matthias, was the ice grip poor at moderate speeds, or when moving quicker?  I'm an intermediate Dad just out with the kids, and was considering these but ice is major issue around here in Eastern Ont./Quebec.   It would be nice to visit Jay with some skis that have a decent hold on ice.   
post #4 of 13
Poor overall.  It would skid at low speeds on ice/super-hard packed powder.  I didn't push it at high speeds, but I don't think it was getting better.  If you were much lighter... hard to say.  I was just totally overpowering the skis if I pushed them hard.

If you really want ice hold, I'd be looking at something stiffer and a little narrower.  I have to deal with lots of ice, and my daily ski is a Dynastar Contact 10, which works much much better on very hard surfaces.  It also has a ton of metal and is much stiffer.

Unfortunately, the things that make a ski hold really well on ice (narrow, stiff) make the ski harder to use in varied conditions, and more of an 'expert' ski (that is, less forgiving).  For ice hold with a little forgiveness, look at narrow high-performance carving/race skis, but back down a model from the top one (examples: Dynastar Contact 9, Fischer Progressor 8, Nordica Mach2).
post #5 of 13
Thanks. You hit the nail on the head.  I want excellent ice grip, but a true expert ski is not what I need either. At 5' 6" and 215, creaky knees, and realistically a reasonable intermediate who skis the moderate blacks, that's the quandry.   Do you think there be a lot of difference in dialing it back to a Progessor 7?  Any Atomics recommended?  I will be skiing some demos on Friday night and Atomic is a main line at that hill.

aeyara , I found this thread, which has several posts about not lovin' the Xenon on hard/ice conditions.  

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/81611/opinions-on-head-xenon-8-0-xi-volkl-ac-20

If you do try the Xenons, suggest adding $30 and upgrading to the railflex binding.



Edited by Spensar - 1/20/10 at 10:30pm
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by aeyara View Post

I've been looking for some ski equipment for myself, specifically all-mountain skis, and I was recommended the Head Xenon Xi 9.0 156 cm model on an online ski shop.  I'm 19 years old, 5'7", about 133 lbs, and I've been skiing for about 10 years now.  I suppose I'm considered an advanced skier, since I can ski blacks no problem, though I tend to plough through mogul runs; I ski at high speeds, and I tend to turn more short-radius turns.
Apparently even though these skis are I assume for men, they apparently are very light, so shouldn't be much of a problem for women.

Does anybody have any thoughts on these skis? Should I get them (they're going for $249)?

Thanks!
 
I owned Head Xenon Xi 8.0 a couple of years ago.

Good price, but I like Fischer Progressor+ 8 w/Railflex  better.

Check out:

http://www.realskiers.com/

Join up and read all old reviews.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies!  I understand what you mean about ice being a problem out east - I noticed a lot of icy runs when I went up to Mt. Blanc in Quebec this past weekend, and my rental skis just couldn't hold up on some of the particularly icy patches. If that's the case, I guess I'll have to look at skis with more grip....

What about the Dynastar Exclusive Legend? I've heard nothing but praise for it.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spensar View Post

Thanks. You hit the nail on the head.  I want excellent ice grip, but a true expert ski is not what I need either. At 5' 6" and 215, creaky knees, and realistically a reasonable intermediate who skis the moderate blacks, that's the quandry.   Do you think there be a lot of difference in dialing it back to a Progessor 7?  Any Atomics recommended?  I will be skiing some demos on Friday night and Atomic is a main line at that hill. 

Don't know much about recent Atomics, unfortunately.  Talk to the folks in the demo shop and ask if they have something comparable.  (~65-75mm waist, fairly stiff, but not a race ski).  From a quick perusal of their site, in the new models you'd probably want a "D2 VF 72" or "D2 VC 72".  Or at least start from there.

I've only skied the Progressor 8 and 9.  I'm not sure how much softer the 7 is.  I don't think the 8 would be too much for an intermediate skier who can actually carve some turns.  IMO they're pretty forgiving, but I like very responsive skis and YMMV. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aeyara View Post

Thanks for all the replies!  I understand what you mean about ice being a problem out east - I noticed a lot of icy runs when I went up to Mt. Blanc in Quebec this past weekend, and my rental skis just couldn't hold up on some of the particularly icy patches. If that's the case, I guess I'll have to look at skis with more grip....

What about the Dynastar Exclusive Legend? I've heard nothing but praise for it.

The Exclusive Legend is the women's version of the Legend Sultan 80 (which used to be the Legend 4800) -- this is a little wider, and more of an all-mountain ski.  The Exclusive Eden is like the Legend Sultan 85 (previously the Legend 8000), and is wider still.  Both of these, like the Xenon, will be better in mixed conditions or fresh snow, but probably not as good on very hard surfaces, and not as quick or capable of tight carved turns.  The mens versions of these, at least, are VERY popular and well-reviewed across the board.  In fact, I just ordered a pair of the Sultan 85s. 

If you want better hold on ice, the regular 'Exclusive' or 'Exclusive Elite' are the ones to look at.  Those are the women's version of the Dynastar Contacts.
post #9 of 13

After some more research, it also looks like the Fischer Red Heat may be an option as well.  me.  Some very good reviews on Epic and elsewhere, including the SierraJim thumbs up    I found some in 155 and 160 lengths.  I'm 165 cm myself, and normally would prefer the 155s but at 215 perhaps the 160 would be better. 

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
I don't claim to be an expert on ski lengths, but I've heard that the better skier you are, the longer skis you should have, and it also depends on whether you prefer maneuverability or speed - I used to ski on my dad's skis, which are longer than I am tall, and I had the worst time trying to turn in them. Not to mention they were the old narrow kind...
post #11 of 13
Plenty of talk on length.  Quick search brings up lots of hits to. 

http://www.epicski.com/search.php?search=choose+ski+length
post #12 of 13
The short answer on ski length is "it depends". 

Grossly oversimplifying, shorter will turn quicker and maybe be easier for a beginner to handle, and longer will be more stable at high speeds and capable of holding an edge better.  For the kind of skis being discussed in this thread, and someone who's not a complete beginner, you normally want something between chin high and as tall as you are.

Don't compare with lengths from old straight skis.  (You could sort of compare them if you looked at the total edge length instead of the tip-to-tail length, but it's not really that helpful and it's hard to get those numbers.)  For frontside carvers or 'all-mountain' skis, you usually wouldn't want something longer than you are tall.  It will make it hard to get your weight far enough forward.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice Matthias!

I was doing some hunting on Craigslist for some 2nd hand equipment for back home (Vancouver), and someone is selling a pair of 156 cm Volkl AC 2 Unlimited skis for a pretty good price. I've heard mixed reviews about it, from it possibly being too soft (although that was for a guy who's over 200 lbs and I'm nowhere near that), and that it may be more of an intermediate ski as opposed to an advanced ski.  Any thoughts?  One thing that appeals to me is that apparently Volkl skis have very good ice grip.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Head Xenon Xi 9.0 skis for intermediate/advanced female skier?