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Need help - new skis and boots of course

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Started up skiing again after several years of doing other stuff. How did I forget how much I love skiing with my wife and now our young son who asks me everyday if we are going skiing on the next "no school day"

I was a pretty darn good skier when I was a young dude. Skied alot of single and double black diamond back in the day and can still turn em pretty good.I would say that I am a 7/8 skier. last pair of skis I owned were either Olin Comp SL's or a pair of Atomic SL ski's, can't remember. Anyway, I am looking for one pair of skis for all over the west; Big Bear, Mammoth, Utah and Colorado. I enjoy fast, medium radius carved turns but will also make a fair amount quick turns and big GS turns on occasion. Mostly on groomed runs but I also like to get into the not too dense trees and have fun in the crud and moguls too. Not too much into the deep stuff.I would say that I am an aggressive to very aggressive 6 1, 250lbs and fairly strong. Been eying the Dynastar Contact 4X4 and Salomon  X Wing Tornado, I am open to any suggestions, looking to narrow down mt demo selections before i buy. Last trip to Summit i managed 34 runs from top to bottom mostly on Log Chute, The Wall and Adjacent runs.

Thank You
post #2 of 6
Originally Posted by temeculajohn View Post

Log Chute, The Wall and Adjacent runs.


I apologize beforehand if what I'm about to say is something you might already know (i.e. you've skied outside of the BB area after restarting skiing), as it can be taken the wrong way.  It is also not the help you were exactly asking for, but what you said just triggered something that was turning in my head and was hit upon glancingly in another thread (www.epicski.com/forum/thread/91111/do-you-ski-tha-double-diamonds , my post regarding grading standardization).

There is a lot of grade inflation in SoCal.  I more-or-less grew up in LA and spent winters up Mt. High and at BB on season passes.  Now I'm frequenting Tahoe, and the grading is a revelation.  (Alternatively, you can consider Tahoe grading as sandbagged.  I don't think there's an absolute reference for grading.)

The Wall is really a single black measured against Tahoe grading, and only on the ungroomed side (left, looking down the mountain, as in this pic of the run I have from some seasons ago).


BB single blacks are blue-blacks at Tahoe.

Mt. High is even worse-inflated.

I would guess that Utah and Colorado grading might be similar to Tahoe, or maybe even tougher at the harder-core ski meccas.

I recall the difference between Mammoth and BB grading to be not quite as dramatic as that between BB and Tahoe, but I could be wrong.  It's been awhile since I was last at Mammoth.


Aside from posting to simply add a (searchable) data point to these forums, I guess the input for you is that it might be a good idea to try stuff outside of BB (again, just assuming you haven't recently) to establish what skis will open up most of those mountains.  A relatively unforgiving ski/boot combination might be manageable most everywhere at BB, but perhaps limiting elsewhere (and you did express interest in elsewhere).
Edited by DtEW - 2/16/10 at 1:42am
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 


Point well taken. I have always thought the grading systems were relative to the available terrain at any given mountain; the steepest run(s) at a particular mountain are given 1 or 2 black diamonds, irrespective of how they stack up against runs of the same ratings at other resorts. That being said I would then say that I ski 40% single black diamond 40% blue and 20% double black. The whole diamond thing is not really indicative anyway. I have seen single blacks that are long, narrow and tore up that are more challenging that some double blacks that may be steeper but are shorter and less cruddy.

I am looking for one pair of skis that will work well given the information below.

I am a pretty aggressive skier
I like groomers and crud, some bumps
I prefer fast carving medium sized turns
I like to ski all hard day so I need a fairly forgiving ski

post #4 of 6
I wish I had some relevant input, temeculajohn, but I'm 160lbs and unsure if what I like in terms of equipment has any relevance.

That said, ignoring the weight difference, last year's ('09) Dynastar Legend 8000 would seem to fit the bill.  They're 70-piste/30-off-piste skis that are very accommodating of skill (Intermediates will be able to turn it, and Experts can still enjoy it), and very forgiving IMO.  They're also one of the straighter (less-sidecut) piste-focused skis, which might be easier to adapt to if you're coming from older skis.  Good speed limit, good stability, good on bumps, good though crud; a veritable jack-of-all-trades that is both a good starting point for a ski quiver, and one that will do the trick on-piste for all the locations (in most conditions) you mentioned.

However, these have been replaced this year by the Dynastar Sultan 80 and Sultan 85, but I have no personal experience with those skis (both of which are noted to be great skis, BTW), so I won't comment on those.

But do remember the weight difference.  If you want to consider my recommendation, you definitely want to borrow/demo them first, or at least get a second opinion.

Oh, they made a sign for me


(see "douchebag" under the black and double black signs)
Edited by DtEW - 2/17/10 at 12:58pm
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input, Skis sure are alot more complicated these days. I do however, really enjoy the more shaped skis I have tried. It's amazing how they just turn when you apply a small amount of angle and pressure, Demo selection at the stores these days is terrible and most of the good old ski stores are gone. Even the local mountains have limited demo selections. The standard rental fleet noodles can't hold a guy my size in a hard turn without the tails blowing out early which really takes the enjoyment out of smooth carves. Oh well, my search continues. I am very tempted to just go buy the Solomon Tornado's or Dynastar 4x4.

Do you ever get to Kirkwood? I really enjoyed that mountain, Heavenly, not so much, never made it to Squaw.


post #6 of 6
Haven't gone to Kirkwood yet; if I can get myself a dedicated ski car (Subie), Kirkwood might be the pass I get for next season (the roads to it are infamously snowy/shut-down). If not, then Squaw.

Heavenly is nice, if only for the fact that there are much less boarders than other places (not implying anything specifically against boarders, but only referencing the fact that the place doesn't feel as crowded because I know a lot of boarders avoid the place due to the long cat tracks that they get stuck on, but are fine on skis).  Quite a lot of acreage.  Doesn't seem to get as much snow as Northstar or Sierra, but the vast acreage and lower skier/boarder density means that you can usually find some fresh in the trees.

Northstar is a bit of a circus (for some reason attracts a tremendous number of boarders) with limited/no steeps ("Flatstar"), but the food prices are not quite as atrocious as they can be at Heavenly.  The backside is where all the skiers seem to go.  A decent amount of acreage.  Seems to get more snow than Heavenly.

Squaw Valley is nice for the fact that it scares me in a good way.  I punted myself off of a run from the KT22 and both tweaked my neck and bent a ski.  Sure, there is "oh shit" stuff that is accessible at every resort, but not that much (or at all) inbounds.  Squaw has in-bounds "oh shit".  Seems to be characterized by wide-open bowls.  Don't know about how much snow they get (only been there once), but I suspect about as much as Northstar.

Sierra-at-Tahoe is not as big or as well-known as the above, but it's a gem that's both cozy and interesting.  Seems to get more snow than Northstar, and is geographically closer to Kirkwood, (which supposedly gets the most snow).

Have you considered Volkls?  They are famous/infamous for burly tails, and they are know to make some bruiser skis (the Volkl AC50 comes to mind).
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