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Newly retired racer - need advice on a more versatile ski!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

As the title indicates, I just stopped racing last year, and am currently still skiing my race stock Rossi GS and SL skis (mostly the SLs).  I live in the East, and these skis are fine on a typical hardpack day, but for bumps, jumps, loose snow, or a trip to the Rockies, they stink.

I've been out of the loop as far as non-race skis.  I need something that is a good compromise between an east and west ski, recognizing that on pure hardpack days I will still be taking out my race skis.  How wide is appropriate?  Any particular models that are recommended?  I am a not a big guy (5'9", 160) but a strong skier so I need something that can hold up to speed, but is more playful and forgiving than a race ski.  I was kind of thinking along the lines of an all-mountain twin.  Some people recommended the Rossi S5 to me - I know the trend is to wider skis but 90+ waists scare me.  Probably looking towards a mid-high 170 length.

Also, price is somewhat of a factor.  Hoping to take advantage of end-of season closeouts, don't have big money to drop here.  Whatever I get I'm hoping to pull the bindings off my GS skis and throw them on (Rossi Axial 2 World Cup 150).  Looks like alot of the all-mountain twin types are flat mount/no plate so I assume that's okay.

Going out to Crested Butte soon and plan to be demoing out there but want some ideas.

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 12
I'm a big fan of Atomics for the east coast, especially for strong agressive skiers with good technique.  The recent Nomad line is definitely more forgiving and versatile, but still rewards good technique.  I've been skiing Nomad Blackeyes this season (free from Atomic as a warranty replacement of Metrons), and have not brought my GS9's out once this season.  The Nomads have plenty of grip for firm days, but they're soft and light enough to be easy and fun in the bumps, and at 79 underfoot, they are good in deeper snow as well.  They're a bit light so they can get knocked around a bit in heavy crud.  I had demoed the Nomad Crimson Ti's last season, and would have picked those over the Blackeyes given the choice, but I wasn't and they were free.  The Crimson's are wider and beefier, so I expect they would hold up better in crud.  They were surprisingly quick edge to edge for a ski that wide and were not too much to handle in the bumps.

Another ski to consider would be the Stockli Stormrider series, I hear great things about these and see a lot of really good skiers on them.  I'm looking forward to demoing them, but haven't yet, so just hearsay.
post #3 of 12
 Stockli is a god choice, but they can be pricey and funky to tune (they use all sorts of different edge and base bevels).

You might want to look and see if you can find a Blizzard Magnum 8.7 left over and for a good price.  It is VERY versatile, holds like an ice skate, skis very well from all balance points on the foot, and wide enough to get some float, but turny enough to crank, and holds like it's on rails.
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by presc21 View Post


I've been out of the loop as far as non-race skis.  I need something that is a good compromise between an east and west ski, recognizing that on pure hardpack days I will still be taking out my race skis.  How wide is appropriate?  Any particular models that are recommended?  I am a not a big guy (5'9", 160) but a strong skier so I need something that can hold up to speed, but is more playful and forgiving than a race ski.  I was kind of thinking along the lines of an all-mountain twin.  Some people recommended the Rossi S5 to me - I know the trend is to wider skis but 90+ waists scare me.  Probably looking towards a mid-high 170 length.

Also, price is somewhat of a factor.  Hoping to take advantage of end-of season closeouts, don't have big money to drop here.
Going out to Crested Butte soon and plan to be demoing out there but want some ideas.


I had similar concerns about waist width (and overall width) in going to an 82 mm ski - Fischer Cold Heats. I was totally stoked to find 82mm on the right ski really is quick, huge condition range and plenty stable at speed on on real hard stuff.

The only way you're gonna know for sure is - Demo!

I tried some 78s before buying the Fischers outright without a demo. I found them even better than the Heads I tried... - my perception. your's may be different.
As for cost. There are a bunch of really good skis out which don't have the 'demand' of some of the more asked for skis, but are just as good. They can be had for a great price. But the chance of actually demo-ing them is remote. They're just not that popular. You end up taking a chance that you'll like the ski.
Like right now you can get the Fischer Cold Heats or Dynastar 8000's for right around $300 (after further discount) with Bindings, at evogear.com, outlet tab.... Plenty of similar skis there and other places online, as well as the guys on Epic who have their own ski shop/business and list/offer their stuff here.
But if you want AC40s or 50s, Dynastar Sultans, Wateas or something with similar demand, you're gonna pay double that.
Of the skis I've tried, I've found that the general review comments I found broadly on the internet are pretty good indicators.
Example, the Cold Heats got good reviews as a solid allrounder for someone who wanted great edge control and front side performance. I was more than suprised to find them to be great in pow up to the knee (haven't had anything deeper yet) , and especially in crud and tracked out stuff. The Dynastar 8000s seem to have the same 'range'.
Are the Wateas or Sultans (for dynastar) better skis? At 2x the price? Up to each skier to decide.
Based on my experience with the 82mm Fischers, I'm now really stoked to try boards in the mid to high 90s.

Demo, especially if you want something you can rip on in pow, crud and tracked out conditions and not sure or willing to take a chance. You might be surprised what you'll end up liking.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info and advice so far - it's always important to have a good feel for what you should be looking at before you go into a shop and talk to the guys there.

Just to clarify, since I already have an excellent frontside ski (Rossi SL) for icy hardpack days, what I am really looking for is something that is oriented towards bumps, tree skiing, loose snow, etc.

Here's a question: I see so far I have gotten recommendations for high-end all-mountain/freeride type skis (Atomic Nomad, Dynastar Legend, etc).  How do the all-mountain capabilities of the current crop of twin tips stack up?  The last pair of non-race skis I owned were the original yellow salomon teneightys - which I remember having a lot of fun on all over the mountain.  The other factor is that it seems like many of the all-mountain skis come with plates/interfaces and require a certain binding.  Since I have a pair of really nice Rossi bindings (and the Rossi/Look binding has always been my favorite) I want a ski that is flat with no plate so I can throw those right on.
post #6 of 12
 Some of the all mountain twins are VERY good skis (and cheaper because they are flat).  The K2 Extreme (the old Public Enemy and will be the Silencer next year) is a phenomenal ski (I swear by them).  I've also skied next years Volkl Bridge, and I was surprised how well it skied (being slightly rockered tip and tail).
post #7 of 12
you did say "Also, price is somewhat of a factor." but didn;t give any indication what constitutes reasonable cost and what is too much.
demo.
you did say that you were gonna demo while out at crusted butt, still a good plan.

Western oriented side-country skis? There is a ton (are a ton?) of great reviews and info from a lot of guys, who know, here on Epic. This should give some indication what makes and models you might wanna try. Search function brings up a ton of good stuff. A lot of them can be bought 'flat'.
Mammoth Mtn area shop is a little pricey on the 'Demo' thing, but you can 'flip' em and try a whole bunch of stuff on the same day - that's what I'm planning to do. Maybe Crusted Butt has the same deal?

Twin tip - my take - I tried a pr of PEs. wasn't impressed, but I did find the twin tip annoying on Gondies and especially trying to get the skis put into the ski racks on local bus transport, especially if they don;t have slots for snowbds. Since I'm prolly never gonna spend any amount of time in a terrain park or pipe, I have no use for a twin tip. Prolly some good skiin twin tips out there; but for me, annoying...
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manus View Post

 Some of the all mountain twins are VERY good skis (and cheaper because they are flat).  The K2 Extreme (the old Public Enemy and will be the Silencer next year) is a phenomenal ski (I swear by them).  I've also skied next years Volkl Bridge, and I was surprised how well it skied (being slightly rockered tip and tail).

Yeah, the Extreme was one I had noticed - relatively inexpensive and a straight-up wood core/sidewall ski, could be nice.  I'll check out the Bridge too.
Quote:
 
you did say "Also, price is somewhat of a factor." but didn;t give any indication what constitutes reasonable cost and what is too much.
demo.
you did say that you were gonna demo while out at crusted butt, still a good plan.
 

 I don't have an unlimited budget, but I haven't set a hard limit.  I would like to be as economical as possible, but to a certain extent if I find a pair of skis I really like that are a bit more expensive than some others, then I might spend more.  In an ideal world I'd get some previous-year's model skis (or even a demo pair in good shape) at around $300-400.

I will be demoing out at Crested, I know in the past I have demoed at some places at other mountains where the price of the daily demo/rental goes to your purchase - so for example, if I did 4 days of demoing at $30 per day, I'd get $120 off my purchase.  I don't know if that is a common policy or not though.
post #9 of 12
Don't be afraid to go over 90mm. Personally, I wouldn't go any less.  You will probably have to get new brakes or bend the ones you have and most shops don't like to bend. 
post #10 of 12
Try to find any left over 08' Head Monster iM88.....you will love it.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manus View Post

 Stockli is a god choice, 

Stockli skiers are so arrogant. ;)
post #12 of 12
You might look at the K2 Apache Recon (see review under recent reviews). And the price is not off the chart. Will ski a lot like like your GS (but more forgiving and more versatile).
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Newly retired racer - need advice on a more versatile ski!