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New Skis for Tahoe steeps, powder, crud and moguls?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi. I am looking for suggestions for a new pair of skis. I am an expert female skier late 30s, 5'10" and 155. I ski Tahoe, and I prefer Alpine and Kirkwood where the terrain gets steep. I ski about 15-20 days a year. I avoid groomers and hunt for powder on double blacks or in the trees. I often find crud. I want a ski that can deal with the crud, but I also need a quick edge to edge for moguls. I have been on Men's Volkl g-motions. I liked how responsive they were, but they had no float in the powder, and it was difficult to get them to hold the edge when I did find myself on steep icy terrain at relatively high speed. Any help would be appreciated. By the way, I tried the early women's skis and found them to be too soft underfoot. I would go with a good women's or men's ski now. Thanks.
post #2 of 7
Welcome to Epic!
Many "Bears"  will think you need a wide(100+mm waist) to ski powder; the ski you are currently on is about a 65-70mm waist(depending on which actual model) and you have been skiing them in powder, I presume.
Wide skis are nice in powder but I think that if you intend to ski a single ski(in the conditions that you mention,)skis, in the 80mm-95mm range would serve you best. I personally believe that an expert skier can ski powder on any of the fatter(over 80mm) skis and enjoy them, while getting the performance needed for crud,steep, firm, and/or moguled conditions.
I would narrow down what's available and then demo. Probably in the 165-170cm lengths.

Volkl's Aura is the women's version of the Volkl Mantra with 94mm waist.
One slightly wider ski to consider, the Nordica Enforcer(men's)/ Nemesis(women's) that have a 98 mm waist but I prefer the way they ski overall compared to the Mantras(Aura.)
"Bear" Sierra Jim has some of the Nordicas available.

Other women's models:
Dynastar's Legend Exclusive Powder (pre 2010) or Legend Eden (2010)   85mm waist
K2 Payback 2010   92mm waist
K2 Tough Luv (pre 2010) 88mm waist
Salomon Lady   85mm waist
Fischer KOA 85   85mm waist
Volkl Attiva Aurora   82mm waist

Other men's/ unisex models:
Dynastar Legen Sultan 85   '10
Nordica HR Pro Burner  84 mm waist   '10
Fischer Watea 84    84mm waist    '10 and before
K2 Outlaw     88/92mm waist  pre '10
Salomon Lord    85mm waist

You can find some good prices on line on many of these skis and also available from "bears" like sierra jim and dawgcatching.  See the Epic Deals section of the Barking Bear Forums.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
This is super helpful.  Thank you for getting to the specs, so I can narrow down my demo choices. Also, I appreciate your comments on technique. I have been skiing the volkl g motions in powder and crud even though they offer little float just by adjusting my technique. I dare say it is almost more fun that way, though my method works much better in steep powder where I can get momentum. 
Do you have any thoughts about which of the skis you suggested might be best for moguls while suiting my other needs? Truth be told, my technique isn't as developed in that area, so I could use some help from the equipment, if there is any to be had. I have half a mind to get a dedicated mogul ski (like the twister) but realistically I probably only have the budget for a single pair.
Thanks again.
post #4 of 7
 Hi Shug.
Welcome to EpicSki!

It just so happens that I just had a conversation with a friend about what skis I'd pick if I were in Tahoe.

I'm 43 yo woman, 5'6" 135 lbs.
My personal pics for a two ski quiver would be....
Kastle FX84 which is a great versatile midfat that has shown me some amazing love in 1 ft of fresh, in the bumps, trees and on the groomers.
Ski #2 would be either Volkl Kiku (105 under foot) which would come out when the snow really dumps.

If I had to pick just one, I'd go with the FX84 or maybe switch it out for the MX88.

But then Sierra Jim mentioned something about me trying out the Line Prophet, hmmmmm?



post #5 of 7
I ski Kirkwood (40+ days this year) using a 3 ski quiver - Fischer Cold Heat if we have not had snow for more than 1 week, Dynastar Sultan 85 if we have less than 3 inches of new and Line Prophet 100 for more than 3 inches of new.  I really like all 3 skis.

If I had to choose 1 ski for off-piste - I would pick the Line Prophet 100 - better in heavier crud than the other 2 skis and can still hold an edge on the groomers,  Of the 3 skis, the Dynastar Sultan 85 is the easiest ski to initiate a turn while the Fischer Cold Heat is a really carvy ski for the wind pack and firmer conditions.

It is a really good time of year to buy new skis.  Don't over think your decision - a lot of good skis on the market.
post #6 of 7
Hello Shug,
As I mentioned, many "bears " prefer wider skis, than I do. I should also mention that many of us suffer from a "ski fetish" !!!! Can't live without several pair !!!
I owned a pair of Gotamas(men's Kikus), 106mm waist, which were great for powder, "alright" for skiing crud and moguls(obviously not quick edge to edge) but were not great for heavier crud or firm-icy conditions. I believe the Volkl Aura(94mm), as mentioned initially, would be better as a "solo" ski.
The Kastles that Trekchick recommended  would be great but they are spendy.
If you are leaning toward something with an emphasis toward moguls, I would still stay in the low to mid-80s waist range. Virtually, all that I have mentioned are also finalists in ski mag reviews.
Of the ones I suggested, for moguls, I'd look at:
Salomon Lady(light)    85mm waist
Fischer KOA or Watea  84(very light)     84mm
Nordica Pro Burner(light)  84mm
Dynastar Legend Eden or Sultan 80mm or 85mm
Nordica Conquer   84mm
2010  K2 Lotta Luv     82mm
2010 Volkl Cosmos   92mm
If price is a major consideration, that also would enter into your choices.
post #7 of 7
My wife likes the Volkl Auras (156cms) in variable conditions at 115#s.  Skis 10-12 days/year at Squaw/UT/CO.  Put them on your demo list (probably the 170s at your size, which you can probably find cheap this time of year). 
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