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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › 6'1" 180lb Ex. Racer seeking recommendations for epic *All Mountain* ski that excels in big, steep, & fast carving/groomers
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6'1" 180lb Ex. Racer seeking recommendations for epic *All Mountain* ski that excels in big, steep, & fast carving/groomers

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Moved to a mountain (us rockies) that has more bluebird groomer days than epic powder dumps, and am looking for a ski that excels on the steep groomers found here in abundance.  I do NOT want a pure play GS/racing/carving ski, and I do not want a pure play powder ski.

Really I'm hoping to find an all-mountain ski that's great on groomers, allowing me to ski powder and bumps.  My current ski is a 185cm Volkl Karma, a twin tip with 119/87/111mm measurements.  I really, really loved the ski but a) I've skied them to death and they lack any semblance of liveliness, b) they lack a bit of sidecut for the groomers I end up skiing here and c) they're not the best for deep pow (obviously).  

I tend to ski very fast on groomers, and am very hard on my equipment.  Stability at speed is important, but so is the ability to ski very long bump lines.  I have broken the upper portion of my boots each of the last two years in the bumps (due to the "boot fitters" torch weak spots) and blew my bindings right off my ski during a very high speed turn (my ski flew down the mountain and landed in the middle of a river and I fetched it out to the delight of many ski patrolmen, but that is a different story altogether)

I'd like a ski that offers high performance on steep groomers, bumps, and the occasional powder day.  My Karmas will become my rock/backup skis. 

About me:
* raced through collegiate level
* very aggressive, very fast skier
* 32, 6'1", 185lbs
* cycling legs enjoy big, fast, deep carving & moguls
* this will be my only pair of skis besides my "skied to death" Karmas, which means they are going to be taken into the deep powder after dumps.  

I don't pay attention much to the latest in gear, and it's safe to say that I haven't paid attention to anything about new skis since I bought my last pair back in 2005/6.  

Any recommendations?!
post #2 of 14
Sounds like you need a mid-fat.   However, the characteristics that allow the ski to be good on groomers are not necessarily great in bumps or in powder, so you need to compromise.  Here are the mid-fat skis that have been mentioned a lot for this kinds of situation: Volkl Mantra, Blizzard Answer, Head Peak88 and John (94mm), Dynastar Sultan 85 (and the buzz is that the upcoming Sultan 94 will be even better). Based on your description of skiing styles and preferences, I'd start with the Mantra or Blizzard. 
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
 thanks!  from the looks of the specs of those skis, i like the mantra and head john.  the blizzard sidecut seems a bit long for what i'm looking for, i think.  

i love the thought of blasting through the crud and mixed pow we have here often in the bowls.  but i wonder if the mantra would kill my legs trying to ski slow enough down the last 1000 vert feet of steep runout of tightly enforced "slow skiing" we have to endure at the end of half the runs here at this mountain?  

post #4 of 14
 Don't know.  I ski the John (Mojo 94), my instructor buddy skis the Mantra.  I love my skis and hated the Mantra, he loves his Mantra.  At this point you should really try to demo and pick what you like.  From what I heard the Sultan 94 should be in-between those two skis, not as stiff and planky as the Mantra but with more energy than the super-damp Head.   
post #5 of 14
 Well, if you are interested in Sultan 85s, I am selling a pair here:


They are exceptional at high speed on groomers, among the best of skis I have owned in that width range.  And if you can break those bindings, you're the Incredible Hulk.
post #6 of 14
Line Motherships and just jump over the bumps 10 at time......for big Mtn ripping at mach speeds there is no better ski.
post #7 of 14
Sounds like a fun search! I can relate - after blowing my ACL last year, this has been a mostly groomer year for me. I've rekindled a passion for race turns that I haven't had since racing in high school.  I just spent a week demoing new sticks. The two that stood out for me were the Nordica Enforcer and the Volkl Mantra.

Both were amazing rockets on the goomers. I also skied the Volkl AC-50 which was nice and stiff and had an amazing edge hold, but the Enforcers put a huge smile on my face that hadn't been there in a while.

Without a doubt, the Mantra was a better race style ski - although it does not look the part! Its stiffer than the Enforcer but held an edge on super steeps, including ice better than the Enforcer. It was a tough call for me, if I were in better shape and willing to stay on top of them 110%, the Mantra would have been the ski... in that regard, you might really enjoy it!

I've been looking for the holy grail since the early K2 Extremes - there just does not seem to be anything that preforms like the Manta on groomers or the (much lamented Machete) in bumps. Although I'd happily stand corrected if someone here has an all mountain ski they like for race turns AND bumps. That said, for the first time since high school, I'm considering owning more than one pair of skis at a time just for the bumps...if my knees ever get back there :D

Finally, I did ski the Rossi SC-87s and hated them on everything except the bumps...although the shovel was too wide for my taste to be a true bump ski. Others have discussed that being a great all mountain ski but I couldn't get it on edge to save my life.

Good luck on the search and let us know what you find!
post #8 of 14
Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg View Post

Line Motherships and just jump over the bumps 10 at time......for big Mtn ripping at mach speeds there is no better ski.

X2.  The Mothership is my new favorite western bomber ski.
post #9 of 14
Super.  BRO. 

End of story.
post #10 of 14
Second the PMGear Super BRO suggestion. Race-ready. Burly. Fast.
post #11 of 14
Don't be afraid of them.  I'm 5'11", 200lbs and I've never raced a gate in my life, but I can turn a ski.  These are the ones for you.  
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
 does the super bro really only come in a 195cm?  i love the look, turn radius, dimensions, etc of this ski.  from the way it looks this is indeed the ski for me.  but i'm scared of the length.  my last pair of "straight" skis were some 203cm race gs skis and they were simply awful as day to day skis. 
post #13 of 14
6'2", 200 lbs - ski alot (140 days per season). Ski the Head John most days now - I ski shorter (180cm) as I spend a lot of time in trees and bumps (teaching). If I was free sking it I would ski it in the 187cm (which I tested a loved). Despite being realtively soft length wise it is laterally reasonable stiff and holds a good edge and deals with crud very well. It is very stable at speed and it is a light ski (mine set upwith Mojo 15s)

If you want a great all rounder that does everything - it will do the trick very well.

Another ski I tried, loved and would have bought if I could have got the right size (186cm) is the Rossi S3. Skis crud and powder like a fat 186cm with a soft tip and tail. Skis the groomed, bumps, short turns like a 165 cm 'fat' slalom ski (98mm under foot). This is an amazing all rounder, early rise tips make it almost impossible to bury and it is super stable and forgiving. Worth a demo.
post #14 of 14
I believe someone here is looking to get rid of ther like new Head Monster iM88....they are called Monster for a reason. Midfat race type ski...burly crud buster/carver.  As a former racer these were made for you. Though the 186cm might be too much for just about anyone.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › 6'1" 180lb Ex. Racer seeking recommendations for epic *All Mountain* ski that excels in big, steep, & fast carving/groomers