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What Is Your Choice For A One-Ski Quiver

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I believe that this topic is covered indirectly in bits and pieces in any number of other threads (I thought of it again when I saw Philplug mention recently that the Kastle MX88 was his “daily ski for the east”), but I don’t know that I’ve seen it addressed head-on.
Back in “the day,” the choices in ski “types” were relatively limited—GS, SL, and a few specialty-type skis. Obviously things have changed a bit since then given the variety of ski types that are currently available. However, while I (and many other Bears, I’m sure) will be forever jealous of the posters who have moderate to Imelda Marcos-sized quivers to choose from depending on where they are and the snow type, conditions and target terrain, absent a favorable lottery outcome or the death of a long lost relative who turns out to have been rich, I will continue to plug along (as I have since I started skiing as a teenager) with a single set of skis on the 10-20 days a year that I can get out onto the slopes (for me, mostly Mammoth and some Colorado).

So my question to all: if you had unlimited access to the slopes, but you had to live with a single set of skis to use for all circumstances and conditions, what would that ski be (and why)?  This question isn’t the relatively standard “what ski do you think would be good for me” question; rather, I’m trying to find out what the other Bears out there would pick for themselves if they actually had to live with a single pair of skis.  Please include minimal information about yourself (size, weight, level, target ski region, terrain preferences) so that readers can get a sense of whether your ski choice would be applicable to their particular profile.
I’m looking forward to some interesting (and maybe even controversial?) responses.

Have at it...
post #2 of 22
Simply, and not answering your question as you want it... I would not be satisfied with a single pair of skis.  Two pairs at the least.

Having learned to ski in SoCal and knowing that strange mix of Eastern-ish hardpack/ice (from man-made formulated to last) but with a propensity to turn slushy in the afternoon, I think this would go doubly for you if you do the SoCal/Mammoth/Colorado thing.

(Since this question is all about you, it is irrelevant that I now ski in Tahoe, the majority of my quiver is 90mm+, and my current terrain preferences has little to do with how I skied in SoCal.  It only matters that I know SoCal and Mammoth.  When I was in SoCal, it was all about the groomers, as so much of the season is dependent upon man-made.)

I'd want a pair of slalom carvers for SoCal (the runs are short and crowded), and a pair of midfats (perhaps some K2 Extremes? Line P90s? Dynastar Sixth Sense Big?) for anything soft, including afternoon slush.  The twins would also fit in more in the metastacizing terrain parks that threaten to swallow the entire resort there.  The K2 PE/Extremes I had worked very well there.  The midfats would get more usage at Mammoth.  I'd really like a pair of all-arounder flat-camber powder-capable skis (old non-rockered Gotamas?) as well, but they wouldn't get much usage, and would veer even further from your stated goal.

edit: Just noticed the "mostly Mammoth"?  Really?  "Unlimited" access?  And no Big Bear/Baldy/High (ugh) involved?  *headscratch* Then you might be okay with just the pair of forementioned midfats as your OSQ.
Edited by DtEW - 3/18/10 at 11:45am
post #3 of 22
I try to ski at least a week a year, mostly in Salt Lake City (wander the resorts - usually in Feb.). I have been happy for years with my 188 K2 ModX's, but I just bought end of season Line Prophet 100s (186) based on lots of discussions here. I'm going to try them around April 12th at Snowbird and hope to know pretty quick if it was the right "one ski quiver" for me. With the rising costs of hauling bags on the airlines (except Southwest), having a one ski quiver is becoming less option and more necessity...at least for the non-locals like me.

ME: 57, 5'11", 160lb, maybe between level 7 and 9 somewhere...


EDIT: Answering more of the question: I ski whole mountain, and am moving more to trees/pow when available. Less so chutes and moguls. No park. Not too into long hikes. Prophet 100s because Alta folks recommended Prophet 90 or Sal Shoguns for good rebound energy, but I didn't get a chance to try either. 100's sound better for the higher percentage of off-piste I plan for. But the reports are still positive for groomed. What I don't know yet is how much rebound energy to expect out of the 100s. Report in a few weeks.
post #4 of 22
194 Legend Pro XXL w/Dukes because I can ski it anywhere, do short hikes if I have too and charge if I want too.   

51, 5'7" 185lbs, expert, anywhere soft and steep
post #5 of 22
having a an ample amount (and surprisingly not near as broad/deep as some of the other retro kooks on epic...) of old, long straights, and now 7-10 yr old 'shapes', and having tried about 6 newer 08-09 model skis (up to mid-80s width). I would be quite satisfied to have only my '09 Fischer Cold Heats (176 cm) as my only boards.
That being for SoCal and Mammoth skiing, which is exclusively what I have available this year. Maybe next year I can again move around more of US and CAN Snow Country, like in the olde daze...

moi: 60ish, 5' 10 3/4" (every lil bit counts these daze...) 165 lbs, somewhere between level 1 and 9, dependin on the alignment of the planets...

That said, I am still luvin the Old 205 Straights on the SoCal Hills, and find them to be the 'go-to' skis when not at Mammoth.

but one ski? Fischer Cold Heat, a 205 in a 176 package, floats in pow, motors on everything else, awesome!
post #6 of 22
Being a Tahoe guy with about 100 days @ Mammoth over the years, I would pick one from the following thread..................................


post #7 of 22
I'd prolly go with what I've got now - Dynastar Contact Ltd 178, maybe a Contact 4x4 in a 172 - or something comparable from another manufacturer , ie expert-level front-sider carver, narrow underfood, short to medium sidecut radius.  I prefer on-piste, regardless of where I ski - Midwest, Colorado, Canadian Rockies -  don't get into the bumps all that often any more, though I ski them just fine. On those days when you get the chance to play in fresh deep powder in the bowls, I never needed a set of waterskis 30 years ago, and I don't need em now either. A modern "carver" with its big shovel is a lot easier to run in deep power than a narrow slalom or gs ski was back then, or and it's a whole lot more appropriate tool in the conditions I encounter most of the rest of time,which is far more likely to be boilerplate ice than snorkel skiing.    
post #8 of 22
Prophet 100 would be my first choice with the Mantra or 999 being my second/third depending on price and version (topsheet and how purty it is....so I'm shallow....sue me)
post #9 of 22
 If I picked my ONE ski at the moment, I'd pick my Kästle FX 84's

The snow drought this winter in most places that I've traveled, (with two 1' powder days) has shown me that this ski can be rewarding for someone with my size and skills in most any conditions.

If I were to live somewhere that I experienced deeper powder days on a regular basis I may want the 2010-2011 Kästle FX94 Chris Davenport Pro, or even the MX98.
I thought about the Line Pandora, but I'm thinking it may not be friendly at 115 under foot for a daily driver,  Maybe the LIne Celebrity?
post #10 of 22
Lhasa Pow either 186 or 191. Never have I had more fun than on this skis in any soft snow conditions. When it's really hard I prefer not to ski. I just don't like skiing ice (not that I can't) and I should have days off anyways. -)) 
post #11 of 22
Me: 42 years, 5'10" 165lbs, out west target, ski any day all terrain but always hoping for a "deep day"

Love my Mantras and you should definately ski them if your looking in this range, mine 177.

I saw the new S3 last March when we were in PC.  My son and I were hanging out in a shop checking it all out when a dude came out from the back with the new S3 and said "you guys gotta check this out".  I was very intrigued and it seemed to make a lot of sense, especially if you have a "deeper" snow vibe to your preference.  It definately has a little bit of everything built into it and I hoped it could all come together, according to SJ it sounds like it might/does.  I'm still trying to ski the 185cm, it looks as though it would ski quite short.  It looks like a skinnied up stiffer S7.  I was surprised that the intended use was park/pipe as it didn't hit me that way.  The Armada Alpha1 was the comparable ski and maybe the main competition in what was a new direction for park/pipe geometry?  For what its worth I thought it looked cool for a non traditional camber ski (even though it has it). 
post #12 of 22
Being in Australia we get mostly hard packed groomers and moguls unless we hike out from the resorts, but then I tend to do most of my skiing overseas in our off season now.
For me a ski has to have exceptional edge hold on firm snow because I like to ski fast but in control, I still like skiing bumps so too wide under foot makes that more of a challenge, I learnt to ski very deep powder in Canada on straight skis, so I don't feel the need to have wide skis when in deep powder overseas, after testing a lot of skis including the new ones for 2011 at Winter park, I would choose between the new Blizzard G force pro as it is capable of good control at exceptional speeds, yet not stiff enough to throw you around in the big moguls, at 71mm under foot it is good enough for me and wider than what I am used too in deep powder.
If I were to ski mainly overseas, I would probably go for the new K2 Rictor at 80mm under foot rather than the K2 Aftershock at 86mm under foot simply because 86mm under foot makes the big moguls that little bit harder for me, the Rictor has a 2/15 early rise tip, and a conventional tail with no rocker, much to my surprise the do have good edge hold on firm snow, and although I didn't get to test them in powder, I do feel the early rise tip would help.
post #13 of 22
 I'm 56 years old, 6' 1", 220 lbs.  Mt. Baker is my home area so I tend to ski a lot of heavy crud, but also dabble in ice, packed, soft snow of all types, even a powder day here and there.  I ski anything inbounds and mostly off the groomed.  I've been skiing for 46 years.

My choice is my Elan 888's.  They give enough float to handle a powder day, stay strong and steady in heavy glop, and will willingly go at speeds that I will not willingly go.  I have no idea of their speed limit, but they'll ski slowly too.  They work well in tight trees, in icy conditions, and just about anything else you throw at them.
post #14 of 22
Volkl mantra - ver-sa-tile.  The 184 should be long enough for pow and short enough for trees and bumps. I also hear the fisher watea is similar but lighter and livelier sacrificing some edge hold.
post #15 of 22

The "one ski quiver" is the holy grail of most skiers (and ski retailers for that matter).  I have been searching for quite some time now, and have pretty much convinced myself that there isn't one ski that does everything well.  Sierra Jim has it right when he tells someone to define priorities and and consider trade-offs of different designs.  I have skiied a ton of different skis in the "everyday driver" category trying to find something with the balance of skills that I am looking for, I like a lot of those skis, but all have definite strengths and weaknesses, and it all boils down to an individual's priorities. 

Here is a list of skis that I have skiied a lot and put into the "one ski quiver" category:
( Me:  middle aged, 6'1" - 230#, been skiing for over 35+ years, probably level 8+/-, ski mostly in the northern Rockies and Utah.)

Fischer Watea 84 - 184cm - Very versatile, does well both on and off piste, good in bumps, good edge hold on everything short of ice or very hard snow.  Not great float in pow or heavy crud, gets a little nervous and chattery on hard snow.

Fischer Watea 94 - 178cm -Vvery similar to 84, but more stable at speed, not super in bumps, but ok, still not great on ice or hard snow.  Crud stability and powder performance isn't as good as I would like - maybe would be better in a 186cm. 

Head Peak 78 - 177cm - A lot has been said about this ski, fairly quick and easy to ski, to me it doesn't feel as beefy as many have described, it holds and edge decently, but not great on hard snow, crud and pow performance just average.  Not spectacular at anything, but passable in most conditions.

Fischer Cold Heat - 176cm - Very strong carver, with a lot of power in and out of the turn, but not as damp as I would like, and I find it a bit twitchy and overreactive at times.  Great on piste, average off piste, doesn't float well, just blasts through things.  A little stiff torsionally for bumps.

Volkl AC50 - 177cm -  Very similar to Fischer Cold Heat, but more damp and smooth.  Really good on-piste, but "digs in" too much to be fun off piste, doesn't float at all even with its width.  
Rossignol Phantom SC87 - 178cm - Very damp, smooth ski, very stable at speed.  But, carving ability is just average, requires a lot of skier imput and a bit of steering.  Not terribly quick from edge to edge.  Crud performance is good, but more of a blaster than floater, it also dives in pow.  Best for off-piste, ok on soft groomers, not so much on hard snow or ice.

Stockli Stormrider XXL - 178cm - Very smooth, damp ski, that is good off-piste, just an average carver and just average on groomed or hard snow.  Kind of lifeless compared to most typical Stockli's. 

The thing that I have found is that these skis all lack the carving performance, precision and quickness of a narrower waisted ski on groomed runs.  I much prefer a carving ski like a Fischer Progressor 9 or Stockli Laser Cross Pro for hard and groomed conditions.  When there is 6" or more of new snow or crud, I prefer a 100mm waisted ski, like the Fischer Watea 101, Volkl Gotama, or Line Prophet 100, they handle the loose conditions so well.  These middle of road, one ski quiver, skis do a lot of things well, but nothing great, and I find myself always wanting more from them on any given day.  So in my opinion, a perfect one ski quiver doesnt' exist.

post #16 of 22
 coolhand, except for the Watea 84, I think many of those skis were too short for you.  Generally, at 6'1" and 230 lbs, you can automatically go for the longest ski in a model range, but some of those on the list are the next size down.  I guess I'd be curious to hear your impressions if you were to revisit some of the skis in a longer length.  It has such a big impact on how well the ski performs, especially in regards to powder/crud capability and stability at high speed on hard snow.  I am 6'1" 200 lbs, and don't ski shorter than about 185cm anymore, with a few rare exceptions.  Just not enough ski for me.
post #17 of 22
Originally Posted by coolhand View Post

The "one ski quiver" is the holy grail of most skiers ...  and it all boils down to an individual's priorities. 

...  These middle of road, one ski quiver, skis do a lot of things well, but nothing great, and I find myself always wanting more from them on any given day.  So in my opinion, a perfect one ski quiver doesnt' exist.

Great comments. Thanks
Based on these, I can somewhat imagine how I;d react to skis you've noted but I've not tried yet...
One ski quiver - truly, as you said, is all about the 'individual's priorities'. The obvious is that you can only ski one pr at a time, and you can't usually swap skis at the start of every different run.
For some having a locker at the base lodge with 3 skis in it, makes choosing easier. But you still have to choose.
Often, for many of us, there are restrictions - a) you can only bring one ski to the mtn b) you don;t want to waste time going back down to swap a ski out. c) conditions call for a soft snow ski in one area of the mtn and need a fully different kinda ski in another area d) can't or don't want to spend money on more than one pr.,   .... ++++
now I know some of this refers mostly to the Larger Western mtns - but parameters make you decide what you want most when you decide what you're gonna choose.

given things like 'edge' and 'float' are purely subjective, and everyone has a different base for these; your choice of the tool has become a very personal and diverse thing. The diversity from which we can choose, as compared to 20+ years ago, is truly a wonderful thing.

compromise is the name of the game. the key is finding the 'stoke', even when you know that there's a better ski for what you're moving thru that very moment. If I get thru the day, hardly ever thinking about equipment, that's the perfect day. And if I'm feeling overly challenged, then it's MY shortcoming, not usually the equipment's.
I loathe having to stop for equipment issues. When I stop, its for a real 'rest' for the legs, because when I go again, I want to GO!
You gotta be happy with the choice and not sweat it. It really is about the 'being in' the reality of the moment.

post #18 of 22
Locals probably would be less concerned about having the ideal "one ski quiver" than travelers. And locals that have lockers at their favorite place probably have no concerns at all.

So, as a traveler, I can say from experience that the ski I'm skiing has been my best one ski quiver. Maybe that's just luck, but I think it is more that I adapt to the ski I have, so long as it doesn't suck. As I've progressed, I've taken my current ski (K2 ModX 188) from groomers to waste deep powder trees, and it has been a blast. Before that, I took my Elan MBX 18s (198) on groomed, crud and light pow, and it was a blast, etc.

My problem as a traveler that is limited to a 1 ski quiver is picking a new ski after putting it off as long as I can. So advice on that topic is what I came to this board to get...and I did...Thanks...

Per Moreoutdoor, the more interesting question may be "What is your choice to ski on today?", since even one ski quivers can temporarily be expanded using demos. But that is a really tough (impossible?) question, probably most easily answered by each and every one saying  what they skied today, what the conditions were, and how they liked it. That'll fill up any thread...

post #19 of 22
Only one ski for everything, for ever and ever? 
I'm not sure, but it would have to be a super  g.
post #20 of 22
I'm throwing my two cents in here for the Dynastar BT. I ski mostly East Coast at Jay, Wachusett, and wherever the snow is good with 7-9 days at any given place out west per season. This ski is soooo solid and durable its crazy. I have driven it incredibly hard on bumps, 20'+ cliffs, steeps, and in the park. I have found that the stiff tip powers through crud very well, the soft tail allows for a very nimble feel in the trees and park, and the waist width is adequate enough for ripping powder. It's obviously not going to float as well as its follower (the slicer), but if you're a good enough skier this ski will reward you anywhere you take it. It's also very good for riding switch. 

p.s. I inquired about what kind of all mountain ski to buy about a year and a half ago and SierraJim raved about these...he knows what he's talking about!
post #21 of 22
I am thinking something between 98-110 under foot. Pretty stiff underfoot, progressively softer at tip, but still pretty stiff in the tail. Maybe 135 tip and a 125 tail. Some early rise may be desired depending on how often your in fresh snow. If not much, just get a ski with normal camber IMO. Lots of great skis fit this general description, so pick one and have a great time on it. I like Dynastars and Bros would be sweet too, if I wasn't so cheap. It is about the time of year you could score a pair of Movement Sluffs too for a great price.
post #22 of 22
I guess the Mantra is a little slim for your spec but would meet it well.  Funny thing is, I spend 70% of my time on 78 width Head Chips, including runs in Heather Canyon with fresh.  So, I don't get the fascination with the 100 width, but to each their own.

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