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Post-Demo Dilemma

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
{Note: questions at the end if you want to skip the background}

I just got back from four days of skiing at Snowmass.  Awesome place; great snow and skiing conditions.  We had a blast.  On our first day, last Friday, it snowed most of the day -- by the end of the day there wasn't a lot of "groomed" out there.  I did fine, but felt I was getting thrown around a bit -- particulalry on real bumps -- and having to work hard on my 163 Volkl AC-20s (me: 5'9", 150 lbs).  Yes, some of the "hard work" part can be explained by the fact that it was our first day and we'd just come from sea level.

After the lifts closed on Friday we went to a demo place where I had reserved skis for Saturday.  Although I had pre-reserved Head Peak 78s and had spoken to them beforehand about a few other skis in the 75-80 waist range, when I got there the dudes strongly advised that, given the conditions, I should go wider.  I started to demur diplomatically, but my son sided with them (and, also, what the heck do I know?) -- so I took their advice.  They put me on Head Peak 88s.  Also, they insisted that 164 length was what I needed -- I had been thinking I needed something in the 170 range.

I loved them!  I ended up skiing on them for our remaining three days.  My son took my Volkls (he has outgrown his Rossi youth 65 waist 155 length skis that we brought with us) and he didn't want to give them back.  The Peak 88s were great on ungroomed, partially groomed, and mixed choppy stuff -- they just cut through it all without bucking me off.  We also skied lots of moguls (e.g., Fast Draw, Wildcat, and Garrett Gulch -- the last of which I'd rate right up there with Nosedive at Stowe in difficulty).  I would have thought that I'd need a narrower ski, but the Peak 88s didn't care whether they went over or around the bumps.  We also skied lots of glades (Powerline, Sneaky's, and some unnamed areas).  By the second or third day, a lot of the glade skiing was a tricky (for me) combination of narrow, packed down runs with untouched snow on either side.  The 88s, no problem.  And by Sunday/Monday, there were actually some interesting groomers to try -- Campground -- and the 88s just whaled down the slopes holding a carve.

I know this is beginning to sound like a commercial, but by the end of our stay we were calling these "Magic Skis".  

So, here's my questions:

1.  Should I buy these?  Is this really an appropriate ski for me?  Or just a great Western ski?  Typically more than than half my skiing is East Coast slopes.

2.  Did I love these so much just because I didn't demo anything else?  You know, your first woman, first fat ski, etc.....)

3.  Was 164 the right length?  I mean, they felt fine, but should I have insisted on the next size up? 

4.  What do y'all think of buying an end-of-season demo rather than new?  The specific pair I used looked to be in pretty good shape (however, see above, what do I know?) -- and there's no guarantee that I'd get that specific pair.  

5.  How competitive is this place's prices?  They said they'd sell me demo Peak 88s  for $400 (inc. bindings) or new ones for $725 (inc. binding and demo credit). 

6.  In either case, the bindings they said they'd put on would be Marker 11s.  Are these any good?  My demo skis had the demo version of Marker 11s and they seemed fine.  My current skis have Markers (model?) and I have no complaints -- but, honestly, I know squat about bindings.

Thanks very much for any advice/insights.                   
post #2 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post



1.  Should I buy these? 

Thanks very much for any advice/insights.                   

Lemme get this straight. You rave about these skis like they are the best thing since sliced bread and then you ask if you should by them?

IMO I would go for the new ones. The demos could easily have over 50 days on them
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
SNPete --

LOL.  OK, I'm indecisive.  But see # 2 above re "first woman".    

I loved the Peak 88s, but my sample is limited.  Here is the totality of my experience on skis:
--  Head Peak 88:  three days
--  Volkl AC-30 (2010):  half day
--  Rossignal SC97:  two hours (courtesy of epic)
--  Volkl AC-20:  two seasons
--  Crappy rentals:  one season

So, I wonder: (a) what else is out there that I might like better, (b) whether I'd like them as well in the East, (c) whether I'd prefer the next size up.  OTOH, I realize that the flip side of the "first woman" syndrome is... the eternal bachelor.

   
post #4 of 28
Like you, I'm an Eastern skier and had a similar experience a few years ago with similar skis.

I went out West with the idea of demoing something around 80cm, the Dynastar Legend 8000 (80cm) in particular. The shop didn't have any when I got there and put me on the Mythic Rider (88cm) instead. I had them for 4 days and absolutely loved them, however my enthusiasm was tempered by the fact that though I could get them to carve quite well on hardpack and even make short radius turns, both were a lot of work. 
 

It might just be me, but I find carving short turns on hardpack can be an awfully big part of East Coast skiing. I've never skied the Peak 88 (or Monster 88), but from what I've read, it's a similar to the Mythic Rider, and this is not the kind of skiiing they're made for.

When I got back, I demoed several 75-80cm skis I ended up with the Head Monster 78 (same as the Peak 78) and it's become my everyday ski.

FYI, I did eventually buy those Mythic Riders (just couldn't resist at $285 with bindings, shipping included). It's been two years, and while they're all I've skied during two trips out West, they've barely been out of the closet here in the East (2 out of 30+ days).
post #5 of 28
 Id see no reason not to buy a Peak 88 as an everyday ski for back east. If the 164 felt better buy it but with this caution, a longer softer skis with roughly the same sidecut will ski 3dish snow better. 

I never got a chance to see you ski while here.

On bindings I would recomend for your purpose tyrolias 12s over marker11 for alot of reason but both should be fine for you.

for reference my everyday hardsnow skis at stowe are this.

Blizzard 8.7 mag
Scott P3

mid 80s is a sweet spot for skis that can still rip hardpack/ice while not letting you down off trail.
post #6 of 28
I think it depends if you want the ski for typical eastern conditions or for a repeat of what you had at Snowmass.

I demoed the Peak 78 at Park City tody.  90 percent of my demo time was on the groomed, with 10% off piste.  in that 10% i felt that ski come to life more than on the groomers. on my tiny hill in Michigan it would not be a good choice as we essentially have no off piste.

i guess i am say there are horse for courses, and the peak probably shines brighter off piste (imo)
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

SNPete --

LOL.  OK, I'm indecisive.  But see # 2 above re "first woman".    


So, I wonder: (a) what else is out there that I might like better, (b) whether I'd like them as well in the East, (c) whether I'd prefer the next size up.  OTOH, I realize that the flip side of the "first woman" syndrome is... the eternal bachelor.

   

 

Yea, I hear you, but funny about "that first one that you really like" thing.

Last two houses we bought were the first ones we saw and liked. Bought each after looking at 20 others.

Demoed skis last season. First one I demoed was the Nordica Afterburner in a 170 (Jet Fuel CA for 2010). Loved it. Skied five others and bought the Afterburner in a 162 (I weigh 165, 5-6" level 7). I am glad I went with the 162, The 170 was fast if you did bigger turns. A bit unweildy in tight places for me.

YMMV
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all who replied.

Bush -- on your comment below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

a longer softer skis with roughly the same sidecut will ski 3dish snow better. 

 

Are you suggesting I should go narrower but longer, like Head Peak 82 in 171?

Thanks.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

Thanks to all who replied.

Bush -- on your comment below:
 


no I am suggesting to get something softer and longer in 88mm range :) why would you go narrower?
post #10 of 28
 get the crappy demos......LOL
i think between 80-90 is great for east coast.... one word of advice, don't demo kastle mx88's. it will make your decision to buy
them too easy and your wallet a tad lighter.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

I know this is beginning to sound like a commercial, but by the end of our stay we were calling these "Magic Skis".  

1.  Should I buy these? 


From my experience, if you find "magic  skis" you should always buy them.
post #12 of 28
 I agree. You should just get the Peak 88. Get a better binding though. Mojo 15, Marker M12.0 or Griffon, something like that.
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys.  Epic, if both you and BWPA say they'll work in Stowe, that goes a long way for me.  My son is also voting for me to get them so that he can have my AC-20s.  I think I read in another thread that Head going to change them again for 2011, which may not be better for me -- so now's the time.  Since my first posting, I've seen them cheaper on-line than what the place at Snowmass was offering.  

Epic, thanks for the binding suggestions.  How do these compare to the one that Bush recommended: tyrolia 11?   

  

 
post #14 of 28
I think many of the 88mm skis would work well out east. I would also go longer.




Snowing again in Aspen, skiings great!
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Shred -- thanks, I'm envious that you're still out there! 

If I go longer, better on steeps -- but won't it be harder in glades and moguls?
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

Shred -- thanks, I'm envious that you're still out there! 

If I go longer, better on steeps -- but won't it be harder in glades and moguls?

in moguls going slower yes, in glades thats a tricky question to answer. 

Shorter is easy to turn and will fit into tighter places easier but in weirder and or powder snow or other 3d snow which happens more often than not in stowe's glades a longer ski would be prefered.
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

no I am suggesting to get something softer and longer in 88mm range :) why would you go narrower?

 

Maybe I should wait for the 2011 Peak 88s -- which are apparently softened -- and then try the next size up from 164 (169?).  But then I wouldn't get an end-of-season deal until this time next year...  
post #18 of 28
Jimski,

Life's too short too wait for next year's skis.

In this whole discussion, what's missing is how do you like to ski

I'm an eastern narrow waisted ski skier (my personal waist is not so narrow), who, for the first time fell in love with an 88 waist ski. I loved it out west in Jackson and I love it skiing with my cruising buds here in the east and it rocks in spring snow. However, at heart, I'm a shorter radius eastern hard pack skier, and, a 78 waist makes a lot of sense if you ski both coasts. That's why we have quivers.

If you really like to cruise, go for the shorter Peak 88 which will serve you well in the rockies and the east. If you like to carve more or do more eastern bumps, demo the Peak 78. Just keep skiing.
post #19 of 28
 demo the line prophet 90's... very reasonably priced. keep em sharp and they'll pay dividends.
buy the heads and add another 50 bucks on top for a retune.

kastle mx 88's.... expensive? yes, however, you'll never need another ski........
post #20 of 28
 If you can get a good deal on the current 2010 Peaks, I'd say go for it.  They are very good eastern skis.  And if you really want a dilemma, I agree that the Kastle MX88 is the best option in the 88mm range.  I sold my Head 88s after discovering the Kastles.  No comparison.
post #21 of 28
Not to derail this thread but how does the mx88 compare to the magnum 8.7?
post #22 of 28
 ive demoed both......

imo. the kastle is more playful, last week i used it in some pretty icy bumps and the kastle handled the ruts and tops without 
getting thrown around. the kastle is also very grippy.... what i mean is, they always seem to be engaged with the terrain, they're flexible enough to bend or adapt, yet stiff enough to make short or long arcs on last weeks super frozen/wind blown corduroy.I skied a beat up
tree run and the kastle didn't talk back. if i could change one item on the ski; id round the tails a touch for bump skiing. 

to me the blizzard is a like a limousine... very smooth in crud and ice. skis stiffer than the kastle. the blizz doesn't compare in the bumps. very stable at speed. for bumps and trees i'd need another ski.

the difference is that the mx88 could actually be a one-ski-quiver for vermont. it would make the daily ski condition decision, a thing of the past.
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all.  Reading some of the early reviews of the 2011 Peak 88 (with "Fluid Ride") in the Member Gear section doesn't (so far) make me think I ought to hold out another year.
post #24 of 28
Simple answer.

When people demo skis I tell them they will know when they find the right ski.  It will scream "buy me" every turn.

If you demoed a ski and love it then it is the ski for you

Also - you have not demoed th 2011 version - you do not know if you like it.  Similarly you have not tried the 171cm version and do not know if you like it.

A friend tried SS Magnum in a 163 on our hil and loved them the first year they were out.  He liked them so much I had to stand in the lift line and stop him in order to get them back.  He is a pretty big fellow so he ordered 177cm version immediately and when they arrived he hated them.

Mike
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

Thanks to all.  Reading some of the early reviews of the 2011 Peak 88 (with "Fluid Ride") in the Member Gear section doesn't (so far) make me think I ought to hold out another year.

Bye, bye magic skis..........

Yes, forget that you found skis that you loved. Maybe you can find something different.
post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SNPete View Post

Bye, bye magic skis..........

Yes, forget that you found skis that you loved. Maybe you can find something different.

Pete,  I said (in a poorly constructed sentence) that the reviews so far did not make me think I should wait for the 2011 model.
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
Mike -- yes, good points.  It's not like the market will stand still until I've exhausted every demo option.  In fact, I already kinda voted with my feet while at Snowmass -- I could have demo'ed different skis, but I was having to much fun to switch.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post




Pete,  I said (in a poorly constructed sentence) that the reviews so far did not make me think I should wait for the 2011 model.
 

My bad.

Go for it!
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