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Blowing the dust off the quiver ... need just one arrow

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Greetings all ... great forum, I've been browsing for months as I prepare to get back into skiing.

 

Grew up in the Midwest skiing Minnesota/Michigan, but have only skiied about 8 times in the last 20 years (Tahoe 3x, Chamonix 2x, Lake Louise 2x and Lutsen last year). I've decided to get more serious about skiing, invest in some good equipment, and make 4 trips this year for a total of 15-20 ski days.

 

I'm 42 yrs old, 6'2" 185-190 lbs, level 7, and looking for a one-ski quiver this year before I can demo plenty of skis and start expanding it late in the season based on where my ski interests go. I plan to do about 60% off-piste on my first two trips (Alta, Tahoe), mostly powder, followed up by a couple trips to Taos, NM. I'm a reasonably aggressive skiier who gets over his skis, keeps his feet back, and has pretty good technique. Never developed any reasonable ability on bumps, and that's not a priority at this time. 

 

My last two times out, I skiied 170 AC20s on groomed slopes at Lutsen and 170 Apache Explorers 50/50 groomed/powder at Lake Louise and loved them both ... obviously they were a little short for me, but I wanted to make sure I had a really good time during my brief excursions there.

 

Looking for recommendations from the regulars here on a good all-mountain ski to start my quiver that give me good upside for improvement while are still plenty of fun.  I'm intrigued by the new K2 line, particularly the 174 A.M.P. Aftershocks, but would love to hear thoughts from the experts.

 

Also, I'm completely lost on boots and the latest technology, so recommendations there would be very welcome as well.  Cost not an issue ... value, as always, is.

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 14

Last year I would have said you weren't old enough for a K2 but the new Aftershock is not your fathers K2. The Aftershock is one of the best frontside skis to come from K2 in a long time. If that is the ski that you have you heart set on, get it, you won't be disappointed. If you options are still open here are some other choices.

 

Blizzard 8.1/8.7

Volkl AC30/AC50

Kastle MX88

Salomon Enduro

Atomic Crimson Ti

 

Since boots are on your radar, I would suggest you make Tahoe your first trip, we have some great fitters. 

post #3 of 14

Last year I purchased the Volkl unlimited AC30 in 170cm length.  Wow what an all mountain does it all ski.  I ski mostly back east on steep ice mogul conditions.  This ski was awesome on ice conditions, which surprised the hell out of me since it was a wide ski. One day last year at Jackson Hole, after a night snowfall,  I skied both the Volkl AC30  80mm waist and 170 length versus an older pair of B3 Rossignol 95mm waist in 178cm length.  The B3 are much lighter because they have AT bindings.  To my surprise that Volkl AC30 in 170cm length outperformed the wider B3 skis in knee deep powder.  In waist deep powder I am thinking the B3 would win.  Unfortunately the week I was there at JH last year we did not get waist deep powder .  Its anybody's guess who would win that shoot out. 

 

For me the Volkl unlimited AC30s are  truly an awesome one quiver ski. 

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

 

Blizzard 8.1/8.7

Volkl AC30/AC50

Kastle MX88

Salomon Enduro

Atomic Crimson Ti

 

 

Great list, thanks.  From it, I'm most intrigued by the MX88s and the Blizzards, maybe the Crimsons too.  Not at all dead set on the Aftershocks.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

After some initial study and lots of reviews, I'm grouping the recommendations so far as follows:

 

DEFINITE INTEREST:

MX88 (the early front runner)

Blizzard 8.7

K2 Aftershock

Crimson Ti

 

MAYBES:

AC50

Enduro

 

NOT INTERESTED:

8.1

AC30

 

Also, talked to a vendor today and he recommended I look at Line Prophet 90s as well ... "More forgiving than the Kastle or Blizzards, you'll have more fun." 

 

Thoughts?

post #6 of 14

The Prophet 90 is a fine ski but not near the quality of the ones at the top of your list. The MX88 is the my favorite of any of those skis, and I have skied them all and own the Kastle. I like them in the order that you have them. 

post #7 of 14


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaneMeyerK12 View Post

I'm 42 yrs old, 6'2" 185-190 lbs, level 7, and looking for a one-ski quiver this year before I can demo plenty of skis and start expanding it late in the season based on where my ski interests go. I plan to do about 60% off-piste on my first two trips (Alta, Tahoe), mostly powder, followed up by a couple trips to Taos, NM. I'm a reasonably aggressive skiier who gets over his skis, keeps his feet back, and has pretty good technique. Never developed any reasonable ability on bumps, and that's not a priority at this time. 

 


Man, I want to recommend BROs so bad for you right now...  I'm 5'9" an 170 and I love my 183s, but the 179 is also a great ski.  They're a bit wider and behave fantastically in fresh snow but have the stiffness and sidecut to still absolutely rail on hardpack as well.  It sounds ridiculous but they are my go to ski when i know I'm going to be hauling ass on hard snow.  If I had to pick a ski to ride every day no matter what, I'd probably pick the new 179.  

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post


 


Man, I want to recommend BROs so bad for you right now...  I'm 5'9" an 170 and I love my 183s, but the 179 is also a great ski.  They're a bit wider and behave fantastically in fresh snow but have the stiffness and sidecut to still absolutely rail on hardpack as well.  It sounds ridiculous but they are my go to ski when i know I'm going to be hauling ass on hard snow.  If I had to pick a ski to ride every day no matter what, I'd probably pick the new 179.  


I appreciate the recommendation, I will definitely take a look at the BROs.
 

post #9 of 14

I ski in the BC Rockies - at a mountain renowned for powder days.  If you want a one quiver ski, from your list I choose the Volkl AC50 based on personal experience.  I have skied the AC4, AC40, and now the AC50 (70 days on it so far).  No one ski is going to be best at everything, but this ski is a great all-round performer.  At your size, don't go above a 177 cm.  You won't need any more length.

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaneMeyerK12 View Post

I've decided to get more serious about skiing, invest in some good equipment, and make 4 trips this year for a total of 15-20 ski days.

 

I'm 42 yrs old, 6'2" 185-190 lbs, level 7, and looking for a one-ski quiver this year before I can demo plenty of skis and start expanding it late in the season based on where my ski interests go. I plan to do about 60% off-piste on my first two trips (Alta, Tahoe), mostly powder, followed up by a couple trips to Taos, NM. I'm a reasonably aggressive skiier who gets over his skis, keeps his feet back, and has pretty good technique. Never developed any reasonable ability on bumps, and that's not a priority at this time. 


Given where you will be and how you want to ski (mostly off piste, agressive, at Alta 'n tahoe, no bumps) have you thought about something more on the soft snow side of all mountain? e.g. Sultan 94s.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post




Given where you will be and how you want to ski (mostly off piste, agressive, at Alta 'n tahoe, no bumps) have you thought about something more on the soft snow side of all mountain? e.g. Sultan 94s.


Initially, yes.  But then I figured since half of my trip at Alta and both later trips to NM will be spent mainly on groomers with my daughters (one intermediate, one beginner), I should shoot for a more balanced ski or even err in the other direction.

 

The travel/baggage issue plus the variable types of skiing and conditions I'll face dictate just one pair of skis, ideally great on-piste skis that can do an adequate enough job off-piste so a jaunt through a foot or two of powder isn't a disappointing or overly laborious experience.

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Volkl Kendo, Kastle FX94 and a couple skis from 4FRNT (VCT, MSP) have been recommended to me as well.  The BRO 174s look interesting too.

 

Thoughts?


Edited by LaneMeyerK12 - 8/21/10 at 9:42am
post #13 of 14

OP:  Should you have an interest in the AC 50's(with iPT Wide Ride bindings) I have a like-new pair for sale....with only 10 days on them.  Haven't listen them in the FS section yet but will soon.  PM me if interested

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

I am about done with the decision process and have narrowed it down to two Kastle skis - the MX88 and the FX94.

 

And ultimately, that decision comes down to whether I'll be doing more on-piste (favoring the MX88) or more back-country (FX94) ... 

 

I *think* I'm leaning 55%-45% toward the MX88 just because I have a hunch I'll be spending more time on groomers as my daughter learns to ski this year - I want a great all-around ski that can handle any conditions, but whose core competency is relatively effortless precision carving at moderate to high speeds on groomers, and the endorsements of the MX88 for doing exactly that are overwhelmingly positive and numerous. 

 

But if anyone can convince me that the FX94s are a better choice because versatility won't be quite as important in a couple years, my mind is still open ...

 

The Blizzard 8.7, Volkl Kendo and K2 Aftershock finished pretty much tied for second place to the Kastles in a very close race.

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