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On-Piste performance Ski

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

 

This is my first post here at Epic Ski, and I want to thank everyone before I begin, because there is a wealth of knowledge here that I could only dream of obtaining at my local ski shop.

 

With that said, I am looking for what I am calling "On-Piste Performance" ski.  Something like a race ski for enthusiasts.  I am trying to move away from the big companies like Volkl, Elan, Fisher, Salomon, etc, and into some of the "less well known" players.  I read the entire post by shadowfax in regard to hart skis.  During that post there was some talk of Kastle skis. (First by Ghost, Philpug, and epic, maybe a few others)  Specifically the MX 78 caught my eye.  

 

A little about me, I am 5'8 200 lbs, advanced to expert skier.  I ski in the east and the midwest.  Would love to take a trip west every couple of years, but nothing that should influence my decision, at least in my opinion.  

 

Onto my question, is there anything I should know about Kastle skis?  I was also looking at Stockli and Palmer, should I consider any others?  I know the best thing would be to demo these, however, I am having trouble finding demo days near me.  Finally, not to overwhelm the discussion, because I have asked a lot already, but has anyone skied on Viice skis?

 

Thank you in advance for any help, guidance, or opinions you can provide.

post #2 of 17

 

Quote:
 I am trying to move away from the big companies like Volkl, Elan, Fisher, Salomon, etc, and into some of the "less well known" players.

 

I am wondering why?

 

Last season I skied many days on a pair of Rossi 80ti's.  Thought they were a great carver both on & off piste.

 

Thanks,

JF

post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

 

 

I am wondering why?

 

Last season I skied many days on a pair of Rossi 80ti's.  Thought they were a great carver both on & off piste.

 

Thanks,

JF


I would wonder; Why the hell not? I think that brand loyalty is kind of over the top in the ski industry. Especially when it comes to big brands. There are some people out ther making some great ski's that may offer the end user an experience that their go to brand might not be able to.
 

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

I am just looking for something different.  I am convinced there are better skis out there than what is being offered by the big manufacturers.  Especially with all the consolidation, most of the designs are very similar.  Also, to my knowledge, most of the big manufacturers are moving towards the rocker designs, something that for an on-piste enthusiast ski, I would like to stay away from.  I have a pair of powder skis if on that rare occasion the east allows for some west coast skiing. 

post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmagnuson View Post

Hello all,

 

This is my first post here at Epic Ski, and I want to thank everyone before I begin, because there is a wealth of knowledge here that I could only dream of obtaining at my local ski shop.

 

With that said, I am looking for what I am calling "On-Piste Performance" ski.  Something like a race ski for enthusiasts.  I am trying to move away from the big companies like Volkl, Elan, Fisher, Salomon, etc, and into some of the "less well known" players.  I read the entire post by shadowfax in regard to hart skis.  During that post there was some talk of Kastle skis. (First by Ghost, Philpug, and epic, maybe a few others)  Specifically the MX 78 caught my eye.  

 

A little about me, I am 5'8 200 lbs, advanced to expert skier.  I ski in the east and the midwest.  Would love to take a trip west every couple of years, but nothing that should influence my decision, at least in my opinion.  

 

Onto my question, is there anything I should know about Kastle skis?  I was also looking at Stockli and Palmer, should I consider any others?  I know the best thing would be to demo these, however, I am having trouble finding demo days near me.  Finally, not to overwhelm the discussion, because I have asked a lot already, but has anyone skied on Viice skis?

 

Thank you in advance for any help, guidance, or opinions you can provide.


1. Welcome to Epic. Wipe your shoes and keep your feet off the furniture.

 

2. Viice ski? I will say, I never heard of them, in fact at first I thought you mistyped Vist but then googled Viice and sure enough, they are based in SLC. 

 

3. Yeah, Kastle has been the golden child of a few us us for the past season. Why? because they are that good. I go back to cars as analogies a lot. Kastle to me is like Porsche, sure there are cars that are as fast as them but few have the feel and refinement. Their old tag line was accurate "Porsche, there is no substitute" kinda the same with Kastle. They are just  built to a higher standard. If you look at the MX78, try it with the KTi plate, IMHO, it is the way to go on that ski. Let me know where you are, I will try to find out about a demo. Stockli's are nice, the Blossom skis (Hart, Vist and Spoilt) are also very nice. I haven't skied the Palmers but I have heard both great and bad things, so I will reserve judgement. But (like Kastle) they come out of the Head factory, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt. 

 

post #6 of 17

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecimmortal View Post


I would wonder; Why the hell not? I think that brand loyalty is kind of over the top in the ski industry. Especially when it comes to big brands. There are some people out ther making some great ski's that may offer the end user an experience that their go to brand might not be able to.
 

 

Woah!  No brand loyalty here, the 4 skis I am on currently are all from different companies.  I am just wondering why you would limit yourself to "lesser known brands" especially when looking for a race type ski.

 

That's all,

JF
 

post #7 of 17

The Stockli skis that have evolved from the Stormrider model series (new model names I don't know) have a great feel, trusty edge hold, popping rebound, and bomber construction and durability. Probably similar to Kaestle or Kneissel. Extremely popular in Tahoe (not so much how many skiers are on them, as how much those skiers appreciate them and the caliber of skier that rides them)

post #8 of 17

I do want to get on some of the Kneissls, I have been hearing good things about them for sure. I am not on the payroll for any manufacturer...but my loyalty is to a good skiing ski. The MX88 is probably the finest ski I have skied to date, but honestly I am up in the air for my big ski, I was leaning to the MX108 but the 177 is too short and the 187 is more than I want for this type of ski, so I am now open to other options. I don't have a blind faith to any make. I do think the boutiques from europe that make much better hard snow skis than the independents from the U.S. 

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Let me know where you are, I will try to find out about a demo. 

 


I live in Connecticut.  I usually try to get to Vermont (Killington, MRG, Stowe, and the like).  I called the names on the dealer list near me, and the 3 I tried are closed for the season or on Mondays.    

post #10 of 17

I wouldn't discount the D2 Race GS just because it was made by Atomic.

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmagnuson View Post


 


I live in Connecticut.  I usually try to get to Vermont (Killington, MRG, Stowe, and the like).  I called the names on the dealer list near me, and the 3 I tried are closed for the season or on Mondays.    


At Stowe, The Skier Shop, ask for Mike Thomas

At Okemo, The Boot Pro, Shon

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmagnuson View Post


 


I live in Connecticut.  I usually try to get to Vermont (Killington, MRG, Stowe, and the like).  I called the names on the dealer list near me, and the 3 I tried are closed for the season or on Mondays.    


I'm sure we can find you a demo in Stowe. I'm really happy with my MX78s. I have the RX too which is even more of an on-piste ski, but like the MX78 it can do more. The 78 is a hero ski though, and I will agree with Phil about the KTi plate too. I have skied it with and without. I think most people will like it better with.

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmagnuson View Post

I am just looking for something different.  I am convinced there are better (1) skis out there than what is being offered by the big manufacturers.  Especially with all the consolidation, most of the designs are very similar (2).  Also, to my knowledge, most of the big manufacturers (3) are moving towards the rocker designs, something that for an on-piste enthusiast ski, I would like to stay away from (4). I have a pair of powder skis if on that rare occasion the east allows for some west coast skiing. 

 

Having skied most of the skis you are considering and many that you are not, here are some general impressions.

 

(1) Incorrect. The very best on piste skis that I skied last year were made by Blizzard, Nordica, and Kastle. All three are major companies although Kastle is a small major.

 

(2) Provisionally correct because there are certain ingredients that work in that application and changing the recipe very much is counterproductive.

 

(3) Vastly incorrect. The only manufacturer that is going that way is K2 and they are generally not thought of as being at the top of this category.

 

(4) Correct.

 

 

SJ

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

SierraJim,

 

Thank you for setting the record straight.  In your opinion is there any other skis I should be looking at?  I have heard good things about both Nordica and Blizzard.  Specifically, the Nordica Fire Arrow line.  Also, I know a lot more shops are picking up the Blizzards as they have had good experiences with demos, however as with most of the skis I am looking at, I know very little about them.  

 

Phil,

 

Thank you for the names.  I will call and talk with them.  

 

Ghost,

 

Thank you for the suggestion.  I have not skied on an atomic before.  

post #15 of 17

I'm basing my recommendations on my testing results of 2011 skis which started @ Winter Park in early Feb 2010. At that industry event, we were testing on a frontside trail that had hosted an FIS GS race sometime prior to the demo. The trail was firm and for the first day, I concentrated on top of the line groomer zoomer type skis. I only buy a few of those for our ski wall and I wanted to check out the best of the best. Actually, I even skied a couple of race skis that day b/c my testing partner wanted to test a few and we were trading off skis to save trips back to the corral.

 

The clear standouts for both of us were the Nordica Spitfire EDT and the Blizzard 7.2 G-Power. Those skis had ice-pick grip yet had an uncanny feeling of being stuck to the snow. For all that, both were more comfortable and balanced than the race skis. The next best was the Kastle. It was a little more comfortable yet, but lacked just a touch of the power and grip of the other two. For some, this might be even a better choice.

 

As for others.....why bother? If you are looking at the near race like like exhilaration of the best in class then those two (or three) were a notch above the rest. OTH, if you are not looking for that and want more of a cruiser type ski then skis like the Fire Arrow or K2 Rictor are possibilities.

 

SJ

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 If you look at the MX78, try it with the KTi plate, IMHO, it is the way to go on that ski. Let me know where you are, I will try to find out about a demo. Stockli's are nice...

 

^^^^ Truth. MX78 or Stockli XXL. I'd only add that if you don't want to spend north of $1.2K, Blizzards are very nice also IMO, for the east the new G-Force (72 mm) looks like it's pretty close to the mythical recreational race-carver. (Although I suspect no better than the Dynastar 4x4, and those aren't exactly common on the slopes back here even if the company is well known.) If you want a bit more float and liveliness, the Blizzard 8.1 Magnum gets a lot of positives.  
 

post #17 of 17

It was subtly mentioned a couple times already, but give a hard look to Kneissl.  (www.kneisslnorthamerica.com)  They specialize in what you're looking for.  (Austrians are good at carving).  I just bought myself a pair of Kneissl Fly Stars, which is their all mountain/park ski.  Haven't skied it yet, but already impressed looking at it on the wall.  I was just like you and wanted to try something different.  I own 2 pairs of Harts (Barhopper and Javelin GS).  I owned a set of Kneissl Supafly's in 2002 before they left North America and loved them, so I had to get on a pair when they came back.  I've been looking at Kastle as well, but they are so darned expensive!

 

Out of the Kneissl Camp, look at the White Star XC or the Black Star XC or MC if you want a little more width underfoot, like an MX78.

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