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Skis for a 55 year old expert

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Hi

My dad is turning 55 this year, and last ski season was his 50th.  For this momentous occasion, we want to buy him some new skis to replace his 160 cm Scream 8 pilots that let him down a bit last time we went out west.

 

First, some specifics about my dad:

6', 150 lbs., insanely good shape, high expert, still ripping the zipperline in the bumps.

 

His favorite skis ever were his Kneissl white star slalom racing skis (from when he was 15) that his brother stole and ruined on a rock day.  He also loved his Kastles and Heads from years ago.

I'm looking for something (for him) a bit better on variable terrain, the "eastern daily driver", ~80 mm at the waist.  He likes a ski that's around 170cm.

 

He'd also like something with an integrated binding option.

 

I was thinking maybe an Atomic Blackeye, Blizzard magnum 8.1, Volkl AC30/50, Kastle MX 78 or LX 82.  Only issue is the cost, as we don't have a huge ski budget.

 

He doesn't like the dead Rossi feel.  He demoed one of the Rossi all mountain skis with an 80 something waist in varied conditions a few years ago, and hated it.

 

Demoing really isn't an option, unfortunately, until late season.  There won't be any Blizzards or Kastles there regardless.

 

Any opinions on skis for this type of skier would be great.

 

Thanks!


Edited by Rauch - 10/30/10 at 6:06am
post #2 of 30

As a skier with similar stats to your father, as well as, one that has owned many skis;

I would recommend you  look at the Fischer Watea 84(or 78).You can buy these with or without integrated bindings; I prefer "flat" to lighten the overall weight and allow me to chose the brand/style of binding I prefer. I own the Watea 84 in a 176cm and really like this length. I've never tried the 170s.

 

Nordica HR Pro Burner(84mm waist) or the Nordica HR Pro Fuel(78mm waist). These two come without bindings but Nordica makes the Top Fuel(78) and the Jet Fuel(84) that come with integrated bindings. Again, I prefer the non-integrated for the above reasons. I own the Burners in a 170cm length and find this to be a very good length.

 

Others I would recommend would be Dynastar Legend 8000s(80mm), 8800s or Mythic Riders(88mm,)or Sultan 80s or 85s. also K2 Recons(78) or Xplorers(84.) All are available either integrated or not.

All of these will be a step(or several steps) up in performance from his Scream 8s.

 

You can find some good deals on any of these skis from last year or before. I can suggest some sights if you are interested.

We have several very good dealers on Epic that can be very helpful;    ie,  Sierra Jim or Dawgcatching

 

I have owned the Volkl AC30/AC50s you mentioned and found them too stiff for my 155#s. I liked the MX 78 but don't feel they are worth the extra money. I have not skied the others you listed.

 

post #3 of 30

I give a very strong thumbs up for a 172cm Blizzard Magnum 8.1 IQ MAX

 

 

172 17.0 m 123-81-108 
post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 

would the 165 blizzard work?  He likes the shorter skis, plus I've found a great deal on them.

post #5 of 30

Easterndaily driver - Atomic D2 VF82, 166 cm.

Like hot knife thru butter.   

post #6 of 30

I am also somewhat in your fathers experience and age range, but I weigh 195 so my choice may differ for a lighter weight skier. 

 

However, unless your father has totally embraced the new style skiing and is constantly carving and on edge, he will not like skis like the Blizzard 8.1 Magnum as they have a fairly wide and square tail designed for carving.  I know I didn't, but others love it.  I bet he still likes to skid his tails a bit especially in the bumps and those type of skis are just not happy doing that.  Look for a ski with a tapered and turned up tail in the 104- 106 range and I think he will be happy.  My ski of choice is the 2010 Volkl AC30.  The previous poster said he thought they were too stiff, but if he had the previous generation they were stiffer.  I might reccomend the 163 length due to his weight.  I am on the 170 and love them.  The current AC50 would probably be too stiff no matter what the length.

 

Another ski that worked well for me in the bumps was the Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous but they were discontinued last year.  Definitely softer than the AC30 in the Carbon model and the TI version I never tried but was suppose to be stiffer.  I think it was replaced by the Tempest.

 

I found the AC30 to be a much livier ski full of energy but easily controllable.

 

This is a great thing you are doing for your Dad,  I am still waiting for my daughter to do the same.  LOL

 

Good luck,

 

Rick G

post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg View Post

However, unless your father has totally embraced the new style skiing and is constantly carving and on edge, he will not like skis like the Blizzard 8.1 Magnum as they have a fairly wide and square tail designed for carving.  I know I didn't, but others love it.  I bet he still likes to skid his tails a bit especially in the bumps and those type of skis are just not happy doing that.  Look for a ski with a tapered and turned up tail in the 104- 106 range and I think he will be happy.  My ski of choice is the 2010 Volkl AC30.  The previous poster said he thought they were too stiff, but if he had the previous generation they were stiffer.  I might reccomend the 163 length due to his weight.  I am on the 170 and love them.  The current AC50 would probably be too stiff no matter what the length.



I suppose this depends upon what one is comparing it to but FWIW the Mag 8.1 and AC-30 have nearly identical sidecuts, turn radius, and waist to tail taper. Also the the Blizzard has a more balanced flex and is generally more versatile. Not that the OP asked for a highly skiddable ski, but if that's what he wanted, the entire K2 collection is better for that than anything that Volkl makes.

 

On the other hand, none of these hard snow biased system skis make very good choices in bumps when compared to some of the more versatile flat decked offerings. There are a raft of them to choose from with the Rossi, SC 86 or Dynastar Sultan 85 being among the top choices. Don't worry about the SC-86 feeling dead, they don't have the same feel at all as the older Rossi skis.

 

On the other-other hand......If you like your Dad, think he's a decent enough skier to appreciate good gear, and think that his 50th ski season is fairly important,........................there's this brand named Kastle that you may have heard about..........................

 

I mean c'mon...................he's your DAD.................................

 

SJ

post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rauch View Post

Hi

My dad is turning 55 this year, and last ski season was his 50th.  For this momentous occasion, we want to buy him some new skis to replace his 160 cm Scream 8 pilots that let him down a bit last time we went out west.

 

First, some specifics about my dad:

6', 150 lbs., insanely good shape, high expert, still ripping the zipperline in the bumps.

 

His favorite skis ever were his Kneissl white star slalom racing skis (from when he was 15) that his brother stole and ruined on a rock day.  He also loved his Kastles and Heads from years ago.

I'm looking for something (for him) a bit better on variable terrain, the "eastern daily driver", ~80 mm at the waist.  He likes a ski that's around 170cm.

 

He'd also like something with an integrated binding option.

 

I was thinking maybe an Atomic Blackeye, Blizzard magnum 8.1, Volkl AC30/50, Kastle MX 78 or LX 82.  Only issue is the cost, as we don't have a huge ski budget.

 

He doesn't like the dead Rossi feel.  He demoed one of the Rossi all mountain skis with an 80 something waist in varied conditions, and hated it.

 

Demoing really isn't an option, unfortunately, until late season.  There won't be any Blizzards or Kastles there regardless.

 

Any opinions on skis for this type of skier would be great.

 

Thanks!



 If he is an expert, then best to let HIM pick out the skis.  You will both be happier.   Be good!

post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post





I suppose this depends upon what one is comparing it to but FWIW the Mag 8.1 and AC-30 have nearly identical sidecuts, turn radius, and waist to tail taper. Also the the Blizzard has a more balanced flex and is generally more versatile. Not that the OP asked for a highly skiddable ski, but if that's what he wanted, the entire K2 collection is better for that than anything that Volkl makes.

 

I mean c'mon...................he's your DAD.................................

 

SJ



It isn't the width as much as the shape.  The Blizzard's tail flairs out, and  is a square flat tail..  It does not like to skid.  It does love to carve.  The AC 30's tail may be amost as wide, but it is more rounded and tapered  with a mild turn up at the end allowing it to skid a bit.  I mentioned this because his Dad likes to ski the zipperline in bumps. just like I still try to do. Which means he is still skiing with a bit of old school skills again just like me.   I found the rounded tail to be more familiar and easier to get use to than a flat wide square tail designed to carve.

 

JMHO, yours may vary.

 

Again, this is a great deal you are doing for him.  The poster who said to allow him to pick his own skiis is also a great idea.  Take him to the hill, pay for him to demo several models for the style he wants to ski and then buy his favorite one.

 

Good Luck!

 

Rick G

post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 

Yeah, he still has a pretty amazing blend of skills, linking carved turns on groomers, and zipperlining on bumps.  Don't know how he does it.  The best solution I can think of is to get something like the Blizzard for carving on a wider waist, and keep the sollies for the moguls.

post #11 of 30

plus one for the Dynastar, Legend series or Sultan series, around 85mm waist. reason being, the tail is around 10mm narrower than the tip and the ski has a very classic feel, accomodating older methods (tail release) very well and has a fairly long radius sidecut for cruising GS turns. when I first demoed the ski, within two turns I was like: I feel like I've ridden this ski my whole life, it is the sum total of all the skis I've ridden in 50+ years.  that's how I felt, bought them, and that's still how I feel.

post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

plus one for the Dynastar, Legend series or Sultan series, around 85mm waist. reason being, the tail is around 10mm narrower than the tip and the ski has a very classic feel, accomodating older methods (tail release) very well and has a fairly long radius sidecut for cruising GS turns. when I first demoed the ski, within two turns I was like: I feel like I've ridden this ski my whole life, it is the sum total of all the skis I've ridden in 50+ years.  that's how I felt, bought them, and that's still how I feel.


This is what I have been trying to say, and I think you said it better.  For you it was the Dynastar Legend (which I have not tried) for me it was the AC30 that gave me the same feeling.  Different strokes for different folks but I guranttee your Dad will like this style of ski better than a pure carver.

 

Rick G

post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post





I suppose this depends upon what one is comparing it to but FWIW the Mag 8.1 and AC-30 have nearly identical sidecuts, turn radius, and waist to tail taper. Also the the Blizzard has a more balanced flex and is generally more versatile. Not that the OP asked for a highly skiddable ski, but if that's what he wanted, the entire K2 collection is better for that than anything that Volkl makes.

 

On the other hand, none of these hard snow biased system skis make very good choices in bumps when compared to some of the more versatile flat decked offerings. There are a raft of them to choose from with the Rossi, SC 86 or Dynastar Sultan 85 being among the top choices. Don't worry about the SC-86 feeling dead, they don't have the same feel at all as the older Rossi skis.

 

On the other-other hand......If you like your Dad, think he's a decent enough skier to appreciate good gear, and think that his 50th ski season is fairly important,........................there's this brand named Kastle that you may have heard about..........................

 

I mean c'mon...................he's your DAD.................................

 

SJ


How does the fluid system binding affect the Sultan 85?

post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rauch View Post




How does the fluid system binding affect the Sultan 85?



Adds some weight possibly a little dampening certainly some binding lift. The latter is noticeable and is a personal preference. The rest is fairly minor.

 

SJ

post #15 of 30

Same height, 15 lbs heavier and somewhat older than your dad, will side with Rossi Smash's vote for the 8.1 in 172, (although your dad could do fine on the 165 if he is really into short turns and bumps as you say. It's a stiffish ski, particularly in the front, with a lot of snowfeel, scary good edge grip and a progressive, smooth tail.) On the AC30: I have owned and/or skied a slew of Volkls, including the AC30-50's, and while they are nice skis, basically Blizzard figured out how to fill the same niche better. Period. Another ski I bet he'd enjoy - and you can still find it around - is the 09-10 Head Peak 78, which are the same as the iM78, very versatile and damp, now only available, more or less, as an even damper chip version. (Current Peak 78 is a different ski altogether.) 

 

Money: Well, as SJ said, if you can swing it, and if your dad plans to own his new skis as long as his old ones, go for the MX 78's, 168.

 

OTOH if your budget is really constrained, have heard plenty of good stuff about the Blackeye for frontside carving, and if your dad likes smoother skis that will rock crud, the 09-10 Sultan 85 or Stockli XXL in 170 would be very good bets.  

post #16 of 30

 

Originally Posted by TrickySr. View Post

As a skier with similar stats to your father, as well as, one that has owned many skis;

I would recommend you  look at the Fischer Watea 84(or 78).You can buy these with or without integrated bindings; I prefer "flat" to lighten the overall weight and allow me to chose the brand/style of binding I prefer. I own the Watea 84 in a 176cm and really like this length. I've never tried the 170s.

 

Nordica HR Pro Burner(84mm waist) or the Nordica HR Pro Fuel(78mm waist). These two come without bindings but Nordica makes the Top Fuel(78) and the Jet Fuel(84) that come with integrated bindings. Again, I prefer the non-integrated for the above reasons. I own the Burners in a 170cm length and find this to be a very good length.

 

Others I would recommend would be Dynastar Legend 8000s(80mm), 8800s or Mythic Riders(88mm,)or Sultan 80s or 85s. also K2 Recons(78) or Xplorers(84.) All are available either integrated or not.

For someone as light as your dad, the construction, materials, and design premise are far more significant, than for others that might be 20 or more pounds heavier.

Many think that you can compensate for this by going shorter but in the majority of newer skis, this is not a valid concept(compression makes a huge difference.)

I am in the same age group, weight, height, and ability as your father, and as mentioned, I have skied, and/or owned all the above mentioned skis except for the Atomic Blackeyes and would stand by what I have recommended.The above mentioned Nordica Nitrous(mentioned by rickg) is covered in Nordica's line by the Fuel(flat) and the Tempest(integrated.)Good choices. Also the above mentioned Stockli XXL is also a great choice(although more spendy.)

You might want to think about giving a "gift certificate" or 'money card" and letting him demo a few.

post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Same height, 15 lbs heavier and somewhat older than your dad, will side with Rossi Smash's vote for the 8.1 in 172, (although your dad could do fine on the 165 if he is really into short turns and bumps as you say. It's a stiffish ski, particularly in the front, with a lot of snowfeel, scary good edge grip and a progressive, smooth tail.) On the AC30: I have owned and/or skied a slew of Volkls, including the AC30-50's, and while they are nice skis, basically Blizzard figured out how to fill the same niche better. Period. Another ski I bet he'd enjoy - and you can still find it around - is the 09-10 Head Peak 78, which are the same as the iM78, very versatile and damp, now only available, more or less, as an even damper chip version. (Current Peak 78 is a different ski altogether.) 

 

 

I agree with "beyond" on the above i.e. the 09/10 Peak 78 (same as the older iM 78 but different graphics) being a great choice. I am the same weight but 10 years older and found the 177 iM78 to be ideal, with a large sweet spot, STUPID EASY to ski in difficult snow/crud, but a little bouncy on real hard stuff (early AM spring ice) as compared to the Blizzard 8.7 or Volkl AC50...however the iM 78 is better and easier to ski (and more FUN) than either in varied conditions. It's a better all-rounder, in other words.  He may be better off with the 171 iM 78 if he likes short turns over long. Peak 78s are relatively inexpensive these days.

 

I haven't skied the Kastles, everyone's holy grail, but I keep buying lottery tickets...

My $.02

 


 

post #18 of 30
Thread Starter 

Local shop showed us the Tempest.  Is that just last years Nitrous +2 mm?  Seems almost exactly the same, but for some reason I've seen it advertised to a lower ability audience.


Edited by Rauch - 11/4/10 at 2:06pm
post #19 of 30

The Tempest basically replaces the Nitrous in the lineup.   Yes it is very similar + 2 cm to the Nitrous.  It is still being marketed as an advance + level ski.  Don't forget the advertisers and marketing people have to decide which skis are to be marketed to whom and for what.  It may differ from what the ski designers may have intended.  A case in point is the Rossi Avenger 76 which is billed as an intermediate ski.  I demo'd it last season because we sell it in our shop and was expecting a soft wimpy intermediate ski, but that ski performed very well, about on par with my old Hot Rod Nitrous which was marketed to advanced/expert skiers when it was introduced and then for some reason the next season Nordica decided the Nitrous was an intermediate/advanced ski, probably because the Nitrous stole too many sells from their Jet fuel.  Even Volkl flip flops on skiis.  When my 2010 AC30 was introduced it was called a 70/30 (front/backside) ski and the AC50 a 50/50, both all mountain all condition skis.  This year 2011 with new graphics they are calling them both frontside carvers.  What changed?  Nothing but the marketing.

 

I know it gets confusing!

 

Rick G

post #20 of 30

Rossi RC Pro112 on tramdock now

post #21 of 30

How about let Dad pick them out? 

 

Take your credit card and have a day of it.  If distance does not make this possible, how about a gift certificate to his favorite ski shop.  As a Dad over near similar specs think that would be cooler than cool.  Would get lots of great time making that choice and bless you every good run.  Besides there may be a ski out there he has been quietly craving and you could fulfill his dream. 

 

Shouldn't hurt the inheritance either. 

post #22 of 30
Thread Starter 

Based on the description, what do you think of the Watea 78 for him?  Our local shop has a great deal on it.

post #23 of 30

That would probably be good choice; he skis in the East doesn't he?

For the West, I still think the 84 is more versatile but for back there it(78) would probably be great. It is not the best for edge hold but will be much better than his old skis.

I would probably recommend the 167cm over the 159cm. My 176cm Watea 84 are a good length for me and I only weigh 155#s @ 5'11."

post #24 of 30
Thread Starter 

Yeah he skis in the east, and it would be the 167.

post #25 of 30
Thread Starter 

Sorry to bring this back, but we went looking around, and found a nice deal on a pair of 2011 blizzard 7.6 magnums in 163 with the tp12 bindings.  Although he is an expert and these are billed as intermediate skis, I've heard that they are very upwardly mobile, especially with lighter guys like my dad.  He went with the smaller size because he likes a more nimble ski, but he still wants to be able to rail serious carved turns.  Does this ski sound about right for him?

post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

plus one for the Dynastar, Legend series or Sultan series, around 85mm waist. reason being, the tail is around 10mm narrower than the tip and the ski has a very classic feel, accomodating older methods (tail release) very well and has a fairly long radius sidecut for cruising GS turns. when I first demoed the ski, within two turns I was like: I feel like I've ridden this ski my whole life, it is the sum total of all the skis I've ridden in 50+ years.  that's how I felt, bought them, and that's still how I feel.



^^^this. Being "experienced" myself, the Legend 8000 has probably been the best "all-round" skis I've been on the past decade, and it's great at dealing with both old school and new school technique and style. The Sultan never did it for me, and the pair I bought I sold after about 5 days, even after getting the ski completely retuned. Just didn't like it.

 

Anyway, I still keep 8000's on the least coast, and that's what I'll dive there. Your Dad would thank you for them.

post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rauch View Post

Sorry to bring this back, but we went looking around, and found a nice deal on a pair of 2011 blizzard 7.6 magnums in 163 with the tp12 bindings.  Although he is an expert and these are billed as intermediate skis,



That won't work.

 

i would suggest something a little wide, say 80 with titanium.  15m or so for radius, less if he likes to turn a lot and more if he prefers gs turns.  Going to a wider ski will give him a whole new experience and I think he will really enjoy it.

 

If he can ski, give him something that responds to good skills.

post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rauch View Post

Any opinions on skis for this type of skier would be great.

 

Thanks!



 

 

A gift certificate to his local shop?

post #29 of 30

How about a pair of WC Race SL.  165.  I bet he would love something like that!

 

Will you be taking the old boy into the woods?

post #30 of 30

If you haven't done so, read this.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/99620/2011-sub-80mm-skis-from-fischer-dynastar-kastle-blizzard-head-nordica-stockli-elan

 

These are the kind of skis I think would best suit your father.  FWIW I am a bit older (65) same weight as your father and a level 8/9 skier with 40+ seasons under my belt.  My current daily driver at Killington is the Fisher Progressor 8+.  Read the review of the 10+ in the llink above.  Sums up my impressions of the similar 8+ very well. 

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