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Help for an intermediate east coast skier picking out a new pair of skis

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey all,


I know there are probably a ton of these threads, so first off I apologize for my lack of novelty.


I'm on the east coast in Canada, currently looking for a new pair of all-mountain skis. I'm 5'11, 165 lbs, and an intermediate level skier, though I'd like to progress somewhere closer to the advanced level in the next couple of years.


I've (mostly) reduced my search to Head Peak 74's/78's, Atomic Smoke/Smoke TI/ Rossignol Avenger 76/ 76 TI and the Salomon X Wing Storm.


I've had a hard time finding good reviews of any of these skis, but have noticed that people on here seem pretty knowledgeable and might have some insight or advice. Anything you can offer (on any of these) would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

post #2 of 14

Welcome to Epicski!


Of those choices, I would go with the Head 78s or the Rossi 76/82 TIs.  I haven't skied the Atomics, and I really dislike the feel of the X-Wings (at least the ones from a couple seasons ago).


If you want something narrower, I like the Dynastar Contact Cross/4x4 and Fischer Progressor 8/9.


If you do some searching on here, you can probably turn up reviews of these, or very similar models from a year or two back.


Another option is www.realskiers.com.  Costs $15 for a subscription for the season, but they have detailed reviews of many, many different skis, from a reasonably large number of (presumably) unbiased skiers.  If you're gonna plunk down $500+ on new skis, spending <$20 to get access to many high-quality reviews may not be a bad idea.

post #3 of 14

I thought it was $20. for realskiers/expertskier subscription reviews.  Well worth it in any case.  They have reviews that go back several years allowing you to pick up a good deal on a left over ski from a couple of years ago that still rocks.


I suggest you sign up and make a short list of skis that have excellent scores in the carving category and are suitable for a range of skiers that includes expert and your level at the turn radius you like (if you don't know choose between 14 and 17 m; 13 and under will improve your skills quicker, 18+ will feel better at higher speeds and bigger turns) and then keep an eye out for one of you short listed skis to go on sale. 

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the heads up on the review site, I'll definitely check that out.


Reading through some other threads on here, I've also come across good deals on 2009 Fischer Cool Heat (though only in a 175, which I worry might be too long), and the 2010 Heat 76- I'm assuming this is the following year's model, and it's also available in a more appropriate size (170).


Worth considering as well, I would imagine?


I'll check out realskiers as well though, thanks.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

So I joined realskiers- great tip. The reviews I found were really useful.


I've narrowed it to the Blackeye TI's, Smoke TI's and Peak 78's. The prices I'm getting on them are really good, or I'd be considering the Fischer Progressor 8's too- but the cheapest I can find is $550 US plus shipping.


My concerns: The Smoke TI is a Fiber Core as opposed to the wood core in the Blackeye TI's and the 78's. Should this weigh into my decision significantly? I'd like these skis to last me the next 3-4 years, ideally, and be able to be a ski I'll progress on as a skier.


Also, The Peak 78's I can only get flat mounted, or with no bindings at all. I don't mind paying extra for a good set of rail-mounted bindings and having them installed, but is it necessary, or would the flat mount be fine? I ski mostly on piste, probably 70-30. The option of being able to quickly adjust the fore-aft position of the bindings on a rail mount is nice though- I just wonder if I'm being picky.


Again, thanks for any input.

post #6 of 14

D2 VF 75  devil.gif

Dynastar Contact 4x4devil.gif

Elan Magnum 7.6  devil.gif


Lots more.  Make a short list that's long enough to include a good deal on sale.

post #7 of 14

If you are open to a narrow waisted ski with a lot of sidecut, you can find very good deals on the Fischer RX8 Pro a few places online right now. I just bought a pair and while I have not skiied them, I have a few days on 2007 RX8's and they are great for the east in my opinion as long as you are looking to improve with modern technique.

post #8 of 14

Don't know much about the Peaks, but I've heard nothing but good about the Atomics.  Simply put, the Smoke and Blackeye are very similar, the Blackeye is just a little more versatile, and is designed for a SLIGHTLY better skier.  The Smoke is also a little more on piste/ groomer oriented.  If you really wanna improve your game, go Blackeye, if you wanna progress slowly and ski a ski more intermediate oriented, get the Smoke.  You also might want to consider the Ti versions. 

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Ghost- The D2's I had considered also, but I figured if I was looking for one ski I can improve on, and maybe progress on to be able to do a little more off-piste, the D2 line isn't necessarily suited to this and better to go with one of the Nomads (if Atomic is the brand)? Also, I'd love a pair of the Contact 4 x 4's but I haven't been able to find any (either from 2010 or this year) for under $800 or so, which is more than I want to drop. I'll be able to get the new Peak 78's/Smoke TI's/Blackeye TI's for something closer to half of that.


Chris- I'm not really looking for something that narrow, but thanks for the suggestion regardless. I've got a pair of Atomic SX 9's that are pretty narrow already- I feel like RX 8's might be a bit redundant. :)


eastskier- Yeah, the TI versions in the Atomics are the two that I'm considering. I know the Blackeye TI is a little more technical, but the Smoke TI seems like a really good ski all things considered. I just wonder if I wouldn't regret not going for a proper wood core after the fact. The Peak 78 is really appealing also, but again, I worry about the flat mounted bindings as opposed to rail mounts.

post #10 of 14

You definately want the rail mounts, and tbh, I am kind of weary about going with anything but wood.  That's just me, and I've heard nothing but good about both of them.

post #11 of 14

Would be useful to remember that part of the reason we choose one ski over another is feel, and another is where we're gonna use them. Both are fairly personal; not clear the reason I might like a particular ski would have much to do with why you would. In general, Heads are heavy and damp, Rossi's are light and fairly damp, Sollies are moderate weight these days and moderate liveliness; not unlike light Atomics (surprise, made by the same company). Some of these you mention will do better in bumps or trees or crud, others will shine on ice. So think about what feel you seek and what conditions you prefer to ski. 

Finally, if you already have SX9's, IMO you're looking at skis that are all redundant. Why not expand your search to skis in the low to middle 80's, for days when there's soft snow? Each brand listed offers some nice choices in that range, and far less overlap with what you own. 

post #12 of 14

Well, SX9s are too forgiving, don't have enough grip, and have a low speed limit.  They don't "overlap" any performance ski.


Considering the conditions you will ski most often, maybe you should just upgrade, not change, and pick up an other really different ski for deeper snow, when it rarely comes along.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Appreciate the input. The Blackeye TI's are sort of where I'm leaning now. Wood core, probably the most demanding, but I want to progress. They're also wider, so sufficiently different from what I'm on already (82 underfoot as opposed to 67 with the SX 9's). I'm probably going to offload the SX 9's anyway.

post #14 of 14

Not sure how much it snows where you are, but 82mm underfoot will make it more difficult to achieve higher edge angles so it might actually hinder your advancement depending on what kind of technique you are working on.

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