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MX 88 or Blizzard 8.7?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking of replacing my AC40 in a 183 length with something shorter.  The AC40 was fine when I weighed 50 pounds more, but now that I'm in the mid 190's, I'm finding it a bit too I-beam like.  I've never been on a MX88, but bought last year's MX98 to replace my 184 Mantra that I destroyed the edge of hitting a rock in Lulu's.  I've only skied once on the MX98, but absolutely loved it.

 

I rode the 8.7 at the Loveland demo days, and it was a standout of the skis I tried (Nordica Tempest, something else, the 7.8, and a slalom ski from Blizzard).  So, given that it is virtually impossible to find a place to demo the Kastle, should I bite the bullet on a MX88 untried or buy the 8.7?  Or do you think the MX98 is a bit too close to both these skis?

 

About me:  53, level 8/9, ski most anything, most folk would say I'm a charger, ski 40+ days in Colorado/MT/WY/UT.  Weigh 193 currently and still dropping, fit, love the steeps and off-piste.  Current skis in quiver:  MX98 in 174, AC40 in 183, Mantra in 184 (rock skis now), Fisher RC4/WC GS in 180.

 

Mike

post #2 of 14

As far as "too close" goes, no (width is not the only thing). The 8.7 is a hard snow biased ski although within that category, it is quite a bit more nimble and versatile than the AC series of skis. The MX 88 is also a bit on the hard snow side of things although not quite as much so as the Blizzi. The Kastle is a slight bit more versatile that the 8.7 but an equally slight bit less grippy. The biggest difference to me is that the Kastle is very damp and smooth for a light(ish) ski and that is a combination that you don't usually find.

 

I suspect that it depends upon how you intend to use them. Given that you already have a ski for softer snow, and you would probably use this ski for mostly firmer conditions, the Mag 8.7 might be a very sensible choice.

 

SJ

post #3 of 14

Look at Kastle's dealer list.... can't believe there is no demo around.

 

http://www.kaestle-ski.com/en/dealersearch/#/Region/Results/US/

post #4 of 14

Looks like they forgot to list states on that dealer list!  

post #5 of 14

The MX88 (in a 178) is too close to the MX98 in the 174, a lot of overlap there. The Blizzard 8.7 is a different animal with a different feel. I even think the new MX98 is too close to my current MX88 with both being in the 178 length. The 8.7 is a very playful frontside wide carver, I think that could be a complement to the other skis in your quiver and a very good replacement for the Volkl. If I didn't ski a MX88, the 8.7 would be my choice. I refer to the Blizzard Magnum series as Volkls with personality. Keep an eye in Start Haus's "Blizzard is coming" thread..or just call SJ or myself. 

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

I'm thinking of replacing my AC40 in a 183 length with something shorter.  The AC40 was fine when I weighed 50 pounds more, but now that I'm in the mid 190's, I'm finding it a bit too I-beam like.  I've never been on a MX88, but bought last year's MX98 to replace my 184 Mantra that I destroyed the edge of hitting a rock in Lulu's.  I've only skied once on the MX98, but absolutely loved it.

 

I rode the 8.7 at the Loveland demo days, and it was a standout of the skis I tried (Nordica Tempest, something else, the 7.8, and a slalom ski from Blizzard).  So, given that it is virtually impossible to find a place to demo the Kastle, should I bite the bullet on a MX88 untried or buy the 8.7?  Or do you think the MX98 is a bit too close to both these skis?

 

About me:  53, level 8/9, ski most anything, most folk would say I'm a charger, ski 40+ days in Colorado/MT/WY/UT.  Weigh 193 currently and still dropping, fit, love the steeps and off-piste.  Current skis in quiver:  MX98 in 174, AC40 in 183, Mantra in 184 (rock skis now), Fisher RC4/WC GS in 180.

 

Mike


If you like the MX98, you know how the MX88 will ski.  There will be almost no surprise, you will mainly find that the MX88 skis a bit narrower, more aggressive into edge, but otherwise very close. The biggest difference may be length: 178cm MX88 feels longer (duh) than the 174cm MX98. The latter is a bit more nimble due to that fact: both have square tails and a long running surface. The 8.7 is also a great ski, but stiffer, and again, shorter (the 174cm skis shorter than your MX98, shorter running length). I also think it is stiffer and a bit more ski, but not really a higher performer. It just feels burlier, for better or worse.  

 

If it were me (not that it is), you are getting a lot of crossover on last year's MX98 and the current MX88.  You would be better served, if you are looking for more of a frontside ski that isn't going to take in much deep crud, but can handle it, to look at the MX78.  That ski is amazing in it's performance range, still has the 98's overall feel, but much quicker, better hard-snow hold, and has the beef of a GS race carver, yet is moderate in flex and suitable for crud and bumps. I skied mine last year every day for 2 months, and 75% of that skiing was off-piste.  It wasn't until we started getting bigger storms in March that I wanted a wider ski.  The 8.1 would also give you more contrast than the 8.7. Plus, it is softer (not soft, but a bit softer tip and more suitable for bumps and other off-piste conditions than the 8.7, at least at my weight), and is another great choice.  It is at least as stable as the MX78 in 179cm (vs. the 176cm MX78), and has a bit more energetic, Volkl-like feel to it.  If you like the more damp, Head and Fischer laminate race ski style feel, I think that is more what the Kastle skis like. The Blizzard feels more along the lines of an AC40, just updated.  

 

Other skis worth considering that fall into this performance range and feel (similar to the Blizzard 8.1): Elan Magfire 82Xti, Nordica HR-Pro Jet Fuel i-Core.  All 3 of these skis could nearly be the same ski with a different topsheet: they all have top-shelf stability, power, edge hold, a fair amount of energy, and are "race-bred' in feel, similar to the AC50 and Blizzard 8.7 you were asking about. 

post #7 of 14

Mike I am sure you have read this.

 

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/92030/blizzard-8-7-174cm-better-than-any-carving-ski-out-there

 

I really like this skis. I am alttle bit lighter than you. I always felt like the Ac40/50 were WAY to stiff than me, in a 177 and the 170 felt stupid short and squirelly to me. The 8.7 for me was just right. Great edge hold, and power with out really being demanding for me. Since the initial review I have found to like them better in harder pack bumps and trees. The most fun on these for me is just ripping variable groomers at speeds that kill. 

 

I have avoided skiing Kastles though for fear of wanting to buy a 1000 dollar skis cause I know I would.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone.  Yes, Josh, the 8.7 was a simply amazing ski when I skied at the demo day. But I fear it is too close to my MX98's which I got out today for the second time.  Gosh, do I love that ski.

 

I guess I'll have to debate the 8.1 vs the MX78.  I'm interested in a firm(er) snow ski for those times when we haven't had snow recently.  I suspect the gs ski will remain my main early season ski.

 

Mike

post #9 of 14

I don't know much about the skis in question but jsut wanted to offer a though. The MX98 seems like a nice daily driver. If thats what it is to you -- then why get a mid 80s ski that has much of the same skill set? A mid70s front side ski would offer a real change of pace.

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Agree Tromano.  Now trying to think about a narrower ski.  So, if you had to chose between the MX78, the 8.1, and the 7.6, which would you pick, and why?  Remember, I weigh 193.

 

Mike

post #11 of 14
Quote:

Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

 Current skis in quiver:  MX98 in 174, AC40 in 183, Mantra in 184 (rock skis now), Fisher RC4/WC GS in 180.


Not named Tromano, but can't resist: YOU LIVE IN POWDER LAND. Why are you bunching all your skis under 100 mm? If I had that quiver, my next question would be, what 115+ fun shape ski can you recommend for serious powder days? Keep the Mantra for the rocks, grass, and trees, use the RC4 for actual hardpack groomer zooming between storms, the MX98 will be your daily driver, and ___________ for dumps. 

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Agree Tromano.  Now trying to think about a narrower ski.  So, if you had to chose between the MX78, the 8.1, and the 7.6, which would you pick, and why?  Remember, I weigh 193.

 

Mike


Also not Tromano but have skied all three of those. The MX 78 with the KTI plate is a very strong firm snow ski. As with the 88, the notable thing about it is the lightish weight yet damp feel. Again....a rather unique combo. The Mag 8.1 is another great Blizzi ski. Fine grip and energy with possibly a slight versatility edge over the Kastle. The Mag. 8.1 could be purchased for a fair bit less than the MX (if'n you know the secret password......biggrin.gif)

 

The 7.6 is a great ski for it's price point and enough ski for most and advanced skier but it's probably not the ideal choice for your size.

 

SJ

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Agree Tromano.  Now trying to think about a narrower ski.  So, if you had to chose between the MX78, the 8.1, and the 7.6, which would you pick, and why?  Remember, I weigh 193.

 

Mike



3rd guy not named Tromano replying to this thread...I own both the MX78 and Blizzard 8.1. At my weight, the MX78 is a touch more forgiving, every bit as stable, feels a bit more refined, bit more even flex pattern. With that said, the 8.1 is a great ski, just a bit stiffer underfoot and slightly more demanding. It might be better for some, and as much as I like it, the MX78 is a better ski for me. It also costs much more, and therefore it should be better.  I could easily live with both; top-end performance is identical. I just find the MX78 to have the larger sweet spot and be a touch more forgiving.  

post #14 of 14

Not Named Tromano either...

 

 

I own the mx78. It's my hard snow ski for Vail.

 

I have mine without the KTI plate and just a flat mojo binding and it's still a fine firm snow ski.

 

I'm 160 lbs and went with the more nimble 168 length. At your weight, the 178 would seem more appropriate

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