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2011 Mid-fat Ski Reviews: 80-100mm waist skis - Page 2

post #31 of 38
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by crudmaster View Post


Dawg, your ability to describe the differences between skis is terrifically valuable to me, especially since I'm starting the hunt for a new daily driver in the 82-90 range (yes, I like SJ's term).  Now that I've reached the Masters age bracket I'm finding that sometimes my 183cm Monster 82's are driving my 150-pound body more that the other way around.


My preference seems to match yours: damp, powerful but not too stiff.  Vixels and FX's intrigue.  OTOH, used Peak 88's and Elan 888's are a bargain.  Hmmmm.


Several of your analyses of certain skis match my experience so well that I've become a fan.  And the effort that you go to compiling the reviews together is appreciated.


You're producing a valuable product here.  You ought to monetize it.

I am glad it helps out-thanks for the kind note!  I am, in a way, attempting to monetize it: hopefully people will look me up when they need to make a ski purchase.  Other than that, though, going to demo ski shows is a great tax write-off!  Also, I do enjoy posting on Epic and helping people out.  Skiing is always more fun on the right skis. 

post #32 of 38

Some really interesting ideas here. Think the notion of running length as correlated to conditions, not skier weight, is appealing because the conditions, chiefly snow density, + speed will determine impact force at tip, not skier mass. Also think your consideration of where the tip is relative to the skier is worth unwrapping. 


OTOH, think we we define flex differently. OK, let's say construction won't change, although it seems a bit murky whether makers try to create the same handling for target skiers appropriate to each length by changing stiffness, sidecut, or whether they let length itself take care of that. Anyway, resistance to bending - called the second moment of inertia as I recall - will be determined purely by cross sectional area, shape (I-beams versus rectangular say). It has nothing to do with length, far as I can tell. So you're right. But the force that will overcome that resistance is partly determined by skier weight (M x a), yes? OK, hold that thought.


Second, polar moment of inertia, vaguely recall you have to tweak it to use for non-circular cross sections, will be resistance to torsion along long axis (think twisting a towel between two hands). So in theory length matters for torsion.


I'm also thinking that the actual force being applied against resistance is relative to sq cm of running surface, which will change as the ski gets longer or shorter, and that everyone in the known universe seems to think that heavier guys will flex a ski of given length more than lighter guys, especially the folks making the skis, but maybe they're calling something else flex. Not sure. 


The real issue for me is about ski makers. I just don't get the disjunct between the examples you're giving and the lengths that ski companies offer. Let's take the Blizzard 8.1 in 179. You like it as an all-mountain, no issues with tip dive. The 172 is better for carving. Well, the longest length the 8.1 comes in is 179. And everyone in the known universe agrees that the 8.1 is a stiff ski. Forgiving in some ways,yes, but light and stiff. Now the (hopefully) bright engineers at Blizzard designed four lengths of 8.1, apparently to accommodate skiers of different sizes, or more accurately of different levels of force production (M x a above) that will deform the cross section of the mid ski.


So what you're saying, really, is that that the longest is appropriate for someone in the 25th percentile for weight who skis fast and doesn't want tip dive. OK, by extension, that means that the 158 is for children under 50 lbs, the 165 is for midgets and women with eating disorders, the 172 is for light males or normal sized females who stick to carving groomers more slowly, and the 179 is for light males who want an all mountain ski. Apparently the engineers at this point went home for dinner and forgot the next am to make lengths suitable for average sized skiers who ski moderate to fast speeds. Let alone heavy guys. Really dumb of them, huh? 


Do you see my problem? (Well, this one out of many biggrin.gif ) For all the discussion of tips and running length, the logical extrapolation of your argument is that almost no ski company makes skis suitable for normal sized males who want to ski denser snow. I just am having a hard time buying it... must be missing something obvious (as usual). th_dunno-1[1].gif

Edited by beyond - 12/8/10 at 12:19pm
post #33 of 38

^^^^ BTW, I copied all this junk over to a new thread on Gear Discussion, didn't want excess drift from the reviews per se. Please join in over there...

post #34 of 38

Dawgcatching - first, thanks for a great review on these skis.  As with many others on this list, I too am in search of a pair of mid fat skis (assuming 80 - 100 mm waisted skis are still considered mid fats), to replace my old Head 88s.  Your descriptions of how these skis perform in varying conditions and at varying speeds, etc., is very helpful as I look at all of the possibilities that are out there (which can truly be overwhelming for many of us).  I also want to emphasize how your reviews and the reviews of others (especially SJ's Crazy 88 reviews), have helped me to look at what I want to get out of this next pair of skis.  For example, my old Monsters were great at crud busting and big GS turns.  And I could also manage them in some softer bumps and in the trees, but they were a bit stiff for soft snow conditions.  So now I'm willing to give up some of that edge hold and crud busting ability for skis that have a little better balance between hard and soft snow conditions (mainly skiing in the trees, sometimes in bumps, but still needing to be able to hold an edge at times -  I am on the east coast:)


That said, you've got me looking at some skis I never would have thought about, which are the Elan Apex (I also read your more extensive review on this elsewhere in Epic).  These sound like a great pair of true 50/50 type skis, and I am adding these to my short list of skis I want to demo (Volkl Kendo, Dynastar Sultan 85, Rossi S 86 (which doesn't seem to get much love on this list), and even the Fisher Motive 84 (plus one or two others if available).


As for me, I'm 5'9" and 155, so height and weight similar to you (but a bit older though).  And I like to ski fairly hard.  I also like to vary my turns too for a little fun when I'm on the groomed, from big GS turns to quick slalom style turns.  But most of the time, whenever conditions permit, I'll be skiing the trees, which is where the best snow conditions are usually found the day or two after a storm around here, but which can also be pretty tight, turn wise.  So as I said, I'm leaning more and more toward a ski a little better suited to the softer stuff but still fairly well balanced that won't have me sliding out of control when I'm on the harder snow. 


I'll try too, to respond with some reviews of my own if at all possible. 






post #35 of 38

Surprised a bit on your review of the Elan 82xti this year. Got it from you last year due to review then. Sounds like it is a much more demanding ski than last year review, thought it has not changed.

Last year it was changed I thought to be less demanding for lighter skiers like you, now you are saying not to great for lighter guys except for guys around 2oo lbs. Whats changed your opinion?

post #36 of 38
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by waxskis View Post

Surprised a bit on your review of the Elan 82xti this year. Got it from you last year due to review then. Sounds like it is a much more demanding ski than last year review, thought it has not changed.

Last year it was changed I thought to be less demanding for lighter skiers like you, now you are saying not to great for lighter guys except for guys around 2oo lbs. Whats changed your opinion?

Hard to say, perhaps I had a difficult tune.  It was definitely more demanding for me than it used to feel.  Kevin thought the same.  Still a great ski, but I would prefer something a bit softer. 

post #37 of 38

Went to the Demo Day at Loon yesterday and got to try some of these skis.


Me:  57yo; 5'11", 175lbs; level 8ish skier.  Conditions were hardpack and groomed machine-made snow.


I'm not going to try and give the details that Dawg can, but the skis that I liked most were the Nordica FireArrow80 (172cm), Bkizzard 81Magnum (172?), and Nordiac JetFuel (178).


I am looking for a ski that carves well on hardpack, one that I can work hard if I wish, but can relax on a little if I am getting tired, and a ski that won't mind running into some mixed conditions (crud and bumps).


The JetFuel felt a little cumbersome at slow speed, but came alive when I let them go faster:  became a lot more lively, easy to turn in various shapes, and felt solid.  Unfortunately, the toe piece pre-released while doing some higher speed medium radius turns, and I became suddenly shy about pushing this particular ski any more.  It might be worth trying again sometime and maybe comparing it in similar size to the FA.


The Blizzard felt quite similar to how Scott described them, easy to get from edge to edge and rock-solid stable.  Despite the large sweet spot, this ski felt like I would need to "stay on it" throughout the day on order for it to feel like fun.


The FA was the first ski I tried after taking a warm-up run on my Nordica Mach3 Carbons (170), and unfortunately, I was unable to get on them at the end of the day to see if my initial impression still held.  This ski, I believe, has the shortest turning radius of the bunch that I tried.  For this reason, it may be filling the spot that I am looking for in a carving ski:  very "turny", but wide enough to handle crud, etc.  Ridiculously easy to initiate a turn, allowed be to stay in a short turn or lengthen the turn at will and at various speeds.  The crowds did not allow me to go at very high speeds, but my impression was that the ski could carry some speed as well.  My friend tried this ski and felt that they were trying to "hook" into the turn too often (but we rarely like the same skis...).  No bumps to try yesterday, but I am going to take SJ at his word...  This is the ski that I would like to take out for a day.


I did get on the Peak 88 to see how it compared to my Monster88.  I think that Scott hit the nail on the head with these.  They felt stable, easy to turn, and less 'beefy' than the Monsters.

Edited by bbinder - 12/28/10 at 1:09pm
post #38 of 38

The Salomon Sentinel is an excellent ski that fit's this category that was not included on the dawg's list.  I'm not the reviewer that the dawg is, but the thumbnail version is, stiff, stable, and damp yet pretty turny with it's 21 m radius.  The ski reminded me of an easier turning LP.  I demod the 185 length and it's 129-95-121 on good groomers at Sugarloaf (that's all we had at the time).  It has a little bit of tip rocker and a very slight turned up tail, similar to the Mantra.  Salomon has sure changed the way they build skis.  These things are solidly built, full sandwitch construction wood and metal.  These are not the pocket rocket of old.  I ski the LP and the sentinel seemed to have the same crud destroying smooth through everything feel that they do, but with a much less demanding turn radius.  I think they nailed it with the dimensions as they did not "over sidecut" it.  I would call it an easy charger type ski that would favor the aggresive and strong.  Just a notch burlier than the Mantra.

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