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Recommend Powder Skis for Intermediate Skier

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

I'm a Level 6-7 skier and I need some help selecting some powder skis.  I'm 5' 9" and 190 lbs.  44 years old.

 

I recently moved to Colorado and I primarily ski at Beaver Creek and Vail.  I'm skiing 2 - 3 days a week now so I'm looking for a ski that I won't outgrow too soon as I progress.  I haven't really started skiing in the trees much, so I'm primarily looking for a ski for on-piste when there's a decent amount of powder on them.

 

My groomer skis are Blizzard Magnum 7.6 IQ demos in a 163 length which I purchased used based on some recommendations from here, and I'm very happy with them for groomer days, but we got a dumping of powder this morning and I'm thinking I need to buy some wider ski for days like today.

 

I heard Vail is having demo days this weekend, so I'm looking for some recommendations for a few skis that I should go try out.  What are some brands/models/lengths I should consider?

 

I do have my own boots (Nordica W10) with custom footbeds that fit well although I will may look at upgrading them at the end of the season.

 

Thanks!

 

Alan

post #2 of 25

katanas are great. looked at skigenie...... no idea how they do that but i smell paid bs. every combination that i tried it always offers K2 as number one pick. and i am not fond of k2 they are ok but their quality sucks to say the least

post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by dziuggy View Post

katanas are great. looked at skigenie...... no idea how they do that but i smell paid bs. every combination that i tried it always offers K2 as number one pick. and i am not fond of k2 they are ok but their quality sucks to say the least



Uhhhhhh.....................well sniffed!!

 

SJ

post #4 of 25

First, I'd say that while the Mag. 7.6 is a fine ski choice, the 163 length is notably short for your 190#.

 

On the powder ski thing, you are correct. A much wider ski with some elements of rocker can make your life easier. Assuming that the rocker elements are similar, a stiffer ski will require more effort or more speed to turn than a softer one. Given that you are skiing on a very short ski at the moment and may wish to continue to do so, I'd guess that higher speeds in the powder are not really going to be very high on your agenda. The Rossi S7 is about the easiest powder ski on the market but it may be very tough to find one to buy at this point. Others.................

 

 

Blizzard Answer

Salomon Czar

K2 Obsethed

 

SJ

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies!

 

SJ, what length ski would you recommend for me for:  

 

a) All Mountain Carver like the Magnum 7.6  (Next size up looks to be a 170, should I go longer than this?)

b) Powder Ski such as the S7

 

Thanks!

 

Alan


Edited by Avalanchis - 12/8/10 at 9:47am
post #6 of 25

(A) 170 minimum and longer is not a bad call at all depending on the ski.

(B) 188 for an S7. On other skis 180-184 (ish) again...depending upon the ski.

 

Another reminder....if you want an S7 shop now!!.....otherwise you'll be waiting until mid-late January (at best) to get one.

 

SJ

post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info!

 

Considering the fact that my current carvers are too short, I'm wondering if I would be better served finding some Big Mountain Carvers in a more appropriate length for my weight.

 

My primary focus is still improving my carving skills on groomers, but I'd like to have a ski that can handle the powder days better than the 7.6's do.

 

If I move in this direction, here's a few of the skis I'm considering trying to demo:

 

Blizzard Magnum 8.1  (172)

K2 Rictor  (174)

Dynastar Sultan 85 (172)

Fischer Motive 84 (175)

Kastle LX 82 (172)

Kastle FX 84 (176)

Kastle MX 78 (176)

Kastle MX 88 (178)

Nordica Firearrow 80 (172)

Volkl AC30 (170)

 

Any comments on these?  Are these in the ballpark for my ability level?  Do these lengths seem more appropriate?  Any other skis in this genre I should be looking for?

 

Thanks!

 

Alan

 

post #8 of 25

If you want some skis that handle powder and even groomers quite nicely, you might want to consider Icelantic.  I'm skiing on Shamans and a buddy skis on Nomads.  I've never had so much fun on a ski, handles powder really well and will carve ditches on the groomers.

post #9 of 25

Good advice.  I ski the Icelantic Pilgrims which are more of a normal dimensions considering that company and they fit very well as an all around ski which would could take out on the groomers and have room to float on a powder day.  177 is the longest and is what I ski even though I'm a bit smaller than you.

I also have a pair of Katana's which rip in the pow though they would get a little squirley if you ran them as short as you are running your carving skis.

post #10 of 25

I notice most people at level 6-7 tend to fall apart in powder. I suspect it's due to the more static stance typically demonstrated at these levels (and sometimes a strong reliance on a pivot instead of an edged turn). Will a wider ski actually compensate for the static stance?

post #11 of 25


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

I notice most people at level 6-7 tend to fall apart in powder. I suspect it's due to the more static stance typically demonstrated at these levels (and sometimes a strong reliance on a pivot instead of an edged turn). Will a wider ski actually compensate for the static stance?


 

Not completely no.....however, it does help. Without going into the nuances of powder technique, most skiers will benefit from width and powder technology. It won't take them from powder hack to a starring role in a TGR or Warren Miller film......but it will help.

 

In the end, powder skiing isn't that hard regardless (within reason) of what you are skiing on. There is no doubt however that the new skis make it easi(er)

 

SJ

post #12 of 25

I had two powder experiences last year.  First, I did a week at a BC heli ski operation and did about 140,000' of vertical pwder in a week.  I skied on Armada ARG, which is a reverse side cut, rocker, fat ski.  Very specialized and I liked it, but it would suck at a resort with the reverse side cut.  Then I borrowed some Icelantic Nomads from a friend.  He didn't get them back 'till all the snow was gone at the end of the season.  I loved them.  Really easy ski and perfect for an intermediate.  It is not a rocker ski, instead going for a more traditional shape.  But it floats powder really well.

 

My thought for you would be that going back and forth between a rocker ski and a trad ski like your Blizzards might add a challenge you don't need.  You "swish" rocker skis and you "carve" trad skis.  It is not that hard to go back and forth, but if you don't need to, why do it?  See if you can demo the Nomads - I think you will like them.

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 

Update: I've just sold my Blizzard 7.6s and am now looking for a new pair of skis.

 

I demoed the Rossi S7's in a 188 last weekend at Beaver Creek and while they were much better in the powder, they just seemed too long and wide for me, and I when I hit some icy spots, they did not inspire confidence at all.  I took them back at lunch and checked out some 174 K2 Rictors, which I felt much more at home on.

 

At this point I'm looking for a one ski quiver that still helps me to improve my skills on mostly groomed runs, but something that will also help out on the powder days.

 

I'm demoing some Kendos tomorrow in a 170 length.  Are these appropriate for my ability level?  Should I consider the 177 length?  I've read a lot of good things about them recently and they seem like they might be a good option.

 

Thanks!

 

Alan

post #14 of 25
Alan, based on your build, I would suggest you try and go with a 177ish ski over a shorter one. In powder skis you want to step it up again, so 184ish minimum IMO. To get better you need skis that fit your build. For an all mtn ski in CO I would try and get a ski in the mid 90's underfoot, especially if your not buying a powder ski for awhile.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 

I went to rent the Kendos, but discovered they had some Blizzard The Ones available, so I got those instead in a 170 length.

post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 

So I demoed the Blizzard "The One" skis on Saturday and they were great in the deeper snow and the soft snow.  On the hard packed and icy spots they were not as good.

 

Today I rented some Blizzard Magnum 8.1's in a 172 length and I really liked them.  They seemed to do much better than my shorter 7.6's in the deeper snow and was ripping thru the harder stuff with much more confidence.

 

I think I'll still want some wider skis for the real powder days, but I'm very pleased with the way the 8.1's performed and I'm thinking I'll be purchasing a set soon.

 

Thanks for all of the help and suggestions!

 

Alan

post #17 of 25

So apparently you don't want a powder ski after all....................???

 

Or.....mayhaps you'd like a better daily driver and a powder ski.........???

 

Ya know......for about $200 more than the cost of a Mag 8.1.................................biggrin.gif

 

SJ

post #18 of 25

I cannot see living in Colorado and owning a 8.1 as my only ski. If you're gonna go with one ski, think about how you'll be doing after some lessons and plenty of days in the saddle. Would strongly recommend going over to Gear Reviews and checking out SJ's "Crazy 88's" and Dawgcatching's 80-100 mm threads, there'll be a ski or two there with your name on it. Really. Then go demo...

post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

So apparently you don't want a powder ski after all....................???

 

Or.....mayhaps you'd like a better daily driver and a powder ski.........???

 

Ya know......for about $200 more than the cost of a Mag 8.1.................................biggrin.gif

 

SJ


Yes, I would still like to have a powder ski eventually, but when you pointed out that my daily driver was too short, it redirected my focus.

 

Since I currently spend all of my time on piste, I'm thinking it would be better for me to optimize my daily driver and worry about powder skis later.

 

I want a ski that will help me to improve for the rest of this season.  I'd like something that is forgiving and confidence inspiring on the hard packed stuff, but also handles the deeper snow conditions when I encounter them.

 

What did you have in mind for $200 more?

 

 


Edited by Avalanchis - 12/20/10 at 12:50pm
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

I cannot see living in Colorado and owning a 8.1 as my only ski. If you're gonna go with one ski, think about how you'll be doing after some lessons and plenty of days in the saddle. Would strongly recommend going over to Gear Reviews and checking out SJ's "Crazy 88's" and Dawgcatching's 80-100 mm threads, there'll be a ski or two there with your name on it. Really. Then go demo...


If I'm replacing my old daily drivers with the intention of adding some powder skis later, would you recommend that I lean toward the 90mm width range?

post #21 of 25

 

What did you have in mind for $200 more?

 

 



If I were you and were interested in the 8.1 PLUS a powder ski, I would highly recommend checking out this:  http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/98897/blizzard-is-hitting-tahoe-hoe-hoe-for-the-christmas-season-and-beyond#post_1282180

post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadrash View Post



 

What did you have in mind for $200 more?

 

 



If I were you and were interested in the 8.1 PLUS a powder ski, I would highly recommend checking out this:  http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/98897/blizzard-is-hitting-tahoe-hoe-hoe-for-the-christmas-season-and-beyond#post_1282180


 

Wow!  Thanks for the heads up!

post #23 of 25

Just buy the S7 in 188. You don't know how to carve and thus any fat ski is going to suck on ice for you. Just avoid ice on powder days (shouldn't be hard) until you learn how to ski better. $.02

 

post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

Just buy the S7 in 188. You don't know how to carve and thus any fat ski is going to suck on ice for you. Just avoid ice on powder days (shouldn't be hard) until you learn how to ski better. $.02

 

 

I do know how to carve.  I'm just not very good at it on steeper and or hardpacked runs.  I know I really sucked at it on the S7 188s compared to the narrower, more frontside oriented carving skis.

 

Thanks for the advice!

 

Alan

 

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalanchis View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

Just buy the S7 in 188. You don't know how to carve and thus any fat ski is going to suck on ice for you. Just avoid ice on powder days (shouldn't be hard) until you learn how to ski better. $.02

 

 

I do know how to carve.  I'm just not very good at it on steeper and or hardpacked runs.  I know I really sucked at it on the S7 188s compared to the narrower, more frontside oriented carving skis.

 

Thanks for the advice!

 

Alan

 


Wider (100mm+) skis are a pain in the butt for carving on real hard pack compared to skis 80mm. But once you get used to them and improve carving skills you will be able to use them much more confidently -- that's been my experience. Also, having a close fitting boot is key with wider skis because of the added torque the edge puts on your boot. 

 

Upgrading your daily driver icon14.gif.

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