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Sorry - Another Help Me Choose a New Ski Thread

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I've been pouring through posts (especially Sierra Jim's Crazy 88 Thread) and subscribed to the expertskier.com review site.  But I'm at the point I need some guidance that is specific to me. 


So, about me:  male, 38 y.o., 6'0", 170 lbs., reasonably athletic.  Ski the west exclusively.  Probably considered an upper intermediate (love steep groomed trails, playing in bumps, picked my way down my first Double Black under Weems' tutelage last season, suck in deep powder for the few days I've had a shot at it).  Right now, I probably ski groomers 85% of the time, but I want to advance and improve off-piste, so I want a ski that can help me improve there while still being loads of fun on the groomers.  I like to ski very fast (relative term I know) on the groomers when conditions, crowds, etc. allow for that.


I bought gear when I started skiing 3 seasons ago, and I feel I've now topped out at its maximum performance level which is why I'm in search of new skis.  I've been skiing Atomic Hawx 80 boots with custom footbeds, but I just upgraded to a 2011 version Hawx in a 110 flex for this season.  I found the 80 was too soft last season.


I've been skiing 2008 Atomic Nomad Whiteouts in a 171 length.  I'm basically still pretty happy with this ski for most things I do - except 2 important areas: 1) they now feel unstable when I open things up on the groomers, so I have reached their speed limit and 2) they get deflected a lot in late day chopped up conditions.  I do like how easy they ski and how they have great edge hold.


With that said, I'm looking for a ski that is close to the forgiving/fun characteristics of the Whiteouts, while offering more stability at speed and crud busting.  I want it to be conducive to improving in bumps.  I'm not as concerned about deep snow performance because I figure I can always rent some wide boards if I'm lucky enough to get a big dump (I only ski about 10 days a year in 2 trips).


My first upgrade path was to go with Atomic's 2011 Blackeye Ti in a 174 length. I have a good deal on Atomic gear, so price/improvement wise this seemed to be the way to go.  Plus, I like how my Whiteouts ski, so this met my improvement goals while hopefully keeping me in a familiar feeling ski.  Unfortunately, the 174's are not available, so my only option in the Blackeye Ti's is in the 181 length.  I'm worried that adding 10cm of length may take away the fun/forgiveness aspects.  Am I right on with this concern or would some here say go for the 181's?  I'm not sure if any 174's will come back available this season.  


I considered the '11 Crimsons, but they seem too off-piste biased for what I am currently doing.  Again, would anyone steer me towards the Crimsons over the Blackeyes?


The main non-Atomic skis I'm considering are the Dynastar Sultan 85 and the Rossi S86.  Any opinions on these skis for me?  What length would you recommend for me?  My starting point is 171 which I currently ski, but I understand that some skis ski shorter than others.  


Finally, are there any skis that anyone would recommend for my particular situation that I have not mentioned?


Thanks so much for any help the group can provide!



Edited by cliffk - 12/21/10 at 11:35pm
post #2 of 6

The Sultan 85 and SC 86 are both a good call. Add the Fischer Motive 84 to your list. Also, we have 1 pr of Blackeye Ti in 174 left.





post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 


Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

The Sultan 85 and SC 86 are both a good call. Add the Fischer Motive 84 to your list. Also, we have 1 pr of Blackeye Ti in 174 left.





Wow, thanks for the quick reply!!  I took a look back at your mini-review of the Motive 84 and the expertskier review.  I definitely missed that one, and it does sound right up my alley.   They love it on expertskier.


So I have a list of 4.  Comparing the Sultan 85 to the SC 86, I noticed in some previous threads you mentioned that the Sultan 85 has less side cut than the SC 86.  For someone like me who still spends a good bit of time on the groomers, would I be happier with more side cut and thus the SC 86?  From reading, it sounds like these two skis are very similar other than this.


How would you compare the Motive 84 and Blackeye's to the Sultan 85 and SC 86?  I know you said y'all received the Atomic line late and didn't really get to review it head to head with the rest of your lineup.


Is there any one ski in this list of four that really separates itself from the others for my particular skier profile and wants/needs?


Thanks again!

post #4 of 6

Hi Cliff!

I'd like to join this thread cause I'm looking for skis for the same application. 160lbs and 6'0" a bit lower level than Cliff, want to advance my skills on bumps (now skills~=zero), skiing 90% time on groomers.

I skied both Blackeye 09 (without TI) and Sultans. Both skis are good with Blackeye more friendly, lighter, softer maybe, and easy to turn. I'm aiming on Blackeye TI 2010 right now. Maybe my level was not enough to enjoy Sultans more.

2011 model Blackeye is different from 2010, 2009, 2008. Atomic changed the design a little bit.

Cliff, I'd like to upgrade my boots too, is your 110 Flex is ok for fast carving and 170lbs? Will 100 Flex be ok for me (160lbs)?


Another skis which I'd like to try are Salomon XWING Tornado. Any comments about them?

Thank you.


post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 



I ended up going with the Fischer Motive 84 in the 175 length.  Sierra Jim first had me consider it above with his reply, and then Dawgcatching answered a ton of questions about it versus the other skis I was considering via pm so I bought them from him.  Here is a very detailed review that he offered up on the Motive 84 after I made my purchase decision:  http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/99308/2011-fischer-motive-84-and-motive-80-full-length-reviews#post_1285537  This further assured me that I think I made the right decision.  Because of your groomer bias like mine, I think the Motive 84's could be a good call for you as well.  


My first ski trip this season isn't until the first of February, so I don't know how the stiffer boots will work out for me.  As boot flex varies by manufacturer and is only relative within a particular lineup of boots (e.g., a 100 flex Atomic Hawx almost certainly won't be the same stiffness as a Tecnica whatever model in a 100 flex), it is hard to say if a 100 flex would be right for you.  The 110 flex happens to be 1 step down from the stiffest Hawx.  I've been told by some of the boot fitters here that I should generally be in a 100 - 120 flex boot depending on brand.  I would think that same general recommendation would apply to you, even at 10lbs lighter.


Good luck with your search!



post #6 of 6

Thank you Cliff.

Could you please write a review about Motive vs your old Whiteouts. I'm interested in your personal point of view cause you are very similar skier like me (near same weight, skill and slopes you like).

I'm still thinking of Blackeye, Blackeye Ti or Motive (80 probably).

Thank you.


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