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All mountain ski for midwest (groomed / packed / ice / rare powder below 6-8")

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Skill level:  early intermediate, but I will progress to intermediate to advance quickly after skiing this season.  I expect 15-30 full days out their this year.

Size: 5' 10" stocky, 235 lbs (might cut down to 220 by then);

I'm able to ski down midwest blues, some blacks, can manage moguls, hit some jumps, drop offs, etc.


This year going to midwest locals (Boyne Mountain, Pine Knob, Alpine valley) all small hills, with man-made snow, hard packed /. groomed, turns into mush or ice depending on sunlight.  Freak storm may generate less than 6-8" range of powder if even.


I have at trip booked for Feb 8,9,10 at Boyne so I gotta grab something now.

I'd like to spend less than $600, but that is not looking possible right now.


I started to look at the Atomic Blackeye TI for a good versatile all mountain ski,

also 2008 Head Monster Im 78 SW Skis Anthracite 177 length, which I've read might be a little bit more maneuverable vs. blackeye, but still stable and confidence inspiring.


K2 Apache raider seams like a capable ski, but I don't want to spend money on something and find out it is subpar, or flappable, for my skill/conditions/weight.

There are so many choices I'm going blind looking at all of these skis, I don't really have demo options in this area (or time to demo before my trip)


I'm thinking 177-182cm is the right length range for my weight, but any advice is much appreciated.


I'm trying to find a good deal with the bindings included but the IM 78's don't seem to be offered that way so the next item is binding selection.  I've read that the Marker Griffon or Jesters are a good choice.  


I've also read that the IM 78's come from the factory needing some tuning.  Ideally if I could find another ski that already has bindings, doesn't need tuning the first season, and is equivalent or maybe even better for my conditions this would be ideal.  Thanks for any insight!


I already have boots: Technica Dragon 90, in size 28.5 (after killing my feet in rentals last year, I found boots based on good fitment (and had them form-fit the soles)).  

They are red/black/white and colors happen to match, but that is secondary vs. performance.





my dragon boots:



I just googled these bindings which go up to Din 12, and 250 lbs 



based on an online calculator http://www.dinsetting.com/


Din 8.5 to 10 should be adequate if that is accurate then those bindings would cut it.


Thanks for any insight!

post #2 of 4

Welcome. You're a big guy, so you want a ski that a) grips on your Michigan ice (lived there for a while, skied some of these places), and b) can handle your size at decent speed. 


I like the Atomic Blackeye Ti for you, definitely in the 180's. Not so sure about the iM78 or the Raider, largely because neither are really optimal on serious ice. At your price point, Blizzards are probably out, but something like the Magnum 7.6 would be nice. Nordica would be my other call; might still be good prices on Hot Rod Fuel's or Ignitor Ti's, if you can find any, and they'll hold up to your size and mission. 


Let the shop that mounts them check and adjust your DIN. Get whatever you buy tuned, set the edges to 1/2 or 1/2.5. Later you can move them to 1/3. 

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your input, I started looking at the Fuel and ignitor, it looks like the biggest they come is 178cm,  Given my size do you think this length would be ok?  I'm not sure how critical it would be, but I believe 183cm is likely more in my size range.  


Also I'm learning alot as I read and gleam as much as I can on prior reviews, from this thread I learned of the IM-78's as an alternative, but they may not be as well suited for ice like you say.




I actually like the 2009 Blackeye TI's better but I can't seem to find any left on the shelves, and they are also 178cm max.  2011 they bumped to 181cm max.

Edited by Weldingrod - 12/29/10 at 9:35pm
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

After much deliberation and analysis I went with the 2011 Blizzard Magnum 7.6 in 177cm, IQ with TP 12 bindings;  Should have them by Friday, I'm stoked!


Not cheap at 750, but got them for 675 after 10% off, and free shipping (ski essentials);

I could have gotten Volkl AC30's for even cheaper, but they seemed to be a bit too advance for my skill level.  The magnums were rated #1 intermediate in 2009/10, and are described as a ski that would not be quick to grow out of.   The head monster im78's ski's were a close second, about the same cost but with more traditional bindings (and could have gotten adjustables which is nice),  Nordica ignitor Ti's would probably have been a shorter learning curve but the price was higher than the Magnums (last years were all out of stock) I missed a set for 400! darn!.


 Blackeye's were out of stock except for 2011 (expensive), and seemed more difficult in the short turns. (based on all I've gleamed);  Pretty much all of the K2's I read about including the raiders, the sidewinders, the unlimited, all seemed to be a nice damp ski but likely don't hold a good/hard edge (likely to affect ice control especially for a big guy).


Thanks for the advice.


I may find myself up at Bohemia in the MI-Upper Peninsula before the winter ends for some more natural snow than S.E. Michigan.  And next season at some place like Banf, or UTAH for some powder skiing. 


     It seems that late March early April is probably the best time to buy skii's I will likely buy another set of "all mountains" that are a little wider for powder, groomed powder, and some tree's.  But I'll wait to assess my Ski level for a season or two.


Gotta love these forums, so many choices, I'll be reading up on 2011 ski's after you guys have had more chances to cut-up some snow! happy arc-cutting to all!

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