Author Topic: Wider Skis for Me?  (Read 1078 times)

Avalanchis

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Wider Skis for Me?
« on: October 28, 2011, 08:36:36 am »
Hello,

I'm a level 6-7 skier, 5'9" and 180 lbs.  I live near Vail, CO and I ski around 50 days a season. 

I'm currently skiing on a pair of Blizzard Magnum 8.1 in the 172mm length.  I really like these skis, but I feel that they are still a bit above my current ability level.

I still spend a lot of time on the groomers, but I'm considering buying a wider pair of skis for the powder days and when I venture back to the bowls.

I'm looking for recommendations for skis in the 100mm wide range which would be good for a progressing intermediate skier.  It seems like something with some rocker might be a good idea.

Some of the skis I'm considering are:

Blizzard Cochise
Blizzard The One
Liberty Helix
Icelantic Nomad

Any thoughts on these or other skis that fit these requirements?

Thanks!

Alan




jim-ratliff

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2011, 09:57:57 am »
I'm sure others will chime in, but a couple of thoughts.  I'm more a fan of early rise than true rocker. To quote the Liberty site regarding their "stealth rocker". 
Quote from: Liberty skis
Gradual tip rocker with camber under foot and a flat tail for easy turn initiation and great soft snow performance without sacrificing edge grip and energy return.
I've always liked Icelantic skis, their graphics are awesome and several people here have had Icelantic over the years.
Width. I went from an 84mm waisted ski to a 101mm waisted ski last year, and sometimes that feels like a big difference.  I think you are wise in looking in the 98-105 range rather than making a really big jump. Check out Bushwacka's comments about 98 vs 109 width in the review below.

I'm curious.  You say you "like the Blizzard 8.1" but that "it's still a bit above my current level." Can you say more.
What was your thought in narrowing to the 2 Blizzards you did.  The Bonafide might be a better choice than The One (but all of these are full rocker). You might consider adding a Watea 98 to your list for something that is easier.
Wait and see what some of the better, more knowledgeable skiers have to say.


Also, see this review pertinent to your ski list by Bushwacka.
http://www.realskiers.smfnew.com/index.php/topic,1859.msg15410.html#msg15410
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 11:42:27 am by jim-ratliff »
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bushwacka

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2011, 01:39:14 pm »
just want to spell out some facts....

-"The one" is flat camber underfoot with tip and tail rocked, very very gradual
-Bonafide have camber under foot with tip and tail rocker. Its flip core so the ski has alot more edge grip than other similar skis because its torsional stiffer, while being more eager to be flex since the underfoot camber was pressed into.
-Cochise is flat under foot with tip and tail rocker

Progressing intermediate near colorado

since this is only your second ski I would not go super big. 100ish mm skis with enough length float great really especially now that we have rocker.

So here is my list

"The One" in a 177cm or even 184cm

why you should get the one.

1. its easy to ski in all conditions
2. Its super easy to ski on groomers in fact for some lighter skis it has more edge grip than the stiffer bonafide
3. bumps are stupid easy on it.
4. fun playfully and poppy
5.not wide enough to torque my knees

neutral comments

1. its very lively, not damp at all

negatives

1.flex isnt as round as the "freemountain" line, tail can feel to soft
2.get thrown around in crud alot
3. sucks at charging
4. if the edge are dull at all they suck on eastern hardpack or western spring freeze.

Blizzard Cochise is not your ski yet, its by far the most versatile ski I skied last year, and ordered it in a 193cm but its is not what you want. its a stiff near big mountain comp board made for people who think that other people are lame.

Libery Helix- havent skied them

Icelandtic Nomad - I have skied the 181cm  SFT. the soft could be one of the best non rockered off trail skis ever made. I really like this ski and with unlimited funds and loss of Blizzard sponsorship I could own this.


old review of "the one" on TGR archives I honestly do not think anyone in the country has had more time on that ski than me.

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/archive/index.php?t-189378.html



 

« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 02:48:46 pm by bushwacka »

Liam

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2011, 12:38:29 pm »
NIce reviews, 'bush.  If I may chime in.  I own and Ski the Nomad SFt in a 181cm and I echo bush's sentiments.   I love it in soft snow at medium speeds  It's very light and easy to maneuver in tight spaces.  Not the best at speed in heavy snow and not my choice for hard snow.  If heavier snow and bigger turns are on the menu, consider the regular Nomad over the SFT.  Oh, be advised that the Nomad waist width is quite a bit larger than the listed 105mm (it's closer to a 111mm). 

I have skied the Liberty Helix, it's another well made indy ski.  However, it is a little stiffer and more powerful than most indy skis at this width and if you are finding your Blizzards a handful, you might have the same experience with the Liberty.

I'd also throw in the Rossi S3.  It's a great skiing ski, especially for an advancing intermediate looking for an all-mountain tool at a resort like vail.  Very easy to turn (and yes it responds well to pivoting as well as tipping), great float, and more energy than one would expect from a ski like this.  It is an excellent 'medium-speed' crud ski.  It has decent camber under foot and a fairly substantial rise at the tip and tail.  I haven't skied the Blizzard The One--but I bet the S3 skis pretty similarly to the One.

I Haven't skied the cochise, but it strikes me as a powerhouse of a ski...maybe not the right ski for you.

How long have you been skiing?

Avalanchis

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2011, 12:48:45 pm »
Thanks everyone for the replies!

I'm curious.  You say you "like the Blizzard 8.1" but that "it's still a bit above my current level." Can you say more.

I'm not sure if I can elaborate effectively about this.  At times it seems a bit stiff for me, and I find it hard to keep the carve going sometimes.

What was your thought in narrowing to the 2 Blizzards you did.

I skied "The One" last year a few times and liked it.  I was interested in the Cochise because of the rocker and flipcore, but from what bushwacka posted, it seems like it is over my head. 

I did have the Bonafide on my list but neglected to mention it.  How well would the Bonafide would match up with my current ability level?

Avalanchis

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2011, 12:58:54 pm »
How long have you been skiing?

I've went skiing a couple of times as a teen and then took a long break.  I'm 45 now.  Over the past 10 years I've skied a couple of times per season.  I moved to the Vail valley last October and last season I skied 53 days.

This season I hope to continue improving.  I can ski most blue runs confidently, and I can "get down" most black runs. 

I'm not great on the bumps but hoping to get better this year.  I'm not very confident in the deeper powder and would especially like to improve in this area.

I don't really ski the trees much, but I enjoy the back bowls and blue sky basin at Vail.

Thanks everyone for the advice!

Alan

Avalanchis

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2011, 01:13:00 pm »
I'd also throw in the Rossi S3.  It's a great skiing ski, especially for an advancing intermediate looking for an all-mountain tool at a resort like vail.  Very easy to turn (and yes it responds well to pivoting as well as tipping), great float, and more energy than one would expect from a ski like this.  It is an excellent 'medium-speed' crud ski.  It has decent camber under foot and a fairly substantial rise at the tip and tail.  I haven't skied the Blizzard The One--but I bet the S3 skis pretty similarly to the One.

I'll definitely add the S3 to my list.

Looking forward to demoing some of these skis soon!

jim-ratliff

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2011, 01:39:47 pm »

Sounds like the Nomad SFT should be high on your list. You may even find you like it on groomed slopes.  I was a bit surprised at Bushwacka's endorsement, I expected him to gravitate to beefier skis.

A bit of background.
BW is a PSIA level III instructor at Stowe. His favorite type of skiing is  pretty obvious from his posts.
Liam is a Ski Patroller at Berkshire East (where ever that might be  :o  ) so his favorite skis may be what makes it easy to ski bumps backwards with a toboggan.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 05:55:33 pm by jim-ratliff »
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GreenTrails

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2011, 05:51:58 pm »
http://www.powdermag.com/photos/monster-noreastah-ravages-interior-new-england/

Where you'll find Liam, Beastie Boy and me.  Though I'm the only one of the three to have hiked up this year...

jim-ratliff

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2011, 06:01:50 pm »
http://www.powdermag.com/photos/monster-noreastah-ravages-interior-new-england/

Where you'll find Liam, Beastie Boy and me.  Though I'm the only one of the three to have hiked up this year...
Good for you.  Earnin' some early season turns.  That must have felt really different with the leaves still on the trees and that much snow.  I'm a bit jealous, only been in the Backyard Bowl for a couple of runs so far.
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

Liam

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2011, 07:34:37 pm »
Nice, H-man-that deserves an X-post.   Did they get a photo of you as well?? 

I did ski off of the edge of Sugarloaf (South Deerfield, Ma Sugarloaf) that is...much shorter hike.

Liam

bushwacka

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2011, 09:25:01 pm »

Sounds like the Nomad SFT should be high on your list. You may even find you like it on groomed slopes.  I was a bit surprised at Bushwacka's endorsement, I expected him to gravitate to beefier skis.

A bit of background.
BW is a PSIA level III instructor at Stowe. His favorite type of skiing is  pretty obvious from his posts.
Liam is a Ski Patroller at Berkshire East (where ever that might be  :o  ) so his favorite skis may be what makes it easy to ski bumps backwards with a toboggan.

I own some beefy skis and want some really beefy skis. I am getting a pair of 193 Cochise to crush snowbird into submission but for the OP or for me skiing at stowe, a 193cm Cochise is not the skis.

The Nomad SFT has gobs of edge grip on hard snow and is stupid easy skiing soft snow or powder. It Icelantic second best  powder tree ski for me after the Gypsies and the best all around. I hate the Shamans(too much sidecut) and dislike the Keeper for tree skiing(to stiff, to much sidecut, to much camber underfoot). Also the SFT is quite capable at All mountain jibbing which makes my inner snowboarder quite happy.

Liam

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2011, 05:59:57 am »
Bush' is right-the jib factor of the Nomad is another plus..it's downright playful and allows even a gaper like me to spin around on blue groomers with ease like a kid.  I think you get the same with the S3.

The Bonafide is a dynamite ski...that might be in short supply as they're pretty hot right now.  You might even go narrower with the Bushwacker, at vail it would be pretty great even in deeper snow (In my few forays out to Colorado, the powder I skied was about a 10th of the water density of what we usually ski in Southern New England...when we have powder).

Bush--have you skied the gypsy???  Maybe next year when I get a new big ski (it's a boot year for me this season) I'd get one...It'd be well and by far the fattest, most rockered ski I ever owned or tried.  I must admit, I get hesistant on ski with a waist width over 115mm.  It's my old-school guilt.


Avalanchis

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2011, 08:16:37 am »
You might even go narrower with the Bushwacker, at vail it would be pretty great even in deeper snow (In my few forays out to Colorado, the powder I skied was about a 10th of the water density of what we usually ski in Southern New England...when we have powder).

Anyone have any experience with the Bushwacker?

According to the Blizzard web site, the target user is:

"Intermediate skiers looking to be advanced by the end of the season!"

Seems like this describes me fairly well.  Its a little narrower than I was considering, but I'm adding it to my list.

bushwacka

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2011, 08:45:07 am »
Avalanchis

here is my review of the bushwacker

http://www.realskiers.smfnew.com/index.php/topic,1858.0.html

but to be honest with an 8.1 already in your Stable it would be kinda of Useless to not go up to at least 100mm underfoot. Its a great ski and back east is really nice because its quick enough underfoot, grips ice well enough, and despite not being a top surfing slaving machine it skis powder better than alot of bigger skis. I still think "the one" or the Nomad SFT will be the most fun for you though.

Liam I have skied the Gyspy. Skiershop has a pair of 190 for demo which I skied a couple times at stowe, and I got on pair of 180 out at Alta.  The Full Continuous low rise rocker is very much like a Volkl, which is a good thing for tree skiing. The low rise lets the entire edge engage on non 3d snow but it is never going confuse with a carving ski like a nomad SFT can. Its not hard to ski in any condition though and makes skiing tight places in the woods really fun.

beastieboy

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2011, 02:56:26 pm »
Hi Jim,

I got a little bit of a chuckle regarding Liam's ski preference.  I don't think that any of us buy skis specifically for patrolling, although it is always in the back of your head.  The reason?  It's embarrasing to skewer a bump while going backwards down the liftline with a toboggan behind you.  The guy on the tail rope will stop the sled, so no paying customers or volunteers for sled training will be harmed.  However, when that happens the beer fines can drive you to bankrupcy, and your face is redder than your coat.  But even with all that in the balance, I think that most of us chose skis that we think we will like to ski.  Most seasons the average volunteer patroller might run a dozen sleds.  If we're doing it right, we'll get in hundreds of regular runs. 

Liam is an excellent all around skier, and is a student of the sport.  In general, I trust his judgement.  However, there are always intantangibles in ski choice.  I tried a pair of Rossi Avenger Ti 82's last winter.  They did everything great, they just weren't fun or lively.  But those are attributes I value - and not everyone else does.  There is no substitute for demo'ing skis - especially if you are paying full retail. 

Green Trails - I saw the pics from Berkshire East that you posted.  What a hoot!  If I could have gotten out of our street on Sunday, it would have been a great choice.  It wasn't a great day for travelling.

John

jim-ratliff

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2011, 03:43:06 pm »

I have a friend that is certified or accredited or something with National Ski Patrol. Whatever the title, there have been less than 1000 of them since the beginning, and he is deservedly proud of the accomplishment.  He now spends the vast majority of his "patrol days" teaching clinics or testing candidates.
Anyway, he tells the story of some ski patrol candidate taking the toboggan down the bump run and the Head Patrol guy acting as the subject.  It was a very rough ride, and the individual was removed from ski patrol at the bottom of the run.

Anyway, one of my concerns about ski advice is how well the reader's skiing relates to the writer's. On some other forums, new people have no idea whether or not the person giving ski advice has any credentials or experience, and often (not in this case) all the advice is about the writer's favorite ski and not what the OP was asking about.  I was trying to be humorous, but at the same time provide some information to bridge that gap.
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beastieboy

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2011, 07:31:06 pm »
Hi Jim,

Sorry - wasn't trying to take your post too seriously.  Just wanted to give perspective, and didn't want Liam's ski reviews to be viewed as coming from someone with really unusual ski demands.  We pretty much use skis the same way as everyone else, although for more days than some people!

Your friend who is certified has a serious commitment to the business of patrolling.  He has put a lot of work into it to become certified.  It's a great organization and a great group of people. 

Getting tested is probably not my favorite part of the job, or most other's for that matter.  Sometime if you are bored at your local mountain and see them doing toboggan training, volunteer to be the 'patient'.  It's a fun ride.

I agree with you on ski reviews.  There are some reviewers that I follow more than others.  It is one of the difficulties of the composite reviews you get in the ski magazines.  It's easier if you know about what they like to ski, what they value in a ski, and what other skis they like.  There are some people that if they like a ski, I'm pretty likely to like it too.  Others - not so much.

Liam

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2011, 05:40:42 am »
Jim,

If your friend is Certified, he's a hell of a skier and a patroller..the Cert program is the Mac Daddy of all ski standards (and patrol/ first standards as well).  Our Director and one other 'super' patroller are the only full certs on our hill.

No, I think it's fair to try to put a 'face' on an on line ski reviewer and I took no offense. I run more toboggans than most folks on my hill ( I pro as well as volunteer and get 4 days in a week) so running sleds is in the back of my mind.  However, we ski a ton (more than most patrols) and I buy skis that work well on my local bump, in northern VT and NH and I can take out west.

So who am I as  a skier:  I'm a decent skier...not great, but I don't suck either. 

I learned to ski at Age 30 (I'm now 42).  And I ski way better than most people who learned to ski as an adult (and I mean I was NEVER on skis before the age of 30).  I spent a lot of time working on technique, taking lessons, reading books, buying gear, and I remember what it is like and what one needs at each stage of learning and skiing.  I ski all season in all terrain and in all conditions (from pouring rain, to real-bullet proof bumps, to occasional powder..and yes, I've run sleds in all conditions as well) .  So, for the OP's question, I think I have a pretty keen understanding of what he's looking for and what he struggles with even if he doesn't.

Also I work PT in a ski shop and have a good sense of selling skis to the general public.

None of this makes my ski advice, expert advice...but I think it makes my advice on ski 'worth considering' for growing intermediates.

I don't know enough nor do I have the chops to recommend a ski to a skier like Bushwacka, and I defer to the PMTS specialists who have very specific ski needs that I admit I don't completely share, but I understand. 

However, I'm pretty comfortable serving up advice in my wheel house.

jim-ratliff

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Re: Wider Skis for Me?
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2011, 02:23:42 pm »
"Certified" is probably it, and may apply in other ways. I remember hearing from his wife (co-worker) about all the rope and belaying testing he also had to do. Another story. During one test in bumps, he lost one ski, so he skied the rest of the bump run on the other ski.  Maybe not that tough for many, but spiffy in my view. He would also ski the double black bump run at the local mountain in the dark after they closed the hill, just for the heck of it.  He's also climbed Mt. Ranier a couple of times and Mt. Aconcagua (spelling is probably wrong) in SA once, and almost didn't get his best friend down off the mountain that last time.


My hat's off to all patrollers, actually, and you certainly get to deal with a broad variety of skiers on a regular basis.  It's got to be a labor of love, even for paid patrollers.
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