Author Topic: Advice needed for all-mtn. ski, eastern use -- mid 80's, or mid 90's?  (Read 922 times)

Svend

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I will be taking my Mythics out west soon and leaving them in Calgary for use when I ski Banff and the nearby BC resorts.  To replace them, I am looking to get an all-mountain ski for use primarily here in the east, with perhaps the occasional trip west to places other than Banff.  With the new wider ski designs becoming more and more versatile for hard snow use, I'd like some feedback as to whether a mid-90's ski would do the trick, or if I should stick to a mid- to high-80's board.

My instinct is the latter, to optimize for possible ice and crusty hard snow.  But if there is a 94mm+ ski that is equally agile and can hold on hard snow and scraped off ice patches, then I'm all ears.  The only ski in that width I have any experience on is the Sultan 94, which has a definite western bias.  All others have been in the 85 to 88mm range.  In reading the reviews, there are a number of mid-80's skis that have real integrity on icy slopes and are supposed to be a blast on groomers, but none that I have read about in the 94 and up size.

My criteria, in short:

-- full camber, or a touch of early rise (no tail rocker)
-- torsionally stiff; moderate longitudinal flex; softer shovel; stiff tail is OK
-- moderate weight
-- 50/50 hard/soft snow versatility

FYI -- for length, if a mid-80's width, then I would go to a 185ish length to give me better float in soft snow; if a 94+ width, then probably ~178 if full camber, 180+ if early rise.

Looking forward to some feedback from anyone that has experience to share.

Cheers,
Svend
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 12:15:38 pm by Svend »


Svend

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My short list, so far.  All 90mm or less.  In no particular order of preference.

-- Fischer Motive 84 C-Line
-- Nordica Jet Fuel (84mm)
-- Nordica Burner (84mm)
-- Nordica Steadfast (90mm)
-- Elan Apex (88mm)
-- Volkl Kendo (88mm; supposed to be be near-identical to the 10/11 Apex)
-- Dynastar Legend/Sultan 85
-- Head iM88, pre-2011 without Flowride, if I can still find one

As mentioned, I know of no 90mm+ ski that has good eastern snow cred.  Scott Crusade or Venture might be there, but there is little info on their hard snow /  ice abilities.

Any comments or feedback on the above most welcome.

Svend

LivingProof

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Svend,
Are you looking for a new eastern daily driver or a second ski that can used in better eastern conditons? While our home mountain conditions differ a little, it hurts my head (and knees) to think about skiing a wide, stiff ski on a daily basis on hard snow. I've been considering looking at an alternative to my Kastle 88's as I've just been spending too little time on them due to small mountain I ski. Admittedly, I'm also biased toward skis that make shorter radius turns and that are responsive to tipping movements. We've not skied together (and that need to change next season) but it only makes sense to ski a wider ski if one likes just crusing via larger GS type turns. Don't even want to think about icy bumps on fat skis.

Don't get me wrong, I've had some great days on the 88's, and they have expanded my fun zone, but, lack of precision and quickness is a detriment.

Sorry, but I can't offer any thoughs regarding your possible selecitons as they are from a classificaion that just does not work for me...    I'd prefer to take a narrower carver into soft snow and light pow rather than fight a fat board on hard snow. That's only my view, others will surely disagree.

If it actually is a second ski in the eastern quiver, forget all that I said. :P :P

Svend

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Hi Mike,

Sorry, I should have clarified:  this is to be the wider part of an eastern quiver.  I have two narrow skis -- the Progressor 9, and the Nordica Mach 3, one of which I may be parting company with.  This leaves a quiver gap, with the Mythics making their way to a second home out west (sister-in-law's house in Calgary).  I would really like a wider ski for days of eastern "powder", and the frequent crud and junk that follows a snowfall on our local hill, as well as trips to Quebec, Lake Placid, etc..  For these conditions, I really don't need anything wider than, say, 85mm or so.  But I may also take junkets to Utah, Wyoming, BC interior, in which case having a wider ski at hand would be gold.  So, having said that, if there is a 90mm+ ski that can handle eastern hard snow and ice, and have some off-piste ability too, then I'd certainly consider it.

As for skiing together, how about coming to Banff in April with Gary and I? Conditions should be great until mid- to late May.  My wife skied Louise and Sunshine last May 9 to 14, and nary a melting snowflake to be seen.  Full-on winter conditions.  Amazing.  Best part, it's probably no farther to fly to than Denver.  Got passport, will travel!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 09:07:27 pm by Svend »

bushwacka

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Steadfast really really sweet ski. Personally I would go carver and a 100mm ski and if you wanted something in between get the steadfast.  I do not know your home area though if it has tree skiing the 88mm skis are nearly useless compared to 98mm class skis they simply are not quick enough compared to the 98mm ski.

it skis as if the bushwacker and the Kendo had a love child that exceeds both of them in performance.

Svend

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Hey Josh, thanks for the input.  I have read some great things about the Steadfast, and it is winning Best of Test in a number of ski reviews here and in Europe.  Hard snow performance is supposed to be excellent, and it carves like a race ski apparently.  Interesting description you gave -- love child of Bushwacker and Kendo.  Good one! This is definitely high on my short list.

As for stiffness and flex pattern.... keeping in mind the other skis in my quiver (as noted above) is it suitable for a guy my size?  6'2", 220lbs.  Does it have a uniform flex, or stiff tail w. softer shovel?

FYI, as for width choice, 100mm is probably too much.  I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of days I could have used a 100mm+ ski in the past 6 years of my skiing adventures.  Any soft snow and crud days have been well handled by my Mythics at 88mm.  And if I do end up somewhere and get blessed by a 36" dump, then I will rent a wide board for a day or two.

Thanks again!

bushwacka

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Hey Josh, thanks for the input.  I have read some great things about the Steadfast, and it is winning Best of Test in a number of ski reviews here and in Europe.  Hard snow performance is supposed to be excellent, and it carves like a race ski apparently.  Interesting description you gave -- love child of Bushwacker and Kendo.  Good one! This is definitely high on my short list.

As for stiffness and flex pattern.... keeping in mind the other skis in my quiver (as noted above) is it suitable for a guy my size?  6'2", 220lbs.  Does it have a uniform flex, or stiff tail w. softer shovel?

FYI, as for width choice, 100mm is probably too much.  I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of days I could have used a 100mm+ ski in the past 6 years of my skiing adventures.  Any soft snow and crud days have been well handled by my Mythics at 88mm.  And if I do end up somewhere and get blessed by a 36" dump, then I will rent a wide board for a day or two.

Thanks again!

My point 100mm works on hard pack. And in couple inches of snow they get quicker.

As for the steadfast. considering getting the 186 and I ll think youwill be fine.

Svend

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As for the steadfast. considering getting the 186 and I ll think youwill be fine.

Definitely the 186.  With early rise tip, I wouldn't go shorter.  And in that length, float should be pretty decent too.

Only trouble may be finding a pair.  Demoing is probably impossible.  Actually finding a store that sells them just to kick the tires, so to speak, is going to be enough of a challenge.  Perhaps out west in April I might have some luck....


Svend

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Hey Max, thanks for the recommendations.  I haven't seen the 84's in a shop yet, but I checked out this year's iPeak 78 recently, and they seemed a wee bit on the soft side.  Not sure if this translates directly as an indicator of how the 84's might feel (being in the same series, similar construction), but they certainly seemed a lot softer than the previous iM78 (pre-flowride).  BTW, I demoed the iM78 a few years ago and really liked it.  So much so, I bought my wife a pair (see my other thread on those).  But I kind of lost interest in the Monster/Peak line since Head softened them up last year.  I'm a big guy, at 6'2" / 220 lbs, so would prefer a ski with a bit of stiffness. 

What's the new iPeak 84 like? Stiffer than the 78? If so, then maybe worth a look.  I will check out some reviews too, which I haven't done for this ski as it has just not been on my radar.  Now, if I can find a new pair of 2010 iM88's.....that would wake my interest.... 8)  Supposed to be outstanding in every snow condition, and solid.

« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 05:01:02 am by Svend »

Svend

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A quick update here....

I checked out the Peak 84 last weekend in Banff, and found it to be significantly stiffer than the the 78.  Furthermore, the 184 length of the 84 is quite a bit stiffer than the 177 length, but not a plank by any means -- just a supple, powerful flex feel.  This suddenly made made the ski look pretty appealing, and a good option for me.  So I demoed a pair in a 184 for a full day.  In a word:  Wow! What a great ski.  I had a blast on it.  Skied it in all kinds of conditions -- early morning frozen corduroy, bumps and crud; midday soft bumps and crud, late day mush.  It excelled in all conditions, esp. the frozen groomers, which bodes well for eastern use.  What a ripper.  I might just buy a pair  :D

Many here seem to be familiar with this ski, but if anyone wants a proper review, let me know.