Skis and Gear Discussion > Skis 4 Me -- Suggestions or Advice??

Demo list for Perry

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Sold my western skis - had the Watea 98 and they are soft snow biased but when I do groomers they were boring and hurt my knee due to chatter (my theory as some other 98's didn't do this as much).  Need a more 50 -50 ski.
Level 8
6'2" 200lbs
56 yo with emerging right knee pain - not bad but get those twinges
Tend to ski aggressively
Use both the Harb and Clendenin methods
Looking at MX 83, would like to know more about the FX and LX lines
Like the Bonafide and curious about the Cochise and Scout (would 108 tweek the knee too much?) and curious about Kabookie and Bushwacker and throw in the Head rock and roll for even more confusion
Problem is in Steamboat there is not a shop that does Kastle and Blizzard.

Let the prose flow!

I think that given the fact that I am usually either on groomed or crud skiing I am going to stick with something in the 80's.  I would like a ski that I could venture into the bumps with and would help me get better there but the fact is that I am not a very good bump skier and as a result don't spend much time in them. 
Here is what I have narrowed my list to. 
Head Rev 85 and 90 184cm - maybe the Rock and Roll
MX 83 183cm
Outland 87 184cm
Blizzard Mag 8.5 181cm (Not sure whether it makes sense to spend time to demo this one)
I would love to try the Kastle Fx 84 and 94 but they don't have them to demo.  Curious Gary how you find them on groomers.


We share a common dilemma about a great mid-width western ski. I'm off to Big Sky in late March and there is a hole in my quiver. Like you, I've got some minor knee issues (just old age) and, in the past, found that an 88 width ski beat up my knees trying to keep them on angles. And, I just really like getting quick edge changes that we aspiring bump skiers need. What I believe is that you have to know yourself and what you like, and, not get caught up in the hype of skis that others tout as great for them.

In the Kastle line, the MX are more hard snow carvers, the LX is more soft snow oriented. I really liked the LX82 that I demo'd last year on a soft snow day. It made me smile

You seem to question the Blizz 85 ti, from my reads of it's performance, it's something we both should try. I've also been advised to try the Blizz 80 for a soft snow ski.

The Head Rev 85 gets some fine reviews, and, for sure, that would be on my list. Gary and I saw them last weekend in Rochester for 50% off, it was tempting. I'm a Head ski fan.

LP - you make a lot of sense.

I have gone back and forth on the Heads ( I also like these and ski the SS mag East; owned the Monster IM75 )
I have gone back and forth on the Blizzard 8.5 and Kastle 83.  Skied the Bonafide last year - great ski but I agree it is a bit stiff and skied the MX 88 176cm which was amazingly stable - I am 6'2" 200lbs and it was the most stable ski I have ever been on.

My other dilemma is that I may not get to demo the skis I want to. The shop in Steamboat that carries the MX83 doesn't have one mounted in the longer length yet - going to call next week to see if they will.  I am not sure I will find a Blizzard 8.5 to demo as most shops have sold out.  Add in that I don't go to Colorado to spend time in the shops - kinda impatient to get on the snow it makes we want to just buy something. 

Add in that I haven't gotten many ski days - makes buying the Kastle seem unwise.  (that will likely change next year though....sigh)
I have found the Head Rev mounted for $500 and tempted.  ever ski those or the ipeak 84?

Hi Perry! Welcome back. 

I haven't tried the Rev 85, but I did ski the Peak 84 for a full day in soft spring snow last April.  I can whole-heartedly recommend it.  Some quick impressions, if this would help you...

- extremely stable at speed, so much that I had no sensation of going at Mach velocity; almost scary, they are so smooth and quiet
- easy to turn, short/med/long
- very forgiving, but a high performance ceiling (see above)
- excellent edge grip, even on morning refrozen icy corduroy and crud; edge grip is very manageable, and not of the "always on" aggressive type like some skis; easy to release and drift
- smooth and strong release out of turns; strong supple tail, but not kick-butt aggressive; just right  :)
- stable and calm in crud and broken snow; not a bulldozer like of the some mid-fat Dynastars, but certainly doesn't get overly tossed about

- at slow speeds it feels a bit numb; not light and flickable; lacks agility

Overall, I would describe it as a very smooth and stable ski, extremely versatile, high performance but easy to ski.  Perhaps not the most maneuverable, in that it's not light underfoot, but certainly predictable, easy to turn, and goes where you want it to.  OTOH, if you like an agile, light ski, then this one may not have a high fun factor for you.

I skied it in soft spring snow, as mentioned, so no chance to try it in powder.  My guess is that it would do OK in fresh snow, but maybe not stellar.  From the sidecut shape and flex pattern, it seems more frontside oriented, but I could be wrong.  Others here who own it may want to chime in on that.

I am not a good bump skier, so will withhold comment on their bump performance, except to say that they were no problem to handle, save for the occasional unwanted spank from the tails.

FWIW, I am 6'2", 220 lbs, and skied the 184 length.  If I were to buy this ski, that is the length I would choose for either eastern or western mountains.

If you want a ski with similar high speed performance (smooth, quiet, stable), but with more off-piste ability, more agile/maneuverable, and a bit lighter feel underfoot, you might take the Dynastar Outland 87 for a spin.  I demoed it for a full day a couple of months ago, and was very impressed.  Perhaps more versatile than the Head if you venture into variety of all-mtn conditions, esp. off-piste and broken snow.  Tails did not have the energy and power of the Heads, so a bit lower performance in that regard, but no slouch by any means.  I posted a review here on our forum, if you're interested.

Good luck!


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