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Recommend a second hand / cheap offpiste ski?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Erm, where to start? Ok, I'm planning to book the gnarbug and sopib next season, I've always skied skinny skis or carvers, the widest skis I've owned are the current 170 iRallys at 76 underfoot. I've always been too tight/broke to carry more than one pair. I generally have no trouble skiing all terrain on the iRallys, from deepest powder to hard piste but thinking the powder may be more fun on purpose built planks.
Is there such a thing as a powder ski that carves like the iRallys?
Those snowheads that know me know that I'm not much of an equipment geek, generally replacing ggear as it falls apart rather than falls out of fashion.
I'm 90kg 185cm tall and learned to ski powder on 2m super gs in 1980something or other.
The plan for the gnarbug and sopib is that we are driving out in a Ducato van so if I can buy, beg, borrow or steal, I can carry quite a number of pairs to try.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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@tangowaggon, powder itself isn't usually an issue but wider skis typically take less work. Where a "modern" wider ski really helps is in crappy snow, crud, crust, etc. Until you get really wide and long for Alaska like high speed lines.

Almost anything you can find ... personally my daily driver is 100mm and it's very fine in everything so far but there are those on here who'd go wider.

There are few bad skis made these days.
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As you are comfortable on narrow skis, then going to something with a waist of around 92 will feel pretty wide, much easier in powder and still feel carvey on Piste.

An All Mountain type ski won't be as good at carving on piste as a dedicated Carver...it just depends where you want to compromise.
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Blizzard Brahma would be a good ski for you
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i would have a look at the Rossi sky 7 HD because they are all over and super good value right now 99/98 underfoot, often found with a binding in the pack - go 188 rather than 180 which will be too short for you . I think Brahmas would be fine but not "different" enough.
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Yeah, I'd aim 95-100mm. Take a few days of acclimiatistion.
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There is tons of choice in the 90-100mm waist range. From what you describe it sounds like you might prefer stiffer ski (ie metal in it) so Blizzard Brahma, Atmoic Vantage 90 etc. Rather than Sin 7, Cham 97 etc (personally I prefer a softer ski, but it's preference/what you're used to).

Another thought is the binding. If you are looking to ski more off piste, then that may lead you to doing a bit of ski touring. There has been a couple of recent posts (including one from me) about changing bindings to a frame or tech binding. If you don't have tech boots and don't intend on changing them, then a marker f10/f12 binding could be a thought.
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Do you tend to a longer ski for a powder ski? as I say, I'm 185 tall and 90kg currently on 170's, I tend to prefer a shorter ski that is easier when in the tricky bits. I used some Rossi experience 88's about 6 years ago at UCPA which seemed ok offpiste, not too bad carving but had the nimbleness of a supertanker in the bumps. A lightweight & nimble ski that can change direction quickly would be preferable
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An Exp88 shouldn't be tanker like in the bumps. Were you trying to carve it or pivoting/steering. You can comfortably go fatter than that in a rockered ski and pivot quite easily to eat up bumps.

Plus you should go longer if you go for a rockered ski because your effective edge is much sorter.

I stand by my view that the Cham 2.0 97 is all the off piste ski most people need.
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Quote:

nimbleness of a supertanker in the bumps


It's not the skis.
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under a new name wrote:
Quote:

nimbleness of a supertanker in the bumps


It's not the skis.


Compared to my old Head 1100s , they were like supertankers, even my current Head iRallys can't match the 1100s in the bumps,
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under a new name wrote:
Quote:

nimbleness of a supertanker in the bumps


It's not the skis.


To be fair it probably is. Rossi Experience are absolutely rotten things, they're either made of cardboard or feel like it.

They were bought by all the rental shops for a few seasons, I think it's a nice easy ski for your 1-week-a-year hobbyists.

I've skied with tangowaggon and you might say he 'doesn't hang about'... I'm quite aggressive on the skis too and can relate to the problem. They're far too flappy and the camber doesn't drive the tip in. In the bumps they end up just flailing about like a bamboo hut in a hurricane.
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@dp, In fairness, I haven't skied on anything like that since about 1989 when I had the joy of an all wooden rental pair of Rossis from around 1962.
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@tangowaggon, I started on skinnies (Sallomon Force 9 et al) 25 years ago and then went on to carvers (Rossignol Bandits/B2). I had a brief failed flirtation with some Movement Thunders that were just too stiff (for me). Then a couple of years ago due to a failed binding I hired some Dynstar Cham 87's. After the other binding went I decided to invest in some new Cham 97's. The 87 and 97 denoting the waste width - they was also a 107. The 87's were great but was encouraged by folks on here among other things to go wider. And I have to say the 97's rail pretty darn good. And of course they are much better in the crud and powder in comparison to me old carvers. The wife upgraded to some wider skis (White Doctor) last year and she says the only difference is their ability to crush the crud. So sure go for it.

The Cham 87/97/107 have been replaced by the Cham 2.0 last season, so if you scour the second hand market you can probably get some 97 or 107's for a decent price.
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@under a new name, yeah... I know that often on the forum we say "it's not the skis, get a lesson". But there are exceptions.

I am not saying that Rossi Experience are dog egg, period. It sold well for the cheaper-end ski hire places like Intersport etc... it was just the go-to ski for several seasons during the soft snow part of the season (then once it firmed up everybody seemed to hire the Salamon X-Drive). Walking round resorts 2 years ago, every tourist seemed to have a pair of Experience 80s slung over his shoulder.

But IMO if you are a heavy and/or aggressive skier who pushes hard into turns, the ski is just too floppy and bouncy. It doesn't push into the snow at tip and tail, it just sits gently on the snow so as soon as it gets bumpy they just start flapping all over the shop. They reminded me of being a child and pinging a plastic ruler over the side of the desk. booooooooiiiiiiiing-g-g-g-g-g-g.

Obviously all skis have like an effective weight range. The bendy end of the scale, you have the problem that if you're heavy/strong, you give it 30% effort and the ski bends to 100% of it's range... then you have no control beyond that. At the firm end of the scale, you have the problem that if you're smaller/weaker, you give it 100% effort and the ski bends to 30% of it's range... and no matter how hard you push you just can't turn it. And that's basically fine... different skis are different firmness, for different size/weight/style/skill of skiers. The trouble is when you go into the hire shop and they just give you the same pair as everybody else, size you up by height alone and use your weight solely for the DIN. There's no question of - how good are you, how do you ski, what kind of terrain will you ski, etc etc. Hence the problem when you walk into Intersport or UCPA and some kid in his first season gives you the skis and his entire knowledge of skis is that they're long and pointy and you give everyone a Rossi Experience 80. Because you just do.

I don't think they're actually rubbish. They're just one of any number of skis which have gone down in history as 'not very good' because most people's experience of it has been twinned with being issued it as the wrong ski by a hire shop.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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No, not X-Drives, horrible things. Actually, those were the last noodles I skied. Mind you, the not-FIS Head GSs I skied two winters ago weren't great.
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@dp, I agree with all or most of what you say.

Except that, a noodle that you describe will not be like a supertanker in bumps. By definition.

In which case...

He he he...

It's not the skis. Shock

("It's not that you can't ski bumps, it's that you can't ski and bumps are Nature's way of telling you", as someone else once said)
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@under a new name, it's a good quote, fortunately I can ski and bumps are just nature's way of telling me to start thinking about heading home for the day

Like a supertanker in bumps? No perhaps you are right. Basically the complete opposite come to think of it. Still rubbish but too eager to move, rather than too hesitant.
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@dp, I am, in all fairness being too heavy on someone I have never skied with. Bumps are why you go out when it's not a powder or spring day however.

@tangowaggon, I'm sorry, I am too harsh. Really, I am.

Sounds actually as though not only were they a relatively rubbish ski, but possibly trashed out and purely tuned into the bargain.
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@under a new name, sorry maybe we're thinking about different bumps then Very Happy im referring to bumps forming up more at the end of the day which tells me that the day is coming to an end because I otherwise hadn't noticed from having too much fun

I don't think the Experience is a rubbish ski. I just think that for some stupid reason, hire shops and indeed UCPA did seem to think that it was a ski which suited every single skier in the whole world no matter their size shape style or ability. Not only is there no such ski in the world, but if there was it would definitely not be the Experience!!!
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The Experience 88s that I was given for the UCPA offpiste week were still in the wrappers! Brand spanking new.
I must be one of the few that actually like skiing bumps, it's a fab feeling when I manage to hold it together and straight line a section of bumps, it's one of the reasons that I'm probably giving the birthday bash a miss next season, just one day this year, some pistes got bumped up after some fresh snow but every square inch was bashed flat the next day
Sad Sad
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@tangowaggon, End of Season Bash, 3pm onwards every day... bumps heaven Very Happy

the fat skis make it too easy though
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dp wrote:
@tangowaggon, End of Season Bash, 3pm onwards every day... bumps heaven Very Happy

the fat skis make it too easy though

I'll have to try this, eosb AND fat skis, though my initial thought is that longer fat skis would be terrible in the bumps, the beauty of carvers is slicing straight through the mounds of slush though I have frequently had my nose filled with slush that has shot up from my boots. Shocked
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tangowaggon wrote:
dp wrote:
@tangowaggon, End of Season Bash, 3pm onwards every day... bumps heaven Very Happy

the fat skis make it too easy though

I'll have to try this, eosb AND fat skis, though my initial thought is that longer fat skis would be terrible in the bumps, Shocked


Just my 2p - easiest skis I've ever used in bumps were Rossi Soul 7's in their longest length of 188cm a couple of years ago. Weren't even soft bumps; it was early season so they were fairly hard and stony and the "run" was a no longer marked ex-black under a gondola that I used to hate. Was genuinely surprised but I guess the combination of pliable tips and tails, low swing weight and a very long edge is a winner for bump grip. Best billy goat impression I've done for a long time. I would think in late season slush bumps you could completely choose your turn shape on these according to your mood and/or steepness of the run. Would like to try the slightly stiffer Soul 7 HD's which I suspect would suit my overall skiing style better.

Re: Rossi Experiences, from memory the 88's were wood core only. The 98's had a metal layer and were recommended for stronger/heavier/faster skiers. I was interested in them when they first came out but could never find a shop that had both to try out side by side. Bought Kastles instead.
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@tangowaggon, I know it sounds mental but seriously on my 190cm, 118mm Ragnaroks I can close enough straight-line the bumps. I think it's more to do with the fact that at EOSB it's slushy bumps, so smaller skis get bogged down in it but the big skis have a bigger footprint and stay up on top.
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I purchased a pair of Rossignol Super 7s this year. 116mm under foot. Initially aimed at off-piste but I found myself using them for the piste days too (had the option of 97mm Blizzard Bonafides). Awesome and so easy to use for such a wide ski. These should be my all rounders now.

At 185cm buy the longest skis in any range. You will be too heavy for the short skis. if you are a decent skier it will not be a problem.
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I've been looking ont' net and there's a few off season bargains to be had, up to 70% off Cham 97s and some Rossi sky 7 hd's for £309 inc bindings.
The smallest turn radius I can find in wide skis is 17m, I'm used to sub 14m radius skis because I do like carving at silly angles on piste, I tried a pair of 18m radius skis and nearly hit a pylon that I thought that I would be well clear of so I think it will be fat skis for off piste days only.
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I really don't understand the obsession with radius - FIS GS are out above 30m radius and no one would say those guys can't carve.

Personally I really liked my Icelantic Shamans as a wide utility ski because the 17m radius made them a doddle on piste when needed but plenty of people found them too "turny" for off piste. You can carve any wide ski bar reverse sidecuts but the better you are at developing edge angle the easier it will be.

Given what you've said I'd get the Chams particularly if they are the 2.0 15/16 season onwards. It's a great allround ski for the competent skier and not too much of anything - soft, firm, charey, playful with enough Dynastar proper ski heritage to not be too much of a leap from pistencarvers.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, +1

Given current men's FIS slalom is 13m... ... (and the focus on radius is (I suspect) really only because it's easily measured on the hill) - if you're finding r=18m a handful something else is going on (torsional rigidity, technique, who knows?) - my Bonafide's are 20m and quite short turny enough, thank you.

Radius is a bit of a red herring.
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under a new name wrote:


Radius is a bit of a red herring.


Big fat HUGE red herring - easiest ski to pivot tiny turns I've ever used had something like a 40m radius.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@clarky999, +1 also a good point is that rocker (which really isn't used much on race skis) totally distorts the effects of sidecut (which I think was what you were referring to anyway).
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Cheap isn't always good - you gets what you pays for. I have always abided by advice I was given about 35 years ago - "never buy a ski who is old".

My favourite all-around ski of the last few years is the Dynastar Cham 87 but I firmly believe that the best ski is the one you like. It is a very subjective judgement and the best way to find out is to try before you buy. A friend of mine who is a good skier couldn't stand the Cham. I also had a lot of fun on the Volkl Kendo this year at the SOPiB having not liked the Black Crow I initially tried (I can't remember the model).

I find that skis with rocker feel shorter so I would usually go for a longer ski than normal.

Good luck with finding your ideal!
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Quote:

I find that skis with rocker feel shorter


I can't imagine a ski with rocker feeling longer...

I've said it on here before, early season we tested 5 different models with extremely similar geometries_on_paper and they were very noticeably different. But then, we are both quite ski sensitive and this was totally to be expected.
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@tangowaggon, I've skied those Cham 97's and they make life easy as, you'll find it a piece of urine in the deep stuff with them and I think you'd enjoy them, they won't suit you in the bumps though so your screwed now mate as your carrying two pairs of skis around from now on and the next step is carrying 27 pairs of skis like northerngeezer. Very Happy
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