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New ski choice - am I expecting too much?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I currently have a pair of 2008 or 9 Rossignol s5. They're a twin tip, full camber ski with a 98mm waist. I bought them new and have probably skied on them for 10 weeks or so. They're mounted at the 'progressive' line, a few cm in front of traditional but not quite centred. I got on well with them and progressed a lot in my time on them. I had to be very aware of fore/aft balance in deep powder, but it was still manageable and I was happy tearing down all kinds of terrain. However in my last trip on them, we had pretty hard pistes and the instructor I was with told me I needed stiffer skis. They were doing that thing were the edge grips and releases rapidly, sort of jarring and chattering. I assumed all skis did this, as I haven't been on more piste oriented skis since I was a beginner. I have a pair of powder skis so I'm covered for Japan and very snowy weeks, but the bulk of my skiing will be in Europe with family and friends, so I'm thinking about getting a ski for mixed conditions. I have about 20ish weeks of experience, a fair bit of off piste, some instruction, and I like to think about what I'm doing. I'm 185cm and 74kg.

Are the current crop of metal laminated, tip rockered skis in the 90mm range likely to be better both on and off piste than my old skis, or is this expecting too much? If they were equal to the Rossis off piste and significantly better on that would be OK. I was thinking along the lines of:

Head Kore 93
Volkl Kendo
Atomic Vantage 90 Cti
Nordica Enforcer 93

Im still quite happy with the Rossis, accepting their limitations, so I'm wondering if buying one of the above would be a significant upgrade, or if I should just save my money for more lessons.
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My take is that carving tighter turns at high edge angles on really hard pistes is tricky on 98mm skis even if they are stiff. The torque you get on your lower leg from the width means you have to set them down on the new edge really precisely, if you are not bang on you can get that grip/release chatter which is difficult to manage. Stiffness helps though. Some people will probably be along to say that they carve hard pistes on 120mmm waist. IMV the distinction is "tighter turns at high edge angles".

I think you would find all of the skis you mention (perhaps also consider Blizzard Brahma) better performers on hard pistes. And I suspect that the rocker would mean that they don't give up much (anything?) offpiste despite the narrower waist, especially if you go a bit longer (which you should given rocker).
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@element, jarring and chattering "could" also be down to over edging the ski, very hard to say without actually being there.

If you already have a pair of powder skis, why not get something narrower for piste use?
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It's hard to hold an edge on on fatter skis when you are on piste-hence the chatter- in my experience anyway. The better skier you are, the more able you are to carve fatter skis on piste -e.g. my stepson- an instructor- skis his Whitedot Preachers on piste (112 under foot but with a relatively small turn radius) and there is no sign of chatter, but he gets the most amazing edge angles out of them.
I just googled the turn radius on your skis and at 185 it seems the TR is 21m which would also make it a bit more of an effort.

Ski technology is forever developing and I reckon you'd be pretty impressed by many skis on your list. I had a quick go on the Head Kores last November and they felt great and really easy to ski on piste (not tried off the side or in powder though).
Last winter Mr P was looking to replace his Blizzard Kabookies and was originally looking at the Head Kores or Blizzard Bonafides-but then his son (the instructor) urged him to go for Black Crows Camox. He loves them and finds them very easy to ski on piste-he used them pretty much exclusively all winter (lucky us-over 40 days this season)

Last winter Father Christmas gave me a dedicated pair of proper piste skis, but I had also bought myself some 16/17 Blizzard Brahmas (88mm-so a bit narrower again). The piste skis stayed on the shelf. The Brahmas are the best skis I have ever owned and were the go to skis for all but the most deep fresh snow days. Quick edge to edge, easy to turn, with enough float to keep me happy in your average 8-10 inches of fresh alpine snow (though I am female, 5ft 5 and around 61kgs- I tend to ignore the "female specific" skis). I know the spec changed a bit for the 17/18 model. Maybe they would be a bit skinny for you when there are really good fatter skis out there which work well enough on piste though.
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Quote:

Some people will probably be along to say that they carve hard pistes on 120mmm waist. IMV the distinction is "tighter turns at high edge angles".

That makes a lot of sense. I can happily carve clean lines on even my 112 floppy powder skis, so long as I keep the turns long and gentle. The chatter was happening during the drill where you hold the pole like a sword and reach it to the outside of the turn, getting body angulation and generating big edge angles. Undoubtedly a better skier could do it more smoothly, but the instructor was specifically calling it an equipment issue rather than a technique issue.

@kitenski, I'm mainly looking for a do it all ski as I'll generally do a day or two in a week guiding if conditions allow, but will spend a lot of time with others on piste, and can't bring two pairs.

@Perty, thanks for the info on the Kore and Brahma, the Brahma sounds perfect.

Would appreciate any opinions on the Vantage as they are going cheap at the minute!
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Yep you can get chatter aggressively edging in a wide ski in firm conditions. I think the problem I had in certain cases was mitigated by getting earlier on edge and more progressive.

As for equipment there is a reason instructor candidates stick to particular types of ski. But you really have to decide what compromises you can live with. I can think of 100mm ish skis that are fine on piste in most conditions but will still lose out to dedicated piste performance skis in hard conditions ( while winning in spring slush)
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Quote:

As for equipment there is a reason instructor candidates stick to particular types of ski. But you really have to decide what compromises you can live with. I can think of 100mm ish skis that are fine on piste in most conditions but will still lose out to dedicated piste performance skis in hard conditions ( while winning in spring slush)


agree with all that.
It is really trying to make highly technical turns on hard pistes where width becomes a limit. If the piste have a bit of give in them I can ski crossunder linked short slalom like carves on my 100mm waist skis. Not on real hard pack
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The vantage is great on piste and has very good edge grip for a ski of its width. I bought it to nail pistes and it is very good at that. Given how stiff it is, I would consider it a quiver ski rather than a genuine all rounder.
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I have the 2018 Vantage 90 CTI, bought them in Feb this year to replace a pair of 2017 Vantage 90s which were too short. They're a lovely 'do it all' ski, happy in anything from hardpack to off-piste crud. They have a lot of rocker (25% of the whole ski is rocker), so don’t make the same mistake as I did and buy them too short.
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Thanks very much, vantage sounds like it might do it for me too.
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Equally, @Dave of the Marmottes, I don’t feel I’m giving away much on my Bonafides, nor the Mrs on her Mantras...
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
So in answer to the original question, it's not expecting too much for a new pair of skis to be significantly better both on and off piste than my old S5s. Thanks for helping me justify a purchase!
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element wrote:
So in answer to the original question, it's not expecting too much for a new pair of skis to be significantly better both on and off piste than my old S5s. Thanks for helping me justify a purchase!

The latest skis will be better and more forgiving (ie tip rocker), weigh less and in real terms will probably cost less. Don't forget to go longer to allow for the loss of running length in the tip rocker. In addition to your list check out the Scott Slight 93 (I've just bought a pair to replace my Brahma's) which are only 1600g per ski (180cm) but yet are still damp/stable, plus they're very competively priced.
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You know it makes sense.
@element, also, next year’s Mantra M5 is apparently not quite as stiff so a bit more accessible and a mere 95cms...
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:


@element, also, next year’s Mantra M5 is apparently not quite as stiff so a bit more accessible and a mere 95cms...


Those are either very short or extremely wide. I'm going to assume you mean 95mms...
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 Poster: A snowHead
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A bit off topic, but as I was saying in my earlier post on this thread, Mr P jnr (the instructor) gets some pretty good angles in his Whitedot Preachers.
Just to prove it..just received a link to the Whitedot lookbook for this season..
https://issuu.com/whitedotskis/docs/whitedot-lookbook-2018-print

The featured skier on pages 6-7 and in the photos accompanying the Preacher blurb further on seem uncannily familiar (as well as proving my point about some really good skiers managing to carve ludicrously fat skis!) . I was only sitting down to Sunday lunch with him yesterday... Cool.

Feeling vicariously rather proud...and yes, he does lower himself to ski with his dad and me sometimes!
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Quote:

The featured skier on pages 6-7 and in the photos accompanying the Preacher blurb further on seem uncannily familiar (as well as proving my point about some really good skiers managing to carve ludicrously fat skis!)


although in fairness that snow looks pretty soft, it's hard snow where the carving limits of wide skis become an issue
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Perty wrote:
...

Feeling vicariously rather proud...


So you should be, great image.
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@jedster, agreed...but he gets those edges on a groomed piste too!
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jedster wrote:
Quote:

The featured skier on pages 6-7 and in the photos accompanying the Preacher blurb further on seem uncannily familiar (as well as proving my point about some really good skiers managing to carve ludicrously fat skis!)


although in fairness that snow looks pretty soft, it's hard snow where the carving limits of wide skis become an issue


Actually from what he said/posted at the time it was far from soft and very low tide conditions. He's also clearly - and deliberately! - not carving there, but still demonstrates the versatility and fun factor of the skis outside of perfect powder. Brilliant shot too!
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@clarky999, please spare him blushes by not mentioning my post to him (I know you know him and, as a family member, obviously I am officially embarrassing! Embarassed ).
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@Perty, what decent parent doesn't embarrass their kids from time to time? Certainly better than an awkward baby photo anyways! Cracking shot.

You're all making me think I should go a bit wider, and possibly get a pair of piste performance skis in future, or rent if its icy. The off piste excursions are always what I look forward to the most and I'm planning on doing some courses in the upcoming seasons. However my 112 K2s are really soft and pretty crap on anything firm, so a more all round freeride ski that can still ski well on piste would be ideal.

I'm toying with the Fischer Ranger 98 ti. They're basically the same dimensions as my current skis, but with more rocker, and metal laminate. So in theory, the firmer construction should help them ski better on piste than my old Rossis? I know 'better' is subjective, but if they give a bit more grip and a bit more stability I would be happy.

Too much choice!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Went with the Atomic Vantage 100 cti in the end. Got them with Marker F10 for £430 delivered. Hopefully they'll be a decent companion for developing off piste skills in whatever conditions, and cutting about on family trips. I'm reasoning that with the rocker and a little extra width in the shovels, they should be better off piste than the Rossis, and with the firmer construction and slightly narrower turn radius they should also be better on piste. I suppose I had to be realistic about what to expect from a ski, and compromised on the side of off piste performance. I'll hire if it's looking particularly icy, but I find proper ice and hard hard pack is pretty rare where I usually ski. No excuses now!

I'll report back when I get a chance to use them. Cheers again for the advice.
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