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'Charging' all rounder to replace Line Prophet 90's?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm well out of touch with kit and need some help!
I quit skiing while carving happened and now in the last 10 years it's all changed again - fat, rocker, etc!

A bit of background to help the recommendations, hopefully this hits the right tone : I started at 11, grew up plastic racing from 15ish, race captain at Uni, did a few years dry slope teaching then had 8 years off during which time carving happened!
Over the last 15 years back, I am getting 12-16 days a year take-what-I-get resort and lift served skiing.
I don't know anyone to ski 'hard' with so take the odd guided day or course, as well as mostly playing off the sides, with the aim of scaring myself on something steep and narrow at least once a year if I can persuade anyone to join in. Smile

After owning a pair of Line Prophet 90's I'm after something to replace them with a single pair of all round skis that's handle everything from the magic carpet laps with my little boy, fast piste with families to narrow and steep, or deep off piste if I ever get the luck and time my trip right Smile Basically everything but park - I might straight air (dead sail!) the odd red kicker on my way past.

I've found the Line's amazing for the last 9/10 years but they are ready to be downgraded to rockbashers and I'm looking for something to replace them and fill in their shortfalls.
The Lines were fast, stiff, versatile and handled everything I threw at them from wide open GS turns down a groomed red, blasting through crud, bumps to something more like this :

La Plagne Couloirs from gravity-slaves
https://vimeo.com/35798352

What do I want? Fast, stable, stiff, manoeuvrable, floaty. So everything, really Wink
Reading up - I want longer (Line's are 179), wider (98-100ish), tip rocker for pow/crud, camber underfoot for piste carving, tail rise for pivot in the narrows. Am I on the right lines?

I'd like to buy before I go, first trip is a 3 day-er to Cham, so not much time to spare, so think testing isn't really an option.

Current shortlist is:
Black Crows Camox
Blizzard Bonafide
Cham 97
Volkl Mantra
DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid (maybe not as all round as I want)
White Dot Director

Leaning towards the Black Crows or Blizzards in a longer length. I'm 183cm, 79kg, so probably a 186cm.

Also - bindings. Strong, light, east to clip into on steep or deep? I like the look of Marker Jesters.

Any input welcomed!


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 1-11-16 16:43; edited 1 time in total
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From the Whitedot range you want their R.98 trad not the 107mm underfoot twin rockered Director. If you want that width then go with the R.108.

For your requirements I think it'd be hard to beat the 2.5 layers of metal in the Bonafide's. And Jester/Griffons are bitches to click in to so I'd go Pivot or Vist BFree 614.

BTW, nice skiing - although a real hard charger would've straight lined that run & hucked the bottom ridge so may be you don't need the metal afterall wink
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spyderjon wrote:


BTW, nice skiing - although a real hard charger would've straight lined that run & hucked the bottom ridge so may be you don't need the metal afterall wink


That's what I thought right after thinking - holy s**t that line doesn't look like one a 2 week a year skier would take.

Just to add a little confusion into the mix I do find the tail on the R-series very flat so I would be a bit wary in a chute like that unless I had mad skills or sufficient old skool techniquie. But some very good sH skiers ski them just fine.
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Don't bother with Mantras if you want camber underfoot as they are flat - I returned mine because of this, Kendo is more like you describe but narrower only 90mm.

Never had a problem clicking into Jesters or griffons prior to them, but that's just probably me. Have heard about this before but never experienced it.
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Down skis are worth a look - certainly at the stiffer end of the scale and sensibly shaped with not too much sidecut. They're fairly light and stiff but also very well damped. Plus they have the length (189cm). I've got a pair of CD 114 and they'll confidently ski the terrain in your vid under a confident pair of legs snowHead

If you want narrower they do a CD 107, which is a very similar shape with perhaps a smidge more sidecut. They would certainly be better if you find yourself on the pistes as much as off.

Finally, they're excellent value being a small direct-sell company. Very responsive, too.
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Yeah, I hated Mantra's as in confined spaces and in bumps I found the tails just seemed to hook up a lot. I went for the old Nordica Enforcers but loved the Black Crow Navis (this was about 8 years ago though).
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Cheers for the feedback! Great stuff, I'm excited for the season already!

Yup, I often watch that video and think, wow, I'd love to see someone tear up that line and backflip out! In my defence it was hot and full sun, snow heavy and I was trying to ski light and mellow. Wink I reckon perfect conditions, 4-5 turns is about my limit down there before balls and skill would run out. I hesitated about "charging" in the title and put 'hard' in quotes. It's all relative isn't it!
I do tend to open it up a lot in the chop and side piste but don't have fitness/strength to really go flat out on steeps.

Quote:
right after thinking - holy s**t that line doesn't look like one a 2 week a year skier would take


Toofy Grin Toofy Grin Toofy Grin

Just checked my spreadsheet (yup, geek!) - 119 days from 2003 to 2012 when I hit that.
I was especially chuffed with the 2nd one - saw it 4 years before and backed away. Shame it was so chalky and rocky this time.
I was racing DH MTB in the summers though, and have 1500+ hours of dendix time in my back pocket from my youth so my snow time isn't a true reflection. Old school techniques? I used to crank out 200 (edit, I missed a zero, 20 would be a lame warm up!) short swings down Hillend as a warmup! Can nail a decent jump turn when required!
Had some funny moments with guides
"How many weeks?"
"2 a year"
*Groan, rolls eyes, thinks "Oh here we go"!*
Looks back on first run "Oh, you're still here?!"
Toofy Grin

Always lusted after the old Volkl P9's too, probably why Matra's made the list. The Blizzards do appeal - I have a pair of old Thermo SL's in 205 in the garage that I use to race slalom on! 187's too long for me? Can't weigh up speed v manoeuvrability but Line's feel short and no rocker.
Happy to hear if a ski is too much for me too, although I like to carve hard on piste and accelerate from the heels, driving through big locked in GS turns - as well as twiddling the short turns.

Any feedback on the Black Crows? I think these or the Blizzards look ideal.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Mon 16-01-17 17:15; edited 1 time in total
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My main fun ski now is the Bent Chetler from Atomic but it's a bit wide for steep cruddy gullies or icy conditions. That's what I keep my Nordica's for Toofy Grin
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Sharkymark wrote:
Down skis are worth a look - certainly at the stiffer end of the scale and sensibly shaped with not too much sidecut. They're fairly light and stiff but also very well damped. Plus they have the length (189cm). I've got a pair of CD 114 and they'll confidently ski the terrain in your vid under a confident pair of legs snowHead

If you want narrower they do a CD 107, which is a very similar shape with perhaps a smidge more sidecut. They would certainly be better if you find yourself on the pistes as much as off.

Finally, they're excellent value being a small direct-sell company. Very responsive, too.


Yep take a look at the Showdown 95 and Countdown 104 (replaces the 107, stiffer and less rocker/longer camber - I think it would work very well for you).

There is also talk of a shorter SD105 - the current 202cm is too scary for most (inc me!!!). Drop them an email if interested as they're compiling interest atm. Info: www.downskis.com

As above, the Rangers from Whitedot's line would seem to be a much better fit for you than the Directors!
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I'd quite like to ski a modern 202ish ski just to see but couldn't see buying one as my roller bag tops out around 195. Plus trees and narrow sideslips through rocks.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, I'd definitely like to take a lap or two on them, but I really can't imagine ever wanting more ski than my old 193 EHP's. I had a pair of 190 carbon Showdown 115s that skied very like a more modern EHP, but add two layers of metal and 12cms... Skullie
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Quote:

Current shortlist is:
Black Crows Camox
Blizzard Bonafide
Cham 97
Volkl Mantra
DPS Wailer 99 Hybrid (maybe not as all round as I want)
White Dot Director


In terms of reviews I would look at the selection on skipass.com and run them through google translate if need be. Skipass has particularly good coverage of Black Crows, mainly as I suspect that niche brands do well on online ski forums.

Re the Whitedot Ranger/R.108. It's great but I'm not convinced that it is an all rounder for someone skiing a lot of piste. It is great if you are doing the occasional piste day but a 28m sidecut in the 186 has its limitations.

The difference between the Ranger/R.108, which I own and the Director, which I don't, leads me on to question your list a little. There's a bunch of skis there with tip rocker, camber and little or minimal tail rocker. And there's a bunch there with minimal or no camber and tip and tail rocker. The former are going to respond more to a drive the tips style (more old school) and the latter are going to want to be driven more laterally. I use almost totally different techniques to drive my Armada JJs, which I rarely ski and the Rangers, which I ski a lot. The Rangers need a more "hard in the front of the boot" style of skiing on firm snow. The JJs I can just tip on edge.

Looks to me like you are more in the first camp. With that in mind, the Bonafides look like a good pairing for your skiing, as per your entertaining video but I would probably consider the Black Crows Navis ahead of the Camox. I've not skied either but the Navis is a more directional ski in the mould of the Bonafide.
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Funnily enough, on an EOSB I demo'd a pair of Whitedot Ragnaroks. They have a 30m radius and being 190cm I thought that for a 76kg skier they may have been something of a handful. But they were amazing fun. On pistes they were great for big fast GS style turns, off piste they railed on windblown crud, gripped on ice and gave confidence on steep ground. I wouldn't have liked to have had to do a load of jump turns on them though.

But what really surprised me was how good they were in slushy bumps lower down the mountain in the afternoon sun. You could un-weight them and pivot easily around the piles or just get them on edge and part a mogul like Moses at the Red Sea Laughing
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@Scarpa, I can believe they are great. Everyone seems to rave about them. Wouldn't be my first choice for puttering round the magic carpet with a small child.
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@gravity-slave, I've gone Cham97 as my off piste \ touring ski. I've not used them in the Alps but a few hours in a dome at least proves they have some performance for the piste.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Thanks gorilla! Good feedback helping me shape what I want, think you have me right, first one - I'm more old school and can drive with the shin and power the tails rather than tip and roll.

Navis look awesome too - I was worried 102 would be too much for an 'every day' ski, but I thought that going 90mm on the Lines from my old 68mm Volkls! They also match my new kit better, which of course is a bonus. I'd rather compromise on the magic carpet runs than the steeps Very Happy but have to be honest with myself how much time I'll spend in 'real' terrain too in the next couple of years, although long weekends to Chamonix are back on the cards.
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If you plan regular long weekend trips to Chamonix Echo Beach have a good range of Whitedot test skis you can rent out to try in real conditions before you buy
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@On the rocks, you mean "Echo Base"
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no it's far away in time
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under a new name wrote:
@On the rocks, you mean "Echo Base"

I do indeed Embarassed
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The new Nordic Enforcers are 100mm too, look awesome as an all rounder.
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And an 18.5m radius on the 185's, a bit livelier than the Bonafide? Similar construction, sounds good.
Strong contender, just when I was narrowing it down! Smile
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@gravity-slave, remember that the shorter the radius the greater the propensity for it to hooky in 3D snow. There's a reason why all many freeride/all mntn skis are longer radius. Afterall you'll be steering them most of the time not carving. Min camber & straighter sidecut are a lot easier to steer/pivot & also gives better edge engagement on icy steeps.
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Have you considered the movement Go fast? (Despite it's frankly stupid name)

A friend has the Trust from last year which he raves about for a fairly similar use profile. The Go series seem to be the successors. Might be worth a look?
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Trust was good, SuperTurbo was the full bore charger though.
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Hi,
Am probably not in the esteemed company of the guys responding to the post but do ski with Blizzard Bonafides (circa 2014). Have done several off-piste orientated weeks and about forty in all. Have the longest length and am 100kg and 6 ft 3 inches. I really like them as they will do 'almost' everything you want to do with them. My only issue has been frozen steep pistes which only accounts for possibly two mornings of the 30 or so days I have skied them. They are a good off-piste ski although arguably not great floaters and more hard snow orientated. You can do short turns on them too which I could not manage on the previous Cham 87s. Our guide in Aosta had a pair last year too.

Am actually considering adding to my own quiver with a pair of Rossignol Super 7s for the real powdery days as I have two weeks off-piste guiding/tuition booked. I have a third week in Val D'isere too but b......in Flybe have used up the ski set allocation so may use this for more ski trials! Twisted Evil
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@Dave of the Marmottes, a lot fatter than the 100mm he wanted though! And this year's successor, the Go Big, is a fully rockered ski which wouldn't be my choice for the lines in those videos, or magic carpet laps!
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This describes the Blizzard Bonafide well:
http://www.yellowgentian.com/ski-reviews/freeride/blizzard-bonafide
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Scarpa wrote:
Funnily enough, on an EOSB I demo'd a pair of Whitedot Ragnaroks. They have a 30m radius and being 190cm I thought that for a 76kg skier they may have been something of a handful. But they were amazing fun. On pistes they were great for big fast GS style turns, off piste they railed on windblown crud, gripped on ice and gave confidence on steep ground. I wouldn't have liked to have had to do a load of jump turns on them though.

But what really surprised me was how good they were in slushy bumps lower down the mountain in the afternoon sun. You could un-weight them and pivot easily around the piles or just get them on edge and part a mogul like Moses at the Red Sea Laughing


Definitely my choice for all round fun in our range!
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Thanks spyderjon, great info on the camber, makes complete sense once explained.

Regarding float of the Bonafides, again all relative I guess? A 98mm wide with tip rocker should out perform a 90mm wide full camber ski in the soft/deep, especially in the longer length?
Looking at my season notes, the last serious powder I had was March 2009, which was waist deep in spots and the Line's got my down grinning (but knackered!).

While I'd love the opportunity to own a pair of big fat floaty powder skis, being realistic, all rounder will suit me better and if I get lucky, hire/demo something massive?
Unless they are more all round than they appear? I'm off piste as much as possible and conditions allow - which as a holidaymaker isn't as much as I'd like (although planning a last minute powder chasing weekend this year), but do like a few runs of fast piste or steep bumps.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Quote:

Just to add a little confusion into the mix I do find the tail on the R-series very flat so I would be a bit wary in a chute like that unless I had mad skills or sufficient old skool techniquie.

@Dave of the Marmottes,

Just out of interest, why do you say that? I find the flat and fairly straight tail on my R108s makes them super easy to throw about in a chute compared to say the OP's prophets which have full camber and quite a shaped tail (full sidecut)?
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jedster wrote:
Quote:

Just to add a little confusion into the mix I do find the tail on the R-series very flat so I would be a bit wary in a chute like that unless I had mad skills or sufficient old skool techniquie.

@Dave of the Marmottes,

Just out of interest, why do you say that? I find the flat and fairly straight tail on my R108s makes them super easy to throw about in a chute compared to say the OP's prophets which have full camber and quite a shaped tail (full sidecut)?


I've been skiing skiing skis with a tail kick for 12 years now predominantly so I found it really hard to get the tails on the Ranger to slide as I would like them to when I demoed them. Admittedly I was on a 195 Ranger Pro and there was a lot of breakable crust to hook up in that day (in fact I went in and swopped for a snowboard which was waay easier). I took it as a sign my skiing has adapted to modern equipment and flat tails (outside of a race or pure piste ski which tend to be shorter anyway) don't really work for me.

Like I said the Rs work for lots of people and I've seen people with bombproof trad technique get a lot from them but just not really my thing. New shape Directors on teh other hand I love and (new) Rags are a very versatile ski (because that tail kick comes back).
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@gravity-slave,

I probably have something to add here given I spent a few seasons on Prophet 100s, have skied a lot on Stockli stormriders (an even stiffer but narrower, technical, charging ski) and now ski mostly on Whitedot ranger 108s. Oh and I was also a 10 day to 2 week a year skier for many years who skied at about your level (never been a racer but I got pretty competent working a season back in the day).

So, some thoughts:
1. if you want to be able to rip the piste up from time to time then I think you are right to avoid purer soft snow skis. And given you are skiing with the family for a good while I think you are right to prioritise some piste performance. My kids are very solid off piste skiers now but I have spent a lot of time on piste over the last 8 years and will still do for a bit (Mum is cautious off piste and I am very conservative about conditions / risks when I take them off)
2. even the R108s are a compromise on piste - not to say that they can't be fun but for someone with a racing background I think you would miss the ability to make the powerful carved turns of multiple shapes that you can do on the prophets (specifically, if I really try to ramp up the edge angle and bend the R108s hard then the tails will break away). In hard snow conditions or when I know I'll be on piste most of the day I'll take out my old stormriders (the prophets now sit in the middle ground) but I now have a ski locker in the alps so can choose every day.
3. The bonafides sound a really good compromise for you. I suspect the latest stockli stormrider 95 would be superb too but I haven't skied it, they are hard to find in the UK and not cheap!!!
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Quote:

I took it as a sign my skiing has adapted to modern equipment and flat tails (outside of a race or pure piste ski which tend to be shorter anyway) don't really work for me.


Yeah OK - it's all relative. I'm coming at them from the opposite direction - my previous main ski was 100mm in the waist but traditional side cut and full camber so much harder to pivot and slide than the R108s. Obviously full rocker skis must be easier still.
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Thanks jedster, helpful comments.

I agree, piste priority is more realistic with what I'll actually get for the next few years, rather than get carried away and buy a ski for what I am daydreaming about. This year is a trip to Cham where I hope to have a guide, aim for some more adventurous lines, then a family week of piste, side piste and corner cuts and bumps - then hopefully a spring weekend.

I've had a helpful reply from Black Crows, Julien Regnier himself no less, recommends the Camox in a 181 for 'all mountain' or 186 for 'off piste'. Leaning toward longer for speed and float.

The twin tip looks handy, I like to ski a bit of switch. Not rad tricks, it just annoys the Mrs when I pass her and will be useful when the boy starts to control a plough.

Bonafide looks awesome too, sounds like it has less float and a no twin tip, which might tip me to the Black Crows.
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Queue indecisive idiotic possible change of direction but just been reading 'quiver' threads...

Left field plan b - keep the Line's, (after a decent service and repair) and add something more floaty.

Drawbacks?
- We usually pack 2 pairs in my roller bag, with me taking 2 pairs we'd have to add another ski carriage costs to family trips. I don't fancy driving.
- Unless it's super clear cut (tracked out, full hardpack or dumping), choosing a ski in the morning would wee wee me off.
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As you like the Prophets; have you considered Lines Sir Francis Bacon. Not for the fastest blast down a piste; but very very good everywhere else.

http://www.snowmagazine.com/ski-gear/955-skis/line-sir-francis-bacon-2016
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Quote:

Julien Regnier himself no less, recommends the Camox in a 181 for 'all mountain' or 186 for 'off piste'. Leaning toward longer for speed and float.


That's pretty good customer service. Snowleader have last year's 181 on sale.

You could go the quiver route. I have an R.108, an Atris (new) and a Blizzard Latigo (also new) on rotation at the moment. I suspect I'll mainly end up skiing the Atris.
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gorilla wrote:
Snowleader have last year's 181 on sale. .


Cheers, top tip and very temping.
Can't find much info but looks like the old difference for '17 is the colours? I prefer the '16, just 50/50 on the length but that looks like a great deal.

Or the Bonafides. rolling eyes Laughing
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Seconded on the advantages of twin tips. If you are exploring forest lines etc you often need to back up a bit when trying to find your way down steep / rocky terrain. I found that skis without twin tips often got the rear of the ski embedded into the snow when doing this.
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