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Seeking advice on off-piste skis / skiing

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Klamm Franzer wrote:


Have you noticed in the last few years when people post helmet-cam videos of themselves skiing *amazing* powder, the 100+ wide skis make it look like they are skiing on a normal piste? If they were on narrower skis, they'd sink a bit and the effect would be more dramatic and everyone would be more wow than yawn.

Sorry for the rant - ski chat is my nemesis! Get some Head Magnums or Titans and be done with it, everything else is vanity unless you are Ted Ligety or Glen Plake. wink


Ja it's no fun at all wink


April Fools! from theADVENTURESofCLARKLEBERRYfinn
https://vimeo.com/123984214

But your complaint there is more about the limitations of headcams, I think.
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
diaphon wrote:
@Layne, that does make sense and I do think my ultimate goal is to do some ski touring.

After I did a weeks "Introduction to Ski Touring" I purchased some new skis and put touring bindings on. I've not done one minute of touring since. Now, there are a good reasons for that - not least a lack of people to tour with and then starting a family. But regardless there are lot of people that get enough of a fix with lift serviced off piste to suggest it's not a given that everyone who gets in to off piste will start ski touring - which is what gorilla was implying.

Touring to me at least is a different beast. Was/is there any downside to having tour bindings on when skiing lift served piste/off piste. Not particularly. But there are more expensive and obviously less suited to the job.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Layne, depends. I can appreciate why BobinCH has gone the alpine binding route. He skis mainly in Verbier where much of the lift access stuff is either straight off the lift or requires a skis on the shoulder hike. Yes, there are some important exceptions to that but it's the majority experience.

Reality is, though, that most resorts are not Verbier and if you want to ski powder and are not out there for a season then you are either going to have to be lucky with the weather or willing to walk where other people haven't gone yet.

Shift is probably overkill for someone on their first pair of off piste skis. Marker Baron a reasonable choice, though.
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When I bought my Altum 104 this summer, Spyderjon talked to me about the Shift bindings. I have no idea how much I will get to use them for touring this year already but it felt better to have this possibility already, instead of obeying the n+1 rule.
Will bring them to the Birthday Bash, I imagine it will come in handy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Shifts seem rather an expensive choice if you don't know that you'll be getting your money's worth out of them...
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Oh I will Razz
I mean I have to, I paid and they look awesome. Sharp and stable.
I just didn't know if this winter I'll progress enough off piste in order to start touring already, but I saw last February in Les Arcs two Snowheads simply walking up some red piste. Good cardio...
Edit: on a serious note, initially I was looking for a second pair, wider and longer, for unbashed pistes and off piste. It had no sense to refrain from investing in those bindings and then to buy a new set a couple of years later. And it gave me further motivation to go for it this winter.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
gorilla wrote:
@Layne, depends. I can appreciate why BobinCH has gone the alpine binding route. He skis mainly in Verbier where much of the lift access stuff is either straight off the lift or requires a skis on the shoulder hike. Yes, there are some important exceptions to that but it's the majority experience.

Reality is, though, that most resorts are not Verbier and if you want to ski powder and are not out there for a season then you are either going to have to be lucky with the weather or willing to walk where other people haven't gone yet.

Mmm... I think there are lot of factors here... who you are skiing with, what you are trying to achieve, whether you are a punter (like me) or someone who lives in/near the mountains. Again, I'm just not sure it's a given you like to ski off piste therefore you need touring bindings.

gorilla wrote:
Shift is probably overkill for someone on their first pair of off piste skis. Marker Baron a reasonable choice, though.

Quick look at glisshop - Shift ~ £400, Baron ~£300, decent downhill binding - £100. I am just putting out a word of caution on that extra outlay.
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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!
@Layne, that's a much bigger pricing differential than I thought there was. Point well taken!
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@clarky999, Most of the wider skis I've been on have been 19m radius.
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On both my powder and all mountain skis I put the Atomic Tracker / Salomon Guardian bindings on. A bit heavy but have proved bombproof over the past 7 years and getting them in a sale I only paid £160 - £180 a pair. I do use them quite a bit too.

And what's all this skiing like you are on a piste, this is forest skiing on 120mm Bents.

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@diaphon,
As you can see from all of the replies, there is no definitive answer, lots of "this ski does this & that ski does that" don't take any of it as gospel, I made that mistake skiing with my brother for years, taking his advice on skis which was for GS / SuperG types, when I tried a more turny carver ski, I found that it suited my skiing style much better and skiing became much more enjoyable.

Read what people have said & think how it relates to what you enjoy about skiing, I love skiing moguls, others loathe them. Are you happy to take a pure piste ski and a pure offpiste ski with you or is that too much expense & faff and a single pair of "do it all" skis that may be a compromise is preferred?
The pre season & end of season bashes where Spyderjon takes a large selection of demo skis is a good time to try skis out, apart from this, I have found it actually very difficult to find a shop that has a wide selection of skis to try, especially offpiste skis, any recommendations here?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@tangowaggon, moguls. This. The ultimate test.

If you can’t ski moguls, it’s not the bumps, it’s that you can’t ski.

@diaphon, Ok, as long as you do use them wink absolutely gorgeous engineering!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I would recommend Shift +Atomic BC100 combo for playing in resort free-ride, moguls etc., and ski touring with light boots.
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@tangowaggon, I like skiing moguls too! I'm going to get to Oktobertest, it's better than nothing and I'm itching to get my ski boots on SOMEHOW. I can see from the length of this thread that I'm not alone in that. Thanks again to everyone for a really interesting discussion.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:

http://youtube.com/v/d8j6pz5ycZk

Just found this clip of the Nordica Enforcer 110s being tested on piste, they look like they carve quite well.
snow conditions     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@tangowaggon, soft spring pistes though mind - you can carve anything when the snow's like that. The Enforcer 100s certainly carve well though.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'm in a similar kind of predicament. Coming from Atomic Redster G9 177cm. Went on a mission to the octobertest and tried out a bunch of all mountain and freeride skis. I was really struck by how easy they are to ski even though they're fat. I was expecting Altum 104s to be quite cumbersome but I had a blast carving on them and they felt great.

I did feel the Altum 94s were noticeable more piste oriented despite being what I would consider wide - they were grippy and offered more energy and rebound. They're a wild beast that needs to be embraced. I was quite surprised how different they were given only 10mm under foot difference and remembering that I'm used to skiing something with 68mm under foot. So you can still get amazing piste performance from skis in the mid 90s - 30mm more than I normally ski - but push it 10mm more and It can be very different. The 104s were perhaps more laid back but still really fun and easy to ski and feel like you could blast trough anything. I think i'd happily take the 94s but I don't know if they lack the off piste ability of the 104 - I really want a ski that's going to help a lot off piste. Is 94 enough? Still compared to mine they should be a dream.

Head 93s were also great - felt perfectly natural for me and fun. I think I enjoy skis that are a bit less stiff than my current ones - they seem more playful and less serious.

Volkl Mantra M5s were a big let down for me despite the amazing reviews. Very boring and seemed to lack grip.
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I couldn't make it to Oktobertest, sadly, but I've just had an extremely helpful phone call with @spyderjon and I'm thinking the Rustler 9's in 180cm will be pretty amazing. My trigger finger is very itchy...
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diaphon wrote:
I couldn't make it to Oktobertest, sadly, but I've just had an extremely helpful phone call with @spyderjon and I'm thinking the Rustler 9's in 180cm will be pretty amazing. My trigger finger is very itchy...


Good choice. Pull the trigger!
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

Volkl Mantra M5s were a big let down for me despite the amazing reviews. Very boring and seemed to lack grip.

@Powder Pete, are getting very "marmite" reviews - but I would say that having tried and been disappointed with a pair of Kendos in a fridge (and being a Mantra 2010 driver at the time) I blame the fridge as I found myself on Kendos (left the Mantras in the "wrong" garage) on some very dodgy-snow routes behind Courmayeur and they were great.

Or the ones I tried were poorly prepped.

Point being I'm not sure a fridge is the best place to get really robust impressions.
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I tend to agree about the fridge - difficult to get forces high enough to test edge grip of a long radius ski!
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@tangowaggon,
Quote:

Just found this clip of the Nordica Enforcer 110s being tested on piste, they look like they carve quite well.


Not trying to be arsey but surely, short of some weird spatula type things, any bloody ski will carve well on that snow and that gradient if you are even halfway competent?
The test of whether a ski carves is to be it on real hard pack at red run type steepness and see if you can link carves?
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
sorry - missed @clarky999's contribution which was a little more delicate!
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@BobinCH, enabler. Smile
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Based on what you wrote I would recommend assuming a 50% piste - 50% freeride use :

Rossignol 94 ti
Kore 93
Stormrider 95

These 3 skis have been reviewed by Proskilab. They all are well-known, massively reviewed and leading products on this segment of the market. Reviews of 2020 skis are only published in French in https://www.proskilab.fr for now, translations for Proskilab.co.uk are on the way.

QST99, Mantra M5 are other options but more focused on performance. According to what I have read, I am not sure they would be the best fit.

If you want a more piste oriented All-mountain ski I would (strongly) recommend the Elan Wingman 86 (Cti version) that is in my humble opinion the best ski in this category at the moment.

Please note that most "serious" all-mountain or piste skis have one (at least) metal plate. Although being made of an aluminium/zinc alloy, the plate clearly makes the ski heavier. There are some exceptions though : Head has succeeded in getting decent stiffness using Koroyd/carbon constructions (including the Kore 93 mentioned above), Völkl has made the surprising Mantra V.werks using carbon, etc. in order to save weight.
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@proskilab, good calls.

Your point re metal layers, weight of ski comes up often, & I must confess, I don’t really understand any comments about weight for downhill skis (touring obvs different).

Skis might “feel” light or “heavy” but that isn’t to do with their weight.

I mean, think about it, they’re more or less always on the ground and angular momentum is going to be trivially different ... which works both ways; a heavy ski won’t either feel heavy, nor will it cut, by its weight alone, through crud. And vice versa.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
under a new name wrote:
@proskilab, good calls.

Your point re metal layers, weight of ski comes up often, & I must confess, I don’t really understand any comments about weight for downhill skis (touring obvs different).

Skis might “feel” light or “heavy” but that isn’t to do with their weight.

I mean, think about it, they’re more or less always on the ground and angular momentum is going to be trivially different ... which works both ways; a heavy ski won’t either feel heavy, nor will it cut, by its weight alone, through crud. And vice versa.

My 157 Atomic SL11s felt nearly twice as heavy as my 180 Scotts - and when accommodation was a 15 minute walk away, the Atomics left both my bony shoulders all bruised (but were very lively when skied).
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@Old Fartbag, duh. Obvs heavier skis will feel heavier on your shoulders...

Do you ski with your skis on your shoulders?
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
under a new name wrote:
@Old Fartbag, duh. Obvs heavier skis will feel heavier on your shoulders...

Do you ski with your skis on your shoulders?

No, but neither do I walk for 15 mins with them on my feet.

My shoulders became so bruised, it became too painful to carry the skis that way. This had never happened to me before, as I usually stay on or very near the slopes.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Old Fartbag, absolutely understand that's an issue - don't have a solution, although, just how do you carry your skis? I know you are v sensible so I presume you carry them in a sensible way.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thanks to all of you for contributing to this thread, this discussion has really helped me make my decision. I've decided to go with the Blizzard Rustler 9's, and have just ordered an ex-demo pair from the very helpful @spyderjon. For the benefit of anyone else in a similar position, here's my thinking.

I already have a pair of strong piste skis with two layers of metal and a fair amount of weight to them. These are Rossignol Pursuit 16's, and I have a great time carving on them. They're short at 163cm, but I'm a strong intermediate so I'm not hitting their speed limit yet. They have flat tails and strong edges, so they do well in variable snow and they hold a carve well. I really enjoy them but I need something that I can start using off-piste.

The Rustler 9's may be on the narrow side for a fully off-piste ski, but I think at my weight they will float pretty well. They've got metal underfoot so I think they will have some stiffness and strength and they look like they can carve reasonably well, but with their soft tips and tails I'm hoping they'll let me spin and slide too. Everyone who skis them seems to be having a lot of fun, which is exactly what I want in a ski right now. It strikes me as a good balance of precise and silly.

So I've paid up and now have to sit on my hands and wait patiently for them to arrive! Thanks again for everyone's thoughts. Smile


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 10-10-19 22:25; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
under a new name wrote:
@Old Fartbag, absolutely understand that's an issue - don't have a solution, although, just how do you carry your skis? I know you are v sensible so I presume you carry them in a sensible way.

My solution is to have lighter skis! Toofy Grin

I carry skis in the normal way - but have very bony Clavicles with absolutely no padding. It only ever happened the once, when I had a long walk to the lifts. The SL11s are ridiculously heavy for their size.
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@Old Fartbag, race skis are heavy as they need that sort of construction and are usuallynfitted with heavy, metal heavy bindings.

Racers aren’t usually concerned about weight, other than being too light...
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under a new name wrote:
@proskilab, good calls.

Your point re metal layers, weight of ski comes up often, & I must confess, I don’t really understand any comments about weight for downhill skis (touring obvs different).

Skis might “feel” light or “heavy” but that isn’t to do with their weight.

I mean, think about it, they’re more or less always on the ground and angular momentum is going to be trivially different ... which works both ways; a heavy ski won’t either feel heavy, nor will it cut, by its weight alone, through crud. And vice versa.




Our friend was mentioning the weight of skis "to carry around". Static weight is definitively an issue for intermediate skiers, especially women.

You are wright, the "weight" feeling on the skis is quite a more complex issue. The "feeling" of a lighter/heavier skis depends on several factors (that are not all related to weight) :

1 Static global weight
2 Weight distribution
3 Ability to store and deliver energy (elasticity)
4 Any factor that have an influence on 3 (grip for example)
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@diaphon, Think I was the last person to ski those at the Manchester test. Very nice, you won't be disappointed.
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@adithorp great to hear! Really looking forward to it.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Here’s the Blister review - these guys are usually spot on. Sounds like the perfect fit for what you’re after

https://blisterreview.com/gear-reviews/2018-2019-blizzard-rustler-9
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