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What skis to demo?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello Everyone. I am really looking forward to getting some help on a new ski or what to expect when demoing.

I'll jump right in with a little background. I'm 41, 6'0", 165 lbs. I would consider myself a low end advanced skiier. Blues do not give me any trouble at all nor does a groomed black. I can get down a double black for sure albeit possibly not as gracefully. Soft powder bump on a blue/black I find pretty fun and challenging. Rock hard moguls with ice in between I feel a little over matched. This year I am pretty much exclusively skiing Sugarloaf Maine. I OFTEN ski with kids so I find myself letting them go ahead then catching up.

My current ski is a 2008 84 Watea. 167 length 126/84/112 R16. I like the ski. It is pretty maneuverable for me. Feels pretty quick edge to edge and playful enough for those soft bump days. I really like that sensation of carving. When the ski feels like it is on a rail and I leave behind those nice solid trenches. If there is ample cover on the top and it isn't rock hard, I find it pretty easy to get the ski to do that. When the trail gets into hard pack or then snow on top of hardpack I find it more difficult to the ski to really stay on edge throughout the whole turn. There are seemingly a lot of hard pack/icy days at Sugarloaf. I can get it to do it by really working pressure on to the front of the ski but if I am not really trying the rear tends to smear out a little. Some days I don't even mind that smearing. So I am kinda looking for a ski that might be able to hook up with a little less effort. Last year I tried the Rossi Experience 88 Ti in the 166 and 173 (maybe 180 I can't remember). I found the 166 to feel like it had less edge and the longer one felt equivalent to my watea but didn't feel like a $600 upgrade. I am not sure what I need to try to get what I am looking for. These are the questions roaming around in my pea sized brain:

Do I just need a longer ski that is similar to what I have?
Should I try a "carving" ski. Would a carving ski require too much attention to still be playful with the kids around? Meaning do I have to be doing Mach 5 to be able to really take advantage of this kind of ski? The on mountain shop has the Deacon 76, Spitfire 80, Rossignol Hero Elite, Atomic Redster x7
Would a newer all mountain ski be able to help. The on mountain shop has the enforcer 88, Brahama 88 and Kendo 88 among others available for demo.
I don't think I really want a ski that is ultra demanding given I am skiing with kids often. That being said I would like one that can hang on to the turn just a little longer. Maybe what I am looking for just doesn't exist. Any input you guys can offer is much appreciated.

Thanks so much. This board is great!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Welcome to snowHeads @obsessed, snowHead

I suppose the big question is whether you intend to replace your current skis or add to them?

You seem happy with the Wateas anywhere other than where a dedicated piste ski would serve you best.
So, if I was in your position, I'd keep what you have (for now) and add something really pistey for the days when the conditions (or your intended skiing) suit something more bitey.
A lot of people tend toward GS size skis for piste but I find, by the time you've got them up to a speed where they work well, you're going too fast for most public pistes. Personally I prefer a slalom profile ski (165cm / 67mm under foot) for piste skiing. Shorter and turny-er they feel much faster but at slower actual speeds than a GS. Then it's just a case of whether to take a full race spec, which will be stiffer and require a bit more speed and energy to work them well, or go for a more recreational spec, which will still be super-turny but just not need the same energy to get them biting.

Get settled in with your new piste skis then swap out the Wateas for something a little wider down the line.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Wed 20-01-21 13:17; edited 1 time in total
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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?
Worthwhile trying the Deacon 76 and Enfocer 88 to give perhaps a wide scope view and see if it heads you in either direction more definitely. They appear quite different "flavour" and would certainly tell you something, even if you found one direction absolutely not what you seek. In other words, a clarity of focus to work with.

Your existing skis appear to be a pretty capable ski too, are you confident they are prepped and edged properly? as that would pay dividends particularly in icy conditions.
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@obsessed,

In order of cost:

1. - @ski3, makes a very good point re ski prep. That might help, maybe a lot

2. - could be a basic technique issue (not edging enough) so perhaps a couple of 1 on 1 lessons might help also? If you haven't had lessons, then that's probably something that should be corrected.

Otherwise, it's hard to find a bad ski these days, so after 1. and 2. demo whatever you can get your hands on.

also,

- all skis are carving skis and always have been (I am being a pedant) - there's nothing to worry about regards what are sometimes referred to as "carving" skis, other than that they respond better to appropriate technique
- at 165lbs, 167 cms (why don't you guys stay consistent and measure your skis in inches? Or your weight in kgs?) seems a bit short to me
- none of the shop skis are bad skis
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
The Kendo and Brahma I think are more burly skis that are good for higher speeds but if you're just playing around with the kids they might not be as fun at slower speeds. The Volkl Kanjo, Rossi Exp 84 or Elan Ripstick 88 could be fun options to demo. You probably want to be closer to 175-180cm in length.
These guys are based in Stowe so they're testing skis in similar conditions to the loaf. They have really in depth reviews:

https://www.skiessentials.com/Chairlift-Chat/2021-ski-comparisons-mens-mid-80mm-all-mountain-ski-guide/
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
under a new name wrote:
- at 165lbs, 167 cms (why don't you guys stay consistent and measure your skis in inches? Or your weight in kgs?)


Probably best not to point fingers, given the UK's semi-acceptance of the metric system Laughing

At 6' I'd say your skis are a little short (think 165 is considered slalom ski length, so 167 is very nimble/easy to turn). As above, I'd be looking around the 175 mark for a piste ski. I think pretty much everything available in the on mountain shop is well regarded, in particular the AM skis, but a wider ski isn't going to make it feel any cleaner through the turn, especially on hard pack. You also don't need to be flying to carve, just that you'll need more balance at a slower speed (some one to one could help with that). But is it that the ski is 'falling off' the carve, or that the turn is finished, because a 167 will turn short whereas something like a 175 or 180 will generally have a much smoother arc and wider radius.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
"Probably best not to point fingers, given the UK's semi-acceptance of the metric system Laughing" @SnoodlesMcFlude,

Not related to the topic, but it's a funny thing that more or less all car wheels are imperial diameter and width eg 17 x 8J with tires metric dimensions Very Happy think Michelin were possibly the last to try full metric with TRX system.

Also MTB cycles are imperial diameter, but road cycles centred around the 700mm format. All of these more or less global too.

Apologies for the diversion, but there's no skiing to be going on with here Very Happy
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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!
You will probably want something a little longer, 6ft 165lbs is a good BMI so sizing should be reasonably straight forward, the bridge of your nose /top of your eyes is probably a good length. my preference would be Atomic Vantage 90 (because that's what I'm skiing now and they are brilliant). Stockli Stormrider 88, Fischer RC one 86. But I guess really you can only test what the have in the demo fleet, or just hire for a day (most ski shops will let you swap ski halfway through the day.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Bob wrote:
You will probably want something a little longer, 6ft 165lbs is a good BMI so sizing should be reasonably straight forward, the bridge of your nose /top of your eyes is probably a good length. my preference would be Atomic Vantage 90 (because that's what I'm skiing now and they are brilliant). Stockli Stormrider 88, Fischer RC one 86. But I guess really you can only test what the have in the demo fleet, or just hire for a day (most ski shops will let you swap ski halfway through the day.


I just transitioned from the Atomic Vantage 90s (which were brilliant) to the Stockli Stormrider 88s. Difference? Less tip rocker and zero tail rocker on the 88s means more grip, and I went down a size from 184 to 175. Much more grip from the Stocklis, but they are stiffer than the Atomics. Both brilliant skis.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@ski3, tyres NehNeh

I'm in construction, so well used to hearing about 4.8m lengths of 4x2 Laughing I've even had chippies measure things and note down something like 5" x 500mm, usually denoted by which is the closer whole number or which side of the measuring tape is closest.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
@ski3, tyres NehNeh


Yes , I know. When I'm on a USA site of "automotive interest" they have it that way, I forget to translate when going between that and UK based forum Laughing

I've a mate lives in Rhode Island and it amuses us that they use "two-by-four" in construction, when of course we know it's actually "four-ba-two" in Larnjun.

S'pose we'd better get back to the serious business ok not skiing.
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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.
It's not on your list - for a ski that would be great for carving and still have a little width underfoot, maybe consider the Head Titan.
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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
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
under a new name wrote:
- at 165lbs, 167 cms (why don't you guys stay consistent and measure your skis in inches? Or your weight in kgs?)


Probably best not to point fingers, given the UK's semi-acceptance of the metric system Laughing

At 6' I'd say your skis are a little short


Twisted Evil Twisted Evil 1. I live in France and we are pretty metric, wood sizes and bike tyres (at least, notwithstanding) - on wood sizes why is 27mm such a common multiple? wink

Skis don't know how tall you are ...

I've skied a Kendo, some years ago and thought it would be a nice ski to teach on if I ever wanted to be an instructor. Brahmas? probably more like the Bonafide which likes a good scruff grip, for rewards.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
under a new name wrote:
Skis don't know how tall you are...


This is true, but it's a reasonable rule of thumb. Or are you suggesting that Brahmas would be best in the 166 length for the OP? wink NehNeh
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@SnoodlesMcFlude, it's a reasonable rule of thumb if you are a hungover, over-stressed skiperson in a French rental shop on the first Saturday of the Parisiens week!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thanks everyone. I have some follow on questions.

1. The ski shop guy recommended testing all of the "carving" skis one day and all of the freeride skis the next. I'm not sure if he was just trying to sell me on two days of demos or not. Anyways I kinda like the idea of doing the enforcer and the deacon on the same day to help me narrow my focus. Are those the leaders of the pack for what I described? I am thinking given I am in the east the Enforcer 88 would be a better choice

2. Totally agree, I might need a lesson. Not really sure since I don't get to see myself ski often. Let's pretend for discussion sake that I am technically sound. Would a ski that is too short tend to wash out in the back?

I kinda wish my wateas were just the next size up and I could try that.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
obsessed wrote:
Thanks everyone. I have some follow on questions.

1. The ski shop guy recommended testing all of the "carving" skis one day and all of the freeride skis the next. I'm not sure if he was just trying to sell me on two days of demos or not. Anyways I kinda like the idea of doing the enforcer and the deacon on the same day to help me narrow my focus. Are those the leaders of the pack for what I described? I am thinking given I am in the east the Enforcer 88 would be a better choice.

There is no definitive answer to any of your questions.

I can see the logic of testing Piste Skis against Piste Skis and the same with All Mountain. You will then be comparing "Like with Like". I personally find that I make adjustments to the way I ski, with the different category ski. Piste Skis have less Rocker, a narrow waist and a tighter Turn Radius, so are more reactive....so not constantly switching between them and AM, might be easier.

On the other hand, you might prefer to have a "Head to head" of AM vs Piste.....maybe when you have found your favourite in each category, that is the time to do it.

All the skis that have been recommended to you are excellent - so the "Leader of the Pack", is the one you prefer.....but without knowing that, probably Stockli followed by Kastle (as a guess).
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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?
Just to stick my oar in; I am a total convert to shorter piste focused skis with a general preference for the Rossi Hero ST. I am about your height / weight and have had fun on both the 167 and 174 (I think these are the sizes?).

I used to be all for the stiffer all mountain kind, but Europe just hasn't had the snow to make it worth it recently unless you are going 90mph, plus nippier shorter skis have made me a much better skier too.
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