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Best piste skis for fast carving

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi, I'm looking at buying some skis for on piste carving in Europe, which is about 99% of my skiing. I'm a fairly advanced skier, but not an expert/instructor, and like pushing myself in terms of speed (think it's better to ski fast and make mistakes than to stay in my comfort zone!). Will carve fairly confidently, though probably a lot more short turns in icy conditions on blacks, and worse edge control. Love GS style skiing at every opportunity. Really aiming to push myself to the next level over the next few years and get in a lot more skiing and gym training for skiing.

I've been looking at picking up one of the following in the end of season sales:

K2 Disruption MTI 165
Volkl Deacon 74 163
Rossignol Hero Elite Plus MT TI 159

I'm 5'8"/173cm, weight fluctuates a lot between 60-65kg, sometimes even more/less, so thought better to go for lighter/shorter skis.

I'm struggling to choose between them, and am slightly cautious as to whether these are beyond my ability or not, hard to tell what the categories of skier exactly mean, but I'd probably rather err on the side of higher ability that I can develop into over the next 5 years rather than ones I'll feel frustrated with. I've not paid that much attention to my skis before as I was on rental skis (have my own boots), so find it a little hard to decipher some of the review speak. Unfortunately won't be able to demo them.

Would love any advice particularly from anyone who's used the mentioned skis. Thanks in advance!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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if you're really after a true piste ski obviously something with the word race on it and sub 70mm.
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The hero elite Ti skis will do a job for you. Check that the radius is not below 12-13 m at that length though.

Some of the shorter punter slalom skis go as low as 11.3 m, which feels a bit weird to me personally.

Money no object? Keener on medium radius turns? Try the Rossi master skis in one of the shorter lengths.
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Skied the Hero Elite's this year on the gnarly bug as there was no off piste, and as long as you concentrate they will carve fast!
Unfortunately I have no other recent experience on GS skis for comparison.
The majority of the ski club that was in resort for the first few days were on these skis as well Cool
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I skied the Elite LTs a couple of weeks ago in VT (20m radius at the 183 length I was on - but I’m around the 90kg mark) - I’m not an expert skier by any stretch, but found them great for getting on edge and carving up a storm. Wouldn’t call them light by any stretch though - they weigh a ton.

Switched mid week to something ‘turn-ier’ - atomic redster TXs at around the 16 m mark - much lighter but didn’t enjoy them quite as much, the shorter radius/reduced stiffness made them a bit livelier, but the extra sidecut made them much harder work in the slush on way home - though might be more a reflection of my skills.
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The Deacon 74s are impressively versatile. Docile and forgiving at medium speeds and turn radii. At GS speed and in pure carved turns on hardpack, they come alive and continue to reward - however hard you want to push them.
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Thanks for your replies, they're so helpful!

Mother hucker wrote:
if you're really after a true piste ski obviously something with the word race on it and sub 70mm.


Well the Rossi's have race in the name, but I don't want something too extreme that will frankly just be too tiring for all day skiing, as well as being difficult in slushier conditions in the spring afternoons (more and more of a problem...).

JamesHJ wrote:
The hero elite Ti skis will do a job for you. Check that the radius is not below 12-13 m at that length though.

Some of the shorter punter slalom skis go as low as 11.3 m, which feels a bit weird to me personally.

Money no object? Keener on medium radius turns? Try the Rossi master skis in one of the shorter lengths.


The Rossi's are 13m radius, the Volkl's 14m radius. Do you think those are ok? Or should I look for something more around the 16-18 mark, either a more long turn ski in a shorter length, or longer medium turn skis? Unfortunately the rossi master skis are beyond my price point! They do look amazing though.

Toby Jug wrote:
Skied the Hero Elite's this year on the gnarly bug as there was no off piste, and as long as you concentrate they will carve fast!
Unfortunately I have no other recent experience on GS skis for comparison.
The majority of the ski club that was in resort for the first few days were on these skis as well Cool


How did you find them across different snow conditions? Did they hold up ok in wetter snow and crud? Haha growing up was always jealous on vacation of the local ski club kids, tearing up slalom courses aged 6 (the Italian junior team also trained there which probably was a bit misleading to my young eyes haha).

Pejoli wrote:
I skied the Elite LTs a couple of weeks ago in VT (20m radius at the 183 length I was on - but I’m around the 90kg mark) - I’m not an expert skier by any stretch, but found them great for getting on edge and carving up a storm. Wouldn’t call them light by any stretch though - they weigh a ton.

Switched mid week to something ‘turn-ier’ - atomic redster TXs at around the 16 m mark - much lighter but didn’t enjoy them quite as much, the shorter radius/reduced stiffness made them a bit livelier, but the extra sidecut made them much harder work in the slush on way home - though might be more a reflection of my skills.


I see, I noticed the Deacons are a lot lighter than the Rossi's do you think that's a significant factor given I'm pretty light (my weight can even go down to sub 55kg when I'm cutting hard, probably less so these days)? Are shorter radius skis in general tougher in the slush and crud?

Skeet wrote:
The Deacon 74s are impressively versatile. Docile and forgiving at medium speeds and turn radii. At GS speed and in pure carved turns on hardpack, they come alive and continue to reward - however hard you want to push them.


Can I ask were you on the most recent model (teal coloured) or the 2019 model (black and red)? I read the 2019 model was more forgiving but the newer ones are a bit intense. How did you find them in slush or cruddy snow?

Also is it important that boot flex is matched to the ski type? My boots were bought when I was an early intermediate, need to check but think they're probably on the softer side.

Thanks so much for all the replies they've been so helpful. I saw the user reviews of the K2 Disruption MTI and people really didn't like them so will probably be between the rossi's or deacons. Does anyone know the difference between the Rossi Konect bindings and the R22 bindings?
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https://www.stoeckli.ch/usen/
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I skied the 2019 Deacon. The comment about the latest models being more intense is interesting. It would not surprise me if they had tweaked it because the 2019 model did not feel "special" until I pushed it hard.
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Re. Deacon 74s in slush and crud. They did an acceptable job - in rather the same way that a Porsche is manageable in traffic. For the fast carving conditions on "January hardback" that you aspire to, the Deacon 74 an excellent choice. However, for all round performance in "March slush and crud" the Deacon 80 is undeniably more versatile.
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Obviously my skis are quite old now- about 2009 I think they were made in- the Fischer Race RC that I believe are 69mm underfoot but I still love skiing on them in above conditions- 175cm length - v stable at speed on and off edge, great at carving and can also be manoevred into short turns when needed. Best on packed snow but can also be manoevred well through slush while staying stable if you keep feet evenly balanced. Only real disadvantage would be in deep powder where they would sink rather than float. You get a lovely feeling of hitting the afterburners accelerating out of a carved turn.

Would be interesting to see if the current Fischer range offers things similar.
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menatarms wrote:
Does anyone know the difference between the Rossi Konect bindings and the R22 bindings?

IIRC. The R22 is the same Race Plate that was used for the Dynastar (sister company) Speed Zone, turning the 12Ti into the 14Ti. It is supposed to make quite a difference. My advice, is that because you are light and not looking for something too hardcore, would be to go with the Konect, which should be fine.
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P.s there are no real piste performance skis which are also light. You don’t notice when skiing though Happy
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You know it makes sense.


I love carving, this is on 95mm twin tips @16m radius, old obsolete Head Venturi 95s, I have flipped between these and Head iRallys @ 14m radius & prefer the shorter radius for carving, anything greater and the turns become too big & fast, ie much easier to put more turns in on steeper pistes & keep the speed sensible, not that Casper and I kept it that sensible on the gnarbug, even on 14m radius skis
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I would recommend you take a look at the Dynastar 963 Connect. Or for more power, the Omeglas SL r22. Nice skis that perform but don't have to be ridden hard.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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JamesHJ wrote:
Some of the shorter punter slalom skis go as low as 11.3 m, which feels a bit weird to me personally.

I feel that the angulation you need to make a particular radius turn doesn't match the angulation you need to be balanced during that turn with skis of this sidecut radius.
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Really great replies guys, thanks again! I checked out the stockli and dynastar, they look great but a bit too hard for me I think. The deacon 80's look nice but weirdly overpriced (and out of my price range tbh) compared to some more advanced skis. I'm very tempted by the deacon 74's but think will err a bit towards a more "safe choice" in the Rossis.

JamesHJ wrote:
P.s there are no real piste performance skis which are also light. You don’t notice when skiing though Happy


great photo!

Think I'm going to go for the Rossignol Hero Elite MT TI's, think they'll be a nice balance of enough performance but reasonably forgiving across slush and crud. Annoyingly can't find them reduced anywhere in the UK, best option seems to be the Rossignol website which has some 159's left (forgot to mention my last rentals were 161's and felt pretty ok even at 67kg although a bit sluggish and not so stable at higher speeds, I'll be lighter and stronger by the next time I ski though), a little uncertain as to whether I should go for 167's though. Can get a 15% discount through subscribing to their newsletter, but now wondering if it's just worth waiting for the 2023 range to come out instead if basically paying full price, may just be a graphical change but no idea?
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menatarms wrote:

Think I'm going to go for the Rossignol Hero Elite MT TI's, think they'll be a nice balance of enough performance but reasonably forgiving across slush and crud. I'll be lighter and stronger by the next time I ski though), a little uncertain as to whether I should go for 167's though.

I'd be inclined to go for the 167 - which has a slightly more versatile Turn Radius and a little extra surface area for slushier snow. I think you would also be fine on the 159s. They are strong skis, so you won't overpower them.

The Speed Zone 12Ti was a terrific ski - and the current Speed 763 is (I believe) the same ski with a different coat of paint.

Glisshop have 29% off - and usually will have extra offers on top of that at various times. If looking at the shorter length, it might also be worth considering: https://www.glisshop.co.uk/ski-set-bindings/dynastar/alpine-ski-set-speed-763-konect-bindings28062697
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The length is a tricky decision, bearing in mind my stable weight when fit is usually closer to 60kg, and I found 161's okish recently when out of shape at 67kg (also getting married next year so big incentive to shed the extra pounds!), I'm thinking maybe the 159's are better, and given they're a strong ski maybe better to be slightly too short than too long? Worried my technique will go to hell on firm 167's lol.

They look a nice ski indeed. I also found the Rossis on Speck Sports at a nice discount at 159:

https://www.speck-sports.com/en/men-s-skis-packs/34346-rossignol-hero-elite-mt-ti-ski-pack-nx-12-konect-gw-b80-black--chrome-bindings-3607683729517.html#/ski_size-159

A little wary of import tax stuff, but if it's just the 20% VAT (I'm UK based) it's still a really nice deal. Thanks again for your help.
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menatarms wrote:
The length is a tricky decision, bearing in mind my stable weight when fit is usually closer to 60kg, and I found 161's okish recently when out of shape at 67kg (also getting married next year so big incentive to shed the extra pounds!), I'm thinking maybe the 159's are better, and given they're a strong ski maybe better to be slightly too short than too long? Worried my technique will go to hell on firm 167's lol.

They look a nice ski indeed. I also found the Rossis on Speck Sports at a nice discount at 159:

https://www.speck-sports.com/en/men-s-skis-packs/34346-rossignol-hero-elite-mt-ti-ski-pack-nx-12-konect-gw-b80-black--chrome-bindings-3607683729517.html#/ski_size-159

A little wary of import tax stuff, but if it's just the 20% VAT (I'm UK based) it's still a really nice deal. Thanks again for your help.

Up to very recently, I was 64kg....I'm now 66.4kg and aiming to get to 65kg.

I am a half decent skier and am happy on a Piste ski up to 170. I have loved skiing on my 157 Atomic SL11s (2004), which are a blast. As they were getting on in age, when I saw the chance to get some Speed Zone 12s in a 158, with 70% off, I bought them - If they'd had them in the next size up (166) at the same price, that would have been even more ideal. I would love to tell you what they're like, but haven't used them yet (having missed 2 years). They have a great reputation and the same turn radius as the Atomics, so expect to like them.

I also have some 180 Scott the The Ski, which are brilliant - and I can get away with that length as they are playful and forgiving, rather than damp and hard charging....but I have come from a background of using Old School 2m straight skis, so am comfortable on longer boards.

I tell you this, in case the comparison is helpful. If buying blind and worried about using the extra length, it's probably safer to go with the shorter length. FWIW. If your technique is sound, I don't think you will have a problem with something around 167.

With Glisshop, I think the shipping fee includes any extra costs (In Switzerland or the UK, our delivery charges include transport and customs. You will therefore not be charged any additional fees upon reception.).


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Sun 17-04-22 21:37; edited 4 times in total
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Might be worth looking at the Atomic Redster G9, possibly 165 or 171.

An out and out GS piste ski.

I bought a pair 3 seasons ago (177cm) and they’re awesome. Stable, fast (when you want fast) and an awesome ski for carving. Even in challenging conditions (slush, lumped/chopped up, hard pack to icy), they’re superb. Not particularly a ski for bimbling about on, one does need to concentrate. I almost wish I’d gone for the 183’s…. Toofy Grin

For reference, I’m 176cm and 83kg.

There are plenty of reviews out there.

I tested a few skis before opting for one that would “push” my (piste) skiing on.
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As a note, I'm 90+kg and my piste skis are 170s, I'm happy to trade stability for a smaller ski that can be flicked from edge to edge in the bumps & technical stuff in trees etc. I curse myself for staying with 200cm skis so long after carvers came out.

My early years of skiing were on really cheap crappy skis that I won in nightclub party games & my skiing took a step change up when I bought a much higher performance ski ie, within reason, it is better to have a higher performance ski that has space to grow into than have a low performance ski that is limiting you
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@menatarms, I'm sure you are aware - The Rossis you listed in your opening post are the "Plus" version. The skis you linked to are the "MT" (Multi Turn) version.

Dynastar in UK £325 (158) with free postage. They are the older model from 2017 or 2018: https://www.snowfit.co.uk/dynastar-speed-zone-12-ti-spx-12-konnect-binding-2.html
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Thanks for the replies, I saw this Deb Armstrong video about choosing skis:


http://youtube.com/v/DuEXEnw_kY8

It's convinced me to push myself and go for the 167 Hero Elite MTI, I'm even tempted by the Hero Elite Plus now but that's probably a bit too much ski for me, and maybe a bit tiring for an all day ski. I've messaged some French stores that have them to see if they ship to the UK, Easygliss has some nice deals, especially through Ebay. My technique is pretty good I think but needs more practice on steeps and leg strength in general. Slightly firmer boots may help too but that's for next year maybe.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/274559830127?hash=item3fed0a886f:g:A~AAAOSwlTpfoXB3

It seems glissshop are selling the updated much nicer 2023 graphic model already, also has different bindings, but it's very pricey:

https://www.glisshop.co.uk/ski-set-bindings/rossignol/alpine-ski-set-hero-elite-mt-ti-cam-konect-bindings33432869

An out and out GS ski is pretty tempting, would be a lot of fun, not sure I have the ability level to make the most of them though. The atomic redsters look like monsters haha, think maybe a ski of that level will be for next time! Very cool though. Think I'm a bit biased towards Rossignol as my long term coach always uses them!
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@menatarms, I am completely with D.A. on learning and improving your craft on Piste skis.

Having a short ski ie. Below 163ish (as an Advanced Bloke) with a Slalom radius (11 or 12m) is great fun, but if your only ski might be a little limiting.

What is the model and flex rating of your boots?

Personally, I think for a Holiday Skier, a full blown GS ski is fun on Hard, uncrowded Pistes and at High Speed....but I think from a practical and versatility POV - especially if light - they are not ideal, if they are your only ski.

Your other option, if ever looking to ski outside of the Piste, is a great carving AM ski, like the Rossi Experience 86 Ti.

Re MTi vs Plus - I think they both have the lighter Poplar core. The MTi will be a little quicker edge to edge and the Plus will be a little more versatile and possibly a little more stable. If the Plus is more demanding, I don't think it will be by much. I would choose based on preference/price/length/availability, rather than worrying about being too much ski. The Elites with the Ash core are more bad-ass.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Mon 18-04-22 15:45; edited 1 time in total
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@menatarms, I have the 2018-19 Hero Elite Plus TI 167cm and had about 8 weeks on them so far, and I love these skis. They will take me to my limit and carve sweet short turns, they will also open up with longer turns and stay really stable at speed and then quite happily drop the speed and change back to short turns. They also make it easy to ski very slowly with my grandchildren. It is a very forgiving ski. It is certainly not a tiring ski, I'm a not very fit 69 year old and I can ski all day on them with only one coffee break.
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@Old Fartbag boots are very old now, but went a long period unused so still in reasonable nick. Salomon X Wave (think 6.0? not sure, think bought them in 2007) flex 90. Was thinking of going to a stiffer boot (maybe 110) within the next 2 years but wanted some skis first (also splurged on a lot of new overpriced ski gear...). Did a week in march and they felt a tad soft I thought towards the end of the week, very comfortable but was thinking of maybe putting a booster strap on them. I checked and the Elite Plus TI are an ash core, but am thinking maybe they're a good ski to grow into, and what you said about the wider base being good for slushier conditions (unfortunately a bigger and bigger issue) sounds good.

@Timc thanks that's really helpful feedback! Can I please ask your height and weight if you don't mind? That sounds ideal as I spend some time on ski holidays cruising around with family sometimes who are much less confident skiers, and sometimes teach beginners for an afternoon if one or two have come along with us who can't ski with the others. I'm 34, not in great cardio shape but have reasonably strong legs thanks to a lot of squats. All other times are spent trying to live out my speed freak fantasies on blacks haha, and being humbled by the ski club guys.

I'll see if I can find some Elite Plus's.

EDIT: found these but not sure if this company is legit, or whether they would adjust the bindings for me:

https://xikixi.in/catalog/product/view/id/6779920/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwmPSSBhCNARIsAH3cYga9ahQaFe491IBzJVPBlanw-CFOS4Q-gDWHGmVDeR4-T-6StDihqcYaAkC6EALw_wcB
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menatarms wrote:
I checked and the Elite Plus TI are an ash core

Where did you check? The Rossi site has them as Poplar: https://www.rossignol.com/uk/rajlb01-000.html

I got the info from Ski essentials - but in case they were wrong, or things had changed, I checked the main website.

My latest boots (Atomic Hawx - 2016) are 110, which is right for me.....but there can be variation between brands. IMO. The worst thing you can do, is get boots that are too stiff. Too soft isn't good either - but is likely to effect your skiing a bit less. A good Bootfitter can usually judge.
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Weird I got the info from ski essentials too, but their youtube review:


http://youtube.com/v/efUvY6bNw6w

I wonder if it's changed, and whether @Timc is on a poplar or ash version of this ski? I would imagine the Rossi website is more accurate though.

Thanks regarding the boot info, I was worried my boots might be too soft for the skis. I'll likely replace them in a few years.
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@menatarms, That is more up to date.

This was the case in 2021: https://www.skiessentials.com/2021-ski-test/skis/2021-rossignol-hero-elite-plus-ti/

In 2022, they say this: https://www.skiessentials.com/2022-ski-test/skis/2022-rossignol-hero-elite-plus-ti/ and are showing Ash, yet say "Structurally unchanged for 2022...".

I think it's important to know for sure. If they have changed to Ash and stiffened up the ski, I'd be looking at the MTi, unless you can demo.
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Ok, I'll try to find out, the 2022 elite plus seems to be sold out everywhere reliable anyway to be honest, so may just go for those MT TI's if easy gliss can deliver to the UK. Otherwise think I'll wait for the 2023 ranges to appear. The atomic redster G9 WB looked interesting too but again is sold out, possibly will look at deacon 74's in 168 if I can't find the Rossi's. Some of the Nordica skis look very good too, the Nordica Doberman Spitfire 80 RB or 76RB maybe?

In terms of powder type skiing I think if I was to go for a ski for that it would really be for ski touring in Scotland, and maybe at some point abroad, so a real dedicated powder ski, but that's a long way away tbh.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Mon 18-04-22 16:31; edited 2 times in total
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@menatarms, Another ski I really liked, was the Head Magnum, which I rented one year..

Sold here with 30% discount (still expensive) in a 163 and 170. I was on the 170s and felt it was right for me. They are not a particularly demanding ski, with a great balance between stability and playfulness. They would be a little less stable than the Speedzone 12s.

https://www.glisshop.co.uk/ski-set-bindings/head/alpine-ski-set-supershape-e-magnum-sw-bindings17892981


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Wed 20-04-22 15:58; edited 1 time in total
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Thanks, I'll do some research into the Head skis. There are so many options these days with skis, it's quite overwhelming, very glad I came here to ask for advice!

Oh just realised Rossi has the Hero Elite Plus in stock in 167 on their website, I can get 15% off listed price, still expensive though. I'll email them to double check the wood. Do you know the difference between the SPX 12 and NX 12 bindings?

If easy gliss can deliver those MT TI's for £300 taxes included though I think that's too good a deal to pass up, the Elite Plus would be double the price even with a discount.

When renting do you ask for specific skis to try them out? I've alway just taken what they gave me but wish I had looked into it more.
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menatarms wrote:

Do you know the difference between the SPX 12 and NX 12 bindings?

The SPX 12 is the better binding and ideally the one to go for. The NX 12 is perfectly good and will more than do the job, if you are light and not an expert that skis very fast.

The main thing to check, is that the Binding is the Grip Walk (Gw) version - so when you get new boots - which will likely have Gw soles - they will work seamlessly without adjustment. If the binding isn't Gw compatible, it should only be used with normal alpine soles. This is another thing to check, if not sure. I think the Nx are all Gw compatible and some of the SPX may not be. If there is Gw in the model number, you should be OK. If it says "Dual", you may not be. I'm not an expert in this.

I only rented that year, as Crystal had a really good offer on. Some Ski shops show you what they rent on their website - with the ability to book what you want. That year, I tried some Blizzard Quattro, which I found a bit "planky" and dull. I changed them for the Heads, which suited me much better. I like a more lively, playful ski.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Mon 18-04-22 16:55; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Oh I see, just to check if my current ski boots aren't gripwalk (don't think they are) would they be compatible with gripwalk bindings? Both the NX and SPX have GW in the model number.

I know what you mean, a ski that has a real spring to it is just so much more fun.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
menatarms wrote:
Oh I see, just to check if my current ski boots aren't gripwalk (don't think they are) would they be compatible with gripwalk bindings? Both the NX and SPX have GW in the model number.

If your boots are older, they are most unlikely to be. I don't think Gw was about in 2016, when I got mine. Now, I believe all Atomics are Gw.

The Look Gw system should happily take both systems, without adjustment.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Great! Bank holiday in France today, but hopefully will get lots of messages back tomorrow and I can make some decisions. Very excited to get my first skis!
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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!
@menatarms, Keep us updated.
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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.
Will do! Thanks again for all your help!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@menatarms, Ok, so my Elite Plus Ti have the poplar core, it seems they changed to ash for the 20/21 season and I have no idea how the different core would affect performance.
It looks like Rossignol have dropped the Plus Ti from their 22/23 range.
My SPX12 Konect bindings are GripWalk/WTR switchable compatible so I doubt that has changed.
@menatarms I'm 5'10" and 90kg

The Youtube review is spot on for my older model.

We had a week in January with perfect piste conditions and they were pure joy. We had another 2 weeks in the middle of March when the conditions were very different, mornings were rock hard corduroy and the skis just gripped with little to no chatter as the pistes softened the pleasure just increased. After lunch when the pistes started to get heaped up and slushy they just cut through it.

I thoroughly enjoy the ski as it rewards good technique and doesn't punish bad technique.

@menatarms, Good luck with your quest
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