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Recommend me a Freeride ski please!!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hey guys, long time no write.

So there are some crazy deals online at the moment so I want to treat myself to a pair of heavy freeride skis. Before i start trawling through thousands of intense american forums and reviews i thought I'd ask here first.

As I'm in europe they are going to see a lot of piste and variable (i.e. god awful) snow. I ski pretty fast and hard, definitely like a racer, bent forward and legs wider than they probably should be. I don't tend to jump off anything higher than 3 meters and going backwards scares me!

I used to like a pretty strong ski but a bit shorter (180-185). My absolute favourites to date were the Blackdiamond Zealot and Blizzard Cochise (both after they introduced tip and a little tail rocker)

What do you guys think i should look at? Preferably no expensive boutique skis or ones only available in America wink

Thanks
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
So the two skis you mention are 110 and 106mm waist respectively. Is this a requirement for you?

I'm not usually very well up to speed on 'current' skis, but as it happens I did buy some new off-piste skis this year, but I went with the wider option with the Atomic Bent Chedler at 120mm wide, in the 192cm length. (I'm around 183cm and 85kg, for reference). Paid a total of CHF 573.66 including mounted bindings. (EDIT: seems that glisshop don't have the 192 length any more, but they did back in February).

Very pleased with them, and they're usable on piste, although obviously there's some compromise. But off piste they're great, perfect on powder but also very good on crud and broken crust etc. Quite flexible but a strong tip and tail rocker which seems to add a lot of stability in less-than-perfect conditions.

I'm lucky enough to live in a ski resort so can maintain a quiver which includes both slalom and GS skis for icy days, teaching days, cruising days, whatever, and I'm really not sure I'd want just the 120s for an everyday ski. Then again, I don't think a 110 would be ideal either.

Horses for courses, but I decided I would ignore the general view that freeride skis are not that wide, having previously had 122 and 120 Salomon skis over the past few years. Works for me, and I fail to see any real disadvantage to the extra width. Oh, they're _really_ lightweight as well, about a kilo less than some of my other skis.
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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?
@dulcamara, hey bud. I'll do you a mates rates deal on any 23/24 skis left in the Whitedot range. You still with Dynafit?
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@dulcamara, Völkl Revolt 114 (not sure why they list it under freestyle, but it's flat tail and pretty directional), Blizzard Rustler, Fischer Ranger 116, whatever the equivalent Nordia Enforcer is. Probably in that order...

Bentchetlers are great skis for the right application but 100% not what you are describing/looking for!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@spyderjon, Hey Jon, yeah still slogging away at the bindings, its been a crazy few years but hopefully there's some fun toys on the horizon for you guys. Actually a few of the new seeding bindings went to the UK this year, was that to you? Thanks for the offer I'll take a look at your website this evening.

@clarky999, Hey bro, yeah you know how i ski. The Revolt is an interesting tip, maybe a little wider than I'd like but i will definitely take a look! I have also have a soft spot for Blizzard, they make beautiful skis and the manufacturing technology I've seen is at a really high level. House here is sorted, so I should be much more free this coming winter, make sure you earn yourself some baby free ski days before then!

@Chaletbeauroc, Thanks for the recommendation, I've heard a lot a love for the BCs I need to get a pair on my feet soon, but I think they might not quite be what I'm looking for. Very jealous that you get to live in portes du Soleil though, had one of my biggest crashes ever there snowHead


Out of interest does anyone know how to make sense of the different Rossignol Sender and Blackops versions? Ti, Ti Plus, Pro
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You'll need to Register first of course.
@dulcamara, you might want to check out the new Blizzard "Anomaly" range (replacing Bonafide, Cochise, etc)? Sound interesting but not tried them yet ...
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Looks interesting (not sure about that purple though), but I work in the sports industry.... I think I'll have to stick to the reduced stuff or I'll get in trouble at home Razz

Also the dimensions online are a mess, blister say 22.5 - 24m radius, the description on a couple of shops talks of 24m but there is 19,5m printed on the 182 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!
I'm loving my Nordica enforcer 110 frees. On and off piste. I don't try a great variety of skis, so can't really compare them.
I'm 185cm/90kg & went for the 177cm length, happy to forgo the advantages of a longer ski in favour of a shorter turn radius and lower swing inertia/faster turning.
I find them so good at piste carving, that I no longer bother with "piste" skis.
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@clarky999, Do you mean the Revolt 114? I've skied it in the 90ish, but it's got massive full rocker and I can definitely see why it's a freestyle ski – very manoeuvrable, but otherwise flippy flappy noodles Laughing

@dulcamara, As above, Enforcers are great on the piste/off the side/if it's not too deep/if you have no idea what it's gonna be like (I have the women's version, and it's been my go-to ski for the past two seasons), but I wouldn't necessarily pick it out as a freeride ski. Heavy, sturdy, reliable though, but if the snow is deeper, then I'm picking the Whitedots.

To throw another one in, I just got a very good deal on a pair of Faction Dancer 3, also billed as a freeride ski. I bought them after the Stubai test because they were super fun rather than because I need more skis (I don't. Well, actually I do, but not this type of ski...). They are very turny, but not flimsy like the Revolt. I'm hoping they'll suit the not-especially-deep powder days we often get around here.

I can also say that the Salomon Stance was the most boring ski I've ever tried, and the Armada ARW, was a constant fight not to go over the handlebars. Would not recommend.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
@dulcamara, hmmm, I wonder/suspect maybe shops/online haven’t had full production details?

Or, rather, haven’tvudated their sites with Blizzard’s official data?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Find out what you can score a deal on. Check Blister to see if it'll do what you think. Buy. Easy enough.

Or just buy some Whitedot ASBOs from Jon.
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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.
Scarlet wrote:
@clarky999, Do you mean the Revolt 114? I've skied it in the 90ish, but it's got massive full rocker and I can definitely see why it's a freestyle ski – very manoeuvrable, but otherwise flippy flappy noodles Laughing


Yes, the 114 is very different to the rest of the line though. The various 80-90mm widths are park skis, the 104 (which I have) all mountain, the 114 is a flat-tail directional charger, and the 121 is a big surfboard (supposedly also quite stout and chargey but I haven't skied them personally).
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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
clarky999 wrote:
the 121 is a big surfboard (supposedly also quite stout and chargey but I haven't skied them personally).


If you want to try some at some point, I can always drop mine off, they don't get that much use in the Zillertal, i'm usually on GS skis!
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@swskier, that would be fun! I've also been considering some in the sales but just pulled the trigger on another bike instead Skullie
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
dulcamara wrote:

@clarky999, Hey bro, yeah you know how i ski. The Revolt is an interesting tip, maybe a little wider than I'd like but i will definitely take a look! I have also have a soft spot for Blizzard, they make beautiful skis and the manufacturing technology I've seen is at a really high level. House here is sorted, so I should be much more free this coming winter, make sure you earn yourself some baby free ski days before then!


Nice, lets make it happen!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Salmon QST 106 is pretty good all around skis, especially at 299 eur deal cannot go wrong.

https://www.sport-conrad.com/en/products/salomon/qst-106-sc-1.html?gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAjwm_SzBhAsEiwAXE2Cv2c4iwmu2DF9OlHAZR3sBzLc82N5qJYDXgR36C7u5KzBYz6eHoOqDxoC2bMQAvD_BwE
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
It's funny, does anyone else have illogical dislike of certain brands? Don't like their Marketing position or maybe got burned by one bad ski and never want to go there again?

There are a couple listed above that I would just never consider... Armada and Fischer for example for me Laughing

Nordica and Blizzard I have a soft spot for, not even sure why.

Quote:

Yes, the 114 is very different to the rest of the line though. The various 80-90mm widths are park skis, the 104 (which I have) all mountain, the 114 is a flat-tail directional charger, and the 121 is a big surfboard (supposedly also quite stout and chargey but I haven't skied them personally).


I hate it when compaies do this, give a ski the same name and then completely change its characteristics at differenmt widths..... Dynafit do this as well and I get very confused.
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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?
@clarky999, you're more than welcome, they have a set of shifts on them, and I have some skins and crampons if you fancy a try.
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dulcamara wrote:
Nordica and Blizzard I have a soft spot for, not even sure why.

Supporting local manufacturing?

I've never got on with anything from Armada either, but they seem to be largely park skis and I'm too old and broken for that Laughing
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
dulcamara wrote:
It's funny, does anyone else have illogical dislike of certain brands? Don't like their Marketing position or maybe got burned by one bad ski and never want to go there again?

There are a couple listed above that I would just never consider... Armada and Fischer for example for me Laughing


I'm the same, and put Salomon, Scott (I know they're popular here but...) and Head in that bucket too. But the latest gen of Fischer Rangers are genuinely worth a look and quite different to their usual MO

dulcamara wrote:

Nordica and Blizzard I have a soft spot for, not even sure why.


Metal wink
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Try the Blizzard Rustler 11 or Nordica Enforcer Free 110—they're great on mixed snow and perfect for your style.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
OP, I ski quite like you describe (although my stance tends to be more centred than forward) in similar conditions. I use a Line Blade Optic 104 and absolutely love it. Pivots and slashes beautifully, yet for some reason you can rail it like a carving ski and get it right over (very stiff central section with a great rocker profile, I imagine). Best slush ski I have ever owned. So stable at speed that I straightline moguls in them, getting airborne and chuckling the whole time.

Only real failing is that it's a heavy beast, and not as easy to do tricks with as lighter skis I own. I ski it in a 186, but should probably have gone a little shorter, as its length and weight make it a little unwieldy in the bumps if wanting to be agile. I tend to ski a consumer slalom ski with neglected edges for mogul days though.

Unlike you, I do like to ride switch at speed, and these skis do that excellently as so much of their performance is from underfoot, rather than shovels or tail.
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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!
Perhaps look at Armada? The ARV 116 JJ has a sidecut and camber underfoot for a 16m radius to "carve the powder" as some people say. If you can find the lighter UL version it might help with the tricks.

I have only skied the Armada freestyle skis but I really like the rocker/camber/sidecut combination to make them feel a bit shorter and more versatile on piste and/or in not great snow.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Henwc, While i really do appreciate you taking the time to help me out, this ski sounds like my idea of hell wink I like the idea of light bouncy turns, but I tend to just hammer through crud, getting too old/heavy for anything else.

@Harry Flashman, will have a look at the Lines thanks

@spyderjon, Do White Dot have a heavy chargy ski narrower than the Ragnarok? The new Ronde ones seem to brush up a bit to close to our Free series.
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@dulcamara, Fair enough, very polite of you to reply. Sounds like you're more keen a pair of full rocker crud crushers. There are Armada ARGs that do this but these are full powder skis at 133 underfoot which seems miles away from what you are looking for in many respects. I'll leave it to the others that know far more than me. Smile
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Another vote for the Line Blade Optic. I tried the 96mm version and it was unbelievably good. I have bought the 104 for extra float off piste (regular Snowheads will know that I am a godlike powder hound.....*) having found that the 96 was almost as good on piste as my Head e.Speeds! The Optic is pretty heavy and very stable but the balance is incredible and it's so easy to turn.
EDIT: I also tried the 120 Bent Chetler and found them to be terrible (easy in my bottom 3 skis ever). Bindings were mounted more centrally and they were difficult to turn and took loads of effort for a very poor edge set on piste and were pretty dead off piste.

* Don't all fall off your chairs laughing!
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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.
Klamm Franzer wrote:

EDIT: I also tried the 120 Bent Chetler and found them to be terrible (easy in my bottom 3 skis ever). Bindings were mounted more centrally and they were difficult to turn and took loads of effort for a very poor edge set on piste and were pretty dead off piste.


Workman/tools much? wink

Serious question though, if you don't want your bindings mounted centrally, how would you prefer them, and why? I went for 'standard' with mine, I love 'em.
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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
@Chaletbeauroc, I'm sure these were standard mounts too, as they came out of a hire shop. There seemed to be a lot going on behind the foot which slowed the response of the ski.... I don't know how to describe it very well but I have tried a lot of skis and these were pretty low on the list. I'm sure you've had skis you didn't get on with? Maybe it's personal preference but that particular week I tried Whitedot Asbo's (Good), Black Crow Atris (Better), Line Blade Optic (Excellent) and the BC's. I was trying to get a handle on what skis in that sort of range I'd prefer, so I'm directly comparing them....
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Klamm Franzer, TBH I rarely ski on anything except my own skis, so you have probably a lot more experience of the different models than me.

Could be that I've just developed my off-piste skiing in a way that suits this type of ski.

My first proper fat ski was the Salomon Czar, with a whopping 67cm of front rocker, which was very unforgiving of you letting your weight go too far back, as it would alternatively catch and release the front part. This was good for me at the time, as I had earlier had a tendency to sit back which wasn't good for anything, so the immediate feedback really helped me to eradicate this.

I do see a lot of half-decent looking freeriders who ski very much from the back seat and get away with it, so of course their requirements from a ski will be completely different from mine.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Nordica Unleashed 108, tested a few 100 -110 skis last winter, she came out on top
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Klamm Franzer,

Apparently the Blade Optic 104 is a very different ski to the 96 - as the 104 has all the heavy metal in it, and the 96 does not. Interested to know if you like it as much as the 96.

My lightweight all mountain ski is a DPS Cassiar 95, carbon, which is a great trick ski as much, much lighter than my Lines. It doesn't carve in as agile a fashion though, which is ironic as back in the day, it was DPS' "frontside" ski.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Two problems:

1. Snowheads is not the place to be asking about charger type skis.

2. Skis like the Zealot and Cochise are, very sadly, not really made anymore, due to a stupid desire to create easy-going and lightweight skis to appeal to the masses. Your best modern comparable bets would be a Volkl Katana 108 or Heritage Labs FL 105 (proper heavy, metal skis). The Volkl Revolt 114 or Line Blade Optic 114 could be reasonable bets too, although they still have a more forward mount point and a lot of rocker. Otherwise you would be better off looking online for second-hand older skis from back when they were still good.
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