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Apache Crossfire replacements

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I am an advanced skier who currently skis on K2 Apache Crossfires, 167cm. They are fantastic ski's on piste and I like to ski them hard, long sweeping carved truns mainly but short quick turns when on the steep stuff. However they are not great off piste.
I am looking to replace them with something more versatile, so that if I want to drop off the side of a piste into the deeper stuff I can
I have been looking at the K2 Rictors, Dynastar Sultans and Atomic Nomad Blackeye Ti, my question is will I notice much difference on-piste if I start to ski these hard and fast, would you recommend a rocker ski and are there any other skis I should look at.
I am 5'8 and 78kg


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 29-11-11 16:55; edited 1 time in total
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Scott Missions or Line Prophet 90s would get my money.
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Having used the Crossfires and Recons, I had a similar problem and have ended up with the Legend Sultan 85. A more versatile ski, but not as good on ice as the Crossfire or Recon. I'll live with that downside in exchange for the improved performance on softer stuff.

I also at the same time wanted a little bit more length, but not much. The 170cm Sultan was just about perfect in length for me.

The only other ski worth considering IMO is probably sticking with K2 and moving to an Aftershock - 130, 86, 114, should give a similar feel to the Sultan 85 but might ski a bit differently due to differences between the manufacturers.

Ultimately I thought about it long and hard, then a really really good deal came up that I'd have been mad not to take. So I took it. But if not I'd have looked at the Rictor and Aftershock to get a bit more of what you describe.
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To try and help with the hard charging stuff - the Legend is like being on rails by comparison to the Crossfire. Big, wide, carved turns is what it wants to do. The compromise will be on the shorter sharper turns if anything. But no issue with hammering around at high speed, and very stable feeling when you roll them onto their edges.
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Sultan 85s are brilliant skis, great at medium radius pure carved turns on piste. Not quite as good as the old L8k for proper short swings, but that's being picky, it's not an issue at all. Brilliant in bumps and cut up/variable snow. I used them as my piste/teaching ski, but frankly only ever skied pistes when I had too so didn't notice/care about the minimal compromise.

It sounds like rocker would be pointless for you, and if you're spending hte vast majority of your time on piste you may be better sticking to something like the Head Titans or Magnums.
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Line Prophet 98, Movement Jam and Storm Rage all worth a try I think!
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Thanks for everyone's advice, the Sultans get really good reviews as do the Line Prophets, I hadn't really considered the free ride skis like the Prophets before. How well do they handle on hard pistes?
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All the three I mentions were an absolute hoot to ski on the Tamworth fridge hardpack/ice, had me grinning like the Cheshire cat from the start!
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braeworth wrote:
Thanks for everyone's advice, the Sultans get really good reviews as do the Line Prophets, I hadn't really considered the free ride skis like the Prophets before. How well do they handle on hard pistes?


Much much better than you'd expect, but unless you're spending 30/40% of your time offpiste/getting your main enjoyment from offpiste probably a bad idea.
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Line Prophets (the P100 at least) are not that great on hard pistes. The new P98 is supposed to be a bit stiffer with the revised construction, so might fare better. In softer snow and off-piste they are great fun.
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I have the Rictors and love them. Great on the hard stuff we had last season and were great offpiste. If you prefer a 50:50 ski then the Aftershock is probably a better bet.
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Markoncarp, I hear really good things about the Rictors, as I do about other skis such as the Sultan 85's.
I love my Crossfires but want something that gives me some more versatility, I tend not to spend too much time off piste because the Crossfires are hard work.
So in short want something that can be pushed hard on piste but will allow me to get in to the deeper stuff when I see something interesting.

People have given me some really good suggestions so far, I guess we are spoilt these days with so many great skis and different types of skis around
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braeworth wrote:
Markoncarp, I hear really good things about the Rictors, as I do about other skis such as the Sultan 85's.
I love my Crossfires but want something that gives me some more versatility, I tend not to spend too much time off piste because the Crossfires are hard work.
So in short want something that can be pushed hard on piste but will allow me to get in to the deeper stuff when I see something interesting.

People have given me some really good suggestions so far, I guess we are spoilt these days with so many great skis and different types of skis around


Seriously, you sound like me about 18 months ago, at the end of a season where every attempt to get into the softer stuff (even fresh snow on piste) was spoiled by the massive amount of work in trying to float a 70-75mm waisted ski in powdery stuff.

I fixed it with the Sultan 85. If you want what you describe above, you need a waist of 85mm+, and in order not to lose piste performance, you can't go massively wide with the ski - unless of course you run more than one ski. It sounds like you want something that works fine on the piste, but when you see an opportunity you want to be ok on the offpiste. The Sultan does that. It is not perfect for either, but it is a good 70/30 ski.

If you can get to Hemel, you are welcome to try mine out, ping me a PM and we'll go and have a ski - I need a break from all this work around the house. Offer is open for other snowheads, but on the condition that you buy from Edge & Wax or give them a chance to match any deal you find on them - because they did me a very good deal on mine partly as a result of SH discount.
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braeworth wrote:
Markoncarp, I hear really good things about the Rictors, as I do about other skis such as the Sultan 85's.
I love my Crossfires but want something that gives me some more versatility, I tend not to spend too much time off piste because the Crossfires are hard work.
So in short want something that can be pushed hard on piste but will allow me to get in to the deeper stuff when I see something interesting.

People have given me some really good suggestions so far, I guess we are spoilt these days with so many great skis and different types of skis around


To be honest, the way the snow was this year, I didnt get TOO much time in the deep stuff to comment - although what little time I did spend with them was fine. They certainly aren't off piste ski's but the underfoot width is above 80mm (from memory) and I think thats a good place to be when it comes to a 70:30 ski.

Then again, these are my first ski's so I cant comment from a lot of experience.
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Monium, thanks for the kind offer but live in the North of England. I will try and find some Sultan test skis at Castleford or Manchester Chill Factory. If not I have seen so many good comments about them I might just bite the bullet and get them anyway.
They do seem like I am looking for, 70/30 skis, most of my time will be spent on piste due to the people I am skiing with(mixed ability) but when the opportunity arises I want to get in to the deeper stuff
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 Poster: A snowHead
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So I am edging towards the Sultan 85's but also find the Line Prophet 90's interesting. How do both of these skis handle on piste early in the morning when they can be rock hard. I ski with mixed ability groups, so will be on piste with them in the morning for a couple of hours then can get some time to go and play later.
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braeworth wrote:
How do both of these skis handle on piste early in the morning when they can be rock hard.


That's the sort of conditions that skis of this type (90 ish waist) don't particularly enjoy. Especially if those rock hard pistes are also steep. But you'll get by if your expectations are not too high.
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Ok thanks. Would I better going for something slightly narrower then such as the Atomic Blackeye ti , which has an 82 waist. I guess I have to make some kind of compromise, I am not going to get a ski that handles everything brilliantly.
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The prophet 90's handle really well, not an out an out piste ski but will get on egde and carve hard plus they're easy enough to handle at cruising speeds with your group and at 90 have enough to get you into and through the side-stashes - one of my fav ski's of the last 5 yrs!
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braeworth wrote:
Ok thanks. Would I better going for something slightly narrower then such as the Atomic Blackeye ti , which has an 82 waist. I guess I have to make some kind of compromise, I am not going to get a ski that handles everything brilliantly.


Depends entirely on your priorities. Just have to be honest with what you want to achieve. Something like the Line Prophet 90 would be great for charging around soft pistes and should inspire confidence off-piste, but it's never really going to be the best choice for when conditions are rock hard. It's a compromise as you say. Another option to consider would be Movement Jams. 85 waist, conventional camber and a decent sized shovel on the front. I've only ever tried Jams in a snowdome, but they seemed to have great edge hold on hardpack and I would imagine they would hold their own off-piste too. I'm a really big fan of Line Prophets (skied probably 100 days on P100s) but I consider them to be primarily soft snow skis - although maybe the 90 is a step better on piste. Whenever it gets a bit icy I put the Prophets away and dig out my old Head iM82s which really show up the difference in edge grip on hardpack.
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I was really trying to avoid taking two sets of skis with me, I normally manage to get two 1 week trips per season. However, I could get a double ski bag and take my Crossfires along for if the conditions are rock hard.
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How about K2 Sights if you want a bargin? £225 85mm underfoot, all terrain rocker? ski's really well...............
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Uktrailmonster, thanks for your advice, I am tempted by the Prophet 90's, I havent really heard a bad word about them plus they look fantastic
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Bizarrely I actually found the Sultan 85s floated better than the Prophet 90s (even though the Prophets were longer). Possibly at the time I was too light for them, but they tip dove a lot! P90s will probably be better on a piste than you're expecting (I gave my Sultan 85s to my Dad as I found my 92mm Big Troubles were a better everyday ski for me), but not as good as the Sultans. If you're spending less than 40-50% of the time offpiste, I'd say Sultans would suit better.
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Thanks to everyone for taking the time to offer advice.
I will probably be spending my time 70/30 on/off. So I guess i want more of a piste orientated ski that i can ski hard but something that when I get the opportunity, I can take off piste in to powder or in between the marked runs. Maybe something like the Atomic Blackeye Ti maybe more suited, does anyone have any experience of these. Some reviews of the Sultans say they can be a little slow initiating turns and edge to edge.
Choosing skis used to be quite straight forward but we are now spoilt for choice with so many great options
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Quote:

Some reviews of the Sultans say they can be a little slow initiating turns and edge to edge.


They're wrong - Sultans are pretty torsionally stiff and ski like a wider performance piste ski, and can be skied fast with precision. There is no way in hell that you will notice that micro micro micro micro second extra that it takes to get an 85mm ski on edge than an 82mm one. As to turn initiation, they prefer to carve their radius (15 metre - so still at the small end of the scale) than pivot really short swings (not that that's a challenge on them) - but that's not a bad thing for a piste ski. My one criticism would be that actually I'd have preferred a larger radius for high speed carving. I'm aware I'm having a bit of a love in, but they really are excellent skis, and I genuinely think they'd be exactly what you're looking for.

If you do decide you want something more pistey ski, take a look at the Head Titans.
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Thanks Clarky. I will try and test them at Castelford or the Chill Factore. I suppose if you read a couple of reviews you are always going to find the odd bad one, but there are an awful lot of people that love them! They can't all be wrong. Thanks for your help
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If I do go for the Sultans, what size should I go for. I am 5'8 and 79kg. Was thinking about 178cm
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Sounds about right.
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I bought the Rictors last season and whilst I only got 1 week to really rest them properly I found them great on hard piste conditions.

They are pretty heavy but also stable at speeds due to the metal layers. I'm only around 5'7" and 63 kg but I didnt have an issue handling them, def recommend!

I also think the sultans would be just as good.

It sounds like you are going to be pretty piste orientated so going into the 90+ mm wide all mountain skis doesn't make sense to me unless you are going for at least 50% off piste Smile
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braeworth wrote:
If I do go for the Sultans, what size should I go for. I am 5'8 and 79kg. Was thinking about 178cm


Sounds too long to me - you won't lose a lot vs the Crossfires on sharper turns in the same length, but with a 178 you might find they aren't snappy enough. No doubt the massive length brigade will descend and tell you that anything less than 2m isn't a real ski, but I think at your height and weight I'd go for the next size down.

Unless you are planning on seriously giving it some, I'd consider the 172s. I have the 172s and I am 3" taller and 30kg heavier. I like my skis short, but they don't feel like they'd be too short for many with similar height/weight, unless they were really into having the longest skis on the hill.

But this is something that you would do well to test a couple of pairs to make the right call. 172 in one ski will feel like 180 in a different model.
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Have found the same with Crossfires. I'm going to stick with them because I like the ride on piste, but had been hankering after something a little different.

Quite fancy trying the Volkl RTM range
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Rkk, yes i love the Crossfires on piste, but just need something more versatile
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I had crossfires at 167 and swapped last season to Line Prophet 90's. The reason for the swap was because the crossfires don't do any form of powder, so I wanted something with more float but could still spend all day on a piste with.

The 90's are pretty stiff and handle speed well, they edge well on ice and have a quick turn radius 17.7 for the 179's (which I have)

I have no regrets making the switch they are superb skis, I can pretty much ski as fast as my legs will take, they rip through the hard morning snow and float on powder. What more can you ask for!
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braeworth, Think you've got some good options to consider now. Based on your 70/30 spilt, my shortlist would be something like:

Movement Jam - quality construction, strong edgehold on piste, conventional camber, wide tip for floatation
Line Prophet 90 - light and fun in most conditions, doubt you'd be disappointed unless conditions were really hard and icy
Atomic Theory - should be the best of these three choices for off-piste in deeper snow, slight tip rocker. Fall line ski of the year

Lots of others to consider too, perhaps the Rossignol Experience 88?
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I've just upgraded from my Movement Jams to the Scott Venture. No mountain experience on them yet (10 sleeps!!) but have tried them at MK & Hemel and I found them amazingly manoeuvrable for a 95mm underfoot ski. I didn't realise how wide they were to start and would have sworn they were no wider than the Jams.

But of course if you wanted some Jams I have some for sale wink
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Thanks to everyone for taking the time help. I am going to try and test some skis at Castleford or Chill Factore. I have a long list and will have to narrow it down, I will definitely try the Sultan 85's and the Prophet 90's plus hopefully a couple of others.
So many great skis around these days, it's a nice problem to have
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Having skied the sultan 85's you will not be disappointed, I went to a demo day and they were the best skis of the day (controversially I didn't enjoy the Scott missions) However I would say, just be sure to remember that testing them indoors doesn't really test them in true context and that you may find you enjoy a particular ski more because of the situation.

Happy testing!
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braeworth wrote:

So many great skis around these days, it's a nice problem to have


Exactly. I'd just go with the ski you gel with the most on the indoor test. I very much doubt any of those skis would be a bad choice out on the mountain.
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Still deliberating, getting to test these skis is proving difficult. I have kind of narrowed it down to Sultan 85, Prophet 90 or Volkl Kendo.
I can test the Kendos at EB Castleford but they don't do the Legends and only do the Prophet 100's.
There are still some 2011 Sultan 85's available in 172cm for around £340 inc. bindings, so do I just bite the bullet and buy these untested and save myself about £200 compared to this years Sultans or the Kendos?
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