New Skis...Need Help
January 31, 2007
I am considering purchasing new K2 Apache Crossfire skis.
Anybody out there have any experience with them? Anybody seen any reviews? I demoed them and many other skis and sizes at Wintergreen this past Sunday, and the 174 length ski seemed superior (turning and carving)to my present (and beloved)1995? VOLANT 177 PowerCarves.
I am an all mountain skier, being nearly 66 I prefer groomed runs, like steep etc. Skied the back bowls at Vail last year. I do not do bumps if I can avoid them...really tires me out and my legs give out quicker now.
Your advice is appreciated.
I don't really like the run of the mill K2s for the midatlantic. Not the greatest grip on ice nor great stability when it gets cruddy. But since you tried them and like the skis thats all that matters right?
I really liked the Apache when I demoed them a few years back. Seemed like a great all-purpose ski. Just the same, I know a guy who skied two years on Apache Crossfires and loved them, who moved to the Apache Recon this year and likes it even more. Still, the Crossfire seems to be designed for our groomed/crud conditions.
The PowerKarves and the Apache Crossfires are both pretty damp skis. I used to ski either the PowerKarves or SuperKarves; they definitely have a different feel from most other skis. If you like how the Crossfires ski, buy 'em. Or demo another ski or two, and buy the one you like best. Just about every new ski on the market is a quality ski; you just have to decide which one you prefer.
These are based on the older Axis ski line, and are good all-mountain skis, with different models having different strengths. The Crossfire is the carver of the bunch, and will be most at home on hard/groomed snow. The Stryker would be a better choice for an all around Mid-Atlantic ski in my opinion -- would do better in soft snow whether it's spring snow, powder, or crud. If you only ski groomed, then the Crossfire is probably fine.
Did you try different sizes to determine that 174cm was the right one? I can probably comment on the right size if you give your height and weight.
Some deals I have seen on these skis over on EpicSki are:
Apache Stryker w/Mi12 binding $659 --> on sale for $599
Apache Crossfire w/Mi12 binding $639
If you ski mostly Mid-Atlantic groomers you owe it to yourself to try a pair of citizen slalom skis like the Rossi 9S, Dynastar Omneglass Speed, Fischer RC4 SLC, etc. I got a pair of Rossi World Cup 9S in a 158. I think these are 'race room' skis, I bought them used. My point is that even a supposed hyper slalom ski has been a real pleasure and quite easy to ski. Hardpack is effortless, variable natural crud has been easy. The only place I haven't tried them is in deep eastern pow but a friend of mine who has the citizens version reports they work great in up to a foot of PA heavy cream.
Crazie, you are absolutely right. The type ski you describe is awesome on the hardpack, and not bad in the crud. Specifically, I've skied the 9S Oversize, the Fischer RX8/Race SC (same ski, different graphics) the Fischer World Cup SL, and as stated above, the Crossfire.
That said, I generally find the "Citizen Racer" skis (all but the Crossfire) a little squirrely for simple cruising. They prefer to be on edge all the time.
I put myself and my spousal unit on the new Rossi Zenith Z9s
and I found them to be turning machines good in crud, hardpack, groomed, and powder. I'm on 168s and love the ski. I remember when the macho thing was the longer the better.... pulled out my old 205 k2 UVOs last year and damned near killed myself trying to get them to turn down the mountain.
I've skied many of the skis in the Apache lineup (last year's), including the crossfire. I'm a fan. I agree, the ski has a damp feeling, but this has been characteristic of K2 skis for some time now. I actually owned the crossfire, but wound up skiing the Apache X more, as I wanted something without metal for the bumps. Since you don't ski bumps very often, I think it would be a good fit.
I also picked up a pair of Elan M666's last year that are wider underfoot. I took them to Vail's back bowls and blue sky area last February and they performed very well. If you plan to do a lot of skiing out West, I might look for a wider waist than the crossfires, but for the East Coast, I think you'll be very happy (especially versus your existing older skis).