I've finally managed to trash my old skis beyond the point of simple repair so I am taking the opportunity to get a new pair. This is a big step, I'll finally be making the transition from straight edge to shaped. I'm looking for a good general purpose ski - good for off-piste, but still reasonable on groomed slopes and moguls. I've been looking into the Rossi bandit series and the salomon x scream series. Anyone have any advice on these skis or any other options?
No specific brand but probably somewhere in length between your chin and forehead when standing them next to you... which I suspect is MUCH shorter than your straight skis.
The shaped skis all ski very differently. If you get the opportunity, I would demo several different skis one day or over a weekend. You will be surprised at how different they feel. It is my experience that there is always one that will set itself apart for you. I just bought the new Atomic C9's after trying out a few. Love them!
What is your weight, height, ability etc? I am 160# and some longitudinally stiffer skis don't work well for me and, in general, softer skis don't work well for heavier folk.
Just some data points. I am 6'1" and ~200 pounds. The first pair of shaped skis I had were 177cm volks, fairly soft - a solid 10cm shorter than my old straight skis. I loved them but bent one of them.. (oops)
So, onto the 2nd pair, 174cm K2 Axis. A bit stiffer and so far no bending... also I like the even shorter length.
Recently I skied with a friend, an expert skier about my height & weight, and he was on 170cm Dynastars. He had borrowed these from a friend who is of similiar build and ability.
His regular skis are 180cm K2 Axis Pros...
IF he were to buy skis this year he's probably go no lower than 170cm but definitely shorter than the 180cm.
Another data point: I have a friend in Park City that bought some 163cm skis and he is probably 5'9"... and said "I ain't going back..."
so there you have it, for whatever that's worth.
Both the X Scream and Bandit series are reasonable skis for what you've described. The Salomons have a rep for not having the most tenacious edge-hold; if you primarily ski the East, they are probably not your best option. There are SL-turn and GS-turn variants on the Bandit, you have to decide which variation you prefer.
Neither of the two lines of skis is particular energetic; this may be good or bad depending upon your level and what you are looking for in a ski. I prefer less energetic skis for skiing the softer stuff out West but like more energy in my skis when skiing the firmer conditions of the East.
Thanks for all the advice . Some data points
at least, I hope I'm not an advanced skier in the same sense that everyone is an above-average driver
Do ski shops ever have unsold skis left over from past seasons? I really don't think I need the latest cutting edge skis, esp. if I could save some $$.
As a bit of a purist, but also because of a tight budget, I just switched to shaped skis two years ago. They are MIGHTY nice for both carving up groomers and making quick turns on black diamonds. I successfully employed the following option: In the fall you can usually find a choice of late model shaped skis with bindings for $150 or less at local ski swaps, esp at 180cm or greater lengths. I think some of these get castoff as too hard to handle by average skiers.
Someone better in the know might correct me, but for the newest gear I think a ski shop would recommend shaped skis around 160-170cm for an adult male of average ability and size.
WGO- We are pretty close in size, and I am a Level 7 skier on PSIA scale(I am a little taller, but I don't think 3 inches is a big deal). I just demoed a bunch of skis over the weekend. I was looking for a carving ski for eastern hard snow/ice since I have mid fats for softer snow conditions. I wanted to try the Volkl 5* in 168 or 175ish, but they had all been sent back bent to the mfg. So this is what I tried:
Rossi 9S: 160~
Volkl 4*: 160~
K2 XR: 170~
Head iC 180: 158
Head Worldcup XRC: 172
My favorites by far were both the Heads. Next were the Volkls, Rossis, and K2s. The Heads were a little heavy, but not really noticeable skiing. They both held an edge unbelievably well and were incredibly stable and reasonably quick. These skis could be skied at really high speeds and were unflappable.
The Volkls were not as stable as I wanted nor did they hold as well as I thought they might. They were pretty quick but chattered like crazy no matter what technique I used. They also had somewhat of a speed limit.
Rossis held the best of the bunch but were extremely unforgiving and demanding. They were fun for a while but I couldn't see skiing them all day, and bumps would be impossible.
K2s did not hold well at all, were unstable and just not much fun. They might have been decent on western groomed or for a beginner/intermediate.
In short, I was really impressed with the Heads. They reminded me of Volkls of a few years ago.
I have tried the Salomons out west and didn't think they would be very good here. As far as the B1 goes, they are pretty popular all mountain ski.
Another ski you might want to try is the Atomic Crossmax series (which were unavailable at the time I was demoing)
But the only way to find your ski is to demo a lot of skis and compare. In general, for your height & weight I would recommend something in the 160-170 range. Also, you might want to take a private lesson to get with the new technique since it is different on thenew skis.
Let us know what you end up with.
Thanks, that's all really helpful. I'll be in VT for a few days at the end of the month so I'll have a chance to demo at least a few pairs.