Philpug

Notorious P.U.G.
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Wallflowers need not reply to this comparison; in fact, just keep moving along.

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The Bonafide and Monster 98 are the two heavy hitters in this segment. I am not saying these are 11/10th skis, but they are definitely for stronger, more aggressive chargers. These two skis also have some of the simpler, more mature and refined graphics in the category.

The Bonafide is the old man in the segment and has become the ski that all other 98-100s are compared to. The Flipcore design has worked very well in this segment, and the addition of carbon has made this reference ski even more versatile by calming the extremities as well as lightening things up. Of the two, the Bonafide is the more versatile, just as happy off piste as it is on.

The Monster 98s are being compared not only to the Bonafide but also to a ghost of a ski, the Kästle MX98. For some reason I keep going back and comparing the Monster skis to the Kästle MXs -- which is about as big of a compliment as I can give the Monsters. The 98 here is really reminiscent of the gone-but-not-forgotten MX98, truly an iconic ski. Where the Monster 98 shines in this comparison it's ability to handle chop along with being a charger, very well the best ski with these attributes offered right now. What the Monster gives up in off-piste versatility, it makes up in sheer power as a ripping wide GS ski.
  • Why choose the Bonafide? You are on piste as much as off; you venture into the bumps, trees, all over the mountain; you make big turns.
  • Why choose the Monster 98? You are an ex-racer and/or race coach. You like to go fast (in fact, you know no speed limit.) Your knees might not be what they once were, after numerous surgeries but you still want to rip up the whole mountain, leaning to the groomers and windbuff.
  • Other skis in class: Armada Invictus 99Ti, Nordica Enforcer 100, Rossignol Experience 100, Volkl Mantra.
 

Boog

At the base lodge
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Interested in these skis as the skinnier side of a 2 ski travel quiver with a pair of 186 blizzard gunsmokes heading to Jackson hole.

At 5'11 and 180 pounds, I would definitely pick up the bonafide in a 180. What length monster would be the closest to compare? I'm leaning towards the 184 with the mount bumped forward +1. Will it feel like a way bigger ski? I'd typically grab a groomer ski in the 175 range and a pow ski in the 185-189 range

Or am I on the wrong track completely and you can suggest a better 90mm that would serve as a firm snow day pick?

I'd like it to

Be energetic and fun on a groomer if the off trail is total garbage
And want it to work in chalk, spring slop, refrozen junk, dust on crust, elephant snot, coral reef, shmoo and whatever

If conditions are soft pack or better I'll be reaching for the gunsmokes.
 

Josh Matta

Skiing the powder
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a 177 monster is equal if not slight longer to 180 bonafide in length. 184 would be great than a 187 bonafide or any flip core ski.

I would say firm snow bias Monster 88 is the best 88mm ski. I own a Monster 83 now in a 177 and have skied the 88 in a 177 and 184,and the 98 in a 184. I also own a Bonafide in a 187cm and have skied in a 180cm.....not the newest version though. its is the best construction on firm and chopped, and awful weird snow I have skied. Heck on groomers days at stowe the monster feel better than my master GS skis. My 83 are not awesome in choppy soft snow at speed, but are great on groomers, really great on shit groomers, good in bumps, and overall a good packed snow ski no matter that kind of packed snow there is. Even though the Bonafide is a great firm snow ski, and my pick for a chargy 100mm ish ski, the Monster 98 has better edge hold, but gives up some soft crud ability to it, the Monster 88 is even better on firm snow than the 98.......
 

Superbman

Getting on the lift
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I've been taking a long hard look at the Monster 83, I always suspect its the sleeper sub 90 ski no one talks about. Good in bumps, huh?
Are you skiing this year's Monster?
 

Josh Matta

Skiing the powder
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its a couple years back same shape, mine supposely has a stiffer tip than the newer ones but the old ones can be had stupid cheap.

I like its in bumps....but I like basically anything in bumps that isnt over 115 underfoot and has some camber and sidecut.
 

Ken_R

Living the Dream
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Denver, CO
Interested in these skis as the skinnier side of a 2 ski travel quiver with a pair of 186 blizzard gunsmokes heading to Jackson hole.

At 5'11 and 180 pounds, I would definitely pick up the bonafide in a 180. What length monster would be the closest to compare? I'm leaning towards the 184 with the mount bumped forward +1. Will it feel like a way bigger ski? I'd typically grab a groomer ski in the 175 range and a pow ski in the 185-189 range

Or am I on the wrong track completely and you can suggest a better 90mm that would serve as a firm snow day pick?

I'd like it to

Be energetic and fun on a groomer if the off trail is total garbage
And want it to work in chalk, spring slop, refrozen junk, dust on crust, elephant snot, coral reef, shmoo and whatever

If conditions are soft pack or better I'll be reaching for the gunsmokes.
I own the Monster 88's in 184cm length and use them regularly. Just a superb ski. I have also used the 2017 Bonafide in 187cm and the new 2018 Bonafides in 187cm as well and liked them a lot. The new Bonafide was quite similar to the Monster. The older Bonafide had a tad less precise front end with not as smooth contact with the snow as the new one. But we are splitting hairs. The new Bonafide can make a shorter turn easier but it still has that nice GS feel. I used the new Monster 98's in 177cm and found them slightly looser than the Monster 88's but still with a superb edge hold. For open terrain I might go for the 184cm Monster 98's but the 177's really had no speed limit or a very high one so for tighter terrain it is still a great choice and really comparable to the 180cm Bonafides.

So, the 177cm monsters compare with the 180cm Bonafides no question about it.
 

tch

What do I know; I'm just some guy on the internet.
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Nov 13, 2015
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Help me understand: if you are primarily going to stick to groomers and windbuff, why would you buy a ski this wide? This question is why I ultimately didn't buy a Bonafide (older model) after trying it out. It was a nice ski but seemed most comfortable ripping groomers and smooth, soft stuff. It felt like a bulldozer...but why buy a bulldozer to cruise on the highway?

I'm honestly lost as to the application for a ski like the Monster or the MX98. Why not ski a narrower ski that's just as beefy (like the MX89 or Monster 88) but quicker? Thoughts?
 

Ken_R

Living the Dream
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Help me understand: if you are primarily going to stick to groomers and windbuff, why would you buy a ski this wide? This question is why I ultimately didn't buy a Bonafide (older model) after trying it out. It was a nice ski but seemed most comfortable ripping groomers and smooth, soft stuff. It felt like a bulldozer...but why buy a bulldozer to cruise on the highway?

I'm honestly lost as to the application for a ski like the Monster or the MX98. Why not ski a narrower ski that's just as beefy (like the MX89 or Monster 88) but quicker? Thoughts?
Some people like a wider platform but yeah, it is somewhat of a niche. The difference between the 88's and the 98's shows up in crud where the wider platform feels a bit nicer but there is not much of a difference in most conditions, at least with the Monsters.
 

LewyM

Getting on the lift
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Dec 9, 2015
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PNW
Help me understand: if you are primarily going to stick to groomers and windbuff, why would you buy a ski this wide? This question is why I ultimately didn't buy a Bonafide (older model) after trying it out. It was a nice ski but seemed most comfortable ripping groomers and smooth, soft stuff. It felt like a bulldozer...but why buy a bulldozer to cruise on the highway?

I'm honestly lost as to the application for a ski like the Monster or the MX98. Why not ski a narrower ski that's just as beefy (like the MX89 or Monster 88) but quicker? Thoughts?
@tch the application is big mountain western skiing, daily driver. I agree that skis like the Bonafide are only OK groomer skis (relative to other alternatives in the market). . . but they ski groomers fine and if you regularly ski big mountains, mostly off-piste and you like the feel of a metal laminate (or are 170lbs+), skis like the Bonafide, M98, BMS105HP, Solly QLab make sense for most of what you encounter on most days. I also agree with @Ken_R that in this scenario a bit more platform makes sense if you like to ski bigger lines.

I get that this doesn't make sense to an eastern skier at all but a few venues. But it is the same reason that to me, for my application, the Brahma never made sense. . . even though it feels like a Bonafide (and I own the OG Bonafide). Although I like the Brahma fine, I feel like that shape profile makes more sense in the ~100mm category for my venues. . . for an 88 I want a ski that is way more firm snow focused and less loose/vague in and out of the turn than the OG flip cores (in this category, I'd rather ski a Monster 88, MX88 or even a SR88). But if you are looking at the ~88 category as a solution to the eastern soft snow day scenario, where it is your widest alternative before a dedicated powder ski, then I get it, solid if you stand on it, quicker edge to edge than a Bonafide, not tragic on firm groomers or places where it is scraped down and still a bit loose for the softer stuff.

If a skier is groomer-centric, however, I agree with you that skis like this leave them a bit "over-clubbed" - that said, I am not particularly offended or bothered by it, provided that the skier is safe and having fun.
 

Big J

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@tch the application is big mountain western skiing, daily driver. I agree that skis like the Bonafide are only OK groomer skis (relative to other alternatives in the market). . . but they ski groomers fine and if you regularly ski big mountains, mostly off-piste and you like the feel of a metal laminate (or are 170lbs+), skis like the Bonafide, M98, BMS105HP, Solly QLab make sense for most of what you encounter on most days. I also agree with @Ken_R that in this scenario a bit more platform makes sense if you like to ski bigger lines.

I get that this doesn't make sense to an eastern skier at all but a few venues. But it is the same reason that to me, for my application, the Brahma never made sense. . . even though it feels like a Bonafide (and I own the OG Bonafide). Although I like the Brahma fine, I feel like that shape profile makes more sense in the ~100mm category for my venues. . . for an 88 I want a ski that is way more firm snow focused and less loose/vague in and out of the turn than the OG flip cores (in this category, I'd rather ski a Monster 88, MX88 or even a SR88). But if you are looking at the ~88 category as a solution to the eastern soft snow day scenario, where it is your widest alternative before a dedicated powder ski, then I get it, solid if you stand on it, quicker edge to edge than a Bonafide, not tragic on firm groomers or places where it is scraped down and still a bit loose for the softer stuff.

If a skier is groomer-centric, however, I agree with you that skis like this leave them a bit "over-clubbed" - that said, I am not particularly offended or bothered by it, provided that the skier is safe and having fun.
I am a West Coast skier and could not agree with this more. I own or have owned lots of the skis mentioned here. I usually ski on piste. I have gravitated more to the wider skis but now also enjoy the mid width 84cm ish skis that just rip the groomers doing GS or short radius turns. For me it depends on the conditons for the day more than anything else. Whether it is mostly hard pack or whatever else. For a year my daily driver was a BMX 108 that I really like. Does not make much sense as a daily driver but it was for me. Perhaps I will demo the Monster 88 this year to see what I think about it.
 

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