East Coast - Fattish 3rd Ski for Quiver

Discussion in 'Hardgoods: Skis, Bindings, Poles, and More' started by BluewingDavid, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. BluewingDavid

    BluewingDavid Booting up Skier

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    Location:
    Southeastern, PA
    I am currently thinking about replacing the 3rd ski in my East Coast quiver. I have enjoyed skiing a bunch of different skis and have done that by buying holdover and good quality used gear. Ski it for a while and often move onto something different. Most of the skis I have moved on from have been due to improving my ability and "moving up" in ski performance.

    I live in southeastern PA and ski mostly in PA with occasional trips to upstate NY and VT. Ski out West about every other year for a short trip (3-4 days). Elk Mountain in Union Dale, PA is my go-to mountain and that is mainly where I ski if I don't hit one of the 2 small locals hills near my house. Advanced level skier. Comfortable on pretty much anything groomed regardless of the nature of the trail. At Elk, I will ski anything in any condition except bumps, which are my albatross and a definite work in progress. I really have been focusing on improving my technique and often am doing skill training on the smaller hills. There are no real opportunities to ski offpiste where I ski most of the time although I do actively seek out the junked up snow while skiing on trail just to keep it more interesting. My skiing can range from skiing slowly, making lots of small radius turns in really tight corridors along the trail edges to railing turns at a pretty good speed depending on conditions, how many people are on the mountain, my mood and what I am skiing. 53 years old and didn't really get into skiing until 8 years ago. 5' 9'', 170 and in good shape. I ski about 30 times a year.

    Current skis:
    • Blizzard RC Ti 166cm - I just picked these up used (2 yrs old) from a guy who lives not far from me and was a former instructor at Elk for a bunch of years. These are the narrowest skis I have been on at 71 underfoot and they are a blast. I got along with them from the first run and find them easy to ski and very intuitive. Was at Elk a week ago during mid-week when the mountain was almost empty. Spent most of the day railing turns at high speed on these and had one of my best days ever there.
    • Head Power Instinct Ti Pro 170cm - my second season on these. I have mixed feelings about these skis. They are 83 underfoot and an all-mountain design and ski any conditions I typically encounter without any fuss. Great edge grip, damp, slice or blast through crud - all great. The bits that don't turn me on though are the fact that these feel dead at slow to modest speeds and smaller radius turns can be done but for me seem like a lot of work on these. They are also pretty heavy and stiff so at the end of the day I am pretty much played out.
    • Blizzard Samba 166cm - yeah, I know these are women's skis, but I wanted a ski in the 95-100 range underfoot (these are 98) but didn't want a big burly ski with a ton of metal and also didn't want a vibrating noodle. Guenther's in Union Dale had these sitting around the shop from their demo program (they are the original version with the heart on the shovels - so maybe 2013/2014 vintage) with a pair of Griffon bindings for $200 - in good condition - sold. This is the second year I have been skiing these. I love these skis! They are just fun and ski everything without complaint and do it well. They are not naturally at home on really hard, slick conditions but they don't let me down either when the going gets slick - I just have to be very focused on technique to make sure they stay planted. I am always amazed at how easy these are to ski, how quick they are edge-to-edge and how I can produce such small radius turns on them, especially when pivoting. They do not wear me out like the Power Instincts.
    Despite my love of the Sambas, these are actually the ski I am thinking of replacing. Why? I knew when I bought them 166 was likely too short. They went up to 173 at the time, but I have never seen a used 173 Samba out there. They have a decent amount of tip and tail rocker. When the snow gets choppy they get deflected a bit more than I would like and in the harder conditions while they grip well, I would definitely like a bit more effective edge on the steeper terrain. The few times I have skied them in moderate depths of fresh snow I felt I could use a bit more length to improve float.

    So, I am looking for something like my Sambas at a more appropriate length for me. I think I will end up either skiing the RC Ti's or Samba replacement with the Heads possibly exited the quiver at some point.

    Demos are kind of hit or miss where I live and making a trip to demo might not be in the cards so I might end up buying based on a "feel" of what ski will have similar characteristics of the Sambas.

    Suggestions and thoughts would be a big help.

    Thanks-
    David
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  2. Mike Thomas

    Mike Thomas Whiteroom Pugski Sponsor

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    172 Fischer Ranger 102fr buy this and be happy, or... listen to a bunch of mediocre advice from folks trying to justify there own purchases. Just kidding, really. (about other folks advice... but trust me, not them.)
     
  3. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    7,441
    That Fischer gets the good looking top sheet award. Much better live than photos. I'd get it just for that.

    Dude, you've been skiing a 166 Samba at 170lbs...just about anything is going to be ok.
    (Ok, I spent a lot of one season once on a 155 slalom. Essentially a junior ski.)

    I think the operative here is what's remaindered. The Fischer at that length is likely to be a leftover in April.
     
  4. Analisa

    Analisa Out on the slopes Skier

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    Samba got re-launched as the Black Pearl 98 last year. The turn radius is a tad tighter, but the difference is pretty subtle. If you want a little more stability, when friends find the Black Pearl's lacking or feel like they're in between sizes, I usually recommend the Santa Ana, which is pretty much the exact same as the Enforcer. There's metal in it, but I call it "accessible metal" since the rest of the guts are lightened up so that it works for a wide range of skiers. (People tend to get stuck between the Fischer mentioned previously and the Enforcer since they're fairly similar).
     
  5. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    If you liked the Samba then why not a 172 Rustler 10? They will probably feel better at speed than the Samba and at the same time just as easy, if not easy to pivot and smear.

    The Ranger 102 is a great suggestion as well. As is a 169cm Santa Ana 100.
     
    Shawn C. and Ken_R like this.


  6. Mike Thomas

    Mike Thomas Whiteroom Pugski Sponsor

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    By the way, the 102fr comes in a 170cm and a 177cm, not a 172cm (Ranger 98ti does come in a 172 (edit-dammit!), but is a different layup and rocker profile) this is why you shouldn't listen to idiots on the internet!
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
    Josh Matta likes this.
  7. Thread Starter
    TS
    BluewingDavid

    BluewingDavid Booting up Skier

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    Location:
    Southeastern, PA
    That is awesome Mike! ogsmile
    Given the design of this ski for someone with my physical specs, would the 170 or 177 be the more appropriate length?
     
  8. Mike Thomas

    Mike Thomas Whiteroom Pugski Sponsor

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    I'm pretty funny. Smart handsome folks usually notice that. Thanks.

    You would find the 170cm much more maneuverable in East coast trees and bumps, but the 177cm would be the 'right size' if you travel West or in tracked out snow going faster. You'd probably enjoy the 170 as you ski more off piste in the east, at first at least.
     
  9. neonorchid

    neonorchid Out on the slopes Skier

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    I'm 5'6.5" 140lbs I'm also older then the OP and I find 170 as you say, however, OP is 5'9" 170lbs, in good shape skis 30day/year, replace 170cm with 177cm - 180cm as a minimum length in what he's looking for.

    ...170LBS and Guenthers sold you a 166cm 98waist womens ski, heck the 173cm would've been too short, dang! You should've went to Idlewild, and they rent higher end demos!
     
  10. Thread Starter
    TS
    BluewingDavid

    BluewingDavid Booting up Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2016
    Posts:
    31
    Location:
    Southeastern, PA
    @neonorchid - thanks for the input. In all fairness to Guenthers I asked to buy the skis. They didn't recommend them for me. I figured for $200 I could always turn around and sell them and likely only lose a few bucks. They are in great shape with a nice binding. They have been a lot fun to ski even with a bit of chaos when charging harder in the rough stuff.

    Mentally, I am having a challenge imagining being on skis taller than I am....but I have a few screws loose anyway so...:)
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  11. neonorchid

    neonorchid Out on the slopes Skier

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    I totally get it. I do the same, stems from the days of straight skis when I went from a 180cm Rossi ST comp which I could ski anywhere to a 195cm Volkl Targa R Weltcup that were amazing on groomers and in fresh boot deep powder but I couldn't ski them in the bumps if my life depended on it! I may have been 128Lbs back then, was a size 28 waist, had to special order my ski jacket in an extra small! The 195's were ok on the few tree runs I was doing back then because I never did tight skied out trees. But the experience of going from having fun edging the entire 3/D bump (never been a fan of zipper line skiing bumps), to can't ski them still haunts me.
     

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