Help to find new skis

Flo

At the base lodge
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Feb 12, 2020
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Tahoe
Hi everyone, first of all I am a frenchy living in California who transitioned from snowboard to skis this year (mostly to follow my wife and because of the snow conditions). Surprisingly, I have improved faster than what I thought and I would like to change my skis.
I am 5'9" 160-165 lbs and learned with Blizzard Brahma CA (Bushwacker) in 166cm. While I enjoy these skis, I think that they are now a bit too short for me (and maybe too soft).
I would consider myself as a good intermediate skier who enjoy practicing my carving on blues and try to improve my fluidity on black diamonds slopes. I don't have fun in moguls and do not go in double black diamonds yet. My program is 70% groomed slopes and 30% on ungroomed, trees... (but always within a resort boundary).

My ideals skis would be playful (I am starting 180°, like to take some small jumps, start to ride switch...) with a some carving ability and would allow me to go in moderate powder (on big power days I would use my snowboard). I am not interested in sliding box or rails and will not spend my time in the park.

I have read a lot of reviews and threads on this forum and think that I have narrowed my choice to few models:
- Fisher Ranger 102 FR in 177cm​
- Blizzard Rustler 10 in 180cm (maybe too soft snow oriented)​
- Line Sick Day 94 in 177cm​
- Armada ARV 96TI in 177cm (maybe too park oriented)​
I would like to keep these skis few seasons and that they accompany me as I improve.
What do you think of my selection? Are they too much of skis for my level? If you would have to choose 1 or 2 to demo, what would be your choice?

Thank you very much for your help.
 

BMC

Putting on skis
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I vote the Rustler. They have metal - not like your old skis so you’ll see an improvement there. They’re 102-104 underfoot, so almost perfect t width for off piste except the absolute crazy deep days. They can jump and spin.

Given you would be going from no metal to some metal in a longer length I don’t think you’d find these too soft.
 
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Flo

At the base lodge
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Tahoe
I vote the Rustler. They have metal - not like your old skis so you’ll see an improvement there. They’re 102-104 underfoot, so almost perfect t width for off piste except the absolute crazy deep days. They can jump and spin.

Given you would be going from no metal to some metal in a longer length I don’t think you’d find these too soft.
Thank you for your input. I am not concerned by the stiffness of the Rustler but more by it's lenght. I am between the 172 and 180cm.
Also, since it would be my only skis should I go for narrower skis such as Ranger 94 / Ruslter 9?
 
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Shawn C.

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Ogden, UT
I may be going against the Pugski intelligentsia here, but I cringe when I see the words Fischer Ranger and Intermediate in the same post. As they say on Sesame Street, “One of these things is not like the other.”

The Rustler or Sick Day should serve you well. Many other great choices out there too if you want to cast a wider web.
 

BMC

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I’m a touch taller than you (a cm or two) albeit a bit heavier as well. I would definitely go the 180 in the Rambler. It has tip and tail rise so the “effective edge” is shorter than its length. As a wild guess - maybe similar to a 173 Bushwacker or Brahma.

So far as anyone giving advice to a stranger on an Internet forum can be confident, I’m confident those would be a great pick, based on what you say.
 

PinnacleJim

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Killington/Pico, VT
Actually that Brahma CA should fit you well, other than it's a bit short. For 70% groomers, I don't understand why you are looking at such wide skis. I would be looking at something in the mid to upper 80s, not over 100.
 
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Flo

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Tahoe
Actually that Brahma CA should fit you well, other than it's a bit short. For 70% groomers, I don't understand why you are looking at such wide skis. I would be looking at something in the mid to upper 80s, not over 100.
You are right, the reason why I am looking for new skis is that they feel too short. Concerning the width, it’s because when I went in a local shop in Kirkwood to get some info on the Rustler 9 the vendor told me that the Rustler 10 would be more adapted to our local conditions even if this year is very bad. I already did the mistake to buy the Brahma CA in a size recommended for beginner (-9cm) and after 20 days I regret it. That’s why I was looking for skis for intermiediate-advanced skiers but I will include the bushwhacker in my list.
 
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Mendieta

Master of Snowplow
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SF Bay Area, CA, USA
Hi everyone, first of all I am a frenchy living in California who transitioned from snowboard to skis this year (mostly to follow my wife and because of the snow conditions). Surprisingly, I have improved faster than what I thought and I would like to change my skis.
I am 5'9" 160-165 lbs and learned with Blizzard Brahma CA (Bushwacker) in 166cm. While I enjoy these skis, I think that they are now a bit too short for me (and maybe too soft).
I would consider myself as a good intermediate skier who enjoy practicing my carving on blues and try to improve my fluidity on black diamonds slopes. I don't have fun in moguls and do not go in double black diamonds yet. My program is 70% groomed slopes and 30% on ungroomed, trees... (but always within a resort boundary).

My ideals skis would be playful (I am starting 180°, like to take some small jumps, start to ride switch...) with a some carving ability and would allow me to go in moderate powder (on big power days I would use my snowboard). I am not interested in sliding box or rails and will not spend my time in the park.

I have read a lot of reviews and threads on this forum and think that I have narrowed my choice to few models:
- Fisher Ranger 102 FR in 177cm​
- Blizzard Rustler 10 in 180cm (maybe too soft snow oriented)​
- Line Sick Day 94 in 177cm​
- Armada ARV 96TI in 177cm (maybe too park oriented)​
I would like to keep these skis few seasons and that they accompany me as I improve.
What do you think of my selection? Are they too much of skis for my level? If you would have to choose 1 or 2 to demo, what would be your choice?

Thank you very much for your help.
I think you are overall in the right track except that for a couple things: width, as pointed by @PinnacleJim , and length. Skis come in all shapes and depending on the shape. First choose the ski and base on its shape you would choose the length. And a ski too wide will get on the way of your progress. Simply because they are much harder to put on edge, among other things. For your size, I would stay under 85mm or so at this stage.

Snowboarders learn to ski much faster than others IME, which makes a lot of sense. You seem to be making good progress in your Brahma's. I would definitely focus on moguls next, IMHO. They will open up the whole mountain for you.

Two skis that you might want to consider that will probably provide an evolution from your current ones towards stiffer are, in this order:
  • Nordica Navigator (85)
  • Nordica Enforcer (88)
The first of these uses a mesh of metal so it will be lighter and you will probably be a better fit now. The latter has full sheets of metal so it is stiffer and heavier. It will last you longer but it might be too much right now. You will survive it for sure but it could be suboptimal. Btw, these two ski a little "short" because of rocker and a little rise on the tails, and yes, I would size them about your height up to a little taller than you. I

Nordica and Blizzard make their skis in the same factory, they are sister companies, btw. My son owns the Navigator 80 and they completely changed his skiing for the better. A friend of mine tried his the other day and he was acing bumps, much better than with other skis.

I own the Enforcer 100 but I bought them when I found that I was spending all my time offpiste, part of that in expert terrain (i am a hack btw), and I am also a little taller and heavier. But I did demo the Enforcer 93 and it was great on bumps.

https://www.nordica.com/usa/men/skis/all-mountain/

Cheers!
 
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Flo

At the base lodge
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Tahoe
Thank you everyone, I will follow your advice and will demo skis below 90mm.
@Mendieta, I considered the Navigator 85 when I purchased my Brahma CA. I forgot to include it to this list but will definitely try to find it.
 
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Flo

At the base lodge
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I wouldn't rule out the Rustler 9. I skied Kirkwood for a few seasons and reckon it'd be a good ski there. 172 might be OK too - maybe you can try them from the Kirkwood demo center.
Thank you very much, I will try to demo the Rustler 9 and the Navigator 85. The Bushwacker seems to be hard to find, I did not see it in any of the shop I visited. The Enforcer sounds to be too much for me.
 
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DB Cooper

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Enforcer enforcer enforcer. I am in love with my enforcer.

currently ride the 93 but after this year I will be transitioning to the 88 & 104. The 88 crushes on trail. Haven’t really taken it off trail yet (conditions weren’t right when I demoed) but if my 93 is any indication of what to expect albeit in a narrower profile, I think I will be right at home in up to a few inches.

Demo everything you can. Don’t be afraid to try and enforcer of emu width. A really great ski.
 
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Flo

At the base lodge
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Posts
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Location
Tahoe
Enforcer enforcer enforcer. I am in love with my enforcer.

currently ride the 93 but after this year I will be transitioning to the 88 & 104. The 88 crushes on trail. Haven’t really taken it off trail yet (conditions weren’t right when I demoed) but if my 93 is any indication of what to expect albeit in a narrower profile, I think I will be right at home in up to a few inches.

Demo everything you can. Don’t be afraid to try and enforcer of emu width. A really great ski.
In his review @Philpug seems to think that their is almost no reason to choose the Navigator over the Enforcer would you agree?
 

DB Cooper

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have not skied the navigator so I can’t really say but the enforcers, and especially the 88, really excel both on piste and off and it’s a tremendous ski.

In his review @Philpug seems to think that their is almost no reason to choose the Navigator over the Enforcer would you agree?
 
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