EmperorMA

Putting on skis
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Jan 10, 2020
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163
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Western Washington
I’ve been dealing with (read: SPENDING) a local ski shop that has done me right at every turn in my (our) recent return to skiing. I have asked them for advice on a “resort powder” ski for someone like me who is at best an intermediate but someone who hasn’t skied in a very long time that I can pair with my Liberty Evolv90 to make a excellent 2-ski quiver for someone who holds a season pass at The Summit at Snoqualmie. I stick to groomers and edges mostly and imagine this will remain the case for my skiing career. But I will see powder days and will travel to places that may see substantial powder and I want to increase my skills so I can enjoy it when I get it. I will more than likely not be chasing big pow days but would like something that keeps me in the game even a place gets a good dump.

They told me that I need a forgiving ski that can also handle groomers well and even ice and can also plow through crud. They said that 100 underfoot is fine for our area and no more than 110-ish is all that is practical as a Snoqualmie resort ski. The skis they recommended for my application were, in alphabetical order, with a synopsis of their description of each:

Blizzard Rustler 10 - Very Easy to ski in soft snow and very forgiving, but capable of going all over the mountain and helping you progress off-piste. Our #1 pick for intermediate skiers new to resort powder who are looking to improve their skills.

K2 Mindbender 108 - Forgiving and very good in both powder and crud. Rails groomers. Another good ski we like better at larger resorts than The Summit, so they can stretch out a bit. Excellent for progressing intermediates.

Liberty Origin 106 - Forgiving, easy-turning ski that excels is soft snow, floats extremely well and would be our choice if we had to ski deeper pow on a one-oh-something. Also very good on groomers and the best in trees or steeps. Nimble.

Nordica Enforcer Free 104 - Perhaps a touch more demanding than the rest here, but still easy to ski and highly recommended for progressing intermediates. With experience and increased skills, this could be the highest performing ski of the group. Rocks in all conditions and all surfaces.

Rossignol Soul 7 HD - The easiest ski ever made for newbies tasting their first powder. Opens up a whole new world quickly, even for low-intermediates. Can get a little unstable on harder snow or at speed, but outstanding in every other way.

Here are some negatives I've heard about each:

Rustler 10 - Hooky in mixed and skied off snow. Needs to be turning all the time.

Mindbender 108 - Topsheets ding up easily. Really is a lot of ski for small areas.

Liberty Origin 106 - Maybe too light in crud.

Nordica Enforcer Free 104 - Not much.

Rossignol Soul 7 HD - Chattery and unstable at speed and on hardpack.

Do you all have experience on any of these skis? I'd love to hear your input, especially as it concerns the shop's descriptions of each ski and also of what I have heard about their possible negatives. Thanks!
 

EricG

Lost somewhere!
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Sep 16, 2018
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1,008
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VT
My opinion is as follows:

Rossi Soul7 HD - Blah. Never felt engaging.

Blizzard Rustled 10 - Fun overall. Enjoyable & felt confident on them In soft snow, cruddy stuff, but didn’t feel confident when I had to get onto a skied off groomer going back to the lifts.

I’d also suggest you check out the Armada Tracer 108. I found it predictable & felt confident in soft snow, crud and could still set an edge on a skied off Groomer. Also easy to pivot in tight places. I skied this ski the past 2 winters, just sold them.
 

PNWRod

Getting off the lift
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Nov 9, 2017
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292
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Crystal Mtn
If we keep having the great snow dumps goto: Crystal mountain demo dayz March 28th!!!

Seriously, I like what the next guy doesn't and I don't care for what they brag about. You can armchair quarterback all you want but until you get on them you aren't going to know for sure. I've tried several skis that were highly recommended but for me they were meh>
 
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EmperorMA

Putting on skis
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Western Washington
If we keep having the great snow dumps goto: Crystal mountain demo dayz March 28th!!!

Seriously, I like what the next guy doesn't and I don't care for what they brag about. You can armchair quarterback all you want but until you get on them you aren't going to know for sure. I've tried several skis that were highly recommended but for me they were meh>
Can’t go to that demo day, unfortunately. I’m out of town for something that has been on the calendar for a long while.

I probably won’t be able to demo more than two or three this season but I do want to take advantage of upcoming sales so I’m trying to narrow it down as much as possible for the sake of time.
 

DB Cooper

Booting up
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Joined
Jan 31, 2017
Posts
81
I’ve been dealing with (read: SPENDING) a local ski shop that has done me right at every turn in my (our) recent return to skiing. I have asked them for advice on a “resort powder” ski for someone like me who is at best an intermediate but someone who hasn’t skied in a very long time that I can pair with my Liberty Evolv90 to make a excellent 2-ski quiver for someone who holds a season pass at The Summit at Snoqualmie. I stick to groomers and edges mostly and imagine this will remain the case for my skiing career. But I will see powder days and will travel to places that may see substantial powder and I want to increase my skills so I can enjoy it when I get it. I will more than likely not be chasing big pow days but would like something that keeps me in the game even a place gets a good dump.

They told me that I need a forgiving ski that can also handle groomers well and even ice and can also plow through crud. They said that 100 underfoot is fine for our area and no more than 110-ish is all that is practical as a Snoqualmie resort ski. The skis they recommended for my application were, in alphabetical order, with a synopsis of their description of each:

Blizzard Rustler 10 - Very Easy to ski in soft snow and very forgiving, but capable of going all over the mountain and helping you progress off-piste. Our #1 pick for intermediate skiers new to resort powder who are looking to improve their skills.

K2 Mindbender 108 - Forgiving and very good in both powder and crud. Rails groomers. Another good ski we like better at larger resorts than The Summit, so they can stretch out a bit. Excellent for progressing intermediates.

Liberty Origin 106 - Forgiving, easy-turning ski that excels is soft snow, floats extremely well and would be our choice if we had to ski deeper pow on a one-oh-something. Also very good on groomers and the best in trees or steeps. Nimble.

Nordica Enforcer Free 104 - Perhaps a touch more demanding than the rest here, but still easy to ski and highly recommended for progressing intermediates. With experience and increased skills, this could be the highest performing ski of the group. Rocks in all conditions and all surfaces.

Rossignol Soul 7 HD - The easiest ski ever made for newbies tasting their first powder. Opens up a whole new world quickly, even for low-intermediates. Can get a little unstable on harder snow or at speed, but outstanding in every other way.

Here are some negatives I've heard about each:

Rustler 10 - Hooky in mixed and skied off snow. Needs to be turning all the time.

Mindbender 108 - Topsheets ding up easily. Really is a lot of ski for small areas.

Liberty Origin 106 - Maybe too light in crud.

Nordica Enforcer Free 104 - Not much.

Rossignol Soul 7 HD - Chattery and unstable at speed and on hardpack.

Do you all have experience on any of these skis? I'd love to hear your input, especially as it concerns the shop's descriptions of each ski and also of what I have heard about their possible negatives. Thanks!
i have yet to ski it but I am eyeing the enforcer 104 as my resort powder ski. My current daily driver for Utah is the enforcer 93 and I’ve demoed, at one time or another, the 88, 100, and 110. Needless to say, I am an enforcer guy. I’ve had 100+ days on my 93 so I know how that ski feels. I recently took out the 88 and it felt like I thought it would. Next week I’m taking a 3 day trip to steamboat and if it looks like the weather will cooperate (read: fresh snow) I am planning on taking a 104 with me to put it through the paces.

Needless to say I have high expectations for the 104 and if everything goes right and it performes the way I hope it does I will be getting one. For me, a 104-108 is a good width for “resort powder”. If I’m lucky I can bag 1, maybe 2 laps of untracked snow. And even though I live in Utah I rarely make it to the cottonwoods for massive dumps so I mainly ski PC (canyons side) and deer valley so the most snow I am realistically skiing is in the 12”-18” range. Under those conditions you don’t need something super wide and versatility is key to handle fresh, tracked out, bumps, run outs, etc which is why I think my money is on the enforcer 104.

my $0.02
 

JWMN

Booting up
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Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Posts
53
Demo the Rossignol Black Ops 98 if you can. Forget about the name and that it is a twin tip. Don't believe it is only a ski for the terrain park. Just ski it. It does it all and will make you smile all the way down the run.
Good luck!
 

zircon

Getting off the lift
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Feb 23, 2018
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I can’t believe it’s not England!
I bought the Rustler 10 (2018 version) over the summer sight unseen. Don't have experience with any of the others. It's very soft in the tips and tails, not necessarily in a bad way. I've heard they've beefed it up a bit in the newest iteration. Bottom line: It is very easy to ski and just... fun and confidence inspiring everywhere including bumps and trees.

I wouldn't call it hooky, but it is a very turny ski and does get bounced around in cut up snow a bit because of its light weight. I have 10ish days on them, all of them in Utah and Colorado, including a couple fairly firm days. They carve really well—better than one of the narrower skis I own—on what passes for a scraped off groomer out there. Probably wouldn't feel that way on Eastern polished marble though.
 

Ken_R

Living the Dream
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Feb 10, 2016
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Denver, CO
I bought the Rustler 10 (2018 version) over the summer sight unseen. Don't have experience with any of the others. It's very soft in the tips and tails, not necessarily in a bad way. I've heard they've beefed it up a bit in the newest iteration. Bottom line: It is very easy to ski and just... fun and confidence inspiring everywhere including bumps and trees.

I wouldn't call it hooky, but it is a very turny ski and does get bounced around in cut up snow a bit because of its light weight. I have 10ish days on them, all of them in Utah and Colorado, including a couple fairly firm days. They carve really well—better than one of the narrower skis I own—on what passes for a scraped off groomer out there. Probably wouldn't feel that way on Eastern polished marble though.
I demoed the Rustler 10's in the 188cm length and they didnt feel hooky at all and could do GS turns (or shorter) all day on the hill. Maybe in the shorter lengths they have a different feel.

@EmperorMA If you have the eVolv90's I think the Rustler 10's might be too close in width and purpose. I could use the Rustlers 10's as my every day ski no problem. So I would check out even wider skis. That said the Liberty Origins are way different than both the eVolv and the Rustlers even if they are close in width (106's). Same can be said about the Icelantic Nomad 105's. Super easy to ski off trail in all kinds of snow. I would steer away from skis that are mounted too far forward though. The extra tail will be a handful in steep bumps and tighter areas.
 

markojp

mtn rep for the gear on my feet
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PNW aka SEA
For the PNW, the Enforcer 104 free hits a lot of buttons for several ability levels. You should see next season's in shops locally soon. This year's are pretty much sold out.
 
Thread Starter
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EmperorMA

Putting on skis
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Western Washington
I demoed the Rustler 10's in the 188cm length and they didnt feel hooky at all and could do GS turns (or shorter) all day on the hill. Maybe in the shorter lengths they have a different feel.

@EmperorMA If you have the eVolv90's I think the Rustler 10's might be too close in width and purpose. I could use the Rustlers 10's as my every day ski no problem. So I would check out even wider skis. That said the Liberty Origins are way different than both the eVolv and the Rustlers even if they are close in width (106's). Same can be said about the Icelantic Nomad 105's. Super easy to ski off trail in all kinds of snow. I would steer away from skis that are mounted too far forward though. The extra tail will be a handful in steep bumps and tighter areas.
Which are the skis to avoid that are mounted too far forward?

Which are skis to consider that are mounted a bit farther back?

How are the Origins different? In a good way it bad?
 
Thread Starter
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EmperorMA

Putting on skis
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Western Washington
Demo the Rossignol Black Ops 98 if you can. Forget about the name and that it is a twin tip. Don't believe it is only a ski for the terrain park. Just ski it. It does it all and will make you smile all the way down the run.
Good luck!
With Liberty Evolv90 already in the quiver, I’d look more toward Black Ops Sender/Sender Ti for more differentiation. They could be a bit “chargier” than I’m after, though.

That 98 would sure make a nice 1SQ around here, I’m sure.
 
Thread Starter
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EmperorMA

Putting on skis
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Western Washington
I demoed the Rustler 10's in the 188cm length and they didnt feel hooky at all and could do GS turns (or shorter) all day on the hill. Maybe in the shorter lengths they have a different feel.

@EmperorMA If you have the eVolv90's I think the Rustler 10's might be too close in width and purpose. I could use the Rustlers 10's as my every day ski no problem. So I would check out even wider skis. That said the Liberty Origins are way different than both the eVolv and the Rustlers even if they are close in width (106's). Same can be said about the Icelantic Nomad 105's. Super easy to ski off trail in all kinds of snow. I would steer away from skis that are mounted too far forward though. The extra tail will be a handful in steep bumps and tighter areas.
The Evolv90 is great on groomers and did very well in the first few runs in 6” of new this past Sunday. It continued snowing all day and once everything was skied off, they got a bit hooky in mid-depth chop. Handled light chop fairly well, though on the couple of runs that had been groomed and only had the day’s accumulation on them.

I’m really looking for something that handles deeper, heavier chop and crud well that also floats more and has more forgiving tails. The Evolv90 tails were tough to release in the heavy chop.
 

Rod9301

Out on the slopes
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Jan 11, 2016
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Please keep in mind that resort powder means skiing chopped up snow.

So a soft ski will not do well in that.
 

anders_nor

Getting off the lift
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Jan 18, 2020
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Norway
I dont feel the enforcer 104 are demanding at all, you can pivot/throw it around no matter speed/snow, at 50mph they have chatter, but are stable.

soul 7is just meh.

I will throw in the ranger 102 FR here as my suggestion, in addition to the enforcer 104, I find the ranger 102 to be better at groomers and the "resort" part of it for sure, the 104

Also you need to tell us how tight are the trees where you ski? if you are going supertight tree skiiing the enforcer is just amazing, you want that tail rocker.
 

Tom K.

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Dec 20, 2015
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ON3P Wrenegade 108?

Seems to tick a lot of boxes: Traditional mount, just enough tip and tail rocker, not too wide, not too stiff (esp in the shovels, for good "planing"), made almost in your back yard......
 
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EmperorMA

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ON3P Wrenegade 108?

Seems to tick a lot of boxes: Traditional mount, just enough tip and tail rocker, not too wide, not too stiff (esp in the shovels, for good "planing"), made almost in your back yard......
This has my eye. But I get confused about Wrenegade 108 vs Woodsman 108. Both could work, no?
 

Tom K.

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This has my eye. But I get confused about Wrenegade 108 vs Woodsman 108. Both could work, no?
Yup, but I'm not a forward-mounted, jib-style ski guy.

At all.

So I'd personally only be looking at the Wren.
 

peterm

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New Zealand (previously SF Bay Area)
Yup, but I'm not a forward-mounted, jib-style ski guy.

At all.

So I'd personally only be looking at the Wren.
Neither is Jonathan from Blister but he liked the Woodsman. I suspect they're both more suitable for advanced/expert skiers as opposed to those of us who are intermediate/advanced. Would love to try them but have never seen them available for demo.
 
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