What to demo this year?

Jimski

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So, as luck would have it, I'll be getting a lot (for me) of skiing in this season: a week at Park City with my kids, a week at the Taos "mini" gathering, and a week at the Jackson Hole gathering. After vowing for years to be a one-ski-quiver man, now (effective this past spring) I own two pairs of skis: 2019 Rossi Soul 7 -- my powder skis -- and 2016 Kendo -- my "everything else" skis. Three years ago, I was sold on the Kendo when my son took me down one of the wind-swept back bowls at Mammoth and the K's held on like I was on flat land. I still love them, but was thinking I might, just for the heck of it, demo some of the recent skis in the 85-95 range. If I found skis that were a quantum leap better than my Kendos, I would consider upgrading.

Any thoughts on what I ought to try? For those who didn't see me ski at Taos last season: I can ski anything groomed, steep no problem, I love trees, I suck at moguls (but working to improve).

Thanks!
Jimski
 

pchewn

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Salomon QST 85 -- I demo'd them over a year ago and bought them last summer. My 1st season on them last year and I had a blast. They worked well for me.
 

Tony S

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Hey @Jimski . Good to hear you're coming back to Taos! As a fellow non-bruiser, I'd suggest getting on some boards that are easier flexing than that Kendo. Predict that will feel good to you, especially in those bumps.

I haven't been on the K2 Mindbender 90, but both the women's version (Mindbender 88) and the previous year's Pinnacle 88 would be good choices. (The women's ski has gender-neutral graphics.)

The Blizzard Rustler 9 is a super fun ski - very quick and energetic. It's slightly less forgiving than the above, but still easier-going than the Kendo.

Recently I've become a bit of an Elan fanboy. Not sure what they're doing but it fits with my taste. If you can try the Wingman 82cti, do it. It's more groomer oriented than you're talking, but you already have a soft snow ski, so to me this makes sense. Otherwise the Ripsticks are worth testing if you must have more of an off-piste design.

Have fun with it!
 

ADKmel

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Hey @Jimski . Good to hear you're coming back to Taos! As a fellow non-bruiser, I'd suggest getting on some boards that are easier flexing than that Kendo. Predict that will feel good to you, especially in those bumps.

I haven't been on the K2 Mindbender 90, but both the women's version (Mindbender 88) and the previous year's Pinnacle 88 would be good choices. (The women's ski has gender-neutral graphics.)

The Blizzard Rustler 9 is a super fun ski - very quick and energetic. It's slightly less forgiving than the above, but still easier-going than the Kendo.

Recently I've become a bit of an Elan fanboy. Not sure what they're doing but it fits with my taste. If you can try the Wingman 82cti, do it. It's more groomer oriented than you're talking, but you already have a soft snow ski, so to me this makes sense. Otherwise the Ripsticks are worth testing if you must have more of an off-piste design.

Have fun with it!

Last Year Taos had the Elan's in the demo fleet :) I went in to check on some fatter than my Z-90's but ended up just skiing my 1 ski quiver
 
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Jimski

Jimski

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Thanks! I've started a list on my iPhone. Any additional suggestions welcome.

Phil, I'm intrigued by Awayco. Looking forward to hearing more about it.
 

ski otter 2

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Not sure your ability level, but the Kendo is as demanding or more than any below.
In that range, in order of my own preference for what you describe, and not necessarily anyone else's:


Black Crows Orb 88, 19/20 version only (stiffened again just this year, amazing ski on groomers and bumps, bias depending on length). Both 179 and 184 are great, with the former emphasizing off piste, bumps and groomer snow quick turns, both a.m. and p.m.; and the latter emphasizing groomers, stability, bigger turns - and yet does great on off piste, some bumps and pm old snow too. Amazing feel and performance, barely advanced to expert.

Blizzard Brahma 88 (the baseline ski in this width, for many). For me, a lighter weight skier, the 180 length. Bumps can be handled well, easier with this ski, in addition to most everything else (including maybe 5" of pow, here in the Rockies). Great fun on groomers.

Nordica Enforcer 88 (dialed in, and relatively forgiving for such performance). Also damp and versatile, compared to the Kendo. (In third only because I have least experience with this ski.)

K2 IKonic ti 84. (at 84 width, close to what you ask for.) A very versatile ski, frontside bias, easy-going for a carver, slarves only when asked, handles some mild bumps and light pow too. This ski would probably be harder in the trees than the other three. Admittedly an outlier.

All great fun to demo.

In my experience, the K2 Mindbender 90 is perhaps less versatile or fun than the above skis, at least for me; though I know a few very experienced skiers who love it.
(At the same time, I am a big K2 fan, and love the current MB 99, MB 108 and even the MB 116 C better than the MB 90, especially compared to other skis in those widths.) Ski preferences, sorta subjective. :)
 
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Proskilab

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Although I usually love this kind of skis, have several pairs of Mantras, etc. , I found that the new Kendo was quite a demanding ski. Proskilab testers liked it, but I think it is a bit stiff for an all-mountain ski.

In this category, this year the good surprise came from Elan and the Wingman 86 in the CTi version. I think it is a great ski, fun, agile, grippy and easygoing. Definitely a "must demo".
 

Tony S

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In this category, this year the good surprise came from Elan and the Wingman 86 in the CTi version. I think it is a great ski, fun, agile, grippy and easygoing. Definitely a "must demo".
Totally. I mentioned the Wingman 82 cti above, not having had a chance to try the 86, and also having skied with the OP. Elan is really doing something right with that construction. Glad that it is getting due recognition from multiple testers.
 

Philpug

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Thanks! I've started a list on my iPhone. Any additional suggestions welcome.

Phil, I'm intrigued by Awayco. Looking forward to hearing more about it.
If you check out our new product pages, there is a link for Awayco.
 

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