raichu

At the base lodge
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About me:
  • Facts: 25, 6'0", 165 lbs
  • Experience: I've been a lifelong casual skier, but I'm just starting to take it more seriously. Comfortable on blues, having fun on some blacks, still scared on double blacks.
  • Area: I mainly ski in Tahoe's I-80 corridor, so Sugarbowl and Squaw. I'm based in the bay area so I get up when I can but I'm not usually skiing the choicest snow.
  • Style: Mostly focused on having fun and building non-groomer skills for skiing side/backcountry
    • I enjoy: Steeps, powder, going fast
    • I want to improve at: trees, moguls, mixed conditions
    • I don't really care about: park, groomers
I've been skiing on an "all-around" touring setup: 181cm K2 Wayback 88 (121/88/109), Marker Barons, and Fischer Transalp Vacuum ts boots. I'm actually pretty happy with the boots and the bindings work, but I demoed a pair of skis that were more specialized to the conditions I was in (this was in Colorado), and I realized how much I was missing back home by skiing an "all-around" touring setup as a daily driver in the resort. I'm thinking I should shop around the post-season sales for a ski that'll do better for lift-served skiing (ideally something burlier; the Wayback is like ~1300g in my length).

I'm not very familiar with ski construction, but what should I be looking at to really fit the conditions and style I'm going to be using the gear for? Specific model recommendations would be welcome, but general pointers like waist widths, lengths, shapes, camber/rocker, flex, construction, etc. would be helpful too.
 

Rod9301

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I actually think the boots are a big problem if you ski squaw. Alpine boots will give you a lot more performance.

I skied my Lange freetours in the resort and while ok, they are nowhere near as performing as my Lange rx130.

And the freetours perform a lot better than your boots.
 

Philpug

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I actually think the boots are a big problem if you ski squaw. Alpine boots will give you a lot more performance.

I skied my Lange freetours in the resort and while ok, they are nowhere near as performing as my Lange rx130.

And the freetours perform a lot better than your boots.
Add in the stack height and weight of that Baron binding too.

A strong consideration is starting from scratch with a whole new set up. I'd suggest starting with the Salomon/Atomic Shift binding and a boot that has tech fitting but still good downhill performance, maybe soemthing like Atomic XTD or the upcoming K2 Mindbender...if either fit your foot.

Skis wise, something in the low to mid 90's underfoot with some metal for dampening. Keep the camber underfoot, a gradual tip design and some taper in the tail.
 

Superbman

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1. professionally fitted alpine boots
2. you're going to want two sets of skis, Tahoe's size and variability across a very long season is one of the more 'quiver-worthy' regions in the skiing game.
a, easy skiing, stout bump and chunk slayer: Man, that K2 Mindbender 90 ti sounds about perfect, but there are a lot of great choices here.
b. something bigger, 'cause Tahoe gets a lot of bigger.
 

Alexzn

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You are young guy so any if the usual 88 underfoot suspects will apply, Enforcer 93, Brahma, Kendo. But get the boots take care first. Until you have a solid connection to your ski, nothing else matters.
 
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raichu

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Hmmm, between the comments here and some other advice I've gotten, it sounds like first priority is a pair of proper alpine boots without a walk lever. My local shop has a lot more selection around 120 flex than 130; but the lower flex doesn't seem like a dealbreaker at my size.

I'll shop around for skis but it sounds like I'd be getting something pretty similar to what I've got, only heavier and damper.

For bindings, what's current consensus on the Shifts now that they've been around a couple seasons? The gear nerd in me would love to get my hands on a pair.
 

Philpug

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Hmmm, between the comments here and some other advice I've gotten, it sounds like first priority is a pair of proper alpine boots without a walk lever. My local shop has a lot more selection around 120 flex than 130; but the lower flex doesn't seem like a dealbreaker at my size.

I'll shop around for skis but it sounds like I'd be getting something pretty similar to what I've got, only heavier and damper.

For bindings, what's current consensus on the Shifts now that they've been around a couple seasons? The gear nerd in me would love to get my hands on a pair.
First, you will nto find a boot that has a tech fitting that does not have a walk feature to use with a Shift. Regarding any Shift issues, the only issues have been from either improper mounts and abuse by scraping the snow off of the boot by using the toe piece.
 
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raichu

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Sorry I meant getting a plain old ISO 5355 alpine boot, no tech fittings and no walk setting. The Shift looks like it'll work with an alpine boot in downhill mode, so would it be a bad idea to just leave it in ski mode for resort days?

My idea being that I currently have a relatively mundane setup that works for touring and I'd be putting together a more aggressive setup for resort skiing. I'm not really in a place where I'm skiing as aggressively in the backcountry as I am in the resort, so mounting Shifts is more of a concession for changing things up down the road. Is that a reasonable way to approach this?
 
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Rod9301

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The shifts are not sturdy enough to be use daily in the resort.

Get an Alpine binding.
 

Alexzn

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Purchasing Shifts to use with Alpine books in a resort sounds like a waste of money. If you do not tour, do not buy touring gear. I see many dudes on Shifts in the lift line, and inevitable when I ask how much they tour they answer is: "I am trying to get into it, that was the idea of buying those". This is what Salomon marketing wants you to believe that you can buy one thing and have no compromises. BS. Shifts is still a compromise, it is a vasttly better compromise than what we had before (with, say, ahem, Dukes), but it is still a compromise.
 
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raichu

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Their money to waste, but sure I get where you're coming from. I'd originally planned on just having separate setups anyways.
 

Rod9301

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And if you buy a touring setup, get a Salomon mtn binding, much lighter and more bulletproof than the shift.
 

AngryAnalyst

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The shifts are not sturdy enough to be use daily in the resort.

Get an Alpine binding.
What is this statement based on? I know quite a few people think it is likely to be true based on the fact the bindings are light, but I’m not sure I’ve seen any data to back the intuition up.

I personally feel they have less heel elasticity leading to some pre-releases so I wouldn’t mount them on a ski didn’t intend to tour on ever, but I really do find mine are perfectly competent on my mixed use set up. I have not seen too many owners who are dissatisfied online but maybe I missed it.
 

Rod9301

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What is this statement based on? I know quite a few people think it is likely to be true based on the fact the bindings are light, but I’m not sure I’ve seen any data to back the intuition up.

I personally feel they have less heel elasticity leading to some pre-releases so I wouldn’t mount them on a ski didn’t intend to tour on ever, but I really do find mine are perfectly competent on my mixed use set up. I have not seen too many owners who are dissatisfied online but maybe I missed it.
Then you should like at the tgr thread, countless issues with them.
And pre releasing is a serious issue.
 

Pequenita

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Purchasing Shifts to use with Alpine books in a resort sounds like a waste of money. If you do not tour, do not buy touring gear. I see many dudes on Shifts in the lift line, and inevitable when I ask how much they tour they answer is: "I am trying to get into it, that was the idea of buying those". This is what Salomon marketing wants you to believe that you can buy one thing and have no compromises. BS. Shifts is still a compromise, it is a vasttly better compromise than what we had before (with, say, ahem, Dukes), but it is still a compromise.
And vise versa: if you are going to tour, don't compromise on getting hybrid gear, either.
 

Wilhelmson

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Good thing you're not a ski bum, you'd be spending a winter's worth of rent on gear.
 

AngryAnalyst

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Then you should like at the tgr thread, countless issues with them.
And pre releasing is a serious issue.
I had looked at it and I remember a small number of people ripped the toe piece off their skis. I do not recall anyone, let alone “countless” individuals, in that thread having a failure due to material stress but it’s a long ass thread I have not read all of. Did I miss something?

We agree pre-releases are a problem. I only had one or two that felt premature. I was not aware that traditional pin bindings existed that solved the problem but I’m new to backcountry skiing. Are there pin bindings that are better and retain the ability to heel release?
 

Alexzn

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And vise versa: if you are going to tour, don't compromise on getting hybrid gear, either.
Very true. However I think that if I were to get a touring setup for Tahoe these days it would be a HEAD Kore 105 with Shifts. There is a huge benefit for using Shifts on the downhill and I think the weight compromises on the uphill are well worth it. I don't consider Shift "compromise" gear in a way that Dukes or even Kingpins are.

Sadly, we are always leaving Tahoe just when the corn hunting season starts, that always kept me from getting a dedicated touring setup, I just wont use it enough to justify the expense. The sizing on the Kore is again a little weird, I would love to have something like a 185 in a touring ski, but they only come in 189 and 180. Maybe 180 is good enough, would save me a few grams and would give me more mobility in tight spaces... I really should start thinking about the cycling season, but I will keep dreaming.
 
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raichu

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Wow, it feels like this has gone a bit into the weeds on the hybrid-vs-single use issue.

It sounds like the only thing with consensus is that I should get in a pair of beefier boots first, so I'll focus on that. And through all of this, cost is a consideration. I purposefully asked my original question as "What should I look for?" so that I can bargain hunt and keep an eye out for used listings. I'll work on finding boots that fit and if I get a good deal I'll keep looking for skis. If I end up shelling out, I'll ski on what I've got next season (and maybe a few demos) and take the time to form a better opinion of how it's coming up short.

Thanks all,
R
 
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