Wilbur

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Former EpicSki member and first post here. I’ve skied on and off since 1968, but regularly (25-40) days a year for the past 15 years. I’m 71 years old. I ski my local mountain in Idaho and 4-5 days a year at Snowbird/Alta. I’m an advanced skier but reluctant to call myself an “expert” although I’m comfortable both on and off piste.

Here’s the information I’m seeking. My current on piste ski is the Volkl 84 RTM, 2013 edition. My powder ski is Rossi Super7. I want to replace the volkl’s with a cambered ski. I’m considering the Blizzard Brahma, Volkl Kendo, and Nordica Enforcer 93. I’ve not been able to demo any of these skis although I’ve skied the Blizzard Cochise (too much ski) and the Enforcer 100 (want to be narrower). The Dynastar 88 and Blizzard Rustler 9/10 are also thoughts.

Previous skis in my quiver have been the Atomic B-5(?), Scott P-4, K2 Coombas, and Nordica Hell and Back (AT setup).

Although I don’t plan to ski any less, I am getting older and less risk adverse. I like to stay in control and am almost always in control.

With all this said, I’d appreciate any advice on my potential choices as well as any other ski that may fit the bill. I can’t afford to demo al these skis at $55-60 dollars a day.

Thanks
 

James

Skiing the powder
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Hey, welcome!

What are you looking for in this ski?
Carving, Moguls, groomers, trees, both, all, one, etc
What did you like/not like about the Rtm's?
The length of those and your height/weight would help.
 
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Wilbur

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Hey, welcome!

What are you looking for in this ski?
Carving, Moguls, groomers, trees, both, all, one, etc
What did you like/not like about the Rtm's?
The length of those and your height/weight would help.
Well, height and weight shouldn’t really matter when I’m looking for personal experiences of the three skis I’m looking at. And off piste should cover most of the conditions above except for carving. If I’m in the trees, doing moguls (rare), and even groomers covered by powder, I’ll be on my powder skis.

The RTM’s have no camber and tend to be hard on my body on harder snow. They’re 176.

I’m looking at 180’s except for the Enforcer 93 at 177.
 

James

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Well, height and weight shouldn’t really matter when I’m looking for personal experiences of the three skis I’m looking at.
Well it kind of matters to what people recommend.
Why are you considering going so much wider from your 81mm Volkls for a groomer ski?
Maybe @Pete in Idaho has suggestions. He skis in Idaho.

Suggestion? Nordica Navigator 85, Liberty Vmt 82, Head V10.
You might enjoy tbe Liberty most for lightness and nice flex.

Of the ones you mentioned, the Brahma.I believe next year there's an 82mm version coming out.

@KingGrump is the Kendo specialist.
.
 

KingGrump

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For the OP. Current gen Kendo – Not the ski you are looking for.
If you are on the RTM, your skiing is probably front side biased. The Kendo is more geared for off piste performance. A very polarizing ski. Not a ski favored by many out there.
If you want a better and more versatile ski than the Kendo, take a look at the Mantra M5. Much better than the Kendo on the groom and 3D snow. Gives up only a small amount to the Kendo in the bumps. My favorite ski this year. This is concurrent of a new pair of Kendo - my fifth pair.

That said. I haven’t been on next year’s Kendo. It’s all new like this years M5.
 
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Wilbur

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Well it kind of matters to what people recommend.
Why are you considering going so much wider from your 81mm Volkls for a groomer ski?
Maybe @Pete in Idaho has suggestions. He skis in Idaho.

Suggestion? Nordica Navigator 85, Liberty Vmt 82, Head V10.
You might enjoy tbe Liberty most for lightness and nice flex.

Of the ones you mentioned, the Brahma.I believe next year there's an 82mm version coming out.

@KingGrump is the Kendo specialist.
.
 
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Wilbur

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What part of your body are the RTMs hard on?
only when skiing on very hard snow, i. e. ice, the RTM’s result in some lower body stress. I’d be the first to say irs not so much the ski as it is Father Time taking it’s toll on my body. And this is why I believe a cambered ski would be better.
 

trailtrimmer

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If you have knee pain, going narrower and not wider will help. If you have just muscle soreness or a little less pop in the legs, stepping back to a RTM81, Head V8, Atomic Vantage 80 CTi or Liberty V76 would be a step in the proper direction. The Brahma 82 that was brought up is also a good suggestion.

It's typically easier and less fatiguing to get a narrower ski up on edge and carving than a wider one. A 8-10mm difference is quite noticeable.
 

KingGrump

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The OP is the PNW, lots of compacted wet hard pan. I find that type of snow is very hard on the lower legs. Much more stressful than NE hard pack/ice. A non-cambered ski is just brutal on that type of snow. The 2013 RTM is rockered but non-cambered. Not a good match.

A cambered ski would provide much better suspension and in turn reduce impact to the lower leg.
 
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Wilbur

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The OP is the PNW, lots of compacted wet hard pan. I find that type of snow is very hard on the lower legs. Much more stressful than NE hard pack/ice. A non-cambered ski is just brutal on that type of snow. The 2013 RTM is rockered but non-cambered. Not a good match.

A cambered ski would provide much better suspension and in turn reduce impact to the lower leg.
You understand! Thanks.
 

Philpug

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IF you go wider, Renoun Z90..the HDT really helps the damping of the ski and your knees will appreciate it. There is also a Z77 if you want to go narrower.
 

ski otter 2

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I believe that Volkl is phasing out the RTMs for 19/20 and replacing them with skis called Deacons (all with camber), in widths from 74/73 up to 76, 80, 86(?). So good deals may exist on the cambered RTM closeouts. The 74/73 19/20 Deacons I tried at a demo this year, and to me it was outstanding on groomers and mild uneven, an improvement, and a standout compared to similar skis of other brands. At this width, it feels a bit like a more versatile cheater race ski, to me the nicest ones in this class of skis. But for rougher conditions, maybe a bit wider Deacons would be better, just not sure. (I've also in the past liked the 81, 84 and most of all the 86 RTMs.)

From folks who have tried a number of these Deacons, the thinking is that they are better at edgehold/carve, still as damp, and thus an improvement, a bit, on the RTMs.

P.S. Of your initial three options, the Brahmas I'd suggest - they have a stronger, easier holding edge, to me, with an enjoyable carve feel, while also releasing to slarve. They happen to be great in bumps as well.
 
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Wilbur

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I believe that Volkl is phasing out the RTMs for 19/20 and replacing them with skis called Deacons (all with camber), in widths from 74/73 up to 76, 80, 86(?). So good deals may exist on the cambered RTM closeouts. The 74/73 19/20 Deacons I tried at a demo this year, and to me it was outstanding on groomers and mild uneven, an improvement, and a standout compared to similar skis of other brands. At this width, it feels a bit like a more versatile cheater race ski, to me the nicest ones in this class of skis. But for rougher conditions, maybe a bit wider Deacons would be better, just not sure. (I've also in the past liked the 81, 84 and most of all the 86 RTMs.)

From folks who have tried a number of these Deacons, the thinking is that they are better at edgehold/carve, still as damp, and thus an improvement, a bit, on the RTMs.

P.S. Of your initial three options, the Brahmas I'd suggest - they have a stronger, easier holding edge, to me, with an enjoyable carve feel, while also releasing to slarve. They happen to be great in bumps as well.
Thanks for the feedback. I want to keep the waist widith around the same as the RTM 84’s, give or take a few millimeters. That’s what works for me. I can ski groomers and dip off piste without going to powder skis. I remain most interested in the Brahmas too. I have read up on the Nordica Navigator someone suggested earlier. As near as I can tell, the Navigator is considered an “intermediate level” ski. While I’m a well advanced skier, I must consider I’m getting older and a little more reserved going downhill so there’s that to consider too.
 

Ryan Dietrich

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I demo'd 10 skis this season. For all mountain (groomed, crud, ice, and light powder) I am going with the 2020 Volkl Mantra M5. I bought them after demoing them once. Totally shocked me how good they were.
 

ski otter 2

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Thanks for the feedback. I want to keep the waist widith around the same as the RTM 84’s, give or take a few millimeters. That’s what works for me. I can ski groomers and dip off piste without going to powder skis. I remain most interested in the Brahmas too. I have read up on the Nordica Navigator someone suggested earlier. As near as I can tell, the Navigator is considered an “intermediate level” ski. While I’m a well advanced skier, I must consider I’m getting older and a little more reserved going downhill so there’s that to consider too.
So the Deacon 80 and 86 are the direct width replacements, and may well be worth looking into. I've not skied these wider Deacons, but will demo them next season. I loved both the Brahmas and the M5 Mantras (which I bought, along with a pair of V-Werks Mantras, which are more quick turn and soft snow-biased, maybe). I'll be interested to see how the wider Deacons compare.

I got the M5 Mantras because I liked them very slightly better carving than the Brahmas, while I liked the Brahmas better in bumps. To me, the Mantras are more like a versatile frontside GS or groomer ski, but still all mountain, a blast; whereas the Brahmas are a bit more for off piste/bumps plus all mountain; and the V-Werks are more for off piste/bumps and soft snow plus all mountain. Hard to beat all three skis, even though they are distinctly and pleasantly different.

(Note: my V-Werks Mantras are so badly out of tune, so far, that I've so far failed to get them to ski okay or like the version I demoed. Badly rail high (base flattening), extreme need of edge tune, rippled, maybe warped or unfixable, not yet sure, even after many attempts. But at least the Volkl people have been helpful, and ready to replace or refund, probably, if I fail. Nice folks. Inspiring skiers too. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.)
 
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Ryan Dietrich

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(Note: my V-Werks Mantras are so badly out of tune, so far, that I've so far failed to get them to ski okay or like the version I demoed. Badly rail high (base flattening), extreme need of edge tune, rippled, maybe warped or unfixable, not yet sure, even after many attempts. But at least the Volkl people have been helpful, and ready to replace or refund, probably, if I fail. Nice folks. Inspiring skiers too. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.)
Hmm.. I wish I had a chance to try the v-werks.. I just looked up their weight at 186cm.. 1727 grams?!!? https://www.evo.com/guides/alpine-and-backcountry-ski-weights#2019 That's incredible. They must be light as a feather. Do you do a lot of touring / backcountry?
 

KingGrump

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The mantra M5 is truly wonderful new ski. I believe the OP is looking for a narrower front side carver (~85 mm) with good suspension but still be OK for an occasional excursion off piste.

One glaring weakness the Mantra M5 has is its lack of dampness on steep rock hard ice. All previous gens of Mantra / Kendo got it beat by a mile. That includes the 2015 non cambered Mantra. I have first hand experience how hard frozen skier compacted wet snow can get in the PNW. It certainly ain''t like anything one find in CO / UT.
 

Ryan Dietrich

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One glaring weakness the Mantra M5 has is its lack of dampness on steep rock hard ice. All previous gens of Mantra / Kendo got it beat by a mile. That includes the 2015 non cambered Mantra. I have first hand experience how hard frozen skier compacted wet snow can get in the PNW. It certainly ain''t like anything one find in CO / UT.
That is a good caveat. Where the OP lives or where they ski is a huge piece of info. I live in Utah, so the Mantra makes tons of sense, but I grew up in New England, skiing Gunstock every weekend as a kid. I would want some ice-pick-axe for some poles and even skinnier skies if I ever ended up skiing out east again (if my memories hold serve).
 
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