Which ski, which ski, which ski?

Discussion in 'Hardgoods: Skis, Bindings, Poles, and More' started by Reverend Bump, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Reverend Bump

    Reverend Bump California Dude Skier

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    I'm confusing myself I know. I need a more frontside oriented ski. I love my FIscher 100 Big Stix (166) for off-piste and softer snow but my old K2 Axis XRs that I used to rip groomers and hardpack finally bit the dust. So I'm in the market for a say an 80/20 frontside ski.

    I'm generally between advanced and expert but I'm also getting up there in years (turning 65 this winter). I can stomp on it when I need to but I get knocked around a little more each year. :P I'm 140 lbs and 5-7. Boots are Technica 10.2 90. I went for comfort after skiing Salomon XScream 130 for years. Probably should have gotten something a little stiffer. Oh well. I just crank the power strap as tight as it can go. My skiing style leans toward finesse. The DIN on my Fischers is set to 6 and I never pre-release.

    Since I'm in a skiing wasteland (no real ski shops within 100 miles), I have to go online.

    Skis I've considered:

    Head Monster 88 - 163?
    Nordica Navigator 85 - 165?
    K2 Ikonic 84TI - 170? (Can't find any 163)

    Also considered the Elan Amphibio 84 or 88 but I can't find anything shorter than 176 in those.

    The Navigator seems like a real steal especially since some shops are selling it at $399 but I wonder how well it deals with the occasional boilerpack and scraped conditions? Most of my skiing is at Mammoth, Utah and other western mountains. Size comments welcome too.
     
  2. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Those skis are quite different from one another. The Navigator seems like its the best choice for what you're asking about.
     
    Brian Finch likes this.
  3. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two wheels. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I will agree with Tricia, out of those three, the Nav 85 woudl be my suggestion too. If you were to go with a Head, the Monster 83 would be my suggestion. I will say the iKonic 84Ti is not the finesse ski that your older Axis were.
     
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  4. Reverend Bump

    Reverend Bump California Dude Skier

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    OK assume Navigator 85. Next consideration is bindings. Available choices are Attack2 11 GW, Attack2 13 GW or Marker Gryphon ID (13 DIN). I haven't figured out what the difference between Tyrolia SX FR and NX FR heels is other than DIN. Nothing to clarify on the Head/Tyrolia site either. I normally ski with the DIN on my Fischers set to 6. Shop says the Attack2 will be easier to step into for us lightweight dudes. Comments?
     
  5. SkiSpeed

    SkiSpeed Waiting.... Skier

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    You may also want to consider the Blizzard Brahma. I’ll attest to their ability to hold a good edge on ice/hardpack etc* and they are great in variable conditions, crud, etc. which will come in handy out west. Good Luck. I have skied them extensively in VT as well as CO and UT.
     
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  6. Brian Finch

    Brian Finch PT, CSCS, Cert- DN, FRCms, M|WOD Coach Industry Insider

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    I think what you’re describing is a blizzard Bushwacker ~166!
     
  7. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two wheels. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    The difference in the two heel is the housing and structure. The 13 heel is better built and actually eaiser to get into because of it's dual stage design, it is worth the step up in price.
     
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  8. Mike Thomas

    Mike Thomas Whiteroom Pugski Sponsor

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    The Navigator is an excellent ski, another good option for you would be the Salomon XDR 84. Another great 80/20 ski that will really reward a finesse based all mountain skier.
     
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  9. MarkP

    MarkP Getting off the lift Skier

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    I haven't been on the Nav 85, but I have demo'd the Nav 90 in the 165 length, frontside blue and black slopes, hard to softening corduroy and some scraped off hardpack. Very much enjoyed it; lightweight, held an edge well, transitioned quickly and smoothly. I describe it as competent, fun. Not sure how it would behave in more chopped up conditions. I wouldn't label it a ripper.

    Good reviews at skiessentials:

    http://www.skiessentials.com/2018-ski-test?skis=nordica-navigator-85
    http://www.skiessentials.com/2018-ski-test?skis=nordica-navigator-90

    I'm 60, 5'4", 158 lbs, put myself in the advanced part of the spectrum. The 165 length in the Nav 90 felt perfect for me.
     
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  10. Reverend Bump

    Reverend Bump California Dude Skier

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    ALL,

    I put in my order for the Nav 85 + Attack 2 13 GW bindings today. Can't beat the price. Thanks for all the comments!
     
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  11. Reverend Bump

    Reverend Bump California Dude Skier

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    I'm 15 lbs lighter at 140. The 85 seems to be rated quicker edge to edge with more hold than the 90. I think the 90 would start invading the same space as my Fischer Big Stix (which I think are more like a 30/70 ski).
     
  12. Reverend Bump

    Reverend Bump California Dude Skier

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    Thanks. I went with the Attack2 13 GW per your comments. Makes more sense than just DIN difference.
     
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  13. Reverend Bump

    Reverend Bump California Dude Skier

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    It was on my initial early list but a few peeps, including Jackson Hogen, discouraged me from it saying it had too much of an east coast bias. Jackson is also a fan of the Navigator.
     
  14. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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    If/ When you get a chance, demo the Head V10. Big Stix type flickability in a frontside bias.
     
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  15. pais alto

    pais alto me encanta el país alto Skier

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    Hi Tom, can I interest you in some Olins?

    ogwink
     
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  16. SkiSpeed

    SkiSpeed Waiting.... Skier

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    Yes, I do agree that Blizzard specifically made the ski to meet the neeeds of Eastern skiers. When I saw that you were considering both the Head Monster and Nordica Navigator’s, I figured that it is worth considering. The ski works beautifully at west. I remember reading a review years ago when the Brahma’s were new and the reviewer said it was a great ski for western skiers “between snow storms.” I think that fits. Very versatile off piste, good in bumps, and stable for groomers. I saw lots of Navigators this year and spoke with folks skiing them. They were popular and well-liked, though it wasn’t uncommon to hear folks call them out for not being super stable on eastern ice, lots of rocker up front. I have a pair of Head Monster 98s and they are burly. I have heard similar comments for the 88s. I have had both the original Brahma and the Brahma 2.0. One of my best friends who moved to UT 30 years ago and spent his working years skiing and working at Snowbird uses them as his main pair; when they get Pow, he switches to wider boards!

    Disclaimer: I have not skied the newly designed Brahma’s, but Ski Essentials posted a pretty comprehensive review recently after skiing them all year. It is worth checking out. Good luck and of course, based on what you are looking at, you can’t go wrong. Think Snow!
     
  17. Reverend Bump

    Reverend Bump California Dude Skier

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    Dude you sound like someone I know! I was a huge Olin fan in college and after. My ski buddy was the son of one of the Olin family members. He got me a pair of Mark IVs for free. Years later, after K2 bought Olin, I got a pair of Sierras on sponsor when they first came out. That was a game changing ski for me. I still remember my first day on them over-turning and heading uphill until I finally figured out the mysteries of a really shaped ski. (Can you say parabolic?)

    I still use my ancient Olin boot bag. Still going strong!

    IMG_20180715_193221.jpg
     
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