Hi, Cno and all! Happy New Year!
Just back from skiing! What a great time!
We had 4 days of sun followed by one day of fog, then two days of endless snowfall (50 cm?) and powder skiing followed by a cloudy/sunny day. Overall - fantastic combination of conditions!
I managed to try 4 different ski models and will do a post on these + some pics a bit later.
My legs and knees are stiff but, luckily, all are back in one piece.
Cheers Al, same to you and thanks for reporting in...glad you are intact!
You somehow managed to hit the best Christmas conditions in years; I hope it wasn't too crowded, but you can usually escape.
Skiing in a snow storm is interesting to say the least...talk about skiing by feel!
Look forward to your photographs and your thoughts on the 4 skis that you tried.....a good chance to try something fairly wide.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
Objective: Try several universal skis abt 90mm at waist (with more off-piste focus) and possibly try ‘rocker’ shape, and pick one to buy.
It turned out it is not easy to find this kind of skis for rental (at least in Meribel – one ski shop guy told me that as Merible is not known for great powder shops here do not stock many fat skis and I should go to places like Val d Isere where choice should be better). I had to look around abt 10 shops and only 4 of these had what I was after and even then most were previous 2-3 years' models. Most rental shops are full of caving-like on-piste skis (which is totally understandable) plus the trend of the day seems to be ‘rocker’ shape – this is what the shops are pushing and most customers seem to follow. I also saw some crazy shapes like the Salomon BBR (lots of those in shops and quite a few on the slopes) or these ones, for example - crazy shapes!
Did not try those!
This is what I was able to find and try:
Dynastar Legend 88 Mythic Rider (2010 model), 178cm
Radius 21m, 122-88-110, classic camber.
Current model: no current equivalent??? http://www.epicski.com/products/2010-dynastar-legend-mythic-rider-ski
Described at shop as very good all-mountain ski, good off piste and good on piste
Conditions skied: 3 days, groomed sunny slopes. Old packed powder off piste.
Observations: These felt right from the first second. They were absolutely natural both off and on piste – so must be very similar in geometry and stiffness to my previous ski (Salaomon X-Mountain). Good float in soft snow, excellent edge and curve on groomed piste. Respond very well to both carving and classic technique.
Perfect ski for me.
Rossignol Experience 88 (current model?)
Radius 16m? 135-88-124, a bit of ‘rocker’ on tip and tail.
Described as very good universal ski
Current model: http://www.rossignol.com/GB/GB/experience-88_RA1EH01_product_ski-men-skis-all-mountain-rocker.html
Conditions skied: 1 day, groomed sunny slopes. Old packed powder off piste.
Observations: I hated these from the first moment, they just did not work at all (or most likely my technique was completely not suitable for them). The first hour was a torture. They kept catching on the snow with the tips and tips/tails on each other. A lot better towards the end of the day as I got adjusted and managed to achieve decent turns using more carving-like technique. Off piste was also more difficult to control, kept catching on snow and just feeling wrong.
Kastle MX 98 (Current model), 178cm
Radius 24m, classic camber.
Current model: http://www.kaestle-ski.com/en/product-line/hardgoods/ski/mx-mountain-cross/kaestle-mx88/
Described as a very stiff, high performance ski suitable for both on and off piste
Conditions skied: 1 day, groomed sunny slopes. Old packed powder off piste
Observations: Very ‘sharp’ edging, stiff, excellent grip on groomed slopes. Good off-piste. I found them a bit hard work – they probably need real expert level. I think the radius is a bit long for me – they kept vibrating in deep turns on steep slopes unless I push them forward/sit back a bit at the end of turns. Maybe a bit too much for me.
Dynastar Legend Sultan 94 (2010 model?), 178cm
Radius 18m, 132-94-118, slight tip rocker?
Current model: http://www.dynastar.com/US/US/legend-94_DA1KJ01_product_dynastar-skis-men-freeski.html
Described as very good all-mountain ski, good off piste and good on piste, should be similar to the 88mm Dynastar but better off piste as obviously wider.
Conditions skied: 2 days of fresh heavy-ish powder, 1 day of perfect/icy/slushy groomed (depending on elevation).
Observations: Like the other Dynastar these felt ‘right’ from the start. Excellent in powder and very good on piste, all comments of the 88 apply here (maybe just a bit less responsive than the 88 on piste). Excellent.
So, both Dynastar 88 and 94 were near-perfect. I concluded that I need a 88-95mm wide ski with 19-21m radius, medium stiffness.
I decided not to buy yet as 1) I want to get to discount season and 2) my boots are 15 y old so I need to change the boots as well so best to do it at the same time with no rush. I will either get the Dynastars 94s if I find a good end of season deal and/or do another round of testing next trip/season.
And some more pics for the mood: I like the ski pass!
Enjoy the turns! The snow is falling…
System here http://www.whathifi.com/forum/your-system/my-dream-system-oh-maybe-one-day
Wow, great write up, and the pics certainly reminded me of what I'm missing.
I have liked Dynastar in the past...very solid construction, but a "lighter" feeling on the snow.
I also think you were wise not to buy. What feels magic in great snow conditions, can feel a bit "slow" (edge to edge) and "soft" for icy/hard conditions.
A lot of modern skis have very wide tips so that they will "bite" and "pull" you into the carved turn; the wide tails then finish the carve. This is disconcerting when coming from "older school" skis, which skid at the drop of a hat. You can often feel that the skis are running away with you. The extra surface area means that you travel a lot faster as well.
It's a shame they didn't have the current Salomon Enduro XT800, which would be my pick for an all round ski....strange for France.
Anyway, glad you had a great holiday and next time you should try a dedicated carving ski, with a turning radius of about 14M and a height of about 165....it's a blast.
Well, the new season is very near! 3 days ago decided to book (could not make any plans before that) and within this time I have a fresh booking on my hands!
Cannot wait! 6 weeks!
1850 or a Sprint?
Leema Pulse MKII-S; Naim CD5i MKII; Denon TU-260L MKII; MA RS6 speakers; Pro-ject Xpression 1; loads of different cables...
Formerly known as plastic penguin
I won't be going this year for obvious reasons, but if you want a few suggestions of the latest skis to try, give me a shout.
BTW I expect a blog with photos, same as last year.
Once again, conditions are looking good......where in the Dolomites are you going?
(Lucky B******d !)
Just back from it. As usual - stiff but happy!
This time was not much powder (only one snowfall of abt 5 cm in 10 days...) but overall still great conditions, mostly sunny (8.5 days out of 10) with perfect temperatures (-8 to +4).
Did not have a chance to try many skis as choice was very limited. The only pair with the right geometry was K2 Iron Maiden. I looked like a teenager or a hardcore Iron Maiden fan but the skis are actually good - similar to the Dynastars I liked. Did not like the twin tip - catches on the snow and the other ski a bit which I am not used to.
Left my 15 year old boots in the bin there and going to Snow&Rock for a new pair tomorrow
Also ordered (cheap deal) Dynastar Legend 94 with some midrange Salomon bindings.
The Dolomites are absolutely stunning and the skiing is top range. Goodo value, too. Highly recommended.
Teh Dolomites are absolutely stunning and the skiing is top range. Goodo value, too. Highly recommended.
Thank you for reporting in......I've also recently spoken to a friend who is just back from Tignes, where there was fantastic snow.
My memory of twin-tips, is skiing behind some, and getting sprayed in the face with the plume of snow they shoot out from their tails!
Any of your gorgeous pics.....(one now has appeared)?
I got loads, breathtaking beauty there. Will try to post some.
New skis are in
Those look like a 50/50 go anywhere skis. You will lose a bit of edge to edge speed on piste (20m turn radius), but gain off-piste flexibility. It looks like there is no riser under the bindings, which is good for deeper snow.
May they do as many miles as your last ones (which can now be relegated to "rock hoppers").
That s exactly what they are. The old ones were second hand when I got them, served me well for 15 years and ended in a bin two seasons ago
I have an attic full of old skis, that I couldn't bring myself to bin, in case the bindings could be used. There is some 35 year Volkl Rentiger (195); 20 year old Salomon Force 9 (201); 14 year old Salomon X Scream (180).....how sad is that.
I even used to have some I got cheap, as they were "bomb damaged".
my first pair was a Ukranian-made Fischer-licenced Fischer Competition, old traditional shape, but I lked the flex a lot. I bougth them second hand, with semi-auto Marker bindings (the ones with exposed chromed steel springs). They werer relatively cheap and all that I could afford. These lasted several seasons and I sold them on.
I then got some Atomic Carbon skis - same pair as a friend. We each broke one ski the same season. so we each gave our pairs away to another friend who made one set out of the two and still has them.
I then got the Salomons X Mountain from a friend who knew the Salomon/Rossignol distributor and had loads of the best skis so he gave one to me - these are the ones I used for 15 years and was so happy with them. I eventually ripped out an edge and had to replace them.
So after 2 seasons of renting I now got these Dynastars.
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