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Heavy, damp general purpose ski for riding lifts/sidecountry

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  • Heavy, damp general purpose ski for riding lifts/sidecountry

    I have all the lightweight skis I need, but due to marital obligations find I’m riding lifts more than I’d like. Looking for a hard-charging, mid-fat ski for general purpose use. This will typically see water-ice, dust on eastern crust, crud, chunks, snowcat debris, roots, rocks, stumps, rain crust, and real live blower powder, often all in the same run. I want a heavier, damp ski to complement the lighter gear I already own, but something that is at home in nice, soft deep snow. Probably would prefer 100mm + at the waist, and due to lots of trees I’m not opposed to sidecut. Current touring gear is V8’s, liking them a lot and they even work fine inbounds, just too light and soft to really charge inbounds, in the nasty crud, rain crust, etc. These'll get AT or maybe even (gulp) DH bindings. Any suggestions as to what skis I’d be happiest on? A friend suggested Volkl Mantra’s. Any and all thoughts appreciated, thanks in advance.

  • #2
    There are a head-spinning number of possibilities. Lots of folks rave about the Mantra's. I personally am a fan of Praxis skis b/c (a) they're made very well and (b) the owner is anal with his product and exceptional at customer service. So, you could consider the 9D8, Freeride, or MVP. I'm a lightweight-ish ski person (Voile Vector and Praxis BC), so I have zilch experience on those, but I ski with someone who rides the MVPs with Dynafits and he is quite satisfied.

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    • #3
      I'm a Fischer fan. If I were looking for a lift serve only ski for what you describe I would strongly consider the Watea 106 for a flat tail and Big Stix 110 if you are looking for a twin tip.

      My older T-Stix 96 (Atua = alpine version) are perfect for this. Fat enough to float, carry huge speed, hold an edge, damp yet some pop too.

      Have heard nothing but good things about Praxis.
      Last edited by 3PinGrin; 13 February 2014, 09:12 PM.

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      • #4
        Blizzard Bonafide. A Mantra that doesn't require constant input, goes fast, eats crud, slices ice, floats in fluff.

        ain't no turn like tele!

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        • #5
          My go to resort ski is a Blizzard Brahma which is a bit smaller but skis big. 2 1/2 layers of metal, rips hardpack and just a fun easy ski that will do it all.
          "Just say no to groomed snow"

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          • #6
            Armada TST
            DPS Wailer 99
            DPS Cassiar 85

            Praxis 9D8 looks good on paper, too. But what do I know?...
            I like all kinds of snow. The only poor snow I know of is ice. That better be climbed.

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            • #7
              I'm skeptical about Mantras - the sweet spot on them is too narrow, they're hooky and dictate particular, aggressive style.
              I like all kinds of snow. The only poor snow I know of is ice. That better be climbed.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Combiner View Post
                I'm skeptical about Mantras - the sweet spot on them is too narrow, they're hooky and dictate particular, aggressive style.
                Could you expand a bit on what you mean by "hooky"? Apart from that, I've always been described as particular and aggressive, so it could be a good fit!

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                • #9
                  I am also curious about the hooky comment.

                  I think the Mantra fits your description very well and don't see how a stiff metal cap ski with a plus 20 meter radius would be hooky. I have not skied the Bonafide but if it is anything like the Cochise then it would be perfect for you.

                  I also think there is a conflict with some the things you ask for and a ski with a shorter turning radius. "hard-charging, crud, chunks, snowcat debris, roots, rocks, stumps, "
                  Last edited by James; 17 February 2014, 01:45 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I've been looking at the Nordica Helldorado. It's the Patron with two layers of aluminum. It's getting great reviews although I can't find a pair to demo in my size.

                    Blizzard Bonafide is on the list as well.

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                    • #11
                      I've skied Mantras, The Fischer Maori series, Praxis etc, etc, and if you want hard charging, damp, heavy and easy to turn the regular Cham 97 or 107 are your ticket. These skis are beasts, stiff, damp and responsive. I usually complain that skis are too soft and my Cham 97s are stiffer than my old Explosivs and my Legend Pro Riders. They are still easy to turn despite their ability to charge through horrendous snow conditions.

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                      • #12
                        Airin is Right about the Cham 97. Burly ski. Flays crud. Floats in pow - letting you smile when breaking trail. Rides rails. Negotiable price at retail since so many customers see the ski as odd, not believing the reviews. Personally this ski is too stiff for me, but if you're near 200# on the scales, it won't be. My vote is for the Cham HM 97, livelier than the heavy metal version IMO.

                        ain't no turn like tele!

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                        • #13
                          Agree about the regular version Craig, I'm a fattie though and they come alive if you have enough mass. They are stiff.

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                          • #14
                            Craig and airinwrite,
                            How much lighter is the HM version of the Cham 97 / 107?
                            How is the HM for lift served? If comparable, why go with the standard vs. HM?

                            Thanks

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                            • #15
                              I don't know how much less the HM versions are, but it feels like a lot. My Cham 97s in 184 are one of the heaviest skis I've owned. Heavier than 190 Explosivs and about the same as my 192 LPR 105. I think for folks under 200# the HM would be fine for lift served, I know several folks skiing them as their daily drivers.

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