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Need something less burly than my Bonafides

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by bluesmama, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. bluesmama

    bluesmama Diva in Training

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Messages:
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    Location:
    New York, NY
    Hey there,

    Bluesmama here. I've been lurking for years. So, there's my hello.

    Tl;dr:
    Profile: Advanced, 60/40 piste/off-piste
    Height: 5'4"
    Weight: 160#
    West: Jackson Hole is my main stomping grounds as I have friends living there (50%)
    East: Mostly Vermont (50%)
    Current ski: Blizzard Bonafides, 166cm

    Desire:
    Something confident on icy stuff and hardpack but can go off trail and play in the bumps and glades on the east coast. A perfect union would be something to replace my Bonafides to play out west too.

    More about me:
    I love my Bonafides but they're a beast and all they want to do is go fast. There are more days, lately, where I'm skiing with friends who don't charge down the mountain. I can't tell you how many times my friends are screaming, "Slow down!" And my response is, "I can't!" :smile:

    I want something that will be easier in the bumps and tight glades when I go off on my own on the east coast. Thoughts on a ski that would be a nice break from the Bonafides? I've been reading online for months and my short list looks like:

    Nordica Santa Ana 100/92
    Solomon QST 99/92
    Volkl Kanjo
    Stockli Stormrider 95

    Am I on the right track? The last time I demo-ed skis was in 2015 in Jackson. Not the best frame of reference for east coast conditions. I hated the Soul 7's on everything but powder. The Atomic Century's were only good on the soft stuff. At the time I was skiing on a pair of K2 Rictor's which were amazing on the east coast but not great in the soft stuff. I ended up with the Bonafides on the recommendation of friends.

    Thanks!
     
    VickiK likes this.
  2. newboots

    newboots Angel Diva

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    Vermont
    Welcome! I'm not qualified to help with the ski question, but I can say, Happy to have you!

    Where in Vermont do you ski?
     
  3. bluesmama

    bluesmama Diva in Training

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    New York, NY
    With my tiny nieces and my laid back friends, I take them to Stratton. With my friends from the west coast, we'll go to Stowe. I really hope I get to try Mad River Glen this winter though. I heard it's like a mini Jackson Hole. :smile:
     
    Tvan and newboots like this.
  4. Jilly

    Jilly Moderator Staff Member

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    Bay of Quinte, Ontario, Canada
    As an eastern mostly skier and the short trips west I know what you're talking about. And really think 2 skis are the answer. I ski a tuned down race ski in the east and just bought the Atomic Vantage 95W for west. The 95 did great on the snowy groomers at Whistler, as well as the bumps and trees. But to use it daily at Tremblant....no. Too icy on the groomers and really not enough snow in the woods. I just sold my old, first year out Temptation 88's, which were my out west ski. I found they a little too stiff for my liking and the bindings were not working the way I think they should.

    But budgets need to be respected....a one ski quiver for the east/west....can you demo??
     
    newboots likes this.
  5. bluesmama

    bluesmama Diva in Training

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    Location:
    New York, NY
    Jilly! That's exactly my sentiment. I need two skis. And eventually, I want to get one for backcountry but I'm not there yet. My east coast friends think I'm crazy but that's because they don't know what it's like to be bi-coastal. :smile:

    I can demo for sure. I've skied since I was 8. I'm now 43. And it's only been in the last 4 years I've ventured out west and love it. So I'm definitely from a strong carving background and ice doesn't scare me like it does to folks out west. Slarving and smearing haven't been in my vocabulary until recently!

    I'm not restricted with a budget, thankfully. I'd get a pair of Kastle's if I thought I could handle them as a day-to-day but they're just not playful. I should also probably state that I live in NYC. Not a lot of variety here and definitely no way to demo unless I make a long drive up north. I guess I should start scheduling my ski trips around demo days up north.
     
    nopoleskier, marzNC and newboots like this.
  6. marzNC

    marzNC Angel Diva

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    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Glad you joined for a discussion!

    I've been doing free demo days in more than one region for several years. Some years I was actually looking to buy skis for a specific purpose, but mostly I like to have experience on enough models that when I'm renting for whatever reason then I know what is likely to be fun. I do an annual late season trip to Alta that usually includes the Alta Demo Day in early April.

    I'm shorter and lighter than you are, somewhat older, became an advanced skier in the last 10 years. For me, once I demo'd the Stöckli Stormrider 85, I was hooked. First test was on very short groomers at Whitetail in PA. Second test was a full day at Taos. After the second demo day at Taos, I asked about price. I knew the supply of Stöckli skis is pretty limited from talking to the rep at the Whitetail tent. The next day they were mine. My previous go to skis for trips out west were 2012 Black Pearls. My skis for Mid-Atlantic and northeast skiing are Head Absolut Joys. Most of my ski days are out west (25+ per season).

    I wasn't interested in checking out the Stormrider 95 at Taos because I prefer skis in the mid-80s that are good in a variety of conditions. When I get lucky and catch a powder storm, I rent powder skis (95-115cm) appropriate for the day.
     
    newboots likes this.
  7. marzNC

    marzNC Angel Diva

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    Mini, meaning really mini. But well worth checking out in a good snow year.

    Have you skied Sugarbush?
     
  8. mustski

    mustski Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    I am a bit confused - are you looking for a "less burly" (softer) wide ski like the Bonafide or a narrower ski for Easter hard pack/ice conditions or are you looking for two skis to fill out your quiver? If so, what do you dislike about the Bonafide in western snow conditions? It is a western ski for sure and cannot be properly measured in eastern snow conditions.
     
    bounceswoosh likes this.
  9. marzNC

    marzNC Angel Diva

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    What I meant is that in comparison to Jackson Hole, MRG is a lot smaller. But there is plenty of challenging terrain at MRG for those who can deal with tight trees on steep slopes and narrow runs with potentially big bumps. Watching good skiers under the single-chair lift is quite an experience.
     
    newboots likes this.
  10. bluesmama

    bluesmama Diva in Training

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    I just had a long discussion with a friend of mine who grew up in VT but now lives in WY as a ski instructor. Maybe less burly isn't the right word. Bonafides seem to understand one thing and that's go fast. I feel like that's all the Bonafides really shined on. Everything else was ok (bumps, ice, hard pack) and it was a lot of work at the end of the day.

    So the friend thinks, I just need something with a narrower waist and slightly shorter (for bumps) on the east side.

    This is all compounded by the fact I love snow. It can't come soon enough. And the shopaholic in my wants to just buy something already. :smile: Can't wait to read all the new gear reviews from y'all!
     
    mustski and newboots like this.
  11. SallyCat

    SallyCat Moderator Staff Member

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    If you wanted to take a weekend in the Poconos, both Blue Mountain and Camelback have demo programs in which you pay something like $60 and can take any three skis out for as long as you want. Plus skiing here would certainly give you a feel for on-ice performance.

    I know that Blue carries Head, Elan, Armada, K2, Salomon, and this year, Nordica
    Camelback should have Volkl, Atomic, Rossi, Line and I think some others.
     
    VickiK likes this.
  12. contesstant

    contesstant Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    Don't overlook the Blizzard Samba (prior to 2018) which is now known as the Black Pearl 98. Very similar to your Bones, without the extra burliness, yet still very much an advanced/expert ski. They might have a nice familiarity to you, being from the same family of skis. Also, the new Blizzard Sheeva 10. It's kind of hard to recommend a ski that will be good for your east coast days AND your JH days. If that were the case, then I'd say something in the mid-80s width that does OK on ice/hard pack but has a good shape and design for softer snow and powder. But that kind of ski won't really shine in either condition. I agree with Jilly that a 2 ski combo would suit you best.

    Heck, I have 3 skis for 3 types of conditions that I ski at one mountain here in Utah :tongue:
     
    newboots likes this.
  13. santacruz skier

    santacruz skier Angel Diva

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    or the Head Great Joy which is a fantastic ski IMO.
     
  14. mustski

    mustski Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    No. I think the OP is looking for a ski for eastern conditions and those are all too wide. She needs a narrower ski that can handle eastern snow. That's probably the problem with the Bones - they are a western, soft snow ski. I know they can handle a groomer run but it's not their wheelhouse. I don't know enough about eastern skiing to recommend a ski so I will leave that to the eastern divas, but anything with a 98 waist ain't it.
    @Jilly @ski diva @SnowHot
     
  15. Jilly

    Jilly Moderator Staff Member

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    Can you keep the Bonafides for out west? Then look for something in the mid low 80's for here. Personally I like a slalom ski for the east. My next east ski will probably be in the 74 range.
     
  16. pinto

    pinto Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    Those Stormriders.... mmmm ....
     
    SnowHot likes this.
  17. nopoleskier

    nopoleskier Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    Location:
    Adirondack Mts NY Bleecker MT (NW of Albany)
    I"m up to 5 pairs.
    East ski Atomic 11's 73cm,
    West ski Black pearls 88cm, Atomic Eysians 95.
    Rock skis are old atomic heaven's gates 72cm and waiting on Renoun's 90cm delivery..
    who needs shoes and clothes when there are so many skis and different conditions!!

    Eastern skis definitely in the 80's or less... I'd stay away from 90+'s for Eastern usual conditions if you can swing 2 pair :-) Go for it!!!
     
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  18. volklgirl

    volklgirl Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    Someone said you're looking to add a skinnier ski for the east coast, but all the options you listed are in the same width range as the Bones. If you're looking to replace them, then, I'd go right for the older Samba or newer Black Pearl 98 - the women's version of the Bones. The Kanjo is also a solid choice - it was one of my surprise winners of the 2018 Test Fest. Other options would be the Volkl 90Eight, Atomic Vantage, or Head Wild Joy. I'd bet that the Stormrider is as stiff or stiffer than your Bones, so I'd probably rule that one out.

    If you're looking to go narrower, The Black Pearl 99 or the Volkl Kenja are both competent mixed snow skis, with the edge going to the Kenja when the snow gets really firm.

    You can check out my reviews for these skis and more here: http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/in...idwest-test-fest-ski-reviews-2018-skis.21634/
     
  19. lisamamot

    lisamamot Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    My sister lives/skis in VT - she got the Atomic Vantage 95w last year and loves them. She does spend a lot of time on un-groomed, loves the trees too. She needed something wider since friends were always going off into the woods...think non-trail....and she was sinking on her aging Dynastar Legend Edens (85mm). She can pull out her Edens for the iciest of days though, so there is the two ski thing. I have the predecessor to the Vantage 95w (Elysian) and they are a blast. You may also like the Atomic Vantage 90 cti - great fun, have some metal, and they are a little narrower and carve ready than the 95w.

    I own the 2015/2016 Santa Ana 100 (pre-metal version) and they are great out west, plus they are a solid soft->firm snow ski for New England. They do well on firm groomers, but I wouldn't want it to be my only ski in New England. If you ski 50% in VT perhaps the 2017/2018 Santa Ana 93 since it is a bit narrower, and has metal?

    All that being said, the Head Wild Joy (90mm) is top on my demo list this year.....that super short turning radius is intriguing, and I hear it performs very well on the firm stuff.