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Another "What should I demo?" post (appreciate the help!)

daniwrites

Certified Ski Diva
Hi Everyone!

Long time lurker/reader, with a particularly active year on this forum in 2008 I had very little recollection of! (Is there anything more embarrassing than reading things you've written on the internet in your youth? lol)

I began skiing again more regularly last season after having a 5-6 year dry spell. I'm east coast based and do mostly day trips every weekend
to Windham or Belleayre, and long weekends in VT (Stratton, Okemo, Mt Snow, Bromley).

Thus far, this season, I have been out 16 days, with a trip to CO planned late March (for my b-day) where I plan to ski Breck, Copper, A-basin, maybe Keystone
(for 6 days of skiing).

stats: female, late 30s, 5’8” 145-150lbs, athletic, intermediate( level 6), progressing. Trying to create higher edge angle with my carving, and enjoy going fast on groomed blues and the occasional black. Like skiing off to the sides of trails in the crud as well. Not much of a moguls/tree person, but I do occasionally challenge myself to a mogul run if it's not too icy.

I currently own a pair of 2021 Rossi Experience 80 CI in 158, and have grown tired of them, so I have begun to demo some other skis.
Would love some reccos on the list I have compiled below ("must trys", ones to maybe skip, and any I should consider adding) as well as length suggestions.

What I've tried thus far:

- Line Blade W 160 -- LOVED! Found it really fun, easy to turn & get on edge, and was able to charge through anything. I had planned on only Demo'ing one day in Okemo, but ended it up keeping it for another day. Want to try in the 167 length.
- Armada Reliance 92 TI 164 - didn't like at first (found it too damp), but by the middle of the day I really appreciated them, and if I was a better carver, would have probably have liked them even more. I found myself being more confident to take on any run I wanted to that day knowing the ski would have my back. That being said, I didn't have as much of an ear to ear grin, laughing fun on them as I did when I tried the Blade.
- Blizzard Sheeva 9 164 (trying this on Saturday; wish they had longer length, but they don't unfortunately)


My "To Demo" List:

Armada Reliance 88c
Blizzard Black Pearl 88
Rossi Stargazer
Nordica Santa Ana 93 or 98
K2 Mindbender Alliance 88 or 92
Volkl Secret 92
Volkl Kenja 88
Elan Ripstick 94

Bonus, if anyone knows the most convenient place to get demos while I'm in CO, I would really appreciate it! A-Basin is having demo day 3/26 which works out well.
For the other days, I'm leaning on Christy's since they have a few locations, but I am planning on calling a few spots closer to my travel dates (AMR, Precision, Mountain View, Powder7).

Thanks so much in advance! And if you have gotten this far, thank you for reading :smile:
Really appreciate it!
 

lisamamot

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Blizzard Sheeva 9 164 (trying this on Saturday; wish they had longer length, but they don't unfortunately)
I am very similar in size to you and own the Sheeva 9 172. I demoed the 164 as well and ordered the 172. If you like the flavor of the 164, the 172 will be your length.
 

chasinghorizons

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
My "To Demo" List:

Armada Reliance 88c
Blizzard Black Pearl 88
Rossi Stargazer
Nordica Santa Ana 93 or 98
K2 Mindbender Alliance 88 or 92
Volkl Secret 92
Volkl Kenja 88
Elan Ripstick 94
I'd swap out the Volkl Secret 92 for the 96 unless you're looking for a deal. The 92 was discontinued and reviews of the 96 have said it's a significant improvement - Volkl changed the amount of titanal in each length to better suit the size of the average skier on them.

If you really like light but powerful energetic skis, I'd take a good look at the Faction Dictator 2.0x. I have the Dictator and it eats groomers for breakfast - super fun, light swing weight but incredibly stable at speed thanks to two layers of titanal, and just feels like you're slicing through snow like it's butter. Stiffer flattish tail, so holds really well through a carve and accelerates you out of a turn like a slingshot. If you like speed, these things will put a big grin on your face.
 

daniwrites

Certified Ski Diva
I'd swap out the Volkl Secret 92 for the 96 unless you're looking for a deal. The 92 was discontinued and reviews of the 96 have said it's a significant improvement - Volkl changed the amount of titanal in each length to better suit the size of the average skier on them.

If you really like light but powerful energetic skis, I'd take a good look at the Faction Dictator 2.0x. I have the Dictator and it eats groomers for breakfast - super fun, light swing weight but incredibly stable at speed thanks to two layers of titanal, and just feels like you're slicing through snow like it's butter. Stiffer flattish tail, so holds really well through a carve and accelerates you out of a turn like a slingshot. If you like speed, these things will put a big grin on your face.
Thank you! Great tips. I was reading about the Faction Dictator 2.0x on another thread and was thinking of adding it to the list, but now definitely will after your description. Appreciate it!
 

daniwrites

Certified Ski Diva
I am very similar in size to you and own the Sheeva 9 172. I demoed the 164 as well and ordered the 172. If you like the flavor of the 164, the 172 will be your length.
Just a quick update. Demo'd the sheeva on Saturday at Belleayre, and absolutely LOVED! I usually need about 2-3 runs before I feel I have my legs, and back into the swing of things, especially when trying a new ski - but I immediately loved this ski. Ended up skiing pretty much straight through the day - 23 runs! All over the mountain, in the glades, and felt like I could have went another 5 hours.

As of now, it is between the Sheeva & Line Blade, but still would like to demo a few more (maybe 4-5 tops). I slightly revised my list order. I'll be in CO during a demo day at A-basin so hoping to have a good selection. Thank you all for your feedback & help!

Rossi Stargazer
Fischer Ranger 94 FR
Faction Dictator 2.0x
Line Pandora 94 W
K2 Mindbender Alliance 92
Black Crow Captis Birdie
Elan Ripstick 94
Nordica Santa Ana 93
Volkl Secret 96
Blizzard Black Pearl
K2 Mindbender Alliance 88
Armada Reliance 88c
 

scandium

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I would take the Pandora off if you aren't looking to go any softer than the Sheeva - they aren't really a carving ski imo, more a smearing one, and in my opinion don't handle speed as well as something like the Mindbender.
 

daniwrites

Certified Ski Diva
I would take the Pandora off if you aren't looking to go any softer than the Sheeva - they aren't really a carving ski imo, more a smearing one, and in my opinion don't handle speed as well as something like the Mindbender.
appreciate that. Happy to take it off and have less on the list! thank you
 

daniwrites

Certified Ski Diva
An update!
I was in CO and skied Breck (twice), Copper, Keystone, A-Basin* (twice), and the demo list grew to:

Line Blade (tried them a second time at Keystone, and the 160 felt too short)
Armada Reliance 92 T
Blizzard Sheeva
Volkl Kenja 88
Dynastar M Pro 90
Blizzard Black Pearl 88
Salomon Stance 94
K2 Mindbender 90c (men's)
Nordica Santa Ana 98 w

...and very surprisingly, I ended up purchasing the Salomon Stance 94 in 168, which was not even on my list of skis to try. Before giving them a try, I was liking the Black Pearls fine, but the shop only had the '19 version, and I felt they had a bit of a speed limit? The shop guy (Christy's) encouraged me to try the Stance after hearing I love ripping down groomers, and I found them super stable at speed and very confidence-inspiring. Since the graphics are kind of boring, I opted for the neon green Tyrolia Attack to give it a bit of pop.

I kept switching out between the Stance and the Black Pearls while at Copper & A-Basin, and the BPs felt like flappy cardboard (?) in comparison. I did like the Sana Ana as well, but wanted the 93 ideally, and they only had it in a 158 in every Christy's location I went into (I visited 6 of them).

Part of me thinks I could use a more playful ski as well, but that may be because I am remembering how much I truly enjoyed the Sheeva... (no shop ever has it longer than 164 for me to try)! The Stance performed fine in fresh snow, but I found my legs feeling more fatigued in those conditions, and was wishing I had something like the Sheeva.

Another ski I was desperately trying to find to demo is the Faction Dictator 2.0, but no luck.
I'm afraid by this time next season, I will become a bit of a ski collector, because knowing myself, I will still be trying to demo if I see a ski available that interests me.

All this to say, demo! I would have never considered the Stance based on reviews.



*PS. I absolutely fell in love with A-Basin and am trying to make it out there at least one more time before the season ends

 

chasinghorizons

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Line Blade (tried them a second time at Keystone, and the 160 felt too short)
Armada Reliance 92 T
Blizzard Sheeva
Volkl Kenja 88
Dynastar M Pro 90
Blizzard Black Pearl 88
Salomon Stance 94
K2 Mindbender 90c (men's)
Nordica Santa Ana 98 w

...and very surprisingly, I ended up purchasing the Salomon Stance 94 in 168, which was not even on my list of skis to try.

Another ski I was desperately trying to find to demo is the Faction Dictator 2.0, but no luck.
I'm afraid by this time next season, I will become a bit of a ski collector, because knowing myself, I will still be trying to demo if I see a ski available that interests me.
Wow, congratulations! Is that the list of the skis you wanted to try, or did you actually try all of them? 0_0

Blister posted a flash review on the Faction Dancer/Dictator 2.0 & 2.0x recently. I mostly agree with them and am looking forward to their full reviews. I will say I had a tough time readjusting to the Dictator 2.0 after skiing the Liberty Genesis 101 for awhile. Although they're pretty stable at speed, they're not particularly damp compared to the Genesis, and on firm refrozen off-piste crud I started feeling a bit like a ping-pong ball. They also really seem to want fall-line turns, whereas the Genesis is happy to pull you across the fall-line or go down it. In the early morning when I was still readjusting, I was skiing a bit more defensively and it was a struggle. As my husband analyzed it, they are confidence-reinforcing, not confidence-inspiring (meaning you have to already have confidence to ski them well) :scared:. But once I figured them out again (and once the snow softened up a bit), they were a ton of fun. They cut right through soft snow and slush, and the rebound out of a carve is like popping off a trampoline. Anyway, just wanted to forewarn you that they really prefer to be skied a certain way, and that way is attacking the fall line. If you do it how they want, they will reward you, but if you try to argue with them, they will tell you you're stupid and you should (wo)man up (the 3.0 even moreso than the 2.0) :rotf:.
 

daniwrites

Certified Ski Diva
Wow, congratulations! Is that the list of the skis you wanted to try, or did you actually try all of them? 0_0

Blister posted a flash review on the Faction Dancer/Dictator 2.0 & 2.0x recently. I mostly agree with them and am looking forward to their full reviews. I will say I had a tough time readjusting to the Dictator 2.0 after skiing the Liberty Genesis 101 for awhile. Although they're pretty stable at speed, they're not particularly damp compared to the Genesis, and on firm refrozen off-piste crud I started feeling a bit like a ping-pong ball. They also really seem to want fall-line turns, whereas the Genesis is happy to pull you across the fall-line or go down it. In the early morning when I was still readjusting, I was skiing a bit more defensively and it was a struggle. As my husband analyzed it, they are confidence-reinforcing, not confidence-inspiring (meaning you have to already have confidence to ski them well) :scared:. But once I figured them out again (and once the snow softened up a bit), they were a ton of fun. They cut right through soft snow and slush, and the rebound out of a carve is like popping off a trampoline. Anyway, just wanted to forewarn you that they really prefer to be skied a certain way, and that way is attacking the fall line. If you do it how they want, they will reward you, but if you try to argue with them, they will tell you you're stupid and you should (wo)man up (the 3.0 even moreso than the 2.0) :rotf:.
Appreciate this intel! But now I want to try the Liberty Genesis as well LOL (oh no).
The list is all the skis I tried and there are many others I have yet to demo, but after a certain point, I felt it was time to make a decision!
 

chasinghorizons

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Appreciate this intel! But now I want to try the Liberty Genesis as well LOL (oh no).
Haha it's a super fun ski, it feels like a quicker, more energetic version of the Sheeva 10 (which I also own). Can be surfy or charge depending on mood. The Sheeva to me feels like an easy ski that likes to go at calm, placid paces - I see it appealing to more cautious skiers. The Genesis likes to go faster, which I personally prefer.
 

kmb5662

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
FYI I found out that Blizzard is going to be updating the construction to the Sheeva for next year. Details are unknown, but they are currently in the testing phase.

IMG_1625.PNG
 

daniwrites

Certified Ski Diva
Just curious, since you had so much fun with the Sheevas, what made you pull the trigger on the Stances?
good question ;) if they had the sheevas in the length I wanted (171), I might have gotten them. The Stance also was more stable at speed, and I do love to go fast. I may still grab the sheevas also at another shop I have a demo credit at :D
 

daniwrites

Certified Ski Diva
Wow, congratulations! Is that the list of the skis you wanted to try, or did you actually try all of them? 0_0

Blister posted a flash review on the Faction Dancer/Dictator 2.0 & 2.0x recently. I mostly agree with them and am looking forward to their full reviews. I will say I had a tough time readjusting to the Dictator 2.0 after skiing the Liberty Genesis 101 for awhile. Although they're pretty stable at speed, they're not particularly damp compared to the Genesis, and on firm refrozen off-piste crud I started feeling a bit like a ping-pong ball. They also really seem to want fall-line turns, whereas the Genesis is happy to pull you across the fall-line or go down it. In the early morning when I was still readjusting, I was skiing a bit more defensively and it was a struggle. As my husband analyzed it, they are confidence-reinforcing, not confidence-inspiring (meaning you have to already have confidence to ski them well) :scared:. But once I figured them out again (and once the snow softened up a bit), they were a ton of fun. They cut right through soft snow and slush, and the rebound out of a carve is like popping off a trampoline. Anyway, just wanted to forewarn you that they really prefer to be skied a certain way, and that way is attacking the fall line. If you do it how they want, they will reward you, but if you try to argue with them, they will tell you you're stupid and you should (wo)man up (the 3.0 even moreso than the 2.0) :rotf:.
So, thanks in part to what you’ve said about the Faction Dictator 2.0x, I impulsively purchased them in 171 a month or so, not thinking I’d be able to try them until next season. I then ended up going to CO weekend of May 20th to ski A-Basin, got bindings mounted at sun & ski, and skied them on May 23rd. WOW! What a fun and awesome ski. Exactly as you said, first run I was a bit more timid as I was getting used to them, but once I figured them out and starting skiing the fall line, I fell in love. I felt them easy to turn and lighter on my feet/legs than the Stance, though I think I may prefer the Stance if I’m having a less confident day. When I get lazy with form, the Stance doesn’t punish me as much as the Dictator will. That being said, I need more time with both to determine the conditions and days I’d use one over the other.

Still thinking about the Sheeva too, I might just have a ski buying addiction :/
 

chasinghorizons

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
So, thanks in part to what you’ve said about the Faction Dictator 2.0x, I impulsively purchased them in 171 a month or so, not thinking I’d be able to try them until next season. I then ended up going to CO weekend of May 20th to ski A-Basin, got bindings mounted at sun & ski, and skied them on May 23rd. WOW! What a fun and awesome ski. Exactly as you said, first run I was a bit more timid as I was getting used to them, but once I figured them out and starting skiing the fall line, I fell in love. I felt them easy to turn and lighter on my feet/legs than the Stance, though I think I may prefer the Stance if I’m having a less confident day. When I get lazy with form, the Stance doesn’t punish me as much as the Dictator will. That being said, I need more time with both to determine the conditions and days I’d use one over the other.

Still thinking about the Sheeva too, I might just have a ski buying addiction :/
Haha that's awesome! So glad you like them :smile: I feel the same way, if I'm feeling lazy the Genesis is an easier ski, but the Dictator is such a fun shot of adrenaline. Love them both. Where did you mount yours? I'm planning on moving my mount point forward - I mounted on the line (classic) but after skiing my 3.0x on progressive (1.5 cm forward), I've found I like that better. I don't need to be in such a forward, driving stance all the time and can ski more neutral if I'm on sketchier terrain. It's also less punishing.
 

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