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Help Needed: Best All Mountain Skis for advanced skier

seatosnow

Diva in Training
#1
Hi, I'm new here and in a dilemna about what skis to get for this season in New Zealand. I mainly ski at Mt Ruapehu, which doesn't have a lot of fresh powder, so ski on groomed trails & off piste & often a bit of crud & sometimes ice (although I prefer to head back to the club then!). I'm 5'5/6" and 64kgs/140lbs.

I've been recommended the 2018 Blizzard Black Pearl 88s by my local shop.

I had K2 Burnin' Luvs (2006 model!!) for about 8 years and loved them - I found they were nice & stiff with a lot of rebound energy & were great for carving.

When I finally found the money to replace these, I was recommended Dynastar Cham 87s a couple of years ago and bought them, however I don't like them much as I find they are too soft and lacking the energy/responsiveness/rebound like that the K2 Burnin Luv's had. They don't seem to edge so well in the ice either (they are great in the powder & crud though).

I have been told (by a male on another forum) that if I find the Chams too soft, then I will probably find the Black Pearl's too soft as well and that I might prefer the Blizzard Brahmas (88mm) or the Bonafide (98mm) or the 17/18 Volkl equivalents Kendo (90mm) or the Mantra (100mm), however these look like men's skis so not sure if they would suit?

Can anyone tell me how the Black Pearl 88s compare to the Cham 87s & the K2 Burnin Luvs? And if these don't sound suitable, what would you recommend?
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#2
If you're finding the Cham soft, then you better demo the Black Pearl before you buy. I would actually recommend the Rossi Temptation 88 since you liked your Burnin Luv. It's stiffer than the Pearl.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#3
Welcome to the forum!

If you liked the Burnin' Luv, then I agree -- the Black Pearls would be too soft for your taste. I'd recommend trying something in the Blizzard Quattro Series -- an all mountain ski with plenty of oomph. Other suggestions: the Nordica Belle 84 or the Volkl Kenja (the female version of the Kendo).
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#4
I have been told (by a male on another forum) that if I find the Chams too soft, then I will probably find the Black Pearl's too soft as well and that I might prefer the Blizzard Brahmas (88mm) or the Bonafide (98mm) or the 17/18 Volkl equivalents Kendo (90mm) or the Mantra (100mm), however these look like men's skis so not sure if they would suit?

Can anyone tell me how the Black Pearl 88s compare to the Cham 87s & the K2 Burnin Luvs? And if these don't sound suitable, what would you recommend?
Welcome! Did you hear about the changes made to the BP 88? Were you looking at the 2017 or 2018 BP?

In any case, from your reaction to the Cham 87, the BP 88 is still probably not the best choice for the type of snow conditions you ski most often. In addition to the suggestions already made, can you find the Elan RipStick?

There are times when the men's version of a ski model is not really much different than the women's. Have you found these recent Diva discussions?

http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/black-pearls-for-heavier-gals.20359/

http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/elan-ripstik-94w.21426/#post-336541

I'm a petite, older, advanced skier. Have owned the BP 88 since 2012. Demo'd the new version last season and it's a bit different but still would not consider it a stiff ski. For me, the Cham 87 is on my go to list when renting for a powder day in the Rockies.
 
#7
Hi, I'm new here and in a dilemna about what skis to get for this season in New Zealand. I mainly ski at Mt Ruapehu, which doesn't have a lot of fresh powder, so ski on groomed trails & off piste & often a bit of crud & sometimes ice (although I prefer to head back to the club then!). I'm 5'5/6" and 64kgs/140lbs.

I've been recommended the 2018 Blizzard Black Pearl 88s by my local shop.

I had K2 Burnin' Luvs (2006 model!!) for about 8 years and loved them - I found they were nice & stiff with a lot of rebound energy & were great for carving.

When I finally found the money to replace these, I was recommended Dynastar Cham 87s a couple of years ago and bought them, however I don't like them much as I find they are too soft and lacking the energy/responsiveness/rebound like that the K2 Burnin Luv's had. They don't seem to edge so well in the ice either (they are great in the powder & crud though).

I have been told (by a male on another forum) that if I find the Chams too soft, then I will probably find the Black Pearl's too soft as well and that I might prefer the Blizzard Brahmas (88mm) or the Bonafide (98mm) or the 17/18 Volkl equivalents Kendo (90mm) or the Mantra (100mm), however these look like men's skis so not sure if they would suit?

Can anyone tell me how the Black Pearl 88s compare to the Cham 87s & the K2 Burnin Luvs? And if these don't sound suitable, what would you recommend?
How about a wider K2, like the LuvSick (80mm) or the OoLaLuv (85 mm)? Both will be stiff enough with rebound. If you go wider than that in a K2, then they will probably be too soft and you'll be in the same position as you are now with your Chams.

Kenjas, like Pequenita said, are a good choice. Or perhaps the Brahma. I realize if you plan on purchasing from your local shop, then you will be recommended from the brands they carry.
 

CarverJill

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#8
Also checkout the Head Joy women's line. They have a wide variety and some are nice and stiff. I have the Great Joys and love them. Other than the width and stiffness I like the small turning radius the best. I use them every day in all conditions (I'm in the western US). I also suggest doing some demo-ing. Spending over $500 on something you don't love is never good.
 

seatosnow

Diva in Training
#9
Welcome! Did you hear about the changes made to the BP 88? Were you looking at the 2017 or 2018 BP?

In any case, from your reaction to the Cham 87, the BP 88 is still probably not the best choice for the type of snow conditions you ski most often. In addition to the suggestions already made, can you find the Elan RipStick?

There are times when the men's version of a ski model is not really much different than the women's. Have you found these recent Diva discussions?

http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/black-pearls-for-heavier-gals.20359/

http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/elan-ripstik-94w.21426/#post-336541

I'm a petite, older, advanced skier. Have owned the BP 88 since 2012. Demo'd the new version last season and it's a bit different but still would not consider it a stiff ski. For me, the Cham 87 is on my go to list when renting for a powder day in the Rockies.
Hi marzNC, it is the 2018 black pearls that have the carbon flipcore, which apparently gives them more stiffness & energy...?
 
#10
Hi marzNC, it is the 2018 black pearls that have the carbon flipcore, which apparently gives them more stiffness & energy...?
As others have said, given that you don't like the Cham 87, even the new BP 88 is probably not the best fit for you. It has less tip chatter but still not as stiff as the Volkl Kenja.

Do you intend to demo?
 

nopoleskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#11
I Loved the new BP's (i have the old) Yes they have no more tip flap, and are very versatile. Lots of energy, plow thru crud, and go fast. They aren't has heavy and stiff as the Kenja. although I'm not a volkl fan.. too stiff and not enough energy for me. I keep trying them though

I'd add the atomic vantage series to your demo list. they are SUPERB!
 

seatosnow

Diva in Training
#12
As others have said, given that you don't like the Cham 87, even the new BP 88 is probably not the best fit for you. It has less tip chatter but still not as stiff as the Volkl Kenja.

Do you intend to demo?
I would love to demo, but unfortunately we don't seem to get many demos where I ski (and there isn't enough snow yet). The Kenjas sound like a good option.
 

seatosnow

Diva in Training
#13
I Loved the new BP's (i have the old) Yes they have no more tip flap, and are very versatile. Lots of energy, plow thru crud, and go fast. They aren't has heavy and stiff as the Kenja. although I'm not a volkl fan.. too stiff and not enough energy for me. I keep trying them though

I'd add the atomic vantage series to your demo list. they are SUPERB!
Are you referring to the 2018 Black Pearl's? Are they stiffer than the previous model? (It sounds like they have added carbon into the core)
 

seatosnow

Diva in Training
#14
Welcome to the forum!

If you liked the Burnin' Luv, then I agree -- the Black Pearls would be too soft for your taste. I'd recommend trying something in the Blizzard Quattro Series -- an all mountain ski with plenty of oomph. Other suggestions: the Nordica Belle 84 or the Volkl Kenja (the female version of the Kendo).
I spoke to the shop and after more discussion about the fact that the field I ski on doesn't have much powder & is often icy then slushy, he has also recommended the 2018 Blizzard Alights (female version of the Quattro?), or the Kenja, so based on your recommendation, it sounds like these could be good options.
 

nopoleskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#16
The 2018 BP are stiffer but still light and playful I demo'd them on a spring condition day with ice in between piles of soft snow. Yes, they were better than my current "old" BP's. I hate my current BP's on hardpack because of tip chatter the new Version eliminated the tip chatter. If you are a Volkl lover then the Kenja's are a great ski, just not playful enough for me and too heavy and stiff for my skiing style. I didn't demo the Alights.. I hope you can demo, I'm always amazed at how different skis ski.. and what one diva loves another can hate.. :-)
 
#17
If you are a Volkl lover then the Kenja's are a great ski, just not playful enough for me and too heavy and stiff for my skiing style. )
Used to love the Kenjas, then weirdly, got frustrated with them last year. #1) They were too short! I need longer! #2) I want more playful. They were tiring me out and I was struggling to find the balance point.

So I replaced them with Black Crows Captis in a 178. :-)

Sorry for thread hijack.
 
#18
So I replaced them with Black Crows Captis in a 178. :-)
New Black Crows Camox Birdie arrived last week...more thread hijack.
Think @seatosnow might like Head Joy series.... I had a hard time deciding between the Black Crows and Head Great Joys.... different skis (similar waist) but loved them both.... also had the Kenjas in 2011.... they kind of tossed me around... Like my Sambas way better.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#19
New Black Crows Camox Birdie arrived last week...more thread hijack.
Think @seatosnow might like Head Joy series.... I had a hard time deciding between the Black Crows and Head Great Joys.... different skis (similar waist) but loved them both.... also had the Kenjas in 2011.... they kind of tossed me around... Like my Sambas way better.
Since you are more my size than the OP, your experience on the Kenjas may not be that relevant. Having become a better skier in recent years, I can handle a Volkl but always find the more work than the brands I prefer.
 
#20
Since you are more my size than the OP, your experience on the Kenjas may not be that relevant. Having become a better skier in recent years, I can handle a Volkl but always find the more work than the brands I prefer.
True... Many divas thought the Sambas were a lot of work and for some reason I didn't experience that. They're damp like the Kenjas but way more lively. Based on the information about the new BP's, I'm pretty sure I would like them.
 

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