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Looking for new skis

csuttie

Diva in Training
Hello everyone! I'm looking to get back into skiing after a 12 year hiatus. I was an intermediate to sometimes advanced skier when I stopped. I ski mostly Western New York as I live in Ohio, but would like something that can hold its own in Colorado or Utah. I need a ski that's good on hard-packed and crud, which is mostly what we have here. Not much in the way of powder. A good carving, all mountain ski. I'd like to do moguls eventually. I like a heavier ski, I think. Some ski suggestions have been Salomon QST Lux 92. Also can someone tell me what the 88 and 92 mean? Is this the width of the ski? Rossignol Black Ops women's dreamer and Black Pearl have been suggested. Also, Volkl Kenja 88, Dynastar M-Pro 84. Blizzard Sheena 9. Nordica Astral 84. Any K2 skiis? Mindbenders? Would love to hear any and all opinions from those with experience or knowledge of these skis. Also, what's a good length for someone 5'3". Does it still hold that the shorter the ski, the slower you will go? Any thoughts are appreciated. I'm really excited to be a part of the forum and to get back into skiing. And if you just love a ski not on my list, feel free to tell me all about it! Nothing over $600. Also, it doesn't have to be the latest and greatest.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
Welcome back

First off - BOOTS! Boots are your connection to your skis. So how is your boot situation?

Now skis....buy skis for what you ski the most. So are you mostly skiing here in the east or out west? A lot of the wider skis do not hold the ice/hardpack we get in the east. Also a soft ski will not hold the ice either.

As for models - some of the manufacturer's identify their skis with the waist measurement number. Hence the 88 or 92 or 74.

Length will depend on the amount of rocker that a ski has. Shorter skis can be unstable, or like lower speeds.
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
I suspect that if you haven't skied in 12 yrs, your boots may also need an upgrade. As has been noted on this forum many times, if you have a limited budget, you would be much better off going to a good Bootfitter (not a boot salesperson), and getting properly fitted boots with a contoured insole. Then you can demo different skis until you find something you like, and perhaps get a good deal on a used demo ski.

But the boots are the most important -- they are unique to you, while skis are always the same (each model, I mean). Search this forum for boots, etc, and you'll find tons of info.

And :welcome:, you've come to the right place! Glad you're here.
 

newboots

Angel Diva
So glad you came to us! We are just as bossy as can be about ski boots, but most people end up happy with the advice, which is always the same: Marry your boots, but date your skis. Skis are SO much more fun to buy - pretty colors and designs, visions of speed and grace. Boots are, well, not sexy. But boots are the key to a successful setup. You can almost ski any old ski if you have boots that fit right and are right for you. Of course, ski choice will also matter, but boot choice (and fitting) is so much more important. Spend your money on the boots, and pick up some skis used, or rent for the season, or . . . oh well. Make the boots your priority. You won't regret it.

There is a thread with recommended bootfitters:


P. S. If you already have great, well-fitted boots, wonderful! Let us know and we will all happily talk skis all day long.

:welcome:
 

csuttie

Diva in Training
So glad you came to us! We are just as bossy as can be about ski boots, but most people end up happy with the advice, which is always the same: Marry your boots, but date your skis. Skis are SO much more fun to buy - pretty colors and designs, visions of speed and grace. Boots are, well, not sexy. But boots are the key to a successful setup. You can almost ski any old ski if you have boots that fit right and are right for you. Of course, ski choice will also matter, but boot choice (and fitting) is so much more important. Spend your money on the boots, and pick up some skis used, or rent for the season, or . . . oh well. Make the boots your priority. You won't regret it.

There is a thread with recommended bootfitters:


P. S. If you already have great, well-fitted boots, wonderful! Let us know and we will all happily talk skis all day long.

:welcome:
I already have good boots with orthotics that are like new. Thanks!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Hello everyone! I'm looking to get back into skiing after a 12 year hiatus. I was an intermediate to sometimes advanced skier when I stopped. I ski mostly Western New York as I live in Ohio, but would like something that can hold its own in Colorado or Utah.
Welcome! Where have you skied in Ohio? One of my primary Over 60 ski buddies lives in Cleveland. He spent the last couple seasons demo'ing on trips out west in order to find a new pair of all-mountain skis. Having recently semi-retired (long planned), he started skiing a lot more last season. He's an old family friend of my husband. His wife and my husband are non-skiers. He'll be part of a group of Divas and friends heading to Taos in early February for a Taos Ski Week.

Would love to hear any and all opinions from those with experience or knowledge of these skis. Also, what's a good length for someone 5'3". Does it still hold that the shorter the ski, the slower you will go?
What length skis do you remember? The length that meant skis were over your head? For context I have a pair 170cm straight skis in a closest that were bought in the early 1980s, but my current all-mountain skis are 159cm and considered a bit long. I've become a solid advanced skier in recent years with the help of lots of mileage and regular lessons at my home hill (Massanutten in northern VA) or destination resorts out west (Alta, JH, Taos). I'm petite, 5'0", 110 lbs, and just over 65. I was an adventurous intermediate when I started my daughter on skis about 15 years ago.

When it comes to ski length, it's not that shorter skis go slower, it's that if you ski fast on shorter skis then they may feel unstable. The skis I use at my home hill are 10cm shorter than the all-mountain skis I take out west. They are also 10mm narrower.

I need a ski that's good on hard-packed and crud, which is mostly what we have here. Not much in the way of powder. A good carving, all mountain ski. I'd like to do moguls eventually. I like a heavier ski, I think. Some ski suggestions have been Salomon QST Lux 92. Also can someone tell me what the 88 and 92 mean? Is this the width of the ski? Rossignol Black Ops women's dreamer and Black Pearl have been suggested. Also, Volkl Kenja 88, Dynastar M-Pro 84. Blizzard Sheena 9. Nordica Astral 84. Any K2 skiis? Mindbenders?
You guessed correctly that 88 and 92 are the width of the skis. That's measured in mm. Note that some brands have a "line" of skis with the same name but different width. For instance, there was the BP78, BP88, BP98. The difference in design is more than just the width. Materials and shape are also a bit different. Narrower skis are more appropriate for hard snow, groomers, and/or bumps. Wider skis are more fun in powder over 6 inches.

My all-mountain skis that I used in the southeast and out west 10 years ago were 75mm underfoot. As my technique improved, I moved to the original Blizzard Black Pearl (2011), 88mm @159cm. My current skis are also mid-80s underfoot. While I don't ski them in the east, I could.

I haven't demo'd mid-80 skis for a few years. The brands I happen to like include Rossignol, Nordica, Blizzard, and K2. For me, Volkl skis are usually too much work. I demo'd the QST Lux 92 out west last season, but only did a short run on a groomer. It wasn't that fun for me.

Have you skied any skis that were made after 2015?
 

shadoj

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Hopefully we can be forgiven for our zealotry. :wink:
I hope so, too! Now we get to move on to the fun stuff, helping other people spend money on skis :D I'm thinking a quiver of 7 should be about right, once we've all had a chance to chime in!

Your list of skis is a great start for all-around east coast conditions. Will you get a chance to demo at any of your hills this year? That's probably your best bet; if you fall in love with one, you may be able to buy it on the spot for a reasonable price. I ski the midwest, and just picked up some 2022 Black Pearl 82s -- definitely worth trying that or the 88, but preference is so individual. Honestly, there a couple other models I would probably have a blast on (Sheevas, Kenjas, Santa Anas), so will have to demo those someday when I have a chance. Everything's so much better than 15 years ago!

And... welcome! Glad you're back on the slopes :smile:
 

Ktbikes0

Diva in Training
Check out Head Super Joy! My local ski shop recommended it as the best women's ski for our Nova Scotia often-icy conditions and my intermediate/advanced level (like you). I just got these. I have skiied only one powder day so far this season, so I haven't truly tested the edges, but they are supposed to be great in ice/crud. It took me 10 min to pick out the skis, and1.5 hours to try out boots with an experienced boot fitter, so definitely invest your time in your boots. Best of luck!
 

SkiBam

Angel Diva
Check out Head Super Joy! My local ski shop recommended it as the best women's ski for our Nova Scotia often-icy conditions and my intermediate/advanced level (like you). I just got these. I have skiied only one powder day so far this season, so I haven't truly tested the edges, but they are supposed to be great in ice/crud. It took me 10 min to pick out the skis, and1.5 hours to try out boots with an experienced boot fitter, so definitely invest your time in your boots. Best of luck!
I'll second that the Super Joy are great on ice/very hard pack. I recently bought a pair (to replace those I had given to a granddaughter - but a bit longer which I like). I love my Volkl Yumis, but decided I wanted a ski for those Tremblant days when there's little or no loose snow! First day I used the new SJs was very hard packed - icy in places - but the SJs (admittedly brand new) handled it extremely well. I'm a small (under 5 ft, 105 lb) advanced skier. I'd say they're more for the intermediate/advanced rather than for beginner/intermediate woman.
 

MaineSkiLady

Angel Diva
Head Super Joy. Have 'em, love 'em. Good choice/recommendation.
 

ajs16

Diva in Training
welcome!! I am also pretty new to the forum but I have quickly learned there are LOTS of knowledgeable people here that have great recommendations, so buckle up!!!

Let me start by saying I don’t think I am super qualified to recommend skis since I only just bought my second pair last month. But, I’m also an intermediate sometimes advanced skiier (I can get down anything, but if I’m on my own I prefer more leisurely skiing down blues and blacks ). But I also just went through this ski purchasing process (feel free to view my post from a couple weeks ago) and feel I can provide some good intel.

My biggest takeaway: No matter what people recommend, the most important thing to do is demo. Different people prefer different ski styles and the best way to find the best fit for yourself is to try different styles. There are so many different types of skis with many different lengths/widths/weights/rocker/camber/radii etc. that will impact how stable vs playful vs stiff vs poppy vs floaty vs carvy the ski will be. Only you will be able to tell what you like best. Plus, ski availability plays a huge factor. All the demo shops I went to only offered a handful of the skis recommended to me. If you’re ordering online that’s a different story, but based on my experience it’s much more helpful to do it all in person and demo first.

I ended up purchasing Line Pandora 84s. I demoed them in Killington on a day where I saw lots of variability in conditions: there was slush, crud, ice, powder (very sparing lol) and they handled it all with ease. They’re a very light ski, which I didn’t think I’d like because I assumed they’d be unable, but they were great. They floated over everything but were still able to carve and provide a good edge. I originally purchased them to use solely on the east coast, but I like them so much I plan on taking them out west on a trip to Breckenridge (with the intention to rent if we get hit with lots of fresh powder). It also helped that they were pretty reasonable price-wise. All in with bindings I spent about $600 and I’m very happy .
 

scandium

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Vote for the Kenja 88 here. I have the older version (90 under foot) and ski the 156. When it gets steep and bumpy they do ski me a bit, but I'm working on progressing my skills to avoid that. I also support the idea of a quiver.
 
I skied the Kenjas for about 5 years and switched to the BP88s last year, love 'em! I picked up the BP 97s this year and will try them out today! I think they are closer to the Kenjas and they do power through crud (per reviews).
 

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