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Looking for suggestions for a ski for eastcoast/midwest icy/hardpack conditions

KKL2018

Certified Ski Diva
#1
Looking for another set of skis to add to my collection, specifically something for those hardpack/icy days. I really like my Volkls, looking for recommendation for something in their line. Last season I moved into the 2018 Volkl Yumi's (154cm, 84 underfoot) I LOVE LOVE LOVE them.Now, I am looking for a bit narrower waisted ski--99.9% of my skiing is midwest/east coast.

My first pair was 71 under foot (Volkl Essenza Adora), it's a great starter ski that I have pushed wayyyyy past it's intended limits--need another ski of similar waist but more 'advanced'. I generally like to ski relatively aggressively, varying between short quick turns and big loopy turns, I am not slow but not blindingly fast, and I do have neurological deficit to my left side from spinal damage...so something that can be a bit forgiving at the same time is a bonus.
:smile:
 

BlueSkies

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#3
I'm a Volkl fan too. The Volkl Flair series could be what you're looking for. There are several in the series geared to differing abilities. I've demoed the Flair 79 (advanced-expert) any liked it.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
If you mean ICY days, when no one else will go out and play with you, get something with a narrow waist 67-74 that has system bindings included and indicates the ski is for advanced/expert skiers. These skis will grip on real ice as long as you keep them sharp and know how to tip'em and let'em rip.

Here are two links by Jackson Hogal that review skis in the "technical" and "frontside" category. He includes women's skis. Jackson categorizes technical skis as having a waist at 67-74 and frontside skis with waists at 75-84.

https://realskiers.com/product-category/2-technical/
https://realskiers.com/product-category/3-frontside/
 

KKL2018

Certified Ski Diva
#5
Thank you all! I am still fairly new to the skiing world, I am trying to learn as much as I can and grow as much as I can because I am absolutely obsessed with it (went for the first time 7 years ago at 35 years old--and was hooked!!). I get out about 60+/- times a season (weather permitting) averaging about 500 miles--hoping to get out more this year.

I have heard that people either love or hate Volkls, I seem to find that to be the case-I really like them. I have heard it is a stiffer ski, it could be that I am not a small skier (5'5" @185) but I used to speed skate for years and it seems to impact the way I ski-I like to push the turns. I am sure I make it much more work than the skis intend, but I enjoy every bit of it.

I had a 71 waisted ski for my first 6 years and went into the Yumi that is an 84, I did find that it was harder on my back to roll them over edge to edge on hardpack. Aside from going up 13mm underfoot, I have a bit of limited mobility in my low back from having two of my discs removed.

I have been looking at the Flair line (though I know there are some predecessors that aren't available anymore and I am not opposed to picking up a good used pair). I guess my question is, some seem to be a beginner ski, some advanced, some intermediate-not just the width underfoot, but the construction seems to vary. Of the Flair line, which should I consider? The 71 I used to have was quite chattery at much speed, it was a beginner ski (cap construction) so looking to move past that. I also found that my 84s are substantially less prone to get caught in a rut than the 71s were.
I don't want to go over 80 for the reason above (harder for my back on hard pack). Looking for something that will handle crusty hardpack conditions well-but will be able to pass through crud once the hill is tracked up. Something a bit forgiving--not something that will stick too aggressively that I can't make a quick correction/change in direction if need be.
 

KKL2018

Certified Ski Diva
#6
The ones that seem to be rated reasonably to handle hard snow are:
Flair 75
Flair 79
Flair SC Carbon

as well as
Deacon 74
Deacon 75
Deacon 76
and Deacon 79

I am not opposed to a mens/unisex ski, actually as long as it has no pink I'd prefer it. The only issue I see is that some of the Deacons are longer than I would want or need...

Anyone have experience with any of the above listed ones??
 
#7
@KKL2018 - I've only demoed the Flair 81, despite it being not that much narrower than the Yumi, it's a VERY different ski. I currently ski the RTM 84 (predecessor to the Deacon 84), as my hardpack, icy conditions ski. It definitely holds it's own on the hardpack, but doesn't hold you back if you want to take it off-roading. I'm not familiar enough with the full line of Flair and Deacon skis, but if you check all of the specs, here's a few things to look for when it comes to Volkl skis:

- Make sure the ski has a wood core (rather than composite)
- Anything with Titanial or "Powered by Carbon/steel" will be a stiffer more aggressive ski (carbon being lighter)
- Skis with Volkl's "3D Glass" are supposed to be stiffer torsionally, making the ski a better carver.

Couple killer deals from 2018 skis from ski essentials (the Flair line has not changed much, if at all, since then). The SC is an incredible deal if you ski a 165. Volkl Flair 81 or Volkl Flair SC
 
#8
If you are a Volkl girl and love them get them.
I demo'd the flair 74's I think were 74's they are definitely front chargers.
I'll go find my demo notes :-)

You may want to try Atomic Cloud Series the 12 is the race series but they get tamer as the # goes down.
Also the Blizzard Alights are really nice east coast carvers.

And the Liberty 76W is a WONDERFUL SKI!

I hope you can demo! so many good skis!
 

KKL2018

Certified Ski Diva
#9
@elemmac my husband had a chance to Demo the RTM 84 a year ago and loved them. It was a hardpack kind of day and he said they really held. I just picked him up a pair last weekend and he forgot how much heavier they were than his Kanjo's. But, last weekend was a very crusty hardpack day and he cut through it like nothing, while I had to dial it back as I skidded and chattered across on my yumis. So, I did find pair of 160 Flair SC Carbon lightly used for a really great price--should be here by early next week. Between this set and the yumi's that pretty much covers the spectrum of what we see where I ski.
 
#10
I have the same question as you and I have the exact same Yumis bought last year. I forced myself to ski any conditions from ice to slush and they served me well, but I'm really a groomer girl (for now anyway), so I think I should add a carving ski. I recently went to a ski swap at a local store and brought a two year old, almost never used, pair of Rossignol comfort boots. They sold for the asking price of $150 so now I have a gift certificate in that amount for this shop. :thumbsup:

They have the Flairs in stock and can get the Clouds and V76w but they don't have those in stock. They love the Libertys but said they don't get much demand for them from customers. They also carry many other brands. I'm not really in a rush, so hopefully I can take my time and find a ski I really like!

It felt great to go in knowledgeable enough to ask for specific brands and models and it's all thanks to the great information from the ladies on this board.

Let us know what you demo and decide on.
 

KKL2018

Certified Ski Diva
#11
I have the same question as you and I have the exact same Yumis bought last year. I forced myself to ski any conditions from ice to slush and they served me well, but I'm really a groomer girl (for now anyway), so I think I should add a carving ski. I recently went to a ski swap at a local store and brought a two year old, almost never used, pair of Rossignol comfort boots. They sold for the asking price of $150 so now I have a gift certificate in that amount for this shop. :thumbsup:

They have the Flairs in stock and can get the Clouds and V76w but they don't have those in stock. They love the Libertys but said they don't get much demand for them from customers. They also carry many other brands. I'm not really in a rush, so hopefully I can take my time and find a ski I really like!

It felt great to go in knowledgeable enough to ask for specific brands and models and it's all thanks to the great information from the ladies on this board.

Let us know what you demo and decide on.
I went with the Volkl Flair SC Carbon, it's what I was looking toward and found them gently used at a great price. I will let you know after I get a few outings on them what I think. The demos in my area tend to be around Christmas and I won't be up there at that time. There is one resort that has a good variety on hand all season to demo for a reasonable fee and I will eventually do that. If I don't like these and find something else, they can bridge the gap until I find one that fits the specific void I am trying to fill.

I really do LOVE my Yumi's. They are a very fun ski in most conditions. I can dial it back and chill behind a newbie or charge after my husband down the slope, switching easily between short and long turns. But they do struggle on crusty hard pack, so hopefully the new ones fill in that slot ;)
 

snoWYmonkey

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#12
I just ordered a pair of Deacon 84s and many of my colleagues have the deacon 80s and love love love them. I own an old pair of Volkl Kenjas that are way too noodly for me on hardpack. I love my mantras from last year and feel that they can carve in spite of their width. I am 5'5" and a 140#s. I went with the shortest deacon which is a 162. If you want to know how they ski, feel free to reach out around christmas when I will have had a chance to try them on groomers, and bumps and off piste. My coach yesterday says that he absolutely fell in love with them last year at a demo event. He is a former racer who teaches a lot of park and pipe. My other suggestions for icy conditions if you like the more reboundy feel in a short turn would be an amateur racing ski. I thought the pair of dynastars I bought used would be too stiff, but it turns out that they are my go to teaching ski, and not my Rossi 88s until the Deacons arrive.
 

KBee

Angel Diva
#13
I just ordered a pair of Deacon 84s and many of my colleagues have the deacon 80s and love love love them. I own an old pair of Volkl Kenjas that are way too noodly for me on hardpack. I love my mantras from last year and feel that they can carve in spite of their width. I am 5'5" and a 140#s. I went with the shortest deacon which is a 162. If you want to know how they ski, feel free to reach out around christmas when I will have had a chance to try them on groomers, and bumps and off piste. My coach yesterday says that he absolutely fell in love with them last year at a demo event. He is a former racer who teaches a lot of park and pipe. My other suggestions for icy conditions if you like the more reboundy feel in a short turn would be an amateur racing ski. I thought the pair of dynastars I bought used would be too stiff, but it turns out that they are my go to teaching ski, and not my Rossi 88s until the Deacons arrive.
How are the Deacons working for you? They're tempting.
 

snoWYmonkey

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#14
Deacon 84 - week 1 report:

I do think the shorter radius was a good call. Skied them with factory tune day one and they felt very edgy. Had them detuned and they are great now. Skied them in big moguls amd some steeps and they perform well, same with firm snow grip. Were fine but not very impressive in light density powder. I still prefer my race skis on big carvy type turns. They do like a lot of input to really perform. The bases and edges seem indestructible so far as I have been hitting more loose and fixed rocks than normal duento low snow conditions and still being off piste all day 4 out of 7 days. Ultimately, a tiny bit less sidecut might have suited me better, but it is a keeper.
 

kfly

Diva in Training
#15
I went with the Volkl Flair SC Carbon, it's what I was looking toward and found them gently used at a great price. I will let you know after I get a few outings on them what I think. The demos in my area tend to be around Christmas and I won't be up there at that time. There is one resort that has a good variety on hand all season to demo for a reasonable fee and I will eventually do that. If I don't like these and find something else, they can bridge the gap until I find one that fits the specific void I am trying to fill.

I really do LOVE my Yumi's. They are a very fun ski in most conditions. I can dial it back and chill behind a newbie or charge after my husband down the slope, switching easily between short and long turns. But they do struggle on crusty hard pack, so hopefully the new ones fill in that slot ;)
How are the Flair SC Carbons? Were they what you expected?
 

KKL2018

Certified Ski Diva
#16
Just saw this :smile:

We took them up north and had nothing but bulletproof conditions and flat light both days. My go to pair (very light/soft and wider ski) was useless and so I tried my new pair. They are both narrower and stiffer than my pair I've been using for the year or so, they held an edge very well. They are definitely a ski I need to grow into (I would say I am a strong intermediate), but they did the job well. Before I started skiing 7 years ago I had a back injury/surgeries that left my left side weak/numb with some muscle atrophy. So, I know I have a few mechanical flaws in my technique I am trying to rid myself of and work through. These skis definitely highlighted some glitches in my technique that I need to work through, which was expected.


My husband picked up the Deacon 76s about the same time and used them that same day with the same results. He has had more outings on them since and loves them.
 

Zao87

Diva in Training
#17
Just saw this :smile:

We took them up north and had nothing but bulletproof conditions and flat light both days. My go to pair (very light/soft and wider ski) was useless and so I tried my new pair. They are both narrower and stiffer than my pair I've been using for the year or so, they held an edge very well. They are definitely a ski I need to grow into (I would say I am a strong intermediate), but they did the job well. Before I started skiing 7 years ago I had a back injury/surgeries that left my left side weak/numb with some muscle atrophy. So, I know I have a few mechanical flaws in my technique I am trying to rid myself of and work through. These skis definitely highlighted some glitches in my technique that I need to work through, which was expected.


My husband picked up the Deacon 76s about the same time and used them that same day with the same results. He has had more outings on them since and loves them.
Hi,
I tried out a rental pair of Volkl Flair SC 73 in 158cm length today and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. It was very smooth and not chattery at all. On top of that it grips hard icy patches on the slopes very well and feel like my weight is naturally forward (maybe due to the skis being heavy?) I just felt very stable and at home on Volkl Flair SC. I have been having problems with my current skis (Elan Element in 160cm length) where it chatters a lot when I go to speed around 30 kph. Although I have only skied in Japan powder so far (Niseko/ Furano/ Zao/ Myoko), this year is where snow is exceptionally scarce in Japan and I've been pretty frustrated with all the hardpack on groomers and getting off-piste is also out of question. So I decided to try these skis out, hoping for a better grip on firm slopes. Now I am a convert; I must now have skis that have that damp, smooth feel that grips on groomers. but since I ski only in Japan, I should get a more versatile skis (maybe 70/30 piste/off-piste). Although this year there is very low snowfall in Japan, sometimes the resorts that I go to can get 10-20 inches in a day all of a sudden and I also wanna have some fun in the Japow.

I am wondering if there is a ski out there which has the same dampening, stable effect but also does well on powder (e.g. at least up to 1 foot of powder). I am looking at wider skis with metal in them like Volkl Yumis / Secret / Nordica Enforcer/ Nordica Santa Ana/ Rossignol Experience 88Ti/ K2 Mindbender 88Ti. Right now I am very partial to Volkl due to my good experience with Volkl Flair today :smile:

For reference, I am 5'4" (163cm - height), 125 lbs in my early 30s, took up skiing about 2 years ago; I would say I am an intermediate skier; can do parallel turns, carve a bit on green runs, can do most groomed runs and some ungroomed blacks *but no moguls. :smile:
 

KKL2018

Certified Ski Diva
#18
Hi,
I tried out a rental pair of Volkl Flair SC 73 in 158cm length today and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. It was very smooth and not chattery at all. On top of that it grips hard icy patches on the slopes very well and feel like my weight is naturally forward (maybe due to the skis being heavy?) I just felt very stable and at home on Volkl Flair SC. I have been having problems with my current skis (Elan Element in 160cm length) where it chatters a lot when I go to speed around 30 kph. Although I have only skied in Japan powder so far (Niseko/ Furano/ Zao/ Myoko), this year is where snow is exceptionally scarce in Japan and I've been pretty frustrated with all the hardpack on groomers and getting off-piste is also out of question. So I decided to try these skis out, hoping for a better grip on firm slopes. Now I am a convert; I must now have skis that have that damp, smooth feel that grips on groomers. but since I ski only in Japan, I should get a more versatile skis (maybe 70/30 piste/off-piste). Although this year there is very low snowfall in Japan, sometimes the resorts that I go to can get 10-20 inches in a day all of a sudden and I also wanna have some fun in the Japow.

I am wondering if there is a ski out there which has the same dampening, stable effect but also does well on powder (e.g. at least up to 1 foot of powder). I am looking at wider skis with metal in them like Volkl Yumis / Secret / Nordica Enforcer/ Nordica Santa Ana/ Rossignol Experience 88Ti/ K2 Mindbender 88Ti. Right now I am very partial to Volkl due to my good experience with Volkl Flair today :smile:

For reference, I am 5'4" (163cm - height), 125 lbs in my early 30s, took up skiing about 2 years ago; I would say I am an intermediate skier; can do parallel turns, carve a bit on green runs, can do most groomed runs and some ungroomed blacks *but no moguls. :smile:
I have the Yumis and absolutely LOVE them. They are great in fresh snow, groomers. But struggle on very hardpack/crusty/icy conditions because they are flexible. This is where I got the Volkl Flair GS Carbon UVO (71 underfoot-very rigid and narrow), for those days and it takes it on wonderfully. That UVO puck really seems to quiet the ski.

I would have to defer to those with more experience on this, but I would think the Kenjas (90 under foot) or the Secret (92 under foot) might be better than the Yumi for those deeper snow days but be more rigid (the kenja has more titanium). The Yumi is 84 under foot, so great on groomed runs and in some fresh snow, not too deep. But very flexible so I would say more playful than damp.
 

snoWYmonkey

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#19
@Zao87 I have the volkl mantra as well as the deacon 84. The mantra is almost the same as the secret, and it can carve and skis crud like a charm. It will take more work to get it on edge, but ince there it hooks up perfectly and it even holds an edge on ice superbly. I skied my Salomon Stella 106s in Japan. More of a 80/20 powder/groomer though.
 
#20
This morning I skied a couple of hours at St. Sauveur, a popular hill near my house. (I rarely ski there as I prefer the variety of Tremblant.) SS I would call groomer city and the people who ski there regularly are groomer lovers with their groomer (narrow waisted) skis. A couple of men I was riding the lift with commented on my Yumis, saying they're so "wide" (84) and asking if I use them for powder. I've never skied them in deep powder, but I'm sure they'd be fine for me (I'm fairly light) in up to a few inches. This got me thinking about these skis; I thoroughly enjoyed them in the snowy woods and some soft, easy bumps at Tremblant yesterday - and carving the fresh corduroy at SS this morning. A very versatile ski (for me anyway).
 

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