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New all mountain ski (BP, Sheeva, Secret, QST lux...)

Am716

Certified Ski Diva
#1
Hello. Back for more advice. I am looking for a new pair of skis but as much as I think I know which ones I want, whenever I go to buy them I stop and start second guessing myself.

Background info: 5’3.5in, about 110-130lbs (on any given day lol), I believe myself to be a true intermediate skier (my psia 3 instructor claims I am a level 7/8). I ski mainly hard packed in Michigan on some 154 Yumis which I like but they are letting me down a little bit after I got some really good training in this year and 600+ hours in (normally I only get in about 10-12 days or ~100ish hours).

I am looking for a ski that I can take out west but can also use in the right conditions in Michigan (I am looking at a completely different set of skis for my go to pair of skis for Michigan hard packed). Right now the debate is between some blizzard BPs (88 or 98), Blizzard Sheevas (9/92 or 10/102; honestly leaning towards the 10s), Salomon QST Lux, Völkl Secrets, Elan Ripstick (94 or 104)...

From the reviews the Sheevas and of course the BPs get outstanding reviews. My hesitation is, I demoed the BPs about 3 years ago and HATED them. But I hear they have gotten better, and that they usually need some tuning. Leaning a little bit more towards the Sheevas only because I hear they float and handle pow a little better than the BPs and are more playful. But I have also read that the BPs are pretty awesome on groomers and in pow.

The secrets also get awesome reviews. But some sites say they don’t float very well in powder (I am assuming because of the 92 waist) but they rip on hard packed which is what I Ski, but i really want a ski that can handle some fresh stuff and bumps and trees.

Ripsticks are supposed to be fun, but won’t lie, from the reviews I read they don’t quite get the same hype as the blizzards or Volkls. Same with the Salomons.

Demoing is almost out of the question due to our small demo fleets here in Michigan, as well as the season is mostly over at all resorts (except Boyne Mountain and some places in the UP).

Any thoughts? Any other suggestions? The more I research each ski, the more confused I become. 2 days ago I was ready to buy the sheeva 10s but couldnt find a site that sold them in the 164 length. Now I honestly have no idea what I want!!
 

Belgiangirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
Hi @Am716 ! I'll be following this thread, as we have similar stats (I"'m 5'4 and 120lbs) and I like to see what others are enjoying.

BP vs Sheevas: haven't tried either ski, but from what I've read these are quite different on the snow, also the BP's are directional and the Sheevas have (partial?) twin tips iirc. I'm not interested in the BP line but have been eyeing a Sheeva demo opportunity for a while now.

The usual suspect that's missing from this list, is the Nordica Santa Ana 93 or 100. If you've tried it, nvm, if not you might want to take a look. Maybe you could look at several Salomon QST's, I think the 99 and 106 would be interesting and they get good reviews.
 

Belgiangirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#3
If you like your Yumi's, I think the Secret would be up your alley! With (y)our stats, I wouldn't worry too much about float, think anything over 90mm with rocker will provide plenty. What's your ski style like or what other skis have you enjoyed?

FWIW, I demoed the SA 93's @ 169cm a few weeks ago. Was looking for an 85-95mm allround ski as my current quiver is 100mm and up, something to use when conditions are variable/chopped up/for groomers. Seemed like a good match on paper and they get a lot of love online, here and in reviews. I definitely had a good time on them, but they are not the ski for me. Found them a bit sluggish edge-to-edge and not as stable as I'd like through the crud (although the bar on that front is set pretty high by my Volkl Auras). I had the option of taking out the 161cm but didn't, partially because I was too lazy to ski all the way down to the shop but also because they already felt less stable than expected and I don't think the ski was too long per se (could make a variety of turns just fine and skied them from 9am till 5pm without significant fatigue).

Another ski to consider would be the Pandora 104. I have the 110mm 2018 predecessor and they continue to amaze me!!! The waist width suggests otherwise, but these are still all-mountain skis in how they handle different situations and conditions. So so so much fun in soft snow, powder, slush, but also on the slopes. Carving on a bright pink fat ski makes me want to giggle with joy :becky: Very snappy and turny, radius is 16m if I'm not mistaken. They're rocker-camber-rocker and have decent edge hold on hardpack. Surprisingly stable at higher speeds when you drive them for being a 'surfy' ski. Ice and crud are the only conditions I try to steer clear of while skiing them.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
The Secrets are great in powder, IMO. I skied them for two full days of fresh at Grand Targhee earlier this winter and had several runs in untracked, about a foot deep. They were awesome in it. As easy as my Santa Ana 100s? No, of course not, but that's not what they're intended for. Definitely better than the BP88 in it, which I skied for 3 seasons until I finally wanted something stiffer.
Sheeva 9s are very playful and have a much different feel to them than the BP or the Secret. I have discovered that I do prefer a damper ski that.

The 2020 Kenjas are really fun, if you are a Volkl fan. But the ski I ended up getting because of it's playfulness yet dampness was the 2020 Nordica Santa Ana 88. They rip when I want them to, but I can slow down and make super short radius turns on them with ease. Got them in a foot of powder a few weeks ago, and they were great in it.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#5
Background info: 5’3.5in, about 110-130lbs (on any given day lol), I believe myself to be a true intermediate skier (my psia 3 instructor claims I am a level 7/8). I ski mainly hard packed in Michigan on some 154 Yumis which I like but they are letting me down a little bit after I got some really good training in this year and 600+ hours in (normally I only get in about 10-12 days or ~100ish hours).

I am looking for a ski that I can take out west but can also use in the right conditions in Michigan (I am looking at a completely different set of skis for my go to pair of skis for Michigan hard packed). Right now the debate is between some blizzard BPs (88 or 98), Blizzard Sheevas (9/92 or 10/102; honestly leaning towards the 10s), Salomon QST Lux, Völkl Secrets, Elan Ripstick (94 or 104)...
Where have you skied out west lately? Do you ski blues or blacks at big mountains with soft snow? Reason I ask is that it's quite possible to become an advanced skier based on good instruction and practice at a small hill. My home hill is in northern VA and I have friends who take multi-day lessons in PA.

I'm a bit more petite, probably older, solid advance but only after lessons in the last decade. Of the skis you mentioned, I like the BP88, BP98, QST Lux, and Elan Ripstick. Have rented the BP88, BP98, and QST Lux for at least a day, and demo'd the Ripstick at an Alta Demo Day in early April. I demo'd the old Yumi at Massanutten and liked it, but generally find other Volkl skis too stiff.

My all-mountain skis are 85 underfoot. Have skied them in knee deep fluffy powder. Don't worry as much about renting powder skis but used to get demo skis that were around 100 underfoot for more than 8 inches of fresh snow. I would stick with skis under 90 for Michigan and trips out west.

FYI, I have another pair of skis (Head Absolut Joy) that I use in the Mid-Atlantic and northeast that are 78 underfoot. My first pair of all-mountain skis (Rossi) were 75 underfoot with a wide shovel, so were good in VA/NC and out west.
 

valli

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
Do you have the older or the newer Yumis? The newer ones are a little stiffer, and you could also try the 161 length. It’s a really nice ski but I would add a fatter ski for powder. I really like Atomic, I have the atomic century’s, but I’ve heard great things about the atomic vantage in the 100 width range. Great edge grip, float, a little better as an allmountain ski than the line Pandora’s I tried. I prefer my black pearls on the average day because they are more nimble in the bumps and trees, but the atomics are great with a little more snow and in cruddy spring conditions as well. I’m 5’2, 112-118, advanced level but not super aggressive.
 

Am716

Certified Ski Diva
#7
@Belgiangirl I have read pretty good reviews about the SA. And they do get mentioned a lot with the skis I listed above. So I will look into them more! My instructor wasn’t crazy about them for some reason, but I honestly don’t remember why.

I, too, am not super interested in the BPs, but then I read the reviews and think maybe I need to give them another try.

I have only had a pair of beginner heads and my current Völkl yumis, so it’s hard to tell you what else I have enjoyed. Lol when I demoed 3 years ago I LOVED my yumis. Couple runs and I was sold. Everything else I tried just didn’t match the yumis (absolut joy, Rossi temptations, BPs). But back then I thought I was an “okay” skier, but according to my instructors this year I was horrible, did everything wrong so now with improved technique and a little bit different skiing I am not sure if I would like those skis. Back then I was looking for something around the 80ish mm waist. What do you love about the auras? Because the secret is kind of the replacement to that ski....albeit a little different. And I will check out the pandora line. I know the name but it’s not one of the HUGE names so I never really looked into them more. Thanks!!

@contesstant I am honestly not sure what people mean by “damper” ski. I guess I really should try to demo some skis from the sound of it. Haha I want a ski that can get through some crud, and I feel my yumis cannot. And it may be a technical thing still for me, but given how light the yumis are (mine are the older pair and are all wood). It definitely sounds like I need to maybe look at the SA a little bit more. I don’t want something super stiff which is where I think the BPs MIGHT suit me. My yumis are so soft that I am afraid I am not aggressive enough or big enough to handle something very stiff. But maybe, again I know I need to get out a demo, just doesn’t look possible right now. What turned your away from the secrets??

@marzNC I skied at Snowbird and Alta for the first time a couple weeks ago. I was with pretty advanced skiers and borders so my time spent at Snowbird was all blacks and double blacks. My favorite runs at the Bird included Gadzooks, STH, parts of the Cirque, some lines down by the Peruvian chair, and charmonix bowl (not chutes) was fun but definitely challenging. Pow skiing is hard for this Michigander. Ha! At Alta we were a little tamer because the adv boarder had skis but the supreme bowl was probably my favorite.

Yeah I hear Volkls are usually pretty stiff. So that makes me a little worried about the secrets. But I also think I may need something a little stiffer than my yumis now. And I have gotten excellent instructing this year but my problem is Michigan doesn’t (or we used to, doesn’t seem like we do any more!!!) get a foot of pow. We got a couple days where we had 6in and my yumis LOVED that. Had a blast. But the 15+ that we had at the Bird threw me off! If I stick to something a little narrower do you think I am better off with LONGER skis then?
 

Am716

Certified Ski Diva
#8
@valli Thank you! I have the older yumis that don’t have the band of metal. Was sort of disappointed when I saw the next year yumis come out with the metal! And maybe a little longer would help.

My yumis are great and they have served their purpose, for sure, but after 2.5 years with them, I am looking for something more and they don’t handle crud well. Which as I told someone else, it may be my technique still but I think something a little stiffer might cut through it better without the chatter and instability. I will look a little more into the atomic line. I am about the same as you, I am either high end of intermediate or low advanced, and not very aggressive.
 

Belgiangirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
@Am716 I feel you. I bought both the Auras and the Pandoras without demoing, after skiing on a couple different skis last winter. Didn't really know what to look for so it was a bit of a gamble. The Auras excel in all kinds of nasty conditions, especially frozen, chopped up stuff. They're in a league of their own really, very minimal tip deflection, they cut right through and offer a very stable ride. Float in powder is pretty average, I thought the SA 93's felt similar. Still more than enough for most conditions.

I do dislike them on ice. Ironically, the best edge hold I've experienced was on beginner Head Pure Joys, but most if not all 90-100mm skis I've tried held a better edge on ice than those Auras. They are full rocker so not entirely unexpected, I think the Secret would perform much better in this aspect as it has camber and float would probably be similar to the Auras, despite being slimmer.

Since true demo opportunities are few and far between here, I try to swap skis with friends sometimes and keep an eye open for interesting rentals. Most people seem to have a preference either for softer, surfier skis or a stiffer one, but I'm still undecided, so I like to try new skis in general to learn more about what I like and dislike in skis.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#10
We got a couple days where we had 6in and my yumis LOVED that. Had a blast. But the 15+ that we had at the Bird threw me off! If I stick to something a little narrower do you think I am better off with LONGER skis then?
With more than 10+ inches of powder, I generally rent powder skis. My all-mountain skis are 85 underfoot and I'm fine with them in 8-10 inches. For the few times I've had a lesson at Alta when there was powder, my instructor prefers that I don't get skis wider than 100mm.

There is a relationship between width and length. Of course, ski design also makes a difference. For instance, my Absolut Joys, 78mm, are 148cm. My all mountain skis, 85mm, are 159cm. For powder skis, I usually get between 162-166 because there is more tip and tail rocker.
 

BlizzardBabe

Certified Ski Diva
#11
The length issue has always been a quandary to me. I'm older and while I'm assertive and enjoy varied terrain (black bumps are still a work in progress), I'm not aggressive, i.e., I have no need for speed anymore and I don't like skiing above my pay grade, e.g. steeps w/tight trees (hell, not steep w/tight trees). The last few years I've been skiing quite short. I'm 5'7, 145 and I ski the BP88 in a 159. I've never had an instructor tell me I was skiing too short and I've had oodles of lessons.

This year everything I demo'd was in the 161-164 range. I was perfectly comfortable with that. The bigger adjustment was skiing something 102 underfoot.

My question is this, if I want to work on my bump skiing next year is it better to stick to a shorter length? I always thought I knew the answer to that (YES), but now I'm not so sure. It seems that softness and forgiveness, particularly in the tail, might be more critical than length.

All input is welcome.
 
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#12
My question is this, if I want to work on my bump skiing next year is it better to stick to a shorter length? I always thought I knew the answer to that (YES), but now I'm not so sure. It seems that softness and forgiveness, particularly in the tail, might be more critical than length.
Based on my experience using the BP88 @145 and the BP98 @152 at Taos, I think the answer is that for bumps shorter is better. Certainly one Taos instructor thought. She was not happy that I had the K2Alluvit @156 for one of the morning lessons. Of course, the actual lengths are relatively to my height/weight (5'0", 112 lbs). My all-mountain skis are 159cm and my carvers for mid-Atlantic skiing are 148cm. My personal preference is for skis that aren't too stiff, e.g., Volkl in general.
 

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