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Opinions on which skis

ashkat0323

Diva in Training
#1
Hi ladies! I am a Utah local and ski at Alta once or twice a week each season. I am about to start their Ladies Day program this Thursday and that has me thinking of new skis! Specifically, I am so interested in the 2021 Santa Ana skis.
My ability level is probably best classified as early advanced skier, a solid level 7. For those who know Alta, I’m comfortable just about everywhere in bounds except the “High T”, which I have not dared try yet. I am a cautious skier, and that definitely holds me back. I think I’m more afraid of the actual traverse, and the rumors I hear about some of the skiers that do high T laps all day, than I am about the actual runs.
I have been skiing the past two seasons on Blizzard Sheeva 10s, in the 156 length. They’re nice skis, but they feel a hair short, aren’t amazing on the groomers (pretty good though for a fat ski), and get chattery or unstable feeling when I push them to go faster. So I am interested in some Santa Anas I think.
I don’t know how to go about demoing because I never have. I’ve always just had my own skis. If I were to buy a new pair, I am wondering which might work best for me. I ski a lot of groomers, but I LOVE going off trail and ducking into trees here and there, and finding powdery stashes. So the 88 is out for me. I need something that can handle both groomers and some powder/off trail. Having multiple skis is just not realistic for me. I am looking at the Santa Ana 98, the 93, maybe even the 104. What do you guys think, based on my ability level and where I ski? I had some Black Pearl 88s for awhile that I loved, until I went for fatter skis. Also, which length for me? I’m 5’2.5” and weigh 146 pounds currently. I’m short but strong and don’t have a small frame. I’m torn between 158s and 165s.
 

rbkvail

Diva in Training
#2
Hi! I can't wait to ski Alta!! I ski Vail mostly as its the closest mountain to us. Last year I was in Utah and the day we were going to Alta, a snow storm came and they close the road :(. Its on my bucket list!

How to go about demoing? Ok, find a shop that sells your skis. Ask them if they have them for demo or rentals. Usually, you pay for the rental but if you buy them, they apply that amount to the new ski purchase as a credit.

I've never skied the Santa Anas but I've heard great things about them. I also ski different conditions and I've learned that I like "fatter skis". I think for a daily driver the 98 would be perfect!! I love my k2 mindbender 106 but don't think I could ski them every day. Regarding length, Im having the same dilema.... Based on my research, the Diva advice here and your stats, I think you will be happier with the 165 but demo it first, for sure. Good luck!
 

ashkat0323

Diva in Training
#3
Hi! I can't wait to ski Alta!! I ski Vail mostly as its the closest mountain to us. Last year I was in Utah and the day we were going to Alta, a snow storm came and they close the road :(. Its on my bucket list!

How to go about demoing? Ok, find a shop that sells your skis. Ask them if they have them for demo or rentals. Usually, you pay for the rental but if you buy them, they apply that amount to the new ski purchase as a credit.

I've never skied the Santa Anas but I've heard great things about them. I also ski different conditions and I've learned that I like "fatter skis". I think for a daily driver the 98 would be perfect!! I love my k2 mindbender 106 but don't think I could ski them every day. Regarding length, Im having the same dilema.... Based on my research, the Diva advice here and your stats, I think you will be happier with the 165 but demo it first, for sure. Good luck!
 

ashkat0323

Diva in Training
#4
Okay I will ask the ski shop up at Alta about a possible demo when I got up there Thursday morning for my class. I am also planning to talk to my ski instructor that I will ski with for the next 5 weeks about this. I really do think I need the 165s, just based on my weight and frame. But knowing those will be quite over my head makes me hesitant.
Last year, the road only closed once or twice. And it was only once that it closed for more than a day. I was supposed to be up there that day for Ladies Day and waited hours at the entrance of the canyon, only to he turned away. People got stuck in the town of Alta for like two days because of avalanche risk. It was crazy! Anyway, I bet we were trying to get up there on the same day :smile:.
I love Vail and have skied it several times. You’re gonna fall in love with Alta though!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#5
Welcome! Although I live in the east, Alta is my favorite out west. I've gotten to know it pretty well in the past decade with the help of friends who are regulars and locals. Know what you mean about the High T traverse. While I'll take the entry to Race Course or Sunspot even skiing solo, I've yet to ski the chutes off the upper High T traverse. Have only gone there a few times to get to Greeley during late season. I spend a week or two at Alta Lodge in April with friends.

I am looking at the Santa Ana 98, the 93, maybe even the 104. What do you guys think, based on my ability level and where I ski? I had some Black Pearl 88s for awhile that I loved, until I went for fatter skis. Also, which length for me? I’m 5’2.5” and weigh 146 pounds currently. I’m short but strong and don’t have a small frame. I’m torn between 158s and 165s.
Even for Alta, for one pair of skis, sticking with a slightly narrower ski may be worth considering. I'm petite, 5'0", 110 pounds. My Alta instructor doesn't want me on skis wider than 100mm even for a powder lesson. My all-mountain skis are 85 underfoot, 159cm. In fluffy powder I've used them for 12-15 inches and had a good time. Although I often rent powder skis at Alta when the snow is that deep.

Blizzard Sheeva 10s, in the 156 length
’m 5’2.5” and weigh 146 pounds currently. I’m short but strong and don’t have a small frame. I’m torn between 158s and 165s.
156cm does seem short for that width. When I rent wide skis I'll take anything between mid-150s to low 160s for width from 98 to 105. I enjoyed the Nordica Santa Ana 93 @161cm for a morning at Bridger a couple seasons ago. So for the SA98, 165cm should be better for you.

What I ended up buying from a Diva last season was the DPS Zelda, 106mm, @158cm. I'll only use those as powder skis when I get lucky and catch a powder storm. While they are okay on soft groomers, I wouldn't want them as a one-ski-quiver. In fact, they are staying with my ski buddy who lives out west so that I don't have to lug them around an airport.

I don’t know how to go about demoing because I never have.
If you are willing to invest money for a "personal demo day", you can rent demo skis from Alta Ski Shop at Albion. That's my go-to ski shop around Alta, usually out of Wildcat but they aren't doing rentals out of that location this season. Can change out as often as you like that day. One day is $50. There is almost enough terrain off Sunnyside to get a feel for skis, although a run off Supreme or Sugarloaf is probably worth the time. The best way to compare is to take the same runs, with a mix of terrain. Recently I and a ski buddy rented for a powder storm during early season. We changed out at lunch time, and again for the few runs down groomers. So we had a chance to check out three completely different skis that day.

Alta usually has a free demo day the first Saturday of April. But hard to know if that will happened this season or not. I like doing free demo days for fun. Even when I'm really not in the market for new skis. That's one way I've learned how different lengths for the same model feel.
 

rbkvail

Diva in Training
#6
Welcome! Although I live in the east, Alta is my favorite out west. I've gotten to know it pretty well in the past decade with the help of friends who are regulars and locals. Know what you mean about the High T traverse. While I'll take the entry to Race Course or Sunspot even skiing solo, I've yet to ski the chutes off the upper High T traverse. Have only gone there a few times to get to Greeley during late season. I spend a week or two at Alta Lodge in April with friends.


Even for Alta, for one pair of skis, sticking with a slightly narrower ski may be worth considering. I'm petite, 5'0", 110 pounds. My Alta instructor doesn't want me on skis wider than 100mm even for a powder lesson. My all-mountain skis are 85 underfoot, 159cm. In fluffy powder I've used them for 12-15 inches and had a good time. Although I often rent powder skis at Alta when the snow is that deep.



156cm does seem short for that width. When I rent wide skis I'll take anything between mid-150s to low 160s for width from 98 to 105. I enjoyed the Nordica Santa Ana 93 @161cm for a morning at Bridger a couple seasons ago. So for the SA98, 165cm should be better for you.

What I ended up buying from a Diva last season was the DPS Zelda, 106mm, @158cm. I'll only use those as powder skis when I get lucky and catch a powder storm. While they are okay on soft groomers, I wouldn't want them as a one-ski-quiver. In fact, they are staying with my ski buddy who lives out west so that I don't have to lug them around an airport.


If you are willing to invest money for a "personal demo day", you can rent demo skis from Alta Ski Shop at Albion. That's my go-to ski shop around Alta, usually out of Wildcat but they aren't doing rentals out of that location this season. Can change out as often as you like that day. One day is $50. There is almost enough terrain off Sunnyside to get a feel for skis, although a run off Supreme or Sugarloaf is probably worth the time. The best way to compare is to take the same runs, with a mix of terrain. Recently I and a ski buddy rented for a powder storm during early season. We changed out at lunch time, and again for the few runs down groomers. So we had a chance to check out three completely different skis that day.

Alta usually has a free demo day the first Saturday of April. But hard to know if that will happened this season or not. I like doing free demo days for fun. Even when I'm really not in the market for new skis. That's one way I've learned how different lengths for the same model feel.
What did you try for powder skis, if I may ask, and what did you think of them? Im curious :smile:
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#7
What did you try for powder skis, if I may ask, and what did you think of them? Im curious :smile:
I took out the DPS Yvette 100 @156 for the morning when we were hunting for off-piste areas to ski the fresh powder. In general, I like DPS skis so had a good time with them. But for the groomers I prefer the DPS Zelda, even though its slightly wider at 106 underfoot. I've rented the DPS Nina 99 quite a few times in the last 5-6 seasons when I've been lucky to catch a powder storm and Alta Ski Shop still had the Nina available in my length.

After lunch I checked out the Black Crow Atris Birdie, 108, @160cm. They were fun in powder, very "pivoty" in soft bumps, but more work on groomers. Perhaps a little long for me. Clearly a lot heavier in terms of weight when riding the lift.

I've checked out assorted skis during the free Alta Demo Day that's usually the first Saturday of April. That's the main reason I know DPS skis fairly well. I like to have an idea of what to ask for when renting demo skis for a powder day. Plus I have fun demo'ing. A free demo day can be a good chance to check out the same model at different lengths.
 

rbkvail

Diva in Training
#8
I took out the DPS Yvette 100 @156 for the morning when we were hunting for off-piste areas to ski the fresh powder. In general, I like DPS skis so had a good time with them. But for the groomers I prefer the DPS Zelda, even though its slightly wider at 106 underfoot. I've rented the DPS Nina 99 quite a few times in the last 5-6 seasons when I've been lucky to catch a powder storm and Alta Ski Shop still had the Nina available in my length.

After lunch I checked out the Black Crow Atris Birdie, 108, @160cm. They were fun in powder, very "pivoty" in soft bumps, but more work on groomers. Perhaps a little long for me. Clearly a lot heavier in terms of weight when riding the lift.

I've checked out assorted skis during the free Alta Demo Day that's usually the first Saturday of April. That's the main reason I know DPS skis fairly well. I like to have an idea of what to ask for when renting demo skis for a powder day. Plus I have fun demo'ing. A free demo day can be a good chance to check out the same model at different lengths.
How fun! Thanks for sharing. I have never skied DPS. I'll have to try them.
 

ESGCO

Diva in Training
#9
@marzNC Which model of Zelda do you have?
I have the Foundation in 170, and love it! Floats well in deep powder, turns in the trees, and is still fun skiing to the bottom on chop/crud/ice with very, very tired legs. (If you can find some joy in Spar Gulch at the end of a powder day, it's a win)
I've actually found them more fun than skinnier skis on days with a couple inches, or when I know it's going to be soft!
 
#10
@marzNC Which model of Zelda do you have?
I have the Foundation in 170, and love it! Floats well in deep powder, turns in the trees, and is still fun skiing to the bottom on chop/crud/ice with very, very tired legs. (If you can find some joy in Spar Gulch at the end of a powder day, it's a win)
I've actually found them more fun than skinnier skis on days with a couple inches, or when I know it's going to be soft!
It's the Zelda Alchemist @158. Got a great deal from a Diva. Wasn't planning on buying powder skis at all, but since they were the right length . . . couldn't resist. First time out was a powder day at Steamboat in Feb 2020. Very fun in the trees in deep powder!

I'd rented both the Nina 99 Foundation and the Nina 99 Alchemist from Alta Ski Shop in 2015-18 so got a sense of the differences between materials. Had taken out the Zelda Foundation for a day at Snowbird (April 2016) when there was deep powder left over, so I already knew I liked the Zelda better on groomers than the Yvette 112. I almost bought the Nina 99 Foundation the one mid-season trip when it was already discounted enough to be an option. By the time I got back in April, they were long gone.

I have a very good time with my Stöckli Stormrider 85s in a range of conditions out west, so that's what I use except for a deep powder day. Assuming I'm traveling with my ski buddy who stores them and he remembers to put them in a ski box before we meet up somewhere to ski.
 

ashkat0323

Diva in Training
#11
I love hearing these reviews of the DPS skies! I’d eventually love a pair, but they are out of the budget this season. I could see having a “two-ski quiver” at some point and it would probably be a pair of DPS powder skies that was number 2.
I found a pair of 2021 Elan Ripstick 94s to demo tomorrow! I hadn’t even considered them, but I’m very excited to try them out. I’m getting them in the 162 length. Then I’ll demo the Santa Anas. New skis are in my future soon I think :smile:.
 
#12
I love hearing these reviews of the DPS skies! I’d eventually love a pair, but they are out of the budget this season. I could see having a “two-ski quiver” at some point and it would probably be a pair of DPS powder skies that was number 2.
Have you ever wandered around Level Nine to see what consignment skis they have? I've seen DPS skis there in SLC and in Ogden before they took over 2nd Tracks. I've found more good stuff in the Ogden shop over the last decade.
 

lisamamot

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#14
found a pair of 2021 Elan Ripstick 94s to demo tomorrow! I hadn’t even considered them, but I’m very excited to try them out. I’m getting them in the 162 length. Then I’ll demo the Santa Anas. New skis are in my future soon I think :smile:.
I will be interested to hear what you think of the Elan Ripstick 94W. Super fun ski - it has a lot of rocker up front and a surfy tip; it skis short. They beefed up the 2021 model, which I have not been on, so I will be interested in how you compare it to the Sheeva 10!
 

scandium

Certified Ski Diva
#15
I found a pair of 2021 Elan Ripstick 94s to demo tomorrow! I hadn’t even considered them, but I’m very excited to try them out. I’m getting them in the 162 length. Then I’ll demo the Santa Anas. New skis are in my future soon I think :smile:.
Good luck with the Ripstick! Definitely demo the Santa Anas in the 165 rather than the 158. I'm about 120lb / 5'2"ish and thought the 158s were right for me when I tried them - looking at my notes from that day I said "not as easy to turn on moguls or ice, skis through stuff", and would have purchased them if I had unlimited funds and didn't already own two pairs of skis. I also skied the Sheeva 9s in 157 to compare them on the same day, and my notes were "not very damp on crud, ok on groomer, easier to turn".
 

Wasatch Girl

Diva in Training
#16
I love hearing these reviews of the DPS skies! I’d eventually love a pair, but they are out of the budget this season. I could see having a “two-ski quiver” at some point and it would probably be a pair of DPS powder skies that was number 2.
I found a pair of 2021 Elan Ripstick 94s to demo tomorrow! I hadn’t even considered them, but I’m very excited to try them out. I’m getting them in the 162 length. Then I’ll demo the Santa Anas. New skis are in my future soon I think :smile:.
How did your day go today and how were the Elans? I was also up there for Ladies Day! It was a gorgeous day and definitely got me thinking about demoing something a little narrower in the waist. I've been on 98 Black Pearl and previously Sambas since 2015 and the snow just isn't soft and deep enough for that on a daily basis this year.
 
#17
Good luck with the Ripstick! Definitely demo the Santa Anas in the 165 rather than the 158. I'm about 120lb / 5'2"ish and thought the 158s were right for me when I tried them - looking at my notes from that day I said "not as easy to turn on moguls or ice, skis through stuff", and would have purchased them if I had unlimited funds and didn't already own two pairs of skis. I also skied the Sheeva 9s in 157 to compare them on the same day, and my notes were "not very damp on crud, ok on groomer, easier to turn".
The Sheeva 9 are definitely not a damp ski, pretty much the opposite end of the spectrum and very playful. I’m 5’4” 125lbs and ski the 164. They ski short so if you felt unstable etc. at all on groomers I’d try a size up if you were so inclined to give them another try. They aren’t the ski that’s going to really plow through crud though.
 

scandium

Certified Ski Diva
#19
The Sheeva 9 are definitely not a damp ski, pretty much the opposite end of the spectrum and very playful. I’m 5’4” 125lbs and ski the 164. They ski short so if you felt unstable etc. at all on groomers I’d try a size up if you were so inclined to give them another try. They aren’t the ski that’s going to really plow through crud though.
I tried them more because they were there and I had heard people rave about them before. It was also partly to prove to myself that I actually liked the Santa Anas rather than just the freshly sharpened edges on them. The demo days we have here are brand reps showing up at the bottom of the hill with a selection of skis you can try for free so I usually try to take full advantage of the opportunity when it presents itself.
 
#20
I tried them more because they were there and I had heard people rave about them before. It was also partly to prove to myself that I actually liked the Santa Anas rather than just the freshly sharpened edges on them. The demo days we have here are brand reps showing up at the bottom of the hill with a selection of skis you can try for free so I usually try to take full advantage of the opportunity when it presents itself.
I love those days as well, sadly the ones I usually go to were cancelled this season due to Covid. Looking forward to being able to attend them next season again!
 

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