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SOS Ski Help for an Intermediate Skier!

lex-skis7

Diva in Training
Hi Gals!

I am an intermediate skier in Colorado looking to invest in a new pair of skis. My current pair are hand-me-downs, and not a known brand, and I feel like they are holding me back from reaching my potential. I would really like to gain more confidence on the mountain!

I have been skiing groomers, mostly greens and blues, and like to focus on my technique, turns, and carving. Speed is not a factor I am super interested in when it comes to skis.

I am debating between the K2 Mindbender 90C and the K2 Disruption 76C. I am worried the Disruptions might be too beginner level, but that the Mindbenders might be too advanced for me. I am not used to a lively ski, is that going to be tough to jump right into? Or is that going to be the best way to improve and gain more confidence? Theres a pretty big difference in their waist width...

Would love all the advice! I will say I am definitely pretty set on a Carbon ski, I am 5'2" and weight about 115 pounds, so a lightweight ski is super crucial for me, but I am open to hearing other options!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Welcome! What has led you to K2? That's one of the brands I like, but I bought skis from Rossignol and Head when I was an adventurous intermediate. That was after demo'ing a few times. The first skis I bought were K2 but I didn't keep them that long.

For context, I'm 5'0", 110 lbs, over 60, and have become a solid advanced skier in the last decade with the help of plenty mileage and lessons with very experience instructors at multiple resorts in the east and west.
 

lex-skis7

Diva in Training
Welcome! What has led you to K2? That's one of the brands I like, but I bought skis from Rossignol and Head when I was an adventurous intermediate. That was after demo'ing a few times. The first skis I bought were K2 but I didn't keep them that long.

For context, I'm 5'0", 110 lbs, over 60, and have become a solid advanced skier in the last decade with the help of plenty mileage and lessons with very experience instructors at multiple resorts in the east and west.
Hi MarzNC! I have an opportunity to get any K2 or Line ski at a really great deal through a friend. I am not opposed to trying something else if it would be a much better fit, but would love to take my friend up on their offer!

I love to hear that, that gives me so much confidence that its not too late to be improving my skills! I am 26, and originally learned to ski when I was 5yo, but took a break between the aged of 18-24. I have only have been going a few times a year now and have been a little discouraged by my current abilities.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Hi MarzNC! I have an opportunity to get any K2 or Line ski at a really great deal through a friend. I am not opposed to trying something else if it would be a much better fit, but would love to take my friend up on their offer!

I love to hear that, that gives me so much confidence that its not too late to be improving my skills! I am 26, and originally learned to ski when I was 5yo, but took a break between the aged of 18-24. I have only have been going a few times a year now and have been a little discouraged by my current abilities.
Ah, in that case it makes perfect sense to get K2 skis that are designed for intermediates and up. My first good skis after it was clear my daughter and I would be skiing more regularly were K2 skis designed for advanced skiers. I made my choice based on K2 skis that I liked at a demo day (multiple brand tents) in my home region during early season. I was a bit surprised how easily I could tell as an adventurous intermediate if skis were fun or too much work. My hiatus after skiing for a couple seasons as a teen was 10 years of no skiing followed by a few decades of only skiing green/blue groomers out west every 2-3 years when I was working. Had I not retired early to be a more relaxed mother, would've taken even longer to ski more than 10 days a season.

I suggest sticking with the Disruptor line. My impression when I demo'd a Mindbender (in the east at a small hill) that was 88 underfoot is that they were geared to "soft snow." Meaning I thought they weren't going to be that much fun on groomers.

What were you thinking in terms of length if you got the Disruptor 76C or 78C? My first "all-mountain" skis were from Rossignol, 75 underfoot, and 154cm for skiing out west as a pretty confident advanced intermediate.
 

Skier31

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
If you live in Colorado, you should be able to find those skis to demo.

There are so many great skis but as in many other things, it comes down to personal preference . The only way to find out is to demo.
 

boodles7

Diva in Training
Demo! I think A Basin is doing a demo day next weekend (not sure if K2 or Line will be part of it though). I demoed a few at Christy's in Vail last year. They let me try two different pairs in a day. I think other Christy's will allow that as well.
 
Had I not retired early to be a more relaxed mother, would've taken even longer to ski more than 10 days a season.
I love this line. How wonderful for your family! I ramped up my work during my 50s in part to get my daughters through their college educations and give them each my car when they graduated. It was really tough. Now at 63 I am finally working part-time (3 days/wk.) but my kids are in their late 20s and I don't see much of them. In August, I resumed horseback riding after a 49 year hiatus, my first all year round activity as an adult. On the up side, I'll be in much better shape at the start of the season. On the down side, I'll have competing activities on my non-office days. However that's a down side I can live with!

Back to thread topic: I skied Volkls for years which were in retrospect probably too stiff for me (but gave me confidence on New England icy slopes) and now I'm skiing Blizzard Pearls. The 88 width is very forgiving and that's what I start my season with or ski if I want to have a relaxing day. I've been an intermediate wanting to move to advanced (level 6 at Stowe for reference) but limited by not being in strong enough shape and not having enough days on snow. But not this season!!!!!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I love this line. How wonderful for your family!
Helped a lot that my non-skiing husband was a scientist who was clearly going to stay for 30 years at IBM before retiring. He wasn't too happy taking care of the cat and dog, and water the plants, but was willing enough to support in that way when I took my daughter on ski trips in the southeast when she was learning.

Back to thread topic: I skied Volkls for years which were in retrospect probably too stiff for me (but gave me confidence on New England icy slopes) and now I'm skiing Blizzard Pearls. The 88 width is very forgiving and that's what I start my season with or ski if I want to have a relaxing day. I've been an intermediate wanting to move to advanced (level 6 at Stowe for reference) but limited by not being in strong enough shape and not having enough days on snow. But not this season!!!!!
The advantage of skiing in the southeast is that it's rare to have the true "blue ice" as can be found on New England slopes. After a warm spell and r***, there is rarely a hard freeze before it's cold enough for more snowmaking that creates new snow that can be mixed in with the old surface by the groomers. Even the original Black Pearls from 2011 are okay on Massanutten slopes, but they aren't fun in the northeast most of the time. For the southeast, I have been using shorter (147-149cm) skis that are mid-70s underfoot. I can find those used or new for under $500, with bindings. That's 10cm shorter than the all-mountain or powder skis I use out west.
 

lex-skis7

Diva in Training
Ah, in that case it makes perfect sense to get K2 skis that are designed for intermediates and up. My first good skis after it was clear my daughter and I would be skiing more regularly were K2 skis designed for advanced skiers. I made my choice based on K2 skis that I liked at a demo day (multiple brand tents) in my home region during early season. I was a bit surprised how easily I could tell as an adventurous intermediate if skis were fun or too much work. My hiatus after skiing for a couple seasons as a teen was 10 years of no skiing followed by a few decades of only skiing green/blue groomers out west every 2-3 years when I was working. Had I not retired early to be a more relaxed mother, would've taken even longer to ski more than 10 days a season.

I suggest sticking with the Disruptor line. My impression when I demo'd a Mindbender (in the east at a small hill) that was 88 underfoot is that they were geared to "soft snow." Meaning I thought they weren't going to be that much fun on groomers.

What were you thinking in terms of length if you got the Disruptor 76C or 78C? My first "all-mountain" skis were from Rossignol, 75 underfoot, and 154cm for skiing out west as a pretty confident advanced intermediate.
I was looking at the 149cm or the 156cm... Unfortunately they don't have anything in between the two..

I really appreciate this insight! This is super helpful. Its tricky because I do mostly ski groomers, but we are also blessed out here in Colorado with pretty soft snow, so I cant decided what will make the most since in terms of handling both...
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I was looking at the 149cm or the 156cm... Unfortunately they don't have anything in between the two..

I really appreciate this insight! This is super helpful. Its tricky because I do mostly ski groomers, but we are also blessed out here in Colorado with pretty soft snow, so I cant decided what will make the most since in terms of handling both...
That's the normal spread of lengths for any ski model. 7 cm is less than 3 inches. You wouldn't be able to tell the difference of only 3-4cm. The issue used to be that the shortest skis were 152-155. That was a problem for advanced skiers 5'0" or shorter, or those who were a few inches taller but under 110 pounds.

For skiing in Colorado, I suggest the 156cm for your stats. I found mid-150s a good length as an advanced intermediate and I'm 2 inches shorter and several pounds lighter than you are. I demo'd skis that were both too long and too short before making the first purchase for skiing out west.

The general recommendation is to buy skis for the terrain you are going to ski 80% of the time. When I had the 75mm skis, I skied them more than once in powder that was 4-6 inches deep. Meaning on top of a groomer or off-piste with friends at Alta. Conversely, I've demo'd wide skis over 95 underfoot at Alta and had to work pretty hard to make turns on groomers. After gaining more experience and improving technique in the last 5-6 years, I'm comfortable skiing my 85mm all-mountain skis in up to 15 inches of fluffy fresh snow. I didn't buy powder skis until a few years ago when a Utah Diva offered used skis that I'd demo'd and knew that I liked. Only use them a few days a season when I get lucky and catch a powder storm.
 

scandium

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I wouldn't write off metal completely if I were you. I would suggest at least demoing the Mindbender 89Ti - for 2023, they switched the core to make it lighter, the metal is their tailored Y beam so the swing weight feels light. Somehow they've made it very forgiving to skiing inn the backseat/with less perfect technique yet retained some of the confidence-inspiring stability. I think my mum (who is an intermediate skiier, 5'3" and 112lb) found the 152cm length worked well for her and she was actually more confident on them off piste compared to her own usual skis (Volkl Yumi 2019) which meant she skied faster without feeling scared. I found them very different to the 2022 88Ti but would say I much preferred them to the 2022 90C overall as they were more versatile. The reviews are kinda offputting because they talk about being an advanced skier, going at high speed and driving them but to be honest, I think they are really accessible particularly if you are also planning lessons to improve your technique. They aren't the easiest to carve in truly solid hardpack but I think in Colorado you are much less likely to get slopes quite as solid as what I'm used to. The trade off would be that they will probably be about 1lb heavier than the 90C overall (there's a 276g difference per ski between the 164cm 89Ti and 163cm 90C), but I don't think that translates into how heavy they feel when you turn.

That being said, demo demo demo if you can! Even doing a non K2/Line demo will give you useful information about the qualities you actually want in your skis. I would also consider going narrower if you truly want to carve. Nothing quite like a narrower ski for edge hold. For reference, I'm a similar height to you and would have been a similar weight when demoing the 90C last year (but heavier this year on the 89Ti which I tried in the 158), and I honestly thought it bounced off the snow a lot even though it was reasonably easy to turn (I prefer to go "through" the snow).
 

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