Adding a wide(r) ski for westbound travel - am I in the ballpark?

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Jarngreipr

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Mike's asking the right questions, but here are my reactions...

I'm roughly your size and ability...Midwest running 400 vertical. I sky the following here and out west.

Rossi Black Ops 98 - favorite all around. Ski it everywhere.
Kästle 89's - just purchased, been demoing friends. Love it for here and will use it frontside outwest. Ski is in a totally different class of ski.
Salomon QST 99 only ski out west. It's fun and forgiving but light and chatters. Good for primarily soft. The Rossi is above is good for almost everything I ski but deep. But then I would rent deep.

Of your list, I've demo skied

Enforcer 100 - fun, meets your criteria, possibly the best candidate here to have for fun and handle most powder up to 6-10 depending on ability. Different than what you're using.
K2 Mindbender Ti. Different ski to me, I couldn't get into it. I'm just not sure why.
Elan Ripstick 96, 180 - consider Black Edition. FUN.
Blizzard Rustler 9 - different ski, one of my favorites. Stable. awesome. Different than the Enforcers.
I don't own a dedicated powder ski (Would rent instead) so of your list, I would probably want the Blizzard for myself since I would want to cover most conditions other than moderate to deep powder since I would rent anyway. I also like ripping on groomers and don't like chatter in crud. Blizzard ski and brand just delivers. It's different than the rest though. You could also possibly pull this one and the Elan 96 out at home as well.

But with all that said, given your destinations and your plans to shelve it other than west trips, and if you want different than you're used too, probably Enforcer 100.
The Fun Factor defintely plays into this - the Ripsticks end up with that type of commentary pretty regularly...
 
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Jarngreipr

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As a 6' 210 lbs person who skis Tahoe, the Salt Lake vicinity, and the Colorado resorts around Silverthorne, you will probably get more use out of a versatile 88-90mm ski (ex. Liberty Evolv 90, Dynastar M-Pro 90, Nordica Enforcer 88, Völkl Kendo 88, etc...).
Yep, that's where my search started, but then veered upwards because of not wanting to overlap too much with what I already have. Given it ends up being a single use ski (trips out west), maybe that slight overlap doesn't matter as much (or at all).
 
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Jarngreipr

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300 feet of vertical, and based in St. Paul .... Afton? Or Buck Hill? :)
You have a good list of choices there for west coast skiing. Lots of good advice already, so I won't chime in. I will add that when you come west, make sure to bring at least the 84's .... while we definitely have great snow days, in a typical season, there are lots of days where front-side groomers are your friend, if it hasn't snowed in a while!

(Minnesota transplant here .... learned to ski at the Marthaler Park rope tow in WSP, then Afton ...)
Welch - 360ft. We live in WSP. :)
 

BMC

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For me, the choice between an 88mm ski as a OSQ, or a 100mm one, depends on how much “give” I can expect from the snow. If all or virtually all days have snow which is forgiving g enough to grab an edge on a 100, I’ll run the 100mm one happily. If it’s not uncommon to ski bulletproof snow, I’ll favour the 88.

Of course if you’re going somewhere that only gets light dustings of snow then an 88 is perfectly adequate. Indeed yes you can ski it always - it only feels like yesterday an “all mountain ski” was 68mm, and then 78mm, etc. But soft days are indeed easier on a wider ski.

I‘m not conscious of bulletproof snow being common “out west”. I frankly can’t remember any such days on my trips, except the lower part of Whistler. That’s why I’ve recommended as I have.
 

jlabadie1

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My recommendation is to look at the Salomon QST 98/99 if you are likely to hit soft snow. I ski south tahoe and this ski is very well suited for many Tahoe snow types ..which I like. I ski mostly off-piste on expert advanced rated runs and this Solly is a gem. There are some skiers that say this ski is too soft...fine, especially if you are more aggressive and skilled, but for my style the flex is great...and it is a great ski in the crud IMO .

Last winter I skied pretty deep pow, crud, bumps, trees, at Whistler and the Solly98 shined as a travel ski. It is manageable in mogul, but not the best if that is your priority.
I just picked up a pair of Liberty evolv 90, these are great skis as well. Early days , but I like them, Definitely better on firm snow than the Solly QST98, I really liked them on some sun softened crud Not as easy to ski in powder/ untracked snow as the Solly IMO. If I am skiing a firm day with crud and powder pockets...I use the evolv90...If its softer snow around the mountain I go with the SollyQST98. The SollyQST98 seems to be a great travel ski for me.
 

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First off, your lengths seem short.
Even if you are skiing a lot of tight trees and such (we usually do), ~185cm would seem a better match? Especially for spring skiing, where you hit weird patches of grabby wetness, a bit more length out front seems good.

Speaking of spring conditions, in mid April I have skied 4 days of freezing cold and deep powder, just as often as crust or slop.

@Jarngreipr , you are not looking for a quiver of one right? You are bringing the Iconik 84 as well you said right? So I would consider 95-105mm. Want to have some separation, and you are not particularly short or lightweight.
 
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trailtrimmer

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If you are skiing mostly groomers, your K2 84 is all you need. They only time you need wider skis out west if if you plan on spending lots of time off piste or if it's just dumping new snow, at that point rent.

I travel with a 82 and 100mm ski, and on or off, I use the 82 most of the time unless we are getting lots of fresh snow, which is one out of three trips.
 
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Jarngreipr

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First off, your lengths seem short.
Even if you are skiing a lot of tight trees and such (we usually do), ~185cm would seem a better match? Especially for spring skiing, where you hit weird patches of grabby wetness, a bit more length out front seems good.

Speaking of spring conditions, in mid April I have skied 4 days of freezing cold and deep powder, just as often as crust or slop.

@Jarngreipr , you are not looking for a quiver of one right? You are bringing the Iconik 84 as well you said right? So I would consider 95-105mm. Want to have some separation, and you are not particularly short or lightweight.
This is probably the actual crux of the question. Initial premise is "bring two pairs" which would be the K2s + 95-100mm Ski, driven in large part by wanting separation between the two pairs. That desire for separation may very well be misplaced - I won't use a 95-100mm ski at home so it sits on the shelf and is travel only, but if it's travel only, am I better served with something between 85-95mm and forget about ever bringing the K2? And if the answer to that is "yes", then it is in fact just a one ski travel quiver.

Alternative here, and a few of you have pointed towards this, is to decide the K2s are plenty good enough for most everything I'll encounter while traveling. Call it good and move on...
 
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Slim

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Alternative here, and a few of you have pointed towards this, is to decide the K2s are plenty good enough for most everything I'll encounter while traveling. Call it good and move on...
That would never be my choice. I am most certainly NOT good enough to ski an Ikonik 84 out west every day. I have skied a 105mm wide ski as my one ski quiver out west every year so far.
And my wife, who has some nice 65mm Elan skis, hardly ever touches them, even here in MN, preferring her Fulluvit 95ti.

All this is depended on the skier of course: your skill level, your preferred feel, your preferred terrain and preferred skiing style.

In our case, we are intermediates, rarely ski groomers out west, 80% of the time we are trying to find interesting natural terrain or lapping mogul runs. We also don't ski very fast, instead more about picking our way down, finding pockets of soft snow, slaloming around trees and boulders, pumping rollers, etc. I also really like, a loose and surfy feeling.

If you typically drive out west, I would absolutely take both the K2’s for groomers laps, AND a pair of >100mm all mountain skis for the majority of the time.
Because, based on the skis you picked initially, you are not looking to travel out west just to rip high speed groomers.
 

trailtrimmer

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That would never be my choice. I am most certainly NOT good enough to ski an Ikonik 84 out west every day. I have skied a 105mm wide ski as my one ski quiver out west every year so far.
And my wife, who has some nice 65mm Elan skis, hardly ever touches them, even here in MN, preferring her Fulluvit 95ti.

All this is depended on the skier of course: your skill level, your preferred feel, your preferred terrain and preferred skiing style.

In our case, we are intermediates, rarely ski groomers out west, 80% of the time we are trying to find interesting natural terrain or lapping mogul runs. We also don't ski very fast, instead more about picking our way down, finding pockets of soft snow, slaloming around trees and boulders, pumping rollers, etc. I also really like, a loose and surfy feeling.

If you typically drive out west, I would absolutely take both the K2’s for groomers laps, AND a pair of >100mm all mountain skis for the majority of the time.
Because, based on the skis you picked initially, you are not looking to travel out west just to rip high speed groomers.
Groomers are groomers most places you go. While a 70mm waist ski will be awesome in the AM, it won't be great by the end of the day is the piles of junk. However 82-88 is quite adequate and it takes far less effort and speed to get up on edge while being easier on the knees. Dense and groomed snow doesn't need wide skis, just one that's well designed and in the realm of ones ability.
 
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Jarngreipr

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Feels like two sides of same coin here... It's a travel ski/skis for me. Both the K2s at 84 + 95-100 or something else entirely at 90-95 (K2 MB 90 Ti, Ranger 92 Ti, Ranger 94 FR, Rustler 9???). Will and would I travel with two pairs? Today, yes. Down the road when both kids have full size skis? Maybe not. Either way it's a near certainty I don't use the wider ski here at home. Clearly I need at least four pairs of skis and just go with the coolest graphics. Ugh > [ ] 1.
 

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I used to teach on the Speedzone, and have some familiarity with that ski. My current everyday driver is a Stöckli Laser AX. Add the Head Kore. It provides a bit of the feedback that I enjoy, but is still fun and playful.

Keep in mind that I typically ski 100ish days per year, but only pull the Head Kore 99s outmaybe a dozen times a year, as my inbounds powder ski. The focus on a powder ski for the West, as someone else eluded to, is largely a myth. Yes, some have flown out West for a week, when we were getting hammered, and they think that is reality. Reality? It could be weeks or months between dumps.
 

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I used to teach on the Speedzone, and have some familiarity with that ski. My current everyday driver is a Stöckli Laser AX. Add the Head Kore. It provides a bit of the feedback that I enjoy, but is still fun and playful.

Keep in mind that I typically ski 100ish days per year, but only pull the Head Kore 99s outmaybe a dozen times a year, as my inbounds powder ski. The focus on a powder ski for the West, as someone else eluded to, is largely a myth. Yes, some have flown out West for a week, when we were getting hammered, and they think that is reality. Reality? It could be weeks or months between dumps.
Unfortunately, projections into the next few decades don’t look good for Sierra snow. I appreciate the advice that is often given here to buy for the conditions you ski on.
 

charlier

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The Fun Factor defintely plays into this - the Ripsticks end up with that type of commentary pretty regularly...
If you want a stiffer and more stable Ripstick, consider the Black Edition. I live in the PacNW, and travel to Alta, Snowbird, Snowbasin, and Sun Valley for one road trip. Otherwise, I travel and love in interior B.C. I ski on Ripsticks 96 and 107. The skis have a even and predictable flex works that with my style of skiing. For me, many super stable skis with metal seem a bit boring and are not responsive.
 

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Groomers are groomers most places you go. While a 70mm waist ski will be awesome in the AM, it won't be great by the end of the day is the piles of junk. However 82-88 is quite adequate and it takes far less effort and speed to get up on edge while being easier on the knees. Dense and groomed snow doesn't need wide skis, just one that's well designed and in the realm of ones ability.
Absolutely. I just wanted to provide a counter point to your statement, to show how this works out different for different people.
We spend our time out west OFF the groomers, because we like that, and we don’t get it much at home.
It all depends on one’s preferences and skills.
I defintely didn’t mean to say everyone should pick skis like me, or ski like me.
I just figured between the you and me, we provide a pretty wide range in the case of the Midwest skier heading out west.
 
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charlier

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If you want a stiffer and more stable Ripstick, consider the Black Edition. I live in the PacNW, and travel to Alta, Snowbird, Snowbasin, and Sun Valley for one road trip. Otherwise, I travel and love in interior B.C. I ski on Ripsticks 96 and 107. The skis have a even and predictable flex works that with my style of skiing. For me, many super stable skis with metal seem a bit boring and are not responsive.
I really need to proof read my posts. I travel and live in interior B.C.
 
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