All-Mountain skis for a fast fifty-something?

ScottB

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The 200+ weight means add about 10mm width to a ski you would like in the same conditions, Ron, and if the ski comes in different stiffness's (ie. Augment) bump it up at least one or two notches. Heavy weight plus charger makes a difference in ski selection. I am in that category and the Brahma is my softest ski.
 

Ron

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why would you add 1cm to a frontside ski? flex is in the furthest ends of tips and tails, the area by the foot should be laterally and torsionally stiff.

edit to fix my typo.
 
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kitchener

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I am thinking about adding another ski to the mix...: 2021 Faction CT 1.0, 92mm, 183cm, twin tip. This is the only year it was made as a charger and not a lightweight park ski. It gained about 400 grams and a tetanal plate under foot. ...Not sure how well I will like the CT 1.0, but the price is good on Skis.com and I want to try it out before its gone forever. The 2022 model lost 400 grams and is back to a lightweight park/side country ski.

That does sound like an interesting ski -- it was just a one-off, the 2021? Any predictions how the added weight will perform?
 

dbostedo

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Blossom AM85 or a NOS Crosswind
@kitchener - There's a nice pair of these for sale here in 178 length. Maybe an option?

 

GregK

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That does sound like an interesting ski -- it was just a one-off, the 2021? Any predictions how the added weight will perform?
I’ll answer this as I’m the one who has dragged @ScottB into the 2021 Faction Candide cult! Haha

A bit of history-Faction designs their skis but use a secondary facility to actually manufacture their skis like most Indy ski companies. Their early manufacturing plants resulted in very inconsistent reliability until they started building in the respectable Sporten plant starting in 2019. Most were light, soft flexing skis that were loved by park and freestyle skiers but no interest to more aggressive skiers.

In 2021, production was moved into Fisher’s higher end, Austrian plant so build and tune quality was the best it’s even been. On their flagship Candide(CT) freestyle line, the narrower park geared CT 1.0(92mm) and CT 2.0(102mm) were made “bomb proof” by adding additional titanal sheets underfoot along with rubber dampening and a heavy wood core. The result was a ski that was much stiffer and heavier(400 gr) than previous versions.
It was now a ski that many park skiers didn’t like because it wasn’t playful anymore but created an insanely versatile, playful charger for those that like powerful skis.

Imagine mixing the Brahma 88, a Monster 88, Kendo 88 and a wide GS ski with a twin tip ski and that’s what the 21 CT 1.0 is like. In the 183cm length, it’s got a 20m(feels like more) radius, it’s weighs 2200gr, has very little taper so great edge grip and it’s quieter on the snow than any of the above with it’s dampening materials. Yet it’s more playful off-piste or in bumps with it’s twin tail and more forward mount.
Not going to grip hard snow quite as well as a “wide carver” like a Deacon 84/eTitan/Bold etc but more versatile off flat groomers.

For 2022, Faction is moving production to the very good Amer/Atomic plant but have redesigned the CT line to cater more towards freestyle skiers wanting a lighter, more playful ski. Weight is down considerably on the CT 1.0 through to the CT 3.0 as they are using lighter wood cores and using carbon fibre instead of titanal to reinforce the ski.

So deals out there still on the fantastic 21 versions like the CT 1.0 which I picked up for $399 CAN and have seen them at $429 at Skis.com in the States. Great deal on a fantastic ski!

Pic of the CT 1.0 on the left beside a similar shaped but flat tailed Kendo 88 and then 2 wide carvers(Deacon 84 and eTitan) with even less tip/tail taper and rocker for more edge grip on really firm snow.

7D1CCD0B-3A69-4229-9350-4EEF4E50059C.jpeg
 

Johnfmh

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Trying to buy a ski good for both the Rockies and the Ice Coast is tough—maybe impossible. I rent demos when I am out West and select skis optimal for the conditions. My favorite all-mountain ski for Utah is the Nordica Enforcer 94. It works well for on up to 8 inches of soft snow and then continues to function well when things get tracked out. It also works well in the crud prevalent in Utah on high pressure days.

I have demoed the MX-88s (at Wachusett, which has a nice slopeside demo center) and compared it to a Nordica Enforcer 88. To be honest, I could not see much of a difference—the Nordicas were a bit more playful but still held an edge in icy December conditions. To me, the Nordicas might be better on soft snow days. I also skied the Nordica Enforcer 88s at Beaver Creek after 6 inches of new snow—perfect!

I skied thhe MX-88s at Lech for a week a few years back and they were not the best soft snow skis (we got hammered that week), but were good piste bashing skis. Selecting skis is one of the toughest games around. There’s no substitute for demoing. I also love the reviews here on Ski Talk and also the videos put out by SkiEssentials.com. That company is based in Stowe so all the skis tested get a workout on an Ice Coast mountain.
 

Couchmaster

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Great conversation. I'm following it as well. Sold or ditched my entire "quiver" except for the Head Monster 88s. (Renoun 90, Stöckli SR95, Soul 7s, some skinny Dynastar that was solid on piste and fell apart off) I love skiing fast as well, don't weigh what your buddy does (5.8" 170#) and in particular love the rebound I get from the Monsters on Piste and the fact that they don't deflect in crud as much as most skis I've ridden. We get a lot of crud dumped in this area (and worst, at times the crud refreezes - the Pacific Northwest), and there's a lot of days literally no one ventures off piste.

What I found over and over was I'd drive up with multiple pairs of skis, and everytime I'd trade out wish I was back on the Monsters. Now that I've gotten old(er) and creaky(er), at 67 years old I won't be out all day, so trading a ski out midday isn't in my future lexicon. In fact, skiing fast may be out the window as well, was out rolling rocks off a cliff the other day and my right knee swole up from Arthritis (again) that I can hardly walk.

Last Monday
Thought I'd licked that knee issue via PT. Guess I shouldn't have crowed so loud and proud. Dayum. My Monsters are 170's, and so I have a pair of Enforcer 104's coming to supplement the 88s. So I'll be back to limping around the bar but at least I'll have a 2 ski "quiver".
 

Ron

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@kitchener - There's a nice pair of these for sale here in 178 length. Maybe an option?


love the 77 and the crosswind/AM85. However, what can the 85 do that the 77 can't? this where I got out of the 80-something ski's and went back to narrower.
 
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kitchener

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love the 77 and the crosswind/AM85. However, what can the 85 do that the 77 can't? this where I got out of the 80-something ski's and went back to narrower.

Times I can think of are the trips out West when it hasn’t skied for days and our wider crud busters are back in the barn and we’re out on groomers but spot some off piste trail that looks like fun, with the inevitable ruts from previous skiers over the past few days since it’s snowed last. We’re not headed back to the condo so wouldn’t an ~88 be a little more fun (and in control) than a 77?
 

ScottB

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The 200+ weight means add about 10mm width to a ski you would like in the same conditions, Ron, and if the ski comes in different stiffness's (ie. Augment) bump it up at least one or two notches. Heavy weight plus charger makes a difference in ski selection. I am in that category and the Brahma is my softest ski.

why would you add 1cm to a frontside ski? Stiffness is in the furthest tips and tails, not underfoot.

I assume this is directed to me. To answer the questions you add 1cm to a front side ski for float and the ability to go over crud piles versus plow through them. Width isn't the whole story, of course, but its the first chapter. If you are limiting the context to hard packed conditions, I would basically say the opposite and agree with you. I like narrow carvers for hard packed snow.

Not sure I understand the stiffness comment, but I am speaking overall stiffness. It does vary from tip to tail, so maybe overall flex pattern is more accurate. Anyway, I like/need a certain amount of stiffness/strength in the tip and tail so I don't overpower them and they start deflecting. I skied a Rossi Hero Elite Plus Ti on a day with a lot of dense snow crud piles (181cm). That was one of the worst skis I have ever been on in terms of tip deflection. I was scared of injuring my knees on that ski it was deflecting so badly at speed. It took all my concentration to not loose control of the ski when going fast. Not the ski for someone my size to ski fast on. A lot of posters here really love that ski, but it didn't handle my weight and speed and the dense lumpy snow conditions that day. The next day I was on a K2 Ikonic 84TI and it was great in the same conditions. A much stiffer tip on that ski that worked for me.
 

Ron

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Times I can think of are the trips out West when it hasn’t skied for days and our wider crud busters are back in the barn and we’re out on groomers but spot some off piste trail that looks like fun, with the inevitable ruts from previous skiers over the past few days since it’s snowed last. We’re not headed back to the condo so wouldn’t an ~88 be a little more fun (and in control) than a 77?
to each their own but im very comfortable on a 77 in up to a few inches of fresh or leftovers on a groomed run or bumps. I will go wider when Im off piste all day, encountering steeps and terrain I dont know what im getting into.
 

dbostedo

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to each their own but im very comfortable on a 77 in up to a few inches of fresh or leftovers on a groomed run or bumps. I will go wider when Im off piste all day, encountering steeps and terrain I dont know what im getting into.
I think taken to its extreme, you could be a binary skier... where you'd either be skiing powder on your 1-0-somethings, or else you only need an FIS slalom ski. (I.e. you either need float, or you don't.)

There are some folks on here like that... but there's a whole range of skis. I could ask why are you on a 77, rather than a 72 (or even a sub-70 ski)? I think for some folks they might get more out of an 85 as well, in the same fashion. Or maybe the wider skis are also a bit more rockered. Etc.

I'm still not sure a lot of times which ski I'd rather be on, since I only take one pair on trips, either local or flying. Sometimes compromising with something in the middle might be a good choice. I took my Elan Wingman 84s to Palisades last year, but was on my Atomic Vantage 90s when I was at Steamboat. I didn't consider my Stöckli SCs for either trip. And now I have Stöckli SR95s, so my choices are all over the place. :)
 

Marker

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I assume this is directed to me. To answer the questions you add 1cm to a front side ski for float and the ability to go over crud piles versus plow through them. Width isn't the whole story, of course, but its the first chapter. If you are limiting the context to hard packed conditions, I would basically say the opposite and agree with you. I like narrow carvers for hard packed snow.

Not sure I understand the stiffness comment, but I am speaking overall stiffness. It does vary from tip to tail, so maybe overall flex pattern is more accurate. Anyway, I like/need a certain amount of stiffness/strength in the tip and tail so I don't overpower them and they start deflecting. I skied a Rossi Hero Elite Plus Ti on a day with a lot of dense snow crud piles (181cm). That was one of the worst skis I have ever been on in terms of tip deflection. I was scared of injuring my knees on that ski it was deflecting so badly at speed. It took all my concentration to not loose control of the ski when going fast. Not the ski for someone my size to ski fast on. A lot of posters here really love that ski, but it didn't handle my weight and speed and the dense lumpy snow conditions that day. The next day I was on a K2 Ikonic 84TI and it was great in the same conditions. A much stiffer tip on that ski that worked for me.
Did you ever try a Hero Elite LT? I ski an older 69 mm model at 183 cm and have not had this problem, although I probably don't ski as fast as you in crud.
 

Ron

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I think taken to its extreme, you could be a binary skier... where you'd either be skiing powder on your 1-0-somethings, or else you only need an FIS slalom ski. (I.e. you either need float, or you don't.)

im close, 67 (sl's) or my 77 for anything frontside, dabbling in a couple of fresh or leftovers on groomed or in soft bumps., then a 96 and a 108. I only take the 96's out when there's a few inches of leftover and im 100% off-piste, in bowls/steeps and trees. For me (meaning, its not meant to be advice to anyone) I don't need/want anything in between. if Im carving I want narrow, if its powder or steeps where I need support and a ski that can be dependable in any terrain, I go to the 96.
 

Viking9

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I think there’s a built in comfort with a soft snow biased mid 80 ski compared to a mid 70’s waisted front side ripper, I have and use both.
The mid 70 comes out when it’s obvious, like that long , super fun run under the gondola at your place !
 

mulva28

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love the 77 and the crosswind/AM85. However, what can the 85 do that the 77 can't? this where I got out of the 80-something ski's and went back to narrower.
It can be had for $575 ;)
I'll add that I bought the same ski in 172 (I'm 5'7") lightly used for $525. If I could find a WhiteOut/AM77 for that price with bindings, I'd buy it; but I never see that.
 
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Quandary

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A bit of history-Faction designs their skis but use a secondary facility to actually manufacture their skis like most Indy ski companies.
?? Certainly there are some that outsource manufacturing. However those tend to be on the bigger side, JSkis, Faction or "big names" like Pollard with season skis. But the true "Indy's" build there own skis, otherwise they aren't really an Indy.
 
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