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Blizzard Rustler 11 vs M-Free 108 vs Kastle ZX108 as my third ski for powder/soft days

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Yepow

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Yes, I think it means that I'm well on my way to being a real ski-forum guy when 2 days after buying the enforcers (and looking forward to skiing them in slush this spring!) I'm thinking about whether those 6 year old QST99s need either a friend or a replacement... :) Maybe I need a new thread!
 

PupManS

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For Rustler 11 owners, would you mind commenting on how the lengths feel as it relates to the rocker profiles.

I'm thinking of possibly getting them;
I have the bonafide97 in a 171 which fits me well; but my concern is they didn't upsize the sizing say +5cms for the extra rocker profile and more float.
Did you feel the Rustler gave up too running length making it ski shorter? Which is why the 177 sizing on the enforcer 110 is pulling me in.
Or for it's powday purposes, did you not want the longer ski anyway; and a 172 Rustler11 would match sizing wise with a 171 bonafide; and you get all the extra float from width only.
Mine are 180s. They don't ski "long" but they definitely don't ski short either. So long as you are on edge, they feel like a big 180 ski in terms of stability and such. Minimal taper and the metal in the ski count more than rocker on piste. Off piste they feel easy to pivot (I think what they did with the metal helps a lot) and are relatively quick but in the end, a 112cm ski is a big ski no matter how you look at it.

The 172 had no hope of floating me, and the 188 or 187 or whatnot felt like a very, very big ski. so I went with the 180. Most of my skis are 175-182 with exception of slalom skis and a set of white outs in 170. The 180 doesn't float me all that well but is great for boottop days in the trees.
 

Mike Rogers

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For Rustler 11 owners, would you mind commenting on how the lengths feel as it relates to the rocker profiles.

I'm thinking of possibly getting them;
I have the bonafide97 in a 171 which fits me well; but my concern is they didn't upsize the sizing say +5cms for the extra rocker profile and more float.
Did you feel the Rustler gave up too running length making it ski shorter? Which is why the 177 sizing on the enforcer 110 is pulling me in.
Or for it's powday purposes, did you not want the longer ski anyway; and a 172 Rustler11 would match sizing wise with a 171 bonafide; and you get all the extra float from width only.

I had a 180 bonafide a few generations ago. Skied on the 11s at 180 and 188. The 180 R11 felt quite a bit shorter than the 180 bones, but the 188 felt like a bigger ski. I would go 5 cm longer on the R11 for a similar feel. Unfortunately sizing doesn't always line up that way.
 
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Yepow

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Ironically, @Yepow I also own Laser AX and then some very groomer type skis and I bought the Rustlers as part of a travel quiver. However, one thing to say is, I found them a ski I only enjoyed on fresh snow days and true spring conditions; I find the width makes typical firmer days a chore, so I wound up augmenting them with a similar ski in narrower width (JSkis Masterblaster, which is another loose-ish playful ski with some, but not full sheet metal) and have been very happy with the quiver since then (Laser AX for mostly groomer days, Masterblasters for typical Sierra conditions (bumps, steeps, goofing off with friends) and Rustler 11s for fresh snow and slush).
@PupManS My take was the same for the bit I skied them this week. I brought them out for some 2:30pm slush and they slayed one afternoon. Things were freezing up in the mornings; I brought them out a second time for 3pm, but things cooled down and I found them heavy and I wasn't used to them on re-freezing snow... I understand a lot of people use this kind of thing as a daily driver, but I need to learn to pilot all skis a bit better before I would want to use them on firm snow...
 
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Yepow

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f
One thing to mention is to check the tune on ANY new ski as I think much of the “Enforcers are demanding” rep is because of poor factory tunes(commonly edge high). An edge ski will make it harder to pivot and makes the ski feel heavier.
Can you elaborate on "edge high" tunes and the poor factory tunes you reference here? I don't really know anything about tuning. I skied them for a bit in very soft/slushy conditions and enjoyed; certainly felt heavier than the AXs (duh). I took them out again when things were just starting to cool down at the end of the day (sun went away, started to snow) and that one run was less awesome (hadn't been skiing them all day, was tired, etc). I noticed the edges feel almost like they catch a fingertip when you drag from the base to the edge (though couldn't replicate with a fingernail). Could just be very sharp or...?
 

GregK

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Can you elaborate on "edge high" tunes and the poor factory tunes you reference here? I don't really know anything about tuning. I skied them for a bit in very soft/slushy conditions and enjoyed; certainly felt heavier than the AXs (duh). I took them out again when things were just starting to cool down at the end of the day (sun went away, started to snow) and that one run was less awesome (hadn't been skiing them all day, was tired, etc). I noticed the edges feel almost like they catch a fingertip when you drag from the base to the edge (though couldn't replicate with a fingernail). Could just be very sharp or...?
New skis can come from the factory with bases that aren’t flat edge to edge and this can greatly effect the skis performance. A straight metal edge or True Bar is used with light behind it and you move along the ski looking for areas of light shining through below that Bar.

On an edge high ski, the areas near the side edge will be higher than the middle of the ski. The lower section will allow light to shine beneath the test tool. An edge high ski like this will be slower edge to edge, feel “locked in a turn”, harder to pivot and more tiring to ski.

0FC10EA9-2F8F-487C-B6A1-0A6F46D9E02D.png



A Base High ski will allow light to shine on the sides under the True Bar, showing the Center of the base is higher than the edges. A base high ski will feel very surfy especially if those sections are underfoot. It will feel as if you’re skiing on marbles with your balance and confidence greatly effected.
1F88F71C-B5C5-43C1-A54E-6686A4ACC2B6.png


If you encounter either or both of these situations along the ski, a stone grind will be performed in order to level the higher sections and make the bases more even across.

After the base level is satisfactory, the skis edge bevels should be checked if they are uniform along the whole edge. A base bevel that’s not uniform near the tips and tails is a common issue.
After the edge bevels are set by hand with a file, use increasing grit diamond stones to further refine the edges and eliminate the typical coarse factory finish. This coarseness is what you are probably feeling. Diamond stone will make the edges faster and less gabby.

Hot wax and you’re good to go!
 
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Yepow

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THANKS! I understand this much better now :)
 
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Yepow

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New skis can come from the factory with bases that aren’t flat edge to edge and this can greatly effect the skis performance. A straight metal edge or True Bar is used with light behind it and you move along the ski looking for areas of light shining through below that Bar.

On an edge high ski, the areas near the side edge will be higher than the middle of the ski. The lower section will allow light to shine beneath the test tool. An edge high ski like this will be slower edge to edge, feel “locked in a turn”, harder to pivot and more tiring to ski.

View attachment 165398


A Base High ski will allow light to shine on the sides under the True Bar, showing the Center of the base is higher than the edges. A base high ski will feel very surfy especially if those sections are underfoot. It will feel as if you’re skiing on marbles with your balance and confidence greatly effected.
View attachment 165399

If you encounter either or both of these situations along the ski, a stone grind will be performed in order to level the higher sections and make the bases more even across.

After the base level is satisfactory, the skis edge bevels should be checked if they are uniform along the whole edge. A base bevel that’s not uniform near the tips and tails is a common issue.
After the edge bevels are set by hand with a file, use increasing grit diamond stones to further refine the edges and eliminate the typical coarse factory finish. This coarseness is what you are probably feeling. Diamond stone will make the edges faster and less gabby.

Hot wax and you’re good to go!
Well son of a gun—there is a very slight concave with the high points at the edges, at least on one of them. Not as pronounced as in that picture though.
 

ChrisJ

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Good time for potential deals if you can find stock.

I ski the ZX108 in a 191, expert skier, same weight as you but 6'1". Primarily ski Whistler.

I've owned several prior Kastles and Volkl and Elan the 105-110 size. I find the ZX108 to be a really capable allround soft snow/pow ski. They are very precise and much better on groomers than I would have ever expected for a non metal ski. in a 184 I think they would be superb for an intermediate - advanced skier looking to get better and not get punished. If they hold up for me in much denser heavier snow I think they would be fantastic in the rockies.

Finish on the new Kastles is superb mine look brand new after a season. If you cant find them locally our local shop in North Vancouver has one pair at a sweet price that I am sure they would ship to you. https://shop.northshoreskiandboard.com/products/kastle-zx-108
 
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Yepow

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Good time for potential deals if you can find stock.

I ski the ZX108 in a 191, expert skier, same weight as you but 6'1". Primarily ski Whistler.

I've owned several prior Kastles and Volkl and Elan the 105-110 size. I find the ZX108 to be a really capable allround soft snow/pow ski. They are very precise and much better on groomers than I would have ever expected for a non metal ski. in a 184 I think they would be superb for an intermediate - advanced skier looking to get better and not get punished. If they hold up for me in much denser heavier snow I think they would be fantastic in the rockies.

Finish on the new Kastles is superb mine look brand new after a season. If you cant find them locally our local shop in North Vancouver has one pair at a sweet price that I am sure they would ship to you. https://shop.northshoreskiandboard.com/products/kastle-zx-108
This photo, taken 8 seconds ago, was my choice, but overall I think I would have been happy with the kastles too! Thanks! image.jpg
 

James

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Good time for potential deals if you can find stock.

I ski the ZX108 in a 191, expert skier, same weight as you but 6'1". Primarily ski Whistler.

I've owned several prior Kastles and Volkl and Elan the 105-110 size. I find the ZX108 to be a really capable allround soft snow/pow ski. They are very precise and much better on groomers than I would have ever expected for a non metal ski. in a 184 I think they would be superb for an intermediate - advanced skier looking to get better and not get punished. If they hold up for me in much denser heavier snow I think they would be fantastic in the rockies.

Finish on the new Kastles is superb mine look brand new after a season. If you cant find them locally our local shop in North Vancouver has one pair at a sweet price that I am sure they would ship to you. https://shop.northshoreskiandboard.com/products/kastle-zx-108
Did you try the Fx 106?
Seems like the Zx has much more taper and is made to be surfier, more drifty?
Wondering how they compare.
 

MSU St Alum

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I might as well throw in, just in case there are some on telemark gear who are interested.

I'm 70, 5'8" tall, 165 lbs on the M-Free108 in 182cm.
Tx Pro boots, Meidjo bindings. Because there is some discussion among pin-heads on mounting position, these are mounted boot center over the recommended mounting point.

I'm in Park City, Utah and previously had Armada JJ's as my deep powder skis. They are wider at around 116 undefoot so have more float, but they are softer tip & tail and tend to be deflected once the snow begins to get chopped up.
The M-F's are a bit stiffer and don't seem to be deflected nearly as much. Probably not a surprise. The first time I skied them was on hard pack (we don't really get ice out here!) and I was pleasantly surprised at how well they carved and came around in a turn.
On really big days (like 16+"), with heavy snow, I do get a little tip dive on the trailing ski, but those conditions are rare and probably could be helped by mounting a couple of Cms back, but I like the quickness of the current mount position. They are confidence inspiring in open trees, especially for such a heavy ski.
I have a pair of Rustler 10's in 172 that are magic in tighter environments and I'm thinking hard about getting R11's for more float at some point.

Anyway, this is in a little over a foot (8" light over yesterday's 10" of dense), a little heavy from the sun and a little cut up in Utah.

 

tigersmash21

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Went up the chair with 2 separate people with Enforcer 110 skis at a powder day at Lake Louise today. Both liked their skis and were having a great day on them. One had the original lighter version and one had the current one.
Greg, not trying to hijack this old thread with irrelevant info but I have a question for you:

I notice in a lot of forum discussions from 2022, you recommended the Nordica Enforcer 110 Free to a lot of people.

In more recent forum discussions form 2023, I now see you recommending the Rossignol Sender Free 110 to a lot of people.

Is there a specific reason for that other than the Sender Free 110s being new for this season and the Enforcer 110 Frees having been around for a while?
 

GregK

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Greg, not trying to hijack this old thread with irrelevant info but I have a question for you:

I notice in a lot of forum discussions from 2022, you recommended the Nordica Enforcer 110 Free to a lot of people.

In more recent forum discussions form 2023, I now see you recommending the Rossignol Sender Free 110 to a lot of people.

Is there a specific reason for that other than the Sender Free 110s being new for this season and the Enforcer 110 Frees having been around for a while?
No such thing as irrelevant info or questions on a ski forum as you might not the only one curious about this!

The Enforcer 110 is still a great recommendation for those wanting a very versatile soft snow/powder ski that does lots of things very well yet isn’t too demanding. Still a very safe bet!

The Sender Free 110(and very similar 21 Faction CT 3.0) has a stiffer flex, less tip/tail taper for better edge grip and a longer turn radius for more stability at speed. A more precise ski that’s better in firmer conditions than the Enforcer 110. It’s not going to be quite as easy going being though.

The newer Nordica Unleashed 108 has a lighter weight than either of the above with less rocker but similar long effective edge of the Sender Free 110/CT 3.0. Another very good carver that’s not quite as demanding as the SF 110. An excellent choice for those wanting a soft snow/powder ski that might face more firmer snow underneath fresh snow like we sometimes see in the East.

Skis like the MFree 108 or Salomon Blank go the other way with increased rocker and taper so they are very loose and easy to pivot. You sacrifice edge grip for that looseness but you gain skis that are a riot in the trees in powder.

All these these skis are perfect recommendations depending on the skiers preferences.
 

tigersmash21

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No such thing as irrelevant info or questions on a ski forum as you might not the only one curious about this!

The Enforcer 110 is still a great recommendation for those wanting a very versatile soft snow/powder ski that does lots of things very well yet isn’t too demanding. Still a very safe bet!

The Sender Free 110(and very similar 21 Faction CT 3.0) has a stiffer flex, less tip/tail taper for better edge grip and a longer turn radius for more stability at speed. A more precise ski that’s better in firmer conditions than the Enforcer 110. It’s not going to be quite as easy going being though.

The newer Nordica Unleashed 108 has a lighter weight than either of the above with less rocker but similar long effective edge of the Sender Free 110/CT 3.0. Another very good carver that’s not quite as demanding as the SF 110. An excellent choice for those wanting a soft snow/powder ski that might face more firmer snow underneath fresh snow like we sometimes see in the East.

Skis like the MFree 108 or Salomon Blank go the other way with increased rocker and taper so they are very loose and easy to pivot. You sacrifice edge grip for that looseness but you gain skis that are a riot in the trees in powder.

All these these skis are perfect recommendations depending on the skiers preferences.
Very interesting. You seem to have the exact opposite opinion of the Enforcer 110 Free and Sender Free 110 vs the M-Free 108 as Ski Essentials and Ski Town All Stars do. They seem to think the Enforcer 110 is basically an all out charger and the Sender Free 110 more closely resembles the M-Free 108’s skiing style in its playfulness

But, having never skied them, just by looking at them, I would agree with you. The Enforcer 110 Free looks like it has a much more similar camber profile to the M-Free 108 than the Sender Free 110 does to the M-Free 108.
 

GregK

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They seem to think the Enforcer 110 is basically an all out charger and the Sender Free 110 more closely resembles the M-Free 108’s skiing style in its playfulness
The Enforcer 110 is the softest flexing Enforcer out there with a similar turning radius to the rest of their line, so a definite speed limit on them. The only Enforcer resembling a playful “charger” would be the old 191cm Enforcer 115/Pro.
The MFree 108 is a SUPER playful ski on/off edge with the Sender Free 110 becoming more “serious” when on edge. Sender Free 110 is an example of a playful charger that’s “playful but can still charge” when desired.

Testament to how well the Air Tip works as the overall weight of the SF 110 vs E110 is within an ounce or two, yet Ski Essentials makes it sound like the Enforcer 110 is MUCH heavier.
Ski Essentials also mentioned the Soul 7 in their review of the Sender Free 110 which is laughable as they are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Go to Blister for a much more complete review keeping in mind that mounting them at the -2cm(or more) mark will gain even more float and stability. Think they haven’t spent much time mounting further back yet so I’m sure they will be updating their already positive review this season. They compare it to a narrower, slightly stiffer and more precise Blackops 118 which is accurate.
 

tigersmash21

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The Enforcer 110 is the softest flexing Enforcer out there with a similar turning radius to the rest of their line, so a definite speed limit on them. The only Enforcer resembling a playful “charger” would be the old 191cm Enforcer 115/Pro.
The MFree 108 is a SUPER playful ski on/off edge with the Sender Free 110 becoming more “serious” when on edge. Sender Free 110 is an example of a playful charger that’s “playful but can still charge” when desired.

Testament to how well the Air Tip works as the overall weight of the SF 110 vs E110 is within an ounce or two, yet Ski Essentials makes it sound like the Enforcer 110 is MUCH heavier.
Ski Essentials also mentioned the Soul 7 in their review of the Sender Free 110 which is laughable as they are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Go to Blister for a much more complete review keeping in mind that mounting them at the -2cm(or more) mark will gain even more float and stability. Think they haven’t spent much time mounting further back yet so I’m sure they will be updating their already positive review this season. They compare it to a narrower, slightly stiffer and more precise Blackops 118 which is accurate.
I agree Blister gives a much better review. I just thought it was funny that both Ski Essentials and Ski Town All Stars act like the Enforcer 110 Free is some insane big mountain ski that could only be used at Jackson Hole by an expert, but everyone in these forums says basically the opposite about it and that it’s very easy and fun to ski.

I ended up going with the Sender Free 110s. There’s a Blister review on youtube with a Rossi engineer. In that video the engineer discusses the mounting points. He says the “recommended” mount point (-4cm from center I believe?) will make it ski like a BO and the “directional” mount point (-6cm from center?) will make it ski like a sender. I’m planning to go right between those.
 

GregK

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I agree Blister gives a much better review. I just thought it was funny that both Ski Essentials and Ski Town All Stars act like the Enforcer 110 Free is some insane big mountain ski that could only be used at Jackson Hole by an expert, but everyone in these forums says basically the opposite about it and that it’s very easy and fun to ski.

I ended up going with the Sender Free 110s. There’s a Blister review on youtube with a Rossi engineer. In that video the engineer discusses the mounting points. He says the “recommended” mount point (-4cm from center I believe?) will make it ski like a BO and the “directional” mount point (-6cm from center?) will make it ski like a sender. I’m planning to go right between those.
Agree it’s funny how “demanding” some find the Enforcers of any kind and MANY times it’s a big red flag for tuning issues if they are sized properly. Very commonly edge high which makes them seem much heavier and harder to pivot than they should be.

Yes, the rec line is -3.6cm back from Center on the 184cm Sender Free and the directional line is -2cm further back. Still think they will carve, float better and be more stable in the -2cm to -3cm back range. I have mine -2.75cm back and should be perfect for my 175lbs size.
I’d only go closer to the rec if I was on the 191cm for my size and wanted it to remain playful.

The Blackops 118 is a more symmetrical, less directional ski and its Factory mount is -2.5cm with the directional mount -3cm back. I’m -2.5cm back on my set and again perfect for my weight style of skiing.

The Enforcer Free line are right around -9cm back from Center so even on the directional Blackops 118/Sender Free lines, they are fairly progressive still.

What’s your size and what other skis do you have in the quiver? Just wondering what the other skis mount points are like in comparison.
 

tigersmash21

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Agree it’s funny how “demanding” some find the Enforcers of any kind and MANY times it’s a big red flag for tuning issues if they are sized properly. Very commonly edge high which makes them seem much heavier and harder to pivot than they should be.

Yes, the rec line is -3.6cm back from Center on the 184cm Sender Free and the directional line is -2cm further back. Still think they will carve, float better and be more stable in the -2cm to -3cm back range. I have mine -2.75cm back and should be perfect for my 175lbs size.
I’d only go closer to the rec if I was on the 191cm for my size and wanted it to remain playful.

The Blackops 118 is a more symmetrical, less directional ski and its Factory mount is -2.5cm with the directional mount -3cm back. I’m -2.5cm back on my set and again perfect for my weight style of skiing.

The Enforcer Free line are right around -9cm back from Center so even on the directional Blackops 118/Sender Free lines, they are fairly progressive still.

What’s your size and what other skis do you have in the quiver? Just wondering what the other skis mount points are like in comparison.
6ft 190lbs - The Sender Free 110s are 184cm

My daily is the M6 Mantra in a 184cm. I also have a Volkl Blaze 86 for slow and easy days with my toddler. Both of those mounted as recommended.
 

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