Help me narrow my research/demo list for a new all-mountain Tahoe ski

Mike Thomas

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Your quiver is odd.

The 116 Star 7 throws everything off. How often do you ski it per year? I think it is making you look at skis a touch too wide to 'fill the gap', a narrower (10_) more versatile ski at the top end would allow a much better middle ski. Well, you can (and should) still buy a better middle ski anyway but the quiver looks even odder then. You want a lighter weight fun playful ski that doesn't get pushed around and has some dampness. Your knees aren't the best and can feel the weight of skis on chairlifts. You know how you get it all- lighter weight, more playful, damp and less knocked around by crud? You buy a slightly narrower ski. 88/90 not 100.

See? I just narrowed your list.
 

elemmac

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If you're missing something from the list I'd say try the Rossignol Stargazer
2022 Rossignol Black Ops Stargazer I'm honestly blown away by that and the MIndbender 98 Ti Alliance in this category.
@laine - This ^ was my exact thought when reading through your list of skis…although I would even entertain the 101-underfoot (at 163 length) Black Ops Rallybird Ti for a little extra stability. Technically outside of your width range you listed, but well worth looking at to replace the Santa Ana.
 

Philpug

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@laine - This ^ was my exact thought when reading through your list of skis…although I would even entertain the 101-underfoot (at 163 length) Black Ops Rallybird Ti for a little extra stability. Technically outside of your width range you listed, but well worth looking at to replace the Santa Ana.
These new Black Ops are sooo much NOT like the old 7's, they are good. ;) The Rallybird Ti or even non Ti depending on how that shorter length bends. I am apprehensive of the shortest ski in the collection, especially when the get down into and below the mid 150's. Because of the need for a binding plate that will accomidate a 340 BSL, yes many brands do not scale the plate down for a small boot, they can get very planky underfoot. You need to look how the skis bends, and not by just flexing the ski by the ends, but flex it at the contact points where it will touch the snow ... and not in the normal adult size but the size you are considering.

I agree with @Mike Thomas I don't think anyone your size needs a 116 .... mayyyybe a high One-Oh-Something and put a upper 80-90 ski in there.
 

Tricia

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I agree with @Mike Thomas I don't think anyone your size needs a 116 .... mayyyybe a high One-Oh-Something and put a upper 80-90 ski in there.
I agree with this.
I'm bigger than @laine and my widest ski is the Rossignol Rallybird Ti
 
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laine

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Well, I agree - the Star 7 is a bit of an anomaly. I got them used during that season in Tahoe where we got dumps every week - I think it was 2017/18? (@Tricia - IIRC, I bought them from a woman who worked at Start Haus.) I definitely used them that season. And I used them a few times in Utah. Last time I used them was in Japan in 2019. You are all correct in that I don't use them often. But they're there....and not sure we get enough powder to replace them....

My regular rotation skis are the Laser AX and the Santa Ana. And the Santa Ana is 100 - so I was lowering that range for replacement to the low/mid 90s. I just hadn't considered the 80s so much because the Laser AX is so versatile and will be my go-to if there is no fresh snow for a while.

On paper, I'm most intrigued by the Santa Ana 93 (which I know is on the slightly heavier side), the Sheeva 9 (which doesn't seem to get a lot of review love), the Mindbender 98Ti (widest of the bunch), the Nela 96 (mostly because I love my AX's), and the Secret 96 (though I am worried that the Volkl might be too stiff for me).

I have reading more on the Stargazer and am definitely curious - but feel like I might be between sizes (154 vs 162) given the tip/tail rise. I'm also curious how it does in the Tahoe crud without any metal in it. Hoping I can find it to demo - doesn't look like Palisades carries Rossi's.

@Philpug - Not sure how I can avoid going with the smallest size of a ski. For a few on the list, there is one smaller size. But I do get what you're saying. I have found that in some smaller skis - the flex isn't adjusted to the expected weight/size of the skier.

@Mike Thomas - If I consider 88/90 - that would prob include the Santa Ana 88, Black Pearl 88, Kore 91 W, Mindbender 88Ti, Nela 88. So I'm not sure that narrows my list at all. :D
 

Tricia

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On paper, I'm most intrigued by the Santa Ana 93 (which I know is on the slightly heavier side), the Sheeva 9 (which doesn't seem to get a lot of review love), the Mindbender 98Ti (widest of the bunch), the Nela 96 (mostly because I love my AX's), and the Secret 96 (though I am worried that the Volkl might be too stiff for me).
The new Secret 96 is not what I would consider too stiff. In fact the Mindbender 98 Ti is stiffer.
I really like the "Tailored" construction that Völkl is implementing. They sent me 2 pair 163 and 170 which I skied back to back and I can absolutely feel the benefit of Tailored construction.
 

Tricia

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Philpug

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@Philpug - Not sure how I can avoid going with the smallest size of a ski. For a few on the list, there is one smaller size. But I do get what you're saying. I have found that in some smaller skis - the flex isn't adjusted to the expected weight/size of the skier.
You can't but you can avoid ones that a disproportionate and to do that you have to look at each on their own merits.

and the Secret 96 (though I am worried that the Volkl might be too stiff for me).
*This again is where some people are working off of dated information. With Volkl's new 3D sidecut and Tailored Titinal Frame, Volkl did a great job is scaling the new M6 and Secret 96 for all sizes. (Tricia posted the same thing as I was typing), the same with the new Rossi Black Ops verses the old 7 series. It has never been more true that we can no longer say "X brand/series/model always/never worked for me".

*Again, I am not just answering you but other eyes that might have thougth the same thing and might be lurking
 
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laine

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@Tricia - maybe. I’m 155cm tall so just wondering if that would be a little long. I haven’t seen them in person, so don’t have a great sense of the tip/tail rise. But Palisades does demo them, so I should be able to check them out at the mtn. We ended up getting a rental in Tahoe Donner for Jan 1-Mar 31, so should get some time in up there. Will you be at Blue Zone? (Looking forward to see if they have the Rossi’s to demo once we have some snow.)
 

Viking9

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The middle ski of a three ski Tahoe quiver is a tough one.For starters you have to erase the 2010-2012 years, Kevin McHale and Larry Bird are not walking through that door.
Freezing and thawing will always be in play , I think you have to go hard snow bias in mid to high 80’s.
We all know SJ really likes those Swiss sticks !!
 
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