Vantage 86 or Experience 88?

skinavy

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So my trusty 2013 Atomic Crimson Ti are great- I really enjoy their stability & "crudability," hold on hardpack, and they even do well in 6-8" fresh.
But... they are very heavy, with a lot of it in the ends- this makes me a very sad boy in the trees/bumps because it takes so much energy to swing them around.
Thus, I'm looking for something a bit lighter, with similar, East coast frontside-oriented performance, but also respectable when I dip into those Eastern bumps and trees- which is 1/3 to not quite 1/2 of my skiing. I have carvers and powder skis; these are destined to be East coast daily drivers.

The Vantage seems like a lighter Crimson, so may feel familiar to me? The Experience seems a touch... betterer overall? Its tighter radius is attractive. I can grab either, '20/'21 model, for ~same price.
Thoughts?
 

ski otter 2

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I'd demo, if I were you.

Also, your skill level makes a difference here: the better you are at carving, a skill the Crimson ti has rewarded so faithfully, the more I'd lean towards the choices below. (Pivoting for bumps can be so helpful; but by choice, rather than dictated by skill level.)

I too am/was a Crimson ti fan: had three or four pair over the years. Love em.
But, they are partly dated, at this point - in the way that you describe, mostly (but also, to me, a bit of a waste of 6-8" of fresh).

So many good skis out there; but just a few to try:

Some years ago, I'd have recommended the Experience 88s. But things change, hopefully for the better, usually.

Until they changed last year, the Blizzard Brahma might/would have been the ski for you: it charged/carved groomers, handled a bit of fresh plus crud - possibly even better than the Crimsons because of those heavy Crimson tips and tails - and it had just enough looseness in the tail to make it very good in bumps and trees - and for off piste skiing. So if you can find a NOS or lightly used pair of 19/20s or a bit earlier for the same version, that's what I'd recommend, as one strong possibility.

On the other hand, a ski that also fits the bill is the new Kendo 88. (I think it is a carryover from last year's change, so either 20/21 or 21/22 models would do it.) This ski changed for the better fairly drastically. It retained its near best in class groomer carving, but its three radius sidecut gained versatility big time. So much so that, for the purposes you describe, my favorite shop switched from recommending among themselves and for others the K2 Mindbender 90 (in a bit shorter 177 or 170; also a possibility for you) to that changed Kendo 88, again a bit shorter (177, 170) if doing bumps is a priority (which it seems to be for you).

Normally, I size up on most skis compared to other folks. But in this case, as my shop friends recommend also, I'd size down for either the MB 90 or the Kendo 88 if bumps are on the menu. (How much depends on how big you are and what you're used to - but generally one size).

But again, everybody's different, and demoing these yourself would be good.

(Since you are back East, where the edge hold is so valuable, the Kendo 88 sized slightly down would be the possibility I'd lean to, in your case.)
 
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skinavy

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The trouble with being based in the mid-Atlantic is that demo-ing is a nontrivial evolution, given that the decent shops with skis you want to try are nowhere near the hills. When I do go North or West for a precious few days, I want to SKI, not spend time changing what's under my feet each day or 1/2 day or few runs. Thus, many times you just grab 'em and pray, then look to unload them at next year's swap sale if they don't work for you. If you're lucky you can grab 2 pairs for the price of 1 new, and cage match them.

I did find a pr of '19 Brahmas in good shape, so grabbed those. We shall see! If they ski at all like the Crimson on-piste but just a bit quicker to swing around, I am sure I will be grinning my way through the trees :) I went with 173s- the Crimsons were 178 and that felt long although it may have been the tip weight. Hopefully these don't feel too short in comparison.
FWIW, I'm 50, 5'11, 175, only been skiing for 6 years but running with a pack of level 3 instructors, evaluators, and patrollers 40-50 days/year, so the learning curve has been very steep. I'm told I'm a solid 7, although I say 6. Frankly, I just like playing wherever on whatever terrain, always working on improving whatever it is I am doing to get down nicely.
 

East Coast Scott

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I was debating between the Kendo 88 and the Enforcer 88. I went with the enforcer but haven't skied it yet. From what I'm told you can't go wrong with either. The Kendo charges a little harder and the Enforcer is a little more playful but they both do both well.
 
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