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All mountain ski for intermediate

Smitty244

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I’m an intermediate that currently has Nordica navigator 80’s. I ski all blues and blacks in New York and last winter out in Colorado skied a lot of blues. I don’t do moguls and very little trees. I enjoy learning to carve harder and faster. Looking for something I can push hard turns and can also ride stable at speeds. I’ve heard a lot about the enforcer 88 and Brahma 88 but reading about them it sounds like they require a lot of skier input whatever that means. Would those two options be too much ski for an intermediate looking to improve? I don’t want a ski you have to literally make turn and can’t smear and slide when you need to. I want something that loves to carve hard with good edge hold and can also break loose when you want it to. Also read about the rustler 9 but heard it doesn’t handle speed as well as the enforcer and Brahma.
 

mikec142

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I think you'd find the Enforcer 88 or the Brahma 88 to be very enjoyable. They are both very popular so I would think you wouldn't have a lot of trouble finding a place to demo them.

I skied the Rossignol Experience 88 for a while and thought it was a fun all mountain ski. I loved the Enforcer 100 when demo'ing out west.
 

dblskifanatic

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I think you'd find the Enforcer 88 or the Brahma 88 to be very enjoyable. They are both very popular so I would think you wouldn't have a lot of trouble finding a place to demo them.

I skied the Rossignol Experience 88 for a while and thought it was a fun all mountain ski. I loved the Enforcer 100 when demo'ing out west.

Agree! I have not skied the Enforcer or Brahma but I have fried that enjoy them. I have demo'd Experience 88 and find that they carve really well. Along the same line the Salomon QST 92 which I also demo'd was a fun ski as well.

@Smitty244 it sounds like you like to rip the groomers. What types of trails black no moguls, blues and greens are hard to avoid closer tot he base. Do you ever track through un touched powder if there is any? If it is groomers only, there are some great intermediate/advanced carvers that could be considered.

It sounds like you want to progress, going for a ski about your current abilities might be a consideration to help push you.
 

keyser soze

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I just got the Enforcer 93s after demoing them a couple of times and they will fit the bill for what you are describing-a great all around ski for the northeast and something to grow into. I'm not a great skier and find them easy to ski. I also demoed the Brahmas a couple of years back and liked them a lot, but preferred the Enforcers. GL.
 

Bumpsis

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@Smitty244 : I really like carving high speed turns and ski mostly in the east so I have a bias towards narrower waist skis that have a moderate stiffness to them. I've been skiing on Rossi S 80 (80mm waist) for past few years and it has been a blast. Good for everything I'm likely to encounter but ice, on which I just suck. Never mastered the racer's ice carve. But my S80 carves and slides as needed, high speed turns to sliders in bumps. Not bad in powder either.

A ski that probably is similar to that is this:

You may enjoy getting on something like Atomic Vantage 82 TI or anything similar to that. I have not skied that but checked out its flex and it felt like it would hold speed in hard carved turn. At the end of the season I bought Atomic Vantage 79 TI which felt similar as far as flex is concerned. I'm really itching to try it out but from what I heard and seen on line, it's a great east coast ski that is forgiving yet will provide stability in a turn on hard stuff. Don't get a ski that's too stiff like Brahma 82. Unless you really heavy (BMI over 27/28) you may not be able to bend it just right.

Places like Ski.com provide a fairly decent ski performance profile (Skill range, rocker, flex, best use) example:

If you do majority of your skiing in the east, having something like 80mm in waist, 125 mm shovel and 110mm tail will carve rather nicely and in my experience, it will be just fine in a few inches of fresh or broken up crud. As long as the ski isn't too soft, it will let you progress. Keep in mind that it's also a function of your boots. If your boots are soft and you have to crank them super tight to get your skis to behave, get stiffer boots.
 

puckoach

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I am an older Intermediate. As I aged, I went from black, to black/blue, to blue, and now green/blue. Will be 67 in a few weeks. Various health issues, saw me drop
from 250lbs, to 220 in 18/19. 190 now.

My avatar picture is me falling, when taking off my first shaped skis. Short 160's(?) I got in about 1995. Around 2011, I purchased Sultan 85's, which I think are 174's. Which were a fantastic change to an all mountain ski.

Late in 16, I demoed the Brahma's. As they were a big improvement over the Sultan's, I purchased and have been riding them 17/18, 18/19, 19/20.

The Sultan was a tad better on ice - like wearing ice skates. But, the Brahma excels at all else. Stable at speed, carving, skidding, easy to turn with a light touch. All conditions, groomed to crud. Just a joy to use. In fact, I was effortlessly skiing last February, a day or so before having a heart attack. Crossing the parking lots, was more of a challenge, than skiing !

I suggest you demo them. I tried other all mountains, and these were my choice. Good Luck !!
 

Smitty244

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Agree! I have not skied the Enforcer or Brahma but I have fried that enjoy them. I have demo'd Experience 88 and find that they carve really well. Along the same line the Salomon QST 92 which I also demo'd was a fun ski as well.

@Smitty244 it sounds like you like to rip the groomers. What types of trails black no moguls, blues and greens are hard to avoid closer tot he base. Do you ever track through un touched powder if there is any? If it is groomers only, there are some great intermediate/advanced carvers that could be considered.

It sounds like you want to progress, going for a ski about your current abilities might be a consideration to help push you.
Yes basically all blacks and a lot of blue groomers and whenever there is fresh snow I make sure to hit it. No moguls for me at least yet anyways. I’m a bit intimidated by them still lol.
 

ss20

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If you don't do moguls or trees why are you going with something in the 80s for width? If you're doing 90% groomers I'd looking at something in the low-mid 70s that you can go edge-to-edge quicker. It doesn't have to be a crazy race ski with layers of metal. I think that'd fit you needs just fine. If you're doing mostly groomers 85mm is definitely overkill. Even at an intermediate's skill level that's going to have a very noticeable difference on your ability to carve than something in the 70s. I haven't shopped for this segment so I'll let others give you a specific ski.

Also might be time for a 2-ski quiver. If I had only 2 pairs of EC skis it'd be a carving ski roughly 75mm underfoot and a West Coast "daily driver" 90-95mm underfoot. If you have those skis you'll be set all but the 6"+ storm days of blower pow (roughly 2 days a decade here lol).
 

ss20

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Also, don't be intimidated by any ski. Pretty much anything that isn't a full-metal race ski or a 115mm underfoot powder ski is going to be "navigable" by any high-level intermediate. Best for a high-level intermediate? No. But I wouldn't worry about being in "over your head" on 99% of skis out there.

Skis are like cars nowadays....they don't make "bad" ones anymore. Hence demoing being critical as it's all about personal preference now.
 

mikec142

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What are opinions on the elan ripstick 88 vs say the experience 88?
I don't know enough about the ripstick to say, but I skied the 2014 version of the E88 for a while and thought it was a solid but not spectacular all mountain ski. I'm seeing a ton of ripsticks on the mountain though. Many more than the E88. A buddy of mine has the ripstick. He said something odd about how there is a left and right ski meant for a specific foot? Not sure exactly what he was referring to.
 

mikec142

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I think you'd be very well served by any of the skis you mentioned. The E88, Enforcer, Brahma, or Ripstick.

Obviously it's all subject to personal preference. After 4-5 seasons on the E88, I moved a J Ski Masterblaster in December of 2018. My E88's were still in excellent shape, but I felt like I was ready for something new. I'm a huge fan of my J Skis. I still have the E88's mounted with Marker Griffons. I keep them around as rock skis, but the fact is, that since I bought the J's I haven't touched the E88's, even on days where conditions were sketchy.

If there was a hassle free way to sell my E88's I'd do it.
 

Dickc

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Yeah I did read they have a left and a right which is definitely different
From a ski Profiles review: "The Ripstick, unusually, has a left and right ski. The ‘Amphibio’ profile is an asymmetrical rocker profile with a rockered outside edge and a cambered inside edge. The idea is to provide edge hold and stability from the inside edge while making turn initiation easier and more forgiving. The best of both worlds?"
 

deadheadskier

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If you don't do moguls or trees why are you going with something in the 80s for width? If you're doing 90% groomers I'd looking at something in the low-mid 70s that you can go edge-to-edge quicker. It doesn't have to be a crazy race ski with layers of metal. I think that'd fit you needs just fine. If you're doing mostly groomers 85mm is definitely overkill. Even at an intermediate's skill level that's going to have a very noticeable difference on your ability to carve than something in the 70s. I haven't shopped for this segment so I'll let others give you a specific ski.

Also might be time for a 2-ski quiver. If I had only 2 pairs of EC skis it'd be a carving ski roughly 75mm underfoot and a West Coast "daily driver" 90-95mm underfoot. If you have those skis you'll be set all but the 6"+ storm days of blower pow (roughly 2 days a decade here lol).
I agree with this. Generally speaking I think people in the East are on skis way too wide for the typical conditions.

I have a three ski quiver.

Head iRally. 78 underfoot
Nordica Steadfast. 90 underfoot
Nordica Vagabond. 107 underfoot

I find myself using the Heads 70% of the time, Steadfast 25% and Vagabond about 5% as a primarily weekend skier whose schedule doesn't allow me to chase storms. If I skied in Northern Vermont, the Steadfast would probably be used 50%, Heads 40% and Vagabond 10%.
 

ss20

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I agree with this. Generally speaking I think people in the East are on skis way too wide for the typical conditions.

I have a three ski quiver.

Head iRally. 78 underfoot
Nordica Steadfast. 90 underfoot
Nordica Vagabond. 107 underfoot

I find myself using the Heads 70% of the time, Steadfast 25% and Vagabond about 5% as a primarily weekend skier whose schedule doesn't allow me to chase storms. If I skied in Northern Vermont, the Steadfast would probably be used 50%, Heads 40% and Vagabond 10%.
I've got a similar setup.

A mid-level Blizzard Quattro (7.2 ti rings a bell)- 68mm underfoot.
Fischer Pro Mtn 95mm underfoot
Nordica Enforcer 110

Only got the Nordicas because I'm moving out west.
 

jimmywilson69

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I can tell you that the RipStick 96 is one of the best skis I've ever owned. I would assume that the 88 performs similarly well. Yes to the left and right ski as DickC posted. I can carve very well in them and they have decent float as there is a big shovel on the tip. As can be expected a 96 under foot doesn't handle boiler plate all that great but thats really the only knock on it.
 

tnt1234

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I agree with this. Generally speaking I think people in the East are on skis way too wide for the typical conditions.

I have a three ski quiver.

Head iRally. 78 underfoot
Nordica Steadfast. 90 underfoot
Nordica Vagabond. 107 underfoot

I find myself using the Heads 70% of the time, Steadfast 25% and Vagabond about 5% as a primarily weekend skier whose schedule doesn't allow me to chase storms. If I skied in Northern Vermont, the Steadfast would probably be used 50%, Heads 40% and Vagabond 10%.
I don't know...I stepped up from 88 to 94 for my everyday east coast ski, and honestly seems fine even in sketch conditions. Maybe they don't handle ice headwalls as well as a sharp set of sub 80s but otherwise, I'm fine with them on frozen granular days....
 

deadheadskier

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I guess it just comes down to performance expectations. I can ski my Steadfasts as a daily driver just fine. They were for three seasons When released, they were considered one of the better hard snow all mountain skis.

Then I started demoing performance carving and beer league race skis on hard snow and the difference is night and day. There's a reason why racers skis are the width they are. The physics just work better on hard man made snow, which is what I encounter as a NH skier about 70% of the time. 25% of the time it's packed powder or fresh 8" and under. The Steadfasts come out for that. Anything 8" and up, I ski the Vagabonds.
 

John9

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We sound like similar skiers, high level int/low level expert, rip groomers. Let me suggest to look at the new K2 disruption. I still have my 2012 Chargers, 74 underfoot, and it's basically a user friendly GS ski.
 
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