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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
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    373

    Help me pick a firm snow ski

    Trying to find the right ski for firmer days in the Sierra + reasonable to travel with to the east coast. I'm 5'11, 175-180lbs. I do not have any sort of race background.

    Main skis are a Moment WC and WC108 both in 184 - I like the WC a bit more due to it being a bit stiffer and having a larger radius. Both of these skis work well for me - I like that it's easy to slide the tails into shorter turn shapes. Both feel pretty good at speed and are easy enough to be fun in bumps and trees. Obviously neither is great when it hasn't snowed in two weeks and the softest terrain is groomers.

    So I have a pair of 176 Moment Commander 98s - I bought them with the intention of them being good for east coast skiing (they have been) but they're too short for me anywhere wide open. I think I'm learning that I prefer a slightly longer radius than these skis have, and maybe a hair looser tail (which could probably be solved with a very light detune). I'd also prefer more weight / damper ride for this sort of ski - again, this is probably a function of the short length more than the design of this ski. It's pretty fun until things get cut up.

    Should I just go for a C98 in a 182cm length? Or should I consider something else? I'd like to improve my technique, but I think right now something like a Dyanstar LPR would probably punish my lack of skills. Curious about skis like a Stockli Stormrider or the various Kastle skis, but not sure if they're more traditional than I'd like.

    Appreciate the guidance from the collective.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Wenatchee
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    So youíre looking for an all mountain ski? A hard snow ski would be something like a Head Super Shape or Dynastar Speed 4x4 xxx.

    Really if you want a hard snow ski to make those conditions enjoyable the ski needs to be heavy, damp and less than 85 underfoot


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
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    373
    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentUnicorn View Post
    So you’re looking for an all mountain ski? A hard snow ski would be something like a Head Super Shape or Dynastar Speed 4x4 xxx.

    Really if you want a hard snow ski to make those conditions enjoyable the ski needs to be heavy, damp and less than 85 underfoot


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    Not a ski for true ice conditions, because I don't ski that super often, but for firm conditions here (Sierras) that'll work on occasional trips to the east coast. I thought 90-100mm made sense for this application. Maybe I am describing an all mountain ski... no bias against something narrower than 90mm, but it seemed the 90-100 range would give me a bit of flexibility.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2008
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    Wenatchee
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    Iíve been looking at the Speed 4x4 963 for what youíre talking about.


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Spokane/Schweitzer
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    Dynastar MPro 90 or MPro 99 might be what you're looking for. I have both and, for me, I like the 90 a bit better for groomers while it still skis well in shallowish powder. The 99 is also a good choice but for what you're describing, the 90 is likely a better call. YMMV,

  6. #6
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    Jul 2006
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    What terrain do you ski when it’s firm?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
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    373
    Checking out the Dynastars being recommended - both the Speed 4x4 and the MPro 90 seem to have a pretty tight radius. Excuse any ignorance on this, but isn't that going to make them a bit happier making tighter turns rather than larger ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by XavierD View Post
    What terrain do you ski when it’s firm?
    Generally the softest snow at Mammoth seems to be wind buff off the top once everything else is getting icy - so steep open bowls. Once those are too firm it's really just groomers left.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    1,077
    I've been enjoying the Fisher Curv GT this season at 76 underfoot. 125-76-110, 17m @182.

    It's a pretty fun ski described as an "accessible race ski" meaning you can take a few brain dead laps and not get totally punished.

    https://www.fischersports.com/us_en/...2723889&c=5330

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    255
    I have a 180 brahma with STH16s if ya want...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
    Generally the softest snow at Mammoth seems to be wind buff off the top once everything else is getting icy - so steep open bowls. Once those are too firm it's really just groomers left.
    For me a good groomer ski is different than a good firm off piste ski. That said I really like my Bonifide 97 for open groomers and some steep stuff but will tend to take my Woodsman 96 up if I’m planning on mostly skiing off piste

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Driving2VT
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    4,065

    Help me pick a firm snow ski

    Quote Originally Posted by XavierD View Post
    For me a good groomer ski is different than a good firm off piste ski. That said I really like my Bonifide 97 for open groomers and some steep stuff but will tend to take my Woodsman 96 up if Iím planning on mostly skiing off piste
    Woodsman 96 is a great ski along with Wren 96 (98 too). My ec typical go to even when trending firm - anything softer to edge into and they shine only that much more.
    Uno mas

  12. #12
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    Apr 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
    Checking out the Dynastars being recommended - both the Speed 4x4 and the MPro 90 seem to have a pretty tight radius. Excuse any ignorance on this, but isn't that going to make them a bit happier making tighter turns rather than larger ones?


    Generally the softest snow at Mammoth seems to be wind buff off the top once everything else is getting icy - so steep open bowls. Once those are too firm it's really just groomers left.
    RE: MPro 90. It's pretty damp and happy at speed. You can always make larger radius turns on just about any ski. I've not had any issues with longer turns with speed on them. See what's available for demo and try some different skis.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    1,121
    My current firm day, mostly groomer, in the Sierra, ski is still a 2nd gen. Mantra, and theyíre past due for replacement.

    Iíve skied new Mantras, Bonafideís, etc. and theyíre very good, certainly more versatile/easier to maneuver with the additional rocker, but I canít get along 100% with the shorter radius on them. If really leaned over to get good edge hold they just want to turn too tight. Reducing the angle and letting them drift a bit more in longer turns is possible, but not what Iím looking to do on firm groomer days.

    That doesnít really help, other than to confirm that a long radius does ski differently, and that itís possible to not get along with a tighter radius. I personally have no interest in a 17m side cut on my groomer ski (current old Mantras are around 22-23m I believe)

    Iíve been contemplating splitting the bottom end of the quiver in two and getting a masters gs ski with a mid 20ís radius for firm days when Iím willing to stick to groomers and an M6 Mantra for when I want the versatility.

    (I do have a bit of a racing background, but nothing too serious)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
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    373
    Thanks everyone for the thoughts and suggestions. If I can find a demo day I'll absolutely try a few skis, they've been few and far between the last couple seasons so I've been gambling a little with blind purchases. I'm curious to try the MPro 90 and maybe those Speed 4x4 and Fischer's too. I've never skied anything like the latter two but it would be good to know what they're like.

    I'm with J. Barron DeJong - longer radius skis feel better to me and the way I ski. The Wrenegade 96 looks like a good option, ON3P's version of the Commander seemingly. Hadn't considered Volkl, but the M6 Mantra looks like another good one - mount is further back than I'm used to but curious to try it.

    Just out of curiosity - is anyone skiing a Stockli Stormrider as their groomer / firm ski and liking it? Everyone I've casually asked in the lift line seems to really love theirs, but I don't see / hear much about them otherwise.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    At the beach
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    16,742
    Over the years I have skied a bunch of great skis at Mammoth on those firm days. For me, I agree with MU comment, "Really if you want a hard snow ski to make those conditions enjoyable the ski needs to be heavy, damp and less than 85 underfoot". I use MX 84's but I think the MX 88 would work too or any ski with similar properties. On my recent visit, one of the guys in the club demoed some Stolkis and loved them. Like the Kastles they are expensive unless you can find a discounted pair in April.
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
    That is why I like dogs, more than most people.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    3,135
    And Kaestle under 100mm wide


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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    180
    Try the Fischer RS One 86GTs. They have a little bit of tip and tail rocker to add some versatility that the Fischer Curve lacks. The 86GTs just rip. They are constructed with a top and bottom layer of .8mm titanal (most non race skis use .5mm) and bunch of other really interesting build materials. They carve beautifully any size turn you want, are incredibly stable and an amazing amount of fun. I have even skied them off the T-Bar at Breck. They wouldn't be my first choice for that application but weren't bad. I am 6' 170 and ski the 175 (all my other skis are 185ish) and have found they don't lack stability at speed. That said the 182 would also be fun but given how stiff and heavy they are I could see the 182s being a bit of a handful off piste.

  18. #18
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    Nov 2006
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    idaho panhandle!
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    Head Monster 82 or 88. They are very versatile. Lots of metal and rubber so heavy and damp. My M82ís are very versatile. Ski off piste firm and super firm like a dream. They can even get loose when it snows a couple inches over the firm. Bite down hard on ice and allow a guy to drag a hip on firm groomers. No top end either, well that I have found, pretty sure it doesnít exist. If it does not sure I care for that speed or have the course for it.
    Personally Iím not a fan of Indy companies firm snow offerings. Theyíre not heavy/damp enough nor offer the same edge hold as Head, Dynastar, Blizzard, ya know, companies that make race skis.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Iím still rocking a Fischer Motive 86ti, any mags with tuning knowledge have advice on a edge bevel setup to really maximize this ski on hard snow? Talking EC man made firm


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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Posts
    373
    Thanks all - definitely seems like the recommendations sway heavily towards bigger brands with that make race skis like 2FUNKY said. I'll have to see if I can demo a few of these recs at some point this winter.

    Also interested in the tuning aspect that ticketchecker asked about, but kind of the opposite - I like tails that are a little looser than the traditional super locked in flat tail skis. Is it possible to get that without ruining the edge hold of the skis we're talking about?

  21. #21
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    Nov 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticketchecker View Post
    Iím still rocking a Fischer Motive 86ti, any mags with tuning knowledge have advice on a edge bevel setup to really maximize this ski on hard snow? Talking EC man made firm


    Sent from my iPad using TGR Forums
    .5 and 3. Sharp tip to tail. Detune to your liking, or donítÖ. To keep that grip, touch up those edges after 5-6 days of skiing. Hard snow like you describe will dull them quicker than one thinks.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    2,260
    Quote Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
    Trying to find the right ski for firmer days in the Sierra + reasonable to travel with to the east coast. I'm 5'11, 175-180lbs. I do not have any sort of race background.

    Main skis are a Moment WC and WC108 both in 184 - I like the WC a bit more due to it being a bit stiffer and having a larger radius. Both of these skis work well for me - I like that it's easy to slide the tails into shorter turn shapes. Both feel pretty good at speed and are easy enough to be fun in bumps and trees. Obviously neither is great when it hasn't snowed in two weeks and the softest terrain is groomers.

    So I have a pair of 176 Moment Commander 98s - I bought them with the intention of them being good for east coast skiing (they have been) but they're too short for me anywhere wide open. I think I'm learning that I prefer a slightly longer radius than these skis have, and maybe a hair looser tail (which could probably be solved with a very light detune). I'd also prefer more weight / damper ride for this sort of ski - again, this is probably a function of the short length more than the design of this ski. It's pretty fun until things get cut up.

    Should I just go for a C98 in a 182cm length? Or should I consider something else? I'd like to improve my technique, but I think right now something like a Dyanstar LPR would probably punish my lack of skills. Curious about skis like a Stockli Stormrider or the various Kastle skis, but not sure if they're more traditional than I'd like.

    Appreciate the guidance from the collective.


    I skied the WC 101 / 184 yesterday in firm conditions, can't imagine a ski doing it any better than they did. Not East coast ice but definitely firm with scattered chalk.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Zurich, Switzerland
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    5,768
    Quote Originally Posted by 2FUNKY View Post
    Head Monster 82 or 88. They are very versatile. Lots of metal and rubber so heavy and damp. My M82ís are very versatile. Ski off piste firm and super firm like a dream. They can even get loose when it snows a couple inches over the firm. Bite down hard on ice and allow a guy to drag a hip on firm groomers. No top end either, well that I have found, pretty sure it doesnít exist. If it does not sure I care for that speed or have the course for it.
    Personally Iím not a fan of Indy companies firm snow offerings. Theyíre not heavy/damp enough nor offer the same edge hold as Head, Dynastar, Blizzard, ya know, companies that make race skis.
    This would be my vote. Same reasons. You can loosen most skis via tune. Can't magically create that smooth silky damp feel though.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    DownEast
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    2,100
    Yes, my Monster 88’s are cold, dead hands skis for me. I also found that I can ski them a size shorter (177 vs 184) due to their stability.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Wenatchee
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdude2468 View Post
    I skied the WC 101 / 184 yesterday in firm conditions, can't imagine a ski doing it any better than they did. Not East coast ice but definitely firm with scattered chalk.
    Do yourself a favor and try a mid 80s ski like some of the ones talked about in this thread. Nothing like a metal laminate ski from one of the big ski manufacturers.


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