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Best ski match for touring and piste with Shift binding?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Now we have the Shift binding and XTD 130 boots, what ski's can match this versatiliy potential? I need a travel friendly quiver of one, when taking two pairs is not an option. To limit the selection: ~3000g / pair for tourability, ~95 mm waist for versatiliy and uncompromising stability and speed on-piste. Based on the online reviews I have identified two main candidates: Head Kore 93 (3000g) and Black Crows Camox Freebird 2019 (2750g). At 1000 euro incl Shift binding the Black Crows are much more expensive than the Kore at 759 euro.

Are the BCs worth the extra price for this application?

Is the Kore 93 superior to the BC's on-Piste, in terms of stability at speed?

Other options: Atomic Backland 95 2019 (719 Euro incl Shift binding and skins) and Dynastar Mythic 97 (699 euro).

I'm looking forward to your thoughts and suggestions
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Blizzard G95? Where are you buying from?
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Yes looked into them. Based on this blistergear review I concluded they will be too compromised on the downhill compared to the Kore, certainly on-piste http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/blizzard-zero-g-95/2

(I'm buying online from europe)
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Quoting weights without knowing the length you require doesn't help much I'd also recommend looking at the Whitedot R.98 CarbonLite, the Scott Superguide 95 (which is very underrated) and if you like a shorter radius the Scott Slight 93. Also there's the Sallie QST 92's & 99's.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Sat 3-11-18 12:08; edited 1 time in total
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Blizzard Rustler 9? Good reviews out there.
Just got some Rustler 10’s for myself, pairing up with Shift bindings and Scarpa RS boots, wanted a setup for messing around out of bounds (month in Val d Anniviers😛, did the same last year on my Fischer Hannibal touring kit, it was an amazing month)
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All you guys buying Shifts, remember to buy skins as well Laughing

Surprised there's not yet a thread "What skins should I buy to go with my Shifts" Laughing
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@Maxwerks, according to my friends at Concept in Chamonix, the Blizzards are hardly any diff on the down than the Bonafides.

Why buy based on reviews?
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Maxwerks wrote:
Yes looked into them. Based on this blistergear review I concluded they will be too compromised on the downhill compared to the Kore, certainly on-piste http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/blizzard-zero-g-95/2

(I'm buying online from europe)


Which one? Your prices look cheap for the Shift vs Sport Conrad (euro 449)
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I have skins from my old Atomic Automatics, bit of cutting and trimming needed of course.

Ski weights as stated by manufacturer for reference length, typically between 170 and 180 which is where I am looking too.
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Scott Slight is a very interesting cousin of the Kore given its technology and design. I skied it for a day last season, unfortunately the skis had completely wrong wax underneath for suddenly warm and wet snow, which ruined the ride. It felt very stiff through to the tips and tails. That made it excellent for high speed carving on piste but a bit much work off-piste, neither agile nor floaty. I noticed similar observations in online reviews so I am not convinced by it. For pure on-piste I have my Rossi FIS GS wink

The Rustlers sound very good and well priced, but they are signifcantly heavier than Kore and Camox.
@Freerider@Chamonix: thanks that's helpful info, if I can get a good price on them I will seriously consider the Blizzard G95. I expect that skis like G95, Salomon MTN 95 and Atomic Backland 95 are pretty similar in performance. Of these three the Atomic in the 2019 revamp appears the strongest for downhill, based on the reviews at Blister and Proskilab. Re your comment buying based on reviews, these type of ski's are not easyily demo'd, unless one lives in Chamonix I guess. So your input is super appreciated Very Happy
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Shifts seem overkill on skis that light. I'd look to a heavier ski than the ones suggested, unless you are touring most of the time.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@JackSkier, good comment and I agree. Ski's as light as G95, MTN, Backland deserve at least a Tecton or lighter. I also think these are all (significantly???) less powerfull downhill than Kore, which Head is pitching against the heavier all-mountain ski's that you suggest. Perhaps we conclude that Shift is perfectly matched with Kore, shame they come from different industrials.

On the other hand, my reason to investigate even lighter ski's than Kore, is that high weight of the Shift. I want good uphill performance from this setup, otherwise why even bother to get a Shift in the first place. In my view the extra weight of the binding should be compensated by the lower weight of the ski's, provided it does not impact downhill performance. That's why this glowing review of the Camox 2019 on Proskilab sparked my interest https://www.proskilab.co.uk/h/men-s-freeride-touring/ski-reviews-2019-black-crows-camox-freebird/623. Compare it to their also glowing review of the Kore https://www.proskilab.co.uk/h/men-s-all-mountainfreeride/ski-reviews-2019-head-kore-93/617

Not only is the Camox 200g per ski lighter than the Kore, but it also achieves higher scores. The lighter weight of Camox would nicely compensate the higher weight of the Shift, while boosting downhill performance. We may have an even better match for the Shift then. I know this stuff can only be judged from skiing both, back to back. Given the big price difference, I might still end up buying the Kore, it will certainly not be a bad choice.
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@JackSkier, I think you have a point there. The shifts are a pretty hefty binding. The XTD 130 boots are also no mincing lightweights.

On my lightish skis (Salomon MTN Explore 95) I have Dynafit Superlite bindings which weigh about as much as the brakes on the Shifts. @spyderjon, suggestions make sense, particularly the Whitedots, though I wouldn't fancy a 850g binding on a Superguide.

Take a holistic view.
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You know it makes sense.
I spent 3 years skiing Salomon Scrambler Customs, a very light ski, foam core, and 124-85-110 in 170cm. So a light ski for touring and good dimensions form piste and moderate snow depth. I used them with Fritschi Freeride ptg+ bindings, so a very light ski and a much beefier and heavy than needed binding - They were a joy to skin and ski with.

Conversely I had a pair of Movement Shaman with Dynafit TLT, which were lovely on the up, and not so good on the down due to lightness, they were really hard of the toes when used on piste. I used these as my rock hopping skis in Wales and they did the job, but a bit long in the turn radius sometimes.

The other set I spent some time with were Dynastar Cham 2. 97mm in 182 (I think) with Dynafit Beast bindings, I didn't get around to much touring with them, but did a lot of piste and lift served off-piste/back country stuff.

Looking back, I think the Salomon Scrambler Custom were the most useful combination in nearly all snow types encountered on piste in Europe and North America and the extremely mixed conditions in Scotland and Wales.

So this year Im going to be looking for a similar dimension and weight of ski, mounted with either Tecton or Dynafit turn or last version of Rad2.

So that would be a light ski with possibly heavier binding combo again Puzzled Puzzled
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@Markhandford, conclusive proof that it does indeed take all sorts...
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@HammondR Taking a holistic view also means that the total sum weight of boots + bindings + skis should be light enough for the touring job. In this case the job is roundtrip day tours. Its a given that the Shift is pretty hefty, but it saves the effort of bringing two pairs of boots and two pairs of skis. Since we cannot change the heft of the Shift, all we can do is pick lighter skis and boots, as long as it does not impact the on-piste downhill ability.

@Spyderjohn Whitedot r98 sounds sweet, seems similar to my Dynafit Beast 98 fitted with tech bindings. I use it for longer treks or deeper conditions, brilliant ski.
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@Maxwerks, like I said, it takes all sorts.
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HammondR wrote:
@Markhandford, conclusive proof that it does indeed take all sorts...


Yes I hated the Fritschi freeride, too high off the ski and the mostly plastic binding had so much play plus they were heavy. Agree Dynafit Rad 1's will shake your contact lemses out and numb your feet on frozen corduroy though. Super light skis tend to chatter and get thrown about a lot by anything but perfect conditions esp at speed. There's one way to offset the additional weight, get yourself super fit.

Another option is two sets of skis with quiver killers or something similar. One for piste/all mountain, one for touring, If they are of similar dimensions you could use the same set of skins then choose between skis based on the tour and conditions. e.g. long tour & fresh power light skis, short tour crappy snow heavy skis.
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DB wrote:
Agree Dynafit Rad 1's will shake your contact lemses out and numb your feet on frozen corduroy though. Super light skis tend to chatter and get thrown about a lot by anything but perfect conditions esp at speed.

Absolutely. But I can confirm that the Superguide 95 does not do this, and that is why they are so underrated.
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@HammondR, For what the Fritschi pro were, in comparison to an alpine binding, at the time they were pretty darn good. I guess if you are an extremely competent top level skier? then I guess you would notice the difference more than I would, As I can ski pretty much everything going, gullies and ski down grade 1 winter routes etc, but perhaps not in the best of style Smile

In previous posts folks were weighing up between a lighter or heavier ski to use with the shift binding, I simply surmised that in the past I had used a vert light ski with a heavier binding and out of the subsequent combinations I have used since, I found it to be the more versatile set up, a circa 3kg boot, a light ski and a heavier touring binding. Just my experience Smile
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Reading all this, it's getting very close to road cycling weight weenies, when we strive to shed those 40gms on a pedal.

Be honest, you'd probably be better off (financially and performance wise) shedding a few kgs and doing 10hrs exercise a week, it will make going up a whole lot easier even on Diamir FreeRides Toofy Grin

So speakath the man with five or six pairs of touring skis rolling eyes
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Well I pulled the trigger on the Kore / Shift combo at biker-boarder.de for 759 incl shipments, will report back on them. Thanks all for the lively discussion, I now have 4 pairs to ski and 2 pairs to sell. Off to the crossfit box
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@Maxwerks, "Off to the crossfit box", oh no, lets not start on that topic....
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Laughing
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A bit late to the party but my 5p worth:

1) Shift + lightweight tourer + heavy boots could feel unbalanced IMHO; interested to see how you find them. I'd pair them with a Scrapper 107 if I wanted an allrounder. Stiff ski but not too heavy.

2) The superguide is superb. The 105 is such a versatile ski - so versatile I'd leave the 95 for sketchy steep lines in hard conditions or for sadastically long tours.

3) 'Don't buy lighter kit, just do more exercise' is a nonsense argument - hear it all the time in MTB land rolling eyes . A lighter ski will make your uphill more efficient than a heavy ski. If you're fitter, you'll just go uphill faster and feel less poo-poo when you get there. Why tarnish yourself with heavy clunky kit if you're fat? It makes no sense.
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@Sharkymark, thanks for your 5p! Superguide sounds like one to watch out for, I'm quite fond of underrated ski's. Now the boot question has become interesting. Unfortunately the Hawx XTD is apparently not currently manufactured in my 24.5 size. Soooo, what else? I came across some excellent initial review of the Tecnica Zero Guide Pro Tour by Lee Lau at Newschoolers. Seems these are on par with Hawx XTD in terms of downhill skiability and a bit lighter as well. According to Grassi sports in Torino these come available (at eye watering prices) early Dec. I also discovered in another review by Lee Lau that I own a pair of underrated boots: Dynafit Beast Carbon in a slightly too large MP25. In a comparative review he rated these as even stiffer and better flexing than the XTD, though much worse ROM. So rather than get new boots I will first ask the bootfitter to try a high volume liner in my Beast and see if that solves my fit issue (foot length 243mm, shell size MP25.5). Also a little challenge is to make my Dynafit boot work with the Shift binding. My bootfitter suggests to try Marker's TLT heel adapter for Kingpin, although these are not certified for the Beast boot. By the time it's all sorted and done there might even be some snow.
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Sharkymark wrote:
....3) 'Don't buy lighter kit, just do more exercise' is a nonsense argument - hear it all the time in MTB land..


4) That's usually the view of overweight (MTB) cyclists Laughing

There's shed loads of evidence, at least in the Lycra roadie world that carrying the extra kgs up an ascent hampers performance, it's not exactly rocket science!

And for sure lighter gear will help, but you'll also get more advantages with said lighter gear if you loose some kgs as well!

In the world of MTB's said cyclists took to taking lifts, or now even EBikes to get their downhill fix, how's that for thread drift Toofy Grin

Managed some touring today in the back office on my "old" Scott Powdairs & Vipecs though weather closed in cutting short visit to the summit Cool

Eight days to make decision on what skis to take to Siberia, it's between my Black Crows Atris & Tectons or K2 Coomback + Dynafiddles
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@Weathercam, unless he’s eaten all the pies since I last saw him, and I mean actually all of them, I don’t think you could consider @Sharkymark to be overweight Shocked
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@Weathercam, go wide (unless you're not expecting much snow.........) Very Happy
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Superguide 105+shift binding €648 on Sport Conrad Very Happy
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@Scarlet, think I know that about his weight, that's why I worded it carefully Toofy Grin

@KenX, that's one hell of a deal.

I'm tempted to take the Black Crows 108, that's what I toured with in Japan this year in very cold, very deep conditions and then again back here in cold and deep, only issue is no tail clips, though as you know I never had a problem with them.

The Coombacks 114 or 115 ? are a great ski too, but better in open terrain - just think the Black Crows are better to throw around in the forest etc
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Sharkymark wrote:
3) 'Don't buy lighter kit, just do more exercise' is a nonsense argument - hear it all the time in MTB land rolling eyes . A lighter ski will make your uphill more efficient than a heavy ski. If you're fitter, you'll just go uphill faster and feel less poo-poo when you get there. Why tarnish yourself with heavy clunky kit if you're fat? It makes no sense.


If you are a heavy person on a light ski (in touring ski terms the Head Kore 93 is not a light ski) it will most likely ski like a noodle on the way down.
It's all relative but to me Maxwerks has a heavy setup, but that's understandable as he's using one setup for all his skiing so there's going to be a bigger compromise.
One of the Austrians in my regular ski touring group is overweight and has a pair of lightweight Hagan skis to compensate, he struggles on the way down esp. when the snow conditions are tricky.

The same goes for mountainbiking, if you are a heavy person then a light XC bike will make it easier on the way up but won't be much fun on the way down if you are bottoming out your suspension all the time on a technical descent.

Being fit means you can go up at the same pace as the rest of the ski touring group without knackering yourself on a heavier setup. Playing catch up ruins the experience on the way up and ultimately on the way down too. So the non-nonsense advice I and others were giving is get yourself fitter rather than buy noodle skis.
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@DB, PLUS ONE !

And having had a chat with Per our guide today over ski choice I'm going with the Black Crows and just back from another cloud stopped play ski tour (but some sweet turns) where I used my Powdair skins on the Atris which are nigh on 10mm narrower as we've been advised to take a spare pair of skins as we could be doing three tours a day and did not notice any difference in the fresh to soft snow with them.
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...aaaaaand my point has been missed. It was far simpler than that snowHead

(The right type and intensity of) Training makes the single biggest improvement to absolute performance.

This doesn’t stop an unfit bloke touring on say a lightweight stiff carbon megaski 115mm having an advantage over a 2.5kg wood/Titanal plank of similar stiffness. For sure, noodle will be rubbish compared to a heavier and crucially stiffer Ski. Same with bikes; I’d be nuts to say a Scott spark is somehow better for a heavier rider than an a ransom in all situations: but a light enduro Bike will provide a significant advantage over a heavy one.

I’m with Ken: superguide + shift, why not?
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@Maxwerks, have a look at Nordica stryder 120 boot to pair with shift , I've got pair in mondo 24/24.5 , and I think my set up of qst 99 / shift / free ride boot will work really well for the skiing objectives of the shift combo , for bigger / longer days I would go lighter all-round

i.e sub 1.3 kg ski / touring boots / and tech bindings
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There are some great deals on Sport Conrad for ski / shift set (add boots for even more). Look out for the additional 12% off Black Friday deal they did last November.
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Maxwerks wrote:
Unfortunately the Hawx XTD is apparently not currently manufactured in my 24.5 size.


I just had a pair stretched out to fit my 'non race' feet and they appear to be quite workable, according to Uncle Colin. Are not 1/2 sizes usually accounted for in the liner rather than the shell ?

Hard to know if the XTDs will work on snow but they ski well enough on the plastic Wink
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@AndAnotherThing.., you’ve got XTNDs now? This is news...
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Quick question - is the Hawk XTD fit the same as other non-touring Atomic ski boots? e.g. Hawx Prime
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@sharkymark good review of the superguide here, note the comment that the ski does not demand a high elasticity binding https://www.skieur.com/ski-2017-scott-superguide-105

@Dabber If I cannot salvage my dynafit Beast Carbon then really looking to replace it with another 1500g-ish boot that skis like a champ. The new Head Kore 1 boot also sounds great, but that too is not yet produced in a 24/24.5 shell. Visiting the bootfitter tomorrow, first to check if the Dynafits can be made to work with the Shift, if then find a high volume liner to fill the roomy fit.

@BobinCH thanks for the tip, still Biker Boarder almost 100 euro cheaper on the Kore / Shift set
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