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All mountain skis - around 90mm wide

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm looking for some advice from the Snowheads collective.

I'm thinking of buying slightly wider skis. I currently ride Rossignol Experience 80 HDs (160cm).

I'm not looking to do any proper off piste skiing. It's mainly to have a ski that will handle (better) the chopped up snow and crud that you find on the pistes PM, and maybe for some fun on the sides of the runs.

I don't want skis with full Titanal plates, as I find them too stiff. I'm short at 5'7" and not very heavy at around 11 stone. I have tried wider skis at the Oktobertest (up to 107mm) and am more than happy skiing on them. I've also tried longer skis, up to 180+mm, and can manage them.

Another reason I want skis that will ride the bumps better is that I'm crap in flat light. I feel if I had a ski with a bigger tip rocker that would float over the bumps better, it might help give me more confidence to "let go" more on flat light days.

I've been looking at the Rossignol Experience 88ti (173cm); which has some metal in them, but has a new shape and tip rocker profile more akin to the Sky 7. Also the new K2 Pinnacle 88 ti (177cm) ; again which has less metal than most, but again has a longer more up turned rocker. It get gets good reviews as being an easy to ride ski in most conditions. Also considering the Scott - The Ski. I tried them at the Oktobertest and really liked them. But I'm not sure what they are like on really lumpy snow or on ice. I can't find hardly any reviews/videos on the Scott. One other outsider is the Nordica Navigator 90.

Unfortunately neither the Rossi, the K2 nor the Navigator were available to test at Oktobertest. Hence this post.

Basically I'm looking for the elusive - do most things well ski. A ski that holds an edge well on the piste (including hard pack and ice); isn't too stiff or heavy, but which handles chopped up snow well; but isn't a real powder fatty.

I've got a 4 hour one to one lesson booked at the end of this month; where I'm hoping the instructor will be able to get me carving (reasonably).

Before anyone suggests it, I will not be able to go to any of the bashes where you can test skis, so won't really be able to test skis in anger.

Of the skis I've researched, I'm leaning towards the K2 Pinnacle; but am open to suggestions and advice (as long as it is not abusive wink ), however, I am braced for it.
cheers
Awd
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Atomic Vantage 90 CTI are well worth a try, I'm on my second pair.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
AIUI you've done one week on an actual mountain. Maybe try getting a bit more skiing under your belt before building a quiver. Kit isn't the answer and you can get another week's skiing in rather than splurging on a new set up every year.

Edit: I should add that though we talk about kit a lot on here you should bear in mind that lots of people have 20+ years of skiing behind them and/or even if they don't live full time in the slps are getting up to 50 days in per winter. There is a lot to be said for (well purposed) mileage. It's a long and expensive route to try to shortcut it by chasing the shiniest new kit.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Thu 11-10-18 18:22; edited 1 time in total
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Head Kore 93?

Quote:
Head Kore 93Ė Is arguably the lightest ski on this list. A Karuba Light Wood Core keeps this ski as light as a feather, with a very playful ride. Headís Topless Tech Topsheet replaces a traditional plastic topsheet with a polyester fleece that does not compromise the durability of this ski. The Graphene/Koroyd/Carbon Sandwich Cap Construction is powerful when you are ripping down something steep. This is a fantastic option for skiers looking to earn their turns.


https://blog.skis.com/top-7-mens-all-mountain-skis-2019/
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Awdbugga, is DOTM correct that youíve only skied one week on actual mountains?

Buying kit is not where you should be at, in the nicest possible way! Itís not even just a skill thing. ...
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@Awdbugga, Iíd also suggest renting. If you can get a deal where, usually for a small supplement, you get to swap skis during the week, then thatís a great way to sample several before deciding which to buy.

If pushed to nominate one ski that Iíve found copes best with all conditions, Iíd go for one thatís been around for a few years now. Blizzard Brahmas.
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I was also going to suggest having a look at the Head Core 93.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Iím with Dave, youíre just getting sucked in by the shiny shiny and itís way too early!

Iíd skied nine weeks on the mountain and then extensively tested skis (again, on the mountain) before I even thought about buying any. I know you have your own and use them in the fridge regularly, which is fair enough, but it took me that long before I knew a) that I would get something more out of my own skis, b) that I knew enough about them to pick a pair (actually two wink )

Spend the money on more ski time, and donít forget to get a few lessons in, too.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, @under a new name,
I was waiting for that response. I'm certainly not going to splurge out on new gear every year. There's no way I could afford to, even if I wanted to; which I don't. I'm not going to build a quiver. I would sell by current skis. That's the whole point of looking for a versatile ski; I'll only need one. Also I'm not far off retirement, after which, funds will be limited; so was aiming to buy any big ticket items whilst I can still afford to do so and make them last.

Yep, I've only done 1 week on a mountain. Although I have done approx. 80 hours in the CFe in the past 15 months and had lessons. I got by OK at the last BB, doing reds from day one, albeit not gracefully I'll grant you; but I feel my skiing has improved quite a bit since then.

I was hoping to get new skis well before the next BB, to give myself time to get used to them. I thought about renting in resort; but I was with my mate when he rented out skis at the last BB, and there didn't seem to be many of the latest models, in fact none that I could see. Maybe we were just unlucky on the day.

@DB, I had considered the Head Kore 93s. I didn't manage to test them at Oktobertest. I think they have them in Sail and Ski, so may pop up to have a look and a chat with them, to get their opinion.

@telford_mike, the Vantage 90 cti were one of the first on my list, but the reviews I read said they are aimed more at your athletic chargers, who also want some fun off piste. A charger I am not.

I can fully understand the advice - to get some time under my belt; and you may well be right. But skiing like a lot of sports is partly about having confidence, and if slightly wider skis give me more confidence in cruddy snow on flat light days; then it can only be a positive thing in my eyes (which this time will be garnered in Oakley High Pink Prism goggles Cool ).

Appreciate the input all. snowHead
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+1 to what @Dave of the Marmottes,
@Scarlet, and @under a new name, said.
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Quote:
That's the whole point of looking for a versatile ski; I'll only need one. Also I'm not far off retirement, after which, funds will be limited; so was aiming to buy any big ticket items whilst I can still afford to do so and make them last.


But that's also the point of what we are saying by the time you have consolidated your skills to the level you are going to reach the ski that is perfect for you now will not be perfect for you then. Plus you run the non trivial risk that you get a ski which will in fact hamper the development of your skills by e.g. being harder to tip on edge.

And sorry to break it to you the ski that will help you in flat light doesn't exist. It's what your head is doing not the ski and it just seems to be a fact as we get older our flat light perception gets worse. You are setting yourself up for disappointment if you think this will be a magic bullet.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
And sorry to break it to you the ski that will help you in flat light doesn't exist. It's what your head is doing not the ski and it just seems to be a fact as we get older our flat light perception gets worse. You are setting yourself up for disappointment if you think this will be a magic bullet.


Agreed. I am aware that a major factor in my not being able to see diddly in flat light is my eyesight, pure and simple. And that is not going to improve as I get even older. I've bought the Prism High Pink goggles to help, albeit it may only be a small amount. All the experienced Snowheads told me on the BB that in flat light it's all about feeling the snow under your feet, reacting accordingly and just having the confidence to go for it. If we'd have been unlucky and had flat light every day of the last BB, I may as well have stayed in the hotel swimming pool, because skiing would not have been enjoyable at all and I would have wasted a grande of my money. Hopefully next time, I may find that with my improved technique, more hours on the snow and better goggles, I may be better in flat light. And, if having slightly wider skis that are able to float over crud better, increases my confidence even by a small amount more; it may be enough for me to just trust myself and the skis and let go. If that doesn't prove to be the case, then maybe I've taken up the wrong sport and I should go back to fishing. I'm looking at anything that will give me more confidence in flat light, by even small percentages. In normal light I have more confidence than is probably healthy for me.

I am fully aware there is no magic bullet. And unfortunately no amount of one to one lessons in a snowdome is going to prepare me for looking down a steep red in flat light and not being able to make out a damn thing. Unless of course they blindfolded me during the lessons; that might work. Puzzled Confused Although I doubt their insurance would cover them for such antics. Shocked
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I'd say stick the money in a pot and forget it for now. You're not gonna cost yourself any extra by hiring compared to airline carriage fees and you can broaden your knowledge. Don't worry about latest models as such either, it's different types you want to try. Also there's no need to buy brand new when you do. This site has very helpful honest folk shifting gear all the time. Smile

I'm probably not nearly as qualified to give advice as the others who've already replied but regards confidence in low light I have a pair of yellow lense cycling glasses that make everything look like a sunny day no matter how flat the light. They're brilliant and cost a couple of quid from Decathlon. I'm pretty poor in low light myself so I know where you're coming from. There's few sensations more stomach churning than suddenly dropping into a dip you didn't see at speed.
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You know it makes sense.
HotDogger wrote:
There's few sensations more stomach churning than suddenly dropping into a dip you didn't see at speed.


Amen to that.

I bought yellow lenses when I was at the BB last time, from the shop next to the hotel. Didn't make one iota of difference. Confused
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Plus you run the non trivial risk that you get a ski which will in fact hamper the development of your skills by e.g. being harder to tip on edge.
This is the real issue. You should be going narrower, not wider. Somewhere above I'm sure you said that you hoped to be able to carve after a 4 hour lesson in a dome? Utter tosh. It's rare for anyone with less than 10 weeks on a mountain to have any chance of clean carving. And they'd need to be on narrow (c70mm) skis. One week? 80mm? In a snowdome? Dream on.

I could write a much longer post but I've gone through it all before (do a search). If you want to learn how to ski, get something narrower and learn proper technique. You can ski piste edges on anything if you're balanced. There's an argument for saying that you'll "grow into" a wider ski but it's nonsense. What you'll grow into is bad habits that are masked by the ski. And one day you'll start skiing stuff that can no longer be masked by the ski. At which point you'll be wondering where it all went wrong. I can help you with that - where it all went wrong is when you bought wide skis long before you were ready for them.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@Awdbugga, Doh! Hopefully the pink ones will do the trick!

In low light/bad weather it can be a good idea to stick to slopes you already know, at least then you're not distracted trying to follow an unfamiliar route.
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Awdbugga wrote:
I bought yellow lenses when I was at the BB last time, from the shop next to the hotel. Didn't make one iota of difference. Confused

The easiest way to ski flat light is off what you can feel through your feet rather than what you can see. It's one of those breakthrough moments that a one week skier almost certainly hasn't experienced. Skiing off your feet is much easier on a narrower ski.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Raceplate wrote:
Awdbugga wrote:
I bought yellow lenses when I was at the BB last time, from the shop next to the hotel. Didn't make one iota of difference. Confused

The easiest way to ski flat light is off what you can feel through your feet rather than what you can see. It's one of those breakthrough moments that a one week skier almost certainly hasn't experienced. Skiing off your feet is much easier on a narrower ski.


I'll look forward to that breakthrough moment, if it ever comes. I'm not doubting what you say. I've read many of your posts and know you are very experienced and knowledgeable; however, the only skis I've ridden where I could actually feel the snow under my feet, even the small ridges and bumps, were the widest skis I've skied; the Whitedot Directors (107mm). But then they are flat with no camber, maybe that had something to do with it. But the sensation was very noticeable to me. It's probably not the same "feel" you are referring to. Loved those skis.
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I don't think a wider ski is better in low light, I prefer something more nimble. In fact I'd say that there's no ski which would increase my confidence in flat light, the only way I'm getting that monkey off my back is by skiing flat light more and working on technique.

Inclined also to agree with others above, I bought my first skis (K2 Shreditor) after 3 years of skiing (6 weeks on snow), the reviews fit the bill and the price was very reasonable. In retrospect I rushed into it, not only in terms of buying too early but also because I hadn't tried enough skis properly (on the mountain, for a decent amount of time). I've now superseded them with something else but still, after 13 weeks in 4 years, I probably shouldn't be skiing what I'm on.

As @HotDogger says, the cost of rental ain't that different to what you pay in carriage so it's worth waiting until you really know what you want to ski, I'd certainly question the point of getting an all mountain ski after only a week on the mountain and before you've attempted anything in the way of off piste.
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Be the ski.
At one with the mountain.
Light is irrelevant Cool

#ZenSkiing
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One of the key breakthrough moments in skiing (yes, another one, there are a lot wink) is realising that the snow should respond to your ski, not the other way round. You're in charge.

Your current requests are revolving around finding a ski that will acquiesce to whatever the snow conditions are. That'll never happen. You need to learn the techniques that will put you in charge and then buy a ski that complements your strengths and weaknesses. You've got no hope of finding that after one week on snow.

Technically, the reason you liked the Directors would be because if they start on a flat camber then they are extremely easy to push into reverse camber where you have most control. Good for soft snow but tricky at best on hard snow. Suitable for learning to carve? Not in a million.

Chances are you were skiing them in an extremely flat stance where you're basically using them as tea trays. Of course you'd like them in flat light - it's like being stood on too big rafts in the middle of the Channel instead of two planks of balsa wood. I'd put my house that you were just drifting about on them in a flat stance rather than any semblance of ski edging and steering.

A narrower ski will teach you how to cut through snow rather than ride over the top of it. When you can do that, you're in charge.
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@AL9000, we can always rely on you to lighten the mood of a thread. Laughing
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Raceplate wrote:
One of the key breakthrough moments in skiing (yes, another one, there are a lot wink) is realising that the snow should respond to your ski, not the other way round. You're in charge.

Your current requests are revolving around finding a ski that will acquiesce to whatever the snow conditions are. That'll never happen. You need to learn the techniques that will put you in charge and then buy a ski that complements your strengths and weaknesses. You've got no hope of finding that after one week on snow.

Technically, the reason you liked the Directors would be because if they start on a flat camber then they are extremely easy to push into reverse camber where you have most control. Good for soft snow but tricky at best on hard snow. Suitable for learning to carve? Not in a million.

Chances are you were skiing them in an extremely flat stance where you're basically using them as tea trays. Of course you'd like them in flat light - it's like being stood on too big rafts in the middle of the Channel instead of two planks of balsa wood. I'd put my house that you were just drifting about on them in a flat stance rather than any semblance of ski edging and steering.

A narrower ski will teach you how to cut through snow rather than ride over the top of it. When you can do that, you're in charge.


The only time I've tried the Directors was at the recent Okotobertest at the recommendation of two people, who were raving about them. They were great fun. Would I buy them? - no. Two tea trays is exactly how I described them, because they were flat. Was I just drifting around on them? No. If I hadn't been steering them, I'd have been taken out by someone, or taken someone out, because it was pretty busy there. They did go on edge, but not as easily as Scott -The Ski; but then they are 107mm wide. The snow was soft, lightly chopped up in places (it was in the afternoon), no icy patches; ideal conditions for them. I do remember I've never laughed before on a pair of skis. I was laughing so much I had pull over to the side, two thirds down the first run on them, there were tears in my eyes. By the way, how much is your house worth and where is it? Pity no-one was videoing, I could do with a nice new pad. Toofy Grin
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Hey @Awdbugga, I'd love to be able to give you the advice you want, but I know less about skis than you do Very Happy . What I do know, having seen you ski last Sunday, and who could miss you in that jacket, is that technique and experience will do far more to solve your issues than changing your skis.

Hopefully your 4hr private lesson will get you to a better place technique-wise (will he/she use video? It's really useful to be able to see what you're actually doing rather than what you think you're doing). I get what you mean about carving, get the ski on edge a bit rather than skid the whole turn, not necessarily make perfect tram tracks.

Better balance and a more relaxed posture will do far more to help you master different conditions than an extra few mm underfoot, but experiencing those conditions too so you know what to expect next time. None of us can see much, if anything, in flat light, but Id say that being relaxed and confident in your technique beats any lens. Have a great time on the BB, with your current skis. Very Happy
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Awdbugga wrote:
I've got a 4 hour one to one lesson booked at the end of this month; where I'm hoping the instructor will be able to get me carving (reasonably).
A wider ski is going to make that more difficult.
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If youíre determined to buy why not Scott the ski - you skied them and liked them. No better way to pick a ski!

Iíve skied them and also liked them as a really nice versatile ski - have done a few more weeks than you mind

https://www.inthesnow.com/gear/scott-the-ski-2/


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Thu 11-10-18 23:15; edited 1 time in total
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@Awdbugga, if (it's a big IF) you ever learn to carve, you'll understand the difference between steering and drifting. wink

Till then, well, enjoy your choices Toofy Grin
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I have a lot less 'experience' than you, all my skiing has been in CFe, it has all been this year, but then I ski 2 or 3 times a week (cheaper and a damn sight more fun than a gym!) including coaching sessions. And I'm still on rentals.

The Oktobertest was an eye opener, the Vantage 80 and Experience 80 skis didn't match up to my expectation, but that's probably me and not the ski. I'll beat on about the Scott Slight 83 forever though, it was amazing, I felt so much more control than the rentals. The Dynastar Speedzone 10 was probably faster again, but the Scott felt not too dissimilar. (The 96mm wide elan I tested felt like a floorboard had been strapped to my foot, I couldn't wait to get it off).

Tonight was interesting, I swapped my rentals skis with a friend's Titans. The middle of the slope was icy, the edges were quite cruddy. It was nice feeling some grip on the ice compared to the rentals. He tried the rentals and really struggled with them. The coach tried the rentals and I could see him struggling with them on the ice too.

So I feel the rentals are holding me back, so I'll almost certainly go with the Scott ski. I take on board what everyone has said about not buying skis with so little snow time - especially actual snow on an actual hill - and I also don't want to take a ski that perhaps flatters my ability as that probably wont help longer term either. But fighting a rental with no actual edge isn't the way forward either Smile
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If the domeís skis are cr@p then go back inside and change them for another pair. Some are much newer than others.

If youíve got a wedge of cash burning a hole in your pockets and youíre desperate to buy some toys then by all means go ahead. But itís really not necessary to buy skis so soon in your skiing life.

When I was teaching at Hemel I used their skis not mine. Within the confines of the dome I didnít need anything better. I know more than one person who passed L1 instructor exams on dome rental skis.
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slopemad wrote:
I have a lot less 'experience' than you, all my skiing has been in CFe, it has all been this year, but then I ski 2 or 3 times a week (cheaper and a damn sight more fun than a gym!) including coaching sessions. And I'm still on rentals.

The Oktobertest was an eye opener, the Vantage 80 and Experience 80 skis didn't match up to my expectation, but that's probably me and not the ski. I'll beat on about the Scott Slight 83 forever though, it was amazing, I felt so much more control than the rentals. The Dynastar Speedzone 10 was probably faster again, but the Scott felt not too dissimilar. (The 96mm wide elan I tested felt like a floorboard had been strapped to my foot, I couldn't wait to get it off).

Tonight was interesting, I swapped my rentals skis with a friend's Titans. The middle of the slope was icy, the edges were quite cruddy. It was nice feeling some grip on the ice compared to the rentals. He tried the rentals and really struggled with them. The coach tried the rentals and I could see him struggling with them on the ice too.

So I feel the rentals are holding me back, so I'll almost certainly go with the Scott ski. I take on board what everyone has said about not buying skis with so little snow time - especially actual snow on an actual hill - and I also don't want to take a ski that perhaps flatters my ability as that probably wont help longer term either. But fighting a rental with no actual edge isn't the way forward either Smile


Brace yourself. Incoming!!!! Shocked

Agreed. The skis in the CFe are crap; as are the boots. I found the boots absolutely crippling; so I bought my own after only two outings on the CFe ones. I bought my own skis early on, because I wanted consistency. I wanted to know that if I was having a bad day, it could only be me and I couldn't blame it on that pair of rentals. I also tune and wax them myself. So at least I know they are well prepared.

There's been some interesting comments on this thread; and some very humbling ones. Confused You can always be sure of enthusiastic feedback on Snowheads. Most of which is good natured. It always provides food for thought. Very Happy
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Oh yeah boots are another story. Buy boots!
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Skiing is not cheap and the planks on your feet make a big difference to your enjoyment. That is, for me, the single biggest reason for buying skis.@slopemad, Finding the best ski for you is totally subjective - how did you like your friendís Titans compared to the Scott? Get the best skis for you. You may need to change in a year or 2 but meanwhile you will have had loads of fun while progressing.
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slopemad wrote:
But fighting a rental with no actual edge isn't the way forward either Smile
Absolutely right and there's a lot to be said for removing one variable of skiing by having your own skis. One of the things that you don't know about the skis that you thought were good or bad on test though is how they were serviced. It may be that the Scott Slights that you loved had a shiny sharp edge and the others didn't...

The percentage bet is to buy something that is generically right for your level of experience, with good reviews and control the service condition yourself. Then if you're skiing crap, well, it's not them it's you.
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Raceplate wrote:
Technically, the reason you liked the Directors would be because if they start on a flat camber then they are extremely easy to push into reverse camber where you have most control. Good for soft snow but tricky at best on hard snow. Suitable for learning to carve? Not in a million.

This is bang on, and I say that as the owner of a pair.

Directors are brilliant fun, but they are a soft snow ski not a one ski quiver. They turn you into a hooligan, not a gracious ballerina on skis. Can I carve them? Maybe. Would I let you film that and put it on the internet? Not a chance Laughing

No ski is going to help in flat light, even though you seem to have convinced yourself that it will. This is nonsense, and no amount of positive thinking will make it true. Leave the money in the bank until you also believe it to be nonsense, because that means that your technique and experience has moved on.

Iíll be interested to hear if the new goggles improve things. Again, they may not be a magic bullet as it depends on your eyes.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Also, I should add, youíll get nothing out of a Director in a snowdome. Theyíre just not for that environment. The snow is too hard, itís too short and youíll never get a proper turn out of them.
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The Scott Slights, oddly, felt less 'slidey' when skating around than the Vantage, suggesting they weren't as waxed. Not sure about the edge. It was the 'W' ski which I tested though, and I'm not sure if the woman's variant has any difference other than the colour?

The Titans were fun and although I only had three runs on them, I had felt I'd been having a bad night on the rentals and the Titans immediately made me feel better about how I was skiing tonight. I think I'd rate them up there with the RTM 79 I tried on Sunday, but I felt better with the Scott. They were the only ski I didn't want to give back.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Raceplate wrote:
@Awdbugga, if (it's a big IF) you ever learn to carve, you'll understand the difference between steering and drifting. wink

Till then, well, enjoy your choices Toofy Grin


Thanks for the words of encouragement. Very Happy I look forward to someday learning the difference between steering and drifting. Always nice to have something to look forward to. I'll let you know when (and if) I have that eureka moment. As for ever learning to carve. It'll happen. May not be this year, or even next year; but it will happen.

As long as I'm on snow (and I can see where I'm going Cool ), I will certainly enjoy my choices. Be that staying on the skis I'm on for a while longer or going for something slightly wider. snowHead

I may be wrong, but I'm guessing you are a motivational speaker, when you're not skiing. wink
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Awdbugga, it's called tough love Toofy Grin
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Itís pretty rare to see people truly carving their turns. Itís not even particularly common to see people riding the sidecut and using their edges that way.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Scarlet wrote:
Directors are brilliant fun. They turn you into a hooligan, not a gracious ballerina on skis.


They are scarily fast. Toofy Grin I wouldn't even contemplate buying them. But if I ever had the spare cash to indulge in a spare pair of skis, purely for crazy fun. They would be right at the top of my list. Hooligan is an apt description.
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