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Skifreak

Skifreak

Spokane, WA and surrounding areas.

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Troy's Passions

Mountain Biking
Paddling
Alpine Skiing
Swimming

Troy's Bio

Community Ski Expert on Backcountry.com. 42 year old male, skiing since I was 3. Average 30+ times a year unless I want to lose my day job. I love to rip everything and anywhere. Slalom, GS, bumps, trees, deep stuff, make a fool out of myself in the park with my kids, you name it. Addicted to the gear of the sport and l LOVE helping skiers make the difficult decisions of ski buying. I'm married with four kids that I keep in the best gear and as you can imagine this just fuels my gear addiction. Snow skiing is my passion followed by water skiing a close second. Excellent mountain biking trails out my backyard and I do enjoy swinging the sticks when I can. We all love anything to do with snow, sun, water, and fun.

Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on August 22, 2014

Ya, I thought the 183cm for me was plenty and it felt all of that. So even at your size the 192 with that stiff tail is a stout ski for sure.

I find my 180cm Kabookie way more fun than the TST was in almost any condition. TST still a harder charger.

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Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on August 19, 2014

Joshua,

The newer versions will initiate turns quicker and easier and will try to stay on top of softer snow a little better and that's really about it. It's still a true volkl Kendo just a touch more forgiving.

I'm 6'1" 178lbs and have owned a Volkl Kendo 177cm for years and can only say that a few times I wish it was longer. But that's only for high speed GS turns on groomers. Everything else the 177cm is by far the right choice. At your weight I would think the 184 is about right but also depends on your ability level and aggressiveness .

SF

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Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on August 19, 2014

Zach,

Honestly you could go either way but 8mm is reaching the point to where it takes a pretty good tweak or bend to make the brake work and some shops won't take it that far.

To be safe go for the 115, the rocker 2 isn't exactly a big time carver and you won't notice the extra width on powder days. Only time it would come into play is if you are trying to really tip the ski up on firm groomed snow and possibly drag the brake. Only you know how much the ski will be used in this situation.

SF

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Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on August 7, 2014

Can I find out some more information from you? Height, weight, age, where you ski, and are you hard charging aggressive or more technical playful finesse type of skier?

179 Norwalk will feel longer than the 185JJ. Remember a Norwalk is a wide version of the TST. Stiff non rockered tail. More high speed charging capabilities than a JJ.

SF

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Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on August 7, 2014

Hey Mark,

Are you the same Mark that I was helping decide between the TST and SFB further down on this thread? New Zealand I'm betting yes.

At least I can say my characteristics of the ski was pretty right on how you described it. Hard charging = TST, more playful = SFB. Sorry you haven't enjoyed it but buying skis is tough. I mess up quite often as well, you're not alone. I try to stay open minded and not push my opinion to strongly unless asked directly. Giving ski characteristics is the way to give people advice without alienating manufacturers and becoming biased. TST was a little much for my liking as well, I purchased it at a great price couple years ago and sold it shortly after.

What length did you get the TST in?

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Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on August 7, 2014

Hey there John,

Sorry for the delay but summertime has me waterskiing and playing outside, not on computer much.

185cm all the way! Skis super short and you will go over the handlebars on the 175cm on deep days. It may feel a little big for about the first run and that's it and maybe in some big moguls for your height. At 180lbs 185 is the right choice.

I will start paying more attention to the questions from now on. Buying guides on the way:)

SF

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Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on June 20, 2014

Every Dynastar Cham I have picked up seems on the heavy side to me so haven't pursued them yet, but I will try and demo next season.

I have tried to replace my older non rockered kendo with other skis in its category but I always have a blast when I jump on it. The only ski that I have considered selling it for is next years Blizzard Latigo or a Bushwacker. I would give up hard snow carving and grip for the Buschwackers more free spirited approach to moguls and terrain. It's a specialty ski for me also, we all need those!

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Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on June 20, 2014

Hey there,

Thanks for asking for my help, I'm glad to see I have a few fans out there. I try my best to hopefully make skiers decisions easier but sometimes it's not as easy as you think.

Right off the bat I don't have any experience with RAMP or Klint but I have a local shop that sells Liberty and hear good things about their products but have not skied them yet. My original Kendo's are 177cm and I compare them to the 180 Brahma and Bushwacker but I only weigh 176-180lbs.

If you want the ski to be more energetic, slightly lighter with a more balanced feeling, don't mind the stiffer tail, stable as hell, absolute knife on groomers, destroys crud, great in moguls but not very forgiving in the tail, go KENDO it's that much fun!

If you are looking for more of a 50/50 ski that has more all terrain versatility in different depths of snow go Brahma. Brahma is a heavier feeling ski in my opinion, it's the way Blizzard designs them, swing weight is higher than a Kendo or when comparing Bonafide to Mantra. This is a very powerful ski for strong guys that want the added benefit of rocker in tip and tail for that surfy and pivoty feeling when needed. I feel my Kendo is quicker edge to edge in a mogul field and on groomers but lacks the easier to release tail of the Brahma. The Brahma swing weight can bog me down after awhile when hammering a lot of bumps but you can let the ski absorb more of the mogul when tired vs the stiff tail Kendo.

If I lived on east coast and was buying this ski as my primarily hard snow ski and didn't care about soft snow/off piste versatility hands down its Kendo. If you are putting more emphasis on making sure you cover a broader range of conditions and want to go one ski quiver then Its hard to beat the Brahma. Your extra weight won't notice the heavier Blizzards the way I do.

Let me know what you are thinking or if you have other questions, all depends what your target for this ski is.

SF

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Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on June 19, 2014

Awesome, hopefully I will here from you next year. There is no way that the 180cm doesn't charge and play harder than our 185JJ's do.

I will be looking forward to a review!

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Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on June 18, 2014

Hey Phil,

I honestly don't have a clue what Palmers are but what lengths are they? I'm 42 6'1" 178lbs and own 185 and 195 JJ's. I personally have not skied the Magic J yet but know the ski.

I think it really depends how aggressive you are. Do you charge hard, ski fast, want maximum float and power? Or prefer the ski to remain playful, lighter, easier to swing around and willing to give up a little bit of deep day float and have to stay a little more center balanced to prevent feeling over the tips?

Also depends what part of the country you live in and how big your terrain is. The 190cm is a pretty stout ski from everything I read but at your size it should work very well for you. Only you know how strong you are at 63 plus your ability level. If you said you were 33 years old without a doubt I would say 190cm but I want to make sure you have fun on the ski without it being too much.

Again I'm not familiar with the Palmers so that makes my recommendations more difficult.

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Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on June 17, 2014

I would base what weight you will be using the ski for the majority of the time. I don't consider pack weight but if that's what you will be using a lot then it is a consideration at your lighter weight.

Please remember that nobody anywhere says the Soul 7 is a charging ski at any length. If you ski a lot of NW heavy crud you will be disappointed in its performance. Playful, light, agile, quick, surfy, and fun are it's characteristics.

Tough recommendations for you, I wish I could be more black and white.

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Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on June 14, 2014

You didn't sound like a kid but wanted to make sure. I'm not exactly a husky individual myself so no worries. You are in between sizes I'm afraid and the 188 does seem a little much for your weight but not necessarily in this ski. I think if you were looking at other skis in the 188cm length some red flags would pop up. Rossignol still has a perfect fit guarantee I think so whatever you choose you should have the option of trading it if you feel it is wrong, plus Backcountry's policies depending when you purchase it.

I'm never a fan of long skis up in my area, too many tight spots and I really enjoy moguls so I choose lengths wisely with those conditions in mind. I do own both 185JJ and 195AKJJ so I'm aware of how big skis feel and only pull my AKJJ out on very deep days.

If you are really struggling with what size to get you can always look at other things that come in different lengths, just a thought.
If you have always felt you wanted a shorter BD then honestly the 180cm could be the way to go. You will give up some float and charging ability but this ski is not a charger anyways. Its meant to be light, agile, and playful in any length. For myself I wouldn't even consider anything other than the 188cm but I'm 6'1" 178lbs and 42 years old. I tried both the Soul and Super 7 and was amazed at how short they really feel.

Keep me posted and hopefully somebody else will jump on but tough this time of year.

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Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on June 13, 2014

Ccholland,

Can I ask how old you are? Just curious if you are a thinner adult or a teenager/college student. Reason I ask is my 17 year old son is 5'11" 145lbs but will keep increasing in height and weight so I have a tendency to chose longer so they last longer.

The 5'11" side of you can easily handle the 188cm Soul 7 but the 145lb definitely puts you towards the 180cm. Based on the fact that you currently ski the 185 Black Diamond I have to recommend the 188cm. I think going down to the 180cm will leave you always wanting more.

If you are willing to sacrifice maximum float, want a shorter ski to manipulate in tight spaces, very tight turn radius on groomers, super quick in moguls, and have always felt your Black Diamonds are a touch long then go for the 180cm if you are an adult. Still growing that wants it to last for a few years then go longer.

The new Rossi series skis are so light I don't think weight will be any issues on the 188cm.

Those are a couple scenarios to think over but it sounds like you are a pretty aggressive skier that loves the sport and is out to conquer the mountain. 188cm in the Soul 7 won't be too much ski to handle, especially if you ski bigger mountains.

Definitely not a black and white answer, but a tough question.

SF

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Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on June 11, 2014

Hey Mark,

I am a Griffon fan through and through, been using them since they came out and NEVER have had one issue with them. I love the swing weight, the wide powerful power transmission to the ski, and the added height off the ski for extra leverage when carving groomers on wide skis. I am a very aggressive skier but have been called a finesse skier and rarely fall, I can usually recover so pre- releasing hasn't been an issue. BUT.......

No one will argue that the Pivot has more safety features in how they release, added travel/elasticity , and a more durable binding. If you are a big mountain guy that charges hard and wants the most retention, added directions of release, and more durability then go Look.

If you follow reviews and forums you will see more negative reviews of the Griffon for durability and they can be hard to click into for certain people. I have 5 pair of skis in my garage and they all have a Griffon but that's me.

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Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on June 10, 2014

What has been your thoughts on the length of your 185JJ over the years? Too long, too short, feeling of over the tips on deep days, etc?

What are you wanting this ski to do for you over the JJ? My assumption is more muscle??

SF

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Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on June 7, 2014

If you have the option of calling the ski shop that will do the mounting try that. Some shops will bend the brakes while others won't. I usually ski on Marker Griffons and have found that 5-8mm over doesn't require a bend, Looks and a Rossi pivots are a little different but should be close.

Jumping up to the 115mm seems a little excessive but it is a soft snow ski and unless you are really laying it over it would be fine also. My TST had a Griffon 110mm on it but Markers have a tendency to tuck up a little better when clicked in.

The 95mm should work just fine, probably even without a tweak.

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Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on June 6, 2014

Hey Mark,

That's the width I would choose, TST is 100/101 in the waist and 5-6mm over the 95mm brake will be a great fit. They shouldn't even have to tweak the brake and if they do it will be minor.

Enjoy your setup next year unless you're skiing somewhere else now.

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Skifreak

Skifreak wrote an answer about on June 6, 2014

Vadim,

177cm is my recommendation. The 185cm will be a lot of ski for you if you're not ready for it. Cochise is a strong and powerful ski so stay with proper size so it remains it lighter and agile in tight spots.

If you said you are very aggressive, charge hard, and expert level, and want a big open bowl ski then the 185cm would be an option.

Good luck!

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