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Another Pair Bites the Dust


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Very sad to lose my Fischer Big Stix 100 yesterday due to an edge blow out at MRG. They were three years old and served their time well, but I was hoping for one more season. Oh well, three years is my average. 

The Bix Stix 100 were an admirable successor to my beloved Fischer Atua's. The Big Stix 100 never completely lived up to the Atua's on natural snow (they were very close). But any short comings on natural snow were more than made up for with sufficiently admirable groomer performance on anything less than frozen groomer tracks or ice (whereas the Atua's were ass on hard pack and tolerable on freshly groomed granular). 

Looking for recommendations on a similar performing 130-100-120 20r -ish ski with lots of nimble and playful energy. Performance on icy hard pack not a concern, I don't ski if conditions are that bad, agile soft snow performance is where I am at... tight trees, powder, narrow off piste, and bumps. Surfy when the snow is soft but still ready to get skied hard when natural snow conditions are a bit firm. Wood core with camber is ideal.

The Fischer Ranger 98 Ti in this slot within their current lineup. Not keen about the light weight mentality; I am a big fan of a full wood core without the space age stuff (but it looks like all brands/models have gone that way). Also, length is now up to 188cm with only slight tail lift whereas my Big Stix were at a 186cm with a twin. The excessive early tip rise may offset the extra length and lack of a twin, but I am still concerned the tips might be a bit soft given all the light weight tech and significant early tip rise. Definitely an option I am considering but concerned it is not a straight one to one replacement. Fischer isn't consistent with model changes over the years (see the crappy Watea line up in between the Atua and Big Stix years) so I have no loyalty to Fischer.

The much hyped Nordica Enforcer 100 seems to fit the bill but I am concerned about two sheets of metal. From what I understand, it isn't as stiff as Nordicas from a few years ago. Still seems like this would fall short in the nimble and playful attributes. I like the profile on the Soul Rider 97 but that might be too much of a light weight given its park style orientation? 

Before the Big Stix 100, I skied an Atomic Theory 95 for a few years. It was surprisingly solid at everything but never completely wowed me like the Atua and later the Big Stix 100. This was the first ski that made me realize a one ski quiver was a solid option. It was always a fun ski regardless of condition but it never had an OMG aspect. I guess this is the Atomic Vantage 100 now which seems like it should also be on the short list. 

As an example of a ski I don't like... Volkl Mantra. Haven't skied it for 6-7 years so I don't know if the model has changed. Ripping hard pack GS ski for sure but total shit on soft snow, exact opposite of nimble and playful. Despite not wanting a noodle (I am 6'1" 250lbs, for now), I also don't want a stiff ski either.

Any recommendations?

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@thesnowway I don't have any recommendations for you, but I mourn your loss. Big Stix 100 is my favorite ski (maybe ever) and mine are in great shape! I'm almost tempted to offer you mine, since I snowboard more than ski. But I'd have a hard time parting with them. I also have Big Stix 110s thanks to@weatherman and I might be willing to share the love/karma with you on those if you are interested. Honestly though, they are a much different ski than the 100s and likely not exactly what you're looking for. Take em for a spin if you want.

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5ac281c2e273b_pullededge.thumb.jpg.4c54cbb01f29d162f96b9847a82c3c32.jpg

Here is my edge pulled off.

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I cut off the edge and did a rough sand and clean to help the JB Weld bond to the surface. 

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Masked up the ski and added the JB Weld. 

 

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Trimmed back the excess JB Weld with a knife so I didn't have to sand too far outside the damaged area.

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Here is the ski masked so that the sanding block doesn't sand the "good" area of my base. 

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Here is the almost finished product. After this picture I sanded down the bow in the sidewall so that it won't hit the snow. Sidewall and JB Weld are both sanded to below the height of the edge and base so that this area won't hit the snow during ordinary skiing. I keep this edge on the outside and don't lean on it too hard. 

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Wow, that is quite a project and much worse than my edge issue. That said, my other ski same edge side has a repair along the edge and is already on "outside edge" duty. I was already looking into replacing the pair next year so it just pushed up the schedule a little bit. Besides, I ain't handy enough for that type of repair work. I can't imagine a shop would want to repair an edge like that for safety/liability reasons, right? Even if a shop would do it, kinda hard to justify a $60+ repair job on a pair of skis that has already been trashed pretty good.

And, c'mon guys, don't poo poo on another skier's GAS. :)

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The fix is much easier than you think. Hardest part is getting the edge cut off if you don't have the tools. I think your shop would do that cut for free if you asked them. Sand and clean prep for JB Weld was 5 minutes, JB Weld took 10 minutes to mix and apply, I let cure for 48 hours (package says 24), and sanding after took 20-30 minutes. 

I'm not one to discourage someone from buying more skis, but also doing the fix could be worthwhile so you have some dedicated rock skis. In soft to softish snow, bumps and trees your damaged edges are meaningless in my opinion. Setting an edge on an icy groomer is a different story... 

You may want to re-check the current Volkl Mantra and Kendos. Your reference from 6-7 years ago is still the full camber era of those skis, if I remember correctly (my Kendos are the last year of full camber). Now they have tip and tail rocker. Might give you what you want. I am the same height and weight as you but I went the other way and picked up a stiffer ski. I bought some 11 year old Kneissl Tankers sitting on the rack brand new. 

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nice job and good effort. do I see it correctly you didn't put edge section in?

a few pointers:

  JBweld iirc is not flexible epoxy and in such a big repair will crack. And eventually will start fallout. As a ski builder my go to repair epoxy G-Flex. unfortunately use of epoxy only  does not create surface hard enough to slide on snow… I use  special additive  to repair much smaller core shots.

Such a big section should be repaired with section of new edge and new P-tex inlay with proper preparation. Not that difficult or complicated job. I can give you at no cost section of edges and Ptex... and  explain a few important steps to take if you decide to go this route.

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2 hours ago, MadRussian said:

. unfortunately use of epoxy only  does not create surface hard enough to slide on snow…

Not to derail @thesnowway thread and his search for new skis, but I have to disagree with this part.  The entire base of this board is epoxy and it sure does slide on snow!  Happy to have a little test race anytime :D   I'm pretty sure that a 0.5 sq inch epoxy repair on a recreational ski would have no negative performance consequences. 

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NCM_0455.thumb.jpg.9777bfa2cf8dd8da16f1758e956f1ce3.jpg

 

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35 minutes ago, Cannonballer said:

Not to derail @thesnowway thread and his search for new skis, but I have to disagree with this part.  The entire base of this board is epoxy and it sure does slide on snow!  Happy to have a little test race anytime :D   I'm pretty sure that a 0.5 sq inch epoxy repair on a recreational ski would have no negative performance consequences. 

 

 

I'm not going to argue as you. It nothing to prove here.

Your board have wood base. iirc you said it. It's your powder board. … I thought  when comparing epoxy with ptex on more abrasive snow conditions

OT  as a ski builder myself, I'll be very interested to see how your board  hold up as a daily driver

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3 minutes ago, MadRussian said:

I'm not going to argue as you. It nothing to prove here.

Your board have wood base. iirc you said it. It's your powder board. … I thought  when comparing epoxy with ptex on more abrasive snow conditions

OT  as a ski builder myself, I'll be very interested to see how your board  hold up as a daily driver

For sure, there's nothing to prove.  And for sure that board wouldn't be a daily driver.  Mostly because of the stiffness not because of the base.  But I've taken it on miles of groomers in between powder runs and it performs and holds up incredibly well.

Of course, the real point of my comment is that a small epoxy repair will be just fine in terms of its ability to slide on snow.  If I had to ballpark the math, I'd say that repair represents ~0.25% of one ski's surface area.  If you're on the World Cup tour that surely matters.  If you're skiing Fischer Big Stix 100s and seeking mostly ungroomed conditions that fraction is irrelevant.   In fact, instead of making all those repairs he could probably get away with just cutting off the failed section of edge and skiing them as-is.  It would take zero investment, almost zero time, and probably wouldn't be noticeable for 99.75% of the time. I do agree that G-flex is a great epoxy and would be a great option for a repair (I've used it on many boat repairs).

The real point is that you should be pitching @thesnowway on a pair of your custom skis instead of helping him make a repair!!!

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No interest in custom skis. My skis last an average of 3 years. I generally shop not just for the right ski but also for the lowest price. I am not sure I've ever paid more than $300 or so for a pair and I've bought a dozen pairs easily over the years (though for both AT and Alpine). $100/year/ski seems about right to me.

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7 minutes ago, thesnowway said:

I am not sure I've ever paid more than $300 or so for a pair and I've bought a dozen pairs easily over the years (though for both AT and Alpine). $100/year/ski seems about right to me.

Given that.  Have you looked at Dynafit Meteorites for $300 on Evo?  https://www.evo.com/outlet/skis/dynafit-meteorite#image=131491/543793/dynafit-meteorite-skis-2017-170.jpg

No firsthand experience to offer, but I've definitely been watching them.  Mostly seem to fit your profile and price range.  Some good length options including 177 and 184. Depending on the length, something like 127-98-117 for a shape.  Rocker-camber-rocker.  Good reviews. 

 

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I admire your ambition to make repairs of that size. Personally I'd leverage this opportunity as an excuse to buy new skis. I like those excuses. My wife pulled a similar one on me on Saturday. Now she has new Head Super Joys.

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17 hours ago, MadRussian said:

nice job and good effort. do I see it correctly you didn't put edge section in?

a few pointers:

  JBweld iirc is not flexible epoxy and in such a big repair will crack. And eventually will start fallout. As a ski builder my go to repair epoxy G-Flex. unfortunately use of epoxy only  does not create surface hard enough to slide on snow… I use  special additive  to repair much smaller core shots.

Such a big section should be repaired with section of new edge and new P-tex inlay with proper preparation. Not that difficult or complicated job. I can give you at no cost section of edges and Ptex... and  explain a few important steps to take if you decide to go this route.

Thank you for the advice. I am interested in learning from you better ways to repair for the future. I didn't put an edge section in. I spend most of my time in bumps and trees so the loss of an edge underfoot won't matter too much. I just need to remember not to lean hard on my left ski when making a left turn on a groomer. 

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@StraightSkis you can find a lot of information at YouTube and TGR. 

I totally understand your approach to skis from cost perspective but it's a lot more to it. Besides custom skis cheaper in the long run  to have custom ski built once than constantly buying something new 

@Cannonballer  you should step up to the plate yourself first and have your own Mad Russian Snowboard build...I know you want to:D

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