New slalom ski advice [HO Truth Equivalent]?

BarnacleBoyBarnacleBoy Posts: 21 Baller
edited March 28 in Skis Fins Bindings

I'm hoping you guys can help me out. I'm looking to upgrade from my current ski.

Due to unfortunate life circumstances, I haven't been able to routinely get out for the past few years. After buying and completely restoring a 2004 Malibu Response LXi, I'm hoping to go a couple times a week this summer. My uncle let me borrow his ski [67" HO Truth w/double boot], which drastically improved my skiing vs. the beginner model O'Brien I'd been using since selling my Radar Theory. After trying some of his friends skis [68" Goode KD7000, newer 68" Radar Theory, 69" Radar Theory and a 67" Connelly], I like his ski the best. That being said, they are all quite a bit older/heavier than I am. My uncle is closest in weight, and he's still around 35lbs heavier than I am.

Would anyone have any idea which skis would be similar in terms of ride? I was looking at a Radar Vapour Lithium, or Senate potentially?

I would say that I'm a beginner-intermediate free skier, and have been doing it since I was 7 (currently 26).

Height: 181cm [5'11]
Weight: 70-77kg [155-170lbs]

I hit the gym four times a week. Thanks to a very high metabolism and the army, I'm fairly lean and prefer a more aggressive style.

Due to my locale (Ontario, Canada), going out any demoing a whole bunch of skis isn't really an option. We don't have the ski culture/industry here like some of the more temperate American states do.

If anyone has any advice, I'd really appreciate it. Any questions or clarification needed, just let me know!

Thank you in advance.


  • AliAli Posts: 274 Solid Baller
    Surprised you liked the HO Truth, that was a ski everybody hated. You got any video of your skiing? What speed and line length are you skiing? What did you like and not like about the skis you tried?
  • HortonHorton Posts: 32,524 Administrator
    in automotive terms the HO Truth is like a 1970 Chevy Nova. Anything modern is going to drive better.

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  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 477 Crazy Baller
    The 68” and 69” skiis are IMHO to big for you given you weight so I suspect that’s part of why you liked the HO better as a 67” should be a better match.
  • BarnacleBoyBarnacleBoy Posts: 21 Baller
    @Ali Thanks for the reply, I will see if I can find one. After reading through some of the forum posts and seeing others' skill levels, I'm probably closer to the beginner-intermediate level. I ski 15off at 32-34, haven't yet tried going shorter though. I suspect @Jmoski was right, the KD7000 was REALLY heavy, and I don't think I weighed enough for most of them. It felt like the ski was floating on top of the water rather than cutting through it. Anytime I tried to cut, the back end would wash out, and down I go (very possible it's a lack of skill, however). For the O'Brien, I honestly like it, but the ski itself is spongy. Just an old late 80s ski. The Connelly I just couldn't get comfortable behind.
    I liked that his ski rode a little deeper and was stiffer in the water. I could carve and not worry about a weird flex, or that the back end was going to wash out. I'm wondering if a 66" might even be appropriate? I also felt that my legs were in a better position, it wasn’t perfect but definitely nicer than what I was using before. Sorta hard to describe but my right [back] knee always feels like its being torqued. I figure it probably shouldn’t feel that way.

    @Horton Gotcha. Would you have a general recommendation for a guy that unfortunately can't trial a whole bunch of skis? Would a Vapour Lithium be appropriate? I leave for work at the end of this ski season, so I’d just like to have a ski that I can be comfortable on and have some fun.

    @Jmoski I figure you’re right. I looked at some of the length calculators but the problem is that I tend to fall in between sizes. Unfortunately, I can only trial the skis of my uncles friends. They all tend to be quite a bit larger, so they’re using larger sized skis.

    Appreciate the responses.
  • BarnacleBoyBarnacleBoy Posts: 21 Baller
    P.S. Saw my Uncle today and told him what you said about the HO Truth being pretty universally panned. He said "I dunno what to tell ya, I like it". He tried a bunch back when there was a local ski shop, and ended up choosing that one. Honestly, he's one of the best free skiers I've ever seen. That being said, my experience is limited, However, even his buddies admit when he's doing a run that he's a properly good skier.

    Any idea why was it so disliked?
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 1,200 Mega Baller
    I came into skiing during the era when the Truth was brand new. IIRC at the time the CDX was still the better ski so the Truth and Phantom Truth were seen as a step in the wrong direction. In fact, Wiley's continued to sell the CDX as a special model during this time.

    That said, I had no idea about any of this and back in 2004 the Truth was my first "real" slalom ski and a huge step up from my Mach 1 at the time. Ran my first pass ever in the Truth. It was the coolest thing ever to me at the time!
  • GloersenGloersen Posts: 1,253 Mega Baller
    @BarnacleBoy - consider getting on a HO Omni (Carbon Omni). If free-sking >34mph a 66", otherwise maybe a 67" (but not >67"). It'll still carve great turns like the HO Truth, but much better speed-direction across the wakes. Easy ride, less fatigue, and can be skied aggressively. Shop around, decent price new.
    Asher can run 39.5off on an Omni (maybe even he could do so on a 2x4 but probably not a HO Truth).
  • BarnacleBoyBarnacleBoy Posts: 21 Baller
    @jhughes Nice, haha. Sounds like a similar story to mine. When you go from a 1980's O'Brien No Model, anything seems like an improvement!

    @Gloersen Appreciate the response. I took a look on ski-it-again but no luck finding a used one. Saw a Syndicate Omni but at a considerably higher price point. The reason I had asked about the Vapour Lithium is because I found one a couple seasons old for a couple hundred dollars. After looking around though, it might be too advanced for my current skill level.

    Do you know if there are equivalent skis to the Omni in other brands? I'll take another look online, as well, but I'm hoping to find a used ski at a lower price point. Stuff in Canada is about 50% more expensive with the exchange rate, taxes, and shipping. Fortunately, I live close to the border so once it reopens, I'll be able to drive over and pick it up. Thanks again.
  • GloersenGloersen Posts: 1,253 Mega Baller
  • BarnacleBoyBarnacleBoy Posts: 21 Baller
    @Gloersen Awesome, thank you! I'll take a look.
  • FSSPCatFSSPCat Posts: 168 Baller
    Side note, let’s see pics of the restoration!
  • BarnacleBoyBarnacleBoy Posts: 21 Baller
    @S1Pitts Sweet! I'll take a look!
  • BarnacleBoyBarnacleBoy Posts: 21 Baller
    @FSSPCat Lemme see which photos I can scrounge!
  • BarnacleBoyBarnacleBoy Posts: 21 Baller
    edited March 28
    Before photos: She came equipped with 2000L of the finest Texas lake water, 50 beer bottles/cans, as well as assorted other 'goodies'! I got ripped off, and didn't know until it arrived at my freight brokers' house that it was completely destroyed. Luckily for me, he's an absolutely amazing human being, and stuck a space heater in it to prevent it from freezing the block (If anyone needs a boat or any other freight moved, lemme know and I'll pass his info. Cost me $2000CAD to ship it from Texas to Ontario on a flat deck transport.) Photos don't do it justice. He also stole the entire audio system out of it. Fortunately, my dad has a fully outfitted shop, and I had some free time while waiting for my next contract. Still ended up costing about double what I initially paid, and thanks to strong Texas debtor laws, I have no hope of collecting :'( .

  • BarnacleBoyBarnacleBoy Posts: 21 Baller
    edited March 28
    After detailing: Since it was winter in Canada when I picked it up, I had to pay to stick it in a heated shop for a week, then pay a detailer with a heated shop to clean it. Cost me just under $900 for both. Despite telling me he'd winterized it, the block was full of water, as was the transmission (which I unfortunately didn't catch until the following spring.) The detailer said it was among the worst he'd ever seen. Seats were permeated with black mold and mildew, and all the vinyl had deteriorated so badly that the seats were pulling apart at the seams. Despite steaming/cleaning the carpet with an industrial grade machine, he couldn't get the mold/mildew out. He figured two years of abuse, but it was actually months of sitting out in Texas without a cover, followed by a couple months with a cover and all the accumulated water still inside. He never pulled the plugs so it couldn't drain. Engine wouldn't start, and 90% or more of the wiring/accessories didn't work. Trailer was also a little frigged from pulling an extra 4500lbs of water weight.

  • BarnacleBoyBarnacleBoy Posts: 21 Baller
    Restoration photos: I'll try to keep this short as this was a massively involved process and I could go on forever but essentially, I redid everything from the floorboards up. All the seats were reupholstered, the floor was coated with a polyaspartic, carpeting was removed and redone with miners moss, a completely custom wiring harness to name a few. All the work minus the actual stitching was done by me (I pulled a ridiculous amount of upholstery staples though). Honestly, I was more appalled at Malibu's complete lack of quality control than getting ripped off by the wiener in Texas. Holes were poorly drilled, original Malibu wiring used interior grade crimp connectors, and poor quality wire, as well as being just generally shoddy. Beyond that, terrible design and engineering decisions abounded. Calls with Malibu were essentially useless, as any questions I had were either met with 'I don't know' in the case of locating the driver seat underfloor supports and others, or 'that's proprietary' in the case of getting a wiring diagram for the boat and others. At this point (assuming I can ever actually afford another one), I'm going to completely custom build my next boat from the hull up, and hopefully out of aluminium. After completing my degree, and restoring this thing as well as my dads older boat, I think I've got enough confidence and knowhow to attempt my own. I certainly won't be buying another Malibu.

  • BarnacleBoyBarnacleBoy Posts: 21 Baller
    edited March 28
    'Final' Product: I use this term loosely, as I still have to install the audio system, pull the engine to fix some exhaust leaks, transmission seals, spark plugs, new starter motor, as well as reinstall a few seats, and do some gelcoat work. She skis really well, and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. Took about three months of almost daily work (start of May - end of July) but I was able to ski behind it last year for most of August. All said and done, I have just under $30,000CAD into it. Learned a tonne of new skills, and met some absolutely amazing/genuine people who went out of their way to help me out. The boating/marine community was absolutely amazing. First photo is actually the first weekend I had it in after the resto, and it's parked next to my dads boat. A 1960 Glasspar Citation that I learned to ski behind, and eventually helped restore.

  • BarnacleBoyBarnacleBoy Posts: 21 Baller
    edited March 28
    P.S. Apologies for all the super long posts, I get kinda caught up sometimes.
  • S1PittsS1Pitts Posts: 392 Crazy Baller
    My ski partner with the HO Carbon Omni has the same model/year of boat. It was meant to be. It was worth the effort and cost as they are a great all around boat. Awesome job on the restore.
  • BarnacleBoyBarnacleBoy Posts: 21 Baller
    edited March 28
    @S1Pitts Well I guess now I GOTTA get the Carbon Omni ;) . Thank you, I appreciate it!
  • FSSPCatFSSPCat Posts: 168 Baller
    @BarnacleBoy you did a fantastic job and now you have one of the best ski tugs you could have. Plus, you know exactly how to fix it if anything goes wrong. Nice work. She’s a beaut.
  • GloersenGloersen Posts: 1,253 Mega Baller
    edited March 28
    @BarnacleBoy - a good deal on a new (2021) 67" Carbon Omni at Wiley's
    Might check with Perfski to see if they'll part with any 2021 Carbon Omni inventory for less
  • 03RLXi03RLXi Posts: 34 Baller
    Nice boat! Looks like you've got the Monsoon 340 engine too. I've got an 03 RLXi with same :)

    Did you spray a coating on the dash and engine box?
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,422 Mega Baller
    You can't handle the truth!

    Sorry, couldn't resist...
  • BarnacleBoyBarnacleBoy Posts: 21 Baller
    Sorry for the late response, it's maple syrup season here in Southern Ontario and I've been collecting sap and boiling for the past couple weeks.

    @03RLXi Thank you! I actually have the 380 Hammerhead. Yes! The interior, as well as the dash panels, and dog house are coated with a polyaspartic. I rolled it on, then coated it with vinyl flake, followed by scraping, and a top coat. It turned out really well, and only cost about $600 CAD plus my time.
  • BarnacleBoyBarnacleBoy Posts: 21 Baller
    @FSSPCat Thanks, I appreciate it!

    @Gloersen I'll give em' a call. Thank you.

    @A_B Love it, haha! You sound exactly like my uncle after I exceeded my skill level, skipped the wake, and dislocated my shoulder while riding his ski ;) .
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,422 Mega Baller
    @BarnacleBoy sounds just like a guy that skied in our Club. He rode the Truth for about half a season. Never could get it to work for him. We saw some spectacular falls though... He was a never say die, hold my beer while I do a yard sale kind of a guy... bad combo..
  • slowslow Posts: 562 Crazy Baller
    Upgrade to the Phantom Truth so you can really hurt your self
  • BarnacleBoyBarnacleBoy Posts: 21 Baller
    edited April 4
    @A_B I think mine comes more from just being generally s*** at skiing, haha. Of course, there was the time my uncles buddy gave me one of those plastic skis to try. I kept telling him the tip was warped down, but he swore it was fine. First wake crossing, the tip buries, and I get slingshotted across the water :o Now they call me 'Mr. Glass' cause apparently I'm 'easily breakable'. Didn't see any of them old farts offering to take it for a test ride!

    I have had more than my fair share of spectacular falls, though.

    @slow Not sure how much more my body can take! Looks like I may have just found a 2021 Carbon Omni w/ dual freemax bindings for ~$500USD. We'll see if it pans out!
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