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Demo review of 13 high-end skis (20-21 November 2004)

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Well, the snow was pretty hard, but my review is here. Let me know any thoughts or questions you have.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
BTW, if you're interested in last year's review, it's here.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
ssh, thanks for the great review. I'm really keen to try out a pair of the Metron B5s - how do they perform if you don't work them too hard? My slalom skis (Head WC Slalom) have a similar turn radius to the B5s and are great when you push them hard, but if you just want to drift around the piste they become a bit unmanageable and consequently very tiring. If the B5s are a bit more mild-mannered I might think about getting a pair.
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rob@rar.org.uk, I was amazed at the wide performance range of the M:b5. I actually got back on them on Sunday (that's why I skied 14 pair and only reported on 13; one was a repeat) just to make sure that I wasn't confused since I jumped on them first thing on Saturday.

On Sunday, I really played with them to try to see where they shone and where they struggled. The issue was that I couldn't find the latter! I skarved turns, carved turns, turned tight, and let 'em drift.

I think the one area where they will be an issue for some skiers is their weight; they are heavy, especially given their length. If you tend to turn your skis by lifting them off the snow in any way--or even just lightening them through some kind of muscle contraction--I think that these skis are likely to tire you out faster.

That said, they are also likely to encourage you to develop a modern, skis-on-the-snow style. I found that I could crank turn to turn without any abrupt movement. Just a gentle rock of the edges back and forth, balance in the middle, and then just hold myself up against the Gs.

In short, I think that these will make tremendous all-around skis for anyone who is able to handle a thoroughbred ski. Even my lower-level (athletic intermediate) friends enjoyed them--but thought they might be a bit much for all day.

Hope this helps... Let me know if you have other questions.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
ssh, that's really helpful. I'll rent a pair for a day or two to see how I get on them. I trying hard to develop a more modern approach to on-piste skiing, but sometimes old habits die hard...
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rob@rar.org.uk, you may be surprised how easy it is. I'm a bit of an "old dog", but last year I managed to dramatically change my technique. The key for me is to think "progressive movements." One of my coaches last year called it "making circles." The point is to always be changing gently, but not making any dramatic movements.

Oh. This is the equipment forum. Sorry... snowHead wink
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
ssh, it's something I'm working on! I was on a GS course a couple of weeks ago and my instructor said I had to change edges more gently, but he also said I had to do it more quickly to stay in the racing line (rather than get in the soft snow "with all the fairies"). To keep this on-topic, have you compared the B5s with Rossignol 9S (either Oversize or World Cup variants)?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
rob@rar.org.uk, I was not able to get on the 9S, but some of the guys with me did (Oversize). They felt that they "would do everything I asked of them, and really liked to turn." FWIW.

I think that they will feel quite different from the b5, but they are fun, as I understand it.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
ssh,

Excellent report. I've a question though please.

What do you mean when you say that a skis 'tune' had been ruined

EDIT - sorry, pressed submit too soon. Please see below.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Thu 25-11-04 23:09; edited 1 time in total
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ssh,

Excellent report. I've a question though please, well three actually:

What do you mean when you say that a skis 'tune' had been ruined?
How do you tell when the tune's gone off?
What can you do to prevent ruining the tune?

Thanks
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spyderjon, great question. The "tune" is the finish of the edges and base. Usually, this means making the edges sharp (typically between 87 and 90 degrees), slightly beveling the parts of the base near the edges (to create a slightly convex base), and waxing for the snow conditions.

In the case of this demo day, there were rocks to be found, and some skier on those Dynastars before me (and perhaps some of the others) managed to find some of those rocks and dull the edges, especially right under foot. When I attempted to get purchase with my edges, I could tell that they were dull (although it is possible that some skis won't hold--such as those designed for softer snow--but these were specifically designed for carving). Keep in mind that this is my 34th season skiing, and I have tuned my own skis for years, especially back when I was racing in the 70s.

To prevent ruining the tune, avoid rocks! wink snowHead Laughing
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Steve, great work, thanks. I'm delighted to hear the b5s living up to the comments from a friend who had a demo pair last year. He wouldn't let me try them (rotter)...

I might have to award myself an early christmas present.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
David Murdoch, snowHead
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
ssh,

Thanks for the info Steve.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Just a question, ssh, on the tuning business. My nice new volkl 5 stars look all set to go, with the edges clean and sharp. When the day comes to have them tuned, how do I find out what angles they were originally set at by the manufacturers? Is there a table published somewhere?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Nogs, I could not find the recommendations for the 5*, but you should be able to find out the Volkl recommendations from your dealer. Some manufacturers have different recommendations for different models. The two measurements you need are base bevel and edge bevel.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Nogs, I thought the factory tune on my 5*'s was hopeless, hard to guage by eye but from feel I'd say it was 90'/0' and totally useless. However, if you've skied on them already and liked it then that's cool.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Thank you ssh, I'll get back to the dealer.

And thank you too, ise, for the heads-up. I have not skied them yet, no snow here in Japan, but if they don't feel good I'll get them checked out.
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ssh,

Good reviews, I was looking at the B5 but not sure about the weight and keeping it on the slope. But I wll try these and new Dynastars.
Cheers
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I wouldn't worry about the weight of the b5s. They will help you migrate to modern technique. We don't want to be lifting our skis with muscle power any more, anyway! So much more efficient. Especially with those 11m turn radius skis.

19" of new snow in the past two days at Copper. I'll be on my 170cm RX8s tomorrow, but I'll also be mounting my Atomics over the weekend. snowHead
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ssh,

If they are that good I will give them a go if I can find them. I have a big wish list now.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
FWIW, I think the biggest part of the ski weight is the binding. It doesn't really matter, though, because it requires an Atomic binding. You might look at the options there to see if there's a lighter version than you could use (the standard for the Metron is the Neox, and mine are the 412).
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