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Next seasons skis

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Any tried and tested skis to recommend?

I demo'd a pair of K2 Apache Crossfires in slushy, porridge conditions in Kaprun a week or so ago. They felt good but I couldn't really assess them properly due to the conditions and especially as I was skiing Austrian style. Anyone know if these are any good in 'proper' snow?

One ski I can recommend is the Equipe 10 SC- I think they are oversize(outside FIS regulations) slalom skis. Quite responsive, and nice and easy to carve the short turns a la Alain Baxter - Vicks nasal inhaler is optional. N.B Tested on hard, early morning, glacier snow; untested in the bulletproof stuff.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I tried some of the new Rossignol Carvers back in March over in Fernie. Very nice they were, but I can't remember any more details. For piste work, they hevaily outshone the next two pairs I tested : Salomon 1080 and x-scream hot
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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?
I ski with people who swear by the 1080's and say it improves there skiing. They are a bit soft for me but I hear they've made them stiffer for the new season or am I thinking about the special Lab versions?

I had the opportunity to ski a swallow tail ski(would get a pic link but the word swallow brought up all sorts of unsavoury links on Google) last season in VDI but they looked too good for me! The skis make it easier to ski deep powder by giving you more float to the tips of the skis- cant't quite explain the dynamics of it all, maybe Physicsman can have a go when he next crosses the pond. Anyone tried a swallowtail(ski not soup)? Does it do what it says on the tin?
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The Salomon rep told me that thr new 1080 skis were the same as current skis, with different graphics. Maybe next year?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I quite like the fact that my 1080s are soft; makes them easier to turn in tricky spots, better (for me at least!) in the bumps, and more forgiving when you land a jump on the tails.
If I want stiff skis for a bit more speed/lively skiing I strap on my Atomics...

not entirely surprised that the 1080s didn't seem to perform so well on piste as they don't really have a huge sidecut, are softish, and wide(ish), I don't think they were really designed for carving up the slopes... again the Atomics do that job nicely!! snowHead
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stuarth, Which ataomics do you have? I tested some SX9's last season, and although loved them to bits and were quick and held edges well on hard packed, i eventually opted to buy the Rossi B1's as a more all round ski (my first pair). Would have loved to buy both the SX9's and then maybe a wider softer ski (1080, head Mad Trix or something similar) for softer conditions. Unfortunately i decided i couldn't afford to do this Sad
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Kit Wong wrote:
... I had the opportunity to ski a swallow tail ski(would get a pic link but the word swallow brought up all sorts of unsavoury links on Google) last season in VDI but they looked too good for me! The skis make it easier to ski deep powder by giving you more float to the tips of the skis- cant't quite explain the dynamics of it all, maybe Physicsman can have a go when he next crosses the pond. Anyone tried a swallowtail(ski not soup)? Does it do what it says on the tin?...


My personal opinion is that the swallowtail is little more than psychological manipulation of a certain subset of consumers, and that the same advertised beneficial effects (eg, float, tip dive, effective edge length, etc.) could be had my tweaking the aft flex and moving the fore-aft binding position a bit.

Our younger colleagues on PowderMag.com and TGR have mulled this point, aren't so cynical, but, IMHO, haven't offered any other credible explanation. If you do a search on those forums for the word, "swallowtail", you will undoubtedly find the threads that I am thinking of.

Cheers,

Tom / PM
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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!
Chris Downey,
I have SX9's. Tested some SX11s too but they were a bit too much for me to handle (or would be for a whole day on them), should be interesting to try some of the new SX10s as they have the same shape as the 9's apparently but are a bit stiffer/more responsive. Saying that the SX9's are pretty good all round and I don't go fast enough to really trouble them stability wise. The SX9's do have a lot of sidecut and I find that in uneven snow, if I'm not concentrating, I sometimes get caught out.
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stuarth, I have the SX10's, and am very pleased with them, but have only had 3 or 4 full days on them so far at teh end of last season. Demo'd both the 9's and 11's previoulsy, and v.happy with the compromise of the 10's.
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One advantage of a swallowtail as on a Volkl Sanouk is that your mate trying to 8 your S's isn't sprayed with your roostertail.
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comprex, I'm not sure the presence of the swallowtail is the core issue. In my experience, any fat with little or no tail turn-up throws up much less of a roostertail than a similar ski with a turned-up tail.

Tom / PM
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Very right, PM: I was merely limiting the discussion field to fats with some obvious artifice other than flex control to limit edge engagement at the tail.

'core issue' Laughing snowHead Laughing

One of these days I'm going to rivet mudflaps to Andrej's 1080s, you just watch.
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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
What other new developments in ski technology can be classified as phenomenon or gimmick? How about the reverse sidecut i.e waist fatter than tips and tails, and reverse camber ski brought out by Volant last year or the year before that?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Since I had one bite on "core issue", let me try to answer Kit Wong's question on *leading edge* technologies. Wink

The ski you are thinking of is called the Spatula. Althought I have not skied it myself, a large number of people whose opinions I respect have done so and are very enthusiastic about it (in suitable snow conditions). IMHO, the physics behind the design sounds quite reasonable, but the problem is that it is not a versatile ski. Specifically, once you are away from the powder stashes and back on the groomers, it apparently skis like a pair a barrel staves. Even coming close to carving on a packed surface using Spatulas is imposible.

Although I would love to demo a pair myself, I would classify the Spatulas as a waste of money for most skiers, but a-dream-come-true for big mountain skiers that live a couple of minutes away from their home resort.

HTH,

Tom / PM
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Went to Pila for the SIGB test. Rode lots of next years kit - especially focused on the freeride and park skis, although did make some turns on other stuff too. What would you like an opinion on?

Volkl - karma, 7.24 pro
Salomon - 1080, XtraHot,
Rossi - Scratch FS, Zenith, B2
Scott - Santiago
Zag - Backcountry FS
Movement - Evariste Pro, Thunder, Demon Flame
K2 - Seth Pistol, Fujative, Public Enemy, Phat Luv, one of the Apaches (have to look at my write ups to find out which one as I cant remember of top of head!)
Atomic - Metron X, Tweak

Also this summer on the glacier;
Armada ARV
Faction 3Zero

probly missed some form the list, but I'm half asleep at the moment so Laughing
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
JonL, I would be interested in your comments on the Metron X, specifically, is it the best of both worlds (ie, carving and soft snow performance) or the worst of both (eg, awkwardly wide for carving, and too twitchy in soft, cut-up snow).

Thanks in advance,

Tom / PM

PS - Don't forget to mention your weight and range of snow conditions you encountered amongst your comments. I consider weight to be of prime importance in reviews of skis to be used in soft snow.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Kit Wong, see the film 'Immersion' for Spatulas in action, watch the slow-speed finessed approaches to each cornice. Hard to do that on Stormriders.

One 'feature' I will miss is the Atomic 'sundial' tips. On the R:EXs I pressed them into duty as a 'cornfinder' for the orientationally challenged. Clear projected logo on snow- good chance of corn. No logo on snow- boilerplate or death cookies. Foreshortened logo- slush. Very useful at Vail for the non-map readers, that was. Wink

JonL, we're all ears. Tell us 'urban' skis aren't a gimmick.

(It'll be the first Armada ARV review I've seen anywhere).
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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?
JonL, if you were only to buy one pair of those you tested, which pair would it be, and why?
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Okay here goes;

PM - weigh in at about 150lbs at the time.
conditions were about 5cm/2" of new on hardpark, starting to get tracked by the time I had the Metron's.

Can't really comment on the soft snow ability - didnt really have it.
Definitely a ski that holds an edge well though - atomics race heritage came through well - there was plenty of grip for railng turns. However that 'could' be the problem. I thought it was a good thing for preserving skier energy, as your not working overly hard and labouring turns, however the guy I was with felt this made it almost boring.
Also, as I said it rails. Maybe a little too much. All the edge grip meant that we both could feel the work you needed to do to break out of the turn - if you were on a collision course with someone/thing, you could feel the pressure in your knees. Not a great attribute during a busy half-term/spring break last run to the base sort of scenario. This also made me wonder if it would be the best in softer snow. More of a ski to barrel through chop than float through pow is what I felt.
Think the round off comment of my partner, who owns the 11.20 this is replacing, sums it up - he didn't feel he needed to upgrade those just yet, as the ski although fun wasn't quite as allround exciting as the 11.20

Comprex; similar conditions on skiing this - about 5cm/2" on top of hard groomed and frozen stuff.

They have a medium flex in the tip, stiffening up towards the middle and tail of the ski. Similar to Autodrive Dynastars in that it make it easy to start the turn,but then doesn't breakaway as you really get into the middle and end of the turn.
The waist is similar to what I usually ride (Dynastar InBig) so didnt notice the edge to edge as being all that disimilar i.e. if your used to riding something that sort of shape the aren't any slower, although no quicker for that matter either.
Overall though the shape makes for a nice range of turn shapes and combined with that comapritively (to the rest of the ski) soft nose made it easy to choose these at will.
Took them into the park for most of the day, and had lots of fun. The tail held up to (the odd!) backseat landing, and the wider footprint kept them feeling stable even later on when the sun had been out and many landings had been made causing the park to get a bit choppy. They had an average spin weight - didn't need to adjust my style at all to compensate for anything there.
Didnt get them on the rails (wasnt forbidden, but it was a rather you didn't sort of situation) and the pipe had been groomed so didnt bother with that either. However the edge grip was good on the groomers in between, both regular and switch.
Overall I was quite impressed. being a new brand it could have been a nightmare (like LINEs first attempts!) but was a good allround set of sticks.

WTFH - hmmm... have a quiver at all times, so picking one is never something I usually consider!! Very Happy Very Happy rolling eyes
However, my biggest smiles were probably after getting off of the Seth Pistol - after skiing it on the groomers as that was all that was worth skiing on the day! Puzzled
However, this was a close call with the Dynastar 8000 - although I loved the Powertrac which this is very similar to. Nimble, great edge grip, go anywhere versatility. Also the Movement Evariste Pro deserves a mention - when I need to get a new park and groomers ski, I will definitely consider this.

Sorry I went on so long folks Twisted Evil Twisted Evil , but done Wink - for know! Shocked snowHead
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
JonL, thank you very much for your comments. I can't wait to try a pair myself & and, in fact, just emailed the Atomic rep at my home mountain about this.

Thanks again.

Tom / PM
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JonL - I've finally decided to retire my Xmountains which I love but have always been a tad too long for me. I'm eyeing up the Rossi Bandit 2 vs Volkl 7.24 pro. Love hard and fast on piste but spend a good 50 per cent of my time off piste.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Woops - forgot to end the message with a request for your views (of those of anyone else who has tried these two pairs of skis)?
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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!
StanBowles, the Rossi B2 is a great ski. If someone is offering you the Bandit 2, they are selling you a ski from 3 seasons ago.
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[
Quote:

Since I had one bite on "core issue",
straight and narrow from now on Physicsman, ....unless, of course, I'm on a spatula
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JonL, Any Dynastars? A guide I skied with in April disliked the replacement for the Intuitiv 74 so much that he bought another pair of Intuitiv 74 just to keep as stock.

StanBowles, I skied the Volkls last year. They were pretty good on the piste even the hardpacked stuff, which is quite suprising for a fat ski. They floated well in powder but were heavy and stiff enough to plough through chowder, crud, heavy snow etc.
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Kit Wong just to confirm, that was the 7.24 Pro?

I'm going to miss the 7.24 AX4. <sigh>
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Thanks Fox Hat. I meant the B2s. And Kit Wong - I like the sound of the 7.25 Pros. I'm getting a few days skiing in Tignes early December and I think I will do some testing then before worrying about forking out any dosh. But my shortlist is definitley the B2 vs the 7.24 Pro.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

Kit Wong just to confirm, that was the 7.24 Pro

comprex, I'm pretty sure. The black and white ones with a sort of woven surface. Is this a take on Atomic's dimples do you think or were they just a bit lazy with the finish? <off just a little tangent>
StanBowles, the Volkls are rock solid for carving the cruddy stuff off piste- no sign of tip quiver, so you don't have to ease off if you don't want to snowHead
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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
My vote for GIMMICK! is the Volkl 3 (three) star.

Why would anyone actually buy this ski? Flexed similarly to the energy 220, no Motion option, less side cut than the Energy series so harder to initiate turns on piste. Blue top-skin like last year's 4-star leaves me just puzzled as to how saturated the bottom-end cruiser market can be??? (Yes, I know that last can be taken many ways).


[rant] I see NO advantage except that K2 can use Volkl's Supersport image to boost super-discount box-store sales with low 'package prices' in newspaper adverts. [/rant: I despise K2's business strategies from of old.]
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