Pros: Control, Stability, Float
Cons: have to be up to speed to be stable on groomers, hard to cut a trail with these things.
I have been skiing since I was 11 and skied about 30-45 times a year from the time I was 12 till I was about 18 (when I went into the military). I grew up skiing mostly at Greek Peak in upstate new york with 2 trips a year to Vermont and one trip out west.
When I was at my peak, around 17-18, one of my favorite runs on the planet was outer limits at Kilington Vermont. This was a excellent black diamond mogul field that ran directly under the lift. I loved running laps on this run and getting cheers from the lift as I bombed the bumps.
Well, I am now 33 and the days of inspiring applause from chair lifts are a thing of the past. I average around 8-10 days on the mountain a year mostly at Mammoth Mountain.
So, yesterday, I got my first day on my Kuros at Mammoth Mountain. They had just received 8 feet of new snow.
After waiting in line, I was one of the first people up chair 22 when they opened it. I chose the line directly under the lift for my first run knowing this area would be the first to be tracked up.
I started the run skiing the waist high powder like a always did, leaning back a little and floating on the snow. BUT WAIT, as I picked up speed, I found myself back in my aggressive stance standing flat on my ski and attacking the hill. I started flying down the hill and was laying down turns like I was on the groomers on a pair of AC50. I dipped in and out of the trees just like they where race gates skiing faster and with more confidence than I had ever had on snow this deep in trees so tight. All of the sudden, I realized I was getting applause from the lift over head. This just ignited my confidence and I turned it up even more just flying and attacking the hill like I was 17 and on Outer limits. (I would have married these skis at this point but it gets better)
I finished the run, jumped back in line and headed back up to the same run and chose to hit the exact same line I did the first time. By this time, the line was already completely tracked up but it didn't matter, I was blasting through the snow flying pass people and screaming down the run with all the confidence in the world. This run was actually better than the first, people where pushing the snow around into big mounds and with the Kuro on, I just blast through it exploding out of the snow in total control.
I spent the next couple of hours running up and down 22 finding fresh lines and skiing the powder.
NOW, HERE COMES THE SHOCKER.
I needed a break and decided to jump on the groomers for a run or two to catch my breath.
I start down a perfect blue black groomer and go to lay in to the turn and can it be, the ski holds and pushes back. The faster I went the better the ski carved. I was flying down the groomer laying down big GS turns and dragging my fists with my hips inches from the ground. This cant be, the ski is flying on the groomer.
NOW THE REALITY CHECK
As the day wore on and I became to tired to attack anything, I started going slow and trying to just cruise on this ski.
Cruising powder lines was still great, as long as it wasn't to tracked up, I could just effortlessly cruise on the powder without having to do to much work.
This ski does not like to cruise on steep groomers, it is all or nothing, you have to be carving the ski or it will loose its edge.
Another thing I found that it was almost impossible to weight my inside ski on the groomers leaving me with only one edge in contact.
Cutting a trail with this ski was a lot of work, the tip is like a shovel and I got stuck a couple of times where I just couldn't get my tip out.
Another less than stellar feature of this ski is flat slopes. This is more of an FYI than anything and goes back to the fact that this ski is not for an intermediate skier.
This Ski is amazing.
Wind Chop: *****
Groomer (keep in mind that the groomers I had them on where about as perfect as they get and would always take out a different ski on hard pack groomer day): ****
I took the ski out on a hard pack day of nothing but fast groomers, they where just a little sketchy on the ice on really steep stuff but handled everything else pretty well. (still had a really hard time waiting my inside edge)
The ski is amazing, but it is definitely an expert level ski.
My best guess is anybody under a 7 level or maybe an 8 level will enjoy this ski in powder but may find it less than perfect on any other conditions. It needs the speed and needs to be put on edge.
However, if you are an expert level skier looking for a ski that will do just about ever thing really well, well, this is the ski.
AS A SIDE NOTE.
I thought this ski to be far superior to the Gotama in every way except trying to cruise. The Goat will cruise on the groomers.
This ski handled the groomers better than the Gotama (at least for my style of skiing).
ONE MORE NOTE:
My dad is about a level 6.5 skier.
He can ski just about ever thing but if you look at his tracks on a groomer, you don't see two perfect lines but two washed lines. I would not recommend this ski to him, I don't believe he would be able to put this ski on edge enough to make it work on anything other than perfect powder.
***ADDED MARCH 3
10 days on and still in love. BEST SKI EVER. I have not touched my other skis since this purchase.
Still, no good on really hard pack but everthing else is great.