Pros: Versatile powder ski that won't let you down on groomers
Cons: Too wide to ski bumps but they weren't meant to be used for that anyway
A quick note on me...5'10" 240lbs. 20 years of skiing 30 days or more almost every year.
Last year after skiing a foot of the Midwest's finest powder on my 2009 Gotamas that I wanted to try a seriously fat rockered ski. After reading reviews and pouring over specs I ended up picking up a pair of K2 Hellbents in a 189. I decided on them because they had decent reviews, the 26m turn radius was much tighter than a lot of the powder boards out there, and I found a good deal on them. After skiing a bit on them at home I took them to Breckenridge last March. They definitely ripped in powder but they skied like wet noodles on everything else. I was OK with keeping them but I wasn't 100% satisfied.
Days 1 & 2:
Flash forward to a few weeks ago went I stumbled across some deals on last years Icelantics. I like the idea of skiing something not everyone has and then I found out about the Promotive benefit for being a supporter. I pulled the trigger on a pair of Keepers in 189. I mounted them with Dynastar/Look PX14 XXL's. I couldn't wait until a meaningful snowfall to try them out so I immediately hit the local hill. My first impression is WOW! I think i finally found what I am looking for. I got mix of snow conditions over the last 2 days including fresh groomed, sun softened re-frozen man made, and what could be best described as mashed potatoes. They handled it all relatively well. They will carve a turn on most everything and they get up on top of the junk snow with ease. I can't wait until I get a chance to ski them in powder.
I logged a bunch of runs at the local ski hill with the Keepers yesterday. They had 6-12" of new man made snow that hadn't been groomed and was like skiing wind blown powder. The cliche of "like a hot knife through butter" comes to mind. With the tight turn radius, slight tip and tail rocker, and extra wide girth the Keepers were an absolute blast yesterday. Now I just need to get my Pilgrims mounted.
I got a chance to ski my Keepers in some fresh crud....I would say powder but when you don't get out to ski until 2:30 there isn't anything that hasn't been touched. Earlier in the week we went through a thaw-freeze cycle with a bit of rain and then yesterday 4-6 inches of new snow. The man made base below was rock hard but it wasn't impossible to avoid the hard stuff. The Keepers charged through crud like nothing I have skied before. They didn't seem to be phased one bit the mounds of new snow. Now I am anxiously watching the weather forecasts for Utah in hopes that I will get a chance to ski some powder on them next week.