Pros: carve like crazy in both long stable arcs and quicker fall line turns
(edit: this review was updated 11/16/09)
These skis are designed by John Howe and utilize a patented technology to provide superior dampening. The technology of the ski and the motivation for the company was to design and build skis that had superior edge hold and reduced vibration.
I purchased these skis used at a rummage sale this summer and have been anxious to try them out. I skied The Claw last week at Loveland in CO, my first day out, on good man made conditions. The 100/63/100 dimensions of the ski are a bit unusual as most skis have narrower tails than tips. Tipping the ski results in a instant and positive arcing turn with impressive grip. The tail of the ski follows the tip of the ski resulting in easy and powerful carved turns. I found myself having to work a little more than anticipated to keep up with the ski often finding myself in the back seat. It could be the ski, it could be that these were my first runs of the season. They really wanted to hook up and ski big arcs.
I didn't encounter any conditions that would put the dampening to the test. The feel of these skis was not particularly lively, but there was plenty of energy from the skis. I didn't have the control over turn shape that I would like and it was nearly impossible to let the tail slide out a bit to adjust turn shape; the tails just wouldn't skid. You really have to stay on top of these skis. I'll be out on them again and update this review as I become more familiar with the ski.
The Claw Review Take 2:
Now I've been on these skis twice. My opinion of these skis has climbed considerably. If you just sit back and let the skis roll, you'll be maching in no time with long clean arcing turns. Today I was able to work them a little more and what a difference. If you ride the top of the turn, then actively pressure them a bit to decamber them a little, they just hook right up and are down right snappy. I was able to make direct down the fall line turns on these skis that belied their 18m radius design. They are extremely stable and hold very well; I did find some hard spots on the man-made snow and they just 'clawed' their way through the hardpack.