Ramp, based in Park City, was kind enough to let me and my wife demo the Groundhog (Beaver is the identical ski with different graphics) for two days this week. Actually, We were originally going to take them out for one day, but since I-80 was closed on Monday night they told us to keep them an extra day.
Product: Ramp Groundhog 131-100-119
Length/size Tested: 179
*Location of review: Alta, Solitude
*Runs Taken: Lots over 1.5 days
*Snow Conditions: 6-18" fresh, chopped,and tracked powder and 4" of powder over groomed
*Demo or Purchase: Demo
Summary (inc. Strengths & Weaknesses):
This ski definitely fits the current mold for an all mountain Western everyday ski: Early rise tip, traditional camber but not too stiff, lightweight, even with demo binding.
The ski is very nimble in soft snow where it will give you any kind of turn shape. Even at slower speeds picking your way through trees there is never the feeling of getting bogged down. Stable at speed, and will carve long arcs on groomers on the runout to the lift. Honestly I never had to think twice about the ski and just enjoyed skiing. The only conscious thought was to keep the tips up as you get down to flatter terrain in deeper snow.
My wife had a pair in 169, and didn't have trouble despite her very light weight. But going down to the 159 might have served her better as she prefers shorter linked turns.
(One thing I did notice is that when sidestepping up to some traverses -something I do not do much of- I had more trouble than I expected. Was it the girth or just my technique that seemed to make it harder to keep an an edge set in?)
Age: Low thirties
Height/Weight: 5'10", 210
Average days on snow: 7-10
Years Skiing: 15+