Product: 2011 Zag Purist
Length Tested: 154
Dimensions/Turn Radius: 113/77/103 13m
Camber (select one, delete the rest): Traditional with spoon tip
Binding: Tyrolia LD12 rail flex
Mount point: +15mm
Environment & Conditions:
Location of Test: Whitetail and Timberline
Number of Runs: 40
Snow Conditions: Mid Atlantic packed powder, frozen granular, scraped hardpack, West Virginia powder, man-made fresh snow
Demo or Own: Own
Height/Weight: 5'6" 145
Ski Days/Season: 15
Years Skiing: started this season
Current Quiver: Atomic C9
Home Area: Whitetail
Preferred Terrain (select one, delete the rest): groomers
"A wonderful thing is a Zag;
A Zag's a wonderful thing.
Their tops are made out of rubber,
their bottoms are made out of spring
They're bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy,
fun, fun, fun, fun, fun"
Yep... completely ripped off the Tigger Song from Winnie The Pooh because it so describes the attitude of this ski.
Truth be told, I had a bit of a hard time getting used to these skis. I was used to the Atomics that basically plowed through everything and had a nice solid connection to the ground. The Atomics were workhorses that plodded along like Eeyore. These Zags have nothing to do with Eeyore and everything to do with Tigger.
They don't plow through anything. They float. In fact the first word that came to mind was bouncy. They seem to lift up and over the ridges in heavy, slushy snow. On bumps, they leave you with the feeling of being airborne. They have spunk and energy just like Tigger. They are FAST. Unnerving fast. The same wax? The same slope? Not the same speed. Zags tear down the slope.
Supposedly, these skis are not known for their ability to ski on that hard packed icy snow left on the run at the end of the day at Whitetail. Despite their bounce, I found them to be solid on the icy patches.
I found the skis jittery on the coasting parts of the slopes at the end of the runs the first couple of days. Once the mount point of the bindings was adjusted 15mm to the front, I found this disappeared. This doesn't stop their lively little bounce if they find a bit of a bump along the way so be prepared.
One big improvement of the Zags over the Atomics is that they don't get hung up in heavy snow. I found the Atomics wanted to charge through the heavy,slushy snow like they were in control and then suddenly one of the skis would decide the snow was in control and start to 'wander' off. I have yet to have that problem with the Zags.
The downside to the Zags is that they don't like sudden course corrections. I had few problems with making sudden turns in the Atomics to avoid folks who fell in front of me. They did exactly what I wanted them to do when I wanted them to do it. The Zags on the other hand fought me when I had to make a sudden, tight turn to avoid someone.
I admit it, I got the Zags because they looked the best out of all the options presented to me. They have a nice modern look to their graphics. A girl has to look good doesn't she? And Exorcist vomit green doesn't make anyone look good. Sorry Atomics, that green doomed you right from the get go. The good news is that the Zags back up their good looks with solid performance.
- works well in all kinds of conditions
- has attitude
- doesn't like sudden course corrections