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Cham 97, Cham 107, Bonafide, 8.5 TI, Gunsmoke - Page 2

post #31 of 57

I skied the Bone at least 40 days this season.  (on other days I was on my JJs, SL, or GS skis).  While I would not call it a "bump ski", the Bone does reasonably well in the bumps and tight trees, although one does need to be "on" with these skis in the trees and bumps.   I never wished that I had a different ski when in the bumps or trees while on the Bones, and often was happy to be on the Bones when conditions got really steep or when I wanted to ski fast in cruddy conditions.  I plan to ski the Bones as my primary ski next year.  Characteristics of skis are a trade-off for varying conditions, and the Bone has it's strengths and weaknesses.  It is a good ski for the Canadian Rockies, perhaps not for the East.

 

Decided to add this --- agree with the OP that the Bones does best in wide open areas - fun factor rating in these is a 10/10.  Fun factor rating for the tight trees would be 7/10 - this ski does require a bit extra work to ski well in the trees - not a natural in this terrain.  Once I got used to the Bones in the bumps the ski does quite well


Edited by canadianskier - 6/23/12 at 10:27am
post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

Nice review, about the same as I felt on most of those skis.  I still need some more time on those Cham skis, the jury is still out.  Based on everyone I talk to, it seems like a polarizing ski (either blown away or reviled), but I just haven't skied it enough to get a good feel on it. 

 

BTW, your spelling of "summary" is incorrect. 


Makes sense to me. It combines the feel and groomer performance of a funshape (not popular with many) and the stout tail of a flat ski which will spank fun shape users if they have a habit of riding in the back seat... 

Polarizing can often be Liberating...in certain off-resort areas of the EC.   Here in the northern EC we often have to grab every powder/tree day we can, well-knowing it may be the last one of the season...  A little heavier snow...granted, but two feet can often be an even heavier 16" by the next week...;-)


Edited by HaveSkisWillClimb - 6/25/12 at 12:05pm
post #33 of 57

...in addition to three or four other ski...;-)  

Phil mentioned more than a few good ones due to come out this coming season = not kidding.

post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post


I also like the sultan alot. But I loved the 8.5 TI. I did not ski the 8.5 TI back to back with the sultans, but to me it was more fun and felt better at every thing. I only skied them a couple of runs and it was a hero snow day. Going back to the bike analogy, I think its on the right track but I think it doesn't go far enough... I think there is a change in wheel size in there as well... the 8.5 really flowed over the terrain very nicely.

 

I also thought it was more fun and as good or better at everything than the bonafide... So maybe I was just a little crazy.

I'm actually still searching for a ski that would be as good as the sultan legend 85 (mine are 2011) in crud, mixed snow, trees and overall capacities, at least as good or better in bumps and much better in hard snow grip and carving. I'm 210 and skis east. I will definitly try the 8.5... Any other suggestions??? Anyone?

post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianskier View Post

I skied the Bone at least 40 days this season.  (on other days I was on my JJs, SL, or GS skis).  While I would not call it a "bump ski", the Bone does reasonably well in the bumps and tight trees, although one does need to be "on" with these skis in the trees and bumps.   I never wished that I had a different ski when in the bumps or trees while on the Bones, and often was happy to be on the Bones when conditions got really steep or when I wanted to ski fast in cruddy conditions.  I plan to ski the Bones as my primary ski next year.  Characteristics of skis are a trade-off for varying conditions, and the Bone has it's strengths and weaknesses.  It is a good ski for the Canadian Rockies, perhaps not for the East.

 

Decided to add this --- agree with the OP that the Bones does best in wide open areas - fun factor rating in these is a 10/10.  Fun factor rating for the tight trees would be 7/10 - this ski does require a bit extra work to ski well in the trees - not a natural in this terrain.  Once I got used to the Bones in the bumps the ski does quite well

I think this is as fair and accurate assessent of the Bonafides as I've seen (other than my own, of coursewink.gif.) It's a great ski but does have its limitations which include requiring a skilled and energetic/fit skier in bumps and tight places. It's not a slacker's ski.  Kudos to you canadianskier for speaking truth about the ski that is becoming a sacred cow. (How's that for mixing metaphors?)

post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlashGordon View Post

I think this is as fair and accurate assessent of the Bonafides as I've seen (other than my own, of coursewink.gif.) It's a great ski but does have its limitations which include requiring a skilled and energetic/fit skier in bumps and tight places. It's not a slacker's ski.  Kudos to you canadianskier for speaking truth about the ski that is becoming a sacred cow. (How's that for mixing metaphors?)

 

For the sake of accuracy, I have to add that I have "benchmarks" in mind when I comment on a ski.  As far as the 185 Bone's ability in bumps, it gets a lower rating compared to shorter, softer, narrower and quicker skis.  With respect to tight trees and deeper snow, I would rate a skis such as the JJ to be better and more fun.  This is consistent with my belief that all skis have trade-offs for different conditions and different people.  Having said that, I do believe that the Bones has a very nice balance in it's trade-offs for my skiing ability, style, and where I ski.

post #37 of 57

^^^^ Sounds like a pretty reasonable and balanced summary, IMO. 

post #38 of 57

just to keep this thread breathing a few more posts. I read through some very insightful comments; one thing I note is the discussion of the bones in trees, but I didn't see any discussion on what kind of snow quality; are you talking fresh, broken or buffed out luge? While I love the Bone, I picked up a pair of Soul riders for those days where you have either leftovers or just a few inches of fresh for trees. The bones work well but not the level of fun I am looking for. I would go to the bones for just about anything else though. Comments? 

post #39 of 57
Skied my Bones @ Sugarbush opening day yesterday. All manmade T2B. Firm conditions to start the day until Downspout the main throughput to Heavens Gate chair developed bunches of soft moguls and piles throughput the skied off ice patches. Bones handled all & were a solid blast @ 98 under foot in these early season mixed conditions for 1st day of the season. Earliest that SB has been open T2B before Thanksgiving for many seasons.
post #40 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

just to keep this thread breathing a few more posts. I read through some very insightful comments; one thing I note is the discussion of the bones in trees, but I didn't see any discussion on what kind of snow quality; are you talking fresh, broken or buffed out luge? While I love the Bone, I picked up a pair of Soul riders for those days where you have either leftovers or just a few inches of fresh for trees. The bones work well but not the level of fun I am looking for. I would go to the bones for just about anything else though. Comments? 

 

I don't think the conditions had much to do with my impressions of the ski. I think the question is which trees, not which conditions. In open "out west style trees" like the John Paul lift at Snowbasin, Gad II at snowbird and wild cat lift at Alta, the bone is a good ski.

 

For trees that are much tighter than that, "east coast style trees" like where I was testing them at mt rose, basically everything at Beaver Mt, the maple trees at snowbasin, some of the trees in honey comb canyon, or the aspen glades on the park city side, the ski is stiff enough that it doesn't want to hook up easily in those short turns. A softer ski works better in those places. 


Edited by tromano - 11/18/12 at 10:02am
post #41 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianskier View Post

I skied the Bone at least 40 days this season.  (on other days I was on my JJs, SL, or GS skis).  While I would not call it a "bump ski", the Bone does reasonably well in the bumps and tight trees, although one does need to be "on" with these skis in the trees and bumps.   I never wished that I had a different ski when in the bumps or trees while on the Bones, and often was happy to be on the Bones when conditions got really steep or when I wanted to ski fast in cruddy conditions.  I plan to ski the Bones as my primary ski next year.  Characteristics of skis are a trade-off for varying conditions, and the Bone has it's strengths and weaknesses.  It is a good ski for the Canadian Rockies, perhaps not for the East.

 

Decided to add this --- agree with the OP that the Bones does best in wide open areas - fun factor rating in these is a 10/10.  Fun factor rating for the tight trees would be 7/10 - this ski does require a bit extra work to ski well in the trees - not a natural in this terrain.  Once I got used to the Bones in the bumps the ski does quite well

 

I agree with this post. 

 

To me when someone says the ski does well at XXXXX but you have to be on your game -  this is damning with faint praise. biggrin.gif

 

But if you are a strong skier they work well enough and its worth the compromise to get the other fun stuff this ski has going for it then no problems. Its a great ski all around for sure. I see why so many people like them. 


Edited by tromano - 11/18/12 at 12:30pm
post #42 of 57

Skied the Bones in all sorts of conditions yesterday. Soft groomers, crud, wind swept variable crusty crud, soft bumps, groomers, trees with heavy powder, etc.  Still love the ski.  More solid than the JJs in crud and crusty conditions, but not as playful in the trees as the JJs.  Nonetheless, I had a riot in the steep trees with heavy powder with a bit of wind crust and in variable crusty bumps.  What re-impressed me about the bones was how well they do when you stay centered and in a neutral position - they respond immediately and SOLIDLY to a flick of the ankles when centered.   It took a while to remember how to ski these skis.  While they respond to pressuring the tips, they ski a lot better with more neutral pressure.  These skis also really come more alive at speed.  However, if I was going to ski trees all day in powdery conditions, I'd pick my JJs or (possibly) my new but unused Automatics. 


Edited by canadianskier - 11/20/12 at 8:04am
post #43 of 57

I demoed the 180cm Bones at Mammoth Dec. 8.  The mountain is 100% open and the steep upper runs have a  base of at least 6 feet. There was some hardpack and crust below 9,000 feet as that's where the rain/snow line was on Dec. 5.  Above 9,000 it's all good.

Quote:
Bones does best in wide open areas - fun factor rating in these is a 10/10.

Mammoth is mostly about wide open skiing; the Footloose ski shop warned me that while I could demo the ski, they were already sold out of it. 

 

Dec. 8 was the 5th day of my opening trip of the season. My legs were pretty beat the day before, so I thought it might be a somewhat unfair demo.  Either I got my second wind or the Bones are a much easier and versatile ski than my 2007 vintage K2 Apache Recons.   Part of it may have been conditions.  The only thing close to a tree run (Shaft) was in unconsolidated snow so of course a ski 20mm wider with tip rocker will do better. 

 

Day 1 of the trip was my 60th birthday.  The demo reinforced my view that skis are still improving faster than I'm aging.

 

TR and pics from the 5 days: http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10384

post #44 of 57

Phil and I ski the trees all the time with our Bones/Sambas.  We also do chutes and bumps.  Not sure why anyone would say that they are happiest in open terrainth_dunno-1[1].gif

 

The Cochise/Dakoda, on the other hand.........That's a ski that can be skied in bumps and trees, but its really happy in steeps and open terrain. 

 

 

Oh, and Tony, True North is sold out of them too, but Start Haus still has some. 

post #45 of 57

Chhah' ya' think? icon14.gif

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  beercheer.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

I demoed the 180cm Bones at Mammoth Dec. 8.  The mountain is 100% open and the steep upper runs have a  base of at least 6 feet. There was some hardpack and crust below 9,000 feet as that's where the rain/snow line was on Dec. 5.  Above 9,000 it's all good.

Mammoth is mostly about wide open skiing; the Footloose ski shop warned me that while I could demo the ski, they were already sold out of it. 

 

Dec. 8 was the 5th day of my opening trip of the season. My legs were pretty beat the day before, so I thought it might be a somewhat unfair demo.  Either I got my second wind or the Bones are a much easier and versatile ski than my 2007 vintage K2 Apache Recons.   Part of it may have been conditions.  The only thing close to a tree run (Shaft) was in unconsolidated snow so of course a ski 20mm wider with tip rocker will do better. 

 

Day 1 of the trip was my 60th birthday.  The demo reinforced my view that skis are still improving faster than I'm aging.

 

TR and pics from the 5 days: http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10384

post #46 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

Phil and I ski the trees all the time with our Bones/Sambas.  We also do chutes and bumps.  Not sure why anyone would say that they are happiest in open terrainth_dunno-1[1].gif

 

 

The reason is because of weight. I am on 180cm Bones at 5' 10" and ~135 lbs-- cycling all summer up over 100 miles on some days, and a lifelong skier (which is to say I'm in good shape). The Bones are plenty nimble, and in good snow (aka smooth powder) they'll even play at slow speeds. But, for me, they sing when it gets steep and I can make big turns in the open... which I get plenty of opportunity to do in Austria/Alps. 

post #47 of 57

I forgot to mention.  Liz O'Mara from NYC was with me.  She came out for 8 weeks, 3 of which were spent in Australia/New Zealand for the eclipse (my 7th, her 5th), scuba diving, the Milford Track and a few other activities.  She could not bring skis in addition to her scuba gear, so had demos all 5 days at Mammoth.

Dec. 4: Blizzard Sambas 166cm, her favorite, that and the reviews induced me to try the Bonafides 180cm on Dec. 8

Dec. 5: Nordica Nemesis 169cm, a tough day in wet weather, skis still pretty good in the very high water content afternoon new snow

Dec. 6: Rossi S7W 169cm, upper mountain powder day, thus the fattest skis of the demo, great for the conditions

Dec. 7: Armada TST 168cm, second favorite overall

Dec. 8: K2 Missbehaved 169cm.

She liked all of these skis, we could easily have switched out midday for something different but she never felt the need to do that.  As an eastern skier her proficiency in hard snow is relatively high and her experience in powder is limited.  Her everyday ski for the West is the K2 Phat Luv, fat in its day but not so much now.  By my observation she skied much better on all of the demos in soft/variable snow than on her own skis last season.

 

Liz will be out here again mid-February to mid-April.  That will likely include the Big Sky Gathering.

 
 


Edited by Tony Crocker - 12/13/12 at 12:42pm
post #48 of 57
My buddy demoed and bought the CHam 107 184 cm today at Vail. Vail received about 8'new inches overnight. I Skied them for 3 runs at the end of the day. I was blown away how well they skied through the chop. Huge Wow factor for me
post #49 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

Phil and I ski the trees all the time with our Bones/Sambas.  We also do chutes and bumps.  Not sure why anyone would say that they are happiest in open terrainth_dunno-1[1].gif

 

Oh, and Tony, True North is sold out of them too, but Start Haus still has some. 

I guess I'm in good company now.  Footloose got 2 last pair of 180's during the week of Dec. 10 and sold them immediately.   When I returned to Mammoth Dec. 17 I bought their 180cm Bonafide demo (6-10 days of use) for a very modest $75 discount.   As I think my January Euro trip calls for a ski good for the widest range of conditions, I decided to bite the bullet.

post #50 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post

I guess I'm in good company now.  Footloose got 2 last pair of 180's during the week of Dec. 10 and sold them immediately.   When I returned to Mammoth Dec. 17 I bought their 180cm Bonafide demo (6-10 days of use) for a very modest $75 discount.   As I think my January Euro trip calls for a ski good for the widest range of conditions, I decided to bite the bullet.

That is crazy!  I just sold my first pair of skis (of any brand) "out the door" yesterday. We don't even see customers until Dec 20th.  That doesn't count our internet sales of course (of which the Bonafide is selling well, but still in stock), but I wonder how any shop could sell so many skis so early in the season. Around here, it is demo, demo, demo, maybe pick something up in January at the earliest, wait for them to go on sale in February, or just keep on skiing those Rossi 4s from 1987.  

post #51 of 57
I bought the Cham 107 this year (mounted fixed heel) and have skied it at Mammoth in or following the storms we have had this season. It handles both the untracked and the cut-up well, which is really a necessity at Mammoth -- on a powder day when visibility is reasonable, almost everything gets hit within an hour. On the wider skis I have demo'd, I got bounced around when the snow got cut-up, whereas the Cham slices through it. I think the Cham 97 would have been fine this year too. I'm 68, still trying to improve on both fixed and free heel. My 14-yr old racer son skis the Bonafide on his powder days. For him (130 lb) they seem ideal. I have no hope of keeping up, but cannot blame the ski.
post #52 of 57

I demoed the Cham 107 at Mt. Rose during last year's Gathering.  I liked it but only had it an hour and a half.  Given the far more thorough full day demo of the Bonafide plus its acclaimed reputation it seemed like the safer purchase.

post #53 of 57

Demo'd the Cham 97 for 2 days over the New Year's weekend at  Sugarbush, VT. Initially had to try the 184 because the 178 was out. I have to say I was nervous to ski a shaped ski that long. All the other times I've gone above my usual 178 size I've been uncomfortable with the additional length; but not with these skis. Definitely ski short! In my opinion, this is a great ski. In fact I  want to try them again but my initial reaction was I liked the 184 much better. The longer length was more stable and just as nimble (believe it or not) as the 178. Overall I really liked these skis. Very nimble in the trees and on bumps. A bunch of people said that they looked HUGE going through the bumps and trees and that they couldn't believe that you could ski that type of terrain on these skis, but I felt I skied better on these almost immediately. My friends were concerned for me when we went through some tight glades given the length, but they turn quick and it wasn't an issue at all.

 

I'm thinking of getting them but the thought of buying a 184/ 97 under foot is a little daunting. Even though they don't ski like it, that's a lot of ski compared to what I'm used to. Definitely concerned that in some conditions, it may become too much ski. Also, these are very heavy. you dont notice it too much when you ski but lugging them around, you can really feel it. I'll need to do some research on a light weight binding that is sturdy handling a 9 din. Any reccomendations on a light weight binding to pairup with these?

post #54 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zipp View Post

Demo'd the Cham 97 for 2 days over the New Year's weekend at  Sugarbush, VT. Initially had to try the 184 because the 178 was out. I have to say I was nervous to ski a shaped ski that long. All the other times I've gone above my usual 178 size I've been uncomfortable with the additional length; but not with these skis. Definitely ski short! In my opinion, this is a great ski. In fact I  want to try them again but my initial reaction was I liked the 184 much better. The longer length was more stable and just as nimble (believe it or not) as the 178. Overall I really liked these skis. Very nimble in the trees and on bumps. A bunch of people said that they looked HUGE going through the bumps and trees and that they couldn't believe that you could ski that type of terrain on these skis, but I felt I skied better on these almost immediately. My friends were concerned for me when we went through some tight glades given the length, but they turn quick and it wasn't an issue at all.

I'm thinking of getting them but the thought of buying a 184/ 97 under foot is a little daunting. Even though they don't ski like it, that's a lot of ski compared to what I'm used to. Definitely concerned that in some conditions, it may become too much ski. Also, these are very heavy. you dont notice it too much when you ski but lugging them around, you can really feel it. I'll need to do some research on a light weight binding that is sturdy handling a 9 din. Any reccomendations on a light weight binding to pairup with these?
You also might want to take into consideration the fact that Sugarbush has reported receiving 97 inches of snow in December for its third snowiest month of December ever. There was so much snow in Slidebrook that there were fresh lines to be found in the non main lines into Monday & Tuesday. But, if you really liked them, I would not hesitate based on size alone.
post #55 of 57

Dredging up an old thread to add my thoughts on the Cham 97 HIGH MOUNTAIN compared to my  Bones and Solly r2.

 

Why the HM? Because they were borrowed from a friend who tours extensively on them. He puts me to shame when I try to lug around my r2 + Barons on anything over 1,000m vert up. 

 

Had the chance to ski a very short (for me), 172cm Cham 97 HM for ~5 fairly high vert runs in the Alps a few days ago. Some places had ~1 ft fresh pow over pretty hard refreeze, meaning we had everything from totally untracked, to cut up pow, to crud, to bumps. Before and after I was on my 180 r2. My low-snow ski is a 180 Bone (though I might try to swap it for a Kabookie). I'm currently fighting at around 140# and 5' 10".

 

Ultimately, I wasn't a big fan. I'm sure part of it was the length, part of it was the high rocker in the front, and part of it was the pintail.

 

First, the positives:  They're very light, they make euro-turns on a dime, and they float reasonably well. Perfect for someone relatively light who skis with finesse. 

 

The negatives: Major tip flap. I like much more tail. I think my Bones (which are, admittedly, 180) float better. I didn't feel very stable at speed off piste-- though they were fine on packed piste. 

 

First impressions were that they turned on a dime at slow speeds. They were light. On the uncut, deeper power I couldn't find the sweet spot as far as float vs driving. Too far upright and the tail sank, the huge rocker disappeared into the air, and I felt like the ski stopped about a foot in front of my binding. But when I pressured the tips enough that the tail stopped sinking so much, the tips started to dive. I'm sure with more time, and with a longer size, I'd get better dialed in. But I felt like these had a very low off-piste speed limit. Fun to play around on and ski casually, but not so fun  to start hauling on when off-piste. On smoother groomers they were fine moving fast, but I felt less confident about really getting higher edge angles because the tips didn't really seem to engage and the tails just felt, meh. Overall, I wouldn't say they were bad-- they just felt incomplete. I liked the center of the ski around the binding, but the tips and tails felt non-existent to me. 

 

I was very happy to be back on my r2. Of course, the ski's owner-- a very good, technically skilled skier and tourer, who probably weighs a bit more than me-- rips on the 97HM. Though his is a more finessed, euro-turn style than mine (which is fewer turns, more aggressive, higher edge angles off piste). His feeling about being the r2 for the same number of runs: Heavy, doesn't turns as easily/quickly, tiring to ski, requires more muscle. I agree with the heaviness, but going back to my r2 I felt much more confident making quick, slashing turns through the trees and obstacles than when I was on his 97 HM. 

post #56 of 57

I ordered the Cham 107, 184 cm, last October. When I first unpacked the box, I thought too long, should have gone 178, but they ski well on the few powder days we've had at Mammoth this year. I like the length now, nimble enough in the trees and I've not gone over the handlebars once. I admit though that tight trees scare me a little -- even a small tree doesn't give -- so I ski the them with some caution, even while Hemingway's famous phrase -- "an exaggerated prudence that is indistinguishable from cowardice" -- runs through my head. On the groomers, they carve well enough, although obviously a ski that wide is not quick edge to edge.

 

When the powder gets cut up, they slice through well, whereas I have found a wider ski tosses me around in those conditions. And it's not just me; a friend who is a superb skier -- ex-PSIA demo team -- got the Helldorado (113 underfoot) this year and thought them squirrely in cut-up conditions. I like the term "slice" as a more evocative term for skiing powder than "shred," which connotes violence rather than finesse.

 

In short, I'm glad I bought them, though this season the 97 width would have been just fine.

post #57 of 57

I own a set of Cham 97's in 178cm length and am one of those sitting at the pole with the rest of the 'love 'em' group.

I agree with most of the comments above and understand why some don't like them. I would like to add that in deep untracked they initially felt like they skied low in the tail and when I saw some pics of myself it looked like I was sitting too far in the back seat on them. However, I have since come to the realisation that this is just how they work in the deep stuff and realised my efforts to try and get a more forward stance were never going to work when the difference in tip and tail areas is considered. To me, they are a magic tree ski that let me make decisions I wouldn't have entertained on my old Scott Missions. On fast groomers there is certainly some tip flap but not to the extent they feel skittery or lacking in direction. In crud they are simply epic and hold a line incredibly well. Hiking with them is a bit of a chore as they are weighty but on the way down this weight seems to add some welcome stability.

They are definitely the most versatile and fun ski I have owned in the last 30 years. Fun being the operative word for me - a vacation skier who lives at the beach a very long way from the snow.

 

I am going to demo some BBR's in a couple of months out of curiousity to see whether there is much similarity in the way the ski.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Cham 97, Cham 107, Bonafide, 8.5 TI, Gunsmoke