EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Challenging day on 3 skis: Blizzard Cochise, Kastle BMX98, Elan Olympus (1010 next year)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Challenging day on 3 skis: Blizzard Cochise, Kastle BMX98, Elan Olympus (1010 next year)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

A quick run-down review of skiing 3 different skis in tough conditions. What had been 30" of blower pow the day before succumbed to March sunlight and high-30's temps.  Lots of wind-affected ridges and natural bumps building up, due to 120mph winds the week before.  Snow was totally skied out, heavy crud setting up to mid-sized bumps.  Snow was really firm and quite tough to ski, very rough ride.

 

Testers: myself (5 foot 9, 155lbs, ski 25-40 days a year, 34 y/o, can ski most anything on the hill): good friend of mine: 5 foot 9, 150lbs, grew up racing alpine with MBSEF, now a competitive nordic skier and races Cat 1 on road bikes with me.  A very good skier).  We basically came to similar conclusions about each ski

 

 

 

Skis: 

2013 Blizzard Cochise 185cm

2013 Kastle BMX98 178cm

2012 Elan Olympus 183cm (going back to the 1010 name for 2013, no change in the ski, mounted -1cm)

 

First off, the Cochise: this ski feels like a charger. I have skied it a bunch in the past, and always felt comfortable when the snow was relatively easy to blast (lighter crud) or I had room to let it run.  Not the ski for this day, however.  Really stiff, not absorbing bumps well, and demanding. It kept throwing each of us in the backseat upon any mistake, or just variable snow that got us into a defensive position.  When it was wide open, it was the best ski of the test; I did find some new snow and the Cochise is a great ride when the skier needs float and stability.  I think the 177cm would have been a better ski to test: it felt significantly longer than the others in terms of how it skied, and how much I had to work it.  The last time I skied it was at Snowbasin, in wide-open terrain. It was much more "in it's element" there. 

 

BMX98 was a huge improvement.  I felt the width difference immediately: much more precise when handling bumps, much easier in the crud piles that were becoming bumps.  Much quicker, much less work, and more forgiving. The snow still pushed me into defensive positions at times, but the difference on the 98 was that I could just pull my feet back and recover within 1/2 a turn.  So much more forgiving in the flex and the tail. Tip absorbed terrain the best of this group.  Not the greatest float, but in skied out crud, float isn't the issue, precision and the ability to absorb odd snow is. I was a much better skier on this ski.  

 

Elan Olympus/1010: had a character and flex similar to the 98, but wider. That was somewhat of a negative: it was slow and ponderous in comparison, but still an improvement on the Cochise, as it did a much better job of absorbing terrain and having a more forgiving tail.  I could flex and bend the ski to somewhat do what I wanted.  Nice soft tip, gets out of the way, very smooth, and I could run it over the top of the bump and know it wouldn't toss me into the back seat.  Great float. Skis shorter than the Cochise, felt equivalent in length to the 178cm BMX98.  Not as quick as the BMX, more work to get up onto edge, but workable in these conditions, and much easier to ski than the Cochise, without a doubt. 

 

Conclusion: both the BMX and the Olympus felt more like resort skis in these challenging conditions. Cochise felt more like a big-mountain charger in comparison: the ski that you would straight-line chutes on and huck cliffs with, not ski trees, tight crud, and bumps. One isn't necessarily better than the other, just different.  Weight also plays a factor: The 98 and Olympus are quite a bit softer than the Cochise, which is a pretty stout ski.  98mm width was better than the wider skis, as float was really a non-issue in this skied-out snow, and I value quickness and precision in a ski, especially in tight spaces and unpredictable snow. 

post #2 of 8

I have Watea 101s, do I 'need' or upgrade to the BMX98?  The 101s serves me fine just about anywhere.

 

If yes, what are the BMX advantages?

post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteStar77 View Post

I have Watea 101s, do I 'need' or upgrade to the BMX98?  The 101s serves me fine just about anywhere.

 

If yes, what are the BMX advantages?


I have Machete g in 188, a great crud-eraser, but it's really not suited to slow tight tree deep snow skiing (way too much work), so I am keeping my eyes open, and making a list (which I will refer to when I can afford to buy).   No high speed required for this niche ski.  Would one of these be all right or would you suggest something else.

 

post #4 of 8

I had the 2013 Cochise at Kirkwood yesterday in what ended up being spring-like conditions: warm, heavy, tracked out, and bumpy.  Oh, and pretty crowded as well.  There weren't many opportunities to enjoy the strengths of this ski, so my impression of it is the same as Scott's, it was a handful (footfull?).  At times I held out my hands in front of me hoping my MX88s or even the Rev 105s I had the day before would fall into my arms.  I did get to let it run underneath me a few times, as well as plow through some heavy piles; there the Cochise showed off its solid construction and it felt very stable and non-ruffled.  It's definitely a Honey Badger kind of ski, both good and, um, less good.

 

It sounds like the 999 would have been much like the BMX in those conditions, how does the Rev compare to those two?  I haven't skied either of those 98s, but I liked the Rev as much as Holiday did.

post #5 of 8

Assuming that the 2013 Cochise are relatively similar to the 2012, one thing I will say is they take some getting used to in tight spaces but once you get more feel for them they're actually pretty great in the trees.  It took me a couple of days to feel this way.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

Assuming that the 2013 Cochise are relatively similar to the 2012, one thing I will say is they take some getting used to in tight spaces but once you get more feel for them they're actually pretty great in the trees.  It took me a couple of days to feel this way.


Yeah, it could have been the length.  185cm feels "long" on this ski, because it skis pretty stiff.  I think I could have easily worked the 177cm in the bumps.  I ski the 180cm in the Bonafide and it is a good length, but can also handle the 187cm as well. 

 

 

post #7 of 8

Too late to edit, my Machete's are 190, (it's my Völkls that are 188).
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

Assuming that the 2013 Cochise are relatively similar to the 2012, one thing I will say is they take some getting used to in tight spaces but once you get more feel for them they're actually pretty great in the trees.  It took me a couple of days to feel this way.

Spent the day in the bumpy trees today.  My machetes felt good now that the snow had a chance to set up overnight, and also after a day or two of getting used to being in the bumpy trees with actual snow instead of arcing GS turns on boiler plate,  I'm skiing them a little harder.  Still curious about a soft snow tight trees addition to the quiver though.


 

 

post #8 of 8

For the first time in years, only took one ski, the BMX98, on a week's trip west. Given that the snow was fresh, but 3-7 inches per day rather than a dump, the 98's were all I could ask for on everything from groomers (smoothish to bumpy), to steep faces and chutes. Solid in mild inclination trees with settled snow, but not enough float to meander and not enough rocker to be a push button. Easier once the pitch increased. Very quick when you needed quickness, tail and flex allowed various turns at various speeds without any drama, secure in no fall zones, smooth without being a blunderbuss. No ski gets a 10 everywhere, but these were a superb all-arounder. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Member Gear Reviews
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Challenging day on 3 skis: Blizzard Cochise, Kastle BMX98, Elan Olympus (1010 next year)