We in the PNW have been blessed with more and more snow; there have been a couple of feet of new snow in the past few days. So I was already stoked to ski this weekend and when I arrived at Stevens Pass there was a bonus free demo day!
Age 49, 140lbs, 5'10", 30 days skiing so far this year, like to ski everywhere and still like to ski moguls. Level 8 maybe? Ski double blacks with relish, for the most part.
Current quiver: K2 Apache Outlaw, 170 length, 92mm wide Stockli Spirit SC 171, 65mm wide.
I've been demoing some 98's early this year (including at the Gathering at Mt Rose). I tried a 98 I hadn't skied yet, then mixed it up a little. All three of these skis have more-or-less conventional camber underfoot with tip and tail rocker. Tip Rocker seemed a little more obvious on the Alibi.
The Atomic Alibi was the 98. It took absolutely no time to really like this ski. Turns easily, very quick, holds a nice edge. Lots of energy. Did everything well and effortlessly. Felt stable and solid, yet light on my feet. On my last run on this ski they just opened up the 7th Heaven lift and the backside lifts which had been on wind hold (rarely happens). At the top of 7th Heaven was lots of nice untracked lines, with a little cut up stuff in places. Had some knee deep powder. I have to say, the Alibi had excellent float for a 98 wide ski. I felt very confident on steeper pitches, it cut through crud nicely, seemed very lively. Much fun.
Of course, those were near-ideal conditions, so I immediately switch the Alibis out for a Head Rev 105. I'd read some other reviews and wanted to try. I went right up 7th Heaven and skied almost the same route for comparison. It took me a while to get comfortable, maybe I should have taken a warm up run on an easier trail. However, once I found the sweet spot, the Rev totally ripped. I shredded the cut up deep stuff; at that point I had to search a bit more for some untracked snow but it floated easily through it. Did nicely on skid-out blue runs, and turned quickly. The rep said it had a radius of 16 meters or something like that. Again, no hardpack to really see how well it railed on groomer. I went to the backside, found some snow covered moguls on a side trail through the trees off Gemini. The Revs totally ripped. Probably the best run I've had on that particular trail, which I ski a lot. The other thing I found was that I could ski longer, without getting as tired. The Revs seemed to really absorb bumps and terrain features effortlessly, yet not feel heavy.
Lastly I went bigger and tried the Fischer Big Stix 110. I have previously demoed the Big Stix 98 and absolutely loved it, very quick, easy to turn short or larger turns, floated nicely on deep snow for a 98, great mogul ski; up til this point my favorite of all the skis I've demoed in the past few months. The 110 is also very light for a wide ski (no metal in the construction), very easy to initiate turns, floats nicely. It was a little too wide for moguls, whereas the Rev 105 was OK. What I realized, though, was that it was getting more tired once the crud was getting packed down in places. It felt like I was getting bounced and tossed around by the terrrain as it got rougher. Here I give a big advantage to the Rev 105.
In summary I liked all three and would gladly own any of them, for different conditions. I think I would choose the Rev over the Big Stix 110 for more of the conditions we get in the PNW, thought the Big Stix 110 is an awesome ski for powder (or what passes for powder around here), up to the point where it gets to be heavy crud or hard packed bumps and bruises. The Alibi was also one of the best all-around skis I've tried.
For my purposes the Big Stix 98 is still on the radar, though the Atomic Alibi gives it a run for the money. Then there's the fact that the Rev didn't wear me out, even when I charged hard. Hmmmm.... need to gather more data.....
Edited by DesiredUsername - 4/2/12 at 9:09am