Originally Posted by SierraJim
You are not looking at the wrong skis at all. Among the lighter, more nimble wide skis, the Patron is absolutely at the top of the list. It is solid underfoot but soft enough in the extremeties that it is not at all demanding. While the Soul 7 and Peacemaker are pretty good, neither makes my top three among the sub 110's. That grouping is pretty much dominated (IMO) by the two Nordicas, the Stockli SR 107 and the Atomic Ritual.
To put this in perspective, nearly every single other review site I've come across, obviously not exhaustive but a bunch, and whether international/foreign language, or U.S., and whether well known mags or respected private sites, has put the Soul 7 at or very near the top of the 100-110 whatever-you-call-it list, variously measured. Only exception would be Freerider, which puts it in the top group, but a slightly lower score than several others (including the Ritual but not the Nordicas). Obviously, everyone has their own criteria, which will reflect the tester(s), their size and style, and what they're looking for. And obviously, we need to sort out trendy buzz from reasoned reviews. The one criticism I've read about the Soul 7 is that it can be overpowered at real speed in rough snow by heavier skiers.
My casual sense of the others is that the Patron is typically well up in the ratings, though not necessarily in the top three, the El Capo is often but not universally in the top "editor's choice" style group, while the Vagabond and Peacemaker seem invisible, and the Stormrider 107 doesn't seem to be getting the same appreciation as the 95 and 100. So good to have counterfactual takes on skis, and I agree with Jim that Nordies in general don't get the respect they deserve. OTOH, the Soul 7 seems perhaps to be getting less respect here than it deserves.
Edited by beyond - 11/19/13 at 10:24am