Had a chance to jump on a few skis last weekend at a Loveland demo and figured I'd pass along my thoughts.
- Me - 5'11", 195 lbs
- Quiver - Dynastar Legend Pros (older race room version) and XXL, Nordica World Cup GSR, Movement Jackal (AT)
- Conditions - Snowing the first half of the day so a few inches on man made/ice, some very small bumps in sections.
Cham 97 184 - Given I am big fan of the LPs, I was really skeptical about the Chams. The good news is that they feel very similar to the LPs just with a bit of an early rise tip. I assumed they'd wouldn't hold an edge given the early rise tips but they railed like a GS ski and have that typical Dynastar feel when you load them up in a high speed turn they give you nice feedback. Really stable at speed both on edge and with the ski flat and felt glued to the snow. The tip flap that is so common with rockered/early rise skis wasn't an issue granted that may have been due to the fact we had a little bit of fresh snow.
Cham 107 182 - Feels much like the 97 except bigger. The surprise here was that, for its size, the ski is relatively quick edge to edge. If your home mountain has lots of wide open terrain and you like high speeds all the time this is your ski...in other words it feels very similar to my old XXLs. Both the 97 and 107 seemed heavier than other skis tested...in my view that is a good thing.
Volkl Gotama 186 - Fun on edge, very light and nice rebound but nowhere near as stable as others particularly when the ski was flat. Given the conditions it seemed to get knocked around the most.
Mantra 184 - The new Mantra is a huge improvement over the 1st gen Mantra I used to own. It seemed much more stable than the older version. Overall it was solid on edge and much more stable than the Gotama though not as stable as the Cham 97.
Iclantic Shaman 181 - I'd never been on their skis so I had no expectations here. Overall a nice, fairly stable, yet "bouncy" ride given the conditions. I can see how it would be great as a powder specific ski but, as you might expect, it isn't as versatile for an all around ski as it is very slow edge to edge when making high angle GS turns.
Blizzard Bonafide 187 - Very light ski despite metal in the topsheet. The ski has little, if any camber, with a slight rise tips and tails. Overall it felt boring...when you load up the ski in a turn you get no push back. Although the tune seemed fine, of the skis tested, this was the least stable on edge. Both the Rocker 2 90 and Mantra seem like much better options.
Salomon Rocker 2 90 185 - Really fun ski...think traditional camber with an early rise tip with a similar profile to the Chams. The 90 was a lively, snappy ski that was pretty stable and fun to hit high edge angles on. Liked it a lot more than the Mantra and I'd think it would make a great every day ski that could also handle pow.
I was running short on time so I didn't get a chance to jump on any other manufacturers but I'll be up this weekend for another demo day.