Hi guys. At Mt. Hood Meadows yesterday they had their demo days event going on. There were about 10 vendors onsite and access to the skis was FREE! Pretty sweet deal and I am totally surprised it wasnt more crowded.
I had my kids with me so I was only able to test 3 sets of Skis:
181 Icelantic Nomad RKR
186 Armada TST
186 4FRNT Cody.
Conditions: It was cold (25ish), snowing hard, and blowing hard. There had been about 8 - 10 inches over the previous 2 days. Groomers were packed powder and off the groom was a mix of skier packed powder with some moguls. Funny thing is - it was PERFECT conditions for this type of All-Mtn fat ski....but I was actually more interested in how well the skis performed on the groom....figuring they would all do well in soft crud and skier tracked powder.
Here is my take (in oder of increasing greatness)
3. 4FRNT Cody. Disclaimer - I skied these toward the end of the day and I was tired. That said, these skis were "planly" feeling and not as playful as I would have liked. They skied very similar to my Rossignol S5 Barras. The ski felt better the faster I skied, but the ski felt like it was fighting me a bit when trying to ski slower/slalom style sking (aka skiing the crud like moguls) or taking playful lines down the groom.
2. Armada TST - This ski was very fun. Very turny and able to slalom well. I really liked that I was able to drive the ski hard in the crud without the nose dipping. I had 3 really fun runs on this skil. Just a note - I dont think this is a "bomber" ski that is meant to be skied fast. It really felt like the "sweet spot" was a shorter-turn type ski style...trees, small moguls, etc. I think bigger skiers skiing hard would feel like the ski was unstable. I am not a bomber and I thought I was "sold" until I skied.....
1. Nomad RKR. Wow...what a FUN ski. So playful. The ski is able to whip around in just about any conditions. Skiing the crud I could either power through at higher speeds or slow down and zip around strategically hitting stashes of soft snow. Heading to the lift I traveled down a groomed run where the wind scoured areas were cordouroy, and the wind favored areas were 5-6 inches of blown-in powder. It was a blast to transition between these and to note that the ski was just as playful and fun in any situation. I felt very comfortable carving as well...good grip and a confident feel. Just an unrelated side note....I have always loved Icelantic's ski art. Not that it matters, but I really am not a huge fan of the current graphic. The pink and teal color palatte make it look like a woman's ski. Again....not that it matters...and even though the art is not my favorite I am still going to buy them ;)
Hope this info is useful!