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all-mt ski demos

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
ht: 5" 11"
wt: 155
skill level: PSIA level 9

Two days of demos at Hunter Mountain. Pretty good mix of conditions: boilerplate, steeps, piles of man-made "sugar" snow, a few bulletproof bumps, some good firm snow in sections. Looking for a performance all-mountain ski that will be at home all over the U.S., plus places like Whistler and Chamonix--on and off-piste.

Impressions (All were 180 cm):
Atomic 10.22: Powerful, great grip on ice, too much rise and stiffness for my tastes for true all-mountain flexibility.
Atomic Hypercarbon Superlight: Excellent all-mountain ski for western conditions. Very quick and responsive, good grip on ice.
Good in soft snow. Maybe a bit light for frozen Eastern crud.
K2 Mod-X: Very, very solid all-around ski. Does everything well, but not super quick in responsiveness.
Salomon X-Scream Series: I loved this ski. Did everything well. I like a quick, light-feeling ski that can still handle speed and varying conditions and this fit the bill. I was all set to buy until, on impulse, I tried the new Scream 10 Pilots. This ski was a revelation to me. I'd read varying reports on this ski and didn't know what to expect.
Trying it back-to-back with the Scream Series was very revealing.
The Pilot did everything the Scream did, but did it better. It was more stable in a GS turns, held better on ice, and felt at least as quick, if not quicker, in short turns. Very smooth; very user friendly. Despite its beefy dimensions (slightly wider than the
Scream Series) it felt quicker. No weaknesses I could find. Couldn't try them in deep powder, but can't imagine they won't be good
there. No long mogul runs, either, but I don't expect any mid-fat to be a zipper ski. I bought a pair.
post #2 of 17
great mike.
Now I have another ski to lust after.
I just got my Xscream series.

Thanks for the update.
post #3 of 17

Did you get a chance to demo the ModX Pro?
After skiing the XScream and Pilot I felt the MXP was the best of the midfat bunch. These sticks are ginsu on hard pack! Was rock solid on groomers, quick in the bumps and well, since not much so yet here in the PNW will assume they'll meet my needs in the Pow (especialy with the width. Using 188's, I'm 5'11", 190# expert (38yrs skiing).
post #4 of 17
The pilots' are truly noodlers.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Amazing the different impressions people get from the Scream Pilot 10s! I guess the old line applies in spades here: try 'em first!

By the way, does anyone know for sure if the Pilots are wood core like the Scream Series or foam?

Str8line: No, I didn't try the Mod-X Pro. The K2 rep felt for the kind of conditions I was looking to ski (softer, deeper, some bumps), the regular Mod -X would be a better choice. I probably should have, but...

Think snow!
post #6 of 17
185lbs geared up
40 yrs old
skied for 30 yrs (missed a few)
Fairly aggressive Adv/Expert Patroller
skied on 203 Rossi 4S's for ten years

I now own a set of 192 Pilots. This is the first pair of shaped skis I have owned. Last year I skied on a pair of 184 Bandits for a day and was surprised at the stability even in the short length. I felt I wanted a little longer.

I have read as much on this ski as I think there is to read and must say that after skiing these sticks I am surprised about the mixed reviews. Some say good cruiser but not quick edge to edge and others the opposite and so the story goes.

I can describe the ski in one word- WOW.

I to got the Pro Deal but couldn't demo before I bought. I skied these things as fast as I could on packed powder with a few bumps and icy spots and they just kept going. What a smooth ski. Some have said it lacks energy. I think they must have been stoned or weak or something. These things tear it up. My stlye of skiing is to rip a few big long archs to get to my "speed zone" and then see how many turns I can make as fast as I can make them. These skiis just kept performing. I felt they were very quick edge to edge. Long fast turns, short quick fast turns down the fall line, medium cruiser turns you name it.
Not much snow yet where I am skiing so I only got a chance at a few medium size bumps on steeper terrain. Haven't ventured off into the glades or unpacked steeper terrain because of the fear factor (new skis no snow) I did hit a few piles of fluff though and they just blasted through.
I did notice I have to change my bump skiing style a little but that's about it. I thought they were great in the bumps. Just not a zipper line screamer.. but these are all mtns.
As far as price goes I think $1295 retail is to high but if you can get them for 600-950 thats about the same as buying skis and bindings by the time you get them mounted.
It's snowin right now so maybe this weekend I can try some fluff.
post #7 of 17
I also thought that the scream 10s were soft, but it is kinda "so what". The mounting system should allow complete flex under the foot and that should make them feel softer. It certainly works from a ease of turning stand point. I'd read that pressuring the tips might make them wash out but I did not find that to be the case, and I can really pressure (240lbs).

I think a lot of old veiw points of stiff vs soft (skis) will change with the improvements in technology. I thought that we all wanted a ski that turned easy, held on ice, was a good floater in powder, and was also cheap to buy. We are not there yet but we are getting closer.

I remember when powder boards were looked upon by some as cheating. Who skis (pro) the deep with skinny boards anymore?

I'll take any technolgy that allows me to ski faster, smoother, steeper, and hopefully better in spite of getting OLDER>
post #8 of 17
"I'll take any technolgy that allows me to ski faster, smoother, steeper, and hopefully better in spite of getting OLDER>"

I'm with you Trouthead. After sking fairly stiff straight sticks all my life I really enjoyed the new sensations that come along with this "noodler ski"...ha. It's really a kick to leave the poles at the top and just let these babys go. Long fast carver turns and then mix it up with some fancy footwork thrown in just for kicks.I have been so used to the "kink and twist power skid" that I find these new skis like cutting butter with a hot knife. It alomst seems like I'm cheating somehow!

I think that the combo of ease of flex and the foam core and the prolink and the titanium make these skis feel like you got shock absorbing suspension underfoot.Kind of reminds me of variable rate springs in car suspension. Soft for a nice ride while crusing but stiff when you push it for performance and handling at speed.

I'm not able to make a fair comparison between a shaped ski with "old school bindings" and the Pilots however since I went from a straight ski to the Pilots. All I can say is the whole package works great.

Another guy on our Patrol bought the 186's. He's about 170lbs and adv/expert and he feels the same way I do. He says he still trying to catch up with this ski.

Can't wait for some new fluff though.Should be awesome
post #9 of 17
Is it really a foam core. I can't find that info. If it is foam why do they seem so heavy? Generally I believe that foam cores break down faster than wood, but that could be just old thinking.
post #10 of 17
Checkout the Salomon website. www.salomonsports.com They have the specs there. Salomon calls it <something>Powerfoam.
By the way. did you center your boots with the ski center according to the directions? I thought the assembly was very straight forward and easy. Saved me $30.00 having to get bindings mounted.

Ski On...
post #11 of 17

Salomon gets my vote for some of the worst sites possible. So busy I can't stand it and just about all hype and no info. The pro-deal site is just as bad IMHO.

I did mount with the boot centered, but no doubt will fool with further forward and further back. It was ok directions but certainly not meant for home use. "Mount the brake in the usual manner" was one set of directions. I did manage. I hope that shops are not charging the full price for drill and mounts for the scream pilots screw and mount.

Any thought on moving the boot forward or backward? Forward should make it more stable????? Good thing its a slow day at work!!!<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Trouthead (edited January 16, 2001).]</FONT>
post #12 of 17
Overall, I'm really disappointed in the Pilot system this season. You can scroll back and read my earlier review in the Gear forum that blasts the Pilot pretty bad. AK, I'm willing to bet that you would have been thrilled with virtually any modern shaped ski after those 10 year old 4S's.

I tried the 10 again last week, and basically my opinion hasn't changed much.

Pros:Easy turn initiation on soft snow

Carves nice round turns on soft snow

Cons: HORRIBLE in bumps. I don't know if this was just me or what, but it felt soooo awkward in the bumps for me.

Lacks the high speed stability of other high end all mountain midfats. Less stable than the X-Scream Series. Probably on par with the Scream 9.

Doesn't hold an edge on hardpack/ice.

$$$$ EXPENSIVE $$$$$

Basically, the ski isn't living up to what Salomon is promoting it as. They are pushing it as the experts "ultimate freeride tool", which it clearly is not. If this ski retailed for about $700 or so, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But right now, it is far more expensive than skis that provide higher performance at lower price points. Best example I can think of is the K2 MOD-X. This ski initiates turns just as easily as the 10, 100% better in moguls, and more smooth and stable. You can find MODs for around $525 or so, and after you throw a pair of $175 bindings on there, you are up to $700. Basically you are spending an extra $200-300 dollars more for the Pilot, for a ski that does less. Same goes for the X-Scream Series. You can put together a great Series package for around $700 that is a far better ski than the Pilot10. Salomon is laughing all the way to the bank.

I've heard that because of the poor reviews and feedback Salomon has received this season, they are going to rework the 8 and 10 next season. Due to this, the AK Pilot and other second generation pilot skis are going to be pushed back to at the earliest, midseason next year - but most likely the year after.

If anyone remembers back a few years, the first midseason X-Screams also had problems. The early reviews really blasted its lack of stability. The following season, Salomon turns the old X-Scream into the X-Scream9, and created a new beefed up version for the Series. I expect something similar next season. Like the 10 is turned into the 8, and a true experts version will take over the 10 title.

I'd also like to see Salomon have the balls to enter the Pilot10 in the magazine reviews for next season. I think its obvious why they excluded it this year. If they leave it out again next year, it should be a strong sign to consumers. <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Matter (edited January 16, 2001).]</FONT>
post #13 of 17
This past weekend I was told that pilots were now on sale for approx $600. That makes them a lot more competative, but I would agree that Salomon is laughing all the way to the bank. That goes for any ski company.

Hold on ice is probably suspect. A couple times on Saturday I lost an edge on some relatively icey sections of the mountain. Was this me (technique) or the ski??

The pilot is certainly getting a variety of reviews. I went to it just for the hell of it. To have something new. I didn't demo it first but I really didn't care. I wear out skis fast and have skied long enough to really make any modern halfway appropriate ski work ok. I did ski it is some small moguls, and I think it was pretty good in them. Turned easy enough and was soft enough so the tips weren't throwing me back too much. All in all it is an interesting ski and mounting system. Could it be a dead end?? who knows. The ski industry is full of dead ends, but to be honest did any of us old timers think we'd be on 190 for all around skis, let alone 175 for World Cup GS racers?
post #14 of 17
Is it a dead end? No

I think Salomon is really onto something here. Volkl and a couple other companies are already working on similar projects. One big concern at the beginning of the season is how well the Pilots would hold up (especially the pin through the sidewall). I haven't seen a single pair broken at the mounting points. But honestly, most Pilot10 owners aren't typically the most aggressive of skiers.

Still, I'd like to see Salomon refine the idea a bit more. I think they realized that they released it a bit early this year. The mad rush to redo the green protos from last year, then the wishy washy feedback on the yellow protos, then the decision to exclude them from the magazines. They should have just waited a year. The X-Scream Series and 1080 are still selling like mad, they're lineup was in great shape.
post #15 of 17
Ya slow day at work for me too. I agree with you about the websites. To much techie graphic bs and not enough straight forward info.

I think your right about any ski making difference for me. My problem is that where I live (Fairbanks AK) there are no demo skis of any kind available. My local (one and only) ski skop sells Rossi, K2 and Salomon. As a local Patroller they give a decent discount and I had my sights set on the ModX or Modx Pro. In the meantime the owner of the resort I Patrol for got us the info on the Pro Deal through Salomon and I was able to get the Pilots for about half the cost of Modx Pros with comparable bindings. I would not personally consider buying the Pilots at $1195 retail or even the $950 discount I have heard about. Pro deal price was a big incentive for me. Like you said and what I was figuring- anything would feel better than my old Rossi's (which I really liked by the way)

I have only put one day on these Pilots. I figure if at the end of this season I decide I don't like em I'll sell em at our swap next year and probably break even. Maybe I'll do it anyway and get new skiis next year too who knows. But so far I am pleased.

As I said earlier I am still amazed at all the mixed reviews. Maybe different techiques make a bigger difference with the Pilot system resulting in all the differing opinions. Check out www.peterkeelty.com He loves em.

To each his own

Ski On...
post #16 of 17
Anytime you want me to be more specific, just ask I'm not a big muscular pounding skier who brings a ski to its knees. I'm 5'10, and weigh about 160 right now. Among all my friends, I actually finesse a ski more than any of them. I have the most "carvy" technique, in that while they're doing edge set jump turns down steeps, I'm always trying to link carved turns (not always easy on fat skis!). Its just how I like to ski.

You're right, stability can mean different things. To some, its how damp the ski is. To others, its how well the edges hold at high speeds. To others, its a combination of the above.

The Pilot10 gets "nervous" when you really get going. The tips start to bounce around. The edge hold starts to suffer. Let it run for a bit, then try to have it hold an edge. If you're not bouncing around, it'll wash out. If you stay at medium speeds and carve from edge to edge on softish snow, you're fine. But at higher speeds, I found the ski shakey underfoot and through the tip. I'm not a member of the "super-descriptive instructor contingent" on this site, so thats about the best I can do.

Try to work the Pilot10 and/or add energy to it, and it does nothing for you. Push it hard, and it washes out. Get forward on it and push it hard to crank some shorter turns, it washed out.

I know I'm not in the minority when it comes to this view of the Pilot10. There are numerous other reports on the net that voice concerns about the stability. Look at the archives here, skinet, or powermag.com. I can go and cut and paste a bunch of similar opinions on here if you want, but I think I made my point.

Yeah, when I choose skis for myself, I value stability pretty highly. Maybe this will help you out.
Here are a few skis I consider really stable: Volkl G31, Atomic 10.20, K2 MOD-X Pro, Dynastar Powertrac.
Now one tier down in stability: Salomon X-Scream Series, K2 MOD-X, Bandit XX, Dynastar 4x4 ATV, Atomic 9.22.
Another tier down: Pilot10, MOD 7/8, Scream9, Bandit X.
And so on..

Not everyone needs a ski from that top group. Take Astro's post from the review forum.. he likes a softer ski. I'm cool with that. But for my all mountain ski preference, I like the top group, despite the lack of forgiveness, and their drawbacks in other areas. Salomon is marketing (and pricing) the Pilot10 at skiers in the top group, and I feel it doesn't below there. My 2 cents, if you disagree, fine. Hope that helps.
post #17 of 17
Stability on skis is an interesting topic. I read post where someones says that modern shape skis don't like to go in a straight line and have a tendancy to want to move around. (riding a flat ski) Others talk about stability when the ski is on edge. I think we are talking two different types of stability.

Snow consitancy and softness also enters into the picture. Last season I got a pair of Salomon 2v Superaxe. On soft snow they had all the stability I could ask for. (last year was good enough that the snow was soft most all the time) This season has been thin and my opinion about there top speed stability has changed. They are not as stable on hard pack when edged or in transition. There appears to be no difference when riding a flat ski. Anyhow, I have enjoyed this discussion.
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