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REVIEW: 2013 Salomon Rocker2 115

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Me: 5' 11" tall / 170 pounds / 33 years old.  Moderately aggressive skier, 25 - 35 days per season.

 

Size: 188cm - 139 / 115 / 131mm

 

Boots: Tecnica Cochise Pro 130 in 25.5

 

Bindings: Salomon Guardian 16, mounted -6 from center (recommended line)

 

Where: Alpine Meadows, Northstar, Squaw

 

Conditions: Powder (from a few inches to a foot deep), crud, groomers

 

With the Rocker2 115 I was hoping for a ski that could be a little more playful and surfy in powder than my Blizzard Cochise, without sacrificing the ability to charge through crud and handle decently on hardpack.  As much as I'd like to focus on how a ski can perform in fresh untracked powder, with heavy Tahoe snow crud busting is always an attribute that can't be overlooked.  Fortunately, so far this ski has exceeded my expectations on both accounts.

 

Basically the Rocker2 115 is a Rocker2 (122mm) with a flatter tail, slightly narrower waist and stiffer flex, which I would classify as a medium flex overall.  Clearly designed as a big mountain resort powder ski.

 

I had my reservations at first; carrying them on my shoulder they felt quite heavy and I was concerned about how this would translate to soft snow performance and playfulness.  But on my feet they're surprisingly nimble with a very light swing weight and poppy feel during transitions.  It's almost hard to believe my setup weighs as much as it does.  [Update: it turns out that this is not a heavy ski compared to most others in its class, so that extra weight really is just due to the Guardian bindings]

 

The tip rocker is substantial and I haven't encountered any tip dive whatsoever to date, which allows you to comfortably drive your skis and be aggressive with confidence. The tail is flat enough to provide tons of stability - they're relatively forgiving - but has just enough rocker to make it easy to release for smearing and slarving, even on minimal amounts of soft snow.  This attribute plays a role in the other big way the Rocker2 115's surprised me: at 188cm long I was concerned they might struggle with tight turns, but instead found they could turn very quickly in the trees and would respond well to minimal input and go anywhere I wanted at a moment's notice.

 

When it comes to chopped up powder / crud, that's where the flex and weight distribution of this ski truly impresses.  While the flex is soft enough to be surfy and fun in powder, the shovels are substantially weighted and that doesn't allow them to be easily deflected.  I'm fairly picky when it comes to skiing crud, which is why I'm such a big fan of the Cochise, and while the Rocker2 115 isn't quite as good at busting through chop as that ski, it came a heck of a lot closer than I was ever expecting.

 

The edge hold on hardpack isn't going to win any awards, but for a ski that's 115mm underfoot it performs admirably and I never felt unstable or squirrely heading back to the lifts - something I can't say for some of the pure powder skis I've been on, including Salomon's original Rocker2.  It does well enough here that I could see a Western resort skier using this as a one-ski-quiver, so long as picking your way around on boilerplate days isn't one of your passions.

 

For reference, here's some footage of me skiing the Rocker2 115 at Alpine Meadows a few weeks ago...

 

 

And again, later in the season, at Squaw and Northstar...

 


Edited by JayT - 3/21/13 at 1:22pm
post #2 of 19

Wong Forum Jong.  Member Gear Reviewssnowfight.gif

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

^^ Ha, good call.  I always view latest posts so I didn't notice.  Maybe an admin can move it for me?

post #4 of 19

Awesome review, sweet video.

 

I think I tested Atomic Automatics about a day after you filmed that, looking at the increased amount of variable I had at Alpine*.  Any chance you have been on them or the Squad 7?  Them and the Rocker2 115 are on my short list.  

 

Outsmarting myself, it sounds like the Rocker2 115 is a shade burlier than the Automatic, and I really can't guess where the Squad7 falls; burlier than the Automatic, and either same as or slightly more than the Sollie.  I would give myself the advice "pick one, jong, you can't find a bad one in the litter!", but my inner Sheldon wants more data (and a demo of the 2 I haven't tried).

 

*It was my first day at Alpine, and luckily I had a local to show me around.  I loved it, can't wait to go back...

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

I was considering the Automatic as well - my impression based on what I've heard / read is they are two very similar skis.  I'm curious to demo them just for comparison's sake.  I'm guessing you can't really go wrong either way.

post #6 of 19

Hi Jay, I found this post in a timely manner! I am taking delivery Monday of the same setup you have and am the same size as you.  My home hill is Lake Louise and it has been an epic winter.

I am on Shogun 100's now @ 191 and found I had to move my boot center 2 cm forward of the center line to help stay out of the back seat. I was quite skeptical of the recommended placement on the R2-115's and with the Guardians would have to re-bore to make any adjustment.  It sounds from your review that the recommended is the way to go.

Thanks for sharing!  Brian

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

The recommended line appears to be very much towards the center of the ski with plenty of tail, so if anything I could picture someone moving back a bit vs. forward, but based on my experience I see no reason to do so.  I felt fairly confident about mounting on the line after Cody Townsend told me that's where he has them for his everyday setup w/Guardians.

post #8 of 19

Yo Jay, Cody, likes them at the rec line, that is where we are going to go,for starters.  Get them Monday, mount and pray for a pow Tuesday.  Getting my stoke on for the new boards and in the mean time, it continurs to snow here!  Rip on dudes! b

post #9 of 19

Day 1 on these bad boys at lake Louise today.  I will borrow JayT's format:

 

Me: 5' 10" tall / 165 pounds / 59 years old.  Life long hard charging expert skier, 63 days season to date and counting.

 

Size: 188cm - 139 / 115 / 131mm

 

Boots: Nordica SpeedMachine 120 in 26

 

Bindings: Salomon Guardian 16, mounted -6 from center (recommended line)

 

Where: Lake Louise primarily, but try and get to Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, Whistler, Fernie, Castle.

 

Conditions: Powder (from a few inches to a foot deep), crud, groomers

 

At first blush, this is a pretty nimble ski for 115 underfoot.  This ski is super easy to turn and i found I was overworking them initially.  The ski likes a flatter stance than my Shogun 100's.  This ski really like to go fast!  On the steeps of the Whitehorn 1 and 2 gullies the skis seemed to like to take a more direct line and were super stable on cut up snow.  I can't wai to try these in some new pow.  The true test of a ski like this is how will it handle the groomers?  These skis rocked Men's downhill on soft packed snow!  The skis really hold an edge and they really like to go fast effortlessly carving high speed GS turns down the main pitch.  I also found them quite manouverable and super easy to ski in the bumps.  Pretty nice all around ski at first ride.  I think Salomon has a winner with this one and I really like that I can tour the side country with the Guardians.

 

I will update this post when I have tried these in some pow -- soon I hope.  Regards,, Brian

 

post #10 of 19

Any weights on these? 

post #11 of 19

Based on standing on my bathroom scale with and without the skis and bindings around 13 lbs for the pair.  Day 2 today and these are phenomenal skis!  I don't thinbk I have ever experienced a more stable platform on the Whitehorn 2 double blacks the Lake Louise backside.  These skis have been super easy in everything and it is like getting 20 years taken off of my legs.  Off to Kicking Horse tomorrow to try some of their 85 in bound chutes!

Shred ON!  Bonzo

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonzo View Post

Based on standing on my bathroom scale with and without the skis and bindings around 13 lbs for the pair.  

That's weirdly light. 

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

That's weirdly light. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonzo View Post

Based on standing on my bathroom scale with and without the skis and bindings around 13 lbs for the pair.  Bonzo

 

It's so weirdly light that I think it must be wrong. The skis are listed by EVO as weighing 2280gm per (188 length) and the bindings are listed at 1480gm per (as weighed by Wildsnow). That's roughly 16.6 lbs per pair total. 

 

For reference, my r2 122 @ 180 (which, ironically, is 115mm at the waist) mounted with small barons weighs, according to a scale in my apartment, 16.3 lbs. 

 

Incidentally, I'd love to try my skis back to back with the r2 115. I've been hauling ass on the r2 on off-piste (and touring) steeps easily in the 45 degree range, and in trees, in Switzerland (Jacobshorn + Parsenn), Austria (Hochfugen + Fieberbrunn) and at Gulmarg this past season. But I'm very light, at about 135 lbs most of the time. 

 

Great review! 

post #14 of 19

Yes, my bathroom scale is whacked and evo is a little light.  I put one ski/binding on my kitchen scale, which I know is correct and got 3,911 grams per ski or a little more than 8.5 pounds per pair.

 

I have now skied the R2-115/Guardian 3 days and I LOVE these skis!!!  They are super easy to turn and so far have made everything I have skied seem a grade easier.  I skied Kicking Horse on spring snow Thursday and ripped a really nice bump run with moguls the sie of Volkswagons, but good rythym and they handled sweet! 

 

I first stepped onto 'fat' skis in knee deep pow 15 years ago at Lake Louise on a rare bomber opening day.  After stepping off of Dynamic VR27 GS skis @ 209cm the Volkl Explosive CMH edition @ 190 cm ws like getting 20 years taken off of my legs.  The Salomon Rocker2 115's @ 188 cm have been so easy to ski it has once again been like taking 20 years off of my legs and at my age I need all the help I can get.  I can't wait to rip these on corn tomorrow and hopefully some fresh by mid week.

 

The Rocker2-115's ROCK!  I am now wondering what to do with my Shogun 100's @ 191 with a Salomon rental track binding.  Hey I loved these skis, but love is fickle and I have found new love . . .

 

Regards, Bonzo

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonzo View Post

Yes, my bathroom scale is whacked and evo is a little light.  I put one ski/binding on my kitchen scale, which I know is correct and got 3,911 grams per ski or a little more than 8.5 pounds per pair.

 

 

That sounds better!

 

I think the way you're labeling it is confusing though. I'd call it ~17 pounds per pair. I wouldn't call 1 ski + 1 binding a "pair." 

post #16 of 19

Day 6 on the R2-115's and the first day in fresh and I LOVE THESE SKIS!!!!!!  We had about 12 cm of new snow at Lake Louise today, which means mid boot to boot top in the back bowls.  It was not reported, (web shows 2 cm over 48 hours) so I was still skiing fresh lines at 2 pm.  These skis have been great in all conditions encountered, but they really come to life in the soft snow.  This is a FUN, FUN ski!  I felt like Fred Astaire dancing down through the bumnps and trees below summit headwall.  This may be the funnest ski I have ever had on my feet and my first winter in the Banff area was 76/77 and I have skied a lot of different skis.  I give this ski and binding combo a 10 out of 10, 5 stars, whatever, these skis absolutely ROCK skiing them feels like I have taken 20 yesars off of my legs.  At my age that is a very good thing!!!  Ski day 69 for the season today and we are looking at 5-10 cms both Wednesday and Thursday.  Bring it baby.

 

Shred ON!  Bonzo

post #17 of 19
Diggin out this older thread...

Jayt, can you compare the 115s to the cochise (185 or 193) ?
Especially in pow/softer snow and "playfulness"

Funny enough, we seem to have a similar quiver (me owning kendos, 193 cochises and 130 cochise pros) smile.gif
post #18 of 19

Rented these last year in Alta with fresh snow coming down.  Hated first couple of runs.  Loved them after that.

 

My highly technical review is:  Really, really, really, really fun.  Really.  Surfy and easy to turn yet still really good for in bounds charging.  Super forgiving.  Would buy them in a second if I lived in UT and not NJ.

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stefan_1000 View Post

Diggin out this older thread...

Jayt, can you compare the 115s to the cochise (185 or 193) ?
Especially in pow/softer snow and "playfulness"

Funny enough, we seem to have a similar quiver (me owning kendos, 193 cochises and 130 cochise pros) smile.gif

 

I have the Cochise 185 and because of the far-back-from-center mounting point and even less tip rocker they sometimes almost feel longer than the 188 rocker2's (mainly in the trees but there's more to that than just the length of course). While the Solly's obviously can't handle crud and hard pack like the Cochise, they are dramatically more playful and surfy in powder... but they do still have a back-bone which makes them great for resort skiing later in the day.

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