I skied the new Pilot 10 in a couple of sizes as well as the Crossmax 9 & 10 last week. The new Pilot 10 is different, beefier, and seemed to me more sensitive to correct skier weight than before. I skied it in 192 and 186 and wished that I could have tried the 180 but it wasn't available when I was.
I was demoing with two work buddies. We all have 313mm soles and the same DIN so we can do a lot of switching on the hill for comparisons. Our weights are 160, 180 and 200 pounds. The difference in how skis carried our weights seemed much more obvious in all Pilot models than any other skis that we tried. I know that last year there was some debate on whether the Pilots actually flexed underfoot or not and if they did how much it differed from conventional models. My opinion is that flex underfoot in these skis is critical to their performance and too long or stiff a Pilot doesn’t have the sweet balanced feel that Salomon designed for.
In both sizes of Pilot 10’s our 200 pound tester felt comfortable and it was reflected in his skiing. He remarked on how smoothly the ski initiated. At 160 and 180 pounds, we didn’t like the way that 192 cm skied at all. It didn’t engage full length at any speed and the extremities were very grabby. I could detect none of the characteristic “Pilot” feel. In 186 cm things improved for me a bit but my 160 pound buddy still didn’t like it. It still felt like too much ski for me.
On the 180 Crossmax 9, 200 pounds was too much but my 180 pounds felt good as did 160 pounds. “Pilot” effect was very evident. Smooth, full edge engagement on short or long radius turns. Silky smooth ride. One of my favorite skis.
Crossmax 10 in 180 is a beefier ski, likes a little “rougher” treatment. Our 200 pounder remarked on the additional flex underfoot while it was less obvious to me at 180 or to DB at 160.
I’ve mentioned this before. Some folks will not like the feel of the Pilots while others will love it. I love it when I can feel it and I believe that they engage like nothing else. If I am too light on the ski to make it work or too heavy to make it work right there is no point. It seems to me that with other skis, sizing is not as critical.