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Demo Day: Atomic 10.20, Dynastar Cross, Bandit X

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I made it up to Snow Summit for the Sports Chalet Demo Day on the 7th. Got to try all of the skis on my demo list. I'm going to put them into a single post because this is partly a comparison of the models.

I'm looking for an all mountain ski that is oriented about 80/20 towards good performance on the groomed.

It was a beautiful day, not crowded, but with limited terrain. Only a couple of runs were open from top to bottom - all grooomed, some hardpack, very few bumps, small areas with a little crud, and no powder.

Atomic 11.20. 180cm
To my surprise these were quite easy to ski. Responsive in short turns with a firm/strong rebound. Where they really shine is during medium-to-long turns at higher speeds on fairly soft snow. Exceptionally stable and damp through the occasional patches of crud. The only weakness I noticed was that they don't hold on hardpack as well as some of the other models. Also, as predicted by a few of you in the forum, they felt a bit too stiff for my weight (150 lbs). Didn't feel like I could get everything out of them that a heavier person could. I would think this would especially be true in bumps.

Atomic 10.20. 180cm
First, thanks to those of you who suggested I try it as an alternative to the 11.20. A very versatile and fun ski. It's not as stiff/powerful as the 11.20, not quite as damp, but it feels quicker. Excellent in short-medium turns. Nice rebound with plenty of smooth energy. Also good in long turns and at higher speeds - tho not quite as stable as the 11.20. Smooth through the patches of crud. Handled the hardpack well, tho it's not an ice ski.

Dynastar Autodrive Cross. 178cm
A very responsive carver with lots of energy and rebound. Fun! Can accurately carve any size turn at any speed. Entry and exit are very smooth and easy. Very stable at higher speeds and thru the limited crud I could find. The ski, especially the tail, felt a little stiffer than the 10.20. Perhaps a little more work in the bumps, but I couldn't find enough to confirm the impression.

Rossignol Bandit X. 177cm
This ski provided the best first impression. So easy and responsive. Zero learning curve. Fun! Just get on 'em and go. What an improvement over the old Bandit X I tried about three years ago. Easily carved any size turn at different speeds, using just about any technique. Very forgiving yet responsive with plenty of energy. Not quite as good in long turns or on hardpack as the Dynastar. Not quite as good in the crud as the 10.20. Easy to maneuver in the few bumps I found.

K2 Axis X. 181cm
Another easy versatile ski. Good medium turns, tho not as much rebound as the three previous skis. Strong and stable during longer turns and higher speeds. Not very good at holding an edge on the hardpack. This ski seems like it would plow through heavy crud better than any of the others, (except the 11.20). Very damp feeling - perhaps a little too damp for my personal taste.

Salomon Crossmax 10 Pilot. 180cm
I've liked other Salomons, but not this one. It doesn't have much energy or rebound. Although they feel rather lifeless, they carve well - and a little better at longer turns at higher speeds. Not especially good in crud, so-so on hardpack. I only skied two runs on these, but wasn't very impressed. Have to admit it's partly just a matter of personal taste.

I got in a few runs on some other skis just for something different (EG. Rossi T Power 9S) but won't elaborate here.

In case you couldn't guess... To my surprise, I especially liked three models: The Atomic 10.20, Dynastar Autodrive Cross, and the new Rossignol Bandit X. All were very high on the fun-factor scale. All were very versatile. All carved well at different speeds and turn sizes. All have plenty of energy. Which one is best (for me)? It's too bad the conditions didn't provide a chance to really compare performance in the bumps, heavier crud, and powder. I would think the Cross would continue to lead in carving precision, but that the other two would naturally shine a bit more when off-piste. By only a slim margin, I would pick them in the order listed: 10.20, Cross, and Bandit X. I could have a great time on any one of the three.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 11, 2001 10:59 AM: Message edited 3 times, by G.Law ]</font>
post #2 of 8
I'm starting to get a little worried. I've seen some very mixed reviews of the CrossMax 10. Without ever having the opportunity to demo them, I've got a pair waiting for me at the hill if / when we ever get some snow.

I think I'll go sit anxiously in the corner...
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

A quick comment...
I didn't particularly like the feel of the CrossMax 10 because they're such soft-flexing skis. Like I said, just a matter of personal taste. It's not like there was anything they couldn't do. Some people like them. I hope they're a good fit for you.
post #4 of 8
I'm going to snag a pair for a weekend from the local shop and put them through the gauntlet, ill let you know if they come out entact, and if i like them. I have also heard mixed reveiws about them and all the other pilot models for that matter... So im curious as to what is trutha nd what is not, and what is merely personal preference.
post #5 of 8
Well, I was due for a new set of boards this season, and I think the Pilot System is a great concept. (That's the Engineer in me speaking.) Now I just have to hope that system is a match for my size and skiing style. Only time (and a big-ass dump of snow) will tell.

Time for my daily dance for the snow gods.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 13, 2001 05:14 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Canuck ]</font>
post #6 of 8
G.Law and others, just a quick thought to share...

Salomon skis will feel soft to most anyone who doesn't simply ride them from underfoot. If you are the type of skier who wants to drive hard on the shovels rather than rolling the ski on edge and arcing the turns, you will think the Salomon is "too soft." The truth is that you just need to listen to what the Salomon is telling you. What it's saying** is,

you don't need to pressure the shovel. My design will take care of that for you. Just roll me on edge and get ready to arc. Subtle pressures from the ball of the foot toward the heel will reward you with fantastic rebound and an easy entry to the next turn

**this conversation made possible by inspiration from Jim Weiss, and from What the Trout Said, by Datus Proper.
post #7 of 8
Great post and very accurate information!

I also made it to the same demo day at Snow Summit and tried all these skis(and more). For me, hands down the Rosi Bandit X was my ski of choice. Amazing ski all around and happy to say, I just bought a pair. At the demo, I was surprised at how the "x" performed at different lengths. I am 5'7, 130lbs and thought for sure the 170 would be for me...yet, the 177 proved to be the winner. Size made a BIG difference, so if any of you out there demo this ski..be sure and try a couple of lengths...you will be glad you did.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Welcome to the forum (now that I'm an "old timer" with all of 19 posts).

You make an important point. The same model can feel like a different ski in a different length. I also tried the 184 Bandit X. It provided a little more stability at higher speeds, but felt a bit sluggish in short turns compared to the 177.

Points out the need to demo first.

Congrats on the new skis.
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