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Thumbnail reviews from the 2014 SIA/Mammoth on snow testing: One Oh'somethings (100-110mm) category

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Here are a few thumbnails from the One Oh Something segment for 2014...
 
Atomic Ritual (133-102-121)- The Ritual is the old man in this segment, but my no means is it long in tooth, the Ritual holds it's own and ski skis as well as you would expect it. Light, lively and still tracks well. (While, it is unchanged, I didn't get to ski it much last year)
 

Blizzard Peacemaker (134-104-124)- This was one of the surprises of the One oh something category..it held much better than I expected and still was a playful ski. I would still like to see less tail rise for me, but I could see how someone coming from a S3 type ski would want this as a next level ski. This could be a great east powder ski for not a lot of money at $599. 

 

K2 Annex 108(139-108-127)- So long Sidestash, it has been a good ride.  Hello Annex  108, even though you have big shoes to fill, you are making a fine entrance.  K2 does what K2 does well, make great K2's. Rarely have I been on a k2 evolution that was not better than the previous, the Annex 108 is no different coming from the Sidestash, it is better in every aspect, bumps, trees, crud. I felt K2 added early rise to the previous Sidestash to the sake of having early rise where as the Annex's early rise was part of it's design and that comes through with a better on the snow feel and response. The two sheets of metal keep the Annex stable at speed but K2 did a good job not neutering the liveliness in shorter and even lower speed turns. 
 
K2 Shreditor 102 (133-102-127)-This is a new ski for K2, think of it as a better Kung Fujas. At 102 underfoot, it was one of the most playful skis I tested here, light lively and still stable at speeds. Yes, there is a speed limit, but well above they typical $599 ski buyer.
 
Nordica Vagabond (137-107-125 @185cm)- One of the new kids on this block and Nordica has what could be the best balance of power and finesse in this segment. Even with it's 25m TR, it still felt nimble in the bumps. This is the one ski that I felt that I could crossover the 100mm threshold to a ski that I could ski every day. If I was heading to a Squaw, Alpine, Mammoth or Jackson type resort and was only taking one ski, this very well could be it. 
 
Nordica El Capo(137-107-125 @185cm)-What I said about the Vagabond…but with metal. The Vagabond are for two different skiers…the Vagabond rewards finesse and the El Capo rewards power, neither is right or wrong, just what you want. The Capo is not a lightweight ski but that is what helps create it's high stability capacity. 
 
Rossi Soul 7(136-106-126)- Rossi is listening here. They are taking the the success of the S7 and making a series out of the name…the Soul 7, fits in just below the old S7 and brings it into the 1 oh somethings. Rossi lowered the tail and gave it a bit less taper than the previous design which gave it a bit more  power out of the turn without loosing it's playfulness. The honeycomb tip is still light and flops around on firmer snow, Rossi could have given the tip the same treatment they did the tail and they would have not lost any soft snow performance. 
 
Salomon Quest 105 (133-104-125)-Salomon has the value leader in the One-oh's at $599, the Quest 105 is one of the best values here and sure will be in my Steals & Deals for next season.  While the mount point felt a bit forward, it wasn't nervous. Salomon has done a very good job with their balance of rise in the tip and especially the tail. I skied this in a longer than average for me, 188cm and there was still a playfulness for me. 
 
Volkl Katana V-Werks (142-112-132)- The only ski I skied with a 4 digit price point. Volkl has expended their premium V-Werks collection to their big skis and make a Batman worthy V-Werks Katana. I will say, this is the best of the big Volkls I have skied, I like the addition of lightness from the Carbon Fiber. What Volkl was able to do, that I have never experienced from any other manufacturer that has worked with this much CF is that the ski did not resinate like a drum. What I found withe the on snow feel of the V-Werks was the smoothness at speed and it was the most stable of the bunch and yet it could be finessed, I referred to the V-Werks Katana as the "Locomotive that can be finessed", rare.  Now, just add some camber...
 
Skis in this category coming back unchanged… Armada TST,  Blizzard Cochise, Dynastar Cham107, Kastle BMX 108, Head Rev 105 to name a few. 

Edited by Philpug - 2/16/13 at 6:18pm
post #2 of 19

I'd agree with what you said about the Nordica's. The El Capo feels like a 'big' ski. I'm thinking that going a length shorter (177 vs. 185 for the Vagabond) would be the ticket. I have to admit, while the Salomon Q98 did it's Salomon thing and skied fine ( a lighter skier, or someone wanting a more playful feeling ride will like this one... cool thing is they may do a Q98 with metal for 2014-15 which should rock!), the 105 just got horribly deflected in crud. It wanted to bound over the cut up junk, but certainly not through anything. Not confidence inspiring making firm snow groomer arcs either. That said, I was the only person who skied them in our group that really didn't care for them. I was also the heaviest at 200-205lbs. And agree with you on the Ritual. The thing rails on groomers and is a pretty nice all around ride though I personally liked the El Capo.  Haven't skied the others yet. (hmmmm... maybe they'll redo the Enforcer with an El Capo tail, etc... I'd probably buy that one, but I'm repeating myself repeatedly smile.gif )


Edited by markojp - 2/15/13 at 11:33am
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

I'd agree with what you said about the Nordica's. The El Capo feels like a 'big' ski. I'm thinking that going a length shorter (177 vs. 185 for the Vagabond) would be the ticket. I have to admit, while the Salomon Q98 did it's Salomon thing and skied fine ( a lighter skier, or someone wanting a more playful feeling ride will like this one... cool thing is they may do a Q98 with metal for 2014-15 which should rock!), the 105 just got horribly deflected in crud. It wanted to bound over the cut up junk, but certainly not through anything. Not confidence inspiring making firm snow groomer arcs either. That said, I was the only person who skied them in our group that really didn't care for them. I was also the heaviest at 200-205lbs. And agree with you on the Ritual. The thing rails on groomers and is a pretty nice all around ride though I personally liked the El Capo.  Haven't skied the others yet. (hmmmm... maybe they'll redo the Enforcer with an El Capo tail, etc... I'd probably buy that one, but I'm repeating myself repeatedly smile.gif )

Whar size did you ski the Salomon Q105 in? I skied the 188 and it skied well, I cannot imagine the 181 skiing long enough. 

post #4 of 19

Yeah, the 181... It was brutally short. With the forward mount, well, you can imagine. I took the Rituals out for a spin instead of the 188 as I figure I'll have another chance to ski them sometime this spring.

post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 
Rossi Soul 7(136-106-126)- Rossi is listening here. They are taking the the success of the S7 and making a series out of the name…the Soul 7, fits in just below the old S7 and brings it into the 1 oh somethings. Rossi lowered the tail and gave it a bit less taper than the previous design which gave it a bit more  power out of the turn without loosing it's playfulness. The honeycomb tip is still light and flops around on firmer snow, Rossi could have given the tip the same treatment they did the tail and they would have not lost any soft snow performance. 
 

 

I really liked this ski, too. Could pretty much do anything I asked of it and was not too demanding. Also, I really love the look of the air tip and tail and the graphics in general. I may end up buying this.

 

I didn't notice much adverse effect from the tip flopping around. Maybe because I'm lighter... I don't know... but for me it still held well in the carve. I skied this right after the Cham High Mountain 107, and that tip was all over the place, but also didn't seem to have an effect on stability. I just assumed that the rocker tips aren't meant to stay engaged on those skis and that I should stop looking down :)


Edited by kauffee - 2/16/13 at 4:50am
post #6 of 19

nice job.  I really liked the Vagabond and the el capo and you nailed the comparisons.  The Vagabond ski's much narrower than the 107 indicates and was so easy and compliant without feeling soft  or having too much rocker in the tip or tail.  The El Capo was a different ski but for all its powder, it was still fun and manageable.    I did not ski the Rossi's but remember comparing the profiles of the ski's and noticing the new updated profile and thinking they did a nice job on it.    I skied the Ritual in the shorter 182 length since I think most people who want a ski like this don't want a 190, despite the rocker, the 182 was about right for skiing tighter terrain or at lower speeds. It had a very light and energetic feel; fun. On the hardback I thought it was a bit squirrely (it felt tinny and nervous- not damp enough)  but that could be the length and frankly, you wouldn't want to take that ski out on a day with hardpack anyway.  I would put this in the "S3-something" category of playful skis for soft environments.  


Edited by Finndog - 2/16/13 at 6:35am
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kauffee View Post

 

I didn't notice much adverse effect from the tip flopping around. Maybe because I'm lighter... I don't know... but for me it still held well in the carve. I skied this right after the Cham High Mountain 107, and that tip was all over the place, but also didn't seem to have an effect on stability. I just assumed that the rocker tips aren't meant to stay engaged on those skis and that I should stop looking down :)

 

I also skied the HM (190) and Soul 7 (188) within a few minutes of one another. About the tips on both......a tip with that much rise and taper just isn't going to engage on a semi-planar surface. FWIW......the flat pintail of the HM was far more solid to my tastes than the rocker tailed more conventional tail width of the Soul. That pintail gives the Cham a pretty unique capability. The narrow width allowed it to slither and slide like a rockered tail in the firm and chalky bumpettes yet out on the firm stuff you could really stand against it and pressure as much as you wanted. The flat taper didn't feel like it wanted to disengage the way some of the rockered tails did but if you stood up and rolled off edge you could spin 'em sideways and sluff off speed instantly. Despite that solid, grippy feel in these conditions, the 190 Cham HM was the most nimble feeling of all the 185-190 ish lengths and equal in that regard to some shorter skis. While I liked the original Cham 107 well enough, it was never one of my faves in this category. OTH, the Cham HM was a rather surprising top three favorite over the ten or so samples of this width that I tried Thursday @ Mammoth. I found this to be an interesting and sort of unexpected development. (I guess that's why I ski 'em all)

 

SJ

post #8 of 19

Agreed SJ. I liked the Cham 107 just fine, but wasn't in love with it. The HMs felt much better to me. Much more nimble and fun, while still having more than enough power. I skied both the 97 and 107 HM, and actually didn't feel like the 107 gave up much in the way of hard snow performance. Unfortunately, we had big crappy bumps the day I tried them and I had a tougher time disengaging the tail on the HM compared to the Soul 7 in those bumps. But the HM tail gave it an edge at speed and in hard snow. Like you said, you can really stand against it. Very good ski, and makes me wonder how many people would choose the regular Cham if they skied them side-by-side with the HM.

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

nice job.  I really liked the Vagabond and the el capo and you nailed the comparisons.  The Vagabond ski's much narrower than the 107 indicates and was so easy and compliant without feeling soft  or having too much rocker in the tip or tail.  The El Capo was a different ski but for all its powder, it was still fun and manageable.    I did not ski the Rossi's but remember comparing the profiles of the ski's and noticing the new updated profile and thinking they did a nice job on it.    I skied the Ritual in the shorter 182 length since I think most people who want a ski like this don't want a 190, despite the rocker, the 182 was about right for skiing tighter terrain or at lower speeds. It had a very light and energetic feel; fun. On the hardback I thought it was a bit squirrely (it felt tinny and nervous- not damp enough)  but that could be the length and frankly, you wouldn't want to take that ski out on a day with hardpack anyway.  I would put this in the "S3-something" category of playful skis for soft environments.  

 

Finn, where do you put the Ritual next to your Soul Riders?  Between you and Dawg, the beta on the SRs is growing, serves as a baseline for the non-burly 98s and pre-big mountain 1-oh-somethings. It seems you have found a nice OSQ for folks that are being realistic with themselves...

 

Phil's experience with the Vagabond and Dawg's take on the '14 Vicik (gotta keep in mind Dawg is 35# lighter than me) are interesting, too;  something ~100mm with camber, sane rocker, not a noodle, not turned up to 11, either.  

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kauffee View Post

Agreed SJ. I liked the Cham 107 just fine, but wasn't in love with it. The HMs felt much better to me. Much more nimble and fun, while still having more than enough power. I skied both the 97 and 107 HM, and actually didn't feel like the 107 gave up much in the way of hard snow performance. Unfortunately, we had big crappy bumps the day I tried them and I had a tougher time disengaging the tail on the HM compared to the Soul 7 in those bumps. But the HM tail gave it an edge at speed and in hard snow. Like you said, you can really stand against it. Very good ski, and makes me wonder how many people would choose the regular Cham if they skied them side-by-side with the HM.

 

Honestly, I suspect most would choose the HM. I didn't really have the HM on my radar when I tested it (or at least not as anything other than a alpine/AT hybrid or somesuch) After skiing it in those conditions, my thinking is 180* from before. I think that I'm going to buy the HM as a normal inbounds ski and may only carry the regular Cham 107 in small numbers if at all.

 

 

SJ

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairToMiddlin View Post

 

Finn, where do you put the Ritual next to your Soul Riders?  Between you and Dawg, the beta on the SRs is growing, serves as a baseline for the non-burly 98s and pre-big mountain 1-oh-somethings. It seems you have found a nice OSQ for folks that are being realistic with themselves...

 

Phil's experience with the Vagabond and Dawg's take on the '14 Vicik (gotta keep in mind Dawg is 35# lighter than me) are interesting, too;  something ~100mm with camber, sane rocker, not a noodle, not turned up to 11, either.  

Hi Fair.  You didn't necessarily solicit my opinion on this, but I've skied both the Ritual and the Soul Riders. Net/net, I don't really think that they are in the same category of skis.  Although I agree with Finn's note that the Ritual feels "light" I don't think that it is really a comparable for a S3 (or a SR) for that matter.  The Ritual does feel noticeably light at the tips and tails, but it is a fairly stiff ski, probably as a result of the metal spine.  I think that the better comparable is with the Bonafide or the Influence 105.  It felt to me like a more quick edge-to-edge, but less damp version of the Influence.  Where the Influence wants to ride out a long turn radius, the Ritual wants to snap back, but not in the uber-playful way that the Soul Rider does.  But, hooked up, the Ritual is way more solid at high speed than the SR (and the S3 isn't even close in that dept).  So I think that "lightness" is only part of the story here.  My take away on the Ritual was "light swing weight, stiff, not burly."

 

The Atomic that is way closer to the S3 and Soul Rider in spirit and purpose is the Access (wood core, tip and tail rocker) super fun in soft snow (they ride like baby Chetlers) but surprisingly decent on firmer snow (some degree of bounce in the tips at speed, but not unlike the SR, not a problem if you keep under a reasonable speed limit and don't look down). Not sure how the Alibi fits into the mix at 98 as I haven't ridden it (a buddy does and likes it - and he likes quick but solid skis).  The Theory (similar concept at 95 w/out metal) is probably closest of the series to the Soul Rider, but again I haven't skied it so I don't know for sure. 

 

The reason I am chiming in here is I wouldn't want someone to find this thread and shop the Ritual v. the S3 (and its peers), because the Ritual is a reasonably stiff and demanding ski and in my view a totally different category.  While skis like the S3, Access, SR are all really forgiving and compliant (but shockingly stable enough), the Ritual is more demanding and because of the stiffness more punishing (I'd describe it as shockingly quick).  So I'd hate to see an intermediate pick up the Ritual based on a descriptor of "light" or a comparable to the S3 which I don't think is on-point, because the Ritual is a fair amount of ski and not super forgiving.  Not a Mantra or E98 (or even the Bone), but that isn't my point.  The Ritual is a stiff ski with a metal spine that will rock an unprepared driver, especially in bumps and tight spaces.  A lighter weight turn on big mountain, as opposed to a firmer "fun ski."

 

It doesn't much matter what I personally think, but I wanted to love the Ritual (I usually love Atomics) and demo'd it twice.  But ultimately, I favored the more damp, longer running ride of both the Bone and the Influence 105 (and the Cochise for that matter).  But another buddy went coocoo for cocoa puffs for the Ritual and nearly risked his marriage by picking up a pair on post-demo.

 

If you are looking for a more fun, bouncy ~100, something S3-like, I'd look at both the Access and the Soul Rider.  I loved both - skied the SRs a couple of weeks ago at Crystal and was shocked at how solid they were and delighted was with the fun factor.  If you like high energy skis, if bumps are a regular part of your ski routine, or if you are at a smaller to mid-sized mountain, I think that either of those would be consistently more fun on softer days than the Ritual. 

post #12 of 19

to put a finer point on it, for me,the S3 class is simply the fun more playful soft snow centric ski's that fall into the 97-105ish width. I still think that's where the Ritual(at least in the 182) belongs along with the likes of a Scimitar, SR (to a greater extent although more fun/capable on groomers) and even the Fujas, Line 98 and a few others.  (and Although I didn't like it, the Rev 105 may fit here for some).  I might even put the DPS 99 in there too. I skied that in 176 and although it felt a little short I really had fun on it. I need more time on it in softer conditions but once I figured out where it liked to be skied, I really liked it. It seems like the Soul7 may fit here too??   Again, the width is just one aspect of what make up the personality of these skis in this group. 

post #13 of 19

Agree with you Finn. So the question I'm trying to answer for myself is whether a ski like the Soul 7 at 106mm could be the widest ski I own. I'm not ripping spines in AK or cat-skiing in BC all day. For the western resort skier who gets maybe 2 runs of untracked on a powder day, is a playful ski in the mid-100s wide enough to give you what you need in a powder day? I'm beginning to think it might be worth giving up just a little bit on hero snow for that added versatility in other conditions. 

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kauffee View Post

Agree with you Finn. So the question I'm trying to answer for myself is whether a ski like the Soul 7 at 106mm could be the widest ski I own. I'm not ripping spines in AK or cat-skiing in BC all day. For the western resort skier who gets maybe 2 runs of untracked on a powder day, is a playful ski in the mid-100s wide enough to give you what you need in a powder day? I'm beginning to think it might be worth giving up just a little bit on hero snow for that added versatility in other conditions. 

 

I 100% agree with you! I am very fortunate to ski where I do and this season, my 112's have the most days on them.  Its interesting that there is so much interest in the traveling skier wanting something capable for soft snow/powder days but try to find that 1-0-? ski here in NJ where there's arguably a high % of these folks traveling to the "west" to ski. So who does the market think will be buying and where will they buy it?  Internet?  local resort?  Hmmm.  Will a front-ranger buy one as a 1SQ or a 2SQ?  I certainly have an interest but not sure yet. I am a 3SQ skier, a blizz 8.5, SR and DPS 112 for now.  I very well may be adding a 4th but not sold yet. 

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

Here are a few thumbnails from the One Oh Something segment for 2014...
 
snip....
 
Rossi Soul 7(136-106-126)- Rossi is listening here. They are taking the the success of the S7 and making a series out of the name…the Soul 7, fits in just below the old S7 and brings it into the 1 oh somethings. Rossi lowered the tail and gave it a bit less taper than the previous design which gave it a bit more  power out of the turn without loosing it's playfulness. The honeycomb tip is still light and flops around on firmer snow, Rossi could have given the tip the same treatment they did the tail and they would have not lost any soft snow performance. 
 

"Rossi is listening here." to whom, oh yeah, the unwashed public and pompous ski sales personnel. Of course. rolleyes.gif

 

Rossi develpment engineer: "Ach, vor heavens, ve forgot to make zee tip zee same like zee tail. I vander how zat vould ski laufen. Dit chou sink of zat? I did not sink of zat at all."   roflmao.gif

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 
Volkl Katana V-Werks (142-112-132)- The only ski I skied with a 4 digit price point. Volkl has expended their premium V-Werks collection to their big skis and make a Batman worthy V-Werks Katana. I will say, this is the best of the big Volkls I have skied, I like the addition of lightness from the Carbon Fiber. What Volkl was able to do, that I have never experienced from any other manufacturer that has worked with this much CF is that the ski did not resinate like a drum. What I found withe the on snow feel of the V-Werks was the smoothness at speed and it was the most stable of the bunch and yet it could be finessed, I referred to the V-Werks Katana as the "Locomotive that can be finessed", rare.  Now, just add some camber...

 

A couple questions about the Katana V-Werks:  With the change to a carbon fiber and aramid construction (while the basic ski dimensions remain unchanged) I'm curious about the various manners in which the skis' "personality" (for lack of a better term) have changed, and what aspect of the new construction you attribute those changes to?  Is the Katana still the hard-charging, crud busting, great edge-hold (for its size) ski as before just taking each to a higher level, or has the new construction significantly added to its bag of tricks?  I'm curious if the lighter weight and/or quick response of the carbon fiber has made them more playful and nimble, how it's affected the flex, if it's made the skis more or less forgiving, etc...  Hard-charging skis and "finesse" are an interesting combination.  Thoughts? 

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Volkl Katana V-Werks (142-112-132)- ...What Volkl was able to do, that I have never experienced from any other manufacturer that has worked with this much CF is that the ski did not resinate like a drum. What I found withe the on snow feel of the V-Werks was the smoothness at speed and it was the most stable of the bunch and yet it could be finessed...

I'd guess that it's the Aramid fiber, rather than the carbon, that calms the resonances down. Kevlar has been a good damping/stiffening agent in other skis (Rossi's and Dynastars come to mind), as well as a slew of tennis racquets. Does this version feel like it has the same flex and flex pattern as the "traditional" Katana, just lighter? Or a very different ski? 

 

Also curious if you or SJ have any other info on the Stockli 107. It's said to have the balsa/linen inner core, so light. Still Stockli smooth? 

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

I'd guess that it's the Aramid fiber, rather than the carbon, that calms the resonances down. Kevlar has been a good damping/stiffening agent in other skis (Rossi's and Dynastars come to mind), as well as a slew of tennis racquets. Does this version feel like it has the same flex and flex pattern as the "traditional" Katana, just lighter? Or a very different ski? 

 

Also curious if you or SJ have any other info on the Stockli 107. It's said to have the balsa/linen inner core, so light. Still Stockli smooth? 

 

Re: The Stockli 107. I do not know what the core is nor the exact dimensions or turn radius. (as you know, I just sorta ignore that stuff)

 

However, the SR 107 was the one ski from Stockli that changed my impression of the brand. In the past most of their stuff (while superb) were skis for folks other than me. Too stiff in both directions and too much work for a wider ski. The SR 107 was easy and light/quick/nimble, yet also smooth and damp on harder snow. Not sure I've ever skied anything quite like that in that width range. FWIW..........Kenzie (our shop rat gal) is currently participating at the powder mag ski test in JH. She is an experienced BM skier and a sponsored athlete from another brand. We were comparing notes @ Mammoth and she said her sole test card comment was "WOW". Mine was......uhhhhh........a little more reserved than that but basically the same conclusion.

 

SJ

post #19 of 19

Thanks, Jim, that's helpful. I skied the TT a while back and agree about the stiffness problem on a wider ski, although it sure was smooth. Dawg had very positive things to say about the 95 and the 100, which is set up to be a touring ski. Stockli may finally be getting its wide skis primed for a wider audience.

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