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Salomon Rocker^2 - Elan Domino - Faction Prodigy (and other ramblings)

post #1 of 2
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Who - 5'10ish, 155 lbs, 43, on soft days off piste I like the rush of charging, limited air, zero tricks, like trees but will slow it down.  On groomers, favorite is probably park and ride high g turns.


Where - Alta late February, first demo day was a couple of days after a 20" storm, crunchy in the morning but snowed most of the day so powder day (or at least very soft cutup) by the afternoon.  Day two was softish remnants plus opening of prior closed terrain for some fresh.  Most of Alta's snowfields and wide chutes are moderately steep, so when I say charge I'm not talking some remote peak in Alaska you see in a ski film.


Disclaimer - this was my first day on anything rockered or anything above 85mm.  I really appreciate both concepts - wider and rockered - but in no way is either necessary for aggressive skiing.  My Sultan 85s actually charge just fine in the soft stuff, as long as you don't have to turn it off.  These skis did make skiing the fresh more fun in a surfy sort of way and easier, proving you can buy a turn (or speed).




Salomon Rocker^2 115mm, 168cm, 14m(?) - absolutely hated this ski the first couple of runs.  Felt really short and ironically hard to turn.  I was going to bring it back thinking the bindings were mounted too far forward but luckily the demo center was at the bottom of some very flat beginner terrain I didn't want to deal with.  I quickly realized this ski requires a very centered position.  From that point on, it was amazing.  Capable of plenty of speed in the soft stuff, but always ready to turn it off or turn if necessary.  Plenty of float in what many would say is a very short length (it's what they gave me).  Surfing pow and cutup was tons of fun, of course.  Not a one trick pony at all - actually fun carving on the groomed though I doubt they'd hold anything approaching slick.  Great at smearing through trees.  Super fun, very playful overall.  Didn't hurt that the ski was made for a day like this.  Downside - in the crunchies in the morning, I felt every crunch.  The drawback of a lively ski, I suppose.


Elan Domino 104mm, 174cm, 18.7m - Think wide GS-lite ski with versatility.  Some will appreciate this, not me.  Much more powerful than the other two skis and really wanted to do its thing.  Easy to pivot in the tight chutes but not playful.  Felt like an 18.7r ski on the groomed.  Rockered but not in the invincible way of the others.  My first attempt at charging through some sun softened cutup (not quite crud) from the prior day ended in two or three head-over-heals flips via tip dive.  The hike back up wasn't fun but the ski was easy to find as it was sticking straight up in the air.  Devil's something or other area opened so I took them on nice fresh pow after a short hike.  They went fast and straight just fine but as I approached the tracks at the bottom funnel I didn't have the confidence to run through.  There were a couple of no turn chutes at the bottom traverse that I would have had the confidence to do on the other skis.


Faction Prodigy  98mm, 174cm, 19r - Much of what I wrote about the Rocker^2 applies to this ski.  Probably more versatile.  Not as surfy feeling, but very confidence inspiring.  Surprislingly easy to make short carved turns on the groomed; felt very fast edge-to-edge for the length.  Took the same run I described crashing on the Dominos about 30 minutes later and didn't even come close to a mishap.




I'd buy the Rocker^2 in a second if I lived in SLC, JH, etc.  Living in NJ, it's hard to justify even as a quiver ski (Fischer WC SC, Dynastar Speed Course Ti and Sultan 85s) knowing full well every trip out West doesn't lead to soft snow.  Still, it's a remarkably versatile ski.  I've never heard of Faction before, but the Prodigy had most of the soft snow ability of the Rocker^2 and likely more versatilty for the East Coast fresh snow days.  Open for advice...

post #2 of 2

I can't believe they put you on a 168 r2! 


That's fantastically short.


But I totally recognize the feeling you had. I have a 180 r2 122 (which is 115mm in the waist, 21m turning radius) along with 180 Bones; for the record, I'm ~140lbs. The first time I went from the Bones to the r2 I had this crazy feeling like everything was wrong. The bones were easy to turn, but the r2 didn't want to come around for anything. And I was way too far forward, then way too far back-- and all that tail! 


But after 2 runs I found the balance point... and enlightenment was mine. So, so fun.

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