This is my first ski review so please keep that in mind when reading. About me – 6’ 2” 195 lbs pretty athletic 45 years old (race bikes in the non-skiing season), raced through college but after two blown knees I took 17 years off - skiing only a few times immediately after college. Just got back into skiing this year because my 7 and 5 year old love to ski and so far have about 20-30 visits to various Midwest hills with a few more planned. Haven’t had a professional lesson since coming back but ski with ex-racers and instructors and they tell me I am a solid 8 skier. I pretty much will ski any run at decent speed but also like moderate speed carving which is how I ski with my wife and kids. My boots are Lange RX110’s, my “other” skis are Elan S 12 – I got these basically brand new from a friend who is tied into the industry. Love these skis but was looking for something wider for crud / “powder” (which is relative) days to make a pretty solid Midwest 2 ski quiver. Was also looking for something I could bring out west as I have the intention to take at least one ski vacation per year.
Before going further, I have to give a shout out to dawgcatching.com and especially Kevin who was very patient answering my probably very stupid sounding questions. Based on what I was looking for which he determined after several longish phone calls he recommended the Head Peak 90 in 184 cm length. He matched them up with some Tyrolia Peak 15 bindings mounted at the recommended position. Delivery was prompt and skis arrived exactly as described.
Before getting into how they ski – unlike what many folks seem to be saying I think they look very sharp. I love the candy apple green sidewalls and the top sheet is distinct without being over the top (no pun intended). I have received numerous complements on them as well so it isn’t just me. Best part is that I have only seen one other pair so they kind of stand out in a “crowd” which is cool. They also seem to be holding up well with no real wear visible after about 8-10 outings on them. Finally, bases were dead flat when I received - I tuned them to 1 degree (base) 2 degree side, gave them a good waxing with the right Swix wax for the temperature and off I went.
This year has been a good one in Minnesota (normally min-no-snow-ta) for snow and I have had plenty of chances to ride these skis in the conditions I bought them for since receiving in February. I’ve skied in everything from 6-8” of lightly skied fresh snow to (more recently) soft spring snow - 3-5” of ”cottage cheese” on top of firm snow. All I can say is I could not be happier with my choice with the obvious caveat that I really do not have tons of skis to compare these too. They really shine in higher speed, big GS type arcs. They seem to just go through chopped up snow soaking up any bumps and/or transitions from powder areas to harder pack with no hesitation. When I’ve looked at the Flow Ride tips (which is not THAT often) they will be “flapping” but these vibrations do not make it to my feet and they do not affect the course I have chosen. They ski rock solidly up to any speed I’ve had them up to. Edge hold is very good – better than I expected to be honest – and the turns are very predictable. The one thing I will say is they seem to “load up” pretty evenly throughout the arc - what this means to me is I had to consciously determine the time to change edges as I didn’t have the “pop” a race ski has that almost launches you into the next turn. This was not good or bad – just different and something I had to get used to (a few times I almost held turns to point where I was skiing up the hill, whoops…). First couple of times on them I had difficulty making shorter turns / smeared turns but have since gotten quite comfortable doing both. When making short turns on steep hills I’m finding it kind of fun to let the tails grab a bit at the end of the turn which does a great job off launching me into the next turn especially with a strong downhill pole plant. Have not skied in trees (we really don’t have that opportunity) and with my knees I will not be bump skiing so I cannot review their performance in either of these conditions. All-in-all – they were a very easy ski to just jump on and go but have gotten even better as I’ve gotten used to them. They seem to reward good technique but do not punish you too badly if you get off balance – what more can you ask for out of ski?
Not sure if this review will help anyone – but as I was very impressed with both the initial service from Kevin/dawgcatching and the ski I thought I would take the time to write about it. For the Midwest this is as wide a ski as I would go and it is a perfect complement to a pure hard pack carving ski (S 12’s are 67mm under foot). I do understand how a three ski quiver might be “necessary” for skiing out west but for here – this is all I need. If any questions, I’d be happy to answer them, or do my best to answer them. Have Fun!!