Originally Posted by Toadman
Demo day at Crystal Mt. Spring like conditions. Wet and manky mashed potatoes. Me: 6', 167lbs. Advanced skier. Finesse style skier.
Tried the Watea 106 in a 182 Dims: 138-106-124 This ski surprised me. Wasn't really expecting anything but it really handled the conditions well. It's a medium flexing ski. Wood sandwich construction. Rocker in the tip and flat tail. It has a poppy and somewhat lively feel to it Good in the moguls, and didn't get deflected much in the crud. It reminds me of a wider version of the Rossi S3 without the rockered tail. It's nice to have the tail, which is not overly stiff. It really cared well for the waist width, and made me rethink the whole 98 mm category as the one ski quiver. Would have been nice to have tried it out in some fresh but I have a feeling it would be just fine in 8"-10" of powder. It felt almost as quick edge to edge as my Rossi's but without the tip flap. Definitely higher speed limit too. I could see myself unloading the Rossi's and picking a pair of these up.
Big Stix 110 TT. 186cm 139-110-124 I have the old TT 186CM Atua 96. These Big Stix feel just like those but just a bit more than a centimeter wider. They are wood, poplar, I believe. Again, a very medium flexing ski. I don't think there is much in the way of rocker in these skis. They definitely have more camber than most skis of this size being produced these days, which is probably why it railed the groomers. No tip flap. Very forgiving ski. Get in the back seat, and it doesn't punish you like my Dynastar XXL's do.
I demo'd the Nordica Patron's in the 185, and they just didn't do it for me to the same extent the Big Stix did. For the past few years I was not too excited about what Fischer was producing. Didn't like the boat hull tip design. Not sure what they were doing with the materials they were using for their skis but the wood and air carbon that they are laying up now really sings to me. I kept wishing that Fischer would just come out with a wider version of the original Atua, and well, gosh darn it, they did! These would make a nice complement to my Rossi S3's, and allow me to retire my XXL's for something less punishing, and more forgiving, and probably better float. They have a damp feel, but not overly so. The Big Stix definitely has a higher speed limit, than the Watea 106, and they just cruised over the chowder and mank.
The K2 Annex in 184 was a nice ski. Easy turning. Two sheets of metal. Rockered tip. A bit of tip flap when you get it up to speed. It is very similar to the Sidestash. Handles the chop and mank just fine. Not as quick edge to edge as the Fischer skis, and more work in the moguls. They are a damp ski. Not much else to say about them. I thought they did fine for the conditions.
The Rossi Super 7 with the honeycombed tip was a disappointment. It left me wondering if it was just the conditions, or if the ski is just for me. Stiff in the front and aft of the boot but a bit floppy in the tip. Lots of tip chatter when running it up to speed. It did fine in the crud, and heavy mank but it just felt dead. For a ski with a 116mm width it still turned and carved well on the groomers but it was work in the heavy wet moguls. After switching to the Fischer skis after skiing the Super 7, I knew the Super 7 was just not a ski I would enjoy.
I did demo a few other skis, Nordica Patron but it was just an okay ski. The Salomon Quest115 (SP?), which replaces the Salomon Rocker2 series, was just too stiff. The 188 felt planky, and the 178 was easier to drive but still stiff. It really hauls ass though. By far the closest to my XXL's. It's a charger, and not what I'm looking for. If you want a ski that goes Mach Looney, this is that ski.