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spatula review

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Ski Make: Volant
Ski Model: Spatula
Ski Length: 186 (only size and full twin so about a 180 at best)
Bindings: Salomon S900 demo skied them on center with a symmetrical mount side to side
Snow Conditions Used In: 17cm powder, cold and dry, on hill, then turning to tracked crud
Number of Days Used: 1 so far, many more to come
Your Ability: 9+/10
How Many Years Have You Been Skiing: 15
Avg. Days per Year Skiing: 100+
Other Skis You Like: soft and fat (AK rockets, Scratch BC, Line dragons, Igneous FC)
Your Height/Weight: 5' 10" and 150 pounds, 32 years old

Pics are at www.biglines.com


Comments: First of all it measures 120/130/110 (yes reverse side cut) and has reverse camber too. When the skis are held togther in the middle the tip and tail are both about 10cm apart.

Mounting it was interesting. No binding jigs will fit. Marker and Tryrolia are the only people to make brakes that fit (Salomon brakes can be bent to fit I found out), When you free drill the ski, don’t assume that the red, plastic, mounting plate in the middle is centered. Measure from the sidewalls. Then the usual volant drill (with the special bit), and tap

How did it ski? Well, if you every had to only own one ski, for all conditions, even in the West, this is not it. (And what a sad world we would live in, only owning one ski) Does it do what it is designed to do, YES very well, Can you survive hard pack? sure. Is hard pack fun? No, not really (Is a 155cm SL ski good in 2 feet of powder? No, not really) The first run I tried to ski powder as I have on all my other skis and it felt about the same as a soft, short, powder ski without much side cut (atomic powder plus). You got lots of float, and had to pivot the skis. After a few runs I started to try to send the skis sideways (like Shane in Emersion) It worked, you can side down small wind ridges, like a jibber slides rails, Kinda neat felling and something to do on terrain. I think that will take some work, but softer that rails to practice on.

Landings are butter smooth, you hardly know when the skis are in the air vs. landing, I think that is due to the 130 mm of ski under foot and the fact it is soft, not sure how much the reverse camber works on landing as you flex the ski a bunch any ways. Bottom line, works very well. You can adjust just before takeoff just as well as any other ski.

In lift line you are asked a bunch of questions, not a good ski for shy, quiet people who don’t like new technology and gear. Also the tip and tail are off the ground and the jokes started flying about old men and rocking chairs. Hey, they look very cool and different, and draw lots of attention. (Oh ya, they work well too)

On some of the cat tracks, that got groomed, I started to notice the lack of side cut and lack of camber, and the lack of the ski working. As you go along a cat track, on the way to powder, the tip and tail are flapping around and you are going straight, when the tip enters the powder, the reverse camber engages, and the ski starts to turn as per normal. Also on firm snow, if you are in the middle of the ski, it doesn’t turn without pivoting, you can’t just lean them over and expect the ski to come around under you. They turn, but you just have to pivot them. If you are on the back of the ski or the front then the skis camber will turn you, so if you ski from the back seat they might work better? Or if you skied them with the boot mounted back, or forward, of center that might be interesting.

I didn’t find any ice to ski them on. One: it was a powder day, and two skiing in the west I suck at skiing ice, and don’t like it, I just avoid icy runs or don’t ski that day. I think you could skid then like a straight ski just fine on ice, but like I said I try not to ski that anyway.

I don’t think I will tour with them. Weight isn’t a big deal, but just finding skins to fit the tip, tail and width, but I think they make a great ski for a day on the hill with 10cm or more. Both big turns and small turns are about the same as they would be in a similar soft powder ski. High speed on hard pack, and was a bit sketchy as the ski can’t carve like a shaped ski and is to soft for a traditional ski. The swing weight was very interesting and felt very light, All the weight is under foot so that they turn very quickly. That combined with the side cut/camber, soft flex, and small size (186 with a twin is at best a 180cm) made the ski a dream to turn.

I think that this ski is a great move for the ski industry, but I’m not sure that it will be the next shape ski or fat ski. I’m not sure, but I don’t think so, It is a cool innovative idea that can be a lot more then a "one trick pony", but it also might fall the way of the Salomon pro pluse bindings and the mid entry boot. I think the bottom line with this ski is it is very cool addition to a quiver of skis. It skis the powder very well and does some things in a new and innovative way. When, and if, the technology is allowed to go on I think it can make some changes, but for a small part of the industry. I really like having the skis and will keep them for a long time, partially as a great powder ski, partially as the first new idea in powder skiing since the "fat boy" came out 12 years ago.
post #2 of 15
THAT was a great ski review.
post #3 of 15
Those bindings look lost on those skis. Thanks for the review [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #4 of 15
Nice review and very interesting!
post #5 of 15
So, all those skis I bent over the years would have made great pow skis? Dang!!!

Good review. I think I might need a pair of these for our recent +5' of pow since Thursday!!!

post #6 of 15
I just have to tell my dad that Barrel Staves are the hot new ski shape. Nice review and pics. Thanks.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
This is from a friend who skied them:

The Spatula

Surprisingly, they turn like any other fat ski in the deep, only with the opportunity to be even lazier than normal, they add a layer of white wash over most of the technical rules of a turn that we have been familiar with forever, slow banking with weight waaaay back adds to the versatility on theses skis. They're kinda like skiing with a couple of snow saucers on your feet, quick to slide wherever you or they want to slide. The concepts of agility, lateral movement and sweeping turns on skis have been completely redefined, they seem to enjoy the one and a half turn at high speed in tight spaces (my favorite part). Unfortunately they require constant attention and can seem a little squirrelly at times. On the groomed stuff, I'd rather walk down.
post #8 of 15
Just one week ago, I personally watched Pain McShlonkey enter Cushing Pond, immediately go switch on the water, travel half way across, go 180 again and exit Cushing Pond at Squaw quite unscathed; taking first place in the annual CUSHING CROSSING. All performed on the very unique and exciting SPATULA! It's a kick ass pow ski as well. Next up. 30 off at 28MPH. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Any if anyone needs a pair I have one new pair avail now for $600US including shipping. Next year the MSRP willbe $800 plus local taxes.
post #10 of 15
Originally posted by mntlion:
Any if anyone needs a pair I have one new pair avail now for $600US including shipping. Next year the MSRP willbe $800 plus local taxes.
post #11 of 15
Originally posted by John T C S:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by mntlion:
Any if anyone needs a pair I have one new pair avail now for $600US including shipping. Next year the MSRP willbe $800 plus local taxes.
</font>[/quote]Are the Spatulas still available? Thanks for your time.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Are the Spatulas still available? Thanks for your time.

yes they are in stores soon.
post #13 of 15
mntlion - ck your email about the JapmoDaap's. I haven't heard anything back from you.
post #14 of 15
Can anyone post some photos of this ski. I am very curious to see what it looks like and the links do not work for me.

I have done a search on the net and nothing came up.


[ September 11, 2003, 06:47 PM: Message edited by: Moose21 ]
post #15 of 15
Photos of Spatulas:

1) Against wall - From this angle, you can just make out the slight narrowing in the tip and tail regions of the spatula (ie, negative sidecut):

2) End-on - the reverse camber is pretty easy to see from this angle.

Sorry for the low resolution.


Tom / PM

[ September 12, 2003, 12:08 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
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