14 of december: First demo of the season at Tremblant!
Beginning of season but good snow coverage: hardpack but not icy, mix of well groomed, frozen 3D snow and 1.5 feet of fresh snow... -32°C (-25°F) (Still have marks on my face...)
Me: 210 pounds; 6 feet; advanced.
The Salomon Enduro XT 850 and 800:
Started with the xt 850 in 177 cm. Really easy to ski on well groomed hardpack, nice carving and good edge hold... Also nice in crud (due to tip rocker?) and ok in 3D frozen snow... During the test, I felt like the skis were to short for me ( Since the beginning of the season, I'm mostly on my Speed course ti in 183), must be due to the rocker that is not just a small tip rocker. Talked to the nice Salomon girl and they switch me to the XT 800 in 184: I founded it too soft for me. It's like the plus of the adding lenght was canceled by the more soft flex...but I could see that I could have been much happier on the 184 XT 850. They didn't had one...
The Atomic Nomad Crimson Ti:
Tried it in 178 cm after the Enduro. WOW! Had almost too much fun on this ski! Really different ski than the precedent versions (that I didn't like very much). Really fun carver that you can charge without worrying about the edge hold! It has a very soft flex at the tip but a much stiffer tail; sidewall underfoot and cap for tip and tail... So at the begining, you have to get used to see the tip going all over the place but the strange thing is that you don't feel like the tip is going all over the place..instead, you feel solid...so it is a little strange but you forget about it when you stop looking at the tips... :-)
It is also very nice in crud and 3D snow, has more than enough flotation for here. On icy spots, you can see that it loose some of it carving fun factor...I think it need a minimum of snow softness so the soft flex tip can engage... I wanted to buy this ski!!!!
Day after: had almost a foot of fresh snow overnight... I go back and the guy at the shop let me try it again in those conditions... I expect them to be even more magical... but no!!!! The main problem appeared in the bumps...it took me a while to figure out what was wrong... I had trouble with drifting, the edge underfoot were agressive and always wanted to engage and not always at the best times...:-(
I now thing its because of the combinaison of the very soft flex tip and the sidewall underfoot / tip and tail cap construction... In bumps, the soft tip give in easily and does not allow me to control the edge engagement: the tip gives in to easily and when I arrive to the sidewall construction underfoot, bang! too much edge! I skied those bumps more easily on my speed course ti...
Of the 2, because I am a big part of the time doing bumps, I think I would prefer the XT 850 in 184 cm... but I will have to ski them in bumps first...