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2015 Skis: Quick Reviews and Overviews: All-Mountain models from Nordica, Rossignol, Fischer, Kastle, Dynastar

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Note, these are All-mountain, not frontside skis!  Mod, please update the title if you can!  

 

2015 Ski reviews from the SIA show at Copper Basin

 

More ski reviews to come, after we hit the 2nd demo next week! 

 

About me: 5 foot 9, 155lbs.  I am a little rusty this year, 22 hours on the snow prior to this show (blame poor weather at my home hill). In a normal year, I probably get maybe 30 days on the hill, around 100-125 hours of skiing, as many of my days are on lunch breaks for 2 hours at a time.  Still, I am a strong skier, and tend to ski off-piste, bumps, crud, trees, and also groomers when they are good.  I like skis that give me edge engagement early if I ask for it, are progressive in flex (can be bent up when given edge angle, aren’t so stiff that I am just skiing the sidecut, or so soft that they fold), and a tail that finishes the turn so that I can move into the next turn on balance.   

 

Conditions: mostly softer snow, softer bumps, some crud.  It had snowed a couple of feet a few days prior, so overall conditions were soft yet skied out. 

 

General demo impressions: have ski designs hit a wall?  It certainly seems that way.  Skis are changing a bit from year to year, but I am not convinced they are necessarily getting better.  Sure, here and there, things are improving, but elsewhere, some older designs (see the MX series, which has been only sightly modified since 2008) still is at the top of the heap.  Some brands took a step backwards, or at least changed their focus from high performance to more relaxing.  Then again, there is a ski that comes out of nowhere (the Blizzard Power 800s) and absolutely rips.  The Kastle FX is a ski that is “traditional” and outperforms most other skis off-piste.  A ski with a fairly neutral design (the Fischer Ranger 88) skis really well, but there is nothing revolutionary about the design; just a great package that works.  It’s technology could be circa 2009.  Other designs (the Bushwacker) are headed into their 4th year: the Cochise is reverting back to the original 1st gen design.  When looking at skis, we see a lot of early rise, some very minimal early rise, or no early rise, but a softer tip that functions the same way.  Some skis have taper at the tip, some have taper at the tail, some have early rise tail, some have flat tails.  Flex is all across the board.  

 

I do wonder if ski designs are at a point where they can be changed (for change’s sake) but that the improvements year over year have plateaued.  

 

The nice thing is that I can compare all new skis to the MX88, which really hasn’t changed over the years.  It gives me a nice baseline.  

 

all-mountain (low 80’s to 90mm)

 

Nordica NRGy 90 177cm 

 

new ski for 2015: rockered, taperer tip, lightweight core with titanium reinforcement, tapered tail.  See Phil’s post for more info. 

 

Quick review: I had skied this a couple weeks back, but wanted to reserve judgement until I got it onto real snow with it’s peers.  I had 3 runs; 2 groomer and 1 bump.  I just couldn’t really come to terms with this ski.  The tip had a funky tip taper that just didn’t work for me.  I like to ski active: really been working on the aggressive down-unweight and foot pull back, early tipping to arc out fast turns, and this ski just didn’t want to comply. The tip was slow to engage, very deliberate, just not giving me confidence that as I pulled my feet back and moved aggressively over the skis, that I would have positive top of the turn engagement. Likewise on the tail release: that tail taper (which is quite aggressive) just feels like someone is cutting out the bottom 5% of the turn.  Powerful release, which is what I use to set up the next turn, is neutered. It even wants to force me to push my hips sideways somewhat.  As a result, I am working harder and feeling less confident than I should be.  Honestly, this ski seems like it wants to reward skidding and “pushing” the skis, rather than dynamic, clean skiing. Given that 90%+ of skiers skid rather than carve, it may be a good market share move, but I am not sure that it results in a better ski.  Certainly a ski that appeals to more customers than the old Steadfast did, though.  I don’t necessarily think it is a bad ski; just not the sort of technical yet versatile ski I like (MX88). 

 

Once on edge, the ski was moderately grippy: middle of class I would say. Stability was a bit below average; it skis short.  In junk snow, it cut right through soft stuff, and was also solid in bumps.  Fairly floaty for the size, excellent flex pattern in bumps.  No complaints there. I could live with it as a softer snow ski, but it is too vague for harder snow.  I prefer the old Steadfast, and the Soul Rider.  Both have more technical chops than this ski. Speaking to others on the lift, I heard several others voice similar opinions.  I think that with a normal full sidecut, this ski would really come alive; kind of a sweet blend of Steadfast power and a lighter flex, but the taper and my skiing style don’t mesh well. 

 

Who would buy this ski? Not a Steadfast skier: someone looking for a less dynamic, more relaxed and more tolerant (of mistakes) ski.  

 

Rossi Experience 88 180cm

 

New ski for 2015: revised sidecut (a bit deeper): new 7 series tip construction, resulting in lighter swing weight. According to rep, a touch softer in flex as well.  

 

Quick review: I am going to withhold judgement until I get on another pair.  The pair I skied seemed like they had the typical Rossi/Dynastar out of the wrapper mega-railed tune. These were super grabby and edgy: way more reactive than any ski I tried.  The only “unmanageable” bump ski I tried (I tried several masters GS skis, that is saying something).  Off-piste, this thing was throwing me around.  Had to be the tune.  My last pair of Exp. 88’s were the same out of the wrapper: once I got a tune on them, they were sweet.  Rossi does themselves a dis-service by demoing out skis so out of tune.  Is it really that hard to grind them flat and properly bevel them at the factory?  At least make them skiable out of the wrapper?  No need to cut corners like that. 

 

Who would buy this ski?  Nobody, if it skis this poorly once tuned.  

 

Fischer Ranger 88 178cm 

 

New ski for 2015: replaces the venerable Watea.  The new Ranger has a flat tail, titanium reinforcement underfoot, early rise tip, cross-hatch milled core to save weight.  It is somewhat of a Motive, but with a bit more early rise and less metal.  The Ranger, as the name would indicate, is built for all snow types.

 

Quick review: I liked the Watea, but always felt something was lacking on firmer snow. With that said, the Ranger was a real surprise, and a real sleeper of a ski.  I got 3 runs on it: a good 1.5 runs on groomers, 1.5 runs in bumps.  Maybe my “surprise ski of the test”.  Not the most stable, but stable enough.  Good grip on the groomers; better initiation at the top of the turn than many in this group, and the flat tail ensured it finished the turn well.  Solid grip on the groomers; mid-range for the test.  Nothing special in terms of stability; similar to the Watea in this respect, but very grounded, damp, easy to ski, and light.  Once in the bumps, I think this was #1 of the 20 or so skis tried.  Just money flex in the tip and tail, so easy to ski.  Same with junky snow; just read my mind, like a softer MX88, did just what I wanted it to, nothing more or less.  Easy to arc or to slarve, would be a very good tight tree ski.  It kind of reminds me of a Bushwacker, but with a bit more camber and more thorough finish to the turn.  Chatting with others on the hill, there were a bunch of thumbs-up on this ski.  I liked it enough to place an order on it for our “performance rental” category (we get $45/day for skis/boots/poles). Seems like a great ski for those wanting to ski the whole mountain on a typical day at Bachelor, maybe some soft snow, probably a good dose of groomers, nothing too aggressive but super capable. 

 

Who would buy this ski?  Someone looking for a narrower, versatile all-mountain ride; easy to ski, yet high performance and not demanding in challenging snow. 

 

Fischer Motive 86 175cm

 

New ski for 2015, 2 sheets of metal, mid early-rise tip, flat tail.  Laterally rigid.  Has a new core that has a cross-hatch milling pattern. Saves approximately 220g per ski, so around 10%.  

 

Quick review: nice contrast to the Ranger. The Motive, as expected, is more powerful; it is classic Fischer edge grip and power.  Fairly stiff; more of a groomer ski than the Watea, great bite at the top of the turn, snappy release, edge grip was above average for the group, as was power.  Definitely an acceptable technical groomer ski; it has the attributes of a high performance carver, but in a wider package. In the bumps, it was perhaps average, maybe a little below. The tip absorbed the trough well enough, but the tail didn’t quite want to let go: aggressive feet pull-backs were necessary to get the ski flat, not just tipping. In junky snow, the tip was surfy and easy to ski; the tail wasn’t loose; it wanted to finish the turn fully, whether I wanted it to or not.  Fairly aggressive in off-piste conditions.  Ski-able, but not ideal there.  As noted above, a great contrast to the Ranger: if the Ranger is a 70% off-piste ski, the Motive is 70% groomer, with a bit of versatility thrown in.  Nice ski.    

 

Who would buy this ski: those looking for a technical, versatile frontside ride that is quite good in bumps and has great lateral grip. 

 

Kastle MX83 173cm

 

No changes for 2015:  18m (listed) radius, 2 sheets of metal, dual radius (proprietary) sidecut, flat tail, traditional camber.  Slightly different graphic for 2015 (green sidewall and font change on the top sheet); call me if you want a deal on the 2014’s right now.  The MX83 has slightly less tip rise than the 88, slightly stiffer tip, slightly more flat tail.  Running length is approximately 1.5cm longer given an equivalent measured length. 

 

Quick review: another ski I know well, one I am very comfortable on. The MX83 is more powerful than the 88 on groomers, no doubt; stiffer tip, more aggressive top of the turn edge engagement, stronger finish.  It is a bit more biased toward groomers than the 88; more grip, more power, stronger finish. It is getting awfully close to carver performance, while still being good in bumps. I wouldn’t say it is as good off-piste as the 88; the tip, while great for such a high performance ski, is a touch too powerful at times in junk snow, and the tail is a little more stout than on the 88.  In bumps, I would rate these as a wash. I like the length of the 83, the flex of the 88.  On groomers, no doubt the 83 just has a more responsive feel. The tenacious grip is there, yes, but what really stands out his how positive and progressive the ski can be flexed.  Park and ride?  No problem. Really want to ski dynamically in tight arcs?  The ski will respond to big edge angles and strong release/engagement moves.  It is a chameleon that can make any turn shape, can ski with any amount of energy, and is capable of hyper-technical skiing.  If you want to rip groomers with no compromises, yet want good off-piste performance for a narrower, superb carver, this just doesn’t have an equal that I have tried.  

 

Who would buy this ski: someone looking for premier frontside performance, yet a versatile all-mountain ride.  Snappy slalom type energy with GS stability and class-leading grip. 

 

 

Kastle MX88 178cm

 

No changes for 2015:  20m (listed) radius, 2 sheets of metal, dual radius (proprietary) sidecut, flat tail, traditional camber.  Slightly different graphic for 2015 (orange sidewall and font change on the top sheet); call me if you want a deal on the 2014’s right now.  

 

Quick review: a ski I know well; I own a pair, and also had a pair with me for the remainder of my trip.  Out of the whole list of skis I tried; if I had to own only one, this is the ski.  It still has no equal.  This ski is a rocket ship on groomers for a non-carver: ask Noodler.  His comment: “there is NO way I can keep up you with you when you are on the MX88”. Edgehold is superior to anything else in this category.  This thing is the Richard Sherman of skis: a total lock-down.  Forgiveness: for a ski of this level, this is super easy to ski. Tip is just butter, no push back, positive engagement.  I wouldn’t say it is necessarily a super easy ski to own: it is strong, and likes clean technique, but is forgiving of flaws.  Tail: fairly strong turn finish; not overly aggressive, but not a wimp. The 88 will surprise you with it’s power coming out of the turn, if you ski it like a race ski.  All you have to do is load and decamber it; release and pull the feet back, and it will unweight in a hurry, allowing you to push that ankle open, get new edges early, tip, and arc it like a 13m ski.  Amazingly tight radius is is capable of for a 20m design, if you have the skills and energy.  I skied it hard in the bumps, probably 30 runs over 3 days, at Steamboat and Mary Jane, and can say with confidence that if you are looking at a powerful all-mountain ski, you won’t do better than the MX88 in the zipper line.  I can’t say how easy it was to just bicycle through the turns in the zipper line.  Get back on the tail, and it is somewhat more stout than I would want, but I never ate crap due to being tired (and I was super gassed and out of shape, having skied 5 days in a row in Colorado but only 21 hours the entire season before the trip). In crud and junk, it moves snow. I think the crud jumps out of the way when it sees the MX88 coming down the pike.  Tight spaces were really where this ski didn’t shine that well: the tail is powerful, you don’t want to be back there when you are 2 feet from hitting a tree.  Got to be committed in tight spaces; it isn’t super mellow.  Manageable, but not ideal.  Overall, considering the whole package, it does most everything as good as any ski out there in the ~90mm class.  No ski is perfect; the MX88 comes close. 

 

Who would buy this ski: someone looking for perhaps the most no-compromise, do-everything ski on the hill; a technical ski that can hold it’s own on groomers to trees. 

 

Dynastar Powertrak 84 178cm

 

New for 2015:  Similar to the NRGy, but with more tip rise, tip taper, and tail taper.  Very 5-point design.  The 84 has no metal, is a replacement to the Outland 80 Pro. 

 

Review: Well, this ski has a target market; that target isn’t me. This ski didn’t impress at all.  Tip was the most vague of any ski tested here; the tail absolutely did not want to finish the turn; it wanted to skid at the end of each turn.  The ski lacked stability and edge grip.  No trust that the ski would initiate, hold when I got there, or put me in the right spot when I ended the turn.  A few times, I thought I was just going to finish the turn by sliding out and pointing uphill.  This ski wants to skid, not carve, and I know that is how a lot of people like to ski firm snow; skidding is trustworthy, easy, gets you down the hill.  Definitely a target market for that.  It feels nothing like a high performance ski though.  Not sure where Dynastar is going these days: they have a killer frontside lineup (Chrome, and also the Course Pro ti): great boot lineup, but their all-mountain ski consists of a non-technical ski like the PowerTrak, and their wider ski is an AT model (Cham 97/107 HM) that is great in soft snow, but also not known to be versatile. The stiffer Chams are no longer coming to the US.  The high performance all-mountain skis of the past are all gone (Pro Rider, Sultan 85, Sultan 94, Outland series) with nothing to replace them.  The PowerTrak seems like more of a mid-range, mid-performance price point lineup, not a flagship model.  

 

Who would buy this ski: lower level to upper intermediate, non-technical skier looking to cruise, not too worried about technique. 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 24
Thread Starter 

Note the title is incorrect: Mod, pleas change "frontside" to "all-mountain". Thanks! 

post #3 of 24

I was at my favorite not-quite-local ski shop today picking up some gear that they had worked on. The shop is a big Fischer dealer. They sell a ton of kids' race skis, for one thing. Had a very interesting conversation with one of the long-time employees whom I trust, ostensibly about skis in the 85mm range +/-.

 

He was saying that they had been reasonably happy with but not ecstatic about the '14-'15 Motive 86 and Ranger 88. They had tested them with the usual suspect Tyrolia / Head / Fischer binding that has been around for a long time. E.g., Head PRD. Can't remember what the Fischer version is called. At some later point they had an opportunity to go back and re-demo these same skis using the newer Attack binding with the dual-post toe design. He said it made a huge difference, and moved them from "like" to "love" with regard to those two skis, at least. They were surprised that it made such a difference on a ski this "narrow." (This came up because I was musing about possibly mounting a Look Pivot 12 if I were to buy one of these skis, and he was grousing about why Look hadn't yet come up with a toe to compete with the Marker Griffon / Tyrolia Attack type toe.) Interested to hear what @Philpug might say about that, since I know he's a Look Pivot fan and was not particularly enchanted by the Motive 86. (I have not been on either of these Fischer skis myself, unfortunately.)

 

Another thing I noticed while I was there fondling the merchandise, was that the Head Revs I was looking at were made in the Czech Republic, while the Fischer Motives and Rangers were both made in Ukraine. What happened to Austria? I'm not necessarily a chauvinist about these things, but it is kind of interesting given the point they make of being located in Kennelbach and Ried, Austria, respectively.

 

Finally I got a glimpse of next year's Ranger graphics (better - a bit less of the dull army surplus look), and a little spiel on the new arched cross-section they'll be employing (which honestly makes me think back to the dome-topped RC Pro cheaters I once had, circa model year 2004). Be good to hear from anyone who gets on a pair of these at SIA.

post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

I was at my favorite not-quite-local ski shop today picking up some gear that they had worked on. The shop is a big Fischer dealer. They sell a ton of kids' race skis, for one thing. Had a very interesting conversation with one of the long-time employees whom I trust, ostensibly about skis in the 85mm range +/-.

 

He was saying that they had been reasonably happy with but not ecstatic about the '14-'15 Motive 86 and Ranger 88. They had tested them with the usual suspect Tyrolia / Head / Fischer binding that has been around for a long time. E.g., Head PRD. Can't remember what the Fischer version is called. At some later point they had an opportunity to go back and re-demo these same skis using the newer Attack binding with the dual-post toe design. He said it made a huge difference, and moved them from "like" to "love" with regard to those two skis, at least. They were surprised that it made such a difference on a ski this "narrow." (This came up because I was musing about possibly mounting a Look Pivot 12 if I were to buy one of these skis, and he was grousing about why Look hadn't yet come up with a toe to compete with the Marker Griffon / Tyrolia Attack type toe.) Interested to hear what @Philpug might say about that, since I know he's a Look Pivot fan and was not particularly enchanted by the Motive 86. (I have not been on either of these Fischer skis myself, unfortunately.)

 

Another thing I noticed while I was there fondling the merchandise, was that the Head Revs I was looking at were made in the Czech Republic, while the Fischer Motives and Rangers were both made in Ukraine. What happened to Austria? I'm not necessarily a chauvinist about these things, but it is kind of interesting given the point they make of being located in Kennelbach and Ried, Austria, respectively.

 

Finally I got a glimpse of next year's Ranger graphics (better - a bit less of the dull army surplus look), and a little spiel on the new arched cross-section they'll be employing (which honestly makes me think back to the dome-topped RC Pro cheaters I once had, circa model year 2004). Be good to hear from anyone who gets on a pair of these at SIA.

 

Attack binding has a different interface, sits lower (even the demo version, which is what is comparable to the PRD12) and is very, very solid. Downside is the weight; a lot of people like the PRD because it doesn't add much weight to the system.  

post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

 

Attack binding has a different interface, sits lower (even the demo version, which is what is comparable to the PRD12) and is very, very solid. Downside is the weight; a lot of people like the PRD because it doesn't add much weight to the system.  

 

So, I had picked up a pair of the non-demo Attacks. They did not feel notably heavy to me. (Hefted against a Griffon, but subjective - did not break out the weight weenie scale.) Are you saying that the Attack demo binding in particular is heavy? (I did look at a demo version in person, but it was on a ski so I couldn't heft. I will say they didn't do much of a job streamlining the track system. It looks like they re-used some Lionel model railroad parts from 1963 to make that thing.)

post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

 

So, I had picked up a pair of the non-demo Attacks. They did not feel notably heavy to me. (Hefted against a Griffon, but subjective - did not break out the weight weenie scale.) Are you saying that the Attack demo binding in particular is heavy? (I did look at a demo version in person, but it was on a ski so I couldn't heft. I will say they didn't do much of a job streamlining the track system. It looks like they re-used some Lionel model railroad parts from 1963 to make that thing.)

 

It is a bit heavier than the PRD12. Maybe 125g or so. Not sure why that matters on a ski that is designed to go uphill on a ski lift, but people sometimes seem overly concerned with weight.  

 

The fixed Attack 13 is the same weight as everything else. 

post #7 of 24

As usual, nicely balanced reviews. Good to hear that Fischer is coming back strong; used to be my favorite skis. Suspect they will give Blizzard a run in the lively but smooth niche. Couple of Kastle questions: 1) Have you heard anything substantive about the BMX/FX changes? and 2) Will there still be an RX? And a Fischer question: Is q finally losing his mind, an event we've all anticipated for a while now, or have the Rangers mated with The Ski? 

post #8 of 24

Scott, is the Ranger pretty much the same as the Watea 88?  I demoed the Watea in a 176 in a few inches of new snow last year and found them very light and nimble.  I'm not nearly the skier you are and am not very good in bumps, but these skis seemed to make me better:)  I have a pair of older Gotamas for big snow days, but am looking for something to replace my antique 10 year old RX 8s which I really enjoy even though they have no life left in them.  Would the Ranger fit my needs as an east coast ski?

Thanks==Gregg

post #9 of 24

I would like to know if Wateas and Rangers are almost the same skis too - thinking about 106 in shorter length.

 

As an east coast all-mountain I have Fischer Motive 86 and love them.

Tried Motive 95 and Ranger 96 (+ number of 88+ skis) – definitely prefer Motive 86 but there was some ice and very hard groomers and I think it's not on Ranger's menu.

Ranger was easier to ski than Motives but on steeper icy slopes and in chopped snow when speed increased I did not feel confident on it.

Motive 95 was solid and I could get it as western every day ski but (I'm sure it is me not the ski) on ice I could not make it turn the same way I made Motive 86 turn + it was a bit catchy (maybe wrong tune).

post #10 of 24
Would be curious to see your thoughts on Salomon's X Drive series.
post #11 of 24
To be clear about this thread - it's a thread from a YEAR ago, that no one really latched onto for some strange reason. Note the Feb., 2014 date. So it is (or was, anyway) about 14-15 skis, not 15-16 skis. Just making sure people don't think it's a report from the recent SIA demos.
post #12 of 24

Thanks for the review/preview....I'm adding the Ranger 88 to my demo list.  Any insight on the new FX95/FX95 HP and how they compare to the 1st/2nd generation of FY94s?

post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post
 

Thanks for the review/preview....I'm adding the Ranger 88 to my demo list.  Any insight on the new FX95/FX95 HP and how they compare to the 1st/2nd generation of FY94s?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

To be clear about this thread - it's a thread from a YEAR ago, that no one really latched onto for some strange reason. Note the Feb., 2014 date. So it is (or was, anyway) about 14-15 skis, not 15-16 skis. Just making sure people don't think it's a report from the recent SIA demos.


Nobody thought Fischers were cool then!  We skied them, were amazed at the versatility and performance. Now everyone wants to know about the line.  Either that, or my reviews aren't well received these days :(

post #14 of 24
Any thoughts/updates on the Blizzard Brahma ski?
post #15 of 24
Agree w/the synopsis on the Nordica NRGy. I own a two year old Steadfast and it may be the best ski I've ever been on. And it was the ski of the year in Ski Mag (for whatever that's worth). So, after two years they blow it up?

NRGy seems like more of a mid-intermediate ski. Not a signature all mountain ski.

As they say, If it's not broke...
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwestfabs View Post

Any thoughts/updates on the Blizzard Brahma ski?

 

There is an extensive review of mine on that ski elsewhere, I will try and find it.  It hasn't changed at all, I am still in the "carvy, but fairly demanding camp" on that one.  Seems like a ski that technical but light skiers like myself don't like as much, and heavier skiers who can easily flex it like a lot, as well as those making a bit lower energy and rounder turns love.  It does ski a little short, very grippy and aggressive edge to edge.  But as a lighter skier, it makes me work harder than I want to in bumps.  Felt the old Magnum 8.5 was softer in the shovel and easier in junk snow for guys my weight.  For bigger guys, the Brahma is likely the better ski.  

post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rushski View Post

Agree w/the synopsis on the Nordica NRGy. I own a two year old Steadfast and it may be the best ski I've ever been on. And it was the ski of the year in Ski Mag (for whatever that's worth). So, after two years they blow it up?

NRGy seems like more of a mid-intermediate ski. Not a signature all mountain ski.

As they say, If it's not broke...

 

I never warmed up to that ski.  Same with the Dynastar Powertrack 89. Great in bumps, super easy to ski, but why did they have to kill the tail?  It wants to finish the turn earlier than I want it to.  And it dies at the end, it almost comes around too quickly, like they could call it "auto turn". I know that is what a lot of people want, but not really what I like. As a car enthusiast, I like the heavier feel and confidence of a hydraulic steering rack.  When BMW went to the new electric one, the car lost a lot of it's feel.  There are a lot of similarities in these skis. 

post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwestfabs View Post

Any thoughts/updates on the Blizzard Brahma ski?

There is an extensive review of mine on that ski elsewhere, I will try and find it.  It hasn't changed at all, I am still in the "carvy, but fairly demanding camp" on that one.  Seems like a ski that technical but light skiers like myself don't like as much, and heavier skiers who can easily flex it like a lot, as well as those making a bit lower energy and rounder turns love.  It does ski a little short, very grippy and aggressive edge to edge.  But as a lighter skier, it makes me work harder than I want to in bumps.  Felt the old Magnum 8.5 was softer in the shovel and easier in junk snow for guys my weight.  For bigger guys, the Brahma is likely the better ski.  

Thanks read what's on hear was curious if new versions had any differences shown at the show. Thanks for the reply. I demoed them and really like them, better than the experience 88.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
 

 

There is an extensive review of mine on that ski elsewhere, I will try and find it.  It hasn't changed at all, I am still in the "carvy, but fairly demanding camp" on that one.  Seems like a ski that technical but light skiers like myself don't like as much, and heavier skiers who can easily flex it like a lot, as well as those making a bit lower energy and rounder turns love.  It does ski a little short, very grippy and aggressive edge to edge.  But as a lighter skier, it makes me work harder than I want to in bumps.  Felt the old Magnum 8.5 was softer in the shovel and easier in junk snow for guys my weight.  For bigger guys, the Brahma is likely the better ski.  

At 220 pounds, I guess I'm a bigger guy and the Magnum 8.5 has more performance to give than the Brahma...I own both in 180 and 181...

post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogsie View Post
 

At 220 pounds, I guess I'm a bigger guy and the Magnum 8.5 has more performance to give than the Brahma...I own both in 180 and 181...

 

I liked the Mag 8.5 design better than the Brahma. It fits a narrower ski's needs better, IMO.  

post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
 

 

I liked the Mag 8.5 design better than the Brahma. It fits a narrower ski's needs better, IMO.  

You're right! And it  is a nice ( and accurate) way to describe the difference between the two...

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

I was at my favorite not-quite-local ski shop today picking up some gear that they had worked on. The shop is a big Fischer dealer. They sell a ton of kids' race skis, for one thing. Had a very interesting conversation with one of the long-time employees whom I trust, ostensibly about skis in the 85mm range +/-.

 

He was saying that they had been reasonably happy with but not ecstatic about the '14-'15 Motive 86 and Ranger 88. They had tested them with the usual suspect Tyrolia / Head / Fischer binding that has been around for a long time. E.g., Head PRD. Can't remember what the Fischer version is called. At some later point they had an opportunity to go back and re-demo these same skis using the newer Attack binding with the dual-post toe design. He said it made a huge difference, and moved them from "like" to "love" with regard to those two skis, at least. They were surprised that it made such a difference on a ski this "narrow." (This came up because I was musing about possibly mounting a Look Pivot 12 if I were to buy one of these skis, and he was grousing about why Look hadn't yet come up with a toe to compete with the Marker Griffon / Tyrolia Attack type toe.) Interested to hear what @Philpug might say about that, since I know he's a Look Pivot fan and was not particularly enchanted by the Motive 86. (I have not been on either of these Fischer skis myself, unfortunately.)

 

Another thing I noticed while I was there fondling the merchandise, was that the Head Revs I was looking at were made in the Czech Republic, while the Fischer Motives and Rangers were both made in Ukraine. What happened to Austria? I'm not necessarily a chauvinist about these things, but it is kind of interesting given the point they make of being located in Kennelbach and Ried, Austria, respectively.

 

Finally I got a glimpse of next year's Ranger graphics (better - a bit less of the dull army surplus look), and a little spiel on the new arched cross-section they'll be employing (which honestly makes me think back to the dome-topped RC Pro cheaters I once had, circa model year 2004). Be good to hear from anyone who gets on a pair of these at SIA.

I have Pivot 14's mounted on my Motive 86s.  I have been very happy with this setup.  I'm not a big fan of Tyrolia/Head/Fischer bindings, in the interest of full disclosure.  YMMV.

post #23 of 24

On the topic of bindings (from the above post), I'm not a huge fan of the Mojo/PRD/PRX system. They felt almost "disconnected" from the ski. Swap in the Attack series and the ski feels much more "direct".

 

More to the point, I had a pair of Mojo 15's that head refused to warranty (outside the warranty period) that had developed a substantial amount of play in the toe piece laterally. Swapped in the "Fischer" Attack 13 and the ski felt connected again, much less nervous and wandering. I felt a similar thing demo-ing the Kastle MX88, the ski felt slightly disconnected, while the Motive 86 and 95's I had been skiing felt glued to my foot, and were on edge as soon as I thought about being on edge. I also like the idea of adjustable toe height, but maybe that's just me. I haven't collected any data on the lateral stiffness between the PRD series and the Attack series, but it's something I would be interested to see if anyone has looked at it.

 

Maybe I'm putting too much thought into it, but I've been going Fischer/Tyrolia Attack series on all my recent skis (and the Adrenalin on my latest pair of backcountry skis.) Heavy? Yes. But I skin up to ski down, and I don't want lateral flex/low DIN/flexy plastic parts impacting my skiing on the way down. Plus I can transition from walk to ski mode while clipped in, remove my skins while clipped in, and start skiing without having to remove my skis somewhere. I never really had an opinion on bindings until skiing the Mojo and PRD style back to back with the Attacks, just wanted to share what I had noticed, seeing the above post from a couple weeks ago comparing the PRD's and the Attacks.

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rushski View Post

Agree w/the synopsis on the Nordica NRGy. I own a two year old Steadfast and it may be the best ski I've ever been on. And it was the ski of the year in Ski Mag (for whatever that's worth). So, after two years they blow it up?

NRGy seems like more of a mid-intermediate ski. Not a signature all mountain ski.

As they say, If it's not broke...

While I'd agree with the Nrgy 90, I don't think this is the case with the 100. Matter of fact, I'd say it's deceptively the opposite with the 100. It likes tip to tail and won't work particularly well for a 'stand in the middle and wiggle' skier like a Soul 7 or similar will.
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