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Demo day rundown - Quick reviews

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Blizzard Latigo 177cm- Felt pretty meh overall. I did ski it short, but it felt REALLY short, and I didn't feel that much tip splay was warranted on such a skinny ski.

 

Blizzard Brahma- Good, but certainly not amazing skied well on the groom, and icy bumps, but it felt kind of vague in the front of the ski, and did not feel like it wanted to actually engage the front of the ski, also felt locked in at the back. A little more work than what I was expecting

 

ON3P Kartel 98 186cm- This ski is pretty much the same as the original Jeronimo. It's a playful ski with tip and tail rocker. But it will still go fast. I may actually enjoy the 1oh version more when i get on it. Would also make a great pow ski for a smaller person. If it was me I would probably see if I could get it with some extra carbon.

 

ON3P Wrenegade 102 186cm- This is the ski I have wanted them to make for 3 years. It's basically a slimmed down Vicik with a shorter turn radius. Goes fast, turns well. Signature feel.

 

Dynastar Powertack 84 176 cm- Again, I skied this a lot shorter than what I would have liked. I had a great time on this ski. I was expecting to feel locked in, but the power track let me break the tail free quite easily when I wanted, but held a real solid carve. This is a ski I would certainly like to try in a larger version

 

Line Supernatural 92 179cm - If you have ever skied the Prophet or Influence series, then the feel of the supernaturals will be very familiar. I felt like I was skiing a more nimble version of the current Influence 105 I currently own. The one thing I like about these particular Line skis is that they just ski well with no quirks. Some people think they ski boring, but I prefer the terms easy and predictable. They are also red. That speaks for itself. I also like that Line has re-designed their tip splay and profile to be less dramatic.

 

Fischer Motive 95 186cm - The ski that surprised me most. absolutely was not on my radar. this ski was damp, but not dead. Skied lots of turn shapes. Transitioned from ice to corn flawlessly. I skied this ski as fast as i could, and never felt like I was on the edge of control. It also shut down real easy for me. This was my big surprise of the day. Fischer is definitely on my radar.

post #2 of 15

Nice reviews! 

 

Looking forward to trying the Wrenegade 102.  Good to hear more praise of the Motive 95 as well; glad it isn't just me that likes it.

 

I agree on the Latigo; not sure where Blizzard is going on that one.  An updated Magnum, with the precision that comes with that design, seems to make more sense than a sub 80mm ski with lots of splay and taper.  I don't really know too many people looking for a soft snow off-piste design in a sub 80mm ski.  The new 810 is the complete opposite, a full on basically race carver, and there is no longer anything in between that is high performance groomer transition to all-mountain. 

post #3 of 15

How about the 800S? Or the 700S for a tighter carve? 

post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

Nice reviews! 

Looking forward to trying the Wrenegade 102.  Good to hear more praise of the Motive 95 as well; glad it isn't just me that likes it.

I agree on the Latigo; not sure where Blizzard is going on that one.  An updated Magnum, with the precision that comes with that design, seems to make more sense than a sub 80mm ski with lots of splay and taper.  I don't really know too many people looking for a soft snow off-piste design in a sub 80mm ski.  The new 810 is the complete opposite, a full on basically race carver, and there is no longer anything in between that is high performance groomer transition to all-mountain. 

I'd like to try the Latigo. I can imagine a ski like that being a good fit for a place like Mad River Glen, Burke, or Saddleback, when there is no new snow.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post


I'd like to try the Latigo. I can imagine a ski like that being a good fit for a place like Mad River Glen, Burke, or Saddleback, when there is no new snow.

 

So, basically like a narrower FX84?  In those kind of places, what is the typical waist width? What do people normally ski? I think the old Elan 777 was designed for that type of skiing as well. 

post #6 of 15
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post


I'd like to try the Latigo. I can imagine a ski like that being a good fit for a place like Mad River Glen, Burke, or Saddleback, when there is no new snow.

 

So, basically like a narrower FX84?  In those kind of places, what is the typical waist width? What do people normally ski? I think the old Elan 777 was designed for that type of skiing as well. 

 

 

Can't say about the FX 84 as I haven't been on it. But yeah. Sort of.

 

People are all over the map in terms of what they ski here. Generally speaking, you find a lot of people on narrow groomer-oriented all-mountain skis. Skiers on _relatively_ new boards often have things like Rossi Avengers or Atomic Blackeyes or Volkl AC 30s, for example. There are the inevitable Mantras and Bonafides here and there. Kendos and Brahmas are rarer, but gaining, I think. Lot of people on E83s and E88s, sensibly enough. Young guys with beards are often on fat fun shapes. (Volkl as a brand continues to be very big in the region. As far as I can tell it's because self-satisfied high-income guys with swept-back hair, deep voices, and the habit of command - but not necessarily high-level skills - invariably recommend Volkl categorically, in some kind of time-honored New England tradition that I don't fully grasp.) In any case,  don't think you can assume that the majority of people are on skis that are a great match to the specific terrain I'm talking about, partly because people play the field in terms of where they ski, and 90% of the people are skiing on groomed-to-death sugar-on-ice runs at places like Sunday River and Okemo 90% of the time.

 

My interest in the Latigo - spurred on by a couple of positive reviews posted by people like @FairToMiddlin - is informed by the fact that off-groomer terrain on less-than-optimal days is characterized by the need to do fussy turn-by-turn route-finding among bumps, trees, logs, stumps, rocks, dirt, and ice, with minimal elbow room for speed or alternate lines. I'm talking about days when it's not QUITE bad enough to keep you on the groomers, but it's pretty close. We have a LOT of days like that! :) Often you need very quickly to get your skis onto an 18" wide strip of snow between two nasty gotchas of some sort, and then do it again immediately on your next turn or two turns later. Conventional full-camber frontside-oriented skis - whether one is talking about the all-mountain flavors as described above, or more SL-derived skis like Head Magnums, for example - are "quick" only in the sense that with a little bit of speed up on a groomer, if you tip them they will scoot around relatively sharply and then bounce you into that turn's mirror image. By contrast, in the terrain I'm talking about, a ski needs to be "quick" in a differnt way. It needs to pivot easily, because much of the time you're not "carving" in the conventional sense. There is not enough of an open snow surface for that. Moreover, even when you do have room to make a complete scarved turn here or there, you're often moving at very low speeds due to the combination of trees, steepness, and narrowness of available snow, if not of the trail altogether. My observation is that when moving that slowly, a tip-rockered ski can be much quicker to come around than a conventional ski. This can be true even when the rockered ski has a longer nominal turn radius than the conventional ski. Finally, whether on a groomer or not on a groomer, the nature of the snow on the days that I'm thinking of here is such that a narrow ski is just more fun and more rewarding because of its edge-to-edge speed, irrespective of its rocker/camber profile. I've appended a couple of images of Mad River that I plucked off of Google to illustrate for you westerners the kind of terrain I'm talking about. The second one (with the guy solving his route-finding problems simply by launching over all the troublesome bits) is obviously a fairly extreme case, but if you can imagine that first picture with much harder snow and patches of water ice scattered around, that's pretty much exactly what I'm talking about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

People are all over the map in terms of what they ski here. Generally speaking, you find a lot of people on narrow groomer-oriented all-mountain skis. Skiers on _relatively_ new boards often have things like Rossi Avengers or Atomic Blackeyes or Volkl AC 30s, for example. There are the inevitable Mantras and Bonafides here and there. Kendos and Brahmas are rarer, but gaining, I think. Lot of people on E83s and E88s, sensibly enough. Young guys with beards are often on fat fun shapes. (Volkl as a brand continues to be very big in the region. As far as I can tell it's because self-satisfied high-income guys with swept-back hair, deep voices, and the habit of command - but not necessarily high-level skills - invariably recommend Volkl categorically, in some kind of time-honored New England tradition that I don't fully grasp.   (:ROTF!)     In any case,  don't think you can assume that the majority of people are on skis that are a great match to the specific terrain I'm talking about, partly because people play the field in terms of where they ski, and 90% of the people are skiing on groomed-to-death sugar-on-ice runs at places like Sunday River and Okemo 90% of the time.

 

My interest in the Latigo - spurred on by a couple of positive reviews posted by people like @FairToMiddlin - is informed by the fact that off-groomer terrain on less-than-optimal days is characterized by the need to do fussy turn-by-turn route-finding among bumps, trees, logs, stumps, rocks, dirt, and ice, with minimal elbow room for speed or alternate lines. I'm talking about days when it's not QUITE bad enough to keep you on the groomers, but it's pretty close. We have a LOT of days like that! :) Often you need very quickly to get your skis onto an 18" wide strip of snow between two nasty gotchas of some sort, and then do it again immediately on your next turn or two turns later. Conventional full-camber frontside-oriented skis - whether one is talking about the all-mountain flavors as described above, or more SL-derived skis like Head Magnums, for example - are "quick" only in the sense that with a little bit of speed up on a groomer, if you tip them they will scoot around relatively sharply and then bounce you into that turn's mirror image. By contrast, in the terrain I'm talking about, a ski needs to be "quick" in a differnt way. It needs to pivot easily, because much of the time you're not "carving" in the conventional sense. There is not enough of an open snow surface for that. Moreover, even when you do have room to make a complete scarved turn here or there, you're often moving at very low speeds due to the combination of trees, steepness, and narrowness of available snow, if not of the trail altogether. My observation is that when moving that slowly, a tip-rockered ski can be much quicker to come around than a conventional ski. This can be true even when the rockered ski has a longer nominal turn radius than the conventional ski. Finally, whether on a groomer or not on a groomer, the nature of the snow on the days that I'm thinking of here is such that a narrow ski is just more fun and more rewarding because of its edge-to-edge speed, irrespective of its rocker/camber profile. I've appended a couple of images of Mad River that I plucked off of Google to illustrate for you westerners the kind of terrain I'm talking about. The second one (with the guy solving his route-finding problems simply by launching over all the troublesome bits) is obviously a fairly extreme case, but if you can imagine that first picture with much harder snow and patches of water ice scattered around, that's pretty much exactly what I'm talking about.

 

 

^^^^^  This (and I've highlighted a few very specific items) has to be one of the best, most articulate description/observation of ski conditions, ski behavior... and even ski culture!...  in the east I have ever read here.  Hats off to you, Q!  

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

If I were to choose between the Latigo, and the Brahma for conditions like that. It would be the Brahma. I think the Latigo is too skinny, and ski's WAY to short, and feels like ti lacks stability.

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

People are all over the map in terms of what they ski here. Generally speaking, you find a lot of people on narrow groomer-oriented all-mountain skis. Skiers on _relatively_ new boards often have things like Rossi Avengers or Atomic Blackeyes or Volkl AC 30s, for example. There are the inevitable Mantras and Bonafides here and there. Kendos and Brahmas are rarer, but gaining, I think. Lot of people on E83s and E88s, sensibly enough. Young guys with beards are often on fat fun shapes. (Volkl as a brand continues to be very big in the region. As far as I can tell it's because self-satisfied high-income guys with swept-back hair, deep voices, and the habit of command - but not necessarily high-level skills - invariably recommend Volkl categorically, in some kind of time-honored New England tradition that I don't fully grasp.) In any case,  don't think you can assume that the majority of people are on skis that are a great match to the specific terrain I'm talking about, partly because people play the field in terms of where they ski, and 90% of the people are skiing on groomed-to-death sugar-on-ice runs at places like Sunday River and Okemo 90% of the time.

 

:beercheer: Dead on. Especially the fussy turn-to-turn route finding, which some of us actually enjoy. (Being old enough to have skied on cable bindings and leather boots, way before grooming, that was what most skiing used to be most days. You explored. You skated, and you sidestepped, and stopped to check stuff out, and sometimes you actually skied for a ways, and did some cool jump turns, and it was all good, just in a different way than today. Other diff is that unclear how anyone on 210 cm skis made it though tertiary growth NE forests; I grew up in Calif where pines have the sense to avoid each other. So some % of the turn to turn today is simply about not leaving your brains on a branch.) 

 

K-ton's version, being a groomed-to-death-sugar-on-ice place, mandatory playground to NYC and Jersey (so deep command voices have definite accent and different cars), but with lotsa bumped up trees, and of course, bump runs to make your knees cry like Ovation, Outer Limits and Devil's Fiddle, is definitely strong on: RTM 81's and 84's, Kendos, E83's and 88's, 8.5 Ti's, Head iSpeeds and Magnums, fair number of Progressors (9 and 10), some Avengers and Blackeyes, but those model niches are fading, increasing number of Motive 80's and 86's (Dawg take note), a handful of MX83's and FX94's (oddly only one pair of FX84's spotted), and of course semi serious to FIS SL's everywhere, which many use for general hardpack. Along with the usual park skis, which I tend to ignore, not being a practitioner. If there's even an inch of new snow, out come the Soul 7's, E98's, Bonafides, Patrons, Mantras. 

 

But except for the Heads and Fischers, not much in the 70's carving range anymore. You can go days without seeing a Dynastar carver except during a race. Not sure 70's Elans exist outside rental shops. Have seen one pair of MX78's, one pair Stockli SR78's. Smattering of Smokes or the K2 equivalent on intermediates who don't go into the trees or bumps anyway. Instructors and coaches this year seem to be finding the Rally, and have always liked the Titan, but have only seen one pair of either on civilian. So overall, directional skiers here seem to make due with wide carvers or beat rec racers in narrow places variable snow, rather than do-all frontside skis like Magnums, MX78's, or Rally's designed to exploit it. :dunno

 

Hard to say if there's a market for a high 70's flipcore. The park rats and freestylers won't go for it, although I agree with q that it seems made for some of our conditions. OTOH, if it's balky on NE ice after leaving the woods, carvers will go for Heads and Kastles and Fischers that thay know will deal with ice and can still be made to ski bumps nicely, if not with the flair of a flipcore. This is Vermont, after all. Nothing, let alone skiing, is supposed to come easy in the winter.  :D 

 

And BTW, Okemo has a GS course that will make your eyeballs bleed. Julia Ford comes from Okemo. She was cool to my son when she was a forerunner there at a U12 this winter. No Okemo jokes. ;) 


Edited by beyond - 3/26/14 at 1:34pm
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 
 OTOH, if it's balky on NE ice after leaving the woods, carvers will go for Heads and Kastles and Fischers that thay know will deal with ice and can still be made to ski bumps nicely

 

 

Good conversation here. Wish I had a photo of Hardscrabble at Cannon a few weeks ago before any of the recent snows had come. Possibly the best-named trail for current conditions I'd ever encountered. It was like skiing on chocolate chip ice cream that had been sitting in someone's super-cold lab freezer for thirty or forty years.

 

I guess I'm trying to make a distinction between eastern areas (and days, and skiers) where ungroomed terrain* is a side dish, vs. where (and when, and with whom) it is the main course. That's why I mentioned certain hills specifically, where there is a relatively minimal amount of groomer zooming available, by current standards, compared with the overall acreage, and which aren't known for attracting the casual groomer skiers. (Obviously Burke attracts a special kind of groomer skier, but that's another whole thing.) When it's a side dish, then I'm just about on board with beyond's angle that you solve the problem with a more or less compliant hard-snow ski and make it work off-piste as well as you can. When it's the main course, though, I find that solution doesn't work all that well for me. At least not with the hard-snow skis I've tried it with (e.g., my Blizzard Supersonics). Maybe it's partly related to my weight, but I find that at low speeds carvers like this are just too stiff and tend to sproing me around and glom onto things in ways that I don't like. Perhaps I just haven't been on the right softer-tipped ones yet. Been missing a lot of demos the last couple of years and have gotten behind the times. Which brings me back to wanting to try the Latigo. :)


*Worth mentioning in passing that there is such a thing as ungroomed terrain at these relatively lightly trafficked areas that is not exactly either bumps or trees; it's more like "lumps." The first photo in my earlier post is an example of that. (And note, with regard to that MRG photo, that if you were looking up at that pitch from below you'd almost certainly be seeing a LOT more brown and gray than you do from where the photographer was standing. So the apparent extent of the cover may be misleading.) Those of you who skied Muleskinner at Saddleback at the Gathering ten days ago - you know what I'm talking about. In days of yore, at least, the Wildcat and Lynx trails at Wildcat were just such lumpy beasts. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 
And BTW, Okemo has a GS course that will make your eyeballs bleed. Julia Ford comes from Okemo. She was cool to my son when she was a forerunner there at a U12 this winter. No Okemo jokes. ;) 

 

Dude, you have no idea. I broke my leg at Okemo. When I was eleven. On the Papoose trail, no less. When there were (almost) only pomas. There are nothing BUT jokes about Okemo when I'm around - almost always at my expense, not Okemo's. I did go back, when I was in my 20s, in the '80s, but I have not been there since. I would like to. I'm sure I'd love it. But I would miss the pomas, which are by far my favorite surface lift.

post #11 of 15

We have a poma at K-ton if you're nostalgic. On a blue called Bunny Buster, no less. 

post #12 of 15

Cool thread!  I had no idea; those conditions look gnarly. 

 

I am used to Oregon skiing; we usually hit 45" base sometime in December, and then don't see dirt again on the mountain till June or July.  Even now, with the crap season we have had, there is 9 feet at the base, 13 feet at mid mountain.

 

Sounds like the conditions that the FX84 would shine in.  Ranger 86 too; I really have fun on that ski off-piste. As well as the previously mentioned skis.

 

I also notice that guys with slicked-back hair that work in finance; have deep voices, and drive sleek cars, tend to ask about and ski Volkl.  Not sure what is up with that. They must be running ads in Robb Report.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
 

Cool thread!  I had no idea; those conditions look gnarly. 

 

I am used to Oregon skiing; we usually hit 45" base sometime in December, and then don't see dirt again on the mountain till June or July.  Even now, with the crap season we have had, there is 9 feet at the base, 13 feet at mid mountain.

 

Sounds like the conditions that the FX84 would shine in.  Ranger 86 too; I really have fun on that ski off-piste. As well as the previously mentioned skis.

 

I also notice that guys with slicked-back hair that work in finance; have deep voices, and drive sleek cars, tend to ask about and ski Volkl.  Not sure what is up with that. They must be running ads in Robb Report.

Hey Dawg, 

Conditions somewhat better than this, but in the above ballpark are what I was looking to ski when I recently bought the Head Rock 'n Roll's from you.  I'm not up to going full-bore, full-time on stuff quite as bad as this...but this IS eastern off-piste skiing.  BTW... The RnR's rock.

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

I am used to Oregon skiing; we usually hit 45" base sometime in December, and then don't see dirt again on the mountain till June or July.  Even now, with the crap season we have had, there is 9 feet at the base, 13 feet at mid mountain. This is why you guys out west are so irritating. "Crap season," huh? I'll be long in the ground, and covered by the next ice age's glaciers, before we have that much snow back here. 

 

I also notice that guys with slicked-back hair that work in finance; have deep voices, and drive sleek cars, tend to ask about and ski Volkl.  Not sure what is up with that. They must be running ads in Robb Report. If you look at the way the prices are holding for the V-Werks models, must be demand that's up with that. Have seen several 84's back here and one Katana. Not so much that they're pricier than a few alternatives. It's the look. All steely and carbon fiber, properly angular and muted, screams, "I appreciate high tech Bauhaus heritage; now don't bother me while I use my Nasdaq app to make more in 20 seconds than you do in a year." Like the current McLarens. So then the aspirationals get the regular RTM's and fanatasize about when they can lose the red and white topsheets...

 

Actually to be fair if I wanted a heavy-ish carbon ski (oxymoron) over 110 to carve (second oxymoron) sidebounds (third oxymoron), the V-Werks Katana would be my ride. And it would nicely foreground my massive financial clout.  

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post
...but this IS eastern off-piste skiing. With apologies to Josh and all the other locals who can choose which lunch break or afternoon slot to hit last night's semi-seasonal dump, yep, if we're lucky. And it'll get more and more typical with each passing year, folks.

My one comment actually relevant to the review: Gotta say that between Blister and Ecimmortal, I'm getting intrigued by the Supernatural Line line. (Sorry, had to.) Along with the new Armada Invictus, the 108 begins to look like a viable one ski quiver for below average weight folk going to places without tons of snow. Sort of a Cochise that learned how to play. Haven't owned either brand in quite a while, but getting seriously interested again. 


Edited by beyond - 3/28/14 at 7:03am
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

 

 

My one comment actually relevant to the review: Gotta say that between Blister and Ecimmortal, I'm getting intrigued by the Supernatural Line line. (Sorry, had to.) Along with the new Armada Invictus, the 108 begins to look like a viable one ski quiver for below average weight folk going to places without tons of snow. Sort of a Cochise that learned how to play. Haven't owned either brand in quite a while, but getting seriously interested again. 


FWIW, I did not ski the 108. Because I was looking for something smaller. But I'm currently on the Influence 105. I would probably not hesitate to own the supernatural 108, especially with the changes line has made to the front of the ski.

 

I think it's worth noting that the Prophet/Influence series has been extremely solid, and was a big favorite here not so long ago.

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