I reached out to Matt to try Sandwich Tech skis for a few reasons. I like unique skis, and really appreciate small ski manufacturers, I was impressed by the shapes they were offering, and thought that in a world of start-up ski companies aimed at the terrain park and big mountain market, it was refreshing to see someone building skis that are true "all-mountain" skis with a race-like bias. Sandwich Tech is doing something different from the other boutiques out there, and they deserve to be recognized for it. They also know their skis. These things have not been slapped together by a few ski bums drinking beer in a garage. They are engineered to ski like they do.
I will start off by saying, I really like these skis. They carve long and short turns, brush turns, and don't give-up when you push them. They are more of a crud buster than a floater. They are different from anything I have ever skied, yet still have the familiarity of the qualities of a race ski. By familiar, I mean they are stiff, they have extremely strong edge hold, and traditional camber with a lot of edge on the snow. How are they different? Well, they have incredible torsional stiffness (well above average for this width), you feel every bit of the snow surface [not damp], they have a ton of snap for a ski of this size, and they ski a lot longer than they are stamped. These qualities make the skis very unique on the snow. The deep side cut makes them easy to put on edge and carve (you really don't feel the width).
The sidewalls, which are some kind of hard wood, give the ski an incredibly lively feel. These will feel like nothing you've ever skied because of the sidewall... To put it in perspective, all sidewalls are a p-tex polymer, or a ceramic like compound. Both are significantly more damp. You would think this lack of dampening would translate to lack of edge hold... If you thought that you'd be wrong. The torsional stiffness the skis have, lends them to be absolute cleavers on ice. Very few conditions outside of a course will require more edge hold on a regular basis. The ski is also longitudinally stiff... more-so than I was expecting. They bend, and have a very even race-like flex pattern, but race-like also means they are stiff as all-mountain skis go. They are stamped 16.5, but ski more like an 18-20. Take this into account when purchasing.
I only know a handful of skiers that could make use of the 186cm version of this ski. The 175cm was a good bit of ski... not humbling, but because of the stiffness (longitudinal and torsional) you should respect it. Bottom-line, if you ski fast, want a race-like do-it-all front-side ski that isn't going to be boring when you hit the groomers, give this ski a shot - you will be surprised at the capabilities. Matt and Katie have done a superb job building this... and remember, this was their first shot at building a ski... I expect some great things to come from these two.
Here's some pics and a short video from the test weekend:
Product: Root 88
Length Tested: 175cm
Dimensions/Turn Radius: 16.5m
Binding: Tyrolia Demo
Mount point: Tested suggested mount point, -1cm, and -2cm; for my build/skiing -2cm was best, but ymmv
Other Skis in Class: Not really sure... gear whores, please chime in.
Environment & Conditions: Spring conditions; hard in the morning, soft in the afternoon; slush over ice with sun and the occasional beer
Location of Test: Holimont
Number of Runs: A lot
Demo or Own: Demo
Username: Um... HeluvaSkier
Height/Weight: 5' 7" 140lbs
Ski Days/Season: 35 maybe?
Years Skiing: 18 maybe, not really sure
Aggressiveness: Competitor I guess
Current Quiver: Fischer race product, Blossom All-Mountain line-up, Salomon Sentinel
Home Area: Holimont
Preferred Terrain: Blue groomers ...anything really... real snow is nice.