Originally Posted by canadianskier
I’m 5’10 and weigh 170 pounds. I tend to be an athletic skier . . .
The ski I want to replace is the 186 Bonafide because my old pair is, well, getting old and beat-up.
Although I'd be happy with a new pair of Bones, I'd like to try something new. If I imagine a continuum of stability (damp charging) vs playfulness (lively), I'd like to move a little more toward playfulness, but not too far because I rather enjoy fast cruising in muck. For me, playfulness would equate to a bit more pop and "turnyness" (is that a word?).
Currently, the skis I'm thinking of purchasing are the Line Supernatural 108 or the Cochise. The Blister reviews of SN108 make it sound like a ski that can be charged, yet has pop and is playful in the bumps. Powerful in the crud, yet decent on groomer.
I remembered seeing this thread and noticed that you didn't get much response so I figured that I'd respond because I've been on most of the skis in question.
I read your question to say that you are looking to fill the center of a Western Canada quiver with something 100-110ish, strong and stable but maybe more playful than your Bonafides.
Bonafides. The first thing that immediately jumps to mind is that unless it is a typo above 187 in the Bonafides is a ton of ski for someone 5"10, 170#. I don't doubt that you are a rock star, and you obviously have enough experience to know what you are doing, so take this for what it is worth. . . but the Bonafide is not a ski that cries to be skied super long. I am 5'11, 185 and I have never found the 180 (head height) wanting for length. I've got a ton of days in all kinds of conditions on the180s and what I prize most about that set up is the versatility. I'm not saying that you can't or shouldn't ski the Bones at 187 because obviously you have successfully. But at that length, at your size, you have elected to go long and that has likely affected the character of the ride. So it isn't surprising to read that you are looking for something that is equally solid but more "playful."
So the first question is whether you have tried the Bonafide in 180? That might be the answer to your question right there, especially given that you ski the MX88 178, which feels to me like an analog in size to the 180 length Bonafide.
Cochise. As for the Cochise, I love that ski although it is different from the Bonafides. Relative to a 180 Bonafide (to compare apples to apples), the 185 Cochise would feel bigger, the turn radius is longer and it has less "pop." But it is super solid, blasts through variable conditions, holds a strong edge once you get it there and it slips nicely edge to edge (although it isn't super quick). And I would bet that at your size the 185 Cochise would feel way more fun, way looser than a 187 Bonafide. For your neighborhood, particularly if you are heading more into eastern BC, a Cochise would be a very good center of your quiver if you like the feel. I tend to agree with Blister's review on this one.
As for the Supernatural 108, I thought it was OK, but not great. Given the Blister review I had high hopes - I tend to agree with their impressions, and I usually map pretty closely to Jonathan's preferences. And I used to ski the Prophet 100s back in the day, so my expectations were pretty high.
To be fair, my demo was limited and I'd like to give these another try. I probably got in about 3000 vertical feet, but it was a good day for demos because there were variable conditions all over Crystal (decent powder/chopped up powder on top, heavy, wet manky snow toward the base, and enough smooth'ish terrain to get a feel for groomer/hard pack performance).
However, I didn't feel the "pop" at all. In general, I thought that the SN108 was somewhat "meh" - it was OK, I'd keep a free pair, but it felt really dated - it reminded me of my P100s, just a wider, slower version. Turning, it definitely felt like a Prophet, very smooth and intuitive but it lacked punch. In the powder, it felt kind of heavy and ponderous (without the power of the Cochise and without the snap and smooth release of the Bonafide). Another Line comparison, I thought that it had way less energy and was way less "edgy" than the old Influence 105 (a ski that I always liked). At first I was pretty confused because I was expecting a snappy rocket ship - once I figured it out, it skied the variable conditions almost exactly like my Prophets - I just let the skis sink in and come around at their pace - but nothing close to the platform of the Blizzards or some others.
I'd love to try the SN100 because I bet that the shape and layup is optimized for that width profile - the 108 didn't feel like the "reference width" - more like something else blown up to fill a market segment. But that was just me, one anecdotal data point, so take it for what it is worth.
One ski that I think fits your request perfectly that you should consider is the Salomon QLab104. I demoed it twice last spring and I'd own it if I had a reasonable use case (my Bonafides haven't given out yet and I also picked up a decent used Cochise for giggles - thanks Josh Matta!). Still I might very well pick up a QLab this spring to replace both Blizzards - I loved it. The metal laminate construction delivers a powerful ride, but the ski was still very quick and nimble (probably the result of the honeycomb tip and tail and the Quest shape). And while it is not a powder ski, per se, I thought it was great in knee high powder, really fun, quick and solid. More light and floatie than the Bonafide (again likely due to the strong platform blending into light soft tips), but somewhat similar feel in deeper snow. With a turn radius of 20.5 and a width of 104, it kind of splits the difference between the Bonafide and the Cochise. The QLab is quicker than either Blizzard but equally stout (but different). The Cochise feels like it has a more consistent, progressive flex pattern, whereas you definitely feel the concentration of stiffness through the middle of the QLab. But it works. You get a firm, powerful ride, but the snow feel is more crisp, less round (more digital, less analog). Relative to the Bonafide, the QLab feels both quicker and more "big mountain" at the same time. That is the magic of this ski and why it is the first ski of in the width range that has me thinking of life after my Blizzard era. On both demo days, I hated given this ski up.
Another sleeper ski that I liked a lot this spring was the Fischer Ranger 106. More of a traditional feel, especially from the tail. For something mid-100s, it is the best carver I've every experienced. The ski is damp and smooth but not overly heavy. It was awesome in about a foot of fresh powder in the morning (Green Valley/West Face) and in soft mixed conditions it railed. The only negative at all was that I took it way over the edge toward the bottom in heavy, junky wet conditions. Operator error, but I was trying to get to the edge of the envelop and my confidence in the ski was soaring from the time on top. For comparison, I skied the QLab immediately afterward and took it right to the same run where I folded up on the Ranger (one of the old chair 1 runs) and the QLab just sliced it apart. But you are in eastern B.C. and Alberta, so heavy, wet snow isn't likely a huge issue - and I thought that the Ranger was a huge winner in the soft snow and on the hard pack. If I were a regular at Mission Ridge, this would be my mid-100s, soft snow day choice. It would also be great in that slot at places like Big White and Sun Peaks where there is a fair amount of groomer cruising getting around the mountain and a surface of generally light, dry snow.
So that's a few ideas. FWIW, I demo'd the Ranger 106, QLab, my Bonafides, the Supernatural 108 in sequence in pretty comparable terrain and I liked the SN 108 a distant 4th. I'd love to own any of the other 3 (or a Cochise) - which I do.
Good luck and have a fun season.
So there's a few ides
Originally Posted by beyond
And 2) Completely befuddled why you are thinking of a high 100's as your only ski for the Canadian Rockies. Which I have found to get fairly hard packed and bumpy between storms, and said storms don't always dump 6+". Lately have been fine there with a 94-98 mm. But I tend to ski the Banff area, realize if you are a Revelstoke guy, 108 would be a carver...
OP mentioned that he owns a MX88 at 178.