I mentioned before I would check back in after I was able to run these. So here are some notes for the next person considering this purchase. My initial impressions are that I am in love. Not just a little admiration love... the marrying kind where you think this one is different and we are going to have a long term relationship. I've run them twice now and I'm ready to propose. Call the preacher and reserve a date.
Day 1 = raining on top of several inches of fresh snow for super heavy cascade cement with spring like slush at lower elevations. Not exactly ideal conditions but some really messy heavy chop to work through. They knife through the chop with great confidence. I was able to find some perfect groomers at higher elevations and when these are on their sides they really draw confidence. Someone before mentioned that you have to be on your game to ski these and I would second that motion. If you are on the shins of your boots and in a forward athletic stance, its ON! If you are cruising and not on your shins then they are fine but you are missing the potential. I would relate this to driving a porsche in "automatic" which is fine versus shifting it into manual, downshifting and sticking your foot to the floor. I did move the adjustable bindings forwards and backwards and found that for me this ski really came alive on the groomers when I went forward 2cm. I was getting cocky with the new found confidence once we got to know each other. This ski has a higher speed limit than I am willing to test. And it skis great at medium speeds which is what I was looking for.
Day 2 = The slush was refrozen and a new inch of fresh was on top. Very good groomers and 6" of refrozen chopped powder off piste. I ran my first two runs with the +2cm bindings setting from the day before and found them to be really good but a fair amount of work off piste. Then I remembered the bindings and moved them to -1cm behind neutral and man they came alive in the chop. I was blazing through hard crusty leftover powder like it wasn't even there and having a blast in really sub par snow. I didn't really notice any detriment this day on the good groomers in the minus setting. I dropped into a few chopped up bowls and found myself really in charge and blasting through piles of crap like they weren't there. I even found some areas with 6" of good powder and they were heavenly.
So here is where we are. I'm calling Mom and telling her that I've met someone and she is different from all the rest. This could be one I could see myself getting old with. I really liked this ski and think it would suit anyone with good technical form. I really don't feel qualified to judge her yet on just two days of riding as I know I didn't even come close to the limits of this ski in our first two dances. This one has some surprises yet to come and I'm looking forward to them. I used to think the perfect quiver would be four skis but now I'm thinking it could be three. A skinny carving ski, the SR 88 and a ~115 powder ski for over 6" of snow. Wow, they were expensive but worth every penny. Very satisfied with the purchase. The SR 88 and I are going to get along just fine.....