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Reports from SIA Copper: 95mm-The new hot category, Thumbnails

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

 

 

We had an Epic test crew out here testing and bringing reviews back for everyone to read and come to their own decisions in which skis are best for them. There are some skis that were unanimous favorites and some that were surprises where some of the members liked and some weren't as impressed as they thought they would be going in. 

 

Conditions: 3-5” of light fresh snow each day over the firm groomers. We skied mostly the main Copper area off of the American Eagle, American Flyer, Excelerator and Sierra lift so we could maximize the amount of skis we could test. @FairToMiddlin and @Drahtguy were “bootsole buddies” with their identical BLS’s so they didn’t have to go back to the tents after every run and were about to get more skis tested. 

 

I will start the process with the “95’s-The new tweeter category combining the best of both the 90 and 100mm skis”.  While the 98/100mm segment is getting the lions share of the attention there are a few manufactures either also offering a mid 90mm contender or by passing the popular category all together. Here are a few standouts from that Mid 90’s category:

 

Atomic Ritual 95 (all new): 

Review upcoming from Mammoth

 

DPS Cassiar 95 177/184cm metal (revised):

This ski was THE shocker of the show for me. I have been on the Hybrids and Pures from DPS in the past and while they skied nice I always felt a “binary” feel on the snow, either they were on a solid edge or they were hunting for one. This new construction is much different..MUCH different. The 95 skied magnificently, smooth, strong with a feel that is worthy premium over the average 95mm ski. I first tried it in the 177 and that did feel a bit short but unlike some other skis with a similar extended early rise tip got nervous in this length and have to be skied longer, the DPS was just a bit more nimble than the perfect for me 184cm length. The Cassiar is also in the middle of the finesse / power scale. 

 

Dynastar Cham 97 2.0 184cm (revised):

While i skied the original Cham a few times, it never warmed the cockles of my heart, it just felt unbalanced, a big tip, a stiff mid body and tail and an unforgiving 5 point sidecut. Last year Dynastar brought out Powertrack series and the first of the Cham 2.0’s with the 117. Both of these skis offered everything better than what the original Chams were and did. The new Cham 97 is much more organic in shape, less of a tip rise, a much smoother progression of shape in the new 5 point sidecut and a more balanced files with a bit if rise in the tail. Just everything better. The Cham is still on the power side of the scale and likes to be skied a size up. 

 

Fischer Motive 95 180cm (carry over):

The Motive 95 was a surprise for me. While I was on one of the early prototypes a few years ago, it was not what this new Fischer has evolved into. Nothing bothered the Motive in the mixed conditions late in the day, it went from the soft piles of powder to the firm hard packed that got scrapped off by that point in the day with no feel of differentiation of the conditions. Fisher’s gradual tip rise is one of the best designs in the industry and makes for a very smooth ski. The Motive is on the power side of the scale

 

K2 Pinnacle 95 177/184cm (all new):

With K2 replacing the popular Annix 98 with the completely new Pinnacle 95, we knew there would be a big difference in on snow feel. The Pinnacle 95 is a playful new design that enters the turn with ease as long as you pressure the front of the boot. As you come though the turn the balanced flex allows the ski to hold well and the little bit of rise in the tail lets the ski be worked with ease. If the soft snow in bumps, the ski was, as Draughtguy would say, “Was a hoot”. I skied the 177cm at Copper then the 184, the next day at Vail, more extensive review HERE. The Pinnacle is on the finesse side of the scale.

 

Kastle FX95 HP/ FX95 181cm (all new):

This is the first significant change in the FX series since it was introduced 5 years ago. With this change the FX’s spawned two variations, one with metal (HP) and one with out. Between the two models there is two sheets to Titinal in the HP’s. That addition of Titinal creates a smoother ski and a ski that skis true to it’s advertised running length. Usually there is a negligible difference between the metal and metal less versions, not in this case, these skis ski very different, the regular FX, about 100 grams lighter, was fun and playful compared to the HP which is more serious and powerful. Not that one is better than the other, it comes down to what you want. FX95 is on the finesse side of the scale, and the HP is on the power side. 

 

Line Supernatural 92 (carry over):

Review upcoming from Mammoth

 

Stockli StormRider 95 183cm(revised):

Stockli lightened up the tip & tail on one their most popular skis made it better without losing what the Stormrider was good at..making solid smooth turns all over the hill no matter what the conditions. The improved 95 now does feel quicker in the turn transition across the hill with loosing the smoothness that we have come to enjoy from Stockli. Mel Torme should have been so smooth. The SR95 carry that rare balance of finesse and power.

 

Conclusion: With the skis in this segment, you cannot just go to the rack and grab a "177" or whatever you are used to skiing, there are quite a few that ski short. Usually in this case, there might be real where that ski could feel cumbersome like in the bumps, I never felt that with any of these skis. So I would suggest leaving the preconceived thoughts on what size you usually are on with should be on. I am just saying have an open mind. 


Edited by Philpug - 2/7/15 at 8:38am
post #2 of 29
Extensive review of K2 link not linked.
post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 
Kastle FX95 HP/ FX95 181cm (all new):
This is the first significant change in the FX series since it was introduced 5 years ago. With this change the FX’s spawned two variations, one with metal (HP) and one with out. Between the two models there is two sheets to Titinal in the HP’s. That addition of Titinal creates a smoother ski and a ski that skis true to it’s advertised running length. Usually there is a negligible difference between the metal and metal less versions, not in this case, these skis ski very different, the regular FX, about 100 grams lighter, was fun and playful compared to the HP which is more serious and powerful. Not that one is better than the other, it comes down to what you want. FX95 is on the finesse side of the scale, and the HP is on the power side. 

Thanks for the review/preview...Q: How does the new FX95/FX95 HP compare to the 2011-2013 with 3mm titanal sheets in terms of firmness--would the 2011-2013 version sit kind of inbetween the FX95/FX95HP?

post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Extensive review of K2 link not linked.

I was just finishing it up, there now. 

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 
Kastle FX95 HP/ FX95 181cm (all new):
This is the first significant change in the FX series since it was introduced 5 years ago. With this change the FX’s spawned two variations, one with metal (HP) and one with out. Between the two models there is two sheets to Titinal in the HP’s. That addition of Titinal creates a smoother ski and a ski that skis true to it’s advertised running length. Usually there is a negligible difference between the metal and metal less versions, not in this case, these skis ski very different, the regular FX, about 100 grams lighter, was fun and playful compared to the HP which is more serious and powerful. Not that one is better than the other, it comes down to what you want. FX95 is on the finesse side of the scale, and the HP is on the power side. 

Thanks for the review/preview...Q: How does the new FX95/FX95 HP compare to the 2011-2013 with 3mm titanal sheets in terms of firmness--would the 2011-2013 version sit kind of inbetween the FX95/FX95HP?

They are completely different in feel. These new ones have a much more balanced flex and with more taper in the tip and tail along with some early rise. So different, it could have been called the GX or EX or another letterX. 

post #6 of 29

Thanks for these thumbnails Phil! Always fun.

post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post
 

Thanks for the review/preview...Q: How does the new FX95/FX95 HP compare to the 2011-2013 with 3mm titanal sheets in terms of firmness--would the 2011-2013 version sit kind of inbetween the FX95/FX95HP?


I think the older ski is considerably stiffer than the HP is. I skied teh 181 HP and was pretty surprised by how soft it felt. It had very little resemblance to the FX94.

post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post


I think the older ski is considerably stiffer than the HP is. I skied teh 181 HP and was pretty surprised by how soft it felt. It had very little resemblance to the FX94.
Interesting. Two short commentaries on how different the new FX's are compared to the old, but no real positive feedback. It sounds as if you guys didn't quite dig the new ones..
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post


Interesting. Two short commentaries on how different the new FX's are compared to the old, but no real positive feedback. It sounds as if you guys didn't quite dig the new ones..


It's not for me. Last year I skied the FX84 at the demo and thought "wow, I could use this to do almost everything my MX83 does". They wanted to differentiate teh FX series from the MX and they have. I'm an MX skier.

post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post


Interesting. Two short commentaries on how different the new FX's are compared to the old, but no real positive feedback. It sounds as if you guys didn't quite dig the new ones..


It's not for me. Last year I skied the FX84 at the demo and thought "wow, I could use this to do almost everything my MX83 does". They wanted to differentiate teh FX series from the MX and they have. I'm an MX skier.


I think this is the key.  The two lines are designed for two different skiers.  If you check out @FairToMiddlin @Drahtguy and @segbrown's notes from SIA Demos you'll find three more descriptions. 

I don't think @UGASkiDawg has his up yet but he was stalking the Kastle tent. 

We had a really great team that touched on several different skier types this year. Thumbs Up

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/132529/a-layman-s-look-at-the-2015-sia-demo-days-at-copper

http://www.epicski.com/t/132527/sia-on-snow-demos-at-copper-mountain-2015-2016-skis

I'm still working on mine. 

post #11 of 29
  •  

I was underwhelmed by the 181 FX95 HP, I blame the taper at the shovel. I  wanted it to hook up a little quicker, it's a very nice ski but it just didn't wow me. I liked the 105 much more, the slarv-y nature was what I want in a 105-ish ski, in the 95-ish range I want a little more dynamic feel at initiation, a bit more precision.

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 
  •  

I was underwhelmed by the 181 FX95 HP, I blame the taper at the shovel. I  wanted it to hook up a little quicker, it's a very nice ski but it just didn't wow me. I liked the 105 much more, the slarv-y nature was what I want in a 105-ish ski, in the 95-ish range I want a little more dynamic feel at initiation, a bit more precision.

I cannot disagree with you. While the new FX's particularly the FX95 HP, drew accolades from some of our members, I also didn't warm up to the new shape as some did. The non HP was a little more playful and like you I really did like the 105. I think they should have stayed with the original plan of making the non metal skis BMX's and the metal ones FX's instead of the over/under 100mm separation between the two series. 

post #13 of 29

Phil, did you ever get on the Line or the Atomic mentioned here?

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenmonkey View Post
 

Phil, did you ever get on the Line or the Atomic mentioned here?

Actually, I was unable to, both were out the 2-3 times I went past the tents. I did get on the new Vantage 100 while it was not quite up to the other class leaders it is still a real nice ski that like it's predecessor falls on the finesse side of the spectrum.  I do expect the Supernatural 92 be on par with the 100 that is one one of my favorites in the 98/100 offerings. 

post #15 of 29
Thanks for the update Phil!. The line looks interesting to me as a Tahoe DD in our new reality winter conditions plus once things fill in.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

 

DPS Cassiar 95 177/184cm metal (revised):

This ski was THE shocker of the show for me. I have been on the Hybrids and Pures from DPS in the past and while they skied nice I always felt a “binary” feel on the snow, either they were on a solid edge or they were hunting for one. This new construction is much different..MUCH different. The 95 skied magnificently, smooth, strong with a feel that is worthy premium over the average 95mm ski. I first tried it in the 177 and that did feel a bit short but unlike some other skis with a similar extended early rise tip got nervous in this length and have to be skied longer, the DPS was just a bit more nimble than the perfect for me 184cm length. The Cassiar is also in the middle of the finesse / power scale. 

 

 

I'm curious to hear a bit more about your thoughts on the difference between the 95 and 85 in the Cassiar. I am a big guy (6'2" 275#) looking for something geared more to hard/groomer conditions to complement my '15 Mantras. 

post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phishnerd View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

 

DPS Cassiar 95 177/184cm metal (revised):

This ski was THE shocker of the show for me. I have been on the Hybrids and Pures from DPS in the past and while they skied nice I always felt a “binary” feel on the snow, either they were on a solid edge or they were hunting for one. This new construction is much different..MUCH different. The 95 skied magnificently, smooth, strong with a feel that is worthy premium over the average 95mm ski. I first tried it in the 177 and that did feel a bit short but unlike some other skis with a similar extended early rise tip got nervous in this length and have to be skied longer, the DPS was just a bit more nimble than the perfect for me 184cm length. The Cassiar is also in the middle of the finesse / power scale. 

 

 

I'm curious to hear a bit more about your thoughts on the difference between the 95 and 85 in the Cassiar. I am a big guy (6'2" 275#) looking for something geared more to hard/groomer conditions to complement my '15 Mantras. 

I didn't ski the 85 so I don't have that as a point of reference but the 95 did wow me but I don't think it would give enough separation from your Mantra that you would want. I would suggest to go more "traditional" with a MX83, Rev 85, Powertrack 89 as that frontside ski. 

post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

I didn't ski the 85 so I don't have that as a point of reference but the 95 did wow me but I don't think it would give enough separation from your Mantra that you would want. I would suggest to go more "traditional" with a MX83, Rev 85, Powertrack 89 as that frontside ski. 

Just MHO, but he's too big for the Rev 85 unless it had a race plate. At 275, I'd even mount the Mx with a vist plate/free flex 16 or piston/marker comp 20 or excel 16. That's a load of force on a ski at speed! smile.gif
post #19 of 29

Thanks guys, I'm trying to get a list together of what to try this spring. Because, well...I just want a new pair of skis :)

post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

I didn't ski the 85 so I don't have that as a point of reference but the 95 did wow me but I don't think it would give enough separation from your Mantra that you would want. I would suggest to go more "traditional" with a MX83, Rev 85, Powertrack 89 as that frontside ski. 

Just MHO, but he's too big for the Rev 85 unless it had a race plate. At 275, I'd even mount the Mx with a vist plate/free flex 16 or piston/marker comp 20 or excel 16. That's a load of force on a ski at speed! smile.gif
Maybe but the monster 83 will be money
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Maybe but the monster 83 will be money

Be skiing it in a couple days...
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


Just MHO, but he's too big for the Rev 85 unless it had a race plate. At 275, I'd even mount the Mx with a vist plate/free flex 16 or piston/marker comp 20 or excel 16. That's a load of force on a ski at speed! smile.gif

Right!

At 220, I tought it was too soft...

post #23 of 29
Quote:

DPS Cassiar 95 177/184cm metal (revised):

This ski was THE shocker of the show for me. I have been on the Hybrids and Pures from DPS in the past and while they skied nice I always felt a “binary” feel on the snow, either they were on a solid edge or they were hunting for one. This new construction is much different..MUCH different. The 95 skied magnificently, smooth, strong with a feel that is worthy premium over the average 95mm ski. I first tried it in the 177 and that did feel a bit short but unlike some other skis with a similar extended early rise tip got nervous in this length and have to be skied longer, the DPS was just a bit more nimble than the perfect for me 184cm length. The Cassiar is also in the middle of the finesse / power scale. 

 

Kastle FX95 HP/ FX95 181cm (all new):

This is the first significant change in the FX series since it was introduced 5 years ago. With this change the FX’s spawned two variations, one with metal (HP) and one with out. Between the two models there is two sheets to Titinal in the HP’s. That addition of Titinal creates a smoother ski and a ski that skis true to it’s advertised running length. Usually there is a negligible difference between the metal and metal less versions, not in this case, these skis ski very different, the regular FX, about 100 grams lighter, was fun and playful compared to the HP which is more serious and powerful. Not that one is better than the other, it comes down to what you want. FX95 is on the finesse side of the scale, and the HP is on the power side. 

 

Would appreciate a comparison between the above two (three) models, and, possibly, 15-16 Bones

 

Had an oportunity to test FX 95 (non-HP version) in Europe this spring, and liked them a lot. Just want to know if there is anything I would be giving up.

post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VladSki View Post
 
Quote:

DPS Cassiar 95 177/184cm metal (revised):

This ski was THE shocker of the show for me. I have been on the Hybrids and Pures from DPS in the past and while they skied nice I always felt a “binary” feel on the snow, either they were on a solid edge or they were hunting for one. This new construction is much different..MUCH different. The 95 skied magnificently, smooth, strong with a feel that is worthy premium over the average 95mm ski. I first tried it in the 177 and that did feel a bit short but unlike some other skis with a similar extended early rise tip got nervous in this length and have to be skied longer, the DPS was just a bit more nimble than the perfect for me 184cm length. The Cassiar is also in the middle of the finesse / power scale. 

 

Kastle FX95 HP/ FX95 181cm (all new):

This is the first significant change in the FX series since it was introduced 5 years ago. With this change the FX’s spawned two variations, one with metal (HP) and one with out. Between the two models there is two sheets to Titinal in the HP’s. That addition of Titinal creates a smoother ski and a ski that skis true to it’s advertised running length. Usually there is a negligible difference between the metal and metal less versions, not in this case, these skis ski very different, the regular FX, about 100 grams lighter, was fun and playful compared to the HP which is more serious and powerful. Not that one is better than the other, it comes down to what you want. FX95 is on the finesse side of the scale, and the HP is on the power side. 

 

Would appreciate a comparison between the above two (three) models, and, possibly, 15-16 Bones

 

Had an oportunity to test FX 95 (non-HP version) in Europe this spring, and liked them a lot. Just want to know if there is anything I would be giving up.

 

What are you looking for and what is important to you? Every ski choice is a balance of give and take and compromises. What are you looking for that you didn't feel you got in the FX95? You tried a ski that you liked a lot...why keep drilling if you struck oil? 

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

 

What are you looking for and what is important to you? Every ski choice is a balance of give and take and compromises. What are you looking for that you didn't feel you got in the FX95? You tried a ski that you liked a lot...why keep drilling if you struck oil? 

 

I am looking for a "European soft conditions" quiver ski to complement my MX78 and a 110+ mm soft snow tool.

Intended use: 50% groomed, 50% inbounds offpiste up to 6-8".

Myself: 6'1 - 180, advanced intermediate.

 

While I liked the new FXs, I only had a chance to drive them for 3 hrs on groomers in spring conditions bordering on unskiable, so I would not call it a legit all-around test.

 

Since I am familiar with the "Kastle groomer feel", my original question could be narrowed to what to expect when I take the skis off piste. One thing I am particularly looking for is minimizing tip dive to the extend possible, which I found to be the main issue with my Head RnRs (stated length 180 cm, actual ~178 cm).

 

Speaking of FX95 lengths: should I consider 181 cm, or size up to 189? 

post #26 of 29
Size up most likely though you didn't mention your weight. IMO, the new Kastle FX's need the length. Most likely you skied the RnR's too short. If you like the old FX, try the head monsters.
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Size up most likely though you didn't mention your weight. IMO, the new Kastle FX's need the length. Most likely you skied the RnR's too short. If you like the old FX, try the head monsters.

 

Thanks markojp. My weight is 180 lbs. You may be right about RnR's, althought on groomers they do not ski short.

post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by VladSki View Post
 

 

Had an oportunity to test FX 95 (non-HP version) in Europe this spring, and liked them a lot. Just want to know if there is anything I would be giving up.

 

About 1100eur.

post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post
 

 

About 1100eur.

 

In my case, about 605 eur for a pair of FX95 LPs, which is still expensive.

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