Thumbnails as they are called.
Monday, great pow day, 9-15 in on top of 2 plus feet of super wet and refrozen snow.
skied mixture of soft, tight trees, bumps, and access groomers.
Skier, moderate speed, finesse, level 3 cert instructor, old man boring turns, focus on feeling flow, not excitement.
First off, lots of great skis these days. It used to be that one company had a big winner, and lots of skis that were same as before, but all the skis are pretty darn good right now...
I limit my testing to companies with constructions and mounting points I like.
Generally german speaking countries.... I have only bonded w/ skis from places like Austria, German and Switzerland in the the last 10-15 years, so I stick with those, ie: Kastle, Fischer, blizzard, Nordica, Head (some Atomic, although they often feel "french" to me)
Fischer Motive 95: 180
just dang good. solid feel, predictable, fun, confidence inspiring tip, great flex, my favorite 90 to 100 ski in quite some time, reminds me a friendlier, more approachable mx 98. I bought this one.
Head Monster 98, 177
Head is back. I had a good time on the head 105 on a pow day, but never bonded with any other REV. this new construction is all head, Austrian strength, but not overpowering. at first feel, I thought it would be just plain power, but it was just plain good. I still bought the motive 95, but this would be runner up in this category for me.
Atomic Vantage 100 w/ metal, 180
I have been anti atomic for awhile, but the shape and tip of this one, with metal was interesting, and it was a very good ski. It won't make me change brands, but atomic is making really good skis, not recruiting me yet, but out my dungeon.
Nordica Enforcer (2), 177
I owned the enforcer and the hell and back (same shape as enforcer, no metal but carbon),
and, this is a very different ski. Both other Nordica's were old school, solid skis w/ good shape, camber and early engagement from the shovel. this one has the much longer tip taper, long rise. It had promise and I had fun, but couldn't find the sweet spot. As I mentioned in the Stockli review, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I like to drive a ski from the tip, and this new design is happier worked from the middle. Least favorite ski day 1. Also, was tuned super sharp, and and edges not polished well, so a bit hooky for the snow of the day, which could have shaped the review as well.
FIscher Ranger 108, 182
surprise of the day,
caviat, I don't like skis over 100, really. having bonded with any. yes, today was good for a wider ski, but I still usually skis not much wider then the width of my boot, i just feel they want to flatten themselves on the snow too much, when I want to keep them tilted up high, so we argue...
this one was the first over 100mm ski I've liked in years, and I loved it. something about the lower profile construction, great tip design, and shape and camber underfoot made it bring big smiles to my face.
I bought this one too.
Day 2: skied out pow, wind deposits, chutes opened first day, so deep w/ solid frozen layer from wet snow before.
before dishing out cash for ranger 108, I wanted to ski other 107-108 skis and make sure it wasn't a fluke.
Back on Ranger 108, first 2 runs:
Yep, fun, solid, no arguments w/ pilot, predictable and great.
Head Monster 108: 177
once again, seemed 'burley" at first hold, stand and cruise to lift. Heavier then Fischer, less shapely under foot, minimal early rise, "charger". But, like the 98, it was more versatile and friendly then that impression. Head has a great core design here. less poppy energy then I often like, but so smooth solid and predicable, 2nd favorite of day, but still felt wide an heavy, like I had a 108 on, unlike Fischer.
Stockli SR 107. 183
first off, I love the feel of the swiss high end core, sidewall and base. they are amazing. I am not bonding with their approach to new school shaping though.
This one was a dichotomy to me, the middle of the ski was power, burley solidness, but the tip and tail were swishy looseness. in 3 runs, I couldn't figure out how to bond with the conflicting elements. Once again, the feel is surreal, and I love the luxo smoothness. Dawg and Phil both though the Stockli 88 was the ski for me because of the smooth silkiness, but the shapes give me issues. My feeling is that skis with too long a rise, or too much tip taper don't work for me well. I like a larger tip, and less rise, as I drive my skis from the tip. these big taper skis favor skiing from the middle more I believe, or arch, vs big toe where I like them to respond.
anyway, 3rd favorite of 4.
Blizzard Cochise 178,
they added more camber, so I was hoping it was coming toward me in design, but No.
least favorite ski of the day, or either day. just a dead plank with no interesting personality.
Maybe one either needs to go 40 plus mph all the time, or be 220 w/ big quads for this ski to work well. only ski of the 2 days I didn't enjoy at all.
All in all, fun day skiing great snow, on great skis.
As mentioned in my Fischer Love thread, I really like what they are doing. the new tip design/profile is just plain sweet, and solid race backed Austrian constructions. As mentioned, I bought motive 95, both 174 and 180, and the 182 Ranger 108.
Edited by Holiday - 2/13/15 at 7:55am