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tuning vs model vs snow conditions

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I demoed a bunch of skis this season, and am still trying to work out what I should buy. I've just moved to Canada from Australia and this will be my first time buying skis.

 

My life changed when I rented this season's Mantras for 2 days at Sun Peaks, although I'm starting to suspect the tuning was more significant than the ski itself. These skis refused to go in a straight line: the front of the skis would sporadically catch in the snow whenever I was not turning - even on fresh corduroy. In short radius turns on groomers I really felt in contact with the snow - usually the back of my skis skid around a bit, but here I was always on edge. The skis also felt really springy in these turns (rebound?) and I loved it. They were also great at railing longer turns. I think they were pretty good off-piste too, but my technique there is poorer (for now!) so it's harder for me to compare.

 

But a few days later when I demoed a different pair of Mantras at Silver Star, they just felt like regular skis - I didn't feel as precise or springy in the turns. The tips weren't catching either. Same year, same length. Very different quality snow, but both resorts had areas with hard packed/slushy groomers and there was a big performance difference.

 

Doing some reading, I'm starting to think that the first pair weren't detuned and the second pair were? Could that make this big a difference?

 

 

Other skis I tried on the trip (all 177cm-180cm):

  • Shreditor 92s for 2 days at Sun Peaks - OK on the groomed, though the tails slid around a bit when making short fast turns
  • Bonafides for 1 day at Silver Star - AWFUL! I could not get an edge to save my life, except on >5cm of slush. No edge on hard packed groomed, or thin slush. Except twice when the edge engaged half way through a turn and nearly threw me off the front of the skis. No edge -> no flex -> no rebound. Slight improvement swapping the skis to the other feet, but not much. Gave up after about 6 runs and went home questioning my abilities. I don't have a point of comparison to know if the edges are blunt. The ski shop were very concerned and looked the skis over, and found no burrs. I had high hopes and had read these were similar to Mantras, so I don't understand why I hated them so much.
  • Nordica NERGY 100s for 1 day at Silver Star - OK.
  • Atomic Rituals for 2 days at Big White - OK. Got a good edge on the groomers, with a bit of rebound. Didn't float on 15cm of steep untracked pow as much as I'd hoped - but my hopes were set by deeper and drier Hokkaido powder on fatter skis, and the Rituals were my first time skiing in a couple years.

 

So could I reproduce my experience on the first pair of Mantras if I buy some and always get them tuned "properly"? What should I ask for when getting them tuned? Would it be worth re-demoing the bonafides/something else on non-detuned skis?

 

I'm 184cm tall and about 80kg.

post #2 of 3

"although I'm starting to suspect the tuning was more significant than the ski itself."

 

This is a problem with demoing skis: the tune.  It can range from good to awful.   Too often the ski bought is not the best but the demo with best tune.   One solution, but not always possible is to pick up the skis late in the afternoon for use the next day.   Then check them for flat bottoms, edge burrs and dull edges and put on some wax it they don't have any.   Trying a ski in bad condition tells you nothing about it (but something about the shop that gave it to you!).  

post #3 of 3
If your asking what most of us recommend, all my skis, I tune at 1* base and 3* edge. I tune my GF's skis the same. She's a good level 6 skier with a little pole plant going on. You also do not de-tune a shaped ski.

Like he said, if a demo is tuned poorly, it will not be fun. Any well tuned ski will ski fine, it's more the skis feel that we look for, how it talks to us, it lets us know what the snow feels like.

Atomic skis are known to have more pop then other skis, they give you back more then you put into them. That can catch you...if your not ready.
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