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2016 Mothers Day at At A-Basin Ski Test Thumbnails

post #1 of 182
Thread Starter 

2016 Test Fleet:

 

 

 

Women's (or vertically challenged) Skis:

From left to right....Fischer Trinity 160, K2 Luv Struck 163, Zai Odivon 165(classic) Head Super Joy 160 & Great Joy 168, Nordica Santa Ana 169, Scott The Ski Sagebrush 168 , Blizzard Samba 169, Fischer Ranger 98W 172, 

 

 

 

 

 

Men's Skis:

From left to right: '15 Nordica FireAffow 76Ti 176, Head SuperShape Rally 177 & Instinct 83 ProTi 177, Monster 88 178, Scott The Ski Sagebrush 178, Nordica Enforcer 177, K2 Pinnacle 95 177 & 184, Pinnacle 105 184, Blizzard Cochise 185, Fischer Ranger 108 188, missing Head Monster 98 170

 

 

I would like to thank the manufactures who supplied us skis to play with err test. Fischer, Scott, Nordica, Blizzard, and K2. We had a good selection of skis for both the men and the ladies. Unfortunately, we didn't get enough snow to test all of the bigger skis but most every thing 100mm and under got a few testers on them. 

 
Please check out the Bears reviews to follow....:popcorn

Edited by Philpug - 5/13/15 at 2:58am

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 182
Thread Starter 

15 Nordica FireAffow 76Ti 176,

 

Head SuperShape Rally 177: I still stand by my long term test of the Rally, it is a damn fine ski and the best balance of the Magnum and the Titan from the Supershape series. If you want a hard snow biased ski that won't constantly demand your attention 100% of the time, get on the Rally. 

 

Head Instict 83 ProTi 177: A new ski for 2016. The Impact series replaces the narrower Rev's of the last season. The 83 Pro Ti is the strongest and most versatile of the series best for the more powerful of the bunch

 

Head Monster 88 178: Like the Impact, this is a new ski/series for 2016. Oh My. If you desire a MX88 but it is out of your budget, the new Monster 88 needs to be at the top of your shopping list. Powerful and oh so smooth. 

 

Head Monster 98: (from my SIA test) No more Rev85, 90, 98 and 108. Don’t bother shedding a tear, don't bother looking back, just be happy that Head got back to their roots and made an honest to goodness Monster series. The Monster 98 is the ski most skis can only dream of being. It moves to the front of the pack in being the ever so slight frontside biased big mountain ski. Power ski for sure.

 

Scott The Ski Sagebrush 178: Fun fun. Scott has nailed the shape of their skis both in the profile and the sidecut. My disappointment in this ski is the graphics, bring the multi colored blocks to these like on the regular The Ski. 

 

Nordica Enforcer 177: Read long term test HERE

 

K2 Pinnacle 95 177 & 184: From SIA test...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.

 

K2 Pinnacle 105 184: One of THE most PLAYFUL over 100mm wide skis for next season. Should be named the "Tree Frog" for it's numbleness and playfulness in the trees. Limitations are the hardest of snow but I have other skis for that.

 

Blizzard Cochise 185: New and improved for 2015. The addition of carbon to the tip and tail and a bit of camber makes the Cochise just a better ski all around. 

 

Fischer Ranger 108 188: I didn't get on these at A-Basin, @Drahtguy wouldn't get off of them. Check out his review. 


Edited by Philpug - 5/13/15 at 2:58am
post #3 of 182

(Me: Copper instructor, 165 lbs. Generally prefer a nimble, playful ski I can ski all day and that I don't have to think about, i.e., fells like an natural extension of me rather than something I need to muscle around; a ski that does whatever is needed, whenever it's needed)

 

Demoed the Head Rally (131/76/109) in a 170 length previously.  Powerful, precise ski with excellent edgehold.  Firm, but not burly.  Comfortable in varied conditions from hardpack to crud.  Excellent choice as an everyday, go-to ski for a wide spectrum of skiers in most ski areas. 

 

K2 Pinnacle 95 177 (132/95/115):  Demoed at the Basin on user-friendly groomers and medium bumps.  Sorry, but didn't feel comfortable on it at all.  Difficult to place accurately and they just felt sloppy.  None of the traditional K2 dampness/deadness (good!), but no playfulness or nimbleness replaced it.  Just didn't trust it to do what I wanted/go where I wanted. 

 

Head Instinct 83 ProTi 177:  Felt even firmer than the Rally, and might be preferred by a heavier skier, but not by me.  Precise and powerful, but too much work for my taste.  Much prefer the Rally.

 

Thanks again, Phil!

post #4 of 182
I'm slightly larger than the average Bear (6' 2" and 215 pounds), so the next size up in a couple of these skis would've been "my" length.

Head Rally 177 I've been on this ski a few times now. Each time out I wonder why I don't own it. Stability, energy, predictability describe this ski well. This ski breathes life into seemingly boring groomers and can handle some off-piste work as well.

Head Instinct 83 ProTi 177 More versatile than the Rally off the groomed with a rounded tail while maintaining the stability on trail. I found this ski a tad unstable in the crud at the 177 length -- the next size up would be better for me here. The 177 was golden in the moguls and tight spots I took her through.

Head Monster 88 178 I was on a 184 at SIA, and that is the length for me. The Monster rewards with a stable, smooth ride and has the power to blow through crud at any speed. Confidence is the feeling I get from the Monster line.

K2 Pinnacle 105 184 Another ski I was on at SIA. This is the BEST ski I've been on in trees. The ability to pivot, slice or slide around stumps, trunks and rocks inspired confidence and yielded a few yodels while maching through the fresh. The bumps off the Pali lift and on Ramrod where a true delight on this ski.

Fischer Ranger 108 188 Wow, I did not expect this ski to deliver like it did. This ski feels stiff when doing the hand-flex thing but doesn't always feel that way skiing. The stiffness is there when needed to power through chopped pow, crud and on the steeps but yet compliant when needed in bumps and tight spots. The Ranger showed a surfy side in the trees near Norway lift and fresh snow on the East Wall. I would love to get this ski in a big open bowl and check it's "pucker factor."

Fischer Motive 95 Ti 180 Another ski I've spent time on previously and keep going back for more. The tip shape and flex of this ski make it glorious all over the mountain. This ski made escaping Bear Trap and the surrounding trees and bumps a pleasure.

Blizzard Bonafide 187 The Bones has been my daily driver for three seasons and will continue the role with my new 2015-16 model. I tested a 180 at SIA and had a blast, but I'm sized for the 187. The addition of the carbon at the tips and tails makes the skis feel more lively to me without sacrificing the stable ride I love. This ski chews up crud, is playful in powder, slarves through trees and handles nicely in moguls. The Bonafide is a ski that suits my aggressive nature.
post #5 of 182

One for the ladies (ahem, vertically challenged): 

 

Me: aggressive advanced skier that prefers steep and ungroomed terrain, trees etc. 5'3" 130 +/- 5 lbs. 

 

Fischer Ranger 98W in 172 length- Light and nimble ski that excelled in soft untracked snow and soft tight turn areas (ie trees off Palli) but offered a lot of feedback in higher speed/crud conditions. Probably best for the skier who is looking for a light and responsive ski to take into the bc in search of powder. 

 

Nordica Santa Ana in 169 length- A stable and responsive ski that eats up any conditions you can throw at it. Great in soft snow, confident in crud and playful in bumps and tight trees. Could use a bit more energy/charging attitude (I might try the Enforcer to see if it makes me just a tad happier) but overall a fantastic all mountain ski with a bias towards soft conditions. Perfect ski for a lighter weight skier advanced or even advanced intermediate looking for a trustworthy steed for everywhere on the mountain. 

post #6 of 182

2016? Screw the skis... I want to see a review of the time machine! :D

post #7 of 182

The reason the Head Monster 98: 's were not available for the photo is that I had them and was not giving them back.

 

Me, 5'7" 175# advanced skier. 

 

Currently skiing Blizzard the One in 177. I wasn't sure I'd be able to bend the Monster, it felt so stiff compared to the Ones. I skied them in the afternoon on Saturday, with tired legs and the remains of a world class hangover and felt that the ski was working me. Took them out for the day Sunday and by the end of the morning I didn't want to give them back. Pivot-ty quick in the bumps on Ramrod. Easy to initiate turns, very quick changing turn shape, stable, powerful and fast in cut up snow that would buck me around on the Ones; great edge hold on the firm by eastern standards skied off surface at the very top of Zuma. I don't know if playful is the right word but these skis are definitely fun. Phil told me not to demo them unless I was prepared to buy new skis, he was right.  

 

edit: The new graphics are pretty sweet as well

 


Edited by jimmy - 5/12/15 at 1:24pm
post #8 of 182

I guess I'm still a he-she ... 

 

Head Monster 88 178  Kästle Lite? At least on the wallet. Skied this in conditions that were firm in the a.m. and warmed up to cream cheesy goodness in the p.m., and they were absolutely perfect for a day like that. Super solid feel, as if it's drawn into the snow, yet easily maneuverable when warranted. 

 

Blizzard Cochise 185 I skied the 177 at SIA and really liked it, wanted to get on this even though I knew it was most likely too long. What I didn't know is that my legs were dead on this particular morning, and it was too much for my sorry ass to take through my usually beloved tree lines on Pali. (OTOH, I would love to get that 185 out and haul that sorry ass through some wide open spaces.)  I still liked the feel enough that I'm seriously considering replacing my Dakota (with the 177).


Nordica Enforcer 177   Spent all day Monday on this one. The reviews are already in, people own it, everything they say is true. I skied (and gushed over) the Santa Ana back in February. The Enforcer has a little higher high end but the performance range is still wide. Bumps were surprisingly easy. I skied a few laps on it earlier in the week, on firmer conditions, and it held up just fine, but personally I wouldn't plan on a quiver of one. 

 

Scott Sagebrush 178  I skied the Scott a few weeks ago at ABasin but in different conditions than we had over this past week: my first run was heavy, wet, sun-affected crud on the Lower East Wall, and I definitely wanted to be on a longer and stiffer ski. But it shone over off Pali, in packed-out conditions. I may be the only person who really likes the graphics, too. 

 

Head Rally 170  Also skied these on a different day, end of March at Vail on early-morning rock-hard frozen corduroy. And it was fun! End of review.


Edited by segbrown - 5/12/15 at 3:38pm
post #9 of 182
Great reviews. Thanks. One question: I thought the new Head line was called "Instinct." The photo makes it look like that too. But y'all are calling it "Impact." Confused.
post #10 of 182

@ qcanoe The ski in the pic should be the Power Instinct Ti Pro:  124/82/109 @ Length 170 with a 16,5m @ Length 170.    Based on the above reviews it apparently is 83 @177.

 

 

Thank you to all for the reviews.  I really appreciated reading about this ski in particular.

 

@mike_m I'm curious what about the ski made it feel like a lot of work?  The ski just didn't flex enough for you?  Did you have to be generally aggressive to make the ski work?  How was the edge to edge turning? 

 

Also curious if anyone that skied this ski has also skied the Stockli Laser AX and may have a preference or thoughts?

post #11 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

Great reviews. Thanks. One question: I thought the new Head line was called "Instinct." The photo makes it look like that too. But y'all are calling it "Impact." Confused.

Okay. Massive search and replace has now been done. Thanks, Phil. (Later-arriving readers, I was not nuts ...at least about this.)
post #12 of 182

Mike73:  It was just very stiff and burly, at least for my skinny body.  A lot of work.  I did not find that the case for the Rally, however.  It was firm, but still wieldy.  The wider width of the Instinct may well have been the reason, although I have found wider skis (Scott "The Ski" in a 92 waist, Dynastar Powertrak 89, for instance), much more versatile and user friendly.  Even the new Mantra (100 waist), which is certainly not a wimp, I found easier to ski.


Edited by mike_m - 5/13/15 at 7:07am
post #13 of 182

Thanks mike_m.  Appreciate the info.    And thanks to everyone that wrote a review on the ski. 

post #14 of 182

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kimmyt View Post
 

One for the ladies (ahem, vertically challenged): 

 

Me: aggressive advanced skier that prefers steep and ungroomed terrain, trees etc. 5'3" 130 +/- 5 lbs. 

 

Nordica Santa Ana in 169 length- A stable and responsive ski that eats up any conditions you can throw at it. Great in soft snow, confident in crud and playful in bumps and tight trees. Could use a bit more energy/charging attitude (I might try the Enforcer to see if it makes me just a tad happier) but overall a fantastic all mountain ski with a bias towards soft conditions. Perfect ski for a lighter weight skier advanced or even advanced intermediate looking for a trustworthy steed for everywhere on the mountain. 

 

Me: advanced skier, not quite as advanced or aggressive as @Kimmyt , but improving rapidly. I also prefer steeps, ungroomed, trees, etc. 5'5 190ish pounds. PURE MUSCLE. Wait, no. But pretty strong. Sometimes I muscle through challenging terrain instead of skiing it properly.

 

Kim and I usually have opposite tastes in skis - to the point where if she doesn't like a ski, she recommends it to me, and vice versa. We're only sort of joking. The Santa Ana is literally the first ski we've both liked. I have to think that when both of us like a ski, that means this ski is something special.

 

When I posted looking for a "playful crudbuster" - http://www.epicski.com/t/133073/looking-for-a-playful-crudbuster-the-ski-has-screwed-up-my-quiver -  @Trekchick suggested the Santa Ana @169cm for me. I bought it, and it's been my primary ski since mid-March. But beyond just being a crudbuster, it's a strong enough ski that it also came to mind for a poster requesting a midfat quiver killer - http://www.epicski.com/t/136827/quiver-killing-mid-fats

 

What I said there was:

 

Quote:

I may have accidentally bumbled into a quiver killing midfat while looking for something similar to what you seek - a crudbuster that does well with day-old leftovers, crunchy things, and firm groomers. About the only thing the Santa Ana won't do is float like a fatter ski would.

 

I'm trying to figure out if I'm going to sell my Line Sick Day 110s. The Santa Anas are more rewarding in the spring conditions I've been skiing since I got them - except for one day when everything was super soft, and then the slarvy (if I am using that term correctly) nature of the SD110s made hero snow 150% more fun. I'm also not sure if the Scott The Ski (89 underfoot) has much of a place when the Santa Ana is in play. 

 

In addition, the Santa Ana handles firm snow much better than the The Ski, presumably because it's stiffer and has more burly construction. My one caveat is that this season has been all about spring conditions since probably mid February. If we had had more typical snow all season, where it didn't warm up and then refreeze overnight, I might have chosen my softer skis (The Ski and Sick Day 110) more frequently.

 

I was told that the Santa Ana is lightweight, but I would say it is only lightweight for a Nordica. It's definitely not light compared to The Ski or the Sick Day 110s - nor would I expect a crudbuster to be particularly light.

 

So, yeah. When there's a ski that two women with opposite tastes and very different builds enjoy. When it can be described both as a playful crudbuster (already an oxymoron) and a quiver killing midfat. When it has me considering whether to get rid of both the The Ski and the Sick Day 110, both of which are skis I loved when I got them just last year. When all of these things are true of the same ski, I have to encourage every woman who is an aggressive, "anything on the mountain", "I like to ski stuff that scares other people" skier to check these out. If you find them a smidge too soft still, try the Enforcer.

post #15 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

I guess I'm still a he-she ... 

 

 


Nordica Enforcer 177   Spent all day Monday on this one. The reviews are already in, people own it, everything they say is true. I skied (and gushed over) the Santa Ana back in February. The Enforcer has a little higher high end but the performance range is still wide. Bumps were surprisingly easy. I skied a few laps on it earlier in the week, on firmer conditions, and it held up just fine, but personally I wouldn't plan on a quiver of one. 

 

Scott Sagebrush 178  I skied the Scott a few weeks ago at ABasin but in different conditions than we had over this past week: my first run was heavy, wet, sun-affected crud on the Lower East Wall, and I definitely wanted to be on a longer and stiffer ski. But it shone over off Pali, in packed-out conditions. I may be the only person who really likes the graphics, too. 

 

 

 

DUUUUDE!  You're just a dude.... dude.... :D

 

OK, question...

 

I was considering finding a 100 ski for my dedicated powder ski but i don't want to give up that surfy powder ski feel. I own the Sali 105 and its near ideal but is a little lacking on the surfy end although I am totally impressed with it.  Would you say the Enforcer has that? I would suspect that the tail rocker comes into play with the surfy feel something the Sali doesn't really have (I don't like much tail rocker) I need to get on a pair but visually, initially , I felt it had too much tip rocker for my tastes but as a powder ski, it would be fine.

 

Comment: I like the graphics on the Sagebrush

post #16 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

 

DUUUUDE!  You're just a dude.... dude.... :D

 

OK, question...

 

I was considering finding a 100 ski for my dedicated powder ski but i don't want to give up that surfy powder ski feel. I own the Sali 105 and its near ideal but is a little lacking on the surfy end although I am totally impressed with it.  Would you say the Enforcer has that? I would suspect that the tail rocker comes into play with the surfy feel something the Sali doesn't really have (I don't like much tail rocker) I need to get on a pair but visually, initially , I felt it had too much tip rocker for my tastes but as a powder ski, it would be fine.

 

Comment: I like the graphics on the Sagebrush

 

Unfortunately I have not had the chance to ski it in surfable pow yet. I'm trying to imagine it, and I think you might want a little tail rocker for this, but then again I think of a surfy ski as being a little wider than 100 anyway. 

post #17 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

 

DUUUUDE!  You're just a dude.... dude.... :D

 

OK, question...

 

I was considering finding a 100 ski for my dedicated powder ski but i don't want to give up that surfy powder ski feel. I own the Sali 105 and its near ideal but is a little lacking on the surfy end although I am totally impressed with it.  Would you say the Enforcer has that? I would suspect that the tail rocker comes into play with the surfy feel something the Sali doesn't really have (I don't like much tail rocker) I need to get on a pair but visually, initially , I felt it had too much tip rocker for my tastes but as a powder ski, it would be fine.

 

Comment: I like the graphics on the Sagebrush

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

 

Unfortunately I have not had the chance to ski it in surfable pow yet. I'm trying to imagine it, and I think you might want a little tail rocker for this, but then again I think of a surfy ski as being a little wider than 100 anyway. 


When I skied the Enforcer 185 at Copper earlier this year I took it through Lower Enchanted with about 5" of fresh. It was definitely playful but not sure I would call it surfy. Maybe if I was in deeper snow it would have felt that way. Not sure.

post #18 of 182

FWIW, I would certainly not call the Santa Ana surfy.

post #19 of 182

Thanks, yeah, I think it may just be the case that one of the attributes of a wider ski (and i'm not sure wat what point this becomes true) is surfier feel. I don't want to go back to the wider ski though.  the control and precision gained with a narrower ski is more than worth the lose of some attributes of the wider ski.  The sali at 104 is a fantastic ski but it would be fun to see where that 'surfy" feel shows up in width and rocker profile. 

post #20 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

Thanks, yeah, I think it may just be the case that one of the attributes of a wider ski (and i'm not sure wat what point this becomes true) is surfier feel. I don't want to go back to the wider ski though.  the control and precision gained with a narrower ski is more than worth the lose of some attributes of the wider ski.  The sali at 104 is a fantastic ski but it would be fun to see where that 'surfy" feel shows up in width and rocker profile. 

 

Probably has a bit to do with the snow consistency, as well.  I think we need a grant to study this, btw. Include all the continents, snow profiles, and skis you can imagine. Untracked snow only, of course, as to not confuse the results.

post #21 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

Thanks, yeah, I think it may just be the case that one of the attributes of a wider ski (and i'm not sure wat what point this becomes true) is surfier feel. I don't want to go back to the wider ski though.  the control and precision gained with a narrower ski is more than worth the lose of some attributes of the wider ski.  The sali at 104 is a fantastic ski but it would be fun to see where that 'surfy" feel shows up in width and rocker profile. 

 

I don't think it's just width. My Nomads at 105 didn't exactly feel surfy. Width, rocker profile and maybe a little softer = surfy? Clearly we need more research.

post #22 of 182
Nomads are actually 111 underfoot. Icelandic measures from tops and not from the base.
post #23 of 182
@segbrownThis is a cause I can get behind. I think we should begin this study in August in SA and do some storm chasing. And of course on untracked results would be scientifically valid
post #24 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

Nomads are actually 111 underfoot. Icelandic measures from tops and not from the base.

 

The old, non-rockered ones?

 

In any case, that just enhances my point - width doesn't automatically make a ski surfy.

post #25 of 182
Yes. Both. And yes read my post. I agree
post #26 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

Yes. Both. And yes read my post. I agree

 

Too sick to read. Also blinded by rage because UPS claims they delivered my package, but they did not. Furthermore my costume for Mother's Day just arrived. Sigh.

post #27 of 182

Speaking as an ex-surfer, and at the risk of starting one of those pedantic debates I never like to be connected to ;), isn't it the skier that does the surfing? Unless we're limiting the discussion to reverse-reverse, always thought what we call surfing here was a style choice, say contrasted to smearing or pivoting or (oxymoron) carving powder? 

post #28 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

DUUUUDE!  You're just a dude.... dude.... biggrin.gif

OK, question...

I was considering finding a 100 ski for my dedicated powder ski but i don't want to give up that surfy powder ski feel. I own the Sali 105 and its near ideal but is a little lacking on the surfy end although I am totally impressed with it.  Would you say the Enforcer has that? I would suspect that the tail rocker comes into play with the surfy feel something the Sali doesn't really have (I don't like much tail rocker) I need to get on a pair but visually, initially , I felt it had too much tip rocker for my tastes but as a powder ski, it would be fine.

The 100mm surfy powder ski of your dreams...apparently being tortured biggrin.gif

post #29 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Speaking as an ex-surfer, and at the risk of starting one of those pedantic debates I never like to be connected to wink.gif , isn't it the skier that does the surfing? Unless we're limiting the discussion to reverse-reverse, always thought what we call surfing here was a style choice, say contrasted to smearing or pivoting or (oxymoron) carving powder? 

That's all a little awkward.

Girl 1: Look at that guy over there!

Girl 2: I know, he's just so surfy!
post #30 of 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

Speaking as an ex-surfer, and at the risk of starting one of those pedantic debates I never like to be connected to ;), isn't it the skier that does the surfing? Unless we're limiting the discussion to reverse-reverse, always thought what we call surfing here was a style choice, say contrasted to smearing or pivoting or (oxymoron) carving powder? 

 

well, not looking for a surfy ski like a praxis protest, just a ski with a little more schmearablity (tm) that sali may be the ticket if it isnt too traumatized.....:D

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