177 cm; 3050 g/pr; 137-98-125; "light rocker" tip; 18-m radius; 3980 with binding ~ 8.8 lbs. For me: A BEST BUY
SKIS: Used 7 days in Mt. Rainier bc 5200-7000 ft asl: 17' new powder; soft styrofoam with 10" ski penetration; packed powder, foggy; perfect 8 inches of new, 14-18 F, sunny; aborted due to high winds; all kinds of wind affected above tree line, powder in the trees; 12" of new powder, heavy over light, deept, difficult, totally untracked.
I bought these to replace my Volkl Nanuqs that I found a little too freeride & fast (stiff and long turn radius, very similar dimensions) for complex terrain, glades, and tight trees and to complement my Cho Oyus (see reviews, narrower & lighter, tapered tip and tail).
So far so good. ski performed very well in all conditions except the heavy over light powder. Climbed well, turned easily and quicky, and stable at speed on relatively steep powder slopes (30+ degrees) with medium density powder. A pleasure to ski; a perfect quiver mate as a deeper snow ski to my Cho Oyus.
These are the shortest skis I've owned (1 cm shorter than my 178 7 Summits) and I was concerned that they would not float my rather large mass well; they did fine.
the only problems came with the foot of new with heavy (32 F ambient during fall) over light (mid 20s during fall). Ski penetration while skinning was up to knee deep; on occasion I had to struggle to bring the front of the skis out of the snow, but they still climbed well and kept on top of the snow 90% of the time. Skiing down was difficult and would have been with any of my bc skis: any shin pressure and the tip would dive beneath the heavy couple of inches and sink in the light powder. With a little weighting of the heels and a little speed they would stay on top for the most part but the tails would sink, unequally of course, making them a little squirrely. I think with my 191 Mantras, my 188 S7s, or my 190 Moment Bibby Pros, skiing this snow would not have been as problematic but those all have alpine bindings and are to heavy for my taste to use in the backcountry.
BINDINGS: Plum Guides are well known as an aesthetically pleasing binding. I decided to get them with the front brakes (only brakes available at the time) because they would give me a pretty neutral Delta. The front brakes suck; I may cut them off. They are super fiddly, and routinely have to be locked up by hand. And the brake pedal acts as a fulcrum that can pop the boot toes out of the pins before the walk mode is set and that feels like a bad ball of snow under the foot while skinning. Removing the top plate of the pedal helps, but not enough and makes locking the brakes up an iffy proposition. So I bought the optional heel rest/stomp pad the locks into the heel piece and extends the pad just beyone the heel pins. A fantastic addition. No feeling of the brake pedal under the foot and ESPECIALLY no snow build up under the heel on 6 of the 7 days (the wet over heavy packed under the entire foot)--my first experiences in deeps snows with tech bindings that did not ice up under the heel!!! So, I'll try with the brakes a few more times--seems to be getting better with more refined technique but if not I'll cut off the brakes and pedal and just enjoy the slightly elevated stance that minimizes snow build up.