Originally Posted by ski-ra
...and perhaps I should consider demo'ing the 90Eights - what's your thoughts about this (especially in light of my Gotama experience above)?
Well, I didn't demo the 90Eights. Sorry, but this is going to be at least as long-winded as above, because it gets into my quiver and how its philosophy has developed over the years.
I went in to last week's demo day with the specific idea in mind that the Gotamas, my favorite skis of all time, would someday need to be replaced. I had no intention of demo-ing 98mm skis. I would have taken the Monster 88s out because 1) They have gotten great reviews this year and 2) I had a pair of the original 88s and was quite fond of them. So, the day's agenda was to try those two skis and be done with it. Truth be told, 98mm is a bit of a no man's land for me because about 3 yrs ago my quiver included the Bushwackers, the Bonafides, and the Gotamas. BTW, I also thought the original Gotama was way too much ski for me. Mine are the '12-'13s, the ones with the little Buddha graphic, which I believe were the first with no camber at all. So, it came as no small surprise to me that it was love at first run with them. I never intended to have a quiver that included 88mm, 98mm, and 106mm, but the year after everyone was raving about how great the Bonafides were I came upon a pair of Bushwackers ex demo in my size and I figured that since they looked a lot like the Bonafides, I might as well get them. It was the next year that I found a pair ex demo in my size, so filled in the space between the Bushwackers and Gotamas.
While I can throw any number of pairs of skis into the back of my car when I drive up to Mammoth, knowing which two pairs of skis to travel with takes a bit more nuance. About 5 years ago my travel quiver was the Blizzard Supersonics (72mm) for hard snow and Armada JJs (118mm) for powder, hoping that there would be enough overlap in the middle for anything I might encounter. While I love the JJs for really deep days, I find that they are a little too specialized at the powder end of the spectrum. Then, with a full blown interest in bumps developing over the last few seasons, I found that the Supersonics' stiff tail is too punishing for less than perfect bump technique. So, my travel quiver the last three years has been the Bushwackers and the Gotamas, which cover the spectrum of skiing I hope for, with both skis covering the bumps that make up the middle. Yes, I give up the boiler plate and way deep powder extremes of the spectrum, but those two skis otherwise make the best traveling pair I have ever owned. That left the Bonafides as kind of an orphan in my quiver. Now, I realize from the OP that that place in your quiver is exactly what you want to fill. Truth be told, I didn't actually know that the Sin 7s were 98mm wide until I looked them up later that night. And, I only took out the Monster 98s because they didn't have the 88s in my size. Therefore, when my brother expressed interest in my Bonafides last year, I off-loaded them to him happily. It also helped that I had gotten a pair of Head Rock n Rolls in 165cm, which are almost as good as the Bonafides in crud, but way better in the bumps.
On the other hand, when I owned the Bonafides, I said more than once that if someone held a gun to my head and said that I could only travel with one pair of skis, the Bonafides would be them. Furthermore, at 64, it has occurred to me that at some time in the future it will become too much of a hassle to travel with two pairs of skis. In fact, that thought was brought to the front burner yesterday when I learned that American Airlines at DEN does not have curbside check-in and I had to schlepp all my stuff in and out of the elevator to the check-in level.
If I might digress for a moment: I was just now reminiscing on the day I found the Soul 7s "twitchy". I was up at Deer Valley on my Gotamas with @Lorenzzo and it was snowing lightly to start. Around noon it started to absolutely puke snow when I discovered the Rossignol demo tent. Now, Lorenzzo is hard enough to keep in sight under the best of circumstances. But, Deer Valley's groomers with 2"-3" of new snow and free refills on every run are the worst time to be going stupid fast on skis that are less than confidence inspiring. I couldn't get off of the Soul 7s fast enough.
So, I didn't check out the 90Eights last week, but the day may come when they or their competition wind up in my quiver. Hopefully not soon, at least not for the reasons above.
Edited by cosmoliu - 1/27/16 at 12:18am