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Mid-Fat/Mid-Quiver for a Lightweight? - Page 3

post #61 of 70
I think I posted this elsewhere to your question in another thread...definitely put the Salomon Rocker2 100 on your demo list, 170cm. Jane Shop has them, although I think they are last year's demos so some miles on them. That's definitely a super fun smeary make any shape ski, but surprisingly serious when you want to point 'em. I think this is a great review against some other skis you've checked off the list from a lighter weight skier (I am 6'2" 170 lbs and ski the 186cm) that hits on comparing against some of those big-boy skis...
Quote:
Last weekend was demo days and I took advantage, testing out skis to fill the main hole in my quiver, which is the ~100mm mid-fat for low snow days and dicking around.

Location: Castle Mountain, Alberta
Conditions: Mostly firm-ish scraped off cruddy bumps, that softened a up a bit towards the end of the day. Some groomers, some soft wind-sift in places. Pretty ideal for this spot in my quiver.
Relevant Resort Quiver: 190cm Elan Boomerang (powder), 186cm Rossignol Sickle (daily driver).

Skier: 5'7", ~165 right now (usually ~155), used to be more aggressive and better shape than now. I used to spend more of my time powering turns and have started taking a less aggressive and more measured approach... but I still like to go reasonably fast and powerfully.

Blizzard Bonafide, 180cm:
Pretty stiff, not super forgiving, particularly in the tail. Likes to go fast and carves quite well on the groomers. I felt like the tip didn't engage very intuitively at times. Too demanding for what I want a ski in this spot to do.... wasn't a huge fan.

Blizzard Peacemaker, 179cm:
Still stiff, but only 1 sheet of metal under the binding area rather than 3 sheets in the bonafide. Pretty reactive, more agile than the bonafide. Still has a strong tail but more forgiving than the bonafide. I found myself going faster on this than the bonafide. I think the slightly more forgiving flex and shape meant I wasn't getting punished when my form slipped, which had me keeping the speed and aggressiveness up. I liked it better than the bonafide, but I still felt like the tip didn't always engage intuitively.

Salomon Q98, 180cm:
Fair amount of camber and very little tail rocker. I found this ski to be surprisingly damp, which I tend to prefer. Sometimes (probably due to pilot error) I would feel a bit of an over-engagement of the tip, and sometimes I would feel a bit more locked in to the tail than I was expecting. I'm thinking that's because of the increased camber compared to the others, and the fact that I was going quite fast over pretty marginal conditions on this ski because it felt so damp and relaxed. It might have been interesting to try the mount at +1 here.

Salomon Rocker2 100, 178cm:
Less camber and more tail rocker than the Q98, tip rocker was pretty similar but maybe a bit more. This ski felt intuitive the minute I put it on my feet, in every way. I went into terrain I hadn't taken the other skis first... Desperado is a long fall line with a firm and chalky base with some pockets of a few inches of wind-sift... starts steep and the run out flattens out. On the chalk, these skis were less chattery and more forgiving than similar snow on either Blizzard ski, and a little better than the Q98. When I hit the wind sift I could carve in it or do huge drifts and high speed... awesome and a bit of a surprise for this skis shape!

They felt so good I had to take a second run and go back into areas I had tried the other skis. Hit the same scraped off and cruddy bumps from earlier in the morning and I liked everything better about how these skied than any others I'd had in there. Very intuitive to initiate turns, forgiving flex and tail support, damp... I was going faster than I had all day, on probably the softest ski of the bunch. I was popping of features and generally just playing around... which is exactly what I want out of a ski like this. Still very good carving and hold on groomers, though maybe not as powerful as the others.

K2 Coomback 104, 180-ish:
This ski had a bit of tail rocker and splay that I was not expecting because the last time I had seen the ski was the flat tail version days. Took it back to Desperado to compare with the Rocker2 and while looser than I remember the old coomback to be, it's still a more directional and less playful ski. Also didn't engage and edge as intuitively as the Salomons. Didn't bother with the cruddy bumps because this felt more similar to the Blizzard skis and I was running out of time. It was decent but didn't blow me away.

Peacemaker, round 2:
I wondered if I had just liked the Rocker2 more because I was warmed up and skiing better, so I decided to take another round on the Peacemaker, taking it over to Desperado. As I remembered and confirmed from the morning, this ski is more (re-)active, more chattery when trying to skid it on edge, and not always intuitive on how it engaged a turn. I still like this ski second best in the group, but not nearly as much as the Rocker2 100.

Conclusions:
I have a good feeling I know why the non-Salomon options didn't engage a turn intuitively, and I think it has a lot to do with where the rocker/camber/rocker profile sits relative to the rocker profile. Too many manufacturers are just throwing rocker in without thinking about this, and if the rocker starts to far behind the widest point the skier is not always sure how much edge they're going to engage when laid on edge. Both Salomon skis, and especially the rocker2 100 seem to have this dialed... I was never surprised by how much edge I got.

The rep explained to me that a lot of the dampness of the Salomon skis has to do with the honeycomb tips... I don't really care where it comes from, it's a great feeling for how I like to ski. The light weight in the tips was noticeable (in a good way) in everything from skating to lifts, to popping of little features, to whipping the skis around in the bumps. I usually find lightweight skis to be too reactive and un-forgiving and generally don't like them, but these have opened my eyes.

The Rocker2 100 is one of the most intuitive skis I've put on my feet in many years, but benefits from things you can do on modern shapes as well. I liked it so much I just bought a pair at full retail. I never pay full retail. I highly recommend trying this ski if you can.
post #62 of 70
Thread Starter 


Demo'd four skis yesterday at WP.  Conditions were a great mix of 6" wind-drifted fresh snow especially in the trees, the usual soft-to-hard oddly-shaped MJ bumps, and groomers that alternated between smooth & cruddy w/ some icy spots.  First off all of these ski's rode through the fresh snow much better than my Bushwackers (which wanted to slice down into the snow), so my most-important goal was easily achieved by all of these skis, but now for the rest of the story:

  • Atomic Vantage 95c 170cm- This was by far the most balanced/harmonious ski of the day.  The carbon "tank mesh" really works wonders to allow the ski to be both light/lively/nimble yet surprisingly stable/damp at speed (the most stability I've ever seen from a non-metal ski).  It can initiate turns fairly easily even at low speeds via the traditional approach of tipping and first engaging the tips (vs. swiveling).  Even in the wind-blown snow the turn initiated readily and then could be carved, scarved or smeared from there.  The turn radius could be readily modified to deal with trees/bumps.  The tail released readily even though the minimal rocker still allowed for some support and power out of the turn.  It was great in the bumps due to it's nimble/damp balance and the minimal rocker allows you to work all of the sidecut if needed.  Groomer and packed snow was good especially in dealing with some crud or bumpy terrain; however, I could never get the edges to grip as convincingly as I like - it seemed like a "scarve" was all it would do.  Maybe this is due to the ski's limited torsional rigidity (after all it is considered an int/adv. ski) or I just haven't found the right amount of angulation needed (though I did check the tune which seemed fine).
  • Atomic Automatic 102 172cm - This ski has the same contact length of the Vantage (i.e. it has a 2cm longer tip rocker), a more "5-point" like sidecut (with a meter more of turn radius) and is just as lightweight as the Vantage.  However, without the carbon mesh this ski acted totally different.  It felt heavy (even though it weighs the same), slow edge-to-edge (7mm more width underfoot?), and unwilling to carve a short turn radius.  It was as stable as the Vantage (which is no small trick for an all-wood ski), so my guess is that a damper wood core was used which might also help explain the lumbering response.  This ski would be a great lighter-weight person's "side-country" pow oriented ski for hard charging long-radius use (i.e., not trees, bumps)...which is not what I'm looking for.
  • K2 Pinnacle 95 172cm  - This is a very unique and somewhat exciting ski design.  It's almost like two ski's in one: the 50cm of tip rocker slays powder/crud, provides some stability in rough terrain, and makes turn initiation a no-brainer.  Once on edge the ski provides a tenacious edge grip from the torsionally-stiff short-radius camber underfoot.  This makes for a fabulous tree ski with or without powder.  Otherwise the short turn radius (which is difficult to lengthen out) makes the ski feel like it wants to go around in circles, and the hi-rise tip rocker is totally disengaged in packed/semi-packed snow.  This didn't make for a great groomer or bump ski (I could swear I heard the flapping tip talking trash to me).  With practice I might be able to get this ski to work better for me in a wider-variety of terrain (it's tenacious edge-grip and tree-skiing abilities were remarkable), but in the end vs. the Vantage it felt less balanced & damp/stable, and like a half a ski much of the time (i.e., like the tip was bolted on for show).  Perhaps K2 will design a more-harmonious version of this ski in the future!
  • Rossignol Sin 7 172cm- The marked 5-point sidecut makes this ski great for low speed smearing/swiveling.  This worked well in bumps and trees.  However the fact that they stiffened the ski since my S7 didn't help matters under my weight.  It had a planky feel that made it difficult for me to engage the edges of the short underfoot sidecut (so I had a hard time getting it to do even a "scarve").  Further, the planky feel along with it's light weight design made for a "bucking bronco" ride through any type of rough terrain (even at mid-speed).  I could see a 150lb. int/adv "finesse" skier really liking this ski, but an even heavier skier probably could overpower it and I don't see it working well for a lightweight rider (unless you're willing/able to stomp on it hard to get the edges to engage when needed).  Too bad since I really like the 5-point sidecut design (which works great on my S7's). 

 

Atomic's really on to something with their Vantage "tank mesh" carbon layup - it's a true game-changer for those of us allergic to skis with full metal layers.  I'm 90% convinced that this will be my next ski (i.e., I would've already bought a pair if it wasn't for the vague edge-grip).  Therefore, I first want to try the 90Eights, NRGy 100's and perhaps the Solly Q-98 or Rocker 2 100 before making a final choice (finding all three at one location may be tough and I'm beginning to feel a bit too anal about this).  Stand by (with bated breath;))!


Edited by ski-ra - 2/5/16 at 9:46am
post #63 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post

I think I posted this elsewhere to your question in another thread...definitely put the Salomon Rocker2 100 on your demo list, 170cm. Jane Shop has them, although I think they are last year's demos so some miles on them. That's definitely a super fun smeary make any shape ski, but surprisingly serious when you want to point 'em. I think this is a great review against some other skis you've checked off the list from a lighter weight skier (I am 6'2" 170 lbs and ski the 186cm) that hits on comparing against some of those big-boy skis...


Yeah you did (Pugski) and it didn't work out yesterday for me to try the Rocker2 100's.  The Epic Mountain shop in WP had most of the skis that I wanted to try first and they allowed me to take two or three skis out at a time (nice since driving back and forth four times would've been a real hassle).  The Jane shop had the Rocker2 100's but the 90Eights (the other ski they rent that I wanted to try) are only at the WP base (and they were already out for the day).  I couldn't see dropping $60 to make one run on the Solly's (I was pretty well beat up by then).  So, yes, the Rocker2 100's (or even Q-98's) are still on my list as you'll see in my above post).


Edited by ski-ra - 2/2/16 at 10:03am
post #64 of 70
If you really liked the Atomic 95s, be sure to try the Nordica Santa Anas. They are a very similar ski, just have a slightly better edge- which I know what was you didn't like from the atomics. They definitley hold an edge really well. I think you should really look into them.
post #65 of 70
As in none of that "scarve" that you were mentioning, at least in my experience
post #66 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meredith31skis View Post

If you really liked the Atomic 95s, be sure to try the Nordica Santa Anas. They are a very similar ski, just have a slightly better edge- which I know what was you didn't like from the atomics. They definitley hold an edge really well. I think you should really look into them.


Thanks for chiming in again given my mercurial thinking on this vexing ski purchase!  Did you also ski the Vantage 95's (the women's & men's versions are identical except for the graphics)?  If not, at the moment I am leaning towards trying the NRGy 100's instead since a bit of metal would be nice (and I just can't get over how noodly the SA's hand-flex...I know, I know - they don't ski noodly...).  However, finding any Nordica's to demo will be a challenge (so far I can only find them in Steamboat and who knows what they'll have on hand when I get up there in two weeks).  So I may still end up demo'ing the SA's and/or the NRGy's or no Nordicas at all - it's not that I don't want to try every reasonable choice it's just that after a while it starts to feel a bit too anal:rolleyes.

 

OTOH given the results of yesterday's demo (i.e., I was disappointed with 75% of them) I sure as hell won't be buying a ski unless I demo it first - I just hate it when a ski ain't what I'd hoped for and finding a guy my size or an aggressive woman skier (sorry to sound sexist) to sell them to is a chore...and I'm tired of giving skis away every year to the Salvation Army....:mad 

post #67 of 70
I did ski them. The SA's were just as stiff and held a better edge. The whole nonmetal thing deterred me too at first but I demoed anyways, and they are actually very stiff, rated a hard in stiffness.... Don't exactly know how but it's no lie.
post #68 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meredith31skis View Post

I did ski them. The SA's were just as stiff and held a better edge. The whole nonmetal thing deterred me too at first but I demoed anyways, and they are actually very stiff, rated a hard in stiffness.... Don't exactly know how but it's no lie.


Cool - well that's convincing enough evidence to allow me to continue my anal pursuit of the "perfect" ski...Thumbs Up  And yes: I've seen this "hard" stiffness rating in some of the women's reviews...and here I thought only men tended to overstate "stiffness" levels (please excuse this off-color remark...I couldn't help myself;).)


Edited by ski-ra - 2/2/16 at 2:12pm
post #69 of 70
Thread Starter 


So I'm planning my next demo day and will try to compare the Atomic Vantage 95C to the following possible list:

  1. Atomic Vantage 100CTi - I only want to try this to see if it provides better edge grip vs. the 95C, even though I expect to find it a bit too beefy for me.  Any thoughts from a lightweight on this?
  2. Nordica NRGy 100 - I've read differing things about this ski (i.e., light/nimble vs. stiff/lumbering).  Can anyone comment on this (though this is one of Finndog's other picks vs. the 95C's so he must be on to something)?
  3. Nordica Santa Ana - I need to find out for myself if this ski is really as powerful (i.e. better edge-grip vs. the 95C) yet relatively nimble as most reviews and posts indicate vs. being too soft and underpowered as hand flexing (and some of the feedback) would also indicate.
  4. Salomon Q-98 or Rocker2 100's - I just need to try 'em to see if they fit my style and provide enough edge-grip (which is not supposedly these skis' forte).
  5. Volkl 90Eights - Crazy good reviews of these trumpeting a new world of light/playful/nimble skis from Volkl.  OTOH - Toadman's review here said they tend to slice into deeper snow, and Finndog tried 'em recently and said something like "you'll probably find them to be too much ski" (again the odds are that if he says it then it's probably so).  Any lightweights try this ski?  

 

Sorry qcanoe & KimmyT (not that it matters or you'll care) but I won't be looking to try the TST's since they remind me too much of the Pinnacle 95's with the wild-ass tip rocker and very short turn radius, then again if they are staring me in the face....

post #70 of 70

Just wondering if you did that demo day and made any decisions? I know the snow in the East has been sucky, to say the least...

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