Originally Posted by btbam
Awesome info on the Autos, just picked up the 2016's and have no clue where I want to mount them. It seems nearly everyone prefers them in a different spot. My thoughts were +1 or +2 since these will basically be my dedicated pow ski but other mount points sound just as interesting.
Congratulations! If only one mount point, and on the 186 ski, then ~+1.5, at your weight, I'd guess.
Schizos. One very short but fat slot screwdriver.
IMHO, the different mount preferences are partly because the ski, for me, has at least three different sweet spots, as mentioned above; each makes the ski handle differently. Honestly, you will probably enjoy all three, in different situations, or even the same situation for different on the snow feels. (Pretty sure this is very likely, since you are similar height and weight to me.)
At all three, by the way, the ski carves well on groomers; better than the TST and possibly Norwalk, a bit stiffer than the SFB and with probably no speed limit; slightly easier to flex than the Hell and Back, to me.
What length did you get?
(I've heard and experienced that the 179 does not behave as well as the two longer skis; the 186 is my length, and the following fits that ski, from what I've gathered from my own experience, and from the Dana & Sage TGR thread.)
For me at ~+1, I'm right on the edge, right at a changeover point. I'm still probably on a ski with great float feel, and great in bigger powder bump lines, but still maybe slightly heavy/sluggish feeling (compared to the Super 7, for instance), depending on your own skiing style and size/strengths. This ski will still excel at bigger, and more between sl and gs lines, including on groomers. And it can be mount adjusted, probably, to fairly similar to the Q 115, @between -1 and +1, I'd guess. You've have to experiment with mount position to fine tune that.
But at ~+1.5 to +2, you will have more than likely crossed over to a quicker turning ski that still holds it's edge well, that is still stable. This ski outturns the honeycomb Super 7, and does so on edge also. At the same time, this ski turns the radius you want it to, rather than its own.
Somewhere from +2 to +2 1/2, you will have a ski feel similar to the Armada TST (which I've demoed). (And perhaps the Norwalk, which Armada says is like a wider TST - more directional than the JJ 2.0).
And between ~+2 and + 3 1/2, you will have a ski that surfs & slarves like the JJ 2.0. For me this is fun in deep, especially since I can change it easily to more directional for the afternoon chop and packed.
Good adventures, whatever you decide!
Originally Posted by btbam
I don't really think the Automatic is quite like the Norwalk. They are both big mountain sticks but with a bit different niche. I've been on the Norwalk for about 4 years now and I honestly couldn't replace it in my quiver. If you've seen the Freeride World Tour that is what this ski is all about and where it got my attention. Big mountain lines in variable conditions is where this ski shines, just rip GS turns anywhere anytime except on the deep days. For those days you pull out the Automatics.
I've only skied the narrower TST, not the Norwalk, which I gather is burlier. I too have skis that are greatest in big mountain lines in variable conditions, that are probably better at this than the Auto. But not sure: the Auto 117, when adjusted back a bit, was designed (by Dana & Sage) for variable big mountain lines, as well as pure deep and groomers. And the Auto kills bumps and groomers, just as do the other skis I use for this. So I get honestly confused here, when to use which, though each has its own personality. What fun.
Still, if I want a more bombproof variable snow/crud ski, both the Pettitor and the Katana excel at this - grudgingly but definitely over the Auto. And I too will sometimes switch out to them if there's likely to be little deep fresh, where the Auto feels slightly the best.
But honestly, there is a lot of overlap here, and I'm currently confused about which of the three to bring out for what, they're all so good.
(Although the three skis have a different feel, they all three are great at both situations you mention, depending on mount position. The Katana is the only one I leave @ 0 mount.)
Edited by ski otter - 3/29/16 at 12:30pm