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13 reviews (20-21 November 2004)

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Random stats: 27 runs, 25,000 vertical feet, 14 pairs of skis, 7 friends, and priceless smiles.

Conditions: Loveland reported 2” of new snow each of the two days. The conditions were largely manmade hardpack, with pockets of soft snow especially at the trails' edges. The “lap” was up chair 1, down Spillway, across to Mambo, down to chair 6, up chair 6, down Drifter to Home Run to the base. Then swap skis.

My specs: 6’, 180lbs. male, 34th season skiing, passed PSIA level II skiing last spring. Ski quite fast, love to turn, enjoy the “arc and spark”, and powder (none to be had these days). Gearhead. Do this because it’s fun for me. I honestly hope that you get something from it, too.

My own equipment: Tecnica Icon Race XT17 boots, 170cm Fischer RX8 skis mounted with Marker 1400 bindings, Goode poles, Marker helmet and goggles.

Final note: There were some tuning problems with some of the skis due both to the care that the individual reps take with their skis as well as the conditions these days. Some skiers were less than careful with the skis, perhaps in ignorance of the fact that the reps have to buy these skis.

Ski Make: Atomic
Ski Model: Metron b5
Ski Length: 162
Dimensions: 127/76/115
Radius: 11m
Comments: My first thought when I picked these up was, “Man, these are heavy!” When I stepped into them, “Wow, these are wide!” When I started turning on them, “Whooo-hooo! These arc!” Even on the hard manmade snow that we had this weekend, these fat all-mountain skis carved a clean, tight arc. If I pushed them, they would carve right back under me. Yet, they did not beat me up as much as the illegal slaloms with similar turn radius. The shovel also seemed soft enough to float in powder, although I didn’t get to try them in those conditions. I did get reports that they were very good in the soft from some who had skied them last spring (both those who rep Atomic and those who didn’t). As you may know, I tend to push skis to the top end of their speed limit. I didn’t find that limit on these.

When I got off these, every other ski seemed narrow!

These won my top honor (together with the Fischer RX8s).

One of the other skiers with me commented that they were heavy, too. My response to him was this: don't lift them, then! These skis really expect the "new" approach to skiing which keep both skis on the ground unless the snow pushes them off. Don't use a "lift and tip" technique with these unless you want to be far more tired than you need to be!

Ski Make: Atomic
Ski Model: Metron m:11
Ski Length: 172
Dimensions: 129/76/116
Radius: 12m
Comments: This ski is another nice Atomic, it carves a clean arc and holds its line well. It is not as lively as some of the other skis in this review (like the Fischer RX8), but it skied every condition I could find very well. Even though the dimensions of this ski is the same as the b5, it did not ski the same, and wasn’t as much fun for me. Please note: this ski was too much for a solid, athletic intermediate skier who was with me. He much preferred the M:10.

Ski Make: Dynastar
Ski Model: Omecarve 10
Ski Length: 172
Dimensions: 116/64/104
Radius: 31m
Comments: To be fair to Dynastar, these skis’ tune had been messed up by a previous skier, but I didn’t notice it before I got onto them and tried to turn. As a result, their hard snow performance suffered (they were dulled underfoot). That said, in the softer snow, they showed themselves able to carve well, turn tightly, and motor well.

Ski Make: Dynastar
Ski Model: Legend 8000
Ski Length: 178
Dimensions: 116/79/102
Radius: 20m
Comments: These skis are a wider ski, but carve a really nice arc. They are fun, and damp enough to hold well at speed. They also were surprisingly good on the harder snow, A nice all-around ski.

Ski Make: Elan
Ski Model: M666 Fusion
Ski Length: 176
Dimensions: 116/76/102
Radius: ?m
Comments: This ski has a reputation as an exceptional soft-snow ski. Unfortunately, it didn’t shine this day on the hardpack. It didn’t hold as well as the skis that I preferred, but did carve nicely in the softer snow on Home Run.

Ski Make: Elan
Ski Model: S12
Ski Length: 168
Dimensions: 112/67/100
Radius: 14.3m
Comments: One of my favorites from last year returns this year. Once again, this one struck me as just the tiniest bit below the RX8 in terms of “fun factor”. Perhaps because it seemed a little less energetic. Therefore, those of you who prefer a little less lively feel may prefer the S12 over the RX8. Once again, the Fusion was uncanny in the sense of skiing from “inside the ski”. I interrogated one of my friends when he was riding it, and he felt it, too, even though he didn’t know the reason for it.

Ski Make: Fischer
Ski Model: RX8 Railflex 2
Ski Length: 165
Dimensions: 115/66/98
Radius: 13m
Comments: Hello! Fast, tight, carving machines. Tip, turn, go. These are lively, fun all around skis that seem happy everywhere on the mountain. My winner last year came up on top again this year (together with the Atomic Metron:b5). I skied the 170 all last year (flat and mounted with Markers), however, the 165 was even more fun, and I prefer the RailFlex binding on these (especially for me, since they have a flat delta). If you like lively, turny skis, you can’t go wrong with the RX8. These were the top choice for two of my buddies who also joined me for the day on Sunday. No speed limit that I could find. If you prefer a bit longer turn, see the RX9.

Ski Make: Fischer
Ski Model: RX9 RailFlex 2
Ski Length: 170
Dimensions: 109/69/96
Radius: 17m
Comments: This ski shares the design features of the RX8, but with a much less radical sidecut. As a result, it carves longer turns, and seems more of a locomotive than a sports car. It is still light and lively, however, so will suit those who prefer to turn a bit less. No speed limit.

Ski Make: K2
Ski Model: Apache Crossfire
Ski Length: 167
Dimensions: 109/68/99
Radius: 15m
Comments: This was another fun ski. I could lay it out and carve it however I wanted to. It seemed to enjoy speed, and whatever I asked it to do. It was a bit more damp than the RX8, and didn’t carve as tight as the M:b5, but a nice all-around ski.

Ski Make: Nordica
Ski Model: Doberman Pro SC
Ski Length: 158
Dimensions: 116/64/104
Radius: 11m
Comments: Get on, click in, push off, and shut up! There is nothing tame about this Doberman! This ski is crazy turny, loves to rip, is very beefy, and fast. I found it a bit scary in a skid (they didn’t like to skid at all!). Frankly, this was too much ski for me; a couple of runs were fun, but I felt beat up when they were over. It was near the end of day one when I was on them. If you’re strong and love to turn, this could be a great ski for you.

Ski Make: Nordica
Ski Model: SUV 14
Ski Length: 170
Dimensions: 115/70/99
Radius: 16m
Comments: Compared to many of the other skis I was on, this ski seemed to have a much longer turn radius. It felt damper, and seemed to struggle in the hard snow conditions. I would expect it to be more of a soft snow ski.

Ski Make: Nordica
Ski Model: Speedmachine 14
Ski Length: 170
Dimensions: 114/67/100
Radius: 15.5m
Comments: This carver was damper than the ones I enjoyed the most, but held a carve reasonably well, even on the hardpack. This ski was fast, but seemed to prefer the softer snow, again, even for a carver.

Ski Make: Volkl
Ski Model: Superspeed
Ski Length: 168
Dimensions: 115/70/99
Radius: 15.9m
Comments: While I didn’t get to ski the 6* this year, this ski seemed a bit more of an all-around ski. I skied it fast and hard, and it handled every condition well. It doesn’t turn quite as quick as the 6*, but pays that back in speed.
post #2 of 41

b5 v m11

SSH:

Nice rundown,

How much of the difference you felt between the B5 and the M11 do you thing was due to the 162cm v 172cm lenght diference?
post #3 of 41
Good info Steve!! Thanks for taking the time to post this. BTW, I agree with your assessment of the RX8. It's definitely a top performer and my favorite hard pack ski.
post #4 of 41
Thanks for the reviews. I enjoyed reading them. Its a shame when the demos have lousy tunes its impossible to get an honest appraisal of how the ski really skis.

The last couple of times I skied skis off the demo truck, the skis that I got were so hooky and grabby there was no way you could get a very representative feel for the ski. Doesn't surprise about the B5 . I picked up some literature on it at the ski shop and its engineering and construction is awesome. My shop wouldn't let the B5 go on the merchant swap deal I use. I have the X1 and I think its a great ski, but know the B5 is more ski. I 've been told you can really feel the B5 rebound and accelerate out of the turn, did you feel this ski had more kick than the others ?
post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
Ski Make: Volkl
Ski Model: Superspeed
Ski Length: 168
Dimensions: 115/70/99
Radius: 15.9m
Comments: While I didn’t get to ski the 6* this year, this ski seemed a bit more of an all-around ski. I skied it fast and hard, and it handled every condition well. It doesn’t turn quite as quick as the 6*, but pays that back in speed.
Really -- from all of the descriptions I've read, I'm surprised it turns at all! Seriously, how were the short turns? Did you get it in any bumps? Interested in this one and the RX9 for a "go fast" ski.
post #6 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotama
How much of the difference you felt between the B5 and the M11 do you thing was due to the 162cm v 172cm lenght diference?
Thanks for the kind comment...

Certainly there was some difference due to length, but the b5 seemed to me to have a more pronounced ability to keep the entire ski length on the snow. The b5 felt like riding rails, while the M:11 felt a bit more like a "typical" modern carver.
post #7 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns
I 've been told you can really feel the B5 rebound and accelerate out of the turn, did you feel this ski had more kick than the others ?
I don't think of it this way, given my use of the terms "rebound" and "accelerate" for skis. The b5 seemed to really want to stay on the snow and moved well from turn to turn. I didn't feel a tendancy to "snap" out of one turn and into the next, and I view that as a good thing. I could certainly tighten up the arc at the end of the turn and get some kick that way, if that's what you mean. I was not able to get them to wash out by pushing them hard at turn completion.
post #8 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodro
Really -- from all of the descriptions I've read, I'm surprised it turns at all! Seriously, how were the short turns? Did you get it in any bumps? Interested in this one and the RX9 for a "go fast" ski.
Unfortunately, there weren't any bumps that I trusted to not have dirt between them, so I didn't try them on a bump run. However, I have a feel for how they need to turn for bumps, and I can comment on that...

For short turns, they were actually quite fine, but short is relative. They certainly didn't carve a turn like the b5 or RX8, and they aren't intended to. However, when I laid them over, they would carve a reasonable arc. Of course, skarved turns could be as tight as I wanted. They were very stable, too, of course, and a nice all-around ski.
post #9 of 41
Thank you for the quality post. This is the type of information that we should receive from this forum. I am sure that this one will be reviewed by many.
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
For short turns, they were actually quite fine, but short is relative. They certainly didn't carve a turn like the b5 or RX8, and they aren't intended to. However, when I laid them over, they would carve a reasonable arc. Of course, skarved turns could be as tight as I wanted. They were very stable, too, of course, and a nice all-around ski.
Cool, what I needed to know. I know they have a larger radius (certainly than my 11m skis!) but I just wanted to make sure they were not a total handful. Going to try to dmeo some later this year.
post #11 of 41
Steve, you've been busy! Thanks for the great post. Can't wait to get my B5's out for a ride, but that probably won't be for another couple of weeks, unless the rocks disappear. Later, RicB.
post #12 of 41
Thread Starter 
It was a blast, Ric! You're going to love those b5s. I'm planning to order mine today...
post #13 of 41
Good comments.
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
(about Superspeed) They were very stable, too, of course, and a nice all-around ski.
A perfect piece of info, a lot of effort, thanks!
You´re the only one (beside me ) to characterize the Superspeed as "a nice all-around ski".
Otherwise you only read "no speed limit", "only superfast" and similar variations of the catalog "skispeak".
I tested 175 cm and found them exactly as you write. Good but no speed demon.
post #15 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by checkracer
A perfect piece of info, a lot of effort, thanks!
You´re the only one (beside me ) to characterize the Superspeed as "a nice all-around ski".
Otherwise you only read "no speed limit", "only superfast" and similar variations of the catalog "skispeak".
I tested 175 cm and found them exactly as you write. Good but no speed demon.
Ha!

They are certainly not downhill racing skis! They do carve, and their 16m turn radius is not exactly Titanic-sized! There are some reviews that note this, however, including the one over on RealSkiers.com.
post #16 of 41
Thanks for posting the reviews; I can't get enough of them.
post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by checkracer
A perfect piece of info, a lot of effort, thanks!
You´re the only one (beside me ) to characterize the Superspeed as "a nice all-around ski".
Otherwise you only read "no speed limit", "only superfast" and similar variations of the catalog "skispeak".
Precisely. SkiPress -- whose reviews seem pretty damn good - said "Its preferred ride is the speedway only please -- this ski's steering is too stiff to work through backroad twisties."

Which made me wonder, well, who would want this ski then?? Thanks for setting the record straight. Unless...your last name wouldn't be Maier, would it? :P
post #18 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodro
Precisely. SkiPress -- whose reviews seem pretty damn good - said "Its preferred ride is the speedway only please -- this ski's steering is too stiff to work through backroad twisties."

Which made me wonder, well, who would want this ski then?? Thanks for setting the record straight. Unless...your last name wouldn't be Maier, would it? :P
Uh... No.

I like 'em fast, but I prefer to turn (see my winners: an 11m and 13m turn radius!). However, these Volkls were really nice carving skis. Don't be afraid of them if you enjoy going fast. You will want to load them up, but ski them shorter if you're concerned about that...
post #19 of 41
Yea, I have my 11m skis -- love em..I like to turn too! Still...I'm thinking about something to add to the quiver that will be a little more buttoned-down at speed, and maybe more of a cruising ski.
post #20 of 41
Volkl catalog on Superspeed:
"no more limits"... "no more speed limits"...
"ski for the best who know no speed limit"
(translated from the German version)
I always thought those were either the Eberharters & Co. or the speedskiing cracks
post #21 of 41

First day on B-5

Just got back after the first day (9 to 4.30) on my new B-5 at Park City. The conditions were awesome for the time of the year. Skied it in 5-8 inch powder, soft bumps, some trees and GROOMERS! After the full day ( and the first one of the season at that) I was ready to keep on skiing. Is that me or the skis? Had absolutely no problem getting used to them afer last year's r-11 starting with the first run that took me into deep (by Cleveland standards) powder. I did not get the floaty sensation, though. May be later this weekend... They were very good on the steeps and in soft bumps.They were not any worse than my R-11 for carving. They left quite decent trenches even on the firm groomers. I enjoyed the smaller radius on these. J-turns were great! I was almost able to do even 360 on a first try. Twisting and turning was not a problem either. I did not think they particularly good on hard pack spots for me. But that could be me and not the skis. They did not feel either too long or too short after the last yer's 160 R-11 and the year before that 170 r-1120.
I am about 170cm (not sure in inches)175 (too heavy for my height), expert skier, and the skis are 162 B-5 Metrons.
post #22 of 41
Steve, excellent reviews. Thanks.

Any other comments you can share on the Elan M666?
post #23 of 41
Thread Starter 
Hey, Gonz!

I was unpleasantly surprised at the M666. I expected to like it a lot, especially given my love affair with the S12 last year. However, I really didn't. I am not sure to what I can attribute it: Tune, conditions, or the ski. In my experience on them, they certainly didn't like the mostly hardpack conditions of Loveland that weekend. Unfortunately, I was really ready to get off them at the end of the 2-run lap.

I'm sorry I can't be more positive. I was really prepared to think they were great.
post #24 of 41
that's okay. I can save some $$ this way, and I've still got my Fischers that are plenty fun (WC SC and Big Stix 8.6).
post #25 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
that's okay. I can save some $$ this way, and I've still got my Fischers that are plenty fun (WC SC and Big Stix 8.6).
Can't wait to ride with you in Montana this January! I'll be on Metron b:5s (162s) and new Fischer RX8s (165cm this year). We be tippin' and rippin'!

I'm keeping my old RX8s (170s) for early season skis...
post #26 of 41
did you see Keelty's review that INSISTED that every Level 7 or higher skier MUST demo the Metron b5?

he also raved about the Elan M666, which was why I asked about it.
post #27 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
did you see Keelty's review that INSISTED that every Level 7 or higher skier MUST demo the Metron b5?

he also raved about the Elan M666, which was why I asked about it.
I saw he liked it, but didn't see the details (not a member). I hesitate to judge what level 7s need. But, my buddies who tried it all liked it a lot. No one but me tried the 666, I'm afraid.
post #28 of 41
Demo'd the B5 yesterday, this is one fun ski. If I could only have one ski this would be the one. Just tip, grip and rip.
Excellent reviews Steve.
post #29 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks, BillA...

You all may also like RiDeC58's review of the b5, given that he's a self-described "advancing intermediate."
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodro
Really -- from all of the descriptions I've read, I'm surprised it turns at all! Seriously, how were the short turns? Did you get it in any bumps? Interested in this one and the RX9 for a "go fast" ski.
I reviewed the RX9 last winter when we first got a pair. I was on a 170cm. It felt a notch below the S12 in terms of stability and a notch below the RX8 in terms of quickness/fun. But, I felt it was more versatile than either of the two-very good in the bumps and crud I tried it in. The 170 felt like a very versatile length for my 5 foot 9, 150lb frame. My own opinon is that the RX8 and RX9 should swap names-the 8 is ahead of the 9 performance-wise. But, the 9 is a bit easier to ski and more versatile, in much the same way the S10 is a more versatile and easier (albeit not as stable) version of the S12.

I personally prefer a beefier ski than the RX9, but if you want a ski that is 85% as stable as a race ski and 400% as versatile, it may be the ticket. It is a fun carver, versatile, and reasonably stable.

Now, I can say that the Big Stix 8.0 is a beefy, race-like ski. Super stable at speed, smooooooooth, perfect in crud and carving big arcs at speed. I ran it on a rutty GS course and it felt right at home. Bumps were a REAL handful, as you may expect.

Personally, I have given up on the search for "one ski to do it all". It doesn't exist. I like lots of different skis for what they bring to the table, but ideally, my quiver would always consist of at least 2 skis. A real race GS (or competition-level Cross ski) such as the Head i-GS, Blizzard Sigma RS, Head I-XRC 1100 SW, Elan GX Pro. The other ski would be a 75-ish mm waist ski like the Head iM-75 Chip or Elan 666 Fusion-something I can ski on when we have 6" to a foot (or 2) of snow. 2 pair of great skis that will only leave you lacking in the bumps-this is where you may find a ski like the RX8/S12/S10/5-star useful. Especially if you have a family to ski with and want something less demanding than a full race ski, while still very useful on the groomed. Good luck!
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › 13 reviews (20-21 November 2004)