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Loveland Demo Day Review results...

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
A buddy of mine spend Sat/Sun before Thanksgiving at the Loveland ski demo days put on by Colorado Ski and Golf. I was planning on going but couldn't make it and I asked him to send me any comments he had on the skis. He did an awesome job (I thought) on reviewing so I thought I'd share it here.

Hope it proves helpful to some of you!

"The summary version is 13 different pairs of skis on 25 to 26 runs each day. My feet are sore (duh), and Pepsi is my friend today. Note that comparisons are based on both my take (6' & 175#) and my buddy (6'2" 195#). Here's my (our) take:

GS racing:
Fischer RC, 180cm -- I confirmed I really like this burly, super-quick turning gate chaser. Not very forgiving, but gives back what you ask of it.

Atomic GS:11m, 181cm -- Probably a better race ski for the masses, as it actually forgives minor mistakes. Not as quick as the Fischer, but just as powerful.

Slalom racing:
Atomic SL:11m, 160cm -- I liked the prior years' model better, as it has a more radical sidecut. This is a smooth slalom racer which can also handle some speed and longer turns. I'd probably be better served with a 155cm, but Steve liked it a lot.

Fischer SC, 155cm & 165cm -- Neither of us could make the 165cm act like a true slalom ski. I was humbled. But I loved the "girl size" 155cm, which was a total turn & burn race ski. Like its RC brother, bring your A game for this ski. If I can justify racing slalom this year, the 155cm will be my ski.

Head iSL chip, 170cm -- Too long for a true slalom ski. We both felt this ski is a lot of work and has a small sweet spot. I could better evaluate a 160cm, but none was available. Thus, not on my list to buy.

Rossignol 9S oversize, 158cm -- Very good ski. If I didn't like the Fischer slalom so much, this might be my ski. Slightly de-tuned for a true race ski, this will appeal to the masses more than the Fischer. I could do almost anything with this ski and I would love to ski Rossi's true race board. The Rossi could be free skied, as it is very predictable and doesn't need a race course to enjoy its performance.

Salomon Equipe 3v Race, 165cm -- I little more burly than the Rossi, therefore I feel it's a better race ski. My length would probably be a 160cm (if I could ever find one to demo), and at that length it might give the Fischer slalom a run for its money. For a race ski, this one's pretty easy to ski outside a course.

All mountain carving:
Fischer RX-9, 175cm
-- Ski of the year according to the magazines, and I agree. Basically a slightly detuned half-GS, half-slalom race ski. Turns like crazy, yet cruises quite well, holds on ice. We found the 170cm a little short (almost a slalom ski) and the 180cm WAY too long (a full-on GS race ski). The down side to this ski is that it may be a little narrow at the waist for powder. A totally impressive ski. This one may replace a carving ski of mine (Salomon Superaxe 2V) in another year or two when it needs retiring.

Atomic SX Supercross, 174cm -- Similar in concept to Fischer's RX-9, but built for higher speeds and longer turns. Atomics are generally slightly more damp than Fischers, so this one feels really smooth. The SX would feel similar to the RX-9 if you ski it about 5cm to 7cm shorter. A great ski.

Fischer RX-8, 165cm -- Similar in concept and feel to Fischer's RX-9, but based off their slalom ski instead of a GS model. This ski is a total blast. A little more forgiving than Rossi's 9S Oversize, thus it should really appeal to the masses wanting high-end slalom performance, but not having an A game. It skis moguls & crud well, but turns too quickly for really high speeds. Probably not a very good powder ski, as it's a little narrow at the waist.

Head iXRC 1100, 177cm -- Somehow I was totally jazzed by it last year, but was lukewarm this year. It's a fairly burly ski with a really small sweet spot. Bring your A game to ski this one well. No longer on my list to buy.

Volkl Supersport Superspeed, 175cm -- a decent ski. Quick edge to edge, but not all that good at short turns. It wants to cruise. For all mountain groomed GS skis, I think there are better models on the market.

All mountain do anything:
K2 Apache Crossfire, 174cm & 181cm -- our favorite all mountain skis to do a combo of bumps, crud, cruise, ice, or whatever. I liked the 174cm, Steve liked the 181cm. We both felt we could ski this thing 24 hours a day and not get tired of it. Not as powerful as Fischer's RX-9, but better in bumps and soft snow. It's only fault might be that the tail doesn't finish a turn on ice like some of the more burly skis. I'm very close to buying this ski.

Dynastar Legend 8000, 178cm -- a cool ski, but likes long turns over short. Huge sweet spot, great in soft snow. Not a great mogul ski, but I'd be way confident at speed in powder. Easier to ski than Volkl's 724 Pro, more burly than Rossi's B2.

Rossignol B1, 176cm -- a great overall ski. Feels more like a traditional ski than some of the others (due to an 18M turning radius), but can turn quickly (bumps & slalom turns) with a strong pair of legs. Big sweet spot, thus you can back off and enjoy the ride if needed. Still, I choose K2's Crossfire over the B1, as the former ski turns more quickly.

Rossignol B2, 176cm & 182cm -- another great overall ski. A variation on the B1 theme, but more emphasis on soft snow and longer turns. If I were looking for a more powder specialized ski, this would be a top contender. I think the B2 is more predictable than the B1, just a little slower in doing it.

Volkl 724 Pro, 170cm & 177cm -- burly. The bring your A game all mountain ski. The 177cm is way too much for me, although Steve liked it. The Pro will ski anything, anywhere, but at a cost of requiring strength, skill, and focus. Think of this as an all mountain GS racing ski. However, I was able to turn the 170cm very quickly -- it just took some effort. This is not a good mogul ski, well unless you have huge thighs.

Volkl 724 EXP, 177cm -- A slightly narrower and softer brother to the 724 Pro. I didn't have time to get on it, but Steve did. He liked the Pro better. I still want to try it, as it should be quicker and less burly.

Atomic Metron 11, 172cm -- a totally fun ride, on a ludicrisly wide, all mountain slalom ski. I had on blast on the ski, but its utility is too specialized for my tastes. I can't imagine trying to fit those paddle-sized tips through a mogul field.

Fischer Big Stix 7.6, 175cm -- I hated this ski. The only way I could get it to turn is to hammer the front end of the ski. I didn't like it last year and my position hasn't changed. All mountain skis shouldn't be built like this.

Head iM75 (aka Monster), 170cm and 175cm -- Very good ski. The 175cm was great for Steve (too big for me) and the 170cm was the ticket for me. Unlike Head's iXRC 1100, this ski has a huge sweet spot. Good at both long and short turns, great in soft snow, soaks up ripples in the snow. I'm leaning slightly towards the K2 Crossfire over the iM 75, although I'm splitting hairs here. The Head is an overall more capable ski than the K2 (carves better, finishes turns stronger), but it's a little slower in the bumps due to its 75mm wide waist. However, the Head would be a better powder ski than the K2. I seriously want to try Head's iM70, which is 70mm in the waist and slightly quicker edge to edge. I think the iM70 will give the K2 a run for its money. Stay tuned.

***
post #2 of 3
Great set of reviews, thanks. I'm curious, which version of the Head XRC 1100 did you try? There are three:
1100 Chip - black topsheet, cap construction, railflex
1100 SR2 - orange topsheet, cap construction, railflex
1100 SW - orange topsheet, sandwhich construction, riser plate (no railflex)
post #3 of 3
Quote:

Head iM75 (aka Monster), 170cm and 175cm -- Very good ski. The 175cm was great for Steve (too big for me) and the 170cm was the ticket for me. Unlike Head's iXRC 1100, this ski has a huge sweet spot. Good at both long and short turns, great in soft snow, soaks up ripples in the snow. I'm leaning slightly towards the K2 Crossfire over the iM 75, although I'm splitting hairs here. The Head is an overall more capable ski than the K2 (carves better, finishes turns stronger), but it's a little slower in the bumps due to its 75mm wide waist. However, the Head would be a better powder ski than the K2. I seriously want to try Head's iM70, which is 70mm in the waist and slightly quicker edge to edge. I think the iM70 will give the K2 a run for its money. Stay tuned.


Thanks. Great reviews, interesting to hear how your buddy likes the IM70 when he tries them. The logic seems right but I found the IM70 to be disappointing compared to the IM75 which I thought was a great ski. In comparison the IM70 felt like a lower end ski. I skied them both in a 170 length when i tried them last year in BC.
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