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Dynastar 8800, Salomon Pocket Rocket

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ski; Dynastar legend 8800, 178, Rossi demo bindings
Conditions; Spectacular powder day, Alta, 17" new, windy, snowing, low visibility. (today)
skier; 170#, 5'11", advanced, Park City, Alta season pass holder last 12 years.
terrain skied; West Rustler, Jitterbug, High Greely, Greely Bowl, Stonecrusher, secret this and that, mostly steep, much of it lightly or untracked.

First of all, the orange color's killer- they glow in flat light. I'm trying a few new pow skis this year. My impression was very good- they had plenty of float and were very nimble. the conditions offered a range between two unbelievablly great things, bottomless powder and wind compressed pow. In the bottomless, they carved clean arcs and were soft enough to reverse camber nicely with the arc of the turn as they sank and rose. Nice face shots.
It was easy to get a great rythm going in untracked, and there was lots of it despite the crowd. They liked short turns and medium-long equally and could dart around real well- very presice in pow. When we got to the wind compressed, they preformed equally well, tips skimming the surface and middles sinking into the soft snow like a knife through butter . Nice ski. I found myself weighting the downhill ski a bit more than I usually do and when the pow was tracked up on steeps I shoved the tails a bit to complete the turns. When things got choppy, I had a bit harder time carving a clean arc.
They were a bit boaty edge to edge on harder snow in short turns, expected, but some of the fats aren't. Some of the entries to Alta's runs are tricky, involving bumps in trees. No problem there. Good on high traverse, solid on the whoop-de dos (think traversing laterally across a bump field really fast) and landed really solid when I got air of the bigger ones. Solid G.S.ing through piles of crud on the runout after lapping Greely. I thought it was a pretty good ski- After about four laps top to bottom and on the backside ( Alta has big laps), I went to the car to get the old 175 Pocket Rockets as a benchmark. They've gotton a lot of bad press here of late and I wanted to see what was what.

O.K.- the 8800's are a solid ski, sure- but the Rockets are a phenominal ski.
The're not a muck ski, and they don't like GSing the runout, but in steep,light powder they are a level above. After the third turn I said Oh- now I get it. There is something about the balance, perhaps that soft flex, whatever. I found myself carving perfectly symetrical medium radius turns down hundreds of feet of mountainside effortlessly- through bottomless pow, wind buff, cut pow, anything the mountain threw at me in perfect arcs. They preform, for me, in a three dimensional environment much like my Volkl 5* do on hard snow. Is this cheating? Who cares! So that's that.
post #2 of 9
Sweet post, I'm jealous!
post #3 of 9
next time you try the 8800s check your mounting point you may have been to far forward if you were using the stock position. if so move back about 1.5 cm(next years skis will be this way)
personally other than pro riders the 8800 is the best deep snow all round ski i have been on. PRs scared me, seemed to have no precision?
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
We mounted them right on the center mark. In a nutshell, I was making tiny weight adjustments between the skis through the arc, which is fine-but with the Rockets I just rail 'em, smear 'em, into a an arc more or less evenly weighted and they come around like a puppy fetching a stick. But- to each his own. It's a matter of taste, I guess. After that long drought, there sure is a lot of powder here lately. Were expecting another three feet in the next day or two.
Not to take away from the 8800s- I like them both, just the Rockets more. If our snow was heavier, I'm not sure. As far as precision, in powder, one could pretty much tap dance with either ski.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
To add: I'm going through a list of demo's to find a ski that has everything I love in the Rocket without the weaknesses- the tendency to fold up in heavy snow,edgegrip, crud bashing, etc. What Shh and others write about the Atomic Metron B5 make it sound like a good bet. Also on the list is the Volkl Karma, K2 Apache Recon, and the Head Mojo. Haven't found it yet- it may not be possible to get it all in one ski. The Legend 8000 is a very respectable powder board, by the way-especially in untracked, it gets tossed around a little bit when it's tracked up, like any midfat, but it's fun to sink a little lower in the turns and get it in the face.
post #6 of 9

Rockets vs Dynastar 8800

Great review of the two skis. I recently broke both bindings on my Pocket Rockets and had to rent some skis. I tried the Elan M777 and the 8800. I liked the 8800, although, there was no Powder or even crud, just bumbs and ice so I couldn't assess the attributes I ski for. The reason for this post is really for advice on binding replacements for the Rockets. It seems that they flex so much that there have been problems with bindings. I had the Solomon 912s. I ski Powder and Bumps and skiing at Mammoth requires a lot of skiing in the Sierra cement/crud. As you know the Rockets work fantanstic in these conditions; however, I can't put new bindings on the skis every 2 years.

As for the 8800, they were quite good in the hardpack/ice and held an edge quite nicely. Very stable and quick turning, they were good weaving thru the bumps; but, unlike the Rockets, they did not flex thru any deep troughs between the bumps. They would hit the bump and buck me up...not really a bad thing; but, with the Rockets I don't care how big the mound in front of me. Whereas with the 8800, I had to be a little more careful. I hope to get another shot at some Powder this weekend...Mammoth may get some and I will give the 8800's the real test!!

Interesting that you mention that "it gets tossed around a little bit when it's tracked up", that would confirm what I said above concerning hitting a mound of snow head-on.
post #7 of 9
Get Salomon 916's, they are made of metal and much stronger than the 912's.
post #8 of 9
post #9 of 9
Good luck finding something like the Pocket Rocket. I have a pair and occasionally wish for something that could handle heavy chopped snow better then a day like today happens. Today was the fourth day in a row of powder at Bridger and there were some deep stashes in the trees in the tighter quarters. I was able to get to the deep stuff because of how nimble the PRs are in powder. On the PRs I am confident that I can always make a sharp turn when needed even when the ski is buried in knee deep powder. I have yet to demo a ski that would have allowed me to ski some of the places I skied on my PRs.
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