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Atomic Metron:b5, upon further review - Page 6

post #151 of 219
Wow, this discussion makes me somewhat nervous. :
I keep hearing about how the B5 is so much work and demands so much and requires different technique etc etc.
Not saying anyone is "wrong" about that; but it makes me wonder what I am missing. I have found the B5 to be extremely natural and seeming to require no transition, change of technique etc. I got on them (first day at Northstar) and skied through the trees and powder as if I had been on them for ages. So far (15 days) I do not notice anything really dramatic except they have terrific edge hold and are easy in crud/powder.
And it is not that I am such a skilled skier -- so I assume that I must be missing something.
post #152 of 219
seaskier: You'll likely not missing anything within your reach. IMHO, the more one gives the B:5's, the more they return. Within your range, I expect you're gaining maximum value from the skis.

The way I read the above comments (I've not skied the M:10's or M:11's), is that they're softer skies and more forgiving. As a result, most intermediate skiers will find them easier to handle.

The B:5 has more torque and more top-end potential. Therefore, if you're enjoying them now, it just means you've got skis you'll be enjoying for a long time.

It also probably means that you're a more technically proficient skier that you're giving yourself credit for.
post #153 of 219
Thread Starter 
Well said, Capt'n! That's what I've been attempting to communicate, myself.

seaskier, no worries. Enjoy them. But, see what happens when you push them even harder (start on a nice blue and let the weight move more to the outside ski and really decamber it. See if that gives you a different sensation than you've had...).
post #154 of 219
"..move more to the outside ski and really decamber it"

Now that you mention it, I do remember being surprised that the B5 was not slipping out from under me on some (relative) hardpack. I guess I just need to keep pushing the envelope a bit until I do find the grip limits. (And that's if I can find some snow!)

Btw, one thing I noticed -- another pleasant aspect -- is that I can ski them as fast as I want (which admittedly is not very fast) and I don't think I am anywhere near the B5s top-end i.e. there is no chatter at all or sense of insecurity. With my last pair (which I loved when I bought them) even I could get to speeds where the tip started flopping around a bit. But at my own personal top-end the B5s still feel very very solid.
post #155 of 219
Thread Starter 
seaskier, that's what I mean. Push 'em and see. I've been doing that all season. I've gotten them up to around 50mph (according to others I was skiing with), and they are completely imperturbable. For a 162cm ski, this blows my mind!
post #156 of 219
One problem with the B5 and how I learned to love short shaped skis.

First the complaint: There is one big problem with the Metron B5 and Atomic binding combo: When hiking up to get an off piste line they are really heavy on the shoulder. On most skis this could be excusable, as the little voice inside says "eh the snow is probably bad off piste, its not worth it" but with the B5 the voice says "who cares, even if its wind blown bullet proof under an inch of soft, the skis will just glide over and hold an edge." So with the B5 you find yourself doing an aweful lot of hiking.

Now the conversion story, In all seriousness I am a new convert to the world of short fat skis and the Metron B5 in specific. I have enjoyed the posts here and and would like to add my account of 5 days at Alta Utah and 3 in the Sierras demoing lots of skis. This poste is long, but I figure anyone that hasn't gotten to ski in a few weeks will enjoy hearing about someone elses skiing and my first encounters with the metron might recharge your memories of your own fond meeting. So here goes:

First the relevant facts to interpret my demo reports:
I am 5'11'', 240lbs, 31 years old, skiing for 27 years.
Before the Metron my preference was steeps and fast cruising, post metron my preference is steeps, fast cruising and tight trees.

After living in VT, working at a ski shop and being very knowledgeable about the ski industry I spent nearly 10 years ignorant of technology changes, living in upstate NY away from moutains and then in California with frequent trips to Squaw Valley and Alpine meadows, My only connection with changes in the industry for most of this time was the observation that my 208cm Rossi GS skis kept looking more out of place. As the long boards lost more and more camber, and the binding floated on the boundary of idemnification, I found myself demoing more and more. But I would always begin the day in disagreement with the ski shop employee that told me that I only needed 160's, and I would end the day not quite sold on the ability of short skis to feel stable at speed--but they were good in the bumps. There was a nice day with a pair of Rossi Bandit X's a few years back when I had fresh powder all day, and I vaguely recall some orangish Atomic Beta's that heald a nice edge, but no ski made me willing to lay down the credit card.

This year I committed to buying skis and set out to demo intelligently. Two weeks ago, work afforded 3 days at lake Tahoe: 2 days at Alpine Meadows and 1 at Squaw.

Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley (no new snow to speak of, groomers in the morning and some non groomed corn runs in the afternoon):

Ski 1: Volkl p60 GX, (size 178 or close to it), These were the best shaped short skis I had used thus far. The day was primarily spent on hardpack groomers with a little afternoon corn and a few runs in the steeps. Ski was a blast at speed, not the most forgiving of any mistaken laziness that put you back a bit. If I were to own several skis this one would be fun, but not quite versatile enough for off piste and my quiver of 1.

Ski 2: Volkl Superspeed 178 (or close to it): A disappointment, felt too soft at speed compared to the p60, and didn't seem to have any advantage on crappy snow, in the bumps or for really tight turns.

A week goes by and I find myself at Alta, Utah for 5 days. Unfortunately its been a month since the last big dump but afternoons afford corn and there is trace of new snow in the mornings (more in the trees) --life is good. I arrive hoping to demo more GS skis, but find that at Alta they don't do crusisers. "Real men use all mountain skis" --ok, I'll try.

Ski 3: Nordica SUV (174 ish): Ugh, you can tell its a foam core ski on the 3rd turn. The ski feals dead and the chatter at speed on the hardpack does nothing for confidence. Next please

Ski 4: K2 Crossfire (174). Ok, this ski has promise. It is lively and seems to revel in quick turns. The ski rewards aggresive skiing and provides lots of confidence. Stability at speed is very good. Its also fine for tight jump turns. The only potential weakness is that Edge hold on the hardpack steeps is not perfect, but maybe its just me or the conditions. Certainly a nice ski, can I buy it? --Sorry sir we have none left and are not selling the demos.

Ski 5: Atomic skiercross b5 (182): Oh yeah I found a board longer than 180, its like I'm 12 again. The ski is nice at speed for the big GS turns, but on the steeps quicker short radius turns lack edge hold. I could get over the association with the x-games but the ski doesn't quite do it for me. I do like the stability though, and try to find the next size down thinking that may have better short turn properties. Sorry the 174's are out.

Ski 5: Blizzard X cross (182 ish): The ski feels like a softened version of the Atomic skiercross, nice but doesn't seem excellent in any dimension.

Ski 6: Volkl 724 exp (174 ish): This is a hot looking ski, nice texture, bright yellow, seems very popular here at Alta. I liked the P60 in California, so I have high hopes, just like the p60 on the groomers but better off -piste? NOT even close. The ski feels very soft, This is the first ski since the Nordica SUV that really bounced around at speed (still on the groomers but its afternoon so there is some degradation of the the smoothness). I try two fast runs, hoping that by varying my technique I will find the sweet spot. No luck.

Ski 7: Atomic Metron B5 (172): I return asking for the shorter Atomic skiercross (a bit embarrased to admit the 182 might be too long), to find it its out. Nice gentleman says try this Metron ski. Ok got it in 175 ish? Nope it maxes at 172 and this is the only one left. I am bewildered by Atomics unwillingness to make the model longer than 172. Isn't this the company that backs Bode and the Hermaneiter... Ok, I'll try. I ride up the lift in awe of the width of the shovel. I'd love to own a powder ski, but I live back east and only want one pair of skis-- this can't be the right ski. First run, Ski just feels weird for the first few hundred feet of lazy turns on top. I find myself on a short steep bumpy section. Snow is slick hardpack. Wow this thing really holds an edge. Finish the bump section and get onto groomed blue. After 5 big turns, I have an ego high, as the speed builds on long GS turns everything is effortless, I see the imperfectons and small bumps expecting the short ski to chatter like crazy ---nothing no shaking, no loss of edge contact. Its like gliding on rails. Run ends with a big grin. Several more runs like this. These skis are more stable than 208 GS skis ever were, But then there is the tight turn. Once dialed into the technique I can't pole plant fast enough to keep up with super tight turns--oh well just keep the hands out front. But the true joy is fast big turns--this must be what surfing is like. Next run, I head to a short steep bump run. Hardbumps with a little soft on top. They are really quick and never mis an edge when you want them to hold. I want this ski, but after only 3 or 4 runs I am not quite ready to commit. Day ends with the demo center holding the ski for me to use again in the morning. I still have the K2 crossfires and must transit to the other base and return them, so I get one last run in with them. They are still a nice ski, but I notice a slight tendency to loose an edge where I think the B5 would have heald --but I didn't ski this particular run on the B5.

Next day, back on the B5 and yesterday wasn't a dream. These skis are incredible. A few inches of new snow, so I head for what looks like a nice steep and lonely line at Mineral Basin, Snowbird. After 2 turns I see why the locals aren't playing here. Steep Bullet proof windblown with weird bumpy balls covered by an inch or 2 of fresh snow. For the B5 this is not a bad deal, they hold edges, the are easy to initate the turn in no matter what the texture is and often enough they float on the small amount of soft cover. Dancing through the steep bumps, I am only constrained by cardiovascular fitness, not technique or ski.--Big confidnece builder. Afternoon comes and its back over to Alta, I find some soft snow in the woods, and am in heaven.

Ski 8: K2 Recon (174)
Meanwhile my wife falls in love with the K2 burnin loves and buys a new pair--the only pair for sale in Alta, or maybe Utah it would seem. Her first pair of skis --yeah. So I get to use her demo credit at the shop with K2's that just got in the Recons in, which I am told are very much like the metron b5's I have been talking up. I take 2 runs, and am even more appreciative of the b5. The recons look like they have simmilar sidecut and width properties, but at speed they are not competetive. I'm not sure if it lack of torsional stiffeness or dampining but where the b5 provides unbreakable hold and stability the recon lets you know that it is built for powder not hardpack. Conclusion If I were going to buy a K2 it would be the crossfire, and on purely asthetic grounds I like its traditional look, but I'm buying what is the best ski I have ever been on. Day ends with me the proud owner of a month and a half old pair of Metron B5's in 172cm with Atomic 412 bindings. Nice owner of the shop throws in poles (so I can cut down the old ones at home for tele) and gives me what I believe is a very nice price. Demo center does a little p-tex work--nothing serios or near the edges, and I notice a short section of edge that is imperfect --next belt and stone grinding will fix this.

Final ski day. My "new" skis and I do some hike runs and tree runs. I am euphoric, Each lift ride finds me staring at the marvel of engineering on my feet and each rund down finds me skiing better than I ever have.
post #157 of 219

Nice review. Looks like you did your homework. Welcome to the Metron club.
post #158 of 219
Thanks Phil.
post #159 of 219
Thread Starter 
saberdog, Welcome to EpicSki! What an Epic first post! Great information and well done. Thanks!

...and, as Phil said, welcome to Club Metron...
post #160 of 219
Thanks SSH, happy to be in the club. Lots of nice smiles here.
post #161 of 219
Just ordered a pair of 172cm 2006 B5's w/New neox 6.14.

Should be here next week & I am leaving for Utah for 5 days the 28th. We're hitting Deer Valley, Snowbird/Alta snowbasin, Canyons & Park City

If you were going to take another pair of skis to Utah this late in the season Which of the following would you take with the B5's.

180cm SX11 Supercross
180cm R11
165cm SL11 World cup
173cm sugar daddy
183cm Women's World Cup Gs11
170cm GSX
166cm Stockli World cup slalom
186cm World cup GS11
165cm SL11m

Just take the Metrons & call it a day?
post #162 of 219
I drove in Utah a few weeks ago and took my SL9's, Teledaddy's and M11's, never got around to skiing anything but the M11's. If I was flying I would only take the B5's
post #163 of 219
Thread Starter 
AM, why confuse matters? Take the b5s and enjoy!
post #164 of 219
Good pointssh, but have not skied them enough to really know whether they are truly the "Swiss Army Knife" of skis!
post #165 of 219
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Atomicman
Good pointssh, but have not skied them enough to really know whether they are truly the "Swiss Army Knife" of skis!
Yet another reason to take only them! Now you'll find out!
post #166 of 219
I agree with SSH. My experience in Utah last week was that the conditions changed a lot from run to run, depending on sun exposure and the slope, so optimizing from a quiver would require frequent changes. For this reason I would not bring something like a specialty slalom ski or supercross ski. If I didn't mind carrying 2 pairs I might consider taking my favorite powder ski in case I woke up to a nice dump and committed to that ski for the day--on the other hand the B5 would be great on a nice powder day.

Envious of 5 days in Utah coming up. Enjoy.
post #167 of 219
Thanks for the thoughts,

Well I don't mind taking 2 pair since my ski bag holds 2.

If my Metrons don't show up Probably take the WC SL11 & my R11. If it really dumps (like it did the last 2 days) I'll rent something FAT

If they do show up, I'll go with just the Metrons.
post #168 of 219
Do it for Johnny man

Do it for Johnny

Make some turns for me.

I still need to decide if I want the B5s over the M:XIs. They just rip on ice so well.
post #169 of 219
Thread Starter 
Which rip on ice so well, Scalce?
post #170 of 219
Originally Posted by Scalce
Do it for Johnny man

Do it for Johnny

Make some turns for me.

I still need to decide if I want the B5s over the M:XIs. They just rip on ice so well.
I liked the B5's better everywhere. I thought the M11 was too soft.
post #171 of 219
Originally Posted by ssh
Which rip on ice so well, Scalce?
post #172 of 219
Originally Posted by ssh
Which rip on ice so well, Scalce?
You guys knew he meant the B5's
post #173 of 219
Thread Starter 
I was thinking that if he meant the M:11s, the b5s would be even better (as long as they weren't too much ski). Sounds like they're the ticket for you, too, Scalce.

I'll be on them tomorrow at Vail....!
post #174 of 219
Originally Posted by ssh
I was thinking that if he meant the M:11s, the b5s would be even better (as long as they weren't too much ski). Sounds like they're the ticket for you, too, Scalce.

I'll be on them tomorrow at Vail....!
I know, just kiddin' around!

Have a blast at Vail! I'm green with envy!!
post #175 of 219
I just returned from 5 days at Tahoe, skiing both the '06 B:5's and my '05 M:EX's. The new B:5's appear to ski similar to the '05 versions; smooth, effortless and nimble.

Initially, I worried that perhaps the 172's were too long (I never had a chance to demo the 162's).

However, I found I could dance the 172's on groomers and steeps quickly and easily. I'm sure the 162's would have been even easier, but I felt no lack. The 172 B:5's were also fun at speed; rock-steady and powerful.

Between these 2 skis (B:5's and M:EX's), it feels like a complete quiver. The M:EX's float in almost anything, but with more versatility than a "fat" ski, and the B:5's snap turns on anything less than 6 inches of fresh.

I didn't try the B:5's in deep pow because I didn't need to. However, I expect they would have acquited themselves respectfully.

If I were a total gear whore (I'm showing signs), I may also opt for the Sugar Daddy's with AT bindings, and an eastern ski. Hmmm, back to 4 again.

Time for therapy?
post #176 of 219
Thread Starter 
WHAT? You didn't try the b5s in deep because you had the M:EXs? Forgetting about your poor friends back on the Forums who want to know all?
post #177 of 219
SSH: I agree, it was selfish. Had I modicum of decency, I would have sacrificed at least one run for the team.

For pennance, I'll spend a week in Alta, buried in fresh with nothing but a pair of x-country skis. Ooooh, that would hurt!

The day we spent at Northstar (for the intermediates in our group), I did ski the B:5's in 6 to 8 inches of heavy chop - a tough test. They surfed the slop easily, so long as decent speed was maintained.

In real powder, I expect they'd be good. Next stop, Banff in April. On a stack of Bibles, I swear if I'm given another 7 feet of fresh snow over 5 days (as in Tahoe), I'll commit a run to reviewing the B:5's in deep powder.
post #178 of 219
Thread Starter 
Appreciate the sacrifice!

They were great in 12-24" at Vail (some over a day old, but hey, I'm not going to be picky!).
post #179 of 219
I'm still searching for a Denver or Frisco dealer. The ones we tried didn't pan out. However, once that happens, I'll have an excuse to join you for some turns.

I always try to ski with locals, especially ones who have the sense to own the world's best ski equipment!
post #180 of 219
Thread Starter 
Time to visit will arrive for me after the season ends. We'll find you some before next year!
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