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About me: I have 29 years of on snow experience including racing during the high school and college years. I consider myself a solid 9 in New England and an 8 out west. I am 5'6" 155lbs and in pretty good condition. I was always a one-ski at at time skier until I got my first skis with some shape and transitioned to a more modern two ski style. My ski style is smooth and powerful with a preference towards medium and long radius turns at speed with some short radius turns thrown in. Here is the interesting part - today was my first day on alpine/fixed heel skis in 8 or 9 years. Prior to today, I have been skiing tele exclusivly for the last 8 or 9 years. In my prior alpine days, skis were long and choices more limited; my preference then was for either quick GS skis or stable SLs. My last pair of alpines were Rossi 7GK 205cm. Sorry if my set-up was long. Here is my review:

Skis: 04-05 Nordica Speedmachine 14 170cm with Marker XBS.
Boots: mid 90s Rossignol Course Viper with Garmont G-Fit liners.
Location: Wachusett (close to home and great for an unplanned get-away)
Conditions: Mostly hard packed with some almost-ice and some fluffy stuff on the sides.

Since this was my first outing with fixed heels in some time, I thought an easy run would be a good start. I went down a blue at moderate speed, just getting a feel for everything. On this run, the skis seemed fine, but had no characteristics that jumped out - nothing special.

Next I went down a black and pushed the pace a bit. Wow, a different ski; they came alive. They apparantly like speed and can carve on the hardest surfaces on the hill. I was able to make some big double tracks all the way down and the skis accelerated when I wanted. When I pressured the tails a bit on exit, I got some nice rebound. Lots of fun. I had a blast on these skis and felt they were a good match for my style. I could mix up the turn radii, they were as stable as I want and above all, lots of fun. I am very happy with my purchase.

Next up, a new tele ski and I am thinking that the Atomic SL9 could be it (if I can find one with a universal plate).