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8800 a day in the life of ice

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Skis: Dynastar Legend 8800 178 CM

Bindings: Look P10 Jr. Race (yes I'm over 30), 6mm lift

Boots: Lange Pininfarina 307 mm

Conditions: well covered and well groomed early AM, warm weather turned what was soft to hard icy conditions

Temp: -8 C to -5 C with a fair cold wind.

Location: Lake Louise

Skier: Level 7 - 8 (0-10 scale) 5' 10", 140 - 150 LB

For my annual B day trip I went back to Lake Louise where I haven't been for a few years. I used to get lucky every year and fluke out to at least a foot of Powder. Damn forgot to praise the fire god before I went. Got bupkus.

I only brought my 8800's so I was stuck with them, but due to my experiance with the ski so far this year I am happy with it as a one stick wonder and didn't really care.

First run we headed straight to the Pommell lift to find ugly hard icy unforgiving moguls that just were not fun. Instead we took advantage of good ole well groomed cord. Took a few easy turns to make sure my brain was turned on and figured welp, this must be the time to see if I can scare myself. I let the boys run to see what they really are all about at speed.

WOW! I am so impressed they were freshly tuned and I was slightly skittish of catching and edge and smokin some tree in high heaven. After one run I was happy they were scrubbed in and had no issue on the first run.

At high speed (fastest I have gone all year and for many years for that matter) I did find that they had to be patiently rolled in and let to just take their course. I suspect this is the wide waist that doesn't like to be forced or can't be forced. Other skis I have owned had wiggle room or just seemed more manouverable at speed. I can't say it's a bad trait of the 8800 just a traite that I found also at Pano over 8 days. This doesn't mean they are hard to turn just that you have to be patient and let it happen and enjoy the ride.

They held superbly, they just buttered right through, smoothly got off edge and back in. At no time was I worried about loss of edge. They felt very stable in fact I was going fast enough for this family man and the ski still wasn't even out of shape, no flap, no feeling of looseness in edge.

The turns I was making were very large and probably right at the speced turn radius. Longer and it was laboured to make them bigger and made shorter they just didn't seem in zen.

Confidence built quickly and I started to push it. Not so much with speed but with edge. How fast can I put an edge down or take it out, or how hard can I push into the edge etc... A very versatile ski. Of course there were a few O S*@t moments and I was able to change course quickly and accurately.

I will take this as a everday groomer ski anyday. no slouch, but my buddies Soly Crossmax 10's were more in the element than my 8800's. I tried to stay in his tracks and I just couldn't get the tighter turns going fast. He just wiggled off turns where I was more putting them down.

We tired of crowded groomer and searched for the off piste. Sadly it was hard and nasty but we had to have some anyway. we headed off to the backside and found some resemblence of fresh. The biggest thing I can comment on here is how fast they are to turn and direct when it's ugly. They are so light underfoot nothing seems impossible or daunting. I was able to ski fast and with confidence because of edge hold and nimbleness.

we found a few smallish drops and again these love the air and landings are a dream, the aftermath of oh shit need control was easily reigned in and enjoyable.

We then hit the BIG bumps under Paridise chair. I am no bump hero but I had fun, they were forgiving of my mistakes and rewarding of my proper technique. I found if i kept them on the snow this time and let them run with the terrain they were smooth and easy to manouver for a big ski. Not the best bump ski but they did it well and I had fun for once in bumps. Of course I had to jump bumps as if on a MX in the woops and they are so much fun this way, hit one, jump two.

We then headed to the Larch area and found ugly icy bumps first run, then a nice blue cruiser with varied small bumps, soft snow from snow guns and very icy patches. Ski performed well with no complaints from me.

We had a long lunch and spent the remainder of the day just turning laps on the Gondy. lots of speed lots of turns and lots of fun.

there was one steep section under the gondy that had some loose on the right side and I just layed in the turns as hard as I could and let the ski carve out the turn comming right across the hill and then turn hard to come back again. Wow so much edge hold when pushed in hard. I tried finessing some turns and found the 8800 likes to be ridden hard. Put the effort in and it has huge rewards. Ski it easy and finess and it does the trick but lacks a little bite, more a skidding effect.

for a no fresh snow, icy hard ski day I am very happy with the 8800's even if they aren't perfect for this they are more than acceptable.

I still consider this a great one stick wonder and was more than impressed with it's hard snow performance.
post #2 of 6
+1....I really like my 8800's as an all mountain ski. So much so my other 4 pairs of skis have seen NO hill time this year!
post #3 of 6
Well...I guess I'll just have to try out my new 8800's at Beech Mtn, NC this weekend. All whopping 800 vertical, southeastern US feet of it!

I'll report back if I had wished I had taken my 6stars instead!
post #4 of 6
Marmot - I can relate.. It hadnt snowed in the Sierras for a couple of weeks now and the conditions have been VERY firm for the most part. The more I ski these skis the more they impress me as they perform so incredibly well in all conditions - even on/off-piste in firm! I sold my other skis as this is all I need...
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by srharv
I'll report back if I had wished I had taken my 6stars instead!
I'm not sure I would say they will replace a good skinny waist carve ski, in fact I am sure they won't.

I'd take those 6 stars just in case.

But if switching skis around pisses you off as much as it does me the 8800 is a good way to go to head off for the day knowing you have a ski that will be pretty decent in most cases.
post #6 of 6
I hear ya'.
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