|Originally posted by CalG:
...I have skied Volkl Explosives for 7 days in winter snow and spring Variable and have a hard time faulting them as a great all around ski...
During my first several non-powder / non-slop days on my 190 Explosivs, that was my impression as well. I think that I was so surprised that they worked at all in bumps or on hardpack, I wasn't evaluating them critically. Since then, I still think they are ok in such conditions, but my opinion has come down a bit.
My major "concern" with them (if you can call it that) is that they allow you to use very sloppy technique and skid around even in heavy deep mush that would have locked skinnier skis in a death grip. Now, I gotta say that:
(a) its relaxing to do this,
(b) it fun to do hockey stops in spring slop and kick up huge sprays of thick slop, and
(c) sometimes is can be extremely handy to be able to do this,
BUT, the purist in me sez that doing this as a steady diet this will tempt you to permanently deviate from the path of carved righteousness [img]smile.gif[/img] .
I have other gripes as well. I have used them and liked them on steep bump runs, but I was skiing slow and the bumps were soft. I have done consecutive bump runs on my 190 Explosivs and then on my 188 P4's, and the Explosivs felt utterly ponderous compared to skiiner skis.
On serious NE hardpack, I find that I just can't get the same grip with them as with skinnier skis. If you want a real eye-opener, boot up at home, click into your Explosivs on one foot, and some 60-65 mm wide ski on the other. Edge both ways, and notice not just how much more effort it takes to edge the fat ski, but that for a given angle of your lower legs, the fat ski makes considerably less angle with the floor than the skinnier ski. This is because the pivot point of the fat ski is far away from your foot, so the fat ski exerts a lot more torque trying to flatten itself out. This torque acts on the everpresent play in your bindings and boots and results in less edge angle.
Finally, my last, but nit-picking grip about using the Explosivs on ice is the god-awful clanking noises they make compared to other skis. They sound like you are skiing on a big piece of metal.
However, after all the above criticism, if I had to pick just one pair, but had no idea of the conditions I would be in, the Explosivs would be very high on my list, maybe just a notch behind my 10ex's.
Tom / PM