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Extreme Carving Toys!

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Tried some very extreme carving toys today, Salomon shorty super shaped with around 6" of lift on them. One of our instructors from Switzerland brought them from across the pond with him.

They have a huge stock lifter on them from Salomon, then some kind of custom looking deal from Europe that looks like it was cut out of a solid block of aluminim - has about a 1" gap of air in it with just metal arms making the connection. Then a lifter on top of that, then the riser plate that comes with the Salomon Spheric bindings on top of that riser.

Total pain in the butt to carry, they are only around 140's or so (I'll look and get the model name and length off of them when I'm back up on Thursday) - yet when I compared them to other skis in the office, just one of them weighs more than a pair of Volkl 207 Traditional GS race stock skis that were sitting around. They weigh an absurd amount!

When clicking in you have to really step UP onto the skis, quite odd. And when in the lift line I was suddenly taller than pretty much everybody around (kind of a cool new view for me!).

First ride up the lift, thinking about what they were going to be like, I was quite frankly frightened! I'm a G-Force Junkie, I'm always laying my turns out in all terrain, and these skis very clearly held the possibility of being too much for me if I dove down the mountain like normal.

So my first few turns I first skidded, to make sure they WOULD skid! Then I just started touching each set of edges briefly and letting them lock up for just a moment to get a feel for their initiation aggressiveness. Felt great, very responsive to say the least.

Soon I was tipping them all the way over and smiling like a madman.

Holy cr*p! These things make skis like Elan Parabolics seem tame!

Great fun, totally exhausting. In short turns they whip micro-radius carves so quickly back and forth that its very difficult to keep up! In long high speed turns the G-Forces are very radical . . . VERY radical. Amazing workout!

Likely not the most versatile skis in the world, they wouldn't be my choice in anything but groomed. Although there was about 4" fresh on groomed in some places I went, and the 4" was chopped and piled up in other places and they mached through it no problem. But then any ski when locked into a carve is stable.

What fun! I didn't give them back yet, they are still in my office up on the mountain so I'll get more time on them later this week and report back!
post #2 of 42
Is Salomon into a whole "shorty" thing now? I won a pair of their "snowlerblades" at Okemo. Those things feel freaky. Beginning to think my 163cm Volkls are a bit long!
post #3 of 42
Thread Starter 
They have definately gotten into a diverse bag of toys these days, there are racers holding up Salomons on the World Cup podium now these days, and then little playthings like snowblades. Well -- the sport is about fun, so I guess the more options we have the better!
post #4 of 42
Todd you have wet my appetite. I want a pair. They sound way cool eh!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 25, 2002 07:18 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Pierre eh! ]</font>
post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 
I'd recommend them, I'll tell you - they don't make anything "easier", they are WORK, but what a kick in the butt! Also I think that they will be a good high level training tool, the forces and angles are so radical, it can't help educate my body/mind some!

These things are often referred to as "EuroCarving Skis" - but "EuroCarving" is a silly term since a carve is not any different from one continent to another! :
post #6 of 42
We had a couple of Swiss instructors show up with 140/150s last year. They were made by RTS a small Swiss ski maker. The skis had a Hengle plate that I had never seen befor. They lifted you way (110mm?) off the ski, and you could do major ramp adjustments. They also weighed a ton. These guys would carve 360s all over the groomed at scary speeds. They also tore up the local race series (almost cheating!). But, even these Swiss full certs found them totally inappropriate for the most of our upper mountain; chutes, variable snow, Etc. This year, it seems like all the Euros come over with just a shorty slalom, but end up buying a mid or a fat too.
post #7 of 42
I have 72mm total lift on my Head Cyber Space XTi, and I love it. They are 170s though, so not quite as "extreme". I find whenever I step down onto a pair of race legal (< 55mm) skis I feel so low, and restricted!!
I've skied a few different "extreme carvers" in 150cm lengths and they sure are a great time! I think I could be totally happy carving down blue cruisers all day on a pair of little rippers.. I had a great day at Tremblant a couple of years ago on Salomon Axecleavers, Atomic 9.11s, and Kastle Extreme something or other??
post #8 of 42

I would be very curious to know what model skis you have. I have the Salomon AxeCleaver Series (152cm) with the original Hangl plate (18mm lift) and use them everywhere when skiing in the East. It is possible that the AxeCleaver evolved into the skis your are talking about. I know that Salomon made the decision to market carving toys in Europe only. Too bad, because short skis are so much fun.

However, I would agree that a longer mid-fat is better for all-around skiing (especially in the West). This year in Fernie I rented a 181cm Axis X and a 170cm Head SuperCross Ti and the additional length and beefier construction was a welcome change. But I must admit that the overly damp feel of the Axis X was not to my liking on groomed runs.

So we wait for your info. A picture would be nice too, if at all possible. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #9 of 42
Thread Starter 
Axecleavers - thats what they are, I couldn't remember until you mentioned them.

Must be about 130-140mm of lift.

So they did well in racing eh? I've wondered how they would do, FIS length rulings don't apply in local races -- and the way those puppies carve I've thought they might well rip in both SL and GS!
post #10 of 42
Todd: Have you tried them on our bullett proof Eastern ice this season. I frequently train on Salomon Sno-blades and find that I love the way they handle in true carves except for our Eastern Ice this season. Holding an edge on a true carve on the ice is all but impossible. Let me know your thoughts.I could be very interested in a pair. Thanks ******** Whtmt

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 26, 2002 07:33 PM: Message edited 1 time, by whtmt ]</font>
post #11 of 42
Thread Starter 
I have certainly used lots of shaped skis on solid ice, and they carve fine of course if they are sharp and used with the light and subtle touch required for carving on ice.

I have not tried the little super carvers on ice (only tried them once so far) I'm curious though, I've wondered the same thing - and since it is currently raining hard, and then supposed to freeze again (grrrrrr!) . . . it looks like I'll get a chance to find out when I'm back up there on Thursday.

I'll let you know!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 26, 2002 08:12 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Todd M. ]</font>
post #12 of 42
Your certainly right Todd....they're great to
tune the technique. Some 170 G3s (nothing in
comparison to the skis you were on) of late,
during NewEngland's *Winter REVIVAL!!*...have improved my powder technique 100%. Such a miniscle sweet spot has worked wonders... [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #13 of 42
Thread Starter 
No kidding man, I was out in about 14" of somewhat heavy fresh the other day on some Rossignol 173's SL's . . . they will do it fine, but you've got to be right on top of them! I eventually got tired of working so hard and bopped back to my office and swapped for a pair of my Elan 183's, not a lot longer but with their huge shovel and tail they make the pow pretty brainless!
post #14 of 42
Sounds like Snowlerblades part II, to me. Then again, I've seen a couple guys on monoboards recently as well.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 27, 2002 08:53 PM: Message edited 1 time, by dchan ]</font>
post #15 of 42

Do you have anything intelligent to say?
post #16 of 42
I don't know, Todd.
Maybe I'll show my ignorance here but, I
think that the ski you describe are fitting in what here in Europe is called the
"FUN Carve" skis category, huge shovels (112), very shorts, with risers that make ,you feel like you're on really high heels.
Atomic Beta Carve 10.11, Blizzard Sigma SSK
Dynamic Fun Carv 10, Elan HCX, Head Cyber Spaca XTi, Voelkl F5, just to name few of this year models...
Those skis were there before the Slalom carve started to make people (i.e.normal skiers) go back to that particular tool.
post #17 of 42
Thread Starter 
You are right, they are called "Fun Carve" skis over on that side of the pond.

Coincidentally one of our German instructors and I were talking about this very thing about an hour ago up on the mountain, he said that the Austrian National Team is using that type of ski for most of their free-skiing and cross training now.

I can see why, I'm whipped - those things are great fun but WORK! Extreme forces result from arcing them at speed. Was skiing them today in chopped up spring snow, rock solid stable . . . even though they are just 152's!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 28, 2002 02:36 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Todd M. ]</font>
post #18 of 42
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TomB:

Do you have anything intelligent to say?

I like your selective censorship, Mr. Moderator.

Stick around, Tombee, I may not disappoint you. Or bring this topic over to Powdermag.com for a freer discussion.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 30, 2002 09:08 PM: Message edited 1 time, by dchan ]</font>
post #19 of 42
Todd, I understand only too well.
Especially when you talk about G-forces...
As an ex-pilot (PPL), ex motorbike owner,
the carvers are bringing back memories
of those G-forces acting on my body.
I wish I could buy me a pair of fun carver...
Now, if only my budget would allow it...
I'd have one pair each type of ski!
post #20 of 42
The HCXs are a hoot. The new ones have a 20 mm two piece plate. I have demo bindings so they're pretty tall and weigh a ton. Mine are 163s. I didn't take them because they aren't as good in soft snow or big mountains.(kinda nervous at higher speeds on narrow trails) If I get back I'll be sure to bring them for you to try.
post #21 of 42
Thread Starter 
Hmmm - the 152's with HUGE plates I've played on a bit each week lately are rock solid at extremely high speeds, even through choppy snow. And they don't know how big or little the mountain might be! But powder tools they ain't, thats for sure.
post #22 of 42
Sounds like fun. I wonder if they'll have anything like that out at Hood this summer?
post #23 of 42
Thread Starter 
See if you can find any Austrian racers doing training there at Hood. The Austrian's racers are apparantly doing all of their freeskiing now on short extreme hightly lifted carving skis - the forces experienced are so radical on these things when you push them, it makes sense that it would be excellent cross training.
post #24 of 42
Does Salomon still produce the AXE Cleaver for the European market? I thought that it was discontinued a few seasons back. It would be great to see the ski come back into their line in the states. Ive always wanted to try a pair of them out just to see what they are like, cuz they look like a blast.
post #25 of 42
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SLATZ:
if I get back I'll be sure to bring them for you to try.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thank you Slatz! Very nice of you to offer!
BTW, weather has turned cold again here, and
snowfalls are forecasted starting from 1000 mt and above. It looks like the Glaciers season will be a blast...

Haluvaskier, in my copy of the SCI mag ski guide (SCI-Guida pratica all'acquisto), season 01-02, the Axecleaver aren't present.They are in the 00-01...
This doesn't mean that you can't buy 'em here, quite simply that Salomon could have put 'em out of production.
In favour of the Slalom carve skis.
As I mentioned, the Fun carve category had a gold age before the Slalom carve skis were introduced into the markets.
They are similar in length, and do not need
such huge lifters..
So it looks that are being forgotten, even thought there is a Fun Carving cup, with pro skiers.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ April 09, 2002 11:26 AM: Message edited 1 time, by M@tteo ]</font>
post #26 of 42
Thread Starter 
Actually to get the same effect that the lifters previously had - you still have to have the same amount of lift. Lift equals leverage. By widening a ski you can prevent the boot-out that lifters help one avoid, but boot-out is not the primary reason for such lifters.

Technology has not come up with a magical force to increase leverage without needing a lengthed lever-arm, this is why the FIS had to impose lift limits for safety sake, because even on the the top technology World Cuppers have access too - they are still wanting as much lift as possible in some events.
post #27 of 42
Todd, I agree; I do well understand
all the implications of leverage and the need of lifts for such extreme toys as the fun carver skis are...
But, what I meant in my previous post was that the fun carver are too a specialized category of skis, to appease the general public, those who want to ski a bit, sunbathe a bit. Even to those who would push a bit harder (but still belonging to the general public or "consumers" bit of the cake), the Slalom carve skis appear more interesting, not to mention that the SL carver category has the leverage (marketing) of being used by the WC racers, thus a higher visibility. Let alone, that as you said, can not be used as "general purpouse" skis by someone who has no sponsorship, or not so much money to enable him/herr to buy
N pair of skis (one each category, or more)
The fun carver will remain a niche category, in my view.
When first appeared, I thought long and hard about buying such a model, well, I waited too long.
They are not on my priority list anymore (just to be clear, I put myself into the general public bit/push a little bit harder than the avg).
Given the choice, I'd buy a pair of mid fat, or a pair of SL carve, not to mention that I really ought to replace my P40-F1, since are way too long (198 cm), I'm not really getting younger...
FIS with the raiser max height (and max turn radius and so on) is trying to equalize things a bit, and maybe to reduce or attempt to limit injuries (will they succeed? we'll see).
post #28 of 42
Just got back from Lutsen's Spring Series. 4 days of racing with Kosnick, Schleper, Casey Pucket, Chip Knight,Brad Hogan, Stan Hayer and Uros Pavlovcic setting the pace. The snow held out just long enough.
I asked the Salomon rep about those skis. He said "you won't see them here". He also described that lifter as one that allows "free heel" for climbing. Does that sound like what you saw Todd?
post #29 of 42
Thread Starter 
One of their reps said that? No, the high lift setups that are more common over the pond for 'fun carving' and racer freeskiing training, are not related to climbing or freeheeling. They are short carving skis with extremely high lifts on them, but all fixed into place like normal.
post #30 of 42
This morning, while commuting to work, I was reading one of the skiing magazines available here in Italy, to be precise, SCIARE , magazine number 551 (February-March 2002 edition)

Pages 126 to 133 were dedicated to the FIS carving cup events and Coppa Italia Carving FISI events.

This discipline was born around the FUN carving skis.
Page 131, I testually read, and (try to) translate (at my best):
"The optimal solution to exploit to its maximum
the SLALOM skis shapes.
Right, the FUN skis, which had suggested the birth
of this kind of competitions, are subjected to the technical evolution wanted by the manufacturers, for commercial reasons too.
So, in today carving races, the same models used by the World Cup slalom racers are being employed"

So, what I was saying seems to become true, at least here in Italy.
Fun carvers are disappearing, the same skis which
were threatening, few years ago,to replace the Slalom skis in the heart of the GP (General Public) are now being replaced by the evoluted
version of the Slalom skis, which, being a less specialized tool, are more marketable to the GP.
The irony of it, at least in Italian language,
SL is called Slalom Speciale (Special Slalom) to distinguish the discipline from the Slalom Gigante (Geant Slalom).
The skis are referred to as Sci da Speciale
(Special (Slalom) Skis)to imply that are very specialized tools. But are more marketable than the FUN Carvers, which are, as Todd says,
extreme carving toys...(thus even more "specialized")

[ May 06, 2002, 10:40 AM: Message edited by: M@tteo ]
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