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Prior Doughboy review

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Where: Whistler, B.C.

Conditions: Everything possible. 295” base, 34 degrees and slushy bottom third, 28 degrees and refrozen granular, whiteout clouds in the middle, 30 degrees, clear, and 6” of fresh powder over old chop, 15 mph wind, at top and over on the glacier.

Me: Middle aged, 6', 167 lbs, advanced, like to turn. Current skis are 165 Head iSupershape, 172 Contact 11, 172 Head iM82, 158 Rossi VS, 183 Goat, 174 Stockli XL.

The ski: The Doughboy is a classic aspen and maple stringer core in a glass torsion box. I choose the stiffer option, which adds carbon strips for a quadraxial wrap design. Shape is a very non-traditional 145-105-120, long shovel and narrow upswept tail, and 18 m(!!) turning radius in 175 cm.

Background: I’ve been scoping out independent fatty companies for a while, on the theory that a) life is short, and b) just maybe they could produce a superior, or at least, innovative, product. Had narrowed options to Fatypus, Bros, and Prior, so when I found out I was going to Whistler, choice was natural. Prior is a well-respected snowboard company that started making a powder ski several years ago. Have a reputation for quality materials and customized design, but mixed reviews on performance (Freeskier hated the original Prior, Ski Canada liked them.) The Doughboy is a new ski this season specifically designed to “surf” powder like a snowboard. Since I already own Goats, I liked the idea of lighter, turnier boards for tight spaces.

After several phone calls and some checks with folks around Whistler, I ordered them online, about two weeks before I was going. I found the folks I dealt with very responsive. They expedited the build, and mine were finished literally hours before I arrived at the factory. Kinda cool to see your own skis curing. I mounted them at a local shop with Marker Ti EPS M13’s (the version with an on-off switch for the center mounted piston). You see plenty of Prior boards and skis in stores there, incidentally, and on the slopes.

Review: With that 145 shovel and stiffer flex option, I expected my Priors to pound deep stuff. Unfortunately, I’m still waiting for bottomless pow to test that theory. But they rocked in 6” of fresh over boot-top soft chop. The Doughboys have a very old-school feel with the wood core torsion box: strong but not especially stiff, weirdly light, mild progressive flex, fairly smooth, but lots of snow feel, like a Fischer on steroids. You get feedback in crud and bumps, but the ski isn’t deflected.

This is combined with a very new-school shape - tip those big shovels and the skis come around Right Now. The 18 m radius (mounting point is center of that), 25 mm taper, and lack of metal makes these big boys feel more like mid-fats in bumps and trees. By the time your eyes warn you that there’s no place to turn, the skis are already around. Easy to go switch, although the deep sidecut keeps asking to turn. Much more maneuverable than my Goats. Which is saying something.

The shape seems to work like the Contact 11 – you can smear turns in soft with almost no effort, you can do quick short radius scarves, or you can get further over on edge and carve hard.

Cons: An intermediate could enjoy this ski in soft snow, but those giant shovels require active management and good weight distribution on packed. You do not sit back on these, ever. Just like a snowboard, they’ll skid on groomed, but they prefer to be given some edge. Just OK on serious ice; the Marker setup helps noticeably. And with the raised tail, they ski short, with a moderate speed limit. Even at 167 lbs, if this were my primary backside powder ski, I’d want the next length up (183).

Conclusions: If your idea of skiing powder is three fast arcs in a quarter mile, these are not for you. But if you like working tighter spaces or finding stashes in bumpy back bowls, prefer float to plow, and want a pow ski that’s also fun on the frontside, I’d give the Doughboy a hard look. My Goats may sit in the closet for a while.
post #2 of 5


nice review and thanks for getting on a ski we'd be unlikely to see.

I really liked your review because we are the same size (6ft, 168) and you have one ski that i own and like (im 82).

I saw this ski advertised and was interested due to the reasons you mentinoed, traditional construction mixed with nice shape and a good length.

I was wondering if you could check something else of interest... could you or did you measure the contact length? I'm becoming very contact length sensitive as every companies measurements and tail shape are different. Mix that fact with so many different mounting points and it's tough to know what you're getting.

My pow ski now is the k2 hippy stinx in a 179 (tele version of seth pistol) and as much as I enjoy it sometimes, but would love a ski without so distinct a twin tip. those tails bug me.

thanks again for the review.

post #3 of 5
Yeah, ditto on the nice review.

I've been eyeing these for the past two seasons and sadly keep missing the Prior demo days when they swing through Tahoe (I give them props for being quick to answer any questions posed via email on the official Prior website and for having one of the most extensive demo tours of any company, either major or indie...these guys bring their goods to a number of resorts from the West to the East, which is something not a lot of folks do any more).
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Holiday, the approximate running length on my 175's is 148 cm. Stability seems to come from the construction and the width. Didn't find any problem in bumps, but didn't try any tightly packed trails.

Reduction is mostly the shovel, which is long and rises fairly slowly compared to most skis. The tail is what I'd call a modified twin but not a flip like the old Goat; it rises faster than the tip and to a lower elevation above the surface, but follows a true curve. Feels more defined in the back than a "real" twin tip like a Karma or PE, more like a Mantra.

Mounting point is 8 cm behind the true midpoint of the ski. That's at the center of the sidecut radius. I mount BOF, so I discussed mounting position at length, was also considering a Tyrolia RF. They even offered to let me demo a factory model first. But I stayed with the radius center and it feels about right for what I want, even though it's a bit behind BOF.

Dookey, I also was really impressed with these guys. Very willing to talk about their skis as long as you wanted, no BS.
post #5 of 5
Well if their skis rock as good as their snowboards (thats the destiny of Prior) than they must be great!

Wonder if they produce race skis too? Their titanal custom race boards are great. I tried a Pen build by Prior, devellopped by Pokkis definitely a great board.
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