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"Bargain" ski review - Intuitiv 74, Bode One, XScream

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

My first post to this forum was to ask about some skis in the 3-4 year old range that would be affordable, yet solid performing skis to transition from "old school" Atomic 198's to more current fare. I cannot throw down $$$ for new skis at this point in my life, so looked to eBay, took my chances (along with a lot of lurking here ) and here are the results to date, if anyone else is looking for decent skis on the cheap...

The skis (and delivered prices)...

Salomon XScream Series, 179 cm. with 712 demo bindings. These are the gold carbon-fiber with prolink absorbers for and aft. Dimensions: 106-68-96, R:16m $147

Rossignol One by Bode Miller "Promodel", 174 cm. with Look Pivot 10 demo bindings. (Essentially a re-badged RPM 90) Dimensions: 109-68-92, R:19m $140

Dynastar Intuitiv 74, 182 cm with Look Pivot 12 Ti demo bindings. Dimensions: 113-74-99, no radius marked on the ski, but I believe 18m. $130

I ski in Oregon, and tested the skis yesterday at Hoodoo, which at 4700-5700 feet in the Cascades, doesn't get a lot of light, dry stuff. 6 inches of recent heavy snow over a crusty layer that had softened. Really very enjoyable, though more work than if it were drier. Skied mostly ungroomed, some totally untracked, but mostly cut-up blue and black.

About me and what I was looking for in a ski -- I am 41, 5-9, 178 and have skied for 28 years. I enjoy pushing myself, and this means little time on the groomers anymore. I tend towards bumps, steeps, some air (<15 feet) and medium to short turns, though will occasionally rip long lines in crud if my quads will permit... Was having really a solid day, in the 8-9 level range. I had to leave the hill at 2:30, so I was able to test all 3 skis before leg fatigue tainted my experiences!

Spent the morning on the XScreams, having just had them tuned by a trusted shop as the eBay seller neglected to mention the rusted edges... My intent was to ski 5 or 6 runs with each ski. I stayed on these all morning. They were very solid-feeling at speed on the groomed and crud, were surprisingly good in the deeper crud/powder, and are just plain fun in the bumps. Forgiving tail - easy to recover yet still lively in tight turning. They are the lightest-feeling of the 3 skis, which is backed up by the fact that they ARE the lightest of the 3, at about 13-14 lbs per pair.

(Binding note-- Had 2 prereleases with bindings at identical DIN settings as the Looks (7.5 front/back), in virtually identical situations where the Looks did not release. Score another victory for Look turntables...)

After lunch I put on the Bode's and headed to the top of the mountain, and skied a steep, half-tracked face I had not been on with the XScreams. The Bode's bogged down despite a slightly wider shovel and same width at waist -- I had to maintain speed for any flotation, but they did not feel at all as stable underfoot. They also feel as heavy underfoot as they do in hand -- about 16lbs per pair. I headed over to one of the runs I had enjoyed 3 times on the XScreams. Not so much joy here. Still felt like a lot of work, and the skis seemed to wander more than work together. I had skied these for an entire day a few weeks ago at Mt Bachelor in much drier but hard-packed conditions, and in some great bump lines, and had a great day with them. Yesterday they went back in the trunk after 2 runs.

Spent the rest of the afternoon on the Intuitivs. What a wonderful ski. No fuss, very stable, feel almost as light and lively as the XScreams despite the fact that they weigh almost as much as the Bode's. I did not find a speed limit on these in the crud -- my inclination to go any faster gave out before the ski gave me any sense of instability. Very lively in bumps, can go edge to edge quickly yet hold well on longer turns. Great ski to end the day on, as the snow got heavier.

I had gone into yesterday determined to weed one ski out, and it's the Bode's. A lot of fun in the right circumstances, but not the right ski for where I ski, and the conditions we're often handed here in the NW. A great railer if you tuned it accordingly -- I think it would do well out east for many skiers, as it skis a little longer than its length when you let it run on the groomers, yet can ski tighter lines in bumps and trees than I ever could imagine on those 198s...

If I had to keep one pair it would be the Intuitivs, though I don't think I'll force myself to take that action. I went into this buying experiment hoping to find a good newer ski in good condition that could last me another 4 or 5 seasons, and stay in the $200's. I'm still under $300 with both the Sollys and the Intuitivs, and feel like I have something for all but the deepest dry powder.

As a bit of flame protection, I will say this -- chose your online sellers carefully, look at photos provided carefully, read the listing carefully, and manage your expectations. I don't mind cosmetic / top sheet scratches, etc. and these all have them to some extent. I avoided any skis with core shots or anything hinting at serious abuse. In fairness, the XScreams are now $182 skis after the base grind and tune, but that's probably a yearly expense for most skiers, and I'm still happy with the skis at that price.

Hopefully this will prove helpful for skiers looking for info on stuff that is no longer "current" but not yet obsolete, and still very rewarding.

post #2 of 3
I would think the Bode would be a good ski for where you ski when the conditions are hard. Try tuning the edges with a 2 degree side bevel. Personally, I'd toss the X-Scream Series.....I never liked that ski especially in Oregon snow.....my old home-mountain was Mt. Ashland.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Right about the Bode's

Rio -- that's exactly what I would do if I were to keep the Bode's, and what I meant about tuning them as an "eastern" ski. One caveat -- these are already skittish on the flats; they demand (and reward) input. If anyone gets a pair of these and puts a 2 degree edge on them, you'll really have to be careful to detune the fronts, as they will grab and go without much excuse or warning!

If I were to spend more time on the groomed runs, I would probably be giving up the Solly's instead. I had read enough reviews of the XScreams that I had really lowered my expectations, and with the best tune I could give them at home (no longer set up for skis like I was in CO...) I did not get the best first impression. And I did have a good day on the Bode's at Bachelor when previous freezing rain had made going off-piste all but impossible, so it was all fall-line turns and bumps on Outback. With the experience I had with the XScreams yesterday, I think they would equal the Bode's in that department, while the Bode's can't quite leave the groomed with as much aplomb. But that's just me. YMMV.

Now I'm just wondering if I can switch bindings on them before I send the Rossis back to eBay...

Hmmm... Bozeman. Bridger. The Ridge. *SIGH*
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