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2008 Midfat and Wider Ski Reviews - Page 2

post #31 of 45
I had an opportunity to take several runs on a pair of 2007-2008 Mantras with the Marker prototype binding at Whitewater, British Columbia, on Saturday, March 10. They may have even been the same pair of skis, since Volkl is moving them around, and the local shop which had them for demo doesn't actually own them.

My stats: 5'11", 165 lbs, 54 yrs, decent skier, but conservative (PSIA L3).

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
177cm w/Duke binding: Ah, much more like it! This was my first time on the Mantra, and I was definitely impressed. It isn’t really at home in these conditions, and doesn’t really compare to the other, narrower skis tested here. But, I still enjoyed it. It completely handled the crud that we could find, and turned quickly for such a wide ski. On steep, icy pitches, the ski held remarkably well for such a wide ski. It was super easy to ski, and held me up in the crud, making skiing challenging conditions almost like cheating. It might be too wide for how I like to ski (I like to be in the snow, more than skimming on the top) but it was quick enough to ski tight spaces (it decambered easily, making a short turn radius) and was plenty stable in crud run outs and at speed. Also, it was very forgiving, and I bet that a wide range of skier could enjoy this ski in the deep stuff.
Generally agree with this. I found it versatile, astonishingly quick for such a wide ski, and forgiving. Don't get behind them, though.

I didn't try ice; we didn't have any.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
Being a wide ski, it wasn’t surprising that this ski was the worst ski tested (by a large margin) when skied on the hard groomers. At speed in big GS arcs, it was really sketchy and a bit scary at times (it sometimes wanted to do it’s own thing), and when I put the ski up onto edge and tried to shorten the turn radius via edge angle and pressure, the ski wouldn’t hold up. Rather, it just started to bounce and skid. Lazy Super-G arcs were passable, but once I turned up the energy, the ski just was too wide to hold a decent edge.
I did not encounter these issues - maybe a different tune? Different snow? I did not straightline anything; if there was even a little edge engagement, the ski seemed reasonably well settled. Although it was not as quick edge-to-edge as a narrower ski, it pulled into turns without hesitation once engaged, hooked up nicely, and came all the way 'round without skidding downhill in an unseemly fashion. It did skid some, since I was often turning it much shorter than the sidecut radius - it was not a pure carve achieved by edge angle, pressure, and bending the ski. But it did come around the way I wanted it to, unlike some others which seemed reluctant to hook up and finish cleanly on the same run.

It was perfectly willing to carve, too. I had no difficulty tipping them up far enough while laying down railroad tracks to touch my inside hand to the snow without banking or crouching too much.

I found them smooth and easily manageable in moderate bumps, allowing short round turns with a controlled skid, or a more open style banking off the sides of the bumps just "outside" of the zipper.

In the trees, they were willing to pivot easily where necessary, dropping down and around two or three-foot drops near trees without threatening to bury the tips. There was some coral underneath several inches of fresh, along with some frozen "tree bombs," and I flailed a bit on the Mantras when I hit some of this stuff. I probably would have flailed when hitting a tree bomb no matter what ski I was on, though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
I also think the Duke binding has a lot of merit, and would be very useful for resort skiing. It is pricey though (retail is $430). I didn’t see a downside from a standard binding, except maybe a little excess weight.
I was also impressed with the apparent strength and rigidity of the Marker binding, especially since I was using a rather stiff pair of alpine boots. The binding has a true DIN release scale. The range was 6-16. The prototype lacked any real length indicator, so the length is adjusted by trail and error to get the forward pressure just right.
post #32 of 45
Thread Starter 
I measured the new 888's: they are 126/89/110, with a claimed radius of 21m in 177cm. The 777's measure out at 117/85/110 with a claimed radius of 21m. Basically, as Noodler mentioned, the tip and waist grew, whereas the tail is unchanged (dimension-wise). The ski is completely new construction-wise as well.
post #33 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post
I had an opportunity to take several runs on a pair of 2007-2008 Mantras with the Marker prototype binding at Whitewater, British Columbia, on Saturday, March 10. They may have even been the same pair of skis, since Volkl is moving them around, and the local shop which had them for demo doesn't actually own them.

My stats: 5'11", 165 lbs, 54 yrs, decent skier, but conservative (PSIA L3).


I did not encounter these issues - maybe a different tune? Different snow? I did not straightline anything; if there was even a little edge engagement, the ski seemed reasonably well settled. Although it was not as quick edge-to-edge as a narrower ski, it pulled into turns without hesitation once engaged, hooked up nicely, and came all the way 'round without skidding downhill in an unseemly fashion. It did skid some, since I was often turning it much shorter than the sidecut radius - it was not a pure carve achieved by edge angle, pressure, and bending the ski. But it did come around the way I wanted it to, unlike some others which seemed reluctant to hook up and finish cleanly on the same run.

It was perfectly willing to carve, too. I had no difficulty tipping them up far enough while laying down railroad tracks to touch my inside hand to the snow without banking or crouching too much.
When we tried the Mantra, I had a 177 and 184, and another skier had a different 177 and 184 as well. The snow was really hard that day. They would carve OK, but only at lazy arcs. Once the energy was turned up (more aggressive initiaton) or with a higher edge angle, the ski would wash and skid, and was also a bit hooky at high speeds. It would probably be fine on softer snow though, but on hard snow, it really showed that wider skis do have a significant weakness. It was a great ski otherwise, though.
post #34 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
I measured the new 888's: they are 126/89/110, with a claimed radius of 21m in 177cm. The 777's measure out at 117/85/110 with a claimed radius of 21m. Basically, as Noodler mentioned, the tip and waist grew, whereas the tail is unchanged (dimension-wise). The ski is completely new construction-wise as well.
dawg - the preliminary brochure I saw showed the 888 having varying dimensions based on the length chosen. Is this still the case or are all the lengths the same?
post #35 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post
dawg - the preliminary brochure I saw showed the 888 having varying dimensions based on the length chosen. Is this still the case or are all the lengths the same?
I have no idea. My pair is a 177, and I don't have my hands on a 184 yet. I will measure them when a pair comes in.
post #36 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by oboe View Post
In golf, a guy of my ability level would be called a "duffer". In skiing, I guess I qualify for the tactfully placed "advanced" - meaning, ho hum, no expert here, level 7 after the Advil kicks in.

Having skied the Elan Magfire 12, I found that I enjoy the Magfire 10 more. Is it my imagination, or are skis at that level for skiers at my level not frequently tested for reports here? I mean, ya, we're ho hum skiers - but we still comprise the great majority of skiers. So if we're not quite chopped liver - what gives? Where are the tests of the skis for "ski duffers'"?

Interesting, because I have skied both the Mag 12 and 10, and I actually found the 12 was easier, at least for me. I wouldn't necessarily say that the 10 was a lesser ski, both of them are pretty beefy. But I think the 12 just was a little better suited to my style of skiing. The sidecut of the 10 makes it want to turn a lot, and I just seem to prefer a more GS feel in a 50% on 50% off piste ski.
post #37 of 45
Thanks for taking the time to post each of the reviews. Great job.
post #38 of 45
Dawgcatching,
Thanks for the excellent reviews.
I plan to switch away from my Volkl 5 stars to a softer more all mountain ski and better in crud. Demos of the Head im82 & im77 at Alta and Snowbasin sold me one of these 2 skis, but local retail rep suggested that the im72 would be plenty for all but the deepest powder (I always miss by a few days) and a Head rep advised to go with the new im78 as less tiring, etc. Questions: do you know if next year's im72 will be fatter, and how do the 72 & new 78 compare in crud, bumps, and off piste?
Thanks, Bluebear
post #39 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post
Dawgcatching,
Thanks for the excellent reviews.
I plan to switch away from my Volkl 5 stars to a softer more all mountain ski and better in crud. Demos of the Head im82 & im77 at Alta and Snowbasin sold me one of these 2 skis, but local retail rep suggested that the im72 would be plenty for all but the deepest powder (I always miss by a few days) and a Head rep advised to go with the new im78 as less tiring, etc. Questions: do you know if next year's im72 will be fatter, and how do the 72 & new 78 compare in crud, bumps, and off piste?
Thanks, Bluebear
The 72 is replaced by the Xenon for 2008, and I haven't skied it. I tried the iM78 here at Squaw today, and it was a great ski. It was great in the soft snow. Definitely more versatile in bumps than the 82, and a tighter-turning ski too. It will be a big seller, along with the other similiar skis I demoed in the thread (Atomic Blackeye and Volkl Tigershark 12). I personally like the Head and Atomic a bit more than the Volkl, but they are all worthy do-everything skis.
post #40 of 45
Dawg,

Any idea what, if anything, will be replacing the im82?
post #41 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnus_CA View Post
Dawg,

Any idea what, if anything, will be replacing the im82?
Nothing-that ski is in the lineup next season.
post #42 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
The 72 is replaced by the Xenon for 2008, and I haven't skied it. I tried the iM78 here at Squaw today, and it was a great ski. It was great in the soft snow. Definitely more versatile in bumps than the 82, and a tighter-turning ski too. It will be a big seller, along with the other similiar skis I demoed in the thread (Atomic Blackeye and Volkl Tigershark 12). I personally like the Head and Atomic a bit more than the Volkl, but they are all worthy do-everything skis.
Dawgcatcher,
Which binding did you demo the im78 with and which do you recommend. I demoed the im77, 171 with the system binding, Railflex (?) in very soft almost slush conditions last week at Alta.

I can't say I did not like this system, but it seemed softer compared to the im82 with a regular binding. Ski came off hitting a bad bump that I did not ski well in a mogal run. Probably was a combo of technique letdown and low DIN setting.

Anyway, which binding did you prefer and why?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer.
Bluebear.
post #43 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
We skied the 888 mounted rearward of center (as recommended by the Elan rep) and it gave us more of a powerful finish (along with the wider tip that was a bit easier into the turn) than the 777. The 777 feels kind of wandery on hard snow until you really get some edge angle, whereas the 888 hooks up a bit more powerfully early in the arc. I definitely favor moving the 888 back a tad, as a good skier will gain rebound and still be able to make the ski hook up and turn. Railflex bindings are definitely a plus on skis that can use them.
I skied mine dead on. I think I will play with it, back one notch (mine will have demo bindings on them, so I cal let people try them). I think this is why my son liked the ski much more than the Titans or Seths and I found them to be a tad short in feel.
post #44 of 45
Dawgcatcher - thanks for the great reviews. One question I have on the new heads, though. I've never skied any heads but I've generally heard they are best for expert skiers and don't really come alive until you're really pushing them. As I consider myself advanced, but certainly not expert, do you think the new Monster iM78 is ok? It seems from the write up that this ski is a bit more forgiving and soft, which is good, but are they still potentially too much? I know it's tough to assess my ability from this but general thoughts here would be appreciated. Thanks.
post #45 of 45
nordeng - I just skiied my first day on new iM77's and they're definitely very manageable for lower-advanced level skiers. From my understanding the new iM78's are a tiny bit softer than the 77's, so they should definitely be fine. Before buying the Heads I demo'ed Elan Magfire 12's and Dynastar Legend 8000's, both of which were a bit too much ski for me. So for comparison, the Heads are definitely more forgiving than those.

I'm very happy with them so far. Today we started with groomed/icy conditions and progressed into thick slush, and they were good in everything. Carve well, solid through the crud. The turn radius (15.2 or so at 163) was also just what I like for bumps and trees. Anyways, I definitely recommend them for non-experts/
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