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Ogasaka Keos GT Review

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
This is the second of two skis I got to demo today at Lake Louise. See http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=53253 for my review of the Head SuperShape Magnums.

Skier Info:
Age: 21
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 155 lbs
Level: 9 / CSIA L3 Instructor & CSCF L1 Coach
Style: Technical, race inspired
Current skis: ’05 Head i.XRC 1100SW (comparable to this year’s SuperShape Speed), ’06 Head i.SL RD, ’06 Head i.M88
Boots: Head S13 (120 Flex)

06/07(?) Ogasaka Keos GT
165cm, 114-65-104, 12.5m radius
I had heard of Ogasaka skis before, but never had an opportunity to try them, and had very rarely even seen them. When I was returning the Magnums I had a look around a couple other tents and ended up talking to the Ogasaka rep. He told me that each ski is hand crafted from wood that’s been cured for 3 years. Apparently each pair of skis comes from the same cut of wood, in order to get them matched as closely as possible.
I had a class to teach, but he offered to give me a pair of Keos GTs for the morning to test out. The Keos GT is basically Ogasaka’s slalom carver – not a full on race ski, but short radius and high performance.

It was a performance class, but obviously not the best situation to test in. Starting out we did a fairly mellow warm up run, where the skis performed fine. My first impression was that they skied much shorter than their length, more like a 160 or even 155. After that I took it into some short radius turns, where they again performed well, but didn’t get a ton of energy from them – it basically felt like I got back what I put in, no more, no less. I got some short-medium radius carves in after that, and they came alive a little more, but still not much rebound, and the edgehold was good, but not really great. There were times on scraped hardpack where it required much more finesse than I would expect of a ski of this level to keep from skidding out.
The rest of the morning was fairly similar, but I also got a few bumps in during the morning, and they performed fairly well in them – the short length definitely helped.

I would have preferred to test them outside of a class, but I got a relatively good feel for how they perform in their intended role as a hard snow carver. My overall impression of them is that they’re a very capable ski, but that there isn’t a lot of power or excitement to them. They have the capability for high performance turns, but there’s very little rebound and energy from them, so while you can ski them however you want, there’s not much return for good technique or power. For a level 7/8 looking for a good ski that they can move up to higher performance on, without worrying about having perfect technique all the time, or a tiring ride, this would be a very good ski. Likewise, for a stronger skier who wants something capable of high performance skiing without necessarily having to give lots of input all the time, it would make a good choice. However for racers or aggressive skiers used to slalom-type skis that give a lot of rebound and reward good technique, look for something with more performance and energy.
post #2 of 2
Thanks for the review.
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