post #1 of 1
Thread Starter 
November 16, 2007 was opening day at Marmot Basin in Jasper, AB.

we enjoyed our 12th year in a row attending opening day. Sadly this year due to managments rush to open sooner to justify the newly added snow making equipment and to reap financial income sooner to help pay for said snow making equipment the mountain was not quiet ready.

We were only given the bottom of the mountain to use, of which only 13 trails were open, really only 1 of which one could go fast to any degree. The remaining runs still had mother natures terrain features present preventing one from going fast or being able to make rythmic turns of any sort.

Skier level: 8
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 150 LB
Boots: Lange 130 Freeride
Snow conditions: Mostly man made, poorly groomed
Temperature: -5 c - +5 C

This is just a report on my findings between three different pairs of skis I brought.

ATOMIC SX10 160 cm
I started to the day out on my Atomic SX10's These have been a trustworth ski in all types of terrain and I thought they would be good to get my ski legs back on.

They did not dissapoint. As usuall they were a very quick turning ski with a nice tight turning radius and when pressed and angulated they hold a edge extremely well, providing a fun and zippy ride that inspires nothing but confidence.

In the short radius they are bomb proof, they will hold the edge until pressure is released. In short turns the terrain quality doesn't seem to matter too much, even in chopped up snow along the runs edge line the ski did not faulter or twitch. Making quick transitions and smooth arcs.

In the longer radius turns they felt slightly akward and started to lack stability. It felt as if the ski really didn't want to be turning that long and in turn the performance level was evidently lowered. In smoother terrain this was less evident but along the runs edge line in the less consistent snow the ski began to bounce and become less confidence inspiriring. Speed was still acheivable but at a less mentally comfortable condition.

Dynastar Speed Course 66 RACE STOCK 182 cm

I aqquired these skis at the local ski swap. They are a 21 Meter radius, with Look PX15 race binding with the Dynastar Motion Drive aluminium and plastic 4 peice riser. They previously belonged to Andrea Bliss who is currently on the Canadian Olympic Development team and were her RACE pair. I got them for $125 CAN. Needless to say I was very excited to try them out, as I had never previously been on a RACE STOCK ski of this caliber.

On my first run I found that they really smoothed the terrain out and that they really don't like to side slip. I found that short radius could only really be acheived by pressuring forward significantly to allow unweighting of the rear of the ski allowing the tails to wash out. Suprisingly this reminded me of skiiing my old 200 cm straight skis. I didn't expect these skis to work at Short radius but I tried anyway.

I then proceded to let them run and begin making GS turns. WOW ! they held extremely well, they smoothed out everything in front of them. I could see the tip bouncing ever so slightly but, the ski did not loose edge or stability, on other skis in the past seeing the tip bounce always produced loss of edge and performance, on the Speed 66's this was not the case.

I found that when placed on edge if one is to pressure back it's like rocket boosters were tuned on and the ski accelerated significantly. I found the tails of the skis to be very strong and were difficult to release once placed on edge.

I found that despite having a smooth feel, that they didn't play well when turn shapes were mixed up. It was very apprant they like their 21 meter radius and were easiest to use there.

I also found that due to their extremely smooth nature your outside ski could still be slightly engaged and when making a turn transition it would shoot over and get your tips crossed causing a roaring good wipe out for the lift line. I found the old turn table Look P15 are a very excellent releasing binding an do so very smoothly with out harsh consequences. Binding test succesfull.

The conditions of the hill were such that I really could not let them run full steam as the terrain features would sneak up on you and bite. Also I realized that my poor summer legs were not ready for a full on session of insanity on these race boards. I was for the first time ever exposed to a ski that I could not 100% handle, and that I had just very nearly had my butt handed to me.

I am looking forward to a season of Adult racing and seeing my GS skill and times improve significantly. Many thanks to a certain Dynastar Rep. for putting me on to these great skis.

After lunch I went back to my old trusty SX10's and realized how high of a performance level they are, but at the same time are so very forgiving and versatile.

Salomon Tornado 178 CM
after afternoon coffee with my legs seriously bagged I decided to try out my Tornado's, after all they got me though 7 days in a row in the Alps with extremely tired and bagged legs.

I quickly found out that they are not a high level carving board. They will hold a great carve turn but I found (as I did in Europe) that one had to really pressure the top front of the boot to get them to engage (feeling of your knee being put very far forward). Doing so causes a very unerving sensation that if something goes wrong or you hit a terrain feature that your lower leg is going to snap or your knee is going to violently fold back. Obviously this is not the most confidence inspiring sensation and I was always hesitant to really engage the ski. I think I will move my binding slightly forward for the next outing and see if this helps engage the carve without fear of a serious injury.

This ski is really a neat & fun, all mountain ski. I would clasify it as a Intermediate to upper intermediate ski. It absorbs terrain variations and chunky snow very well. It makes quick transitions and makes long and short turns well. It can hook up or it can be skidded around producing quality turns that get you going in the direction you want.

When the speed is upped it quickly became apparant they are not in the league of the SX10 or the Speed Course 66's. The quickly lost traction and stability. Perhaps if I wanted to snap my lower leg or fold my knee backwards I could have engage the edge solid for a carved turn, but I am wuss so I let them slide.

Bringing the speed down they were fun, enjoyable, easy on the body allowing one to gleefully play with the terrain and meander down the mountain enjoying all it had to offer.

For a intermediate or even a strong beginer I think these skis would be excellent, as they inspire confidence by evening out the terrain, making quick easy turns and provinding a fun quality ride. Perhaps with the binding moved slightly forward it would provide a higher level ride without fear of injury.

All in all it was a great first day out, I got to experiance a seriously high level ski, get my ski legs back and be reminded what a great way skiing is to spend a day with friends and good equipment.