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Scott P4 First impression

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Given how many people are interested in soft easy to use fat skis I thought the bears might like to see this review.

On Satuday at Targhee I spent the morning on my other new skis, a pair of 191cm Scott P4s. Here is a link to the TR for conditions info:


The P4 is a really big ski but its soft and the huge twin means it doesn't ski big. In fact it is the easiest off piste ski I have ever been on. I had never been on a ski this big before and I felt more dialed in on every run I took on them. The P4 was lots of fun on softer snow any where I could find it. Arcing big turns on soft groomers, skipping through soft bumps, sniffing out some hidden tree pow, it was all fun and easy. The 108 waist and soft flex floated me easy and made the hidden pow stashes feel bottomless. In harder conditions, crusty sun baked cut up, icy groomers, refrozen bumps, the P4 tended to suffer. The ski is big and fairly damp so it wasn't truly unstable but hard snow grip and edge hold were lacking. I may do better as I get dialed in on the ski, so I will post some additional follow ups in the next few months.

So far I think it will serve well for its primary purpose which is a soft snow, pow, and tree ski. Together with the im103 I think this makes a pretty complete Utah quiver.
post #2 of 47
I agree completely. I skied a 184(?) last year and thought that the short one was even easier going than my 183 Goats. I was sort of wondering to myself.... "where is the agressive, burly, big mountain stick that Freeskier wrote up??"

Perhaps they wrote that particular review from the press release........

post #3 of 47
Thread Starter 
SJ, I think it comes in a 181 and a 171 as well.
post #4 of 47
Thread Starter 
Finally got these out in some deep snow at Alta yesterday and today. I was feeling much more dialed in and comfortable on these boards and it showed. They were great in untracked and floated me really well even on a low angle slope like ballroom. Made skiing pow easy for me. Got plenty of face shots and was able to ski soft snow much more aggressively than I remember. They were good in the cut up as well and floated over the denser snow. It was nice to be able to charge huge turns at speeds over unconsolidated cut up snow where a narrow midfat would be sinking in 6" or more. Once things got more skied off and bumpy I realized that these are some good bump skis. Its a really fun ski. As before these skis do not really hold an edge on hard man made snow or ice. On traverse the soft flex was very beneficial and appreciated. Anything that is soft enough to make apole basket mark in they do well and the deeper the better. I am liking this ski more, might be a better ski than I initially thought.
post #5 of 47
I totally agree with your review, I skied the P4's for most of last year at the Bird and my only gripes were that they lacked edge hold and that they were a tad on the heavy side. One more thing.... the most bomber bases that I've ever enountered.
post #6 of 47
skied 2 runs on these stick(the 191s) including some untracked powder.

big fat forgiving noodles, not really a bad thing though in powder. IN untracked powdered they are almost as good as a thug which is saying something. IN cut up at human speeds they were fine but unnerving at bushwacker speeds. the thug can charge though cut up powder way faster.

IN other off trail areas the skis is burly enough to go pretty fast but not burly enough to flat out straight line stuff. On bumps its not fun but it passable nothing like my PEs.

ON groomer if you put some effort in to edging it will leave some beatiful arc to arc GS turns, if it get hard though its hard to keep from skidding.

FYI this was the easiest 191cm ski I have skied on, if your in between sizes and like to go fast go for the longer ski, I bet a 140lb could bend it easily.

I still think the thug is better overall in this class its not as easy to ski as the P4 but it makes up for it with stabilty at speed, dampness, float, and believe or not better edge hold(must be an atomic thing)
post #7 of 47
Thread Starter 
Josh, those were pretty much my thoughts. I think I am going to enjoy learning to ski pow on these things. So far, its going well.
post #8 of 47
How would you guys compare the flex of the P4s to say, Gotamas or PE's? Bushwacker- you've skied the 179 or 188 Bros, right? How do those compare? I'm interested in getting a softer pow ski and it sounds like the P4 might be right up my alley- besides being able to get a killer deal on them. Also- is there a recommended freeride mounting line? Is that where you guys have them mounted?
post #9 of 47
Thread Starter 
They hand flex softer than the old black gotamas. Much softer than PEs. My P4s have only one mark on them and I mounted mine 1.5cm behind that mark.
post #10 of 47
Originally Posted by Harry Dunn View Post
How would you guys compare the flex of the P4s to say, Gotamas or PE's? Bushwacker- you've skied the 179 or 188 Bros, right? How do those compare? I'm interested in getting a softer pow ski and it sounds like the P4 might be right up my alley- besides being able to get a killer deal on them. Also- is there a recommended freeride mounting line? Is that where you guys have them mounted?
The P4 is stiffer than the soft 179 or soft 188 but not as stiff as the stiff models of either. nowhere near as stiff as a PE(quite possibly the perfect mid fat flex) alittle softer along the lenght but alot less torsinal stiffness than my 05-06 gotamas.

I dont own the P4 its was a bored ski I dont even know where it was mounted.
post #11 of 47
Thread Starter 
Originally I thought this was going to be a powder day only ski. I didn't think the P4 was a good every day ski. First impressions can be deceiving. I am adding this follow up info on the Scott P4.

Current Alpine ski quiver: 191 Scott P4, 183 Head im103, 179 K2 PE,
188 Nordica Beast (AT ski)

Almost every day I drive to beaver I truck two skis with me, sometimes I ski all day on one and sometimes I switch. However so far at beaver, every time I have skied the Scott P4 I have noticed it was either the best ski for the conditions that day or as good as any of my other skis. So I am revising my earlier 1st impression. The P4 is a great every day ski for beaver mtn and it has become my defacto every day ski.

Beaver is pretty flat by UT standards. The steepest pitches in bounds are about 30 degrees. There are lift services BC runs off the backside which are about 35 degrees. The best skiing at the beav is off the backside and in the trees. They have some of the best tree skiing I have ever seen. When it dumps you want a ski with alot of float. Fresh lines can be found quite a while after a storm if a person poles around enough. I was skiing on a Sunday afternoon fresh tracks on snow that fell on Thursday night.

On open pow runs the P4 rocks. When the line is nice and open with deep fresh snow its a great ski to be on for that. You can rip at speed or go slow and milk it for face shots. Effortless, fun, definately my favorite application for this ski.

The P4 has a really soft easy going tail, but the tips and mid section are much stiffer. In pow the ski can easily be sent into a skid by rocking back a little and throwing the ski sideways. This is great for manuvering in tight lines with deep snow and all varieties of cut up. I have been getting used to this ability when skiing trees by making a series of medium turns through tight trees then suddenly changing direction and almost at will when the line closes out and I need to readjust my trajectory.

Originally I had alot of problems with this ski getting deflected in crud. But after practicing getting forward and staying forward all the time on my im103s I stated using that technique when skiing the P4s and it translated well.

Consider the stiff the stiff tips, add in the fact that the ski has sidewall construction, a metal layer in it for dampening and a nice long radius... The ski is basically half a big mountain charging ski and half a super noodley buttery jib ski. It all ads up to the fact that if I own the front seat the ski is actually very stable at some pretty high speeds.

Once I started getting forward on the P4s on every turn, The performance envelope of the ski increased dramatically. I can rip cruddy bumps covered with fairly thick cutup, sun effected, wind effected, with speed and confidence. When I want to go fast, I just get as far forward as possible and driving the tips in almost all conditions. Now that I have gotten the balance point the ski actually does a very good job on groomers even if its fairly hard or icy.

For charging, the P4 is not in the same league as my im103s in terms of crud performance, or overall speed / stability, or in being a total effing tank, but when skied aggressively it has more than enough performance for me.

For my size person about 200lbs, the P4 is pretty unsinkable, the tips almost always float up anytime I am skiing faster than say walking speed. Never had tip dive with this ski. I am thinking of remounting the ski perhaps 1-2 cm forward from its current position (which is 1cm behind the line).

Compared to the PEs:
When I ski aggressively the P4 is more stable at speed one groomers than My K2 PEs. It has better groomer grip in long turns and just feel better overall when maching groomers (which are just 179 but since this is the largest size and they have a good reputation for all mountain versatility I think this says something). They don't have as good turn shape versatility as the PE, but it seems that when you buy a 108mm wide 191cm long ski short turn performance has to be a the very bottom of the list. For me groomers are about getting to my line as fast as possible or getting back to the lift as fast as possible, the P4 is good for doing that.

When I am on my game In crud, pow, and most off piste conditions the PE is just more work than the P4 with no additional performance. The PE is IMO a ski that when I am skiing shitty (or injured) it props me up and makes me ski better, but when I am skiing great it requires too much micro management, too much thinking, gives too much feedback requires too much input and in general, isn't able to keep up. The P4 is a ski that when I am skiing shitty piles on more and when I am pwning just adds another level to what I can do. I am waiting for the spring bump season. I am betting that the PE makes a big come back in my quiver at that time.

Compared the the im103, the P4 is much more versatile, more relaxing, and less punishing, its also less performance at the top end when I am skiing big open lines. Each ski does different things great but both do everything I want a ski do do pretty well. They compliment each other well and the decision is more about how do I want to ski that day than where do I want to go.
post #12 of 47
I too am finding that the P4 grows on me over time. I have about a dozen days on a pair of 191 P4s mounted up for tele. I'm about 190lbs. I originally thought that the P4s would only be my pow skis, but I keep pulling them out and finding that they can do so much more. I have 186 Legend Pro Riders (first generation) that I ski tele and 184 Mantras (red) that I ski with Freerides. I am having a hard time not skiing the P4s in all conditions. Effortless to ski and playful is how I think of them. And the more I ski them, the more I like them. I picked up the P4s for a song and had modest expectations for them. What a nice surprise.
post #13 of 47
I'm skiing my 191 P4's (mounted at -1.5) as my day to day ski, with Praxis when there's more than a couple of inches of fresh and Prophet 90s when it gets a bit icy. I'm a big P4 fan - they don't feel that noodlicious to ski though they do hand flex quite soft.
post #14 of 47
Thread Starter 
Mine were mounted at -1.5 the shovels seemed pretty remote and I was always having to push to get forward all the time in anything but pow. I figured that since I am using them as an every day ski a forward mount might make more sense. I just redriilled them at +1 and it hardly feels like the same ski.

  • Much less float at low speeds. Before I could just stay centered and coast through most low angle pow, today I had to be more careful on powdery run outs to make sure I don't loose too much speed. Some sitting back is required on the run outs, if its really flat.
  • Much, much better tip engagement. They have turned into a very good groomer ski.
  • Much better in crud. The tips and mid body of the skis are the stiffest part and being more centered on the beefy part gives the ski a much more stable feeling in crud and tracked out powder.
  • Higher speed limit.
  • Still rip powder. Ride a little deeper, but still work very well. Can still rock back on the tails and throw em sideways to scrub speed. I actually like their powder performance a bit better in trees since it seems more controlled and deliberate. Before they were almost too turny in powder for my tastes. I have been taking more direct lines down the fall line line. More stable at speed. Today while exploring new areas I found two places where I had to wheelie my skis to skip over downed trees, no tip catching.
  • More control on cat tracks, traverses and easier pivoting in many places. I feel more centered all the time. Not as many aggressive fore aft moves needed.
The conditions today were sort of heavier than usual a little bit sunbaked powder off trail. I want to wait for another nice powder day to really get a feel for them.
post #15 of 47
Great running updates, sure appreciate it!
post #16 of 47
Been spending some time on a Client's P 4's and he's got em mounted for park and pipe. Not sure of the bindings exact location, however, the handling characteristics sound identical to your assessment. I felt so comfortable on them I dropped off a 15 foot cornice into the daily bowl @ Deer Valley after my 3rd run on them. Great ski. With your -1.5 and +1 numbers, where did you end up mounting them? I plan on picking up a pair of 09's and am still deliberating where I want them mounted. I did feel like I had to ski the back of my arches on the really deep stuff, but I'm 6'2" and 215 lbs, so subtle shifts create large changes on the planks.
post #17 of 47
Thread Starter 
I ended up with them on the line. If I had a bigger pow ski for big days, I would have left them at +1.
post #18 of 47
I'm leaning toward the P4 as my new powder ski. I would use it for powder days only. My questions are: (1) for powder only and non-agressive power skiing what would be the recommended binding location and (2) for me at 225 and 6 feet tall, advanced skiier and almost a senior citizen, what length would be the best 181/191? Does it ski long or short? I just want a good powder ski. After much research, consideration and recommendations the P4 has "floated" to near the top of the list. I am not able to demo it because it is not within 250 miles of me. My everyday ski is a Metron B5 and I feel it can handle everything I want except the deeper powder. I will not be doing extreme things with the ski. Thanks.
post #19 of 47
Thread Starter 
Wilbur, for pow only, mount 1.5cm back from the line.

The 191 is a big ski, but it has a short running length and is really easy to ski for its size. I would go the 191 unless you anticipate skiing tight trees more than about 50% of your time on it. Its more maneuverable in pow mounted back than it is mounted more forward.
post #20 of 47

Mounting and length

Tromano. Thanks. I'm assuming you mean to mount -1.5 cm back if I go 191. Would this hold true if I go the shorter ski? Also from my earlier post I picked up a significant error: non-agressive power skiing should be non-agressive POWDER skiing. Details, details....
post #21 of 47
Thread Starter 
Yep, the 191 is really really easy in pow if you mount -1.5. The tail is soft and the rear mount puts you right over this part of the ski and end up with a really manuverable ski in the pow. But its more skittish in crud and elsewhere. The further forward, the less playful and more serious the skis feels. I never skied the 181, so I don't want to give you bad advice. There are quite a few people on TGR who have the 181 who can give you some advice. If the flex is similar to the 191, about a cm back should be perfect.
post #22 of 47
Ok. Thanks
post #23 of 47
Bought P4's last Friday and hope they arrive by March 7 or 8. I did go 181 rather than 191 because as I get older the shorter skis may be easier for me to manage. Thanks for your input!
post #24 of 47
P4's have arrived! Look great anyway. Be getting the bindings on them Sunday and with a little luck give 'em a spin.
post #25 of 47

Binding Mounting Recommendations

Hi Tromano,

I liked your running reports on your P4s enough to pick up a pair last week. In the last post I read, you said you ended up mounting on the line but would have stayed forward if you had a bigger powder board- what is your boot sole length? I have a big foot (345 mm bsl) and am thinking that mounting at the sidewall mark will actually put my ball of foot in front of the core center (although my boots are in storage, so I haven't verified this yet).

Also, what binding do you have on them? How do you think they would perform with railflexes (I like the idea of versatility in mount position, but am not sure about the extra lift) or with Dukes/Barrons (to allow some sidecountry touring)?

Tried to PM you with this, but your box is full.

post #26 of 47
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I had been taking a hiatius form ski forms for the last few months.

I have been using PX12 bindings which have a small amount of lift. I actually wish I had used a railflex binding on these skis becuase then I wouldn't have two extra holes in there. I have only skied railflex a couple of times, so I am not familiar with any performance advantages/ disadvantages.

My BSL is 305mm. My results were that the skis were most stable mounted "on the line" and that mounting back did nothing good for stability because the tails are floppy. Mounting forward of the line for me was way too far forward on this type of ski. I would mount them on the line or maybe .5cm back. Alternatively, you could just put rails on there and then adjust as needed.
post #27 of 47
forget the railflex bindings. demo px12's!
post #28 of 47
I skied them up at Snowbasin last year, there was 6" of creamcheese over packed, very solid ski and even on the cut up snow, nothing phased it.

post #29 of 47
Originally Posted by lukc View Post
forget the railflex bindings. demo px12's!
Why the demo PX12s over railflex?
post #30 of 47
d'oh and tramdock had em for like 200 bucks the other day!
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