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195 PMGear SuperBro

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Going to take the 195 PMGear SuperBro's (121-91-111) out for a spin tomorrow on some of Tahoe's pitiful WRODs. I'll report back with some initial impressions.

Background info on this ski:

This year PMGear has a partnership with AK Skis of Switzerland. This is mainly a manufacturing arrangement whereby AK Skis has manufactured a few runs of some various Bro Models (i.e. 164's, 174's, 183's). While discussing this agreement, it became apparent that AK Skis had a few of their own models that were never imported stateside by the former US distributer of AK, AK Skis USA. One of these models caught our eye and thought it would be an interesting addition to the PMGear quiver. This model was a longer slightly stiffer version of the 180 AK King Salmon .....and being longer, and stiffer it also had a different name to differentiate itself from the regular King Salmon...i.e. the AK Super Salmon.

So in addition to the manufacturing agreement for select Bro Models, AK Skis agreed to reskin the 195 SuperSalmon with a PMGear topsheet, and WALA! the 195 SuperBro was born.

Three or four years ago, before PMGear was founded, I spent a season skiing the 193 AK NoKaOi (120-84-110) and really loved it's stiffness, grip on the pistes, and crud busting ability on the backide. However, I always thought that it had a bit too much sidecut for my personal tastes on powder days, and I thought it would be even more of a backside / off-piste type of ski if it were only approximately 10mm wider in the waist. Well, when I heard about the 195 SuperSalmon (121-91-111), and our chance to bring it stateside, I got really excited as this was basically the dimensions I wished the 193 NoKaOi I had been skiing on that season had.

Tomorrow I'll just be spending some time on a relatively short flat blue square groomer, but two hours or so should give me a chance to try a wide variety of turn shapes and such on them. Getting these sticks onto more appropriate terrain will have to wait a little bit longer, but I'll try to post some initial impressions.

Below is a living room pic. Sorry for the poor quality as I took it with my cell phone. The red sticker on the tail of the one ski is my own addition (courtesy of Reaktorcorps)...the stock graphics are all black with the white Bro Model lettering in the tips.

Skis have virtually flat (just the slightest bit of rise...1 mm?) squared off tails like an old-school cruiser. No cheating on running length!
525x525px-LL-vbattach2336.jpg
post #2 of 25
that looks like a nice kw ski.

a nice heavy/soft snow ride. it wouldn't be my deep snow choice, but I can see killing wind buff or dense sierra with it.

definitely a positive additition to the kw quiver.
post #3 of 25
Looks killer.

I hope you don't pop out of the bindings, though -- those brakes look like they wouldn't stop a tricycle.
post #4 of 25
those thing looks really sick.

when are they going to show up on the website?
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

when are they going to show up on the website?
They've been up since this past Wednesday -> http://pmgear.com/index.php?cPath=52

they're really fun. I'll post up my impressions later today when I have some more time.



(photos courtesy skier666)
post #6 of 25
I kinda liked this picture.



Good camouflage for the snow warrior.
post #7 of 25
That ski has some metal in it? Or is it all Carbon and glass like other PM gear skis?
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
That ski has some metal in it? Or is it all Carbon and glass like other PM gear skis?
Yes..2 layers of metal, one on top of the core and one on the bottom. It's a pretty 'race-room'-ish type construction. Full vertical sidewalls, 2 layers of titanal surrounding a wood core, flat squared off tail.

Limited review based on the 1 run that was open this past Saturday:

Reviewer stats:
5'10", 180lbs
Skiing style: aggressive & fast, like to jump off things, big mountain comp hacker, mogul competition background but not much formal training or coaching.

Ski's I've owned and liked in the past:
192 PMGear FAt Bro
188 & 179 Bro Model
190 Dynastar SuperNobis
192 DPS Lotus 138
186 Stockli DP

Conditions of the day:
One completely man-made white ribbon of death. Blue square terrain with one headwall at the top that allowed you to get a little bit of speed.

Quick Review:
I was a bit hesitant to take these skis up for my first day of the season, but after picking them up freshly mounted from SierraJim's shop the day before, they just looked too damn sexy not to take out. I knew the limited terrain that was open really wouldn't allow to fully take advantage of this ski, but I just couldn't resist.

First off...these things CRAVE speed. At 195cm, and two layers of metal, these skis are not meant to be noodled around at slow speeds (espeically for a skier of my height/weight). You can force them into slow speed maneuvers, but as you can guess, this ski is just not happy doing that. Get them up to speed and start laying over Super G turns and this ski starts coming alive. Their edgehold was great and they were as stable as could be for as fast as I could get going on the little WROD. I did notice that ski really liks to be "worked"....i.e. it's not the type of ski that someone who just rolls a ski on edge and expects the ski do everything for them would really like. The SuperBro has a stiffening flex fore to aft and those who enjoy initiating turns by pressuring the front, then rounding them out underfoot, and finishing them by pressuring the tail and feeling the power accelerate you into the next turn should take an interest in this ski. This ski just wanted to go faster, and faster, and faster with each successive turn.

unfortunetly for the purposes of this review, due to the WROD, i'd only be able to make about 5 worthy turns and then the run would be over or there would just be too many peopl in the way to really keep it going

I really expect this ski to shine in windbuff and a few days after storm busting through crud. Locales with wide open steeps such as Mammoth, Snowbird, Snowbasin, Jackson, Whistler, etc would really be great proving grounds for this ski. Heavier skiers than me, or those with a strong technical background (i.e. racers, instructors, etc.) might like this an east coast ski that can serve as something they'd want to take out west with them as well.

hopefully Tahoe gets some snow soon so I can continue to get out on this thing.
post #9 of 25
^^^ now I'm really starting to want this ski.
post #10 of 25
Impressive. Tyrone really walks the walk.
post #11 of 25
Great stuff Tyrone...!
(nice pics....you can see the need for SPEED with the 195s !)

If indeed these PMGear boards are built by AK in Switzerland, they have a really good reputation over the pond...Aldo Kuonen (AK) apparently is the main guy behind these skis. Serious construction and race-based performance. Check out their international site at http://www.ak-ski.ch.

The old US importer was selling their remaining stock pretty inexpensively last time I looked....http://www.akski-usa.com/ maybe they have some more skis left over at a good deal at $350-450 (bargain!)?

I especially like their model name "Bone Crusher". Not cheap, at 1,200 SF
Nice stuff. I would love to take a ride on those.
post #12 of 25
Nice!

I've been extolling the virtues of the "Kiddie" Salmon (the 180cm) for the past season. I love that ski. More than the No Ka, which contrary to Ty's review of the 193, I still find my 180 to be a bit "slippery" on the hardpack and ice (though the guys at the Cornice shop in KW did mention that the 193 was easier to flex and provided better grip than the 180).

At any rate, those sticks look sick with the plain black topsheet (remind me of the first gen Mantras).

Then again from these shots, perhaps I need to get a little more into the turns and go for the low and wide stance (you're stance, btw, is pretty similar to 666's!)

Good on you guys for getting out and nice comprehensive review Ty.

BTW, is the Super Bro a cap/sandwich combo like the original Kiddie Salmon?

Also noticed you said the width was 91mm (my KS are 94mm) and that the 194 Nokie was 84mm? (my 180s are 78mm). Just curious.

From the slant of your review the Super Bro doesn't seem like an every day ripper unless you have more open terrain, as you mentioned, correct?
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExoticSkis View Post
Great stuff Tyrone...!
(nice pics....you can see the need for SPEED with the 195s !)

If indeed these PMGear boards are built by AK in Switzerland, they have a really good reputation over the pond...Aldo Kuonen (AK) apparently is the main guy behind these skis. Serious construction and race-based performance. Check out their international site at http://www.ak-ski.ch.
Yes. The 195 SuperBro is indeed made by Aldo Kuonen and AK Skis in Switzerland. I tried to detail the relationship in my first post somewhat. Other skis that AK Skis is manufacturing for PMGear in addition to this 195 SuperBro are the 99mm-waisted Bro Models in the lengths of 164, 174, and 183 in both stiff and soft flexes. There are only about 100 pair of the 195 SuperBro in the States at the moment.

Quote:
The old US importer was selling their remaining stock pretty inexpensively last time I looked....http://www.akski-usa.com/ maybe they have some more skis left over at a good deal at $350-450 (bargain!)?
Correct. Those are really good prices. And this ^ is the reason why the only AK ski we reskinned with a PMGear topsheet this season is the 195 that was never available here before. The old distributor is still sitting on a stockpile of skis and moving them at those blowout prices so it didn't make sense for us to bring in more, but with new topsheets, when the same things could be had at those great prices. Luckily for us however the 195 was never imported to North America by the old US distributer, so it made perfect sense for us to focus on this particular ski for the time being.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post

BTW, is the Super Bro a cap/sandwich combo like the original Kiddie Salmon?
No. As I mentioned above, the SuperBro is full vertical sidewalls. None of that cap stuff...one problem I had with my NoKaOi's a few year's ago was blowing out the cap everytime I nicked a rock (which I have a propensity to find myself in the middle of ). The full vert sidewalls should increase durability a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dookie
Also noticed you said the width was 91mm (my KS are 94mm) and that the 194 Nokie was 84mm? (my 180s are 78mm). Just curious.
Yes the longer 193 NoKaOi is wider in the waist than the 180 NoKaOi (80mm vs 78mm). You can see these stats on www.akski-usa.com.



Quote:
From the slant of your review the Super Bro doesn't seem like an every day ripper unless you have more open terrain, as you mentioned, correct?
For a bigger/heavier expert skier, the SuperBro could be more of an everyday ride....Or for a lighter skier that just likes to ski fast ALL THE TIME. It can be forced into slower speed turns, but this isn't what it was made for, and skiing them 'against their grain' would probably tire one out pretty quickly. This ski isn't for someone who likes to make short radius turns all over the place.

Again -- take my review with a grain of salt. It was only a few hours on a flat short slope without any variety in snow conditions. IF Kirkwood were 100% open, I wouldn't even bother making one lap on this particular slope. I need to taste more snow conditions with this ski to properly form an opinion. I hope this doesn't take too long though by looking at the weather reports :
post #15 of 25
wow dude I think I just found my hard day ski. now all I need is 800 dollars yikes...probably so worth it though.
post #16 of 25
so... are the superbros 91 or 99 at the waist? I read both.

could you clear up the specs for this ill-comprehension at my end?
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
so... are the superbros 91 or 99 at the waist? I read both.

could you clear up the specs for this ill-comprehension at my end?
sorry. It can get confusing as they all sound similar.

-The 195 SuperBro is 91mm in the waist. (even though its the skinniest ski in our lineup, we're calling it the SuperBro due to it's direct lineage from the Super Salmon which I mentioned in my first post).
-The regular Bro Models are 99mm in the waist.
-The Fat Bro Models are approx 115mm waist.

The specs of all of the skis are up on www.pmgear.com for reference.
post #18 of 25
just to confuse you more Samurai, the "Kiddie" Salmon (the U.S. King Salmon by AK Skis) is 94mm @ 180cm! (and is a capped sandwich)



so they shaved off 3mm from the waist and added 15cm to the length! (and ditched the cap, to boot).

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
Yes. The 195 SuperBro is indeed made by Aldo Kuonen and AK Skis in Switzerland. I tried to detail the relationship in my first post somewhat. Other skis that AK Skis is manufacturing for PMGear in addition to this 195 SuperBro are the 99mm-waisted Bro Models in the lengths of 164, 174, and 183 in both stiff and soft flexes. There are only about 100 pair of the 195 SuperBro in the States at the moment.



Correct. Those are really good prices. And this ^ is the reason why the only AK ski we reskinned with a PMGear topsheet this season is the 195 that was never available here before. The old distributor is still sitting on a stockpile of skis and moving them at those blowout prices so it didn't make sense for us to bring in more, but with new topsheets, when the same things could be had at those great prices. Luckily for us however the 195 was never imported to North America by the old US distributer, so it made perfect sense for us to focus on this particular ski for the time being.
Corrine over at AKSKI-USA.com just told me today (Dec 6) they are sold out of the older No Ka Oi 180cm...but still have some other models in various lengths left...bargain hunters...be warned....
post #20 of 25
Hey Tyrone...

Any further days on the SuperBro 195? Would be interested in hearing your further thoughts on the ski. As a fellow Kirkwood skier, I'm contemplating these as my non-powder day ski of choice.
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnewton212 View Post
Hey Tyrone...

Any further days on the SuperBro 195? Would be interested in hearing your further thoughts on the ski. As a fellow Kirkwood skier, I'm contemplating these as my non-powder day ski of choice.
Yes, a few more days on them. Basically they are freight trains. Very stiff and they will reward someone with a strong technique, but the second you get lazy on them, they will remind you who is boss for sure. Stay on top of them though and they will reward you with loads of high-speed stability. Very stiff tail that likes to rocket you from one huge arc to the next.

There is a pair of 195's available to demo in Cornice Sports (the shop next to Bub's Sports Bar...not the Kirkwood demo center near the ice rink) along with 183 Stiff's. With high pressure sitting back over Tahoe, they will be a lot of fun for early morning high-speed cordoroy runs down Zach's and Sentinel bowl before it gets too crowded...
post #22 of 25
Well, you nailed this one on the head.

I took them out for a spin on Saturday, and everything you said was spot on. First run down Zach's, and they were sooooo fast, a bit unexpected to me, and I ended up rocketing past a skier who took his turn out further than I expected. He stopped me at the lift line, originally pissed off, but when he saw the skis, he became a bit stoked, I didn't get the full story, but it sounded like he helped design/make/sell them in some manner. Kept running into him thoughout the day, and we shared some laughs.

After the first run, I started to get the hang of them, and for the rest of the day, I went consistently faster than I think I've ever gone on skis (and I usually ski fast to start with). So stable, so much fun on the high speed turns. Best run was off the Wall - still early and not too crowded. Once past the first few bumps at the top, I proceeded to ski the fastest line off there, just laying down wide sweeping turns - they were rock solid at super speed.

The off-piste handling was a bit much, they still wanted to go fast, and you had to be really aggressive with them to keep them from rocketing out. The snow conditions weren't bad, but by the end of the day, I could tell I got my ass kicked.

I was looking for an all-mountain ski to use on the non-powder days, and thought this might work. I have a feeling if I owned these skis, I would end up hurting either myself, or some poor bystander with just a moment's inattention, so I think for now, I'll keep them on the back-burner, and see how I feel about something more well-rounded, like a mantra 191 or Fischer Watea, assuming I can find some to demo.
post #23 of 25
These skis sound exactly like the new Hart fulie Boss. I have the Phoenix Boss basically the same ski Mine are 120/92/110 189cm and the Fulie is 121/91/111. Hard charging freight trains is the fraze I would use to describe these. Nice fun ski and makes you find the faster side of you. Busts threw anything at speed. The lake of side cut is what makes these flat planks rock. kinda like skiing on the old 220cm buzzerds of the 80,s but easier to steer.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
There is a pair of 195's available to demo in Cornice Sports (the shop next to Bub's Sports Bar...not the Kirkwood demo center near the ice rink) along with 183 Stiff's. With high pressure sitting back over Tahoe, they will be a lot of fun for early morning high-speed cordoroy runs down Zach's and Sentinel bowl before it gets too crowded...
Demoed the SuperBro and the 183 today.

The superbro was really fun. Loved the edgehold and the way the ski locked in the turn at speed. Plus at speed, I was even getting some pop coming out of the turn.

I'm bit heavier (225#) and at low speed, the ski was still pretty easy to turn and well behaved.

Also took them into some soft bumps. The ski did surprising well (or at least compared to 194 LPs ). It took a couple turns to adjust for the tail trying to hook up when turning off the backside of a bump. But otherwise, the SuperBro were definitely manageable and did not have the jarring feel of an overly stiff tip or tail.



183 stiff: I was pretty impressed with the 183. Nice everyday ski for Tahoe.
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StormDay View Post

183 stiff: I was pretty impressed with the 183. Nice everyday ski for Tahoe.
The 183 Stiff has become exactly that ^^ for me at Kirkwood this year. Thanks for taking the time to try them out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnewton212 View Post
Well, you nailed this one on the head.

I took them out for a spin on Saturday, and everything you said was spot on. First run down Zach's, and they were sooooo fast, a bit unexpected to me, and I ended up rocketing past a skier who took his turn out further than I expected. He stopped me at the lift line, originally pissed off, but when he saw the skis, he became a bit stoked, I didn't get the full story, but it sounded like he helped design/make/sell them in some manner. Kept running into him thoughout the day, and we shared some laughs.
That's a pretty funny story. Did you catch his name? Was he older? Younger? What was he skiing on. Curious as to whom it would have been. Funny story regardless.
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