Today in spring skiing conditions, I demoed the Salomon Crossmax Pilot 10 in 170 and 160. I weigh 145 pounds and stand 5'8" tall. I consider myself a truly mediocre skier, and that's on a good day. I also demoed two other pairs of skis: Salomon Scream Pilot 10 in 170 and Dynastar Intuitiv 71 [new for next season] in 167, and just for a benchmark, I skied my own K2 Mod 7/8 in 167 [now called the Axis, no X]. Here are the results, in order of testing:
Scream Pilot 10 in 170: What can I say? I expected a lot, I got ho hum. Can't even be specific, but it was less than enthralling in short turns, and . . . well, just left a so-so impression. I thought it was me [I should in fairness try them again], and I moved along to the next item:
Crossmax Pilot 10 in 170: LOVED it! Immediately, no break-in time required. Easy turner, great short turner, long turner, good edge, stable at speed, kept me alive in the trees [snakey], landed air solidly and securely. This combination of maneuverability and solidness is the key. dchan calls it his "Superman ski" - small wonder! I intend to try it again.
Crossmax Pilot 10 in 160: HATED it! Offered no discernable advantage over the 170length in short turns, felt squirrelly at ANY speed and positively life-threatening at terminal velocity [was was nearly terminal for me, as well], got me into serious $#it in the trees, and I will not give it a second chance - yes, I have life insurance, but it's just not the same as being alive. By the way, I also own and ski the Rossi T-Power [equivalent to the T-Power Viper S] in 160, and it feels a hell of a lot better in that length than the 160 Crossmax.
Intuitiv 71 in 167: Oh, boy. First felt big, but as I found its rhythm and flex, it got better and better. Got to be solider but easier than the Crossmax Pilot 10 in 170. At speed, I was barrel-assing down the mountain - and just LAUGHING!! There I was, moving as fast as I could and as fast as I ever have on that trail, and I felt completely confident, completely in control. I gave it a rest and slipped into the bindings on my own
K2 Mod 7/8 [today's Axis, no X] in 167: Like an old friend, felt very confident and solid, turned easy short and long and was solid at speed - but just not as easy and confident as the Intuitiv 71, and . . . I guess I was just acclimated to the other skis I'd been skiing, and, uh, [img]redface.gif[/img] I hit a tree. It's ok, it's ok, nothing life threatening, but. . . embarrassing. It just got away fom me. So I put the K2's on the rack and, salivating, got back onto the
Dynastar Intuiv 71 in 167, second test: This time, I was tuned in to the sweet babies. I ran them through the same turf, including the same trees, and was, again, delighted. Confidence with a big C. Solid with a big S. NOT the quickest edge to edge, but they can be quickened with shin pressure. But still very maneuverable in short turns. Remember, these are the widest waisted skis in the bunch I tested today, so they're going to be good in deeper snow if I can find any more this season [or next]. It's this combnation of wide but maneuverable that's one of the ski's attributes I find so attractive. So I decided to take another run, albeit with my legs on their last gasp for the day, on turf that has challenged me before: Steeper, bumpy-er. And I never performed better than that. It is difficult for me fully to convey the perception of solidness, stability, and yet maneuverability that made me feel that I could handle ANYthing, ANYwhere, with CONFIDENCE. So, legs aquiver, I quit for the day with a HUGE s.i.g. on my face, feeling pretty durn good about me-self.
The result: One of these - either the Salomon Crossmax Pilot 10 in 170, or the Dynastar Intuitiv 71 in 167, will most likely become "my" ski.
<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 10, 2002 10:38 AM: Message edited 4 times, by oboe ]</font>