post #1 of 1
Thread Starter 
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Les Arcs, France

Second sunny day in a row after a limited amount of snow on Tuesday (with no other snow this week, so fairly skied out conditions). Temp below freezing in morning, but felt warmer in afternoon.

ME: 6' 3'' (190 cm) 190 lbs (86 kilo), 40 yrs, moderately aggressive level 8 (I guess) who performs better (relative to similarly skilled skiers) in soft to med bumps, moderate steeps and off piste (as opposed to flat groomers where I feel that quite a few level 7 skiers look better than me. I attribute this to the fact that I find it easier to set an edge when the slope angle or mogul gives me some help as opposed to a flatter slope where I have to create edge angle myself.)

I have exclusively skied the Salomon Scream Hot 10 P (185 cm, 110-75-100, r=22) last season and this (until yesterday). I have liked this as an all mountain ski, but with more days on the snow this year and last, suspect that I could get better performance in most areas from a good 2 ski quiver with these becoming my early season rock ski.

Salomon xWave 8 boots (90 flex), 345 mm

Stockli Storm Rider XLs, (184 cm, 116-76-102, r=20.8) Last years model (unchanged to current, I was told) and in need of a tune. Part of their freeride collection and a very solid, well made ski according to the guy in the shop who has been encouraging me to take it out for a while. He wasn't there when I picked it up and apologized later for the shape the ski was in.

As a relatively narrow ski (by today's standards), I was thinking that this might be something that I could use for harder snow days, but was disappointed with the edge hold in firmer on piste conditions. This was likely due to the fact that they needed to be tuned and when I returned them, was told I should take them out another day to give them a fair test. I will likely do this as I liked the way they handled well established, but grippable moguls and the limited amount of off piste that I did.

Pros- solider and more stable than my Solomons without feeling dead (like I remember Rossignol skiing several years ago when I tested them). Good all mountain. Didn't wiggle in flats like my Solomons do sometimes. No negative surprises.

Cons- slower to engage in turn than my Solomons (not sure if this was b/c they need to be tuned, or because the ski is a bit too stiff for me). Untuned edge hold poor, especially at slower speeds.

Summary- While it didn't seem as wide as the BT, it did seem wider & more solid than my Screams (despite being only 1 mm wider in the waist). I was unimpressed on piste, but think it may be a better all mountain ski than my Screams when it is properly tuned. I will give it another shot, but am unlikely to buy at this point as it does not really help me to broaden my quiver.

Dynastar Big Troubles, 186 cm (Current BTs are 124-92-114, r= 23, but the guys in the shop at Arc 1800 couldn't confirm how old these skis were, probably the '05-06 model, but they looked in good shape with a recent tune, although I am not sure how much camber this ski has when new...this set had none).

They were trying to close up the shop for lunch, so I did not review the mount point until the top of the lift, but the single line (with a 4,1 and circle with a line through it nearby) seemed to be more of a center/park mount than a freeride mount and the center of my boot seemed to be slightly forward of this. Although I kind of liked the centered feeling with a relatively short tip and long tail, I performed a few on hill adjustments moving the back part of the demo binding from 10 to 14 with the front going from slightly past the A (331 to 370 mm, I think) to the line for the B range (_____ to 330, I think).

I don't recall all the skis I tried 3 years ago at Kirkwood, but am pretty sure that this is the fattest ski that I have been on, so take my review for what it is worth.

I could immediately feel the difference of the wider platform which I think can offer some skiers extra self confidence on all terrain in addition to the extra float in the powder. The compromise is that although I liked the overall handling of the ski and would probably enjoy it as an everyday ski, it feels less nimble than a thinner ski like my Screams.

I thought the ski held a decent edge on the groomers (although things had softened up some since the morning when I had been on the Stocklis), but did not inspire me to try to put together tight SL turns. Overall, on piste performance was better than I expected although the skis did want to go there own way a few times (a complaint about wider skis that I have heard from other posters as well).

I thought I did decently in the more established bumps (although a narrower ski would probably have been a bit quicker edge to edge) and was very happy with the performance in softer, less established bumps.

Only negative surprise came when I was slowing down after feeling good about a way I had skied a bump section only to cross my front tips and go down. I rarely fall in easier conditions, so this took away some of the good feeling that I had going.

I was able to understand why so many people prefer wider skis in the sections of less tracked up heavy powder I could find off piste. Staying on top of heavy powder certainly makes it easier to ski using similar technique to on piste and also increases the speed at which you ski this type of terrain. Although the ski seemed more stable at higher speeds in the crud than my Solomons, I found myself working a bit harder to complete my turns to keep my speed in check on the steeper sections.

Being somewhat old school, I am still not sure that I will always prefer to be on top of the snow rather than in it, but see this as an advantage on days when the powder is too heavy to be enjoyable, or when the undersurface is something you don't want to ski (like rocks or frozen crud).

Park was crowded and I didn't attempt to go switch until I was in the rearward mount position. Still had the same problem of only being able to snowplow backwards (like I do when I watch my daughter ski), but not straight-line. Certainly lack of skill by the pilot, but I wished I had thought to try before changing the mount position and didn't have time to switch it back.

Pros- solid ski with width adding stability, good float in heavy powder, good in less established, softer moguls, better than expected on piste.

Cons- not as nimble and a bulkier feeling compared to thinner skis. Skis wanted to go their own way at times on piste. Occasional wobble in flats (when in the rearward mount position) similar to my Screams.

Overall- Prefers medium and longer radius turns on piste and would likely handle most off piste conditions well. While not as nimble as a thinner ski, I enjoyed riding on it and could see it as a "most days" type of ski for many Western skiers.