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Icelantic Shaman - 161

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Ski: Icelantic Shaman - 06/07 model with the old graphics
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 200
Other Skis: High Society Freerides (187), Bro Model - Soft (188)
Dimensions: 160-110-130 161cm
Bindings: Some Marker Demo Binding - boot center
Location: Crested Butte, CO
Conditions: Powder (about 6-8 inches of fresh), chopped powder and packed powder

I had a day to kill and decided to finally take a pair of Shamans out to sample the mountain. I wanted the 173's but all they had at Butte & Company were the 161's with the old graphics (I think they are last year's model). Initial impressions: the skis are nicely made and burly. The literature says they're stiff but that didn't jive with my impressions - they seemed pretty flexy. They have an enormous shovel.

Groomers: I initially took them out on International and Crystal - two kinda steep groomers here at CB (as far as groomers go). The CBMR cats were hard at work and the slopes were nicely groomed. No ice. First, this suckers railed on the groomers. I was shocked. I was cranking high speed GS turns with no chatter. I even started to hammer them into tighter turns (they have a 12m turn radius) and only when I pressed them into a skid did I get any chatter out of the shovel. At Mach Ludicrous they did feel unstable when not on edge. But hey, they're 161's - what do you expect.

Bumps: I dropped into some moderate bumps on Twister and was pleasantly surprised how they handled, giant shovel and all. However, this is when I noticed they had no tails whatsoever. They were mounted boot center and the tails were basically non existent. Granted, you never want to be on your tails in the bumps but when you do on these, you are in for a surprise.

After that we headed over to Headwall and the North Face Lift. I cranked down Angle Gully on Headwall. The snow was basically chopped and "virgin" recycled pow. I was very impressed with their ability to bust through chop given their length and what I consider to be relative softness. Over off of the NFL, we hit the usual glades, Hard Slab, Old Pro, Hawks Nest, Last Steep and Cesspool. Mostly chopped pow with a few fresh stashes. The tips do not dive. Since they had no tails I was keeping a lot of forward pressure and I couldn't get the tips to dive. Granted, the snow wasn't all that deep but I did get into some deeper stashes back there.

These things rock in the trees. I could make tree skiing a habit. On a few tight steep lines on Cesspool and Phaser I was thrilled to see how I could fly down some pretty tight spaces. What usually felt confining on my 187's felt roomy on these skis.

I did manage to find some ice and the end of the day and I have to say I was not impressed on their ability to hold and edge. Granted, the edges might have been dull and they were 161's.

Overall -
Pros: This is a damn fun ski. Since they handle so well on "western" groomers (read - no east coast ice) I could see this as a 1 ski quiver. They are a blast in the trees and in the stashes I found, they had great flotation.

Cons: No tails! I would not huck anything on them. I have read over at TGR that some folks are mounting them +1 or +2. I would do the same. At high speeds they felt unstable when not on edge. They didn't have the chop busting ability of my High Societies but were well above average.

Other: You will have a conversation about them every chair up. I could see this becoming a Con after a day or two.

The Money Shot: Would I buy them? Yes, I am going to get a pair of 173's and mount them either +1 or +2. I probably won't take them into the backcountry. Finding skins for them might be difficult - split board skins perhaps? I guess the clincher for me was that I felt at any time I could throw a 3 off of about any natural feature in the terrain. Strike that, I felt compelled to throw a 3. What's odd is that I don't know how to throw a 3..... well, not consistently. heh. Details details
post #2 of 5
Thanks for the thorough review. I'm also interested in the Icelantic Shaman in 173 but the retailer in Taos doesn't demo. I generally don't demo skis but I thought I would with this one if the opportunity arises because it is different breed of ski.

Please update your review once you get on the 173 and compare it to the 188 Bro that you have. I'm interested in learning if the ski does ski longer than its length.

Thanks again.
post #3 of 5
Don't know if you're aware but for 08/09 there's going to be some longer lengths from Icelantic.

The Pilgrim will also be available in 179cm.

The Nomad will also be availablein 181cm.

The Shaman will also be available in 184cm.
post #4 of 5
Anyone know where in Utah I could demo a pair of these?
post #5 of 5
Try:
Level Nine Sports,2023 South 800 East #5, Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
801-973-7350 http://www.levelninesports.com
I was in their shop last year but didn't ask about demos as I already had a pair
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