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Review: Head SS Magnum 2008 170 cm

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
My data:

30 year skier, 44 years old, 220 lbs, 6 ft 2 in, mostly ski Mammoth Mountain, CA. Level 7/8 (?)
Ski most of the mountain, bought these skis as part of a quiver so these are my "groomer skis".

Demo'd the Xenon 9 previously wasn't able to demo the ss magnum's prior to purchase.

Hope this is helpful, here goes:

1. purchased from Dawgatcher - he is the MAN. Great price, great service/shipping, skis arrived with an awesome tune/wax. REAL pleasure to deal with, answered all my annoying questions too. Ok, that takes care of the endorsement, but it was well deserved.

2. Skis are MUCH more demanding than a Xenon 9 - no surprise there. Full race construction, lot of metal. I really had to watch my fore/aft balance or I would quickly be in the backseat. This was really noticeable as the light got flat and I had trouble seeing the terrain. I would hit a bump I wasn't "ready for" and boom, in the back seat (not ridiculously so, had time to recover but I could feel it).

3. Short radius - as you would expect, awesome, especially in a 170 at my size. Tons of snap, can turn on a dime, just awesome. One thing I really wanted was a stiffer ski that I didn't feel like I was overpowering, and I got that, so I am stoked.

4. Higher speed stability was also awesome. The Xenon 9 felt a bit squirrelly at speed, and indicated it would be even more so at faster speeds. Nothing like that at all in the SS Magnum. I really felt comfortable at any speed on it.

5. Had a chance to also make some turns in softer drifted snow (great day here at Mammoth by the way, wind sucks but it really dries out and drifts the snow nicely). No problem at all, the ski turned nicely and was not too stiff. Also hit some crud and it powered right through without deflecting. Obviously great on the hardpack carving as well.

6. Only caveat with these skis and will probably not surprise anyone more knowledgeable than me, you just need to stay forward and in balance. Back seat driving not tolerated!

Sorry if this isn't the most scientific review and wish I could find more "cons" to balance it out, but hope it is helpful to someone!
(Note also posted in ski gear discussion)
post #2 of 2

Weight - 165 pounds
Height - 5'8" (damn, I've shrunk)
Age: 66
Skiing in: Mostly Vermont, but loved the Gathering in Utah.
Skill: Not much - maybe 7/8, but good enough to instruct those even less skilled.

The ski is iSupershape Magnum. Stats: 121-71-107, 163 cm, 13.5m turn radius @ 170

Results: Bought this ski without demo. Have used it for teaching from never-evers to Level 6.

Short turns at slow speeds: Couldn't be better or easier.

Long turns at slow speeds: Ditto.

Long turns at HIGH speeds: Fanfrickintastic.

Edge grip: Superb.

Soft edge: No problem at all. Can demo side slip with confidence.

Stability at speed: Unshakeable.

Verstaility: Amazing (but see disclaimer below).

Gripes: ????? sorry, can't think of any. Found no difficulty or caveats with "fore/aft balance" or anything else. A real "hero ski".

Amazing thing: Although they perform so well at any speed and turn shape, I found them the easiest skis I've ever used - they're both lively and damp (I know, I know - sounds like an oxymoron). I haven't tried them in truly difficult snow, such as wet chopped etc. Truth be known, I haven't tried them in snow over six inches deep - so have no idea how they'd perform there.

While ymmv, these are terrific every day skis for me on any kind of groomed run. Bumps? Stay tuned.
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