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Thread Starter 
About me:
- Age 50
- Level 7-8 skier - Starting to get comfortable in the bumps and trees
- Height:5'10" Weight: 180lb
- Ski 20+ days per year mostly Eastern hardpack
- Primary ski: Fischer RX-8 170cm
- Boots: Nordica Hot Rod -- 305mm sole

The skis:
- 177cm Elan 888 Alu with demo bindings mounted at the center mark

The Mountain:
- Bretton Woods, NH -- mostly intermediate level trails with limited steeps and a few glades.

Snow conditions included:
- 6" fresh on top of packed powder
- Soft bumps
- Groomed packed powder
- Some crud on the edges and in the trees

As I've been getting more comfortable in the bumps and trees, I've been thinking about adding a fatter ski to the quiver for soft snow days, spring crud, soft bumps and trees. Limited selection of anything above an 84mm waist (except for twin tips) in most of the demo centers in the East, so I jumped at the chance to try the 888.

Skiing primarily on the 65mm waisted RX-8, I was a bit nervous jumping on 888's, but I was pleasantly surprised by just how nimble these skis were. They feel beefy under foot, but are very quick edge-to-edge for the width of the ski. The ride is damp and solid and the ski blasted through anything without so much as a twitch.

Although the 21m radius favored long GS turns, I found I could get them around quite quickly when I wanted to. The ski was also quite stable at speed and I never hit its speed limit zooming the groomers (although the terrain at BW doesn't favor mach schnell speeds). The wider waist and long radius also handled well in the bumps and trees allowing me to feather the edges and skid the turns a bit when required. (Much different than my RX-8's, which hook up too quickly to be really comfortable in bumps or trees)

Again, coming off narrow skis, I was concerned about getting the wider ski up on edge. In spite of the wider width, I had no problem rolling the skis on edge and maintaining positive edge engagement. The skis held an edge quite well on packed powder and on the limited amount of Eastern boilerplate to be found on Sunday.

I've seen mixed reviews on this ski as to its ease-of-use. I would have to agree with PhilPug and a couple of others who rate this ski pretty user-friendly. I didn't find it particularly difficult to ski and generally forgiving of my less-than-perfect technique. I did find the tails a bit stiff ... making it less forgiving if you got into the back in the bumps, but it never surprised me in the soft or the crud.

Overall, the ski was solid, stable and predictable in a variety of conditions. It made a nice contrast to the RX-8's and it's sure to be on my short list for the #2 spot in my quiver.