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08-09 Hart Fuelie Scarab 176 Review

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Hart Fuelie Scarab
(120-86-110) 11.7m radius @ 167cm
(120-86-110) 15m radius @ 176cm

[click here for larger picture]

Manufacturer Info:

Hart Ski Corporation
641 E. Lake Street, Suite 225
Wayzata, MN 55391
(952) 476-7849
Fax (952) 476-7845

Suggested Retail Price (MSRP):
$1,000 (estimated +-)

Usage Class:

All Mountain "mid-fat"

Your Rating (with comments):
(1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")
8+/9 (2 inches+ snow depth)
7 (hardpack)


Easy-handling, smooth ride all-mountain ski that comes alive with great turns of all sizes with very little effort. Big fun factor when skied "in" snow instead of "on" snow. Displays typical mid-fat tendency to have a weaker grip on hardpack and ice unless the edge angle and turn radius is "just right", but makes up for it as soon as the snow gets deep enough to cover your bindings. You could ski this all day in snowy conditions without overworking yourself. If you typically have fresh snow on a regular basis and are looking for an all-terrain ski...definitely try the Fuelie Scarab. You might love the way it handles. If you typically ski the packed groomers or travel in icy places...another model might be better for the money.

Technical Ski Data:

Wood core, sandwich construction. Rubber dampening layer, melamine sidewalls, graphite bases, aluminum tip and tail components. Hand made in small batches.

Pre-Skiing Impression:

Very nice quality, excellent finish, textured "no scuff" matte topsheet. Nicely shaped flex pattern from tip through the tail, more "roundish" feel and relatively damp with compliant shovel. No high-tension areas in the flex by hand. Felt like it would be friendly.

Test Conditions:

Cold, dry packed powder conditions, perfect combination of packed groomers and some cut-up fresh stuff (only a few inches) on the side of some trails. Some broken-up crust plate garbage and granular junk and hardpack on some trails.

Test Results:

On the Vermont packed powder/groomed runs, the ski was smooth and made round turns without much input effort, but felt like many mid-fat all-mountain skis in the lack of a really strong carving grip. It carved, but did not really "set" its edge strongly, choosing to move into a comfortable smear when presure was released, rather than pulling itself into the final part of the turn. Very smooth and damp across different surfaces and very well behaved...just lacked a vise-grip hold on the firmer packed groomers. Perfectly fine though for most groomed runs, just not exciting. Icy, steeper trails revealed another mid-fat tendency for slippage if the edge angle wasn't just right. I don't expect an 86mm waist ski to really hold tightly on cue-ball surfaces anyway...so no surprise there.

Powdery trails or snow more than 2 inches deep was another story. The Scarab was a really, really fun and easy handling ride in the smooth or cut-up snowy surfaces. Great tip response and turn adjustability when dancing through the snow the ski could sink into a little bit. It really came alive when the snow was up and over the bindings so the shovel could feed the rest of the ski into the turns. I had a blast hugging the tight edges of the trails where no one had gotten into the snow yet. Surprisingly agile ski for 86mm as long as the ski had something to float into to get its flex working. It was almost like the snow had to flex the ski, not the skier, to get the Scarab to light up. Really fun softer-surface ski and definitely a choice for all-mountain terrain not dominated by packed groomers or hardpack. Very easy to ski, with a great ride in the snow. Good pick for western U.S. all-mountain ski or Eastern ski when there is something to ski "IN" instead of "ON". Not a trace of nervous feel at speed, yet responsive in the tighter, slower terrain.

Analogies: (this ski is like...)

Friendly, obedient, really fun black labrador dog playing all day in the water when the snow makes no noise underfoot, slightly apprehensive golden retriever on the noisy surfaces.

After Skiing These, I Want To...

Try them during and after a 6-12 inch storm.

Self-Description of Skiing Style, Ability, Experience, Preferences :

Expert groomed-surface carver, "old-style" race inspired, "foot steerer" with fairly sensitive edging feel. Loves to hold long arcs with lots of pressure on the downhill ski (you know the type), but also loves the feel of both skis on-edge leaving tiny railroad track edge tracks. Not an instructor, but 10 year coach for youth race team in New England (bulletproof is the norm).

More reviews can be seen here:

post #2 of 2
I also skied this one today at JH.

I liked it, but not as much as the Stage 1. I think that has as much to do with the fact that I tend to like a shorter turn radius.

The Scarab seems to have the same solid feel as the Stage 1 and it was definitely comfortable with fairly fast speeds. Nice ski but it didn't light me up like the Stage 1 did.
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