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A Mild Demo TR. Coomba, Head WC, Hellcat, Vector Glide

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I rode some new skis today. My local shop ran a demo, which is realy huge considering you have to pretty much custom order anything you'll ever ski in this part of the world. I was hoping to ride some Kuros, some Katanas, and something else big. That didn't happen. Here's what did:

First of all- a bit about me.

Skis owned as of the late 90's: Bandit XX, XXX; Vertigo G41, G4, Gotama, Jet Fuel.

This is my enormous active quiver: 183 1st Gen Goats/Fritsche FR; '07 Jet Fuel. Falcon 10, Oakley vis options and iPod pumping trance when it's storming (like today) and when people aren't talking. My gear is old but polished with diamonds and waxed to go fast.



This is me at 5"9" and 170lbs on my goats.


The only pow ski available for demo today was a 181 Coomba. So... I took it for a ride out of principle. I really liked the tip. All traditional side-cut pow skis should emulate it. The shape of the tip rules. It should be standard.


Coomba 181 vs. Gotama 183/Fritsche = choose your tail.

Crud = Coomba
Fresh =
Traversing = Gotama; the tails wins.
Piste = Coomba
Tip shape = Coomba

After 3 runs in the rabbit hole with the Coomba...


I ended up switching back to my goats. Ripping slabs in the trees convinced me that avy-controlled tree-skiing was more of a headache than turns. Here's a shot scaling some new snow and the tree-wells I spent my traverses avoiding.

In those areas, I wanted my goat. The goat is more nimble. The coomba is smoother when the snow is not. But it was too short. I'm sure the 188 Coomba rocks, but I'm sure the 190 Gotama does too. Basically, the goats and the coombas are virtually identical with minor differences. Noting your exposure to crud and your desire for tail-shape should be enough to choose between these skis.

I also skied a vector glide low-fat. This was a reincarnated Volkl G41 + silence. Super nimble, super light, super powerful = G41 + silence.


Here are the dims:

Vector Glide is definitely a ski I would like to own. The above is really light and effortless for the reward they offer your effort. I only assume the 130-110-120 @ 185 with big turned-up tail is the goat's long lost brother. But I couldn't ride that today.

I did ride these: some 170 Head WC SL


dims:


The Head SL is fricking wet. I went fall-line for like a gazillion turns edge-to-edge without ever scraping any snow. I couldn't get uncomfortable. They just kept arcing. When I got to the bottom, my quads were on fire.

The Head GS is dripping sap;

I didn't turn once when riding that^ liquid metal. I laid them on their edge a few times, but I pretty much just stood still and let them run and be be budged by nothing.

Here's the conclusion with Head; Liquid Metal is liquidy. Those skis feel like every millimeter of the running-surface is reaching out to the snow. I can't explain liquid metal outside the words Head chose. I really, severely want a rack of their race skis. I really noticed that construction. If you ski on piste, or own a ski for the piste, you should be ridng a liquid metal. Try them. They suck themselves to the snow like nothing I have ever ridden.

I skied this pillow today:


And then, I tried some Hellcats in a 170:


The Hellcat wins Ski-Of-The-Day Award. I ride a 186 Jet Fuel, (126-84-112, r=20) and I hopped on this opportunity to ride a Hellcat. It was really turny, but that wide footprint makes it really easy to pivot.

So, you've got a super-carvy ride that will pivot and surf like wider skis. This ski blew me away with its versatility. If I had cash, I would buy this ski right now. I can't believe how well it did everything.

Oh, and here is a gigantic face that I'm waiting to see rip onto the piste below. This face recieved about a meter of snow in the last 24 hours. And- I was breaking slabs in the trees today.
post #2 of 23
Love the reviews and pics! Thanks! But now you've got me thinking - I love my Afterburners, gotta get out on some Hellcats...
post #3 of 23
Great reviews & Pixs

Thanks
post #4 of 23
Where abouts did you ski? We are thinking of heading to Hokkaido in the winter at some point. My wife has only been up there once (and I have yet to go that far north): it would be cool to check out the Sapporo Yuki Matsuri some time as well.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
Where abouts did you ski?
Zao, in Yamagata. A little north of center if you look at a map.

I'm still far enough north to get the siberian freezes, but not quite as much as Hokkaido. Hokkaido is the pow paradise, but I'll warn you, it's not the steepest skiing you'll ever find. It's great for floating through glades, if that is what you are looking for.

I don't recommend Zao to people who are interested in off-piste either. The groomers are long and exceptionally plentiful, but off-piste does not exist. The tree shots I have above require 2 meters of base just to be doable. I'm also the only skier to access most of the goods here. 99% of tourists get frustrated at the layout here that took me nearly 3 seasons to figure out and link tree lines.

January to march, look me up if you're in the area and want private tree skiing. In peak season, I'll get you complete days of never crossing other tracks.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
The Head SL is fricking wet. I went fall-line for like a gazillion turns edge-to-edge without ever scraping any snow. I couldn't get uncomfortable. They just kept arcing. When I got to the bottom, my quads were on fire.

...

Here's the conclusion with Head; Liquid Metal is liquidy. Those skis feel like every millimeter of the running-surface is reaching out to the snow. I can't explain liquid metal outside the words Head chose. I really, severely want a rack of their race skis. I really noticed that construction. If you ski on piste, or own a ski for the piste, you should be ridng a liquid metal. Try them. They suck themselves to the snow like nothing I have ever ridden.
Thanks for the review, Samurai.

I swear I've never heard a better description of the "feel" of a Head ski. If Head doesn't steal your words and use them in next year's marketing material, they're just not on the ball.

And I loved that photo of the ski resort. That's one serious face up there.
post #7 of 23

Thinking of Hellcats

Hi there
great review. I am on a pair of 170 head monsters with a 74 waist and the chip and drive them with Lange world cup boots. I am coming from ontario canada and moving to the alberta rockies.
i am 5'9 and 200 lbs and love carving rail to rail with no scrape down the fall line at all times possible. with the move to the western rockies i am looking at the hellcat. The question is 170 or 178. I don't want to lose that liquid rail to rail power carvability that the 170's have, but...... when i am out west on the big fall lines the 170's start to break up a bit at moch schnell speeds. Will the 178 still bend for me at moderatly high speeds on groomers and in the deep bowls of dilerium dive at sunshine village and kicking horse? any thoughts, anyone?????
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gr8 Feet View Post
Hi there
great review. I am on a pair of 170 head monsters with a 74 waist and the chip and drive them with Lange world cup boots. I am coming from ontario canada and moving to the alberta rockies.
i am 5'9 and 200 lbs and love carving rail to rail with no scrape down the fall line at all times possible. with the move to the western rockies i am looking at the hellcat. The question is 170 or 178. I don't want to lose that liquid rail to rail power carvability that the 170's have, but...... when i am out west on the big fall lines the 170's start to break up a bit at moch schnell speeds. Will the 178 still bend for me at moderatly high speeds on groomers and in the deep bowls of dilerium dive at sunshine village and kicking horse? any thoughts, anyone?????
178cm at the minimum.

Mchael
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gr8 Feet View Post
Hi there
great review. I am on a pair of 170 head monsters with a 74 waist and the chip and drive them with Lange world cup boots. I am coming from ontario canada and moving to the alberta rockies.
i am 5'9 and 200 lbs and love carving rail to rail with no scrape down the fall line at all times possible. with the move to the western rockies i am looking at the hellcat. The question is 170 or 178. I don't want to lose that liquid rail to rail power carvability that the 170's have, but...... when i am out west on the big fall lines the 170's start to break up a bit at moch schnell speeds. Will the 178 still bend for me at moderatly high speeds on groomers and in the deep bowls of dilerium dive at sunshine village and kicking horse? any thoughts, anyone?????
yep you may love that style of skiing but FYI at stuff like dilerium if your not 'scraping' your killin yourself. Good luck with it and would love to see video of rail to rail skiing down Dilerium.

and yes go for 178cm IMO though you should be looking else were for a ski than the hellcat.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
The HellCat is the best all-around ski I have ever been on. For those who live out west and seek the one-ski-quiver, it is a definite contender.

But, you have a 170 carver. I guess the question is whether or not you plan on keeping that one for piste days.

Either way, the HellCat did surf turns quite nicely. I think it's a machine for variable snow on the not-so-deep spectrum. It may be a bit stiff for pow days... see it's younger brother, the HellDiver for a softer version of the same footprint.
post #11 of 23
Rode the Hellcat later in the spring this year and loved it (I have Afterburners, so I generally like the feel of Nordica skis). For terrain that is predominantly off piste, however, I would look elsewhere. I find that I go for my Nordicas when it's a more trail-oriented day (good crud busting but I find that they like to turn a lot and prefer to be on edge). For terrain like Delirium Dive or Kicking Horse, I think that a ski that is more like the Dynastar Legend Pro Rider is better suited. Also, what about the Head Monster 88s? Finally, although I have not skied them, the PMGear Bro model skis sound like they might fit the bill.
post #12 of 23

lots to learn

Thanks guys for the advice.
I have a lot to learn about the transition to the steep and deep but look forward to it. I guess i will pick up the hellcat 178's for all the variable trail stuff and think about what to get for the deeps this coming season.
I will be based out of Calgary and want to get into the steeps. Has anyone heard if that instruction series at the dive is worth while or should I just get the safety gear and go with some buddies that say they know what they are doing? How does an easterner safely get into this aspect of the sport?
thanks again.
post #13 of 23
No do an avalanche awareness course so you can accurately judge if said buddies actually know what they are doing.

Are you going to ski steep in all conditions? If so then go more big mountain for your big ski.

If you are going ski them in the best/ esiest conditions - ie tonnes of fresh pow, then go for a pow ski ie wide and floaty.

There are a few skis that do both well but you are best off demoing or borrowing so you can work out what works for you.
post #14 of 23
Samurai, where are these Vector Glides made? A reincarnation of the versatile good ole Völkl G4 sounds tempting and too good to be true. Did a Google search but couldn't get a grasp on it.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
I think Vector Glides are made in Japan. I see so many of them here, I've been deemed to believe so.

but, that one I rode was more G41 than G4, FWIW. (I owned 3 G41s and 2 G4s... I know the vertigo generation, and I prefer the G41s. )

Anyway, I just did a Google search for Vector Glide and this very thread came up second after some website that got me nowhere. If you'd like, I can ask my local shop. They have a stack.

Nonetheless, I quite liked that ski. It was, really, a non-vibrating G41. Kinda what that series always aimed to be, but killed with over-stiffness.
post #16 of 23
Vector Glide is the upscale brand from Ogasaka. I've never skied on any Ogasakas, so can't give an opinion that's worth anything. But the skis don't get discounted anywhere close to overseas brands. Gotamas/Mantras/Seths from last season can be had for 40+% off in Tokyo right now; Vector Glides are still selling for no more than 20% off.
post #17 of 23
Thx Samurai and jimintokyo.
post #18 of 23

hi, I ski in japan at present. thinking i need a one quiver ski to go with my lunatic pontoons. these will be for 50/50 piste and off piste. I like to ski trees even when i,m on the groomers, preferring to go in and out of the main piste if no pow,  and i find the japanese dont groom their runs as much as out west in US or in Europe.so my main question is, what are the vector glides like? has anybody skied them? im 5ft 8, advanced /expert circa 180 pounds 80 kilos or so.  Im looking at k2 explorers, extremes, vokl mantras , and the vector glides, and theres something about the latter makes me want to buy them but not sure what they ski like. I want a ski that is good on most stuff, wide enough to spend time is choppy powder or crusty old pow, but can hold its own on ice and doesn't chatter when Im skiing/carving fast down the piste. 

Any thoughts? Thanks guys

post #19 of 23

 Skis that come to mind are (looks like you are looking for a stiff,wide but not crazy wide mid-fat that is good in crudy or cut-up snow and on ice).  here is my partial list: 

Mantra, Dynastar Mythic, Head IM88, Enforcer, Tigershark, AC40-50(?), Atomic Crimson (?).  

 

My favorite from these is the Mythic (not quite surprising since I own it), but your style and mileage may vary. 

 

 

 

 

post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 

Vector Glide makes a ski around 105 underfoot, check that. I skied the 120-85-110 and found it amazingly versatile. If I was in need of a ski in this category, I'd be all over it.  

post #21 of 23

Why would you want a 105 ski to complement the Pontoon?  

post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 

I don't know how that got worded like that.... I don't mean to advise a 105 as a single-ski quiver for JP. 

 

My review of the vector glide is farther up in this thread.  

post #23 of 23

thanks Samurai, I took your advice, bought the low fat vectors 120-85-110....they are amazing, after a season with them I'm completely hooked as an all round ski. My son is now about the same size as me so we ski together sharing the 'toons which are simply amazing in pow and make you ski and do kickers like a god (so much landing area!) , my son's kung fujas , and the vectors. If im 50/50 piste and powder I use the vectors, they are so light and turny they are a delight, yet handle speed on a long piste like a carver. For those who want to know the vectors are on vectorglide.co.jp. Search with google if you want translation. My son thinks the vecs are very easy to get on edge, and thinks good for boot high pow and very good in trees as they turn great.The KF's are a great all round ski too, good all mountain skis. So here is the question for this year. We want to add another ski to the quiver, for days where theres a bit too much heavier snow for the vectors, and its all chewed up so want a bit more flotation and weight, but because its busy (like Hakuba,hirafu etc) the pow is all ungroomed and churned up so not really great for the 'toons (they are at their best in true floaty powder when they ski like nothing else) . Were considering the new bc skis from vector, mid fats (96) and look a bit poppy,do you know anybody who has ridden these? Or the k2 2010 (last year) 105 obsethed also poppy. Also looking at mantras but wondering if they are a bit stiff for us.Anybody any thoughts? 

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