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Review XXL 187/K2 Obsethed 189/Volkl Katana 183

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Demo day at Crystal and about 8" of fresh snow to test some powder boards on was just what the doctor ordered.

Dynastar 187 XXL

Awesome is one adjective to describe this ski. Got fresh tracks in shin to knee deep, fairly light pow for the PNW in late March. This ski is not so much a floater but a cruiser through the powder. The flex is solid but not overly stiff and burly. As the Dynastar Rep said, your girlfriend can ski these. (Okay, so now I feel like a sissy, but hey, you try these skis and tell me you don't like them. I dare ya ) I was a bit worried this ski would be too stiff, but not at all the case.
I did four runs on these, all in shin to knee deep untracked pow. (Yes, lucky me!) The second run was through some powder on top of day old cut up pow that came up to my knees in places. The skis just sliced through it. I imagined this is what it feels like to be Jeremy Nobis as I just flew down the mtn. without any trepidation and with total confidence that this ski immediately gives the skier. I did one run on about 4" of fresh on top of a groomer. So sweet, the ski likes to make medium to longer GS style turns. I'm not used to going this fast in variable powder but this ski is very easy to just turn loose and let her run. I had no issue with tip dive but the ski doesn't really float on the surface. It sinks in a bit but then just like a nuclear sub in the deep blue, just cruises. That's about the best description I can give. It's very versatile. It doesn't feel like you're on a 187 cm length ski. I didn't need to really change my stance much like the other pow skis I demo'd. I took them through some trees. Very responsive and easy to make changes while negotiating a tree run. Last run, I just bombed through more untracked and into a mogul field covered with 6" of soft snow on top. No problems slaying the field. Skis are very easy to negotiate this type of terrain. I would expect if they had been VW Bug sized, iced moguls, it would have been a different story. In a nutshell my favorite ski of the 3 demo'd. I'll be putting this ski on the shopping list for next season.

K2 Obsethed - 189 cm

I demo'd these skis next. They have tip and tail rocker. More subtle than the Pontoons but not too substantial. The tip is fairly wide and at a waist width of 105 mm it had good float. I found one run of slightly tracked powder to take these through. The rockered tip likes to come to the surface and it floats over the cut up crud and tracked pow. It is very easy to get going on these skis if you're not careful. I felt the length was a bit much for me. K2's generally feel long anyway. This would be a good soft snow ski but it's not as versatile as the XXL. Doesn't ski groomers nearly as well but it will make nice gs turns on the groomers. Easy to get it to do shorter radius turns as well. The flex in the tip is soft, so when things got a bit manky the ski tended to ride up on to the snow. No real issues with tip deflection though. This would be a good ski for fresh untracked lines. I had a bit of trouble trying to find a good balance point on the skis. I think I fall somewhere between the two sizes of 179 and 189. They appeared to be mounted with equal tip and tail, more of a park setting, IMHO, than one for all mountain. Still a nice fun ski. Not stiff, but good lateral stiffness. And for ranking it felt like it had the softest flex, but it wasn't a noodle.

Volkl Katana - 183 cm

This was the last powder ski I tested. Not much in the way of untracked to test them in powder. This ski has a softish flex in the tip and tail and fairly stiff under foot. This ski was probably the best of the 3 when it came to float. The tip definitely liked to ride on top of the snow. I could really drive the tip and not worry about tip dive. I believe the tip is 140 mm and a waist of 111 or 112 mm. I had no problem taking the ski through some wetter, heavier tracked up pow near the base of the ski area. The ski just simply floated over it with the wide tip. Again, this ski just wanted to haul a to the double ss. Easy to mach down the groomers, over crud or tracked up heavy pow. You have to be aware of the width of these skis and adjust your stance a bit wider, especially with the tips. I went down once, when I got into old habits of skiing with the knees too close and crossing the tips up. Doesn't rail the groomers like the Dynastars but it did fine in the moguls. The ski has no camber, that and a softish, wide tip give it really good float.

I'd rank them Dynastar XXL, Volkl Katana and a close 3rd for the Obsethed.
post #2 of 6
Nice reviews. Can you give us your specs so we have a point of reference? Also I curious as to the Katana's length, did they ski true to length or shorter?
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Me: 6'0" & 162 lbs.

The Katanas felt a bit short. Could just be that I had just come off of two longer skis though. Still the float is very good for my size.
Also, my comment that the 187 XXL doesn't feel like it's 187 cm, it skis like it's a 187 cm ski. It's just very easy to make it go where you are thinking of going. The ski reads your mind.
post #4 of 6
Great reviews, The 187cm XXL is a great ski, I also found it easy-to-use. Have you tried the Watea 101?

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
Great reviews, The 187cm XXL is a great ski, I also found it easy-to-use. Have you tried the Watea 101?

Haven't tried that ski, but I own and love my Atua's. I have no doubts that I'd love the Watea's too.
post #6 of 6
I almost considered ordering the XXL's instead of the Huge Trouble, but at my weight, it was suggested the HT was a bit better choice. I haven't skied the XXL's yet in that length, but look forward to doing so next fall. It looks like a great ski, although if it is stiffer than the HT (which it should be) then it might be a bit much for my weight.
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