I'm an upper intermediate skier, 6 ft, 170 lb, 59 years old. I skied the Phantom SC 80 in 175 cm last week at Grouse Mountain in BC. Conditions were hardpacked snow with patches of refrozen granular, like piles of sugar, and some scraped off icy sections. The Phantom felt light, flexy, and undemanding. Easy to turn but just as happy going straight. Didn't "hunt" for turns like some carving skis do. Very forgiving, would be great for "finesse" skiers or older skiers wanting to relax a bit. Not demanding, not a lot of pop out of the turn, would be boring for hard-charging experts. The Phantom has a wood core, is marketed as a mainly soft-snow ski, but it comes across as a blending of a twin-tip and a "system" ski. It is 80mm in the waist with a bit of a raised tail. The integrated binding is mounted closer to the middle, giving it a longish tail like a park ski. I have skied twin-tips for years, so I should be okay with that, but the binding position on the Phantom initially felt too far forward. You really have to let the ski do it's thing and feel the entire ski. With the integrated binding, you feel the full length of the ski in the turn, but the ski doesn't want to be rushed, so forget about short, quick turns. I am considering buying either the Phantom or the Dynastar Legend 8000. The Legend gets good reviews and is priced locally at $100.00 less than the Phantom, plus I have other Dynastar skis that I enjoy. The problem is I haven't been able to demo the Legend, so the previous comment about the Phantom being better than the Legend 8000 and not having to worry about "catching an edge" is interesting. Catching an edge is no problem at all with the Phantom as it very forgiving. My skiing skills are not that great and a high-end ski will usually locate and magnify my poor technique in a hearbeat. Not so with the Phantom. I have never been on a ski that made me feel like I could be as bad or as good as I wanted, to work hard or to slack off. That being said, I don't think the Phantom will be a big seller. Expert ski will be saying "where's the beef?" while the higher-than-average price tag will scare off the mid-to-lower level skiers who would really enjoy this ski.
Edited by gimmesnow - 3/12/2009 at 04:30 pm