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'08 Fischer Red Heat Review

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
OK, this is my first shot at this, so go easy on me.

Reviewed on 12/24/08
Skis - '08 Fischer Red Heats, 175.
Bindings - FS11 Railflex 2.
Me - 6'2", 225 lbs, 42 years old. Level 6/7ish, only been doing Alpine for about 4 years, but skiing most weekends the last 2+. I like making long, sweeping turns at speed.
Mountain - Waterville Valley, NH. Two feet of powdery snow had fallen in the last 4 days, most trails heavily groomed/packed but some still fairly untouched and deep. Light powder falling early in the day.
Boots - Lange Radius (???) XX, 349mm sole.

I had been skiing on Atomic Izor 3:1 167s for about 3 years, and really felt that I needed to step up to a better ski that was more appropriate for my size. I was really struggling with any depth of snow early this season. Unfortunately, I don't have any recent experience with other skis.
Despite the Red Heats being wider than my old skis, I felt that initiating turns at most speeds was no more difficult than before. Skiing through ungroomed snow that was soft 5-6" down was a revelation...I would have been lost in this with my old skis, but now slid through it with no issues, and even was confident enough to get aggressive with it later in the day. I was also able to attack well groomed runs at speeds that would have made my old skis balk/chatter. I felt that I was able to go on offense on my favorite runs and ski them hard, rather than being a bit defensive and holding back. I did a couple of mogul runs somewhat by accident before I left, and felt stable on the new skis, if not quite nimble. If I miscalculated and hit a bump wrong, I was able to hold a line and power through it rather than flying off of it.
There wasn't much in the way of boilerplate today, but I did hit some skied off spots here and there, and was amazed that the skis would actually bite on these and I could hold a turn. I don't know how much of this was due to the factory tune compared to shop tunes, but I had NEVER been able to hold an edge on icy spots before. Now I understand how people ski effectively on such surfaces...I previously thought they were magicians.

As for downsides, it was definitely more difficult to control the Red Heats at low speeds, like on short connector runs off the lifts, and they didn't lend themselves well to skating up inclines. There were a few times when I was sloppy with my technique and the tails would bite a bit while I was transitioning between turns, which was new to me. Maybe this is why I see recommendations for less than expert skiers to detune the front and rear tips of their skis.
The skis felt a bit hefty, but they are significantly longer and wider than my old ones. I suspect that something like the Salomon X Wing 10's that I was coveting at one point would have been somewhat lighter at a similar size, but haven't checked the specs.

All in all, I felt like a new, better skier, and am very happy with my ski upgrade. I've seen '08 models of this ski at very good prices online (I paid $365 shipped with unmounted FS11 Railflex 2 bindings), so intermediate-ish skiers who are looking for an upgrade should be able to step up without straining the wallet too much.
post #2 of 2
Nice writeup, thanks.
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