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185 Praxis Powder 1st impressions.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Decided to get a new pow ski. Specifically looking for one with a bit more float for low angle terrain and pretty maneuverable in the trees. Decided on the praxis based on price and a proven reputation. I have been on them for about 5 days. Here is the review so far.

The skis: 185 Praxis Powder Boards mounted with Freeride+ at 100cm from the tip. This mount point is supposed to give them a more "conventional feel".

Me: About 200 lbs. I ski mostly at Beaver Mtn. UT which gets 400" a year but is sort of flat.

Other Skis In my active quiver: Scott P4 191, K2 PE 179, Head im103 183

Balance point: The ski has a different feel from everything else I skied. Super short runnign lenght and no tail to speak of. Don't sit back. Seems different from conventional skis and took me a day or two to get dialed in. But the way I have it mounted up, I just need to get the slightest bit forward to be right over the sweet spot. $$$

Pow: No surprises this ski is great in pow. The main differences between a P4 and Praxis in the pow are: More float, faster to plane. Carved turns are automatic tip and they turn, more versatility of turn shapes in pow, You can carve em or you can slarve. I find my self skiing much faster and more agressive in the fall line on these boards compared to conventional skis. Its a really fun ski in pow.

Trees and other tight places: Best tree ski I have been on. Carvy turns are automatic and quick in the trees. And using the slarve makes it very easy to change speeds and shut it down in a tight spot.

Funky snow: You can tell this ski was designed for skiing in the Sierra. So far this winter we have had many of windy storms and a few warm storms come through that left lot of wind buff or heavy layered snow. This ski makes heavy wind eroded or deposited and upside down layered (heavy over light) snow ski almost as nice as blower.

Cut Up Powderday Conditions: Skis better than anything else I have been on in cut up and soft crud. Even deep cut up heavy snow. The ski its self is fairly stiff and stable. For most powder day cut up you can either blast through or surf over at will. If in doubt, surf, the ski wants to float over most stuff any way. I got into trouble one day when I didn't scrape my bases. This ski has lot of surface area so make sure your wax is in good shape or else you can get tripped up when crossing from fast to slow sticky snow.

Chalk, small bumps, typical midwintet off trail conditions: In softer chalk the ski does quite well. You won't catch any edges. The ski works better if the snow is 3D since the effective edge is short.

Groomers: If you are skiing this on a powder day the groomers will be soft. If they are soft this ski works just fine. Once you get the balance point dialed in you can get them up on edge and carve on the forbody of the ski just a bit. Its enough edge for a soft green or blue groomer.

Cat Tracks / Skating: Skating is inefficinet on these skis. Its possible to work arround this if I use a really wide stance. The back side of the beav has a narrow slightly up hill cat track return. The narrowness makes it really slow skating back in bounds with these boards. Soft snow + narrow track makes these really hard to skate on efficiently.

Overall: I am still getting dailed in on this ski and still learning how to use them. So far it seem that any time the snow is soft the Praxis can be used effectively.
post #2 of 18
Great report. Reminds me of my first impression on the Volant Spatulas.


post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
I got a couple more pow days on the Praxis. Sunday was probably my most fun pow skiing day ever and the snow wasn't even all that good. They are just so much easier and more fun to use than conventional skis. I am skiing much faster and more aggressively than I do on my P4s. Plane faster, ride higher in the snow, are more manuverable, easier to change speeds, just ski awesome in deep snow.
post #4 of 18
Sounds like a really fun ski. I don't have a real wide-body powder ski yet, and this one sounds like a lot of fun. Several contenders in the category and I am split between something full rocker and reverse like the Praxis, and something a little more conventional like Lhasa Pow.
post #5 of 18
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Sounds like a really fun ski. I don't have a real wide-body powder ski yet, and this one sounds like a lot of fun. Several contenders in the category and I am split between something full rocker and reverse like the Praxis, and something a little more conventional like Lhasa Pow.
And thus is the conundrum of a true gear whore

(Why not both?)
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Also wanted to add that so far I have taken a couple of hard hits on rocks and came a way with some scratches but no core damage. The Praxis bases are thick and seem pretty bomber to me.

Also, I have skied with a couple people who ride the lhasas. My take is that lhasas probabbly ski bigger than the praxis and are bit mroe versatile and are a more every day use ski. Lhasa would be a bit better ski for more open lines where you will be hitting higher speeds. Praxis are probably a bit better for small lines, in the trees, and are probably a bit more manuverable. Lhasas are also probably better for crud once things get skied out. I don't see how you could go wrong either way and you can get some of the new praxis models (I am reviewing the powder boards) that are probably going to be a bit more versatile for everyday use.
post #7 of 18
I've added the Praxis Protest to my Volant Spatula and Watea 101 fat ski collection.

I'm hoping the Protest does better on firmer crud, the Spatula needs soft conditions and a few inches of depth to function well. The Protest has the same narrow and turned-up tips and tail, like a Spatula; but has a section underfoot that is nearly flat and with a conventional (if slight) sidecut. Its dimensions are: 132/137/130/131/124.

Tromano, I'll have these at JH, they have demo bindings.

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Michael, Thanks I will probably take you up on that.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
After my first season using these I have a few things to add.

People who think you won't get face shots on a praxis are wrong. Any time the snow was light I was skiing in the snow and getting face shots every turn. 

I actually think this ski works better and is more fun in a bit heavier snow than the typical wastach blower. The storms where it came in warm and wet and dumped 2' of really heavy styrofoam snow and pelets with about 8" of blower on top. That was the most fun day I have had on skis ever. It was like playing a shooter game on God mode.
post #10 of 18
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

I actually think this ski works better and is more fun in a bit heavier snow than the typical wastach blower.

Ding ding! We have a winner!

There's a reason full reverse originated in and continues to be driven out of Tahoe.
post #11 of 18
The praxis hybrid does not look to shabby either. Id love to demo a pair.
post #12 of 18
Tromano, Strong review as I agree with everything you said. I am 5'10" about 190lbs and love my 195's. They have taken some solid hits and have 0 damage. Skiing deep snow on them is like being in God Mode for this powder jong. I love the way they turn. Just kind of sinking the tails and smearing the turn with the tails feels so cool and gives you such great control. Absolutely unreal in trees on a powder day.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
One thing to add to this review.

The praxis is probably the most tune dependant ski I have ever been on. You are skiing almost all the time on a few square inches of base and edge right under foot. And if this section is worn performance goes into the toilet. Usually when I do a hot wax its a few passes with the scraper and brush and out to the hill. The praxis I am not done until its completely pristine.
post #14 of 18
 Tromano did you ever get to try the Protests - if so, how do they compare? 

One other question, you mentioned that the Powder ski better in a little heavier snow than we sometimes get here along the Wasatch. Does that make you think less of the Powder for typical Utah conditions or are you saying that the Powder will do even better later in the day on a powder day when it's starting to get all cut up and tracked out?

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

I never did get to ride the protest. But I think that for  resort skiing I think they are going to be a bit more optimised for that. The powderboards are really optimized for powder like in BC powder days or cat skiing IMO.

I have not been on anything better in pow. The powder boards are built for pow and they ski great in blower. But not that much better than a nice soft fat ski like a sanook. They are actually better (IMO)  if the snow is a bit more heavy but still soft  more on the styrofoam side of things.
Edited by tromano - 12/25/09 at 2:28pm
post #16 of 18
 Tromano: Thanks. Keith from Praxis says that they're pressing a dozen this week and he has 3-4 that aren't yet spoken for. I'm going to get a pair of the 188s. I'm not sure how it will be riding them, but I'm going to do my part to help stimulate this economy 
Now all we need are a couple of more good dumps. Maybe Wednesday we'll get some snow.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 

After 3 years: Since I bought them my entire quiver has changed, Every single ski is different. Except the praxis. These in a 185 are probably at least 10-20cm too small for me, but nevertheless, this ski is just so much fun, that despite the problems it remains the one indispensable ski in my quiver.


I use them as a powder day tool and with dukes as a lift served BC ski. I think their strengths in weird snow really makes them a superb Side country ski. Even if it falls as light pow, it will be worked over by wind and sun after a few days in most places. This ski really extends the time when I can go out and have awesome turns by a few days each storm.



  • Great for doing anything in powder. Ski any line and make it easy.
  • These make shitty rotten snow ski like perfect powder. Actually "shitty snow" since it is faster and more supportable actually skis better on a praxis than light fluffy perfect powder (which is slow) does. Heavy Styrofoam snow, upside down stuff, wind crust, slabby layers, all ski great on these.
  • Will get you down "roads" and other easy groomed runs  if all you want is to get to point a to point b.  Even in surprisingly hard pack. Important for Side country use.
  • Touring: Work very well for breaking trail. If the snow is soft enough to get the whole length to engage the skin they have tremendous grip. Climb right up anything. 



  • For resort skiing they really are powder day only.
  • In perfect powder snow, they ski not so different from any other ski that is great in powder. Not so different from a blizzard the one or Scott P4, better, more fun, more slarvy, but the difference is not huge, still very much in the same league.
  • More of a finesse ski and has a balance point that some people probabbly won't like. These want to be skied from the ball of the foot. If I try to drive them from the cuff they do not ski right at all. Actually skis just as well with a bit softer touring boot than a supa stiff alpine boot.
  • Slow on traverses and Cannot skate on them. Some of the side country at my home hill has a long (~1mi) pole/ skate out. Its alot faster and easier if you can skate out. But its almost impossible to keep up any momentum skating on the praxis, no matter what structure / wax I use.
  • Touring: If its icy, forget it. Not great for skinning in an established track. They are always too wide and have limited running length in an established track and are heavy skis. In many cases you are better off breaking trail than following an established track. Also not being able to skate out efficiently on the fire road at the end of the day is a chore too.


Edited by tromano - 4/9/11 at 9:58am
post #18 of 18

After reading your update, I think my Protests keep most of your pros and eliminate almost all of your cons as well. If you get a chance, you should try a pair and I'd like to hear how you compare the two skis. For that matter, I'd like to try a pair of the Powders. Friday I saw a fellow skiing a pair of the Powders at Alta. Was that you? My Protests were perfect for the conditions and can't imagine the Powders could have been any better.

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