Skis - Fischer Watea 78 (122-78-107) 174 cm.
Weather and snow - Mostly cloudy, 22 - 35 degrees, some wind and flurries. There was a combination of groomed(moderately firm), broken powder, some soft powder in the trees and windblown "sugar" to a depth of about 4" over firm windblown.
I tried these today based on its reviews on skinet, and there was a fair amount of hard snow (for here) as I switched areas to test this ski. This ski (again if you believe the numbers) out performed both the Watea 84 and 94.
I started out on a groomed intermediate run that is really wide. This trail lends itself to big sweeping high speed arcs. I let the skis run and gently tipped them. The ski smoothly drifted into a large arc. As speed increased I added more and more pressure with each turn and the ski responded by steadly turning sharper. I was able to develop some pretty big edge angles. Smooth and stable at every speed and radius I asked it to do. This is one fun unit.
I got over to an Intermediate bump run that typically develops some really nice bumps. At first I tried to attack a bit. The skis worked but fought back a bit. Then I tried easing off and wow....what a difference. These skis don't like to be forced but if you are gentle with them they LOVE the bumps. Once I discovered that they were a pleasure to run through moguls about waist high. Fun stuff there.
Now for the tough part. Finding powder. I went to a few secret spots I knew of including one spot where I have never seen a track....and someone on a board had found it (after all these years) Well I made a few turns in untracked and a few more in broken powder in some fairly open trees. This is where it got interesting. The front 14" of the ski was pretty much on/above the surface of the snow, without any bending I could see. I had never seen a ski respond like this before. So....I leaned WAY forward. Still up. So I got into the back seat. OK, well maybe that wasn't the smartest thing to do (but I learn fast at speed when things don't work all that well.)
I went to a very steep area (bowl approx 45degrees) and turned them loose on broken powder, powder and windblown "sugar" over a firm surface. No problem, the ski just cruised. Then I found a stash of fresh and minimally tracked in a wide open area. They floated.....bigtime. Again the front of the ski was on the surface of the snow (keep in mind it's only 78 under foot)
This ski moves around the hill a lot like the Legend 8000 does. It doesn't have the energy the 8000 does but it isn't damp either. Another difference is that this ski skis much smoother than the 8000's and is far quicker edge to edge. I'm not sure it isn't quicker edge to edge than my 73 underfoot Tigersharks.
This would be a GREAT one ski quiver. Easteners, don't overlook this ski. You can ski it at home and sacrifice nothing and only have to pay for one ski bag on the plane for your trip(s) west.
This ski is a BIG