Me: 5'11" 195
1) Icelantic Shaman (173)
2) High Society FR (187)
3) Bro Softs (188)
The Ski: Aramda JJ 185's (126-136-115-133-121) <- yes, you read that right. 5 dimensions
The Location: Crested Butte
The Snow: 5 days total
- 2 days "haven't seen snow in two weeks" hardpack
- 1 day 4 inches
- 1 day 9 inches high density
- 1 day 14 inches medium/low density sitting on top of the high density
Anything and everything. Teo, The North Face, glades, front side groomers, Headwall, Spellbound/Phoenix, bumps
Okay, as you can see I don't have ski thinner than 99 under foot. And as you can also see, I have a fondness for independent, original skis. It is actually an addiction but hey, admitting it is the first step. This is my first rockered ski. I've spent some time on some Bents and Pontoons but they were borrowed and only skied a few runs each.
The acquisition of this ski proved difficult. You can find 175's anywhere but 185's were impossible. I started by calling every Armada dealer i could find in states where such a ski would be considered (unjustly it turns out) "freakish". Like West Virgina, Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina. Thought I would be smart and find a pair that got shipped down there and was overlooked. No dice. Aside from some funny conversations that usually started out with, "what in tarnation would you want a ski shaped like that fer?". I finally started hitting some of the biggest outlets in the PNW and Rockies. Hit pay dirt with a call to Gorsuch in Vail. Last pair.
After four days of waiting they finally showed up. Slapped some Dukes on them and headed out. Probably the best way to sum it up is: if Ullr appears to me at this moment and tells me I have to pick one pair of skis to be attached to my feet for the rest of my life, I will pick the JJ wihtout ANY hesitation. They do everything and everything well. Groomers, hardpack, ice (ice??), powder oh my god sweet powder, trees. Turn on a dime, carve, float, smear, stomp landings. I was even hitting bumps yesterday. Not exactly Scratch Moguls but I certainly won't avoid bumps with these skis.
It's game over for me. Basically, eliminated the need for the Shamans (and oh Ullr how I love them shammies as anyone who has read my reviews on them knows) and the High Societies (loved them too). I am going down to two skis: Bros mounted with Fritchies for touring (can't beat that unless I went Dynafit for the binders) and the JJ's. I can't think of a time when I would pick the Shammies or the High Societies over the JJ. This isn't a a slam on those skis because they FKNA rock. I wouldn't think about getting any sort of low snow year carving ski because, the JJ lays a railroad track that rivals anything else i've been on including some carving skis i've demoed.
Thus, I put to you the universal truths:
1. This year, if you find a pair of 185 JJ's - buy them! Even if you don't ski them sell them to someone who will. They deserved to be skied. You see a pair of 185's in a shop, throw out a PSA.
2. The 5 dimensions of the JJ is the way of the future. It works and works well.
3. Ski one. If you can't ski a JJ ski a rockered ski. Someone said it on this forum that they won't buy a resort ski that isn't rockered. I wouldn't either now.
It is with bittersweet emotions that I reach my final conclusion - i'm pretty much done with looking at any other ski for resort or slackcountry skiing. I'm a two ski guy now. Saying goodbye to my High Societies and Shammies is going to be really hard. I'm going to find them a nice home or two.