I skied the Peak 78 this past Saturday as well as the new Icon 80. The previous Saturday I skied the 2009 Monster 78.
From one week to the next our snow conditions changed quite drastically. We went from soft snow and plenty of it to very hard snow that comes from a two day freeze after a day of rain. I had skied the Monster 78 in the soft snow and found them to be stable, fun to carve and liked to ski fast. A very versatile ski for someone who likes carving but wants a ski for a bigger mountain as well. When the snow started to get lumpy at the end of the day they just powered thru it where the SS Magnum started to be a bit less firm.
This past Saturday I tried the 2010 Peak 78. It held quite well on the ice and was firm under foot. In terms of a pure carving ski was not as solid as the Supershapes but was quite good. I really liked the ski. After skiing I took the ski into the shop which had some Monster 78 on hand. We could not really see a lot of difference despite looking for the reported lack of metal at the tip. there is metal all the way to the tip but I think perhaps one more layer in the Monster than the Peak - not really sure. As for skiing - I did not really find the peak 78 to be any softer than the Monster. Another skier who skied it all Day Sunday in softer conditions found it to be "heavy" but then he skis on a race stock worldcup slalom ski which is quite light.
The Icon line is a new line of Carving skis that is positioned to be more affordable than the Supershape and WorldCup skis. These skis are for people who like carving and are quite skinny at 66mm underfoot. The Icon 80 is basically a more affordable version of the WorldCup iSL with same waist and 1 mm wider at the tail I believe. When we held up a 2010 WC iSL 165 base to base with the Icon 80 in 164 it actually seems the Icon was 1mm wider at both tip and tail.
I am not a little guy. I skied the Icon 80 for a couple runs on each of Saturday on ice and sunday in new fresh snow. It is very light but stable. Comments from a 17 year old racer were that it did not have the spring of the Race Stock iSL that she normally skis on but it did hold. From a lady instructor/coach who also likes SS magnum and iSL she found it held well but she prefers the heavier feel of the race construction skis as it inspires more confidence on ice.
My impressions of the Icon 80? It is exactly what it is supposed to be. When I tried the Xenons in 2008 and 2009 versions I loved them in soft snow and hated them on ice. the Xenon was a Jekyl/Hyde ski. The Xenons are gone for 2010 as are the XRC and have been replaced with the Icon series for someone wanting an affordable carving ski. For this purpose the Icon 80 is a winner.
If you want a big mountain ski you will go for other lines like peak (monster), Jimmi, Richie, Joe, etc... or if you want a high end performance ski likely the Supershape or race skis - however if you want a carver on a bit of a budget or if you have a store that needs more affordable skis than the Supershape you will consider the Icon series.
Head demo rep in Eastern Canada