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An easterner's take on Lhasa Pows

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Me: 165 lbs, 6', middle aged, advanced, like to turn, currently learning rec racing back east

Fat skis I like: Goats, Mantras, P4, Prior Doughboy. Have never skied a true rocker before.

The ski: 186 Lhasa Pow carbon, Mojo 15 bindings at the factory line. Bought it without demo due to amazing rep.

Conditions: Telluride, two days of light fresh, so up to a foot from wind drift, mostly 4-8 inches, hard and soft bumps, lot of chop and crud, a bit of scratch. So not a true test of what it's made for, but all I had.

 

Before I get pounded by the legions of Bro lovers, will trot out the positives: Ski is surprisingly light, lively, with lots of snowfeel, good pop. Think Fischer. The front end takes about one run to master, and the tail another two. Better on groomed than I expected a rocker this wide to be, decently stable at decent speed, and capable of being driven quickly into medium radius carves. In its natural soft snow habitat, quicker edge to edge than I expected, just swivel it back and forth. Can pivot nicely if you keep your stance neutral, tail smears very easily, no hooking or hunting in a foot of drifted fresh and chop, stable landings in the small airs I did. Mainly, great fun ski even in the light pow I skied, bowls or trees, and bet it's a total hoot in two feet. Definitely a keeper if you ski regularly where there's serious snowfall, and like to turn a lot without much effort.

 

There. But it's not the Second Coming. Issues: 1) Lhasas are not as different from a good traditional camber as I expected, and what differences I found are not all good. People who talk about "railing" on these should go try a 68 mm race carver and report back. In fact, most traditional camber, bigger sidecut fatties I've skied are more planted at speed on groomed or in heavy chop, and they're easier to bring onto a decent edge angle and manage in a hard turn.You get to watch the Lhasa's long tip hunt a bit, and the lively construction and short running length remind you how hard the ski's working. In chop at speed, the liveliness can ask for more management than I expected. This doesn't seem much affected by CM; ski likes a fairly neutral stance, forward pressure doesn't improve stability much, backseating predictably makes the tips wander. For most users none of this will much matter, and maybe it shouldn't; this is a really nice powder ski. Just let's be realistic with the superlatives.

 

2) The real world includes bumps, and they form pretty quickly inbounds. As long as the bumps are soft and large, the Lhasa rocks. Best approach is to stay in the fall line and just swivel back and forth. Runs over piles of chop with ease. Ditto for trees and glades. But when the bumps firm up, or you have to follow someone else's line in the trees, you begin to feel how wide the Lhasa is. It still pivots and smears quickly, but between turns, or if you get into a trough, the ski can feel big and clumsy. More problematic for me personally, the width and lateral stiffness can produce major torque at the ankle and knee. Not as wiggly or easy going in bumps as say a Goat or Doughboy, although to be fair, faster edge to edge than either. So I won't be using this in bumps most of the time. Not its mission anyway, but again, saying it rocks in every possible application short of glare ice isn't being realistic.

 

OK, that's it. IMO, if you want a powder ski to supplement your traditional camber ski, and tend to go hiking when the inbounds fresh gets junky, this is a serious candidate. I fit that bill, and I'm glad I own it. But if you want one fat ski to do it all, or if you're looking to replace your traditional pow ski, less certain. Would probably lean toward something like a Huge Trouble, P4 or maybe the new Kastle 108.

 

 

post #2 of 14

All the negatives stem from the fact you don't know how to ski, right? 

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Exactly!

post #4 of 14

Nice review. My review in another thread may seem different from Beyond's in that I didn't spend much time on what the Lhasa doesn't do as well as a different kind of ski, but I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with most of this review.

 

What astonished me about the Lhasa is not that it is AS stable on hardpack as a Mantra or AS easy going in bumps as a goat, but rather how much more of those things it is than I would ever expect a 112mm pow ski with tip and tail rocker to be while also being a great 3D snow ski. I loved that it doesn't feel that different from a traditional cambered ski (like Blizzi Argos, which I also own) but adds just enough rocker and softness in tip to deliver way better soft/deep snow performance than a 100-ish mm traditional cambered big mountain ski. One way of putting it: basically, Lhasa blows my Argos out of the water in pow and relatively deep tracked out snow, piles, crud, but on the flipside, the Argos does not totally blow Lhasa out of the water on firmer snow or shallow chop; it's closer to the experience of skiing a ski meant for that, but it's not that much closer. Put another way: I would say the performance range of the Lhasa is wider than that of the Argos and I would definitely have expected the other way 'round.

 

No ski is the second coming and no 112mm ski is going to feel/perform anything like a 70-ish mm frontside carver or for that matter a mid-80s midfat all mountain ski. When people talk about these fat skis "railing like a GS race ski," it's ridiculous. Totally agree. It's a totally different tool that feels/performs/skis competely differently on firm snow from a fully cambered ski that's stiff throughout and that has the shoulders of a frontside carving ski forcing the full length of the edge onto the snow plus all the sidecut and rebound energy of those skis.  But for a 112mm rockered ski to have that much versatility is really impressive and very useful to anyone who is spending a lot of time resort and sidecountry skiing in a place that gets a lot of snow.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Re-Skier View Post

 What astonished me about the Lhasa is not that it is AS stable on hardpack as a Mantra or AS easy going in bumps as a goat, but rather how much more of those things it is than I would ever expect a 112mm pow ski with tip and tail rocker to be while also being a great 3D snow ski.

Solid way to put it, agree completely re-skier. I tend to value critique in a review, so I may have spent too long on minor carps. But that shouldn't obscure the remarkable envelope of the Lhasa. I assumed it would be mediocre in anything except deep. One run canceled that notion. Must be something to design by committee. I'll report tomorrow on how it feels in some chutes.

post #6 of 14

Beyond,

 

Thank you for being objective in regards to those fatter boards.  I've not been on a Lhasa but have been on several of that ilk (just got back from another dealer demo days at Mission Ridge a couple days ago) and must pretty much agree.  Those individuals who talk about railing have likely not recently been on a race stock ski on a hard surface, and yes, I do own and ski FIS compliant skis.  The big ones are better than you might expect when the groomers are soft but that's as far as it goes.  The only thing that I've ridden in the last two years that I could say "rails a hard pack" is the new Cochise.  I was totally stunned by how well it held a hard pack.  Think BIG arcs at 40 mph and literally dragging your hand.  Truly a revolutionary board.  The light weight, touring style fatties are great in soft snow, and the deeper the better, but don't "rail" the way you and I are thinking about it.  Thanks again for the report.  Lhasas were (and still are) on my short list of to get skis for off-piste applications, their proper application.  I'll stick with the thinner sticks for truly ripping the hard pack.

post #7 of 14

I have 196 Lhasa Pows and only use them in a foot plus of fresh snow.  I am always puzzled that guys try to use them in lessor snow conditions.  For less than a foot of fresh, my new TST's feel much more versatile than the Lhasa's (duuuuh, they are 183's that turn like a 170) with hard pack performance that is really very good.

post #8 of 14

Re-Skier's review sums up my exact thoughts.  I didn't expect them to "rail" the groomers..in fact..I had very low expectations.  Consquently, I was surprised at how confident and predictable they were on soft groomers.  I rode them for the first time on a 5 day storm cycle at Jackson 2 weeks ago.  Conditions were soft when I got there and they were solid but I was thinking about down-sizing to something narrower.  It started to snow the first afternoon and never stopped.  Every day, with more snow, the skis came more and more to life...by day 3..I had figured them out and they were in their element. They are special.  incredibly quick in 3d snow and very stable and so incredibly light.  Last day I was slashing glades and chutes in knee deep and they were so much freaking fun!  Really and truly...so much fun.  There might be something better out there for POW resort skiing...but..I just don't want to waste the time to go find it.  I really don't think one would be disappointed by getting these skis.  For the record, I have the 191s and am 6 3, 185 lbs.  I thought the 191 length, for me, is perfect for the kind of variable conditions once encounters the resort.  That said, they didn't feel long or short...just about right. 

post #9 of 14

^^^^^ 

 

Pretty much says it right for the 191 IMO.

 

Only occasion where it is a handful is in the big and icy bumps. But that's mostly because many people frequenting or even forming the moguls are on shorter skis, a 191 is just not the right fit.

As long as conditions aren't super icy you can definitely rail on them and the low swingweight helps in tight places. Flipside of the light weight is - if you want - that you need to stay on your game when maching thru crud. Mounted mine about 1 cm ahead of the recommended line.

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 

OK, that's it. IMO, if you want a powder ski to supplement your traditional camber ski, and tend to go hiking when the inbounds fresh gets junky, this is a serious candidate. I fit that bill, and I'm glad I own it. But if you want one fat ski to do it all, or if you're looking to replace your traditional pow ski, less certain. Would probably lean toward something like a Huge Trouble, P4 or maybe the new Kastle 108.

 

 

Hi Beyond

 

This is a powder ski plain and simple. I bought the 196 as my dedicated deep dayz ski to replace some 191 Praxis Pows.  If I skied Powder Mtn everyday, I would have kept the Praxis, but being at Mammoth, the Lhasa's were superior for dealing with the occasional groomed run/cat track that you have to deal with in resorts. People that mention "railing or bumps" are missing the point IMO.  Maybe I am out of touch with what people are trying to use this ski for, but for my purposes, it is a deep powder ski that puts a HUDGE smile on my face. If it can ski a mogul or get me to the lift off a groomer, that is just an added bonus for a FKNA great pow skiwink.gif

Edit: too funny as I didn't read down or the posting date before replying.
 

 

post #11 of 14

you've got the DPS 112RPs as well right, Beyond? How does groomer performance compare, and chop up and crud? I'm thinking 112rp will be a better carver, due to smaller turn radius, but would like to have your input. Thanks.

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi Sigurd - You may have noticed that we haven't had enough powder back here to even create chop more than once or twice, and the season's over. So soft groomer performance and heavy man-made crud is mostly all I can comment on. It was OK. The turning radius isn't its defining characteristic IMO, but rather how short its running length is. So it loves to pivot, will do a passable carve but folks who think this is a carving machine have forgotten what a 70 mm carver with traditional camber feels like. It's pretty lively, a ton of snowfeel, kind of a unique springy feel combined with a stiffer than expected flex. So it'll get through rough crud fine, but no threat to Stockli or Kastle for smoothness. Haven't had it on real ice, wouldn't look forward to it. Haven't had more than a few pieces of a few runs in actual pockets of pow, and there it was super, very effortless as long as you let it run. 

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Oh, and FWIW, I sold the Lhasa pows several years ago, so not "as well." These days I have S7's, Olympus Mons, and 112RP's, something's gotta go before next season...

post #14 of 14

Thanks for the input, Beyond. Oops, yeah, I forgot to check the date on this thread, now I see it's from 2009.

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