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.