Skier: 26yo male, 5'9", 168lbs, athletic, likes long walks on the beach, is maybe an advanced 7 who rips but lacks a bit of form in the bumps.
Equipment: PM Gear 183, soft flex, mounted with Barons @ 1043mm (+5mm), boots are Lange Freeride 130s.
Conditions: Sunday River Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday consisted of ice, ice and more ice. Not you mom's ice either- the blue chrome sheet of zamboni ice that haunts your nightmares. The bump trails were terrible, with blue ice between each hard mogul. Not cool but fun anyways. Thursday was hard snow, but not as much ice- the groomers did a great job of turning it into carpet and nobody was around to ski it off. The few woods trails we did hit had chalky hard snow- it looked great from a distance but was like a cement statue of actual powder.
So... How'd they do? Waaaaaay better than you'd think. Held a great edge even on the slickest ice the bumps on shockwave had to offer. On piste, they slay everything. I was with a bunch of strong skiers on SL skis and I had no problems staying out front or very close- the BROs are just bombers- they want you to just point them straight and let 'er rip, but the sidecut is perfect for arcing huge awesome GS turns at speed. The soft flex is perfect for me and felt absolutely at home doing short radius turns as well. Very stable ski, gives confidence and makes you want to air out every little lip and roller at full speed. Stable landing platform and VERY quick edge to edge. The 99 waist is like a David Copperfield trick- it disappears altogether once you're on it. It feels almost exactly like my Mojo 90s in a turn, possibly even more fun just because they're lighter and feel more "attached" to a turn, you really feel the flex just hugging turns so nice... It gave me goosebumps and encouraged hootin' and hollerin' all damn day. The mounting point was perfect- well within the sweet spot and turn initiation was spot on. These skis really want you to drive the tips and appreciate speed in a big way.
Groomed: Amazing. Rips like Tommy Chong in Amsterdam. Begs you to go faster, make bigger turns and air out everything. Stable as hell, even at mach schnell "jacket flapper" speeds with edges that could hold edge on pretty much anything. BAD ASS! Think "huge fast turns".
Bumps: Disclaimer: I suck. They were good in the bumps, a little clumsy but did everything a lowly bump guy like myself could ask of them. The super icy conditions weren't helping any, and the length made it tough for me because, well, I suck. They were a little work in the bumps but again I suck, so chalk it up to user error- with a better bump pilot, I'm positive they'd rip.
Ice: Holy crap, is this a 99 waisted ski under me or an SL? (just kidding SL guys) It held edge better than good- I'm going to say great. Ice was smattered all over the mountain in some very inopportune areas- the most steep and bumped up sections had some of the craziest ice I've ever seen on them and this "powder ski" held a better edge than many skinnier skis I've used. No scheizen. I was impressed to say the least. Yeah they're new edges but still- you gotta give it up for a fat ski that you can use in a hockey rink like this. I'm blown away at how well it worked on the ice if you couldn't tell.
Powder: I don't know, I only found about a 10 foot section of it (it felt good but cost me a Prodigy lens via branches). I sincerely hope I'll get a freshie test this season- I'll be watching the doppler with a hopeful eye for sure! Just seeing how well this ski does everywhere else makes me drool thinking about a fresh foot.
Yes, I will let you use them should you find me at a resort. That's a huge reason (well, besides skinning, of course) why I got the Barons. I want to spread the BROmance, so don't be bashful. I hope this review helped you decide to buy BROs, you'll never EVER regret it!
Edited by Do Work - 3/9/2009 at 04:21 pm