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Ski Test TR sat 03/14

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 


Bobbio Sat 14th

Well, let’s take a step backward (or maybe 2)…

It’s Tuesday 10th and am busy doing that darn thing which allows me to pay the bill

when an e-mail arrives on my personal account…

It’s the notification, not the invitation mind you, that a local shop is setting up

the 2010m.y. ski and snowb equipment test day on Saturday and is offering the daily lift ticket to the local hill (worth 29€) at 20€…

To say the truth, I was already aware of the test day (or, as should be properly said, demo day)

but was not sure whether I was going to ski and where.

Inline roller open air racing season was beginning on Sat as well but with my sons out of the sport

(they both decided that Baseball was more fun, i.e. less hard work) my heart isn’t really

into putting the ski in the basement, yet…

The basic idea was to go to Made and see if Mr. Prickly was around…But when the offer came, seemed too godd to pass it on, a good opportunity to see how, and if, I was able to “read” different skis with just a couple of runs each. This also because in November I proposed myself to attend a

“proper” ski test session, organized by an Italian magazine (the one which publishes the only buyer’s guide in Italian) and, in the hope to be invited (which I think won’t happen) a bit of training

could do good…

So, on Thursday went to the shop and bought the lift…”See you on Saturday at 0830” said the guy

at the counter…

Friday evening I set everything ready for the next morning. Backpack with water, goggles and gloves, helmet strapped to it etc. Skis, my almost shiny new Nordica Hot Rods, and boots (the XT17…bought new three seasons ago and used for the past two) in the car boot (poles are permanently stored in it for the whole winter).

Not that I planned to use my own skis much, but I needed a

1)Back up plan in case of too many people / not enough available skis

2)Locomotion to/from the “test center”, since it was to be located in the middle of the runs and not at the “base”

Anyhow, comes the morning and the alarm sets off…quickly wash, dress and go to the car, drive

to the hill (breakfast envisioned no the hill) to arrive there at 08.20 to find out that the parking lot was already full and the access road to it closed by the police (this happens every week end…)

So I had to park the car at the village and take a shuttle bus to the gondola station…Lucky me to have

bought the lift ticket two days before…The crowd at the station was incredible, plus I later discovered that the lifts open, on week ends, at 08.00 !!!

See, this gondola is the only access to the skiable “domain”…that or walk a couple of hours (at least) uphill….

Well, once at the top, a quick breakfast and then I set to the task of finding the tents…

My idea was to ski some race carve GS and/or SL, even all-mountains if any, and ski the groomers. This because the snow had already transformed a lot in the place, and to find powder in the current temp would be pure fantasy…


Once reached the



 tents thought…I spotted a pair of



And since all the GS/SL/frontside skis that there were (only a pair each) were already out…

The call of the Coombas was irresistible and said to the guy “those ones” pointing to them…

The set up was 181 cm Coomba with Marker Jester



Of course  the snow was the wrong kind for ‘em, but I set up the task to find places were to ski with these aircraft carrier decks…

First feeling…the combo proposed resulted featherweight!

Secondly…The Coombas are a ton of fun, even on groomed runs!

I know it is a blasphemy to ski these on groomers, and the off-piste that was available was not

The soft, fluffy meter or more of bottomless pow that these were designed for…


Still boys, I had a blast (please notice the smile which had already become a laugh)



skiing them on this “playground”










In short, any open field which could hold some soft snow of sort.


I had so much fun that I almost forgot the purpose of the day, to ski as many skis as possible…

By the time I remembered, I had been around for a couple of hours on the Coomba…

Well, made my way back to the “test center”  (“I thought you had run away with the Coomba” – “I was tempted was my reply”) and select the next pair…




K2 HardSide cm 181 with Marker duke bindings…

These are even lighter than the Coombas, being the AT version of the first…

But I could feel the increased weight of the bindings…

So, these skis were too light for the type of snow I was skiing on and the effect of the Duke (being higher than the Jester, with the AT plate working as a riser) made for a turnier ski (easier to pivot it, which I did not like much)…The ski felt shorter, and the tail tended to skid  away from the imaginary turn line I had in my mind…


Anyway, after skiing pretty much



the same ground as before, decided it was time for a change…

Reached the tents again and asked for some race carvers to try, unfortunately there weren’t

So the guy offered  me to test some “all-mountains”, but while we were talking I decided

that since my personal skis are all-mountain ski, maybe a better idea would have been to test something else…


“Armada” said I, spotting those skis “I’d like to try some Armada”…we went to the rack and the guy gave me a pair of



Alpha 2 in 177 cm (in the picture look shorter because of the perspective), so here



it’s better.

“Those are rockered” I said as soon as we went closer and could see ‘em properly.

“Well, yes” said he…

Again, I took off to ski, fearing the rocker would give me troubles because of my inexperience with it…

These were the skinnier skis I demoed that day, and soft too…So soft that I decided to change playground and being twin tips, I ventured on the



Yes, the snow park…

Mind you, did not do much except small old style jumps (no 360 or helicopter) and some laughable grabs…I even, remembering that old thread, ventured to ski switch, and to my surprise found out that I could!

Time for a quick lunch (midday had passed by a good stretch, even one p.m., in fact we were approaching 2 p.m. when I had lunch)…and then again to the park…

After some roaming around I felt ready for a new change…time was running fast…back to the demo center once again…and selected what was to become my last pair of ski of the day…


Ever heard of



Movement skis?

These are the Source. In 177 cm as well but 94 underfoot.

“Semi”twin tip…

I took these everywhere where I had taken the other but in the park, and must say that were by far the best suited for the day/terrain/snow available!

I said so to the brand rep and made his day…

In the end I couldn’t resist but ask for a picture (sorry, no action pictures of me…I was alone)

with the ski I “tested” :





After the hard work’s day was over, we headed to the open air mid mountain “pub” for some aperitif all together…While chatting with the shop rep I got the offer to come back next day and help them with the expected crowd of demoers…unfortunately that would have meant a to break word with my SO whom, injuried (and duty bound to the inline skating races, being a coach) had to spend the day alone (or better, without me)…that would have possibly been the “opening” I was waiting for but I had to decline the offer and I left with a “next time!”


Grabbed my Hot Rods,



which lied sad all they long in the snow waiting for me to return and take them out for a run or two

And went to the skating races down on the flatlands…I was spent, I loved the day and had so much fun with the skis I skied with, must say that even if the Source were the best ones, I had the most fun wit the Coomba, definitely!

Made up for a great conversation opener on the chairlift too.



Next Saturday, another shop has organized pretty much a similar event , probably with more skis and ski brand...

So, here lies again the question in front of me,  tohead there again to test some more, knowing  too well that if I'd find the Coomba again I'd ask for those even in un-favourable conditions or head to a bigger mountain and unleash my trusty H.Rs ?


Cheers, Matt.




post #2 of 3

Sweet TR!


I see one of your pictures shows a single chair... ughhh I wanna ride one!!!!

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

That single chair is one of the last (if not the last one) remaining in Italy. It was built in 1961.

Later it was rebuilt by the company running the station, and a plate at the base station declares a 900 ppl/hr and speed of 2,5 m/s. According to the measurement the difference in height should be 250 mt (1700 mt a.s.l. at the base and 1950 mt a.s.l. at the top)  but the original project had the following specs :

Length mt. 586
Difference in height m.202
Speed mt/sec 2
400 ppl/hr
Engine Power 48 HP
Cable diameter mm 20

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