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Exotic Skis

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hello Guys!

 

I visited the "Exotic Skis " site and I am amazed at the number of different brands that I found. I knew some of them but to be honest,75 % of them were totally unknown to me.

So there is quantity of brands,the question is, Is there quality?. Do this manufacturers have the resources that the bigger companies have?.The skis are cosmetically very attractive but...do they perform?.

An example.One of my pair of skis are the Volkl Mantra,which I consider a very good ski.Amazing in powder,and Ok in the groomers and other conditions.

Can I find a ski like that among this many brands?

 

Cheers

 

Nacho

 

Nacho

post #2 of 17

Yes,

 

many of the exotics you saw would outski the Mantra in all conditions. I won't list them here, as there are too many.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Really?

 

I am really susprised.

 

Txs Samurai.

post #4 of 17

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post

 

Yes,

 

many of the exotics you saw would outski the Mantra in all conditions. I won't list them here, as there are too many.

BS answer. Depending on taste, some exotics may handle most conditions as well/ better than the Mantra. OTOH, exotics are all built about the same: wood sandwich, quad or triple glass wrapped, perhaps some carbon in the glass. Not to say that's not a good thing ( I have owned/own several exotics/indies), but they tend to share a genre feeling, and the lack of metal makes many of these much less secure in heavy or stiff crud than a beefy ski like the Mantra. Even Mantra haters give it its due in crud. Personally, having owned three, I don't think it's the second coming, but it's really good at some things, so so at others. Plenty of competitive skis, including some exotics. Demo if you can... 

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

Txs Beyond.

It will be difficult to demo for me.To buy an exotic brand I will rely in opinions like yours.

I liked the approach of the jackson Hole manufacturers called "Igneous".Do you know them?

What skis do you have now that you consider that are better than Mantras?(Sry to continue mentioning the Mantras but this are my only parameter...)

 

 

post #6 of 17

Exotic ,Indie, whatever, I'd have to go with the manufacturer's experience as the main indicator that they are likely to produce a ski that will last and I will enjoy. I'm a person who creates and builds things. From my perspective, there are no short cuts to good design and engineering.  It is preposterous for a new ski company to make claims of superior quality regarding the performance and durability of their ski (a fancy top sheet is doable in a week). It is simply not possible in merely a few years to arrive at the end of the process of developing a ski. You have to make skis, lots of skis, and maybe someday a good ski. IMO, of course.

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

I agree with you Davluri,that s why in my original question I asked about quality,resources,R&D etc.It is very difficult for a skier choose from this many brands.There is no doubt that many of them are very good.But which is the million dollar question.

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

Correction

"Which ski should I buy?" is the million dollar uestion.

post #9 of 17

You can research a little and find out which new brands have engineer/designers on staff that have been making skis for decades, or just buy a well-established brand that you know has experience and resources.
 

Unless you have other motives as yet un-named: Are you commited to supporting start-ups for ethical reasons, do you want something different that will stand out in the lift line, or do you have special requirements to support your skiing not addressed by the major brands?  

 

Quote:
 

Originally Posted by streif View Post

 

I agree with you Davluri,that s why in my original question I asked about quality,resources,R&D etc.It is very difficult for a skier choose from this many brands.There is no doubt that many of them are very good.But which is the million dollar question.


 

post #10 of 17

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by streif View Post

 

Txs Beyond.

It will be difficult to demo for me.To buy an exotic brand I will rely in opinions like yours.

I liked the approach of the jackson Hole manufacturers called "Igneous".Do you know them?

What skis do you have now that you consider that are better than Mantras?(Sry to continue mentioning the Mantras but this are my only parameter...)

 

steif, I don't think there's a ski in the known universe that combines the Mantras light weight and quickness, and its edge grip on groomed, with its crud busting ability. Based on my limited experience, I'd say that 4FRNT's MSP's are as good in crud, and smoother, but weigh a ton and are not all that quick edge to edge. The 09-10 Blizzard Atlas is getting a lot of buzz about being a "mantra killer," and since I really like Blizzards, I'm keeping an open mind. Shorter lengths of the Dynastar LP are smoother and more stable than the Mantras, just as good or better in crud, but again, significantly heavier and not as good carving on groomed. Prior Doughboys have about the same shape (extreme taper, big sidecut) as the Mantra, but are 9 mm wider; they are only a bit heavier. Found them to be nicer in bumps, toss in soft snow in the trees, better in open powder, but not as strong in crud and not nearly as grippy on icy runouts. iM88's and several other of the 88 genre are grippier, smoother, more stable, but lose some float. Haven't skied the Scott Crusade, but have heard some nice things about them for crud and quickness, apparently not a hardpack ski, though. Suspect some of the narrower PM Bros in the stiff flex would be stiff and quick and versatile. (I have the Lhasa Pows, very different ski.) Maybe the Goliath Sluff, which gets very, ah, "polarized" reviews. Has that same big taper and sidecut, apparently stiffer in the tail, so livelier. A bit heavier. Some people love it some find it a log.  

 

All this said, I think that Mantras are very specialized. If you want a lighter AT/sidebounds ski that you can hike with, ski any conditions short of bottomless powder, and then use on the groomed for more than getting back to the lift, choose the Mantra. If you just want a good all around narrower powder/crud ski, I can think of a dozen skis I'd prefer. If you really really want an indy that more or less covers the Mantra, and beats it in actual pow, think hard about a PM Bros 179 or 183 (go to their website and read up over at TGR). 

post #11 of 17

Just came across this today:

 

http://www.zai.ch/

post #12 of 17
In the Indie ski business you will find all ranges of quality and performance. The best made skis and the worse made are more likely both made by indies. At the upper end, the indies are hiring the most knowledgeable designers, craftsman and using the best materials and machinery. At the low end, its a guy in his garage reading skibuilder.com. Its a hard sub-group to define and label. For the better indie companies its not about designing great skis (a good designer can design any type of ski), its about understanding the moving target of the skier Psyche and whats going to be hot next year.
post #13 of 17

Can't remember if we ever had this one, either:

 

http://www.birdos.com/

post #14 of 17
If you can't demo you can't buy; as no one reviewing an Indie can feel it like you do.

Indies are hard to demo, as they may not have the distribution and logistics worked out.

Many are willing to sell skis at cost to get them out there and have them discussed, decent idea.

Most should offer a 30 day, no questions asked, money back guarantee. That would allay some of people's fear at getting stuck with a ski they don't like. If the ski meets their claims, should not be a problem for the indie manufacturer.

Many Indies have focussed on powder performance, as that is the easiest thing to build into a ski, and the hardest thing to review analytically and critically. (As we know, a freaking water ski can be made to work by a good skier.)  
post #15 of 17
255 companies and counting (does NOT include Head, Fischer, Rossignol, Dynastar, K2, Salomon, Elan, Nordica, Volkl..etc.)

(ok...some on the list are snowboard companies and a few have gone belly-up..but there are a bunch of companies out there!).

It is difficult to demo the smaller, indie brands if you don't chase them around to demo-fests like:


UltimateTestTour 2010

If you email or call the small companies, you can usually meet them at a ski area near their hometown and try their skis.  Their inventory is usually on-demand, or very limited fleets of demo skis (only 1 or 2 sometimes), or shipping skis long distances overseas is expensive, and putting a poor soul in a van with a pile of skis (and expensive demo bindings!) to set up an EZ-Up  at a ski area (for a fee in many cases) for demos to the public is prohibitively expensive and not as productive as they would like.  If you see some skis from small companies you want to try, email or call them.  They might be able to give you the name of a shop near a ski area who has some skis mounted up, or they might be able to meet you (get a few people together to make it attractive to the builder) so you can try their skis.  You can usually talk to the builder who can describe the feel of the ski compared to other brands, and get a good idea by talking to people the builder might refer you to.....be adventurous, call them up.

post #16 of 17
The Indie builders I've met are totally willing to work with you. If it is physically possible, they will get you on the skis. And they will want to know how your experience was, which shows their desire to please the customer.
post #17 of 17

I forgot....here is DP's (http://www.dpsskis.com)  offer to customers....pretty good deal by an "indie" builder...I have not seen a big-brand offer this kind of backing for their customers.

 


Quote:

"Have confidence. The Factory Direct Demo. Buy a pair of DPS boards. Get them mounted right when you receive them. If you don't think they are the highest performing boards you have felt beneath your feet, ship them back within 3 days of receiving them, and assuming you haven't done any nasty rock damage, get a full refund, minus shipping costs both ways.

Sorry, we can only offer Factory DIrect Demo to North American customers at this time."

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