Originally Posted by SierraJim
Agree completely. I have mentioned many times that in MPO, balance is the key to a ski that can work East to West, and North to South. The fact is that as much as you hear folks blather on about how they want this
.......most folks only buy one pr of skis and what they really want is a blend of all things. The Sultan does this as well as any ski I've been on in recent years, and it is an improved replacement for a ski that IMO was one of the best "blenders" of the past decade.
When I have the luxury of targeting specific conditions, the one-trick pony skis offer a great/optimum experience, but they often fall flat on their face when asked to do other things. I can't even count how many times I have been "stranded" with the wrong ski for the condition/run and it really detracted from the experience. Such as -- navigating big powder boards through bumps or tight spaces, limping wide skis across ice like they are clown shoes, happening on a powder stash with hardpack skis and sinking like an anchor, or taking a carver ski through heavy crud and having it deflect like a compass needle near a magnet. The worst is traveling out west with one pair of skis and hoping you guessed right -- it can be a crap shoot.
I think the Sultans will be a good compromise ski in many cases. Later in the day yesterday, they went from ice to fluffy piles of sugar to crud just beautifully. I want to measure the skis up, because I detected two seemingly opposite characteristics. On hard snow, they skied much shorter than a 184cm ski would in my experience, and gave me a carver feel, with a narrow band of fore/aft support and very strong snow grip. In the soft stuff, they felt long and offered a more substantial big ski feel with a lot of fore/aft balance. Just eyeballing them next to my other skis (closest being the iM82 in 183cm), the Sultan has a more forward binding mount by about 20-25mm, and more of a turned up tail, so I have a feeling the hard snow running length is a bit shorter and biased forward, but the soft snow length grows as the tails engage. Whatever the combo, it works very nicely in that size ski. I can see taking these out west and not feeling penalized in any particular condition.