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Loveland demos, November 2009

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Just got back from the demos at Loveland. Wanted to try several skis that have been getting consistently good reviews in the media. Conditions: cold temperatures, no new snow, hardpack, occasional boilerplate.

Me: Copper instructor, 5' 10", 165 lbs., modern technique. I'm what's called a "feeler," so my reviews are quick impressions of well-regarded/well-reviewed advanced-expert, high-performance skis. Notes were scribbled on the chairlift after a run: totally subjective! I like skis that are just "there" underneath me as a natural extension of me, whatever the condition: not so stiff that my legs are always being pounded (i.e., high-end Volkl carvers), not so soft that they don't hold on hardpack or at speed. So, with that disclaimer, and taking into account that a 240-lb. linebacker would probably prefer skis I find to be too stiff or burly, these were my notes.  All were skied in 170-177 lengths.

Blizzard Magnum 8.7 (128/87/113):  Like all the new Blizzard line, a solid, well-built machine with a really nice flex.  This is a terrific choice for a high-level, dynamic skier who wants superb versatility. 

Rossignol Avenger 82 Ti (126/82/112):  Wood core with titanal.  Very nice feel underfoot: firm, but not abusive.  Rossi's lineup has improved so much in the past two years, it's really remarkable.  This might be their most versatile ski for a solid, high-level skier. 

Rossignol Avenger (126/82/112):  Same ski, but without the metal.  Would be very good for a less-aggressive, intermediate-level skier. 

Salomon X-Wing Tornado Ti (120/79/107):  Wood core with metal.  Solid, held well on the hard snow, but I didn't care for the feel, which was similar to stiff Volkl carvers.  If that is a feel you like, they are worth trying.

Dynastar Sultan 85 (126/85/110):  No metal, can slip a bit on boilerplate, but an exceptionally nice feel underfoot. Really nice, firm, even flex. Would love to take these out on a softer-snow day.  

Salomon Shogun (130/101/120):  This ski sounded really intriguing:  a core of bamboo and basalt fiber, a bit of rocker...  Had to try them!   Verdict:  Really nice!  Playful, but damper than, say, the Fischer Watea series (which are fun on the groomers, but I find lacking in heavy, chopped-up crud).  Held well on hard snow for a fairly wide ski.  One of my favorites of the day.

Rossignol S7(145/115/123):   Full tip and tail rocker, but traditional camber underfoot.  This ski amazed me.  Going up the lift at the end of the day to a skied-off trail and looking down at the big sticks on my feet, I was definitely apprehensive.  Rocker is not known to be forgiving in such conditions.  Much to my surprise, they held just fine!  Apparently the theory that adding camber underfoot will allow a rockered ski to work on hardpack is accurate in this case.  Light, nimble, likes medium-big turns.  Boy, would I love to try these in the conditions they were made for! 

Tried a bunch of others, but these were the most interesting.  Long day, lots of skis, lots of fun. Hope this is of some use!  If there are others you want impressions of, feel free to ask; I probably was on them, too!  

post #2 of 6
Thanks for the reviews and info.

Were you able to try any skis in the 68-75 range?
post #3 of 6
Thanks for the reviews....well writen! Also goes to show that in today's ski world, you just can't have a one ski quiver.
Have a great season!
post #4 of 6
Nicely done. Of particular value to readers will be your personal preference disclaimer.

My own preference/prejudice tends toward "medium" skis as well and sure enough, my impressions of those skis largely mirror yours.

post #5 of 6
I believe there are 2 sheets of metal in the Sultan 85; the Mythics don't have any metal though. '

Thanks for the reviews.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys.  I've found Dawg's and SierraJim's reviews of particular help through the years.  Thank you both for doing them.

MojoMan, I was focusing primarily on midfats and larger since my narrow-waisted carving quiver is pretty complete, but in a waist of around 70, I found the Head Magnum (120/71/106) to be a wonderful ski:  powerful but not burly, pronounced sidecut and terrific edgehold.  Firm, solid, precise.  More versatile than the Head Supershape (121/66/106) and a bit more user friendly.

I would add the Stockli Cross Edition (116/72/101) to my list of favorites.  Not as intense and stiff as some of their other high-end carvers, but more than enough for an expert recreational skier.  Precise and powerful.

The Kastle RX70 (128/70/100) was terrific:  Made with two sheets of metal and a wood core, it was very solid, fast and confidence inspiring.  A very distinct feel:  very planted, but not excessively stiff.

For my taste, the Hart Phoenix, Nordica Speedmachine Mach 3 and Fischer Progressor series were just a bit too stiff for my weight and personal preferences.

Hope that's of some help!

PS:  Dawg, you're right:  The Sultan 85 has titanal in it.  I stand corrected.  The rep said they didn't and I didn't check.  Thanks!
Edited by mike_m - 11/25/09 at 5:53pm
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