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Anybody tried Icelantic Shaman skis?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I wonder if anybody here has tried Icelantic Shaman skis? I was thinking of them for a dedicated AT powder set-up. They get some extremely good reviews, but at > 8 lbs. they'd be beasts to climb with compared to my K2 Mt. Baker superlights.  Thoughts?
post #2 of 28
I think the 173's are 8.4 lbs. That's actually not that heavy of a ski especially with the surface area. Go dynafit On the binders (you should regardless) and that would be a hell of a setup as long as you can find skins that fit the tips.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Yes. I'm pretty short, so I bought the Shaman 161s (8.2 lbs) with Dynafit TLT Vert FTs and BD skins (they make one with an ultrawide tip). That makes for a very light powder rig which should be great for quick turns in tight trees and couloirs.  I'm picking them up tomorrow morning, and since today and tomorrow are going to be powder days here, so I'll be able to report back soon.
post #4 of 28
Nice!  That is awesome. By all means report back as your original post got me thinking about pulling the Looks off of mine and putting on some Dynafits. I swear, every time I am out I keep replaying the whole "i'd rather be on my shammies" thing in my mind.

Did you go boot center or mount forward a tad?
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Center mount.  Trying to get the troops motivated to go out and do something tomorrow; so far, the troops are not seeming too enthusiastic.
post #6 of 28
 PM dhm over at Telemarktips.  He uses Icelantics in the backcountry all the time and has very good things to say about the Shamans.  He's a friend of mine, won't blow smoke up your heinie.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
I just got back skiing 13 days in Summit County. I skied the Shamans once, on a 14" powder day at Beaver Creek. At first, I felt a bit silly sking the 160s, which feel like snow-skates on steroids.  That was until we hit "Three Trees", which actually is millions of trees, very tightly spaced, some moderate steeps, and untracked.  Everybody else in our group, all very good skiers on standard powder skis (Seth, Pimp, Kiku), was doing the usual thing, skiing very well at what I'll call "normal speed", though occasionally faceplanting after finding deadfall underfoot.  I left all those guys in my snow-dust. The Shamans just floated above it all, squirting (I don't know how else to describe it) between the tightest spaces with ease at high speed; I could turn on a dime, anywhere, anytime, no problem. Wonderful. 

However, in the bumps, HANG ON!!  Yikes; I was bounced around like I was inside a corn popper.  And on the flats.....I was back on the cat track with the kiddies, skating and poling for all I was worth, while my friends were down at the base already having beers.  Did I say I was back with the kiddies?  I meant I was in BACK of the kiddies.  It was embarassing. These puppies are not for resort skiing!

And that is the point. The Icelantic Shamans were designed as a dedicated backcountry AT powder ski to turn fast in tight spaces.  That is what they are, that is what I got them for, and that is what I'll use them for.  They are probably the best ski for backcountry powder that I've ever skied.  Absolutely amazing. But these are NOT skis for the ski resort.  So, you kids that who like the cool graphics and shape of the Shamans and want to be center of attention in the lift line (which I was) but do most of your skiing inbounds, go buy yourself some Gotamas.  Me, I'll be the guy whooping it up out of bounds on my Shammies.
Edited by raspritz - 1/5/10 at 6:41am
post #8 of 28
gald you like them, the 173 and 184 are a bit more stable (IMHO) fore and aft, and are really fun for rippin front side soft groomers!  I also mounted BC.  They don' really like hard or tight bumps but I find them fine on soft spaced bumps, you just need to adjust a little for them, now go get a pair of Nomad SFT's.... my personal favorite. 
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
Right.  I got the Shammies for skiing the Grand Teton in winter, not for skiing the bumps.
post #10 of 28
Enjoy!  one pair is not enough.....  
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tip.  Actually, I had three pair of "inbounds" skis die last week (Stockli's by hitting a rock, Goode's the binding died of old age, and Volkl Gotamas totally delaminated; p.s. Volkl won't replace them because they are out of warranty--I won't be buying any more Volkl's, that's for sure).  So, I'm afraid I am looking for new all-mountain skis, and the Nomads may be a good choice.  Oh, and my car died last night.  I seem to be having equipment issues!
post #12 of 28
Well, all things considered, the nomads are a better choice over a new car!  Better MPG, lower initial cost, virtually no maintance.

The pilgrim is 90 underfoot and a really nice all mountain ski. Check that one out well.
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Yes, I'm looking at both the Pilgrim and the Nomad.  The car problem turned out to be nothing. 

As to relative merits...well, I drive a Porsche 911. I wouldn't want to have to choose between skiing steep and deep, fluffy powder out of bounds versus driving a Porsche fast on a windy mountain road on a sunny, warm day with the top down.  Fortunately, the two are basically mutually exclusive forms of extreme fun.
post #14 of 28
very cool on all accounts!  did you look at the SFT model?  That's my favorite.
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Not yet; will do.
post #16 of 28
Thanks for the update Ras.  I have the 173's and ski them all the time inbounds here at CB. Agree with you on the hard bumps.  Not a bump ski. However, as Finndog mentioned, they area way fun on groomers. Also, I don't notice any problems on traverses or cat tracks. Keeping up speed is no problem. Was it a speed issue or a stability issue? I imagine the 161's wont' cruise as fast or stable on cat trails as a 173 but you wouldn't think it would be that much of a drop off. Wax issue maybe?

Also, finding someone to do good work on the edges is a total PITA. I go with a 1-2 bevel but have to beg, plead and cajole the tech to really really really de-tune the tips. I keep a diamond stone handy for when my requests fall on deaf ears... The other thing I can see with the 161's are the soft/lack of tails. When I skied the 161's before my purchase that was of concern to me and I overcompensated with my 173's by going +2 on the mount (should have gone +1 IMHO). 

Did you skin on them any?
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
I forgot to mention that I also skied the Shamans on a powder day at Vail last week, and again, they were super-fun in the fluff (man, they just love it when you're skiing the front seat), in the gnarl, and on the groomers, but they skied like barrel-staves in the double-black bumps of upper Prima. On the cat tracks the problem was speed (they are totally stable), and I'm normally a very fast skier; no, I have no wax on them except whatever they were born with. I haven't skinned on them yet (I couldn't find any BC takers last week given the fat pow at Vail and BC), but I'm looking forward that.  Vail Pass would be an easy-access romp.  It's snowing here now, but I won't be able to get out until Sat or Sun. at the very earliest.

You're killing me with the edgework beta. 
post #18 of 28
I skied my Shammies on Saturday and thought about you. I am about a couple weeks from pulling the Looks and moving over my Dynafits. Done any more skinning in the BC on them?
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
Not yet.  My schedule has conspired against me getting out in the big powder dumps over the past few weeks, so I've been skiing the K2 Superlites exclusively, which work well in all conditions. I'm headed out on a hut trip on Sunday, and I'll have to decide whether to take the Superlites or the Shammies.  It will depend on whether or not it snows between now and then.
post #20 of 28 are kidding right??! The shamans are a PERFECT ski for ANYTHING! Powder, bumps, trees, etc. Out of all the Icelantics they have the most turning radius and have no rocker making you have full surface contact with the snow and ski. I have the Shamans and with the dynafits and wont ski anything else backcountry and prefer them in bounce. They are just not a powder ski. To be honest the ski feels the same as any normal ski besides when your in powder the 160 shovel gives you more float. You still have to work just has hard to flop them around in powder because of the no rocker. I'd say no rocker is the way to go personally. Full surface contact and skinning contact. Where as rocker you have the chattering in the front and back those skis are what you don't really want on a no powder groomer day in bounce. Don't get me wrong...I love rocker but I'd say they are a little over rated.

post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 

Um...this is quite an old thread.  I've been skiing the Shamans since 2009, and I love them for a lot of things, but they certainly wouldn't be my first choice for bumps.

post #22 of 28

I bought Shamans Nov. 2013, these are my first true pair of powder skis. I was at Saddleback Maine for a week and a blizzard hit hard with over 32" if light powder. This became a religious experience, the skis ate it up and I was laughing all the way down hitting pockets of snow almost 40+" deep with no problem. On the third day we dove into the glades and the short radius was amazing, you can throw these things around just by wishing them to turn. We also skied bumps, they are fine for soft bumps but not the best. Later in the season we closed Sugarloaf on 5/13 and skied really soft but thick, late spring bumps, they excelled in these. I am so pleased that my wife is getting a pair of Oracles for her birthday... don't tell her!

post #23 of 28

Saddleback Maine is the perfect place for the short Shamans (in fact, I can't think of another mountain that presents such perfect melding of ski design and terrain).  I think I have a few videos posted up somewhere around here of my skiing these at Saddleback.


However, that is, for a certain kind of skier.  


1. If you spend 70 percent of your day in the Cassablanca glades and the Kennebago steeps

2. You are not a wailing fast skier in these areas (not slow, either, but you value a sort of steady, or even meandering pace in expert terrain)-you value 'fit into any slot' over 'rip the trees'.

3. You have old-dude carving habits

4. You still enjoy a few long groomer cruisers mixed in (like that American run top to bottom)

5. You ski bumps with a drifter-carvy approach


You'll love this ski.  I ski it in the 161cm.  If that is not long enough for you, you'd probably prefer a whole different style of ski (get the Nomad RKR, Gypsy or a Nordica Patron...all fine models for other types of skiers).


I have skied powder-trees doing comparative runs between this ski and my 186 Skilogik Howitzers....they are both great, and do different things well.  You really have to know what kind of a skier you are before you buy a pair of Shamans.  For the right sort of East Coast Tree Hound, you'll not ski a better ski.   But, there are other east coast tree rippers who hate this ski.

post #24 of 28

I bought a pair last year and let me tell you, they are amazing. Skied them for three days during/after a 26-32" dump in Maine and again in deep spring corn and in 12" of mashed. These skis are so much fun and so easy to ski. They will also do nicely in soft bumps. I am very, very pleased with them. Just bought my wife a pair of Icelantic Nomad RKR as a Christmas present... don't tell her.

post #25 of 28
Originally Posted by binobear View Post

Just bought my wife a pair of Icelantic Nomad RKR as a Christmas present... don't tell her.


Has your wife skied these?  The only similarity between the Shaman and the Nomad RKR is that both are made by Icelantic.  I own Shamans and they are really great skis.  I demoed the RKR at Snowbasin last season and seriously disliked them.  The snow was mostly hard so it wasn't exactly prime conditions for them but they were just awful on the packed snow.  I made one run and that was all I could stand.  I felt like I little or no control over them.

post #26 of 28

the nomad RKR is a fun and nimble soft snow to powder ski. Its real underfoot width is 110. not 105. Its not a ski for a cruiser type.... It is a very good ski however.  


MT- my guess is you were on a ski that had not been base ground and tuned. You will now see they are marketing that all ski's are base ground and edges set. 2:1  Icelantic had a "tradition" of their skis coming out of the NS factory with the bases off; I think they have this QC issue resolved.  

post #27 of 28

The RKR is an excellent ski but it appeals to a very different skier and skill set than the Shaman.  I Ioved the old Nomad SFT, the RKR skis very differently even from that ski (which is its direct ancestor).  


Finn is right about old 'tune' problems and the 110mm (actually, I think it might even be 111mm) underfoot for the Nomad.   Just saying, most women would prefer the oracle (also a great ski for many lighter men and juniors who rip as well…Christmas is still two months away!).  THe RKR is pretty 'new school' in feel and design.


The Shaman is the Shaman, nothing else skis like it for better or worse…I think it's for the better, but it is a divisive ski and very reflective of user skier style and culture.   And I just bought and will mount up a New 161cm (2013 graphics) Shaman.  I am pretty stoked.

post #28 of 28
The Shaman are intriguing, sound like just what I'm looking for in terms of powder, groomers, and short radius turns. I'm a fairly short and heavy advanced female. Any women skiing them? Any thoughts?
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