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Review: 2010 K2 Obsethed 179 v. 2010 Armada JJ

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Just got back from Mt. Hood Meadows (12/26/2009) and as I wasn't able to bring my skis for the Holiday visit back home, I had to demo (oh darn).  After looking at the stockpile of what they had, I decided to give the Obsetheds and the JJs a shot.  Both have been quite intriguing to me since last season as skis that excel in powder but would be great in pretty much all types of conditions.  My understanding is that both remain virtually unchanged for 2010, so as you can imagine I was rather stoked to find both available for side by side comparisons.  Anyway, read on.
 

Me:  30/male, 5'-9", 155 lbs., somewhere around 8+ level, grew up skiing in Cascades, usually ski these days in Vermont/Quebec, go-to ski:  Stockli Snake 170
 

Conditions Hood has been relatively warm as of late with no new snow so anything not groomed was basically wind-blown stuff that has melted and re-frozen a few times (read:  bulletproof, especially the bowls), but the groomed runs were just fine, with ice patches showing up more and more as the day progressed.  Note that when I say ice, I mean "ice" by NW standards, not east coast hockey rink ice. 

Skis tested
2010 K2 Obsethed in 179 and 2010 Armada JJ in 175.  Both are supposedly mounted at the factory-recommended spot (that's what tech dude told me anyway).  I know the day's test conditions completely leave out the all-important component of powder since both of these skis are supposed to be at their best in deeper stuff, but it seems that everybody raves and rants about how both can be used as a daily driver.  As such, I thought it would be interesting to demo both side by side, focusing on the business end of the mythical one-ski quiver.  
   
On to the first impressions.  I took out the Obsetheds in the morning, and it took me a couple of runs to orient myself with the ski.  Once I dialed myself in, wow!  Although these things were great at laying down medium to long-radius tracks, I had no trouble working them while in tighter and steeper areas.  On ice, they weren't by any means phenomenal, but they were more than capable of holding a decent edge.  They're not stiff, but they were definitely not noodles.  Felt nice and lively overall, no noticeable rocker flapping going on when jamming hard.  Landings were nice and stable on these too, no complaints.  Had a great time on them and was contemplating on keeping them for the rest of the day, but I really wanted to see how the JJs would compare.   

So next, I grabbed the JJs from tech dude, and again after a run or so of adjustment, I was all smiles from there on out!  Similar to the Obsethed, I was able to lay down tracks of all different radii and also work these in tight spots, but when comparing the two I'd say that the Obsetheds were a bit more at home with medium to long radius turns, while the JJs were more at home with short to medium radius turns.  I was thinking this may have to do with different sidecut radii, and a little internet searching later showed that the JJs have a radius of 12m, while the Obsetheds have a radius of 24m (can anyone confirm that for me please?  K2's site only says "progressive sidecut", which I know is another way to say varying radius, but some sites say somewhere around 24m radius while others say 12-14m radius).  With these things being said, let me emphasize that both skis are just fine at all types of turns.  Ice was even better than on the Obsetheds.  I was able to really grab a good edge, which was a bit weird to me conceptually since the JJs are 1cm wider at the waist.  As mentioned above the Obsetheds were lively, but the JJs felt even better, with more pop out of each turn.  Not majorly stiff, but also not a noodle (okay, at least not the tips and tails, which are understandably supposed to be softer; I didn't use the tips and tails much today anyway).  Landings were stable on these as well.  The one small complaint is that these had maybe a slight amount of tip/tail flapping while riding them fast and hard, but in all honesty it was so insignificant that I would overlook this complaint; I really only noticed it because I have heard of problems with this on other rockered skis and was trying to pay close attention when demoing both skis.  

Initial verdict:  Admittedly it is WAY premature to make an overall judgement on either ski because both need to be ridden in powder to really say which ski is better overall as a one-ski quiver.  Both were great skis and I am fully convinced after today that both would be just fine as a day to day ski on both coasts (except for the iciest of the icy on the east coast maybe).  But, based on non-powder conditions only, I would probably give the ever so slight nod to the JJ.  I want to emphasize that both skis felt awesome and I'd be happy with either one, but the extra liveliness on the JJs was the kicker for me.  Others might like the longer, maybe slightly more damp turns by the Obsethed.  As usual, it's your own personal taste.              

Side note:  I demoed the Prophet 100's and the Mojo 94's last year, and without getting into too many details, the two skis that I demoed today blew these out of the water (again, that's not even taking into account the deep stuff factor, which I'm pretty sure the Obsetheds and the JJs would excel in also ;)  


Peace.

 

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ikking View Post

...Initial verdict:  Admittedly it is WAY premature to make an overall judgement on either ski because both need to be ridden in powder to really say which ski is better overall as a one-ski quiver.  Both were great skis and I am fully convinced after today that both would be just fine as a day to day ski on both coasts (except for the iciest of the icy on the east coast maybe).  But, based on non-powder conditions only, I would probably give the ever so slight nod to the JJ.  I want to emphasize that both skis felt awesome and I'd be happy with either one, but the extra liveliness on the JJs was the kicker for me.  Others might like the longer, maybe slightly more damp turns by the Obsethed.  As usual, it's your own personal taste....

I just recently returned from some fairly deep powder skiing on my new 169cm 'Setheds at Steamboat (you can see my mini-review @ http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/79927/review-179-obsethed/30#post_1165743).  I completely agree that the 'Setheds are a great all-round ski that (for me) slayed the deep/gnarly stuff without any hesitation, worked well-enough on packed and intermittently icy groomers to get me back to the lift without incident, and did not dictate any specific turn radius.

However, I can't say I'd want to use them as a one-ski quiver given their noticeable lack of edge grip, power and quickness on packed conditions (even if very soft).  Then again, I'm just probably not a one-ski quiver kind of guy - I can't see giving up what a narrower/stiffer ski does for me on non-pow days.  Also, extrapolating from my experience (which is that of a 130lb'er) I'd say that a heavier person might want the extra width of the JJ's for the deep days.  For us lightweights though the 'Sethed provides plenty of float without the added heft of a 115mm width ski.

P.S. Interesting that you didn't relate any of the differences in the skis due to their lengths - the 179 'Setheds could very well be about 7cm+ longer than the 175 JJ's, but this added length along with the narrower waist didn't result in more edge grip for the 'Sethed.  More reason to probably go with the JJ's (or try the Rossi S7's)...enjoy!
post #3 of 8
did you feel like these were the proper lengths for your skill and size?  I would have guessed, the mid 180's would have been the recommended size for you?
post #4 of 8
 Care to share the differences between the JJ and Mojo 94?  Obviously a different ski altogether, but to me Mojo looks a lot more like a 1-ski quiver than the JJ.  (Disclaimer: I ski the Mojo and have never tried the JJ or an S7, so I may not know what I am talking about
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by monologuist View Post

did you feel like these were the proper lengths for your skill and size?  I would have guessed, the mid 180's would have been the recommended size for you?
 
Good point - the 175 JJ's are only slightly longer than my 169 'Setheds and possibly a length that a lightweight could handle.  The 185 JJ is probably a better length match for the 179 'Sethed, but only ikking can tell us for sure....
post #6 of 8
Keep in mind that K2 169's are about a 173ish lenght as K2 measures length differently on thier rockers.  that ski was perfect for Ski-Ra, he ruled that ski.

I would have to measure a JJ but the the 179 HB for instance is about 182/3.  The Seth is about the same so maybe 2-3mm difference. Another thing to look at and more important is to take the Rockered amount into consideration. the Seth is a 10/20?  I am not sure of the JJ but the contact points and rise will have a lot to do with perceived length.  Its a new game out there and just using length is not a good way to evaluate rockers.
post #7 of 8
I've read many posts talking about the ability of the JJ's to work as a 1 quiver ski, but I can't agree.  I bought a pair a few weeks ago and they are simply awesome in deep snow or chopped up powder and crud, but I would never buy them as an only ski. I prefer them over other rockered skis such as the Hellbent's, Spatula's, or Pontoon's.   The Mojo 94 or something like the Dynastar Sultan 85 would be a much better choice if it's your only ski.   Again, I LOVE my 185cm JJ's, but even as Kirkwood/Squaw/Sierra at Tahoe as my main ski areas, they're not good enough on hard pack to be an only ski. 
post #8 of 8
I have the 185 JJs and basically agree with that assessment.  I am skeptical that there are many, if any, skis that really are "a quiver of one."  You are inevitably getting a tradeoff but given that the JJs are pretty decent on groomers and stellar in the soft, it does not seem unreasonable to considering getting those as one's only ski as long as you realize that you are sacrificing hard snow performance.  The JJs do carve surprisingly well for their girth (better than the S7 IMO) but obviously not as well as the smaller skis you mention, all of which probably ski more like regular daily drivers.   I still have fun on the JJs in groomers, throwing down big slide-type turns or just trying to see how well I can keep them on edge, and they are reasonably fun in moguls but I will take out something else for those not-so-fresh days.    That being said, it does not take much soft snow to make the JJs ridiculously fun.  And they are pretty good conversation starters, for better of worse.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Review: 2010 K2 Obsethed 179 v. 2010 Armada JJ