Skiing: 10 Years
Level: Athletic 7 ish
Icelantic Nomad sft 181cm 140-110-130
It took a long time to get the right conditions here in Southern New England to give this ski a proper workout.
But starting Tuesday afternoon, the snow really came down hard, and since then I've put in 4 full days on this ski in: a nice 10 inches of heavy snow, a deep, very wet and very heavy 24 inches of snow, a funky, crusty and deep night of snow and one (yesterday) soft, spring-like day of skiing. Prior to this week, I had skied it on firm groomers from time to time, and a few chalky/ chunky ski tree runs, but nothing that the ski was really designed for.
General Impressions: First off, as the name implies, this ski is SOFT! Not quite old pocket Rocket soft, but certainly softer than many similar twin-tips of a similar size. Also, I mounted these with Marker Griffon's at +1-these skis are impressively light-both over your shoulder and on the snow. This allows a hacker like me to take more advantage of the 'twin-tip' nature of this skis as spinning around, skiing switch to impress my kids and spinning back (either in the air or on the snow-they feel like big sneakers) is pretty damn easy and fun. These skis are very lively and not damp at all.
Oh, the waist does measure almost 110mm-about 5mm wider than advertised.
Groomers: On hard groomers, (which is what New England has had too much of this season-south of Stowe anyway) I found the ski chattery and balky. It was hard, for me anyway, to get the tip to engage on firmer surfaces and usually in these situations I would weight my uphill/ inside foot ski a lot more through the turn and go with a drifted approach to turning rather that anything that could rightfully be called 'carving'. This was not wholly unpleasant, But not as much fun as skiing my Contact 4x4's.
Hard Snow: Ice conditions, frozen, broken or unconsolidated snow are just no fun at all on this ski. The lack of dampness sends every bump and jag right up into your ankles and made my feet sore. There's enough side-cut (20m turn radius) and surface area to get through occasional encounters with rock-like snow, but this is not a tool for such a job (I prefer a damper, stiffer, metal-laden ski for such occasions).
Soft Snow: This covers everything from an inch on groomers, to broken crud, to crud bumps, to powder bumps, to powder and 'warm snow'. This ski just flat out shines. All the chatter and balkiness felt on hard snow completely disappears and they become easy turning (either heavily rotated or tipped and quick carved) in softer conditions. They're very lively feeling and encouraged even a fuddy-duddy skier like myself to load them up and spring off of any/ every terrain undulation I could find. Their lightness becomes a blessing when you want to re-direct them in a jiffy or just float across the top of sticky crud-bumps. And the FLOAT-ah the float, I experienced no tip dive and pretty easy maneuverability even in the 24 inches of deep slushy snow we had last Wednesday. In tight trees they changed direction without a fuss (when emergency maneuvers were called for), carved quicker than I thought they would. They've been a great ski all week long.
Final Thoughts? Is it a potential One ski quiver??-no way, not in the east anyway. Even up in northern Vermont there are too many 'firm snow days (and firm mogul runs) to make this an everyday ski. Maybe in western resorts where even groomers are generally soft (places like Steamboat, for instance) I could see these as a 90% time ski, but not at most places.
But in any kind of soft snow, they are fun, lively, very easy to turn. They are both playful but capable of reasonable 'macho speed' skiing. They're a perfect compliment to my Contact 4x4's. They'd make a wonderful AT ski due to weight and range of use off-piste.
Oh, and they're hot looking skis-people stop me all the time (especially people under the age of 20!) and comment on how cool they look. I know that's a peripheral concern for most folks, but I like having fun-looking skis.
Anyway-looking for a lively, fun, light twin-tip for soft snow or spring-conditions use?? These are a great ski. Looking for a fat 1 ski quiver in the east?? Look elsewhere-Even at Jay...I'm not sure this would fit the bill.
Hope that helps-this is a quality soft-snow ski.
Edited by Liam - 3/12/10 at 9:05am