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Review: SkiLogik "Ullr's Chariot", "Go Girl", "Rave" 2010

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

SkiLogik Go-Girl 165cm 2009-2010
131-92-117 15m radius @ 165cm

3700 grams (165cm)

SkiLogik Rave 175cm 2009-2010
136-92-121 15m radius @ 175cm
140-92-125 15m radius @ 185cm

4200 grams (175cm)
4600 grams (185cm)

SkiLogik Ullr's Chariot 178cm 2009-2010
145-101-134 15m radius @ 178cm

4500 grams (178cm)

SkiLogik Go Girl 165cm (left), Rave 175cm and Rave 185cm (right)


Base-views of Go Girl (left) and Raves in two lengths

SkiLogik Ullr's Chariot 178cm (left), Howitzer 186cm (right)

Manufacturer Info:

Ski Logik LLC
P.O. Box 9480
Breckenridge, Colorado 80424
(970) 453-8000
http://www.SkiLogik.com

 

Suggested Retail Price (MSRP):

$ 750 (each model)

Usage Class:

All-mountain, all-terrain cambered skis.

Your Rating (with comments): (1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")

6-7 (due to stiff midbody flexes on these early-release models...Mazz acknowledges other reports of stiffness and claims to have adjustments in-the-works for further testing in March, 2010. We will report back if we can get on a pair. Others report they like the flexes just fine...to each their own...)

NOTE:

I am lumping these three models of SkiLogik's "Mountain Slayers - Maximum edge hold for all snow conditions" into one review since they have a very similar feel and geometry (15m radius - 92-101mm underfoot) for their respective lengths, being tailored to different types/weights of skiers...with differences being subtle and appropriate for each...up to the Ullr's Chariot which has the broadest forebody for deeper conditions...but you get the idea. The Rave model is stated to have a black locust woodcore, while the others utilize the paulownia wood cores..so the Rave is somewhat "harder" feeling and stronger for jibing moves and more park-like behavior.

Summary:

Strong, stable skis with excellent grip and torsional strength. Slightly heavy, but not heavy-handling. Beautiful wood graphics that grow on you. Definitely different. Definitely handsome and robust. Flex patterns on these early-release models may be somewhat stiff for some lighter or weaker skiers (flex reportedly being adjusted in future releases).

Ski Designer:

David Mazzarella ("Mazz") came from a background of being the business and production side of the original asymmetric Scotty Bob tele skis in the U.S.A.  After the purchase by K2 and subsequent movement of Scotty Bob production to China (Scotty Bob has since retrieved his brand from Chinese production and is making his skis by hand again in Colorado we hear), Mazz and Scotty Bob parted ways (see a Telemark Talk Post about their history) and David sought to build his own factory in China to his specifications and train his technicians to build his skis with care and artistry, not mass-production.  David has moved his family to Hainan Islan where they produce "about 5 pairs a day". Mazz says creating a workshop in China allowed him to create a ski where "price of materials and workmanship" was much, much lower to achieve the quality of ski he wanted to produce for the skiing public.  Using the same quality of materials and labor hours in other countries would have placed the ski above the price point he was trying to meet for his target market.

Mazz claims:

"I moved with my wife and kids half way across the globe and set up our own factory so that I could design and produce with the best methods possible. I brought in engineers who shared my vision. We designed machinery that didn’t exist, hired craftspeople with better hands than ours, and taught them how to make great skis. And they taught me a lot. After working for two years to get the production center fully capable, I turned my focus to designing a new line of skis using better materials and more craftsmanship per pair.  Our production facility pays all workers above the market rate to attract and retain a quality team. Our turnover rate is low and new hires are often friends of existing employees. On work days, all employees eat a hearty lunch together provided by our company. After 3 months on the job, all employees receive the following benefits: Health insurance, retirement, unemployment, disability, workers’ compensation, and 90 day maternity leave with 100% pay."

Technical Ski Data:

Paulownia hardood wood cores (stronger, more dense black locust core on the "Rave" model) with black locust sidewalls hosting quad-axial carbon fiber and fiberglass layers and rubber dampening edge layering.  Hand-made marquetry wood veneer topsheets.

Pre-Skiing Impression:

Beautiful, warm-looking handmade wood topsheet design. More "folksy" than "fine furniture" style marquetry.  Nice quality and finishing.  These pairs had about two months of demo / rental usage and showed some normal cuts and scrapes, but I got the immediate impression a quick touchup with abrasive paper and some linseed oil would have them looking great in no time. The hand-flex showed progressive tips and tails, with longish area of the midbody being strong and less curvacious. Impressive torsional strength (probably due to the black locust sidewalls combined with paulownia and black locust hardwood cores I think). Moderate sidecut. Slightly heavy, but nicely damp with a respectable rebound response and strong feel.

Test Conditions:

Boot-deep to shin-deep fresh powder over once-thawed-then-refrozen cut up powder (once you pressed down through the powder, the previous cut-up powder was noisy and hard underfoot..kind of like broken cinderblocks underfoot) with some small bumps. Packed-powder groomers ranging from softpack to relatively hardpack (not boilerplate). Some shrubs. Good variety of surface types. Moderate slopes to some moderate steeps in spots.

Test conditions in St. Gervais

Test Results:

I progressed downward through the lineup starting with the "Ullr's Chariot", then the "Rave" in two lengths, and finally the "Go Girl", all on the same trails and surfaces to get a consistent "frontside" experience (where these skis are intended to spend most of their time), but sneaking onto the sides and trees in spots to try the shallow powder response of each model. Each model was definitely able to hold a line across variable surface types without deflection due to their impressive torsional strength, and could support serious pressuring without giving-way like many all-mountain skis these days. The grip at all speeds was predictable and secure, as advertised. While I am not a lightweight (190 lbs / 86 kilos), each ski gave me the distinct impression of high-performance capable of supporting my weight and pressuring without complaint...perhaps too much for the intended skiers in the target market for the shorter sizes. Each model starts the turn nicely without much effort, which told me the forebody geometry and taper-to-waist was working nicely, and as the pressure transferred from tip to waist and then to the tail throughout the turn, I noticed each had an area of "resistance" in the midbody which urged me to concentrate on finishing the turn past apex. In other words, I found it was more successful to increase my pressure slightly mid-turn to get the ski to finish the sequence in the same arc as I began. Examining the flex pattern of each ski, I noticed each had a significant area in the middle of the ski which did not flex as readily as the tip and tails. All skis have this, and it's normal, but I think the length of this region was a little long...resulting in a ski with more race-like behavior (think of a ski with a raceplate and its effect on the the flex and you get the idea) than recreational behavior. I would personally like to see a little more rounded flex pattern on these skis and suggested it to Mazz (I make no claim to be the World's greatest ski tester or designer...I just tell people what the ski feels like to me compared to tons of other skis I have fun testing...everyone can make their own judgements!). He acknowleged some people felt some models were "stiff" (which means many things)...and he would try pressing some changes into another release possibly available to test in March, 2010..we will see). These skis fill their niches nicely and present an option for nearly any skier, which is good. The skis are definitely sturdy and well-made, and very cool looking. They can hold a secure turn on any surface and have no bad habits whatsoever. The versions I rode may require the skier to not be lazy in keeping pressure up throughout the turn, but make very nice arcs of various radii when asked. Each model can cut through crud unfazed, which is a good thing. They handle bumps without deflection, and can take a beating without any wimpers, but can feel somewhat stiff in bumps due to their hardwood cores and hardwood sidewalls. These models can transmit feedback from hard chop to the skier, which gives experts good feel of the surface underfoot, but may tire a recreational skier somewhat if conditions are bad. I found myself wanting just a bit more "zing" and pop out of the turns, since these skis are nicely damp and keep vibrations to a minimum. These skis reward a stronger skier looking for a strong, stable ride, not a fluffy noodle ride. The construction and materials would appear to mean these skis will last for many seasons, which is another good thing. Overall, I think SKiLogik's frontside lineup has a very positive future and appeal. I would just soften the midbody flex pattern slightly to get these skis to "automagically" follow the turn initiated at the forebody, add a bit of zing in the tail (which may result from increasing the midbody flex) and then you'd have a ski with a true mass appeal. Did I mention the graphics really, really grow on you? Distinctive, handsome, built by workers who get more benefits and pay than their counterparts in most ski manufacturing shops in China, sturdy, durable, priced reasonably and definitely fun to ride. Excellent for a first-year production ski. I look forward to re-testing these models after some flex adjustments are made.

Analogies: (this ski is like...)

All-mountain skis you might build for yourself after finding the mass-produced skis too wish-washy and short-lived. Stronger, more stable and definitely cooler than nearly any other off-the-rack skis out there.

Things You Would Change About This Ski:

Reduce the midbody stiffness slightly to make the pattern more rounded, and add a slightly more lively tail behavior to get some more zing at the end of turns.

Short Answer When Someone Asks "What Do You Think About This Ski?":

Good ski for a strong skier who wants a handmade, durable, distinctive ride to handle hard skiing all over the mountain except for deep powder (there are other models for that)

Advice To People Considering This Ski:

Demo a pair first to make sure you like the high-performance torsional strength and flex pattern they offer. Good luck picking a graphic choice...they are all very cool.

After Skiing These, I Want To...

Try a pair with more zing in the tail and softened midbody flex, then put my freinds on them and see what they think about switching brands.

Self-Description of Skiing Style, Ability, Experience, Preferences (be honest): 

5' 11", 190 lbs. Expert groomed-surface carver, "old-style" race inspired, "foot steerer" with fairly sensitive edging feel. Loves to hold long arcs with lots of pressure on the downhill ski (you know the type),  but also loves the feel of both skis on-edge leaving tiny railroad track edge tracks. Not an instructor, but 10 year coach for youth race team in New England (bulletproof is the norm).  Loves powder when available. No big air.

 

Tips of Ullr's Chariot (foreground) and Howitzers (background)

Tails of Ullr's Chariot (foreground) and Howitzer (background)

SkiLogik black locust sidewalls

Sidewall top edge showing wear and tear from two months of rental / demo usage

(easily touched-up with abrasive paper and some linseed oil I think)

Raves
Raves
Closeup of crying skulls
SkiLogik Topsheets
Tips
Closeup of SkiLogik "Tribal Spirits" Topsheet
Closeup of SkiLogik "The Healer" Topsheet
 

 



post #2 of 17
These look like they have far too much sidecut
post #3 of 17
It might be a little soon to use the word: durable.^^^

I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but sounds like they are dealing with issues that bear upon performance, stuff large ski manufacturers dealt with over 30 years ago. just saying.

and man, those are some strange sidecut dimensions.

and yes, my bias is to trust time and experience, so not a neutral person on the question of new ski company ski testing.
post #4 of 17
davluri,

Performance feedback we've gotten gives these VERY high marks.  The high end users that have said anything negative at all have indicated only what we could do better, not what we have done wrong.  Because we are small we can also be nimble and respond quickly with ski designs.  I think it could easily be said that the skis headed to retailer's for next season will be different than the incarnations out now, but we're not talking major design changes, just slight improvements.  Our desire is to build the best skiing skis out there, so of course we will continue to improve.  As they stand right now they are killer, top-notch skis.  As they will be in the future they will only be better and better. 

Also wanted to add as I did in the Howitzer review that Mazz and ScottyBob were never a part of K2.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

Another review of the Ulr's Chariot people might find useful just posted at:
(http://www.exoticskis.com/Forum/default.aspx?g=posts&t=186)

 

 

(Quote from quant2325):

My Ullr’s Chariot Review

 

I saw two Ullr’s Chariot (UC) reviews before trying the skis.  One was from here and the other was from www.Realskiers.com.  Realskiers made the UC their “Ski of the Year,” while Exotic Skis was unhappy with the early released ski’s flex.  There are significant differences between the reviews, and mine might add more confusion.

Overall, I really like the ski and own a pair. However, it is not the “one ski quiver” Realskiers made it out to be (I still don’t believe such a ski can be made).  I also did not find it having any unusual flex issues that the Exotic Skis review claimed.  Instead, I found this to be an extremely versatile and beautiful ski, at its best when the snow is soft.

Visual Impression:  These are probably the most beautiful skis made, and they certain turn heads and spark conversations on the lifts and lift lines.  Ski Logik charges a mere $100 to commission custom artwork, insanely inexpensive for an artist (Mariella) to create a design from scratch.

Quality:  Many people consider Stockli to make the best skis in the world, and I find their finishing to be top notch (for one thing, their bases are flat).  Ski Logik easily matches Stockli quality.  Despite the UC being a relatively fat ski, the bases are flat.  This is likely from the time they stay in the mold while the resin sets.  The camber is consistent between each ski.  The marquetry fits together beautifully.  The edges fit together so perfectly that it is almost imperceptible there they meet.  I love the bases.  They are structured, very hard and fast.  They are also thirsty, and need several coats of wax before skiing.

Skiing Impressions:  I skied the UC for 7 days prior to writing this review.  One day was skied in hard pack.  This was followed by 5 days of non-stop powder, chop and soft snow, followed by a day of mixed hard and soft conditions.  The bindings are mounted “neutral,” exactly where the manufacturer suggests.  The binding position seems perfect.

Powder:  These skis are a joy in up to a foot in powder, after which a rockered ski will make a noticeable difference.  I simply skied the UC in a neutral stance and let the skis do all the work.  Even in two feet of snow, these performed well although a little speed in the deep certainly helped.  Despite the 15m radius, the UC was not overly “turny” and had no problems going straight when you wanted them to.

Chop:  Here is where I was really impressed.  These skis had no problems towards the end of the powder days when the conditions included newly formed bumps, choppy snow and powder. They just skied over and through all of it with ease.

Drifting:  These skis “drift” easily and predictably when you want them to…so long as the snow is soft.  In fact, I purposely tried to scrub speed on one bump run by “drifting” just to see what would happen (I typically ski over the bumps to control speed and save my knees), and the UC was amazingly predictable.  In a steep gully, I drifted sideways with ease until I felt it safe to start turning.  I found the exact opposite the first day I skied these on frozen man-made snow.  The skis drifted OK, but it took work to do so (they were not drifting as smoothly).  The hard snow feeling is similar to some other skis I’ve tried with the same or fatter waist size.  The hard snow feeling improved at the end of the week when I slightly dulled the tips with a stone.

Bumps:  I was really surprised at how well these skied in the bumps.  I’m a fan of the SVMM and typically ski over the tops of the bumps.  The UC’s flex allowed me to do this slowly or at speed.

Carving:  Here is where I disagree with the “one ski quiver” Realskier’s review, and the Exotic Ski’s review.  On soft snow, these are easy to carve.  The arc is predictable and round.  Just put the UC on edge, pressure it correctly (I’m a “big toe. little toe” kind of guy), and the ski will get you where you want to go.  Short and medium radii turns are no problem.  It is more difficult to carve long radius turns, but that is to be expected because of the ski's 15mm radius.  I have absolutely no problem with the flex.  There is a bit of camber in this ski, so you may have to pressure it a little more than some other skis to start the turn.  But that is no big deal. 

On hard snow, the ski was not so friendly.  I found it difficult to easily steer (part carve, part drift) the ski at the beginning of a turn.  When railing turns, it is critical to set the edge hard to engage it.  This experience is completely different than the soft snow experience until... I dulled the tips with a stone.  Then the hard snow experience improved.

Bottoms and Edges:  Somehow, in the middle of a powder day, I hit a big rock.  The edges were barely damaged (an Arkansas stone made them sooth in less than 30 seconds) and the bottoms show no damage.  The base material must be super hard!

Speed:  These skis perform well at slow and fast speeds, adding to thier versitility. The UC is not a ski I'd take into gates (like a Realskier reviewer commented), but it can carve fast turns with no problems.

Conclusion:  These are absolutely beautiful and well made skis that can indeed “do it all” in any condition.  Like all 100mm+ waisted skis, their forte is not hard pack although they will certainly get you down the mountain OK.  Are these a “one ski quiver?”  They certainly can be for some people.  But this skier will still keep a pair or racing skis/carvers on hand for the hard snow days.

Note:  On a hunch, I slightly dulled the tips with a stone and the hard snow drifting and carving improve quite a bit.  I never though about doing this when I originally wrote the review.

 

 

post #6 of 17
I am very curious to know more information about the tester....height, weight, typical terrain skied...as well as the length (178 or 186) tested.
post #7 of 17

I'm 5' 9", 175, mid-50's, limited to 20-25 days/yr due to family concerns.  Probably a decent skier who is getting older with knees that hurt a little more each year.  Most of my other skis are Stocklis or Atomics (that should tell you about my skiing style).  I semi-suck in big bumps but get through them OK, do fine with moderate moguls and can carve mean arcs on any surface.  Love powder. OK with tree skiing at moderate speeds. No hucking after age 45 for me.  Sane steep inclines are no issue.  I haven't gone into the backcountry seriously since the kids were born, but that will change when they get older.  I will occasionally hike a little bit for the right snow.  I spend most of my skiing time on black diamonds. I skied the 178cm per Mazz (we swapped a bunch of e-mails), and it was fine in powder (right size).  I hope that helps. 


Edited by quant2325 - 12/30/10 at 5:15pm
post #8 of 17

Well...we are about the same age, probably ski very similarly, the major difference is that while i am less than 2 inches taller than you I weigh 220lb, quite strong and DO ski allot of fairly tight trees. given all of that, I am really torn between the 178 and the 186...weight vs. float vs trees....although snow over a foot deep is maybe a once a year occurrence. Any thoughts or info on who I might speak to about my dilemma?

post #9 of 17

Yeah, e-mail the guy who makes the skis: mazz@skilogik.com  .  David answers e-mail quickly, considering the time zone difference.  The nice thing about these small manufacturers is that you can speak with or e-mail the head honcho and get the right information from the source. Their rep in CO is also helpful.  Jeb Marsh's e-mail is:jeb@skilogik.com    .   

post #10 of 17

Allan - I'd like to offer some advice.  I believe that the traditional fat twin tip is no longer the right ski for skiers looking for a deeper days ski.  Unless you're riding switch and spend at least half your time in the park there's no point to a traditional twin IMO.  I suggest you look into skis with at least early rise/rockered tips.  If you like skiing tight trees take a look at some of the fun shape skis (S7, Wailer 112RP, JJ, etc.) or the Blizzard The One, Rossi S6, stuff.  All of those skis will smoke the Chariot.  And yeah, I've ridden them all - including the Chariot.

 

Rocker is the new width.  We no longer need extreme width to have a ski that planes up quickly and provides sufficient float.  The newer designs provide a much better compromise between providing adequate float while maintaining good adaptability across more of the mountain conditions.  However, there are clearly some good rockered designs out there and some bad ones.  Some of the manufacturers have figured out how to properly marry rocker and sidecut design. Others - not so much.  Case in point - the Ski Logik Howitzer is mediocre in its harder snow performance while skis like the Katana and The One can rail.

post #11 of 17


Noodler,

 

You have inaccurately read a post. 

 

Allan wrote:  "....although snow over a foot deep is maybe a once a year occurrence ."  Why would you give opinions about rockered skis for "deeper days" if he is looking for a ski in light powder or softer packed snow in trees?  I certainly didn't buy the UC for "deeper days," although that is what I tested it in for 5 straight days (my vacation home ski locker in UT doesn't fit a full arsenal so a full rocker is out of the question for now).  I got if for softer snow, pow and bumps.  The rockered skis IMO aren't as good in bumps.  I have also tested two of the skis you mention above and disagree with your assessment about their hard snow performance (particularly the Kantana).  

 

Obviously, Realskiers, Exotic Skis and others have different opinions than you.  Having different opinions and venting them is a good thing.  Misreading posts is not a good thing. 

 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

Allan - I'd like to offer some advice.  I believe that the traditional fat twin tip is no longer the right ski for skiers looking for a deeper days ski.  Unless you're riding switch and spend at least half your time in the park there's no point to a traditional twin IMO.  I suggest you look into skis with at least early rise/rockered tips.  If you like skiing tight trees take a look at some of the fun shape skis (S7, Wailer 112RP, JJ, etc.) or the Blizzard The One, Rossi S6, stuff.  All of those skis will smoke the Chariot.  And yeah, I've ridden them all - including the Chariot.

 

Rocker is the new width.  We no longer need extreme width to have a ski that planes up quickly and provides sufficient float.  The newer designs provide a much better compromise between providing adequate float while maintaining good adaptability across more of the mountain conditions.  However, there are clearly some good rockered designs out there and some bad ones.  Some of the manufacturers have figured out how to properly marry rocker and sidecut design. Others - not so much.  Case in point - the Ski Logik Howitzer is mediocre in its harder snow performance while skis like the Katana and The One can rail.

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post


Noodler,

 

I have also tested two of the skis you mention above and disagree with your assessment about their hard snow performance (particularly the Kantana).  

 

 

Knowing that you think that the Katana has poor hard snow performance tells me everything I need to know about your skiing.  Plenty of other skiers that I know and trust agree with me on my assessment of Katana performance when they're on edge on groomers.

 

Sorry if I didn't stroke your ego about your choice of the Chariots, but they're just not that great of a ski when compared to everything else available.  I ski a lot of skis each year and for me these were not standouts.  I was merely pointing out that there are much better choices available now and big fat traditional twins have limited use for most skiers.

post #13 of 17

It seems odd referring to people by their Epic "handle" but...Noodler, I do appreciate your input. The best skiers I know who ski in the conditions I described ALL ski on skis with some form or degree of rocker. While I can ski most any run they do, they make it seem effortless and do say would never ski a conventional twin again. Maybe it is a question of technique, but I did try the Rossignol S3 in a 188 last year on a day that I hoped would be spring like like, but all the steep tree runs were bumped out and hard. I found the S3s really awkward in those conditions. So I am now actually leaning towards the Zag Golds that you are so fond of...the local shop actually carries them. I like the idea of the tip rise and regular tail. Not rushing due to the overall lack of snow so far, but I still have to decide between the 181's and the 189's. Lots of bumps between lots of trees just make me wonder.

post #14 of 17

That's surprising that you have access to the ZAGs (are you in North America?). 

 

ZAG skis change their dimensions with each available length (if you hadn't noticed).  There's big difference between the 181 and the 189.  I was really on the fence myself, but I decided that the 98mm underfoot 189 made more sense for my quiver.  Based on your tight trees preference the 181 may make more sense for you.  What I can tell you is that these skis really do ski short.  The effective edge on my 189 Golds is slightly less than my 179 Stockli VXLs and my 177 Elan 888s.  They also turn quicker than either of these skis (pretty amazing).  I should also note that the flat, somewhat stiff, tail can be a life saver in some situations.  Durability of the bases and edges has been excellent, but the topsheets have been getting a bit beat up (if you care about those things).  Note that I have the 2010 model, not the current season.

post #15 of 17

To answer your question...Yes, I am located in Montreal Quebec (Canada) and the shop I deal with (a good friend) carries the Gold, Slap and H112. There is a local rep...unusual I know. Perhaps it has to do with the Quebec / French connection. I am sure that if you or anyone else was interested in some Zag skis that you could get a good deal.

 

I noticed today on the Zag website the change in dimensions as the length increases. It is not necessarily my preference for tight trees but rather the most interesting terrain available around here (groomers get boring quickly). Anyway, I am still uncertain about which size to go for. Maybe I can convince my buddy or the rep to put out a demo pair since they are obviously unknown to most around here.

post #16 of 17

I only have a limited review of the Ski Logik Ullr's Chariot. I have subsequently skied the Rave & Howitzer in varied conditions and have found all three of these skis to have high quality workmanship and have felt very smooth and damp. Not to get off subject, but the Howitzer actually performed very well for me on western hardpack.

post #17 of 17

I spend some of my days lapping some park, anyone know if the Rave would do well there?

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