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Further adventures on the S7 and a "yikes" moment

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Or..........pulling a rabbit from my hat.....

 

So……I’ve been sorta thinking about offloading my S7’s for a while now but just haven’t gotten around to it. I really wasn’t expecting to ski them anymore but today offered a surprise opportunity. A strong front had moved through on the 30th accompanied by high winds. Over the course of the day, and into the night, snow piled up in variations of 12”-24”. I wasn’t really expecting to ski today (31st) but the winds had dropped so I stalled a fairly busy agenda for the day and went for it. About half my gear was at the Start Haus including my Huge Troubles but I had my boots, the S7s, and enough other stuff at home so I headed for Northstar for a couple hours of tree skiing. My decision to go was made fairly late so I didn’t hit the lift until almost 10:00.

 

As I cut into one of the backside tree runs, I could tell it had been hit pretty heavily already but there were still several lines that were not too cut up. Near the top, the snow was not very deep. There was maybe 12” or so with some wind effect in evidence. While a stiffer ski or one with less rocker (or none) might want to blast the wind chop, the S7 wants to dance through it. Shorter turns were the order of the day in order to keep the tips from deflecting. As I dropped farther down, the snow got deeper, the trees start to tighten up a bit and the number of tracks dropped off. This is where the S7 delivers in spades. I could just aim at a space between the trees and dart through the opening with ridiculous ease. Any form of turn in my arsenal was stupid easy. My normal style of powder skiing is to slice across the fall line in “powder carves” and the S7 does this just fine. In fact the S7 is so nimble that even the tighter spots can be skied in this fashion. However, the S7 also allows and even encourages more skidded types of turns with the feet more opposed to the fall line. I’m not a huge fan of that skiing style but once in a while, I’d just flick my heels sideways to either brake or change direction and the S7 was completely comfortable. Near the bottom of many the backside runs, the trees close down and you have to bushwhack or cut back to the groomers in order to get back to the lift. Out on the groomers where the soft snow was pushed and pulled around into piles, the S7 had solid grip under the foot but at lower edge angles the tips and tails got knocked around.

 

Back to the top and onto another tree run I had a little more room to turn and a little less wind effect. The S7 was super playful in this area and I could toy around with the bumps, rolls and sidehills with ease. In fact, I got so distracted by my fooling around that I forgot about the many roads that cut across this part of the hill. I was reminded about them when the high side of one of those road cuts darted out in front of me. At the last instant, I saw it coming and tossed the skis as sideways as I could to get a little braking. I had one of those tiiiiiiime slooooows dooooownnnnn moments when you think to yourself.........”ooooooboy…..this might not turn out too well”  Then, as I flew off the high side, I was just able to get the skis pointed back downhill before I hit in the middle of the road which was about 18” deep in snow. On another ski, I might have gone over the bars but the S7 just about won’t let you do that. In fact the opposite happened and the ski “wheelied” tossing me off the low side of the road in the back seat and on a path to destruction in the trees below. I got it together and threw a couple of wild, flailing direction changes to slow down. Somehow or other I managed to avoid stacking myself into something big, hard, and immoveable. I skied out the rest of the run a little more slowly and the S7 made the slower turns easy even as the terrain flattened out.

 

Back on the lift, I had some time for reflection on what had just happened. The first thing was to wag my finger at myownbadself for skiing a little too fast for the terrain and not thinking ahead. The second thing was to reflect on what the S7 had just allowed me to pull off. Basically, I feel that I managed to fire a bullet at myself and then with the help of the S7, I was able to dodge that bullet. I think that there is a fair chance that some other skis would have allowed me to miss the trouble as well but for sure the S7 helped to keep me out of a potentially bad situation. On the next run I went back down the same line and this time with a little forethought (DUH!!!) the run flowed better and the fun factor was equally high. In the spaces where there was room to open it up, the S7 was very stable as long as the snow was consistent. When the snow got rough, cut up, or fully tracked out, the S7 was more comfortable at medium speed and smaller turns.

 

Skiing back to the car, I thought more about the S7 and what the ski offers to me. First, I think this is the most nimble, quick and versatile of all the double rise skis that I have been on……...as long as the snow is consistent. When the snow is rough or inconsistent, the S7 is still better than any full rocker ski that I’ve been on but is less stable than some of the low double rise skis or single rise skis I’ve skied. I personally think that the 115mm width is enough for anyone, anytime, any depth. Whether you choose a single rise, double rise or full rocker is dependant upon preferences. If you are choosing a ski for deep snow only and especially in tight conditions, it is my opinion to date that there is nothing better than the S7.

 

Skiing be a fun sport………………….

SJ   


Edited by SierraJim - 3/31/10 at 5:56pm
post #2 of 12
 So your saying that in stiffer crud and variable the S7 is better than a katana? 
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

 So your saying that in stiffer crud and variable the S7 is better than a katana? 

 

No. Stiffer crud and variable is the weakest part of the S7's game as is fairly common with many high rise skis. I view the Katana as more like a low double rise personality such as the Blizzi Answer. The Katana is also much stiffer than the S7 and and is certainly better in rough conditions. However, the S7 is more nimble in tight spots and better in light snow.

SJ
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post




No. Stiffer crud and variable is the weakest part of the S7's game as is fairly common with many high rise skis. I view the Katana as more like a low double rise personality such as the Blizzi Answer. The Katana is also much stiffer than the S7 and and is certainly better in rough conditions. However, the S7 is more nimble in tight spots and better in light snow.

SJ

 

Great review! I agree with you that 115 is plenty, for me as well anyway.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski=free View Post
I agree with you that 115 is plenty, for me as well anyway.

Yes and no. IMO, we're being conditioned by viral marketing to salivate over mm. For me, the point of wider skis is less about "float" as some mythical endpoint, but the speeds and terrain you favor. If you like to ski at slow to moderate speeds, say do a lot of trees, you'll need more surface area to get the same lift (lift becomes float when balanced with weight). If you want the same plane in the snow doing fast sweepers in a bowl, you can get it with 10-15 fewer mm. In terms of absolute values, go check out PhysicsMan's calculator; seem to recall that each 20 lbs needs about an extra 10 mm to get the same SA/weight.

Also, flex pattern is going to have a lot more impact on soft snow performance within a say 10-15 mm range and constant speed than the width itself. Time to get off the "should I get a 108 or a 115" angst train...
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post




Yes and no. IMO, we're being conditioned by viral marketing to salivate over mm. For me, the point of wider skis is less about "float" as some mythical endpoint, but the speeds and terrain you favor. If you like to ski at slow to moderate speeds, say do a lot of trees, you'll need more surface area to get the same lift (lift becomes float when balanced with weight). If you want the same plane in the snow doing fast sweepers in a bowl, you can get it with 10-15 fewer mm. In terms of absolute values, go check out PhysicsMan's calculator; seem to recall that each 20 lbs needs about an extra 10 mm to get the same SA/weight.

Also, flex pattern is going to have a lot more impact on soft snow performance within a say 10-15 mm range and constant speed than the width itself. Time to get off the "should I get a 108 or a 115" angst train...

Ya think??.......................

SJ
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

 So your saying that in stiffer crud and variable the S7 is better than a katana? 

 
I agree with SJ: the Katana and Olympus (1010 replacement that I have been skiing in these fabulous late-season storms recently) are much better in the cut-up snow at speed. The S7 is more nimble, lighter; whereas the Katana and Olympus are trucks that just blow through cut up crud and soft bumps.  Totally different type of skis, for totally different skiers. I was also on the Head Jerry (104mm underfoot, large tip rocker, similar to the Answer IQ) and it felt more like the S7: soft, nimble, easy to ski. But, it wasn't the Olympus or Katana at speed in rough snow, no doubt.

If you like the S7 design but want a bit more beef, the new Sixth Sense Huge is worth a hard look.  Rocker tip and tail (not too much) but with camber underfoot, it is extremely versatile and powerful.  I think it has a more substantial feel than the S7, and skis like a modified 2010 Huge, which puts it in the league of the Katana and Olympus (all skis with basically zero camber, although the Katana is very slightly reverse camber (but skis like the others, as a zero-camber ski basically goes reverse as soon as the skier weights it). 
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post 

However, the S7 also allows and even encourages more skidded types of turns with the feet more opposed to the fall line. I’m not a huge fan of that skiing style but once in a while, I’d just flick my heels sideways to either brake or change direction and the S7 was completely comfortable.    
   

Skiing be a fun sport………………….

SJ   


I demo'd the S7 at Deer Valley (free Rossi demos BTW) in about 5-8" with firm snow underneath.  Skid, sideslip and change your line was very easy to pull off with this ski, which is great in tight trees. The skis come around very quickly and i felt it was easy to keep up with them / keep my feet under them.

Not enough light snow for this ski to fully come into its element, but enough to see how it would.

brad
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post




Yes and no. IMO, we're being conditioned by viral marketing to salivate over mm. For me, the point of wider skis is less about "float" as some mythical endpoint, but the speeds and terrain you favor. If you like to ski at slow to moderate speeds, say do a lot of trees, you'll need more surface area to get the same lift (lift becomes float when balanced with weight). If you want the same plane in the snow doing fast sweepers in a bowl, you can get it with 10-15 fewer mm. In terms of absolute values, go check out PhysicsMan's calculator; seem to recall that each 20 lbs needs about an extra 10 mm to get the same SA/weight.

Also, flex pattern is going to have a lot more impact on soft snow performance within a say 10-15 mm range and constant speed than the width itself. Time to get off the "should I get a 108 or a 115" angst train...

No angst at all. At some point width takes away nimbleness in bumps  etc..  I found that point for me. I value versitility even in a powder ski so I know my limit. If I suddely get rich and my quiver is ten skis deep then sure I'd go larger.
post #10 of 12
I skied my Super7 head-to-head with Epic's 188cm S7 on Tuesday (in the rain) here in Stowe, conditions were funky, wet granular and refrozen glop, not really what these skis are all about... but you could feel that they are two very different skis (both skis are mounted +1, by the way). The Super7 feels like it has more effective edge and it is much damper, it feels much more at home arcing longer turns at higher speed, the 188cm S7 feels light and ridiculously quick, it likes to be turning all the time. The 188cm S7 feels like the edge engages at the toe piece, it feels like there is no front of the ski (not in a bad way...) it just comes around the second you pressure it, the Super7 feels more 'substantial' and more comfortable on edge in a GS radius turn.

I'd say the Super7 will reduce some of the 'bounced around' feel in chop that Jim talks about at the expense of some of the turn-on-a-dime ability of the 188 S7. I'd also agree that these Rossis are the 'Best of Breed' that I've skied.

I just thought I'd add this to Jim's excellent observations. I wish I could talk about the Super's deep snow prowess, but this hasn't been the March/ April for that here.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski=free View Post
No angst at all. 

Assumed not. Was more a comment to the general audience than to you as an individual. And your point about bumps is highly relevant. I have not found a ski over 110 that skis bumps as well as several in the 90's, regardless of rocker, claims of levitation, etc. 
post #12 of 12
 S7 may be the best slush ski ever. Skied Stowe all day in the high 70's today. So much fun. That said, Mike is right, the 188 and 195 are two different animals. The 185 does feel quite a bit stiffer and wants to go down the hill. I think one of the differences we were feeling too was that Mike has FKS and I have Jester Schizos which have different delta. I felt the difference anyway. I'd love to have both sizes, but for me, I prefer the 188. I think a soft 195 would maybe be the best scenario. My only complaint on the 188 is in deep heavy uncut snow. It dives too much in that stuff. I know that the spoon tip would make that seem impossible, but it can. You can roll the binding back to compensate a bit, but if you go too far then you just feel that pintail sink. Those are the conditions where I wish I had the 195. That or if I dd an AK trp and had to try and keep up with Daron Rahlves. 
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