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A highly idiosyncratic review of a number of 2011 skis

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Where:  Whistler mountain
When: April 24-25
Conditions: 3" of fresh on top of chunky refrozen irregular crust, in other words - craptastic
Who: 43 year old F, 5'5", 125lbs
Skis: 175 Armada Halo, 176 Rossignol BC 110, 164 Head Peak 88, 172 Kastle LX82, 164 Kastle LX82.

Armada Halo:
I've been fascinated by the shape of the Armada Alpha Two (now called Halo for 2011) for a while.  It's got an 83 mm waist and a rockered, early taper tip.  It is intended for the park, but I thought it might be the ultimate variable conditions ski for a lighter person.  The narrow waist would keep it precise with good edge grip on the groomers, while the rockered, early taper tip would be great in pockets of powder. 

Not so much.  Possibly it had a bad tune, but it slid out on the groomers.  It was adequate in the bumps and the trees.  Over all, it felt utterly lightweight and unsubstantial.  I had no confidence on the ski and couldn't wait to get rid of it.  Note also that I am not a huge fan of heavy skis - for instance, I think the Dynafit Manaslu skis beautifully.  But I think the Halo belongs to the flippy spinny crowd.

Rossignol BC 110:

I own the Rossignol S3 and love it.  But occasionally I find myself wanting something a little longer, a little fatter, particularly in the deep.  In the conditions that day at Whistler, I found myself getting tossed around when I hit the icy chunks underneath.  And occasionally I'd sink a bit and lose speed unexpectedly in irregular windblown pockets of snow.

The BC 110 is very similar to the S7, but with a slightly narrower waist (110 vs 117 I believe).  I tried the Roxy Mumbo Jumbo last year, which was the women's S7 at that time, and didn't like it.  But the conditions at that time were much more crust than dust.  In slightly more fresh snow, the ski really shone.  It was like cheating, actually.  From powder to crust and back again, the ski just ate it up.  Stable in crud, agile and turny in the trees, and about as precise in the bumps as a 110 ski can be.  I'm a believer now.  And although I REALLY don't need another fat ski, I think I'm going to have to make room in the quiver for this one. 

Head Peak 88:

I've got... way too many skis.  Hey, some women collect shoes, I collect skis.  But the one ski I don't have is a good groomer zoomer.  I have the 162 K2 Burnin Luv and despise it.  It feels unsubstantial and, paradoxically, stiff in all the wrong ways.  I use my S3s on groomer days, but the truth of the matter is, they have a rockered tip and tail and therefore a short running length.  For really bad days - off piste unskiable, with icy, poorly groomed runs littered with death cookies - I want something longer and more burly.  But not too burly, given my weight.  

The Head Peak 88 felt great.  I was skiing runs right at freezing level, so they tended to thaw and refreeze all day long, creating ruts, ice chunks, and patches of hardpack/ice.  The skis carved nicely, felt pretty stable at speed, and held an edge decently on the ice.  I didn't really take them off piste, as that wouldn't be my intended use for them. 

172 Kastle LX82:

I tried these on a whim, as a friend was talking about them.  I knew the 172 was too long, but that's what they had, so I figured I'd try them.  It took a few turns to get the hang of them, and then... BOOM!

Holy smokes, were these things fun!  I was railing them down destroyed, steep, icy groomers and they just blasted through.  They felt rock solid stable at mach schnell.  They were actually quite easy to carve, but it was hard to resist the temptation to just point 'em.  They were also surprisingly forgiving in the bumps.   But, sadly, they really were too long for me. 

164 Kastle LX82:

I was so impressed with the 172 Kastle 84, I thought I'd try them in the "right" length.  Unfortunately, while the 164 was way more playful, it didn't have that rock solid railing feel of the 172's.  I believe they come in a 168, but by that time the rep was packing up his gear. 

One thing I noticed about the Kastles is that while the tips hook up nicely to carve, they aren't at all "hooky" - i.e. no unexpected edge catching.  The Head Peak 88 was very hooky - on one occasion I got caught off guard on the cat track and nearly went down.  Unclear how much of that is ski design, and how much is tune. 
Edited by Acrophobia - 4/27/10 at 7:33am
post #2 of 20
Very nice report. By way of clarification.......the 176/BC 110 IS the 176/S7 which IS the 176/Mumbo Jumbo. All three skis are identical.

SJ
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Very nice report. By way of clarification.......the 176/BC 110 IS the 176/S7 which IS the 176/Mumbo Jumbo. All three skis are identical.

SJ


 I will add to the clarifications, the FX84 Kastles (the Black ones) are 168 and 176's, the FX84 doesn't come in 164 and 172...Could you have tried the white LX82? 
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Very nice report. By way of clarification.......the 176/BC 110 IS the 176/S7 which IS the 176/Mumbo Jumbo. All three skis are identical.

SJ


Go take a picture of these skis base to base and prove it.

I am not sure but the 166 BC110 was narrower than the 176 S7, its also listed as different on every spec sheet I can find. BC110 is 

copy and pasted from your site

BC110 = 140 / 110 / 118mm aka 110 = 110 MM waist
S7 = 145 / 115 / 123mm 
Super 7 = 147 / 117 / 125

since I have seen some of these skis back to back to I am calling BS on your statement till you post pictures of these skis back to back showing the width. I am sure you can get these skis together much easier  than me.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
The rep told me that the BC110 is narrower than the comparable S7. 

The Kastles I tried were white with green trim.  I haven't been able to find a picture of them anywhere. 
post #6 of 20
Dimensions listed are............

Super 7 = 195
S7 = 188
BC 110 = 176

SJ
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post





 I will add to the clarifications, the FX84 Kastles (the Black ones) are 168 and 176's, the FX84 doesn't come in 164 and 172...Could you have tried the white LX82? 




Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrophobia View Post
 

The Kastles I tried were white with green trim.  I haven't been able to find a picture of them anywhere. 

The LX82 is white with green trim and though its in the hard literature, there doesn't seem to be any digital image of it out yet.
You can see an EpicSki review of it here, but there are no images yet.
http://www.epicski.com/products/2010-11-kastle-lx82

It looks like you're in good company on the Kastle Wow factor.
Edited by Trekchick - 4/27/10 at 7:51am
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I amended my post above. 
post #9 of 20
Very well written review.

Funny thing is that you posted in a thread I started about finding a powder ski for my fiancee, and you advised me to spend the extra $$ for the BC110's.  I did do that and it was more than worth it.  I bought her the 166cm BC110's to pair with her Head Great One 153's (Monster 78) and it has completely changed the way she sees the mountain.  There really is nowhere that she feels uncomfortable now.  In fact, she got so hooked on the BC110's that she's all but abandoned the Head midfats.  While the S7 has been criticized for its crud performance, she swears by the Voodoos in crud.  As a small, light, and not overly fast skier, the typical stiff, burly crudbusting ski doesn't make things that much easier for her in terms of getting knocked around.  I think maybe she can't ski fast and hard enough to get those kinds of skis to slice through the truly crappy stuff; but she says the Voodoos let her sort of skip/skim over the most uneven of snow, avoiding any deflection...which I find intriguing. 

She has used the BC110's on the groomers a bit as well, even some boilerplate conditions...the edges on hers were pretty sharp from the shop tune (not sure what the tune was), so she really didn't have much of a problem carving there.  Granted she is not a high speed, high angle carver...but again, maybe illustrates how versatile a ski like this can be for skiers that are lighter and less aggressive.  Only question now is whether she can get away skiing the BC110 literally as her 1-ski quiver, or should she replace her Head midfats with a wider, burlier, but still hardpack-friendly ski.  Her current midfats just offer little advantage in any situation now.

FYI, her 166cm. BC110 is 105mm underfoot for sure, which puts it more in that Gotama range.  So maybe it's not so far-fetched for them to be her only ski.  Maybe you wouldn't ever need the S3's anymore with the Voodoos...

Did you feel the 176 was the right length for you?  She chose between the 159 and 166, but is very comfortable on the 166.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
I think once you get used to the way a particular ski performs, it's often easier just to ski that ski all the time even if it isn't optimal for conditions.  This is what I did last year with my Line Pandoras: they are 112 underfoot, and I skied them all the time, even on groomer days.  This is what your fiancee seems to be doing with the BC110s, and I think that's fine.

At some point, however, if she's been bitten bad by the skiing bug, she may find herself wanting to ski even if conditions are truly terrible.  On boilerplate, death cookie-strewn, rutted and horribly groomed runs, she might want a stiffer, longer, conventionally cambered ski with a flat tail.  And she's probably going to have to demo a bunch of these before she finds the right one.  Lighter weight skiers need skis that are torsionally stiff but longitudinally soft, and that's not so easy to find.  The Kastle LX82 fit that bill.  Another ski worth considering is the K2 Extreme, which is widely available, comes in a variety of lengths, and is ridiculously inexpensive this time of year (unlike the Kastle!).

[edited to add]

And I thought the 176 was perfection in terms of length for the S7
post #11 of 20
As to the dimensions of the Rossis, I have a pair of Super 7's and have spoken to the rep as well as measured different lengths of S7s and Voodoo Pro BC 110s myself.  For all of these skis as they get shorter they get narrower; The Super 7 is 117 underfoot, the 188 S7 is 115 underfoot and the 176 is 110 underfoot.  The 176 S7 is identical to the Voodoo Pro BC at 176 (110 underfoot); then both the men's and women's versions shrink to 105 or 106 underfoot (@166) finally going to something like 98 underfoot for the shortest lengths of the Voodoo Pro BC 110.  And I will add this is without a doubt the most fun powder ski I have ever had the pleasure of skiing.
post #12 of 20
 The Kastle LX82 will be hitting the stores next season with a price (including the CTi12 binding) of just over $1,000 which is in line with comparable other high performance models. 
post #13 of 20
acrophobia
can you think of any other "longitudinally soft and torsionally stiff" skis? 
Are you familiar with any of these and do they fit that description? :
- Fischer Koa 84/ Zeal
- Nordica Victory or Conquer
- Salomon Lady
- Dynastar Exclusive Eden



Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrophobia View Post

I think once you get used to the way a particular ski performs, it's often easier just to ski that ski all the time even if it isn't optimal for conditions.  This is what I did last year with my Line Pandoras: they are 112 underfoot, and I skied them all the time, even on groomer days.  This is what your fiancee seems to be doing with the BC110s, and I think that's fine.

At some point, however, if she's been bitten bad by the skiing bug, she may find herself wanting to ski even if conditions are truly terrible.  On boilerplate, death cookie-strewn, rutted and horribly groomed runs, she might want a stiffer, longer, conventionally cambered ski with a flat tail.  And she's probably going to have to demo a bunch of these before she finds the right one.  Lighter weight skiers need skis that are torsionally stiff but longitudinally soft, and that's not so easy to find.  The Kastle LX82 fit that bill.  Another ski worth considering is the K2 Extreme, which is widely available, comes in a variety of lengths, and is ridiculously inexpensive this time of year (unlike the Kastle!).

[edited to add]

And I thought the 176 was perfection in terms of length for the S7
 
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm not familiar with any of those, sorry. 

But I would say - let her enjoy her BC110s for the time being.  Eventually she'll remark, "Gee, I wish I had a ski that made me feel like I can kill things with my feet."  And then she can demo from there.
post #15 of 20

For those in this thread that love the S7's - we've posted an updated 2010/11 picture here on its EpicSki product page

 

We're also in the process of uploading ALL our 2010/11 products to EpicSki and already have a bunch up there.  You can see the activity on our Rossi homepage: http://www.epicski.com/Rossignol

 

Hopefully many of you will get a chance to ski the new models soon, if you haven't already!

post #16 of 20

^^^^FWIW, Rossi's home still has a confusing mix of 2011 pictures and descriptions with 2010 specs. In some cases like the female version of the S7, the two are in direct contradiction...

post #17 of 20

The BC110 (and it's 2011 replacement model, the S110W) were nominally identical in dimensions to the S7, but used lighter wood in the tip and tail for an overall reduction in weight and polar moment of intertia.  The BC110 was identical to the Roxy Mumbo Jumbo, except it could also be had in shorter 166 and 159 cm lengths.  The Roxy was/is only avaiilable in 176 cm.

post #18 of 20

I was looking for a powder ski for my wife and got sucked into the Rossi multi-model vortex.  The Voodoo BC 110, Roxy Mumbo Jumbo, S110W, and S7 are all the same ski, except they are not.  The waist width, rocker and stiffness appears to vary between different lengths and models, so figuring out how it would ski based on reviews was rather baffling.

 

It looks to be a great ski but, despite checking everywhere, I could not find any 166s in anything but the 2010-2011 S110Ws.  FWIW, after looking at all the other options, we ended up going for the Atomic Century.

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossignol View Post

For those in this thread that love the S7's - we've posted an updated 2010/11 picture here on its EpicSki product page

 

We're also in the process of uploading ALL our 2010/11 products to EpicSki and already have a bunch up there.  You can see the activity on our Rossi homepage: http://www.epicski.com/Rossignol

 

Hopefully many of you will get a chance to ski the new models soon, if you haven't already!

 

 

The PSIA pro deal and the Rossi online store are already sold out of all but the 159 size. This happened last year too. (oops they are on the PSIA site now.... sorry!
 


Edited by Mom - 10/15/10 at 1:37pm
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by monologuist View Post

Very well written review.

Funny thing is that you posted in a thread I started about finding a powder ski for my fiancee, and you advised me to spend the extra $$ for the BC110's.  I did do that and it was more than worth it.  I bought her the 166cm BC110's to pair with her Head Great One 153's (Monster 78) and it has completely changed the way she sees the mountain.  There really is nowhere that she feels uncomfortable now.  In fact, she got so hooked on the BC110's that she's all but abandoned the Head midfats.  While the S7 has been criticized for its crud performance, she swears by the Voodoos in crud.  As a small, light, and not overly fast skier, the typical stiff, burly crudbusting ski doesn't make things that much easier for her in terms of getting knocked around.  I think maybe she can't ski fast and hard enough to get those kinds of skis to slice through the truly crappy stuff; but she says the Voodoos let her sort of skip/skim over the most uneven of snow, avoiding any deflection...which I find intriguing. 

She has used the BC110's on the groomers a bit as well, even some boilerplate conditions...the edges on hers were pretty sharp from the shop tune (not sure what the tune was), so she really didn't have much of a problem carving there.  Granted she is not a high speed, high angle carver...but again, maybe illustrates how versatile a ski like this can be for skiers that are lighter and less aggressive.  Only question now is whether she can get away skiing the BC110 literally as her 1-ski quiver, or should she replace her Head midfats with a wider, burlier, but still hardpack-friendly ski.  Her current midfats just offer little advantage in any situation now.

FYI, her 166cm. BC110 is 105mm underfoot for sure, which puts it more in that Gotama range.  So maybe it's not so far-fetched for them to be her only ski.  Maybe you wouldn't ever need the S3's anymore with the Voodoos...

Did you feel the 176 was the right length for you?  She chose between the 159 and 166, but is very comfortable on the 166.

Not that it really matters, but I can't believe that "it doesn't matter" between a 110 and 78 (or whatever it is exactly) waisted ski in regular conditions. The difference between this kind of ski, on hardpack conditions (or any conditions) is enormous. One will be slow edge to edge, the other much quicker, etc. I suspect she is much more comfortable on the wider skis, likely due to the boot/ski/binding interface: do they have the same bindings (and ramp angle), for example? If they don't, you could ( and should) inquire about the differences in binding ramp angle and use that information going forward to getting her balanced on her skis. If one binding/boot combo is throwing her way off, and the other isn't, then, yes, the wider skis will feel better all the time. But, all things equal, the narrower skis should provide huge benefits out of the powder.

Just for fun, why don't you tell us the bindings on each ski and what boot she wears, and we can look at the ramp angles and how that may be playing into it.

Take care, and may be the skiing begin!
 

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