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10/11 Gotama Review

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

After spending a lot of time on these in the past few days I thought I would write a few things on them.

I recently injured my meniscus, so have been told by my physio that I am allowed to ski if I take it easy. At least I can still ski though. Anyway, I normally ski on 191 ON3P Wrenegades, and found those were a bit much for my knee so I went and got some 178 Gotama demos for the day (As well as the 186 for a bit).

21 years old
Mountain: Treble Cone, Wanaka, New Zealand

Same ski as last year. Zero camber, long, low, gradual rocker throughout most of the ski.

Groomers: I thought groomer performance was very good. I actually prefered them on groomed runs than the mantra. Easy turn initiation, as well as having the ability to hold an edge. They are no slalom ski, but performance here was as good as I would ever need. I also found it super easy to smear a turn and release the tails quickly and smoothly. This is the first time I have been on such a small ski of this type in a long time, and none of the unstable, wobby feelings which i generally associate with short skis were present. Nice and stable at speed.

Bumps: Pretty decent in the bumps. It hasn't snowed here in a while so there is a lot of small/medium bumps around. The snow is pretty chalky too. They have lots of pop and are really responsive. I found the skis bounced me out of turns nicely.

Crud: Not as good as the Wrenegades, but still pretty good. The tips don't seem to get knocked around very much and you can generally blow through most variable snow I managed to find. You can drive the ski pretty hard and not have any issues.

Ice: Not ideal but manageable, but how many rockered skis are? Keep in mind these were demos so they were not that well tuned.

I know a lot of people hated volkl for changing the gotama to a rockered ski, but to be honest, i found them better in all conditions to the older cambered models. I don't really care for those stupid low profile tips, as considering the low rocker height I could see tip dive issues in deeper snow- but I never got to ski any to test that theory.

They are definitely a fair amount softer than 191 Wrenegades, but that translates to easier to ski, which was good today both because of the conditions and my knee.

The 186 was the same sort of feel, but just a bit more stable and better when you can open it up (which you can't in the conditions currently)


I also rode the 177 Mantra and 177 AC30 for a while. I liked both, but nothing about them really stuck out about them. Similar feel to Goats, which is kind of similar to most volkls, powerful skiing is rewarded, and you can drive the ski. The Gotama felt like it had more pop and was more responsive.


The AC30 was hands down much better on groomers. Bumps were comparable, and Mantras were better for crud/variable snow. But to be honest, I felt the Gotama did almost everything better than both the AC30 and the Mantra.

post #2 of 9

This is really interesting.  There have been some threads regarding wide(r) skis and stress on knees, which I've often wondered about.


Thanks for sharing this comparison.

post #3 of 9

should be in Gear review......

post #4 of 9

True, it should be.


That was great review.  I'd like to try a pair.  But, living on the east coast they would not be at the top of the list of choices for me.


It's still early in the season, snow comin'.

post #5 of 9

I moved it from Gear discussion to Gear Reviews, but it would be great to see this posted in the product section of reviews also.


Great job on this one.

post #6 of 9

In NZ and Australia do you get next years or last years gear?  Just a curious mind here.  This question would mostly apply to the European brands.


Are you previewing what we are going to see, or skiing what we had last season? 

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 



Depends on the brand, but mostly we have all the next years skis in shops.

post #8 of 9



Nice review and like your taste in skis...!  I am also an owner of the 191 Wren and to this day it is by far my favorite ski...  Up until this point it was my 190 Gold Goat, which is now going to be replaced by the 186 Vicik...  I demo'd the 194 2010 Goat and liked it, but was not that thrilled with crud busting ability and I do believe it lost its versatility on hard pack compared to the old non - rockered version...  You made a comment a while ago about there being over-lap with the Wren and Vicik and to some degree I agree and at the same point I also disagree...  If there has not been any new snow or I am relegated to zoomer groomers because of the family (non skiing wife and 9 yr old daughter) the Wren is a bit much for a daily driver and this is the only time I would pick my Gold Goat over the Wren...  However, if the snow is soft or it is dumping the Wren will be the ski coming out with me...  I have always loved my Goat, but have become a big fan of non jibber rockered skis (ie - Mothership) and with the same rocker profile of the Wren the Vicik is what I believe the new Goat should have been...


I am an old former racer and I have def. traded my old skinnies in for fatties...  My quiver is a follows - 186 Stoclik XXL (skinniest ski I own, but does not come out very often), 187 Movement Thunders (killer ski that you have to stay on top of - but it is a blast), 190 Gold Goat (to be replaced by 186 ON3P Vicik) and 191 Wren (to say I love this ski would be an understatement) and my philosophy is once you go fat you will never go back...  If all you do is ski zoomers than stick to the skinnies, but there are so many fat skis out there that will tear up the groomers and at the same time kill crud and pow...


Hope the body heals soon and great review...!



post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 


I can definitely see where you are coming from. Cambered skis with tip rocker really do kill it everywhere. When I am skiing in Tahoe, the Wren is an incredible everyday ski, but over here in NZ I can see something around that 105ish waist being more versatile and less work in some conditions. Next season my quiver will consist of 191 Wrens, 191 Caylors, 170 Fischer progressor 8+, some park skis, and I am strongly considering something to put in the middle of the progressors and wrens for those days where you are skiing off trail, but want something smaller than the Wren. Skied the 182 Shogun today for a bit and that could slot in nicely.


I'm really looking forward to riding the Vicik when I go back over for the northern season. I agree with you in that the Vicik will probably be a good old goat replacement. If it was out when I bought Wrens I probably would have bought those as the 105ish waist really is the perfect width for doing everything well. The Wrens are great over here in everything except when it hasn't snowed in a while and you start to get moguls literally everywhere, which happens quite a bit.



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