I am considering the Contact 4x4 as my everyday ski for the East coast. The reviews are great here and on Peter Keelty's website.
I am 185lbs, 5'11'' level 8-9 and ski upstate NY and VT mostly.
Currently most of my skis are race oriented, giving great hold on our commonplace Eastern ice.( as Peter Keelty states: "The kind that reflects light and repels ballpeen hammers")
I hate to give up much edge grip , but would like the new ski to be slightly wider in the waist, and more friendly in bumps. I also enjoy occasionaly skiing with my teenage snowboarder son through the trees.
The closest I have ever come to accomplishing this is with my Head Supershape Magnums 08-09. They are good in bumps, are great carvers but are slightly lacking in edge grip on ice. I feel as if I can overpower the ski at times on steep icy terrain. This is my widest ski at 71mm waist. The Contact 4x4 has a wider waist at 75mm yet retains a similar shape.
As an example: A typical run at Stowe might be skiing the bumps on Goat until it ends and then carving the blue trails back to the lift. All of which can be icy. ( I only choose Stowe as an example as more people may be familiar with it. You may insert Freefall at Smuggs or Paradise at MRG.)
At the last demo day I enjoyed the following skis:
Dynastar Contact 4x4 178cm: GS race carver feel
Dynastar Contact 4x4 172cm: More SL feel, possibly my favorite
Volkl Tigershark 11 175cm: Hands down the best edge grip. Possibly too stiff for bumps.
Fischer Progressor 9+ 175cm: Great carver, but too narrow in the waist for any off piste.
I also would consider:
Elan Waveflex 82 Xti: I am concerned the 82 waist may be too slow edge to edge and too wide for bumps
Kastle MX 78
Head Supershape Titan: possibly too stiff for off piste
Atomic Blackeye Ti
I was unable to ski the Dynastar on any ice during the demo. (rare for us on the East coast). Would the Contact 4x4 be an improvement over the Supershape Magnums on Eastern ice?
If anyone has some real life experience with the Contact 4x4 any input would be helpful. Thanks
Edited by Dauntless - 9/19/10 at 12:45pm