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Demo Day Debriefing

Mon Dec 18, 2006 2:28 pm

Saturday I spent the day at Powderhorn, and took advantage of the demo day test skis of K2 and Salomon.
Right now I've got Salomon Pilot 10's, about 4 years old, those replaced my old original yellow X-screams, which were my first shaped ski, and the last time I'd demoe'd anything.

What! I have to give up ANOTHER 10 cm? The longest is a 180? Are they crazy!? First I get knocked down to 185, and now they want me on a 174? Hey I'm not a rank beginner, i deserve a ski as tall as I am! Maybe I have residual scars from skiing on bright orange 185cm Olin Mark IV Comps in HS and college, when all my friends were bombing down the bumps on 207cm Rossi's.

But I got on a pair of K2 Apache Recon's and was blown away, the same as I'd been the first time I traded in my long straight Volants for the X-screams-- the Apache Recons were incredibly stable at speed, quick (or not, in turns-- it seemed to like long, run-wide arcs just as well)
I got back on the Pilot's for a couple of runs, and had to check the bases to see if I'd somehow neglected to tune them- they just knocked be back a couple of rungs on the exhilaration scale compared to the Recon's

I also tried the K2 apache cross fires, narrower, what in the old days we used to call a "slalom" ski, they were very quick, and liked speed also, but I don't think they'd be the best choice in soft snow or powder, sadly unavailable for Saturday's test.

I also tried the Salomon Fury, but it skiied closer to my Pilots than the K'2's. I'd really like to demo some more, Vokyls (man, how the heck do you SPELL that?) Atomics, and even Dynastars.

I've been scanning the gear guides, but I had no idea I'd fallen so far behind the new gear so quickly. I may have to break out the plastic and bite on some new boards sooner rather than later. Better go put some nickels away in the cookie jar......

Anybody else out there have any revealing /assumption-shattering demo experiences?

Re: Demo Day Debriefing

Mon Dec 18, 2006 2:45 pm

Pajarito-Bred wrote:Anybody else out there have any revealing /assumption-shattering demo experiences?

Yep - a couple of hours on Black Diamond Verdicts convinced me that a board doesn't need to be heavy and contain metal to handle broken snow well.

Re: Demo Day Debriefing

Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:22 am

Pajarito-Bred wrote:Saturday I spent the day at Powderhorn...

But I got on a pair of K2 Apache Recon's and was blown away

Anybody else out there have any revealing /assumption-shattering demo experiences?

Last March at Tahoe after a guy walked off with my 188 Volkl G31's by mistake (I recovered them 2 days later), I tried the K2 Recons last year in a 182 cm length. I discovered in two runs that the next generation of parabollic skis had arrived. As much as I like my G31's, the Recon was much more fun. They handled extremely well on the powder and uneven crusted conditions.

I also demoed the Stockli Stormrider and their pure slalom ski in a 165(?). I hated both. However, the Stormrider was simply too long and the demo van didn't have my size, so there's not much to learn from my experience. The Stockli slalom supported very snappy turns--as long as they were of a specific tight radius. These skis dictated the turn radius and punished you for deviating from it.

The best ski I demoed was the Dynastar 8000, which feels much like the K2 Recon. I bought the 184 cm length. At this length the ski is very stable at speed, handles hardpack, mashed potatoes, & powder nicely. They initiate turns of any radius easily. For reference I am 6'1" & 195 lb and I usually prefer the GS feel of longer skis.

Last week at Alta before that powder came, I demoed 5 skis on the wind-pack and hardpack surfaces. I skied bumps, groomed, and frozen crud. The summary judgements:

Volkl AC3 (170 cm) -- Nice ski, tracked OK, but seemed to dither a bit. My 180 lb friend also demoed the 163 cm length and thought that it was too short.

Volkl AC3 (177 cm) -- This was the best tracking, bombproof ski on the rack. It was tenacious on ice. But do you want to buy a ski with a dedicated Marker binding? I you kill the ski, and you've got a useless binding on your hands.

Volkl Mantra (177 cm) -- Surprisingly versatile ski. These puppies would actually snaked moguls!!! Good stability on the demanding frozen crud. If I lived out west, these might be my main ski.

Head Monster 82 (172 cm) -- Hated them! Unstable, tracked poorly. Since my wife very much likes her Head IM 70's, I was surprised at this poor showing. Perhaps a longer length would be more likable.

Rossignol B2 (182 cm) -- Light, lively ski. Very even flex. Tracked well in all conditions including hardpack. Good mogul performance. On icy surfaces, it was not as stable as the longer Volkl AC3, but it was adequate.

In summary, the only unacceptable ski was the Head. The rest were good to great.

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