I've had the chance to ski the Wootest for the past 2 and a half weeks almost every day, in just about every snow condition you can imagine up here in Alaska. A bit about my skiing style for reference:
Style: Ex-racer, love powder but still like to drive my tips
Where I ski: 60-100 days per year, almost exclusively touring in Alaska
Boots: BD Quadrants with power wrap liners, BSL 300mm
Other skis in my quiver: DPS Lotus 120, Wailer 105, Praxis RX, and Dynafit Manaslus (I have a gear problem...)
The ski: 187cm stiff flex Wootest
First, let me just say thanks to Kidwoo and Keith and Praxis for making what has become without a doubt one of my favorite skis to go out on. The skis arrived at my home about a month a go and the construction and build quality was typical Praxis: awesome! I ordered the 187cm stiff with the light weight top sheet. I do not have access to a scale, but the calibrated grab test says that the Wootest mounted with Dyanfits weighs very similar to my Pure Lotus 120's with the same bindings. The ski hand flexes great, is definitely stiff, and does not get softer in the tails (I hate a soft tails in skis). I chose to mount my skis at 103 from tip, despite all the recommendations in this thread. I just like more tip on a ski, and always mount Praxis skis 1-3cm back from the recommended point.
I've gotten about 10 full touring days in on these skis and a variety of snow conditions: deep light powder, deep wet powder, breakable/wind crust, windslab & avy debris, and tracked out powder. The small section of camber and sidecut that are present in the ski actually make it ski decent in harder/tracked snow, it does slalom/GS turns just fine for a powder ski on the track out. They also skin up firmer snow well. Much less sketchy than a true reverse camber/sidecut ski in both cases.
They ski great, and over a much wider array of conditions then you would initially think. Floatation in deep powder is a touch less than my Lotus 120's, but they are much more quicker/pivoty feeling. They really stand out in tight places, skiing snow bands between rocks, couloirs, spines, and trees. They make less than desirable snow (crust, heavy powder, etc.) skiing quite easy since they are so pivoty and the tip rocker keeps you from diving in. Even if you do find yourself having to ski a section of harder snow/frozen avy debris you won't be hating life too much, they can hold in edge just fine and don't get chattered about too bad. I did detune the hell out of my edges except for ~2ft under the ski boot that I keep sharp on all my skis.
The only downside that I have found with these skis is on wide open runs where you really want to let your skis run and make huge turns. I feel I need to ski these skis a little more two footed and centered than I do my Lotus 120's at high speeds. Also, since the ski is so maneuverable and low-medium speeds, it is a little on the hooky side when your going really fast. Not saying it doesn't work, it just doesn't mesh with my style of skiing as well. I still settle into a pretty traditional racer stance at speed, even in powder.
Don't let that last paragraph scare you, these skis kill it and are some of the best touring powder boards I have ever skied on. Not to mention they are hand made in the USA and have some of the coolest looking graphics out there. I am going touring and I will be looking for powder in unknown conditions I will grab these skis, if I am going to ski cutes or tight rock bands I will grab these skis, if I know I will be skiing fast in more open terrain I will probably stick with my Lotus 120's. I really hope that the Wootest or something very similar becomes a permanent offering in the Praxis lineup.
So sick atm but definately mounting them up this week and getting after it.....
Saw the banna black bases. Am super stoked on getting red and white japan like bases. Not the most coreshot friendly colored base but its not like I am going to sell this skis before they are dead and done!!
After getting my Wootests in a variety of conditions for a number of days here are my thoughts...
Mount Location: Dimple
Boot: Krypto Pro
Like the other Praxis skis I've handled the quality and finish on the Wootest was awesome. The stiff flex is absolutely perfect. I detuned the tips and tails as they were super sharp. I immediately noticed how light they were, night and day over my 187 XXLs (my favorite ski). My first two days out on them were powder days and they were pretty damn awesome and exactly what I expected. I've never skied a R/R shape but there was zero learning curve with these in the soft. They were super slashy and nimble, I could play around on them in the trees no problem. Only place where I wanted more float was in knee deep low angle trees. In open spaces I felt I could point them and just cruise, didn't really notice any hookiness. Didn't get a chance to do any drops on them but I'm sure they would be just fine. They skied exactly as I expected them to in the fresh and their light and nimble nature was a real good change of pace from the big and heavier 192 bros/XXLs.
On the firm...
Here is where I was worried the most about the Wootest shape and using them as a resort ski. I really concentrated on skiing in a more neutral two footed stance when trying to carve them on groomers and work the small effective edge. On soft groomers you could certainly link up decent carved turns and not have to worry about it. On firm groomers the second I got over the tips and really tried to lay down some carves things got a little sketch and I nearly did the splits a couple times. On a super firm and bumped up groomer I was getting bucked around a bit and actually had a ski come off my boot halfway into a carve. The Wootests were very manageable on hardpack but I couldn't say that it was confidence inspiring, duh that's not what they are designed for. Once everything got skied out and I was sticking to groomers I was quick to change out skis. With the season basically over on the EC I will have to wait until next year to get a better feel of them.
Got mine mounted on the dimple.
Mounted w/ Dynafart Radicals.
Only used them OB on a few different tour lengths.
So far I'm really happy with mine. Really like them, so much that I could care less about the Woo 2. Fun fun ski. Did get it on a groomer the other day when I was heading back to the car after a tour. Really felt great, it'll do everything.
I mounted my 196 regular flex at 42.0" (106.68cm) straight pull from tip. Which is a little father back than some. Got a few more days on them this year which is nearly as many as I got last year.
Really loving them so far and looking forward to getting more days on them this week. Once I got the detuning dialed they lost any hookieness I could feel. They are a lot better on the groomers than I expected not that it matters for just getting back to the lift. At Alpine meadows there are ridge hikes and the fatter versions were getting to me by the end of the day. These things are just so much easier to hike in and give up so little on the down for that huge gain on the hike.
I don't have much interest in the 2.0 either. I mean my 1.0 are still pretty minty with only 10-12 soft snow days on them. Last year I was using the 112RP on days with the lady. She was just getting in to blacks last year, 30 days lifetime riding 12 just last year. This year her being in better shape and wanting more soft snow/steeps/trees I will be taking the 1.0 out with her as her speeds have increased. She is thrilled with the performance of her new praxis la petite in all things 3D. She only wants to take her 112 yvetts on really deep days now.
But as always if I feel the need to add to the quiver I could see getting a set in the 187 size for a little more focus on the BC. Maybe even in woos taxi cab graphic that looks way better in person than it did on the cpu.
Quick Thoughts on the Woo 2
Bottom Line: Tip of the hat to KidWoo and Keith for making a banger ski. I love these.
Pivots on the dimple
I had hoped to get some quiver killers in these skis and get some touring done, but it didnt happen. Maybe next year, so this is all based on resort skiing.
Out with the bad first --
Very difficult but manageable in firm bumps/ruts/groomers. Let me say that I skipped my usual pre-season and paid dearly. The stiff is no joke and takes a lot of work in less than ideal conditions.
REALLY firm frozen wind board can be downright scary. It was hanging on for sure to keep the splits to a minimum, and am keen to avoid those conditions at whatever cost.
No back-seat forgiveness. If you end up there, the ski very distinctly shoots out from under you.Thankfully the tails are stiff and you dont completely wash out, but it can take you by surprise.
Landing has a funny sweet spot between having the skis get bogged down a bit from being tip heavy and rocketing out from back-seat charlie-ness.But once you find it, it is the most satisfying stomp ever, makes you feel like a badass.
And that is the only bad things I can say about these skis, and those are operator issues.
EDIT: I forgot to mention, the graphic is jenky. I was pretty bummed that the stained glass motif that comes stock was really pixelated. Not that graphics matter, it just seems weak to not blow it up and smooth out the lines. The design is really nice, just poorly executed.
This ski handles all types of (not boilerplate) snow like a dream. They really shine in mank/chop/crud and am very happy to have them stiff. Skipping over the top is the right technique to go for, but I certainly didnt feel like I was out of control. The tips do get super active, but never so much that you feel it in your boot. Holding the ski by hand and 'bonking' it with a palm they are NOT damp at all, so it makes sense. But I have not found the upper speed limit in crud, they are solid.
Hot pow and zipper crusts can be ignored for the most part. No hooks or tip dive, just fun turns.
Float is a non-issue. The 40" blower day was all time and I could go as fast as I wanted. I agree with KidWoo in that these are really in the sweet spot of waists.
Maneuverability is AMAZING!!! I was a bit worried that being long and stiff I would have issues, but holy shit I could hop turn these bad boys and only lose two vertical feet. They are really really nimble. Super stoked on them.
If you are having any doubts, DONT. They ski intuitively and smooth. Once you get down your weight control that any R/R ski demands, you can only feel confident on these bad boys.
This is a great ski. Bummer that they are being limited to the 187 length otherwise I would be mighty tempted to get another pair with the medium flex just for BC usage. After a full season, I couldnt be happier.