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  1. #1
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    Lhasa Pow 186 vs 196 Review

    OK I have finally had a chance to ski them in pretty much all conditions from hard pack to 40+cm of Powder, so here is my review, and comparison of the 196 vs 186 Lhasa.

    First the background

    Me.

    Weight: 175 lbs
    Height: 6 ft
    Age: 49
    Ability: 35+ years of sking. Aggressive, fast, slightly stupid

    Skiis

    186 Carbon mounted with Barons Effective edge 1520mm Turn Radius 35M
    196 Glass mounted with Dukes Effective edge 1610mm Turn Radius 39M
    (edit to add spec's for people who want to know)


    First let me say that either of these skiis could be your only ski for pretty much any condition except pure boiler plate. They both carve hard pack, blast thru chopped snow and float in the powder.

    The difference is that the 186 is definitely a snappier ski to turn, as well as being lighter than the 196, it feels quite a lot shorter than the 10cm difference would indicate. On my first run on the 196 after having skiied the 186 for a couple of days I casually tried to make a turn while cruising down a groomer, well that didn't work, they just kept on going straight, a little more effort and they arced into big wide radius turns. By the end of the day I could turn them just as quickly as the shorter skiis, but it was definetly more effort. I also noticed that they felt a LOT heavier than the 186's, although I assume that along with the additional weight, the length is adding to the apparent weight by increasing the swing weight. While the 186's feel stable at speed, the 196's don't seem to even notice how fast you are going, they just plow through everything and make the slope feel smooth and groomed. The 186's can be thrown around a little by hard bumps that the 196 don't seem to notice, most likely the combination of more length to bridge the bumps, and the heavier weight is the reason.

    If you ski in tight trees a lot, are lighter weight, or just like a faster turning ski I would say the 186 is for you. My wife tried them out for a couple of days ( 135 lbs, 5' 6") and she won't give them back now, she was skiing on a pair of 174 Stiffs and she found the 186's just as easy to ski in regular conditions, as far more fun in chopped and deep powder.

    The 196 is the perfect ski for people who like to go fast pretty much all the time, don't mind working the ski to get the turn shape they want, or are heavier.

    I have gone thru pretty much every iteration of ski that PM Gear has put out, ( 188 Stiff, 179 Stiff, 179 Fat and now Lhasas) and these are the best ski I have ever experienced. I will be skiing my 196's pretty much every time I head out the door, can't see why I would want anything else except for BC where they are to heavy for serious touring.

    Congratulations (again) to PMGear for making a ski that may make the whole quiver thing obsolete.
    Last edited by eldereldo; 03-07-2009 at 04:06 PM.

  2. #2
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    FKNA!!!! That is the EXACT fkn review i've been hoping to read. Muchos gracias amigo!!!

    I've got a couple dozen pounds on ya, and well over two years younger. Currently digging the shit out of some 188 softs.

    Only review i need now [or demo...] is 196 glass vs carbon. Thinking carbon...

    thanks again!!
    Neil Young said Harvest put him right in the middle of the road, so he headed for the nearest ditch. I think we've kind of just gone ditch to ditch to ditch a lot of the time.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  3. #3
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    Tye, go carbon!

  4. #4
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    Thanks for putting up this review. I've been thinking of 186 carbon's for next year as a touring setup. Curious, where were each of these mounted? I think recommended spot is right on the line.


    Quote Originally Posted by eldereldo View Post
    My wife tried them out for a couple of days and she won't give them back now, she was skiing on a pair of 174 Stiffs and she found the 186's just as easy to ski in regular conditions, as far more fun in chopped and deep powder.
    UNREAL! When I get married, I hope I can say the same about my wife.
    Ελευθερία ή θάνατος
    "Great moments are born from great opportunity."

  5. #5
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    How much of the additional swing weight and effort do you think is attributable to comparing the 186 carbon to the 196 glass? I ask because the 192 in glass was alot more work for me than the 192 carbon (which is one of the finest skis I've ever ridden).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tye 1on View Post
    FKNA!!!! That is the EXACT fkn review i've been hoping to read. Muchos gracias amigo!!!
    No fkn way, this is the review I needed. 188 Stiffs now, 196 Carbon soon.

    Deal = Sealed.

  7. #7
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    Much appreciated, I had a feeling, but now know the 196 is not for me. Must demo the 186!!!
    ((. "The joy I get from skiing...
    .)) That's worth dying for."
    ((.
    .)) -CR Johnson

  8. #8
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    Nice review. If my quiver was not covered by ehp 186's I would look into the lhasa 186.
    "Have you ever seen a monk get wildly fucked by a bunch of teenage girls?" "No" "Then forget the monastery."


    "You ever hear of a little show called branded? Arthur Digby Sellers wrote 156 episodes. Not exactly a lightweight." Walter Sobcheck.

  9. #9
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    Frush,
    I'll be at KW or Squaw in a week or two, welcome to try my 186 carbons for a few runs if you can fit +_ 10mm or so on my 308 bsl. I'll drop you a pm when I go if you want.
    Life of a repo man is always intense.

  10. #10
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    1. Both were mounted on the line.
    2. Seem to remeber Pat saying that in the Lhasa the carbon isn't to save weight, it is to make the ski stiffer without having to change the design.
    3 Yeh, my wife rocks, she will pretty much go anywhere I will, a little slower (sometimes) but she will always try. And now I am getting her into a little hucking, she was having a hoot on Big Timber on Monday bouncing over all the stumps and drops with the new snow.

  11. #11
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    Iirc the carbon does drop the weight a bit, cuz it replaces a, maybe two layers of glass? Every time i've read about 'carbon' it's mentioned the word 'poppy'. Not sure actually what that means, guessing it means 'a bit stiffer with a lot more attitude'...
    Neil Young said Harvest put him right in the middle of the road, so he headed for the nearest ditch. I think we've kind of just gone ditch to ditch to ditch a lot of the time.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  12. #12
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    carbon raises a ski's natural frequency by raising the stiffness without increasing the weight as much as an equivalent stiffness change using glass would require....ie stiffer for lighter = lively

    glass will always make a more damp ski, no question, because you add significantly more weight than you do stiffness in comparison to any carbon.

    anyone can make a glass ski just as stiff as the carbons no problem, it just requires a bit more glass...roughly an extra 1/2 layer of glass per layer of carbon....as a rule of thumb

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the review.
    Just what I wanted to hear. had already pull the plug on some 196 carbons. I think they are lighter and they say a little livelier than the glass. Which I think will make up for the little issues you had with the longer length. I know I can't wait for mine.

  14. #14
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    I saw you guys in the line at Harmony and then Symphony a bit later... I think it was Thursday the 29th or maybe Friday the 30th (was there both days) That was for sure the best snow on the mountain over there, jealous you got to stay for Monday!!! It snowed on us all the way down to NVan on our way out of town.

    love, your stalker on b4's/dukes who kept looking at yours & wifey's skis! I was pretty close to asking for change, but was with a rough crowd who would have mde fun of me the rest of the week!

  15. #15
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    Hey just ask about the Bro's, I haven't seen another pair except on ATrain out here yet. They must exist but I'm not running into them. And yeh Monday was awesome, Big Timber was just a series of hits with at least 30cm of snow to play in.

  16. #16
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    Hmmm.
    May have to start liquidating the quiver to get some 186 carbons.
    Thanks for the review.
    My specs are close to yours except my wife does not charge as hard.
    That's Mr. JONG to you, punk!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pechelman View Post
    carbon raises a ski's natural frequency by raising the stiffness without increasing the weight as much as an equivalent stiffness change using glass would require....ie stiffer for lighter = lively

    glass will always make a more damp ski, no question, because you add significantly more weight than you do stiffness in comparison to any carbon.

    anyone can make a glass ski just as stiff as the carbons no problem, it just requires a bit more glass...roughly an extra 1/2 layer of glass per layer of carbon....as a rule of thumb
    Do you happen to know (roughly speaking) how much more the 196 Carbon/Glass weighs versus the 186 Carbon/Glass?

    For comparison, my 186 Lhasa Pows weigh: (Ski1 = 1982g / 4.37lbs and Ski2 = 2129g / 4.69lbs); but I can't tell which is which when I'm wearing them.

    The186 Lhasa Pow is incredible in every way; it truly lives up to all the positive reviews… but sometimes I want a ski that is both longer and narrower. Longer, for the benefits mentioned in the review and narrower (95mm waist) for lighter more efficient touring i.e. for those really long or even multi-day tours when the Lhasa is to wide to fit comfortably in a skin track etc.

    In any event, this is probably a dumb idea for a number of reasons, especially, since the Lhasa was—probably—never designed with the Dynafit crowd in mind but the ski really does kill it in the Utah backcountry. Much more so than any other ski shape I’ve skied on and I think it’s due to more than just its width. Maybe this is what the next BRO will be like? Can a superlight version also be put into consideration?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfost View Post
    I was pretty close to asking for change, but was with a rough crowd who would have mde fun of me the rest of the week!
    yeah, another approach is needed.

    Hey, got Dore-tech?
    Neil Young said Harvest put him right in the middle of the road, so he headed for the nearest ditch. I think we've kind of just gone ditch to ditch to ditch a lot of the time.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  19. #19
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    I skied my 186 Carbons at Vail last weekend and was able to experience semi-boiler plate, hard pack, crud, powder (slackcountry off of Earl's), etc and they kill it in every condition. Took them down the back bowls after a few days of a freeze-thaw cycle and they ripped...the true test IMO. For me the 186 is plenty of ski (I'm 5'9", 168 lbs) and will be my go to ski for everything. I can't see myself going to the 196. Only if I were skiing wide open bowls and straightlining it all the time could I maybe step it up. However, If anyone out there is debated between the 186 vs. 196 you certainly can't go wrong with the 186s. I debated on whether to mount them with Dukes but I think I may get something just a tad skinnier for touring. The skis got so many looks last weekend. One gaper actually said "Are those waterskis?"

  20. #20
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    I think I could use a nice 192cm Carbon Lhasa. I'm in the in between stage. I'm around 5'10 165lbs and ski very aggressive. Thinking I'll get a 196cm Carbon Lhasa as well. Unless a "medium" 192cm comes out for next year? My 186 Carbons are kickin ass every day. Yeah boiler plate sucks with them, but shit I've skied: pow with a thick crust layer, chalk, spring slush, bumps, tight trees, groomers, steep chalk, hard shit crud, slush ice with death cookies, and good ole kickass pow...and these things kill it. Weird Jackson shit during high pressure a week out from 18 inches. I may suggest an extra 1-2mm of camber for more all around kickin ass? I wouldn't suggest the 186 for anyone over 175lbs or over 6'.

    192cm Lhasa = Perfect length...I foresee

  21. #21
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by acworthian View Post
    I think I could use a nice 192cm Carbon Lhasa. I'm in the in between stage. I'm around 5'10 165lbs and ski very aggressive. Thinking I'll get a 196cm Carbon Lhasa as well. Unless a "medium" 192cm comes out for next year? My 186 Carbons are kickin ass every day. Yeah boiler plate sucks with them, but shit I've skied: pow with a thick crust layer, chalk, spring slush, bumps, tight trees, groomers, steep chalk, hard shit crud, slush ice with death cookies, and good ole kickass pow...and these things kill it. Weird Jackson shit during high pressure a week out from 18 inches. I may suggest an extra 1-2mm of camber for more all around kickin ass? I wouldn't suggest the 186 for anyone over 175lbs or over 6'.

    192cm Lhasa = Perfect length...I foresee
    I will chime in with another review soon but FWIW, I'm around 195lbs and the 186 carbons are fine in most conditions. For touring the length is perfect. I'm waiting on some 196 carbons and will give my .02 after a few days on them.

    The 186 is an incredible ski! Once you pick up on the different ways to ski them, a pirma grin becomes plastered to your face!

    GET A PAIR! You won't be dissappointed!

  22. #22
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    EE, can you do a quick compare of 188 v 196 in terms of running length, skiability, general feel? I have 196 carbon on the way, hoping they'll ski harder snow somewhere in between a 188 and 192, and soft snow somewhere in between WOOOHOOOOOOOO and FKNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

  23. #23
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    WOW!!! you should work for PM gear! but I guess independent reviews are more valuable than reviews from people on the payroll.....I am definitely looking for either the 196's or the 186's. Sure would be cool to give those a try in JH next week. anybody know of ski shops that rent them for demos? or wanna let me ride them for a day. I'll pay for beers at the end of the day.

    Awesome review!

  24. #24
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    I don't have the 188's with me at the moment, I lent them to my brother when I came out to Whistler figuring I wouldn't need them this year. The 188's I have are the early production with mega camber, so with my weight they don't make a very good deep pow ski. They do kill it in chopped, variable or hard-packed as they will just plow right thru it, and if you are on the heavier side they are fine in powder. From my recollection I would say the 196 Lhasa is still more stable at speed and likes even bigger turns than the 188. However I think that the latest iteration of the 188 with the minimal camber is probably a different beast than what I have. In any case I would still take the 196 over the 188, just because the tip rocker and pintail lets you make so many more types of turns than the conventional setup on the 188. As for skiability, I remember having to work the 188's hard to make them turn fast as well, so perhaps that part is similiar.

    Also note trhat when I say work them hard I mean that in comparison to a ski where you just roll your ankles to turn with more roll equating to a tighter turn, these skis want to be skied more like an old fashioned straight, narrow ski, you use you body weight and legs to make them turn. If you have been skiing since the neon days you will quickly recogonize that old fashioned feeling of weight/unweight that used to be required to make a pair of 205cm straighty skis snap off slalom turns.

    Finally, when Pat told me he was sending me out a pair of 196's because he felt that was what I should be on, I was thinking it was going to be way to much ski for me. I'd been skiing on the 179 Fats for two years and had really gotten to like the short length for the ability to smear turns and fit thru tight areas, and I'd never found them unstable a speed, at least on soft snow. Hence the reason I ordered the 186's, I figured that would be the closest setup to the 179 in terms of feel/length. But in the end, Pat knows of what he speaks the 196's are pure gold, and in the 4-5 days I have on them so far I'd say my skiing has already jumped ahead more than it has in the last couple of years. The only thing I have found it that they don't exactly fit into some of the rather narrow sideslips that are cursing access to the Whistler bowls this year, so now I have to straightline them

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrelmurphy View Post
    EE, can you do a quick compare of 188 v 196 in terms of running length, skiability, general feel? I have 196 carbon on the way, hoping they'll ski harder snow somewhere in between a 188 and 192, and soft snow somewhere in between WOOOHOOOOOOOO and FKNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.
    I remember an earlier thread mentioned that the running length or, effective edge, same thing? is around 3 inches SHORTER on the 196's, than the Bromodel 188's! Looking forward to your review T!
    Neil Young said Harvest put him right in the middle of the road, so he headed for the nearest ditch. I think we've kind of just gone ditch to ditch to ditch a lot of the time.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

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