About Me: Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 145 lbs
Years Skiing: 17
Skis I own and enjoy: Icelantic Shaman 160cm, Da'Nollies 180cm, 4frnt STL 177cm, 4frnt MSP 170cm
Skis: Surface New Life 184cm, center mounted with Marker Barons
Test Location and Conditions: Breckenridge, CO on ice, groomers, packed powder, early season moguls, crud
Before the snow: The weight of the skis was the first major observation I had about these skis before hitting the snow. These skis are very light weight for their length and width. I failed to actually measure the weights of the two set ups, but in my hands the New Lifes (184cm) with Barons mounted felt very similar to my Icelantic Shamans (160cm) mounted with Barons. Yes, both are fairly heavy, but that is just the nature of mounting Barons on anything.
Hand flexing skis hardly tells you anything about the ski unless the ski happens to be overwhelmingly stiff or very soft. These neither felt very stiff or soft so the rest of my fondling was inconclusive.
Since the skis are symmetrical, I had my Barons mounted dead center. It may seem like a strange thing to do on such a wide ski, but keep in mind, these are symmetrical like their park dwelling brethren. They are meant to be center mounted.
The top sheets after a couple days of riding have some minor scrapes and gashes. The sidewalls are pretty much vertical so there is a fair amount of chipping right on the edge of the top sheet where it meets the sidewall but this is merely cosmetic and is to be expected of a sidewall ski.
On the snow: Hard snow- I have to say, I was actually pretty scared to take these out and ski on anything other than deep powder. I thought I would be sliding all over the place and having a hard time holding any sort of edge. Much to my surprise, however, I found myself, on day one, putting them up on edge and even gliding through some gentle carve turns. On day two I got significantly more confident. Intensifying some carve turns and increasing the speed a little. These skis have both tip and tail rocker, so the running surface is short (by short I mean very short. Like snowblade short.). Despite the short running surface and wide waist, the skis hold an edge on hard snow way better than I thought they would. Ice, on the other hand, was very scary. If you buy these, plan on avoiding ice at any cost. At high speeds, there is a fair amount of chatter because of the rocker. Any little bump you hit makes them jump around a little. Although you get a lot of chatter, you still don't need to fear high speeds. The skis are fairly flat under foot and feel comfortably stiff. It isn't really fair for me to compare these to Hellbents since I have not skied them, but from what I have heard, the New Lifes seem significantly stiffer than Hellbents and easier to handle on hard snow.
Soft snow- As you might expect, these skis are built for soft snow. I haven't had a chance to make any real powder turns so I can't really comment on the true floatability of the skis quite yet. In crud, however, these things are beasts. Today was the first day that chair 6 at Breck opened for the season and it got pretty skied out quickly. Although there were a lot of turns in the snow, it was still very soft. The early beginnings of moguls were forming in the form of semi-soft crud pillows with rocks in between. While the rest of my fellow skiers were left trying to navigate their way through this terrain, I pointed it down making quick short turns and bouncing my way around rocks. Not once did I fear any sort of tip dive or anything. The rockered tips always quickly found their way to the top of the crud pillows and the skis always seemed to power through any thick spots making for a very comfortable ride. These skis are surprisingly maneuverable. I'm not a very big guy but these skis ski a very short 184. Standing up, they are a good 5 inches over my head. On the ground, however, (where it really matters) they do everything I want them to. If I need to make a quick turn to avoid a stump, they react very fast. I skied a day on Line Prophet 130s (the only ski I've tried of a comparable length and width to the New Lifes) and those felt very large and sluggish compared to the New Lifes. Quick turns in trees or in rocky terrain is no problem.
Bottom line: I love these skis. This is my first pair of rockered skis and I couldn't be happier. Now, these may not be a one ski quiver, but I would hope they start to appear as a part of more people's quivers. I bought these skis to be my side country excursion/short backcountry trip/deep pow skis and I think they will do the job perfectly. They have no problem cruising down groomers on the way home or off to lunch or what ever but they excel in soft snow and especially (I'm assuming) in deep powder.
Though this is my first post, I hope you take the time to read my review. As I ski these more throughout the season I will try to update the review and let everybody know if I have any problems or more praises. I apologize if anything is confusing and I hope you will PM me if you have any questions or anything specific you want to know about the skis. Also if there is any critical information I left out, let me know. This is my first long review of anything so I know there's probably something.
Solid first post JONG. Great yob pickinz the korrect forum too. Now naked pictures of your 18+ year old sister is required for further comments and review.
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Sweet review. I hope I am right on this, but the New Life is the new Live Life 2, yes? There's a great thread on the LL/2 [ame="http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=147346"]here[/ame] which also covers mount points. You don't need to mount them true centre, but certainly a newschool mount is crucial.
^^ Yes, you be right, dimensions of the LL/2, which is now the One Life, are smaller (112 underfoot). Hmm, the rocker on the New Life looks almost exactly the same as that of the LL/2. I gather the LL/2 rocker was successful enough to expand it to a larger dimension ski.
Hmm, the rocker on the New Life looks almost exactly the same as that of the LL/2..
Really? I was thinking that the LL2 rocker is a litte shorter with more rocker rise, a little more abrupt(probably just looks like that because it starts at a greater angle) and also has much less of a normal tip rise added to the end.
The New Life does have the somewhat abrupt start and actual rockered part being fairly flat though, but I don't have my LL2s here to compare.
^ Hell, I'm just comparing pics to my LL/2s. The rocker is certainly pronounced. The LL/2 has probably some of the most abrupt/pronounced rocker on the market. The New Life appears to be massive in the rocker department.
Anyway, this is all moot. Sounds like the planks rock. I know my LL/2s do... not only b/c of the rocker but because they are damn stiff, which gives them a surprising amount of charge.
nice first post, you may have just inspired me to do a writeup on the jj's. been interested in these for a bit and my roommate has some proto's, they seem like a sweet ski for someone who wants a super playful pow ski that is a bit stiffer than a bent/ep. definitely plan on switching my jj's for the roomies new life's at some point.
The one thing I don't like about the rocker on my ll2s is that there is no real tip after the rocker. They changed this on this ski which is great.
I love skis with like that which is a big reason why I got LL2s. I think that having the tip stick somewhat straight out makes the ski slice through pow and crud instead of getting deflected(skis with that kind of tip like EHPs, current Lotuses, 2010 Gotamas, skis that get deflected like I'm saying have rocker+normal large tip shapes like Hellbents(and praxis pows?). But maby it's just my preferance, slicing through vs. floating over(in untouched pow that is) sort of.
any word yet on powder performance? must be good. the other thing i was wondering about was how they were dropping cliffs. my buddy has the 2010 hellbents (red devil topsheet) and he thinks that they're a little too soft. have you felt these skis were soft at all?