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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Thumbs up Review: 184cm Praxis Freeride 2010/2011

    Review: 184cm Praxis Freeride 2010/2011

    The Ski: 184cm Praxis Freeride, 135-107-125, 24m radius. Mounted tele with TwentyTwo Designs Axl with bootcenter 795mm from the tail (2.5cm back from the recommended alpine bootcenter). Looking at the 11/12 spec sheet, it appears that the alpine BC mark has been moved from 82cm to 80cm from the tail for this year, so I'm pretty much right at the current recommended point New red T-Race boots.

    The Skier: 5'9” 140lbs, average maggot abilities. Ski fast, prefer long turns to short, occasionally straightline, frequently take small air. However, I'd call my style more “smooth” than “powerful.”

    Quiver Includes: 184cm Blizzard Answer, 189cm Praxis Pow RX, 185cm Nordica Blower
    Similar sized skis I've tried: This list is getting long. 186cm Rossi S6, 183cm Volkl Katana, 175cm BD Justice, 182cm BD Zealot (old and new), 186cm Ski Logik Howitzer, 186cm Volkl Gotama, 178cm Volkl Nunataq, 180cm BD Verdict (old and new), 181cm Icelantic Nomad, 180cm Praxis Backcountry, probably some I've forgotten.

    Review:
    This is kind of a hard review for me to write because this ski is one that just disappears under my feet. I don't have to think about skiing them; more than any other ski I've owned, they just do everything I want them to without me thinking about it.

    Keith states on his website that part of the idea behind this ski was to design a one ski quiver for traveling anywhere in the world, a ski that would ski every condition well. I think he nailed the design perfectly. The 24m turn radius is perfect – small enough that the ski is never hard to turn, but large enough that the ski never gets hooky except in the funkiest of snow conditions (gnarly breakable crust). The 107mm waist is also perfect – very easy to get on edge on hardpack, yet still wide enough to float. Speaking of float, the tip of the ski has a nice smooth rocker profile that gives the ski exceptional float for it's width. It actually floats a little better than my Praxis RX at 115mm underfoot (an old generation with a pretty subtle rocker).

    I've skied the Freerides for a full season as my go-to backcountry ski, and as such, have skied it in pretty much every condition imaginable besides resort post-powder day chop. Ice, corn, windcrust, suncrust, bottomless pow, tight trees, huge open faces – these skis have seen it all. And they really do ski everything very, very well.

    The flex is fairly stiff. Not super stiff by any means, but it is a ski that needs to be driven. I've never felt like the ski was working me, but a friend who borrowed them who is probably 180+lbs but an advanced intermediate tele skier said he got kinda worked by them. For those that prefer a little softer ski with a little more sidecut, the Praxis Backcountry would be an excellent choice. I sold mine simply because they were a bit too soft for my tastes.

    As always, the Praxis construction quality is absolutely the best out there. There isn't a single flaw in the ski, and despite skiing them hard through all sorts of rocky terrain, I haven't managed to do any major damage to the Freerides.

    My only knock on this ski that that I do want to get something a little wider and more funshaped (longer tip and tail splay, more rocker tip and tail) to complement them for bigger pow days. The Freerides actually handle the big days very well, but they feel like a traditional ski. You can stay forward and drive the tips and they don't sink, but they don't have the playful, slarvy feel that modern pow skis do. The Freerides will absolutely stay in the quiver for days when I don't know what the conditions will be, all spring tours, and any time I'm traveling and can only bring one ski.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    north aspect
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    10,355
    thanks adren. for review
    keith is shipping me 189 rx
    will be my daily ski to try and destruct.
    heard their strong
    bobby

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowing alpy View Post
    thanks adren. for review
    keith is shipping me 189 rx
    will be my daily ski to try and destruct.
    heard their strong
    bobby
    I have two pairs of those, one alpine, one tele. This will be my 4th season on the tele rig - I have skied them hard, bounced them off a lot of rocks, and they don't show it at all. Took 'till last year to finally put a coreshot in them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    north aspect
    Posts
    10,355
    great news because i ride my skis like another pair is just a call away, not pretty, but they wont see many groomers either.
    bf

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    822
    Well done on this... anyone ski the 194s?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Seattle/Snowbird
    Posts
    1,003
    I never reviewed this ski, but I've been searching for a one-ski quiver for a long, long time. I've skied these since they were prototypes and have to say they are my favorite ski ever.

    I've spent two seasons in Chamonix with them (hundreds of days and one pitiful season full of rocks and stumps and grey ice). I've toured stupid jungle-cascade shit with them with 9k days, and I've done freeride resort days with them.

    I'm 5'9 and about 160 lbs. I ski them (184cm)with dynafit ft 12s with a scarpa mobe with a modified tongue and liner.

    This set up skis 90 percent of what I envision myself skiing, and does it comfortably. I've taken huge airs on these skis, skied steep icy faces, and shredded pillow lines. This ski does it all. Its super agile, yet holds a strong edge on ice and scary terrain.

    Best one-ski quiver I've ever had. Light for its size, it's also a great travel ski (I'm all over the place). Can't recommended it enough.








  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    479
    Thanks for the reviews! Anyone got any profile pics?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    822
    Good stuff Powdherb.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Pennine Alps
    Posts
    42
    How do the Freerides compare to the BC?
    I'm tempted by one or the other for an everyday Tele ski (80% lifts, 80% skinning).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Sandy
    Posts
    4,185
    Quote Originally Posted by Karl May View Post
    Thanks for the reviews! Anyone got any profile pics?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Just got out on mine this weekend. Great do everything ski. I'm headed to La Grave/Cham next month and wanted to bring one pair of skis with me, so I got a pair...Skied them on everything from old avy bed surfaces to soft pow and thought they did it all pretty well.
    Life is a lot like climbing: there isn't anything much more comforting than a good #2.

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