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01-17-2012, 12:48 PM #1
Demo Day Impressions – Bent Gate AT Ski Demo Day at Loveland
Went to the Bent Gate demo day at Loveland last Sunday and figured I’d pass along some impressions…when reading this please keep in mind that the conditions sucked (manmade hardpack) and that there is nothing challenging open. For reference, I’m 5’11”, 195 lbs and ski 186/194 Legend Pros as my daily ski and break out the 194 XXLs for cat trips or really deep days. For early season and ice/hardpack days like the demo day, I’m always on my GS race boards (Nordica Doberman WC GS 191). I generally like heavy, stiff skis that give you feedback (forgiving = boring in my book). That said, here are the skis I tested:
BD Zealot 182 – Was really looking forward to trying some of the BD skis because I’d never been on them before. Although it was fairly stable at speed, the Zealot felt sluggish and dead. Compared to my LPs/XXLs they didn’t push back when carving a turn, that said they are more forgiving than the LPs. Given the dimensions, I’m sure they’d be nice in pow. Note that these were mounted with heavy Marker AT demo bindings and I was wearing Garmont Radiums…I may have had a different impression if I was on my alpine boots.
BD Verdict 180 – My buddy wasn’t a fan of these (he tips the scales at 145 lbs) but I thought the Zealot was pretty nice. If I was in the market for this type of ski, I’d want to take it out again when there’s more challenging terrain open. Again, more forgiving feel than the LP but a little more energy than the Zealot. It was stable at speed, rolled edge to edge fairly easily and held an edge much better than the Zealot.
Dynafit Manaslu 178 – This was the surprise of the day, given how light they were my expectations were low, but they like to be on edge and held surprisingly well despite the firm snow. Nice even, soft flex but firm enough to bite. Flattening the ski out on ice the tips were squirrelly, but this was a really short, light ski. Would have been nice to try the 187 but it wasn't set up for my sole length.
Dynafit Stoke 182 – Amazed at how light such a big ski could be. Prefers a much larger turn and it didn’t bite as much on the ice as the Manaslu but it has much less sidecut. Still, I was impressed by the ski as it seemed stable at speed. I liked it so much I plan on replacing my current AT ski with the Stoke. Seems like a nice combination of light weight, performance and build (bit more beefy then the Manaslu).
G3 Zenocide 186 (I think) – Another light ski which performed well, not as solid on edge as the Dynafits, but pretty good. Had I not skied the Stoke, I may have chose this as my next AT ski.
Dynafit Broad – My buddy skied these and raved about them…a bit narrow for most folks here but if you were on a long tour, they’d come in handy. Great edgehold and carved well.
New Dynafit Bindings…like the slight mods to the toe piece as well as the heel elevators.
G3 Bindings…Felt solid despite the large chunks of plastic.
Dynafit Speed Skins – Pretty cool attachment system, however, the little plastic notched receiver on the tip of one of the test skis was loose, so it is probably a good idea to keep an eye on those.