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  1. #1
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    Salomon Gun Lab and AK Rocket Lab Review

    Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the Salomon Oasis free demo tent at Heavenly. I decided to take the 188 Salomon Gun Lab and 195 AK Rocket Lab for a free ride.
    Me: 5'10", 178#
    My current quiver: 2006 188 Soft Bros w/ Freerides, 2005 188 Stiff Bros w/ Tyrolia Demos, 2004 188 Rossignol Scratch BC w/ Atomic 412.
    The conditions at Heavenly: Mixed, including soft chalky winter snow on upper elevation north facing slopes, firm to chopped snowcone on upper elevation slopes with other exposures, along with good crud, and a variety of corn at lower elevations.
    Terrain: Steeps (Killebrew and Mott) Trees (Maggies, Hogsback, etc.) Bumps (Gunbarrel, Milky Way) and a few groomed cruisers.

    After clicking out of my beloved soft Bros I entered the Salomon Tent to see if they had Gun Labs available. Yes. When I requested these skis I was looked upon as having mucho grande cajones. Hmmm.
    My first impression of the Gun Lab was that it had a damp feeling like my Scratch BCs. After a couple of runs I could tell that they were more stable, had a stiffer tail, and responded well to a little forward pressure and being rolled on edge. They seemed to be easier to turn with every run I made. Comfortable and confidence inspiring. A versatile ski that could be taken anywhere. The more I skied them the better I liked them. However, my two hours were up. I was about to leave when I noticed the AK Rockets, oh yeah, I've heard of these. Why not. At first glance they looked a bit massive. However, once I had them on, they turned easily, even short turns. My first impression was that they felt like bigger 4x4 flame Bigs with a more drastic swallow tail. These skis like to move. I didn't notice/feel the length. Quick, stable, one-way only. You wouldn't want to ski switch on these. A fun ride. Ideal for someone who would rather straightline a narrow chute than billygoat it. Comparing the two skis, I preferred the Gun Labs versatility. Both felt much better than previous Salomon skis I have tried (Pocket Rocket, X-Scream, Crossmax, 1S.) If someone gave me $1200 and told me I had to buy a Salomon, I'd be happy with the Gun Labs. You spancered guys are very fortunate.

    It did feel good to get back on my Bros for the rest of the day, so very light, quick, fun. They weren't even jealous, welcoming me back after my three-way.

  2. #2
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    FYI: next year the gun lab is repalcing the PR and will be $700ish retail.
    go for rob

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  3. #3
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    Then what happens to the GUN (which is last years Pocket Rocket with new name and top sheet)?
    Every man dies. Not every man lives.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim S
    Then what happens to the GUN (which is last years Pocket Rocket with new name and top sheet)?
    bye bye gun/PR
    go for rob

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  5. #5
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    marshall is it like the Squads are now... the shorter guns will be sissy sticks then the 188 will be the "lab" from this year or are they all getting the same construction?

  6. #6
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    They will all be the same construction for the entire range.

    I have my doubts that the Gun labs from this year are constructed any different from what they will be next year.

    When i first bought my Gun labs from austria, they both arrived with major flaws in the pressing. I had to send them back to Salomon for a replacement. If these had been hand made, they would not have made it through the check process as it took me 2 mins to find the pressing was wrong. A Salomon Lab tech would have picked them up in 2 seconds. I think they were made as a prep for the Gun line for next year rather than in the Salomon lab as they don't actually have the Salomon Lab Stamp on the Tail like all the other Salomon Lab Stuff. I also compared the construction to a pair of foils i had for a bit. The construction looked identical ....

    I'd be interested to find out if anyone has any Salomon Contacts willing to spill the beans.

    I'm not overly fussed as i got mine for the same price as a pair of Foils but i think there is a bit of misinformation about them.
    Semper in Pulveris .... Only the depth varies

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildstyle
    They will all be the same construction for the entire range.

    I have my doubts that the Gun labs from this year are constructed any different from what they will be next year.

    When i first bought my Gun labs from austria, they both arrived with major flaws in the pressing. I had to send them back to Salomon for a replacement. If these had been hand made, they would not have made it through the check process as it took me 2 mins to find the pressing was wrong. A Salomon Lab tech would have picked them up in 2 seconds. I think they were made as a prep for the Gun line for next year rather than in the Salomon lab as they don't actually have the Salomon Lab Stamp on the Tail like all the other Salomon Lab Stuff. I also compared the construction to a pair of foils i had for a bit. The construction looked identical ....

    I'd be interested to find out if anyone has any Salomon Contacts willing to spill the beans.

    I'm not overly fussed as i got mine for the same price as a pair of Foils but i think there is a bit of misinformation about them.
    What you are saying sounds sort of like what the Salomon rep was saying to me. He said that the Gun Labs that I was on were next year's skis with this year's graphics. The Gun Lab graphic is supposed to be different next year.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildstyle
    I'd be interested to find out if anyone has any Salomon Contacts willing to spill the beans.
    they are made out of different materials and molds than the foil, but have a similar sidecut, just fatter, and a similar topsheet shaping technique.

    the reason they are "s-lab" is the race base, edges, and core.

    they super high density core remains next year (very simliar to squad's foam core) but they get a more durable consumer level base and edge materials. this is a very good thing IMO, as the race base coreshot too easily.
    go for rob

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshalolson
    they are made out of different materials and molds than the foil, but have a similar sidecut, just fatter, and a similar topsheet shaping technique.

    the reason they are "s-lab" is the race base, edges, and core.

    they super high density core remains next year (very simliar to squad's foam core) but they get a more durable consumer level base and edge materials. this is a very good thing IMO, as the race base coreshot too easily.
    The bases don't seem to be race bases. They are much tougher with a different grain to my Lab Candides and lab 2v's.

    I also found them quite tough.

    I'm thinking they're consumer bases at the moment ....
    Semper in Pulveris .... Only the depth varies

  10. #10
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    Are next year's GUNS (this year's GUN LAB) going to come in the same size range as the GUNS of this year or just be available in the 188? I would hope just in 188.

  11. #11
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    they will be full range, not just 188cms ....
    Semper in Pulveris .... Only the depth varies

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by huck303
    Are next year's GUNS (this year's GUN LAB) going to come in the same size range as the GUNS of this year or just be available in the 188? I would hope just in 188.
    why just 188? why not 188 and a few other options? does not make sense for the consumer or for the sales dept. of salomon?

    you must be totally core to want just the 188.
    Cruise-ships of choice:
    http://www.skif-sport.ru/skis/img/salomon/AK%20Rocket%20Pilot%2003%20892214.GIF

  13. #13
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    Gun's will be available in 188/174/164/154

    Dimensions:
    188- 135/101/126 Radius 22.2
    174- 130/96/124 Radius 18.6
    164- 130/94/123 Radius 15.5
    154- 130/90/122 Radius 12.8

  14. #14
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    roorfan, chill out guy. I am a loyal salomon fan/user but think they need a good exclusive high end product. I was hoping the new GUN/GUN LAB could be that ski they need. They have a horrible rep with people who are considered "core" by dorks like you.

  15. #15
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    if you want to see what Salomon is doing with next years line up, here it is.

    http://wangel.jp/ski/_salomon07.html
    Semper in Pulveris .... Only the depth varies

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by huck303
    roorfan, chill out guy. I am a loyal salomon fan/user but think they need a good exclusive high end product. I was hoping the new GUN/GUN LAB could be that ski they need. They have a horrible rep with people who are considered "core" by dorks like you.
    i believe thats what the AK rocket is for....

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alkasquawlik
    Gun's will be available in 188/174/164/154

    Dimensions:
    188- 135/101/126 Radius 22.2
    174- 130/96/124 Radius 18.6
    164- 130/94/123 Radius 15.5
    154- 130/90/122 Radius 12.8
    What? Nothing inbetween 174 and 188? I guess I might have to go with the 188!

  18. #18
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    it would appear that the graphics on next year's solomons are unforgiveable, but thats why they made aircraft grey paint, nobody steals them either
    Three fundamentals of every extreme skier, total disregard for personal saftey, amphetamines, and lots and lots of malt liquor......-jack handy

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by couloir
    i believe thats what the AK rocket is for....
    concurred

    edit: a word? no?
    Cruise-ships of choice:
    http://www.skif-sport.ru/skis/img/salomon/AK%20Rocket%20Pilot%2003%20892214.GIF

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