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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Logan, UT

    Scott P4 and im103 first impressions

    Got out for my first day on my two newest and biggest skis at Targhee yesterday. Conditions were early season and variable. Depending on aspect conditions tended toward icy or softer snow. Me 200lbs 5'10", Very good skier by Mid-atlantic standards in UT still a Jong.

    Scott P4 191cm Its a very big ski but doesn't ski really big. Two words to descrbe the P4 would be fun and easy (at moderate speeds). Fun in the soft bumps off trail. Easy in choppy soft snow and crud. Fun and easy on soft groomers, a smooth ski for arcing huge turns at speed. I felt more comfortable and dialed in on this ski with every run. I found a few hundred yards of pow in the trees and they made the 6" feel pretty well bottomless. I could appreciate the easy maneuverability off trail when picking my way down a variety of rocky low snow sections.

    Limitations: Wide soft skis gave way too much feedback on icier harder snow. On an icy groomed run i had to stomp on so many edges that my feet really started to hurt, cramp up and get bruised, etc... At higher speeds on heavier chop especially if it was partially refrozen skis tended to get thrown around and were difficult to control. Not a ski for top speed off trail.

    Head im103 183cm Pretty freakish skis. Longer running length than the Scott. I screwed up the mount what I wanted to put 1cm in front of the line but its actually about 1cm back. So the thing has about 4-5cm more tip than the P4s. 37M turn radius. Hand flex is as stiff as many race stock skis, stiff, heavy ski lots of metal and glass and wood core.

    The perfect ski for conditions that day. A surprisingly smooth flex that skis softer than it is. I was tired when I got on these around 1:30PM but in some ways this ski was easier to use than the P4. I was comfortable carrying more speed through rougher snow which actually made skiing easier. I found myself dialing up the speeds on successive runs off trail. I sort of had the feeling that once I made that first turn into a line the rest was just going to happen. Not all that maneuverable but very stable once you get up to speed. Also a fun groomer ski. Work nice medium radius to GS radius turns. Can edge on ice surprisingly well. Lots of energy in the ski.

    I am very happy wiith where the quiver is at right now and that is:
    Pow, trees, soft snow: P4
    Everything else: im103

    Binding mini review: I noticed after the day was over that I had all my bindings set on 6, apparently I turned them down after last season. I never released all day. I usually ski at an 8 or 9. The bindings PX12TI.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Logan, UT
    Originally I thought this was going to be a powder day only ski. I didn't think the P4 was a good every day ski. First impressions can be deceiving. I am adding this follow up info on the Scott P4.

    Current Alpine ski quiver: 191 Scott P4, 183 Head im103, 179 K2 PE,
    188 Nordica Beast (AT ski)

    Almost every day I drive to beaver I truck two skis with me, sometimes I ski all day on one and sometimes I switch. However so far at beaver, every time I have skied the Scott P4 I have noticed it was either the best ski for the conditions that day or as good as any of my other skis. So I am revising my earlier 1st impression. The P4 is a great every day ski for beaver mtn and it has become my defacto every day ski.

    Beaver is pretty flat by UT standards. The steepest pitches in bounds are about 30 degrees. There are lift services BC runs off the backside which are about 35 degrees. The best skiing at the beav is off the backside and in the trees. They have some of the best tree skiing I have ever seen. When it dumps you want a ski with alot of float. Fresh lines can be found quite a while after a storm if a person poles around enough. I was skiing on a Sunday afternoon fresh tracks on snow that fell on Thursday night.

    On open pow runs the P4 rocks. When the line is nice and open with deep fresh snow its a great ski to be on for that. You can rip at speed or go slow and milk it for face shots. Effortless, fun, definately my favorite application for this ski.

    The P4 has a really soft easy going tail, but the tips and mid section are much stiffer. In pow the ski can easily be sent into a skid by rocking back a little and throwing the ski sideways. This is great for manuvering in tight lines with deep snow and all varieties of cut up. I have been getting used to this ability when skiing trees by making a series of medium turns through tight trees then suddenly changing direction and almost at will when the line closes out and I need to readjust my trajectory.

    Originally I had alot of problems with this ski getting deflected in crud. But after practicing getting forward and staying forward all the time on my im103s I stated using that technique when skiing the P4s and it translated well.

    Consider the stiff the stiff tips, add in the fact that the ski has sidewall construction, a metal layer in it for dampening and a nice long radius... The ski is basically half a big mountain charging ski and half a super noodley buttery jib ski. It all ads up to the fact that if I own the front seat the ski is actually very stable at some pretty high speeds.

    Once I started getting forward on the P4s on every turn, The performance envelope of the ski increased dramatically. I can rip cruddy bumps covered with fairly thick cutup, sun effected, wind effected, with speed and confidence. When I want to go fast, I just get as far forward as possible and driving the tips in almost all conditions. Now that I have gotten the balance point the ski actually does a very good job on groomers even if its fairly hard or icy.

    For charging, the P4 is not in the same league as my im103s in terms of crud performance, or overall speed / stability, or in being a total effing tank, but when skied aggressively it has more than enough performance for me.

    For my size person about 200lbs, the P4 is pretty unsinkable, the tips almost always float up anytime I am skiing faster than say walking speed. Never had tip dive with this ski. I am thinking of remounting the ski perhaps 1-2 cm forward from its current position (which is 1cm behind the line).

    Compared to the PEs:
    When I ski aggressively the P4 is more stable at speed one groomers than My K2 PEs. It has better groomer grip in long turns and just feel better overall when maching groomers (which are just 179 but since this is the largest size and they have a good reputation for all mountain versatility I think this says something). They don't have as good turn shape versatility as the PE, but it seems that when you buy a 108mm wide 191cm long ski short turn performance has to be a the very bottom of the list. For me groomers are about getting to my line as fast as possible or getting back to the lift as fast as possible, the P4 is good for doing that.

    When I am on my game In crud, pow, and most off piste conditions the PE is just more work than the P4 with no additional performance. The PE is IMO a ski that when I am skiing shitty (or injured) it props me up and makes me ski better, but when I am skiing great it requires too much micro management, too much thinking, gives too much feedback requires too much input and in general, isn't able to keep up. The P4 is a ski that when I am skiing shitty piles on more and when I am pwning just adds another level to what I can do. I am waiting for the spring bump season. I am betting that the PE makes a big come back in my quiver at that time.

    Compared the the im103, the P4 is much more versatile, more relaxing, and less punishing, its also less performance at the top end when I am skiing big open lines. Each ski does different things great but both do everything I want a ski do do pretty well. They compliment each other well and the decision is more about how do I want to ski that day than where do I want to go.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Logan, UT
    My P4s were mounted 1.5cm behind the line. This was the recommended mount point from some other threads here. I ended up remounting the P4s about 1cm in front of the mark to see if it would help their utility as an everyday ski. After getting out and skiing on them, it feels totally different ski.
    • The ski feels much more precise on edge in all conditions, all speeds. I find this to be a pretty good feeling. Before the ski felt sort of loose and unstable in harder snow. They actually ski really nice on groomers now. Much much better grip.
    • Noticeably less float at low speeds. Before I could just stay centered and coast through most low angle pow, mounted up I had to be more careful on powdery run outs to make sure I don't loose too much speed. Some sitting back is required on the run outs, if its really flat.
    • Much better in crud. The tips and mid body of the skis are the stiffest part and being more centered on the beefy part gives the ski a much more stable feeling in crud and tracked out powder.
    • Still really good when skiing powder. Ride a little deeper, but still work very well. These skis used to be much turnier in powder, now they ski more deliberately, but can rock back on the tails and throw em sideways to scrub speed or turn really sharply. Before they were almost too turny in powder for my tastes, and it seemed I was constantly making more turns than I expected, or necessarily wanted in the trees.
    • More control in tight places, cat tracks, traverses and easier pivoting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Well, I've put 2 days on mine, and can tell you that they are a pretty good all around ski. Given their size, they can manage on groomers pretty well. Where they shine however is in the powder. We've had a touch of winter here, and in 2' of fresh powder, they float really well. For comparison purposes, my other everyday skis are 177 Mantra's and 175 Fischer BixStix 7.6. I use the Fischer for most of my Ski Patrol duties, or when ever it's a little icy out here. The Mantra's were my powder boards, but they were just too stiff and too short for me. I originally go the Mantra's shorter so I could transport a sled through the bumps if need be. I have since used the P4's 191's in the bumps, and the soft tip and tail make it reasonable. I have them mounted at BSC with a pair of Dukes. So, in closing:

    Groomers: Alright if you want to haul arse and do big honking turns. Short turns are skidded/ smeared.Bumps: Manageable, but not at breakneck speeds. They are just too wide to get any effective edge.
    Powder: Fantastic! I am still getting used to 191's vs 177's, but they absorb alot more cut-up chunky snow than the Mantra's. Great float, and good stability. I would say that they flet similar to my friend's Gotoma's, but I have no idea where they were mounted.
    Low post count because I'm too busy working and then skiing, but not neccessarily in that order.

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