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Thread: hellbent review

  1. #1
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    hellbent review

    So I just rode the hellbents for two days straight in uber pooder. 32 inches since thursday. I have had some neck issues lately, so I have been staying on the ground, so I dont really now how they land too well yet. But here is the preliminary review.

    Me 5'9 or 10, 145. I ski a lot.
    Skis: 179 Hellbents mounted +4.5 with s916
    Other skis I like: tankers, goats.
    Other skis I dont like: pistols (1st gen anyway), big troubles (mixed bag)

    These skis are fat. They look like big snowlerblades. Very weird. Putting them on and getting into the lift line gets you some weird looks. Creepy ass graphics, but I bought the skis for the ride, not the looks.

    These skis are HEAVY. Especially with the 9.16s. I havent weighed them yet, but they feel like more than my old ants w/ atomic 4.12s.

    What I wanted out of these skis was the perfect bridger ride. We get a good amount of powder, and it gets skied fast. You are constantly traversing and hitting roads to get to the goods. Not only that, but by 11:00 the groomed getting back to the lift is choppy as hell. I felt that a praxis/spat type ski would suck on this stuff, and figured the sidecut of the hellbents would make it so I can hold an edge or skate. I was suprised to find that these hit all of my expectations. I am consistently passing everybody up on the really flat roads you have to skate on. (bridger mags: south boundary road) I have no idea how they skate so well, but they do. I guess that reverse camber helps you set an edge for your skating immediately. The traverses are cake too. Actually easier to ride than they are with my tankers because the roller coaster bumps dont jar you so much. They carve the groomers quite well too. Powder, I will get to later.

    Construction:

    Bomb. I thought K2 construction sucked after seeing my buddies P.E.s get coreshotted on the topsheets and the bases. Tops from the skis hitting eachother, and the bases from rocks that would barely scratch my skis.

    Someone before us decided to sideslip heavenly blue (a run that chokes down to about 4-5 feet with all sorts of rocks on it. I sidestepped a couple of these rocks and I thought I was going to have some sort of edge damage. Not a thing. I skiied over a large pile of rocks at the top of the third finger, and that would have put a core shot in my tankers or big troubles, but I came away with a minor scrape. Topsheets ding quickly though.

    Pooder:

    I was worried about the ride at plus 4.5 because I am not flippy spinny, but I soon realized that these skis will float. I have been riding with my buddy (5'6 and 120ish) who is on the line elizabeths. Those are fat skis, but they float NOTHING like the hellbents. I always have to wait for him in the liftline. If you are skiing slowly in the pow, the tips can get a bit divey, and it is easy to get off weight. If you lean back while you are going slow, this problem is solved, but the dinky turns require some concentration. Still infinitely better than a "normal" (90-100mm) ski. Once you carry some speed though, it is really amazing. I have always thought it would be cool to snowboard in powder because they float so much. Well, so do the hellbents. You bring your toes up a little, and the tips are totally out of the snow. Rediculous. Accelerate like mad in the powder you would normally get stuck in. I did a 5 foot air or so, and landed frontseat into chop not knowing what to expect. On any other ski I have ridden, I would have gone over the bars. These things went from tracked to pockets of powder though without skipping a beat.


    The extent of my flippy spinnyness:

    I ride backwards every once in a while on the groomers just to keep things interesting. I never thought about riding backwards in powder. I tried it out and these things basically do it for you. Its quite fun actually. I can 180 off of a road into chop, and they land/ski comfortably. Once I want to turn around, there is minimal edge to catch so reverting is absolutely cake. I would imagine buttering is good, because when I tried to "nose press?" in the lift line (leaning forward flexing the ski) the tails just rose up.

    Top speed:

    I probably hit about 30 coming out of heavenly blue. This was a hardpack straightline into softer snow. That is probably as fast as I have gone on these. They feel fine. Set an edge and let them work for you when you want to slow down.

    Moguls:

    I have only skiied soft moguls, but they eat them up. Came down flippers today about 1 o clock, and had no troubles. Really fun because the platform is so stable.

    Why they kick so much ass in powder:

    These things float like crazy giving you a really surfy feel. But if you push into your corner, they will definitely sink in. If you ride them a little backseat, the tips will just float like mad, but if you lean forward a bit you can submarine the tips and instant face shot results. The tips dont dive, they just chill under there. Really fun jibby ski. If I was bigger, they would be tits for my play around pow ski. I could probably ride 169s as that. While I can mess around a ton on the 179s, they still ski like a real ski. Not the floppy noodle you would think they are. They are NOT THAT SOFT if you flex them correctly. The part that touches snow is a ton stiffer and damper than the tips and tails.


    The negatives...

    Tracked out bumpy groomers at the end of the day suck.
    Hiking is more difficult because of the weight.
    The graphics scare me.

    Bottom line:

    These skis rip in pow, and are not just flippy spinny sticks. I will get more info once I have ridden them a bit more.
    Last edited by single; 01-19-2008 at 09:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    Single - Nice review. For comparison's sake, have you ever skied anything else rockered/reversed cambered?

  3. #3
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    Bandit-
    I havent. I would like to though.

    These things dont seem to slarve like what I have heard about those reverse sidecut skis. They seem to ski like a regular pow ski, but just have tons of float. I would probably compare them to being able to slash and whatnot like a snowboard.

    I almost wish I mounted dukes on these, as I think they would be awesome sidecountry skis.

    I would like to hear someone compare them to the pontoons.
    Last edited by single; 01-19-2008 at 09:48 PM.

  4. #4
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    Single- I'm looking for the same thing. Sanouks weren't much fun at moonlight today, it got too tracked out. switched back to the bros and enjoyed those more.

    I think its assumed that bridger skis need to handle bumps and crud along with powder...

    I am debating between hellbents similiar and a more tapered shape (brorockers). What I want is for my tails to sink so that it feels like I am skiing powder, but I want my tips to fend off diving so I avoid tip dive and bogging down. I fear that the hellbents do not offer the same feeling. My mind tells me that they will plane out on top of the snow and Ill lose that sinking feeling. Do you think a more heavily tapered shape would be better for my purpose.

    I want my powder to feel like powder. I don't want it to "feel as easy a skiing a groomer". I'm intrigued and afraid at the same time.

    thoughts?

  5. #5
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    Great review! Making me feel great about my hellbent purchase. Bought them for alot of the same reasons as Single ( Dukes mounted +2) will get on them as soon as my season begins in 15-16 days at Jay. I am 6-1 190 and will definately write a review for size comparision as soon as i get on them. I can't wait to see the looks I am going to get in the lift line with these.
    I also picked up a matching red pair of pants on SAC a month or so ago, so i should look like a total tool when sporting them together.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by XtrPickels View Post
    I want my powder to feel like powder. I don't want it to "feel as easy a skiing a groomer". I'm intrigued and afraid at the same time.

    thoughts?
    I wouldnt say its at all like skiing a groomer. The only difference I noticed between them, and say, my big troubles in pow was that they are way faster, less hookey, and make many more options available. You can ski stuff you would not have thought possible because on other skis you would get stuck. You do float more, and you tails sink if you ski them like you would a normal ski. (leaning a little back) They rock through the trees, and I got just as many faceshots.

    IMHO
    The huge dimensions just make it float like a really wide ski. (150 in the tips) I think that the reverse camber on top of that doesnt make it feel much more like a "fun-shape" in terms of making powder a new experience but simply offers more float. The great thing about these skis is the multiple personalities. They can be really fun, surfy and jibby, or they can be a really sweet big mountain powder ski. It honestly just depends on your form and speed really. You can lean forward and make it ski like a normal pow ski, or you can ride them backseat and surf around slowly.

    For example, I skiied heavenly blue into that ridge between the Apron and B-gully yesterday and really felt like I was hauling ass. Moreso than I could have on my other skis. They are a great big mountain tool. The closest ski I could have compared them to up there would be my goats or my ants. Even then, they were still a lot more manageable than either ski because they float more than the gotamas, and are tons easier to turn than the ant.

    Then soon after, I rode down the quad to my car and managed to get a couple faceshots on the quad while just jibbing around. Kind of just rocking through those shots on the sides of the groomed and ripping some hard turns. I could have maybe done the same stuff I did on my big troubles, but probably not as they wouldnt have reached the areas I did without stopping or diving.


    You are more than welcome to give my skis a try if they fit. I have a 317 BSL and a size 28 garmont. I am not sure how adjustable the 9.16s are though. I also know that Chalet does demos.

    I will be honest though, the brorockers sound sick, and were designed by the man who taught Chuck Norris how to roundhouse kick. If they were for sale, I would have looked more into them, plus I got a screaming deal on these skis. I think if they pontoons can be handled through the bumps and groomed, they could be another possible candidate. Bob Wards had a deal on those in a 189 a little while ago.
    Last edited by single; 01-20-2008 at 10:03 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by single View Post

    I would like to hear someone compare them to the pontoons.
    I thought I did somewhere... My .02 (including opinions from the rest of the family), the short version: despite the fact that both have rocker, Pontoons and Hell Bents are wildly different skis. IMO both are great for what they are. The Pontoon is a great ski forward at any speed in any kind of soft snow ski. It just won't let you goof or go over the bars even in the nastiest snow. It'll arc a turn if you want, but it is definitely in the pivoty/smeary/slarvy realm. The Hell Bent is a killer floaty all around ski. It'll "carve" anywhere - but wants more speed and attention. As noted in the review above, it is not really a smear and slarve kind of ski. Unlike a Pontoon though, it is very much a switch and butter machine. The Pontoon is manageable on groomers and even fun on soft ones - but the Hell Bent is totally at home. I don't think you'd hesitate for a minute to spend any but an icy groomer day on a Hell Bent. As long as your intent in bumps is to get through them, both of these skis handle them way better than most would expect given the fatness factor.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the review. Excellent detail and very thorough.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by single View Post
    Bandit-
    I havent. I would like to though.

    These things dont seem to slarve like what I have heard about those reverse sidecut skis. They seem to ski like a regular pow ski, but just have tons of float. I would probably compare them to being able to slash and whatnot like a snowboard.

    I almost wish I mounted dukes on these, as I think they would be awesome sidecountry skis.

    I would like to hear someone compare them to the pontoons.
    I used to have 189 Pontoons, but sold them a few weeks ago after accepting the fact that they need it to be super soft and not skied out to really function well. I've been alternating between 190 Sumos and 185 Praxis for any deep snow and have decided that (a) either a Praxis type-ski with a little sidecut or (b) a Sumo with a little rocker would be money, IMO. Sounds like Lotus 138's would be ski A and Hellbents or something like the Volkl Kuro for 2009 would be ski B. Reviews like this definitely changes my earlier "assumptions" about a rockered ski with sidecut.

  10. #10
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    Hmm... A quiver of uber deep day skis. I would love a pair of 138s. If anyone in bozeman with a BSL around 317 with a pair of DPS wants to trade for a day...

  11. #11
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    Cool review, thanks. No love for the skeletons vomiting blood, eh?

  12. #12
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    Really great review

    I actually have been thinking they would be rad for my wife (a reverse camber ski that comes in smaller sizes). She veto'd the graphics (I would too)....but I think they would be perfect.
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  13. #13
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    +4.5 is fairly up there, if you will. It's typical for the butter/switch/jib/spin crowd to mount +5 to +7.

    I wonder if a more all-mountain +1 to +3 would make them ride up a bit easier.

    FYI I can feel a difference in performance on my K2 Seths and Madens when they are mounted 0.5cm differently. Subtle at 0.5cm so the difference of 2 cm will be quite noticeable.

    Regarding the Pontoons, my 189s are manageable in any soft snow but supreme in fresh pow.
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  14. #14
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    yeah, I've got a pair of these waiting for me and I'm wondering where to mount them. A lot of people are recommending center (+7), but every ski I've ridden that was mounted at center rode like crap - skittish, sidecut didn't want to hook up. I'm thinking maybe around +5 or +6 for all mountain/switch/everything versatility, but I have the 169's so it may be better to go further forward to avoid prolonged wheelies. Thoughts?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim S View Post
    +4.5 is fairly up there, if you will. It's typical for the butter/switch/jib/spin crowd to mount +5 to +7.

    I wonder if a more all-mountain +1 to +3 would make them ride up a bit easier.
    I found that when I skied places where there was 10 inches that quickly transitioned to scraped off harder snow I found myself a little backseat. If that means anything... I would recommend at least +3. I would not recommend center, unless you are going backwards as often as you are going forward. You must have gone to newschoolers, baroness. Those kids have NO idea what they are talking about. I would say 5 or 6 for ya.
    Last edited by single; 01-21-2008 at 12:01 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by single View Post
    I found that when I skied places where there was 10 inches that quickly transitioned to scraped off harder snow I found myself a little backseat. If that means anything... I would recommend at least +3. I would not recommend center, unless you are going backwards as often as you are going forward. You must have gone to newschoolers, baroness. Those kids have NO idea what they are talking about. I would say 5 or 6 for ya.
    haha, yeah, newschoolers is pretty bad for mounting advice (or any advice for that matter). I think you're right and +5 or 6 I think will probably be the best of both worlds.

  17. #17
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    This just in...

    The hellbents are not a 1 ski quiver.

    I have been riding them lately at bridger to find out more about these things.

    Groomed: If you arc really really really hard, they carve like a snowboard. Really tight turn radius due to the sidecut, and they just rail considering their width.

    Soft snow/old pow: Rode a pair of the rossi ravens, 110 underfoot, and they felt like a park ski in comparison. The float on the hellbents is amazing.

    Charging the offpiste/moguls: This is where the hellbents, imho, suck. You can ski them fine in the moguls, but once you start really railing them, they wash out or wheelie. I dont mean to say you cant ski bump lines, but when it gets to really pushing these skis, they have a limit.

    Hucks: Dropped a couple of 10-15 footers. You cant seem to go over the bars. Dropped frontseat into sunbaked madness, and should have flipped. Skiied out, somehow. These skis do seem partial to land a little backseat though. Would like to see how they do off of a bigger huck though, like 30+.

    I cant imagine skiing only these things. They are awesome in the powder, probably the most fun ski I have been on in soft snow, but as a one ski quiver for someone who charges decently hard, it is no go.

    If you are skiing anything other than just pow with these things, I would recommend at least +3 or +4. I think that the more forward, the mo' betta. The tail feels short to begin with.

    Another thing. After skiing these things, two of my friends are buying a pair. Just sayin.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by single View Post
    Another thing. After skiing these things, two of my friends are buying a pair. Just sayin.
    That sucks they'll have to share. Thanks again for the review, good stuff.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the follow-up review. Sounds like I'll hopefully be spending a lot of time on mine when I get them. I guess it's a good thing I tend to avoid bumps like the plague (I don't know what you Americans see in them)

  20. #20
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    I know it might seem like a bit much but you have to mount these skis really far forward. Ive skied my friends at +3 and mine at +7, +3 is crap. Just lay down the ski and look at it, when you mount back on the chart there is barely any ski behind you so it feels like you are back seat on snowblades. At +7 you have enough behind you that it doesn't get squirlly, can carve better and feel more solid all around. The tip is so huge your never going to have a diving problem.

  21. #21
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    cool review

    I'm looking for something to replace my powspatuplus. I've come to really like the feel of a rockered ski and the powspats slay it in perfect pow and EC trees but they're heavy as hell and suck once it starts getting chopped up. The other problem with powspats is that I've got them mounted a bit more forward and the tip wasn't designed to be rockered so I wind up going over the handlebars on occasion.

    I can find the goods on an EC pow day its just getting there and back thats the problem. I've been skiing Sugar Daddies as my everyday stick and they work well in the pow, I'm just looking to change things up and get more surfy/slashy. The comment that Hellbents ski like snowboards is really intriguing.

    I had been thinking of:

    Icelantic's
    175 Sumos
    New Antipistes
    Praxis

    anything else coming on the market next year or should I be looking to score a pair of 179 hellbents?
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  22. #22
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    Rode these things today on 5 inches of 6 or 7 % on ice. They performed pretty poorly. Not enough snow, and they wash out like crazy where the snow got scraped off. Would have much rather been on my tankers. Felt like I was on snowblades that floated.

    I am seriously considering trying to sell these and get something else. It isnt that I dont like them. These skis tear it up. The problem is that I think I either bought them too short, or they cant handle high speeds through bumps. I get bashed around trying to make GS turns through powder covered hardpack mogul fields, and then thrown backseat and end up on my ass. They are unbelievable in the soft snow, but the tail is way to soft for my style. Maybe the 189 would improve this. When the snow gets hard at all, and you try to rip it, these things wash out. I think I want a more powder specific ski. The hellbents are awesome in the pow, but I think a reverse sidecut or DPS type shape would be even better. I dont know. We will see.

    Overall, I think these skis are somewhat jib oriented. Not a big mountain ski by any means, IMHO.

    Laser, I think a pair of 179 hellbents may be good, but then again, they might not be ideal on the east. The tail is soooooo soft, that if there is anything icy underneath, they just wash out. Those icelantics look awesome to me.

    PN. I think you are right to a certain extent, but I dont think you could lean forward as much in powder with that mount.
    Last edited by single; 01-28-2008 at 04:22 PM.

  23. #23
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    All of that being said... My friends absolutely love them, and on soft snow they are ideal. Very versatile still with a lot of float. Perfect for a 2 ski quiver. Problem is, I dont need the versatility. I also think that the 179 is more for jibbing at my size than the 189.

  24. #24
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    T-Minus 2 days till I fly home to Boston(in shame i might add) form Japan. I will hold true to my earlier post and ski my HB/Duke on my first couple runs at Jay. if its boiler plate I am prob. effed but oh well. review to come. anyone at Whistler from 16-22?
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  25. #25
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    I have been skiing the Hell Bents in the BC a lot lately. I keep finding myself rocking back on the tails and "hauling wheelies" on cliff landings and "spinning out" at the end of big turns. I find it hard to adjust to the ski feeling like it has no tail! I have even moved the mounting point forward and backward to see if that helps any. It doesn't.
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