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  1. #1
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    TR: <3land Demo Day (8 skis and 4 goggles reviewed)

    Yesterday I got the day off work to go do some market research at Loveland's Demo Day. This is review as well as TR and lots of random ramblings, hence not in Tech Talk. Little winded but I like to write. If you like to read, this could be good for both of us.
    Skied 9-3:44 then hiked a small line on top of Loveland Pass. My legs and especially my feet are whooped today, I think I need some boot adjustments.

    Demo info: 5'8", 155 lbs, grew up skiing at Sundown Mtn, Iowa, never taken a lesson in my life. Flattering huh? I like to go fast and have adjusted my technique to do this. All skis were rode with Scarpa Tornado Pros with stiff tongue and most binding DINs were set at an (conservative for my knees on foreign equipment) 8. All skis and every single run of the day was done at fast, non-stop pace off Chair 1, Spillway to Richard's Run. Conditions were overcast with light but damp snow and steady winds all day.

    Funny that, while googling all the skis I demoed for dimensions, epic and tgr threads or reviews always topped the page above the manufacturers. We’re so important.

    Fia started off the morning enjoying some of the fresh new snow on OTR


    I started off the morning on Armada JJs


    Armada JJs, demoed length=185cm, 126/136/115/133/121.

    Now you're saying to yourself that's a lot of dimensions. And it is. This ski starts off skinny, goes fat, sidecuts again underfoot, fattens up, then ends skinny in the tail. It also features a generous rocker and somehow a traditional camber thrown underfoot. All these factors combined to make this the #1 ski I wanted to test, just out of curiosity. Throw all that nontraditional stuff together and what you have is a fun machine.

    I rode it the first 4 runs of the day, on freshly groomed new snow and it was a riot. It ripped the smooth and fast. It was so playful and lively edge-to-edge I didn't want to give it back. The rockered tip was not chatty like I assumed and as soon as the ski was layed on edge, the full length of the ski would engage and slingshot you into the next speed-filled, tooth-grinning turn. When it wasn't on edge, it felt like a 150cm running length on the snow and was easy to maneuver. Enough surface area on this ski to bust through rollers and charge too. I'd love to have had 1st powdery tracks to try them there too.

    If you have a chance, buy this ski. The Rep told me they're sold out and his demo fleet is even very limited because Armada reclaimed some for sales. Buy it and put demo bindings on it because everyone will want to try it.


    Next up was the recurring SAC special, the G3 El Hombre.


    G3 El Hombre. Demoed length= 177cm, 136/105/124.

    I really wanted to try this ski out as a touring specific ski and because it pops up on steepandcheap pretty often at killer prices. It is lightweight and very vertically thin. For this reason, I found it could not catch an edge very well and had unpredictable turning. I did 2 laps with it to give it a chance but just really didn't get a feel for it. After the uber-fun JJ, Disneyworld would have been a letdown but this ski really didn't do it for me. Groomers are obviously not what this touring specific ski was made for but for straight downhill performance, it gets the lowest marks of the day.

    This was my first time in a Marker Duke. I stayed in them.


    I had also wanted to test Dynafit and BD skis for a touring specific set-up. Dynafit only had Dynafit bindings mounted and my Tornados are unfortunately not compatible. They may have had boots available too but I didn't want to waste too much time off-slope and didn't bother more than just looking at the models they had. The BD Kilowatt and Verdict were always out when I came by for them.

    Next ski: Volkl Katana


    Volkl Katana, demoed length= 183cm, 141/111/131.

    Just what you'd expect. Burly, fun, bombs, responsive, as expected. I lost count of how many laps with this one. I'd demoed a Fortitude prototype a few weeks earlier that felt surprisingly similar to this fun ship (https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...d.php?t=136563).

    These would be a great everyday workhorse ski, especially if your everyday includes going really fast, stomping airs and tons of deep snow. Loved em and knew I would but for some reason they lacked an intangible funness factor to knock it from a 9/10 to an 11/10 like the JJs. Regardless, buy this ski. Hell, buy a couple of em.


    What would any day at Loveland be without a few stops in the Rock House?


    Next up, Rossi Steeze


    Rossignol S VI (that’s 6 for you non-Romans). Demoed length= 186cm, 140/110/133.4.

    Tons of fun, very similar ride to Katana with less sidecut, these wanted to go straight and be pointed more than the Katana. Also (maybe?) felt stiffer and lighter. Top sheet graphics at first made me think it was a chick ski but after being reassured it was exact same as last year’s Steeze, I kinda liked the graphicly distorted black-haired beauty. Rode probably 6 runs, I must have been enjoying them.


    And now, introducing the WINNER:


    K2 Coomba. Length demoed= 181cm, 135/102/121.

    I had planned on trying the 174 as a touring ski with the reasoning that the majority of tour days are spent on the uphill and a 174 would be lighter than a 181. What a weenie way of thinking. Luckily the K2 Rep talked me into the 181 with the advice that a 181 would offer more surface area and be a more stable footprint on the way up and a bigger ski would be better in untracked.

    Skied like a dream. Maybe I loved them because they rode very similar to my daily (currently only) ski, the 07 K2 Seth in 179, and were thus very predictable. Lightweight, little soft in the tip and thus very forgiving. I was buttering turns, laying em hard on edge for quick turns, maching through crud, attacking and destroying the hill. They allowed me to be aggressive and yet never felt out of control, even at high speeds, crowded slopes, and bad viz.

    Coomba’s with Dynafit binding will be my touring set up. Somebody probably has that now and is banging and depreciating it up right now. Let me know when you’re selling it next season because after skiing the Coomba, I know exactly which ski I need.

    DC, Apple, Oakley, Swix, Scarpa, Marker, K2
    Last edited by Tips^Up; 11-13-2008 at 09:06 PM.

  2. #2
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    I needed energy break so stopped back at car for some Fia time, Fat Tire in a can (delicious. Note last year’s similar Demo Day TR and the improvement in beer and ski choice!), and homemade pasta. Without skiing, I’d just be a parking-lot-eatin, own-beer-packin, bum. Pound it dawg.


    Every pup gets her share.


    Upon dropping off the Coombas, I couldn’t resist trying the new Obsethed.


    K2 Obsethed. Demoed length= 179cm, 138/105/125.

    09 Seth (as you already know) is 7mm wider underfoot and has a pretty big front rocker and also felt softer all over. Honestly, I like my old Seth a lot better. 09 were noodly and unstable. Plus I nearly speared a guy who thought it’d be a good idea to stand under a blind roller towards the bottom of the run. Mid-air, I ditched it into the back seat, rear tips touched down, double ejected (Head demo bindings weren’t set as tight as they should have been) and slid across the guys skis on my ass. “WTF are you doing standing under a blind noel?!? You’re gonna get F-ed up!” “Well, you were going pretty fast…” “Yeah and I’m far from the fastest one here. Move your ass and don’t stand where you can’t be seen.” How do people like that survive?

    Anyways, Obsethed might be floppy fun in deep pow but I’ll keep my old ones for a daily stick. They only got 1 run (including only crash of day).

    Snow was starting to clump up, mogul out and ice down. I’ve never ever stepped onto a race ski before, no idea where to even start, but I think I found a good one.


    Head WorldCup GS (iSpeed maybe? Closest thing I could find on Head website although not exact. Rep told me these are the real racing deal, the actual WorldCup comp ski)
    Demoed length= 183cm, 105.7/67.5/89.1.

    The Rep really warned me on these guys. I started out cautious and respectful but by my 3rd turn I was runnin em! Huge sidewalls, these things would dig in for a turn and not let go or give up, no matter what was in its way, ice-no effect, bumps-didn’t exist. These things accelerated and then would only continue to pick up speed. I like speed and I really liked these race skis. Maybe someday when I have more than 1 ski, it’ll be one of these. So much energy in this ski. A couple times I’d overload it in the wrong place and pop into a roller or bump at the wrong time and these things wanted to explode. Nearly sent me over the handlebars a few times! It’d be a blast to put these on a groomed course with no traffic. Maybe someday.

    Anyways, still on the race ski kick and legs feeling too beat by 3pm to handle another 185+ fatty, I tried another racer.


    Atomic GS12pb. Demoed length= 175cm, 110/66/93.

    Meh. Little too short for my liking, more squirrely than the Head’s but fast, holds a solid edge, with a little work they were quick to turn and overall fun. It’s nice to get a sense for race skis and feel out what I would like and in which sizes. After another stop in the Rock House, I’m surprised I even remember the end of the day!


    Goggle review: Bolle Scream, Sage Digital Band with their new Lemon Gun lens.

    The Scream is one of Bolle's premier models. Cool looking goggle but like most Bolle's, fits really small on the face. This results in open spots on either side of the goggle exposing face between goggle/helmet. Field of vision is OK at best. 50% light transmission makes it one of Bolle's lighter lenses. Gun flash is nice and helps cut glare but there wasn't a lot to deal with yesterday. Lemon color is good for low light and helps brighten vision. Bad fit was annoying.


    Goggle review: Bolle Fathom, Blue Dragonfly frame, Aurora lens.
    The Fathom is a new frame design from Bolle and the cover shot of their catalog. The Blue Dragonfly design might be a little girly but the blue color coordinates with mine and everyone else’s (seriously, everybody’s in blue this year) get up. However, this frame must have been designed off the dimensions of an infant’s face. It was painfully tight, like actually uncomfortably small and hitting my medium sized face in the exact wrong places.

    Shame because the Aurora lens is really fine. 45% light transmission, looks blue/purple from outside and has a gun flash finish (kinda mirrored) but a light colored orange looking out. Great lens for low-light conditions like yesterday.


    Goggle review: Bolle Nova, Macaw frame, Vermillion Gun lens.

    22% light transmission but surprisingly the rose colored lens brought out more definition than I thought. I’d say Vermillion is as nice of a low light lens as the Lemon Gun or Aurora. Plus the Nova frame actually fit my face and helmet, almost like Bolle designed a goggle frame for adults. Macaw frame is most fun of Bolle’s new frames and bands too.


    Switched back to my own personal goggle and the lens love of my life, the Zeal Link with a PPX lens and carbon frame.

    These lenses are a pleasure on the eyes. The world’s first and somehow, still!, only Polarized and Photochromatic lens. Polarized cuts out glare of sun and snow, photochromatic transitions from light to dark depending on UV intake. The rose/gray colored lens is great at bringing out definition of every bump and variation on the hill. The PPX lens is awesome because you never have to change them out, they’re the exact lens you need, 90% of the time. The other 10%, get a clear lens because it’s too dark to see shit. The Link model has a little scoop under each eye that brings in fresh air and makes them impossible to fog and the polycarbonate lens show little wear or scrathes after 50 days despite heavy tree skiing to try and find freshies around Front Range resorts. I got PPX lens last season after the SPX had already sold out. Difference- PPX is flat, SPX is Spherical. Spherical better matches the natural curve of the eye, brings in light more naturally and creates less eye fatigue. I’ve never felt eye fatigue with the PPX lens but you can bet I upsell the SPX a ton!

    Disclaimer: my company sells both Bolle and Zeal goggles. I bought Zeals last year and am always so one-sided, I had to give the Bolles a chance. Decision: Bolle has some colorful and progressive new frames and a couple of real quality lenses but Zeals still rule. They’re more expensive because they’re the best.

    So, to end the day, my buddy Dave and his huge Golden, Avy, drove up and we hit a line above the lake on Loveland Pass.

    Dave gets ready as quick as Bode Miller leaves a party so we didn’t get hiking til we were nearly our of light.

    We opted for a shorter line under a cliff band running right into the lake that looked pretty filled in.

    Last ski review, 2007 K2 Seth. 179cm, 130/98/118.
    3 seasons later, still like this ski. Good everyday cruiser. Handles groomers well and last night they kept me afloat over the sharks.

    Dropping

    Minimal damage, nice to get a little hike, some blind skiing and fresh tracks.

    Dave crosses creeks in ski boots at night, while demoing my Zeal Links.


    Wish I could have made the bluegrass show at the Plume Saloon but lady friend had picked up Warren Miller tickets at Boulder Theater.
    Movie is terrible. Notice I didn’t say ski movie, because its not. The WM editor must be an ADD non-skier because they don’t show a full line the whole movie. Big line, gnarly exposure, approaching crux choke, cut to close-up laughter face shot or Barenaked Ladies concert. Total crap. East Coast mogul runs? This isn't a stoke film, its a real estate marketing ad. Go, get lift ticket comp, and leave. I didn’t think last years was bad but this year’s Warren Miller is unbearable. Thank you TGR for not sucking balls.
    Last edited by Tips^Up; 11-13-2008 at 09:14 PM.

  3. #3
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    Great info Ryan! I also did MANY laps yesterday and today. Demoed 21 skis 98mm or wider in the waist. Lot's o' fun stuff!! PM me if you have any questions...I can't type fast enough to do a sweet report like Ryan

  4. #4
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    surprised about the obsetheds, I might have to think over about buying them.
    "Slid into the cave where Rocky was waiting with the bong and the snowlerblades"

  5. #5
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    try em before you buy em, if you can. maybe it was the play in my loose bindings but i wasn't impressed. supposedly this guy named, coincidentally, seth rides them and i think he's pretty good.

    damn geoff, you rode a lot! it was only my 3rd day up this season and i was having too much fun plus trying to keep up with the crew to switch out that many times. what all were you on? favorite?

  6. #6
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    Where were the Obsetheds mounted? I did +4.5 on my 189s and haven't experienced what you mentioned, though flexing the ski before mounting convinced me that a mount on the line would be floppy and not a ton of fun.
    Congrats, mags! We collected 1030.68! for birdman!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckerman View Post
    No is that like whne I come on your mosms face whle you lick my ballsss???

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tips^Up View Post
    try em before you buy em, if you can. maybe it was the play in my loose bindings but i wasn't impressed. supposedly this guy named, coincidentally, seth rides them and i think he's pretty good.
    unfortunately, I wont be able to test them out before I buy them because of my location and the shops around here don't carry skis like that. Where should I mount them if I ski mostly everything steeps,hucks,bumps,some groomers, etc. The first day on them will be in Jackson.
    "Slid into the cave where Rocky was waiting with the bong and the snowlerblades"

  8. #8
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    they were mounted further back of the 2 demos available. exact mount, not sure. IS4P, sorry, not much help on that one but I bet a search would turn something up.

  9. #9
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    good read, sounds like a damn good "work" day.

  10. #10
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    Is it just me, or does this photo look....um, hazy to anyone?



    Nice reviews.

  11. #11
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    surprised you thought the katana was turnier than the s6. I've only ridden the s6, and thought it was one of the turniest skis I've ever skied. It was a lot of fun, especially for such a fat ski on groomers, and would be playful in pow. I was a little worried about hauling in pow. An area that I wouldn't be concerned about on the katanas, though I haven't ridden them. Maybe that has something to do with the lengths you skied. I would think the 190 katana would want to go straight a lot more than the s6
    Go Sharks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tips^Up View Post
    Coomba’s with Dynafit binding will be my touring set up. Somebody probably has that now and is banging and depreciating it up right now. Let me know when you’re selling it next season because after skiing the Coomba, I know exactly which ski I need.
    I am doing my best to depreciate it as you recommend. However I will not be selling them any time soon, sorry! The 181s and Dynafits make a very nice setup for human skiers. Light enough not to kill us, but not rando racer light. Stable enough to human speeds, and responsive enough for human legs

  13. #13
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    ^^^^ The Katana 183 is WAY turny for that type of ski...go up to the 190, and it skis completely different.

    Did they have any of the LINE skis? I am telling you right now that everything you liked about the Katana the Mothership does, and does it better and stronger. Best "big mountain" ski I have ever been on up to this point (Full review coming hopefully after this weekend, )
    Last edited by PowTron; 11-14-2008 at 04:08 PM.

  14. #14
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    Thumbs up

    Good beer choice, I approve.
    I don't like being outdoors Smithers, for one thing, there's too many fat children.

    - Mr. Burns

  15. #15
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    Sick...can't wait for the ankle to improve so I can get back out there!
    Quote Originally Posted by splat View Post
    It's the same argument for prostitution. There's a lot of people in this world who won't be getting laid unless they pay big bucks or fuck an artificial life form. No amount of consolation, pity or comiserating is going to change that reality.
    Slaughter is the best medicine.

  16. #16
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    fluffballs- i'd have liked to tried the 190s, that's quite the ski for me though. maybe as season progresses and legs strengthen i'll be able to ride those beasts! and, as wrg points out, things get a little hazy after a full day at loveland.

    dromond- if you need to dump a used coomba/dyna set-up, i'm all over it. thats a dreamy set-up, just outta budget for this season (not like a summer of biking and climbing will leave me any $ for next winter)

    pt- line was there, did not ski any, i'll keep it in mind next opportunity like this comes along.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImSearchingforPowder View Post
    unfortunately, I wont be able to test them out before I buy them because of my location and the shops around here don't carry skis like that. Where should I mount them if I ski mostly everything steeps,hucks,bumps,some groomers, etc. The first day on them will be in Jackson.
    I went +4.5 and enjoy them at Snowbird, thus far. I hardly ever ski switch, just trying to get in a good position on the cambered part. It'll feel forward at first, took me a run to really get used to it, but they're so much fun mounted there, at least in a 189. They pop off roads, and everything else, and just want to fly. One of the most fun skis I've been on. I think a forward mount is the key.
    Congrats, mags! We collected 1030.68! for birdman!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckerman View Post
    No is that like whne I come on your mosms face whle you lick my ballsss???

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tips^Up View Post
    dromond- if you need to dump a used coomba/dyna set-up, i'm all over it. thats a dreamy set-up, just outta budget for this season (not like a summer of biking and climbing will leave me any $ for next winter)...
    Save your pennies, it's worth it. I put together my setup w/ megarides for ~$920. Boot were near-new, skis were on closeout, bindings new from a friend. It has made touring a lot more fun. Now we just need some more snow out here...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tips^Up View Post
    try em before you buy em, if you can. maybe it was the play in my loose bindings but i wasn't impressed. supposedly this guy named, coincidentally, seth rides them and i think he's pretty good.

    damn geoff, you rode a lot! it was only my 3rd day up this season and i was having too much fun plus trying to keep up with the crew to switch out that many times. what all were you on? favorite?
    The mission was to try as many as posssible over 100 waist...not a big fan of Kate Moss skis.
    Best Charger - Blizzard Zeus
    Biggest Surprise - Armada JJ
    Ski that rides most like a nitrous dragster - Rossi Phantom 108

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggski View Post
    The mission was to try as many as posssible over 100 waist...not a big fan of Kate Moss skis.
    Best Charger - Blizzard Zeus
    Biggest Surprise - Armada JJ
    Ski that rides most like a nitrous dragster - Rossi Phantom 108
    In what sense was the JJ a surprise?

  21. #21
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    When I first read that you went up on the pass and then that you had the dog on OTR, I got confused and thought you brought the dog down from the top.

    Somehow you managed to put a gear review in the wrong place and spam me at the same time and make me like it. I really enjoyed the read and even laughed out loud a couple of times.

    PM me if you can do me a proform on these fancy zeal goggles. I love what you were saying about the lense technology and 90% use. My face is smaller than yours I bet, because I never have a problem with goggles too small only too big.
    Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
    Henry David Thoreau

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by skierbiker View Post
    In what sense was the JJ a surprise?
    A positive surprise. For a rockered tip and tail and not much true running length the JJ was a blast on the groomer and i'm guessing it would really kill off piste.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggski View Post
    A positive surprise. For a rockered tip and tail and not much true running length the JJ was a blast on the groomer and i'm guessing it would really kill off piste.
    That's what I like to hear! I purchased a pair a while ago, but it was sort of speculative because not many had tried it. I'm happy that it appears that rockered versatility has been achieved, and that my speculation seems to have been correct.

    Stoked for my first pow ski!

  24. #24
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    ...should be plenty o' powgasms in store for you this year!

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