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  1. #1
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    JONG Gaperific Gear Review - 186 All Glass Lhasa Pow, Marker Duke, BD Factor

    Disclaimer - This is my first gear review and is probably not going to provide enough technical information to appease the true gear heads, but should help some people who are on the fence about what to buy....

    Me: 32, 5'9", 180 lbs. 20 year skier who made the full time switch to snowboarding about 5 years ago and is making a triumphant return to skiing this season. Toured on a split board for the past couple seasons so wanted to go with an AT set up that would also suffice at the resort - I'm probably a 70% resort / 30% BC skier.

    Venue: Solitude and Snowbird this past weekend. Solitude consisted of groomers only as there was a death crust everywhere else. Snowbird actually had decent snow up high - a crud/hard pack mixture that was pretty skiable off of the groomers. Lower down had the same death crust that Solitude had.

    So this weekend was my first time back on skis in about five years. The first few runs were obviously tentative (embarrassingly so) but it all came back pretty quickly. I believe snowboarding has made me a much better skier - I found myself very aware of terrain changes and how to use them to my advantage - something I don't think I used to do in my past skiing life. By Sunday I was skiing pretty fast and carving aggressive turns on the steeper Peruvian stuff.

    On to the reviews...

    BD Factor - I've discussed the Factor in a few of the Factor V. Radium threads and the like, my experience skiing them basically reinforces what I already posted/thought about them. As a skier with a non racing background, and someone who has spent a lot of time in snowboard boots, the Factor provides all the stiffness and power I need. I felt like I could drive the skis as fast as I had the balls to go thru chopped up hard pack and I never felt like the boots were limiting me. I did not tour on them this weekend but any walking I did do was very comfortable once I switched modes and opened up a few buckles. The BOA system is great for now - it provides a really nice even snug feeling. Though I am concerned about snapping a cable when taking the boot off - the liner really pulls against the shell and the cables get hung up.

    Marker Duke - Not much needs to be said here as I've read every Duke thread and everything has been discussed (and I have not toured with them yet). Similar to the factor I felt complete control over the ski in every condition I encountered (including rock hard ice that truly rivals anything the East Coast has to offer). I certainly don't need a DIN above 12 and therefore could have gone Baron - but I wanted the metal of the Duke over the plastic of the Baron and was honest enough with myself to realize that the weight difference is a non issue given the overall weight of this set up and my current BC ratio described above.

    Now on to the meat of this review, the 186 Lhasa Pow - First a quick description of why I chose this ski. As a snowboarder I loved the feel of a fat board surfing thru the pow after a big dump. I had never encountered quite that feeling on skis (never skied on anything resembling a fat ski before). That being said I did often experience tip dive if I did not set my bindings back far enough. This was solved on my buddy's Burton Fish (reverse camber snowboard) but I did not like riding it on the groomers at all. So when researching skis I became most interested in the hybrid types that combined traditional design with some of the pow specific aspects - obviously the Lhasa Pow fit the bill.

    Of course there was no pow this weekend but there were plenty of other conditions to challenge the 'traditional' aspects of the Lhasa. All I can say is that these skis absolutely killed it. I've never had more fun on a ski OR snowboard in the conditions I encountered. There was no speed limit (other then my own self induced one), I felt like I could carve long arching turns or short radius ones - both with ease. I even hit a few small bump fields and felt like I could really pop the skis off of them. The steep crud is where the skis impressed me the most - the rockered tip is a huge asset here - they plow thru all the crap and I never felt out of control or like the ski was gonna get caught up and send me flying. A lot of people were skiing on short and thin hardpack/ice skis (for good reason) but I would not have traded with them - the Lhasas were that much fun. Can not wait to try them in the pow. I can not recommend this ski enough. It is absolutely a quiver of one for me and is going to be a blast in any condition I ski - I'm now 100% certain of that.
    Last edited by djc; 11-17-2008 at 03:45 PM.

  2. #2
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    strong review jong
    Splat and everybody involve in the r&d of the lhasa pow fkna nailed it.
    The only thing I could disagree on is the snowboarding thing skiing makes you a better skier period.
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -
    ski on in eternal peace

  3. #3
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    Carbon or all glass Lhasa Pows? Interested to know the differences in the flex and how they handle the groomers.

  4. #4
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    carbon or standard layup? probably doesn't matter, but I'm curious... <edit> oops^^^ </edit>

  5. #5
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    This was helpful, I've been wanting to hear a little more depth about the lhasas groomer performance. Thankyou.
    Recreation <-> Conservation

  6. #6
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    Standard layup. I'll revise the title so that is clear.

    As for groomer performance - I thought they were great - I was able to get up on edge and carve long sweeping turns. My expectation was that they would be 'acceptable' on the groomers (and obviously awesome in the soft stuff)...my expectations were totally exceeded - they were balls out fun on the groomers.

  7. #7
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    Tiiggghhhttt, I may be rocking the Lhasa as a one ski quiver this winter in VT. There in a box a home in my garage, can't wait to fondle them when I get back stateside to make the final decision.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennettc14 View Post
    Tiiggghhhttt, I may be rocking the Lhasa as a one ski quiver this winter in VT. There in a box a home in my garage, can't wait to fondle them when I get back stateside to make the final decision.

    I thought I was gonna be the only mother fucker crazy enough to be considering this . . . . If you do it I'll do it bro. . . . .

    probably be a good marketing possibility for pm gear, two morons skiing 112mm wide skis everyday on ice, crud, and general awfulness. . .
    Recreation <-> Conservation

  9. #9
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    The conditions in Utah this weekend were honestly comparable to East Coast conditions. No blue ice (thats a phenomenon that only can be found in the East) but plenty of bullet proof hard pack. And the Lhasa's had no problems dealing with it...so you should be just fine.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by djc View Post
    The conditions in Utah this weekend were honestly comparable to East Coast conditions. No blue ice (thats a phenomenon that only can be found in the East) but plenty of bullet proof hard pack. And the Lhasa's had no problems dealing with it...so you should be just fine.
    Good to hear especially cause I'm your size just a tad lighter. I don't really go out if its shear blue ice, I'd rather jerk off and save the money. When not out west I dive right into the woods or bumps and maybe hit a few groomers in between. While I don't like skiing groomers I need to be able to bomb them and get to the lift for another round in the trees without skidding off the trail or killing someone. Sounds like I picked just the perfect skis for what I do. I was also considering getting a cheap pair of LPs or XXLs for just bombing stuff and getting a little more running length. From your review it sounds like I may only need to lug one pair up to school. I'm sure I'll be getting some strange looks on the chair though .

  11. #11
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    ^ Oh and right on Sloafer, now we both gots to commit.

  12. #12
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    These sound like a pretty awesome ski-any thoughts on the 196? I'm 6' 235#, and definitely fit the profile of someone who'd enjoy the ski-I'm wondering if the 186 would be enough for me, or if it's worth it to step up to the 196? My current skis are both 195, and pretty old-original Mod X Pros and AK Launchers. Needless to say, it's time for an upgrade.

    The other ski I'm strongly considering is the BD Megawatt--I feel like these have a couple of things in common; a rockered tip and a zero, or near zero camber in the case of the Lhasa. I'm sure this is an oversimplification, so please correct me if I'm wrong, or not totally right. Considering the 188 max size of the 'watt, the Lhasa would certainly be a step up in length....
    Any insight into similarities/differences?

    Stuck this in here just to get a dimension comparison.
    140-112-122 196 Lhasa Pow
    153-125-130 188 Megawatt

  13. #13
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    Horu, read the 196 Lhasa thread. If you're used to 195 skis currently, I highly doubt you'd have any trouble with the Lhasas being that the contact length is much shorter. (this insight gleaned from the 196 Lhasa thread).
    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest_Hemingway View Post
    I realize there is not much hope for a bullfighting forum. I understand that most of you would prefer to discuss the ingredients of jacket fabrics than the ingredients of a brave man. I know nothing of the former. But the latter is made of courage, and skill, and grace in the presence of the possibility of death. If someone could make a jacket of those three things it would no doubt be the most popular and prized item in all of your closets.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horu View Post
    These sound like a pretty awesome ski-any thoughts on the 196? I'm 6' 235#, and definitely fit the profile of someone who'd enjoy the ski-I'm wondering if the 186 would be enough for me, or if it's worth it to step up to the 196? My current skis are both 195, and pretty old-original Mod X Pros and AK Launchers. Needless to say, it's time for an upgrade.

    The other ski I'm strongly considering is the BD Megawatt--I feel like these have a couple of things in common; a rockered tip and a zero, or near zero camber in the case of the Lhasa. I'm sure this is an oversimplification, so please correct me if I'm wrong, or not totally right. Considering the 188 max size of the 'watt, the Lhasa would certainly be a step up in length....
    Any insight into similarities/differences?

    Stuck this in here just to get a dimension comparison.
    140-112-122 196 Lhasa Pow
    153-125-130 188 Megawatt
    Regarding the 196 size for you, I think you'll be fine. As I said, I haven't been on skis in a while and was a little intimidated by the 186 size for my first pair of skis in 5 years, but I felt in complete control of the skis - never felt overpowered in any way. You outweigh me by at least 50 pounds, so I think you'll be totally fine.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horu View Post
    These sound like a pretty awesome ski-any thoughts on the 196? I'm 6' 235#, and definitely fit the profile of someone who'd enjoy the ski-I'm wondering if the 186 would be enough for me, or if it's worth it to step up to the 196? My current skis are both 195, and pretty old-original Mod X Pros and AK Launchers. Needless to say, it's time for an upgrade.

    The other ski I'm strongly considering is the BD Megawatt--I feel like these have a couple of things in common; a rockered tip and a zero, or near zero camber in the case of the Lhasa. I'm sure this is an oversimplification, so please correct me if I'm wrong, or not totally right. Considering the 188 max size of the 'watt, the Lhasa would certainly be a step up in length....
    Any insight into similarities/differences?

    Stuck this in here just to get a dimension comparison.
    140-112-122 196 Lhasa Pow
    153-125-130 188 Megawatt

    First off, at 6' 235#, and with at least some form, you'll be fine with the 196cm. And second, I don't think the Megawatt would work even close to as well as the Lhasa on anything worse than mank, definately more of a specialty ski than the Lhasa. . . The only real similarity between the Megawatts and the Lhasas is the tip rocker and camber, thats about it . . . .

    And, bennettc, good to hear . . . . I've got a couple bros that are gonna whip out their collective fatties with me next weekend . . .

    Lhasas, Megawatts and EP Pros . . . . should be an interesting time. . .
    Last edited by Sloafer11'; 11-20-2008 at 12:07 PM.
    Recreation <-> Conservation

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by djc View Post
    Disclaimer - This is my first gear review and is probably not going to provide enough technical information to appease the true gear heads, but should help some people who are on the fence about what to buy....

    Me: 32, 5'9", 180 lbs. 20 year skier who made the full time switch to snowboarding about 5 years ago and is making a triumphant return to skiing this season. Toured on a split board for the past couple seasons so wanted to go with an AT set up that would also suffice at the resort - I'm probably a 70% resort / 30% BC skier.

    Venue: Solitude and Snowbird this past weekend. Solitude consisted of groomers only as there was a death crust everywhere else. Snowbird actually had decent snow up high - a crud/hard pack mixture that was pretty skiable off of the groomers. Lower down had the same death crust that Solitude had.

    So this weekend was my first time back on skis in about five years. The first few runs were obviously tentative (embarrassingly so) but it all came back pretty quickly. I believe snowboarding has made me a much better skier - I found myself very aware of terrain changes and how to use them to my advantage - something I don't think I used to do in my past skiing life. By Sunday I was skiing pretty fast and carving aggressive turns on the steeper Peruvian stuff.

    On to the reviews...

    BD Factor - I've discussed the Factor in a few of the Factor V. Radium threads and the like, my experience skiing them basically reinforces what I already posted/thought about them. As a skier with a non racing background, and someone who has spent a lot of time in snowboard boots, the Factor provides all the stiffness and power I need. I felt like I could drive the skis as fast as I had the balls to go thru chopped up hard pack and I never felt like the boots were limiting me. I did not tour on them this weekend but any walking I did do was very comfortable once I switched modes and opened up a few buckles. The BOA system is great for now - it provides a really nice even snug feeling. Though I am concerned about snapping a cable when taking the boot off - the liner really pulls against the shell and the cables get hung up.

    Marker Duke - Not much needs to be said here as I've read every Duke thread and everything has been discussed (and I have not toured with them yet). Similar to the factor I felt complete control over the ski in every condition I encountered (including rock hard ice that truly rivals anything the East Coast has to offer). I certainly don't need a DIN above 12 and therefore could have gone Baron - but I wanted the metal of the Duke over the plastic of the Baron and was honest enough with myself to realize that the weight difference is a non issue given the overall weight of this set up and my current BC ratio described above.

    Now on to the meat of this review, the 186 Lhasa Pow - First a quick description of why I chose this ski. As a snowboarder I loved the feel of a fat board surfing thru the pow after a big dump. I had never encountered quite that feeling on skis (never skied on anything resembling a fat ski before). That being said I did often experience tip dive if I did not set my bindings back far enough. This was solved on my buddy's Burton Fish (reverse camber snowboard) but I did not like riding it on the groomers at all. So when researching skis I became most interested in the hybrid types that combined traditional design with some of the pow specific aspects - obviously the Lhasa Pow fit the bill.

    Of course there was no pow this weekend but there were plenty of other conditions to challenge the 'traditional' aspects of the Lhasa. All I can say is that these skis absolutely killed it. I've never had more fun on a ski OR snowboard in the conditions I encountered. There was no speed limit (other then my own self induced one), I felt like I could carve long arching turns or short radius ones - both with ease. I even hit a few small bump fields and felt like I could really pop the skis off of them. The steep crud is where the skis impressed me the most - the rockered tip is a huge asset here - they plow thru all the crap and I never felt out of control or like the ski was gonna get caught up and send me flying. A lot of people were skiing on short and thin hardpack/ice skis (for good reason) but I would not have traded with them - the Lhasas were that much fun. Can not wait to try them in the pow. I can not recommend this ski enough. It is absolutely a quiver of one for me and is going to be a blast in any condition I ski - I'm now 100% certain of that.

    Wow. Just caught this thread for the first time and dooood, you made me smile. This is exactly what I say about the Lhasas, they do it everywhere - but just wait til you hit some real Soli pow, as Soli was just about the number one testing ground zero for that ski. Most of the Soli patrol is on the Lhasa and other Bros...and then there's the legendary sfb, who brought the Bros to Soli.

    It's just so nice to know that ski isn't so wide it tweaks your knees on the stiff stuff, yet floats like it has a 130 waist when it counts. I just got a call from Brant Moles requesting a pair. With Moles and Wheeler and more than a few of the HCAC on Bros this year, somethin tells me the tourists are gonna be asking a lot of questions in the Snowbird tram this season.

    Thanks for makin my day.

    edit: Horu - you are the perfect size and weight for the 196.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by splat View Post
    Wow. Just caught this thread for the first time and dooood, you made me smile. This is exactly what I say about the Lhasas, they do it everywhere - but just wait til you hit some real Soli pow, as Soli was just about the number one testing ground zero for that ski. Most of the Soli patrol is on the Lhasa and other Bros...and then there's the legendary sfb, who brought the Bros to Soli.

    It's just so nice to know that ski isn't so wide it tweaks your knees on the stiff stuff, yet floats like it has a 130 waist when it counts. I just got a call from Brant Moles requesting a pair. With Moles and Wheeler and more than a few of the HCAC on Bros this year, somethin tells me the tourists are gonna be asking a lot of questions in the Snowbird tram this season.

    Thanks for makin my day.

    edit: Horu - you are the perfect size and weight for the 196.
    The Lhasa's continued to kill it this weekend amid a maze of rocks, ice, and hard pack. And they take a beating as well - I hit way too many bad things and the bases held up great.

  18. #18
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    ugh, I managed to put off the "sell a kidney to buy brockers" urge when the 196s didn't exsist... now the dollar is worth 50% less than it was vs my shitty , and I really want some carbon 196s

  19. #19
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    er, new slang

    Quote Originally Posted by splat View Post
    Wow. Just caught this thread for the first time and dooood, you made me smile. This is exactly what I say about the Lhasas, they do it everywhere - but just wait til you hit some real Soli pow, as Soli was just about the number one testing ground zero for that ski. Most of the Soli patrol is on the Lhasa and other Bros...and then there's the legendary sfb, who brought the Bros to Soli.

    It's just so nice to know that ski isn't so wide it tweaks your knees on the stiff stuff, yet floats like it has a 130 waist when it counts. I just got a call from Brant Moles requesting a pair. With Moles and Wheeler and more than a few of the HCAC on Bros this year, somethin tells me the tourists are gonna be asking a lot of questions in the Snowbird tram this season.

    Thanks for makin my day.

    edit: Horu - you are the perfect size and weight for the 196.
    Splatman, WTF is HCAC.... with those two jokers as a reference I guessing Hard Core Alta Crew..... Hard Core Alta Coughers.... ever heard of a alta yoodle? oh I get It Hard Core Alta Chargers yeah
    BTW, talked to ben-wha the other day and am STOKED for the longer boards!
    one step forward, no step backward

  20. #20
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    lhasa + duke + factor -> so hot right now!

  21. #21
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    Does anybody know how PM Gear warranties their skis?

  22. #22
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    Just like other companies-
    Don't hit a bunch of rocks and send them in asking for a new pair.
    We don't cover rock hits and topsheet damage because you can't ski correctly.
    Any construction-related defects will be replaced.
    We guarantee them to hold up to any huck under 200 feet.

    Quote Originally Posted by allTandA View Post
    Splatman, WTF is HCAC.... with those two jokers as a reference I guessing Hard Core Alta Crew..... Hard Core Alta Coughers.... ever heard of a alta yoodle? oh I get It Hard Core Alta Chargers yeah
    BTW, talked to ben-wha the other day and am STOKED for the longer boards!
    HCAC - oh, that's just Xover.....BWAAAAAAA!
    marshalolson just called me after hitting 3 feet of fresh on the 196.
    Be prepared for a review that will make you cream.....
    I love that Ben Wah is on the 192 and the 196 this year.
    He has a pair of carbons coming at him soon.
    He's my BRO!

  23. #23
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    mtbkr:

    Does anybody know how PM Gear warranties their skis?
    I can only tell you that PM Gear has taken better care of me than any other company I've dealt with in any industry. I have no idea if they have a formal warranty, but when I ran into minor problems with the super early production models, PM Gear made me completely whole.

  24. #24
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    Thought I'd throw marshalolson's 196 Lhasa Pow review in here......

    Quote Originally Posted by marshalolson View Post
    *main forum pmgear related exemption*

    yes, they rule. a few days of legit pow lead me to think that pmgear has the ski of the future on their hands. i have skied alot of pow skis and always felt a little limited elsewhere, and skied alot of comp skis that blow in the deep. the lhasa does both nearly as well as the specialty stuff, with no downside elsewhere. truly impressed.

    the thing that surprised me the most is how varied of a turn shape they can make, from tight poppy slalom turns while in trees with an unsupported base and lots of dead fall lurking, to flat out hauling ass on hardpack, they can do it all.

    very very very stoked.

    and do yourself a favor and drop the extra $ on the carbon layup. its life and response are incredible.

    that is all, other than a major kudos to the PM crew.



    **one minor caveat - i had to grind the tail flat so my skin would stay on**

  25. #25
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    Out of curiosity, what ended up different on the final Lhasa versus the brown topsheet Brocker proto that SFB was lending out at Solli last March? I played around with that ski in some nice conditions and had a good day, but IIRC, it was a pretty early proto.

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