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  1. #1
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    Review: Bluehouse Maven production model

    I had a chance to get out for the first time on my Maven's today, and boy was the snow DEEP

    Me: 5'10", 207 lbs, usually ski fast, aggressive, with medium to very long turns. I love the trees, though, and that is where I usually will make any short turns. I almost never tail gun it, unless I am trying to.

    Boots / Bindings: Nordica Speedmachine 12 and Jesters

    Ski Specs: You should know them, but 154-139-151, tip and tail rocker.

    (Mounted on the -.5cm mark, pretty damn near center)

    Other Fatties I have ridden/owned: Prophet 130's, EP Pro's, Volkl Kuro, etc

    Conditions: DEEEEEEEP Snow at Loveland after 60" plus on a nice base of rock and log. Some light, some heavy mank, all windblown except for the tree lines I was able to find (and was shown, )



    First Impressions: WOW, these skis are super light and fat. The rocker profile in the tip and tail looks to be exactly what I am looking for. The tip and tail being wider 1/4 of the way in from the ends with the narrow "points" should cut through the crud, and I should have no issues with tip dive and will finally have an effortless pow experience.


    Now, Reality...

    First run off of Chair 1 at LL was pretty sick. The skis did what I thought they would, and they kind of smeared turns, and carried decent speed in 12" to 20" of fresh on the trail and down the side, but felt better in shorter turns. As the trail rolled over and picked up some steepness, I was probably the 15th or so person down the trail. I tried to open them up a bit and really push them (yeah, first run, no getting used to them ) and it went something like this:

    First turn, faceshot..second turn, more speed...third turn, faceshot...fourth turn, over the handlebars and a ski popped off.

    Not exactly what I was expecting, but I chalked it up to the first big pow day of the year, and some new skis.

    I proceeded down the trail, and every turn I found myself REALLY having to press the heels and almost lean back to fight the constant feeling of falling forward. I HATE leaning back in pow, and with a big, fat, rockered ski, I was not expecting this.

    As I started to do some laps, I mixed it up off of Chair 1. Duck the rope, hit some trees...WOW, these are pretty nice, but nothing special. They felt like a pair of slightly longer Prophet 130's.

    They did "pivot" better, and I will say that the trees were the highlight of this ski today for me.

    Cut back onto the trail and hit Nix Nox which was getting to be a field of boot deep, rutted out pow. Same thing...first turn, mini face shot, second turn more speed, third turn TIP DIVE as I started to lean into my turns...over the handlebars again.

    At this point, I begin to feel that it may not just be me on my first day out in deep pow this season.

    I hit chair 6 once, got some nice fresh, but had to really hold back in order to avoid the tip dive I was experiencing, and my quads were killing from having to also lean my mass back over my heels.

    Did a few laps on chopped up, medium pitch stuff, and they felt ok, a little squirrelly, and fat (as expected with such minimal sidecut).

    I was standing waiting when they dropped the rope on the South Chutes, and as I rolled over the edge into some completely untouched, they almost came alive for me...but AGAIN, after three turns, and starting to pick up speed, I pushed them hard to see what they could do and they IMMEDIATELY dove and dug in as I went flying into my third or fourth facewash of the day on my trip over the handlebars. I seriously had time as this was a slow motion type fall to feel the tip on my left ski FLEX, as if folding like a piece of NY style pizza, and then it just buckled and dove as it kicked me forward.

    I did a couple of more laps on the South Chutes, and with a new and improved Tail Gunner approach, navigated my way down, but it was NOT fun. It was more work then fun, and I was pretty much cursing the behemoth's on my feet left and right.

    By this point, I had about had it, and I went back to the car and got my 195 Motherships to blast through the chop and haul some ass, but my legs were pretty much jello at this point from leaning back all fucking day. Needless to say, the Motherships got me a few runs before I called it a day.

    I have had some decent luck with the 130's in chopped up, boot to knee deep pow, but always wanted more rocker to really alleviate the need to ski totally or slightly back. I imagined a 130 type ski with more rocker, basically, when I saw the Maven design. I also enjoyed the EP Pro in untouched, and although SUPER soft, had decent success with the tips taking some weight and planing for me.

    The Maven, at least today, was NOT that ski.

    I am very aware that I should probably be farther back on the ski. The mounting lines, as mentioned, are ALL over the place on multiple pairs of skis.

    I have skied center mounted skis, skis way back, and skis farther forward then recommended. The Mavens at -.5cm felt as if I was hanging ten on a surf board. I am going to re-drill them and give them one more chance based on Core Shot's measurements.

    I agree, that the balance point seems to be back, WAY back, from the suggested mounting points on the ski. The sidecut even appears to be farther back.

    The one plus from my horrible day is that I was actually impressed with the stiffness of the tail. Right behind my heels felt like the stiffest portion of the ski, and that supported my 200+ pounds way better then I thought. No wheelie effect at all. Perhaps if I am actually mounted back where I feel these skis should be for "all mountain pow", that spot would then be more under the foot.


    Synopsis:

    Pros: Fun, but not special, ski in COMPLETELY untouched and bottomless, turns great and pivots in the trees if it is also untouched and bottomless. Good Graphics, Interesting shape. Price during preseason launch.

    Cons: Mounting positions are all f'ed up, the ski DIVES and DIVES if you pressure the tips and flex deep into your boots and go anything over 15 to 20 mph when mounted at -.5cm. Ski is an absolute nightmare in anything that is not untouched and bottomless, and actually made pow skiing not fun for me after the first two runs of anything being open. I know they are suppose to be soft, but this soft in the tip for someone my size was NOT fun.

    The ski actually seemed to be better if I slowed down, and busted some short turns. I know the turn radius is small, but going slow is not usually my style. It frustrated me to not be able to open these up without eating shit and almost dying.

    There are many other skis out there that are great in untouched and bottomless. But to be realistic, at resorts even on the biggest days, you have to be able to ride pow that is still deep, but maybe a little tracked, and be able to at least navigate comfortably.

    I will give them another chance, perhaps...but as I stated many times, these are going BEHIND the -2 mark on the skis. I am afraid at that point I will feel the wheelie effect, but only time will tell.

    These may work out for guys lighter and smaller, or even for big guys who don't plow into the noses of their skis when going fast , but I was completely disappointed today

    Overall grade mounted at -.5cm = C- for effort
    Last edited by PowTron; 12-01-2008 at 09:19 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the review, not exactly what I wanted to hear since I impulse bought a pair on the black friday sale. Looking forward to hearing about the new mounting point.
    Everything I need to know I learned from my dog. "If you can't eat it or hump it, piss on it and walk away".

  3. #3
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    'What was the actual measurement for the "0" line on your skis?

    I can't remember a ski that's been all over the map in terms of reviews and I'm guessing that the discrepancy in mount lines could have something to do with it.

    I'm starting to agree with Core Shot that BH is really screwing the pooch with the marked lines being completely inaccurate, and then making a puzzling choice for a suggested mounting point. There's NO way 92cm from tail is close to the ideal line, and then not being involved on the message boards/email to attempt to mediate or fix the problem is just poor IMHO
    Last edited by laseranimal; 12-01-2008 at 09:58 PM.
    For sure, you have to be lost to find a place that can't be found, elseways everyone would know where it was

  4. #4
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    Crazy. I skied mine on Sunday at Copper (mounted 92cm from the tail), and I think every single run I said "Damn these are fun skis". I need to get out in some more untouched powder on them, but I thought they were great in soft packed snow and chop. They do suck completely on ice, but that's to be expected. I was leaning back somewhat in the powder I got, so I could see going 2-4 cm back for sure.
    Ride Fast, Live slow.

    We're mountain people. This is what we do, this is how we live. -D.C.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by laseranimal View Post
    'What was the actual measurement for the "0" line on your skis?

    I will measure them tomorrow

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon turner View Post
    Crazy. I skied mine on Sunday at Copper (mounted 92cm from the tail), and I think every single run I said "Damn these are fun skis". I need to get out in some more untouched powder on them, but I thought they were great in soft packed snow and chop. They do suck completely on ice, but that's to be expected. I was leaning back somewhat in the powder I got, so I could see going 2-4 cm back for sure.
    I had the same thought the first day I skied my ANTs in 4 inches on top of firmer snow. Really fun, cause it was never deep enough to be consequential.

    Then I skied them in like 14 inches and was like "fuck this ski." Sucked cause at first they were super playful and nimble and then I mounted them like 2.5cm back and they were just long-turning slayers, which isn't what I necessarily wanted.
    ROBOTS ARE EATING MY FACE.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PowTron View Post
    I
    Boots / Bindings: Nordica Speedmachine 12 and Jesters
    PowTron have you skied the Jester's before? I had the same thing happen with a pair of Blowers last year mounted on the ride line. They sucked, my Mantra's with Jester's at -2 kick ass. So I'm thinking the flat ramp needs to be mounted back at lest in my case. I took the Jester's off the Blowers and I put them on my Mavens at 88. On my new Bro's I'm going on the line, but with Look's to get the ramp angle.

  8. #8
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    Turns out that BH follows the curve of the ski when saying mount at 92cm.
    The factory marked line on the ski is more accurate, and is closer to 90.5cm if measured from the tail with the tape measure straight (not touching the ski)

    JonTurner clarified this, and turns out he is mounted at the factory line which is 90.5cm with tape not following ski curve.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlimmerIII View Post
    PowTron have you skied the Jester's before? I had the same thing happen with a pair of Blowers last year mounted on the ride line. They sucked, my Mantra's with Jester's at -2 kick ass. So I'm thinking the flat ramp needs to be mounted back at lest in my case. I took the Jester's off the Blowers and I put them on my Mavens at 88. On my new Bro's I'm going on the line, but with Look's to get the ramp angle.

    Yeah, I have skied them before, and I am not sure that being ramped forward would help my situation. Wouldn't it actually make it worse? I am thinking that it may be the position that is what caused the issue. It could also be the way I ski.

    I am going to move them back to about -3 or so and try again. If they still feel that way, or then become TOO long turny and suck in trees, look for a pair of Mavens for sale in Gear Swap

  10. #10
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    Sorry to hear your day was no good at LL. I believe I saw you in line as we waited for South Chutes to open. I was guy in red arcteryx shell and beat up BRO 188's (rock skiis). Those drifts were hilarious.

  11. #11
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    Mavens up for sale in Gear Swap...

    I can see that these will work well for some people who are lighter, more jibby then me, etc.

    I think Bluehouse quality seems good, but these are just not for me.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CherryMoon View Post
    Sorry to hear your day was no good at LL. I believe I saw you in line as we waited for South Chutes to open. I was guy in red arcteryx shell and beat up BRO 188's (rock skiis). Those drifts were hilarious.

    Thanks...and yeah, I remember seeing you. Those drifts were snaking me as I could only see half of them.

    Down right before Tomahawk I almost killed myself as I came around a shrub and dropped 4 feet straight down into a hole

  13. #13
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    Damn, defnitely NOT what I wanted to hear about these...


    Whats the consensus, along with the others who have tried these, is the mounting point whats making these skis ski like shit, or do they just suck?

    I was telling some friends about Bluehouse, specifically the maven, and most of their responses seemed to be that any rando small ski company can copy the other ones and make a big, fat, rockered ski, but that theres a good chance it would just straight up suck. I disagreed, but the more I see about the Maven, maybe its true. I mean I could buy a press and try to copy the EP Pros, doesnt mean they'd ski well.


    Consensus?

  14. #14
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    ^I have no reason to believe the Mavens won't slay when mounted right. I think a small company can easily make a rockered ski that is phenominal. My logic? After having nearly every fat rockered ski under me at one time or another I was really excited about the evolution of idea that went into the Maven. Yeah, it's soft, but not softer than Hellbents and those are fun as shit. Yeah, it's really light, but my proto Commie's (which are stupid light because they are missing a layer of glass that went into the productions) slay it in chundered up powder. So, I don't know what's wrong here. I'm interested to hear about someone who mounted them at 90.5 and actually skied them.
    ROBOTS ARE EATING MY FACE.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossass View Post
    ^I have no reason to believe the Mavens won't slay when mounted right. I think a small company can easily make a rockered ski that is phenominal. My logic? After having nearly every fat rockered ski under me at one time or another I was really excited about the evolution of idea that went into the Maven. Yeah, it's soft, but not softer than Hellbents and those are fun as shit. Yeah, it's really light, but my proto Commie's (which are stupid light because they are missing a layer of glass that went into the productions) slay it in chundered up powder. So, I don't know what's wrong here. I'm interested to hear about someone who mounted them at 90.5 and actually skied them.
    This sounds very true...I tried to really stress in my review that the mount may be the culprit.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossass View Post
    ^I have no reason to believe the Mavens won't slay when mounted right. I think a small company can easily make a rockered ski that is phenominal. My logic? After having nearly every fat rockered ski under me at one time or another I was really excited about the evolution of idea that went into the Maven. Yeah, it's soft, but not softer than Hellbents and those are fun as shit. Yeah, it's really light, but my proto Commie's (which are stupid light because they are missing a layer of glass that went into the productions) slay it in chundered up powder. So, I don't know what's wrong here. I'm interested to hear about someone who mounted them at 90.5 and actually skied them.
    I mounted mine at 90.5 (direct measure, same as 92 along the curve) and thought they were super-fun. You do have to ski SLIGHTLY back of center in powder at this mount, but I didn't feel like I was tailgunning nor about to go over the handlebars ever.
    Ride Fast, Live slow.

    We're mountain people. This is what we do, this is how we live. -D.C.

  17. #17
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    change the mount, wait for our next storm, and post review 2 before you bail on them. it would be nice to know if that does anything.
    You may ski on zat side OR on zat side, but stay out of zee meedle

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rudi_Garmisch View Post
    change the mount, wait for our next storm, and post review 2 before you bail on them. it would be nice to know if that does anything.
    Would be nice if you could ski and had valid input on this

    I just am not feeling them, and I also am thinking it is better to sell with one pair of holes then two.

  19. #19
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    OK, the Mavens finally got out with me in variable pow and some hidden blower in the trees...

    They are remounted and are at -3.5cm back from the zero mark.

    I will type more when I get a chance, but the short story is:

    MUCHO BETTER, and WAY more fun then my horrific experience I had at -.5cm. I still have a couple of things I would change about the ski and I will elaborate on that, but overall it was a very different and better ski mounted farther back.

    No wheelie effect, and I only felt the tip fold a couple of times. They still do not like to be ridden very far forward, but a good centered stance with occasional nose pressure did the trick.

    Again, I will write another review for sure very soon (After I get my ON3P reviews done, ), but overall, much better.

  20. #20
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    Sorry to bump... but I have a bit to add after half a season. (and I can't choose a thread)

    Mounted about -3.5 with STH16s

    The factory tune was horrid. One day I couldn't buy a glide. (I'm a finicky waxer, too.) This may have something to do with others' poor performance. It sure ruined a couple of my days. Once I literally stopped and took off my ski because I thought I had snow sticking to my bases.

    I had my shop restructure the bases and I put in a 2* base bevel for the groomers. They're definitely much surfier on firmer snow now.

    I put on a Toko Base Prep, followed by Holmenkol yellow and Toko Red... which seems to be money for my high humidity pow.

    Now they rip... but a big base requires a deep wax, imo. And- a decent structure.

    They ARE too soft up front for crud... unless you just anticipate airing off of every little pillow. They are ideal for fresh trees, which is precisely why I bought them. Now, they ski as I assumed they would.

    In the next generation, I would narrow the widest point of the tail by a few more millimeters. I'd stiffen up the fore-body. And, I'd loosen the radius to over 30.

    Then again, they rip where they're supposed to. A great quiver ski for resort trees. They'll be my Tree Ski for the next few years if they hold up... and I can't see any reason as to why they wouldn't (knock-on-wood.)

  21. #21
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    A tele review in pure powder

    Me: 6' 5" 240 lb tele-skier, 12 yrs averaging 50 days/yr (frontloaded as I was a ski bum for the 1st 6 of those yrs). Obviously I'm a bit big so take this review as is. Other skis, DPS Lotus 120, old school Big Daddys, Sugar Daddys, Rexs, XXX bandits (yrs ago)

    Mount: Bishop Bombers with Trace 08s (the air jordans) mounted with pins 3 cm ahead of chord center. For my boot, thats roughly my boot center (measured w/o duckbill included) at 6cm behind factory set center. The Bombers give me +/- 1cm to play with due to the subplate options, but I think the mount feels fine. Plenty of tail.

    Review: So we spent a week skiing with Selkirk Wilderness cats (great operation), with heavy snow for 2 days then pure dry pow for 3 days. I spent most of the time of my DPS Lotus 120s (200cm, Flex 2) and they slayed it as usual. The Lotus is ridiculously nice on tele in any 3d snow, but I wanted a backup since the current durability is questionable...enter the Maven.

    I took the Mavens out on some runs that began with 25-30 degree bowls, ended with 35 degree trees. The bowls were knee deep, the trees bottomless with sluffs chasing you down. The Mavens slayed the bowls, the tips kept up but I wouldn't want to be more forward. They were responsive, and they liked speed. Bouncy too, in a good way. In the steeper trees, I found I had trouble slowing them down without making sweeping turns (almost perp. to the fall line). The reason seemed to be the very soft tails, and perhaps the rockered tail profile as well. I just couldn't dig in with the tails to generate power and/or braking effects. Normally, my tracks look like a series of narrow S curves (almost always more narrow than the alpiners and other teleskiers), but I had to widen my turns to dump speed in the trees with the Mavens....or ski at ludicrous speeds. In the end I chose the speed since there was real sluffing going on which was nice to outrun...but once in a while I had to throw my body almost sideways in a large smear to slow down. With the Lotus, I don't need to do this as I can adapt turn to turn since the tail gives me plenty of power to do so. In short, I felt like when I skied like I normally do, the things accelerated like mad. Once the angle of the slope mellowed, the skis were fun as hell, and very controllable.

    I am happy, since I bought these boards for the low angle pow on Wolf Creek Pass, and I think they will shine there. For my size, however, I think that the Maven production model is not the right choice if you ski steeps a lot. There is just not enough braking power due to the softness...and they tend to just accelerate when your intention is to slow down. On mounting, I noticed the core is quite soft...so I'd likely recommend tele-mounts that use at least 6 screws for the toeplate (Bomber subplates or Hammerheads) as opposed to 4 holes (G3, BD). I agree that the factory tune is pretty weak, as mine felt railed from day one. It is a light board, and I think a stiffer Maven without the rockered tail would be a match for the Lotus 120. Maybe...

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