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  1. #1
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    BD Megawatt / Factor review (long-ish)

    Take this for what its worth, im not a professional ski evaluator (anyone hiring? Ha ha!), its all IMHO.
    210lbs w/gear, 6’, expert skier (unless im on blues at breck……….) Daily driver=184 Mantras w/FFR+.

    Megawatts, mounted with dukes.
    Put about 5 days on them in total thus far, all conditions. Skied with alpine Salomon pro mod 12 boots and BD factor boots.

    Groomers:
    I was shocked at how well they work. On the hardpack these things RAIL!!! Unlimited edge hold (no pure ice conditions tested) once you put them on edge. The tips stay pretty well planted as long as you’ve really got them on edge. There is a bit of tip wobble/shake if you’re not leaned over enough. The only prob on groomers is they ONLY make Super-G turns, and salmon turns, nothing in between (for me at least). SG works due to the sidecut/turn radius, short turns work because the tails release sooooo nicely. Seems like it skis shorter than 188 (due to early tip rise im sure) but has the stability you’d expect with a 188. Plenty of stability at high speeds when pointing them, there is some tip vibration but it is not the bad/scary type. I could really make fast short turns with them (not carving of course) and this shocked/impressed me the most with them. It has a weird turn initiation while going fast, like the tips don’t want to engage for turn entry, this was solved with more forward pressure and a lot of lean. Again, you have to lean these suckers over a lot, at least when mounted with dukes and me driving.

    The tips do need to be de-tuned as BD recommends. I didn’t as I wanted to try them stock at first. They’re a little whooookie sometimes, a tip will grab when you don’t want it to, need to keep weight forward to avoid this. All of a sudden a tip will try to shoot off in a direction you don’t want them to. A tip de-tune should solve this nicely. I know this kinda contradicts what I said above about engaging the tips, but its what I felt…

    Bumps:
    Hard bumps they are death machines. They “will” get you to the bottom of the run, but it $ucks… Not sure how many people buy these for hard bumps though! Soft/powder bumps, they can make SG turns through them. Its more of a steam roller/rolling pin effect. They get through with brute force, but feel easy to do so with. Very playful in pow bumps.

    Chop/Crud:
    They really shine here. If its just skied out a little it feels like fresh. If its skied up a lot, they don’t work quite as well. Plenty of float, tips never sink.
    They took a lot of energy to ski well when it was mostly tracked out/chopped up. The stability is what impressed me the most in the chop, much more stable than my mantras, and I thought those are pretty stable skis. They ooze pure confidence due to the massive stability.

    Powder:
    Had a few days of shin to waste deep. They rule/kill it. PLENTY of float, never tip dive even when trying to load up the front. Even with 6” of new on top of hard pack, you wont really feel the hard stuff unless you want to. They surf quite well, tails release on command to help with tight trees. If it was skied out a lot with tree bumps, I prob wouldn’t take these into really tight trees. If its fresh untracked, they’re great in the tight stuff. I only hit a few 10-15fts (not a huge hucker) and they stomp landings very, very well. Straight lining isn’t an issue, point em and let em run. Short turns, long turns, doesn’t matter, they shine in all depending on where you’re loading the ski. They give this strange feeling of wanting to be skied in the back seat as the tip looks funny, but as you start to load the front end more and more they do even better in the deep stuff.

    Summary:
    Overall a great ski, anything over 4-6” and im taking these out, really glad I got them. For some strange reason my Mantras are just not as much fun anymore… Fairly light weight for such a huge ski, but I killed any weight advantage with the dukes.
    They are very sensitive to weight transfer forward/reward, in a good way. The ski changes behavior depending on where you’re loading it, id say very responsive to pressure loading. They rail groomers, survive shitty bumps, and of course kill the pow. VERY stable at any speed, easily releasable tail for short/smear turns.
    Over a darn good and versatile ski for over 6” snow days.



    Factors:
    Good boot, glad I got them. Have ~6 days on them. The fit will prob need to be tweaked a bit, but overall a good out of the box fit. The first 2 days I had to ski them without the BD foot beds, too tight, but they packed out a bit and I could put the beds back in. Walk mode is good, easy to switch to/from, and pretty idiot proof from instant walk mode. On/Off is better than most AT boots Ive tried, once I got the hang of it. The Boa is ok, makes the cuff of the boot wider, so its harder to fit my pants over than my other boots. I only skied them in cold conditions and they were plenty stiff to drive the megawatts/mantras at all speeds/conditions. Id put them at a 115-120 flex if cold, the flex is more sensitive to cold than I would have guessed, not sure if they’d be stiff enough for charging a hard day at the beach in May. I wouldn’t say it’s the most progressive flex Ive ever felt, not as natural as a full on race/alpine boot, but pretty good, great for an AT boot. For any wider skis I think they have to be set in the most forward lean position. The stock position didn’t feel right to me, too upright. Overall I think they’re fine for anyone under 250lbs who likes to ski hard on big wide skis. If you’re really a bigger guy/hard charger and huck the big goods all day long, you may want more boot… I did not have any cold feet days even in the low teens/single digits. Only did a super short 200yrd skin with them and they were fine, Im used to touring in Alpine boots though! For me, I’ll suffer with added weight to have full confidence in my gear on the way down, esp at my weight.
    Walking is fine with them, a bit more rearward range of motion would be nice for stairs. A powerbooster strap could also help a bit, was a bit too loose around my calf, I like tight boots.
    Overall it’s the AT boot ive been wanting/waiting for. No quality issues. Buckles are fine, nice low profile but still pretty easy to undo. I didn’t like the color inside, but they look great on the snow…

    Will add more when/if I think of it.
    -Brian
    When seconds count...ski patrol, SAR or the cops are only minutes away...

    If they call it Tourist Season, why cant we shoot them?

  2. #2
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    I give you props for taking the Megawatt into bumps.

  3. #3
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    I demoed a pair of 188s last weekend. Took them on a ridge hike to some wind-blown shin-deep to knee-deep fresh snow with some firmer stuff poking through where the wind had scoured it. I only skied them one run so its hard to say much definitively. I did like the light weight and the way they floated. I'm used to my Praxis and so I was a bit challenged by the way the Megawatts really want to finish a turn - much more so than the Praxis. Once you get them turning, they want to stay in the carve/curve and the tails don't release like the Praxis do. This was probably made more pronounced by the wind-packed snow (I didn't notice it as much when I was in the trees). They worked fine on the short bit of groomed getting back to the base of the mountain (few hundred yards).

    My son, who is under 5' tall, weighs less than 100lbs and is 14 took out the 178s in the afternoon. They totally looked like clown shoes on him with the huge upturned tips. I was laughing as I watched him ski away. They measured like old-school skis on him too. He held up his hand and they came just above the break in his wrist (this was how my parents measured skis back in the day). He reported that he loved them in the cut-up crud and skied-out pow of the afternoon. He even liked them on the groomers. For a kid that normally skis on 150s, he felt he had good control of the skis. Now he wants a pair. He said he got lots of comments on the lift. Disclaimer: this is a kid who hikes for fresh tracks with his freeride team - he is not a normal 14 year old skier.
    **
    I'm a cougar, not a MILF! I have to protect my rep! - bklyn

    In any case, if you're ever really in this situation make sure you at least bargain in a couple of fluffers.
    -snowsprite

  4. #4
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    I have a pair in 188 that I took out on a boot-top to shin deep powder day. Having only skied them once, I wanted to get on them a couple more times before reviewing. I would tend to agree with what you said above re: powder (they are sick - but I am definitely going to detune the tips as well). On the chopped up crud, I LOVED them. They rail through anything as the rocker stays up, and the running plan of the ski is super stiff.

    Also will third how light they are for such a big ski. I have FFR+ on them (so that is offsetting the weight), but I would definitely day-trip tour in these if the conditions were deep. Dynafits on these would be very light for the size, but I am not sure about dynafits on a 125 waist ski. Anyway, my regular touring set up is Gotamas and FFR+ so I am not exactly "light is right" when it comes to ski setups.

    Basically agree, these things ROCK in powder and crud (also wind crust), and are very vertistile on everything else. Will use these anytime it is above boot-deep (unless on multi-day or intense climbing tours).

  5. #5
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    I was going to write my own review of the Megawatts after I had them out a few more days but I figure since I had a very similar impression of these skis, I'll throw my $0.02 on top of Bcar's while keeping an eye towards the ice coast skier...


    For starters, I'm about 5'9" and 155 lbs in my skivies. I'm a strong skier and am pretty aggressive at all times. My Megs are mounted with Dukes on the line. I had them out on a couple of EC powder days, both in the neighboorhood of 12".


    Intro - At my size, I was a little intimidated by these things when I first got my hands on them so before I go on, I'll just say to any smaller dudes out there who aren't sure if they can handle this ski in a 188 or not, don't worry. As long as you're a good skier and aren't afraid of actaully skiing the things rather than riding them, they're outstanding. Here are my thoughts:


    Powder - Pretty much exactly the same impressions as Bcar. So much float, zero tip dive, and will make any turn shape you like. It's so easy to release the tails and turn on a dime. Because it surprised me the most, I'll just strongly reiterate that, as long as there is ~8" of snow to push around, these things are awesome in tight trees (and I'm talking slalom course tight EC trees not them sissy GS course trees y'all got out west ).

    Chop/Crud - Again, I agree 100% with Bcar. Probably this ski's forte. I've never had so much fun charging hacked up snow in my life. I've got a pair of Mantras and a pair of Gots and if I skied either of them the way I was able to ski the Megs, I probably would've gone over the bars a hundred times. These things will plow through anything and you'll barely feel it.

    Bumps - Here's where my experience begins to diverge a little from Bcars. Yeah, the Megs are fun and even playful in freshly covered bumps but once they get tracked out a little, the skis become a bit of a handful for someone of my size and strength. There's just a little too much length, width, weight and tail stiffness to maneuver quickly and easily enough to make soft yet tracked bumps really fun. I much preffer my Gots for conditions like that. I also managed to get myself into spots where I had to ski icy bumps. Two words: Surival. Turns.

    Groomers - I'll say good. But only good relative to how I thought they'd be. Bcar is right, they will mach SG turns down a groomer with great stability. I was not able able to reach a speed that felt unsafe. However, it becomes tiring getting them on edge and keeping them there. I guess that's to be expected, though. As for any other turn shape, I can't say. If I wasn't SGing or straightlining, I was slamming on the breaks.

    Ice - Yes, even with a foot or more of snow in morning, it reers its ugly head in the afternoon on the EC. Anyway, here's a shocker: These things suck on ice. You can stay in control and make turns but it's no fun.


    Conclusion - I love these skis. Admittedly, they were my first experience with rocker but I can't imagine having more fun on a powder day. That said, I would caution an EC skier against getting these things if they are to be your only fatter ski. They just aren't versatile enough to be fun all day except probably on the deepest of deep days (2+ feet). Both days I skied them, I would have been happier with my Gots by around 11am. I also can't see them being much fun on the 4" of dust on crust days we often get here. Bottom line, if you live on the EC and want a rockered ski to slot into your quiver above your 95 - 110mm wide tradional sticks and meant for only the deepest days, you can't go wrong with Megawatts.

    Edit: In case it helps anyone, my Gotamas are 183s.
    Last edited by Herr Doktor; 01-07-2009 at 02:42 PM.
    If you've never seen an elephant ski, you've never been on acid.

    - Eddie Izzard

  6. #6
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    Sorry my review above was 1/2 asssed. I will also post a full review after a couple more times. Herr's quote on chopped up crud is 100% spot on. You can point and shoot with these at high speeds through mank and absolutely rail them w/ total confidence (while on my Goats you can definitely get bounced around some times).

    Can't wait for the conditions to warrant getting back out on these.

  7. #7
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    I’ll toss in a bit more after reading what some of you have said, you’ve all made me remember more!

    Forgot to add windblown, they really killed it here too. Chop through crust that would have spun me like a top on my mantras. They wont let the crust grab hold of the tips like on other skis ive used.

    I mounted on the line. After being on some groomers I thought “shit, I should have gone forward 1cm…” But then in the deep stuff the factory mounting point is spot on. I would fo sure mount them on the line unless you plan to ski groomers, then id say WTF are you doing with these in the first place!

    Id 2nd the comment about them being really stiff underfoot, this really aids in the stability on the hard stuff. Under a hard carve they do take a bit more effort to let go of the turn, only when on a hard edge though. Esp with the uphill ski, took some effort to get it to let loose of the turn and start the transition to downhill ski. The sharp edges on the tips made the uphill ski want to start the turn before the downhill ski as well, kinda like making one go spread eagle when you don’t want to, again, de-tuned tips should help this. Making short/fast turns on the hard pack the tail comes around quickly/nicely but that’s all slide turns, not carve. If you put all your weight on that downhill ski, and start to push it forward like kicking a ball, its like mashing the gas on the new ZR1 Vette, hang on!! Weeee.

    They’re just too wide for bumps, I don’t think the length was the issue, for me at least. In the troughs they were touching the downhill side of one bump and the uphill side of the one next to it, not good…

    The ski weight allows a good skier to induce a good amount of yaw w/o having to lean/force them into a turn, helps with short radius turns, and trees IMO… Id be a bit scared of them in skied out tight trees. I like EC style tight trees most of the time, but would only do it with good snow, esp after my breck wreck last week...

    Im not so sure how dynafits would work on these. Id really worry about the extra torsional loading on the binding from such a wide ski. I wouldn’t trust them on this ski, but I hit it pretty hard and weigh a lot w/gear… I’ll day trip on em with the dukes, have a lighter setup for longer days/faster friends. But I also tour with slower people, so this setup would let them keep up better!
    When seconds count...ski patrol, SAR or the cops are only minutes away...

    If they call it Tourist Season, why cant we shoot them?

  8. #8
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    so the question for you all who use the megawatts is......
    how they compare with similarly sized sticks (lotuses, kuros, praxis, big daddies, pontoons, hellbents, pollards, etc etc)?
    that would be very useful

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by verbier61 View Post
    so the question for you all who use the megawatts is......
    how they compare with similarly sized sticks (lotuses, kuros, praxis, big daddies, pontoons, hellbents, pollards, etc etc)?
    that would be very useful
    Can't help you there - don't have any previous experience on reverse/reverse skis. For what it is worth, you could day-tour on Megawatts (or more if you have insanely strong hip flexors), but you couldn't practially do that on any reverse/reverse skis (at least not where tricky, steep skinning is involved where you are on edges or close thereto). I am sure people skin with reverse/reverse, but it doesn't sound plesant where (i) amount of skin on snow is grip and (ii) switch-backs on steep faces and/or traverses would be a sketch on reverse/reverse.

  10. #10
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    Glad you guys are digging them, it was love at first ski for me

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bcar View Post
    I’ll toss in a bit more after reading what some of you have said, you’ve all made me remember more!

    Forgot to add windblown, they really killed it here too. Chop through crust that would have spun me like a top on my mantras. They wont let the crust grab hold of the tips like on other skis ive used.

    I mounted on the line. After being on some groomers I thought “shit, I should have gone forward 1cm…” But then in the deep stuff the factory mounting point is spot on. I would fo sure mount them on the line unless you plan to ski groomers, then id say WTF are you doing with these in the first place!

    Id 2nd the comment about them being really stiff underfoot, this really aids in the stability on the hard stuff. Under a hard carve they do take a bit more effort to let go of the turn, only when on a hard edge though. Esp with the uphill ski, took some effort to get it to let loose of the turn and start the transition to downhill ski. The sharp edges on the tips made the uphill ski want to start the turn before the downhill ski as well, kinda like making one go spread eagle when you don’t want to, again, de-tuned tips should help this. Making short/fast turns on the hard pack the tail comes around quickly/nicely but that’s all slide turns, not carve. If you put all your weight on that downhill ski, and start to push it forward like kicking a ball, its like mashing the gas on the new ZR1 Vette, hang on!! Weeee.

    They’re just too wide for bumps, I don’t think the length was the issue, for me at least. In the troughs they were touching the downhill side of one bump and the uphill side of the one next to it, not good…

    The ski weight allows a good skier to induce a good amount of yaw w/o having to lean/force them into a turn, helps with short radius turns, and trees IMO… Id be a bit scared of them in skied out tight trees. I like EC style tight trees most of the time, but would only do it with good snow, esp after my breck wreck last week...

    Im not so sure how dynafits would work on these. Id really worry about the extra torsional loading on the binding from such a wide ski. I wouldn’t trust them on this ski, but I hit it pretty hard and weigh a lot w/gear… I’ll day trip on em with the dukes, have a lighter setup for longer days/faster friends. But I also tour with slower people, so this setup would let them keep up better!
    Agree 100% on the crust. Once again - these float and power through it.

    I agree that dynafits would be pushing the limit on such a wide ski. I was just saying that dynafits with these would be extremely light for a ski so big. I am keeping FFR+ on mine.

    As far as the trees, I had mine in trees in Tahoe which is obvi much different than EC, so I did not need to wip them around super quickly.

    Basically, these skis rock and are my go-to above boot-top powder ski (and day touring ski where the conditions warrant such a big ski).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer View Post
    Can't help you there - don't have any previous experience on reverse/reverse skis. For what it is worth, you could day-tour on Megawatts (or more if you have insanely strong hip flexors), but you couldn't practially do that on any reverse/reverse skis (at least not where tricky, steep skinning is involved where you are on edges or close thereto). I am sure people skin with reverse/reverse, but it doesn't sound plesant where (i) amount of skin on snow is grip and (ii) switch-backs on steep faces and/or traverses would be a sketch on reverse/reverse.
    I had the megawatts in hand and they're not very light compared to lotuses 120 and the new big daddies, so I would not consider them as the first choice for skinning....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by verbier61 View Post
    I had the megawatts in hand and they're not very light compared to lotuses 120 and the new big daddies, so I would not consider them as the first choice for skinning....
    I tend to agree with you. I'm not sure where the "lightweight" comments come from. Maybe they're light compared to some other skis of their size but they're certainly not light.
    If you've never seen an elephant ski, you've never been on acid.

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  14. #14
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    I believe the common association is black diamond skis-> AT-> light skis, and it was certainly the case when BDs were made by atomic. Now that they're full of wood, I wouldn't say that BDs are light skis anymore, and megawatts are no exception. Forgivin' techno/carbon DPSs, foam atomics of the daddies series or voilé or dynafit manaslu are truly light skis

  15. #15
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    Can't really comment on how they compare, the only other big skis I've used are the 'toons. They are really close to as much fun in the deep stuff, but you don't have to walk down that hard bump run or icy groomer as you'd want to do on the 'toons.

    They're by no means a 'light' ski, but compared to all the other 120+ skis they're on the lighter side of the average(I think!). Unless it was stupid epic deep in the bc I wouldn't do a multi day tour on them, unless i was with a really slow group.

    I like the dukes on them, more than my ffr+ i use on other skis, I worry about the ffr+ sometimes on the really steep, or when going to plad... Have come outa them a few times when I didn't want to, usually during a bad landing that's my fault!
    When seconds count...ski patrol, SAR or the cops are only minutes away...

    If they call it Tourist Season, why cant we shoot them?

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