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  1. #1
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    Sep 2010
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    REVIEW: 2011 Down Countdown 4 (2014 Down Countdown 102)

    Another review here:
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...Down-Skis-CD-4

    *Location of review: Alpine backcountry in spring and a few test days at the resort
    Snow Conditions: Everything you could imagine

    Me: 5'10, 175lbs, 31 yrs/old, 40-60 days per 29 seasons, expert skier with an athletic, dynamic, powerful style. Parents were both pro bump skiers. Prefer damp, charging skis with good high-speed stability.

    Quiver:
    186 PM Gear Kusalas (extra stiff option)
    191 ON3P Billygoats (12/13)
    191 ON3P Wrenegade (11/12)
    183 Head Monster m103
    183 Head Monster m82
    180 Blizzard Bushwackers

    2011 Countdown 4 (2014 Countdown 102)
    120-102-107
    1840g per ski (with binding freedom inserts)
    29m-55m-35m variable tip-to-tail turn radius (41m average)
    Mounted with Speed Radicals
    Skied on Tecnica Cochise 120s

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    This ski is the older version of this year's 2014 Down Countdown 102. Identical dimensions with a similar rocker profile and stiffness. From what I've heard, this years Countdown 102 has smoother transitions between the rocker and camber, and should be about 5% softer. In my opinion, the smoother transitioning rocker is an improvement, as well as the slight change in stiffness. The stiffness of the ski is slightly softer than my Kusala extra-stiffs and my Head m103s. It's similar to the ON3P Wrenegades, but maybe a bit stiffer overall. It's a tad bit stiffer in the tip, and a lot stiffer in the tail, than the ON3P Billygoats. The flex is impressively stiff for such a lightweight ski.

    The construction of the ski is bomber. I've definitely hit some stuff during my time on it, and the bases hold up as well as anything I've ever used - just as good as ON3P, PM Gear, and Praxis. I haven't sharpened them this season, and the edges still seem pretty good, but I didn't have a lot of days on them either. The topsheets are pretty durable, and remind me of the 2014/2015 DPS topsheets. Some of the best I've seen. They seem to shed snow well.

    I bought this ski used. The original owner felt that the ski was similar to a touring version of a Cochise - at a lighter weight than the Scout - but that it was a little too stiff and not easy-going enough in really tight couloirs. I can certainly understand his point of view, but found the stiffness an asset for my style of skiing.Here's my thoughts on how it skied.

    ON-SNOW SUMMARY

    In a word. Predictable.

    I can't speak for less aggressive skiers, but this ski does VERY well for me in challenging spring snow conditions. Grabby windbuff, sun-crusted mank, wind-hammered strastrugi, smooth corn. The fact that it skis powder very well is the icing on the cake. The perfect spring touring ski, in my opinion. Get to the top of the line and you get surprised by powder? You'll still be happy. Get to the top of the line and you get surprised by wind-hammered snow? You'll still be happy. Predictable and powerful when it needs to be, but with the weight, it could be light and playful off features in the soft snow (just don't expect a lot of 'pop' for quick wiggles). A suprisingly damp carbon feel that is similar to PM Gear hybrid carbon-fiberglass layups.

    I originally thought that this ski would be mostly just a firmer or funky spring snow ski, but after spending the entire spring on it, it'll be my go-to ski for any big day, even if deeper powder is on the agenda. I no longer see a need for a 110-115mm touring ski (though I'll have a 124mm for the hucking platform).
    Last edited by Lindahl; 08-28-2014 at 07:55 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Posts
    5,675
    DETAILED REVIEW

    RESORT POWDER/CHOP

    My first time on these skis was on a 2' overnight day. I spent the morning on my Billygoats, before switching to the Countdowns. I started with steep firm scraped-off moguls, followed by a few untracked sidecountry laps which included playful windlips, steep chutes, and lower angle trees in sun-affected snow. At the end of the day I skied some soft chop and moguls with some smaller airs thrown in.

    Impressions:
    *) On the scraped-off mogul run, the ski's lightweight and maneuverability was excellent. The tails released quickly, allowing you to hammer off quick turns down the fall line over and through the moguls. The stiffness definitely made things a bit more challenging in the troughs than a softer ski, but not bad overall, due to the shape.
    *) In the untracked snow, I had absolutely zero problems with tip dive, even on a southern exposure that had begun to turn into mank.. I didn't need to shift my balance much at all.
    *) I got to play with some windlips and it stayed playful and slashy, popping off the windlips and landing on transitions of others. The weight definitely helped here. Good fun!
    *) It feels similar to a wider ski, and you can slarve it around relatively well. Of course, given the right shape, wider is better, but on longer tours, it wouldn't be an easy call at all, no matter how deep the snow was. I'd probably end up grabbing the Countdowns the majority of the time, unless hucking was on the agenda.
    *) On the sidecountry laps, the ski toured very well, and the subtle tip rocker did a decent job staying on top when breaking trail.
    *) On some short steeps, making high speed arcs through 2' of fresh felt great. The ski felt very similar to the Billygoats, though it stayed a bit more submerged in the snow. I would even say that it felt more stable than the Billygoat in it's turn shape at high speed (likely due to stiffness), though a bit less stable when skiing moderately aggressively (likely due to width).
    *) In the soft chop and moguls, they had a damp yet light feeling to them, very similar to PM Gear hybrid skis. The stiffness was impressive and really helped you blast through, belying their weight. In the air, they felt great, as well.
    *) They don't have the landing platform of a wider ski for big airs in really deep snow, but it worked fine in the cut up resort snow at the end of the day, and would do fine on hardpack and corn. I'd feel comfortable with cornice drops and airing through chokes.



    STRASTRUGI

    Before taking them into the backcountry in nasty conditions, I decided to test it in more safely controlled conditions. I took the ski up for 3 runs in Breck's Lake Chutes - a series of 50-55 degree 500' chutes, with cornices guarding most of the entrances. The wind had absolutely destroyed the snow, turning it into extremely firm, rattle-your-teeth strastrugi. The kind that feels like you're skiing a snow cone, where you can't really get a consistent edge, nor can you slarve cleanly. The snow had a firm 3D texture - where every turn cuts nubs of ice off that come cascading down in a series of icy sluffs all around you. Lower down, it turned into nasty semi-firm manky sluff debris. I was the only one the chutes - for good reason. I started the run by dropping off a 5' cornice, nervous for what was to follow.

    Impressions:
    *) After dropping off the cornice, the ski had suitable stiffness for digging in and reducing speed. It was amazingly predictable and powerful. I didn't expect it to feel this solid at all.
    *) Making turns down, the ski slarved powerfully and predictably. Holding your line was as easy as it could have been, and I was able to carry a good amount of speed down the pitch without feeling a loss of control. Not too grabby... just right.
    *) Entering the slide debris, below, that had begun to mank up in the sun, the ski felt confident and I could really lay into the stiff tips to keep from getting bounced around too much. I could launch off a bit of debris and plunge back into the mank, trusting the ski to blow through it, smacking hidden chunks without flinching. I was actually having fun here.
    *) I was impressed by the ski, and expected to have to manage the ski much more than I had to. It didn't give me the feeling I was on a touring-designed ski at all. It did what I wanted it to do, and nothing I didn't ask it to do.

    POWDER ON MANK

    I tossed my skis on my back and began climbing up the couloir, my boots plunging into about 8" of fresh snow on top of a wierd and wet manky crust - think before the corn consolidation completes. When we got to the top, heavy clouds rolled in and visibility turned to dogshit. I really wanted to rip some fast turns down what was a perfectly sized couloir. However, without being able to see subtle variations in the snow, I couldn't trust my vision to aid my balance when managing the wet mank just underneath the fresh snow. I dropped in from the side, around the guardian cornice, on a 60 degree entrance ramp above the rock-peppered wall of the couloir.

    Impressions:
    *) The entrance from just outside the couloir was tricky wet snow, but the skis stayed on top and predictable, and held the line as I navigated down the ramp. They didn't plunge in, or hang up in the wierd snow, and I was able to get down underneath the guardian cornice without issue, or serious concern for the exposure. A good start.
    *) Knowing how the ski handled the entrance, I was confident in being able to rip turns as best I could in the vertigo and complete lack of visibility. It became a dance between a few fast wonderful turns, followed by finding the mank underneath on a thin spot, and reeling back in the speed. The ski had no problems doing this, and was just as happy to shut it down as it was to open it back up again.
    *) As I got lower, the lighting improved just enough to let it rip without hesitation. Good times.

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    GRABBY WINDSLAB, POWDER, AND USED-TO-BE CORN

    Steep skin tracks in challenging sidehilling conditions was the name of the game for the climb. The snow liked to slide out from underneath you on the firm crust. There were multiple times of finding just the right edge movements to get you across, and kickturns were exciting to say the least. When we reached the summit, we found a dense layer of extremely grabby windslab on the exposed steep face. The face extended wide-open for over 1000' before ending in a series of finger cliffs and chutes. It was probably the most grabby windslab I've ever skied. Pockets of softer powder would reach out and attempt to grab your edges, but overall was firm enough that a fall would have been bad. We cut out early to the right to reach a much longer and sustained chute, finding consistently good powder on a wonderful steep and narrow pitch. The sluff cascaded down behind me, staying ahead of it and using terrain features to break it up behind me. As we popped out the exit, we were surprised with a thick corn crust, which slowly transitioned into mank further down the valley.

    Impressions:
    *) On the skin up, we all had problems with the challenging conditions. One partner, who was on Lotus 120s, did have a noticably more difficult time on some of the firmer sidehilling conditions, and almost lost it down the side (we were on a pretty steep pitch). The other partner who was on lightly tip-rockered 105mm Igeneous skis seemed to fair just as well as myself.
    *) On descent, the skis released predictably and entered turns without pulling you into them. I could maintain speed and slide the skis around on the top of the windslab, without biting too deep into the softer pockets and messing with my balance. The partner on the Igneous' was quite tentative and made slow deliberate hop turns down the face. The partner on the 120s skied similarly to myself.
    *) Once in the narrow chute, I was able to ski more aggressively, setting edges and enjoying the much more consistent snow. Nothing much to say here, except transitioning between the windward (firm) and lee (soft) side of the chute, felt comfortable and natural.
    *) I exited the chute, rocketing through the debris of roller balls, entering the smooth snow at a high speed, expecting to plunge into a large sweeping turn on perfect corn. Hah... not so much! Some lingering clouds and wind had firmed up what used to be corn and turned it into a death crust. Hilarity ensued as I got locked into the big turn at an uncomfortable speed, with no way to shut it down. The stiffness in the tip allowed me to hold the turn without throwing me into an unsustainable tighter turn. Loved it, and was able to shut it down as I finished the turn. It was conditions like this that exemplified the predictability of the ski.
    *) The rest of the descent was on a very thin layer of corn on top of the crust, and I was able to make fast turns, sliding the skis around and avoid plunging into the crust and getting locked up.

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    SPRING POWDER

    A beautiful backcountry day. 2' in 24 hours, stable, cold, and sunny, with 2500' of solid 40 degree pitch on the agenda. There wasn't much to say here, other than I was able to make broad fast turns in amazing snow, albeit a bit on the thick side. The ski held the turn shape that I desired, without forcing me to make longer or shorter turns. I could drive the ski from a forward stance, and angulate it however I wanted, without any problems with float. Just awesome.

    Last edited by Lindahl; 08-15-2014 at 09:02 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    A little update:

    This season, I've had a few more days out on my CD4s. Again they've done really well in powder and chalky couloir skiing (pushed 60 degrees again for a few turns), as well as in some nasty deathcrust situations. On firmer snow, I still think the CD4s could be a bit softer, along with a better-blended camber/rocker profile (the Countdown 102 might solve this). However, I still haven't really gotten a chance to get out on corn with them. I'm also not entirely sold that a softer flex would be a benefit in crusts and in powder. A partner on Scouts (lightweight Cochise) did just as well in the deathcrust. The other partner was in a world of hurt on his Armada TSTs. Just way too much sidecut and too soft of a ski. He ate it 4 different times in the same deathcrust that me and the guy on the Scouts just railed through. Ability levels are all within shooting distance of each other, so it wasn't just that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    Bumping this to add my thoughts. I'm on a pair of Countdown 102Ls, 179cm, they appear to be the continuation of what Lindahl was on, they got a new name/topsheet for 15/16 (YW8 102) but appear otherwise the same. Thanks to ISBD for the hookup on the skis.

    4 days on them, mounted on the line with Speed Radicals. Boots are TLT6Ps w/expert boosters. Conditions ranged from half-settled shin-to-knee-deep pow, freshly refrozen groomers (hiking up at Brighton at dark), all manner of wind/sun/graupel funk down in the La Sals, to straight up mushy mashed potatoes slush on 10,420' last night.

    The ski I've owned that these are most similar to, and that I will primarily compare them to, are PM Gear 179 Carbon Bros - very similar weight / dimensions. Bros are 125 x 99 x 116, these are 120 x 102 x 107. I got these to replace the Bros after I broke one, and I use them for the same role: daily driver touring ski, for primarily Wasatch skiing but also anywhere else I get to out west. 100% human-powered skiing for this ski.

    Me: 33 years old, 5'10", 155lbs, fairly boring/traditional/conservative skier. Probably a beater by TGR standards, but I get my touring days in. I ski forwards, I stay on the ground, I like steeper skiing but nothing death-defying (usually no steeper than ~45).

    When I first looked at them, I was... almost alarmed at the rocker profile. The tip rocker starts almost comically soon after the binding toe, although it doesn't raise up a great deal. I had no idea how this would affect the way they skied. They have some camber underfoot, and a low tail splay. They're light as hell, and the mount point looks a bit more "modern" than my Bros, but definitely not a center/park/"freestyle" mount by any means.

    Rocker profile. The voile straps are where the tip/tail rocker begins, in between them is the cambered section.
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    Topsheets.
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    First day I skied them was in USA Bowl with another mag on a dawn patrol, day after we got about 18" of snow. USA bowl is a ~1000' ~28 open bowl. It was late March so the snow had settled somewhat but was generally very consistent and not at all crusty. Since these were the first turns I was making on the ski, I had a little bit of difficulty finding the balance point, and I think ended up in the back seat a bit, which is a big no-no for these skis. Still a fun run, but the skis were quite a bit less intuitive than my Bros (which skied pow as well as or better than my 108 underfoot Manhattans)

    Next day on them was up Brighton after work with my wife. It was one of those days where we skinned up corn dodging the cat doing grooming, topped out just as it refroze, and skied down what I used to consider typical east coast resort conditions: freshly groomed/frozen snow. Despite the monster 41m average turn radius they really railed here, and were stunningly damn/stable on both the crusty frozen groomer, and when I strayed into the hard, refrozen crud - way more so than my Bros, and more so even than my G3 Manhattans w/Radical STs (a setup that weighs at least 1lb more per ski, probably more like 1.5lbs more). Having learned my lesson on the balance point I stayed forward on the balls of my feet and found the skis intuitive and chargey.

    Then my wife and I drove down to Moab to ski in the La Sals. We were hoping for corn, but a system settled in. We skied Prelaurel Peak, at ~11,700' in a sleet/graupel/whiteout summit situation. The summit snow was a mix of absolutely wind-hammered stuff with pockets of graupel/wind deposit from the ~1" they had gotten the night before. The sort of highly variable, tricky, grabby conditions that most skis act twitchy in. They handled it just fine, it was fun passing from wind pocket to firm buffed out snow and back. Down around treeline it got pleasantly soft, "normal" soft/firm spring conditions, which were obviously a breeze. Below that it got very variable again, going from soft/firm to wet/grabby, they still ripped. An extremely consistent, predictable ski in conditions on the worse end of what I regularly encounter in the backcountry.

    Last ride on them was up 10,420' last night, an easy ~1500' vert hike up a ridge to a peak outside Brighton. Absolute mush: it's been over 40F for a few days, and it never really cooled off. Heavy, wet, shitty mush snow. It wasn't fun to ski, but it wouldn't have been fun on anything. They were still able to push around the slop surprisingly well for their weight (again provided you stayed forward and didn't lazily get into the back seat), although I would've been happy to trade for some 5lb+ alpine planks... or for a groomed trail to descend.

    My overall impression: these are absolutely perfect for my taste/style and in the common touring conditions I ski in. I'm pretty conservative in terms of avy risk, so I end up skiing a lot of less-than-dreamy conditions. I found my Bros to be amazing in the hero snow we get out here in UT (honestly the most fun ski in blower pow I've ever skied), but chattery and not super confidence-inspiring in really weird/shitty/variable snow. Somehow these are perfect in that stuff. For the weight, they really do have a lot of oomph behind them. "Damp" for a sub-1400g ski is a pretty strong term and I definitely was skeptical about Lindahl's claiming they were damp, but that's been my experience too. I'm reeeeally looking forward to some nice steep corn skiing in these as I think they'll be the perfect steep spring touring ski, but so far these have made it fun to get out in conditions I otherwise would have been grumbling about all day. Just stay out of the back seat
    Last edited by mbillie1; 04-12-2016 at 04:42 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Juneau
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    926
    Nice review.

    I traded for the regular 102 and love them and the slightly extra oomph the additional 500 g provides (for my 190 lb frame).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
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    I continue to drool over the prospect of a set of YW8 102's in my quiver. Even though I only huck 40' cliffs in my dreams, I've come to value Lindahl's opinions and can easily translate his comments into useful information that's relevant to my ski style.

    Hopefully, we'll get interest in a group, Summer buy, because I "need" a pair of YW8 102's.

    Cheers,
    Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
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    Hi folks,

    I just picked up a pair of Countdown 102's (179cm) from Auvgeek (great transaction, dude and an ideal introduction to what appear to be wonderful skis).

    I'm guessing these are the 2014 Countdown 102's (120-102-107) that Lindahl references in this review (these are not YW8 102's).

    Mount them at -10 like the current year's Countdown 107?

    The current YW8 102 shows as mounting at -11.

    Thanks,
    Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    CH
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    That one has a little lower rocker so -11 is good to go. Enjoy!
    #1 goal this year......stay alive +
    DOWN SKIS

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Thanks! I plugged the existing holes last night ... overkill, using 1000-oaks's technique of epoxying aluminum screws in place, sawing off the heads and grinding them flush. Can you spell OCD?

    I wasn't sure (based on likely -10 or -11) how close the holes would be, and I don't like to redo work.

    I'm good to go (mark and drill for Vipecs).

    ...Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Bonedale
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    Hi Thom,

    The original recommended mount point was -11. And IIRC, the topsheet printing is off so you might want to measure. If I were to remount, I would do it at -9 but if you prefer a traditional mount (combined with the amount of tip rocker) you might like them at recommended.

    Also: Lindahl's review is of the 2011 CD4 which isn't quite the same ski as the 2014 CD102. I (and I believe he would agree) think they added a little bit of both tip rocker and camber to the 2014 CD102 compared to his 2011 CD4.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Thanks,

    The lines between the CD4 and Countdown 102 were somewhat blurred in my mind, and I was reading that the newer versions were mounting more to the rear.

    I'm guessing that the marks should be in relation to the straight pull length (what we used to call chord length in the old daze)?

    I tend to go for traditional mounts (i.e. my GPO's at -1 to -1.5, my Billy Goats on the line). It sounds as if I should measure for -11.

    BTW, that's a sweet weight (about 7.4 lbs.) for a stable touring rig that isn't overly heavy. I can't wait to see how they ski.

    [edit] I just measured. The marked zero point is about .5 cm behind the marked zero point, but the scale is compressed, and -11cm is what I measure as -9. I'll snap a photo.

    Cheers,
    Thom
    Last edited by galibier_numero_un; 05-11-2016 at 08:26 AM.
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by galibier_numero_un View Post
    I'm guessing that the marks should be in relation to the straight pull length (what we used to call chord length in the old daze)?
    My recollection is that the topsheet marks are spaced a little closer than 1 cm each. I think I mounted them at like true -10 from center (and wished I had mounted them at like -8 from true center). Probably obvious but I'd measure the ski to find then center, measure -11 from that, and then ensure both marks are the same by measuring straight tape pull from the tips.

    Edit: your photo clears it right up

    I tend to go for traditional mounts (i.e. my GPO's at -1 to -1.5, my Billy Goats on the line). It sounds as if I should measure for -11.
    I hate to tell you where to mount your new skis but FWIW I'd mount the GPO @ -1 and I'd never even consider mounting the BG anywhere but the line.

    BTW, that's a sweet weight (about 7.4 lbs.) for a stable touring rig that isn't overly heavy. I can't wait to see how they ski.
    Yeah, that construction is sweet! Definitely not a carbon feeling ski.
    Last edited by auvgeek; 05-11-2016 at 08:38 AM.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  13. #13
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    Thanks! I just took a photo to describe exactly what we both remarked. You have a good memory.

    So I think what we're saying is that (likely) the markings on the ski, while being "off" are probably consistent from sample to sample, and the boys at Down are liking -10 to -11 (as marked on the ski).

    We (who measure twice & cut once) like the same point on the ski which is in fact a true -9 to -10. I'm going to go with your mount suggestion for starters: -10 to -11 (Down's markings) which is -9 to -10 (real numbers).

    Check out those fancy aluminum plugs I installed last night

    The photo describes it:



    Cheers,
    Thom
    Last edited by galibier_numero_un; 05-11-2016 at 08:42 AM.
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by galibier_numero_un View Post
    So I think what we're saying is that (likely) the markings on the ski, while being "off" are probably consistent from sample to sample, and the boys at Down are liking -10 to -11 (as marked on the ski).
    Yes, my guess they are consistently off on each ski (probably a scaling issue on the topsheet printing). I'm still unsure whether the Down boys like -11 on their scale or -11 on some pre-production pair with an accurate mark.

    We (who measure twice & cut once) like the same point on the ski which is in fact a true -9 to -10. I'm going to go with your mount suggestion for starters: -10 to -11 (Down's markings) which is -9 to -10 (real numbers).
    Now that I think about it, I mounted them at -11 on their marking system (as in I went backwards from -10 by the same distance between any two marks on their scale). Just eyeballing your photos, that's about -9.75 from true center. Again, FWIW, I think I'd like them more on hard snow if I'd mounted them +2 from where I was (about -8 from true center). I had trouble accessing the tip from where I was. For reference, I feel similarly (though it's less pronounced) about the 185 Cochise and Zero G 108. Maybe that issue is a matter of technique or style (neutral vs driving the tips) and wouldn't be solved by a different mount point; I dunno.

    Again, I don't want to tell you where to mount them; I just want to be sure I've conveyed my thoughts accurately.
    Last edited by auvgeek; 05-11-2016 at 08:53 AM.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  15. #15
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    Great advice, and I'll take a shot starting where you mounted or perhaps +1 from there (splitting the difference between where you mounted and where you might have done it, if given a second chance).

    We have similar preferences for our other skis, and it's as good a place to start as any. Thanks for having such a good memory!

    Sometimes, we try to change the basic character of a ski more than is possible ;-)

    Cheers,
    Thom
    Last edited by galibier_numero_un; 05-11-2016 at 09:10 AM.
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  16. #16
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    REVIEW: 2011 Down Countdown 4 (2014 Down Countdown 102)

    On their markings, go -9 or -10. I think I'm around -9.5 on my Backlands? -10 with my Cochises.

    And yeah, auvgeeks pair have slightly more rocker and camber than mine. You're in CO right? I always wanted to compare flex too. Mine weigh a tad bit more.

    Gonna go run pow laps on my 102Ls right now actually. Faceshots look to be in the cards. I love this ski shape.

    Auvgeek, I think your tip access issues are probably just due to tip rocker. It just won't let them initiate, hook up and bend into a turn like a more traditional ski.
    Last edited by Lindahl; 05-11-2016 at 10:07 AM.

  17. #17
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    Sep 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post
    Auvgeek, I think your tip access issues are probably just due to tip rocker. It just won't let them initiate, hook up and bend into a turn like a more traditional ski.
    I don't recall feeling similarly about the 202 L138, which has way more tip rocker. Or the fully-rockered Renegade.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Juneau
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    926
    I too like traditional mounts and am around -10 using Down's 0 mark but only because I was forced forward by 5-10 mm due to a previous mount. I was at -11 on the 102Ls, which I traded for the regular 102s. On Praxis skis, I am typically 2-4 cm rearward of Keith's recommended mount. And yeah, the 102 strikes a great balance between light and might.

  19. #19
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    Sep 2010
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    REVIEW: 2011 Down Countdown 4 (2014 Down Countdown 102)

    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    I don't recall feeling similarly about the 202 L138, which has way more tip rocker. Or the fully-rockered Renegade.
    Fully rockered skis behave differently. When you try to pressure the tip on a camrock ski, the pressure is first applied into the contact point, not the tip. Same with tipping the ski on edge for engagement. Its not until deeper into the turn or at higher speeds that the camber flexes into a curve that matches the rocker and the whole sidecut (and tip) is engaged. With fully rockered skis, you get slow continuously increasing edge engagement with speed and edge angles, so you can progressively access the tip. Its less on/off.
    Last edited by Lindahl; 05-11-2016 at 02:52 PM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post
    On their markings, go -9 or -10. I think I'm around -9.5 on my Backlands? -10 with my Cochises.

    And yeah, auvgeeks pair have slightly more rocker and camber than mine. You're in CO right? I always wanted to compare flex too. Mine weigh a tad bit more.

    Gonna go run pow laps on my 102Ls right now actually. Faceshots look to be in the cards. I love this ski shape.

    Auvgeek, I think your tip access issues are probably just due to tip rocker. It just won't let them initiate, hook up and bend into a turn like a more traditional ski.
    Yup ... I'm in Eastern Boulder County. I usually can get out one day during the week. PM me and I'm sure we can figure out a day that works.

    The preponderance of evidence is stacking up more and more, and I'm gaining courage to break out the drill.

    Thanks everyone!

    Cheers,
    Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    5,721
    Nothing to add to the mounting discussion, but since my little mini-review I've had the chance to ski my Countdown 102Ls in some even more varied conditions, from grabby death crust to deep blower pow to wind buff to corn... still the best touring skis I've ever owned. I was thinking of picking up a pair of Movement Response X for a slighty lighter, more hard-snow biased ski but I honestly don't feel the need. If anything I'll just get another pair of these (or the YW8 102) and stick race bindings on them.

    Also, in steep terrain, the tip rocker / overall shape really helps turn initiation, while the stiff flat tails give you the confidence that you won't wash out in 45+ situations. Just so stoked on these.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
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    4,261
    Done! At Down's marked -10 (of course, measured for consistency against true center).

    I triangulated on Lindahl's, Auvgeek's and dschane's comments (note to dschane - since you seem to like a mount point on your Praxis' that's a touch further back than where I land, I took that into consideration as far as your preference for Down's marked -11 point).

    It's going to be a long 3 or 4 days until I can take them out.

    Cheers,
    Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  23. #23
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    Sep 2010
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    Bonedale
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post
    Fully rockered skis behave differently. When you try to pressure the tip on a camrock ski, the pressure is first applied into the contact point, not the tip. Same with tipping the ski on edge for engagement. Its not until deeper into the turn or at higher speeds that the camber flexes into a curve that matches the rocker and the whole sidecut (and tip) is engaged. With fully rockered skis, you get slow continuously increasing edge engagement with speed and edge angles, so you can progressively access the tip. Its less on/off.
    Thanks for the explanation! If only I had your level of experience on skis with rocker and camber.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    Thanks for the explanation! If only I had your level of experience on skis with rocker and camber.
    Sarcasm? My meter is off right now

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    CH
    Posts
    1,782
    Quote Originally Posted by mbillie1 View Post
    Nothing to add to the mounting discussion, but since my little mini-review I've had the chance to ski my Countdown 102Ls in some even more varied conditions, from grabby death crust to deep blower pow to wind buff to corn... still the best touring skis I've ever owned. I was thinking of picking up a pair of Movement Response X for a slighty lighter, more hard-snow biased ski but I honestly don't feel the need. If anything I'll just get another pair of these (or the YW8 102) and stick race bindings on them.

    Also, in steep terrain, the tip rocker / overall shape really helps turn initiation, while the stiff flat tails give you the confidence that you won't wash out in 45+ situations. Just so stoked on these.
    Word! Thanks for the support
    #1 goal this year......stay alive +
    DOWN SKIS

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