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Thread: Playful Charger

  1. #1
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    Playful Charger

    There was a thread like this a few years back, I've read it, but plenty has changed since that time.

    Basically I'm trying to find a playful charger ski for Snowbird/Alta. Something to use 2 days after a storm and later.

    Id like something I can ski reasonably fast all over the mountain. Something that would be comfortable in straight lines out of Death Chute out of the hanging bowl double or just crud busting baldy or Andersons.

    I would, however, like the ski to be playful. Something I can have fun on even when I'm being a bit lazy. Something that has some pop. Ideally something I could use to spin some 7s or switch 5s off of some natural features. Maybe even some nose butters and switch riding as well.

    I'll be skiing the Renegade as my pow day and day after ski.

    I'm 5'10" 180lbs

    Most obvious choices:

    184 Devastator (would like to read some more reviews on this ski - only con I've seen so far is that its heavy)

    190 Moment Deathwish (some reviewers say it's too soft to charge)

    186 Hoji (probably too little twin tip for any switch tricks.. Stuff enough?)

    190 Bibby (I used to own these and never felt like the front section of this ski was stiff enough and the back section of the tail wasn't very supportive on firmer landings)

    185 Cochise (never skied... Doesn't seem playful enough)

    186 Jeffrey (stiff enough? I've never skied these)

    190 Salomon Rocker 108 (currently own a pair of these with touring bindings on them. The nose is too soft for stiff crud blasting and the tail isn't poppy enough)

    186/192 Faction CT 3.0 (never skied and can't find any good reviews. Candide makes this seem like the perfect ski for me)

    I'd prefer to buy from Salomon, Armada, 4Frnt, Rossignol, Moment, or Faction. But I'm open to other choices as well.

    I'm hoping someone on here has skied on multiple pairs of what I've listed and can compare contrast. I'm also open to other suggestions.

  2. #2
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    I have last years Faction 3.0s in a 191. Skied the shit out of them at Abay, mostly the Pali side(steep, bumpy, rocky terrain) They are phenomenal. A little chattery at times when maching through bumps and shit as they do have a Balsa core but they really impressed me. I haven't skied this years though.

  3. #3
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    Atomic Automatic? Blizzard Gunsmoke or Peacemaker?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay P View Post
    I have last years Faction 3.0s in a 191. Skied the shit out of them at Abay, mostly the Pali side(steep, bumpy, rocky terrain) They are phenomenal. A little chattery at times when maching through bumps and shit as they do have a Balsa core but they really impressed me. I haven't skied this years though.
    Thanks Jay P ... You are one of the few that I've found that has used the 3.0. have you skied anything else that you can compare it to?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyskirat View Post
    Atomic Automatic? Blizzard Gunsmoke or Peacemaker?
    Thanks for the input.

    I think the Moment Bibby Pro that I owned as the closest I've been to loving a ski for this type of use, and I may indeed go back to it. The thing that worries me about the Automatic are quotes like this from Blister:

    “For those of you who think that the Bibby Pro might be more ski than you want or need, that it might be too much work or too stiff, the 186 or 193 Automatic deserve a very serious look."

    If anything, the Bibby was just slightly too soft..so I'd hate to move to an even lesser ski.

    I'll give the Gunsmoke and Peacemaker another look.

  6. #6
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    The 187 Hoji is definitely less of a charger than the 190 Bibby.

  7. #7
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    It sounds like the jeffery was pretty much made for you. I've only skied it a handful of times but can say they are noticeably more stable/supportive compared to 190 Bibbys I used to own. Its been a little while, but from what I remember, most noticeably so underfoot and just behind the binding.

    Edit: Thinking about it more, I don't seem to remember the Jeffrey being all that much stiffer through the forebody of the ski, but I do I feel like it lends itself a lot more to driving the front half of the ski than the bibby. Since I mount points are vaguely similar, I'm guessing its stiffer here too? Someone else can probably give you a more definitive answer..
    Last edited by cooks; 11-13-2015 at 01:18 PM.

  8. #8
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    have spent a good amount of time on the '13 186 gunsmokes, 184 Bibby Pros (sounds like these are too small / too soft for you but include them for reference) and own the 186 Nordica Helldorados. May have the ski sizing off by a cm or so here or there ... Same height and weight as OP.

    Gunsmokes definitely the most playful. Sounds like you'd probably size up for stability and chargeability but its a great ski. Poppy and surprisingly locked-in on groomers ... Helldos do all of those things well but lack a bit on the playful side bc of weight (metal). Get a touch squirelly and unpredictable straight lining variable snow bc of shorter turn radius. Also not a lot of tail back there if you get backseat on a landing or knocked back in variable snow. Thought about overcoming by sizing up and mounting more centered ... Think you'd find the Bibby damper and less poppy relative to the above two.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooks View Post
    It sounds like the jeffery was pretty much made for you. I've only skied it a handful of times but can say they are noticeably more stable/supportive compared to 190 Bibbys I used to own. Its been a little while, but from what I remember, most noticeably so underfoot and just behind the binding.
    +1 For the Jeffrey, great ski

  10. #10
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    Take the Rocker 108 off your list, and put the 190 Q Lab on there instead. (edit: unless you're serious about 5's, 7's, and switch. Missed that on my first read.)

    Q Lab and Renegade (186 and 196) worked well for me last year, and will be my quiver again this year. They seem to complement each other nicely.
    Last edited by Mustonen; 11-13-2015 at 10:59 AM.
    focus.

  11. #11
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    Playful charger is an oxymoron.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jvskinn View Post
    +1 For the Jeffrey, great ski
    Thanks I'm gonna see what I can find on them, I know a few people that have them so maybe I'll be able to try theirs out before committing

  13. #13
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    192 bentchetler as a fatter option, 193/187 praxis mvp on the skinnier side?? I would go with the MVP if I were you; it's an ideal shape for your needs, plus you can customize it to be whatever you're after with the flex and weight options.

  14. #14
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    Fear, Doubt, Disbelief, you have to let it all go. Free your mind!

  15. #15
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    Usually when I demo a "playful charger" candidate that has a rocker tail, I end up feeling like it's not even close to a real charger. So I'm left thinking of them as "funshapes that can be charged a bit if you make them". And then I just choose a playful fatty that either has a bit more stiffness (e.g. Jeffrey/Caylor122 or Bentchetler) and/or more weight (e.g. heavy-ass Radict or oldskool Hellbent), and then just stand on it strong whenever you want to make it charge a bit.

    ...But then I demoed Helldorado and Gunsmoke when they came out, and to me these were designed to be more like real chargers in the 113-114mm waist range EXCEPT with rocker tails added on. That design combo does not appeal to me as much as other designs, but I had a blast demoing them anyway, and I do agree that these skis fit the "playful chargers" label better than other skis.

    Quote Originally Posted by 123ski View Post
    ...Something I can have fun on even when I'm being a bit lazy. Something that has some pop...
    Of those two, Gunsmokes play more and are less heavy for popping off of stuff, and easier to keep changing your path willy-nilly to make sure you hit more of the available features along the way down; ...while Helldorados charge more and are heavy-ass crud busters that don't give back as much when you get lazy (but when you get lazy, Helldorados are still strong at straight-lining). So from your comment, I'm guessing you might like the Gunsmokes.

    EDIT: And one more thing. If you don't detune Helldorado widest points at tip and tail, they will fucking RAIL on edge. Surprised me, but I guess it makes sense with the stiff section of significant traditional camber.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vitamin I View Post
    Usually when I demo a "playful charger" candidate that has a rocker tail, I end up feeling like it's not even close to a real charger. So I'm left thinking of them as "funshapes that can be charged a bit if you make them". And then I just choose a playful fatty that either has a bit more stiffness (e.g. Jeffrey/Caylor122 or Bentchetler) and/or more weight (e.g. heavy-ass Radict or oldskool Hellbent), and then just stand on it strong whenever you want to make it charge a bit.

    ...But then I demoed Helldorado and Gunsmoke when they came out, and to me these were designed to be more like real chargers in the 113-114mm waist range EXCEPT with rocker tails added on. That design combo does not appeal to me as much as other designs, but I had a blast demoing them anyway, and I do agree that these skis fit the "playful chargers" label better than other skis.



    Of those two, Gunsmokes play more and are less heavy for popping off of stuff, and easier to keep changing your path willy-nilly to make sure you hit more of the available features along the way down; ...while Helldorados charge more and are heavy-ass crud busters that don't give back as much when you get lazy (but when you get lazy, Helldorados are still strong at straight-lining). So from your comment, I'm guessing you might like the Gunsmokes.

    EDIT: And one more thing. If you don't detune Helldorado widest points at tip and tail, they will fucking RAIL on edge. Surprised me, but I guess it makes sense with the stiff section of significant traditional camber.


    Wow - very helpful reviews of the Helldo and Gunsmoke. I'll keep looking at those.

  17. #17
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    I dont think the 186 jeffrey is as stable as the 190 bibby, however its fairly close. ive only skied the jeff one day tho.

    I have owned 2015 192 bentchets, 190 bibby, 186 gunsmoke, and 186 jeffs among others, and the jeffrey is the most intuitive. Followed closely by the gunsmoke. The bigger bibby and bentchet were neither the chargiest skis ever, nor the most playful. Kind of meh, but that may be what your looking for, as they can do everything OK, but dont excel in charginess or playfulness. The 192 bentchet is too heavy tho, like 2650g per ski. Whereas the gun and jeff are super playful in the 186, but can still handle maching through off piste crud and chunder at 50 mph.

    The gun is an awesome ski, but the jeffrey nudges it a bit in terms of pop and fun factor. The gun however hsas by far the best edgehold of any ski over 110mm ive ever tried.

    Id also try the 189 k2 shreditor 112, at your size it should be chargy enough. Its so much fun on everything but ice and super firmmm. I was bashing around kirkwood chop and chunder, ice and rocks (at speed mind you) the past two days on the 179 (my rock/tree skis), and im 6'3 200 lbs. Skiing at speed, jumping off every little side hit i could find, 5
    40 mph through the chunder on the side and then launch 15 feet off lippy side hits. Most playful ski ever, but still can rally. i really gel with K2s, but i was wishing for the 189 for sure when i could open it up.
    Last edited by aevergreene; 11-17-2015 at 08:16 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by aevergreene View Post
    I dont think the 186 jeffrey is as stable as the 190 bibby, however its fairly close. ive only skied the jeff one day tho.

    I have owned 2015 192 bentchets, 190 bibby, 186 gunsmoke, and 186 jeffs among others, and the jeffrey is the most intuitive. Followed closely by the gunsmoke. The bigger bibby and bentchet were neither the chargiest skis ever, nor the most playful. Kind of meh, but that may be what your looking for, as they can do everything OK, but dont excel in charginess or playfulness. The 192 bentchet is too heavy tho, like 2650g per ski. Whereas the gun and jeff are super playful in the 186, but can still handle maching through off piste crud and chunder at 50 mph.

    The gun is an awesome ski, but the jeffrey nudges it a bit in terms of pop and fun factor. The gun however hsas by far the best edgehold of any ski over 110mm ive ever tried.

    Id also try the 189 k2 shreditor 112, at your size it should be chargy enough. Its so much fun on everything but ice and super firmmm. I was bashing around kirkwood chop and chunder, ice and rocks (at speed mind you) the past two days on the 179 (my rock/tree skis), and im 6'3 200 lbs. Skiing at speed, jumping off every little side hit i could find, 5
    40 mph through the chunder on the side and then launch 15 feet off lippy side hits. Most playful ski ever, but still can rally. i really gel with K2s, but i was wishing for the 189 for sure when i could open it up.
    Quote Originally Posted by aevergreene View Post
    I dont think the 186 jeffrey is as stable as the 190 bibby, however its fairly close. ive only skied the jeff one day tho.

    I have owned 2015 192 bentchets, 190 bibby, 186 gunsmoke, and 186 jeffs among others, and the jeffrey is the most intuitive. Followed closely by the gunsmoke. The bigger bibby and bentchet were neither the chargiest skis ever, nor the most playful. Kind of meh, but that may be what your looking for, as they can do everything OK, but dont excel in charginess or playfulness. The 192 bentchet is too heavy tho, like 2650g per ski. Whereas the gun and jeff are super playful in the 186, but can still handle maching through off piste crud and chunder at 50 mph.

    The gun is an awesome ski, but the jeffrey nudges it a bit in terms of pop and fun factor. The gun however hsas by far the best edgehold of any ski over 110mm ive ever tried.

    Id also try the 189 k2 shreditor 112, at your size it should be chargy enough. Its so much fun on everything but ice and super firmmm. I was bashing around kirkwood chop and chunder, ice and rocks (at speed mind you) the past two days on the 179 (my rock/tree skis), and im 6'3 200 lbs. Skiing at speed, jumping off every little side hit i could find, 5
    40 mph through the chunder on the side and then launch 15 feet off lippy side hits. Most playful ski ever, but still can rally. i really gel with K2s, but i was wishing for the 189 for sure when i could open it up.
    Thanks!

    I'd love to hear more comparison on the jeffrey and Bibby.

    Also.. Anyone skied the jeffrey in the wood veneer laminate?

    Anyone ski the 191 Jeffrey?

  19. #19
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    I'd do a +1 for the gunsmoke. I own it and would confirm it's in a good spot of playful/chargy; less squirrely when straightlinging than say a helldorado, stable (with metal) underfoot, but fairly playful in the tip and tails, substantial rocker profile.

    I'd also add the Candide 3.0 to that list; more traditional sidecut, full wood core, very consistent flex pattern, gradual rocker profile, more symmetrical, more playful than the gunsmoke, and possibly in a better place of getting 2-day old snow @ 108 underfoot.

  20. #20
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    Playa chargful
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  21. #21
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    I own both the ON3P Billy Goat and the Candide 3.0 and while the 3.0 is definitely more playful, when it comes to charging it's not even close compared to the BG. They're both great skis but the Candide is better for untracked (it's really intended as my touring ski because it's nice and light) while the BG can handle heavy, chopped up resort powder like a boss. Of course, in Utah you guys don't even have to ski real crud or heavy snow compared to further west. I haven't been on the newer versions of the Jeffrey, but the 110's from a few years back are also better at charging than the 3.0.

  22. #22
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    Read the Blister Review of the Line Mordecai as well. They place them in the same league as the Jeffrey 114 and Gunsmoke but with more of a chargier bend.

  23. #23
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    Glad to see line beefed them up for production, but i have to flex/ski them for myself. Id be shocked it the modecai is burlier than the jeffrey 114, that would put it on bibby-level

  24. #24
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    Interesting to read comments around burliness of the Jeffrey 114. Other comment I hear a lot is that the Jeffrey rewards a more centered stance ... Keen to hear what happens if you have more of a "drive the tips" bias? Will the ski explode? Hope not bc just ordered these for the same reasons expressed by the OP

  25. #25
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    Lots of great feedback left here today. Lots of great options. Anyone skied the devastator?

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