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  1. #1
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    Get Down with Down (skis)

    I think it's time for a generic Down Skis thread, apart from the annual Summer purchase thread on Gear Swap.

    There's one really good thread on the evolving mid-100's CD 102 and its offspring - primarily covering the 2014 model.

    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...Countdown-102)

    Yesterday, I found religion in the form of a new (to me) CD 104, and I have some general questions for the collective - this in anticipation of a hopeful Summer group buy. The last couple of years, I've been spending all of my off-season coin on the Praxis Spring, custom sale and by the time Summer rolls around ... well ... you know.

    The 181 CD 104s ski on the short side (Edit: see my test day #2 comments below for an update/retraction), but this is a perfect length for me in a a touring mount. This (slightly short) might have to do with the ramp be angle of the Verticals (I used the existing inserts for this initial test) combined with being about 7mm in front of the line for my BSL. I'll know more when it receives Vipecs before their next outting later this week.

    I can navigate tight spots on scratchy snow, handle wind-affected and wet snow - all the tough stuff. This ski (along with the GPO) is the most intuitive ski I've ever skied. It's perfectly balanced for me.

    My interest is in both a 187 CD 104 in an alpine mount as well as a CD 114 in either 182 or 189 (also alpine mount). I don't want either of these to be a missile that refuses to turn however - something between ski instructor turns at one extreme and mach-looney at the other.

    I get on well with a 184 Billy Goat and a 182 Quixote, and both of them ski about as "long" as I'd like. My sense is that the 189 CD 114 is the way to go - this, assuming that it skis as "short" as the CD 104 does. Am I going to be miserable with a 189 in tight trees?

    With respect to the CD 104 in a 187, I'd like this ski to be as quick as my 182 GPOs (the 181 is considerably quicker and I think I have some margin for upsizing). I'm guessing that the step "up" from 182 to 187 in the CD 104 will be fine, but I don't know if I'm missing something?

    What say yee?

    ... Thom
    Last edited by galibier_numero_un; 04-26-2018 at 01:04 PM.
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  2. #2
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    CD114 in trees? it won't be the optimal ski there
    (my experience, tho, is the 196, so maybe someone else has input: boissal, cascadeluke, tuco, swerve? [they got the backcountry layup, tho])

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by acinpdx View Post
    CD114 in trees? it won't be the optimal ski there
    (my experience, tho, is the 196, so maybe someone else has input: boissal, cascadeluke, tuco, swerve? [they got the backcountry layup, tho])
    Basically, I'm looking to use them where I'd have used my departed 184 Billy Goats & where I currently bring my 182 Quixotes.

    Maybe a 182 CD 114 is more appropriate for versatility in tight terrain. Since it's a soft snow ski, I'll be riding the entire running surface of the ski when it's running flat (on soft stuff).

    What I do know, is that the freeride rocker on the 181 CD 104s is an ideal balance. Yes, it's the slightest bit "wiggly" when riding flat on hard snow, but it's very close in behavior to the slow rise rocker of the GPO (and I'm fine with that).

    ... Thom
    Last edited by galibier_numero_un; 04-16-2018 at 02:45 PM.
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by galibier_numero_un View Post
    There's one really good thread on the evolving mid-100's CD 102 and its offspring:
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...Countdown-102)

    Yesterday, I found religion in the form of a new (to me) CD 104, and I have some general questions for the collective - this in anticipation of a hopeful Summer group buy. The last couple of years, I've been spending all of my off-season coin on the Praxis Spring, custom sale and by the time Summer rolls around ... well ... you know.

    The 181 CD 104s ski on the short side, and this is a perfect length for me in a a touring mount. I can navigate tight spots on scratchy snow, handle wind-affected and wet snow - all the tough stuff. This ski (along with the GPO) is the most intuitive ski I've ever skied. It's perfectly balanced for me.

    My interest is in both a 187 CD 104 in an alpine mount as well as a CD 114 in either 182 or 189 (also alpine mount). I don't want either of these to be a missile that refuses to turn however - something between ski instructor turns at one extreme and mach-looney at the other.

    I get on well with a 184 Billy Goat and a 182 Quixote, and both of them ski about as "long" as I'd like. My sense is that the 189 CD 114 is the way to go - this, assuming that it skis as "short" as the CD 104 does. Am I going to be miserable with a 189 in tight trees?

    With respect to the CD 104 in a 187, I'd like this ski to be as quick as my 182 GPOs (the 181 is considerably quicker and I think I have some margin for upsizing). I'm guessing that the step "up" from 182 to 187 in the CD 104 will be fine, but I don't know if I'm missing something?

    What say yee?

    ... Thom
    I have a pair of CD 110's 186 for sale used 10 days Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
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    Glad they worked out for you.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rudy View Post
    Glad they worked out for you.
    I can see why you wanted to go longer, and if I pick up a pair of 187's, it won't be to replace the 181's but rather to augment them (181 touring, 187 inbounds).

    Edit to Add (4/16/2018):

    I started to lay out the Vipec mount last night and noticed that the current Vertical mount is a touch forward of your recollection. It's on the line for about 315.

    I'll lay them out on the line for my 297 BSL. This, in combination with the flatter stance of the Vipecs (vs. Verticals used w/current inserts) might be all of extra ski "length" I need. I'll report back.


    ... Thom
    Last edited by galibier_numero_un; 04-16-2018 at 02:12 PM.
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  7. #7
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    Thom, not TGR-esque, but I'd get the 114 in 182 and the 104 in 187. If you're going for only one, I'd still get the 114 in 182. Opinions will vary.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dschane View Post
    Thom, not TGR-esque, but I'd get the 114 in 182 and the 104 in 187. If you're going for only one, I'd still get the 114 in 182. Opinions will vary.
    Thanks. This makes a lot of sense, 'coz it's more about float and maneuverability for me in the 114 (5'9" / 165 Lbs.). Since the 114 is gonna be for soft snow, I'll have the entire length of the ski available from the perspective of both float and stability. I'll give up some occasional hard snow stability (when running flat) with the benefit of being able to wiggle through the tight trees around these parts.

    I'll get out on the 181 104's on Friday (with the re-mount). This ought to tell me if I need the 187 or not. It's such a sweet ski that I definitely want one in a touring mount and one for inbounds.

    ... Thom.
    Last edited by galibier_numero_un; 04-17-2018 at 12:10 AM.
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  9. #9
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    Jun 2015
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    I have 182 114s and cant remember these skiing short. Its been a while since I last skied these and sold bindings so no change to refresh my memory. Predictable and easy to ski. Bit carbony feeling but Ive been happy with these mounted Beast16 and skied with MTNLabs. Preordered Shifts for next season so I can use alpine boots when skiing at resort. I might be adding 104Ls to my quiver from next presale and will be following this thread.

    Me 57" and 155lbs if that matters

  10. #10
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    I've had previous versions of the 114 and I think that it skis long rather than short. I had the 189/190.
    I liked the YW8 102 in 179 and now my 104L in 181.
    Other skis I own and like 186 BG, 188 QST 106.
    I'm 178cm, 72kg.

  11. #11
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    I just got my 186 LD 102s from meter-man. they are legit 186cm long. Holy cow they are light! 1580g and 1600g on my scale which runs 30g heavy. excited to mount them up with radical 2s.

  12. #12
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    From the Skinny GPO thread (https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...xis-Skinny-GPO) ...

    Quote Originally Posted by SupreChicken View Post
    Thom - looking forward to your detailed review. Particularly interested in how similar it skis to your praxis quiver and your impression of down construction and dampness.
    Gonna get a second day out on them on Wednesday - this with the "permanent" Vipec mount which shifts backwards to the line (but only a .7cm movement) - from the temporary Verticals mount. I've never been terribly sensitive to ramp angle, but then again, skiing flatter stanced boots since last year has been a revelation and I haven't revisited a binding like a Vertical since then, so I may change my tune with respect to this.

    Initially, they felt like a lighter weight Praxis, which (weight-wise) is what they are. The CD 104s come in at just about 8 Lbs. on the dot. I'm guessing a nylon topped Enduro BC would come in about a 6-8 ounces heavier.

    They're considerably damper than you'd expect - nearly as damp as my GPOs. I need to get out on them and GPOs back to back in varying conditions and I loaded the CD 104s & GPOs in the carrier a short while ago.

    When I was moving skis around the shop, I bumped a pair of Atomic 109s which weigh a touch under 9 Lbs. I decided to give it the all important "boing" test. With the tail resting on the floor and holding the ski at the toepiece, I wacked the shovel. I did the same thing with the CD 104s and the CD 104s came to rest much more quickly than the Atomics. Nothing scientific here (I'll try this with both the 104s and GPOs when I have them in the shop).

    On that first day, in 3" of wind-affected somewhat dense, hooky snow, they felt more predictable than my Q's, but that's likely more about me than both of these skis. I still have an occasional rude awakening with the Q's, although this is becoming less frequent.

    If you followed the CD 102 thread, I think both auvgeek and I wrote (about these skis I bought from him) that the pair of 2014 CD 102's felt a bit squirelly in the tip. This didn't work for either him or me.

    This is for the most part, gone in the CD 104s. I think they struck a great balance with the "Freeride Rocker". Being more of an off piste design and I wouldn't want to trade the predictability of the tip in manky snow for a slight bit of flat/straight-running stability.

    More on Wednesday night or Thursday.
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by acinpdx View Post
    CD114 in trees? it won't be the optimal ski there
    (my experience, tho, is the 196, so maybe someone else has input: boissal, cascadeluke, tuco, swerve? [they got the backcountry layup, tho])
    CD114 in trees has worked out well for me this season. It's the shorter version (189) and it's also the touring one (CD114L) which is bound to be more snappy than its heavier cousin which will help for tighter turns. I have no issues whatsoever in tight terrain and can turn them on a dime. That's basically my main complaint with them actually, I can't really let them run at speed, they insist on closing turns no matter how much I try to open things up. It's a bit odd considering they don't have too much early rise so the running length is significant and the turn radius is relatively large. I attribute this to the mounting point being really far forward, at least compared what I'm used to. They're a great all around soft snow ski when mounted on the line and I found myself skiing them pretty much every day this year and only wishing for my Lotus 120s once (the only days of heavy fast pow I got out on).

    For comparison, I find it easier to make big opened turns on my 179 LD 102s. They can be a bit squirrelly but once you get a rhythm going they're like rails. It's obviously not how they're meant to be skied though...

  14. #14
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    Get Down with Down (skis)

    Quote Originally Posted by Boissal View Post
    That's basically my main complaint with them actually, I can't really let them run at speed, they insist on closing turns no matter how much I try to open things up.
    Im a bit surprised as Id imagine the shorter lengths with the same layup should ski stiffer

    (but maybe thats the bc layup?)
    (although the effective edge length is also shorter)

    Simen or Geo...any design input?

  15. #15
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    Got the LD102s in 186. They weigh at or slightly below 1600g each! Insane. Very excited to ski them.

    Just mounted them. I did a real bangup job. Printed the paper jig off Wildsnow. Did a couple prints until I got the "20mm" scale-box perfect. For me, this was 103% zoom. Note to everyone: if you have my printer, the Radical 2.0 Wildsnow jig does not fit the Radical 2.0 toe with the "scale" box perfect. Ignore the scale box -- print until the jig fits the actual holes on your bindings (oops / duh). Avoid having to move back 1/2cm and having holes that nearly touch and epoxy everywhere.
    Last edited by margotron; 04-25-2018 at 06:42 AM.

  16. #16
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    Given the title, this thread is currently poster child for:
    stoke pics or shut the fuck up.

  17. #17
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    Thom, if you've been liking the shorter CD104 then I'd assume the shorter CD114 would be a good fit. I got the CD114 as a touring ski last year and loved them, a very intuitive ski for me. They are a decent amount of ski to throw around in tighter spots in the 189 length.
    I also have the LD102 but not enough days to really get a good feel for them since some injuries cut the season short a year ago and have put a damper on much of this last winter. I got the CD114L mounted last weekend and should be able to get out on them next week. I'll try and get back to back laps so I can compare the 114 and 114L. If you have any questions post them up. I'm pretty bad at reviewing skis but I'll do my best to answer questions.
    Edit to add that both 114s are mounted 1cm behind the recommended line. I forget where the 102s are mounted but pretty sure they are on the line.
    "College sailing isn't about who wins the most races, its about who can stand in the morning"

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by swerve View Post
    Thom, if you've been liking the shorter CD104 then I'd assume the shorter CD114 would be a good fit. I got the CD114 as a touring ski last year and loved them, a very intuitive ski for me. They are a decent amount of ski to throw around in tighter spots in the 189 length.
    I also have the LD102 but not enough days to really get a good feel for them since some injuries cut the season short a year ago and have put a damper on much of this last winter. I got the CD114L mounted last weekend and should be able to get out on them next week. I'll try and get back to back laps so I can compare the 114 and 114L. If you have any questions post them up. I'm pretty bad at reviewing skis but I'll do my best to answer questions.
    Edit to add that both 114s are mounted 1cm behind the recommended line. I forget where the 102s are mounted but pretty sure they are on the line.
    Thanks!

    Well tomorrow will fill in a few more blanks - moving back slightly and decreasing ramp angle. I know the 181's are the right touring length for me. I'm curious if a 187 would be better inbounds, but I always have to remember that given a choice, I'll always take quickness in narrow places over top end speed.

    Reading between the lines (coupled with dschane's comments), it sounds as if the standard CD 114 skis a bit longer which would make the 182 a no-brainer.

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

  19. #19
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    If I remember correct there is two pair of Downskis in this pic.

  20. #20
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    Test Day #2: TL/DR - Even better than the first day.

    Last week I was riding the Lenawee lift with a young woman who was doing North Pole laps. She asked me about the skis and I told her that I'm "testing" them (sounds so self-important, doesn't it?).

    She commented: "it's not such a great day for testing skis", to which I replied that I was actually very interested in how they behaved in manky, deflect-o snow.

    Well today was another one of those non-hero snow days. Instead of a few inches of manky/wind-affected snow, today had a light dusting covering frozen chicken heads in the morning - just what my gimpy left knee was looking forward to.

    Mount Change and Tip Flutter (GONE):

    Well, after returning the loaner Verticals to my wife, I plugged the holes and installed Vipecs. The mount point moved back to the line (only a 7mm change).

    Any vagueness in the tips and tip flutter was gone. Call me convinced about ramp angle. I doubt that moving back by only 7mm contributed in any significant way.

    From a stability perspective, they felt 10-15cm longer than last week, but retained all of their agility. The boys really nailed this rocker design. I'm still curious about the 187s (mounted for inbounds), but not in a compelling way. I wouldn't want to give up the quickness of the 181s (well ... maybe just a bit - to see what's possible).

    Stability and Predictability:

    Cruising over the morning chicken heads, I turned where I wanted to and not where they (the chicken heads) dictated. The CD 104s handled them differently than a heavier ski like a Wren 108 would, but they did handle them. While they're a bit lighter, they feel very much like Praxis' Enduro core.

    A ski like a Wren would have bullied its way through them (NTTAWWT). It's difficult to describe the sensation with the CD 104s. They seem to deflect initially (ever so slightly) but then immediately self-correct in a dependable and intuitive way. It's difficult to describe. I first started thinking about this with respect to my Quixotes, although the Qs seem to take a bit of conscious effort to bring them back - at least in manky snow (I can't recall skiing over chicken heads with them).

    Turn Radius:

    Looking for softer snow, I headed back over to 'Zuma, but no such luck - just more refrozen snow. The sun needed more time. I did ski a groomer while back there, and the CD 104s lock into a turn very nicely - not race ski nice but in a similar way to how my GPOs handle fairly hard snow. I'm finding that I can vary the turn radius and not lose an edge. I don't know enough about ski design to say why this is the case.

    Tuning, etc.

    I didn't change the tune since last week - a 1/1 bevel, heavily de-tuned to the taper points (with a file - not a gummy). The tips and tails release effortlessly and intuitively. They don't hang up in tight spaces.

    After about 4 hours of this abuse, my knee began complaining and the snow didn't soften up much, so I called it a day. I really wanted to spend time with the CD104s so I didnt' pull out the GPOs for a comaparison. I know my GPOs well enough to say that they have a very similar DNA. I'm OK with that.

    It's time to stop "testing" these, slap some skins on them and catch some Spring tours.

    ... Thom
    Last edited by galibier_numero_un; 04-26-2018 at 01:02 PM.
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  21. #21
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    Absolutely drooling over the ShowDown 95. The last of my Enforcer/Hell&Backs just died, and I'm thinking the SDs might fit right in the 95ish waist carve-the-shit-out-of-everything slot. Anyone here skied both?
    Quote Originally Posted by doughboyshredder View Post
    If you're not standing on the fucking traverse with your thumb up your ass you wont get checked.

    dumbfuck.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedfreak View Post
    Absolutely drooling over the ShowDown 95. The last of my Enforcer/Hell&Backs just died, and I'm thinking the SDs might fit right in the 95ish waist carve-the-shit-out-of-everything slot. Anyone here skied both?
    The SD95 are truly carve-the-shit-how-hard-you-like type of skis that still will hold their own beside groomed areas as well. I have no time on og Enforcers but I do on their wider brother Girish. I'd say the the sensation on snow is similar to the Nordicas when it comes to snow contact, flex and damping, but of course the smaller SD95 with early taper tip and a little on tails, coupled with tighter sidecut is much more agile. My favorite allround frontsiders this far.

    I have not had mine in any deeper pow than about a foot of windblown. It won't float in pow as such, no surprise given width and all, but they're well behaved and predictable even if submerged. Also, with the slightest input of vertical effort or nose up attitude when carrying some speed, they will easily come up to the surface thanks to their tip rocker/tip shape. My feeling is that the torsional rigidity is greatly contributing to the predictable beavior under the surface. I haven't even detuned the tip sections.

    Sorry I can't compare to og Enforcers but the ShowDown 95 are keepers for sure!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedfreak View Post
    Absolutely drooling over the ShowDown 95. The last of my Enforcer/Hell&Backs just died, and I'm thinking the SDs might fit right in the 95ish waist carve-the-shit-out-of-everything slot. Anyone here skied both?
    I own the SD95. They absolutely rail on firm snow, but haven't had then out in more than a few inches of soft where they also killed. Shortest radius ski I've had in forever but yea, for intended use they're nimble, stiff and awesome. No point of comparison to Nordicas. Sorry.

  24. #24
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    I put my ld102 at -8.5

    I measured this as the exact middle of the contact patch. I am thinking about going back 2 to -10.5 which would only require new toe holes (thank you radicals for about 25 mm adjustment in each direction!!!)

    Let me know how they feel to you. I ski more center mounted skis typically.

    I had no spinners Rd 1 but wil be careful.

    In other mounting related news, I put inserts in some skis yesterday and did one hole so wide the insert entered freely. Epoxied the shit out of it, hoping for the best. I've seen some numbers that suggest pure epoxy in a free spinning hole is basically as strong but still worries me until I ski them a bunch next year

    Quote Originally Posted by 1000-oaks View Post
    Maybe the construction is different on the newer models, but the 2016(?) 172 YW8 89 I tried mounting last night is a bit delicate in the screw retention area. Mounted lots of skis and never had a spinner until now, but had two on first toe on the YW8. Didn't spin the heels screws, by then I knew to barely snug down the screws and call it good. Haven't touched the second ski yet, debating whether to use inserts on just the toes, or all holes. Anyhow, be gentle mounting this model or use inserts.

    Regarding the mounting line, Down said go -10 or -11 from true center. Also read online -12 is the spot. After finding the center of the sidecut and looking at the running length when on edge, I put the ball of foot on the center of edged running length (the tip rocker makes it tricky to place CRL) and went with -11.5cm.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by N1CK. View Post
    I own the SD95. They absolutely rail on firm snow, but haven't had then out in more than a few inches of soft where they also killed. Shortest radius ski I've had in forever but yea, for intended use they're nimble, stiff and awesome. No point of comparison to Nordicas. Sorry.
    How stiff is the SD95?

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