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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Bay Area / Tahoe
    Posts
    2,396

    Chargey, Damp, but Surfey Hardpack Ski?

    So Iím re-thinking my hardpack ski for Tahoe and I need recommendation.

    I currently have a 184cm Praxis Piste Jib mounted -1 with a heavy hitter, veneer, 3+ flex.

    I like the skis a lot, but theyíre honestly too center mounted and jibby. I ski very directionally these days, never go into the park, and I find these donít have enough tip in front of me when Iím pushing hard, and would prefer a little less tail and more aggressive ski.

    So Iím looking for a damp ski that likes to go fast and can cut through heavy Sierra snow (springtime especially). Stability at high speeds on groomers needed, but the ability to make quick turns and more importantly, smear and pivot quickly is also a must (with good form and driving the tips). These will be used a lot in soft bumps, which I tend to surf/slide through.

    Honestly have no idea what skis might be good candidates, Iíve been pretty out of the ski loop the past few seasons. I had an old pair of Brahmas I liked a lot. Iíd think I want metal in these skis (these skis will never been used in any kind of pow or new snow) but itís not a must. Probably something in the 80-100mm waist range.

    My day after the storm skis are 182cm heavy/carbon/veneer/4 flex Praxis Quixotes which I really love mounted -1.25, they do well in bumps and cutting through crud - but they end up being too much work on hardpack at 118mm underfoot. Anything soft they come alive though.

    I also have and love 191 Praxis/PM Gear Lhasa Pow Fats, 189 Praxis/PM Gear Kusalas, 191 ON3P Cease and Desists, and 184 ON3P Billygoat 108 Tours. So I have any and all soft snow and Pow quiver spots filled.

    Moment commanders and Deathwish 104s look interesting, but I wish the DW was maybe narrower and had some metal in it.

    Thanks all

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dystopia
    Posts
    19,257
    Hard to say.

    But I’m intrigued by the HL 110.
    Reverse but narrow and damp.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    San Juans
    Posts
    536
    Mantra 102. Iím a shovel driving directional guy and find it does all the things you are talking about. I do still have Brahmas as well.


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Bay Area
    Posts
    621
    M102. This is my Tahoe DD.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Down on Electric Avenue
    Posts
    3,791
    M102. This is my Jackson DD.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    59715
    Posts
    6,195
    Quote Originally Posted by Muggydude View Post
    I had an old pair of Brahmas I liked a lot.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Sun Valley, ID
    Posts
    2,419
    Mantra is a good shout. Also look at the Enforcer 94 or newer construction 100.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Philly, PA
    Posts
    1,338
    Quote Originally Posted by CaliBrit View Post
    Mantra is a good shout. Also look at the Enforcer 94 or newer construction 100.
    I have the E94 in this spot, it rails hardpack and is great in soft bumps. Firm bumps the tail can be a handful .

    For real off piste skiing they could use some more width, def a bottom feeder that need unweighting to turn quickly in any depth.

    I also have a Praxis Q in 188 paired with this as my fresh snow.ski. Its a good combo , but if I was in Tahoe instead of EC / western travel , I would prob go up to the E100 (newer version as mentioned above ,it's the similar heavy and stuff construction as the E94)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dystopia
    Posts
    19,257
    Quote Originally Posted by Duffman View Post
    I have the E94 in this spot, it rails hardpack and is great in soft bumps. Firm bumps the tail can be a handful .

    For real off piste skiing they could use some more width, def a bottom feeder that need unweighting to turn quickly in any depth.

    I also have a Praxis Q in 188 paired with this as my fresh snow.ski. Its a good combo , but if I was in Tahoe instead of EC / western travel , I would prob go up to the E100 (newer version as mentioned above ,it's the similar heavy and stuff construction as the E94)
    They rail. But I wouldn’t call the enforcer surfy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Winthrop, WA.
    Posts
    1,470
    Man, I was thinking a pair of LPR 100's was exactly what you are describing until I got to "but the ability to make quick turns and more importantly, smear and pivot quickly is also a must". If you gotta have that last part then yeah, M6-M102 like everyone is saying. They are the shit. The new Boners might fit as well.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Lapping the pow with the GSA in the PNW
    Posts
    4,865
    Can here to say M102Öbut I was late to the party.
    In constant pursuit of the perfect slarve...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Philly, PA
    Posts
    1,338
    Quote Originally Posted by Core Shot View Post
    They rail. But I wouldn’t call the enforcer surfy.
    Yeah missed that part. Not at all surfy. Fairly odd request for a surfy hardpack ski

    But yeah ,that is the reason why i am casually keeping my eyes open for a middle ski between the Enforcer and the Q. Something looser for lower tide off piste trees, bumps , and bigger mtn travel .

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wenatchee
    Posts
    13,445
    HLS r99 AM


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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dystopia
    Posts
    19,257
    Quote Originally Posted by Duffman View Post
    Yeah missed that part. Not at all surfy. Fairly odd request for a surfy hardpack ski

    But yeah ,that is the reason why i am casually keeping my eyes open for a middle ski between the Enforcer and the Q. Something looser for lower tide off piste trees, bumps , and bigger mtn travel .
    I’m soon to get a heritage labs RR 110.
    It is crazy. But it makes me ask. Why not.
    Do you really need camber? Once you lay it over, if it’s stiff enough it should rail. No?? Or yes?
    But RR should slarve fresh like no other.
    Waiting to see.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Danby
    Posts
    1,853
    I mean my Corvus fits that bill. It’ll surfy just fine if you have edge control.


    that new HL Fall line will hopefully be just that as well.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Bay Area / Tahoe
    Posts
    2,396

    Chargey, Damp, but Surfey Hardpack Ski?

    Surfy might be a slight misnomer on hardpack, but I could translate that to being able to slide/pivot well and release the tail to shut down speed quickly when needed. And all the spring mashed potato snow here can be surfy in its own way once it warms up haha

    Will look into the new Mantra 102

    How do the M6 Mantra and M102 compare?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Aspen, CO
    Posts
    315
    I would look at the Corvus. Plenty directional and chargey, rails on hard pack, no speed limit, still surfy feel. Still pretty good swingweight in the air, def better than mantra/katana in that regard and surfyness


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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Back in Seattle
    Posts
    1,019
    I havenít skied new mantras but have bones in this slot, no problem releasing the tails for me but they really donít like back seat skiing. I tried a set a woodsman 102s for this as well and they are super surfy at the cost of hard snow grip. R99s also ski nicely I could just overpower the am layup and didnít want to wait for the comps.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    1,024
    I'd recommend Corvus for this slot. M102 is a better carver (at least for me) and stays more composed in rough terrain. Somehow Corvus feels looser most likely due to lighter weight and more progressive mount point. Both are great skis, pick your poison.

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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Grandma's Basement
    Posts
    1,093
    PBJ/WC101?

    Pretty surfy, can drive hard, still very playful.
    "Poop is funny" - Frank Reynolds

    www.experiencedgear.net

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    5,052
    legend pro 94mm. on the cheap these days

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    SF
    Posts
    346
    I think the OG Cochise has a reputation for doing what you want. I picked up a pair earlier this season but only skied em 1 day so far, but they rip and seem to fit the bill. Think thereís a pair in Gearswap right now too.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    idaho panhandle!
    Posts
    9,485

    Chargey, Damp, but Surfey Hardpack Ski?

    Damp, chargey, hardpack and surfey donít coexist.
    Damp, chargey, harpack, lots of options.
    Damp, surfey, chargey, options there.
    All of those combined? Nope.
    Nothing thatís going to charge hard pack is going to surf well or at all.
    Muggy, do you mean easy to break out of a carve on firm or softíish snow, throw them sideways to shut them down?
    If so a lot of skis can do that if detuned properly and you can feather the edge in a turn.
    I believe you are in fact looking for a firm snow trencher that you can break loose on firmer now with some effort, I sure as shit donít want a firm snow trencher that gets loose easily.
    Quite a few of the skis mentioned will do that. If you are a smaller guy, the HL R99 AM would fit that bill. The tip is to soft for charging softer or heavier snow if heavier and/or taller. If you can hold out for a bit Iíll have the Comp build hopefully by the weekend and will drop a review. With that said, the AM is a great ski and does a lot of what you want.
    The M102 gets high praise by buds who rip, DJ included.
    Honestly you may be looking more at a Dynastar mfree99 or Mpro99 or the Menace when you say,Ē but the ability to make quick turns and more importantly, smear and pivot quickly is also a mustĒ.
    Really you are looking for a unicorn that I donít believe exists.


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  24. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    64
    I can see why your interested in Commanders.
    Commander 98s have been great for me as a low tide ski. I have 20+ days on them this season and have been really impressed with the stability at speed and quickness edge to edge. They carve a turn and release the tail if desired, but they are definitely more locked in than something full rocker. The few times I've had them in bumps they have been servicable, but I'm not a great bump skier. I have no trouble with making small radius turns, but definitely a stiff ski that leans more GS than slalom. Also not my go to for anything fresh, but I've used them on a lot of storm days this year and I've been surprised how good they are up to about 6in and then Im really wishing I was on my BG110s. The metal and weight smooths them out in chop, but that flatter tail and narrower shovel is noticeable in deep heavy snow and you really need to keep the speed up to stay maneuverable.

    With you saying you like to smear and pivot, maybe look at something full rocker/reverse camber? Meridians, something Volkl? I like my 194 Devastators, but I wouldn't call them agile and they weigh just short of a metric ton.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    May 2022
    Location
    Truckee
    Posts
    271
    Quote Originally Posted by Core Shot View Post
    They rail. But I wouldnít call the enforcer surfy.

    The 110 is. I haven't ridden the 104. I'm liking the 110 quite a bIt right now as my Tahoe DD.

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