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  1. #1
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    Review of 2007/08 DP Lotus 138

    Ski: 07/08 Lotus 138, Flex 2
    Skier: 5'11, 170lbs
    Conditions: Skied 5 days in Jackson, conditions ranging from 10" of dry stuff through to 6" of heavy cement. Also skied one day in Vail BC with 2/3 ft of blown in powder.

    First off i'd like to say a huge "thank you" to Stephan for giving me free use of these over the past few weeks. I'd been emailing back and forth to see if my set would arrive in time for my Christmas trip to Jackson, only to come home to find these sitting in my room, along with a note asking me to try some different mounting points. Props for some PM Gear rivaling customer service.

    The first thing i noticed about the skis was the increased rocker over last years model. My housemate has a set of last year's 138's, and the new model has almost exactly double the tip and tail rocker. Other differences include a wider tip profile, a new topsheet, thicker side walls (lined with bamboo), and a further layer of elastomer. They have a nice progressive flexing tip - i'd say about 20% stiffer than Marshals 06 120's - with a significantly stiffer tail. Even though these are supposedly a set of blems, the build quality seems outstanding. They are maybe a fraction heavier than last year's, although i'd need to weigh to confirm.

    My first run from the Gondola in Jackson to Thunder these was somewhat hairy. I'd never skied anything with this shape/camber before, so didn't really know what to expect. My objective quickly shifted from trying not to eat shit, to trying not to kill anyone on the way down. Don't even try and set an edge on these; strictly old school pivot turns. That said i've since got used to them on the groomed, and so long as you stay centred they are actually quite fun - their party trick is the ludicrously fast side-slip.

    Fortunately though i didn't have to wait long to try them in better conditions, and no surprises that here they excel. Powder truly becomes effortless, the skis just sit on top of the snow and accelerate. Turning is almost surreal; they accelerate out of the turn like you wouldn't believe. I don't really know how to articulate it, the skis just seem perfectly efficient. It's as if all the effort you put into the turn, instead of getting scrubbed off as with other skis, translates directly into raw acceleration. If you want to slow these down in a turn, you'd best keep going until your facing uphill. Another notable feature was that they refuse to dive under the any circumstances. I tried a number of different mounting points, and at my preferred position (-1 on the new scale) i felt as though no matter how heavily i weighted the tips they wouldn't sink. I think this was one of Stephan's objectives for this year's ski, as he wanted them to plane even at low speeds. If you have an affinity for face shots, i suggest you look elsewhere.

    I know lots of you will be interested to hear how these cope with drops etc. Unfortunately i'm not renowned for my hucking abilities, however on the few little things i did hit, the landings were no problem. On one occasion i remember landing WAY forward and still the tips stayed up and made saved my blushes. These skis have a habit of making you look good.

    In spite of all the lavish praise above, i'd say my most impressive experience on these came last weekend on a tracked out chunky Vail back bowl. These skis slice through crud and chop like a hot knife through butter. They just sit on top of everything and beg to go faster. I actually enjoy skiing them more in these conditions, as you can go faster in crud/chop than blower pow. It's the equivalent of railing a race ski on a perfectly groomed run, they just want to be let loose.

    Downsides? Well dust on crud bumps suck. Also i've taken a number of groomer spills whereby i've absent mildly tried to set an edge, only to have the skis wash out from under me. If you're doing any type of hiking you'd best have a pack, the camber means they can't be shouldered like a regular ski. Traverses on these are also really slow going. If i was in Jackson for the season again, i think the Granite traverse might get old very, very quickly. The topsheet on of one of the tips has also started to chip, although Stephan did say that the tips on these aren't the same as the production model. Otherwise the durability has been unquestionable. I skied these a lot in early season Jackson conditions, and the edges/bases seem bomber.

    As you can probably tell i'm fairly taken by these sticks, am actually suffering from a bout of severe post purchase satisfaction. I look forward to hearing other's feedback as well as comparisons with spats, ehps etc. For the record i think the first batch of 200 or so skis are getting sent out next week. I'll be doing a head to head of my own, with at set of Unity Hiatt 191's (155-140-155) in the next couple of weeks or so - I'm expecting those to ski more like an extra fat 120, than the 138 though.

    Below are a few pics - apologies for the quality.
    Last edited by Mikey; 01-12-2007 at 11:54 PM.

  2. #2
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    For clarification: these are the 06/07, yes?

    Sweet review. Stoked to hear how able they are in crud/chunk. Can't wait to get mine.
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  3. #3
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    06/07 i.e. 2nd generation of 138
    Sorry - my mistake.

  4. #4
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    um thats a shit ton of rocker. wow.

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    Hey! Mikey likes them!
    Last edited by WWCD; 01-12-2007 at 09:39 PM. Reason: forgot the s

  6. #6
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    Holy shit it looks like those things were used to span a crevasse........for a year......
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  7. #7
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    Nice review. Every moth or so I read another post of the Lotus skis and every month I need a pair more and more.

  8. #8
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    Your review sounds strangly similar to my Praxis review mostly due to the fact my first run was also off the gondi here at Jackson and I too was facinated how fun they are on groomers once you get used to them.

    Glad you like them, if I win the powerball, I'll buy some.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pechelman View Post
    um thats a shit ton of rocker. wow.
    I concur.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossass View Post
    I concur.
    holy crap! that is an insane amount of rocker as compared to the 1st generation. so glad I took DPS on their offer to send in my first gen for 2nd gen warranty. Hopefully they will be here in the next week or so!!!!

    And nice review Mikey. Your so dead on in describing how these skis accelerate in pow...so much fun. Interesting to hear that you preferred yours at -1. Are the mount lines any different from the 1st Gen? for my 1st Gen pair, I mounted mine on their center mount line, and then wished I mounted at -1.

    So is -1 on the 2nd generation 138 equivalent to the -1 mark on the 1st generation?

    (wow, and after looking at the tips again in the pics, holy shit that looks like a MUCH wider tip on the 2nd generation model as compared to the 1st. The 1st generation had a much more shark nose/torpedo shaped tip. will be interesting to see how this wider tip changes the ride....I really liked the torpedo shaped tip of the 1st generation...)
    Last edited by Tyrone Shoelaces; 01-13-2007 at 03:26 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Tyrone, i'm pretty sure that this years graph has been pushed back by two centimeters. So -1 would be equivalent to -3 on last years graph. My housemate mounted his first generation at -3 on the graph and loves them there - different strokes for different folks i guess. I tried the second generation at +1 and boot centre, but much preferred -1; completely eliminates tip dive and seems to help them plane at low speed. Be interesting to hear stephan's preference.

    As for the tips, they are significantly wider. I remember stephan saying that these aren't quite so quick to turn as last years with the shark nose. Look forward to hearing your take on it once you've got on the new ones.

  12. #12
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    the thing i don't get is the comments about traverses and groomers with inverse skis. i skied hardpack on the praxis skis on the first day i used them with no problems worth noting (although tele turns on hardpack aren't worth the trouble on these skis. parallels were the way to go.). it pretty much felt like skiing hardpack on a pair of 145 cm skis---you couldn't go super fast or anything, but it wasn't difficult to make decent fall-line turns. as for traversing, i've done a shitload of traverses with no issues at all. places like heavenly or kirkwood require all kinds of traversing to get to/from the goods---i've had no issues at all doing long ass traverses and cat tracks with the praxis skis.

    a spat user posted that the main issue w/ spats on traverses is the sheer weight of the ski, not the reverse sidecut. since the praxis is lighter, around 10 lbs, i figured that's why i wasn't having any problems. but this lotus review above again mentions the traversing issue. ?? the lotus 138 is a light ski by any standard.

    and another thing: what's the real-world advantage of the slightly inward sidecut underfoot here? in theory it would help on the traverses/cattracks, but Lotus 138 reviews are not really reporting any real-world benefit. meanwhile i'm on a pair of skis with no inward sidecut at all, having no issues on traverses or groomers.

    last year I was totally convinced (based on theory) that a hybrid ski that had some properties of an inverse, spat-like ski, combined with some properties of a traditional ski, was the way to go. like marhalO sez, i liked the idea of a having an edge to stomp on. but i gotta say that now that i actually own a fully inverse ski, my interest in the hybrid ski designs has gone way down.

  13. #13
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    if your traverse consits of alot of skating, then a little sidecut is needed to keep the ski from shooting off in weird directions randomly.

  14. #14
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    or if you're doing a ton of traversing on one edge it tends to hurt my feet since the ski gets kind of squirrley

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by frorider View Post
    . as for traversing, i've done a shitload of traverses with no issues at all. places like heavenly or kirkwood require all kinds of traversing to get to/from the goods---i've had no issues at all doing long ass traverses and cat tracks with the praxis skis.
    mikey -- thanks for your response above to my question. i'll post a review comparing the 2nd generation to the 1st generation 138 once I recieve them, get them mounted, and get them out in some conditions worthy of testing.

    Fro -- before I purchased the 138 last year, I was a Spatula owner. I loved the Spats overall , but hated their weight, and didn't like the bow-legged feeling I got from them on groomers and traverses. It really wasn't an issue, just a feeling of instability I guess. After I sold my Spats, and got the 138's, I noticed that this bow-legged feeling was gone (as was, obviously, any weight issues) which I attributed to the trace of traditional sidecut underfoot on the 138's. I ski Kirkwood all the time as well, never had any issues traversing on the 138 last year at all.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    but much preferred -1; completely eliminates tip dive and seems to help them plane at low speed.
    what the hell were you doing to produce tip dive on a ski that wide with that much rocker? I wouldnt have thought 1cm would have made any difference with respect to tip dive.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshalolson View Post
    if your traverse consits of alot of skating, then a little sidecut is needed to keep the ski from shooting off in weird directions randomly.
    to be more explicit...the large amount of traversing i've done on the praxis has included skating sections (thought that was obvious. guess not). to me the praxis feels pretty much straight under foot if you consciously weight the heel. i'm not saying i'd want to skate 10 miles across a frozen lake on these things, just saying that from an 'access the goods' perspective at the typical CO/UT/CA/WA resort, they're not much different to me than my big daddies.

    maybe it has to do with mount location? mine are mounted tele, -2.5 cm relative to the alpine location, which might help them feel less pivoty on the groomed.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by frorider View Post
    ... just saying that from an 'access the goods' perspective at the typical CO/UT/CA/WA resort, they're not much different to me than my big daddies....
    nice, i have not been on the praxis, but i did feel my feet shoot off while skating & traversing on spats. i have only spent somewhat limited time on 138's, but they lead me to believe that they skated and traversed alot better than spats due to a little edge and a flat spot to track straight a bit.

    that said, i can say that my 120's traverse and skate noticably better. its faster going and takes less energy.

    oh, and just to be explicit, I am talking about a 3 mile flat traverse to find a road to hitch back to your car kind of travese, not a half mile out of the gates heading back to the lift kind of traverse.

    i am stoked to ski on someones praxxis. really interested to see how they compare...

    oh, and great write-up mikey. give me a call when SD gets back...

  19. #19
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    Um, STOKED!

    Hoping to get my new ones out first thing on Monday and they I, too, will post a review of 1st vs 2nd gen 138s. I will say, I've got 20 - 25 days on my 1st gens now and if the 2nds are all I expect them to be, I can't fucking wait!
    I've got more suits than Liberace, but less than Eastvailhucker.

  20. #20
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    3 mile skating -- okay I have not done that on the praxis. and wouldn't want to, unless the payoff had been good.

    don't get me wrong -- the lotus 120 is a ski i had my eye on from the beginnings of the design. your posts have reinforced the idea that it kills the pow but retains a lot of versatility.

    i was more trying to figure out why the praxis seems to work better for me than i had expected in the non-powder situations and traverses. i don't really notice the width on sidehills, don't feel that bow-legged feeling (perhaps because i'm 6' 3"), haven't had any falls on the groomers from a ski shooting off in a weird direction (perhaps the more rearward mounting point?).

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    so, did you put pins a chord center? @ balance point? just curious....

  22. #22
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    BTW, Marshal, can I have my 120s delivered to you directly?
    I'm out of town all this week in Boston, and they're supposed to ship.
    Don't want to have them sitting at the door or what have you for a week.
    And if you're amenable to some good beer, I'll probably still ask ya to slap on some 916s on them?
    Then, after that we just need it to DUMP here.
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  23. #23
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    fro,

    I think the 'traversing problem' all started with the Spats; very heavy with very little ski underfoot touching the snow, and alot of reverse sidecut. This led to me coming to a complete stop on cat tracks when normally i would have been carrying more than enough speed to simply glide into the lift. Then, skating to the lift with that reverse sidecut was painful. (ie the traverse from thunder saddle back to lift 2 at kirkwood).

    Not to mention sidestepping, given the weight of the spats, say the high T out to Palisades at kirkwood,.

    Therefore, I think that these question gets asked about every new ski with reverse camber/sidecut (or whatever you want to call it).

    I got a pair of the Pontoons mid-season last year, and I have no problem traversing, skiing groomers, sidestepping or skating on these.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshalolson View Post
    so, did you put pins a chord center? @ balance point? just curious....
    i made 3 reference points --- boot midsole on the topsheet line (i.e. Keith's recommended alpine location), midsole location that would put the pins at the effective chord center (i.e. ignoring most of the upturned tail section), and the ball-of-foot center-of-running-surface method. turns out locations 1 and 3 were about identical for my 28.5 garmonts; location 2 was about 6 or 7 cm behind the other two locations. i'm writing this from memory so i hope it's accurate.

    after defining the above range--always my first step when mounting tele on an alpine board--i then tried to take into account other factors like tail stiffness and waist location. tail is not particularly stiff on the praxis; and the waist is very far forward, by design. based on that i decided to weigh locations 1 & 3 more heavily in the calculation--so i went just 2.5 cm back of location 1 (or 3, same thing in my case). i.e. -2.5 in normal TGR terms.

    in 15+ years of tele i've never cared about balance point for mounting location. in my experience the recommended alpine location, and the flex shape, are the two most important inputs. I have noticed that some tele skiers who like to get waaaaaay down on every turn (knee near the topsheet) find my mounting locations to be too far forward.

    is this techy enough for Tech Talk yet? seems like it should be on the general discussion board.

  25. #25
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    cool write-up - I am excited to get some
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