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Voile Mtn Surf
Lengths: 165, 175,
185 Dimensions: 110/88/10
(165 length has
dimensions of: 105/83/98)
This is a wood core board
without a metal topsheet. Omitting the metal topsheet saves weight
and this is a fat ski designed for both off and on piste.
The Mtn Surf is a really different
kind of tele ski and has been for quite awhile. Another fat board
that was way ahead of its time, this ski is much more than a
powder ski. It handles everything other than really hard pack
well. The 22 mm's of sidecut make it almost a traditional ski
by todays standards but it is soft enough to bend into a nice
arc, the old way to carve short turns and it still works.
I would not say that this
ski is as powerful or made to rip in the same way that others
in its class might be, but it is a lot lighter: just 7 1/2 pounds
in the 187 length. The one problem here is that as skis get wider
there is more surface area to get deflected and tossed around.
Most of the big skis are heavy enough to counter this tendency,
lighter wide skis such this one, and say the old Atomic lightweights,
can suffer in this area. I have to say though that in my test
rides of the Mtn Surf I did not notice it to be a problem. It
is not really that light I suppose.
I would call this a forgiving
ski. It is a very stable platform and floats through the soft
stuff nicely. I am told that it is really fun in spring corn
too. I have not tried it there myself, but I have skied it now
a couple of times and I can see how its characteristics would
make it a fine spring ski.
Conclusion: I like this ski.
It is fun and for an upward moving tele skier looking to go fat
but wanting to stick with a forgiving, relatively light tele-specific
ski this might be the ride. Real aggressive experts may want
to go with one of the alpine mid-fats, but this is a stable ski
for its type. Great!
173, 178, 183, 188, 193, 198 Dimensions: 106/70/94
The K2 X-15 is an
all mountain alpine ski with the "Triaxilly Braided"
core that K2 uses. It means that fibers are wrapped around the
fir core at an angle to give the ski torsional stiffness. It
also features K2's "Smart Structure" vibration dampening
system with those cool little LED's!
This is a very good ski for
strong tele skiers. It is fairly stiff so it may not be suitable
for you cardio fit lightweights or telebabes, but for bigger
telemarkers this is a fine ski. The X-15's 36 mm's of sidecut
make it a terrific carving tool, the width gives it lots of float
and, as noted here before, the spiffy anti vibration LED's do
seem to work. This is a damp ski without being dead.
This is a true all-mountain
ski for telemark. It does well in powder, mush, crud and on the
groomed runs. I am told it does well in the bumps too. I enjoyed
my time on the X-15 and this was a surprise because in general
I have not been a fan of the K2 skis, as many of you already
Conclusion: A good ski for
big body expert tele skiers. Not an entry level ski.
Atomic Beta Ride 9.22 S
Lengths: 160, 170,
180, 190, 200 Dimensions: 108-72-100
The 9.22 S has Atomic's Beta
Technology, a "densolite" foam core with two distinct
ridges running longitudinally along the fore and after bodies
of the ski. Like many new skis these days, it is very torsionally
rigid but fairly soft in flex. I chose the "S" model
to try because it was available to me and also because, being
softer than the standard 9.22, I think it is more suited to tele
This is a fun ski. Powerful
and precise, it is a ski that will keep up with an aggressive
expert. The 9.22 S has a ton of side cut, so naturally it likes
to carve short radius turns. The wide tail wide tail gives it
some of the, what I perceive to be negative, characteristics
of the Tale Pothook (below): it tends to want to hang onto the
turn a little longer than the driver might want it to. Perhaps
this is something that can be adjusted to with time but I always
find it a bit disconcerting when I first jump on a ski like this.
Oh, and about that side cut.
36 mm's is a lot, if you don't like super sidecut skis you probably
won't like this one either. I really don't like to go much over
30 mm's and yet I still had a good time on the 9.22 S, it is
a terrific area ski and a lot of fun to carve turns with. It
was also fun in the bumps.
Conclusion: I had a good time
riding the 9.22 S but would I buy a pair for myself? No. I can't
really put my finger on it but it just did not feel like my kind
of back- country ski. It feels to me like a full blown inbounds
kind of ski and with so many skis that are at home both in and
out of the area, I would invest elsewhere. It just might be me,
I know a couple people who love them, but now that I think about
it, they are resort skiers.
Fischer Tele Pathic
Lengths: 170, 180,
190 Dimensions: 93/63/93
This is a wood core cap ski
with a whole lot of sidecut and a very wide tail, so wide it
is as wide as the shovel. It is a soft ski and not well suited
The Tele Pathic was one of
the first super sidecut tele specific skis. It has been a popular
ski through the past few years and although it has been discontinued,
there are still a lot of them kicking around and I have had several
requests for a review.
It had been a couple of years
since I last skied the ' Pathic when I borrowed a friend's pair
the other day. What a nice easy turning ski. Carved turns are
a breeze and the soft even flex had a bit of snap to it. It is
a fairly light ski, or at least much lighter than the alpine-for
tele skis that I ski so often. This lightness is great for climbing
but I found it to be a bit of a liability for my style, the Tele
Pathic seemed to get tossed around in the spring like snow I
had it in.
I have heard this ski referred
to as a good beginners ski, I disagree. It is certainly easy
to get a carve going but that wide tail does not want to release
at the end of the turn, making it difficult to finish the turn
cleanly and scribe nice evenly rounded turns. I could make them
work but only with a bit more attention to the end of the turn
than most beginners would be able to give.
Conclusion: Not a bad ski
at all. The quirky tail properties keep it from being a good
beginner ski but I found that it handled a fair amount of aggression
pretty well and in the hands of an experienced user worked OK.
Still, experts will probably want more out of a ski than that.
A ski in search of a niche.
Lengths: 170, 177,
184, 191, 195 Dimensions: 96/65/80
A foam core/metal topsheet ski, the Sommet
has a generous sidecut (31mm) and a wide shovel.
This is a soft snow ski. For a soft ski though,
it sure does not have much rebound. After my experience with
the Attaque, I was prepared to really hate this ski but I did
not. This is a relatively forgiving ski due it's dampness. Don't
expect a lot of rebound, it just does not have much snap. The
telemark turn is, for many, a soft snow turn so for them this
will not be a bad ski.
One thing that I find odd is that the flex
really does lend itself to soft snow and backcountry powder but
the waist width is more like that of an on-piste, carving type
ski. The 65mm waist is just not going to give you the float you
are going to want for deep and variable backcountry snow.
Conclusion: This may just be a pretty fair
entry-level telemark ski. The full price is already low and with
big discounts I have even seen it selling for less than $170.
I don't really believe in the whole progression thing, you end
up spending more money in the long run, but perhaps this ski
should be considered by newbies on a budget, keeping in mind
it's limitations. Expert? don't go there.
Lengths: 178, 186,
194 Dimensions: 110/78/100
This is a monocoque, metal
topsheet (titaninium and aluminum) ski that has Salomon's "Monofiltering
platform" that is said to filter shocks from hard or uneven
snow. It has a foam core and a graphite, sintered base.
The Supermountain is the successor
to the very popular for telemark X-Mountain, now discontinued.
I have a friend who loved the X-Mountain and I liked it a lot
too. He recently replaced his worn out X's with this ski and
I am happy to report that we both found it to be every bit as
fine as the X's. Snappy and lively, it is well suited to all-mountain
The wide waist gives the Supermountain
great float and makes it a superb off piste tool. This ski loves
powder, crud and mush, it will do about as well as any ski I
have tried in death crust. A good edge holding ski, it is also
a lot of fun on the groomers, carving nice arcs reliably. The
shock-filter does seem to work in some way, this is smooth riding
ski. Torsional rigidity is good and the flex is soft enough for
A mid-fat like this ski will
benefit from being chosen in a shorter length, especially when
it come to quickness edge to edge. Unfortunately the available
sizes are limited, still, I would recommend the 194's only for
the biggest telemark skiers.
Conclusion: A fine ski from
Salomon for tele, shorter lengths will help in the weight area
for backcountry use. Only drawback: they are so darn expensive
and hard to find discounted.
Atomic Beta TM.24
Lengths: 170, 180,
190 Dimensions: 102-64-86
The TM.24 is a foam core ski
with Atomic's "Beta Technology", essentially the ski
has two long bumps longitudinally on the fore and aft parts of
the top of the ski. This is said to add torsional rigidity and
still allow smooth flex. Kind of like Saloman's "Pro-link"
I only had a brief time on
this ski a couple of weeks ago but it did not take long to figure
this one out. It is a decent carver and a forgiving on piste
ski. It would be good for a beginner looking to learn how to
carve turns instead of skid them. It holds a good edge on hard
pack if you can bend them enough, otherwise with that mondo sidecut
you will be riding the tips and the tails.
When I ventured out of the
ski area it was not for long: this is not a backcountry ski,
period. It is a ski in desperate need of some waist width for
most off piste conditions.
Conclusion: Atomic says that
the target group for this ski is folks looking to make progress
in in technique "with a slight emphasis on powder".
I would say very slight. They call it an all-mountain ski as
well, and I would say only if all the mountain has been groomed!
Tua Mega Plus MX
Lengths: 175, 182,
187, 192, 197 Dimensions: 95-67-85
A torsion box, wood cored
ski, the Mega received a makeover this season that included adding
more waist width and additional sidecut. It is considered by
Tua to be their most all around ski.
I did not like the old Mega
much and I really don't care for this new one either. All the
compromises in dimensions, flex and weight, made in the attempt
to make this a do-everything ski have left it, in my opinion,
bereft of any really great qualities. Mediocre float off-piste,
average edge-hold on hard pack, not damp but not especially lively
either, the Mega is pretty much a middle of the road ski for
tele'ers looking for one ski that does not do any one thing really
Conclusion: No matter how
you dress it up, this is really a dated design looking for a
purpose and not finding it. Choosing a ski for the primary conditions
you encounter would probably be a better idea, adding skis for
special purposes later.
Yostmark Classic Noodle
Lengths: 177, 187,
192, 197 Dimensions: 99/76/87
The Classic Noodle is a wood
core, torsion box ski with a reinforced binding plate and a sintered
base. Yostmark is a very small ski company who's skis are built
for them by Elan in Slovenia. At one time this would have been
considered a fat ski, now it barely hits the mid-fat category.
It gets back up top, though, with a smooth soft flex ( can you
say "faceshot" ?).
This is a wonderful powder
specific ski. It is made for savoring the sweet stuff as opposed
to ripping it, a great ski for the powder connoisseur rather
than the hog. This is not to say that this ski can't rip, it
can, it is just such a fine powder tool you will want to sip
the pow like fine wine and enjoy each turn for all it is worth.
The rebound from the soft flex will have you moving through the
deep like a porpoise in the ocean. It also does well in crud
The Classic Noodle reminds
me of my old Miller Super Softs (it is a descendant of that fabled
ski) it skis more like Yostmark's old Mountain Noodle which was
built from the Miller Soft mold. The Classic though, benefits
from the advances in modern ski construction: it is soft but
still relatively torsionally firm (as compared to the previous
At the Outdoor Retailer Show
a couple of years ago, several of us tried this ski in the powder
at Solitude and the vote was unanimous: 4 smiles up!
Conclusion: This ski is built
for powder and it does that very, very well, if you are looking
for a specialty ski for the sweet stuff you won't be disappointed.
K2 Piste Stinx
Lengths: 170, 180,
190, 195 Dimensions: 99/70/88
A tele-specific torsion box
cap ski. The 'Stinx is a wood core ski with K2's "Triaxial
Braid" construction. It boasts 29mm's of sidecut and a relatively
wide waist. It has holes in the tips for emergency sled rigging
and notches in the tail for euro-style skins.
This ski has been out for
four seasons now and was one of the first tele skis to really
show the influence of alpine ski design. I have to hand it to
K2, they made a smart move. Recognizing that many tele skiers
on the cutting edge were mounting up soft flexing alpine skis
for telemark use, K2 skipped the skinny ski market and went right
after tele-ers looking for downhill turning performance. It was
a successful strategy, the 'Stinx has been a huge seller for
If you had been skiing tele-specific
skis up until the last two seasons and you jumped on a pair of
these, you would think they were the greatest skis since tele
skis got metal edges. On the other hand, if you had been adapting
quality alpine skis to telemark use over the previous decade
you would be more likely to shrug and say "not bad, not
great, but a bit better than the rest of the tele ski bunch"
(three years ago). This pretty much sums up my own feelings.
I liked it a lot better than the rest of the K2 skis which I
have often referred to as "K9" skis (this was before
the new World Piste that I have yet to try), but still, I was
not bowled over three years ago and recently I tried them again
and felt the same way.
I'm sure I am not making many
friends with this less than enthusiastic review: I know many
of you love them and will defend the 'Stinx and its qualities
to the death, but I have to call 'em as I see them.
Conclusion: Not a bad ski
at all and worth a try if you have a chance to demo them, some
people love 'em. I would not tell you to buy the Piste Stinx
Tua Excalibur Mito
Lengths: 170, 178, 185, 192 Dimensions: 98-70-88
The Mito is another double torsion box cap
ski from Tua. Built from the same mold as the very popular Big
Easy, it has partially segmented edged and a double sintered
base. It is marketed as a Randonee ski, but has a soft, round
flex suitable for telemark skiing.
I got to borrow a friend's pair for an extended
demo one day last month. He had his mounted with the same bindings
I use and they were almost the exact length of the skis I normally
ski, so I got a pretty good test with few variables.
This slightly stiffer clone of the Big Easy
is a fun ride. It holds a better edge on hardpack (but not like
the Blade) making it, a better ski for use at the resorts if
hard snow is what you usually get. It is a fine off-piste ski
as well, with those buoyant dimensions. 28 mm's of sidecut make
for a nice rounded arc, and the wide shovel keeps the driver
from feeling like Capt. Nemo in the pow. I think the softer '
Easy is more fun in the fluff and the mush, but the Mito has
a leg up on the firm.
Like the ' Easy this is a shorter turning,
sub-sonic ski. You probably will not be keeping up with your
alpine brethren on these.
Conclusion: If you ski harder groomed snow
at the ski area but still like to get out in the BC when it is
happening, and you want one ski to for both places, this may
be your ski. A pair for firm and a pair for soft would be better
Lengths: 168, 173,
178, 183, 188, 193 Sidecut: 99/65/88
Like it's telemark-specific
cousin, the Totally Piste, the ' Four is a "Tri-axially
braided", wood core ski. It sports K2's "SmartSki"
technology, a piezo-electric dampening system designed to reduce
chatter while still allowing the ski to be smooth flexing.
Although this ski has the
same dimensions as the T-Piste, I found it to be a much more
powerful ski, far more energetic and a lot more stable at speed.
Perhaps those gimicky looking LED's connected to the piezo-electrics
do work! This is a relatively stiff ski for tele, I would recommend
it more for big, more experienced telemarkers.
Decent in powder (but not
great, too narrow of a waist), it really comes into its own on
groomers, backcountry corn and other less than bottomless conditions.
I skied it in crud one day and it was not bad there either.
Conclusion: A pretty darn
good tele-ride that delivers in a variety of areas, not for newbies.
The ' Four has been around awhile, you might be able to find
Tua Blade MX
Lengths: 175, 182,
187, 192, 197 Dimensions: 92-64-82
The Blade Mx is a double-torsion
box ski from the same mold as the Tua Razor, the difference is
that the Blade has heavier fiberglass reinforcement to make it
For you hard-snow skiers looking
for a ski that will carve the rock hard pistes, this is your
ski, at least among the tele-specific contenders. One of my ski
partners, a guy with a ton of experience skiing hard, man-made
snow, ( he was the patrol director working nights at our local
area for 13 years ) says that the Blade holds an edge as well
or better than any ski, alpine or tele he has ever skied.
This is not a backcountry
ski. The narrow waist will have you diving and not coming up
in the fluff, at least not without a lot of work.
Conclusion: A very specialized
ski, that will rock inbounds in even the most bullet-proof conditions.
Get this ski to add to a quiver only, unless hard-pack
is your only goal.
Dynastar 4X4 ATV
Sizes: 160, 170,
178, 186, 192 Dimensions: 107-70-92
The 4x4 is a " multicell
core, glass fiber, titanium sheet, kevlar fiber " ski. I
think that means it is a foam core, metal topsheet ski with kevlar
reinforcement. Also it has something called a "Zicral Sheet"
that is said to add torsional rigitity.
The 4x4's dimensions make
it a fun carver and all terrain ski, worthy in the powder and
stable all around. It holds an edge on the hard pack extremely
well . Unfortunately the construction makes it a bit too stiff
for my tastes as a tele ski. I like an alpine ski with a smooth,
even and soft flex for telemark, this ski is a bit too alpiney
to fit the bill. Getting that rear ski to bend was a huge chore.
Dynastar makes a 4x4 ATL,
a woman specific ski that is softer wide bodied metal laminate
version of the above that I'll bet would make a pretty killer
tele ski: combining the best elements of the ATV with a softer
flex. I would like to try that one, even if it does say right
on the ski "For Women". I'm secure.
Conclusion: Too stiff for
tele, try the ATL if you can find a telebabe with a pair.
Volkl Presto and
Sizes: 170, 177,
181, 187, 191 Dimensions: 98/72/88
The Volkl Presto (the red
ones and the blue ones) and it's later incarnation the Mountain
Ranger, are foam core, metal topsheet, cap skis. Underneath the
typical terrible Volkl graphics lie a mighty telemark ski.
A soft snow, short turn monster,
these skis were languishing on alpine store shelves all over
the U.S. until telemark skiers started snapping them up wherever
they could find them, and often at big, big discounts. Ahead
of it's time, the Presto, with the wide waist so nice in a backcountry
ski and the soft even flex we look for in a sweet tele ski, has
become, for many of us, the yardstick by which we judge this
class of ski. It is probably no coincidence that the Tua Big
Easy shares almost identical dimensions to the Presto, but the
Volkl hit the market three years earlier.
Sadly, the Presto has virtually
disappeared. The red ones gave way to the slightly stiffer (and
heavier) blue ones. Last year it was renamed and marketed as
the Mountain Ranger, now also discontinued. I believe Volkl also
had a ski out called the Snow Ranger Light, which may or may
not have been the same ski. In Europe they sold an AT ski with
the same dimensions but with a wood core called the Tour 4000,
I have heard it skied much like the Presto. Anyway, the point
of all this history is that you may see a pair of these skis
sitting on a sale rack somewhere, if you do snap them up, you
will love them!
Conclusion: Every tele skier
I let try my Prestos ( and that was many ) went out and bought
a a pair, sometimes multiple pairs. Not a ski for going fast,
they are just a supreme tele-turning ski. We will miss them when
they wear out!
Volant Power Carve
and Ti Power
The Power Carve and the newer
Ti Power ( a titanium version of the popular Power Carve ) are
typical Volant skis: not just a metal top-sheet but a metal ski!
These are cap skis and highly durable, they have a loyal following
and telemark skiers have been using the Volant Chubb for years,
so I was anxious to try the Power Carve and the Ti Power.
Volant claims to have invented
the "mid-fat" and I am sure Volkl would argue that
point, either way, these skis do not compare favorably to the
Snow Ranger: slow edge to edge and very, very damp, the Powers
are heavy and low energy. Some skiers like a damp ski for it's
forgiving properties, I find damp usually equates with "dead",
and that would be my take on the Power Carve and Ti Power. These
skis reminded me of skis that had been used for a long time and
In variable conditions they
ski about how you would expect a big, heavy ski to ride: lots
of float and easily bashing through the crud. Unfortunately they
do all this with very little flair.
Conclusion: Not my cup of
tea but if you like really damp skis that are low-energy but
forgiving than you might want to try the Power Carve or Ti Power,
some people love 'em.
Lengths: 179, 187, 195
This powerful ski has been
getting a lot of attention from telemark skiers from all around
the globe. It is a monocoque cap ski with a titanium and aluminum
layer and a wood core. The X-Scream Series also sports Salomon's
Prolink arms at the mid-points of each end of the ski. These
arms are designed to add stiffness while still allowing an even
flex. It looks like Salomon has abandoned the confusing and lame
"PR" labeling on their skis: these skis are plainly
labeled as to length.
The X-Scream Series has a
whopping 38 mm's of sidecut, making it a true carving ski. The
waist, at 68 mm's, is just a tad under that magic 70 mm number
that so many have found desirable in a backcountry ski. Though
with a tip and tail as wide as this ski has, I don't think you
have much to worry about as far as float goes.
I found this ski to be a smooth
turning, fast edge-to-edge ski, with plenty of pop at the end
of the turn. It feels damp at high speed but is still plenty
lively while performing slower, shorter turns. Rounded even turns
are a piece of cake with this ski, though releasing the tail
requires a bit more attention to the up motion in the turn sequence,
this may be due to the quite wide tail dimensions.
One expert level ski partner
likes this ski so much that he owns 3 pair! He tested the X-Scream
last winter in the bumps at Mary Jane and reports that they did
much better in the bumps than he expected. He calls it a great
all mountain ski.
I have not had the opportunity
to ski the 'Screams in powder, but I am sure that it would perform
well in that heavenly stuff: it is soft enough and as I said,
with all that surface area there should be plenty of float.
Conclusion: A high performance,
expensive ski that, in the hands of a good tele skier, will rock.
Fast, powerful, and not what I would call a forgiving ski, it
is not for beginners, but will rule for those with more experience
looking for an upper level ride.
Update: I skied these skis
again recently while taking the new Skyhoy binding for a test
ride. This really is a great ski, more forgiving than I had remembered
it being and with the Skyhoy, even more of a monster carver.
A bit touchier than the Snow Ranger for example, but a fine,
Black Diamond Resolution
Lengths: 160, 170, 180, 190
The Resolution is yet another
torsion box, foam core tele ski. Built on the same mold as Atomic's
popular TeleCarve, it is a bit stiffer and heavier.
This was Black Diamonds premier
ski going into last season and this year has been discontinued.
There are still a lot of them around for sale though and often
at good prices. At the right price, this is a decent upward moving
beginner tele ski. All that side cut and the wide tail will have
you carving in no time. It is not a ski that likes to skid the
turn endings. BD marketed this ski as an experts ski, it is not,
you will be struggling to keep up with the pack on this one.
The narrow waist limits it's performance in the outback as well.
Conclusion: If you are moving
up in your skills and you ski with a lot of fast skiers you will
quickly lose interest in this ski, on the other hand, if you
are starting out and you can find one at a good price, go for
K2 Totally Piste
Lengths: 180, 185, 190, 195, 200
A "tri-axial" braided,
torsion box, wood core ski. The triaxial braid is said to be
composed of "lightweight fibers" wrapped around the
core to give the ski more torsional rigidity...uh, OK.
With the cool graphics of
the Totally Piste you expect this ski to really perform. In reality
I would compare it to painting flame on the side of my wife's
Toyota Camry. It is a good, dependable car but flames?
And so it is with the T-Piste,
not a terrible ski, maybe even a decent hardpack ski at a resort,
but a pretty crummy BC ski. The float you get in soft snow feels
like it is coming from the tips and the tails, not a great feeling.
On piste it is not very lively, requiring a lot of work from
the driver. Maybe it is a good bump ski...there must be something.
Conclusion: Look elsewhere.
Sure would like to try the new World Piste though.
Tua Big Easy
Lengths: 170,178,185, 192
This double torsion box ski
is very reminiscent of the Volkl Presto(98/72/88), an alpine
ski that came out a few years before and flopped as an alpine
ski but found a cult following among tele skiers. The wide shovel
and waist of the 'Easy makes it a terrific ski in soft snow,
yet it still manages to hold a credible edge on the firm.
The Big Easy is a terrific
BC ski, it handles powder, corn and the bad stuff about as well
as any ski I have tried. It is a touring for turns ski, not a
touring ski, but breaking trail is easier than you would think
due to the wide platform. Still, it is not a light ski, add big
boots (T-2 or Veloce at minimum) and you will be feeling the
weight, the payoff comes though when you point these babies down.
The 28 mm's of sidecut assures you that they are made for turning.
As you may be able to tell
from the lengths offered, the ' Easy is designed to be skied
in shorter lengths than you may be used to. Over six footers
will find the 192 to be plenty of ski, the torsional rigidity
is very good and the extra surface area of a wider ski like this
means you can go shorter without worry. As mentioned, you want
to ski these with beefier boots, I don't think I would try them
with the T-3 class of boots.
Conclusion: A fine ski for
backcountry and resort use, especially in softer snow conditions.
If you ski primarily hard and icy conditions at resorts you will
want to look elsewhere, if not give this ski a try, you will
not be disappointed.
Lengths: 177, 184, 191, 198
This was Rossi's big premier
ski last year, featuring their "Dualtec" construction.
Essentially this is a cap on top of a laminate type construction.
It is a slightly de-tuned version of the popular Bandit alpine
ski. With 33 mm's of sidecut, a wide shovel and Rossignols reputation
as a quality ski maker, this ski should be a winner. It is not.
Perhaps it is the relatively
narrow waist for this type of ski that makes this model such
a dog. Very low energy, this ski was no fun in the powder at
Solitude where a group of us tried it. Some comments from the
"Worst ski I have tried
in 25 years of skiing". "I could not wait to get it
back to the barn". "The only good thing I can say about
the Attaque is that it was fast on the groomers which meant I
could get it back to the demo area quickly and change it out".
Conclusion: A terrible ski,
to be avoided at all costs.
Volkl Snow Ranger
Lengths: 170 through 200
Now called the Snow Ranger
Vertigo (!?) the venerable 'Ranger has been the ski that virtually
defined the mid-fat category for years. With Volkls "Power
Frame" technology, it is a torsionally rigid yet amazingly
even flexing ski.
This ski simply rips! It is
was originally marketed as a powder ski and it excels in the
fluff but it also grips ice and hardpack like a claw. It is one
powerful ski. The sweet spot on these Volkls is huge, just don't
try to ski them slow, they are made to go fast (real fast), at
slow speeds (less than 5 mph) they tend to be a bit "hooky"
( another tester called it the Ranger Hook) just build up a bit
of speed before beginning your turns and you will never notice
The Snow Ranger is a high
speed carving monster. I have two pair, 180 and 200 cm's. The
200's allow me to keep up with the fastest of my alpine friends
at the resort. I use the 180's with lighter boots and still am
able to push the speed envelope with them, yet they make a fine
BC ski as well (the 200's stay at the resort).
Volkl has a unique mounting
point. There is a mark on the ski for lining up the boot tip
(this is an alpine ski so for tele we move the boot up a tad
to compensate for the longer tip), Volkl designers correctly
note that the ball of the foot, the pressure point when turning,
is in about the same spot for a size eight as it is for a size
12. They design the sweet spot with this in mind and want the
boot tip mounted accordingly (most alpine skis have a boot center
mark that lines up with a center mark on the alpine boot). This
works great for telemark, placing the ball of the foot in just
the right spot on the rear ski.
Conclusion: I can't say enough good things about
this ski, if you are looking for a big, fast, powerful ski to
rip at the resorts buy a long pair, if you want a versatile ski
for the BC yet still want to haul ass at the resort, get a shorter
pair, but by all means add the 'Ranger to your quiver. It may
end up being the only pair you ski!
.Dr Telemark Main Page