Layla testing out some Atomics at Falls Creek. Image:: Steve Lee
Equipment blog | Steve Lee
What a great category, so versatile and fun. This is the cutting edge direction of modern mainstream skiing. There's some funky gear, some more traditional gear and certainly gear that is pushing the boundaries of conventional ski style and construction.
If anyone saw the One Hit Wonder show on Channel 9 on Sunday you will all know I love skiing with my daughter Layla, so we went out together with a few other crew for this blog. It was a stunning day at Falls, nice snow, good groomers, spring like snow down the bottom of runs and good fun.
We had the Atomic/Salomon guys running a demo day at the bottom of the Summit, so took the opportunity to get on some of their all mountain gear and also lapped past a few shops to get the latest selection of Rossi, Head and Volkl. So a good cross-section of skis this week.
Once again some fun and rough little video blogs to give you the first hand opinions of the skis. Hope it makes you wanna get out and buy, rent or demo some of this gear as it's loads of fun.
Name of ski: Rossignol S3 Category: All mountain Tested by: Layla Lee Overall impression: First time on a full rocker ski and felt they may be a bit loose at speed due to the short snow contact point but that was not the case. Liked the initial feel of the ski. Strengths: Ease of turn, grip on hard packed Weaknesses: Not mentioned Most suitable for: Mid intermediate to advanced. Best suited for fresh or soft spring or wet snow. Works well on piste also, so pretty adaptable
RRP: $ 1100+ Available at: Falls Creek Sports, most good retailers.
Name of ski: Rossignol Experience 88 Category: All mountain Tested by: Andy Zwar Overall impression: Skied in this one and the 98 in Colorado where he worked as patroller, recons Rossi have got it right with this ski. A good mix of modern shape and just a little early riser/rocker with a traditional race form sidecut and camber. Strengths: Loads up well, holds on the groomers and rips in the soft and pow. Weaknesses: Far from it. Most suitable for: Mid intermediate to advanced. Good all round top end ski. Available at: Just arriving at retail in Oz.
Name of ski: Atomic Race LT Category: Groomer/all mountain Tested by: Layla Lee Overall impression: Very much a detuned race ski, stiff and pretty unforgiving in bumps, great on the groomers as you'd expect from this style of ski. Strengths: Push them hard and they'll love you. Weaknesses: Unforgiving, so need to be a solid skier.
M*ost suitable for:* Advanced, mostly groomed terrain Available at: Snow rider at Falls Hotel
Name of ski: Salomon XT850 Category: All mountain Tested by: Steve Lee Overall impression: A really good ski, powerful, gripped amazingly well on the hard packed, easy to initiate the turn and stable in the soft to high speed. Certainly one to consider for mid level skiers who can ski this one right up to advanced. See vid for more. Strengths: Ease of turn, grip super well on hard packed Weaknesses: Couldn't falt it. Most suitable for: Mid intermediate to advanced. Felt like a great all rounder, ripping on the hard groomer and easy in the soft, very adaptable ski. Available at: Snow rider Falls Creek and most retailers
Name of ski: Atomic Blackeye Category: All mountain Tested by: Matt Wise Overall impression: Top selling Atomic ski, initiates turns easily, solid wood metal construction, rated by the sales guy. Strengths: Ease of turn, nice cruiser Weaknesses: Couldn't fault it. Most suitable for: Mid intermediate to advanced. Felt like a great all rounder, ripping on the hard groomer and easy in the soft, very adaptable ski. Available at: Snow rider Falls Creek and most retailers
Name of ski: Volkl KENJA Category: All mountain, women's Tested by: Layla Lee Overall impression: Good grip, quite and stable at speed. See vid for more. Strengths: No stress ski. Cool graphics. Weaknesses: Nothing jumped out. Most suitable for: Women's ski, strong mid intermediate to advanced. Good in most conditions, from hardpacked groomers to the pow. Available at: Central sports and most retailers.
Name of ski: Head Peak 88 Category: Entry level all mountain. Tested by: Steve Lee Overall impression: I expected a lot more from this ski, felt pretty horrible on the hard packed, just no bite or grip. Not the kind of ski to advance on, purely put in the beginner to early intermediate range, fine in powder, forget about it in the hard packed . See vid for more. Strengths: Matched my outfit. Weaknesses: No grip, no bite, very average feeling from this one. Most suitable for: Beginner to early intermediate for soft snow and powder. Available at: Central sports and most retailers.