Thursday, January 5, 2017

Testing skis...

Assessing a pair of skis is always very tricky. First of all, we get used to the skis we normally use and trying a new pair of ski for evaluation demands a certain time to adapt to that ski, yet alone get a good idea on how the ski performs.

Then, we're all different; weight, body-shape, personal technique, skiing preferences, terrain and snow conditions are as many variables that complicate the assessment and can throw the results into multiple directions.

This said, I tried two pairs of XO skis last year, made in Poland and distributed as a luxury, limited production in the United States. We tested the skis on groomed runs under perfect snow conditions I loved one of the model, the One Sixty Six that blended an incredible ease of turning, a great precision, unflinching stability and wonderful carving.

I loved that ski albeit I found it a little short for me (I'm used to ski on 180-188 cm long skis). At that time, I also tried another model, that I understood it was an all-mountain ski, dubbed the One Seventy Two. For me, this ski didn't compare as well as the other model, wasn't as steady and simply was more “work” to handle.

Recently, I was again given a chance to ski for a few days on the One Seventy Two. This time I took it both on groomed and unprepared runs.

The sensation I got from that ski was that it was more difficult to ski on groomed run that any of the three pairs of skis I currently ski on (Rossignol Experience 88, 188 cm, Salomon Wing, 180 cm, Dynastar Powder Pack, 180 cm).

When I took the skis in powder, crud or other regular snow, that difficult behavior felt somehow amplified and demanded much work and focus on my part. This said, I can't pinpoint anything in particular that could cause the steering difficulties I experienced.

Was it the dimensional characteristics of the skis, their stiffness, I can't tell, but it demanded simply more attention, concentration and efforts than my normal skis, in an even shorter version...

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