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Coalition Abyss

novium

Certified Ski Diva
#1
So I recently got myself a pair of 173 Coalition Abyss skis. This was actually the first pair of skis I've ever bought myself new! I'd been reading about them and when I saw them on sale for $200 I just took the plunge. I took them out for a run or two on a perfect carving day just to give them a try, but on Saturday I got to take them out in 6" of fresh heavy cement (and quickly chopped up cement at that.) So it was a good old sierra cement crud day.

Ski stats:
173 in length, 137/114/130, 22 turning radius

My stats:
5'8, 170lbs, advanced but not expert. Generally speaking, I can get down any hill on the resort in pretty much any conditions, though grace and style are not guaranteed, depending. My skills are a bit uneven. I have it on good authority that my GS turns are things of beauty. However, my skills in the bumps, crud, ice, and powder varies from "competent" to "hot mess" depending on how often those conditions occurred back in the days when I was able to take a lot of lessons, haha.

The ski!
Technically a powder ski, but I think I'll be personally classing it as a "chopped up sierra cement" ski because it stood up to it where many other skis I've used would have called it a day. Burly is often used to describe this ski, and I would say that is accurate.

A lot of the reviews I read said that they found the ski sort of pushed them into being more aggressive, and I found this to be true. The skis really reward driving them harder and faster, and so you just find yourself giving it your all, and it feels awesome. As a result, I did have some rather spectacular falls at the end of the day :D when I should have stopped from fatigue. The cement was some of the heaviest without actually being sticky I've been out in in a while, and the combo of that, fatigue, and how aggressively I was driving these skis and over the handlebars I went. (Again and again, but somehow nothing got me to stop, haha). But that's on me, not the ski. I am really just very happy with how well these skis handled conditions that I usually hate. I could trust them to get through the crud and keep true. However, I did find that the skis required commitment, which does go in line with the aggression. I was fine as long as I didn't hedge or hesitate. All three crashes took place the moment I dithered while crushing through the crud.

These are definitely solid heavier skis, but they handle with a lot more agility than I would have expected. I've been skiing on skis that are too short for me (but still useable) for a really long time now, and so there was definitely some adjustment skiing on something as long as I am tall, but on the whole they were very responsive. They may not be something I would be rushing to take out into the bumps, I still felt very confident in my ability to make short turns on short notice, and it was no trouble at all getting them from edge to edge. And if I got stuck in a mogul field, I'd be able to get out.

Last year I bought some used S3s for cheap just to give them a try, and I really pretty much hated them (I am alone in this, I realize). These are a bit less rockered than those and I wonder if that's part of the reason I liked them so much more. (The s3s are also lighter, and I found them getting pushed around by the crud a lot more when I last tried them). I didn't really get much powder to try the abyss skis in, but I have little experience in powder so my impression there is not likely to be very valuable. Suffice it to say they floated better than my other skis generally do, and I was able to kind of get that fun sort of trampoline feeling when lightly bouncing in the powder across a meadow.

I did take these out a week or so ago on a beautiful spring corduroy sort of day. They got up on edge and carved better than any ski 114 underfoot has any right to do. They were stable and fun. I will not be replacing my Watea 84s with these on those days, but they held beautifully. (And they were fun enough that they really got me fired up to get some longer stiffer skis for carving up the groomers, since if they'd been narrower underfoot, I might have even preferred them)

The one complaint I might make: Skis took some damage in one of the falls. Some of the top sheet was cut off (?). The ski seems to have mostly just peeled off a strip of the graphic showing a bit of fiberglass (?) underneath. I think an edge caught it and sort of skinned it. Could have just been a bit of bad luck, but my other skis have also had their time in the wringer without the same issue, so it was a little unexpected, but it does mostly seem to be cosmetic.

All in all, one full day in, and I really just love these.

Has anyone else skied these? What were your thoughts?
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#2
Great review! And congrats on the new skis!

I haven't skied them, but I would definitely contact Coalition about the top sheet peeling off. This seems a bit extreme to me, even if it was the result of a fall. They may have some sort of warranty.
 

volklgirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#3
The ladies at Coalition should take care of you on the topsheet. I agree that sounds like damage beyond the norm.

My impressions of the Abyss wound very much like yours (I have the 180s). They reward decisive aggression and speed with an unflappable solidity in even the ugliest conditions. I have had them in powder and can attest that their fun factor ratches up drastically in deeper, lighter snow.
 

novium

Certified Ski Diva
#4
The ladies at Coalition should take care of you on the topsheet. I agree that sounds like damage beyond the norm.

My impressions of the Abyss wound very much like yours (I have the 180s). They reward decisive aggression and speed with an unflappable solidity in even the ugliest conditions. I have had them in powder and can attest that their fun factor ratches up drastically in deeper, lighter snow.
I'd feel bad complaining since I bought them at like 75% of from a retailer.

I really am looking forward to trying these in true powder. (If only I can break my habit of trying to carve powder)

eta: how tall are you? I debated whether I should get the 173 or the 180, but I decided a little shorter would be more forgiving than a little longer
 

diymom

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#5
I'd feel bad complaining since I bought them at like 75% of from a retailer.
Instead of complaining, maybe just send a note with photos of the damage, mention that you did buy them at a discount, and simply ask for recommendations for what repairs are needed. That gives them the option to just give advice or offer more. They may want to see them for their own purposes, from a quality control perspective.
 

vickie

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
I agree ... let them know. Companies have an interest in the appearance of their products out in real life. If people see a crappy-looking Coalition product in the lift line or on the rack, it may cause them to think twice about Coalition as a brand.
 

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