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Demo day at Alta, April 2019

Olesya Chornoguz

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#1
I was fortunate to be at Alta during their spring demo day today. The demoing is free, just have to fill out a form with your information and give them a credit card number at the registration tent.

About me: 6'1" tall, weight is probably somewhere between 185-190 pounds currently, advanced skier, moderately fast/aggressive on a good day, tentative on a bad day. Due to weight/height/ability I only demoed men's/unisex skis in 178-184 cm length. Women's skis that are long enough for me are very few and are not found at demo days. I demoed with @nopoleskier and she demoed women's skis. My current quiver is Head Magnum, Armada Invictus 89 Ti and Kastle BMX 105 HP.

Conditions: a few inches of fresh that were covering refrozen chunky stuff off-piste, piles with frozen stuff underneath on the groomers. Towards the end of the day snow was softening up. The visibility was low most of the time we were demoing. So conditions were somewhat challenging which is good for demoing.

Skis:

Stockli Edge 100, 177 cm length, 100 mm waist width, 18.8 m turn radius
I was very excited to finally demo Stockli! But I did not love both of the Stockli skis I demoed. They were fun but didn't wow me. I was very surprised I didn't love them, since based on reviews I read I expected to love them.
Stockli Edge were fun, easy to turn, carved well and held edge on firms spots between piles. They are very light, even with demo bindings, but for me they were not substantial enough - I thought the tip was very soft and got deflected in choppy snow and refrozen crud. They were very nimble at any speed but the flex felt too soft for me. Sidecut felt good, it was easy to carve in them despite the length. I did wonder if I need to size up to 186 and maybe they would have felt better. These are marketed for touring/backcountry and I would recommend those who do touring, very light and adequate performance on variable conditions, in my opinion.

Stockli SR 105, 179 cm length, 105 mm waist width, 20 m turn radius
These felt very similar to Edge, just wider, tip deflected in chop, easygoing, nimble ski, easy to carve for something so wide, but too soft for me. The Stockli rep said that the construction between Edge and SR 105 are not very different except stiffer tail. I think because I was skiing on my Kastles for a while I am used to a burlier ski, but again maybe 179 in these skis is too short for me.

Elan Wingman 86 Cti, 178 cm length, 86 mm waist width, 16.5 m turn radius.
I was excited about trying out Elans, heard great things about them. The Elan rep recommended to try the Wingman for the conditions we had. I was surprised he didn't recommend anything wider. But I took the Wingman out and oh boy those were fantastic! So stable, cut through piles and gripped on firm spots, but also very nimble. Flex felt just right and so did the sidecut, very easy to carve on them and easy to pivot them in bumps. I think I like :love: them better than my Armada Invictus! And yes I covet them now - the unfortunate side effect of demoing.

DPS Wailer 100 Alchemist, 184 cm length, 100 mm waist width, 15 m turn radius
These were a lot of fun, very easy going, nimble ski, very comfortable to ski on. The length in 184 felt just right. Flex and sidecut felt good, very nimble and lively ski. However I thought that they got deflected in heavy piles and refrozen chunks. I think in nice soft snow these would feel amazing, but in heavy chop with slick patches in between. Again my thoughts were I prefer a damper ski and perhaps a stiffer one too. Not sure if sizing up to the next size would have helped with tip deflection.

Atomic Vantage 97ti, 180 cm length, 97 mm waist width, 19.1 m turn radius
Oh My G!! :love::love: I loved those, so stable and nimble at the same time. Super confidence inspiring. Easy to put on edge and carve, smooth out the piles, super fun in bumps. I took them into a somewhat steep gully that was forming bumps toward the end of the day and they felt great in everything, bumps, groomers. chop, whatever I threw at them. Sidecut, flex and length felt perfect. Want these!

All in all great demo day in somewhat challenging conditions. Also I think it safe to say I prefer burlier and damper skis, probably due to size, not due to being an aggressive skier.
 
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Abbi

Angel Diva
#2
I was fortunate to be at Alta during their spring demo day today. The demoing is free, just have to fill out a form with your information and give them a credit card number at the registration tent.

About me: 6'1" tall, weight is probably somewhere between 185-190 pounds currently, advanced skier, moderately fast/aggressive on a good day, tentative on a bad day. Due to weight/height/ability I only demoed men's/unisex skis in 178-184 cm length. Women's skis that are long enough for me are very few and are not found at demo days. I demoed with @nopoleskier and she demoed women's skis. My current quiver is Head Magnum, Armada Invictus 89 Ti and Kastle BMX 105 HP.

Conditions: a few inches of fresh that were covering refrozen chunky stuff off-piste, piles with frozen stuff underneath on the groomers. Towards the end of the day snow was softening up. The visibility was low most of the time we were demoing. So conditions were somewhat challenging which is good for demoing.

Skis:

Stockli Edge 100, 177 cm length, 100 mm waist width, 18.8 m turn radius
I was very excited to finally demo Stockli! But I did not love both of the Stockli skis I demoed. They were fun but didn't wow me. I was very surprised I didn't love them, since based on reviews I read I expected to love them.
Stockli Edge were fun, easy to turn, carved well and held edge on firms spots between piles. They are very light, even with demo bindings, but for me they were not substantial enough - I thought the tip was very soft and got deflected in choppy snow and refrozen crud. They were very nimble at any speed but the flex felt too soft for me. Sidecut felt good, it was easy to carve in them despite the length. I did wonder if I need to size up to 186 and maybe they would have felt better.

Stockli SR 105, 179 cm length, 105 mm waist width, 20 m turn radius
These felt very similar to Edge, just wider, tip deflected in chop, easygoing, nimble ski, easy to carve for something so wide, but too soft for me. The Stockli rep said that the construction between Edge and SR 105 are not very different except stiffer tail. I think because I was skiing on my Kastles for a while I am used to a burlier ski, but again maybe 179 in these skis is too short for me.

Elan Wingman 86 Cti, 178 cm length, 86 mm waist width, 16.5 m turn radius.
I was excited about trying out Elans, heard great things about them. The Elan rep recommended to try the Wingman for the conditions we had. I was surprised he didn't recommend anything wider. But I took the Wingman out and oh boy those were fantastic! So stable, cut through piles and gripped on firm spots, but also very nimble. Flex felt just right and so did the sidecut, very easy to carve on them and easy to pivot them in bumps. I think I like :love: them better than my Armada Invictus! And yes I covet them now - the unfortunate side effect of demoing.

DPS Wailer 100 Alchemist, 184 cm length, 100 mm waist width, 15 m turn radius
These were a lot of fun, very easy going, nimble ski, very comfortable to ski on. The length in 184 felt just right. Flex and sidecut felt good, very nimble and lively ski. However I thought that they got deflected in heavy piles and refrozen chunks. I think in nice soft snow these would feel amazing, but in heavy chop with slick patches in between. Again my thoughts were I prefer a damper ski and perhaps a stiffer one too. Not sure if sizing up to the next size would have helped with tip deflection.

Atomic Vantage 97ti, 180 cm length, 97 mm waist width, 19.1 m turn radius
Oh My G!! :love::love: I loved those, so stable and nimble at the same time. Super confidence inspiring. Easy to put on edge and carve, smooth out the piles, super fun in bumps. I took them into a somewhat steep gully that was forming bumps toward the end of the day and they felt great in everything, bumps, groomers. chop, whatever I threw at them. Sidecut, flex and length felt perfect. Want these!

All in all great demo day in somewhat challenging conditions. Also I think it safe to say I prefer burlier and damper skis, probably due to size, not due to being an aggressive skier.
“I covet them ....”. Ain’t it the way!!!!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#4
I was fortunate to be at Alta during their spring demo day today. The demoing is free, just have to fill out a form with your information and give them a credit card number at the registration tent.
Great write up! I'll post my experience soon.

Not only did I demo several skis, I also got to do a comparison of demo skis with and without DPS Phantom. Fair to say that in the afternoon, the skis treated with Phantom were MUCH faster after the temps had warmed enough to soften the snow all the way to the top of Collins.
 

Olesya Chornoguz

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#5
Great write up! I'll post my experience soon.

Not only did I demo several skis, I also got to do a comparison of demo skis with and without DPS Phantom. Fair to say that in the afternoon, the skis treated with Phantom were MUCH faster after the temps had warmed enough to soften the snow all the way to the top of Collins.
Thank you! Yes, I very much agree about DPS Phantom, the DPS Wailer skis I demoed had Phantom coating and they were gliding so well! I think Phantom is great for spring sticky snow. Curious to hear about comparison of skis with and without Phantom coating.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#6
I think Phantom is great for spring sticky snow. Curious to hear about comparison of skis with and without Phantom coating.
Not a coating. It's a treatment that changes the chemical nature of the base to make it more hydrophobic. That's why it lasts for the life of the ski. A base grind after treatment smooths out the bases, and the Phantom glide is just as good as the first day.

After lunch I demo'd a couple of pairs of skis before getting the DPS Nina 99 just before 2:30. I skied the same runs. Especially on the last run of the skis just before the Nina, I was clearly going slower on Mambo (wide groomer) and Nina's Curve (black groomed gully near base). With Phantom, I could easily go as fast, or faster than the demo skis I was checking out in the morning before the snow softened.

I also took a run on my own BPs (original, 2011) before lunch. They ran as fast as the demo skis in the morning. I treated them with Version 2.0 last fall but haven't skied them much. Brought them for this trip specifically because they will be great spring skiing skis now that they have Phantom.

For more about Phantom:
https://www.theskidiva.com/forums/i...ps-phantom-2-0-if-keeping-skis-3-years.23209/
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#7
A bit too late to write up my impressions of all the skis I demo'd today. But I'll start with the pics.

I'm a petite older skier, 5'0", 112 lbs, advanced but not agressive. Although I'm skiing a lot faster lately, especially on bumps. The terrain I tested on was varied. Included groomers, a few bumps, ungroomed new snow on top of a groomed surface (Taint), or a gully (Saddle gully). I've been at the Alta Demo Day in early April for several years. This was one of the better Demo Days in terms of snow conditions, especially after about 10:00 when the snow was softening off-piste on the Collins side.

Didn't take a picture of the DPS Nina 99 @159 that I took out last. I've rented those at Alta multiple times in the last 4-5 years for powder days. I was mostly checking Phantom more than the skis.

Salomon Aira @165
Salomon Aira.jpg

Rossignol Sheeva 9 @157 Rossignol Sheeva 9.jpg

Fischer MT86 @154 Fischer MT86.jpg

Icelandic Pioneer 96 @166
Icelandic Pioneer 96.jpg

Faction Roxy SHIMA85 @160
Faction Roxy Shima85.jpg

Icelandic Oracle 88 @155
Icelandic Oracle 88.jpg
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#8
The way the Alta Demo Day works is that they take a credit card number and attach it to the waiver (without expiration date or security code) when you register. Pre-registration is possible but usually only a few days beforehand in person. Once a rep has their tent set up, it's possible to get a first pair of skis 30-40 minutes before the lifts open up at 9:15. I went ahead and found a pair, but didn't bother to get into the singles line until about 9:05. The lines cleared in about 10 minutes.

I walked around the tents starting about 8:30 to see which brands had skis short enough that I might be interested in checking out. K2 had their new line, but only one pair under 170cm. The K2 rep was apologetic, which is a change from a few years ago when skis under mid-160s were very hard to find.

I took the singles line all morning. Never waited more than a few minutes.

Demo tents, including a few Indy brands
Alta Demo Day 2019  - 1.jpg Alta Demo Day 2019  - 2.jpg Alta Demo Day 2019  - 3.jpg

Waiting for Collins to open, taken at 9:07, lifts opened at 9:15, lines were normal for a non-powder Saturday by 9:25
Alta Demo Day 2019  - 4.jpg
 

MissySki

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
I’m definitely planning to get a couple of my most heavily used skis treated with Phantom for next season. All of the reviews here have peaked my interest this year. Especially due to the fact that I’ll be doing a seasonal rental again at SR next season, having some skis with Phantom will greatly reduce the frequency that I will need to bring my skis back and forth between home and the mountain for waxing/tuning, a major plus!
 

Olesya Chornoguz

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#11
Thanks for sharing the pics @marzNC looking forward to your impressions.

I do know that Phantom is a permanent treatment for ski bases. I have read about it quite a bit when there were posts about on skidiva initially. I meant treatment, not coating, well in my mind you have to coat the skis with it to get the permanent treatment so that is how I wrote it. I have considered it for my skis and really liked it in spring conditions yesterday on the Wailer I have tried.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#12
I though Sheeva was a Blizzard product? Good to see Roxy back.
Oops, yes you are correct. Could you fix the post? Thanks in advance.

Was pretty tired last night. Skied non-stop except for lunch 9:20 to 3:30. Faster than usual since I was trying to change out skis as often as possible.

The Roxy is from Faction.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#15
I was under the impression that Roxy was its own brand, but made by Dynastar.
It was part of Quicksilver. Which owned Rossi and Dynastar. Not sure anymore though.
Met daughter had skis that were called "Roxy." But what I demo'd came from the Faction tent and the rep said it was the same design as something else that Faction makes. Didn't have chance to say that it's very "pink" in terms of graphics.

For this demo day, I was taking out pretty anything that was an appropriate length, with a leaning towards all-mountain widths. I'm not shopping for anything in particular. My quiver is more skis than I ever expected to own. But I find demo'ing fun.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#18
For those who don't know me, I’m petite, older, advanced but not expert, 5’0”, 112 lbs. Don’t really know the terminology for how a ski performs, but I’m pretty clear on whether I like a model or find it less fun or more work.

See Post #7 for pictures of most of the skis I checked out. Been demo'ing skis at free demo days for about 10 years at Alta or the mid-Atlantic. Also rent fat skis when I get lucky and catch a powder storm during a trip.

I demo'd skis while skiing solo from 8:30 to 12:00, 1:20-2:45. What I did first was walk around tents that were set up early to see what was of interest. Had a lot of choices at reasonable lengths. Only K2 had only one mid-160s pair of skis. The Mindbender line is too new. The rep did apologize for not having anything appropriate for me to try

The temps warmed up but not too fast. Got foggy in the morning every so often, worst around 11:30. I only skied off the Collins lift.

Salomon Aria @165, 129-84-112, R14
Took 1 run on frozen groomers. Probably too long but the Aria was a fun carver for me.

Blizzard Sheeva 9 @157, stats: 124/92/114 R14 @164cm
Took two runs on assorted terrain, but the off piste was still pretty frozen. Reminded me of my old Black Pearls (88mm, 2011) that I have with me. Lots of tip flap on groomers. Clearly designed for soft snow. Perhaps too short for me, but obviously easy to turn at 157cm. Would need to try in more appropriate conditions. For mixed spring conditions, the BP88 is more fun.

Fischer MT84 @154, 124-85-112, R13.5
Two runs covering slightly different terrain. While the MT84 did it’s job, I found the Aria much more fun. Couldn’t learn much from the rep I talked to when I returned the skis because he just kept saying it was “all mountain” when I asked about stiffness. I didn’t particularly like the Fischer MY86 @161 either in 2018. Or another Fischer model in 2016. Just not a brand for me I guess.

The two men in the Icelandic tent were fun to talk with and quite knowledgeable about their skis. They brought quite a few shorter skis, meaning mid-150s, in a range of widths. I chatted with them before the lifts opened and made a point to go back too see what was available. Ended up trying out the Pioneer 96 and the Oracle 88. They had a 101 underfoot model @157 but that seemed too short and I was getting a little tired by then.

Icelandic Pioneer 96 @166, 131-96-118, twin tip with camber
Was clearly too long, but held well on groomers, including Nina’s Curve (black gully at Collins base). Would be fun to try on a powder day. The only twin tip I’ve rented for a deep powder was the K2 Remedy 117, and it also held very well on groomers.

Took out the following skis after lunch. By then a lot had softened so it was possible to make some turns in ungroomed terrain.

Faction Roxy SHIMA85 @160, 122-85-112, R16.3
Seemed fine and easy to turn. More progressive feeling than my Stormrider 85 @159. Not much surprise since the SHIMA85 has a turn radius of 16.3, compared to 13.5 for the Stormriders.

Icelandic Oracle 88 @155, 126-88-108
Very similar feel to the BP88. Perhaps a bit softer.

DPS Nina 99 @158, 125-99-111, R16-19 depending on length
All the DPS skis were treated with Phantom, presumably 2.0. I wasn’t really testing out the Nina 99 because I’ve rented it more than once from Alta Ski Shop for a power day, including at least one lesson. I wanted to compare the glide with Phantom. For the previous runs after lunch, it was clear that I was moving slower on the lower mountain. The DPS skis were fast! Almost as fast as I’d been going in the morning before the groomers thawed out. Great fun in the Saddle gulley and Lower Rustler bumps without having to worry about sticky snow.
 
#20
The Sheeva 9 may be fine for soft snow. But I don't consider it an all-mountain ski. The rep agreed they need soft snow to be fun. Have to say that if I'm renting powder skis, there are other skis I would pick over the Sheeva 9. Certainly the DPS Nina 99 and probably the Santa Anna 93 or 100 too.
Interesting. I guess you didn't try the Sheeva 10 which is really fun in powder. Demoed for two days last season at Heavenly in huge dump of 4 plus feet and HEAVY...... Was fun in a 157. I'm so over longer skis. Skied 170-185's for decades and way too long. I like my skis in the 150's range. I'd like a narrower ski than what I have and think the Sheeva 9 or Santa Ana 88 or 93 would be a good fit for me.
 

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