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Fischer Progressor 8+ 165cm - men's carving ski

I had a hankering to try the Fischer Progressor 8+, a men's carving ski that has been well-received by women testers. It's become known for its edge grip, versatility, and dual turning radius (12m and 15m for a 165 cm ski).

The Tester: 42 years old, 5'10" 165 lb. advanced skier.

The Conditions: First day: 18-degree nighttime conditions, Eastern hardpack and ice topped with piles of sugar. Yum!
Second day: 34 degrees with light snow and a 2" fresh snowfall with soft-ish conditions. Early in the day, what we in PA call "hero snow." Later in the day, more challenging conditions at runs were skied off, bumped up, and temperatures fluctuated.

The Test Runs: Blue and black groomers making short, medium and large radius turns at varying speeds. One black run was bumped up into large fluffy moguls.

The Ski: 2008 Fischer Progressor 8+ 165 cm 120-72-103

Mount: Head Railflex binding positioned 1.5cm ahead of boot center. The Railflex binding can be slid into 3 positions (1.5+, center, and 1.5-) with a turn of a screw without adjust the boot fit of the binding.

Impressions: It took me about 2 runs to find the sweet spot on the ski, although it admittedly is a pretty large sweet spot! :redface: Sketchy conditions at night made me tentative at first, but once I adjusted my balance and felt the edges hold into a carve, I loosened up. While many women's specific skis allow for a more centered stance, even with bindings 1.5 cm forward, forward pressure on those toes resulted in the snappiest turns. The ski will turn without ejecting you if you slide a bit to the back seat, but edge grip will suffer. The ski loved to be driven forward and rewarded me with huge grins when I maintained my forward stance!

I first skied medium radius turns down a blue run and then varied the turn radii by switching from short radius snappy turns to long arcs. The ski complied enthusiastically, allowing me to carve a deep grooves with ease. Cool! When I got on the black groomer, it was pretty icy on the steepest part, but the Fischers were in their element! I executed short radius turns with no skidding in those conditions, and the snappy feedback and light feel made me want to push them harder. Wahoo! I'm used to a 170cm or longer ski, but the 165 cm felt plenty stable carving wide arcs at speed, and VERY quick in short radius turns. The ski felt incredibly smooth while still giving some good snow feedback. I spent the rest of the night on the steepest, iciest run on the mountain because I was having so much fun!:clap:

The second day, I encountered piles of heavy snow, ice, death cookies, and chop near day's end, and the Fischers took it all in stride. I found myself looking for runs with sketchy conditions to try instead of going to the good snow, because I was having fun skiing the crappy stuff!:laugh:

The verdict: A light, snappy, smooth-turning, semi-forgiving ski that likes to be pushed hard. :thumbsup: Wants to make a better skier of its owner, since it enjoys more challenging conditions and terrain. The flexibility of the binding position make it an option for women who might prefer a more forward mount, but the binding can be easily moved back to boot center.

Note: 2 dealers recommended I ski the 170's. 170 cm. is the LONGEST length this ski comes in, and I felt this very odd, since it is an intermediate to advanced men's ski. There are a LOT of heavier, stronger, men than my 165 lbs! The only conclusion to be made is that Fischer designed this ski to be skied short, but many folks are using traditional lengths. After talking to dawgcatching on Epic, I went with a 165 cm, and am very happy with my choice. The quickness of turns, general maneuverability and lightness of the 165 make it ideal for my home mountain, with its narrow trails and crowded slopes with human slalom gates. :race:

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