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SKI Magazine's Best in Test

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
@MissySki - I have tried the Sheeva 11, but spent a lot more time on the 10. And haven't skied the 9. But from my understanding, the 9 is less rockered and has more metal throughout the body of the ski to make it well rounded and improve its hard snow performance. Mount point sits a little further back. And the 9 is as heavy as the 10 in the same sizes.

The 10 adds more tip & tail rocker, softens the extremities, and bumps that mount point forward. I wrote a review of the 10 as part of a reviewer application process that I'd be happy to share. Essentially, I wish I owned this ski as I was learning to ski off piste. Versatile enough to be a OSQ, but it really excels a tight turns off piste. I could ski at slow, conservative speeds, but do so with connected turns and a fluid style. They definitely ski short (I first tried them in a 164 since I was looking for something longer than my 162 Pandora 95s and they felt way too short, and I liked them much more in a 172. Today, I wish they came in something like a 174 or 175, and I usually land on skis around 170). Huge sweet spot and very forgiving. They definitely reward you for getting more forward and into a confident stance, but they're still plenty compliant if you're in a hesitant stance with your weight back. They don't like to hang out in the fall line. All the construction elements lend themselves to easy turning, and when you get them in the fall line, they just keep turning and cross the fall line. Soft tips plane well in fresh snow, while the weight and metal in the midsection helps mute out vibrations if you're in crud or get tip flap.

The 11 similar to the 10. But the radius gets longer and the mount point pulls back a bit. They remove a little bit of camber from underfoot. It's more amenable to different sized turn shapes and hanging out in the fall line.

Definitely think it's a low-risk starting point if you ski the 9 and either option is well rounded enough to make a good travel ski. I'd say that the Liberty Genesis 106 or an outgoing clearance Yvette Alchemist would probably be 2nd tier recs if you love the Sheeva 9.

^ Now I need to try this.

I agree with @elenmac; SKI magazine has historically left a lot of skis off their tests, especially those by the smaller companies.

Another ski I'm dying to try is the Line Blade. It's a weird looking ski, but it gets terrific reviews all over the place. My DH has the men's version and absolutely loves them; they really look like a blast, particularly for groomers.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
@MissySki - sure thing! I've got it attached.

For sizing, I spent most of my days on the Sheeva when I was shopping for something wider and longer than my old Pandora 95s in a 162. As I mentioned, the 164s felt shorter. I also ski the Atris Birdie (169), old 2-sheets-titanal Santa Ana 110 (169), Ripstick 102 (170) and Yvette Alchemist (168). And I tested the QST 106 (174) and Backland 109 FR (175) during the same testing period. I'd say the Sheeva 10 is on par with the Atris & Santa Ana length wise, and but is more forgiving than both. Felt shorter than the Ripstick. And I found the Backland and QST too long. Oh - and I share your same build (and boots).

I've been toggling back and forth between the Rustler 9 & 11 on Ski Essentials review trying to see if the rocker profile is dramatically different, and they seem a little deeper in the tips and a fair bit deeper in the tails. But idk if it makes for 8cm worth of effective edge. The other good way to ballpark is where the size range starts and ends. The Rustler 9 runs from 164-188. The 11 shares all the same sizing, but then adds an extra half size at 192. Definitely gives the impression that the 11 skis shorter, but not a whole size shorter.

Got to read your review this morning and just wanted to say that I very much enjoyed it, so thanks again for sharing! I sooooooo want to demo skis again, I sure hope demo days are back this season. :goodluck:
 

NZfarmgirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I've just purchased the 2022 BP 88's and I feel they are stiffer than the previous model, felt like I was on a totally different ski.
Yes they have apparently changed them, but the reviews are generally positive. Do you like them? What length did you get? I'm considering them for a wider option for snow days, or one day (hopefully) -1 ski for travel.
 
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teppaz

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I've always taken SKI Magazine's reviews with a grain of salt. In the past they've been a "pay to play" review site, where ski manufacturers pay a good chunk of money to get reviewed. Ski Magazine has also always taken into account the availability of skis into their reviews as well...e.g. Volkl or Nordica will tend to rank higher than Line or Icelandic because they are found in a lot more shops. They've claimed that this is because "there's no use reviewing a ski if a skier can't actually buy it". I disagree with this, especially with the internet these days...a ski will always be available (unless it's sold out).

However, now that they are owned my Outside, I am curious if they have the same philosophies, so I dug into their site to try to gain some insight. However, their "How SKI Magazine Ranks Skis" article is behind a paywall. Anyone have a membership that cares to summarize? https://www.skimag.com/gear/ski-reviews/how-ski-ranks-skis/
Totally agree. I've long been a Line fan and I always wondered why they didn't turn up often in those rankings. Liberty has the same issue now.
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Yes they have apparently changed them, but the reviews are generally positive. Do you like them? What length did you get? I'm considering them for a wider option for snow days, or one day (hopefully) -1 ski for travel.
I love them !!! But in my opinion they definately ski differently to the previous model. They seem to my mind to ski longer and are stiffer. Again I've skied them in all conditions (and we've had a real mixed bag of conditions over the last few weeks !) I got the 159's and am 165cm tall and come in at around 56Kg (depending on how much chocolate I've eaten LOL).
 

NZfarmgirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I love them !!! But in my opinion they definately ski differently to the previous model. They seem to my mind to ski longer and are stiffer. Again I've skied them in all conditions (and we've had a real mixed bag of conditions over the last few weeks !) I got the 159's and am 165cm tall and come in at around 56Kg (depending on how much chocolate I've eaten LOL).
I think the change came on the 2021 ski. The 22 seems identical. Likely they are actually better for NZ conditions now. I'm on the lookout for some 165's at a decent price.
 
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AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I think the change came on the 2021 ski. The 22 seems identical. Likely they are actually better for NZ conditions now. I'm on the lookout for some 165's at a decent price.
Yup the 22 is the same as the 21 version. I previously skied on the 18. The new ones seem a heck of a lot more stable although I did get bucked off yesterday in heavy chop :rotf: Good luck with trying to get a pair of 165's x
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Nela 88 is on my list ... any reviews or feedback re. them? (yes I know every ski is different for each skier but I"m trying to narrow down my would love to demo and look into more list!!) I'm worried they might be too much ski for my level but Ski Essentials and Stockli (I wrote to them) said they are totally great for intermediates and to also grow with my ability. However I am aware both places obviously are in the business of selling skis. The shortest length of 152 seems good for my size.
The Nela 88 was so fun on testing day, I snuck them out for an extra run. I didn't want to give them back. Interestingly, I typically like a ski that's 163-166 in length, but these were 160 and felt great. Longer contact point with the snow. I really hope to own a pair this season...
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
The Nela 88 was so fun on testing day, I snuck them out for an extra run. I didn't want to give them back. Interestingly, I typically like a ski that's 163-166 in length, but these were 160 and felt great. Longer contact point with the snow. I really hope to own a pair this season...

I think Stocklis lend themselves to being able to go shorter? I got the 161 Stormrider and it feels great. I don’t usually go that short either but the 168 felt like a little more than I wanted/needed.
 

scandium

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
^ Now I need to try this.

I agree with @elenmac; SKI magazine has historically left a lot of skis off their tests, especially those by the smaller companies.

Another ski I'm dying to try is the Line Blade. It's a weird looking ski, but it gets terrific reviews all over the place. My DH has the men's version and absolutely loves them; they really look like a blast, particularly for groomers.
The Line Blade is a blast! It doesn't LOOK like it should be able to tip up on edge, but it does. I think of all the skis I've demo'd this year, that was the most surprising - and very fun and versatile.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I think Stocklis lend themselves to being able to go shorter? I got the 161 Stormrider and it feels great. I don’t usually go that short either but the 168 felt like a little more than I wanted/needed.
Yes, they have a lot less rocker. I am finding the more I ski skis with less rocker, the more I like them but I have to be careful to not go too long.

I don't think I'll be able to get a pair this season unless I pay full pop, which is not an option. I'm currently hunting for a pair of 2020 Santa Ana 88s because I loved that ski with the two sheets of titanal.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
I don't think I'll be able to get a pair this season unless I pay full pop, which is not an option. I'm currently hunting for a pair of 2020 Santa Ana 88s because I loved that ski with the two sheets of titanal.

Hmmm...I have a pair of the those that have been skied on once. Demo binding too.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Hmmm...I have a pair of the those that have been skied on once. Demo binding too.
2020 or 2021? I want the 2020 with two sheets of metal. The 2021s I already have. If you have the 2020, I'm interested!
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
Oh, I got them last fall, so probably the 2021's. I think they would be too short anyways.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Oh, I got them last fall, so probably the 2021's. I think they would be too short anyways.
Yes, I think when you message me prior about them they were the 2021s. The 2020s have the neon yellow accents on them.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@contesstant what length Santa Ana 88? 165? There’s a pair on sideline swap.
I saw those last week and got excited. They want a pretty high price for them plus $80 in shipping. The more I think about it, the more I want my daily driver to be narrower this year and with less rocker anyway. So the hunt continues.
 

bsskier

Angel Diva
The Nela 88 was so fun on testing day, I snuck them out for an extra run. I didn't want to give them back. Interestingly, I typically like a ski that's 163-166 in length, but these were 160 and felt great. Longer contact point with the snow. I really hope to own a pair this season...
Love the Nela 88. You're right. It was hard to give back, even as they handed me the Nela 96! Maybe your decision is made already. :becky:
 

EasternSkiBum

Diva in Training
Can you compare/ contrast the nela 88 and 96? What were the conditions when you demoed? I'm looking for a new all mountain west in the spring ski. For reference my daily driver is Laser AX in 161.
 

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