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Wachusett Demo Day

Peppermint

Angel Diva
I decided last minute to go to the demo day at Wachusett on Saturday. Never demoed before and after this, I can confidently say I will never buy skis again without skiing them first. I love talking about skiing and being able to talk about skis with the vendors was fun. I would always struggle at a shop when the tech would ask "what kind of skier are you? do you like short turns or long turns?" ect... Now I know what length I like and what to look for in a ski.

Me - 5'6'' 165lbs 54yo skier who skied in the Northeast for the past 30 years. Not sure if I carve or not but I'm sure I have a long way to go with technique. Usually ski by myself so I mostly stick to groomers. I like to get in a rhythm of short turns and don't mind fast, but not too fast.

Conditions were firm man-made snow in morning with temps in the 30s but went up to mid 40s by noon. I followed @marzNC's advice to ski the same runs for each ski. I skied most skies at least twice.

Elan Ripstick 88 158
I asked for the Wildcat but the rep said I would like this instead. Did not like at all - felt very muted as wasn't getting any feedback from the ski. My notes say "nothing special". To be fair, I felt the length was too short and was my first run of the day. I did not like the wide shovel -like it wouldn't engage, and the right ski felt a bit hooky so maybe a bad tune.

Rossignol Essential 166
The Wachusett owner was talking to the Rossi rep when I skied up to the table and said the rep was going to put me on skis that will change my life. He wasn't wrong. Hoo Boy, it was love at first turn. My notes say "love it, easy to turn with lots of energy out of turn, confidence inspiring". The ski was smooth and fun and snapped me out of the turn right into the next one. It was the first time where I actually felt like I might be carving and they were so easy to roll on edge. I was flying on this ski and I'm sure I had a smile on my face the whole time. This ski was fun, fun, fun. Funny when I looked this ski up and saw it described as burly and for experts only. I don't think I overpower any ski nor do I consider myself an expert - it just felt like this ski was made for me. Extra points for being made with mostly recycled materials. Not sure I can restrain myself from buying but would love to wait and see if I can find a deal.

Rossi Forza 70 163
This was a nice ski with good edge hold. Notes say "Damp, good edging, fast." Overheard at least 4 men say how much they loved it but I didn't have the same enthusiasm as the previous ski.

Rossi Basalt 157
This would be a good ski for an early intermediate but I was getting bounced around in the softening snow so did not like. Felt too short for me.

Volkl Kenja 88 163
This was the widest ski I have ever been on and it felt...wide. It felt like a nice ski but I couldn't get a feeling from it, like too damp for me. I can see why others love this ski but it wasn't for me.

Volkl Flair SC 158
I would love to try this ski in a larger size with better conditions and the snow was pretty soft. It felt like it would be a great carver but I couldn't get a feel for it. It was the only ski I returned after one run.

Atomic Maven 86 161
Felt plank-y and turning this ski was work. Notes say "Meh." Did not like.

Salomon Stance 84 167
Very smooth and easy to turn. I felt like I floated on the snow but got on edge quickly when turning. I think it would be a good "one quiver" ski in the North east. It did fine in spring like conditions when I had this out and the tips felt soft so I assume this would do well in trees and bumps. I wish I tried the 88 but was pretty tired at end of day.

Verdict:
My dream quiver would be the Rossi Essential for ripping groomers with Salomon Stance for conditions where a couple of inches are on the ground.
 

mintzcole

Certified Ski Diva
I also recently did a demo day and now I’m in the market for new skis. I’m 5’1, 135 lbs and have progressed since learning 2 years ago to probably a solid intermediate looking to continue to improve. I currently have Elan wildcat 76 at 144. I love these skis except in the rainy warm man made snow we had in North Carolina this past weekend. I have suspected they’re too short and now I’m convinced.

Santa Ana 88 at 158. Was a bit nervous because they’re so much longer. Took them out twice. I really wanted to love these. They felt great at getting through the snow conditions but took too much effort to get on edge. They may have been a bit too long.

BP 88 at 153. I only did one run and probably didn’t give them a fair chance. Easy to edge and I can see why they’re so popular. They felt a bit chattery and didn’t give me the confidence I was looking for in those snow conditions. Length felt great.

Atomic Mave 86c at 153. Again I liked the length. Easy to get on edge and did well in the conditions. However, I agree with OP, they felt plankish, almost flat.

Salomon Stance 84 at 159. These were my favorite. They felt stable and responsive. The length didn’t feel too long. I didn’t want to take them off. Helps that my favorite color is purple. Looking forward to some more demo’ing on my trip to Killington. I’ll just have to pay for it.
 

Peppermint

Angel Diva
I also recently did a demo day and now I’m in the market for new skis. I’m 5’1, 135 lbs and have progressed since learning 2 years ago to probably a solid intermediate looking to continue to improve. I currently have Elan wildcat 76 at 144. I love these skis except in the rainy warm man made snow we had in North Carolina this past weekend. I have suspected they’re too short and now I’m convinced.

Santa Ana 88 at 158. Was a bit nervous because they’re so much longer. Took them out twice. I really wanted to love these. They felt great at getting through the snow conditions but took too much effort to get on edge. They may have been a bit too long.

BP 88 at 153. I only did one run and probably didn’t give them a fair chance. Easy to edge and I can see why they’re so popular. They felt a bit chattery and didn’t give me the confidence I was looking for in those snow conditions. Length felt great.

Atomic Mave 86c at 153. Again I liked the length. Easy to get on edge and did well in the conditions. However, I agree with OP, they felt plankish, almost flat.

Salomon Stance 84 at 159. These were my favorite. They felt stable and responsive. The length didn’t feel too long. I didn’t want to take them off. Helps that my favorite color is purple. Looking forward to some more demo’ing on my trip to Killington. I’ll just have to pay for it.
I agree with you about the Stance. It was the longest ski I have ever been on and was a little nervous about it but it never felt too long for me.
 

Peppermint

Angel Diva
Glad you got out there! Demo days can be fun, but dangerous. I remember one demo day when I was happy that I didn't like any of the skis more than what I was currently skiing... until I tried one last ski. Whoopsie. What are your current skis?
My skis are Head Super Joy.
 

3beeches

Certified Ski Diva
wondering if there is a site that lists demo days (Northeast). last year i was looking to buy and ended up demo-ing around 6 pairs on different days from different shops. would have preferred to go to one mountain and try out several on one day as Peppermint did.
 

diymom

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Unfortunately you just missed a few demo days. If you start a new thread asking about New England demo days, I'm sure it won't take long for a list to form. Another option is to do a "personal demo day". Instead of different shops over different days, rent your demo from the on mountain shop and swap out during the day for one flat rate. Many shops will even credit the demo fees towards purchase. At Wachusett you can call the day before to reserve if there is a specific ski you really want to get on, and they will credit up to two days of demos within a two week period. If there is a specific ski, or skis, you are interested in, I do recommend calling first to make sure they have it, since not all shops stock all brands. Last I knew Wachusett didn't stock Blizzard. And if you can, try to go on a weekday, you'll have a better chance of the ski you want not being out already and the shop will have more time to chat about the skis and their personalities.
 

Peppermint

Angel Diva
I find it difficult to find out about all the demo days. I just went to Waterville Valley on Friday thinking it was just a demo day for Stockli, but there were 14 different brands so I was able to try even more skis. The demo was put on by Ken Jones so there was no info on the Waterville site, which I found a bit strange, like why wouldn't you use cross marketing to bring more people in?
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
I find it difficult to find out about all the demo days. I just went to Waterville Valley on Friday thinking it was just a demo day for Stockli, but there were 14 different brands so I was able to try even more skis. The demo was put on by Ken Jones so there was no info on the Waterville site, which I found a bit strange, like why wouldn't you use cross marketing to bring more people in?
This demo day from Ken Jones happens annually... it used to be at Loon and now is at Waterville. I think they have enough of a following that they don't really need to advertise, and the fact that it's on a Friday each year is appealing because it ISN'T super crowded. I used to do it every year at Loon but haven't done it at Waterville. Sunday River's is around the same time each year so I have stuck to that for the most part now.

Love the Ken Jones folks, great shop to deal with and give business to. :smile:
 

Peppermint

Angel Diva
This demo day from Ken Jones happens annually... it used to be at Loon and now is at Waterville. I think they have enough of a following that they don't really need to advertise, and the fact that it's on a Friday each year is appealing because it ISN'T super crowded. I used to do it every year at Loon but haven't done it at Waterville. Sunday River's is around the same time each year so I have stuck to that for the most part now.

Love the Ken Jones folks, great shop to deal with and give business to. :smile:
You are correct about that. So many people knew about it and had signed up online. I happened to have dinner the night before at the Coyote Grill in Waterville Valley and met one of the owners of Ken Jones, who told me about the demo day and how to sign up when I got there. It was a great set up.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
You are correct about that. So many people knew about it and had signed up online. I happened to have dinner the night before at the Coyote Grill in Waterville Valley and met one of the owners of Ken Jones, who told me about the demo day and how to sign up when I got there. It was a great set up.
It was meant to be! :ski2:
 

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